Episode 17: To someone else’s wife (1)
* * *
‘I thought we were going for a walk, apparently, it’s a date…’
Jacquelin didn’t know what exactly he was supposed to do so he just kept a distance and followed them.
Even if he didn’t want to follow them, he had to because he was going in the same direction as Tarkan’s palace.
‘Wait a minute, a date?’
Jacquelin was startled by his unconscious thought.
How could it be a date?
That word seemed so unsuitable for Tarkan. Tarkan had no interest in women.
No, he was only interested in one woman.
His first love.
Tarkan never told his warriors the specific details of that story, but there are things that they naturally understood after spending a long time together.
They knew that Tarkan had a first love and that his heart was given to her alone. They also knew that he looked at other women like they were huge rocks.
‘Or worse than rocks maybe?’
At least when he saw rocks on the plains, he was interested in whether they could function as a cover.
In a way, Jacquelin was quite worried about Aristine and Tarkan’s marriage.
As he was one of the few warriors who knew about the princess’ imprisonment, he thought favorably of her.
‘Seems like there’s no need for me to worry.’
Then again, the story of Aristine and Tarkan breaking their bed on the first night was so famous that the entire country knew about it. At the time, the warriors fervently raved that it was impossible, and he must have broken the bed while doing something else.
Like…a sword demonstration or a game where you break boards with your fists…
It sounded ridiculous but it actually felt more realistic.
‘But…it really was broken in a normal way.’
He wasn’t sure if it was right to call that ‘normal’ though. Either way, he was glad.
Jacquelin supported Aristine more than that first love, who seemed to have seduced his lord with some kind of spell.
Who knew how many times he’d chewed out that first love in his mind when he saw the heartache on his lord’s face? That first love never showed up and since his lord was now married, Jacquelin hoped he could put her aside.
And after meeting Aristine in person, he felt she was a much better person than he expected. Naturally, he supported it.
Seeing his lord enjoying being a newlywed and acting all lovey-dovey, Jacquelin felt satis…not really, he felt lonely. (1)
It was spring yet it felt so cold and gloomy.
‘Ah, poor me.’
Jacquelin shed a few tears.
Spring must be nice.
* * *
Aristine looked proudly at her first employee.
“Greeting to the Princess Consort.”
Ritlen knelt before Aristine. He carefully held out a hand and Aristine placed hers on his.
Ritlen gently took Aristine’s hand like he was holding a piece of glass that would break with a little force. Then he pressed his lips onto the back of her white, immaculate hand.
Gently, like a brushing feather or like he was afraid it was wrong for him to touch it or as if it was the most precious thing in the world.
It was a very reverent and respectful kiss.
And there was something watching this from the side with an unhappy expression…
“Someone might think this is a knighting ceremony or something.”
Tarkan mumbled with pursed lips.
His golden eyes reminiscent of a wild beast flashed sharply as he looked at Ritlen.
The meek, large dog, Ritlen flinched for a moment, but he didn’t back down and stood beside Aristine like a loyal dog.
Tarkan disliked that even more and lines appeared on his forehead.
Despite fidgeting and swallowing under Tarkan’s intense gaze, Ritlen did not avoid it.
“Well, it’s better than a knighting ceremony.”
Aristine spoke leisurely, not noticing the strange confrontation between the two.
She then helped Ritlen up.
The reaction of the two men was mixed.
Ritlen looked touched while Tarkan looked uncomfortable.
“Ritlen is my first employee after all.”
Aristine looked at Ritlen, feeling satisfied just by seeing him.
‘Hehe, my golden goose.’
Upon seeing Aristine’s expression, Tarkan’s face crumpled even more.
‘Does she have to keep mentioning this ‘first employee’ thing?’
So far, whenever they talked about Ritlen, it was always ‘my this’ or ‘my that’, it was practically a song. Why use a possessive term in an honest business relationship?
“You don’t have to be so polite, Ritlen.”
Aristine patted Ritlen’s shoulder and said.
“You’ll be seeing me a lot from now on, won’t it be a pain to kneel like this every time?”
Ritlen was about to protest when he saw Aristine’s face and lowered his head slightly.
“Then I will accept your generosity, Princess Consort.”
Aristine smiled with satisfaction.
Hearing this praise, the loyal dog delightedly wagged his invisible tail.
Tarkan’s expression grew worse when he saw Ritlen’s slightly flushed face. Normally, when he looked at people like this, they would just roll over and bark, but Ritlen showed no sign of doing the same.
Rather, he kept wagging his tail to show his enjoyment.
‘To someone else’s wife.’
Ritlen who was timidly excited, glanced at Aristine before asking.
“Um, what can I make for you?”
1) So this literally says: he felt like there was a chill in his side. This is used to describe the feeling of your side being empty when you are single.
The next sentence is about feeling cold so I’m adding this so it makes sense.
Spring is usually called the season of romance.