Princess Shu - Chapter 11 ( 18+ )
“Why aren’t you surprised?”
“I think today is the first time that I revealed that I’m Marquess Garth.”
Valia was stiff for a moment.
“You’re excessively calm about that. Did someone give you a tip?”
Valia lightly bit the inside of her lips. She did not think about that to that extent. As soon as she realized that it was an obvious mistake, she came up with several responses.
‘Should I say that I have already heard about it?’
But, Valia’s activities and the people she encountered for the past few days were too few. It would be very troublesome if Schuden found out about her lies when he investigated them. She did not want to be suspected by him. If Schuden doubted her, somehow she would not be able to die happy.
‘Shaun and the High Priest have never directly addressed him as Marquess Garth either.’
They have only been addressing Schuden as ‘Your Excellency’ or ‘Milord’, but never ‘Marquess Garth’. It would be a different case if Valia was born in the Gel Empire. But Valia was a noble of the faraway Lisa Kingdom. If she was able to deduce that he was from the House of Garth just from his title or position, she should be an astrologist rather than a Marchioness.
[My future husband… I mean, the Marquess, is he scary?]
She thought she should not have mentioned his position. She said it without thinking back then, but she did not know that it would turn out like this. Valia began to get nervous.
‘Should I just say I don’t get surprised easily…?’
I’m surprised even when I break the plate while washing the dishes, will it be okay?
The probability of the Marchioness washing the dishes in front of the Marquess was as much as the probability that she would jump into the battlefield with a baby bottle in her hand, but Valia was not in the situation to argue about that.
“I was not often invited to tea parties.”
It was fortunate that she was good at adapting to the situation. In addition, it was a clear fact that she was not often invited, so even if Schuden did a background check regarding that, there would be nothing to reveal.
“So… I didn’t even get to know about your reputation beforehand.”
That was a lie. It was true that Schuden’s name was not mentioned in the tea parties of a small kingdom but even the nobles of the Lisa Kingdom knew what reputation Marquess Garth from the Gel Empire had and how high his position was. But what can he do when Valia said she did not know. Valia asked carefully.
“..Should I be more surprised?”
“There is no need for that. I just asked because I was curious. I’m not even from a family great enough for my name to spread in other countries’ high society.”
Valia muttered to herself. Even in her past memories, the House of Garth had built a great reputation for themselves. Originally, they were famous for their tremendous wealth, but in this generation, their great contributions to the war further contributed to their tremendous reputation.
The young Marquess Garth. He was truly a genius knight. In every war he participated in, the flag of the Gel Empire flew high. His amazing strategies and power turned the enemy camp into a wasteland. It would seem that he even received a proposal to be promoted to a Duke, but the Marquess refused for some reason. Maybe that was the reason. There were always many people around him. When a banquet was held in the Imperial Palace, a human circle would be formed around the reddish-blonde hair.
Not knowing what Valia was thinking, Schuden was glad that she did not know much about the House of Garth. One’s status was like a double-edged sword. Depending on how one wielded it, one could harm oneself. The position as Marchioness Garth was a position that anyone coveted. In particular, Valia’s position in high society had recently changed, she was now in a league of her own. If she put her mind to it, she could even reign at the top of high society as much as she wanted.
That was because no other status other than Marchioness Garth in the high society of the Gel Empire would be able to do so. Since being the Marchioness of Garth was a ranking that was particularly high, and with the only Duchess of the Gel Empire being twice as old as her, Valia would definitely be in a high position among the noble women of her peers. In a very arrogant fashion, Schuden did not even take any other Marchionesses into consideration. Because though their positions were the same, their powers were noticeably different.
Schuden was not interested in social power. However, when the daughter of the knight from a small kingdom became Marchioness Garth, he could fully guess that the impact would be enormous. The envy, jealousy, and conspiracy would be beyond imagination. Those who cling with the hope to get a rake-off were rather better in comparison.
‘I don’t see her having the ability to endure it.’
A quiet and calm face like a submerged moon. Could Valia, the daughter of the knight from a small kingdom, adapt well in high society where schemes and trickeries were rampant?
Feeling burdensome when Schuden only stared at her, Valia called him carefully. The thought that she had a voice that went well with her silvery-gray eyes reminiscent of the dawn sky crossed his mind.
“You had no problem calling my name earlier. Why are you being formal this time?”
“…Well, I have a good reason to do so earlier.”
The reason was for the arrogant Princess to listen to. In her past, there were many people who looked down on her father’s identity. Sneers were basic and insults were a bonus. As Valia often went through such things, she had become so strong-willed that she did not burst into tears. However, that did not mean she was not offended. When she saw the Princess shaking, she thought that she deserved it.
“A good reason, huh?”
