Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 193: Twenty-second Episode: Chapter 3
Chapter 193: Twenty-second Episode: Chapter 3
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
In Church Calendar Year 800, Dulin's winter was late. In the blink of an eye, it was already the end of the 11th month. However, the tall banyan trees and the grass at the side still showed shades of green.
There would always be falling leaves during late fall. Those bushes and the flowers in the garden that could not stand the cold were already in a defeated state. This fall atmosphere was even more apparent from the Capital to the forest or mountainous area surrounding it. There was wind in the forest and ripened fruits which kept falling in the forest. Rain also hit the mountain sometimes, poured from the rainclouds along with terrifying thunders.
Nature had blessed Swan Hill with a fairy-tale like scenery, especially in the fall. It was the period of time when the maple leaves were red, and the last round of camellia was all over the mountain. Walking from the road at the bottom of the mountain, the blinding light and shadow fell thinly between the branches. Some small animals strolled in the woods. When you noticed them, they disappeared in the blink of an eye.
Swan Lake was still as beautiful as ever. The people who met her would always leave behind a beautiful passage but when they met her once again, the people realized that she had changed into something else. Her changes were unclear. The people tried to find words to describe her. Some said the Swan Lake was the mirror of God of Light where its reflection was the face of God of Light. Some said Swan Lake was a jewel abandoned by the God and her emotions reflected the intention of the creator. Some even said Swan Lake was the sacred place that blew life into beings and that Mother Earth of the mythical age once bathed in this place then gave birth to the greatest God in the world.
It was simply this way with Swan Lake during the late of the 11th month. The water slowly rippled and reflected the color of the cloud and sky. The mountain around her was her dock and the castle by her side was her knights. However, some said Swan Lake Castle was more like a Princess but who cared? Standing by the lake, breathing in the scent of lake water and soil, gazing upon the smoke that rose from the castle, even Oscar who was exhausted by the troubling matters showed a smile on his face. Moreover, he came to attend the wedding of his old friend today.
The wedding was right by the lake. The servants of Swan Lake Castle built an arch-like flower structure at a small stage which connected the shore. The top of the arch structure was the statue of God of Light and a shining gold cross.
The priest stood under the structure and the couple was facing him. Judging from the situation, General Murat Bedoya had already exchanged his gift with his goddess of victory. The priest smiled and announced loudly to the attendees watching over this ceremony. The couple before him was legal husband and wife who had been blessed by God.
The attendees who came were divided into two sides for the bridegroom and the bride. On the left were the family and friends of the bride or, to be specific, the Rubeck family who had good social status in the Ministry of Agriculture. On the right side of the bridegroom, to be honest, as compared to the flooded left side, Murat's friends were close to none. Only his head of the family and the people who followed the head attended the ceremony.
However, this situation had not reduced the cheerfulness of the atmosphere of the wedding. Rubeck's family loved nature, music and arts. There were a lot of members in this family and they were the infamous optimistic bunch in the Capital. Lady Ainienne's wedding was more like a family celebration of the Rubeck family. The old and young were all throwing flowers, playing tricks with the bridegroom and messing with the ceremony like children. Meanwhile, Murat simply accompanied them anxiously. Having such enthusiastic family suddenly had made him slightly uncomfortable but for the sake of his newly-wed wife, Murat could only bear with it.
Oscar finally saw the true revel of marriage. The people from the Rubeck family were indeed a bunch of tricksters who enjoyed fun and yet brought down by fun. He saw his general was tied on a chair and a lady kept pouring him wine by using her high heels. A bunch of children was chasing each other while swinging around Murat's general sword. It seemed that only the bride was not disturbed.
Oscar sat beside Ainienne. He pointed to the castle not far away, "Do you like it?"
Ainienne flipped the veil open. She was not sure of the meaning of the Prince, "This is the Swan Lake Castle, the fairy tale in the city. No one won't like it."
Oscar smiled slightly and took a shiny golden key out of his pocket, "Glad that you like it. She is yours now! I want to give you and Murat..."
"No!" Ainienne was so surprised that she jumped. Is it possible? Or she should ask how? Giving Swan Lake Castle away as a wedding gift? To be honest, the bride doubted for one splitting moment that the brain of this Prince must be broken. If not, he must have received some stimulation at the House of Lords in the Capital.
