"We're happy to have you in the family as well," the emperor said.
His smile was still contradictory to his emotionless eyes. Either he thought that she was absurdly stupid or desperately naive. In a sense, she was both in her first life. So it didn't surprise her too much for him to disregard her intelligence to this degree. Besides, she could see Kim Jung-Hyun fumbling uncomfortably at the emperor's statement.
She didn't reply and focused her attention to the food. She raised her fork and stabbed the meat violently and raised it to her mouth, but paused when she heard quiet laughter at her actions. Even the cold eyes of Kim Jung-Hyun had filled with mocking humor. All the emotions of earlier had dissipated and replaced with ridicule at her uncivilized method of eating.
She narrowed her eyes and placed down her fork. Kim Ye-Rin has decided earlier to be as inconspicuous as possible but she never wanted to see ridicule from his expression ever again. She had seen enough from his cold eyes in her previous life. In this one, she would be the one with the haughty exterior!
She straightened her posture and began to elegantly cut pieces of the meat. Her position easily matched the prince's, even better albeit a bit robotic. The servants, nonetheless the emperor and the prince, were stunned at how quickly she had adapted and was eating her food.
She noticed their looks and sweetly smiled. "After watching oppa for a bit, I've come to pick up his eating habits."
They all had one thought in their minds: this child, might she be a genius? She had only been in the palace for a short number of hours. Not even a full day! And this dinner, it had only been thirty minutes, so for her to observe and do it so perfectly, not even the crown prince was this gifted.
It was impossible, they refused to believe a bastard was that talented to be better than Kim Jung-Hyun. They dismissed it as someone teaching her prior to this dinner.
Once Kim Ye-Rin raised a piece of the lettuce to her lips, she saw a servant nearby flinch. She paused and gently smiled in their direction. "You seem really hungry. Try this for me."
Hungry to be killed.
The servant shook their head and paled at her words. "H-How d-dare I?"
Kim Ye-Rin titled her head innocently, "I've given you permission. Do it." Her words were an order and the servant lost the strength to stand. They kneeled beside her chair and she forcefully fed them the lettuce. Tears streamed down the servant's eyes as she slowly chewed the food. Their eyes were wide at their incoming death so they couldn't withstand it and vomited what they swallowed quickly. Everyone looked in horror as the poison had already taken effect and the servant was foaming at their mouth.
And then they closed their eyes for an eternal slumber.
'A pity...' Kim Ye-Rin smiled sardonically to herself but quickly managed a pitiful expression on her small face.
"I-I...I was so scared..." If anyone had seen her earlier vicious expression, they would never believe her no matter how good of an actress she was. The emperor didn't want to bother with such a bothersome ordeal, but he couldn't show his lack of care so publicly and especially on the first day of her arrival, so he quickly yelled for guards to take away the body. He also ordered for other servants to investigate about who wanted to poison their princess.
Kim Ye-Rin's black eyes turned to Kim Jung-Hyun and noticed his sweaty palms. A knowing smile spread on her lips.
It seemed like the little prince's supporters had taken action sooner than she expected. The bullying and death threats shouldn't have started so soon, but the earlier disrespect must've been traumatizing to their beloved star.
Of course, such a poison wouldn't do her much harm, but she hadn't drank any blood so it might've actually killed her. Once she begins to drink blood like her previous life, then it would stabilize any minor poison like this one. It would also mean that she would gain immunity to all poisoning methods expect one: the one that had killed the emperor in her previous life.
Her mind was focused on the path and she realize that Kim Jung-Hyun was looking at her too. He wanted to see her scared and rid of her arrogance that she displayed earlier, but he was astonished to find her very calm. She was far from 'scared' and he had a feeling that she found the whole thing amusing.
"Father, she...who is her mother?" Kim Jung-Hyun finally spoke for the first time that evening and it was to question her parentage. Really, she was disappointed. He could've waited a little longer before digging up her past to shame her in front of everyone. She was hoping he wouldn't just want to embarrass her in front of mere servants, so that her retaliation would be much harsher. But for a young Jung-Hyun, this childish yet vicious method was decent enough. She couldn't forget that this prince was considered perfect from a young age nor could she forget that she was carrying the mind of an adult.
But dealing with a child version of Kim Jung-Hyun, was this going to lessen her cruelty?
Of course not.
The emperor looked embarrassed as though he hadn't expected for his son to ask this question so soon, but his empty eyes gave away his real thoughts: like bastard father, like bastard son. "Ye-Rin was born from a drunken night with a brothel strumpet."
Strumpet? What a dignified way of saying he was entangled with a prostitute. He wouldn't mind sullying her reputation, but his must be preserved with honor. As expected, blood runs thicker than water and her brother's hypocrisy was inherited.
"Then was she a bloo—" Kim Jung-Hyun was startled when his father shot him a look and he stopped mid-sentence.
He remembered that the girl most likely didn't know the secret of their family and most nobility. Nor did most of the servants know, so he had almost exposed a nefarious secret.
But unlike what the emperor and Kim Jung-Hyun thought, Kim Ye-Rin knew perfectly what he was going to say.
Was the prostitute a blood demon?
After all, the birth of a blood demon was only between a union of two blood demons. So the marriage of her brother and Yoo Chae-Young was even more pompous. Yet of course, thanks to her 'special circumstances,' she broke that restriction and could easily carry the child of a blood demon. Mortals couldn't carry the child of a blood demon because the fetus was like a parasite and fed on the minimal energy so much that neither mother nor child could survive.
"Then was she a shamelessly bitch?" Kim Jung-Hyun corrected himself and the emperor scolded him, although lightly. None of the servants flinched nonetheless changed their expression at the prince's vulgar language. In their mind, the prince had a reason to be so angry.
His father, the noblest blood, had procreated with the dirtiest blood, even among mortals. And the result of their affair was a monstrous child with monstrous black eyes.
Kim Ye-Rin felt her heart amused by the young prince's attempt of making her feel uncomfortable. It was so simpleminded that she had no motivation to argue with him.
'Let him have some fun for a little while longer.'
"Ye-Rin, why don't you return to your room for now so we figure out who is trying to be so bold to harm a member of the royal family." The emperor spoke the words that she had been wanting to hear the most. She didn't want to be there any longer than necessary. The people that she wanted the respect of in her previous life were so dull and boring.
She couldn't believe what was compelling about them in her previous life to want to do anything to earn their favor.
She nodded and turned to leave, earnings another scoff. Her lack of etiquette once again earned the mockery of others, but she didn't care this time.
She had already revealed her table manners, to bow and reveal the etiquette of a princess... she was afraid that they would all suffer an injury to the heart when they couldn't bully her immediately.
She would slowly morph into her previous life's manners and steal the title of genius from her brother. Making him miserable wouldn't just be big things, she would also start from the little things and respects that he enjoyed...
Sorry for not updating for three weeks. Irl issues had me really busy. Also, I realized I can’t do daily updates not because I don’t want to, but because this book is really short. It’ll be 60-80 chapters, so short by WN standards. Hence, if I do daily updates then it would be over really quickly. Updates will be Wednesdays and Sundays, 2x per week and I’ll increase it, depending on whether or not I have any increase in readers! (Next update will be Sunday).
Thank you for reading!
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