Lady To Queen - Chapter 124
Chapter 124 – [Side Story] Ch. 16 A Day Where Fate Ends and Begins
In the groom’s waiting room, Rothesay pushed everything out of his mind and attempted to calm his nerves. He had been fine in the days leading up to this long-awaited event, but when the time actually arrived, he couldn’t stop shaking. Just as he was inhaling deep breaths and trying to convince himself that he wouldn’t mess up, someone knocked at the door.
“Who is it?”
“It’s your father, Ro.”
It was Count Bradington. Rothesay put on a big smile.
“Father, come in.”
The door opened and in came the Count. He was wearing clothes that were more subdued than usual. Count Bradington slowly walked towards his son.
“You look nervous, even though you looked quite confident up until yesterday,” he said.
“That’s right, you rascal. Just yesterday, you looked like you were walking on air, so where did that joyous boy go?”
“I feel restless now that it’s actually my wedding day. I…I’m worried that I may not do well,” Rothesay confessed.
“Do well at what? Married life?”
“Yes. I don’t know if I can be a good husband.”
At his son’s worries, Count Bradington let out a hearty laugh before thumping Rothesay on the back.
“Don’t worry, Ro. The fact that you’re even having such thoughts from the very beginning proves that you’re more than qualified.” Count Bradington looked at Rothesay with eyes full of conviction. “You will truly become a wonderful husband and father.”
“How can you be so sure?” Rothesay asked.
“Because you are my and your mother’s son. It’s not like we picked you up from the streets, so you have our blood running through your veins, of course.”
“Ahaha.” That’s true. Rothesay gave his father a light smile. “Thank you, Father.”
“For looking after me until now. I’m so happy that I was able to grow under the care of such great parents. I’m a very lucky person.”
“Hearing that from my son who’s reached marriageable age makes me quite embarrassed. You better hurry up and go. You don’t want to keep the bride waiting any longer, do you?”
“Yes.” Rothesay’s eyes crinkled as he smiled. It was a clean and fresh smile that resembled the bride-to-be.
“Bride, please get into position.”
As soon as he heard those words, Rothesay—who was standing on the right side of the podium—felt his heart racing again. It was only until the bride was walking down the aisle that the realization that he was getting married hit Rothesay like a tidal wave. He couldn’t bear it any longer and turned around.
In that moment, he swallowed hard. It was the ever-beautiful her. It was no exaggeration to say that she looked two hundred times more beautiful. No, she was the most beautiful woman in the entire world. She looked like an angel that had transformed into a human in her pure white dress. A bright smile spread across Rothesay’s face.
It was then that Rothesay locked eyes with Petronilla. As soon as their gazes met, Petronilla gave an unhidable smile, which in turn made Rothesay’s smile grow even further.
His bride was the most beautiful person in the world.
When Petronilla finally stood to the left of Rothesay, he slowly reached out his hand to take hers. Petronilla squeezed his back. The feelings of when they first started dating started to resurface. It was just as sweet and heart-pounding as it was the first time.
The officiator was Duke Witherford. As all wedding speeches went, Duke Witherford’s was quite long. The couple loathed tedious things like this, but it wasn’t as if they could just say, ‘You’re dragging this out. Please make it short and sweet,’ to a person with the title of Duke.
Rothesay in particular wanted nothing more than to wrap this up as quickly as possible so that he could have his first night with his newlywed wife. Since he couldn’t just out and say something like that, he was forced to endure it.
“…then groom, do you take this bride as your lawfully wedded wife and vow to share both joy and sorrow, and to love her and only her until your hair turns gray?”
Rothesay responded without any hesitation, as if he had already been
prepared to say this for a long time.
“Until my hair turns gray and my body wastes away, I swear it on my name to love her and only her for the rest of my life.”
He nearly cried in the moment.
To think that he would be able to say these words with this wonderful woman next to him. It was a dream that he had long thought of and wished for. He hid the tears in his eyes that threatened to spill over and he beamed.
“And bride, do you take this groom as your lawfully wedded husband and vow to share
both joy and sorrow, and to love him and only him until your hair turns gray?”
“I swear to stay faithful and loyal to my husband, and to love him and only him for the
rest of my life.”
With that, Petronilla turned her head to the right and looked at Rothesay. At the same time, Rothesay turned his head to the left and looked at Petronilla. Her eyes were slightly red as if she was also trying to hold back tears. When he saw that, Rothesay couldn’t stop a tear from streaking down his cheek, but he was smiling all the same. He knew that she felt the same way as him.
He was happy.
“Then I now pronounce you husband and wife. May everyone in attendance bless them
with peace and prosperity until the ends of their lives.”
With those words, a roar of applause echoed throughout the room. The two newly-weds readily accepted the applause as they took each other’s hand before walking down the aisle.
They turned their heads toward each other at the same time.
Rothesay was now smiling widely, the tears from earlier now nowhere to be seen. He looked truly happy, as if he had obtained everything in the world. Petronilla was the same.
It was an enchanting day. The sides of Rothesay’s eyes crinkled as he smiled. Today was the happiest day of his life thus far, something he could say with conviction. He looked upon his lovely wife and made a silent vow.
‘I will definitely make you happy. I’ll make it so that you can say you’re happy from living with me.’
‘I love you, my wife.’
