Chapter 98 – You Can’t Be Royal Family! (1)
Rashta seemed oblivious to the stir that her words caused. She lowered her head and looked weakly at the floor, but it wasn’t her slip of the tongue that caused her to be gloomy.
Sovieshu shot a silent rebuke at Viscountess Verdi standing nearby. However, she shook her head. She didn’t talk to Rashta every day, let alone had heart-to-heart conversations with her. Viscountess Verdi had no opportunity to tell Rashta that her baby couldn’t be royalty, and even if she did, she would be seen as provoking Rashta. That was the case for the lady-in-waiting. Sovieshu, however, had no such excuse.
Unwilling to deal with this in front of the nobles any further, Sovieshu tried to pull Rashta up from the sofa.
“Rashta, stand up.”
Rashta was startled back into awareness, and she looked up at Sovieshu with tear-filled eyes.
“Let’s go back.”
“Oh, Rashta’s fine, Your Majesty. I can handle it.”
“I don’t want to run away, Your Majesty. Rashta can overcome it.”
Sovieshu was caught in a bind. The first thing young nobles learned as they made their debut in society was to swallow their pride and retreat. They may be at the top of hierarchy in their homes and estates, but as they entered high society, they were thrown into a setting where everyone else was richer, higher, and more powerful. The same was true even of a duke’s offspring, and only the Imperial family was the exception to this food chain.
Rashta knew nothing of the aristocracy, however, and as a result, she stubbornly tried to preserve her pride, leaving Sovieshu in a quandary.
Sovieshu walked ahead of her, with a firm glance indicating that she should follow. Only then did she realize that he wasn’t going to appease her. He seemed to want to tell her something that he couldn’t say in public.
Rashta hurriedly followed Sovieshu.
“…Why would he do that?”
As I muttered to myself, Laura looked at me curiously then turned her head in the direction I was looking at. Duke Elgy was sitting next to Rashta on the sofa, leaning towards her and speaking.
“Wow. Can they sit close together like that?”
Laura clicked her tongue. As she observed, the distance between Duke Elgy and Rashta was almost nonexistent. Laura wasn’t the only one; other nobles were casting curious looks at the pair sitting on the sofa. Sovieshu had glanced at Duke Elgy and Rashta, but he turned his head back towards his chief secretary and continued his conversation.
“Duke Elgy must have eyes on his feet if he keeps socializing with her.”
Laura grumbled in a small voice and turned back to her friend, unwilling to look anymore. Almost at the same time, Duke Elgy cast a glance at me, and he smiled faintly when our eyes met. It was a friendly smile, but I wasn’t fooled. They were talking while touching the gift I gave to Rashta.
Duke Elgy said something, and Rashta’s smiling face quickly hardened. I didn’t know what he said, but it certainly provoked a reaction from her.
Did that man suddenly smile at me? Ridiculous. However, he could smile as much as he wanted.
I smiled gently back in return.
Duke Elgy looked startled for a moment, but soon lifted his lips and turned his head.
Sovieshu took Rashta to his bedroom to calmly explain several things to her.
“Rashta. Your baby cannot be a prince or princess.”
Rashta stared at him in surprise.
“What are you talking about? Why?”
“Children of concubines don’t receive that title.”
She continued to stare at him in bewilderment.
“But they’re the emperor’s children, aren’t they? Don’t all the emperors’ children count as royalty?”
“It’s only the children with the empress who have that title.”
Even after listening to his explanation, she still couldn’t comprehend it. An emperor’s child is not automatically considered a prince or princess?
“Then what do you call my children? Aren’t they part of the Imperial family?”
Sovieshu was torn. He had enjoyed regaling Rashta stories of the nobles and Imperial family, but he couldn’t do it this time, let alone tell her that her children may try to hurt the Empress’ children.
“The children will become high nobility. They won’t be royalty, but they will be treated well.”
Despite his efforts, Rashta started to cry.
“This is not right, Your Majesty.”
“My baby and the Empress’ baby will have your blood. She became an empress only through marriage anyway, and the empress is not the emperor. But why are only the babies of the empress considered royalty?”
Rashta continued to cling on stubbornly.
“That is the law.”
“It’s a sham law. You can change it.”
“The emperor is the law. You can do anything you please.”
Sovieshu was forced to delve into a lengthy explanation for the reason and the history of the law, but Rashta remained unmoved.
“My baby is deprived of their identity because of another baby who is not born and might never be born. Rashta can never understand. It does not make sense.”
In the end, Sovieshu was forced to draw a line.
“Even if you don’t understand it, it is a law that is written in the great church, and even the emperor cannot change it by himself. So from now on, don’t talk about princes or princesses in front of others. Do you understand?”
She choked up in shock.
“Your Majesty’s baby…”
“I will love them and give them vast wealth and power. Even if they are not called a prince or princess, everyone will know they’re my child. All they won’t have is legal succession, so there is no reason to be disappointed. Alright?”
Rashta pressed her lips together and did not answer. She turned away from him, and Sovieshu sighed.
“If the empress is infertile and cannot have children, then it would be a different story. ”
“Perhaps the baby will be adopted by the Empress, and the child will be recognized as royalty.”
Sovieshu couldn’t stay long here and had to return to the banquet. After he left, Rashta huddled in a corner, hugging her legs and dropping her forehead to her knees.
She would bear the Emperor’s child, but they would not be considered royalty. It was too unfair. It was all because she wasn’t an empress.
Rashta burst into tears. Sandry, a maid who had been waiting and listening to their conversation, walked over to comfort her.
“Don’t cry, Miss Rashta.”
Sandry had replaced Cherily, the latter who quit her job as a maid after the scandal with Prince Heinley.
“But the tears keep coming out.”
Rashta spoke sadly, wiping her eyes with her sleeves.
“Rashta is a commoner, and I’m grateful to be loved by His Majesty. But the baby. This is His Majesty’s child. How upset you will be if your child is not treated as your own?”
“Even if the Empress has a baby, they will be younger than mine. Her child will be treated like a prince or princess, and my child will be sad to live beneath them…”
“Don’t worry too much, Rashta. Many years have passed since the Empress has become an adult, and she still hasn’t given the Emperor a child.”
“But Rashta has a baby, right?”
“Well, it’s proven that there’s nothing wrong with the Emperor, so it’s very likely that the Empress is infertile. As the Emperor said, Rashta’s baby may eventually be adopted by the Empress.”