Chapter 147: The Wedding (1)

No matter how naive she was, Princess Violet was still a woman of royal blood. She understood what Queen Leila was saying. She understood it very well, after all, didn’t the current king of Florence Principality have multiple wives? Due to political reasons, he had brought in several women from different families into the palace and if you counted the lovers he brought in unofficially, then there were even more women in the palace. 

Although Milton wasn’t royalty yet, once he married Queen Leila, he would receive the title of Grand Duke and become a part of the royal family. Queen Leila wasn’t planning on monopolizing Milton because of her jealousy as a woman, if she did, she would’ve blocked Sofia from the beginning. Rather, if it was for politics, she would even allow Milton to marry ten wives if necessary. But of course, the women had to be those that she could control and would have to be worth something to the Lester Kingdom. 

For Queen Leila, Princess Violet was someone who perfectly fulfilled both of those conditions. She was a princess of the Florence Principality but didn’t hold much attachment to her country. Queen Leila was planning to accept Princess Violet and create an official connection with the Florence Principality through it.

Although both the Lester Kingdom and the Florence Principality shared borders, they hadn’t actively interacted with each other. Before, they were both small countries and had to be wary of the neighboring countries, not to mention, Florence Principality was an enclosed country. But now, the two countries couldn’t live like that anymore — they couldn’t act like one was a chicken and the other a cow, nothing to do with each other. 

The Lester Kingdom greatly expanded their territory this time, but the fact that the Republicans had devoured the Strabus Kingdom couldn’t be ignored. If the Lester Kingdom could make a connection with a country that shared one of their borders, then how many troops and budget could they save? Queen Leila was planning on using Princess Violet to make that connection with the Florence Principality. After all, Queen Leila knew very well that the war with the Republic wasn’t over yet…That’s why she had to save even a little bit more for the next war and the marriage between Milton and Princess Violet would be perfect for it.

“Why don’t you think about it some more. I think it’d be great if we became a family.”

“Really, Your Majesty?”

At those words, Princess Violet looked at Queen Leila with a face full of hope. 

“Yes, but rank wise, you’d be the third wife… Ah! If you don’t like that, I guess it’s not possible…?”

“No, Your Majesty, I’m fine with that.”

Princess Violet was a woman of royal blood; she wasn’t against living with multiple wives.

“Alright, then I’ll have someone get started on that.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty Queen Leila.”

“I wish you’d call me sister in private.”

“Sister…”

And so, Queen Leila had completely won over Princess Violet. She thought to herself as she patted Princess Violet’s back. 

‘I can’t believe I seduced a woman for my husband. Maybe this was too much of a ‘wife’s assistance’?’

To think that Queen Leila had to ask herself this…

***

“Princess Violet?”

“Yes, isn’t she pretty? She’s pleasant and pretty, and she’s been poorly treated by her family so there’s no hesitation on that side either.”

Milton sighed as he listened to Queen Leila listing Princess Violet’s merits. 

“This is rather sudden.”

“What are you saying… didn’t you know she was interested in you?”

“She was?”

When Milton spoke like he was sincerely surprised, Queen Leila let out a sigh.

‘How did you not know?’

One of Queen Leila’s shortcomings was that she believed everyone thought like her. 

“If you don’t like it dear, you can say no. But… is there a reason for that?”

“A reason… I don’t really have one, but are you really alright with it?”

“With what?”

“Well… I’m asking if you’re really alright with me marrying another wife?”

Queen Leila smiled at his question.

“Dear, I’m alright with you marrying ten wives if that’s what you want. I’m even alright with you bringing maids into your bed.”

“I don’t plan on playing around like that…”

“But, I have two conditions.”

 Queen Leila interrupted him with a serious expression on her face. 

“Please, tell me.”

“One, don’t hide it from me. And two, don’t keep women that I hate by your side.”

These were most likely the only two restraints Queen Leila would put on her husband, Milton.

“That’s all you want from me?”

“Yes. As long as you keep these conditions, I won’t even object if you want to have a woman from all over this continent.”

“Like I said before, I don’t plan on playing around like that.”

Milton complained to Queen Lelia. 

“Alright, I promise that I’ll keep those two conditions for you, Leila.”

“Good. Then, let’s proceed with Princess Violet’s arrangements. But, I want the marriage with her to be delayed a bit.”

“Why? Since we’re getting married, why don’t we just do it all at once…”

“Just do it all at once? Do you plan on killing my husband?”

“Ah. No, love.”

Milton realized that he should always be careful with his words. 

“I personally don’t really care, but think of Sophia.”

“Sophia? What about her?”

“Well, I’m a monarch of a country so I don’t really care, but in Sophia’s case, she’s just a daughter of a junior nobleman, right? If Princess Violet and her married at the same time, what should Sophia’s rank be?”

“Ah…”

Milton exclaimed when he heard that, he hadn’t thought about it before. Even if Princess Violet was a princess of a small country, royalty was royalty. If they got married at the same time, then Sophia’s rank would automatically be lower than Princess Violet’s. Queen Leila was a vixen, so it didn’t matter, but it felt like he was doing Sophia a great disservice. 