"What is this?" Murat came rushing. He seemed to hear his wife shouting at his master.
Oscar leaned against the chair and glanced at the beautiful castle in a relaxed manner.
The Red Tiger Corps Commander looked strangely at his stuttering wife, then turned to Oscar, "What is happening? What is with the castle?"
Oscar shook the golden key in his hands, "Giving a huge mansion as a gift. Of course, I need to prepare such a key."
Murat glanced at the castle and understood, "But...that is not just a mansion. It is the Swan Lake Castle. It's what your mother left--"
"No!" Oscar shook his head, "I only understood yesterday. There is nothing that truly belongs to me in Dulin!"
Murat thought about it, then took this valuable gift from the hands of his head of the family. He stopped his wife who wanted to say something and sent depressing-looking Ainienne to join her family.
The Red Tiger Corps Commander pulled a chair and sat by the Prince. He could see that this young Marshal who was once confident was eaten away by his depressing mood.
"Just because the House of Lords rejected the suggestion of establishing a joint government of Southern Five Provinces?" Murat asked carefully.
Oscar laughed, "You should say, it's the second time the House of Lords had rejected the suggestion of establishing a joint government of Southern Five Provinces." The Prince took a small sip of the champagne in his wine glass. Between his furrowed eyebrows gathered countless anxiety. "Titan Law clearly states that once the House of Lords has rejected the same suggestion for three times, this suggestion will automatically be put off for three years. That is to say, we only have one more chance."
Murat blinked. He was only familiar with the Narcissus army rules but not at all about the Titan Law. Thinking hard about it, he had no idea how to console his troubled master. At last, he could only say, "That way, we just have to grab this last chance."
Oscar gave a bitter smile, "Do you think, my wife will give me such a chance?"
Murat widened his mouth. This time, he could not utter a word.
Oscar patted his old friend's shoulder. Maybe, he was simply troubled. He did not care too much about this matter.
"Murat, you have followed me for eight years and experienced countless things with me. It can be said that you watched me as I climbed to my current position. Between all these things, did you realize something? Or understand something?"
Murat thought about it carefully and at last, he said, "Sword and fire!"
"Sword and fire?" Oscar felt a little odd. This was not the answer he was looking for.
"Yes! Sword and fire!" Murat stared into his master's eyes with an affirmed gaze.
He could recall the first time he saw his head of the family. He was still a reckless and combat-loving child, but now... "Think carefully about it. Just as you said, we have experienced numerous things together. Which amongst those things are not solved by a sword and blazing fire? Some things seem complicated, but if we use the simplest method to deal with it--"
"By sword and fire?" Oscar glared at him as he interrupted Murat's sentence. Before considering properly of this, he had already rejected this line of thought.
"Why not?" the Red Tiger Corps Commander showed an expression that only belonged to a soldier. He raised his chest and released a formidable aura. His only hand gripped tightly of the sword that was capable of directing thousands of soldiers.
"Since our words can't move them and our effort is in vain, we shall use sword and fire to deal with it."
Oscar shook his head. Greatly. "No! No! This can't work! This is Dulin! It's my wife's Dulin. It's my Empress' Dulin."
"Yes, yes..." Murat gazed mockingly at the young Prince, "Alanis is your wife and your Empress, but her title increases by one now. It is your stumbling block! In my opinion, you only have two choices. I believe you have already realized this. First, it is to move this rock away and let us walk away. Second, it is to allow her to block our path and we will go with the flow."
"Alanis is my wife!" Oscar almost moaned in pain, but he had already subconsciously removed the "my Empress" statement when he reaffirmed his thought.
"Murat! You know I won't hurt Alanis!" Maybe he realized his tone was weakening, Oscar added this statement determinedly.
Murat smiled. He admitted that he was judging his master, "To be honest, everything that you have said is b*llsh*t. You said you won't hurt Alanis, but you have been doing things that hurt her!"
Oscar's gaze became sharp. He glared at Murat. Since he was young, he was not fond of getting analyzed by others and allow others found out his hypocritical mask.
Murat welcomed the Prince's gaze. He knew this was not the time to care about his pride.
"Am I wrong? You have been hurting her. When a woman who loves you deeply look at you kissing other woman and even having children with others, doesn't this count as hurting her? Moreover, please don't think of having four wives as something reasonable. If you think this is the blessing of the God, then you are wrong. This is only a special right in which the holy Andrew possesses. Thus, Alanis won't complain about the God. She is a woman. She will only complain about you!"