Schuden hummed and tilted his chin. Other people would not notice any changes in his expressions. But not for Valia. She could vaguely tell that he was having fun.
“Then, are you going to call my name only if you have a good reason?”
“Of course, otherwise, that would go against formalities…”
“So, you’re the type to nitpick about formality? But to say that, your outfit on our first meeting…”
Valia’s face heated up as the embarrassing moment at that time came to her mind again. But she was especially confused about Schuden. In her past life, he was a blunt and quiet man. Even if he did not open his mouth, people around him would go crazy trying to talk to him. However, after seeing Schuden closely, he was different from what she thought. He seemed like someone who would never make a joke, but interestingly enough, Valia was wrong.
“Are rubies to your liking?”
When Valia blinked, he pointed to his wrist with his chin. The cufflink that Valia put was shining brightly. She did not realize it when it was on the display stand, but the ruby reflected on the sun had quite a deep red color.
“Yes, because it is similar to your eyes.”
Schuden blinked at her unexpected words and smiled.
“It seems that you have observed my eyes diligently.”
Schuden’s words pricked at Valia’s conscience so she just stayed quiet. He was right. Valia looked really hard at Schuden’s face. He was so good-looking from a distance, but when she saw him up close, she could not take her eyes off him. She did not think she would ever get tired of seeing his face all day long.
“Thank you for this cufflink.”
Valia nodded calmly. Technically, she chose it after putting her trust in the Marquess’ donation but she did not want to ruin the mood. After all, it was somehow fluttering to hear him say thank you.
“You could probably tell from earlier, but please don’t accept guests starting from today. I will tell the knights so you don’t have to care about it.”
“Yes. All right.”
Valia nodded at Schuden’s words as she already knew the reason. From her past experience, she was fully aware of the power of the name Marchioness Garth. Whether with good or bad intentions, there would be many people rushing to at least see her face. To be honest, Valia was not confident in avoiding them. So it was best not to see them at all.
As they walked, they could finally see the entrance to the temple building. Passing through that door and walking straight through the hallway was the guest room where Valia was staying. While walking her to the entrance of the building, hhe said in a passing tone.
“See you at the wedding.”
“Pardon?… Oh, yes.”
As if that was enough, Schuden turned and walked away with no hesitation. Shaun followed him to see him off. As she saw him moving away from her, Valia felt disappointed for no reason.
‘A noble’s wedding would at least take around three months to half a year. Does that mean we won’t see each other for that long?’
It was common in Gel’s etiquette, but she could not help but feel sad when Schuden said that. As she stood there absentmindedly, Robin furtively talked to her.
“Milady, I heard that your favorite apple cookies will be served as dessert tonight. Why don’t you go eat?”
Valia looked back at Robin. He was two years younger than her, and always took good care of her mood. Even Shaun, who was somewhat strict, was always polite to her. It was only right for her to be grateful because she now had people who were so good to her. Valia shook off her gloomy feelings and smiled.
Schuden tried not to care until he officially married Valia and became a couple. But despite how meticulously he tried to not care, he had already promised her the position as Marchioness Garth. He thought that was a pretty good gift. For matters of food, clothing, and shelter, she was treated as a VIP in the temple. And as for an escort, the one in charge was not just anyone but the commander of the Knights of Garth.
He thought that he had given her enough. As that was also the truth, he thought that the only time he would come back to her was when there was a problem with the contract between Schuden and the High Priest. But today he came to visit Valia. There was no problem with the contract with the High Priest and there was nothing to tell her.
‘It was unpleasant.’
If he had to say why he visited her, it was because of the guys who giggled about vulgar jokes. Schuden could not figure out the link between the preceding situation and the subsequent outcome, he had never done that before. However, when there was trouble in the temple, he once again felt unpleasant. The temple was a place where he thought Valia would be safe after all, and there were so many unpleasant things here and there. Schuden frowned.
“Yes, Your Excellency.”
“I take back my order.”
“Make sure no one messes with her in the future.”
Shaun widened his eyes ever so slightly. And so, with his status as an experienced knight who was good at hiding his feelings, he obeyed his master’s order.
“I will risk my life to protect milady.”
Located in the capital, the office that was in Garth’s manor was used by the head of the house of Garth from generation to generation. Standing in line on the way to said office was about fifteen people, of these people were managers of each department. They each had a different management role, but their purpose came down to one—the prosperity of House of Garth. It took a considerable amount of manpower to manage a huge family.
Today was the day where the departments had officially met. When Schuden was first raised as the Marquess, the House of Garth did not have the same manpower as it does now. After a few reorganizations, the newly established management was founded.
Most of them exchanged information through documents, with the help of a third party, or with the help of those who directly took care of the Marquess’ order. So this was the first time they had all gathered in one place since Schuden became a Marquess.
The reason they were gathered was simple—the wedding.