Chapter 149 – Two Couples (2)
The same time Rashta was having a pleasant meeting with Duke Elgy, Sovieshu was deep in serious thought. Sovieshu also knew that everyone would consider the noble couple brought by Baron Lant to be fake. Ironically, however, the Blue Bohean couple appeared more credible. The story of a poor aristocratic girl that was reunited with her parents was more interesting than a concubine having her identity changed. If the optics were done right, everyone would go crazy over the story.
The problem was…Sovieshu was made into a laughingstock because of this incident. He closed his eyes against the dizziness swirling in his head. Following his father’s footsteps led to disaster. Even Empress Navier laughed at him.
Baron Lant looked on nervously. He felt guilty, as he was the one who hired the fake couple.
It wasn’t his fault, to say the least. The ministers were required to submit the agenda items at the State Council, but Ambassador Lingall made no mention of Rashta’s parents. Baron Lant did not either, but it was for dramatic effect. He regretted his actions. If he had just written it down on the agenda…Ambassador Lingall might have questioned him first. The Emperor would not have been publicly embarrassed.
Sovieshu was far from fine, but he lied for his faithful servant. However, a note of exhaustion tinged his voice.
Sovieshu, whose eyes had been closed this whole time, slowly opened. There was no confusion in them anymore, only a resolution in having made a decision. Baron Lant and Marquis Karl exchanged glances with each other, but they had no idea what the Emperor was thinking.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“The couple you brought. Where are they being held?”
“They are not exactly criminals, so they are locked up on the first floor of the western tower. Both couples.”
Despite its name, the west tower was not located on the western side of the compound. It was originally in the west, but with the addition of the central palace, its use was also changed. The western tower was most commonly used to temporarily hold nobles who were under suspicion but open to questioning.
Sovieshu raised himself from his seat, and Baron Land and Marquis Karl quickly followed. After arriving at the western tower, however, Sovieshu entered the first floor alone, leaving the other two behind.
The fake couple bought by Baron Lant knelt in forgiveness when Sovieshu opened the window attached to the door.
“Have mercy, Your Majesty! We were deceived too!”
“Baron Lant said it was your wish that we would be Rashta’s parents!”
“We never meant to deceive!”
Sovieshu glanced downwards at the wailing nobles. They didn’t have much the appearance of one—their cheeks were thin, and their complexions were pale. It was why Sovieshu had chosen to do his business with them. He opened his mouth, judging that the couple would follow his words.
“The name of the person who deceived you…”
“It’s Baron Lant! Baron Lant! ”
“Is Koshar Lilder Troby.”
The couple was blindsided by the Emperor’s words. Though they were not intimately involved with high society, they knew basic information. Koshar Lilder Troby was the Empress’ elder brother, and heir to the Troby family.
“No, I don’t understand…”
“No, it was definitely Baron Lant.”
Sovieshu coolly tapped the bars on the window.
When the couple realized the Emperor’s will, they looked surprised. The Emperor was trying to place the blame on the Empress’ brother.
The couple exchanged frightened glances. They were ordinary and decent people, and lying meant that the Empress’ brother and family would suffer. The couple was even fond of the Empress, but if their lives were at stake, they would put themselves first. No matter how good the Empress was, it meant nothing to them if they weren’t alive.
“Yes. That’s right.”
“Come to think of it, that was the name.”
“What about his face?”
“Beautiful. Just like the Empress.”
“Yes, he was.”
“What about his eyes?”
“It’s green. What about hair color?”
“Yes, he has dark blond hair.”
The couple grabbed each other’s trembling hands. How on earth did they get involved in this? They were only doing the occasional actions of fallen nobles. They thought they could simply lend their name, collect their money, and live in peace. It was painful and miserable telling a lie. But they had more reason to be afraid.
“Testify this in public.”
“Y-you will spare us?”
“What did Koshar offer you in exchange for lying?”
“He offered to give us money.”
“I’ll give you five times that amount.”
“‘Koshar blackmailed you to lie. If you succeeded in being Rashta’s parents, he would give you orders later. When he was banished, however, you did not hear what the orders were. Correct?”
“Yes! That’s right! Yes!”
Sovieshu left the “fake parents” behind, and as soon as he returned to his room, he called for Marquis Karl.
“Bring me the divorce papers.”
Marquis Karl was stunned. Although Sovieshu had mentioned his intentions to divorce before, the marquis did not expect it to go ahead so suddenly.