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Emilone’s Temptation Labyrinth – Chapter 52

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It was a dangerous position, a position where our eyes were so close that we could see each other’s reflection, yet the exchanged gazes with no flicker of emotion was so natural that it didn’t seem out of place.

“Perhaps if you return to the Imperial Castle as it is, you will be noticed by the Emperor.”

“Perhaps…”

“Come to the temple.”

A strand of my hair clung to his fair skin, and to remove it, I touched his cheek with my gloved hand.

“After all, we are comrades on the same boat.”

At my words, he covered his mouth with his hand and laughed.

“I look forward to being in your care.”

“And I hope you don’t forget your promise. Your Highness.”

It was a strange relationship, a pretense, a deceitful one, with no trust. But one thing was certain.

This was the person I was entrusting my future to, even if it meant plunging a knife into each other’s hearts.

* * *

Someone from the imperial castle kept knocking on the temple door, probably for Prince Yuina.

We just served him tea and sent him on his way.

No one answered or reacted to his questions. Just when I thought the imperial castle was about to give up, the promised day with Prince Alois arrived.

The day to tell the emperor once again that I was leaving the empire.

“It’s interesting.”

“What is?”

“Going outside the empire.”

“It’s unprecedented. Furthermore, if ‘those’ demon appears in the empire again, Your Holiness will have to travel all the way back to the Empire from another country.

I chuckled.

“No, that won’t happen. ‘Those’ demon doesn’t appear in the empire, but where I am.”

We were talking about the type of demon that easily devours people. It hadn’t been long since I washed up, so my hair was damp.

“Leaving the Empire should be handled carefully.”

“You need to speak carefully, Reneben. We are not tied to anywhere. So we are not leaving.”

“…”

“And even if we leave the empire, nothing will really change. The culture will be a little different, so will the language but we’ll be together with the people of the temple.”

“…There are language artifacts, and I can basically speak the language of the Kingdom of Eseah. There should be no problem with communication.”

I nodded hearing Reneben speak confidently.

“…May I ask why Your Holiness made this choice?”

“What else could it be?”

I was aiming for something a little bigger, a little more skillfully achievable, something that would make me question myself.

“Prince Alois invited me.”

“…Do you believe him?”

“I didn’t want to believe him at first.”

“…”

“Just like you, I learned about the man known as Prince Alois Eseah by being around him and watching with my own eyes.”

“And what do you think of the prince you’ve seen?”

“Someone so different from me, yet so similar that I can’t possibly keep him away.”

“…”

“He is always confident and arrogant, but he knows that the path he walks is his own. He looks around and does not utter a single word in vain. Beneath that mask, he harbors hundreds and thousands of thoughts and enjoys manipulating others.”

“…That is completely different from Lady Saintess.”

“You’re right. I don’t even know how to manipulate anyone in my hands. I don’t have a good memory like Jessie, but I think a lot. I take a lot of time and effort to make a decision. Moreover, I often end up on the wrong path.”

Reneben closed his mouth.

“I move forward, not knowing it is the wrong path.”

“But Your Holiness is—!”

Hearing my critical tone, Reneben raised his voice as if telling me not to say that.

I stopped his words by pressing my finger gently on his lips.

“But I’m not going to stop there and regret it or try to turn back. If I find myself on the wrong path, I can just navigate it. No, actually, I’m not that amazing. But it’s what I try to do.”

A light flashed in Reneben’s eyes.

“I am trying. So, I’m going to keep growing.”

At my final words, Reneben replied in a trembling voice.

“…Because you are my master…I am eternally grateful.”

* * *

It seems no one anticipated my presence at the party in the Imperial Castle.
It was more of a dinner rather than a party.

The nobles, who had been focused on ingratiating themselves with the emperor, switched sides when I arrived.

“It’s so unfortunate to hear Lady Saintess is leaving the Empire!”
“I am Marquis Sybion. I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing God’s Blessing up close.”

“Do all of God’s blessing possess such beauty? I don’t think I can ever stop admiring Your Holiness’ beauty.”

“Such grace! I feel like the most blessed person today to be able to see Your Holiness.”

It was obvious they were a herd of followers. I just nodded to the ones who had magically flattering lips, then I moved to find Prince Alois.

There was a seat reserved for me. Other than that, everyone’s seat arrangement was slightly different depending on their status, but since Alois was a prince, he was seated close to me.

“You’ve worked hard since early in the morning.”

“Your Holiness has been working hard too. I’m sorry you have to be here because of my request.”

I realized that if anyone was watching, it might look like I was whispering in his ear.

However, rumors were already circulating, and the misunderstandings were piling up as Alois started staying at the temple, but we both left it as is.

Perhaps the rumors around Alois and I was something he was spreading.

After exchanging friendly greetings with Alois, I acknowledged the emperor with a glance.

The emperor cleared his throat several times, seemingly displeased that my attention was elsewhere. But at the same time, he seemed to think this was an opportunity.

After all, I’d been refusing to meet with him, and now that I was formally present, he had an excuse to talk to me.

Sure enough, just when I thought I could relax during the banquet, the emperor came up to me.

Every word from his mouth was predictable.

Without missing a beat, he brought up Yuina.

