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Chapter 9 – Quietly Touch What’s Inside (1)

Diing~

The bells ringing in my head made me wonder whether Gerard was in pain too. Of course, I believed he would drop me. But he still held me tightly. I was about to attack again, but he avoided my thrust. And then, as if soothing a small determined child, he said,

“Stop.”

“I want you to put me down.”

As I growled, he sighed heavily.

“What if you slip and we postpone the First Night? It’ll be a headache”.

“What do you mean?”

“If the Ceremony cannot be completed today, the Emperor and the Imperial Family will have to stay here until tomorrow night.”

‘Spend another day with the Emperor, Empress, and the rest of the family?’

Of course. There was no way he would have concern for me. That would never be the case.

“I’m confident I won’t slip…”

In response to my modest answer, he carried me to the shelf while hugging me, and there took out the gown with one hand and covered my shoulder. And from that position he kindly opened the bathroom door. Then he relaxed his arms.

With great regret, I relaxed my legs and stood on the floor.

“Sorry.”

He bowed his head 90 degrees, but he crossed the bathroom wordlessly, swung open the bathroom door he had entered earlier, and left.

It’s probably because the acting was over, right?

‘I’m doomed. I’m sure he sees me as an immature fool.’

Ha… Shouldn’t I make up for this ruined image at the Ceremony?

 

* * *

 

Inside Sinclair’s bedroom, Schlezen Castle.

The maids were busy trussing Sinclair with a thin gown and light makeup for the final decoration.

However, due to the bathhouse incident, my peaceful mind had already crossed Andromeda and disappeared.

Tok, tok.

“Yes?”

A maid entered.

“Her Majesty the Empress wants to see you shortly before the First Night Ceremony.”

“Her Majesty the Empress?”

I didn’t really want to see her. This was because, when we greeted earlier, I had recalled the memories of Sinclair’s older sister, the Empress Kennes.

[“Family? You want to break up my family and become a family with you? How dare you! You’re a witch’s whelp!

Kennes’ dark blue eyes were fiercer than the winter sea’s wind. Darkness fell upon Sinclair.

“Help me! Save me!”

A small fist pounded on the closet door.

 

* * *

 

“This is my younger sister, Sinclair. She’s very quiet and a good kid.”

Kennes introduced Sinclair with a smile at one tea party. And shortly after, Sinclair ran through an unfamiliar maze garden, crying.

 

* * *

 

“Even if you become a member of the Vonzeyer family thanks to me, I don’t know if you will be able to keep that title.”

Empress Kennes put down her teacup with a cold smile.]

Sinclair’s memories indicated that Kennes had a dual personality that was second to that of brother Yan. She was a great older sister in front of people, but absent witnesses, with her words and eyes she was the one who intimidated Sinclair.

If Yan abused Sinclair’s body with violence, Kennes shattered her spirit with words.

“Grand Duchess.”

The maid waited for my reply again. ‘You did a good job biting the head of all the maids.’

If she had been the maid from earlier, the Empress would have forced the door like Yan, without any manners, right?

‘How dare you do that to me?’

“I’m busy preparing my makeup right now, so I’ll see her later.”

“Yes… .”


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The maid stepped back and left the room.

Why the hell did she want to see me before the Ceremony?

Could the Empress also be involved with the assassination of Theodor?

She was portrayed in the novel as the most elegant and wise mother of the Empire, but I had already learned I couldn’t blindly trust the author’s account. Sinclair’s memories were, for better or worse, the only guiding force in my survival.

Our poor Prince Alfred, how was he able to grow up so upright under this hypocritical Empress and a tyrannical Emperor like Herace?

“Grand Duchess?”

Err… It wasn’t the time for me to worry about others.

“Yes…”

The maid showed me a tray covered with velvet. There were several differently colored flowers of one species.

“Lisianthus means eternal love. Which one of these would you like?”

‘Eternal love…’

It was a little unexpected. The Karikas estate described in the book was an area built on the Demon Realm and was a stronghold of the devil.

Naturally, it was the most feared place in the Empire, an abandoned place beyond the reach of humans. But now that I see it, it was a very romantic land. A ritual was held for the wife, and she joined the first night with the flower of eternal love on her head for her husband.

‘Is there everlasting love in the world?’

Of course, Alfred showed that eternal and pure love… It was a novel, so it was possible.

If real love is so pure forever, it would be a successful life.

Today, I wanted to choose some pretty flowers for myself. ‘After all, I must struggle to live in this unfamiliar place.’

White, light pink, purple, and flowers with only purple ends were placed on a white background one by one. Considering Sinclair’s features — the purple-haired, fluorescent pink eyed, and white-skinned Sinclair — I chose the elegant white blossom.

“Are you ready?”

At the servant’s question, the maids looked toward me. I wanted to shake my head, however.

