Truthfully, when Queen Leila was pregnant, Milton wanted the fetus to be a boy. While he didn’t care personally whether he had a son or a daughter, the important thing was there couldn’t be any noise about the successor. The child of Milton and Leila would take the surname Lester, not Forrest, in other words, the child would become the next monarch of the country. So, of course, there would be less noise if it was a son and not a daughter. Although Leila was crowned the Queen of the Lester Kingdom, the perception of the current era still favored a king over a queen. In fact, Queen Leila being the only female in the position of monarch on the continent was evidence of that.
And so, Milton was doing everything possible to create a smooth path for their successor. Even though he had promised it to her before, Milton still made sure to have Queen Leila conceive a child first and negotiated with his other wives to sleep with Leila more often. Of course, Sophia and Violet knew and understood his intentions. They knew that it was important for Leila to give birth first in order to solidify the legitimacy of her heirs. It can even be said that if the oldest son was born from the first legal wife, there would be zero chances of controversy. Perhaps it was because she understood Milton’s intentions, but Leila was the first to conceive and as long as the child was a boy, the problem of the successor would be solved by more than 90%.
But of course, nothing in the world ever works out as you want it to. Queen Leila gave birth to a daughter. Of course, Milton was happy; he was so happy he cried when he first held Elizabeth in his arms. However, a part of him was anxious. Would Leila also welcome this daughter of his that looked like an angel? Or would she be disappointed that the child wasn’t a boy? Milton had wanted to ask her many times before, but he had never had the courage to ask — he had been afraid of the answer he would hear. However, all of Milton’s worries were useless.
“Pass her to me.”
Soaked in sweat from the difficult childbirth, Queen Leila embraced Elizabeth with a tender smile. Chuckling at the child wiggling in her arms, she spoke to Elizabeth.
“Welcome, my love.”
With that one sentence, all of Milton’s worries melted like snow. Leila truly loved her daughter and that was enough. Elizabeth’s legitimacy as a royal family member and how the world would view her could all be dealt with in the future. It was probably at that moment that Milton began to speak more comfortably with Queen Leila in private. The image of Leila holding Elizabeth in her arms was a precious treasure that could never be found again for Milton.
At that moment, the door opened and two more women entered the office.
“Excuse us. Is Bess here… she is.”
“Bess, I was looking for you.”
The two women who had entered through the door were Sophia and Violet. Both were Milton’s wives and a part of the family, that’s why they had been able to enter the office without any hesitation. However, Sophia’s appearance was a bit different from before. She was wearing a slightly loose dress and was very cautious of her actions. Violet was also carefully supporting her. Milton’s child was growing inside her stomach.
Queen Leila spoke up when she saw Sophia.
“Sophia, your belly must be heavy, but Bess is giving you a hard time, isn’t she?”
“It’s alright, I should move around a bit.”
When Queen Leila was working, Elizabeth usually spent her time with her other two mothers. In fact, Elizabeth had a nanny and dedicated maids, but Sophia and Violet personally took care of her.
Truthfully, this was quite unusual for a royal family. In a way, in the royal family, every member of the family was a potential enemy to them. The women conspired and desired for their own children to become the next monarch while the children themselves grew up knowing they’d have to kill their own siblings if they wanted to survive. They were born into the most honorable family but had to live the fiercest life; that was the royal family.
However, the Lester Kingdom was different. Sophia and Violet didn’t have much power to start with. They were both unusual women but neither had a particularly dark side to them. Not to mention, it would be difficult for them to step over Queen Leila, after all, she was a woman who most couldn’t even think to compete with.
When Queen Leila had married, she had designed it so that the successors would be completely separated. The child she bore would be the heir of the Lester Kingdom’s royal family while the child born from Sophia and Violet would be the Forrest family’s.
Queen Leila took the initiative to treat both women kindly and so neither Sophia and Violet were jealous of her. If Milton paid less attention to Sophia or Violet, it would be Queen Leila who spoke to Milton so that the two of them never felt sad or lonely. Because of that, Sophia and Violet were very satisfied with their current life and were thankful towards both Milton and Leila. That gratitude led to their love for Elizabeth. Both Sophia and Violet treated Elizabeth like a precious treasure as if they had given birth to her themselves. The two of them cared for her so well that the maids were hardly needed.
Most likely the two of them had been taking care of Elizabeth until she wanted to see her mother and Sophia and Violet followed after her.
“Is your due date approaching soon?”
Sophia smiled shyly when Milton spoke to her.
“Yes, it’s most likely going to be soon…”
“Do you want a son or a daughter?”
Sophia laughed at Milton’s question.
“I think a daughter would be nice. It’d be nice if Elizabeth got an adorable younger sister and they played together…”
Sophia smiled as if she was ecstatic just thinking about it.
“Ahh… it’ll be as beautiful as the elegant architecture of ancient Veronique and the practicality of a Toganian mansion.”
“…um, yes exactly what I think as well.”
Although the analogy was a bit crazy, Milton didn’t have the guts to point that out to his pregnant wife.
