Chapter 10: I’ll Give My Try At Coquetry
“Understood. Is there someone you have in mind for the representative of the delegation?”
“I’ll leave it to Earl Beretta.”
The official didn’t find anything strange even after hearing Latil’s request. Karisen’s emperor, Hyacinth, had visited Tarium to study abroad back when he was an Imperial Prince, and when for his marriage, Latil had visited Karisen as the representative of the marriage delegation.
Recently, Tarium had even sent a delegation to request a consort, so Latil’s orders were to be taken for granted.
But after the official headed out, the Chamberlain who knew of Latil and Hyacinth’s history could only ask worriedly.
“Will you be alright, Your Majesty?”
The Chamberlain had remained an aide since the previous emperor’s reign, so he clearly remembered just how much shock Latil had received after receiving news of Hyacinth’s marriage, and just how indignant she became after hearing of his request of a consort afterward.
But Latil gave a teetering smile and nodded her head.
“I wasn’t earlier, but now I think I’ll soon be very fine.”
“Hyacinth needs to pick those who’ll be my man with his own hands and experience it for himself. How I felt.”
‘Would he be dumbfounded? Or would he find this ridiculous? Will you mock me because it’s obvious what my intentions are? Or… would you be hurt, even just a little bit? Either way, it’d be even better if I could see his reaction firsthand, but that would be impossible.’
“Anyways, Marquess Savlée, what do you think about Duke Atraxil? Do you think he’ll send his son to me?”
“Are you referring to young master Ranamoon?”
“Yeah. The duke wanted his son to be prince consort. Do you think he’d be willing to even send his son as a consort for the seat?”
“I doubt it.”
The Chamberlain recalled Ranamoon whose nose touched the sky even from a young age, and shook his head again.
“If it’s young master Ranamoon, he will not come even if Duke Atraxil forces him to.”
“I’ll be a consort.”
Contrary to the Chamberlain’s expectations, it was Ranamoon who had volunteered first as a consort.
Duke Atraxil was astonished, and questioned back.
“Just now, my words, did you properly understand them?”
Knowing his son’s personality well, Duke Atraxil also had thought that Ranamoon wouldn’t enter the harem for sure. But he’s voluntarily stepping up on his own?
“You told me that the emperor had proclaimed that she’ll take in consorts.”
“But you’re telling me that you want to be a consort?”
Ranamoon answered indifferently and stared back at his father. Unlike someone who had just made an incredible statement, he had a very peaceful attitude. But on the other hand, Duke Atraxil was even more surprised and his heart began to pound.
Before Latil had risen to the seat of emperor, back when she was still competing with Prince Tralla, the one that told Ranamoon about the position of a prince consort was Duke Atraxil. He had even boasted that ‘you’ll become prince consort’ to Ranamoon.
So when Latil had announced that she’ll be taking in consorts, he was extremely embarrassed. Not only were his plans all messed up, but what would he say to Ranamoon, who he had confidently promised the seat of the prince consort?
He was at a loss of just how he would pass on the news to his son, whose pride reached the heavens.
Ranamoon was very prideful. If he heard the news, he was bound to turn the household into a sheet of ice for at least several months.
But it wasn’t as if the duke could go on hiding it forever, so he swallowed his embarrassment and told the absurd news. When his son had just simply announced that he’d become a consort unexpectedly, the duke was the one to be astonished instead.
“Perhaps, son. Do you not know…… what a consort is?”
It’s not like he has absolutely no interest in social circles. But what if he doesn’t even know what a consort is? If he doesn’t, then what do I tell him? The duke awaited Ranamoon’s answer, with a perplexed mood.
Luckily, Ranamoon answered without reserve.
“Although a custom originally from Hwa Wol, it is an established culture which spread and settled in back in the age of the Great Cultural Exchange. They were called the ‘concubines of the emperor’ before then. Of course, unlike a concubine whose only role is one as a lover, selected personally by the emperor, a consort may be offered to the emperor regardless of their will and may serve as a hostage, depending on the circumstances. However, as they are accepted as one of the members of the royal or imperial family, not only are they able to reside within the emperor’s harem, the children of a consort are accepted as the children of the emperor, unlike those of a concubine.”