“Do you have strong alcohol?”

“…!”

The maid’s eyes widened, but she soon nodded her head as if understanding. She went to the pantry and brought out a bottle and glasses.

As she was about to pour a drink I grabbed and drained the whole bottle.

‘Ugh.’

It was stronger than the Kaoliang* liquor that the Chairman used to drink. The fluid burned down my throat.


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My stomach hurts. Damn it!

Still, I had to be brave to end this tragic day. I couldn’t believe it was a public First Night. And with a guy I’d never seen before?

It wasn’t even possible if I was sober. I finished the liquid courage and handed the empty bottle to the maid.

“Open the door.”

At my command, I, wearing a thick, luxurious cloak made of satin over a thin chemise, and a young maid opened the door.

Gerard was standing before the door, wearing a robe. He stretched out his arm to me. I kept my head straight and, taking the offered arm, followed his lead toward the official bed.

In my mind, I kept repeating a spell.

‘I am Sinclair, I am Sinclair.’

The official stage was an open terrace, a canopy bed with ornate curtains. At the bedside, the High Priest, Emperor Herace as the male witness, and Empress Kennes as the female witness stood.

I stopped. Sinclair’s body tried to shrink into itself. But instead, I held my head more rigidly and straightened my back.

It was probably because the Empress wants me to crouch and hide.

“I see Your Majesties the Emperor and Empress, who are the life of the Empire’s sun and earth.”

I bent my knees and said my greetings. Surprisingly, Gerard only gave a slight bow.

The High Priest stepped forward and shouted at the guests standing on the balcony.

“I will seek permission from Orlesion, the God of Heavens, for the union of Grand Duke Gerard Vonzeyer and Grand Duchess Sinclair Vonzeyer.”

Clap, clap, clap. Applause from the guests followed.

“Your Highness, Grand Duke and Her Highness, Grand Duchess please go to bed.”

I took a deep breath and climbed onto the bed as Gerard led me. The priests quietly lowered the canopy curtains.

Fortunately, the curtains were dark, so I couldn’t see anything outside.

The High Priest quietly bowed his head and gave the order.

“Please remove your gowns now.”

Gerard grabbed the shoulder of the gown he was wearing, and while I had thought he was wearing pajamas beneath it, he was naked! His well-muscled shoulders were wide enough to wrap around my own narrow scapulae.

‘You can do it, Kang Joo-hee! Because you’re Sinclair!’

I clenched my jaw and took off my gown. The cold wind lifted my fluffy hair.

It was really cold. As the wind blew, goosebumps rose on my forearms, and I shivered unconsciously.

When I learned martial arts, I remembered the day I first climbed into the ring. ‘How nervous were you facing your sparring opponent before the match?’

When the bell rings and goes around 4.88 meters in all directions, adrenaline, or epinephrine, is secreted from the adrenal gland. Tyrosine (C9H11NO3), a type of amino acid, becomes dopa through solubilization, and this becomes dopamine through ‘decarboxylation’. Then your blood pressure rises and your pupils dilate, making you excited, and scared, and thrilled.

And now…

Instead of the stadium audience, Imperial guests were looking down from the terrace on our first night.

With curiosity, excitement, and teasing!

Like a martial artist demonstrating her sparring skills to the cheering audience before the match, I lifted my head and glanced at the royal family.

Hu… But I wasn’t a professional either. I was nervous.

Ring sparring, shown only at local dojos, was difficult, but to do this before people I didn’t even know!

‘Okay, Yeah, let’s focus on the fact that I don’t know anything and make it hot, cool, and triumphant when we’re in the ring! I am Sinclair, the Grand Duchess of the novel!’

I tried to untie the string that held together the front placket of the chemise gown. But at that moment, Gerard grabbed my hand.

“…?”

‘Does that mean you have to do it?’ I looked up at him, startled.

He winked and told me not to.

‘What’s this?’

“Now, you two put your calves together.”

‘Huh?’

When I tried to look at the priest, he grabbed my face as if telling me to look only at him.

‘Yes, alright, just like in the bathroom earlier, I should follow what he tells me to avoid accidents.’

One accident was enough.

Gerard bent his knees and opened his legs into a pincer shape. I quickly bent my knees as he had done. Then Gerard put his knee between his folded knee and mine.

A natural posture of men and women hugging each other was created, and his secret and most precious appendage touched my thighs.

‘Oh my God, it’s really big.’

But wasn’t this a very odd position?

I kept thinking about the member I saw in the bathroom earlier, and my face got hot. Was it due to drunkenness? My entire body heated up.

——

We can say that this isn’t for all ages right? Lmao

*tl/n: Kaoliang liquor, Gaoliang liquor or Sorghum liquor is a strong distilled liquor of Chinese origin made from fermented sorghum(a plant)