The Emperor’s Seduction Strategy - Chapter 1
‘Should I just run away?’
Lisette agonized as she stared at the door.
Her anxious thoughts didn’t match well with her surroundings, which were decorated with colorful flowers, scented candles, and fluttering lace.
The groom, who would soon enter the door to this room, was Kierdt, the Emperor of Sviran.
Sviran, which was the nemesis of Edrin, Lisette’s country, for more than a century. At the same time, they also met at the most ferocious battlefield between the two enemy countries.
However, these fierce enemies today… became a couple.
Until just a month ago, they clashed swords on the battlefield.
No one knew where life would go. Likewise, either country’s fate was also unknown.
With the sudden rapid growth of the southern country of Roguan, it began to pressure the two rival countries. Roguan had originally been a weak country that couldn’t even join the war between Sviran and Edrin.
Roguan conquered its neighboring countries one by one and swallowed them whole. If Sviran and Edrin wouldn’t work together, Roguan would become too powerful.
As they felt the crisis, the two countries urgently agreed to a ceasefire.
However, they couldn’t just trust each other with just that agreement. And so to seal the armistice, they promoted a national marriage.
It was like a trick of fate that Lisette was the only princess of the Edrin Royal Family, and that Kierdt was the only unmarried man in the Sviran Imperial Family.
So, absurdly enough, the two mortal enemies of the battlefield became a couple.
And right now was their first night.
Everything became a blur. As soon as she opened her eyes, she was bathed, dressed and decorated… It’s like she had dreamed it all.
Then, the ceremony was over in a flash. Lisette found herself seated alone in the middle of the bridal chambers.
It was only now that she realized that she was truly married.
‘What do I do?!’
Lisette shouted inwardly.
Of all people, it was Kierdt, her archnemesis on the battlefield.
Kierdt was a ruthless Emperor who had no blood or tears. He was such a terrible man that people could only sigh in desolation the moment they would hear that he’d be on the battlefield.
And Lisette couldn’t understand the fact that Kierdt agreed to this farce of a marriage.
Princess Lisette had no choice in the matter because that’s what the King of Edrin told her to do.
On the other hand, Kierdt was an Emperor. He could have refused. Of course, she expected that he would refuse. They had been aiming at each other’s necks on the battlefield not too long ago, but now… marriage? It didn’t make sense.
But in the end, Kierdt agreed to the marriage.
‘No way. Maybe he’s planning to capture me like this and finally kill me?’
The thought made her skin crawl.
Why did she have to think of that now? Kierdt was definitely the kind of man who could do that.
Lisette jumped from her seat and looked for anything that she could use as a weapon.
While preparing for the first night, there were no pins or ornaments on her body. Everything that was adorned over her was all cozy and soft.
What stood out to her then was a candelabra and the rope tying the curtains.
Lisette was good at outsmarting men, not overpowering them. While seriously contemplating whether she could kill him or not as she twirled the candelabra in her hand, the door opened.
It was Kierdt.
Kierdt arrived at an unexpected moment.
Lisette waited anxiously.
But Kierdt only leaned against the door and narrowed his eyes.
“I knew it. You must have planned my assassination.”
“T-That’s not true! This is for self defense…”
“Are you thinking that I’d kill you here?”
“…So you thought the same thing.”
“If I was going to do something like that, I would have already killed you the moment you crossed the border.”
At this, Lisette regained her rationality.
Even if there was a truce agreement, Lisette was alone on enemy turf.
If Kierdt had decided to kill her, there had been plenty of opportunities thus far, just as he said.
Lisette put down the candelabra awkwardly, walked back to the bed and sat down on the same spot that she sat on earlier. She even adjusted her veil.
However, the atmosphere that had turned cold had yet to be warm again.
“I was wondering what you were up to, being so quiet all this time. You’re aiming for the first night after all.”
“That’s really not the case! If I was really going to assassinate Your Majesty, I would have waited until you were asleep. What could I do with a candlestick like this?”
“…Ohh, so that’s your plan.”
Rather than stopping the misunderstanding from growing deeper, it became even worse.
It was a relationship that was even more unfair than anyone’s definition of the word unfair. Lisette sighed in frustration.
At that time, Kierdt took a step closer to her.
And reflexively, Lisette flinched and moved towards the opposite direction.
Seeing this, Kierdt stopped in his tracks, amusement dancing in his eyes.
“Considering just how frightened you are, I guess you really don’t have an assassination plan.”
“There really isn’t one…”
“Yes. I hope you’re not hiding a knife under that veil.
Kierdt strode up to her.
Lisette froze even more at the sound of his approaching footsteps.
Just as Kierdt said, he would not be killed, at least not right away. The tension in the air was so dense that it’s hard to believe this was a first night between a couple.
The hands holding onto her own skirt were so tightly clenched that her knuckles became white.
“I never imagined that we’d see each other like this, Princess.”
Sitting opposite Lisette, Kierdt touched the edge of her veil.
The ritual of the first night between newlyweds began with the groom taking off the bride’s veil.
