Bon Appétit - Chapter 45
The emperor, with cookies in his mouth, looked surprised.
“Isn’t this dried fruit?”
He ate the cookies well and took another one. He seemed to like the taste of the chocolate inside. Luana brought it for Ingrid, but as the emperor ate, her lips protruded without realizing it. She knew it was not good to show such expression in public, but it was really annoying.
“What is it? I think it’s my first time eating it.”
“Chocolate? Can the Imperial Palace’s chef make this, too?”
“That’s difficult. I’m the only one who can make this. You can’t taste it anywhere else!”
“Hmm, is that so?”
Perhaps because the emperor knew that Luana was a witch, he quickly understood, but understanding and wanting were two different things, so the emperor gasped in disappointment.
“What a shame.”
If he had known that she would have such a talent, she should have kept this little witch by his side. At that time, he thought she was making unique dishes, but in the end, it was something that even Imperial Palace’s chefs could recreate. But since she said no to this, she must’ve come up with a unique method.
Thinking so, looking at Luana, Ingrid looked anxious because the closer she had been to the emperor, the better she had come to know his thoughts. She didn’t want the emperor to touch Luana. It was enough for this annoying man to do unfair things to her.
Ingrid tried to change the subject of the story. It was about that time that the duke stormed in.
“I finished eating all of it.”
The duke coming in triumphantly found the emperor and immediately knelt on one knee. Usually, he would have noticed it by looking at the servant, but today, he didn’t know that the emperor was there because he came alone.
“I greet you, Your Majesty, The Emperor.”
“All right, stand up.”
The duke stood up and immediately came and stood behind Luana. The emperor, who was looking at him, narrowed his eyes.
“You two seem to have gotten very close.”
“That’s the way it is.”
“Now that you’ve come, I won’t ask for her anymore.”
Luana was taken aback for a moment. But the duke stepped up and calmed her panic.
“Your Majesty, keep your promise.”
“I know. I just said it.”
The emperor stopped looking at the duke and shrugged his shoulders. The atmosphere was gloomy the whole time after that. Ingrid was wary of the emperor and did not seem to be to the duke, but she did not separate from Luana.
Luana was suddenly embarrassed by the feeling of being the center of the story. She doesn’t know why people around her cared so much about her when she was just an extra.
‘Even if it’s in a novel, is it different to go through it myself?’
She thought that, but the emperor talked to Luana.
“Did the duke treat you well?”
“Yes, he treated me well.”
“Weren’t you in a dungeon recently?”
She doesn’t know how he knew it, but when Ingrid heard it, she distorted her expression.
“Is it true that you put her in a dungeon?”
The duke was also answering it honestly. Here, Luana felt the need to step in. Why would you say that here? She wanted to keep him quiet by shoving a chocolate cookie into his mouth if she could. If it hadn’t been for anyone watching, she would have been happy to do that.
“I was locked up in a dungeon, but it wasn’t hard!”
However, neither seemed to believe it because she omitted many words in the middle.
The duke she knew was never a good person, so that she couldn’t believe Luana. How can she be okay when she got locked up in the dungeon? That can’t be true! Maybe her little sister was too tired to talk about it.
She had heard this theory before that those who are forcibly captured by a vicious person eventually rationalize themselves to survive. If the person were nice to the victim, the victim would lean on him and feel love. But all of that is just an illusion.
She wanted to tell her and rescue Luana. However, Ingrid’s condition was no different from hers now. So all she could do was give her some advice.
“That’s an illusion.”
“It’s all an illusion.”
Ingrid’s expression seemed bitter. On the other hand, the emperor looked happy, like he was hearing a funny story.
“It’s an illusion. I agree with you.”
In his case, it wasn’t like Ingrid’s advice. It was because he just wanted to know the reality and see Luana collapse.
“I’m telling you.”
She repeated it, but the reaction of the two did not change. Somehow, both felt like they saw the duke as an excessive villain. Luana caressed the empty glass and smiled awkwardly.
“Do you want to sleep with me tonight?”
In such a situation, Ingrid made an offer.
“Yeah, that’d be great.”
The emperor smiled skeptically and agreed.
“Sometimes it’s okay to stay with my sister.”
“I don’t like that.”
As the Duke frowned and opposed, Ingrid said.
“Aren’t you going to give her just one night of freedom?”
“Is it just one night?”
