Episode 16: Breaking the bed (2)
“I’ve been watching from the side and from what I see, the Princess isn’t much,” Brodie began.
“I mean, she manages to act so proudly because the court ladies, who are the center of this palace, side with her and because the warriors treat her somewhat like a princess.”
The maids nodded as if to say they understood what she was talking about. They were also being suppressed under the might of the court ladies.
If Aristine was alone, it wouldn’t even be a battle. The fact that they could torment her the entire trip here was proof enough of that.
“Now, why would the court ladies or the warriors protect the Princess?”
Rosalyn’s eyes flashed.
“Because of His Highness Tarkan.”
The maids exclaimed.
They had even imagined it once. Imagined that the person next to Tarkan was not Aristine but themselves.
With countless wedding gifts from Aristine, beautiful silk dresses, and overflowing jewelry. Court ladies who always do their best to serve, ferocious barbarians kneeling at their feet, and a crowd cheering for the marriage that brought peace.
All of that would be theirs.
That was how it looked to them.
“With one good marriage, her life bloomed.”
“To think in one instant she went from a nuisance to a princess who is respected by the whole country.”
“That is what they call good luck.”
These were the same people who mocked Aristine for marrying a barbarian before they reached Irugo. But they had forgotten all of that.
When the mood was ripe, Rosalyn spoke in a clear voice.
“So, what do you think will happen if His Highness Tarkan’s heart goes to another woman?”
The corner of her red lips rose vividly.
“Right now, he’s not interested in any other woman and he’s just being nice to the Princess because they have an arranged marriage for peace.”
“The Princess doesn’t even know how to lower herself, she’s defiant and even head-strong.”
“Exactly. Did you see how defiant she was during that official audience with King Irugo the other day?”
“How about when she stood there, waiting to take the seats of the Prince and Princesses?”
This bunch didn’t even notice the political strife during that assembly. If they were that keen in the first place, they would still be in the Silvanus social circle.
“When someone is relaxed, they should have something gentle. From their subordinates and their spouse.”
“The princess has even never served tea to His Highness Tarkan.”
“Instead of eating all the desserts in such a classless manner, shouldn’t she leave some or decline?”
As they spoke, the maids straightened up like peacocks showing off and began to wave their hands gracefully.
“Honestly, from every point of view, we are better options.”
The maids exchanged glances.
“That princess needs to learn her place.”
“But in Irugo, couples always share the same bedroom; there are no separate rooms…”
“His Highness Tarkan is rarely alone too.”
The handmaids didn’t wait on the Princess they were supposed to serve, rather, they circled Tarkan, so they had a good idea of his range of activities.
“Then we have to plan for that.”
At Rosalyn’s words, the maids asked back.
“Do you happen to have anything in mind?”
Heh, Rosalyn smiled confidently.
“Alright, get closer. His Highness Tarkan will fall for us and never be able to escape.”**
They didn’t seem aware of the fact that Tarkan was someone else’s husband.
* * *
Aristine smiled when she heard the Queen’s greeting. Despite being married to Tarkan, she was still called ‘Princess’.
“Thank you for the invitation, Your Majesty.”
The Queen of Irugo sent a message to Aristine, asking her over for some harmonious teatime since Aristine was now a new member of the family.
‘I was told harmonious.’
Aristine thought as her eyes scanned the room.
Paellamien, Starlina, and Yenikarina were sitting beside the Queen, watching her. It didn’t seem like a particularly harmonious group.
‘What a setup.’
The delegation had returned and the reporters who were camped in front of Tarkan’s palace had also quieted down. Time had passed for minor conflicts to become an international issue, so it was the perfect date.
Paellamien and Starlina bowed their heads slightly in greeting.
Yenikarina smiled as always and acted familiar.
“It is nice to see you again, Your Highnesses.”
Aristine quietly sat down in the empty chair. It seems they were done with childish acts like taking away her seat.
“I am quite worried that the palace might be uncomfortable for you, Princess. Are you doing well?”
She intended to make it obvious that she did not accept Aristine as a member of this royal family.
Aristine understood her intention and smiled brightly.
“It is my house now, I couldn’t possibly be uncomfortable, Your Majesty. Don’t worry.”
At those words, the Queen’s eyes twitched slightly. But with a skillful smile, she hid her emotions.
“I was worried you might have issues adapting but hearing that makes me very relieved. Now that we’re family, you shouldn’t mind if I treat you more comfortably, right?”
It was just like the Queen to instantly change courses and talk down to her informally. It wasn’t unusual for a mother-in-law to speak informally to her daughter-in-law, but Aristine was still the Princess of Silvanus.
They should both address each other politely.
However, Aristine just nodded her head without a trace of displeasure.
“Of course. Speak comfortably, Your Majesty.”
When Aristine’s reception was too nonchalant, the Queen felt strange.
“Sister Rineh, congratulations on your marriage. It was so hectic in the ceremony hall that I couldn’t even greet you properly. Were you disappointed?”
“No, it’s fine. It was hectic for me too.”
“I see. I’m sure it was a lot. As you can tell from that day, our Irugo people are very lively and spirited and they are easily delighted and cheer, even for trivial things. They are very positive people, don’t you think?”
Yenikarina gave a light laugh.
In other words, the people cheered for Aristine’s marriage, which was a trivial thing, simply because of the type of people they were. It wasn’t because her marriage was special or because people like Aristine.
At this obvious attempt to pick a fight, Aristine curled her lips slightly.
“Mn, right. I saw your picture in the newspaper.”
At those words, Yenikarina’s smiling face instantly froze.
The thing people cheered that was ‘ a trivial thing’. It was Yenikarina’s picture. In an instant, Yenikarina was struck by her own words.
“I heard people were delighted and cheered.”
Just as you say.
Aristine looked at Yenikarina’s trembling face and chuckled.
**Tarkan will fall for ‘us’, she says. Harem protagonist in the making.