I Thought I Had Married A Poor Knight, But…! - Chapter 6.5
The Newly-Wed Huntswoman Life (5)
What? The Emperor?! My eyes shook in shock. Now that I think of it, being guided to a private space deep inside the palace, it shouldn’t be too surprising for the Emperor to come, but normally, the Emperor wouldn’t nonchalantly appear in front of his subjects, moreso a mere knight and his wife. Moreover, for lower-ranking nobles, it was common for them to never have seen his face from closeby.
He motioned for us to take a seat. I continued to observe the Emperor. Hmm. This was only my second time meeting him face-to-face, but he looked so familiar. Or rather, he looked similar to something that was really familiar. Hmmm? Was it Father? He was younger than Father though. Father’s mother married out of the imperial family, so apparently Father and the Emperor were distant relatives.
His Majesty had a slightly displeased expression. A noble’s default expression was a smile, so it was rare to see someone expressing their true emotions like this. When I looked over, Cermiane also was not smiling. He seemed to be appearing emotionless on purpose, though.
After silence settled in the room for a bit, the Emperor, who had been glaring at us in the meantime, eventually spoke in his dignified voice:
“I heard you got married.”
He probably said that to Cermiane, not me. I didn’t reply, and instead, sipped from my teacup. When I finished, a maid immediately scurried over and filled my cup. Seeing this, His Majesty’s eyes widened a little. Hm? What is it?
“Yes, I did.”
Cermiane answered succinctly. His Majesty started questioning Cermiane as if he were grumbling.
“Why did you not let me know before you got married.”
“I felt that was unnecessary.”
Upon hearing Cermiane’s curt response, His Majesty’s expression subtly saddened.
“Put yourself in my shoes: I heard about your wedding from the Chief Commander of the Knights a month later.”
“I cannot dare to waste His Majesty’s precious time with a mere knight’s wedding.”
Cermiane flitted a glance at me. His Majesty looked surprised.
“You have not told her yet?”
His Majesty let out a long sigh, and looked at me for the first time. It kind of felt like he was appraising me. In reality, I was probably being scrutinized for something.
“Truly… You rejected all my recommended marriage candidates and all on your own… This kind of…”
He paused; it appeared that he noticed something.
“…You. Are you perhaps the lady that Cermiane escorted that time?”
Since he suddenly spoke to me, I almost choked on the snacks I was eating. I drank the tea to clear my throat and answered.
“Yes. That is correct. That was how we met and what led to our marriage.”
“If I recall correctly… You are the sixth daughter of Marquis Caliente, correct?”
“Yes, that is correct.”
He had a good memory. We only met once before. As expected of His Majesty the Emperor. While I was admiring his good memory, His Majesty was suddenly in a very good mood. He broke out into a broad grin and said in a relieved tone:
“I see, I see! You married a lady from a marquisate! How wonderful!”
While His Majesty was very happy, Cermiane was scowling.
“I did not marry her because of her status.”
“That may be true, but still, this is very good, very good indeed.”
I wasn’t really sure what was very good, but I really hoped His Majesty didn’t mistake me as a typical lady from a marquisate.
From that point on, His Majesty was in a good mood, and laughed when he heard about how I grew up and my daily life at the Caliente territory. His mood didn’t change at all when I mentioned I lived as a commoner, so it seemed that the bloodline was all he was concerned about. Which meant that he wanted Cermiane to marry someone who came from a high-ranking noble family? Why would His Majesty care about the marriage partner of Cermiane, a mere knight?
Suddenly, we heard the pitter-pattering of footsteps, and a noblewoman appeared at the entrance of the salon. Wait what? She was Her Majesty the Empress. A black-haired, black-eyed, slim beauty, and somehow, her eyes were sparkling.
She called out with a beaming smile, and when she noticed my presence, she grew a little frantic. Cermiane and I stood up and bowed our heads.
“It has been a while, Your Majesty.”
When Cermiane greeted her, Her Majesty beamed once again, sat next to His Majesty, and motioned for us to take our seats again.
“It’s been a while, Cermiane. And? Is that your wife? She’s such a beauty!”
“It seems that she’s a daughter from the Caliente family.”
“Oh my… T-that means she must be the lady who made a scene at that debut, and the lady Cermiane escorted, correct? Oh my, oh my! *giggle* What an interesting way to meet and get married!”
Her Majesty was laughing her heart out. She asked me a couple of questions, and when she saw that I was eating a lot of the snacks, she had more and more brought to the room, and she gave me a lot to bring back home as well. What was happening?
In the end, we conversed with His Majesty and Her Majesty for around an hour and then headed back home. I was full of questions, but Cermiane looked tired and in a foul mood, so I wasn’t sure how to ask.
“I apologize, Ral. You must be very tired.”
“Kind of, but it’s okay.”
I did think, “What was all of that?” but we never got called back to the palace ever since that day, so I immediately stopped thinking about it. I bet Cermiane and Their Majesties somehow knew each other in private, and they took a liking to Cermiane, or something. That was what I concluded.
If I had put more thought into this, I should have noticed that it was beyond strange for the extremely busy Emperor to take time out of his schedule, authorize a mere knight to enter the inner palace, and question him about his marriage. If I had even an inkling of knowledge about the aristocratic society and the imperial family, I would have noticed this peculiarity. If Father heard about this, he would have fainted in surprise, no doubt. He also would have noticed Cermiane’s true identity as well. But, I didn’t notice at all, and didn’t care at all.
And that was why that event took me completely by surprise.
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