The Duke looked more sensitive than usual.
“It’s just one night, please allow her.”
Even the emperor put his words; the duke could not refuse. He looked at Luana with his usual sullen expression. Luana wanted to refuse, but she didn’t dare to refuse her in this situation. Above all, Ingrid is looking at her with a sad expression!
“One night would be fine, wouldn’t it?”
Then the duke leaned over and whispered in her ear.
“Then how can I sleep?”
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In an instant, Luana almost jumped from the spot.
‘Don’t whisper in my ear!’
Her hands automatically covered her ears as they tickled.
‘Wasn’t you supposed to be hugging me out of fear of me running away? What do you mean by ‘How can I sleep’?’
Fortunately, Ingrid didn’t seem to hear that. Judging by the expression on the emperor’s face, he seemed to have heard it.
‘No, whatever you hear, it’s a misunderstanding.’
Luana shook her head desperately, but it didn’t seem to work. The emperor had already understood everything.
She wanted to grab him by the collar and shake him, but he was the emperor. She had no choice but to grab the teacup out of frustration.
“Just let me sleep alone for one night!”
She responded by murmuring to the duke at the slightest resentment. The shadow of a large drooping dog seemed to be seen by the duke, who lowered his head, but it must have been an illusion.
“Then it’s decided that way, so only the duke should go back.”
“Today, I will stay at the Imperial Palace.”
“Are you nervous?”
“Yes, I’m nervous.”
“My my. A lord who can’t trust his person.”
The emperor rose from his seat with a smirk.
“Then take a rest.”
Even after the emperor left, the duke stayed there for a long time. It was after Ingrid’s order that he left.
“I want to be with my sister from now on, so please leave.”
Only then did he reluctantly go out with heavy steps. As soon as the emperor and the duke left, Ingrid immediately approached Luana. She held her hands and asked with a serious look.
“Luana, do you perhaps like that guy?”
What a shocking story! Luana shook her head violently.
“No! I don’t like him!”
The duke was the second male lead in the novel, and he fell in love with Ingrid.
‘Do I like such a person? What nonsense.’
“I mean it! He doesn’t even like me in the first place!”
“What? So who does he like? Are you saying he like other women while acting like this to you?”
She told the truth, but Ingrid seemed to be unhappy with that.
‘Yes, he likes another woman, and that person is my sister.’
It was like seeing her real sister.
‘She has done nothing special for me, but how can she be so affectionate? Is it because she’s the female lead?’
“It’s not me, anyway.”
“Then I’m glad, but be careful. You should never fall in love with him. Never.”
Ingrid’s eyes were shining with determination. She looked into those eyes and thought.
‘Maybe I’ve been mistaken all this time?’
“Sister, do you by any chance love the emperor?”
“Me? Are you crazy? To love that crazy guy? Now I’m bending over out of necessity, but I’m never going to love someone like that.”
Ingrid said that firmly. She seemed far from the female lead in the novel who fell in love.
‘If it’s the way it’s supposed to be, shouldn’t you slowly get over it and agonize over him?’
But when Luana heard what she said, her words seemed to have no love.
“How about in the future?”
“I have work to do in the future! I can’t do that here.”
She spoke so bright that Luana forgot what to say for a moment.
“I only tell this to you, but I will bring the kingdom back to life.”
Did the heroine in the novel thought of this? No, she didn’t. As she writhes in agony, she falls into the imperial trap she cannot escape, and losing all her will, she falls in love and has a child. Can a person change like that? No, it was impossible.
“You really intend to do it.”
Her deep blue eyes gleamed with a will.
‘Is this really a novel?’
The question that had been brought up throughout this time is here again. Maybe this is another reality? Look at Ingrid. She was already moving differently from the story. If so, the duke or the emperor might move differently than in the story.
Just as Ingrid does not love the emperor, the duke may not love Ingrid. As soon as she thought about it, the corners of her mouth were about to rise.
“I’ll keep your secret.”
“Thank you, Luana.”
“No, it’s alright.”
Luana was finally able to smile.
“I hope your dream comes true.”
“Yeah, when that time comes, I’ll save you too.”
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“Nope! Now I have come to realize the value of freedom. So I want to give you freedom too.”
She couldn’t bear to say no to that. So instead of answering, Luana gently hugged Ingrid.
Instead of being unable to help, she prayed that Ingrid’s wish might come true.