Upon seeing Antonio, Emilia is enraged and wants to kill him. Emilia decides to ask him about her sister. Antonio says the matron and goddesses and magic affected him. She tells him once he’s regained his memories, or whatever it is he’s claiming the matron is helping him with, to call her. She warns him not to lie to her again and threatens him. When Emilia gets to her room, a servant prepared her a bath. She thinks that it’s hard to fight off a magical attack and speculated that perhaps a witch met Antonio, pretending to be a goddess. As she’s in the bath, Emilia feels a prickle down her spine and a piece of linen tightens around her neck. Emilia remembered the slim dagger Wrath gifted Emilia. When she turns around, the assailant is gone, Emilia calls for Wrath immediately who later goes off to kill the assailant.
When Emilia is cooking in the kitchen, Wrath shows up to tell her she killed the assailant defending herself. He wasn’t able to get anything from the assailant because they severed their tongue. Emilia says she’s been filled with rage since Vittoria’s murder and sometimes believe she cursed herself and not the devil. Because her twin was murdered, grandmother was attacked and her parents were held hostage by Envy. That night Wrath exposed Emilia to the sin of Gluttony. Under the influence of his magic, Emilia was forced to drink demonberry wine in excess. Emilia asks Wrath why he doesn’t seduce her since him avoiding the consumation of the marriage contract looks like a sign of cowardiance, he says he does not currently wish to.
Wrath asks Emilia about what she thought about him in the Sin Corridor and he makes it up to her and seduces her. Yet, as the two are close to completing their marriage bond, Wrath tells Emilia training is over.
★ Check out my other recap for Book One: Kingdom of The Wicked!
Emilia and Fauna talk about Wrath and Emilia jokes that the Matron is probably hearing them and will report back to Wrath. Fauna responds saying that it isn’t likely not because of the hostility between the two because some say the Matron’s daughter was cursed and the prince did nothing to save her. There is speculation that his highness banished her from his circle but it’s possible the matron retrieved her and has her hidden somewhere. Emilia’s mind goes to the wailing she heard underneath the statue. She doesn’t doubt that the matron could have done something like that, not to punish, to protect. Maybe the creature beneath the ground was her missing daughter and Wrath knew everything that occurred within his circle which meant the Matron was hiding her daughter from another prince. This story is similar to the story of La Prima Strega and her daughter. The First Witch was rumored to have cursed the devil because her daughter fell in love with him and they refused to give each other up. The Matron of Curses and Poisons may actually be the First Witch. If she was and cursed the devil, Emilia wanted to know why she was in Wrath’s castle, claiming to be someone else. He must know her true identity which meant he also knew her true identity and knew what she’d done to his brother, explaining their hatred and history. Emilia wonders why he would be willing to keep her secret, unless she knew one of his.
Later Emilia goes to Celestia and asks about Arcane symbols, which can be a powerful ally to those with magic in their blood and can be used to enhance one’s source but not for those who are Source (the goddesses) because Arcane symbols originate from their essence. Celestia tells Emilia she doesn’t believe a demon prince or witch was responsible for the skulls because there were no etchings on the skull, but rather someone closer to Source. Someone like the First Witch would fulfill this. If Celestia was the First Witch and her daughter was cursed, that meant the devil’s first wife wasn’t dead after all and if she lived, then Emilia was right about the witches on her island being murdered for a different reason. Emilia asks Celestia about the Curse Tree, to which she responds saying you carve the person’s name in the tree and take a leaf, only crushing it when near the person who’s name you carved. Yet, one cannot put someone’s title on the tree, only their name.
There were no records of the First Witch in Wrath’s library, but maybe that was because Emilia didn’t know her first name. There were also no records of Celestia and no mentions of the Matron of Curses and Poisons. Wrath told Emilia that the First Witch had used the darkest of magic to remove her daughter’s power and it had unforeseen consequences. Emilia ponders whether Pride’s former wife’s missing heart wasn’t part of the murder ritual and if it was one of the consequences brought about by La Prima it might have been a way to set her free from any mortal constraints. Because La Prima’s daughter was cursed and not dead, she might be the monster who ran around ripping out witch hearts and devouring them, being motivated by revenge against her mother at whatever humanity might have been stolen when her powers were taken from her. If the devil was her eternal love maybe she was driven mad and killed his potential brides or maybe it was like the illustrated journal claimed – if she was no longer in possession of her humanity, maybe she craved hearts for everything she no longer had. Emilia goes back to visit Celestia but she’s no longer there. Wrath shows up later and asks Emilia what she’s been doing with his books, she doesn’t respond and instead schedules one last training before Gluttony’s party. Emilia shows up to training and asks Wrath to test her Pride. She seemingly is able to avoid his magic influence and gets close to him, braking the magic he tried setting in place. Emilia suddenly gets this vision of her and Wrath that she’s never gotten before, of the two of them becoming passionate. She is quickly drawn back to the present and leaves Wrath in the training room, in order to figure out whether these visions were memories or illusions.
