Episode 13: It’s not battle rations?
T/N: I am going to start translating Princess(Aristine’s Irugo title) to Princess Consort. I think that makes more sense. Her Silvanus title will stay the same.
* * *
Aristine sat leisurely on the sofa, sipping her tea. Her gaze was on the people who were kneeling at her feet.
The Silvanus knights were banging their heads on the floor.
Aristine didn’t say anything for a while; she just kept sipping her tea.
The more she acted like this, the more pressured the knights felt and their faces grew darker in real time.
They were only acting like this for one reason.
To ask her to hold them responsible and dismiss them because they are too weak to guard the great and mighty Princess.
In order to achieve that, the knight showered Aristine with all sorts of flattery.
She was called the pride and joy of the Empire, the noble princess that all the people look up to, the guardian of the empire, a national hero and so on.
They seemed better at using their tongues than their swords.
Aristine also wanted to sever her relationship with the knights. However, she was purposefully putting off their dismissal with various excuses.
And every time she did so, the knights would make fervent speeches about their incompetence. That apart from their pride, they were no better than corpses and they threw themselves into the mire while red in the face.
One could imagine how they felt, prostrating before Aristine who they had mocked and disregarded so much.
Aristine gave a wry smile.
At those two simple syllables, the knights’ heads shot up.
“Since you all desire it so much, I shall hold you accountable.”
You would be hard pressed to find anyone whose face was this bright after being told that they would be held accountable. The knights were almost moved to tears.
Aristine looked at their expressions and continued speaking in a relaxed tone.
“Let’s see, naturally your knighthood will be revoked, also…”
At those unexpected words, the tears of the knights instantly froze.
They thought they were just going to get kicked out of their position as guard knights; they never thought their knight qualifications would be revoked!
There was nothing more dishonorable than that.
For the knights who had become eunuchs, the only thing they had left was the honor of being a knight.
To take even that away was going too far.
It was obvious what kind of treatment they would get when they got back to Silvanus. They would be buried both personally and socially.
“Mn. You don’t like that?” Aristine asked, slowly taking a sip of her tea, “If you don’t like it, you can continue being my guard knights.”
When the knights heard that, they clamped down the protests that were about to leave their mouths.
The nightmares of the past few days came rushing back into their minds. The threats of the overbearing Irugo warriors and the covert violence.
But even that was manageable.
The worst was Tarkan.
Whenever Tarkan arrived…
Just thinking about it gave them goosebumps. The knights trembled as a chill ran down their spines.
If they went back to Silvanus like this, they won’t be able to escape the Emperor’s wrath. But regardless, at least the emperor wouldn’t kill them.
“The crimes you all have committed is not a mere lack of ability or negligence of duty.”
There were countless instances of obscene remarks, ridicule, and even sexual harassment. They made the mistake of thinking they were in charge and madee a lot of mistakes. However, Aristine was the one really in charge.
“I must receive a hefty compensation after all. Don’t you think so?”
Aristine happily looked at the knights who were trembling in fear.
“Of course, even your life wouldn’t be enough to pay the price of you mocking me, the Princess—.”
As Aristine dragged out her sentence, the knights stared at her with anxiety and nervousness on their faces.
When they were asking her to dismiss them, they weren’t that worried at first. They thought the Princess surely hated them as well so she would gladly send them away.
However, Aristine was playing around with them. Every time she said something, the knights had to throw away their pride and show how low they could go.
What was she going to say this time?
“Do you guys have any money at home?”
Aristine smiled sweetly.
This was a great opportunity to raise money for her business. The smile was as beautiful as an angel, looking nothing like someone ready to squeeze people dry.
* * *
“Oh my god…! The knights are going back to Silvanus!”
“What about the Emperor’s order…”
“Forget that, what about us?”
The Silvanus handmaids gossiped among themselves, not knowing what to do.
It had almost been a month since they arrived at Irugo. Everything had gone completely differently than they expected.
They looked down on the Princess, thinking she was half-insane because she lived alone so she wouldn’t be acknowledged in Irugo.
But in reality, the number of people following the Princess only increased while their position grew smaller and smaller. Even so, they tried to confidently think that it was okay and nothing would happen.
If they withdrew, it would be no different from losing to that unlucky princess, so they deliberately ignored her more and belittled her. They knew that the moment they acknowledged reality, their lives were practically over.
But for the knights to be returning to Silvanus…
“…Why do we have to take this treatment?”
“It wasn’t like this before.”
“We came here to teach and guide the princess.”
That was an arrogant remark, befitting of someone who didn’t know their place.
But all the maids nodded their head in agreement.
A puppet princess.
They had planned to stick to Aristine’s side and manipulate her like a puppet. But forget sticking to her side, they were at the point of being pushed out by the Irugoian court ladies.
“Like the barbarians they are, the court ladies here are big, they have no manners, and you can’t even have a conversation.”
“We are the princess’ home handmaids; naturally, we should be treated as their superiors.”
This was the discussion they had every day.
However, they could only gossip behind their back; in front of the court ladies, they could barely say a word. Even if they tried to say something, the Irugoian court ladies would just walk past them without responding.
Even so, they didn’t dare to try and slap them.
All the court ladies were taller than them. They would be hit by Rosalyn who had become the Princess’ dog, and the Irugoian court ladies. Their bodies wouldn’t last.
Furthermore, Tarkan didn’t even glance at them, probably because he was possessed by the princess with that expressionless face. They had tried to serve him tea personally a few times or gently stumble in front of him.
“Should we go back to Silvanus too?”
“But then the imperial order…”
“Imagine how much disdain we will get in the social circle if we go back. They will say we came back because we were no match for that princess.”
While the maids were fretting, there was someone hiding behind the pillar, watching them.
It was Rosalyn.
Rosalyn snorted and a bold smile crept onto her face.
‘These stupid things can’t grasp the situation.’
They looked down on her so much for trying to please the princess, so this was good.
While laughing at them inside, she turned around and walked away.
The place she was heading to was none other than Aristine’s room.