Chapter 155 – They Are Lying (2)
Rashta was sitting down with a white notebook on a white desk. The feather pen in her hand was also white, and as she dipped her head in concentration, her hair of pure silver flowed to the side. Her dress was white as well, making her look the perfect image of an angel.
However, Sovieshu’s expression was far from admiring as he looked down at the angel Rashta. He looked dissatisfied as he studied her notebook. Rashta twisted her hands and gave him a nervous glance, and when their eyes met, she gave him her saddest, most doe-like expression. However, Sovieshu’s face remained unchanged.
Tears started to form on Rashta’s eyes.
Sovieshu frowned at her.
“Rashta, you haven’t even filled a third of it. Keep going.”
He sounded unusually stern. Rashta finally put down her pen and looked at him with a sniffle.
“I don’t know. I haven’t memorized it all yet. There’s too much, Your Majesty.”
“Rashta. These are simply the basics. You must memorize the names of officials in the country, their head of family, their title, their relatives, their characteristics, the number of people in the department, and the tasks that belong to the state.”
“I know, I know…”
Rashta was in tears. She didn’t know how she could possibly memorize all this…
“I’ve only had the book for four days, Your Majesty.”
The book was as thick as half the span of a hand, and she had been given it from her tutor and ordered to memorize it. She could read and write to some extent, but she was not yet proficient, and yet was still expected to memorize a whole book of completely dull information. Her tutor didn’t even give her enough time to work on it—the deadline was a mere week.
Rashta felt like she was reaching her breaking point. Sovieshu had come to check up on her, himself expecting that she had memorized the whole book by the fourth day. Wouldn’t it be better if he asked her some questions and she gave him answers? Sovieshu did not do even that. He simply asked her to open up an empty notebook and write down everything she memorized.
“It has already been four days, hasn’t it?”
What was even crazier were Sovieshu’s expectations.
“Four days, hasn’t it?”
“Rashta, this takes maybe one, two days to memorize.”
“Is that possible?”
“I memorized it in a day.”
“You are you, Your Majesty! No one else can do it!”
“The Empress also memorized in a day.”
Rashta bit her lip. Sovieshu wasn’t trying to mock her, but she was even more embarrassed and ashamed by the implications of her inferiority.
“Even now I’m learning fast, Your Majesty.”
“Rashta. That may be fine under normal circumstances, but not now. Do you understand?”
“You don’t have to do the advanced curriculum. Just the basics.”
“Memorize one book each day. Then when you become empress, you will be able to do the simple work.”
“One book a day?”
“It’s possible if you study all day.”
Rashta’s eyes welled up in frustration, and she finally burst into tears. Sovieshu looked taken aback.
“I only just learned how to write, Your Majesty! I’m different from the Empress, she’s been studying since she was a child!”
Sovieshu let out a weary sigh. If Rashta were only to remain as a concubine, he wouldn’t have to force her to learn these things. However, she had to play the role of empress for a year. He didn’t expect her to do well, but she had to do the basics at a minimum.
“I’ll check up again tomorrow, so don’t cry.”
Rashta’s sobs grew louder at the mention of tomorrow, and the servant girl Delise quickly extended her handkerchief. Sovieshu took it and wiped Rashta’s tears. When Rashta stopped crying, he set down the handkerchief and praised Delise.
“Your maid is considerate this time.”
Rashta gave a soft hiccup as she looked towards Delise, startled by Sovieshu’s praise towards her. The maid flushed and she shook her head. When Rashta saw it, her sobbing quickly dissolved and she grew concerned.
‘She was like that before. Why does she keep turning red when she sees my man?’
At that moment, a servant came up to Sovieshu.
“Your Majesty, the Empress has gone to the western tower.”
Sovieshu had been staring down at the partially-filled notebook, but he soon frowned when he heard mention of the western tower. That was where the fake parents bought by Baron Lant were detained. The Empress must have heard that it was allegedly Koshar that bribed the couple. If she spoke to them for any significant period of time, she might find out he was behind it.
Sovieshu urgently left the room and book behind.
When I arrived at the western tower, the dozing guards in the hallway suddenly awoke and jumped up from their wooden chairs. They looked at me and each other with sheepish embarrassment.
“You can keep sleeping.”
“No, my apologies.”
“Where is the couple that Baron Lant brought?”
“They’re over there, Your Majesty.”
The guard pointed to the far end of the hallway. I walked towards the door, then opened the viewing window. The couple had heard my footsteps, and their faces were already peering through the bars. When they saw me, they glanced at each other. Was there anyone else they expected?
The sight of them angered me. They may have found themselves in trouble since Rashta said the other couple was real, but they had dragged my brother into this, who was completely unrelated to this case.
“Hail to the Empress.”
“Greetings, Your Majesty.”
The couple greeted me, but I did not return the courtesy, instead going straight into interrogating them.
“Did my brother order you to pretend to be fake parents?”
Their complexions paled and they lowered their eyes. They didn’t even make eye contact with me as they said “Yes, yes.”
“Yes, Your Majesty. Your Majesty’s brother, Lord Koshar, threatened us.”
“We had no choice.”
I quelled my rising anger and spoke as calmly as I could.
“Do you know what my brother looks like?”
The wife answered quickly.
“His eyes are green.”
I said “No,” and then they looked at each other in dismay.
“But I’m sure…”
“He has dark blue eyes. You don’t even know the color of my brother’s eyes, do you? Did you really meet him?”
They looked incredulously at each other, but only for a moment. The husband quickly corrected himself.
“On second thought, it was blue. We were confused because we saw him in the dark. ”
“It was blond.”
I lowered my voice and stared at them.
“Was it so dark that you saw it wrong?”
This time the wife hurriedly spoke up.
“I think it was black. We couldn’t see it properly because he was wearing a hat! ”
Watching them speak was a completely absurd exercise. My brother had green eyes and dark blond hair like me. But this? Blue eyes and black hair? They had never even met my brother. If they had seen him with their own eyes, they wouldn’t have been easily swayed by my suggestions.
Instead of correcting them, I turned to Sovieshu standing next to me. He had watched me question them without saying a word. Our eyes met, but unlike the couple, we were good at managing our facial expressions. He stared at me with a smooth face as I spoke to him.
“Did you hear that, Your Majesty? They have never seen my brother.”
“You’re pressuring them, so they’re speaking nonsense.”
“Yes. You stood there and told them the wrong hair color to confuse them.”
I glanced back towards the husband and wife. The couple, who had initially been unaware of Sovieshu’s presence because of the narrow window, looked suddenly frightened when they heard his voice.
“My brother has red hair and red eyes, so are you saying you lied because you were afraid of me?”
The man and wife suddenly shouted again, staring at Sovieshu.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“We were afraid and lied. Lord Koshar had red hair and red eyes!”
Look. Did they meet my brother?
I raised my eyes towards Sovieshu, whose face was as stiff as a stone statue.