Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 18: Disaster
Under the darkness of night, Ashiyowa passed through the palace chambers one after another.
He looked back many times, and as the figure chasing him approached, he moved his legs faster in desperation. The chamberlain’s and guards’ voices and footsteps could be heard throughout this, along with the opening and closing of doors. Though it was dark outside, candles lit the palace corridors so you could still see what was inside the rooms. Ashiyowa ran, avoiding chairs and tables, dodging vases.
His right foot had long been cramped, but he ignored it and continued sprinting.
He kicked a chair backward, obstructing the path behind him, and ran past the fringed curtains towards the exit, placing his hands on the door.
The door wouldn’t open, so he tried using the momentum of his body. He bashed himself against it, hoping he could force it open. He tugged at the sides of the door, but it still wouldn’t budge. In a panic, he ran his eyes around the room and tried rattling the window shutters.
Why — —
As if a strong gust of wind had blown in, the door behind him was slammed shut. Ashiyowa ran his shoulders into the window trying to break it, but only bounced off and fell to the floor.
Against the flecks of light leaking out from the closed door, a shadowy form had entered the room with the wind, his figure melded into the darkness.
Haa — Haa —
Both men were panting, shoulders rising and falling.
Ashiyowa’s sweat-drenched body instantly froze.
He tried to get up, only to realise neither his arms nor legs would move.
“— Ah — Ah?”
A bunch of candlesticks were suddenly lit, even though there was no one else there.
The Emperor, dressed in white undergarments, looked down at Ashiyowa. His golden hair glimmered under the light, framing his pale face like a crown. But there was something sinister behind his blue eyes. Silently, his form covered Ashiyowa’s.
Ashiyowa could feel his breath on his chest. His clothes were shifted around and before he knew it, he was stripped.
His dry lips uttered. Ashiyowa remained paralysed as his legs were spread open, welcoming the man in between his thighs. With the rustling of clothes, the Emperor removed his undergarments.
He exhaled loudly.
The Gray Wolves rushed to the corner of Ryokuen Palace, cries echoing throughout the corridors. As they got closer, everyone there became tense.
“This voice is…”
Murmurs filled the room. Candlesticks hung from the ceiling at regular intervals across the long, wide corridor. Even with the light, the Secretary of Ryokuen only felt unease building in his chest.
Several guards ran into the door, decorated with tassels. Despite their efforts, it wouldn’t open; they couldn’t get to where ‘that’ was being carried out.
It must be someone’s power.
The ordinary person was no match when it came to royal abilities. They stopped trying and he instead arranged for a doctor and the hot spring to be prepared. That was all they could do.
As if driven into a scorching stake, his body swayed, struggling to keep up with the Emperor.
“A-A-Ah… Gyaa… N-No.”
The smell of blood drifted throughout the room. His face, neck, and chest were licked, sucked, bitten. The sensation from his lower half became numb.
Sloppy sounds resonated across the room, accompanied by their rough, animalistic breathing.
Between the pain from his right leg and from being pierced with the Emperor’s length, Ashiyowa was stuck in a cycle of consciousness and unconsciousness.
“Fuu… Gyaaah… Ahh!”
The man wrapped Ashiyowa’s legs over his shoulders and moved violently. With a thrust, his body trembled, pausing for a moment before resuming once more. His hands rested on either side of Ashiyowa’s face and he continued to sway back and forth, in and out, as if possessed by something.
“Hyaahh… Ah… Hii… Hii…”
Ashiyowa finally managed to regain freedom of his limbs after being tied up, but it was too late. He resisted, hitting, scratching, and pounding against the man on top of him with both hands, but he was being overwhelmed by a violence with which he could not compare.
The deepest parts of his body were invaded endlessly and the burning liquid filled him mercilessly as if it would kill him. The affection of the noblest man was something that not even the most beautiful of women could receive even if they begged. Yet, it was poured into Ashiyowa until he bled.
You could feel the heavy air and heat from behind the closed door. Occasionally, you could hear voices, indicating that they were still in the act. Outside, chairs were lined up along the corridor, the Grey Wolves patiently waiting. Among the Grey Wolves was the Secretary.
From that warm atmosphere during dinner, it instantly shifted to the bedroom and naturally, to what lovers would do in the bedroom. The older brother’s rejection was followed by an explosion of passion at the end of the chase.
His Majesty was too… He must have been so terrified.
It made him wonder how much the royal family must love their own blood. Was it necessary? It had been twelve years since the subject of the Imperial bed-chamber was cut off. In the midst of the Emperor’s loneliness, summertime had finally brought with it a bright light. The Emperor, who would have been exhausted and starved, must have had neither the calm nor the ability to accept any rejection from Ashiyowa. In fear of losing him, he acted as if crazed, driven only by instinct to seek the person in front of him who shared his blood.
The Secretary gently closed his eyes.
— With this, there’s no denying it.
Even though it had come to this, the only person the Emperor could ever desire was his own kin.
There is no doubt that Ashi-dono was Lafoseine, the illegitimate son of the previous emperor who went missing when he was three years old.
Illegitimate children were very rare within the royal family. The royal family only loved their relatives and usually kept to themselves, so it was very rare for them to embrace or be embraced by others. But — something must have possessed him to do it. It wasn’t uncommon for members who were rejected by the other party to use an outsider to ease their heartbreak, to detach themselves from their feverish love. Perhaps that had been the reason.
Previously at Ryokuen, lower-ranking tasks were done not by the Gray Wolves, but by a lady-in-waiting, who coincidentally also cleaned the gardens. She must have caught the previous Emperor’s interest.
With one touch, Lafoseine had been conceived. The lady-in-waiting had been approached from behind. Before she even realised what was happening, it was over.
In fear, she requested permission from her superior to return to her hometown and live with her parents before the Gray Wolves caught up. In less than a year, the child was born at her parents’ house. Many messengers invited both mother and child to the palace, so she agreed. But the previous emperor himself wasn’t keen on meeting anyone other than the royal family. After naming the child, he coldly brushed them off, ordering the Gray Wolves to take care of arranging the baby’s protection and necessities.
But around three years later, the Emperor’s attitude changed. He sent a messenger to fetch his son, also giving him some new clothes. The existence of a half-blooded child had become an interesting topic of conversation within the royal family. The carriage, along with the accompanying guards, fell into a river below a cliff after a landslide on the way to the Royal Capital. The river was flooded from the heavy rain a few days prior, and even with the guards’ outstanding skills and physical strength, they managed to rescue only the Emperor’s concubine. Soldiers were injured and some were seriously wounded, but none of them died.
Immediately after the news arrived, reinforcements searched the river for Prince Lafoseine. Yet, he remained missing. Though they were unable to retrieve his body, he was labeled ‘dead’ on the royal list.
The Secretary broke out of his recollection and raised his head.
A cold night wind blew against his skin. He sat up from the chair and placed his hand on the door. It opened without resistance.
The moment he stepped into the room, he smelled iron. Under the swaying fire of the candlelight, the room was a disastrous sight.
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