Breaking the bed (4)
T/N: Last thurs chapter. If you’re having issues commenting or being blocked, please let me know via discord. I am using a new comment/spam filtering plugin.
It might be called a simple teatime with few family members but considering the composition of the gathered members, the table setting was as luxurious as a tea party.
At the bottom were sandwiches made with arugula, ham, and ricotta cheese, salmon canapes and truffle quiches, deliciously laid out. The middle tier had swan-shaped brioche, dacquoise, scones and a fig pound cake that drew her eyes…
And on the final, top floor were colorful macaroons and rose pralines, along with glistening raspberry mousse cake and crème brûlée.
Although Aristine’s face was blank, her eyes shone like someone who had discovered treasure.
Aristine quickly turned to look at the court lady.
Under that forceful gaze, the court lady hurriedly put the desert on the place. Starting with one sandwich.
Aristine’s gaze intensified.
Feeling puzzled, the court lady picked up the canape next to the sandwich and added it to the place.
Not enough, not enough!
Aristine’s eyes were practically screaming that.
Eventually, the maid added some quiche as well.
Aristine wanted more but the plate was full, so she had no choice but to nod. Then she took a bite of the sandwich.
It was a simple combination of arugula, ham, and ricotta cheese. But the sauce was marvelous.
The bread was soft with a slightly rough texture which went well with the soft ham. The fact that it was cut into bite-sized pieces was very disappointed. She wanted to eat more.
But there was still a mountain of dessert left for Aristine to attack.
Aristine ate the salmon canapes and truffle quiches, one after the other.
‘So good, everything is so good!’
The salmon was rich in taste and the quiche was enticingly soft.
After rinsing her mouth with tea, Aristine glanced at the court lady again.
At this point, the court lady understood. After watching Aristine eat, the court lady didn’t need to be told before moving more dessert to Aristine’s plate.
‘Oh, nice job! Of course, she’s not as good at the people in my palace…!’
Any court lady in Tarkan’s palace would have served a plate full of desserts from the beginning.
And so, Aristine had a happy teatime, savoring each item, one by one.
As expected of the Queen’s teatime; every single thing was delicious.
‘But I think our pâtissier is better.’
Of course, the one here was excellent in comparison. It was just that the skill of the pâtissier in Tarkan’s palace was like a wall that couldn’t be crossed.
‘I definitely married well.’
To think she’d marry into a house with such a pâtissier.
While Aristine was nodding her head in satisfaction at that thought, the Queen and princesses stopped talking and looked at Aristine with bewilderment.
‘Wow, what kind of person is this?’
‘Even thought we’re openly ignoring and disregarding her, she’s…’
This wasn’t right.
They expected Aristine to keep trying to join the conversation even though she was embarrassed. It would be quite fun to ignore Aristine when she was acting like that.
And if they kept messing with her like that, she would tremble with shame and humiliation and leave the tearoom.
When that happened, a rumor would spread that she dared to disregard the Queen’s tea-time and left in the middle. Then people would say ‘as expected of an arrogant Silvanian’, forget peace, they’re already causing discord in the royal family.
‘Here I was, looking forward to that…’
But Aristine looked really happy.
She looked like she wouldn’t even glance their way even if the Queen and princesses began to sing and dance without her.
‘How can anyone be like this?’
After watching Aristine stiffly for a while, the Queen finally opened her mouth. She felt defeated since she was breaking her own plan to completely ignore Aristine.
However, she couldn’t let this go on.
She felt like if she left it like this, Aristine would have a very enjoyable teatime and go back with satisfaction.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“I believe you haven’t seen my son yet.”
“Prince Hamill, you mean?”
“Yes, His Majesty’s one and only first-born son.”
Well of course, he’s the only first-born son. There’s only one 2nd Princess and one 4th prince too.
‘Why is she saying something so obvious like she’s showing off?’
Aristine looked at the Queen oddly then she nodded her head.
“Yes, naturally I haven’t seen him. He was even absent from the wedding.”
How would she see someone who wasn’t even in the royal palace?
“Don’t be too disappointed. There’s a reason for all that.”
“I heard he couldn’t come because he was handling official duties. I’m not disappointed so don’t worry.”
Aristine gave a smile.
With that smile, she looked like she truly didn’t mind at all, which made the Queen’s forehead crease.
It would be better if she felt more upset. After all, you could see this as Aristine not getting the welcome and blessing of one of her in-laws.
In reality, Aristine was putting plenty of milk and sugar in her freshly poured tea.
‘I know what you want me to say.’
Aristine thought to herself as she felt the Queen’s piercing gaze.
She, the person getting married, didn’t really care but there was quite a stir over this in the politics section of newspapers.
After all, this was a national marriage that brought about the end of a war and hundred years of hostility.
To anyone with common sense, it didn’t make sense that a royal, furthermore a prince who is also the first in line of succession—Hamill—would not be present at this historical moment.
Even if the groom was Hamill’s political rival who was also fighting for the succession to the throne.
The gossipmongers ran their mouths, claiming that Hamill was absent on purpose because he didn’t like the fact that Tarkan’s political position was becoming stronger. That particular suspicion deepened when Hamill’s specific official duties were not revealed.
Debate exploded about who would have the upper hand in the future and how political conflicts would intensify over this.
“I’m glad to hear that. My Hamill has been favored by His Majesty from an early age and he is supported by the nobles.”
“It even makes me think that he is truly born to sit on the throne.”
“He’s my son so I probably shouldn’t say this, but the young ladies are always going on about how handsome he is. I wonder if the Irugoian masculine lines and the delicate features of his foreigner grandmother have mixed to create a perfect harmony. He’s different from someone who’s grown up huge, rough and violent.”
‘…Who praises their son’s looks like this?’
Aristine’s eyes dulled.
The Queen was a bit embarrassing.
Meanwhile, the Queen, having no idea of Aristine assessment of her, did not like Aristine’s lack of response.
“Aren’t you curious?” (Queen)
“He will be the next king of Irugo after all, so I figure you will be interested.”
The next king.
With those words, the Queen provoked Aristine.
Aristine stared at the Queen blankly.
Here was a mother who asks, ‘have you met my son yet?’ and keeps showing him off. Then she asks if you’re curious about her son and wonders why you’re not interested.
Aristine immediately realized what kind of situation this was.
Aristine gave an awkward smile.
“I’m a married woman.”