Chapter 174. Contrast (1)
Translator: Aura / Editor: vy
“Oh, Queen. You like gold, right?”
“Didn’t you read the letter?”
“Yes, but when I left, the room wasn’t finished yet…”
I could hear Heinley laughing quietly.
“It will probably be well decorated in gold when we get there. Look forward to it.”
“As much as I like gold, the room doesn’t necessarily have to be gold.”
“It is necessary, because even your husband will resemble gold.”
“Lying next to me, all your vision will be of gold.”
“At that moment I will turn around and fall asleep.”
“In the same position you are now?”
So as not to forget that I was still on the horse, I grabbed the reins as tight as I could.
Heinley didn’t stop all the way.
Speaking lightly, at one point he brought up the fact that we were man and wife in an embarrassing manner.
He kept surprising me and I had to keep concentrating on the reins in order to keep my composure.
Every time he said, ‘husband, wife or couple,’ my face would get hot.
But I didn’t say, ‘Don’t say that,’ because he wasn’t saying anything he couldn’t say…
“By the way, Queen. Do you know that there is no queen’s palace in the Western Kingdom?”
“So where do I sleep?”
“There are three adjoining rooms on the same floor, the shared bedroom is in the middle, and the adjoining bedrooms on the left and right are the queen’s and the king’s, respectively.”
“Why does it have that structure…?”
Wouldn’t that be too inconvenient?
No matter how good a couple’s relationship is, sometimes one wants some time alone, besides our marriage is one of convenience…
Heinley laughed quietly again.
“Oh, we use a special bed.”
Speaking of beds here, does that mean he’s looking forward to the first night?
I’m amazed, but my eyes were already tired.
However, Heinley’s voice was not playful but serious this time.
He didn’t seem to have said any dirty words.
So, is the bed really special?
Anyway… I’d like to get off the horse now.
When I finally saw the border, I let out a sigh of relief.
It was a blessing to be able to get out of this embarrassing position.
But the tension that seemed to have subsided rose again as I saw the carriages, the guards and Sir McKenna waiting just behind the border line.
Slowly, I slowed the horse and crossed the border. When the horse came to a complete stop, two guards from the Western Kingdom approached and took the reins.
Meanwhile, Heinley got off the horse and extended his hand to me.
As I got off holding his hand, McKenna came up to me and greeted me first, then asked Heinley,
“Your Highness, I’m sure I sent two horses, why did you come on only one?”
When I stared at him, Heinley shook his head expressionlessly.
“You must have made a mistake, McKenna.”
“What? Why would I be mistaken? I definitely sent two.”
“There was only one.”
Heinley, who spoke calmly, looked at me.
When our eyes met, he laughed, saying that McKenna used to make a lot of mistakes.
McKenna frowned from behind, so I shook my head with a smile. I belatedly noticed the guards’ serious expressions.
The guards, who had come to escort Heinley, were trying to remain expressionless, but there was a clear indication of bewilderment on their eyelids and lips.
McKenna noticed my expression and said with a reassuring smile.
“They are very surprised to see in person the Queen they have only heard rumors about.”
… I don’t think that’s why.
I’m sure I can distinguish between an expression of surprise and an expression of discomfort.
But if we all get carried away by discomfort, the atmosphere will become even stranger.
I smiled quietly, pretending to be calm.
Understanding the situation, McKenna quickly opened the door of the carriage that had been prepared beforehand.
“Come in, Your Highness.”
… I don’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing.
I can’t believe he called me ‘Queen’ in the midst of this situation.
I bowed silently, feeling like I was running away, and quickly got into the carriage.
However, even after I entered the carriage, the eyes of the guards were not easily erased from my mind.
Even the guards who should be good at being expressionless behaved this way.
How would I be seen by the citizens of the Western Kingdom, by the nobles of high society I would meet in person?
What about the people I met in the Eastern Empire when I was Empress?
The view out the window was a little different from that of the Eastern Empire, and from this point on, I was relieved, as there is no possibility of Sovieshu tracking us now.
However, my mind was more complicated than when I came on horseback.
‘It’s alright. You can do it. You just have to do things correctly.’
While reciting the spell to myself, Heinley gently called, “Queen.”
He was sitting across from me, looking at me.
When we made eye contact, his tender eyes narrowed slightly.
Heinley leaned in slightly, carefully covering my hand with his.
“Queen, you mustn’t worry. Everyone loved you when you were the Empress of the Eastern Empire.”
If that were true, we would not have been divorced…
Heinley tends to overestimate me.
Even when I was curled up in the box, didn’t he admire the scene as if it were from a myth?
Heinley’s comfort didn’t help me much.
But he is comforting me, so I showed my appreciation for that.
“Thank you. I feel better.”
I nodded with a smile, but I couldn’t relax until the carriage stopped.
Fortunately, after Sovieshu brought Rashta, I got used to people’s curious looks. I pretended to accept them casually.
When we arrived at the royal palace and got out of the carriage, I was able to smile calmly at the sight of the crowd of courtiers.
But my heart trembled with a strange tension.
Curiosity, concern, expectation, interest, disgust…
Dozens of eyes full of innumerable emotions gave life to an optical illusion of lights that shone like a chandelier.
I smiled and grabbed Heinley’s arm, with the intention of making us look as elegant as possible.
It seemed to have some effect, as they stopped for a moment and then bowed respectfully.
“”It is an honor to see Your Highness the Queen.””
* * *
“Their eyes shone brightly.”
After the meeting with the courtiers in which I felt devoured. Heinley took my hand to lead me into the bedroom, muttering in a daze to himself as we walked up the stairs.
Although, he often glanced over at me. He seemed worried that I might be offended by the way they had looked at me.
I responded calmly, but Heinley said firmly, “It’s not okay.”
“I did everything to have Queen as my queen. Even if I have to beat them up…”
“There are not many cases where a king has arbitrarily married.”
“Besides, you brought the divorced empress from the neighboring country, not a young lady from the Western Kingdom, right?”
Heinley smiled and nodded.
But his smile disappeared almost instantly. His expression was still not good.
McKenna, who had been walking up the stairs with us, looked me in the eye and said,
“You don’t have to worry about it. There are many people who love the fact that Your Majesty the Empress of the Eastern Empire has become our queen.”
But most of the people who welcomed us had ‘bewilderment’ written on their faces.
I smiled silently as I remembered the expression.
Unlike the worried Heinley, McKenna was in a good mood.
It was a whole new environment, so I’m a little nervous…
McKenna looked at us one more time and said,
“It would be surprising to see you in person, isn’t that a normal reaction? Still, I’m sure there are many who admire you.”
However, McKenna and Heinley’s attempts to cheer me up were in vain when we met a knight in the corridor.
He was standing in front of the queen’s bedroom, and as soon as he saw us he approached us, but his expression was cold.
His greeting was so formal that it seemed like something out of a textbook, but the words he added afterwards were quite blunt.
“Your Highness, you have acted too recklessly. You risked your life for one woman.”