Chapter 99: Proposal (2)

Milton was happy that the people fanatically liked him, but he was also embarrassed. 

“The fact that the Marquis exists in this country gives the citizens a great deal of relief. So it’s not a good idea for you to personally lead the army, Marquis.”

Milton began to hesitate when he heard Queen Leila say this. 

‘It’s not like I’m going because I’m a warmonger…’

But if it’s not him, then who would go? Milton firmed his wavering resolve before speaking to Queen Leila. 

“Your Majesty, please allow me to go. I have to go.”

“You’re stubborn as a mule.”

Queen Leila sighed as Milton repeatedly said he had to go to war. 

After some thought, she spoke. 

“I’ll conditionally accept you participating in the war, Marquis.” 

“Conditions?”

“Marry me. That’s one of the conditions for you to participate in the war, Marquis.”

Milton let out a sigh at her words.

‘This again?’

Queen Leila had been repeatedly suggesting marriage to Milton for a while now. She had been urging him saying that it would be better to have both the wedding and coronation ceremony at the same time. And Milton had made excuses to avoid the marriage each time. 

In fact, this was a delicate problem for Milton as well. Truthfully, it wasn’t that he didn’t like it, he had gotten used to Queen Leila’s monstrous vixen-like personality. It would be like jumping into a maelstrom of power, but his silver spoon life was over anyway. So there was no reason for him to continuously refuse to marry her. If they got married, they may be able to live more or less in harmony. But the problem was…

‘Sophia is weighing on my mind.’

That’s right. One of the biggest reasons Milton was hesitating to marry Queen Leila was because of Sophia. For Milton, if Queen Leila was a vixen, then Sophia was like his cute little sister. When he was with her, without even meaning to, he would stroke her hair. She caused him to smile with delight. Even though she was a peculiar woman who was more delighted by her signed permit than jewelry or flowers as a reward, she was very obedient to Milton. At first, he felt affection for her peculiarness but later he began to feel affection towards her as a man. 

Now, this is where the problem arises. Why didn’t Milton propose to Sophia? Amongst the Forrest Family’s vassals, Sophia was basically Milton’s mistress. Even her father, Baron Philinover, thought this. At this point, Milton should take responsibility since it would be difficult for her to marry someone else at this point.  

Milton had decided to propose to her several times. But when he did, Queen Leila weighed on his mind. She was beautiful enough that the expression ‘matchless beauty’ seemed to be made for her. She was so dazzling that no man would ever be able to delete her from their memories if they saw her once. Milton wasn’t a saint that wouldn’t be tempted to marry a beautiful woman like her. 

In other words, if he tried to marry Sophia, Queen Leila would be on his mind, and if he tried to marry Queen Leila, then Sophia would be on his mind. 

‘I’m a scumbag.’

That’s right. The problem was that Milton couldn’t decide on one of them. 

***

Queen Leila sighed as she saw Milton hesitating. 

‘I guess it can’t be helped.’

There was no way she couldn’t not know what Milton was thinking. A vixen’s touch and a woman’s intuition had given her an answer long ago. The only reason she had pretended not to know was because of her pride as a woman. She was well aware of her beauty. She was tired of men who were willing to give her anything, even their organs, as long as she smiled at them. But how could Milton be hesitating to marry her because of another woman? There was no way her pride wouldn’t be bruised.

But at the same time, it was also surprising. She was surprised that she still had something like a ‘woman’s pride’ left when she’d devoted her entire life for vengeance after losing both her mother and brother. 

‘Have I lost my malice? Or am I just obsessed?’

She slightly frowned. Marrying Milton was the best option out of all the political options available to her. But after a while… how should she say it? She began to feel a bit different. 

There were easier methods if it was just for political reasons. She could use her authority and force Sophia to marry another man, then, her goal would naturally be reached. For Queen Leila to think up a scheme like this to achieve her purpose was as easy as breathing. 

But just because she had an idea didn’t mean she could put it to action. What would happen if she carried out her plan and got caught by Milton? Scorn? Condemnation? Disappointment? Whatever it was, it wouldn’t be a good response. 

If it was anyone else, Queen Leila wouldn’t have cared. She wouldn’t have cared what he thought of her as long as the political alliance was stable. But… She didn’t want Milton to think of her like that. 

‘Well, it’s not like he has a great image of me right now or anything.’

She knew that in Milton’s head, there was the equation Leila = Vixen. She didn’t say anything since she knew that it would be difficult to resolve that misunderstanding(?).

‘It can’t be helped. Let’s just think about it as changing my image and give in.’

She made a big decision.

“Marquis Forrest.”

“Yes, Your Majesty?”

“Is Lady Sophia Philinover part of the reason you’re hesitating to marry me?”

“……”

At this point, silence was best. 

Queen Leila sighed when Milton stayed silent. 

“If I wasn’t the Queen, you would have accepted me as your First Wife, and Lady Philinover as your Second Wife.”

