Home Post 1273-chapter-16


“An expedition.”

Ejnar’s lips curled into a formal smile.

“Good, not a bad idea.

“Yes, Your Majesty. We must show those barbarians the greatness of Machi immediately!”

“And so, everyone gathered here.”

Ejnar cut off the excited noble’s speech and asked dryly,

“Ready to sacrifice everything for the expedition to Makaeri?


At their dumbfounded response, Ejnar sneered.

“Why so surprised? Starting a war is no trivial matter. Especially if we have to cross that dangerous strait and head directly to Makaeri.”

Taking a brief breath, he continued.

“It will surely be a long haul. Not only will we need troops, but all taxes and produce from our lands must be offered up for a fighting chance. And your sons will have to join the fight as well.”


“Of course, the royal family will willingly do so.”

But you guys.

With a slow glance, Ejnar surveyed the nobles assembled in the council hall. Reality seemed to pour cold water over their excitement, calming down the previously noisy atmosphere. The council hall quickly became serene.

Ejnar sighed briefly once more before calmly addressing the situation.

“Of course, this incident is extremely infuriating. Coming to Machi and killing the citizens of Mach, whoever the perpetrator, must be strictly punished.”

“Indeed, Your Majesty. This is not an issue to be overlooked.”

“So, let’s first convey the situation to Makaeri and see how they respond.”

“What if their response is lukewarm?”


Despite the ambiguous reply, his expression suggested he had a clear plan in mind. After a moment of silence, Ejnar spoke with a neutral face.

“If that happens, we might have to bring forward our revenge from five years ago.”


* * *


After receiving treatment for her face at the central palace and returning, Elfreda felt the gazes of the people in Solar Palace were colder than usual.

This could be natural, given the current situation.

She felt the slight sense of belonging she had felt from Ejnar’s earlier words was like an illusion. To them, she was still nothing more than the descendant of barbarians who had killed the previous king and prince.

Elfreda was determined not to dwell on things and focused on her responsibilities, following Ejnar’s advice that it was beyond her control. Yet, upon returning to her office and sitting down at the desk, she was struck by the overly tidy space.

“Marchioness Magnum, the documents I was reviewing earlier…?”

“You won’t need to see those for the time being.”

“…And what does that mean?”

“The kingdom has sent an envoy to Makaeri regarding the recent incident. Until we hear back from Makaeri, you should step away from internal affairs.”

Caught off-guard and unable to immediately counter, Elfreda heard Marchioness Magnum’s warning tone.

“If Makaeri fails to respond appropriately, the marriage alliance loses its significance, as does Your Majesty’s meaning.”


“Similarly, the tea gathering with the ladies scheduled for tomorrow is indefinitely postponed.”

Elfreda, narrowing her eyes at Marchioness Magnum, sensed an underlying delight in her tone despite the grave nature of the incident involving their citizen and a foreigner. She felt a suffocating wave of hostility from the Duchess, clearly eager to expel her by any means.

“…Alright. That makes sense.”

Instead of objecting, Elfreda conceded.

Thinking calmly, Marchioness Magnum’s argument was not wrong. After all, as a newlywed queen barely a month into her marriage, she was still an outsider to many. And yet…


A sudden headache made Elfreda stand. She felt she needed some air. However, Marchioness Magnum blocked her path with a smug face, causing Elfreda’s breath to catch.

“What is this about?”

“It’s best if you keep to yourself within the Solar Palace for now.”

“…Is giving up my duties not enough?”

Elfreda sternly pointed the facts to Marchioness Magnum.

“I am not a criminal but the queen of this country.”

“Ha, and you think that will last…”

“For now, it certainly is. So, move aside.”

Though taken aback, Marchioness Magnum eventually stepped away. Elfreda, battling a worsening headache, left the room. She felt the heavy gaze of the maids like a noose around her neck.


* * *


Being advised to stay cautious by Marchioness Magnum wasn’t entirely wrong. Elfreda spent most of her time confined to Solar Palace, only venturing out for occasional walks.

Despite her relatively similar life at the palace, the tension and anxiety only deepened day by day as she didn’t know when the potential conflict with Makaeri would come.

With Makaeri’s response pending, Serina’s departure was temporarily banned.

Rumors circulated that she indignantly questioned why killing a few commoners was so significant, increasing the palace people’s scorn towards her.

Elfreda, while appalled, refrained from confronting Serina to avoid the perception that she was still part of Makaeri. After all, if there was a war, Makaeri was unlikely to come to her rescue, so any effort on her part would be futile.

She was almost desperate, waiting for news from Makaeri.

“An envoy from Makaeri has just arrived at the palace.”

Elfreda asked Marchioness Magnum nervously.

“How was the atmosphere?”


Understanding that Marchioness Magnum was evasive, she quickly shifted her focus. She didn’t expect a meaningful answer in the first place.

From the information, she thought that it might not be as grim. Had Makaeri intended to address the issue with aggression, they likely would have delayed sending an envoy to prepare for a military response.

“You look anxious. Would you like some tea?”

Marchioness Magnum offered insincerely, just as Elfreda chose to ignore her completely. Suddenly, a maid whispered something to Marchioness Magnum. When Elfreda wondered what it was, the Marchioness’s expression became stiff.

“What’s the matter?”


“Your Majesty.”

At that moment, a man entered the room. With short, neatly cut auburn hair, he had the attire of Central Palace. He respectfully bowed and conveyed his message.

“I am a Central Palace attendant, Robert. His Majesty summons you to the throne room.”


Elfreda asked with a puzzled face.

“What for…?”


After a moment to choose his words, Robert explained.

“It seems it’s about welcoming the diplomatic envoys. Whatever the situation.”

Although taken aback, Elfreda nodded. She followed Robert, leaving Marchioness Magnum with a sour expression behind.

Why would he call her to this, considering he said she had no involvement? Elfreda pondered this all the way. When she arrived at the throne room and saw Ejnar’s half-smile, she began to guess the reason.

“Welcome, Queen.”

A hostage, then.

After all, he was still unaware of her origins. Even if she had no direct involvement, it was a favorable move for him. Having a princess from the country in question present wouldn’t allow the delegate to spout nonsense.

Elfreda felt a bitter taste in her mouth but managed a slight smile.

“…Greetings, Your Majesty.”

“Come, sit beside me.”

Elfreda complied silently. The sight of the Makaeri-clad envoy, likely harboring similar thoughts, made her expression become more determined. It only added to the weight of the diplomatic setting.

Despite feeling suffocated, she kept her composure.


Once the room settled, Ejnar slowly began,

“What stance does the Emperor of Makaeri take on this incident?”

“The Emperor of Makaeri deeply regrets this unfortunate incident.”

The Makaeri envoy uttered with a grave tone.

“He is concerned that the harmonious relationship between the two countries built through the marriage alliance might be jeopardized by this incident.”

“It sounds like you’re saying you are willing to pay a proper price for this incident.”

“While it is wrong for a warrior of Makaeri to kill a civilian of Machi, which is regrettable…”

The delegate cautiously expressed his difficulty.

“Requesting an apology from our Emperor would be too much. It’s an excessive demand.”

“Of course, it’s not the Emperor who committed the wrong. We have no intention of demanding an apology from him.”

Ejnar’s smile twisted as he got to the point.

“Apologies should come from those who are guilty.”