Forget Vivian Chapter 6
Forget Vivian Chapter 6
Vivian knew that her husband had an unhealthy obsession in keeping her living condition close to perfection. Personally, she did not care much about frivolous details, like what clothes to wear or even her accessories. But she noticed that Samuel was not so laidback. He devoted a lot of time to making sure that her everyday life, and schedule were pristine.
Due to his constant supervision, there were times that Vivian felt caged and wanted to escape. She would think to herself of ways to leave, though rare these moments were, she still thought fondly of rebelling sometimes.
People used to cower around her husband and commented how dangerous he was and how cold he was when making decisions. But Vivian was used to his demeanor and so she could freely walk around him.
Just like the days before, today was a day Vivian would spend according to Samuel’s arrangements.
After finishing her walk, she would then be tasked to read numerous books that were chosen and approved by her husband. She ended up reading tons of books.
One day, she finally plucked up the courage to ask Samuel why he was making her read so much, but he never answered her. Instead, she had to presume his intentions and constantly guess the meaning behind his actions.
Therefore, she concluded that he was making her do it to prepare her to become the Empress.
As an Empress, it was logical to assume that she needed to be well read and knowledgeable about various topics in order to be more useful to the crown and their people. Knowing this, Vivian studied hard and poured countless hours buried in books. She did this, despite the fact that she did not like to read. Sometimes she found herself absentmindedly thinking of escaping her books, schedule and responsibilities.
That day was one of those days.
She did not want to stare at another text. She was itching to ditch her studies, much like she used to when she was still living at the Duke of Endless’ house. She remembers evading the Duchess and hiding from her watchful gaze as she took a break.
Just once, for today, she wanted to leave.
She wasn’t always ditching her responsibilities though. To be honest, she has probably only done it, once, twice…no, three times in her lifetime! So it is probably going to be alright for her to do so. Besides, it will be fine as long as they don’t catch her.
Vivian’s pink eyes glimmered as she thought of a plan.
Today, Samuel cancelled his appointment with her. They were supposed to walk together but instead, he was attending to some luncheon appointments.
It was the perfect opportunity for her to escape.
Still, it was odd to think that ever since he became crown prince, he has been keeping her in the dark and preventing her from attending outside schedules with him. But never mind that, it was to her advantage that he was busy that day and she was alone. Perhaps, she could even see how he is doing.
Vivian decided to ditch her readings and walked down a familiar path. It was the route she and her husband liked to take during their garden strolls. She followed the steps Samuel usually takes.
Suddenly, she heard some scuffling and familiar voices, she couldn’t help but smile as she turned around towards their direction.
She paused on her steps when she realized she was at the Emperor’s palace and not the crown prince’s palace. It seemed that Samuel was taking a walk with Noah from a short distance. She decided to hide behind a nearby tree.
“If you keep making a fuss, you will be caught. Shh shh.” She heard her husband say.
“I hope you get what you want today.”
“Are you being sarcastic?” She couldn’t see them clearly but she could hear the sarcasm in Samuel’s tone as he spoke.
Vivian couldn’t help but sigh to herself, ‘Noah really has a good personality.’
Samuel was an impatient person that was prone to anger. It also doesn’t help that his way of talking was callous and could bruise and hurt other people. There were countless times wherein Noah received verbal beatings from him that she wonders how the Secretary still did not resign from his post.
‘Well, maybe Noah enjoys seeing her husband sting him like a spicy chili sauce?’ The mental image of seeing Samuel pour spicy chili sauce over his secretary made Vivian quite amused and she secretly grinned to herself.
“Yeah, I’m being sarcastic, but are you sure the Princess has it?”
“I don’t know. But it was last seen in the Silaria family when you stopped pursuing it.”
‘Silaria family?’ Vivian’s eyes widened at the mention of that famous and noble house.
If Endless is said to be the white shield that protects the empire, the Silaria family is a family that housed many magicians and is dubbed as the magic wand that protects the Empire.
‘But why are they talking about Natalia?’ Vivian tilted her head to listen some more. What did the princess of Silaria have? What did Samuel want from her?
Her little excursion today turned out more eventful than she planned as she tried to eavesdrop some more. It felt like she was spying on her husband, and poking at a secret affair that her heart raced just at the thought that perhaps she wasn’t meant to listen in.
“So did you mean it when you said that you wanted to listen to what Princess Natalia wants?”
“Are you really going to welcome Princess Natalia as your consort? Really? Without consulting her Highness Vivian?”
