8. The Announcement Party is a Battlefield. (4)
As per Gaizel’s words, Tistye went straight to the main residence in the back of the royal palace. But as she was walking along the corridor, she heard someone talking in the courtyard. Apparently, it was a guest who was participating in today’s announcement party.
“You also saw her, didn’t you? Her Majesty the Empress.”
“I saw her, I saw her! Now I understand why His Majesty hid her for half a year!”
When she realized they were talking about her, Tistye casually sped up. The men who weren’t aware of Tistye’s presence continued speaking.
“Surely, she’s a sight to behold, but… the rumor said there would be another Empress coming from Yenzie.”
Tistye suddenly halted behind the pillars.
“Looks like it. Since the previous Emperor has died, an opportunity to solidify the ground has appeared. If that happens, said other Empress would inadvertently become the First Empress.”
“Well, that’s only obvious. She comes from Yenzie. Iif she becomes the second empress instead, there would be war…”
From Yenzie, a new empress will…
It was only natural for Yenzie to set up an empress to build a good relationship with the new emperor. It was as they said—the difference in national status between Yenzie and Lacie, Tistye’s homeland, was too great. The Eastern Powerhouse, Yenzie, wouldn’t be satisfied with the position of second empress.
The men began to criticize this and that about Gaizel.
“I wonder how long this kingdom will prosper. The new emperor sure is strong in battle, but isn’t his personality the worst? The other successor was killed, and the throne was usurped—there were many vassals who escaped due to his arrogance.”
“…I’m thankful that Lord Luxen is still here, what would happen if he wasn’t… well, I also heard that a lot of predecessors remained. But in the royal palace, there are only complaints about His Majesty Gaizel.”
“The undefeated Knight Leader has also retired—moreover, that talented man has probably escaped from Verscia…”
“…We mustn’t be elusive anymore. It seems that the emperor is less aggressive in fighting and expanding his territory than the late emperor… Our new emperor—His Majesty, his attitude is big, but I am sure he is actually stupid—”
Tistye, who had been silently listening until then, stood up at those words and appeared before the man in a grand manner. Because the empress was suddenly before them, the men hurriedly fixed their manners.
“…Forgive me, a bit of your chatter entered my ears. Just now, were you been talking about His Majesty?”
“Y, Your Majesty the Empress! No, I was—”
“I understand the feelings of anxiety the two of you must have felt after the death of the previous Emperor, but isn’t that exactly why we must support His Majesty Gaizel?”
The arrogant and scornful Emperor.
It was indeed true that the attitude he usually showed was far from respectable.
However, he couldn’t express himself well. He was also unable to control his facial expressions—
—despite so, he thought about the kingdom more than anyone else. Hence why he kept working late into the night everyday.
Tistye, who kept waiting for Gaizel’s return every day, knew that better than anyone else.
“There is no need for conflict if the kingdom can develop without indiscriminate fighting. His Majesty is now desperately trying to change this kingdom.”
“I, I see, it’s exactly as Her Majesty the Empress has said. Of course, we’re sincerely willing to do our best for the sake of this kingdom…”
The men saluted and humbled themselves to Tistye. However, perhaps due to Tistye’s nervousness being concentrated and rising, the voices of the men’s hearts were heard, although in stutters.
[“But still… our current Emperor is…”]
[“To adjust properly… such a troublesome thing is…”]
Upon hearing it, Tistye swallowed her following words—
—no matter how much Tistye appealed about Gaizel right now, it would only be responded with them reciting what she said only because she was of a higher status—it wouldn’t mean anything.
What am I supposed to say? His Majesty is working hard all by himself, he wants this kingdom to be free of conflict…
The men were suddenly upright and immobile—they were eyeing something behind Tistye.
She wondered what happened, and turned around—
—there was the cold-eyed Gaizel with his arms crossed. He had enveloped the entire courtyard in ice. In the darkness, his metallic navy-blue eyes focused on the men.
“H-His Majesty the Emperor…!”
“G, Goo, Good evening! We’re grateful for your invitation today!”
While the men were shaking profusely, Tistye was also confused.
Perhaps he was listening to my conversation with them!? …Did he hear what the men said, and also how I failed to persuade them to see otherwise…?
However, Gaizel stood in front of Tistye and sighed softly.
Suddenly, while she was thinking, she was lifted up by her waist and shoulders.
“Y, Your Majesty!?”
“I’m taking her with me.”
After saying that, Gaizel turned around and walked to the mansion while holding Tistye. Gaizel’s stride was wide, and due to his height, she was swaying a lot. However, because of the firm strength of his arms, Tistye wasn’t afraid.
When he opened the door with Tistye still in such an embarrassing state, the servants quickly diverted their gazes. Tistye finally noticed her position, and tried to move her limbs—but Gaizel went straight to the bedroom on the second floor.
The door was opened violently, and Tistye was thrown onto the bed as she was. In a hurry to get up, she saw Gaizel was already removing his cloak and jacket.
“Y, Your Majesty, um…”
“L, Lord Gaizel, um, the previous conversation, it was—!”
“I told you to return to the mansion, why didn’t you return?”
Ah—Tistye was tongue-tied.
“I’m sorry… I heard a fairly concerning conversation…”
Gaizel continued, opening the button on his collar.
“Was the conversation about me?”
Gaizel glanced at her, bluntly asking. When Tistye nodded, he sighed again in amazement.
“What they said is true. My position isn’t very good.”
“There are many people who prefer the methods of the previous Emperor.”
“But Your Majesty himself doesn’t share the same opinion, right?”
Tistye’s firm gaze was resolutely received by Gaizel’s line of sight.
Eventually, he snorted as he sat down next to Tistye.
“I am not that miserable to the point I need to be worried about by you.”
“That, that may be true…”
Gaizel smiled when he saw Tistye lower her face with regret. He took Tistye’s hand and gently kissed the ring she wore.
“I’m sorry for being late.”
It was that moment when Tistye remembered she was on Gaizel’s bed. Gaizel lowered his head slowly towards her and told her in a mean way—perhaps because he had noticed Tistye had started fidgeting, thinking they slept in their own bedrooms.
“Starting from today, this is your bedroom.”
“The party is over, no one will say anything.”
Gaizel then gently reached for Tistye’s hair. When she thought he was reaching for her ears, his finger traced its way down to her chin, instead. Seeing Gaizel’s face approaching, Tistye decided—this is it!
A while ago, it was in the corridor—but now, we’re alone… t-the-there’s no reason to be embarrassed…
She closed her eyes and mouth.
There was a creaking noise from the bed, and Gaizel’s exhalation washed over her face. Any time, now—but at that moment, the previous conversation crossed Tistye’s mind.
—‘ there will be another Empress coming from Yenzie…’
***T/N: Is… Is this a sign that a THOT will appear?! NO!!! I AM NOT READY!!! I AM NOT READY TO SEE OUR POOR TISTYE BE ANTAGONIZED BY AN ENTITLED BITCH BECAUSE IT’S ALREADY OBVIOUS TISTYE WILL STEP DOWN TO HER, WITH HER SELF-INFERIORITY AND ALL THAT, NO!!!! …maybe I should just nip the problem at the bud *unseathe her Thot-Slayer Blade.