Chapter 261: Chapter 261
In the end, Poliana and Lucius the First arrived at their destination shortly after the sunset. They entered the village right before the entrance closed for the night. The two headed straight to the town inn and thankfully, there were empty rooms available. The innkeeper, who thought she wasn’t going to get any guests that day, greeted Poliana and the emperor happily. But when she noticed the appearances of the two, she seemed shocked and confused.
‘Hmm… Is he a gold digger who seduced a wealthy lady and they are eloping?’
But this scenario didn’t make sense since the “lady” looked too scary. It was one thing for a lady to be ugly, it was quite another for a noblewoman to have so many noticeable scars. At first, the innkeeper wasn’t even sure if Poliana was a woman, but she saw Poliana’s breasts. Yes, this was definitely a woman.
‘Maybe she is the mother and she is taking her runaway son back home?’
The innkeeper decided that this must be the case. It seemed that the lady was very wealthy. The inn had two rooms and she took both of them. Before entering the rooms, Poliana made sure the hallway and the stairs were secure. It was a long traumatic day, but she was still a knight. She would never forget to do her job.
The more she studied them, the more confident the innkeeper felt that the lady was the mother and the young man was her son. The “son” was very tall, but the “mother” was tall as well, so it made sense. Poliana didn’t care what the innkeeper was thinking. After Lucius the First went into his room, Poliana turned towards the innkeeper and asked, “Do you sell alcohol here too?”
“I need quite a lot.”
“How many bottles do you need?”
She needed enough to make her forget that day. Poliana’s eyes burned in determination.
As the lead of Acreia’s Second Division, Marquess Winter received various privileges from Lucius the First. There were so many that it now made no sense to list them all. Poliana was allowed to be armed and draw her weapon in his presence even during the peaceful non-war times. She was allowed to lie down in front of him even when she wasn’t ill or injured.
Poliana could also enter his room and meet with him even without his permission. During a conversation between the emperor and another person, she had permission to interrupt in order to speak to his highness. She was allowed to enter his personal space and even argue with him.
In the past, Lucius the First enjoyed drinking with his men. During the wartime, he often invited his knights to drink in his tent. This pastime, however, became a rare occurrence after he moved the capital to Yapa. It was because Lucius the First became too busy.
During the last few years, only Sir Ainno had the privilege to drink with the emperor from time to time. Besides, there were plenty of official feasts which made it unnecessary to invite his knights for private drinking.
On a rare occasion when he did decide to drink, Lucius the First made a point of not inviting Poliana. The time of the emperor seeing his knightess’s naked body without an incident was now over. If he saw her naked now… Lucius the First knew he would not be able to control himself. He was a healthy man in love and his desire couldn’t be stopped.
This was why the emperor hesitated to allow Poliana to enter his room when she knocked on his door.
Poliana was standing in the hallway. Lucius the First noticed that she had something beside her. It was a large barrel about half her size.
‘How did she carry that up here? This is the second floor.’
Based on the size of it, it was obvious the barrel wasn’t something Poliana could carry up the stairs by herself. The emperor asked her, “What is this?”
“It’s alcohol, your highness!”
Poliana answered proudly. Lucius the First already knew what it was, since it obviously looked like a barrel that held liquor. He clarified his question, “I meant how did you get it.”
“I purchased it from the town hall. Apparently, they have been storing some of these for the upcoming town festival.”
“No, what I meant was, how you got such a large barrel up here.”
Poliana clenched her fist proudly and replied, “I rolled it!”
She was telling him that because it was so heavy and she could not carry it, she rolled it upstairs. Lucius the First could understand that the seller might have helped bring it from the town hall to the inn. So she rolled it up the stairs from the first floor to the second?
‘Wow. It couldn’t have been easy to do that. It looks really heavy.’
If she had her men with her, she would’ve ordered them to do it for her. She could’ve ordered someone from the town to do it, but it seemed that she did not trust any of them to do it right.
“Umm… Sir Pol, you must be very tired. Do you really think drinking is a good idea?”
Suddenly, Lucius the First stopped himself, realizing he was making a mistake. He remembered the last time he pushed her away, trying to do the gentlemanly thing. It turned out that what he did that night was the completely wrong thing for him. It might have helped in pushing Poliana towards that bastard Frau.
He failed himself once, but now, he learned his lesson. He needed to do better this time. He needed to take the chance when it presented itself to him.
Hesitantly, Lucius the First let Poliana enter his room. She began to roll the barrel towards the door when she stopped, realizing that the width of it on its side was too wide to fit through. Before she could do anything, Lucius the First helped her. He put it upright and carried it easily into the room.
It took all of her strength just to roll it, but the emperor carried it easily. This was the difference Poliana had to remember between the emperor and herself. Lucius the First asked her, “Are you telling me we should drink all of this?”
“I will drink it all and die, your highness.”
“Well, I like drinking too, but don’t you think it will hurt your injury?”
“No, your highness. Alcohol is great for wounds.”
“I think it’s good for a wound when it is poured on top of it to prevent infection. I don’t think drinking it is the same thing.”
Poliana ignored him and began to set up the table. She opened the barrel and took out two cups. She also brought out the pieces of deer jerky she purchased along with the liquor.
“Yes, your highness. I am ready.”
She sat down on the chair and filled the cups. Poliana looked determined for some reason, making Lucius the First feel uncertain.
‘What should I do…’
He allowed her to enter his room, but now… The emperor could not guarantee her safety from him. His desire for her was so great and Lucius the First did not think he could control himself if an opportunity presented itself to him. Any other woman would’ve been safe with him, but not Poliana.
Only Poliana, she was the only one for him.