‘What?’ Surprised by Noah’s sudden outburst, Vivian bit her tongue down to prevent a loud gasp from escaping her lips. Still, she wasn’t able to keep her composure and her knees buckled down. To prevent her fall, Vivian hastily leaned against the tree where she had been hiding. The sudden movement caused it to shake with a loud thud. Thankfully, despite the ruckus, Samuel and Noah paid no heed to her as they were used to those sounds in the garden as the Castle grounds were filled with small living creatures.
As they walked nearer where she stood, Vivian could feel the blood draining from her face.
“What of the crown princess?”
She felt her lips tremble when Samuel spoke. He never told her of these things, never told her of his plans and Natalia. Her husband was about to become the emperor, and she always knew that he could marry another woman, but she believed he would never do that to her. She did not even consider it. She felt blindsided by what she was hearing now.
‘My husband never talked about anything like that, and he always said, ‘I don’t need children’.’ Vivian sadly thought to herself.
She had been so confident in her position in his life. She thought that if he did not want or need children, then he wouldn’t have any reason to seek out and marry other women to produce an heir. Furthermore, she came from the Endless family. Her family was known to be one of the most noble and powerful families in all of the Empire and so no one even considered that there was a more suitable candidate than her to be the crown princess.
She couldn’t understand, what was lacking? What has gone wrong?
Vivian involuntarily took a step back.
Come to think of it, Samuel never told her that he never needed another woman. She just assumed it because he told her he did not need a child to be born from her. What if he wanted a child, just not with her?
Suddenly, it felt as though she had misunderstood everything, ‘Did he need a child born to another woman?’
The more she thought about it, the more confused and anxious she felt. She started to look around, trying to clear her head. Her eyes shifted all around until they settled at the clear blue skies. A gentle and pleasant breeze brushed against her, and though it felt like an ordinary afternoon weather, somehow, everything had changed.
If there was one thing Vivian was an expert at, it was Samuel. She knew her husband. She knew how determined and unrelenting he could be. If he wants Natalia or whatever it may be, he is sure to get it. Nothing could stop him. Not even her. If he wanted another arranged marriage, then there was nothing she could do.
When she glanced back down in front of her, it was then that she noticed that she wasn’t alone. Her maids had followed her. They looked at her with sympathetic expressions. Like her, they too must have heard the conversation between Noah and Samuel.
Vivian prepared to say something and licked her lips, but sadly, no words would come out. After a few more tries. She finally managed to give them a smile and told everyone they needed to go back.
Ever since that day, she was never the same.
She felt disillusioned by everything, and stopped prodding at her husband’s secrets.
* * *
“Ah…” Eve squeezed her eyes tightly and lifted her body up. She couldn’t understand why she felt so unnerved when there was nothing to complain about.
First and foremost, the whole house was clean and her bed was soft and comfortable. Still, she was having a hard time falling asleep. It was such a weird thing!
What’s even stranger is the fact that every night, she still wakes up crying. She doesn’t remember her dreams but each time she opened her eyes, she would be filled with unexplainable sadness and tears would just uncontrollably spill out from her.
She hastily reached out for the nearby handkerchief which she had placed by her bedside out of habit. She then grabbed the glass of water she placed on it before she went to sleep. After gulping down the drink, she couldn’t help but sigh to herself, “If anyone sees me like this, they would think I was crazy.”
Eve grunted and rubbed her face with these thoughts. To be honest, she always wondered what suppressed memories she had, it must be extremely painful for tears to come out every night. But after seven years, she gave up trying to find out more about her past. She has grown so used to it and treated it as second nature that she honestly believed she would be more surprised if one day she wakes up with a smile on her face instead. Regardless, she could stop herself from thinking that her past self must have lived with no happy memories. Arianne also did tell her that it was far better for her to forget about her past. She said she will be happier not knowing anything about it. And so, it seems that Eve took this advice seriously for though many sad dreams she had at night, she always forgets them when morning comes.
‘How sad it was.’ Eve slowly tapped her cheeks and willed herself to wake up and brushed off any remaining sleepiness that still settled on her eyelids. She tried to dismiss her sad dreams and focused on the steady and rising sun.
She needed to brace herself for her young and lively Estella was about to wake up.
Eve went to her bathroom and started to comb out the tangles in her hair with her fingers and swept it up. She could feel her fingers slightly tremble even with those slight movements. She tried to regain control of her limbs because she did not want to worry her daughter. Ever since her sickness progressed and her body further deteriorated, she could only think about Estella and how much she did not want to upset and disappoint her.
