Empress of Otherverse

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

Chapter 90 - Light and Shadow>

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Chapter 90: <Chapter 90: Light and Shadow>

I remembered my mother asking me with a sad face.

“Luc, would you like this baby to be a brother or sister?”

She was patting her fast-growing belly.

She wasn’t looking at him with her usual loving expression. He was only a young boy, but he was mature enough to understand.

Ever since he could remember, people complimented him for resembling his grandfather the great Emperor Kentius. Lucretius was the only living heir to the throne. Whenever he stood in front of a mirror, he knew he was a good-looking boy.

He was able to read by the age of three and started to learn complicated mathematics at the age of five. He was always praised for his looks, intelligence, and his unmistakable royal blood.

This made the boy arrogant. By the time he turned ten, Lucretius le Cransia couldn’t be any more egotistical.

As he looked back now, Lucretius knew it was all wrong and abnormal, but as a child, he had no idea.

As a boy, he treated people objectively and coldly. The way he treated his own mother was no exception.

He wasn’t as cold to her, but he secretly hated his mother for being weak.

It didn’t mean he didn’t love her, but he knew not to show how he felt about her. Lucretius regretted it now, but his mother probably knew anyway.

Despite knowing his hatred towards her, his mother was still loving.

She once said to him with a gentle smile, “This is your younger sibling.”

The boy pulled his hand away from his mother’s belly coldly. She looked at him with deep sadness in her eyes, but at that time, the boy didn’t understand what it meant.

That was why he answered unkindly.

“I hope it’s a girl. I guess it doesn’t matter, but if it’s a brother, I will have to fight him for the throne.”

“…”

His mother smiled bitterly and patted his cheeks.

“Yes. I hope it’s a girl too.”

The boy secretly laughed at her. It made sense that the boy would want a sister so he wouldn’t have a competitor, but his mother should have wanted a son. An empress could never have enough sons so she could gain more political power.

The boy didn’t show it, but he laughed at his mother’s naiveté and tender heart.

When Lucretius thought of that time, he couldn’t help but smile bitterly at his younger self. He was so stupid and big-headed.

However, even if he traveled back in time to that moment, he would have done the same. He was a cold man.

As a boy, he didn’t know everything his mother had to do to survive in this castle. The woman he laughed at for being naïve had secretly sacrificed herself to protect him and his childhood.

It was later when he found out about the rumor. The emperor refused to acknowledge his mother’s unborn child as his.

This was why his mother hoped for a daughter instead of a son. She wasn’t just saying it to appease him. Even if she lost her position as the empress, a princess would have been allowed to live. A prince would have been a different story.

Even when her life was in danger, his mother was thinking of her children and not herself.

This was a month before Empress Beatrice was executed.

***

A dagger fell to the ground from the woman’s fragile hand.

Lucretius kicked it away towards the corner of the bedroom. He then let go of the woman’s wrist and pushed her roughly onto the bed.

He normally wouldn’t treat a helpless woman like this, but it was different today. His wife just attempted to murder him, so he felt his actions were justified.

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The woman fell onto the bed feebly. Her shoulders were so thin and dry. Lucretius waited for her to cry as she always did.

“…”

However, today, she didn’t. He was surprised.

She lifted her face toward him. When he first met her two years ago, she was beautiful like a pink rose, but now, her face looked like a skull. Her body was as thin as a dry stick.

He didn’t feel anything as he looked at her. He felt nothing for her. Not anger nor affections.

At first, his wife felt the same about him.

Lucretius needed to be married, but Katleyanira had been preventing it for years. When she finally couldn’t come up with any more legitimate excuses, she volunteered to arrange it herself.

She made sure it was she who picked his wife. Octavia was her name and Katleyanira bought her family off for this occasion. Octavia was brainwashed to hate Lucretius, but when she laid her eyes on him for the first time, she fell in love.

At first, Lucretius was glad that it happened. Octavia’s family tried to use her against him, but Octavia, in turn, tried to convince her family to help him.

Lucretius tried his best to treat Octavia kindly. He respected her, but that was not what she wanted. She loved him with everything she had, and she wanted the same from him. Lucretius couldn’t understand why.

His first fiancé, Isabella, didn’t ask him for love. She only wanted him to be a fair and dependent partner. Lucretius agreed with her that it was the best relationship he could hope for. That was why he felt truly disappointed when Isabella died. She could have been a perfect political partner.

However, with her death, he gained something even more valuable. He saw Cornelius cry out in front of Isabella’s dead body and swore vengeance against Katleyanira.

Other than his mother, no one had ever shown or demanded him for his love. He had only known political relationships.

Therefore, when Octavia came along, her demand for love caused Lucretius immense stress. He tried his best to show her that he cared. He spent a lot of time with her and in public, and he treated her respectfully. He also sent her gifts often.

He thought he did more than enough, but he couldn’t give her what she truly wanted. In fact, he didn’t understand what she wanted.

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This drove Octavia crazy, and slowly but surely, her love turned into anger and obsession.

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