Chapter 156: Who Touched My Girl? (4)

“Wh… What?!”

“Did he just ask her hand for marriage? And in such an official place like this?”

“Oh my god… the Grand Duke got on his knees. Did that really just happen right now?”

The people were astonished. Milton’s action was just a practice commonly known as a proposal on Earth. Let’s forget about the fact that others already wanted to kill him for having two wives already and proposing to a third…

In this world, proposals weren’t a part of their culture. Strictly speaking, there were moments when a guy would ask his lover to marry him, but those were commoners and therefore, different. Even as a commoner, the intent to marry wasn’t expressed by to the woman herself, but to the woman’s parents; that was common sense and proper manners in this world. 

It was even more so in the case of nobles. Marriage was the union between families, and the initiative to combine families wasn’t to be taken by the directly involved parties, but the family heads. If the head of the family told you to marry, then you would get married without having seen the other’s face before; that was marriage. Of course, there were cases where the two were engaged, and did something very similar to dating until they got married.

Anyway, the important thing was that a man, a high-ranking man at that, was kneeling in front of a woman as if he was begging her to marry him. This behavior was truly unconventional. All the women who witnessed this unconventional act unconsciously blushed as they thought to themselves.

‘I’m jealous. How wonderful that must feel…’

‘I wish someone liked me like that.’

‘Coming all this way from the Lester Kingdom, gatecrashing the wedding ceremony, and proposing… ahh…’

At the beginning of this wedding, Princess Violet had been the object of ridicule and pity, but now, she had quickly become the object of envy. A man who had risen to a powerful position of Grand Duke loved her so much that he crashed her wedding and publicly proposed to her. That perception caused everyone to envy her.

Princess Violet responded shyly in the face of such envy.

“Yes, I accept your proposal.”

Then, she accepted the flower in Milton’s hand as if it was something precious. The bouquet she had originally been holding in her hand fell to the floor like a dirty rag.

“This is invalid! This is outrageously high-handed!”

Ward Toll began shouting when he saw this, but when Milton raised his hand, the knights waiting on one side quietly took him away. 

“Why don’t you come this way for a moment.”

“Let me go. Do you know who I am…mm!”

Ward Toll kept shouting but his mouth was blocked and he was miserably dragged out. 

Then, Milton pulled Princess Violet by her waist to his side and turned to King Lawrence.

“As you can see, I plan to take this kind of responsibility. Unless you’re still unsatisfied?”

“…no.”

King Lawrence changed his attitude and replied mildly. Then, he took it a step further.

“Rather, I welcome you. It would have been nice if I had known that this is what the Grand Duke felt.”

King Lawrence’s sudden change dumbfounded Milton.

‘This man, he really only sees his daughter as something to sell to the highest bidder?’

It could be clearly seen from King Lawrence’s expression that he realized rather than selling his daughter to a Marquis from the Valence Kingdom, he could get much more if he sold her to the Grand Duke of the Lester Kingdom. 

“Then, you’re not against it, King Lawrence?”

“Of course not. Then let’s officially set a date for the engagement. And there will be things that we’ll need to discuss in the future… hahaha… it’ll be busy for a while.”

It seemed like he was thinking about how to get as much money as possible.

“Yes, Sir. It won’t be easy to proceed with a royal marriage.”

But there was something that King Lawrence did not know. 

“I wish for you to have an official discussion with my wife, Queen Leila, regarding the wedding process and plans.”

The Lester Kingdom’s Queen was a monster, she was a vixen that would never waste money. It would be impossible for King Lawrence to cheat them out of enormous sums of marriage funds as he wished. 

***

With King Lawrence’s permission, Milton hastened to proceed marrying Princess Violet. There wasn’t any particular reason for the rush; he just didn’t want to leave her in this country any longer. 

King Lawrence had originally expressed reluctance when Milton wanted to skip the engagement ceremony and hold the wedding right away. He said he didn’t want to be neglectful of his daughter’s wedding, but everyone knew that was just an excuse. When Milton asked why the wedding to Ward Toll was able to proceed so quickly, King Lawrence couldn’t say anything and could only allow it to proceed. 

In the process leading up to the wedding, Milton was even able to rescue Princess Violet’s mother, the 7th Queen, Jane. Milton justified (insisted) that because of Queen Jane’s poor health, it would be better to recuperate in the Lester Kingdom. Of course, King Lawrence didn’t want that, but when Milton continued to insist, it was like King Lawrence didn’t have the right to say no. 

‘That damned… I have to get a proper dowry out of them.’

King Lawrence gritted his teeth and promised himself.

Truthfully, a dowry was paid by the bride, but he was ignoring that. 

*** 

In the back of Princess Violet’s palace, Milton was having a nice time with Princess Violet’s mother Jane, the 7th Queen.

“Oh my, then you’re saying that you liked my daughter from the battlefield?”

“Yes, she’s even saved my life once.”

“Oh my…”

Milton’s attitude towards the 7th Queen Jane was different from how he treated King Lawrence, after all, she was someone who could be called a real family member. Milton had to treat her differently from how he treated King Lawrence; King Lawrence was just someone Princess Violet shared blood with, he was no different from a stranger. 

“When you come to my country, I’ll build you a separate palace. If you are ever uncomfortable, please feel free to tell me.”

The 7th Queen Jane, smiled with feelings of relief and euphoria when she heard those words. While she had climbed up to the position of a Queen from her status as a palace maid, no one truly recognized or treated her as a Queen. Not only the royal family members, but even the palace maids gossiped behind her back, so what could she expect from them?