Queen Leila seemed to have read Milton’s mind.

“Treat her well when we return back home.”

“I will.”

***

Although there was a bit(?) of a business to be dealt with in the middle, Milton was able to smoothly return to his estate. 

“Long live Marquis Forrest!!”

“Long live Queen Leila!!”

“Long live the Lester Kingdom!!”

They were greeted enthusiastically as thousands of people came out to the streets to cheer and throw flowers at the returning soldiers. Now that he was used to this spectacle, Milton waved his hand while talking to Queen Leila next to him.

“I thought there wasn’t going to be a Ceremony of Triumphant Return?”

After all, they had officially lost this war. While the country had gotten three times bigger, there was no reason for a Ceremony of Triumphant Return when they had been defeated. But in spite of that, the people had come out onto the streets and were greeting them warmly. 

“All of them came out on their own.”

“On their own, Your Majesty?”

“The people aren’t stupid, dear. Disregarding the official outcome of this war, didn’t we gain a lot?”

“That’s true.”

“So don’t shy away from rewarding people. Generously reward and honor those who made great contributions during this war.”

Milton nodded in response to Queen Leila’s permission.

“I’ll be happy to do so, Your Majesty.”

Milton had already been planning to generously reward his subordinates.

“Welcome back, Marquis Forrest.”

“Congratulations on your return, My Lord.”

“I’m relieved to see that you’re safe, My Lord.”

Sophia and the rest of Milton’s retainers warmly welcomed Milton as he entered the estate. Behind them were nobles that Milton couldn’t even remember the names of, staring at him like meerkats.

“You’ve all worked hard while I’ve been gone.”

When Milton thanked them, his retainers all gave him a deep bow. 

“It was nothing, My Lord.”

“No, My Lord, it was you who worked hard on the battlefield.”

“Although you were quite far away, everyone on the estate heard about your accomplishments, My Lord.”

Milton shook everyone’s hand as he went around praising them. Then, it became Sophia’s turn… 

He gently pulled her in and hugged her tenderly as he whispered in her ear. 

“I came back as promised.”

Sophia blushed and spoke in a soft voice. 

“I’m happy you’re back.”

Seeing her like that, Milton found her so lovable that he could only release her after kissing the back of her hand. Then, he turned back to the rest of his retainers. 

“Even if the war is over, it’ll be busy for a while. Our country has expanded and there are many more things that must be done, but I wish for everyone to continue to follow my lead.”

“Yes, sir!”

His retainers all responded in a loud voice to Milton. 

Just like Milton said, there was so much to do.

‘Well, the first thing that has to be done is my wedding.’

***

The wedding.

This was a ceremony that even ordinary people thought to be important; it was a ceremony in which two people became one and turned into a family. However, depending on the rank, a person’s wedding may have many meanings.

That was the case for Milton. His wedding was basically a joint wedding with two brides. Not only that, but because he was marrying Queen Leila, this wedding also served as a ceremony for Milton’s ascension to the position of Grand Duke. Additionally, once Milton became a Grand Duke, he planned to officially recognize the distinguished services of those who had made contributions during the war. Truthfully, he could’ve rewarded them before the wedding, but because he could do more for his men once he ascended to the position of Grand Duke, Milton had postponed the ceremony. 

Because Queen Leila had done most of the preparations, they were able to proceed relatively quickly with the wedding once the war was over. About a month after they returned home, Milton got married amidst the warm spring breeze carrying the fragrance of flowers and the sounds of the people’s blessings.

‘Ha… How nerve wrecking.’

With his heart pounding loudly, Milton stood before the priest and waited for his brides to enter.

Just as Milton’s nervousness reached its peak, the brides entered. 

“Ohhhhh…”

“How beautiful.”

“Oh my… how could they be so gorgeous?”

The guests buzzed as they watched the brides walking in. The two brides appeared in pure white wedding dresses; they were so stunning they put all other beauties to shame. 

Queen Leila was already known for her beauty. She was so beautiful that it’s said that once men look at her, they can never forget her and are tormented with lovesickness. While she usually dressed simply, her beauty was enough that it never gave the impression that her dresses were too simple, but today, she had dressed up to her heart’s content. From her hairstyle to her accessories, she had done her best to breathtaking and with every step she took, she dazzled with light.

Sophia’s transformation was even more surprising. She had been born with adorable looks but never dressed up. She always carried around her blueprints with ink on her fingertips and her hair tied back so that it wouldn’t bother her. But today, she had been transformed under the hands of a professional. If Queen Leila was like a mythological goddess, then Sophia was like a fairy of Spring. Wearing a white dress with a sheer pale yellow lace on top, a happy smile clung to Sophia’s face.

Seeing such two beautiful women, it wasn’t unreasonable for all the men at the ceremony to think the same thing.

‘Milton Forrest, you lucky dog.’

‘How are you getting married to TWO beautiful women…’

‘He must’ve saved a country in his previous life… ah, he saved our country in this lifetime.’

But there was something these envious people didn’t know.

They didn’t know what the woman sitting in the VIP seat of the wedding hall was thinking.

‘Next is my turn…’

Princess Violet was smiling for a different reason as she looked at the two brides. 

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