Empress of Otherverse

Im Seo-lim, Im Seolim, Lim Seorim, VISCACHA, 임서림

Chapter 157 - <Short stories 4.1: Bad man>

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Chapter 157: <Short stories 4.1: Bad man>

Their conversation was pleasant as they smiled and chatted smoothly.

However, they both knew things were not right.

The duchess brought up a sensitive subject again.

“By the way, your highness, did you have time to consider my… heartfelt advice?”

Bina didn’t hesitate one bit. She smiled brightly and replied, “Actually, that is the reason why I asked you to come, Duchess. I’m glad you brought up the subject.”

Bina sounded perfectly kind, making the duchess hopeful.

She asked expectantly, “Then… What are you planning to do?”

“His highness told me he has no interest in taking any more wives or concubines.”

“… Your highness, as I said before, this is YOUR responsibility as the empress, not his highness’.”

Bina was firm though.

“I may be the empress, but I am also the emperor’s wife. I have no choice but to respect his wishes.”

Bina looked like a proper obedient wife, but her true intention was very different.

‘I’m a greedy woman, so I will never share what is mine with another woman.’

Lucretius swore that he would never have anyone else, and Bina agreed to marry him because she believed him. Only Lucretius and Bina knew the truth, and their relationship was built on total trust. They didn’t plan on including anyone, not even Yulia.

Besides, Yulia herself didn’t want to be included.

‘I wonder if the duchess really got the idea from me when I tried to make Luc dance with Yulia at the ball.’

Yulia came to Bina the very next day after the duchess told her of her plan.

When Bina blamed herself, Yulia shook her head and answered, “No, it’s not your fault, your highness. Even if you didn’t try to have me dance with the emperor, my aunt would have tried the same.”

Yulia looked bitter and disappointed, which made sense. Yulia looked up to Duchess Lonensia like her own mother, and now the duchess was trying to use her.

Bina said to Norma, “And most of all, Yulia doesn’t want it.”

The duchess frowned awkwardly. “That’s… because she is still so young and naïve. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

“Pardon?”

“Marriage and creating one’s own family are the biggest happiness a woman can achieve. On top of that, it is her duty to stay close to your highness and his highness so she can serve both of you.”

“What…?”

Bina was about to get angry at the duchess’ nonsense, but Norma continued strong.

“That child is too young to know what is good for her. Your highness should have reprimanded her and led her in the right direction.”

Norma was good. She used the sound logic of needing Yulia so Bina could control the future harem. She made it sound like she was being selfless and helpful and made Bina looked like a selfish immature girl.

Bina already expected Norma to say something like this, but she didn’t expect her to make Yulia sound so unreasonable.

Bina took a deep breath and smiled again.

“I, of course, know you are giving me this advice out of kindness and loyalty.”

The duchess looked satisfied. “Your highness is indeed a very smart young lady.”

It was a compliment, but it still sounded condescending. Duchess Lonensia smiled, thinking she finally got what she wanted.

Bina then replied, “However…”

“…?”

“It is true that controlling and ruling the entire harem by myself would be problematic.”

“Yes, so…”

The duchess looked confused as Bina continued, “But the emperor is planning to change the rules.”

“Pardon?”

Bina smiled smoothly. Her heart beat fast as she grew excited at the prospect of telling this horrid woman their sneaky plan!

An act of sweet revenge!

Bina loved it, but she continued to put on a calm regal face.

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“As you know, many kingdoms and colonies have been going through the sadness of sending their daughters to the emperor. Having too many wives and concubines have caused huge problems in this kingdom. The emperor’s women have been fighting among themselves every generation to put their own children on the throne.”

“… but it was because of the lack of male heirs for the past few generations…”

Bina shook her head. “It’s not an issue of the number of heirs. In fact, the more potentials heirs there are, the more risks of internal conflicts within the royal family. The biggest source of the problem has always been the number of wives and concubines.”

“…”

“Look what Katleyanira did. She didn’t even have a son, yet she managed to cause the emperor so many problems, and she almost succeeded in taking the throne.”

The duchess couldn’t deny it. Feud among the royal children for the throne happened every generation, and the worst example happened recently.

Katleyanira.

She was executed and her head, now a skull, still hung in the city center. The emperor ordered it to be displayed until it naturally degraded into nothing. Cornelius was the biggest help to the emperor, and that was why the Lonensian family became so powerful. This was why Norma thought she could do anything she wanted.

Bina said to her kindly, “His highness doesn’t want a similar thing to happen again in our generation.”

“It… it’s true that we should never let another Katleyanira incident to happen.”

Bina smiled as the duchess frowned.

‘Yes! You lose!’

Bina continued happily, “I knew Duchess would understand me. You are the daughter-in-law of the greatly respected chancellor. The emperor still feels very thankful to your family.”

“I’m… honored.”

Suddenly, Bina changed her expression from smile to sad stare.

“Y, your highness?”

Bina wiped away her tears as her maids and servants gathered around her anxiously.

Bina pretended to hesitate before continuing, “I… I’m sorry I am acting this way. I just remember what his highness told me.”

‘Ask me about what he said!’

Duchess Lonensia had no choice but to ask, “W, why are you crying, your highness?”

“It’s just that… I remembered Empress Beatrice, who was the emperor’s birthmother.”

“…”

The duchess immediately knew what Bina would say.

Bina explained, “She was sent to be married to the former emperor, just like me. Just thinking of her makes me feel sad.”

Empress Beatrice was a good example of the tragedy that could happen when women were forced to be sent to the emperor. Bina was also sent in place of Lisbeth by the Aeal family.

The duchess replied, “It…. was a tragedy indeed.”

Bina smiled brightly. “I am so lucky to have someone like you, Duchess. You are so worried about me that you have gained so many wrinkles…”

Norma flinched and touched her face.

‘W, wrinkles?’

No woman liked hearing she had wrinkles. Norma realized she had been played. She glared at Bina, who ignored her and smiled.

“I am glad you agree with me and support my and his highness’ decision.”

Norma knew she lost and there wasn’t much she could do, but she tried to make her last attempt.

“… I suppose we shouldn’t ask the noble families to send their daughters, but we should at least still have women sent from other kingdoms and colonies. They can be useful as political hostages…”

Bina had an answer for this argument as well.

“His highness will be changing the law so that the other nations send one of their princes instead of their princesses.”

“P… princes?”

“Yes. The problem has been that those noble ladies and the princesses have always tried to become the empress for their ambitions. In fact, we had a tragedy of Prince Coronel attempting to make his sister a Cransian empress and ended up murdering her aunt Ksania. Do you remember?”

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“Y, you’re right, your highness.”

It was a clean win on Bina’s part. Norma hid her anger at losing to a mere girl half her age.

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