A very shy pervert (4)
It was an attempt to thoroughly humiliate Aristine and let her truly understand who the real authority in this place was. Even if she was an Imperial Princess, in Irugo’s political circles, she was simply at the very bottom.
The queen wanted to show that fact to the princess as well as the other nobles that were in the venue.
‘But did I give the Princess an excuse to counterattack instead?’
She couldn’t help but think that because Aristine had shown significant political competence so far.
The queen wasn’t the only one who was anxious. Tarkan was also feeling uneasy. Of course, it was for a completely different reason from the queen. Tarkan was well aware of how perplexing his bride could be.
‘She’s not going to start saying things like ‘pervert’ or what-not here, is she?’
That thought unconsciously crossed his mind when he saw Aristine’s eyes begin to sparkle. Normally, such a thought would be quite random, but consider who he was talking about here.
‘If it’s this woman, it’s very possible.’
It was quite the talent to make Tarkan, who had never been shaken even when he was surrounded by demonic beasts, feel uneasy in the blink of an eye.
Tarkan quickly wrapped his arm around Aristine’s shoulder before she caused trouble. Her slender shoulders were smoothly caught in his hand.
He ignored the puzzled gaze Aristine sent to him and spoke to the Queen.
“The banquet is yet to begin but it seems the Queen is already drunk.”
“Otherwise, you wouldn’t possibly tell the princess to sit at the lowest position.”
Simply put, he was saying she wouldn’t utter such words if she was in her right mind.
Seeing the Queen’s expression harden, Tarkan pulled Aristine a little closer to himself.
“The princess’ presence in Irugo can be said to be a symbol of peace itself. But to think you want the princess to sit at the lowest possible position…”
His golden eyes looked languid and relaxed even at this moment.
“I trust this doesn’t mean that Your Majesty the Queen is declaring that peace should be placed at the lowest position.”
The Queen’s lips trembled.
She wasn’t the only one surprised by what was happening, the other royals and nobles, and even the King were surprised.
‘Tarkan stepped forward to protect someone?!’
‘And with such political wordplay at that!’
This was something they never thought they would see in a million years.
Tarkan had always been the type to take care of his own people. But that was usually dealt with by his overwhelming presence which made people shrink back by themselves. A good example would be when he first carried Aristine away.
‘Hoh, for His Highness Tarkan to step forward like this. This is getting interesting.’
The eyes of Marquis Issara, who had been maintaining his neutrality, lit up.
Tarkan had proved himself through his actions rather than his words, befitting his title as a warrior. He only dealt with people blocking his path in two ways.
Ignore them or cut them down.
He had never used political wordplay or social constructs in this manner. This is why the nobles were even more eager to jump on Hamill’s bandwagon.
However, what happened just now revealed that Tarkan’s lack of political exchanges wasn’t because he couldn’t. He simply didn’t do it because he did not want to. That must be quite confusing for the people who looked down on Tarkan all this time.
‘I thought he wasn’t interested in the throne, has he changed his mind? If that’s not the case, then…’
Marquis Issara’s gaze moved to Aristine, who was in Tarkan’s arms.
‘I doubt he did that for the princess.’
After all, this was Tarkan, of all people.
How could that be?
Despite thinking that, Marquis Issara couldn’t move his eyes away from Tarkan’s hand which was firmly holding Aristine’s shoulders.
‘I don’t know His Highness’ exact intentions but it’s unexpected that the first time he steps forward like this is because of the princess.’
Although Tarkan’s actions caught the Marquis off-guard, it was even more surprising because Aristine was the reason behind Tarkan’s actions.
The same went for everyone sitting in his hall.
Meanwhile, Dionna’s complexion was alarmingly dark from where she sat amongst the nobles. Her hands gripped her knees so strongly that the veins of her arms were bulging.
Regardless of people’s reactions, Tarkan continued to say what he wanted to say.
“Or, is there another issue other than drunkenness?”