This meant that everything that happened between the two would be restarted, from the day they met and until this moment.
Would it be possible for them to forget the past and start over?
There’s no way.
“We met as archenemies, but I hope we can get along well as a couple from here on out, Empress.”
…However, Kierdt said something unexpected.
Did he really think that they could get along as a couple?
Lisette was at a loss for words, her wide eyes blinking vacantly as she stared at the edge of the veil.
Keirdt slowly pulled it back.
This was also the first time that Lisette would be able to see Kierdt’s face properly.
Swords in hand, both of them were in full armor on the battlefield, they never got the chance to see each other’s faces behind their helmets.
This was going to be the first time she’d see his face. During the wedding ceremony, she had just stared at the floor the whole time.
The veil that acted as a wall between the two disappeared.
Kierdt’s gaze on her face was so intense that it stung her. Kierdt said nothing as he stared at her.
‘Why aren’t you saying anything?’
Surrounded by the palpable tension in the air, Lisette hesitated to lift her eyes slowly.
Lisette was astonished by Kierdt’s appearance as she first saw it properly.
…To be honest, he was rather handsome.
…No, he’s surprisingly dashing.
He had a sharp nose, cupid’s bow lips, grayish-purple hair that very gently curled at the end, and deep violet eyes that looked straight at her.
But Kierdt was astounded as well.
“What is it…?”
“You’re… even more than I thought… you’re cute…”
“…No, uh, what am I saying?”
Kierdt shook his head. What he said sounded absurd even in his own ears.
However, Kierdt’s appreciation wasn’t wrong at all.
Lisette was objectively cute.
Blonde hair, blue eyes as round as glass eggs, a cute button nose, plump lips and a slim face. Lisette was the very definition of a princess.
“I can’t believe I was driven almost to death by such a princess.”
Kierdt had been caught up in Lisette’s tactics so many times that he had several near-death experiences because of her.
It was also the same for Lisette.
“Your Majesty… also doesn’t look like someone who fights ruthlessly…”
“That’s a relief. Then I won’t remind you of war every time you see me.”
In a blink of an eye, Kierdt pushed Lisette’s shoulder back, which made her lie down on the bed.
With the sleek movement akin to a predator, he was on top of Lisette.
The wide shoulders and broad chest of a man covered her view in an instant.
Kierdt swept over Lisette’s shoulders and down her waist with a feather-like touch—but it was so dry that she couldn’t feel any emotion behind it. It’s like he’s only going through the motions.
Lisette took in a deep breath and tried to accept his touch.
It was an important duty to hold the first night. She tried to calm herself, just like Kierdt. She’d accept it all without thinking about it.
However, the moment he touched the bottom hem of her nightgown, she flinched immediately and avoided his reach.
“W, w-w-wai, wait a minute!”
Kierdt’s hand, which was about to go up, paused.
Lisette could see the question in his eyes, asking why she was stopping him.
“I’m not happy with it either, but I’m going to go through it. Please cooperate.”
This was an important duty, so she needed to do well. If they wouldn’t push through with this, then war would break out once more.
She comforted herself and tried to calm down. However, her mind just wouldn’t listen. Far from relieving tension, her body trembled.
At this sight, Kierdt frowned and sighed deeply.
“…Look here, Empress. If you’re like this, I can’t do it either.”
“What do you think. Did you expect that I’d be able to do it with someone who’s rejecting me with her entire body?”
“I’m not refusing…”
She was trying to accept him to the best of her ability. Kierdt’s berating wasn’t fair.
However, her quivering body, stiff limbs, and tears pooling in her eyes were all signs of rejection.
Kierdt sighed and reached up to caress Lisette’s face. In turn, she flinched with her eyes closed.
Even after a long time, Kierdt’s hand never reached her cheek.
Only then did Lisette realize that her body really was refusing everything.
“My body isn’t following my mind…”
Lisette looked up at Kierdt with a tearful gaze.
And Kierdt could only draw a deep sigh.
“Ha… This is beyond my imagination—in many ways.”
When Lisette was on the battlefield, she would always hit Kierdt on the back of the head with her masterful tactics. Her unpredictable moves always led him in circles, that’s why he tried to think of the many different outcomes that might have transpired on this night.
As soon as he entered the bridal room, he thought that he’d be ambushed the moment he stepped foot inside. If not that, there might be poisonous insects on the bed. Or, even the bride could try and kill him.
He imagined that she might’ve pressed him down and said that she’d rather kill him than go through with this.
But that wasn’t the case at all for this frightened person who shivered and sobbed.
“…It would have been better if we just clash swords.”
Kierdt muttered to himself as he was left confused.
He said this to himself, but Lisette responded by widening her eyes.
“Can we do that?”
“Of course not. Did you think that’s possible?”
“If I can, I’d rather kill Your Majesty and run away…”
Kierdt stared at Lisette without a word.
He kept forgetting because of the dissonance between her cute appearance and her actual prowess during a war. There was no reason to go easy on her at all.
Kierdt made up his mind firmly.