Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
When I suddenly heard Kalian’s voice from behind, I looked back in surprise.
Kalian, who I didn’t know when he came, was standing right behind me.
I was so surprised that I forgot that I had put the data on my lap and jumped up from my seat.
As a result, the data fell and scattered on the floor. Some even went all the way to Kalian’s feet.
I tried to pick up the data in a hurry, but Kalian was faster.
“You’re more clumsy than you look.”
Kalian clicked his tongue, picked up the fallen data, and held it to me.
I bowed politely, receiving the data.
“Apologize for what? I was the one who surprised you.”
Kalian answered indifferently and picked up the data on the table.
Those were records of nobles who were granted titles in the past.
He chuckled as if he realized at once what I was looking for.
“Have you been looking for precedents for women being granted titles?”
I didn’t do anything embarrassing, but I was embarrassed for no reason, so I blushed slightly and nodded my head.
“You made a vain effort. Never in the history of the Empire has a woman been granted a title before.”
As expected, is it?
It was a fact I already knew, but when it was confirmed, I sighed.
“So you’ll be the first to set a precedent.”
Then I looked at him, startled by his next words.
Kalian’s eyes bent beautifully.
“Why are you so surprised?”
Why am I surprised? Is he asking that because he really doesn’t know?
“Is it surprising that I granted you a title?”
“…are you really going to grant me the baron title?”
“Then? Does it look like I said something I didn’t mean?”
His eyes were still smiling, but there’s a little dissatisfaction in them.
It would be disrespectful for me to doubt his words.
“It’s not like that.”
I answered right away, fearing that Kalian might misunderstand.
“I just haven’t signed the document yet.”
Upon conferring the title, I had to put my name on the list of noble families and sign the document.
The place where the documents were kept was the archives room here.
“And I think the nobles will be very opposed to it…”
“Why does it matter if the nobles are opposed to it? It’s the emperor’s authority to grant titles.”
That’s true, but I couldn’t answer because there’s a part that bothered me to move on.
“I know what you’re worried about.”
Kalian put down the data he was holding and said.
“You don’t have to worry about that. Because I have plans.”
What kind of plan?
I wanted to ask, but I couldn’t ask anything because I was afraid to hear him saying something that implied I doubted him again.
Kalian talked to Leila about various things, and later told her his purpose for coming to the archives.
“I came here to find data on the diplomatic dispute that occurred because of Khan, do you know where it is?”
“Here it is.”
He asked just in case, but she brought the data right away.
Kalian looked at Leila, slightly surprised.
The archives contained more than thousands of data, classified by category.
But knowing right away where the data was…
“You’ve already looked it up, haven’t you?”
“Yes. I looked it up because I heard there was a conflict with the Natsha Kingdom.”
Natsha Kingdom’s affairs aren’t hers, but she looked it up.
“Did you organize the data?”
He asked just in case, and Leila nodded.
Hoo, she even did that too.
There should have been a lot of work to do but Leila even organized the data. He was proud of her, but at the same time, he felt she was silly.
Does this woman know the word ‘laziness’?
“Can I see the data?”
“The data is in the office.”
“Let’s go to the office then.”
They moved to the office.
Leila handed the data she had organized separately to Kalian.
He thought it would be short, but it was thicker than he thought.
Why is it so much? Did she not organize it and just copy the contents?
Kalian, who was scanning the document, immediately corrected his thoughts.
This wasn’t just a copy.
Rather, it was easier to identify than the existing data. It was easy to see where and what was going on.
I needed the report that Leila organized as it is, but it turned out well.
With this, even those who live on the flavor of their own pride wouldn’t be able to say anything.
[T/N: living on the flavor of their own pride means that people tend to think they are the best no matter what others think.]
“Can I borrow this data?”
“I don’t mind, but… if you are simply looking for data on diplomatic disputes, it would be better to take the existing data.”
“What do you mean? This one looks better.”
Besides, it could flatten their noses.
[T/N: to flatten their noses means to embarrass someone or dampen their spirits.]
Thinking of the faces of those people who would be surprised, he already felt good.
Kalian tapped Leila on the shoulder and walked past her.
“Then I’ll go now, and you get ready to sign.”
The biggest reason for today’s meeting was the diplomatic meeting with Natsha Kingdom in Hutton about two weeks later.
