Chapter 467. Knots (1)
Translator: Aura / Editor: Tiny Zebra
Stifling laughter, Koshar asked.
“So, who were you thinking of?”
“Ah, the young lady whom Her Majesty took under her wing. Her name is Rivetti, the young lady is similar to a defenseless puppy.”
Something about her own answer seemed to displease Mastas, and she scrunched up her face and punched her own thigh. Koshar didn’t understand why Mastas would reproach herself for her own words, but he was more interested in the way she clenched her fist.
One could strike incredibly hard without hurting themselves with that technique. Too many knights didn’t even know proper technique, so it was clear that she was really competent. Google search 𝘧reewℯ𝚋noѵ𝒆l. cｏ𝙢
When the food finally arrived, the two began to eat in silence.
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Mastas opened her mouth several times, as if she wanted to say many things, but then closed it, while Koshar was unable to start a conversation because he didn’t know what to talk about with a lady.
However, neither disliked the silence. Moreover, it allowed them to hear the voices around them.
“Didn’t that priestess say that we were fortunate in His Majestys’ choice of Our Empress of the Western Empire?”
“Since when do you call Her Majesty ‘Our’ Empress?”
“What? What do you mean?”
“Before, you would refer to her simply as Her Majesty.”
“Ah, that was before I got used to Our Empress.”
“You got used to it right after you heard about the priestess’s compliment. What a coincidence.”
“Oh my, can’t I change my mind?”
As Koshar and Mastas overheard similarly pleasant conversations about Navier all around them, they happily ate in silence. Neither were particularly devout, but they were very grateful to this mysterious priestess.
“I still have my doubts. After all, she’s a foreigner. Any foreigner will side with her home country in a conflict. Empress Navier looks out for us now, but when push comes to shove she will turn her back on us. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I would do the same. But for that reason, I can’t trust the Empress—”
Koshar didn’t pounce on him with a flurry of fists like he used to.
But not because he didn’t want to. It was because Mastas reacted first. She jumped up, slammed her fist on the table, shouting,
“Watch your mouth!”
Koshar instinctively stood up and stopped her, experiencing for the very first time how it felt to be around someone hot-tempered and impulsive.
When Mastas finally came to, she stared at her fist with regret and remained in that mood for the rest of the meal and during the walk back to the palace. Koshar, on the other hand, felt very satisfied with his meal.
Back at the Imperial Palace, Navier sent for him.
“How was dinner?”
She asked, pretending to be indifferent. He answered truthfully.
“Charming….Ah! The tavern … the tavern was charming. The dinner was nice and comfortable.”
It was a polite remark. But Navier’s face stiffened.
Koshar lifted a hand to his chin, feeling uncomfortable. He always slipped up and made inappropriate remarks, so he worried he said something he shouldn’t have.
As he thought over his words, his sister advised him with some concern.
“Brother, if you like Miss Mastas… perhaps you should reconsider your marriage to Princess Charlotte.”
When I gave Koshar advice yesterday… Was it disrespectful to Princess Charlotte? I was confused all night.
If the Princess of Whitemond married my brother, it would not only benefit Whitemond, but the Western Empire as well. As Empress of the Western Empire, my words may have been too imprudent.
But when I saw my brother’s face light up when he talked about Mastas, I couldn’t help myself because I cared about his happiness.
I had already noticed Mastas’ fascination, as she often said with a mesmerized smile that my brother was delicate but strong-willed. She even seemed to remember my brother’s face in mine, as sometimes she would glance at me sideways and blush.
I’d feel uncomfortable if it was one-sided, but it seemed like they were both attracted to each other. Under these circumstances, I don’t think it’s fair for my brother to proceed with a politically advantageous marriage ‘for the sake of the family’…
It wouldn’t be fair to Princess Charlotte in the long run, either. My brother could cause Princess Charlotte to suffer the same pain that I suffered with Sovieshu. I didn’t want that to happen to her.
It was common to have a mistress, but that does not mean that it does not affect people’s hearts. That is why love causes conflicts so often. Many nobles fought over mistresses, and many attacked their spouse’s lover even when they had their own lovers.
Thinking about it cooped up in my office made me more restless, so I went for a walk.
It wasn’t like me to meddle in my brother’s personal life in the first place.
So why did I say that yesterday? Is it because of the way Heinley always looks at me, with a lovely sparkle in his eyes? Is it because I’ve found true love and I want my brother to marry for love too?
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In any case, I am being nosy. Nosy, nosy, nosy….
Oh my! As I walked aimlessly, I bumped into Grand Duke Kapmen.
How much did he hear? He smiled awkwardly as if he had heard my thoughts.
Embarrassed, I averted my gaze, and he laughed.
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to make fun of you. It just seems that you have become much more relaxed.”
“What do you mean?”
“In the past, you strived to appear like an Empress at all times.”
Is he saying that I have lost my dignity as Empress?
“Oh no. That’s not what I meant.”
Maybe it is true that I seem more relaxed now that I have fewer worries in the Western Empire.
“By the way, did you send the bird to Dolshi?”
“Yes. He must have received it by now.”
“Thank you. I hope he likes it.”
When I parted from Grand Duke Kapmen, I walked a little further until a knight rushed up to me to report the arrival of an envoy from the Eastern Empire.
Once I returned to my office, I saw the envoy talking to one of my aides. I didn’t know the name of the envoy, but I did recognize his face.
I greeted him politely and he pulled a sealed letter from his breast pocket. He held it out with both hands.
“I have come to deliver a response to Emperor Heinley’s letter.”
Even though this is a response to Heinley’s letter, it is being delivered to me. I immediately assumed that Ahn had been found.
That seemed to be all, so I walked into my office and opened the letter.
“He was found? Already?”
As I expected, the letter contained the news that Ahn had been found. There was some nonsense as well.
When I told Rivetti the news, her expression turned complicated as she cupped her cheeks with her hands.
I couldn’t tell if she was surprised, happy, or worried, but it was the first time she had shown emotions with such intensity since she learned about Duke Elgy.
In fact, ever since she heard that Duke Elgy appeared at the temple with Ahn in his arms, Rivetti lived as if she had fallen into a dark pit.
Her eyes turned cold whenever she talked about Duke Elgy. Deep resentment, pain, and thirst for revenge had seized her.
She wasn’t naive and she had flaws, but she used to have a feisty and lively personality. She didn’t give up and sought to make a new life for herself after her father and brother died together.
Now that a clear enemy had appeared, lately I worried that she would go after Duke Elgy with a knife.
Duke Elgy was not someone who could be killed with just a knife.
Laura had accompanied Rivetti to my office and asked in surprise,
“So, does that mean that you will return to the Eastern Empire already?”
“I’m not sure.”
Rivetti’s hands trembled.
Although she had a duty to take care of her brother’s only son, now that it would become a reality, she was afraid.
“If you bring Ahn here…”
Laura opened her mouth, but suddenly paused and changed her words.
“Well, that may not be possible.”
Ahn looked a lot like Rashta. The nobles of the Western Empire had seen Rashta’s memorable face a few times. If Rivetti brought Ahn here, everyone would know who his mother was. It was evident that Laura realized this.
In fact, I had the same thought, so it was difficult to know what to say.
Rivetti wanted to study here, so I could not ask her to leave to reunite with Ahn. And while I could give her a home outside the capital, she wouldn’t be able to come to the palace with the child.
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