Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
The fact that Leila became the emperor’s aide and diligently entered and left the emperor’s office spread among the nobles.
They wondered if he really had a woman as his aide.
Although she got a perfect score on the official test, she’s still a woman…
By the way, was it true that she really got a perfect score?
Could it be the emperor secretly taught her the answer?
The nobles were convinced that it was the case.
If it weren’t for that, there’s no way a noble lady who didn’t even receive an academy education could do it when the most talented people couldn’t.
And not long after the war, they suddenly held an official test when the country was still chaotic.
They also thought it was strange to make a big announcement saying that women can also take the test. They didn’t think such corruption would be hidden in it.
“Then, shouldn’t her position be changed to a mistress rather than an aide?”
One of the nobles sitting around the round table smirked.
“Apparently, Lady Thebesa is Duke Williot’s fiancée, so he couldn’t openly accept her as an empress, that’s why she entered as an aide.”
[T/N: The empress here refers to concubines.]
“I know right.”
A sneer spread like a plague among the nobles. Regardless of age or position, everyone laughed at Kalian and Leila.
“At this rate, won’t he soon turn that lady into an empress?”
[T/N: The empress here refers to concubines.]
A nobleman asked a question.
“I heard Lady Thebesa declared a breakoff of her engagement with Duke Williot.”
“Ah, I heard that rumor too.”
Another nobleman smiled and shrugged.
“I wondered what kind of confidence Lady Thebesa suddenly had and did such a bold thing, so it was because of this.”
“Indeed, of all women, the woman His Majesty chose is such a woman. Birds of a feather flock together, that statement is accurate.”
The laughter grew louder. Some people shrugged their shoulders and some laughed out loud.
“Shouldn’t we step out before His Majesty goes any further, Duke Giltian?”
The eyes of the nobles turned to Duke Giltian, who was sitting on the higher seat.
Duke Giltian, who had remained silent while the nobles talked, opened his heavy mouth.
“For now, let’s wait and see.”
“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but the duke seems to be too tolerant with His Majesty.”
“I can’t help it.”
A gentle smile was drawn on his wrinkled face, which was buried with traces of time.
“Even though we’re not blood-related, His Majesty is like a grandson to me.”
The nobles, who cursed Kalian, coughed at Duke Giltian’s response and turned their heads.
Duke Giltian glanced over that nobles.
His eyes were so vivid that it was hard to believe that he had passed the age of 60. Ambition flashed in his gray eyes.
With his eyes gleaming sharply like a wild beast, Duke Giltian slowly opened his mouth.
“So, let’s watch him for the time being.”
‘For the time being.’
Leila spent each day buried in her works, unaware of how she was gossiped about in the mouth of the nobles.
She already knew that there’s a lot of work, but it was beyond her imagination when she did it herself.
It was surprising that Kalian and Ver handled all of this alone until now.
Leila tried hard not to be a nuisance to them.
She didn’t hesitate to work overtime and reduced her sleeping time.
She wanted to work all night like Ver, but then Kalian dismissed her, saying that she was exhausted.
“But Baron Delrond does it.”
“Ver is a man and Sir is a woman.”
When Leila looked sullen, Kalian hurriedly added.
“I’m not ignoring or discriminating you for being a woman. I just said the ‘difference’. Men and women basically have differences in physical strength. If you had worked like Ver, you would have gotten sick sooner.”
Leila wasn’t sullen in that sense.
If she were a man, she would have been more helpful, so she was just disappointed that she wasn’t.
However, Kalian justified in rare bewilderment as to whether she had misinterpreted it in a completely different sense.
“So don’t get me wrong. Because you’re helping me enough.”
When Leila bowed her head politely, Kalian frowned.
Despite her impeccable attitude, it seemed that there’s an invisible wall between Leila and himself.
Why was that? He didn’t feel this way when she was unaware that he was the emperor.
Is the title the problem?
Kalian thought that might be the case.
Because he called Ver familiarly by calling him his name, while he called Leila rigidly by calling her Sir Thebesa.
If you find a problem, it’s better to fix it right away.
“I’ll call you Sir in public, but I want to call you by your name in private. Can I do that?”
Ver headed to the emperor’s office with the approval documents handed over from each department.
There’s a guest in the office who came before him.
With dazzling silver hair, his face didn’t look like a drop of blood would come out even if you stabbed it with a needle.
He was the leader of the ‘Crowd Knights’ who mercilessly slaughtered even children who couldn’t speak under the Emperor’s order and was called the Knight of the Iron Wall.
He had no last name because he was a commoner.