The duke nodded his head reluctantly. He seems to be perfectly aware of what a consort is, textbook-wise.
“Unlike an empress, they are not assigned any official work, and it is their top priority to provide enjoyment and stability to the emperor.”
Looks like he’s also well aware of the practical aspects.
“One must also be talented in bed.”
Reality as well.
“Although I’m not experienced yet, I am capable of acquiring skills quickly. If I learn one, then I can realize ten in no time…”
[CHAPTER 10 Illustration: https://novel.naver.com/webnovel/illust.nhn?novelId=853016&order=Oldest&seq=77816 ]
Flabbergasted, Duke Atraxil slapped his hand across Ranamoon’s mouth. Although an adult, he was still his son. He didn’t want to talk about such things with his all-grown-up son. Of course, he’d hate it even more if his son wasn’t all grown up.
Ranamoon pushed the duke’s hand away, apathetically.
“Isn’t this the reality?”
“Yet, you still want to go?”
With your temperament?
The corner of Ranamoon’s lips curled up coldly.
What Duke Atraxil had been concerned about, was right. Unlike his impassive exterior, Ranamoon was currently in a state where his pride was extremely damaged. Even then, the reason why he was volunteering himself was that his pride was damaged even beyond what Duke Atraxil had been expecting.
Ranamoon initially had no strong ambition to become prince consort. To Ranamoon, the seat of prince consort was ‘Although I don’t want to, I’ll just do it’ sort of position.
But that didn’t mean he wanted to yield the position to another. Whether he wanted or not, he would still feel displeased if someone else took the seat he was a strong candidate for, because he didn’t want to bow down to those incompetent than him just because they were the prince consort.
But… What? Not picking a prince consort? Taking in consorts? Choosing the prince consort among the consorts?
Ranamoon ground his molars together. The emperor wasn’t an idiot. She obviously knew who the leading candidate was, for the prince consort. By announcing that she wouldn’t be choosing a prince consort basically meant that she didn’t want to take him in as her prince consort.
Ranamoon could not accept this.
“I’ll give my try at coquetry, as a consort.”
You’re even going to go for coquetry…? Duke Atraxil drew his body away at his son’s overwhelming words.
“Is what you’re holding, the documents that are needed to be a consort?”
Ranamoon seized the documents that Duke Atraxil was about to discard with a cold look, before taking out a pen from his front pocket and swiftly signed his name. In a flash, the duke was holding a document with his son’s name in his arms.
Ranamoon announced coldly while putting his pen back inside.
“The emperor will make me the prince consort, Father, before a full year passes.”
“…Yeah. I hope so. Me too.”
“For that to happen, Father, you must start to prepare thoroughly.”
Preparations! At that word, Duke Atraxil realized that it wasn’t time for him to flounder around.
Right. As long as his son had made his decision to be a consort, he now had to make lots of preparations from now. The competition that would happen between the consorts would probably be very fierce and frightening. The duke asked with a slightly nervous face.
“What shall I prepare? Poison? Aphrodisiacs? Bribery? A guard to take with you, disguised as your servant? Tell me. Whatever it may be, I’ll prepare them all.”
Ranamoon nodded back at the serious and vicious words and made a request.
“A book about night techniques, please.”
Just how much are you going to prepare?!
* * *
Earl Beretta was in doubt. Why was I chosen to be the representative of the delegation going to Karisen, all of a sudden?
He did have experience going back and forth as an envoy. But there were plenty of those who had more experience than him.
To say it was because of their acquaintance, Earl Beretta was not that close with Emperor Latrasil. Rather, they couldn’t be close. When Emperor Latasil had been in conflict with Prince Tratalla, he hadn’t supported either side.
If he had to choose between the two, he probably would’ve chosen Imperial Prince Tratalla’s side.
