I Thought I Had Married A Poor Knight, But…! - Chapter 6.4
The Newly-Wed Huntswoman Life (4)
The carriage slowed to a stop after some time. When I looked out the window, there was a giant gate. Hm? Were we at some noble’s residence? Then, the carriage started moving again. We were on some road that had a magnificent garden on both sides. Huh? I’ve seen this place before…
“Are we at the imperial palace, by any chance?”
What business do we have at the imperial palace? Though, it was indeed true that we needed to be wearing formal attire to enter the palace.
The carriage went through two more gates, and reached the front of the main building — I could see the gigantic parking lot I saw the last time I came here. However, we passed by the parking lot and went further in. There was a smaller parking lot, and that was where our carriage stopped.
Cermiane escorted me off our carriage, but where the heck were we? To be fair, the only things I knew in the imperial palace were the places I wandered last time I came here. It was clear that we were behind the main building, for sure. There was a gorgeously decorated door that was thrice the size of ours. On either side of that door were two knights guarding it. When we approached, they looked at us warily.
Cermiane stuck out his right hand to show to the guards. I had my ring that proved I was a noble on my right ring finger too, so he probably showed that to them. Though, I usually never wore mine.
The knights approved this and opened the door. I wondered what happened. Was it some symbol that only knights knew of? When we went inside, a man was waiting for us.
A butler. Or maybe a palace attendant? Either way, he was a middle-aged, thin man. He looked at Cermiane and subtly smiled at him, and when he looked my way, he looked apprehensive.
“She’s my wife.”
He immediately relaxed in relief. It seemed that he and Cermiane were old acquaintances. We started walking behind him as he guided us somewhere.
I didn’t know a thing about the inside of the palace, but it felt like we were headed towards a place that was deep within the palace. We passed through multiple well-lit hallways and small banquet halls and kept walking. There were hardly any people around — we passed by a maid once in a while, and that was about it. After we passed through a corridor next to a beautiful garden, there was another small door that a knight was guarding. The attendant and Cermiane showed their rings. I was urged to show my ring so I did, but I was the only one who wasn’t allowed to pass through. So Cermiane once again said, “She’s my wife.” Only then was I allowed to enter.
Cermiane had a silver ring as a knight, and I had a gold ring since I reached my adulthood as a daughter of a marquis. Gold rings were supposed to indicate higher standing than silver rings in the Empire, so it was weird that a silver ring was granted entry while a gold ring was not. But I, at that time, didn’t think much of it, other than, “It happens.”
Beyond the small door was a clearly private space. It had signs of life. The very soft carpet lining the floor was meant to absorb as much sound as possible, and the walls were painted a cream color, which fostered a sense of relaxation and comfort. There were little to none of the extremely gorgeous decorations we had seen on the way here, and the paintings on the wall were not the gigantic portraits we had also seen on the way here, but small ones depicting landscapes. The garden was also not that big, and it mainly consisted of flower beds, not trees. Since it was winter, there were no flowers in the flowerbeds, but once it became spring, they would be blooming with flowers, no doubt. All this made me think the owner of this room greatly appreciated flowers.
The salon we were guided into also had a huge window that made the room feel more open, but the room wasn’t unnecessarily big. The furnishings were high-quality, but their muted colors and worn-in condition conveyed a lived-in feel to the room. We sat side-by-side on a sofa and drank the offered tea. Oh my, as expected, the tea at the palace was delicious! I also munched on the offered snacks without reserve. Yep. The snacks were also delicious. Cermiane looked anxious and drank the tea but did not touch the snacks. Rather, it appeared that munching on snacks was not a very noblewoman-like thing to do, and the maid in the corner of the room had her eyes wide open in shock. Not that I cared.
After savoring the snacks for a little while, the butler from before entered the room and said, “His Majesty has arrived.” My head was full of question marks and couldn’t react, but Cermiane stood up, put his hand above his heart, and bowed his head. He told me, “Stand up and lower your head,” so I brushed off the crumbs, stood up, and lowered my head. I wasn’t really sure what to do, so I clasped my hands in front of my stomach. If I remember correctly, Mother did something like this when she was bowing.
Then, someone entered the room. He sat down on the sofa across from us, and said, “Relax yourselves.” I immediately looked up. Cermiane slowly and quietly raised his head. Oh, right. I was supposed to do that slowly.
The man sitting in front of us had a big build — he was around the same or bigger than Cermiane. Since he was older, he also had very solid bone structure, making him seem even bigger. He was very muscular and looked extremely powerful. He must be very strong. He had light brown hair, blue eyes, and a goatee. Looking more closely, he was a handsome man. Hm? I’ve seen this man before. Going through my memory… I finally realized that this man was His Majesty the Emperor.
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