But Milton was treating her sincerely and wasn’t because he had a particular reason. His only reason for treating her with such courtesy was simply because she was the mother of Violet, who was to become his wife.

That was what made her so happy. She wasn’t happy that Milton treated her like this, she was happy because Milton loved her daughter enough to treat her like this. She knew very well how sad and sorrowful it was if she couldn’t be loved by her husband after they got married. After all, isn’t that why she tried to persuade her daughter to run away before the wedding? But now, it seemed like her daughter would live a completely different life from her. It all made her so happy.

“Thank you so much. I’m just grateful and happy that you’re getting along with my daughter.”

“That’s only natural.”

“But will you be alright? The King will most likely make an unreasonable request from your kingdom in return for allowing this marriage…”

Milton gave her a broad smile when he saw her apologetic expression.

“You don’t have to worry about that.”

“Really?”

“Truly, you don’t have to worry about that at all.”

Milton laughed as he promised that. 

***

‘I can’t believe I have to personally deal with these things.’

Queen Leila sighed as she read the letter delivered by the messenger. To summarize…

He gatecrashed the wedding.

It was most likely that he would be marrying Princess Violet.

But King Lawrence is whining about money, so he was leaving that part to her.

‘I should just divorce him.’

They were still newlywed, but Milton was already thinking about bringing in another wife? Even though it was Queen Leila who had created the relationship with Princess Violet, Milton’s commanding attitude was still annoying. Didn’t people say others would take kindness for granted after a while? At this point, Queen Leila wondering whether she should ‘teach and discipline’ her husband properly. But that was that, she had to deal with King Lawrence first. 

“Florence Principality… it’s a country that we need to go through if we want to go South.”

Geopolitically, the Florence Principality was an essential country for the Lester Kingdom to secure in order to get to the South. Wasn’t that the reason behind Queen Leila making that political decision to accept Princess Violet?

Although at times, she did think about just conquering the entire Principality, it was too troublesome. If she conquered the Florence Principality, then her borders would be directly shared with the Gloucester Kingdom or the Andrews Empire. Compared to the things gained, there were too many things she would have to worry about, that’s why she had determined it would be better to leave the Principality alone and use it as a buffer. 

“Of course, I should tie a leash around them properly.”

Queen Leila mumbled to herself before picking up her pen and writing a letter. Once she finished her letter, she put it in an envelope, sealed it, and was about to call for the messenger when she paused. Then, she reopened her envelope and wrote one more letter to add to it. Once she added that additional letter to the envelope, she melted the wax with the candlestick and stamped her seal before calling a messenger. As she passed over the letter, she spoke.

“Deliver this letter to the Grand Duke as quickly as possible.”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

Commanded by Her Majesty the Queen, the messenger moves as quickly as possible.

***

“The reply came very quickly.”

Queen Leila’s reply arrived less than ten days after Milton reported the situation. It was really fast considering that this world didn’t have any smartphones or SNS. From what he heard, it was because all the messengers ran like mad.

“Let’s see, wonder what kind of reply she sent back?”

When Milton checked the contents of Queen Leila’s letter, his face lit up. If this was the case, then his marriage to Princess Violet would proceed without any problems. Not to mention, they would get all sorts of benefits.

‘Yeup, my wife is evil.’

Just as Milton was smiling with satisfaction, he discovered that there was one more letter in the envelope.

‘What’s this?’

He looked at it. There was only a very short sentence written on it.

        - I miss you.

“Ah…”

It felt like he’d be sucker-punched. Did Queen Leila really just…

He never thought that Queen Leila, someone he regarded as the most devious of all vixens, would send a letter like this.

‘Yeup, my wife is really sweet.’

Milton’s thoughts sure changed quickly. 

***

Milton created a moment for him to meet with King Lawrence. 

“I sent a letter to my country in order to coordinate opinions between our two countries for the marriage and a reply has come.”

King Lawrence dry-coughed when Milton went straight to the point as soon as they met. 

Cough… how could there possibly be anything concerning. As long as you can reassure me that my dear daughter would be given a stable position in your kingdom, I’ll be satisfied.”

King Lawrence was twisting a simple question of, ‘how much are you going to give,’ into something very complicated.

“My country is thinking of taking this opportunity to provide support to the Florence Principality.”

“Support? What do you mean by that?”

When he heard that the Lester Kingdom would give support instead of just money, King Lawrence’s ears perked up. Seeing him like that, Milton thought to himself.

‘He’s really easy to catch.’

According to Queen Leila’s plan, they would slowly coax King Lawrence, but it seemed like that wouldn’t be necessary. Despite being a king of a country, King Lawrence only had an Intellect Stat of 65 and a Politics Stat of 77. Although Milton wasn’t as devious as Queen Leila, he still had the confidence to fool this meathead. 

“What do you think Florence Principality needs the most right now?”

Prince Lawrence thought for a moment and replied.

“I believe that in order for a country to run smoothly, it must have abundant funds.”

Milton ridiculed King Lawrence when he heard that.

‘You probably need that money to strengthen your position as king.’

It was true that funds were important to a country.

However, if Florence Principality’s money was monopolized by the country’s upper class, then the general public was being cheated out of the country’s productions. What would be the use of money increasing in a situation like this? If money doesn’t circulate throughout the country, people’s lives wouldn’t improve at all. If the quality of the people’s lives didn’t improve, all that meant was the population and industrial output were staying in the same place.

In short, King Lawrence’s words were complete nonsense. But instead of trying to beat him with facts, Milton gave him a different opinion.

“Funds are important, but that’s only in times of peace. Do you think our present times are peaceful, King Lawrence?”

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