The Castina Empire was the only empire of the continent, a time-honored country boasting almost one thousand years of history. The empire, which had been rising and falling under the rule of several emperors, was in the midst of revival under the good governance of the 33rd emperor, Mircan Lushana Castina.
Emperor Mircan was flawless in every regard including character, personality and other qualities except for the fact that he had no child. The imperial family had only a few offspring from generation to generation, so if the emperor died without having a child, the empire would be in turmoil due to the fight for succession.
When the emperor became more and more worried and the nobles' fighting for their own political benefits became more and more severe, his only blood, Rublis Kamaludin Shana Castina, was born. All the people of the empire cheered at his birth. His name meant 'The man who will bring the glory of the new morning.'
The only problem was that Rublis was born too late. There was no daughter of a great noble family who would be suitable as his bride in terms of age. Under the imperial law, the empress candidate was supposed to be selected among the daughters of the noble families whose titles were the marquis and above. Strange enough, after he was born, there was no daughter born into the families of the marquis or above. In the end, there was a debate among the aristocrats about whether or not to revise the imperial law. Finally, there was a prophecy about the upcoming birth of a girl who would be the prince's bride.
A year later, Aristia La Monique was born to Marquis Monique, the only founding father of the empire except the dukes. The warm golden-eyed girl with the silvery hair was chosen as the prince's future wife as soon as she was born. By the time she took her first steps, she began to be disciplined as the next empress.
Shortly after the prince turned 23, Emperor Mircan died.
Following him, Rublis became the 34th emperor of the Castina Empire, but the empress next to him was not the marquise's daughter with golden eyes and silver hair, but a young woman with black hair. A mysterious young woman suddenly appeared at the lake of the imperial palace the year the crown prince turned 21 and Aristia turned 16.
Soon, people began to think that she was the protagonist of the prophecy before Aristia was born, namely the mysterious young woman sent by God to be Rublis's wife.
Aristia was forgotten on the day the whole empire celebrated the crowing of Rublis as the new emperor, the day she had been earnestly looking forward to, the day she was meant to stand beside him as the empress. It had been a day when pollen flew through the air and the people cheered.
Watching Rublis, who was always cold to her, smiling at the mysterious young woman, happily holding her hand, and receiving crowns as the emperor and empress, Aristia, who was raised to become the future empress, was given the title as the emperor's concubine, and bowed to the young woman entering the empress's palace that she thought would be her home someday.
Although she was destined to be the first lady of the imperial palace, Aristia began her life as one of the emperor's concubines.
"Wow, silver hair! This color really exists! You're really pretty. Hi? What's your name?"
The child of prophecy, a mysterious girl sent by god to the empire. As someone loved by everyone, she smiled at me brightly. Praised by so many people for her innocence, her innocent smile made her look like an idiot.
"I, Aristia La Monique, am honored to greet the Moon of the Empire, Your Highness."
If I had been the empress, I would have been given Castina as my last name, but my current name is Aristia La Monique. Castina is only given to the emperor's official wife, the empress. As the emperor's concubine, I would never be allowed to have the glorious last name of Castina.
"Aristia? Your name is long. Can I call you Tia? "
"...Yes, it's my honor, Your Highness. "
Tia, Tia. Didn't she know? For aristocrats, first names were only used between people with some kind of acquaintance. Nicknames were allowed only between blood relatives, very close friends or lovers.
"Nice to meet you. My name is Jiun. Let's get along well in the future. "
"Yes, Your Highness."
"Tia, you are pretty, but the way you speak is too rigid. Can't you treat me comfortably?"
"I'm sorry, Your Highness."
"Sorry? Oh my god... that's the word I hear often in historical soap operas. Don't talk to me like that. Can you just talk to me comfortably? I'm so uncomfortable when you talk to me like that. "
It is basic to use formal language among aristocrats, and it is the custom of the imperial family to use more formal and archaic language. This young woman, the child of prophecy, loved by God and called a girl of mystery, used the vulgar language of commoners while ignoring all the royal manners.
Is she clumsy at etiquette? Or is she ignoring me just because I'm a concubine and not worth her good treatment? I had better not make a wild guess. She might not be good at manners yet. I don't think she knows who I am.
"Tia, would you like to go outside and play with me?"
"Where do you wish to go?"
"Well, I want to go outside the palace, but my sisters won't let me go. Let's just go for a walk, huh?"
"Yeah, I mean those sisters who take care of me. Phew! Do you know how scary they are? I don't know why there are people here who are older than me. They make me uncomfortable. "
I blankly looked at the empress as she grabbed my wrist blindly, saying something like the 'eastern land of courtesy.' I felt very unpleasant, but there was something more offensive than that. Sisters? If they were taking care of her, they would be called maids, not sisters.
I heard the rumors that the emperor was kind and generous to people around her. Was it because of her actions like this?
I let out a sigh. It was a due virtue for masters to treat their servants tenderly and warmly, but there is a limit to everything. If a person is indulged by his supervisor's too generous treatment, it is his supervisor's fault.
Of course, it was definitely necessary for the empress to be kind and warm to her maids so feel comfortable and regard her as a good empress.
'But why doesn't she know that it is presumptuous for the maids to meddle in the emperor's actions as the first lady of the empire?'
I felt that maybe I should discipline the maids again. In that case, I would have more work to do.
"Isn't this place so pretty?"
Although the empress was slender, she was very strong. Led by her, I arrived at the empress's private garden, hiding my unpleasant feelings. It was a place that the late emperor, who doted on me, often invited me to when I was young. It was also the place I met Rublis for the first time, who I thought would be my better half for the rest of my life.
<Sweetie, Aristia! My lovely daughter-in-law!>
The wind was blowing through the colorful flowers and fresh greenery of the garden.
I felt as if I could hear his familiar voice somewhere from this familiar garden where I could walk easily even with my eyes closed. I was suddenly moved to tears.
Those good old days when I thought I would be happy with everybody flashed through my mind in the blink of an eye.
<You always worked hard. Are you happy now in God's arms, Your Majesty? I really want to see you today.>
"Tia? Are you okay?"
"... I'm fine. I'm sorry to have worried you, Your Highness."
The girl looked at me, tilting her head to the side. I clicked my tongue in my heart.
'You still need more self-discipline, Aristia. No matter how deeply you miss the late emperor, how come you are showing your feelings in front of others?' I thought to myself.
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"What are you thinking about? Did something bad happen to you? "
"No. I was just thinking about what I dearly missed. "
Her expression, which I thought was always bright, suddenly grew dark.
"What you missed..."
"Mom, Dad, even my naughty brother, Jisu... I miss them so much."
Oh, I see. Probably she has a family, too. I hear she is eighteen years old this year. Like me, she is still missing her family. I have a father, though he is brusque, but she doesn't have any family here. Suddenly, she was separated from her family, and became an empress regardless of her will. She is probably a victim