Oscar turned his head away abruptly. He wanted to pour his anger at Murat, but he remembered that this is Murat's wedding. Moreover, he could not find any words to oppose Murat's words. At last, the depressed Prince only said in a compromising tone, "I admit it, alright? I hurt Alanis before, not only about the four wives matter. But I have sworn not to hurt her anymore. I..." Oscar suddenly felt speechless. This time, he had subconsciously omitted "my wife" statement as well.
Murat shook his head, sighing, "This is no use! No use! You only think so. To put it frankly, it's not that you don't want to hurt her. You just don't want to get on her bad side!"
Oscar did not speak for a long while. His lips seemed as dry as cracked skin of a tree and his heart was drowned in emotion and everything that could not be put into words poured out like a broken hourglass.
"All of these just to not get on Alanis' bad side?" Oscar thought about it continuously. He thought not wanting to anger Alanis and not hurting Alanis was the same matter. But, when it was said out loud, why was there any different feeling to it? Could it be...he truly was...scared of angering her? But this could only mean how deep his love towards her was. That was why he was afraid of the situation which might happen after he hurt her.
Oscar covered half of his face with one hand, only showing a pair of uncertain eyes. This was probably the first time he realized this. No matter when, he had loved Alanis deeply to the extent he was afraid of her gaze and feeling. But, when did such deep love began? Oscar was in doubt because he truly did not understand it.
"Marshal, head!" Murat called in a low voice. He pointed to Ainienne who was surrounded by her family and laughter. Murat Bedoya who did not even frown as he went in and out of battle had a blissful gaze. He said to the Prince, "Do you know why I fell in love with her?"
Oscar shook his head. He did not think the love of a man towards a woman could be explained by reasoning or limited words.
"Because she made me realized what a woman truly wishes for."
Oscar was even more confused. What a woman truly wished for? Jewelry? Mansion? Social status? Man's love? Envy of woman? Who knew?
Murat was still staring at his wife lovingly. He said to the head of the family clearly, "What a woman...truly wishes for...is to control her own fate! She loves daringly and hates deeply! Such woman is a true woman."
Saying it was enlightening was overrated. Oscar only barely understood the meaning of Murat's words. He did not understand women, not to mention thinking about what a woman truly wished for. His love was blind and mixed with all sorts of limitation. If this was so, Oscar was not so sure again. He felt doubtful of his feeling towards Alanis.
"Then..." Murat paused for a while. He felt that now was the time to say it, "It's still the two choices! First, move the rock. Second, go with the flow! You are the head of the family. My master and my marshal. You must decide."
Oscar finally removed the palm that covered his face. He touched his hair, the back of his head and that neat braid that had oil on it. The braid was done by Alanis in the morning.
"Ola..." along with a deep sigh, Oscar used a volume that he hoped no one could hear him and said, "Gather the people..."
No matter what, Murat heard it. He stood up happily and saluted to the head of the family. Maybe his honeymoon holiday would be put off due to this, but nothing could beat getting down on a good fight in the Capital.
Oscar left Swan Hill in the afternoon and brought Torry with him. The carriage was not quick. The Prince stared blankly at the scenery outside the window. Lately, he seemed to be doing this frequently. It was noisy outside the window. It was a miniature version of the whole world. The farmers were busy working on the field. When they saw knights and a majestic Imperial carriage coming from afar, they quickly went to the side of the road and kneeled. Some gentlemen took off their hats and greeted the carriage. However, most people were busy with their own work. They pretended to see nothing.
The priest had taken off the enlistment advertisement outside of the church and changed it to a large banner that urged tax payment. The people surrounded the banner and pointed at the rules on it. However, the citizens who constantly suffered in life only subconsciously complained a bit. They did not say anything more than that.
Near the city, the flourishing aura became more apparent. Bustling men and women who were covered with wool clothing and walked with relaxed steps began to appear on the street. There were many people and carriages in the city. Carriages continued its journey on the rocky road and caused a symphony of rumbling sounds. Sometimes, a postman or knight would pass by the pedestrian while riding tall horses which carried the label of government property. If they were to scrape the vendor by the road, the scolding and cursing would follow immediately throughout the street.