Have you gone senile?
The meaning behind Tarkan’s words was obvious.
The Queen’s mouth twisted.
“Of course, that is not what I meant. I thought it wouldn’t be right to keep the princess standing like she was being punished so I simply found an empty spot.”
“Well, space can easily be made, no?”
Tarkan’s gaze moved to the platform where the immediate members of the royal family were sitting. According to the court hierarchy, Aristine and Tarkan should be sitting there.
“I believe everyone is willing to make room for peace.”
His icy golden eyes swept over princes and princesses. He was practically threatening them to get up and move. The royals felt like they were being suffocated by an intangible pressure.
They hated this.
They hated that they were overwhelmed by this lowly bastard.
However, there was a limit to how much one could endure for the sake of their pride. Marten, who was receiving the most concentrated gaze, finally got up from his seat.
“Ha-ha, of course, I shall concede my seat to the beautiful princess.”
The Queen’s sharp gaze turned to Marten.
Marten acted like he didn’t notice and smiled at Aristine.
“Thank you, Prince Marten.”
“Not at all.”
When Aristine thanked him, Marten forgot the situation he was in and grinned widely.
‘I already knew this fool would lose his mind in front of a woman.’
The Queen clicked her tongue.
Pathetic beyond comparison. How could he be so different when he was the same age as Tarkan?
“Let’s go, Tarkan. A couple should stay together.”
At those words, the hand wrapped around Aristine’s shoulders flinched.
‘Did I say something strange?’
Aristine looked up at him, puzzled, but Tarkan escorted her to the platform without saying anything.
‘Maybe I imagined it.’
As she thought that, Aristine clenched her fist. Her business partner had worked hard for her sake so naturally, she couldn’t remain idle.
‘I have to take care of Tarkan’s seat!’
He was her husband, after all. She couldn’t let him sit on the ground like that!
Upon making eye contact with Aristine, Starlina flinched. After getting scolded due to what happened yesterday, she had been restless in her seat, wondering if she should get up and move.
She wasn’t afraid of the princess, but she was scared of Paellamien. In addition, the person in the weakest position here was none other than Starlina.
However, Aristine’s gaze swept past her and moved to another person.
‘Every seat here has its own political meaning but there’s no reason to go for an empty husk.’
The best choice was the immediate royal child with the most influence in the absence of Prince Hamill.
“We are going to be married soon so we should sit next to each other, don’t you think?”
Needless to say, there was only one person that fit the bill.
“It is not me but our marriage that is a symbol of peace.”
Her words were directed to Tarkan, but her gaze was locked on Yenikarina. The seats on both sides of the third Prince, Marten, were normally reserved for the second Prince, Tarkan, and the second Princess, Yenikarina.
Since there was no seat for Tarkan, the 1st Princess Paellamien and 2nd Princess Yenikarina were sitting there.
Aristine gave Yenikarina a bright smile.
“Come to think of it, Yenika, you said you were very happy we were getting married, didn’t you?”
Well, now is the time to show that with your actions.
Besides, isn’t this your mother’s fault?
Her violet eyes gleamed like a predator before its prey.
They hadn’t even gotten married yet, but her gaze was so much like Tarkan’s.
Yenika’s eyes swept around her.
The nobles and even her royal father were watching her closely. Yenikarina wanted the image of herself to be that of a charming, innocent, and adorable child. She wanted others to see her that way and she enjoyed that sort of gaze. Due to that, it was difficult to stand her ground here.
Because an innocent and kind child would get up right away with a bright smile and say ‘Ah, then Yenika will give you this seat!’. But if she were to lose her seat and move to a lower position, there were many who would politically interpret that loss as a retreat and gossip about it. If she, Hamill’s biological sister, were to concede this seat to Tarkan and go to a corner that doesn’t even have nobles—
‘No, even if that’s not the case, I don’t want to give up my seat to this garbage of a princess!’
She’d rather be caught dead.
However, people were still looking at her.