Reboot Sienna Book 1 Chapter 2
Volume 1 Chapter 2 Live To Sienna Pt.2
But whether she had been cursed by the Goddess of Fate, those were Sienna's one-sided feelings. Sienna, a peasant who had grown up in a corner of the North, had only found out after that wedding that Carl had already had a fiancée, and that their marriage had been nothing more than a political maneuver.
Sienna had looked back on it hundreds, thousands of times.
'If I had known in advance that there was a fiancé named Bluebell beside Carl, would I have refused to marry him if I had known that it was just a political move? And would I have been hated by him for being hostile to Arya?'
Knowing that she could never go back to that time, Sienna would ask herself that over and over, but the answer was always no. Even if she could've gone back to that time, Sienna would've still chosen to marry him.
'I may have lacked in effort. If I'd done better... If only I had tried harder than I did to get closer and gain his trust when he tried to distance himself…' Even if she hadn't gotten his whole heart and mind, wouldn't she have been able to get a little piece of that person? Couldn't she have seen at least a piece of his true smile?
Sienna still hadn't given up her lingering feelings for Carl.
'Why am I…' Wouldn't she think that she could be loved since she had Carl's child?
She was troubled by the grief of the crown, thinking about the unfortunate life Joseph would face because of her lingering feelings and obsession. She could hardly bear her cry even though she knew that she had Queen Arya in front of her and that bursting into tears in front of others was an act that would damage the dignity of the Imperial Family.
"Empress Sienna," Arya sang her name affectionately and moved to her side. Then, she grabbed the tip of Sienna's chin with her hand and made Sienna look at her. She spoke in a friendly manner, wiping away the tears that covered Sienna's cheeks with a purple silk handkerchief. "What are tears? I've told you before that the person sitting at the seat of the empress doesn't cry easily. Instead of tears, you have to smile and figure out how to admonish the person who has embarrassed you."
Even though she seemed to chastise Sienna, who was shedding tears, her voice was very friendly.
Because of this, Sienna could not keep Arya away. The more she relied on her, the more she knew Carl would hate her, but she was the only one who cared about Sienna in that palace where no one cared about her.
Arya smiled softly and said to Sienna, "If you do me a favor, I promise I'll make Prince Joseph the next emperor."
Queen Arya gave her a confident smile, but Sienna stared at her blankly. Her words did not sound like an offer to make Joseph emperor, but one to make him Carl's favorite.
'You're going to make Joseph loved by Carl instead of resented by him?'
Arya's words seemed more absurd than the story of the extinct dragon falling to the ground with the moon. Nevertheless, Sienna just wanted to believe what she had said.
"It's very simple. Will you listen?"
Sienna nodded, captivated by the words of the queen. She would nod her head even if the devil had asked, let alone Queen Arya. If Joseph couldn't live the life his title awarded him to live…
"I'm going to prepare a dance for Prince Joseph's birth banquet. If the Emperor asks about him, please tell her that Empress Sienna called them in person to celebrate the birthday of Prince Joseph. I'm sure it will be a big present for Prince Joseph."
How could Joseph be made the next emperor by her simply accepting a small request? But Sienna nodded blankly, without asking Arya anything further.
"Also, if the Emperor asks about a large box placed between the dancers, tell him it's a cradle prepared for Prince Joseph by Prince Waters, Empress Sienna's father."
That day, the Empress' eyes felt like those of a venomous snake, but Sienna worked hard to dispel that idea from her head. Arya was the woman who always patched up the wounds Sienna received because of Carl, who didn't know her mind. Sienna had to trust her.
Prince Joseph's birthday banquet was arranged smoothly. Sienna chose a blue dress embroidered with lilies.
"Would a white pearl necklace be good? Or do you want a red necklace?"
The handmaid, Hain, said, alternating necklaces around Sienna's neck.
"The pearl necklace looks sweet and innocent, and the red necklace will be provocative and attractive because it blends with the empress' red hair. Which do you like better?"
Sienna gave no answer to Hain's question.
'It doesn't matter what kind of necklace I wear.... He won't look at me no matter what I do, so what do I need a necklace for?'
Sienna looked at herself beyond the mirror. The reflection was beautiful. It showed her curving red hair flowing down to her shoulders and her eyes shining green. On the back of her nose were a pale freckles that made her look alive like the sun, but perhaps more subdued and clean than normal because Hain had carefully covered them with powder.
But Sienna couldn't see herself in the mirror. A blue-eyed bird with no other color at all might look beautiful, but within it, was only despair and resignation.
"There was a time when these eyes contained hope…'
There was a time when Sienna had hoped that if she tried, she would be able to approach Carl. But when she tried getting closer to him, all she got was cynicism and disdain.
No matter how hopeful she was, if she continued to fail, she would turn hopeless and become afraid of even standing up. That was what had happened to Sienna. She was tired and afraid of being laughed at and hated by Carl. She thought she'd rather stay in that palace room as she did not want to be seen by him.
"Your Majesty the Empress, the Crown Prince is entering."
At Hain's words, Sienna nodded.
But now, she was the mother of a child. No matter how hurt she had been by Carl, she wanted to be able to give Joseph a happy life. Yet, that did nothing to rid her of her tears of despair.
Hain brought Joseph, who had been handed over by the nanny, to Sienna. The child was so small and lovely that it felt strange to see him breathing. Every time Joseph breathed with that little nose of his, his palms twitched.
"Hain, I'll hold Joseph."
"The dress will crumple."
"The main focus today is Joseph. I'm sure no one cares about my crumpled dress, my necklace or anything."
Hain had a worried look. She was also well aware that the empress she was serving did not receive the attention of the emperor. In a way, she felt more sensitive to it than Sienna.
"Come on, Hain!"
Hain nodded and handed the child to Sienna's bosom. Sienna held Joseph, who was wrapped in red robes, in her arms. The child grinned, reaching out to her when he recognized his mother. The olive-colored eyes, which resembled Carl's, glistened.
Hain said, "He seems to recognize Your Empress because he is so intelligent. I am saying so because as soon as Her Highness cradled her grandson, he smiled at Your Empress."
"That's right. What an astute child..."
Sienna was moved to tears as the child, who looked like her beloved Carl, had to grow up in the shadow of the Emperor. She said, holding back her tears.
"Hain, I won't do the necklace, but could you bring me the most spectacular, out-of-the ordinary gangbo, please? Today's focus is Joseph, so I hope this child shines most of all at the banquet."
(Gangbo definition: Swaddling clothes or baby quilt.)
"You should shine like the Empress, Mother of the Crown Prince. In my thoughts, I think the pearl necklace looks better…"
When Sienna called her name firmly, Hain nodded reluctantly.
"There's a gangbo I embroidered for the prince left. Would you like to see it?"
When Sienna nodded her head, Hain, who had the other maid rush out to fetch it from her place, spread it out to Sienna and bragged about it. The red gangbo was embroidered with a large golden dragon kicking off the ground. Sienna admired the sight of the famous painting.
"It's really cool."
"Right? I worked very hard to make this. It'll look good on the prince, won't it?"
Sienna smiled at her words and nodded.
Sienna, who wrapped Joseph in the red gangbo, headed for the banquet hall. The soldiers guarding the entrance to the banquet hall saw her and opened the door.
As they entered the banquet hall, the musicians started the entrance music. The aristocrats, who had been enjoying the banquet in advance, bowed to Sienna as they made way. She was headed for her seat above the podium.
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