10. The Returnee Noble Lady (9)
By the order of Marquis Veil, Jill wasn’t invited to the castle, but rather was put under house arrest as a guest in the corner of the naval port. Part of the harbor appeared to have been converted into a naval port because it faced the sea of Kratos. As such, the naval port was filled with members of the Northern Division of the Rave Imperial Army.
Jill had also heard that Sufia played part in said decision. She had firmly opposed Jill’s arrival.
Hadith hadn’t regained consciousness, and the surrounding personnel appeared befuddled as to how to respond to their Emperor’s remark regarding his new fiancée.
Solely because of the Marquis’ daughter’s selfishness, Jill was denied of civility, and was subsequently deposited to the naval port that fell under the Emperor’s jurisdiction.
Despite being a child, Jill was a foreigner on the Emperor’s ship which was attacked. First and foremost, they suspected her of being a spy. Jill even heard talks regarding whether or not Hadith was the actual person or a mere impersonation.
After all, Hadith shouldn’t have returned from the Kingdom of Kratos—at least not so soon, anyway. It was deemed highly unusual for him to return half a month earlier than scheduled. They seemed to be waiting for confirmation from the Imperial City.
…it doesn’t seem good.
Couldn’t Sufia tell that it was Hadith right off the bat?
Even if she subtracted what was going to happen later from the equation, she still felt gloomy.
Even more so when she didn’t know what the enemy thought and planned.
Despite that, she couldn’t just breakout from the lookout by kicking the door down…
…she had no choice but to lay low, at least for now.
Alone in the locked room, Jill propped her cheek on the armchair.
“…and all because I’m too unfamiliar with my environment…”
Six years later, in the Kingdom of Kratos, the incident that would befall that place was called the ‘Veilburg Double Murder’.
The Marquis held a banquet to entertain Hadith, whom had just returned from the Kingdom of Kratos. The Emperor’s other fiancée candidates also partook themselves in the banquet.
It was none other than the Marquis’ daughter herself who refused to see such an arrangement.
One by one, she murdered all the fiancée candidates that attended the feast, before committing suicide by setting the castle on fire. Because of the strong wind, it soon turned into wildfire.
Despite so, Marquis Veil kept appealing for his daughter’s innocence and even brought up how the Emperor had neglected the residents of the Northern Division.
Not that Hadith lent an ear to it—soon, everyone that belonged to the Marquis’ family was executed. The family was vanquished.
It was indeed the blunder of the Marquis Family. However, he never tried to rebel against Hadith or threaten him. There was also the Northern Division, an army that defended the Emperor.
Nevertheless, after the incident, Hadith rebuilt Veilburg as a naval city. All the territories under the Marquis’ jurisdiction became his.
Because of that, criticism also spread like wildfire. Everyone deemed the way Emperor had treated the Marquis family was ‘overkill’, and that he had organized the whole thing. It was speculated that the Emperor did it to gain military power—in the end, the internal conflicts only deepened.
Such was the conflict that lead to the war against the Kingdom of Kratos.
After the Veilburg incident, the opposing Crown Prince began actively contacting the Kratos Kingdom.
Jill, who was at the time Geraldo’s fiancée, was present in the Royal Capital, to learn not only politics and laws, but also etiquette until the time for her to partake in battle came again. She had crossed paths with the messenger, as such, she had no doubt about it.
However, Jill was only aware of the information that had circulated into Kratos Kingdom. Conflicts within enemy countries tended to be transformed into war propaganda, fueling cruelty and outrage.
The main source of the information was the Crown Prince. It was quite conceivable that the story was transformed into something that would turn Hadith into the black goat.
…she didn’t have the stomach to actually consider those happenings.
But, it’s very unthinkable for a lady such as Sufia to do that… a knife doesn’t suit her, and her most offensive words were ‘thieving cat’…
Of course, she didn’t think that Sufia was entirely clean in this regards. What happened six years later had taught her that she shouldn’t judge women entirely by their appearances alone.
However, it certainly felt a bit exaggerated—perhaps, there’s another cause…
She wondered if she could manage to do something while she still had time to figure it out…
Jill remembered that after her engagement with Geraldo became official, the Emperor of Rave stayed in Kratos without a hitch.
That meant, historically, an incident would take place after the original return of Hadith—
—which was half a month from now.
