Remarried Empress - Chapter 23

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Chapter 23 – Tears That Only Queen Knows (2)

Although I wasn’t expecting Countess Eliza, it was even more curious that Laura was here when she had been looking forward to the New Year’s celebrations . Did I spoil the mood? Did they come after me because I ran away?

 

Even so, I did not want to be consoled, strange as it may be . It was my pride that was injured when my husband loved another woman . There was nothing wrong with my reaction, but it was Sovieshu and Rashta that remained dignified while I shrank . I couldn’t even explain this vague feeling, so I couldn’t bring myself to speak about it .

However, the way Sovieshu rushed to Rashta did not seem to be on their minds . Countess Eliza quickly fanned her face, and Laura kept nervously touching her curls .

What was wrong? Come to think of it, everyone seemed to be quite agitated .

“Your Majesty . There was a messenger from the Verdi estate . ”

Countess Eliza lowered her fan as she spoke, and I stood there in confusion .

“The Verdi estate?”

“Yes . ”

“Is it from Viscountess Verdi?”

“Yes, Your Majesty . The message said that Viscountess Verdi can no longer serve as the lady-in-waiting for the Empress . ”

Viscountess Verdi…didn’t she borrow money from me a few days ago? Back then she looked like she was at the end of her rope .

“Are you sure it was from Viscountess Verdi?”

I looked on in bewilderment . Her household was in massive debt because of the troubled actions of the husband and son . The debt was not enough to leave them on the streets, but most of their income had been used to pay it off . And now Viscountess Verdi was quitting her position as lady-in-waiting?

Laura continued anxiously .

“She quit in quite a hurry . Maybe Viscountess Verdi fought with her husband or son?”

Another lady-in-waiting made a suggestion with a concerned look .

 

“It might be a good idea to send someone to check on the situation . ”

“I suppose so . ”

*

*

*

The next day proved our worries over Viscountess Verdi unnecessary .

I was not obligated to stand with Sovieshu to the banquet on the second day, so I relaxed a little as I went to the banquet hall myself . There were many noblewomen there, including Countess Eliza and Laura, and Princess Soju from the Southern Kingdom . Princess Soju was the typical southerner ideal, sweet and generous and a skilled conversationalist . Everyone’s attention was drawn to what she said, when she suddenly looked over her shoulder and said, “That’s her . ”

 

When I turned around, Rashta was walking alone, smiling at the people around her . She seemed even more dazzling in the daytime . If our eyes met, she would come here as talk to me as if I were her sister again, so I turned my head away .

“Oh my God . ”

But this time, Laura was staring at Rashta .

“What is it?”

I couldn’t help my curiosity, and Laura answered with a glare at Rashta .

“The blue silk she’s wearing, Your Majesty . Isn’t that the one Grand Duke Lilteang tried to gift to you?”

I looked back and saw Laura was telling the truth . Rashta was arrayed in a gown of blue silk . The ladies clicked their tongues .

“Grand Duke Lilteang is truly incredible . ”

“I know . He moved as soon as he was rejected by Her Majesty . ”

I turned back again, and this time it was Countess Eliza that spoke, her voice low and confused .

“I don’t think the silk was the only thing that went from the Empress to her . ”

What was she talking about?

This was starting to be a nuisance, but I looked back again, and his time I couldn’t tear my eyes away .

Viscountess Verdi was standing next to Rashta, the day after Viscountess Verdi informed me that she couldn’t be my lady-in-waiting . I didn’t see her at first as she was hidden by someone else, but now I could see it clearly . Viscountess Verdi was next to Rashta . Laura had been worried about Viscountess Verdi all night, and she yelled sharply .

“I can’t believe it . Is she mad?”

Rashta and Viscountess Verdi looked over in our direction at the source of the loud noise . Viscountess Verdi quickly avoided my gaze when she saw me .

“…”

I thought the gift of blue silk from Lilteang was amusing, but this time I was upset . The lady-in-waiting was standing next to the women who took my husband . She had borrowed a lot of money from me . I didn’t know where Viscountess Verdi’s plan came from or how she changed her mind, but before she was the one who mocked Rashta the most .

“…”

Count Eliza and Laura said something next to me, but I didn’t hear them . What should I say about this? Was I embarrassed? In disbelief? Was the concubine here to take everything of mine away?

No . Perhaps Viscountess Verdi was not my companion from the beginning . Perhaps she was only with me for money, but I couldn’t allow myself to look flustered . Princess Soju clicked her tongue .

“I don’t understand the concubine system . There is no such strange system in the Southern Kingdom . In polite terms she a concubine, but isn’t it still cheating? But since the law approves of her as a concubine, she holds her head high without realizing how shameful it is . ”

“It’s as you say . Isn’t strange how she can pass in front of the Empress with her back held straight?”

Laura fired up in defense of me, while I ignored them and picked out the sweetest champagne . Yesterday I had left my seat and fled, so I thought I’d stay as long as possible today . It wouldn’t be easy though . While I appreciated everything that Princess Soju and the other ladies said, I didn’t want to talk about it in public .

I wondered how the story would spread . Everyone would pretend to be respectful on the surface, but they thought little of me for sending gifts to Rashta and would talk about me behind my back .

“Shall we talk about something else?”

In the end, I indirectly indicated that I did not want to discuss it . Fortunately, Princess Soju took no offense and redirected the conversation .

“Oh, I heard an interesting story about Prince Heinley this morning . ”

“An interesting story?”

“It was when we were eating together in the southern palace . I heard he exchanged letters anonymously with someone in the Eastern Empire . ”

“!”

“He said he wanted to find them, and that they should meet him at the southern palace . The gossip is everywhere . ”

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