For someone who did not exercise any religion in both her previous and current lives, seeing the Temple for the first time was just breathtaking.
The Temple was surrounded by smooth lime pillars and walls symmetrically placed.
It exuded authority and power without having to resort to elaborate decorations.
Unlike the Imperial Palace, the majestic form of the Temple could boast both beauty and grandeur by the religious architecture alone.
After taking in the splendid sight, a random thought suddenly popped into my head.
What is the emperor thinking at this moment
Cold sweat drenched my back as the carriage wheeled on.
The scenery outside was now filled with a crowd.
If I had to go down with the emperor, I would have died of a heart attack.
The Knights of Theres lined up uniformly in front of the wagon, headed by the Pope himself as everyone gathered around, patiently anticipating for the emperor of the Great Empire of Ivant to alight his carriage.
I breathe a sigh of relief.
Thank goodness I didn’t have to dismount the carriage yet.
“Do you want to go down with me” The emperor asked and I stared at him in horror.
He grinned at my reaction and jumped off the wagon and just as instantly, music rang and cheers for the emperor erupted all at once, filling the space with a cacophony of sounds.
The Imperialists and the Theres worshippers were everywhere as they welcomed the emperor into their home.
It reminded me of a scene from the news I saw quite a long time ago; like the Olympic torch blazed with fire to signal the start of the event.
The thought of going down the carriage together with the emperor made me shiver on the spot.
Even if I was allowed, I certainly wouldn’t want to since I don’t want to be crushed to death or be murdered by a mysterious assassin lingering about.
After the emperor and Raven alighted, the carriage rolled towards the stable and I was led to the emperor’s bedroom.
A familiar driver was assigned to guard his chamber, and he was the one who brought me to the second floor, stopping just outside the door.
“This is His Majesty’s bedroom.
Lina and I nodded, thanking him before we entered the room.
The emperor’s chamber was located in a separate wing, a secluded area dedicated to the significant people staying in the Central Temple.
This room was by far the largest one in the palace and it is for the emperor’s use alone.
The room was well-kept and tidy like it’s being thoroughly cleaned every single day, even if it was only used a few days a year.
When the door shut close behind us, I took off my corset and changed into a much comfortable bedroom dress.
Finally, I could breathe more freely now.
“Well done, Iona.
I’ll place your clothes over here.” Lina said.
Since my existence was a secret, I had to make sure I was not seen within the Imperial City’s grounds.
Lina went around the house and did things on my behalf.
Thanks to her, there’s no need for me to step outside the room.
The emperor won’t be back until later tonight so I have the room all for myself.
Back in the Imperial Palace, Lina or the head maid would come and they usually assign me some work to keep me busy. I wish something would keep me preoccupied.
Lina went out of the room to go get some water while I walked around inside the chamber, taking my time as I scanned my surroundings.
The four walls of the room were painted white, and religious items were placed everywhere.
The ceiling and walls were engraved with patterns I’m not familiar with, and paintings in tribute to God were hung on the walls.
I could now see why the emperor hated this room so much.
Is there anything here I could busy myself with
Trying to find something to do, I came across a large bookshelf on one side of the room.
Aside from sleeping, reading was the only thing I enjoyed doing.
I walked towards the bookshelf and scanned the titles written on the spines.
The birth of the great Theresa, God’s blessing; find your source, The difference between Catholicism and Protestantism.
Reading the titles alone was enough to give me a headache.
Don’t they have any novels in here
After I painstakingly checked each and every volume in the five-tier bookshelf, I realized there was not a single novel in sight.
Before this place became the emperor’s bedroom, it used to be the Central Temple.
Maybe those books were only used to fill the bookshelf since the previous emperors who also visited for the prayer ritual were too busy with work.
They simply didn’t have the time to read.
Still wanting to ease the boredom that was trying to engulf me, I settled on a historical book with the title “The Founding Age of the Ivant Empire.” The book was surprisingly not that thick, despite the Empire having three hundred years worth of history.
I took the book from the shelf and settled under the windowsill.
No one would see me here.
The book appeared new, like it had never been opened.
I flipped the book to its back, reading the small excerpt written there; this was written based on the winner’s perspective, and other facts were not put into writing.
The book was bound by parchment, soft to the touch.
The distinct scent of ink invaded my nostrils every time I turned a page.
After spending a long time reading by the window, I heard the door open and Lina must be finally back.
I hastily hid the book behind me.