What would the servant do if she wasn’t fine? She has no place to go back to, no other way. Chesney ironically recalled what Duchess Atelian had said to her before she left the House of Atelian.
‘Keep in mind that you have no business coming back here. So make sure you don’t go against your husband’s will. He is not a gentle or obedient person, but you have good looks like your mother, so you can bring joy to him.’
It was funny how Chesney had felt a sense of hope during that time because Duchess Atelian, who knew more about men than she did, had said that she would be able to bring joy to her husband. But unlike her assumption, Chesney’s husband had left her the first night. No one here even needed her or came looking for her.
When Chesney was still in Sepion, Uriel, who had become friends with so many other young women her age had incessantly walked all over her. It was common for Uriel to run out of visit cards decorated with elegant pearl-colored mermaids less than a week before having to request more cards to visit the latest trendy places.
‘My request cards are all gone. This is annoying as hell.’
When Uriel complained to her friends while secretly showing off, Chesney would squat outside the window and imagine becoming her half-sibling. In reality, she had become unnoticeable and shabbier because she had no money to buy such luxurious cards or friends to visit her.
‘You know how funny that worthless clump of molded cheese is? When we were young, she insisted that she had an animal friend, and later on, she swore that some ugly commoner man named Victor or something said he was her friend.’
Chesney could still hear the sounds of Uriel giggling vividly.
‘So stupid. That guy was desperate to f*k a blonde lady who inherited the blood of an aristocrat, so I’m sure he talked to her a few times.’
On that day, Chesney had rushed to Uriel and said Peter–not Victor–was not like that; she couldn’t forget the beating she’d received from Duchess Atelian, which had made her calves turn deep purple.
‘Who in their right mind would become friends with Chesney?’
Nothing about what Uriel had said was false. Chesney crouched down, hugging herself with no one around to comfort her. I’ve lived in this world for twenty years, but if I don’t have a friend to open up to, this life would be a failure, she thought to herself.
Terrible self-deprecation began. This was the only thing she could do after obtaining a position–Empress of an empire–even though others wanted it badly? If she hadn’t been able to shine like Uriel because she’d never gotten the opportunity, why couldn’t she shine now that she does have the opportunity? Why was there still no one by her side? The self-torment that pierced her chest persisted with no end in sight.
‘Chesney, no one will ever want you because you are worthless.’
Chesney straightened her back when she arrived at the conclusion that she did not want to acknowledge; clenching her teeth that she would never lose against her weak spirit. Something had to be done. Having already grown sick of reading the books she had brought with her, she decided to wander around the palace to clear her mind.
Belcansus’s crude and huge palace held many places to sympathize with at the scale of its size. Tiger Forest was spread along the sides and the back, and out front was a huge lake, rivaling the palace’s size. The palace was magnificent. The thickness of the large pillars of the white marble building reminiscent of an ancient temple was triple the length of Chesney’s arm span. In addition to the temple-like exterior, the difference from Sepion was the architectural method.
Belcansus’s territory was nearly twice that of the Sepion Empire, except for the Kuunt region, which had been distributed to monsters and other tribes. On the other hand, the population wasn’t half that of Sepion; a small population on a vast land. As there was no reason to build sky-high or save architectural materials, Belcansus Palace, though as vast as the land it was built on, only had two floors.
Also, unlike Sepion, which had dug into the ground and built pillars and solidified various civil engineering materials of lime to lay the foundation, Belcansus Palace had been piled up using as much marble as it needed. Its richness would not be compared to any other country on the continent of Euron, not even Sepion. Despite it being a well-known fact that metals and jewels were buried under the Belcansus Empire, it was stained with the barbaric image obscuring the empire’s wealth.
Chesney spent all afternoon roaming the palace halls, opening every door one at a time to peek inside. Aside from the living room and bedrooms, most of the furniture was filled with traces of the many past years, so it was quite fun to look around.
“Your Majesty, when shall I bring your dinner?”
“Is it already time?”
Chesney, as soon as the servant alerted her of dinnertime, noticed a tinted window.
“I am not that hungry at the moment. And by the way, is there a study or library or something like that here?”
“Yes, Your Majesty. All you have to do is go to the annex to the right of the main building and head to the very end of the second-floor hallway.”