“Will it start soon?”
“Phew, it’ll be for the best if it could end earlier.”
“How did your task go? Was it difficult to find a bridesmaid?”
One maid in black grunted and sprinkled flower petals on the Virgin Road. There should be no room for mistakes since this is where the princess would become the main character of the event.
The other maids patted the grumbling maid and comforted her. “You did well.”
She pouted, “It’s because of that stupid superstition!”
“Ai! A newcomer like you wouldn’t know.” Then she came closer to them and whispered conspiratorially, “There’s a saying that if you become a bridesmaid in the Imperial Palace, you won’t be able to get married for 5 years. Well, at least that’s what everyone says.”
“Even a maid has her ambitions, who wouldn’t want to marry a handsome and rich young lord during their youth?”
The grumbling maid angrily stomped her foot and put down the flower basket she was holding. “Is that why you couldn’t find other bridesmaids?”
“No. Just like you, there was another foreign maid who didn’t know about these superstitions. I left the other stuff for her to handle!”
“Mn!” she proudly answered, “Although, it’s a bit of a pity that she could only speak the Nammon language, and it wasn’t easy communicating with hand gestures. After that, I went to report to the butler but he too busy, so he just placed a stamp of approval on the list of bridesmaids without so much of an extra glance.”
“Sighs, a wedding these days is too troublesome to handle. To think that the princess is marrying—” she suddenly cut off her words and glanced around cautiously. Then she whispered, “Is it true? The groom is Duke Maktus?”
The other one bobbed her head, “they said it was true. I even heard that he completely surrendered to His Majesty the Emperor and was therefore arrested for treason.”
“But since they value his talent, the emperor gave him a way out, and that was to become a member of the royal family. Which is the reason for him getting married to the princess.”
The maids clicked their tongues in regret.
“Guys, stop chatting and set it up properly.” a senior maid reprimanded. Then, they scurried forth, doing their own tasks, but one of them couldn’t help saying.
“By the way, the duke is already married! What will happen to Madame Maktus?”
“Rumor has it that she will become the Empress.”
Her eyes bulged, “Heavens, what?! Oh, my Lord! In just one day, a husband and wife will suddenly become strangers.”
When the maids chattered away, the valet opened the banquet moon and said in a loud voice.
“Quit your yapping! Guests will be arriving soon!”
“Yes, sir!” They hurriedly bowed their heads subsequently scattered in different directions.
When the maids left, the chief servant looked around and checked. When everything was ready, the guests waiting outside were ushered in. Although it was a wedding of the royal family, there weren’t that many guests. The civil war has just ended, after all.
As they sat down on their respective seats, a priest came to officiate. He cleared his throat and uttered his greetings.
“Dear guests of the Great Astrian Empire, it is an honor to be acquainted with every distinguished individual in this hall. At this juncture, we shall now proceed with the ceremony—the wedding of Princess Janice Quincet and Duke Noah Maktus! But before that, His Majesty the Emperor shall first leave a few words of greeting.”
When Noah’s name was mentioned, the guests chattered for a while. But it immediately quietened down with the emergence of the emperor.
He wore a majestic white tailcoat embroidered with spun gold. With his ethereal looks, it only made the emperor appear like a deity that had descended from the celestial world. It was so too dazzling that people were stunned in admiration.
Of course, they have naturally seen him many times before, but the man himself has never failed to impress them. The women in the seats quickly spread their fans to cover their reddened faces.
Closing his eyes and smiling, he regally walked in front of the podium and spoke, “Even though we are surrounded by turbulent times, your willingness to be present in this ceremony brings comfort to my heart. And for that, you have my gratitude.”
The nobles couldn’t answer verbally, but they expressed their agreement by nodding their heads, feeling sympathetic. During the war, they were too busy figuring out where to pledge their allegiance as they were too torn whether to choose Noah Maktus and the emperor. It was because both sides had an unnervingly equal chance of winning.
The emperor, with his imperial army, had the advantage with numbers. But Noah had the advantage with quality, and he himself was too unpredictable.
Fortunately, the civil war ended before they were forced to pick sides.
His voice resonated within the walls. “As many of you may already be aware, the Duke Maktus is in my custody.”
Then he sighed dejectedly, “It goes without saying, I am deeply disappointed with his actions that caused such an unneeded civil war. But as an impressive subject, I didn’t want to lose him and instead, wanted to turn him into a loyal sword for the imperial family. In view of this matter, I have agreed to turn this terrible event into a happy occasion by letting him marry my beloved royal sister.”
The area was blanketed into an eerie silence.