A Villain is a good match for a Tyrant
Chapter 12

Author: 연제증
Source: perpetuallyperennial

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TL: DAISY PR: IOLANTHE

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Cecil sensed the mood in the hall drop to a wintry chill even as she tried to support her trembling neck. 

‘My neck feels as if it will break!’

The Emperor has placed so many necklaces that her head was drooping from their weight. As for her arms, lifting them was a laborious chore as though she was hoisting a sack of wheat.

It was a relief that a crown or such like weren’t included as well. If there had been one crowning her head, she would’ve crumpled to the floor there and then. Cecil looked at Estian as the load grew more burdensome. Up until now, everything has been going swimmingly just as they rehearsed.

‘I must do well until the end! I’m afraid of the punishment that might be in store for me if I fail. If I don’t do it properly, then once more…’

His hands had caressed her entire body. At the time, she had groaned and gasped every so often. He had squeezed her shoulders, waist, thighs, and the rest of her body, paying no mind to her begging and pleas even as she teared up slightly each time. 

It felt invigorating after the experience ended, but why was it so agonizing while in the midst of it? It was to the extent that she could be compelled to confess to sins she’d never committed. Was this possibly a new method of torture, after all?

‘And that was not all.’

Her face crimsoned. After her tearful admissions that she was indeed wrong, he would use something else apart from his hand to keep her up the entire night. Throughout it all, he wouldn’t rest although she pleaded with him. Each time that happened, it only reaffirmed why he was notorious as a tyrant. Well, in any case, she did enjoy it.

While she clung on to sheer willpower, Estian grasped her left hand, drew it towards him, and brushed his lips over it as he spoke.

“I see. Then I ought to fetch the jewel that’s known as the Kingdom of Tehtin’s pride when I set out to conquer it next week. Judging from what I’ve heard, I can transport it in its original form and work on it immediately. It’s supposedly a gigantic peridot named the Forest of Tehtin.”

Tehtin’s ambassador promptly swooned at the proclamation of war.

“I’ll bring that back and fashion a ring that suits this beautiful finger. Will that satisfy you?”

Hearing those words, Cecil recited the lines she’d rehearsed with profound joy.

“Thank you, Your Majesty. And I’m only saying this to make sure…”

Cecil displayed a special smile that she had practiced; a mushy simper that induces one lose to their minds.

“I have ten fingers. Furthermore, I’ve heard that wearing three rings on one finger is all the rage.”

These words could be interpreted as ‘Please deplete them thoroughly’. The hall was in an uproar, and the Ald of Woods that was embedded in the wall tumbled to the floor. However, everyone’s mind had been arrested by the spectacle that was playing out before their eyes, and no one glanced back when the sound of something falling rang out.

After the event concluded, the attendant who’d come running in tears discovered what happened to the Ald of Woods. Didn’t they realize this precious gem wasn’t meant to be thrown around? It wasn’t scratched, was it? 

The attendant carefully lifted it and his mouth fell open.

“It’s cra… cracked?”

* * *

“Ungh!”

A wail echoed in the imperial palace. Taken aback by the cry, Estian smoothed her shoulders.

“Quit crying.”

He had done so to comfort Cecil, but his actions caused her to cry out even more wretchedly.

“Unnggghhh!”

Estian was increasingly at a loss for what to do since Cecil laid splayed atop the table, her shoulders moving up and down

There were only two types of situations where people would break down in front of him. Either they were terrified of him or furious with him. Putting those tears to an end was simple. If he cast away the source, the cries would cease. Estian, who enjoyed the quiet, would often deploy this method to silence those things around him. 

However, Cecil didn’t belong in either category, and he couldn’t very well exercise his usual methods on her.

“I told you to stop crying.”

He repeated his demand, and she raised her head quickly. She then used the sleeves of her dress to wipe away her tears and snot, and spoke in a choked-up voice.

“Hic… Your Majesty… If you were me… would you not cry?”

“Is there a need for you to weep like that simply over a cracked jewel?”

“Because it’s not just any jewel! Are you saying that since it concerns someone else, not yourself?”

Cecil burst out before proceeding to open the book in her hand, entitled 100 Lines of the Empire’s Treasures. The volume’s first page depicted a beautiful illustration of the jewel along with its name.

[Woods of Ald— The first treasure of the empire.]

She pointed at the text written a little way below that. 

[Those who seek to treat the Ald of Woods recklessly, beware of what’s contained within it.]

Estian read the passage and gritted his teeth.

‘I’ll teach him well… the guy who authored this. Tomorrow, no, tonight.’

As he thought that, his gaze veered to the Ald of Woods resting on the table, a fissure running through what is considered to be the empire’s very first treasure as if it was broken glass.

* * *

When Cecil returned to the palace after being introduced to everyone, Cain came up to her with the jewel, and informed her with a troubled expression, 

‘They say the Ald of Woods has cracked.’

Without sparing much thought to it, Estian brought the jewel along with him, but a scream rose from Cecil when she espied it in his hand and she nearly fainted.

“D-Don’t tell me… it’s because I threw it…”

“Actually, don’t you think that it had a greater impact when I threw it?”

Her expression eased a bit. But the second he deposited the jewel in her trembling hands, she slumped down to the floor.