With their negligent relationship, he was planning to keep it low for a while.
“Are you still worried about that matter?”
Earl Beretta responded in a surly tone to the smiling entourage’s question.
“It’s strange, no matter how I think about it. Who knows? There could be a hidden intention behind this matter.”
“Oh, please do relax. It is a good thing that she has chosen Your Honor as the first representative of her delegation.”
As the entourage repeatedly spoke of nice words, only then was the earl put at ease. Right. It must be a good thing.
However, as soon as he spoke of requesting consorts to the emperor after arriving at Karisen, the earl realized the reason why Emperor Latrasil had chosen him as the representative of the delegation.
The Karisen’s emperor had been quite hospitable, saying that delegations from the Tarium Empire were all welcome guests in quite a friendly matter, while sprinkling a sparkling smile with the face renowned for its handsomeness in neighboring countries.
But that dazzling smile vanished instantly when Earl Beretta spoke of the delegation’s purpose. No, the smile didn’t just vanish. Emperor Hyacinth’s complexion had paled, while he clenched his jaw tightly.
“Who, is asking who, to send whom?”
The question was asked, broken into smaller pieces. By the last piece, he looked like he was about to uproot his throne before chucking it towards them.
“Is Tarium’s current emperor, not Emperor Latrasil right now?”
“Y, yes, Your Majesty.”
“But, Emperor Latrasil, sent you, to ask me, to personally pick men, to put in her harem? To me?”
It looked like Emperor Hyacinth and Emperor Latrasil were personal acquaintances with each other. In a bad way.
Thus, Emperor Latrasil had chosen Earl Beretta whom she didn’t have such a great relationship with, as the representative of the delegation because she’d expected him to throw a fit.
Even so, isn’t this too harsh? Earl Beretta pouted. He did think that Prince Tralla would be more fitting for the throne ‘right now’, but it wasn’t as if he was obvious about it.
Crash. A terrifying sound made Earl Beretta, whose thoughts were leading astray, come back to his senses. Earl Beretta swallowed his hiccups and looked back at the Emperor of Karisen with wide eyes.
This wasn’t the time for him to be dejected. He had to either properly fulfill his duties or give up his land and immigrate to another country, since he received an order.
Earl Beretta carefully opened his mouth and spoke in a tone as smooth as possible.
“Her Majesty of the Tarium Empire holds bountiful goodwill to Karisen. Two years ago, Tarium sent a consort to Karisen, have we not? This time, if Karisen sends a consort to Tarium, the two empires will be connected with two ties, and our relationship will cultivate even further, says Her Majesty.”
Earl Beretta took out a letter stamped with an emperor’s seal from his inner pocket.
“Here is a handwritten letter from Her Imperial Majesty.”
The chief secretary who was standing behind Emperor Hyacinth came forward to receive the letter, then passed it back to the emperor.
Earl Beretta gulped before turning back to Emperor Hyacinth.
Emperor Hyacinth was now removing the seal of the letter. The emperor’s eyes thoroughly scanned the luxurious paper tinted in light gold.
Earl Beretta brought his two hands together and held them tight. May Emperor Latrasil only have written the letter in nice words. Please don’t let there be words like ‘kill the person who delivered this’ in the letter.
However, Emperor Hyacinth was expressionless while reading the letter, so it was impossible to tell what he was thinking.
After some time, Emperor Hyacinth finally placed down the letter held in one hand, slowly.
Earl Beretta, who had been observing Emperor Hyacinth’s expression carefully, audibly gasped. Just what did she write in that letter…?!
Emperor Hyacinth looked like he wanted to rip the earl into pieces on the spot.
– I need a man for my harem. You know my tastes, don’t you? Send someone accordingly. I look at appearances. But that doesn’t mean I don’t look at personality, either. Since they’re going to be in the harem, they don’t have to be smart.
But it’d be nice if they could at least hold a conversation, though. Avoid a combination of brown hair and grey eyes. Ticks me off cause it reminds me of you.