The patrolling unit of the Ministry of Justice came forward along the street outside of the market. These soldiers waved a short rein respectively. Under the saddle was a huge thick stick. When they saw any troublesome person or anyone they did not like, these trouble-causing soldiers would wave the sticks and vented out their anger until the person handed a few Tis or was barely breathing.
The ones who earned for a living on the street were the poor ones. Dulin's true gentlemen all stayed at the country's public service area at the two sides of the road of the kings. There was no disturbance by the patrolling soldiers there. Nor was any street artist who kept troubling you. Only gentlemen who wore tuxedos and held the black umbrellas would roam in this area. They were just like a two-feet animal who only knew how to shake. Even though their expressions were lively, but there was a sort of numbing aura coming from their bones.
"How are you doing with the Capital's Home Base Commander?" Oscar suddenly turned to Torry.
The Lieutenant General only shrugged, "You meant Marshal Alan's grandson?"
"Yeah...who else other than him?" Oscar hummed coldly.
Torry massaged his nose. He had a cold lately. "How should I describe General Reynold Hewitt Preston?"
The Cannon Division Commander thought for a while, "Just like his grandfather, he is a true soldier. Maybe not as cunning as Silverfox Alan, but smart and capable."
"I am asking how are you doing with him." Oscar was getting impatient.
Torry spread his hands out, "What do you mean "how"? It's normal! My ranking doesn't differ from him that much. He is embarrassed to order me. Moreover, I don't have much to do every day unlike him who is always busy. I can only find some fun myself."
Oscar looked worriedly at his old friend, "Tell me. What have you done?"
Torry smiled, "Rest assured I am already over the age of causing trouble!" the Cannon Division Commander said as he reached into his pocket, "Do you know what I am working on?"
Oscar looked at the Lieutenant General who pulled a drawing paper out. When Torry opened the paper, he saw that this was the two-dimensional map of Dulin City.
Torry glanced at his masterpiece proudly, "Look at this! After around a month of observation of the actual landscape, I made it as I squeezed my brain juice. On it labeled the position of every cannon in Dulin City. Once there is chaos in the city and my cannons are at those positions, I dare to ensure that no one can reach the Palace and every important government department..."
Oscar snatched the map over, "Torry! You are an idiot!"
The Cannon Division Commander was a little confused. He thought he did something good and made some contribution to the defense of Dulin City. Shouldn't it be so?
Oscar glanced at the masterpiece of the Cannon Division Commander. He even had his special kind of smile with cold feeling attached to it.
"If you turn the cannon around at these locations, won't Dulin City be finished?"
"How is this possible?" Torry widened his eyes. He did not understand what the Prince had meant.
Oscar threw the map back to Torry. "Still saying you won't cause me trouble? Just remember this thing in your heart! If you stick it on the wall of your office, I believe everyone in the world will know how to attack Dulin the next day."
"Then...what should I do? I spend a whole month..."
"Enough!" Oscar glared at the map. He noticed rather sharply that the cannons on the map were double-edged swords. Going forward might defend against the strong enemy, turning backward might destroy Dulin and this country's upper-class buildings. If Alanis was to know Torry had such a thing...
Oscar took a deep breath. He finally confirmed Murat's analysis. He was indeed afraid of Alanis, afraid of her strength that might destroy the things he wanted to protect in his heart. But...
Speaking of it, if he really wanted to maintain his relationship with Alanis, why would he order Murat to gather the people secretively? It appeared that this matter could not be stated clearly in a short amount of time.
"Accompany for a few drinks. I want to see you burn that thing to ashes," Oscar mumbled, irritably.
"What do you want? You don't want to?" Oscar's gaze sharpened.
"That's not what I meant!" Torry quickly explained, "I am saying, I have a date!"
Oscar hummed in disgust, "Send a messenger and tell that person. The meeting will be rearranged!"
"Hey, old friend! You can't be like this!" Torry sounded panicky, "I already promised Evelyn to visit her parents!"
Oscar was still a little out of the situation. He glanced at "Walking Stick Torry" with unbelievable eyes.
"Who is Evelyn?"
"She is Marquis Bourde's daughter," Torry mumbled. "Hmm...you know, this is a formal visit! Moreover, the house rule of the Boude family is strict. Marquis Boude only allows his daughter to date me because I am a war hero. I care about Evelyn. She is the woman whom I will marry for life."