* * *
“Your Majesty, Your Majesty the Emperor? Are you still sleeping? You can’t keep taking naps like this…”
Noah gently shook Samuel to wake him up.
Normally, the secretary wouldn’t dare lay a hand on the Emperor while he was sleeping. But today he felt worried. It was unusual for him to see Samuel shake his head and moan in his sleep. He has never hit someone who was sleeping, and he never expected to do that to the Emperor himself!
He waited anxiously for the consequence of his actions. He expected Samuel to react angrily and even hit him for daring to wake him up so callously. He was already prepared to get hit when Samuel’s eyes landed and focused on him.
“His Majesty the Emperor!” He absentmindedly exclaimed as he braced himself, but fortunately, no fist came flying towards him.
Instead Samuel only muttered in dissatisfaction, “Ugh, damn it.”
Noah comforted himself that the Emperor wasn’t in such a bad mood and took ten safe steps back.
It was outbursts like this that reminded people that the Emperor was raised in the streets and not the palace. Cursing comes out so natural to him and his words were mostly short and unfiltered. Although as the years went by, he managed to learn to wear a gentleman’s mask, he still had his moments.
Samuel ruffled his hair and got up from the couch. He stayed up all night so he ended up sleeping on the sofa. Still, he felt no pain in his body, but what upsets Samuel more than anything else was the fact that…
‘Why are you crying?’ He saw her crying.
It was Vivian who abandoned Samuel and left, but when she comes out of his dream, she is the one who does not smile happily. She cries every night in his sleep. It was unfair, why was she the one weeping?
His heart felt constricted every time he saw her. It was as if thorns were wrapping inside him. He also felt like a boulder was crushing his chest. It was unbearable. He tried to push these thoughts away and focused his eyes on Noah.
He sighed and asked, “What about Vivian?”
He knows that he will get the same answer every day, but he does not feel like giving it up. Samuel sank deeper in his seat, and after blinking for a moment, he opened his mouth and announced, “Bring out my clothes. What’s the schedule for the afternoon?”
“Before that, you should wash up. Are you a divorced widower?”
“I’m not divorced.” After making sense of Noah’s poignant remark, Samuel burst out in laughter.
It was a ridiculous thought, so ridiculous!
‘Did Vivian plan to die on me?’ Surely, that wasn’t the case.
Sensing that something was bothering the Emperor, Noah also joined in nervous laughter, “Hahaha…your majesty, what clothes should I prepare for you? Would you prefer to wear indigo blue or black? Well, since you have a meeting with the diplomatic mission today, I suggest it would be better for you to wear black.” Noah said those lines so skillfully, and for a moment it seemed as though everything was normal.
* * *
Eve had carefully planned her schedule for the whole day!
She wanted to begin the morning by going to the marketplace with Estella. They needed to stop by the grocers to purchase some herbs and other food supplies. Unfortunately, her visions for that day were pushed to the side by Arianne.
The older woman had told her to cancel her plans and focus on her health. She wanted Eve to first find a doctor. She kept nagging Eve the whole morning.
“I don’t think I need one, I already have a good doctor in Vibraze.” Eve had reasoned out.
But Arianne had insisted that what she was saying was nonsense, “This country’s healthcare is different from Vibraze. You would need a reliable doctor here anyway. Furthermore, you need to take your medicine.” Arianne was endlessly persuading her so Eve had no choice but to relent after the older woman gave her a litany of reasons why it was reasonable for her to get a doctor she could run to in times of health crisis.
Even when she agreed to do just that, Arianne did not stop reminding her to find a doctor so Eve just nodded her head obediently while Estella hugged her legs and rolled her eyes at the two older women.
“Mom, don’t be sick. Estella will take care of it for you!” Eve’s daughter told her as she made her way out.
She couldn’t help but smile sadly at her child’s sweet and innocent remark. Estella was so young that she did not truly understand the gravity of what it meant to be sick. Or what it was like for someone to die. She could feel her chest constricting as she looked at her. She wrinkled her nose and stroked Estella’s hair gently, “Estella is so pretty that mom is already feeling better!”
“Really?” Estella looked up at Vivian, wiping her runny nose and she even appeared like she was about to cry.
Feeling sorry for the pooling tears in her big pink eyes, Arianne decided to hold Estella in place of Vivian and calmly told her, “Then, if she takes her medicine, she will get well soon!”
Vivian smiled softly at the remark and nodded her head enthusiastically to reassure her child.
Arianne and Vivian both know that what they said were just empty words…but there was no way they could tell Estella that Vivian came to the island to prepare for her death.
Thank you Nade63090 For The Kofi!