Even in this hypothetical scenario, Queen Leila refused to give up the position of First Wife. Anyway, the reason she had mentioned the very problem she had been pretending not to know, wasn’t to nag or get angry at Milton. She was stepping up to try and unknot this problem. 

“As you might already know, when you marry me, the Queen, you’ll be given the title of Grand Duke. However, as the Queen’s husband, you cannot take a concubine.”

“I know that, Your Majesty.”

Although this was a world that allowed nobles to practice polygamy, there were exceptions. A Queen’s husband was one of those exceptions. Because the precedent of a Queen was rare, that exception wasn’t exactly a law, but it was common sense. 

If a Queen takes a husband and a child is born from the two of them, then that child will naturally be the heir to the throne. But what if the Queen’s husband takes a concubine, and the two of them have a child? That would make things very ambiguous. 

Looking at family relationships, that concubine’s child would have the Queen as a mother. Even though the Queen wouldn’t be that child’s real mother, the Queen would be interpreted as the mother in the family genealogy records. However, the blood of the royal family wouldn’t flow in that child. That child’s existence itself would be ambiguous. 

Usually in a kingdom, the royal lineage was a very important issue. That’s why the Queen’s husband would only have one woman his entire life. Well, at least on the outside. But all this was just an unwritten rule; it wasn’t officially established. 

And now, Queen Leila had dug out the problem and tried to give him a solution by making a big concession to Milton.

“If you want, once you receive the title of Grand Duke, you can accept Lady Philinover as your Second Wife.”

“…Your Majesty?”

For a second, Milton thought he had heard wrong. But Queen Leila continued to speak calmly.

“However, the issue of succession will be clearly addressed and separated.”

“What do you mean by separate, Your Majesty?”

“The child I give birth to will be the heir to the throne as a member of the royal family. The child borne by Lady Philinover will inherit the Forrest Territory.”

“Ah..”

Without intending to, Milton exclaimed.

Separation of heirs. Now that the most troublesome problem had been solved, it seemed possible. If Milton marries Queen Leila, then the child would have to live as royalty. That meant that the Forrest family lineage would be absorbed into the royal family. That was natural and nobles weren’t reluctant to let their family lineage be absorbed. In fact, they considered it an honor. 

But when Queen Leila came up with the solution to, ‘separate out Forrest Territory and have the heirs inherit different Families,’ all Milton’s problems seemed to be solved.

“Wouldn’t the nobles oppose it, Your Majesty?”

Since it was unprecedented, some of them would have problems with it.

Queen Leila merely gave him a bloody smile.

“Is there anyone in this country who would oppose something that the two of us agree on, Marquis?”

“…No, there wouldn’t be anyone.”

Even if a bill was introduced tomorrow saying that all numbers would be written backwards, as long as Milton and Queen Leila were in agreement, there would be no objections. If the country’s power was 100, then 95 of that would be monopolized by Milton and Queen Leila. Who would dare to oppose them?

“Now, the problem’s been solved. I’ll ask again. Will you marry me?”

Milton still hesitated at her question.

“Please give me some time…”

“Marquis.”

Queen Leila flatly interrupted him. 

Then, she stood up and step by step, walked towards Milton

“I have made a great concession as a woman and as a royal.”

“I know that very well, Your Majesty.”

He warily watched her approaching him. She seemed particularly determined today.  Every step she took was full of resolve. 

“I’ve already compromised this much, but you still need to think?”

Perhaps she got annoyed the more she talked about it?

Queen Leila’s forehead seemed to have popped a vein.

“Are you kidding me right now?”

And her tone had completely changed.

Milton unwittingly took a step back until she had pushed him to the wall. Then…

Bang!

Her slender hand had slammed the wall.

‘What’s this? Reverse kabedon?’

“Um… Your Majesty, please calm down and…”

“Shut up. Just shut up.”

Queen Leila shoved her lips against Milton’s. 

Clack

The sound of teeth bumping each other, a rough kiss. He felt the cut on his lip, but he never thought about pushing her away. He was overwhelmed by her force, but more than anything else, he lost himself kissing her. Queen Leila roughly kissed him as if she was taking out her resentment through the kiss. Her arms were around him, tugging his head closer and Milton, too, had reached out and pulled her waist closer to him. 

And once that long lasting kiss was over…

Queen Leila pulled back with a soft expression.

“Marry me. Okay?”

“Yes.”

Without thinking, Milton agreed. 

***

It’s quite later, but when the world heard the story of Queen Leila’s reverse proposal, many women were inspired by her guts and charisma. A woman’s role in this world was to modestly wait. Even if there was a man she might like, she couldn’t speak to him first and could only covertly send him flirtatious looks to signal her interest all the while pretending to be shy. 

But when it became known that Queen Leila, not a commoner but a member of the royal family, “attacked” and boldly proposed first, all the women were ecstatic. 

That’s my Queen.

My Queen, just take me. 

She had become the Original girl crush.

And so, the number of women who took the initiative to ask men out on a date began to increase one by one in the Lester Kingdom. And after a few years, a woman proposing to a man became part of Lester Kingdom’s culture. 

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