"Stop the carriage!" Oscar shouted suddenly.
The servant who followed the team opened the door for the Prince. Oscar then signaled at Torry towards outside, "Get out!"
Torry got out for some reasons. Looking at the large carriage team which went off, the Lieutenant General mumbled without stop, "Who knows what got into O'Neil Andrew Morisette?"
Just when Viscount Tove Van Sukhoi stood by the roadside like an abandoned child, a knight came from the carriage team of the Prince. The knight approached the Lieutenant General and said to Walking Stick Torry who had a strange look, "Sir Viscount, the Prince asked me to send you a message. The Prince said that he doesn't want to see you before you walk into the church with the lady!"
"Nothing less of my old friend..." Torry shook his head with a bitter smile. At last, he gave a military salutation at the direction where the carriage had gone off to.
In many legendary stories that came from the east, the most memorable ones to the westerners were none other than those about highly capable martial art masters and those of the eastern Emperor who believed in the mysterious dragon totem.
But in the eyes of the westerners, the Emperor of the east did not know how to enjoy life because…who would confine oneself in a room that was surrounded by high walls? That thing was not called a palace. It was more like a place which confined mentally-ill patients.
It was probably since the beginning of the mythical age that the western kings had already opened up the palace to the nobles. As long as it was someone with proper status, the palace was the entertainment venue of the highest class. However, of course, both the western and eastern emperors were sacred and must not be violated. The games and all entertainment methods had to serve their purposes of providing fun to the emperors.
When Oscar returned to Hamilton Palace, the first thing he saw was the nobles who waited for Her Majesty the Empress to provide dinner. Actually, these men had already tasted every delicacy in this world. They simply wished for a seat on the dining table in the palace.
He passed through the crowded hallway and passed by the hypocritical crowds. After passing through a few entertainment rooms that were performing juggling acts, Oscar heard his wife released a series of laughter that resembled the sound of a female cat calling to its mate before he entered the room. The Prince arranged his clothing at the door and took a few deep breaths. When he opened the door, the depressed face immediately showed a dazzling smile.
"Dear! Care to share your happiness with me?"
"Ola!" The Empress shouted in happiness as she learned her husband's tone. She jumped off the seat on the stair and ran into her husband's embrace. Her husband kissed her with hot lips until it was painful, but it only got her more excited and happy.
"My Oscar. Look at this. Look at this! I thought you are going to miss it!"
Oscar scanned the surroundings. The hall was full of laughter. A team of servants stood far away near the wall. They were holding silver plates. On it was tasty food and wine for people to eat. The people who had fun with the Empress seemed to have the same face. Oscar could not even recognize one of them. Even if he did recognize them, he would not be able to say their names.
Soldiers who wore uniforms, beautifully-dressed ladies, government officers with big bellies, nobles whose chest hung lots of honorary medals...all sorts of people fought to serve Alanis who lied on the edge of the cloud. While Alanis, her fun came from an animal. Long limbs, full of black hair and funny-looking. However, Oscar could not recall the name of this animal.
"A tamed chimpanzee who knows how to perform!" Alanis said as she pulled at her husband's arm. The people who surrounded them immediately gave way to her.
"Chimpanzee?" Oscar wanted to smile but he felt that his smile was as ugly as that animal.
"Quick! Let my husband watch his performance!" Alanis ordered the tamer who came from nowhere loudly.
The tamer who dressed like a clown quickly greeted the couple then sent a glance at the animal. The chimpanzee suddenly kicked the tamer in his groin. In the end, his ugly face naturally made the crowd roared with laughter.
Following that, overturn, signaling, making funny faces, pretending to be mad, showing his idiocy...the man and the animal had turned the palace around. When Alanis was out of breath laughing, she did not forget to show her pride as an Empress. Her Majesty the Empress ordered loudly to her Palace Chief, "Reward! Gold coins!"
Marquis Jevonah Wesarcia immediately took out a heavy-looking purse but his wife stopped him. Madam Wesarcia snatched the purse full of gold coins and simply threw a silver coin to the chimpanzee.
In the end? Look at how smart this animal was! It did not even look at the silver coin and only went around Madam Cameron. Then, it suddenly pulled the madam's skirt up. A pair of beautiful legs that were covered in white stockings immediately presented themselves in front of the crowd. The shocked Madam Cameron shouted and threw the purse away while covering her skirt.