“I think if I figure things out well, I can stop it…”
The timeline should had been messed up because Jill was taken there, but if the same things occur, then surely, the war too, will occur.
Jill decided to become the wife of Hadith, the Emperor of Rave.
All because she wanted to escape from Geraldo.
That might sounds greedy, but her wish didn’t end there—
—from the bottom of her heart, she wished that the war—the tragedy—wouldn’t occur.
She wasn’t exaggerating when she said she wanted to change history.
Besides, it wasn’t hard to imagine how an Empress from the opposing kingdom would be treated when the war broke out.
She didn’t want to fight against her hometown—nor her subordinates.
…in that future… six years later… did everyone truly die?
When she imagined so, her chest hurt. At the very least, right at this second, they were still alive…
…She had decided to never meet them anymore.
It was precisely because they were her subordinates that Geraldo eliminated them.
That’s why… I can’t meet them anymore.
“Little Lady, how are you doing?”
“Lemme give you this.”
Rave turned translucent and bypassed the wall. A pie then appeared on top of his head. With a radiant expression, Jill received it and immediately put it in her mouth.
The moist texture of the dough and the tanginess of the cherry and strawberry, which were washed by the sweetness of sugar brought out the mellowness of the desert. The deliciousness couldn’t be conveyed through words.
For such delicious food to come out of a military port, it seemed that Rave Empire, it its entirety, had a better food culture.
Yep, the first knowledge regarding the Rave Empire that Jill had acquired ever since arriving was that the food was delicious.
First and foremost, the variant of dishes were different. Even a loaf of bread had a different texture, aroma, and taste. She was impressed by the fact that bread that could be eaten with stew existed. Bread that could be enjoyed with butter alone—and other types.
The moment a flat, square, bread with a fried single-sided egg, sausage, and thinly sliced onions was laid in front of her, Jill thought—
—ah, this must be the sole reason I become a returnee…
If they were just talking about ingredients, then there were a lot in Kratos Kingdom.
After all, with the blessing of the land Goddess, Kratos could basically grow anything anywhere in the kingdom. It was certainly one of Kratos’ strong points.
However, the cuisine of the Rave Empire was also great. The key was—ingenuity. In the Rave Empire, crops only grew in select places. That was why, through wisdom of preservation methods, these delicious manners of eating were born.
—who’s the genius who developed the way of boiling down cherries and strawberries with sugar!?
Both of those fruits were eaten directly in Kratos. Sugar was also refined, but not mass-produced, so it wasn’t available for easy use.
Of course, those fruits alone were delicious enough. But when they were mixed together and simmered in sugar, then subsequently made into a pie— a devil’s food is born.
“Your appetite seems to be well, Little Lady. Do you remember that you’re under house arrest?”
Jill, happily chewing, shook her head.
“But I’m still a guest. As such, I’m provided with a clean room, a bed, a table, and I can even take a shower readily! Above all, I get three meals, and Rave supplies me with sweets like this!”
“…so indeed, the stomach is the way to someone’s heart. Hadith isn’t mistaken.”
“How’s Hadith-sama doing?”
“Finally, we’re getting there. Firstly, though, do you bear any animosity towards Lady Sufia?”
Jill stopped munching her pie.
“It’s common for an Emperor to have many concubines and wives. I just met the Emperor recently, and as I’ve declared, for the time being, marriage in name only would suffice for me. As such, there’s no reason to get angry.”
Rave fluttered his little eyes then flew over the room with a strange smile.
“Well, if you say so. Little Lady, did you know? The first thing that idiot said—or screamed, to be precise—when he woke up was; ‘Is my Amethyst Princess but a mere fragment of my dream—!?’ Then he heard that you’ve met Lady Sufia; ‘no… she would surely think badly of me now… the relationship is doomed, I’m done for…’—and grieved all. Night. Long.”
Well, his sense of crisis seemed to be healthy, at the very least—
—but!! Is the only thing you care about, honestly, that—?!
…I shouldn’t be happy… regarding this…
“He should be quick to recover after this. When he’s ready, he’ll surely come here to pick you up himself, Little Lady! Or so he said, anyway.”
***T/N: SEE, i know this is one crazy bitch and I’m not letting go of my Thot-Slayer until proven the otherwise! She might be Faelis 2nd.
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