It was difficult to give a title to a commoner who didn’t have a single drop of noble blood, but it wasn’t impossible at all.
Even if it was difficult to give him a Viscount, they could give him a Baron, but then he wondered why Hiltine hadn’t been given the title until now, still, he didn’t ask about it.
Because if he asked Kalian, he obviously would dismiss him as an individual and Hiltine wouldn’t answer him.
Hiltine hardly spoke with anyone other than Kalian and his knights.
Ver was also included.
So when Ver first saw Hiltine, he thought he was deaf-mute.
…nothing has changed now.
“Hello, Sir Hiltine.”
Despite Ver’s warm greeting, Hiltine just lightly greeted him with his eyes and said nothing.
Phew. He’s the type that’s hard to get close with.
Ver sighed deeply inside and shook his head.
Even though they had known each other for 7 years, there had been so few conversations with Hiltine that he could count with one hand.
As they’re serving the same master, he tried to get close with him, but even if he talked to him first, he didn’t answer and didn’t give him a normal greeting.
Your Majesty, where did you pick up such a guy?
…well, he seems to have outstanding talent in swordsmanship.
Ver glanced at Hiltine and stood in front of the desk where Kalian was sitting.
Kalian, who was looking at the document, looked back at Hiltine without giving a single glance to Ver.
“I get it. Keep looking into it.”
Hiltine politely bowed and went out.
After glancing at the closed door once, Ver said bluntly.
“I guess Sir Hiltine doesn’t like me.”
“No way. He’s just not interested in you.”
“…isn’t that worse?”
Kalian smiled a little and put the document he was looking at into the drawer.
At that moment, Ver frowned after seeing a little bit of what was written on the document.
“Are you still investigating the matter?”
“It’s been more than 10 years. There can’t be any evidence left to this day.”
“You never know.”
He finishes other things irreproachably, but why is he so clingy with it?
It wasn’t that he didn’t understand Kalian’s feelings, but feeling his reluctance to give up, Ver secretly sighed.
“So, what’s the matter?”
It meant that he didn’t want to talk about this topic anymore.
Ver was also hoping for that, so he silently put down the document he had brought with him on the desk.
Seeing more documents than he handled yesterday and today, Kalian frowned.
“Why don’t these things lessen no matter how many times I do them?”
When Ver answered as if he was asking what was so obvious, Kalian kept his mouth shut and checked the documents.
Starting with the proposals from the areas, then various types of documents such as security and tax.
“Before you look at the documents, I have something to tell you.”
Kalian replied with his eyes on the document.
“From tomorrow on, Sir Thebesa will write the report and report to you, Your Majesty.”
Only then did Kalian look at Ver.
Ver stared at Kalian blankly, bewildered when he called out Leila’s name.
Kalian said indifferently.
“I know I’m handsome, so stop looking and tell me why.”
What kind of nonsense is this?
No, well. Although he’s handsome objectively, isn’t it embarrassing to say things like that with his own mouth?
Ver managed to straighten his contorted face and gave Kalian the answer he wanted.
“From tomorrow, I have to go out to the outer palace to prepare for the victory commemoration party and the achievements of the past war heroes. So I handed the work to Sir Thebesa.”
“You seem to have taught Leila everything.”
At the unfamiliar name, Ver paused for a moment before replying.
“Then, with what confidence are you making her write the report already? And leaving her for the reporting too?”
When Kalian asked back as if it was ridiculous, Ver smiled gently.
“It will be fine. No, it’s fine. Your Majesty will surely like it when you see it.”
Something was amiss, but seeing Ver answering so sure like that, there had to be a good reason.
“I get it.”
As soon as Kalian nodded, Ver asked as if he had been waiting.
“By the way… are you calling Sir Thebesa by her name?”
When Ver clicked his tongue, Kalian frowned slightly.
“What’s the problem? I call you by your name too.”
“Your Majesty, do you know what rumors of Sir Thebesa that are circulating among the nobles?”
Kalian leaned against the backrest with his interlaced fingers on his lap.
“They’re saying that I brought Leila in as a mistress, not as an aide.”
Even knowing that, he called her name without hesitation.
Ver sighed deeply and added,
“There are also suspicions that she may have cheated.”
“They’re just some guys with nothing to do.”
“Do you think it is just a day or two?”
Ver scratched his head as if he was annoyed.
“It doesn’t matter on the inside, but on the outside, even in private, do not call Sir Thebesa by her name.”
“Why? Is it because you’re afraid of them gossiping?”
“Yes. I am afraid that the damage will go to Sir Thebesa.”