The smart animal snatched the purse then jumped towards Her Majesty the Empress' seat agilely.
Alanis finally laughed so much that she leaned into her husband's embrace. The people who surrounded her also roared with laughter. Only the unlucky Madam Wesarcia stood her ground in fury.
Oscar also smiled. It was not intended for the ridiculous comedy gig in front of him but for his weakness and imagination. Shouldn't he mock himself? Things were just as Philip Goolean had said. Dulin was finished! All finished!
The tamer in clown clothing kept begging the violated Madam Wesarcia for forgiveness while the crowd unleashed waves upon waves of laughter. The animal who had his way saw the Empress seat and counted its money proudly. Meanwhile, the Empress who was supposed to sit there was so entertained that she almost died in the embrace of the man.
The sounds and the scenes made O'Neil Andrew Morisette's head spin. He stumbled and held onto the pillar, "Alanis, I am tired. Alanis."
The Empress slowly stopped her laughter. After she calmed the redness on her face, she glanced at her husband with care, "What is wrong? Did you bump into anything at Murat's wedding?"
Oscar shook his head, "I am simply tired!"
The Empress finally stopped her ungraceful acts and raised her chest. She waved to the people around her, "Everyone, let's call it a day!"
The animal was brought away with its master full of gold coins. The nobles and officers followed and engaged in a heated discussion about the animal. This was the animal that made the Empress roared with laughter. They should take note of it. Lastly, the ladies also left the palace. They were chit-chatting with their topic revolving around what happened in the palace today.
Looking around, there was no more laughter, no praise, no plaything and no crowds. Her Majesty Empress Alanis who was a little depressed could only turn to her husband. Her husband was leaning against the sofa and seemed to be pondering about something.
The Empress smiled slightly. She sat on the man's knee. Oscar quickly arranged his sitting position so that the woman could sit comfortably.
"I realized something!" Alanis scratched the man's nose with great force.
"What?" Oscar barely got his interest up. He tried his best to look like he was engaging in a normal conversation.
"Cameron's thigh is so white and firm! My husband is stunned looking at it!"
"Ola... Enough!" Oscar smiled bitterly. He admitted that he was staring blankly but it was definitely not due to Madam Wesarcia's legs.
The Empress did not plan to go easy on him. She scratched the man's tall nose again, "What! Am I wrong? I was so close to you!"
Oscar hugged his wife's waist tightly, "My Alanis, you must admit this! You're jealous because Madam Wesarcia can show her legs in public while you can't!"
Alanis pinched the man's chest, "Are you describing me as a lewd woman who loves to show off her body?"
Oscar's palm had already got into his wife's underwear. He looked in satisfaction as the violated Empress frowned and her breathing became heavier.
"You are my exhibitionist lewd wife! My own!"
The Empress leaned into the man's embrace and bit the man's clavicle. Her man clutched at her hair excitedly. That palm had left the firm and smooth thigh and landed his fierce touch upon the woman's private part.
"Ola...this can't be it..." Oscar released a painful groan. He felt the sensation of a menstrual pad at where he touched. The unlucky man could only take a deep breath after complaining about it.
Alanis leaned in the man's embrace and laughed, "This is the punishment for your pair of cunning eyes."
Oscar was at a loss. His part was already bulging, but his wife could not let him do it. Saying it out loud was frustrating, not to mention the person in action.
"How was Murat's wedding?" the Empress jumped off from her husband's thigh. She flattened out her dress, then sat gracefully onto the shiny golden seat.
"It was fine!" Oscar also calibrated his feeling. He picked a fresh orange from the tray near his hand and began peeling it, "Murat wants me to express his appreciation to you. Your present is very precious but the only regret was not having you there yourself. Moreover, you, in a way, introduced both of them to each other."
Alanis shrugged, "I don't have much time! You know of this too!" the Empress said as she played with her finger, "In the morning, it was the meeting with the Hoilland ambassador. In the afternoon, the burial of a retired marshal in the Army Division. Then, the whatever cabinet meeting! I don't understand why the Empire had to feed so many officers. I am doing everything myself."
"Moreover..." Alanis paused for a moment. She glanced at her husband with thought, "However precious my gift is cannot be compared with yours! Giving an Imperial castle away to an outsider without even batting an eyelid. I am afraid only you are capable of such feat."