Saying things like, ‘even though you’re the Saintess, you can’t treat my child carelessly.’

He seemed to conclude if he couldn’t stop the saintess from leaving the empire, he must take Yuina back with him.

One lost, one to gain.

“Besides, wouldn’t it be better to choose this king rather than the prince of one kingdom?”

“…Hmm?”

“I will give you the crown prince.”

His voice was so low and cautious that only I could hear it.

I blinked in disbelief, and who knows how the emperor interpreted my bewilderment, but he began to dangle the bait of the crown prince in front of me.

“A crown prince would be able to make Your Holiness happier than the Prince of Eseah.”

In other words, the bait he was dangling right now was ‘marriage’.

It was the logical move. Losing the Saintess was enough to cause significant upheaval.

It wasn’t just a loss of prestige, power, promised stability, and the presence of someone looking after them. They were losing so much more than words could describe.

Ironically, out of these many things, only a small number of people suffered losses.

Over hundreds of years, the temple had remained in the empire and due to the influence of the aristocrats, things slowly shifted to benefit the nobility.

“What do you think?”

“…”

If I were to become involved with the crown prince, that would naturally place the Saintess in the position of Crown Princess of the Empire.

The position of crown princess required a dedication to the empire, and the emperor must have reasoned it would be straightforward to secure my loyalty to the imperial family and maintain control over me.

If giving the hand of the crown prince in marriage was required to retain the Saintess, then the emperor was prepared to offer it.

“I’m afraid that won’t be possible.”

There was no way I didn’t know the emperor’s intentions. He seemed to think there was some chance I might agree.

“Unfortunately, Your Majesty, I will be leaving the Empire.”

I slowly got up from my seat and revealed my purpose for coming here. Something I had already said numerous times.

I opened my mouth, making a declaration that wasn’t quite a declaration. It had been very noisy before, but a hush had fallen over the room.

I was merely ‘staying’ in the Empire. I didn’t belong to the Empire any more than I belonged anywhere else, so no one had the right to object.

These people knew that too, that’s why they were quiet. They might be unhappy, but that was all they should feel.

Of course, there were rumors that I was leaving because I had fallen in love with Prince Alois but those were only confined to aristocratic circles.

It was a rumor being spread discreetly.

The temple took measures to prevent it from spreading, otherwise, the public might hear it and misunderstand, so I wasn’t worried on that front.

On the contrary, I thought it was a good story to stir up the nobles.

I put my hand on Prince Alois’s shoulder, taking back the words I’d said to the crown prince.

Since there were already strange rumors out there, I might as well take advantage of it.

“Isn’t that right, Alois?”

I was definitely going to make use of it.

This was the point when I made it clear that I could be driven by personal feelings. A Saint is always fair, regardless of how the nobles conduct themselves.

Even if they did something wrong, they would be helped once they required assistance. Hence, they didn’t see the need to change their ways.

It was easy to ignore my personal feelings.

But after I began to show personal motivation, they started doing things that they thought the temple would like, hoping to improve their standing.

I was somewhat pleased with the change.

It was the outcome of gradually enhancing the temple’s reputation through reforms.
Before leaving the empire, I wanted to make it clear that I could act on personal feelings at any time.
Not just me, but the priests too. I’d been working hard to make the temple look like a place that pursues interests, rather than just a group of people who serve.

Of course, power and wealth were not among those interests.

Alois looked at me probingly. I felt a tingling feeling, like I was being exposed.

Soon he gave his signature gentle smile.

Because of my words, Alois had become the target of the wary eyes of emperor, the crown prince, as well as many others who sought the Saintess of the temple.

But still…

His eyes lowered languidly, and he reached out, gently holding the tip of my chin as he placed a fleeting kiss next to my lips.

As he pulled away, he whispered in a low voice.

“There’s nothing I can’t do for Your Holiness.”

It was the least he had to do to obtain the Saintess.

As someone on the same boat moving forward, I planned to be as helpful as possible.

I was willing to give him what he was trying to use me for.

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Emilone’s Temptation Labyrinth – Chapter 52”

  1. Thank you so much for continuing to translate this masterpiece of a novel. The translation is so well done that I can easily play the scenes in my head while reading. Thank you for doing God’s work ❤️

  2. Thank you for such a well done translation. Idk if my other post was posted properly but it’s so easy to play the novel in my mind with your wonderful translations so thank you very much! Also, oooooo a kiss near the lips IN FRONT OF THE NOBLES AND EMPEROR!! Gasp!

  3. Thank you so much for another chapter miss Ruby! These chapter releases are always the highlight of my week!!

  4. OMGMGMGMGMG THANK YOU FOR UPLOADING 2 CHAPTERS IM SOO HAPPY THANM YOU THANK YOU THANK YOUU!!!!!! THIS IS MY MOST FAVOURITE NOVEL

  5. Thank you so much for translating these chapters, Miss Ruby.

    Emilone seems to have a good understanding of Alois and the way he works. I guess, if nothing else, it’ll be interesting to see how the story goes away from the empire, especially since that one duke’s daughter is here. I feel like she was behind all the pointed demon attacks, so what’s she going to do now that Emilone is going elsewhere?

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