Red Labyrinth - Chapter 6
Translator and Editor: Lea and Aki
The Imperial Government stated that one should have minimal decency, reputation, and national formality.
Therefore, Icaryl was pushed to learn those strange cultures, as if she was being forced to wear garments she didn’t like. One might think that an old man, who sometimes did not even recognize his own wife and children, had a young lover who had just begun carving her way to become a woman.
Hearing that the imperial maids were a fan of the Empress, she recalled the beautiful empress she had seen. The empress, who was like a flower, was too fresh and young to have an age of more than thirty. It seems the emperor had married a woman as old as his daughter. Was he like her uncle, Oravani?
“Don’t stutter. Act politely. You are the mistress of His Highness, the Emperor.”
The maids, who were ordered to prepare Icaryl, demanded every day that she should behave in a decorous manner. As they pointed their forefingers towards her disabled eyes and weak physique, it reminded her of her childhood when the priests used to force her to learn the proper etiquette in the society.
The difference between then and now was that here, she wasn’t receiving any slap of a stick on her palm. But, she had to face their condemnation for being indecent and vulgar.
Whenever Icaryl couldn’t do her assignment properly, she was either forbidden from having a meal or harsh blows of criticism were hurled out on her poor self by the head maid, who was assigned to her.
However, fasting was not a good physical punishment as her body was already underdone and was on the verge of shriveling up. Since Icaryl did not show any interest even when a third person was thrown out of the palace due to a broken leg, they developed a new method.
It was to keep her awake. She had to endure the painful stabbing of needles all over her body by the mute maids whenever she dozed off. She was even forced to memorize the history of the empire and the imperial family.
In the end, that punishment was also suspended because Icaryl, who became so irritated about her forced insomnia, hysterically stabbed the left eye of a maid of her age. As she sat on her bed, hugging a soft silk cushion and watching the maid bleeding and the other maids screaming and swarming around, she said.
“I want to have cocoa mixed with honey.”
Even a royal member would have been stunned by this attitude of hers. That’s why after that incident, the punishment for Icaryl had been significantly lowered.
Besides that, it had been hard to see it as a coincidence for the servants of the palace when Icaryl inadvertently dropped hot tea on a maid and unknowingly directed a horse to kick a servant in her horse-riding lesson, which led him to suffer from a fracture of his bone. Gradually, the imperial servants began to be cautious around a fragile woman who seemed to have no power to even kill a little bug.
She didn’t seem to feel guilty even though she almost killed a young boy. Rather, she snorted as she carelessly asked a servant.
“May I ask, why isn’t he doing his job? He’s not dead, is he?”
Time flew like an arrow shot from a bow.
Icaryl sang the forgotten song of Argonia in an imperial accent that she had become accustomed to. It wasn’t until she uttered the lyrics of the third line that she realized that the destruction of her home country was forgotten faster than expected.
Perhaps there was no sense of reality. If one crossed the straits right now, he or she would have the illusion of life still thriving on that land.
Though she was being educated about the essential culture of the empire for the past few months, Icaryl had been brooding over a man who had suddenly invaded her thoughts.
Lucien, the Marquis of Esperis and the Blue Eagle of the Empire.
One of the most seven powerful noble families of the empire. The Dark Admiral of the Trafalgar Sea. The pale-faced, scary, neat killer with unknown madness. His blue pupils had been idle until they turned hostile as if they were infested with the frenzy of a beast gnawing one’s heart.
She shuddered as she thought of his hand crushing her wrists……while his long finger soothed along her tender flesh.
It was a little more restrained, but it was no different from what Hatiah tried to do.
So, which of the two was more terrifying? If Hatiah, who had been brutally slaughtered, had been drunk, the murderer would have torn her skin to shreds, chewing on the kernel inside and inhaling her soul.
I swear to God that he was the one whom I didn’t want to meet again.
The constant thrashing of passion was so powerful that Icaryl lost her mind by the time the man lifted his head, pulling deeper at the waist. When she opened her eyes again, the harbor was not far away. With no regard for her country’s mourning, Icaryl shuddered with fear.
What would have happened if the ‘act’ was stopped when she fainted at the time? She was born as a divine prostitute in the first place, but the night she was being looted was horrible.
What’s more surprising and incomprehensible was that the man was the one who pushed her aside.
Icaryl was confused. She recalled him staring extremely politely at the prisoner in the court hallway. What a graceful camouflage. If she was not familiar to him when he raised his eyes after kissing the back of her hand, she might have been less alert.
Ah. No. Even so, he was still a scary person.
If it was predation, Icaryl was the herbivore and the man was its enemy. That’s how much he stimulated the peripheral nerves of fear and vigilance.
There had been no days since she was born that she slept without nightmares torturing her. But since she met him, Icaryl has had more days of deep sleep without such nightmares as if it was natural.
Because he himself was a living nightmare.
“This is the 35th Friar of the Pankeat Empire. The first-born Prince Alexion is 12. Prince Kaire and Princess Iris are the children of the queen. Since the Empress was married at seventeen, the rest of the Imperial Family……”
“Is the former Empress dead?”
Countess Beatrice, who was known to be the most demanding and formal in the court, looked back at the Princess of Argonia, who raised her eyebrows with a look of ignorance.
First, the emperor’s new mistress was objectively immature. However, she was also not a gorgeous blonde beauty pursued by the imperial society.
Icaryl Sibbone was a girl with a slim frame and a faint impression like a mist. Her skin was more like a poisoned cell than a cyst. And like the frozen northern bladder, her skin was so exposed and weak that even the slightest touch could lead to a red bruise.
Her drooping hair, like a wet spider’s web, was starting to fade to a full-brown color, whereas her intervertebral red eyes shone darkly. Her hair, as strong as a hoe and as dreary and eccentric as a ghost, was full of thin white and brown strands like veins of blood.
Besides, what’s with that weird eye color?
It was evident that the countess didn’t like those bloodstained eyes of hers.
The curvy tail of her eyes at the end of her eyelashes stood somewhere between a gentle young beast and a cunning fox. Her face could easily change into any of the two.
Apart from that, her blurry and weak features and flabby lips were like an afterglow on the surface of the water, whereas her dead, rose-colored red eyes somehow reached a strange peak in their vagueness.
It was purely because of the color of those eyes that a strange afterimage would always appear even when the countess turned around. Like an abandoned baby bird, she would always look up at her opponent with a look of submission and abandonment. However, Icaryl avoided the countess’ eyes and twisted her fingertips when she couldn’t straighten her pupils for a moment. Her eye shape made it seem like she felt a morbid nervousness and acrid anxiety, but at the same time, pure arrogance as though she thought of herself as a young fallen angel. However, she didn’t know how she could hide either of the two.
No one was as good at making anyone feel uncomfortable as her.
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