Oscar became alerted. His wife had become rather moody even though the crowning ceremony was only a few months ago. However, Alanis had changed from the previous prideful Princess to the Empress of the Empire. Just like now, Oscar began to be afraid. He did not know if his doing had touched upon his wife's sensitivity in some ways.
"Are you complaining about me?"
Alanis shook her head, "What I mean is if you give the Swan Hill Castle to Marshal Alan, that is still understandable. But you gave it to a small cavalry corps commander. Murat is worthy of..."
"Enough, Alanis!" Oscar stood up from his seat abruptly, "You think I am pulling strings? Or buying people's heart?"
Alanis shook her head again, "Of course you won't do that because it's not worth it."
Oscar took a few deep breaths. On this day, he had wanted to throw tantrums for a few times but he held them in. He was already not the reckless boy who only knew to fight. So, he sank back onto the sofa and said to his wife with a relaxed tone, "I am not looking for a fight. If you aren't too, then let's change the topic."
Alanis smiled slightly. She changed the topic, "Are you still working hard on the matter in the south?"
Oscar' breathing became quick involuntarily. He finally realized it! Alanis was looking for trouble just like those patrolling soldiers on the street who did nothing but held huge sticks.
"Yes! I am still!" Oscar stared at his wife. If she wanted to fight, then he wouldn't hold back as well!
However, the Empress' heart was hard to predict. Just when Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette had prepared his emotion to fight, Alanis lowered her voice as if she was admitting defeat.
"What is it for? Is it bad for you to stay in Dulin and help me?"
Oscar almost died when his wife begged him softly. He coughed lightly to relief the awkwardness that he was speechless.
Alanis once again strolled down from her seat. She walked to her man and touched Oscar's braid lightly like usual.
"I know the Southern Five Provinces is your effort and the result of countless work, but Dulin needs you. I need you more! Why do you want to leave this place?" The Empress pressed her husband's head into her embrace and buried her face in his hair.
"Oscar, it doesn't matter if you believe it or not! From the day you returned to Dulin until now, it was the happiest times in my life! There are countless work and duty I have to fulfill every day! When I am exhausted, I can lean on your shoulder. When I need to relax, your jokes make my day! Do you know that?"
The Empress turned her husband's head and stared into his eyes, "When I wake up in the morning and found you drooling and sleep talking by my side! That bliss which fills my heart is beyond words! I even want to pinch you to know that this is not a dream!"
Oscar finally laughed, "My God! No wonder I have been getting nightmares. Moreover, if you need to know whether you are dreaming or not, you should pinch yourself."
Alanis blinked mischievously, "I want to pinch you! Because when I do, you who are afraid of pain will hug me tightly. When I am in your embrace, feeling your warmth and heartbeat, I know that this is not a dream."
Oscar pursed his lip tightly. He admitted that he was touched, but he did not dare to promise anything.
"Promise me. Don't leave. Other things can be discussed accordingly!" the Empress finally showed her trump card.
O'Neil Andrew Morisette could only smiled bitterly. He did not know if his wife was acting or begging. He could not differentiate between the two. But he understood it. Even though Alanis had said so much, only the last sentence was her true intention.
"The south...is still not peaceful!"
Alanis released her embrace abruptly. She stared unbelievably at the man in front of her. This man who called himself her husband had already stated his intention clearly. This made the Empress embarrassed, sad and difficult to contain her growing fury!
"Why can't you listen to me?" the Empress shouted.
While Oscar, he finally peeled the orange. Maybe he did not know what he had chosen and only felt that leaving Dulin did not mean leaving Alanis. His wife probably thought that he wanted to go to Vielonna and take care of Sasha E. whom he had not seen for a while.
Looking at the man who remained quiet, Alanis finally turned away and left. But right before she went out of the door, she turned back and said to her husband in a mocking tone, "I must remind you to put that orange down. That is meant for White!"
"White?" Oscar glanced at his wife.
Alanis had already left the door, but her voice came nonetheless, "That chimpanzee. You have seen it..."
The Empress had gone away. O'Neil Andrew Morisette's finger had dug deep into the fresh food. At last, he howled and threw that thing away with all his might.
His movement was just like flinging Dulin away and every meaning that was represented by it.