A Stepmother’s Marchen - Chapter 63
When the prince was young, about twelve years old, he had seen a splendidly crafted pipe at his cousin’s house.
The pipe, which seemed to be a product from the East, was quite aesthetically pleasing as its iridescent glass body was delicately studded with colorful gems.
Even those who were still far away from reaching adulthood had a desire to smoke.
He was in a position where he could have anything he wanted, but he hated looking immature as he coveted things that were clearly precious gifts.
Especially if the opponent was his esteemed uncle. So he just wanted to try it once which was all that he had in mind.
On December 27, 1115 on the Kaiserreich calendar. On the evening of the day of the trial that could make him a laughing stock.
“Your Highness the Crown Prince…”
The attendant carefully observed the crown prince uncomfortably.
It was not unreasonable to think about what happened earlier, but Theobalt rejected his attendant, who was always concerned about him, with a gentle smile.
Anyone could tell he was upset. Now he needed some time alone. The stigma of touching a widow had spread, and even a 14 year-old-boy beat him, resulting in a shameful misunderstanding. To make matters worse, the trial was terminated in a way that was completely unfavorable to the royal family.
Nevertheless, the thoughts that were now in the brain of the 17-year-old crown prince were at different levels. It could be said that he didn’t care about the previous problems.
The corridor with the heavy purple velvet emblem was a place rarely seen before. Even though it was a place that he visited occasionally when he was young, he started to visit it often now.
Among the portraits hung one after another on the colorful wall, his eyes were fixed on one. It was his biological mother’s portrait, the former Empress Ludovika, who was now dead.
Only half of what he said about no longer remembering her face was true. Because he could come here whenever he wanted to and his biological mother’s face. In contrast to his father’s cold expression, the woman in the portrait was smiling brightly.
How much effort did the painter have to put into this portrait? Her purple hair and lemon-colored eyes that shone as if they contained stars were too vivid.
The woman in the portrait had a different hair color and eyes color from the Marchioness.
It was not unreasonable for his father and uncle to treat the Marchioness differently. But he always had doubts.
Why was the emperor, who said he loved Ludovika so much, so indifferent to him, the child she gave birth to? Of course, he thought of such a question in his childhood. But that wasn’t really a big deal anymore. Just like the fact that his stepmother, Empress Elizabeth, pretended to give him everything, but actually felt more pity for her real son, Prince Rhett.
Whatever the real intentions that lie deep in their hearts, all he was interested in was the outward appearance. Really, what was the use of saying something out of their mouth or in their heart that was not shown in action?
To him, the sincerity of others was not important. It only mattered how they treated him. With that notion, he could be proud that he had lived a fairly satisfactory life until the end.
Even so… Nevertheless, at this moment, Theobalt was burning with the desire to win others’ sincerity.
His biological mother in the portrait and the woman who turned the courtroom upside down a while ago were very similar in appearance .But Ludovica had never been like the woman just now. It would be more accurate to say that he didn’t have the opportunity to know her as she died so early.
The truth was, at first he was just drawn to her outward appearance.
Why did the late Marquis Neuwanstein, who died, be so foolish? He could see why he chose her.
Even with her unique beauty, what drew Theobalt’s attention to her was the similarity between her and his mother.
Then, he started becoming curious about how she treated the children. How could a young woman who had barely passed her come-of-age ceremony treat the children that were similar to her in age with eyes full of sincere affection? And it was by no means pretentious. In that matter, Theobalt could assure himself that she could not fool his own eyes.
Because he was curious, he often went in and out of Neuwanstein’s castle. Then, one day, when the eldest son was ill, he visited as usual and fell asleep there. The sound of a sweet lullaby sounded like a dream, and his greed began to soar.
Just like when he was a child, he wanted to get the affection of his respected uncle. That did not mean that he had any particular malice toward his cousin.
It could not be said that he had planned things, and it was only his natural instinct, just as a left-handed person naturally used his left hand. When he was 12, he went to his uncle’s house to play and touched a luxurious pipe. He just wanted to smoke it once, as was often the case with boys his age, he just wanted to imitate adults.
It was just his first time dealing with it, so he was inexperienced. At that time, he filled the tobacco leaf clumsily, took a few sips and dropped it on the floor.
At that time, the adults appeared and his little cousin was playing nearby.
He was just acting instinctively. It was much easier for him to pass it all on to his young cousin, who was by his side, than to be branded as a childish prince who did things he shouldn’t do. However, it seems that it was at that time that he realized how convenient it was to take on the role of troublesome person and how convenient it is to have a villain recognized by everyone.
Only then did he really realize how convenient it would be if he pushed the troublesome role to others, and how convenient it would be if there was a villain recognized by everyone.
Surprisingly, there were many people who did not know that just by adhering to the position of a victim who was always polite and good-natured, they could shine even more.
What could be wrong with trying to get love alone? Compared to the sins spread around the world, there was nothing wrong with that. Moreover, he was the crown prince. What was wrong with being envied by as many people as possible as a man who would become Emperor in the future?
Turning his half brother and cousin into hopeless trouble makers was worth it. As such, his position had risen even further. Therefore, he had never once doubted his way of doing things. That was until the trial. His stepmother and his esteemed uncle were so easily deceived by him that they turned their backs on their children, but that woman stabbed everyone, including him, in an unimaginable way.
A soft sigh escaped Theobalt’s soft lips, “Oh, no. I’m in trouble…”
He didn’t mean to go that deep. He just intended to put himself first in all the attention and treatment as he had done so far.
…Now he was starting to get really greedy.
Seriously, he started to crave that sincerity. The strong devotion and affection that was difficult for him to comprehend, and the heart that tried to protect the foolish young boy by revealing even the deadliest bedroom situation as a lady. How thrilling would it be if all of it turned entirely toward him? How thrilling he would be and how hopeless he would feel. His situation wasn’t very hopeless. First of all, did she harbor resentment toward him?
Their relationship could not be said to be completely broken yet. ….but it seemed that he had to change the method a bit from then on.
And Theobalt would find a way as always.
The ‘Room of Asceticism’ was a place where priests confessed their sins to God and whipped themselves. Not whip in the figurative sense, but a literal whip. This did not mean that the literal ascetic cardinals did not really exist. Most priests took the shortcut by hitting the wall with a whip and making a sound.
How many people who sincerely dipped their feet into the priesthood would dare to go through such pain?
Of course, there were a few exceptions everywhere. For example, like the young cardinal who was called the ‘Silent Bell’. It was not uncommon for him to pursue the clergy blindly since he was young.
Others used shortcuts to avoid carrying out suffering thoroughly. But it was a law that made the honest priests have peace of mind.
“It’s already been four hours.”
“Hey, it’s because he’s a very rare person who is faithful……”
This day, however, the Silent Bell, Cardinal Richelieu, was confined to the room of asceticism, but he had not committed any genuine self-inflicted acts as usual.
Despite the fact that there was no sound for four hours, everyone was able to share their concerns and admiration only because of the image they had built up faithfully on a daily basis.
So what was the Silent Bell really doing?
Even if it was a room of asceticism, flexibility to light a fireplace in the cold season was the basic common sense of the central monastery. The twenty-one-year-old cardinal had been sitting motionless for hours already, staring at the blazing fire. It should be said that he was almost completely frozen, except for the occasional movement to throw in the piled logs when the flames were extinguished.