Breaking the bed (8)
T/N: On today’s site news, the comment box broke T^T. Thanks for bring it to my attention. I finally figured out what was causing the error in comments. Sorry about that but you should be able to comment now.
Even a cornered mouse would bite a cat. Much less when they were royals who had lived in the palace for a long time and not mice living in hiding.
Sure enough, Paellamien, Yenikarina, and the Queen remained silent, not hurrying to answer.
They were being cautious.
But what about Starlina?
“O-Of course not! Princess, you say such frightening things. We wouldn’t dare call the bloodline of His Majesty lowly.”
Hearing the response which wasn’t too different from her expectations, Aristine’s smile deepened.
“If that’s not what you mean, I suggest you do not speak like that again. I can let it slide but—.”
Her purple eyes took on a sword-sharp glint as she glanced around the room.
“I’m afraid others might misunderstand.”
Aristine smiled gently when she saw the frozen state of the Queen and princesses.
Her smile looked as harmless as the spring sun.
“Unless you mean His Majesty Nephther’s parents are lowly, there’s no need to say such things in the future, right?”
In other words, if they called Tarkan’s bloodline lowly again, it would be assumed that they regarded Nephther’s direct lineage as lowly.
The Queen’s jaw clenched so hard that it quivered.
‘Starlina, that idiot!’
Her anger-riddled gaze turned to Starlina.
There was no way Aristine could bring this to Nephther. The Queen realized it as soon as her shock went away.
She was surprised by the mention of the King’s bloodline and wasn’t able to think for a moment. Do you think Nephther didn’t know what people were saying about Tarkan’s bloodline behind the scenes?
Of course, he knew. That’s why he had been worried about it for a long time.
But unless it was said directly in front of him, he just let it be. To the king, uniting the various factions claiming different interests was more important than his favorite son.
Even if Aristine told him that the Queen and princess disdained Tarkan, the King would only coldly assess her as having no political sense.
‘But that stupid Starlina ruined it!’
Now that she’d said that any mention of low-born would be taken as an attack on Nephther, it was hard to say it openly anymore.
At least for the people here.
“By the way, you said something earlier that I couldn’t ignore.”(Aristine)
‘What is it now!’
The Queen held back the urge to scream regardless of her stature.
“Tarkan’s mother is a formally titled royal concubine. Your Majesty the Queen personally bestowed that title; surely, you haven’t forgotten?”
The Queen’s face distorted.
How could she forget?
The moment when Nephther told her that that vulgar commoner had gotten pregnant so she had to be given a title.
Before that, she sneered at whether a mere commoner needed to be brought into the rear palace and bestowed a title. But once that lowly thing was carrying a royal child, she had no choice.
And now, the son of that lowly thing had grown up and dared to threaten her son’s position.
Her jaw unknowingly clenched even more.
She wanted to spit on Aristine’s relaxed face. But she managed to put a smile over her face.
“Right, that was the case. But when she was pregnant with Tarkan, she didn’t have a title.”
Paellamien, who was studying the Queen’s expression, quickly chipped in to assist.
“Since she became a concubine only after Tarkan was born, it would not be wrong to say that Tarkan, who was born prior, had an untitled mother.”
Aristine furrowed her brows and looked at Paellamien.
‘Are you serious? I thought you were a little smarter.’
Upon receiving that gaze, Paellamien’s face flushed a little. But she only raised her chin in response.
Right now, Aristine’s gaze was not important. The important thing here was the Queen’s mood.
“Yes, Princess Paellamien is right. So regarding Tarkan’s mother—.”
“Why are you in such a hurry to diminish Tarkan?”
Aristine cut the Queen off.
She wasn’t trying to provoke the Queen on purpose. It was just so mortifying.
The fact that Tarkan received so much hate. It had been a long time since his mother passed away. It was hard to imagine how he survived alone in a place like this.
“Even if you oppose each other for the position of heir. What is there to gain from backbiting in a place like this?”
It was understandable when it was done to incite the nobles or when eyes were watching. But that wasn’t the case now.
“Is it to embarrass me? I’m not upset by any of that. I don’t feel anything, so it doesn’t even tickle.”
These people seemed to think that being imprisoned was just forceful seclusion in the palace.
“Tarkan is a hero who saved this country. He protected it from demonic beasts, and from Silvanus.”
That was an undeniable fact.
Although that was why the Queen hated Tarkan even more.
“I am proud of my husband, and I think I did well marrying him.”
That was true.
Everyone called her a sacrifice like she was practically on her way to die.
But Aristine truly thought it was good that she became the sacrifice and met Tarkan.
“Of course, Tarkan is very prideful, at times argues childishly, he’s quite a handful, a little shy, a bit of a per…ah, not that one.”
Aristine went ‘oops’ and shut her mouth.
Paellamien’s eyes trembled.
Argues childishly, a handful, and is very shy. Was it really her half-brother, Tarkan, that Aristine was talking about right now?
It wasn’t just her; everyone else also looked at Aristine with bewilderment in their eyes. Aside from the pride, her description was the exact opposite of Tarkan.
“Anyway, despite all that, I know Tarkan is a good person.”
The Queen’s eyes shook slightly.
“So, what are you trying to say?”
She didn’t sound actually curious rather, her tone seemed more like she would tear Aristine to pieces with one more word.
Paellamien hurriedly signaled to Aristine. She forgot they were opponents right now.
But Aristine went, “Hmm, I got a little sidetracked but…” and continued, “As a foreigner, no, as someone from an enemy state, even I admire Tarkan’s bravery but—”
Paellamien and Starlina looked at the Queen with fright.
Only Aristine kept talking calmly.
“Can a ruler of Irugo look down on those who shed blood for Irugo?”
“What…did you say?”
The Queen’s voice was like brimming hellfire from the depths of hell.
“Lineage-wise, Tarkan is also the son of Your Majesty the Queen.”
But Aristine didn’t stop.
“Shouldn’t a mother be prouder of her son?”
Snap. The sound of something snapping could be heard somewhere.
A fire ignited in the Queen’s eyes.
The chair screeched as it was dragged roughly against the marble floor.
With a swish, the Queen’s hand flew upwards. And the moment when a hand full of rings was about to strike Aristine like lightning…
“Queen Mother, are you raising your hand on my wife now?”
A lazy voice as deep as the roar of a beast rang out.