Episode 6: A very shy pervert (1)
* * *
“The first princess is the one that came, not the second, right?”
“I heard she’s half-mad, so she came in a crazy dress…”
The Queen’s brows stirred at the mutterings of the nobles.
The story of Aristine arriving at Tarkan’s palace yesterday in dirty attire had spread and magnified in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, they were surprisingly quiet about what happened while she had tea with Nephther.
That was not surprising, especially since such words would only benefit Tarkan.
Most of the nobles supported Hamill but there was a considerable number of nobles who were maintaining their neutrality because the king’s intentions were unclear.
The flaw of Tarkan’s bloodline was offset to some extent by his marriage to Aristine. Regardless of their hostilities, the Silvanus Imperial family was the oldest standing royal family on the entire continent. Their precious bloodline was said to have gold flowing in their veins instead of red blood.
The Queen’s eyes twitched slightly.
Who would have thought he would attach the princess of Silvanus to that lowly thing…!
Anger surged within her at the king’s decision, but she couldn’t let it show. At any rate, that was the marriage that brought about the end of the war.
If she opposed it, it meant she didn’t care about the peace of the country because of her desire to get her son on the throne. Either way, in this situation, it wasn’t good for favorable words to spread about Aristine or Tarkan.
Yenikarina, Paellamien, Marten, and Starlina were ordered by the queen to remain silent about what happened yesterday.
‘But right now, it doesn’t help if the princess is believed to be a lunatic.’
Yenikarina said she didn’t need to care because the princess was a fool in comparison but something about her bothered the Queen.
If the princess happened to be politically resourceful, this prejudice would be flipped on its head and actually benefit her.
Right when the Queen was about to open her mouth to correct this atmosphere…
Nephther called her. At that, she smiled and turned her head.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“There doesn’t seem to be enough seats.”
The Queen looked around with doubt in her eyes.
All the royals and nobles were sitting in their seats according to protocol.
However, there were no empty seats.
Aristine and Tarkan had not yet arrived because there was still some time before the audience began.
There were people coming but no empty seats. What this meant was clear.
The Queen’s face darkened.
“I guess the palace steward made a mistake. I will…”
“You didn’t confirm such a thing, Queen?”
How could that be?
Of course, she checked.
In fact, she was the one who instructed for Aristine and Tarkan’s seats to be removed. However, she didn’t blink an eye as her face grew solemn.
“…I’m afraid this was my carelessness, Your Majesty. I was overwhelmed with happiness by the end of the war and long-standing hostilities between our two countries that I forgot to confirm beforehand.”
The Queen drew out her words to drag out the time.
After going through the trouble of removing those seats, she couldn’t let it be in vain now.
‘Just a little bit more.’
It should be happening soon anyway.
And sure enough, the voice of an attendant resounded loudly through the room.
“Announcing the arrival of His Highness Tarkan and Princess of the Silvanus Empire, Her Highness Aristine, with the delegation!”
At those words, both the royals and the nobles prepared themselves to witness a grand ridicule unfold. Tarkan was going to end up very embarrassed because of his new bride today.
Soon, the door opened.
And Aristine who was holding Tarkan’s hand was revealed.
* * *
The people sitting in the audience room couldn’t bring themselves to say anything. Their eyes widened like it was going to split open.
They watched Aristine move into the room, feeling unreal at the vast difference from their imagination.
Dressed in red silk, with her long, silvery hair falling down like wisteria petals, Aristine looked startling, like she existed in her own world.
“I greet the King of Irugo.”
A clear and elegant voice rang through the hall.
Only then did people regain their senses like they had been released from a spell. No one opened their mouths, but all sorts of thoughts were running through their mind.
Amidst the noisy silence, the King’s voice cut through the air.
“You have come a long way, Princess. Irugo welcomes you.”
“I would like to offer my appreciation for the hospitality Irugo has shown me.”
Speaking, pronunciation, gaze, and expression. Not a single thing was out of place or over the top.
She was too calm for a princess who was said to be half-witted due to being confined for a long time.
‘She probably practiced that greeting a thousand times, so she won’t look ridiculous in Irugo.’
‘I’m sure the people around her made her keep practicing since it is her first audience.’
The royals, who had seen her look like a street rat, tried to convince themselves.
It didn’t make sense to come to that conclusion considering she came to the palace looking like a beggar, but they didn’t think that deeply about it.
Because the thought in their mind had to be right.
“I heard it was a long journey. Wasn’t it difficult? I was very worried when I learned about you using the old-fashioned carriage instead of a portal.”
Outwardly, the Queen seemed to speak kindly to Aristine. But the meaning hidden in that statement was full of ridicule.
For this marriage, the portal between the two hostile countries was supposed to be open for the first time in 270 years.
However, Silvanus refused.
For the Queen to bring up the portal and carriage in this situation, her intentions were clear. She knew the emperor deliberately made Aristine suffer.
You might be called a princess but you’re just a reject who’s not even allowed to use a portal.
‘─or something like that, I guess.’
Aristine turned to the Queen, and her lips drew a soft arc.
“It was a journey to stop the spill of blood in the war, how can one possibly call it hard?”
The peace of our countries depends on our marriage, but you want to argue about this.
It was obvious what Aristine’s words meant.
The royals and nobles who perceived Aristine to be a half-crazy fool couldn’t hide their agitation.
They thought that even if she wasn’t an idiot, she wouldn’t understand the queen’s implicit meaning and be caught unawares like a fool. And even if she understood it, they only expected her to get angry without being able to come up with a sensible response.
‘What the-? This is different from the rumors, isn’t it?!’
‘I definitely heard she looked strange when she arrived yesterday though…’
‘I thought she was confined and not educated properly?’
Tarkan felt a little pleased as he looked at all their stupid faces.
Indeed, his partner was no ordinary person.
Before people could calm their agitation, Aristine spoke again.
“As you say, the portal is comfortable. But even if it took a little toll on my body, I believed it was worth traveling to Irugo from Silvanus and seeing things with my own eyes.”
Her calm voice resonated strongly through the hall.
“The war has devastated the lives of citizens in both countries. It breaks my heart and my exhaustion is simply nothing in comparison.”
For someone in a position to lead and govern people, this was the best model answer to exist.
The Queen’s mouth twitched.
‘Nonsense, the emperor stopped you!’
That is what she wanted to scream but obviously, she couldn’t.
Normally, Starlina would have added something stupid but she was playing it safe after what happened yesterday.
“Hoh, the Emperor of Silvanus has a good child. So you had a deeper reason for not using the portal, Princess.”
The King of Irugo gave a satisfied smile and knocked on his armrest heartily.
The praise which was practically a declaration made the Queen squeeze her eyes shut.