[Side Story 2] The Violet Rose. (Complete)
[Side Story 3] A Wrong Encounter
“I heard that the Emperor who recently ascended to the throne is quite good-looking.”
Even at the words of her colleague, Avery, Janet acted calm.
So what if the new Emperor is good looking? What does that have to do with me?, Janet thought.
Avery noticed her reaction. “You have no ambition. Try catching His Majesty’s eye and becoming a concubine! Then you can escape from this life as a servant girl.”
“How could girls like us ever catch the eye of His Majesty? It’s not like this is the Imperial Palace.”
Both Janet and Avery were girls from common families, and were only two out of the many servant girls that were assigned to serve the Emperor’s secondary palace. The secondary palace was located far away from the Imperial City where the emperor resided, so it was highly unlikely that either of them would have been able to catch his eye.
Janet then added to her words. “And even if by any chance I’m able to catch His Majesty’s eye, I don’t think the new Queen would be happy with him having a concubine. I’d be happy not to die.”
“Jeez, if that’s the case, then all the concubines of the previous emperors should have been killed.” A smile spread on Avery’s lips. “If the Queen is unable to produce a royal heir, and since the emperor doesn’t have any other siblings, it’s possible for the son of a concubine to become the next crown prince.”
“Avery, watch your words!” Janet exclaimed, appalled. She has no sense of caution! “If anyone hears us, we’ll get flogged. Be mindful of what you say!”
“You’re too paranoid.” Avery shook her head before getting out of her seat. It was time for them to head out. “In any case, His Majesty will be here in the evening after his parade. It can’t hurt to have a little hope.”
“Do as you please. I won’t stop you,” Janet said with a shrug. “That aside, if he’s coming tonight, then we better start sleeping earlier.”
“We’ve already been sleeping around that time anyway,” Avery pointed out.
Giving a soft laugh, Janet rose from her seat as well. After receiving the news that the Emperor would be staying here, the entire secondary palace was in a frenzy preparing for his arrival, including the both of them.
“It’s His Majesty’s first time here, so there must be no mistakes.”
Countess Amo—the woman in charge—said to them, and all the servant girls and attendants moved in perfect order. It was the final inspection. After everything was deemed perfect, Janet and Avery took a shower and changed into new dresses for the first time in a while. Janet thought that such a small luxury as this was nice.
It was in the late evening when the Emperor arrived at the palace. However, Janet and Avery were attending the nobles that accompanied the Emperor, and so were unable to actually see the Emperor himself. The ones that did attend the Emperor were of a higher rank than they were. Avery was rather disappointed, but Janet, who didn’t have much interest in the Emperor in the first place, was indifferent.
As midnight approached, Janet gradually began to feel more tired. For some reason, she had been feeling unwell since earlier.
‘Maybe I should go outside for some fresh air.’
Janet headed towards the garden outside. The midnight air felt chilly to her. After about five minutes passed, Janet decided to head back in, not wanting to catch a cold, and turned around…only to see someone.
It was a person she had never seen before, but Janet instantly knew who he was. He had beautiful golden robes and hair as dark as the midnight sky. This was definitely…
“Your Majesty,” she said without meaning to, and the man slowly turned his head. Janet’s heart was pounding hard.
‘I heard that the Emperor who recently ascended to the throne is quite good-looking.’
The words Avery said earlier that day came to mind. When she said that he was ‘quite good-looking,’ Janet didn’t believe her, since she heard that the previous Emperor was ugly. However, she didn’t take into account the fact that the previous Queen was the most beautiful out of all the queens.
“Who are you?” the man said in a low voice. It was quite attractive.
Janet quickly ducked her head as she answered. “I am just…a lowly servant girl, Your Majesty.”
“What is your name?”
“…it’s Janet, Your Majesty.”
“What a beautiful name.”
Just then, Janet, who still had her eyes downward, heard the sound of footsteps getting closer. She swallowed hard. The Emperor was coming this way. But why? Was he just going to walk past her to head inside?
She placed a hand against her pounding heart and waited for him to leave, but the footsteps did not go past. Instead, they stopped right in front of her. She inadvertently straightened herself out, and when she saw the Emperor standing in front of her, she immediately ducked her head again.
“You can raise your head,” the Emperor said with a laugh.
“It’s an Imperial order. Come on now.”
An Imperial order was above the manners of a servant girl. Janet slowly raised her head. At the same time, a gust of wind came from behind her, and she gave a shiver from the chill.
“Are you cold?” the Emperor asked her.
“I-I am fine.”
“You don’t look fine.”
With those words, he took off the cape he was wearing and stepped closer to Janet. Realizing what the Emperor was trying to do, Janet was astonished and quickly refused.
“Your Majesty, how could I dare to—”
“It’s virtuous for a leader to show kindness towards the ones below them. You don’t need to refuse.”
Janet looked at the Emperor with a bewildered expression, but he remained firm. Having no other choice, Janet couldn’t refuse his offered hand and simply stood still.
“Your stature is frail and thin,” he noted.
“I have been eating well though… it must just be my body’s constitution. I must take after my thin mother.”
“Is that so?” The Emperor smiled lightly as he met Janet’s gaze. Janet could feel her heart racing more than before.
‘Why am I like this?’
It wasn’t good to have these feelings towards her Lord and Master.