“Th-There’s no way…”

“What’s wrong?”

“Your Majesty, do you not feel it? It’s gotten lighter as if it would fly away in the wind!”

He weighed it once more. What is she saying changed? He tossed it up in the air once but he couldn’t tell if the weight had reduced.

“I don’t know what has changed.”

“You really… can’t tell?”

When she confirmed that he wasn’t joking in the slightest, her face became ashen with fright and she sped off to her room to scour through her bookshelf.

“The book… it was definitely…”

During their rehearsals, she’d received a book to determine what sort of jewel it was. Soon enough, she found the book entitled 100 Lines of the Empire’s Treasures and read it as she retraced her way back. Before long, she located the section she was seeking out.

[…This Ald of Woods is understood to be a gift from the Ef King.

To put it into perspective, the empire had been founded long ago in a place within an extremely secluded forest belonging to the elves. There’s no way these elves who would snap the neck of a human in retaliation for breaking a branch would harbor good feelings towards the emperor. And yet, it’s stated here that the Elf King gifted a present.

According to reports dating back to that era, the Ald of Woods had been lobbed at the emperor from a great distance. In my opinion, the first emperor simply thought that it was the Elf King who’d thrown it as a gift. A writer happened to come across what appeared to be the king’s diary while interpreting the elves’ remaining records. The contents were as follows:

「 Year 0000 Month 00 Day 00

 Weather: Clear

Today, a human chanced upon the forest and entered it. He was ugly so I didn’t wish to kill him and simply left him alone.」

「 Year 0000 Month 00 Day 00 

Weather: Rainy

That ugly human came into the forest again today. He was shouting out and declared he was looking for me. Am I his household’s dog? As if I’ll go to him if he calls out. Who is he to demand that I come to him?」

「 Year 0000 Month 00 Day 00 

Weather: Snowy

That fellow left behind a letter before he left. I ordered an elf who’s learned in the human language to read the contents of the letter; it stated that he had built a castle on a certain part of the woods, and he also told me that we should get along as good neighbors. XX bastard. Scram from my territory! I’m planning to drive him out with a harsh and fiery method. It’s been a while since my tools have tasted blood. Hohoho.」

「 Year 0000 Month 00 Day 00 

Weather:

Fuck. That ugly creature is fucking strong.」

「 Year 0000 Month 00 Day 00 

Is the weather important right now?

…I’m thinking about throwing ‘that’ to the human bastard. That’s right, that thing which we all fear. That thing our ancestors had enshrined within.

There seems to be no answer except for this no matter how much I ponder over it. The moment the jewel shatters, the thing will leap out to follow the one who broke it for the rest of their lives. Human bastard. You should also try experiencing that.」

The last record predated the Emperor’s claim that he received a gift from the Elf King by two days. The jewel which even the Elf King dreaded and had something enshrined within it isn’t a gift at all…]

A hunch stirred within her then while reading. Something that had been contained within the Ald of Woods has been released for certain. And it’s obvious she was the one who broke it.

 * * *

The door to the office opened with a band. Cain addressed Estian as he made his way in. 

“You’re here. Has the Empress calmed down somewhat?”

“No, she was sobbing so much so I simply made her faint and left her.”

“…”

“Nevermind that. How are the movements of those people?”

At the mention of ‘those people’, Cain’s face hardened.

“It’s going according to our expectations. What happened today was beyond theirs, so they’re having an emergency meeting, and thanks to that, tracking them down was all too easy. Here’s a list of the names of those in attendance today. It would seem that they resorted to hurriedly borrowing the banquet room of the Lizagale Hotel, the biggest hotel in the capital, since a huge party is expected to attend the meeting.”

“Give me the list”

Estian took the paper and studied it; the names listed were all those who bore animosity against him.

“What did they discuss?”

“Isn’t that obvious? The nobles present in the gathering raised the question of whether the empire’s state of affairs is stable as it is currently, as the crazy emperor has fallen for a crazy empress. One remarked that while people of the same nature usually take to each other, the empress, however, is incredibly pretty, and if he was only a decade younger…  Your Majesty? Are you all right? Why did the armrest break?”

“…I’m fine. Who’s the bastard who regretted he wasn’t a decade younger?”

“Viscount Devua.”

Cain saw the hideous aura that lit up in Estian’s eyes and drew the sign of the cross in his mind. Tomorrow, a Viscount will disappear.

“Back to the topic, towards the end of the meeting, their discussion mainly centered on the empress’s maid.”

Choosing a maid was Cecil’s second obligation following her coronation since there was no way for her to appoint a noble she was close to. Therefore, a test was set in place for the esteemed daughters of the nobility throughout the empire. It was rather apparent that the emperor’s adversaries would meddle with the selection process next week.

“They will exhaust every option to meddle in the selection.”

“I agree. But as Your Majesty has predicted, they have no intention of killing the empress right away. It seems that they wish to butter up the empress and extort information on Your Majesty.

“Precisely.”

Estian took a deep breath of relief, having learned that the opposition has moved according to his expectations.

“It seems like their cries will fill the palace from next week onwards.”

His lips drew up in a smile.

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A Villain is a good match for a Tyrant
Chapter 12
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