Emilia questions why Wrath would pretend not to know her in Palermo when they met, if he already knew her. There were times when he knew things she never shared like where she lived, her name, etc. She used to think it had something to do with his rebirth spell, the night she had been attacked by the Viperidae, they’d been inside each other’s minds for brief seconds. It was also possible Emilia was seeing through his memories with someone else. Emilia knew demons could possess people but had never heard of a witch doing the same. She also thought of many theories, that she might be the first witch or that Wrath was Pride. Emilia wondered if falling in love with Pride, without any memories of them was the key to breaking the curse. Wrath meets Emilia to go to the feast. They ride in Wrath’s carriage that is being pulled by steeds named after the four horsemen. When they arrive, the two are greeted by exotic and erotic sights of gluttony.
Gluttony introduces himself to Wrath and Emilia. He tells them the hunt begins at dawn before leaving to talk to a journalist from the Shifting Isles that has come to crash the party. When the two venture into the pleasure gardens they encounter Lust. As far as Emilia was aware, the last time the two saw each other, Wrath had stuck a dagger in his chest. Lust requests a word with Wrath privately so Emilia is escorted to her chamber by a servant. Wrath promises to stop by her chamber later. Wrath never comes to her chamber later and when Emilia wakes up she sees a note that reads, “SilverFrost Garden, southeast tower, dawn. Wear something to die for. And come masked.” It turns out it’s Gluttony who sent her the note. He tells Emilia that this year in the Blood Season, they’ll be hunting an Ice Dragon, but not killing it. The prize is determined by whoever draws the first blood. If a noble or lesser demon wins, they can drink blood, the elixir of life, hence the name. If a royal wins, they have the option to claim their own prize, if at least four of them vote in favor of it. Once Gluttony leaves Emilia alone, she decides to join the hunt.
Emilia picked a horse from the stable and began riding with her around the castle. A memory was stirring in Emilia, as if she’d been there before, racing the wind and riding like a warrior into battle. Emilia forgot about the hunt, the Feast of the Wolf, and the demons riding close by. She had no idea where she was going but something called her. It screamed at her to remember. Her horse, Tanzie, neighed as if confirming those feelings. Tanzie brought her to a hill with ebony and silver flowers covering it. Emilia stopped and grabbed a handful of them to study later. Suddenly a round of royal guards surrounding Emilia with swords, making her realize she accidentally entered another demon prince’s domain without invitation. One guard commanded her to get off the horse and led to the demon prince’s castle. No one tells her who’s realm she’s in and later is dismissed. When she arrives, Emilia meets with Gluttony who tells her the flowers she has are slumber root, capable of knocking out the most powerful royal, something many of them fear. He also tells her that her little jaunt almost put them behind schedule, the masquerade begins in a few hours.
For the masquerade, Emilia must wear a mask while the demon princes were wolf masks. Emilia is sat near Fauna and across from Anir and Lady Sundra. As they’re eating, Envy asks the male demon beside him for any word about the Stars of Seven. Wrath dismisses this as fairytales while Envy says it will make him the most powerful Demon prince. Next to her, Emilia asks Fauna what the Stars of Seven are. Fauna says in old legends, they appeared to travelers in need, their forms no more substantial than shadows. Some say encountering them was a blessing but most believe it’s a curse because if you interrupt their celestial spinning, there’s a chance they may pluck and weave the wrong thread of fate. Sometimes the result of these interferences are immediate or take decades. Emilia thinks if they weave the threads of fate, they must be able to recall the past so if anyone would know where the lost objects are, it’s the Seven Sisters. One of the enchanted skulls had mentioned “Seven Stars” and “Seven Sins.” Envy probably brought up the conversation because he wanted Emilia to find it. Whatever magical objects he was after, the Temptation Key and Triple Moon Mirror and for whatever reason, Envy believed Emilia had a better chance at gathering the information form them.
Emilia learns from Fauna that Wrath won the hunt. The seven princes enter the masquerade with their wolf masks. Pride asks Emilia to dance. While dancing, Pride tells Emilia the realm would’ve ripped itself apart if Wrath didn’t terrify it into submission. He says that Wrath is the balance and the only thing standing between them and destruction. He is feared because he does not hesitate to carry out a sentence. Pride also says if he must send someone to the Prison of Damnation, a mortal’s “Hell,” he will. Emilia asks where it’s located but Pride doesn’t answer. Realizing something, Emilia changes her tactics, she offers her condolences over losing someone he loved and Pride tenses. Emilia knows Pride is the guard that stopped her because of the scar on his lip. She tells him she knows that his brothers think he’s always intoxicated and useless. Emilia asks him why he held her hostage for so long and whether it was to hide the amount of guards patrolling his grounds. Pride doesn’t answer so Emilia questions why he’s hiding the fact that he isn’t nearly as drunk and prideful as others believe. He says he rarely shows his true face to anyone. Emilia again asks why he didn’t show up to the monastery the night he possessed Antonio and Pride deflects the question by asking if she already know the curse. Emilia says she knows her birth signaled the end of Pride, the devil’s curse and must have other reasons to hide. Pride doesn’t confirm anything. Emilia lets Pride know she will cross his lands twice on a time and date of her choosing without his interference in return she won’t tell his brothers about the slumber root. Envy then comes to collect Emilia as the guest of honor.