Fishing a Big Fish (2)
“… That bastard.” Empress Lilia cursed softly and downed another cup of wine.
I was seated beside her with a smile. I had just heard Lilia cursing my father in tens of different ways. She called him incompetent, lustful, disloyal, and a good-for-nothing.
I was rather surprised hearing my stepmother cursing my father like that. It looks like she was more dissatisfied with him than I thought.
But he was not the only one the empress spoke about. Maybe because she thought I did not know who she was, she let out all the steam she had accumulated and started a vented all her grievances.
She insulted her brother (Earl Riea) for putting the lives of her sons in danger, her eldest son (the crown prince) for failing to protect his little brother, her daughter (Lena) for spending too much time with the children of that bitch (My mother), and Dina and I for trying to steal what belongs to her and her children.
Finally, she cried bitterly each time she talked about the death of her son.
Of course, she did not mention any name, but it was obvious to me who she was referring to.
I listened to her patiently, only interrupting to console her or to agree with her words.
Just like that, I slowly gained her trust.
That was not very hard due to Lilia’s current state.
Although at the start she was rather reluctant to talk about her personal problems with an unknown man, the truth was that Lilia needed someone that could listen to her. It was just a matter of time before she started to talk about everything.
Moreover, I was someone she was not going to meet again after tonight (or at least she thought so), so she did not have to be wary of what I would think of her.
Plus, I did not know her identity as the empress, so even if I felt unhappy about some of the things she said, it would not matter.
Just for tonight, Lilia just wanted to forget everything and let out her frustrations. And tomorrow, she would revert to the stern and ice-cold empress again, like tonight never happened.
Or at least, Lilia thought so.
The truth, though, is that tonight is just the start.
At that moment, Hope approached us. She looked at me with a complicated expression before opening her mouth.
“Mister. Can you please move away? That is my place.”
I glanced at Hope with a smile while I admired her acting skills inwardly.
This girl… She truly looks like a loyal servant worried for her mistress.
“Is anything wrong? I’m just talking to this beautiful woman here.” I asked while looking at Lilia. “Could it be that I can’t?”
Lilia seemed to understand my meaning. Because she looked at Hope in displeasure and waved her hand.
“Hope, stop bothering us. I’m speaking to Mr. Clark now.”
“But Your m–Master, you should not be too close with another man. Remember that you–”
“Stop it, Hope,” Lilia spoke again, this time showing her displeasure much more clearly. “We are doing nothing wrong, just chatting for a bit. Now go away.”
“… I understand. But be careful, master.” Hope sighed and walked away while looking at us worriedly.
Before leaving, though, she turned towards me and gave me a stealthy wink.
At the same time, I could see that Lilia’s wariness towards me had reached an all-time low.
Well, that is normal. After all, everything tonight has been prepared to get this result.
The establishment, the luxurious drinks, the soft music. Even the other people here are men from the Red Skull Gang following my orders.
They did not know my goal or Lilia’s identity, but they know what they need to do.
As for everything that happened just now with Hope, it’s just a small psychological trick.
A psychological trick to make Lilia more open towards my advances.
The death of his son had made Lilia’s mood a mess. Furthermore, the inaction of her husband and brother, plus her own powerlessness, has made Lilia feel overwhelmed.
To worsen everything even further, Lilia is the empress. That means that usually, she must keep her regal bearing and she doesn’t have a friend she can talk to as an equal.
Normally that is not a problem, but in the current situation, it created a moment of weakness on her.
And when that weakness appeared, she met me. A handsome young man that listened to her problems and comforted her without caring about her status.
To Lilia, that was the opportunity to vent all her frustrations. Moreover, my sweet words of consolation gave her an illusion of comfort.
It was like a drug.
Then, what would happen if someone (Hope) tries to take that much-needed comfort away from her?
Perhaps the normal Lilia would have been able to think calmly about the consequences of her actions, making the right choice. But for the current her, Hope’s actions just spurred her rebellious thoughts.
Thus, instead of following Hope’s suggestion, she decided to do the opposite, making her feel even closer to me.
“Is she your servant?” I asked feigning ignorance. “She looks worried for you.”
“That is her job.” Lilia drank another cup of wine and said. “However, I don’t like it when she tries to overstep her boundaries.”
I chuckled softly. “She is just worried about you. She probably thinks I’m planning to take you to bed and is afraid of you betraying your husband.”
“… And are these your plans?” Lilia asked with a curious and a bit enticing look.
“Who knows?” I shrugged. “It depends on your thoughts,” I said and put my hand over hers.
Lilia fell silent. She looked at my hand with a complicated expression and downed another cup.
“… This is wrong. I don’t want to betray my husband.”
“He doesn’t need to know,” I said calmly. “You are new here, right? Is there someone that knows who you are?”
Lilia thought for a moment and shook her head. Before coming here, she had put on a simple disguise. Although it was unable to hide all her features, it was enough to make her looks slightly different than normal.
“Don’t worry about her, look,” I said and pointed to Lilia’s servant. Currently, she was away talking with another man.
That man was Cline, Marana’s brother. The two of them were also putting an act.
“That man is a friend of mine,” I said, “I asked him to keep your servant distracted. Don’t worry, he is very good at this, your servant will notice nothing.”
Lilia said nothing. She just looked at me and took a deep breath.
“… No, I can’t do this…” I could feel the struggle and hesitation in Lilia’s mind.
It was time for the last push.
“Are you sure? From what you told me, your husband is not a good man. Besides, he betrayed you first. He deserves this.”
Lilia’s eyes opened slightly wide.
Then, she smiled bitterly.
“… Yes, he deserves this.”
Gotcha. You are mine.
With a smile, I grabbed Lilia’s hand. I then led her to the second floor where a room was waiting for us.
Before leaving, though, I winked to Hope and Marana.
Now, let the night start.
Current schedule: 10 Chapters/week