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Chapter 156 – A Secret Story (1)
I thought Sovieshu would not fall for that couple’s ridiculously obvious lies. Instead of accepting my point, however, Sovieshu flatly refused it.
“If the Empress insists on calling a soybean a red bean, then most people will call it a red bean.”
The moment I saw his determined expression, I could see his intentions. Whether the couple’s words were true or not was of no importance to him. He was intending to divorce me regardless, and would use any excuse to do so.
The fact that the brother of the Empress was banished after attempting to harm the Emperor’s baby, but repeated his attempt to attack the baby again? That was enough grounds to claim divorce. It was a fight of justification. It didn’t matter whether people believed it or not; in the decades to come, it would be recorded as true. He must have heard the false testimony before me. But what did he do then?
Instead of continuing to argue with Sovieshu, I exited the western tower and returned to my chambers.
“Your Majesty, have you met the couple ”
“What did they say?”
“Did they dare lie when they saw you, Your Majesty?”
The ladies-in-waiting gathered around me worriedly, but now I could not afford to rea.s.sure them. Instead, I called the lieutenant, then gave orders to him and the ladies-in-waiting.
“Please confirm the location of all the Emperor’s secretaries.”
Everyone looked bewildered, but they bowed and scattered to carry out my request. I sat in the parlor room and anxiously waited for all of them to return.
After about half an hour, they all started to return with their reports. One secretary was in the audience chamber, another was with Sovieshu, some others were in their offices…
There was only one person who was absent.
“Marquis Karl is not in the palace.”
“Where is he?”
“I don’t know. He had said he would be out of the palace for a few days, but he didn’t say why, only that he was ordered to.”
It was him. Upon hearing the lieutenant’s words, the picture soon became clear. In order for the Emperor to get divorced, he must first file an application with the High Priest. It was evident that Marquis Karl went to the High Priest with a pet.i.tion under Sovieshu’s orders.
I bit my lips. It was as if there was a rat eating away at my heart. What was the divorce procedure like? After Sovieshu filed for divorce…
The High Priest would come. He would come and talk in person with Sovieshu.
After that, the court would be gathered, and I would be asked a question. Would I accept Sovieshu’s divorce? If my answer was ‘yes’, then we would be divorced. If I said ‘no’, then we would undergo a long and drawn out process. Of course, victory always went to the emperor.
“Your Majesty, are you all right?”
“Your Majesty, what is it?”
The frustration and anxiety must have been revealed on my face, and the ladies-in-waiting called to me worriedly.
I made up an excuse, went into my bedroom alone, and took out some stationary. I sat down at my desk and began penning a letter to Heinley. The letter was long, but the contents were simple.Read more new novels on ReadNovelFull.com
With divorce imminent, I had wanted to remarry as soon as possible. I used to think that marrying Heinley would solve everything, however, I was struck with a sudden terrible thought. No empress or queen in history ever remarried after divorce. If a member of a royal family remarried a n.o.ble, the relations.h.i.+p would become complicated in many ways. Sovieshu may also try to stop my remarriage. If I wanted things to go smoothly, then when the High Priest came, I should obtain clear consent for remarriage.
After I finished writing my letter, I placed it in an envelope and sealed it with wax. I returned to the parlor room before the seal was even dry. The ladies-in-waiting and Sir Artina were still in the parlor room. They looked anxious.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Give this to Marquis Farang and tell him to send this by messenger bird.”
I extended the letter to Sir Artina. I added no other explanation. Marquis Farang would know what to do.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Sir Artina took the letter with both hands and quickly left.
“Your Majesty, what on earth is going on?”
The ladies-in-waiting were more worried after Sir Artina left, but I could tell them nothing. The less they knew, the better. There was already a leak concerning my dress. This was more important than a dress, and so my actions had to be carried out as carefully as possible.
“I’m sorry. After everything has settled…I’ll let you know.”
After that, I stayed in my room and anxiously waited for Sir Artina’s return. Marquis Farang’s home was just outside the capital.
‘It won’t take long to get there by horse.’
I checked my watch several times, just waiting for the moment when Sir Artina would return and say, ‘I delivered the letter to Marquis Farang.’
Finally, Sir Artina arrived, and I quickly stood up.
“Did you tell him?”
But Sir Artina’s reply was devastating.
“Failed to deliver ”
“Marquis Farang was not in his residence, Your Majesty.”
“Where did he go?”
“I heard from his butler that the marquis had packed up his things and left, saying that he was going to see a friend. But he didn’t say where he was going.”
He went to the Western Kingdom! To see my brother!
“He went to the Western Kingdom.”
“The Western Kingdom?”
“You came to see me a few hours ago, so he wouldn’t have gone that far. Find him and deliver the letter. You must do it.”
Sir Artina looked surprised, but he nodded with a determined expression and left.
I collapsed on the bed, completely exhausted. Not it all depended on how quickly Sir Artina could catch up with Marquis Farang. The letter must be delivered to Heinley before the High Priest arrived…
Was it possible?
For a few days thereafter, I found myself in a dazed, floating state. However, I was busier than ever, though not because my schedule was normally this packed; this time last year had no events and was relatively relaxing. I was busy because I had many things to finish before getting divorced.
Rashta would be the next empress. She would have to hold an audience every day or so, and set up a budget for the Imperial Palace…the thought of it made me nervous, but with the help of Baron Lant, she could imitate me from past precedent. Sovieshu would also provide state officials to a.s.sist her.
The problem was with my orphanages, nursing homes, support facilities for single parents, free hospitals and meal services. Had I run them under my name or my family’s name, I would be able to keep running them after the divorce. However, they were operated under the Imperial Family. While most of the money came from me, I could not run an Imperial inst.i.tution unless I was the empress. Rashta would have to oversee them. I didn’t know if she would use her money to fund them, and since I couldn’t go to her and ask for the authority to do so, I had to plan the budget and administrative arrangements several years in advance.
‘In a few years, Rashta will adjust to the position of empress.’
The commoners cheered for Rashta. She was the heroine that they loved and admired. After being so loved, and having a few years to adjust to the position, she would be able to take care of my work.
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