“Beth, do you want to come with mama? Let’s go eat with Mama Violet.”
Violet reached out to Elizabeth and Elizabeth took Violet’s hand and snuggled into her arms.
“Ahhh… adorable Beth. Who’s the cutest in this world? Our Beth is the cutest in the world, isn’t she? Yes, she is.”
Milton thought to himself as he watched Violet rubbing her cheeks against Elizabeth’s chubby cheeks.
‘Is that a new version of the Magic Mirror’s answer?’
Perhaps it was because Violet was hungry for the affection of a family from a young age, but Violet lost her mind every time she saw Elizabeth. Nowadays, Milton couldn’t help but wonder whether Violet had three personalities, not two. Her everyday one, her battlefield one, and now, a parenting one; it seemed as though her personality had increased to three. Watching Violet go crazy whenever Elizabeth smiled at her, a person would think Violet had given birth to her.
“How could our Beth be so pretty? Hm? Please tell me, who do you look like?”
“Kyaa!! Our Beth can talk? She’s a genius!”
‘Isn’t most of what Beth says mamamama?’
From the side, Milton wanted to say something but left it alone. If her rose-colored glasses were at that level, it might as well be called brainwashing.
Anyway, it had been a while since the whole family had gathered together.
“Let’s take a break.”
Saying so, Milton took his family to the garden. They ordered tea and refreshments for a small tea party and set Elizabeth down on the luscious lawn.
When Elizabeth was released, she toddled around playing by herself. Milton spoke as he watched his adorable daughter.
“She’s so gentle.”
Queen Leila took a sip of her tea before responding.
“I agree. She’s not shy and she doesn’t cry often… I think all the love she got from so many people as she grew up played a big role in that.”
“Yeah, I hope she continues to grow up like this.”
Even as Milton said that, a corner of his heart was anxious.
Even if she was born as a member of the royal family, Elizabeth was still very lucky. Not only her birth mother, but her other mothers loved her very much. But what Milton was worried about was the current era. Across the border lived Siegfried, a psychopath (from Milton’s point of view). Siegfried was an ambitious man who burned with the desire to conquer the world and leave his name behind in history 365 days of the year and was a serious threat to Milton.
If he was being honest, Milton just wanted to settle the situation now. In the past, he had stepped onto the battlefield to pay off the family debt, but now the situation was different. Milton now sat at the top of the country and had both the honor and ability to match that authority. But above all, he had a harmonious and loving family right in front of him. This is enough. This is sufficient. Milton wanted nothing more than this. But wasn’t it too nerve-wracking to sit still when there was a psychopath living next door? When Milton had previously checked Siegfried’s status window, he was a Social Climber, an ambitious person. Siegfried would never give up and as long as he didn’t give up, this chaotic era would never settle.
‘No, even if I concede a hundred times and somehow suppress the chaos, that only works while I’m alive. If I die, it would become even worse.’
After his child was born, Milton began to look further into the future. In the past, his priority had been to live a calm and peaceful life, but now, he looked beyond the present and wanted to pass that kind of peaceful world to future generations. He didn’t want this daughter Elizabeth to live a difficult life in a turbulent world as he had.
“In the end, I guess I need to end it with my generation?”
“Milton? What do you mean by that?”
Sophia heard him talking to himself.
“No, it’s nothing.”
Milton lightly kissed Sophia’s cheek and gently stroked her stomach with his hand. Besides Elizabeth, there was another child growing inside Sophia’s belly. Who knew the presence of a child would instill such a strong sense of responsibility. It was something he would never have understood before he became a parent.
‘I have to protect them.’
Just as Milton was quietly making a resolution, an attendant approached.
“Sire, Duke Palan sent an urgent report from the North.”
“From Duke Palan?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
When Milton glanced at Queen Leila, she stood up and passed Elizabeth to Violet.
“Let’s go somewhere else.”
Sophia and Violet left and the messenger spoke to Milton and Leila.
“This is an urgent report from Duke Palan who is in charge of the Northern Region. He said that there are signs of a massive civil war in the Northern Region.”
“A civil war in the Northern Region… Hasn’t there always been on there?”
When Queen Leila had concentrated her funds on the coastal regions of the Northwest, the conflicts in the Northern region intensified. In fact, she had been deliberately doing that so the Northern region’s public opinion couldn’t unite as one. In addition, she had invested money into the West to economically revitalize it, allowing the Westerners to take initiative in that region. She had made it so that even if the inland miners produced products, if the Western ports didn’t buy them, the miners couldn’t make money. And so, little by little, the Western port region took initiative in the region and with that, the Northern region was slowly stabilized. Although a small civil war continuously happening, it was only a small one and Duke Sean Palan, who was in charge of the Northern Region, would be able to suppress it on his own. So, why was Duke Palan sending a report?
“He said the situation was worse than he thought, Your Majesty.”
“What exactly happened?”
Knowing how careful Duke Palan was, Queen Leila took it seriously.
The messenger began to explain what was happening in the North.Previous Chapter Next Chapter