Natsha Kingdom demanded sovereignty over Khan as compensation for pirate damage.
Natsha Kingdom insisted that they would manage Khan because the Empire didn’t seem to have the ability to manage Khan.
If it was the first time this had happened, he would have ignored it as nonsense, but the problem was that this wasn’t the first time.
That’s why the nobles sat around the round table and discussed what to do about this matter.
“Wouldn’t it be more convenient to just hand it over? This isn’t the first time Khan has caused problems, and I think it would be better to get rid of those who troubled us.”
“Yeah, but if you hand over Khan to Natsha Kingdom, the territorial waters will become narrower. In addition, the issue of sovereignty is a sensitive matter, handing it too easily is a little…”
The nobles’ opinions were divided. While arguing that their opinions were correct, Kalian, who sat at the higher seat, listened silently.
Then, after dozens of minutes later, various measures and delegations for the diplomatic meeting were decided.
“Then let’s do this for the diplomatic mission.”
At the end of the list of the diplomatic mission, Kalian stamped the emperor’s seal and handed it to the official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The meeting was over, but no one stood up.
It was the same with Kalian.
Kalian crossed his legs and buried himself deep in the backrest.
A faint smile was drawn on his lips.
“Seeing everyone not standing up, it looks like you have something to say. Is that right?”
Instead of answering Kalian, the nobles only looked at each other. Waiting for someone to take the lead.
In the end, a young nobleman, who looked brave, took the lead.
“Your Majesty, are you really going to grant Lady Leila Thebesa the baron title?”
“It’s not Lady Thebesa, but Sir Thebesa. Get the title right.”
Kalian gave a warning.
At his point, the young nobleman’s eyebrows twitched for a moment, but he wasn’t wrong, so he changed her title to Sir Thebesa.
Only then did Kalian listen to him with satisfaction.
“So, what’s wrong with sealing Sir Thebesa as a baron?”
“I apologize, but since the founding of the Empire, there has never been a woman who has been granted a title.”
“Is there a law that says it shouldn’t be done because there’s no precedent?”
Kalian tilted his head and rested his chin on his hand.
“Or is there a law that says that women shouldn’t be granted titles?”
“If we think about the custom…”
“If you’re going to bring up old customs, you should stop right away. You can’t move forward if you’re tied to the past.”
Although his answer was expected, the nobleman couldn’t find a proper answer and kept his mouth shut.
The nobles glanced at Duke Giltian.
They wanted him to come forward.
“If it is not customary, the law of the Empire states that in order to be conferred a title, one must show sufficient ability.”
As if to grant their wishes, Duke Giltian opened his mouth.
Kalian looked at Duke Giltian. Gray eyes and blue eyes collided in the air.
“I doubt that Sir Thebesa has shown any such ability.”
“Why do you doubt? She passed the official test with outstanding grades and became an aide.”
“If you give a title simply because she did well on the test, you should also give titles to all those who did well on the academy graduation test.”
In a word, it meant that it wasn’t enough.
Even though what he said was provoking, he wasn’t wrong.
Because there were many nobles who were officials but didn’t have titles.
Although it was customary for most of the emperor’s aides to be granted titles, this was also not set by law.
“So, does that mean that the Duke is against Sir Thebesa becoming a baron?”
“Not necessarily. As long as Sir Thebesa shows her ability, I am willing to consider it.”
Kalian smiled strangely and looked at the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marquis Valdir, right next to Duke Giltian.
“Marquis Valdir, what do you think of the data you just saw?”
“Do you mean… this data?”
It was a random question. Marquis Valdir answered honestly while puzzled.
“It was perfect data. I knew Baron Delrond had worked hard on it, but I didn’t expect it to be this much.”
“As expected, this should be done by someone who has been properly trained.”
“What would happen if it was left to the lady, who didn’t know anything?”
“I, too, don’t expect much from her. At least, she has to know how to do this much.”
Other nobles agreed with Marquis Valdir, emphasizing that Leila didn’t have the right ability to be an aide.
“I’m well aware of your opinions. But there’s one thing you’re mistaken about.”
Kalian’s blue eyes glistened coolly, and his lips were raised smoothly.
“It was Sir Thebesa, not Baron Delrond, who made the data.”