The storm that had suddenly hit the Imperial palace, didn come all of sudden. It had been brewing since a long time inside and outside the palace with every decision that the new monarch made…..

One year ago…

It was before everything started, the imperial palace was enjoying the peace that naturally came with every sunrise, everyday.

In the Main Palace, servants were busier than any other day. On the first day of every month, the monarch and the consorts had their dinner together in the Main Palace. The servants were making sure that everything was perfect.

In the white marbled dining hall, unnecessarily long table with unnecessary number of chairs were placed and lavish food was laid on the table with fine dining sets. All the silverwares were shining brightly. The flowers were placed in one side of the hall in porcelain vases. Purple tulip, purple lilies and some other purple flowers were placed.

The decoration of the dining hall was really eye pleasing.

When a guard announced the arrival of the second consort, the second consort entered the hall. He got seated in the right side of the main seat. When the first consort arrived it couldn be helped and he sat in the left side of the main seat.

Soon the guard announced the arrival of the Empress. Both consorts stood up and greeted the Empress, ”Your Majesty!!! ”

The Empress nonchalantly said, ”Be seated!! ”

Following the Empress both consorts took their seat. The Empress started to eat. The consorts followed the Empress and started to eat.

The hall was exceptionally quiet. Breaking the silence, the Empress spoke first, ”How is the preparation for the Spring Banquet going on? ”

Every year the royals held Spring banquet to welcome spring. Spring Banquet was an important festival in the empire. During the three days of the Spring Banquet, entire empire had holiday. Many street festivals were also held during that time.

The responsibility for the Spring Banquet was given to Caius. So while looking towards the Empress he answered, ”Replying to your majesty, almost all the preparations are completed. Invitations were also sent to all nobles. ”

The Empress narrowed her cold eyes and looked at Caius.

”Almost? Isn the Spring Banquet in two days? Emperor Consort I hope you will not make the imperial family lose face. ”

Hearing those mild yet hurtful comment of the Empress, Caius felt really uncomfortable. He had always completed every task assigned to him without any question and mistake. He was capable and never neglected his duties.

After he became Emperor Consort, he had always made remarkable preparation for every Spring Banquet. Everyone who attended the banquet always praised his meticulous preparations and the grand Spring Banquet.

”Your Majesty, I will not disappoint you… ”

The Empress withdrew her sight and replied in cold tone, ”We will see. ”

They were almost done with their dinner. Caius was taking a bite of a small piece of peach.

The Empress looked worryingly towards the second consort and asked in a concerned tone, ”Anton, how is your health now? Has the doctor diagnosed you yet? Do you need me to send some doctors to the Western Palace? ”

”Replying to your majesty, the doctor said that I got cold due to the change of season. I am grateful for Your Majestys concern. Now that I have already taken the prescribed medicines I am feeling much better. There is no need to send doctors. ” Anton looked towards the Empress and flashed a grateful smile.

Seeing his smile, the Empress was relieved a little. However, she still reminded Anton, ”Take good care of your health. Although spring is approaching, it is still cold outside. Dress more warmly. If you feel any discomfort, visit the Magic Tower. It is more efficient than taking medicines. ” Her tone was quite warm.

Caius was listening the conversation from the sidelines. His face looked pale. Seeing the worried expression of the Empress who always looked cold, he felt empty. But his face was calm.

Caius didn make any noise throughout the dinner. He didn have any appetite. He only ate some spoonful of mushroom soup and few bites of the smoked salmon.

After the meal, the Empress left the dining hall. On her way out, she once again reminded the second consort to rest early and take good care of his health. The second consort and the first consort also left the hall and went back to their respective palaces.

Caius was on his way to the Eastern Palace. The Eastern palace was quite far from the Main Palace. However, inside the imperial palace no carriage was allowed after sunset.

It wasn a big deal for Caius to travel that distance on foot. However, he felt really tired that day. He slowed down his pace and looked towards the sky. The sky was dark but many stars were twinkling in the sky. The contrast of dark sky and bright stars made the sky look exceptionally pretty and soothing.

He stopped his steps. The servants behind him also stopped their steps. Caius was busy admiring the sky and small grains of stars. Suddenly a cold breeze hit those six people standing in the bright path. Caius shivered. He had cold intolerance and was always afraid of getting cold.

A servant brought a cloak to him and said, ”Your highness, your cold will get worse if you stand in cold for too long. We should quickly head back. ”

Every year during cold season, Caius was always bedridden due to cold. It was the reason all the servants were extra careful every year. Even few days ago, he nearly fainted in the study room.

Caiuss lips upturned and he lightly said, ”Lets head back. ”

In the Main Palace, the Empress was in her study. She was handling the documents stacked on the table. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.

”Your Majesty! The report from the Umbra troops has arrived. ”

The Empress rose to the throne five years ago. A twenty three year old empress tried her best to protect the throne and her power.

During the first three years of her reign, she tirelessly managed the domestic issues. She managed to win the trust of all the nobles. However, in the last two years, her actions had caused dissatisfaction to many nobles. Many questions were being raised about her actions.

All those dissatisfaction caused the stack of the document to be never ending.

The Empress didn stop looking at the documents. She ordered, ”Enter. ”

Her secretary, Casia brought a black envelope to the Empress.

The Empress took the envelope. She tore the envelope and took the letter out. After going through the content of the letter, her gaze suddenly turned colder. She smirked, ”Seems like this Northerners are trying to be thorn in my way… ”

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