Chapter 93: Reverse Favoritism
I received a request for the audience by merchant Byron Allan.
It was not a formal meeting, but a private one, so I decided to meet him in the parlor of the palace.
I sat and waited in the room, where the sun shone brightly and the furnishings shined even more brilliantly.
Then Byron came in, escorted by a maid.
Byron entered the room and knelt before proceeding.
“Byron Alan. It is an honor to have an audience with you, sir.”
“That’s fine. It’s just you and me. Make yourself comfortable.”
“Thank you very much, sir.”
“What is it today, —fmmm?”
As Byron stood up and entered the room, a well-dressed woman entered, perhaps having been waiting outside the room a step before.
My voice trailed off.
I was surprised to see the well-dressed woman.
She was not the most beautiful woman in the world.
But she had grace and elegance in her behavior.
Moreover, it is – something she acquired.
What I mean by acquired and inherent refers to ‘birth’ matter.
There is a slight difference between those who are born into an aristocratic family and are disciplined from the moment they are born and those who learn and acquire this discipline after they grow up.
It is not good or bad, just different.
Of course, some are simply born with a certain ‘inborn’ grace, but that is a different story.
The woman who came in after Byron was someone who acquired grace.
Although it is not good or bad, those who acquired it inevitably have fewer years – and less experience compared to those who were inherent.
It is this length of time that makes those who acquired look inferior.
However, despite being young and acquired, the woman in front of me had near-perfect behavior.
That’s – interesting.
“I have brought Jessica here today to gift her to Your Majesty.”
“I mean that I wish her to be added to Your Majesty’s inner court.”
“Ahh, ……, I see,”
I remembered one of my father’s wives, the concubine Ada.
I teamed up with Byron and sent Ada to my father’s palace, and after that, she became his concubine after she was successfully noticed.
A merchant like Byron’s business practices changed drastically depending on whether or not there was someone in the inner palace who was interested in his business.
Ada’s influence has diminished since Father abdicated.
To make up for it, he sent someone to me as well.
“I didn’t expect you to bring her directly to me.”
“I apologize. Even if I were to conceal it from you, it cannot be hidden from His Majesty’s discerning eye.”
“Well, I guess it’s between you and me.”
It’s not because of wisdom, it’s because we’ve worked together before and done the same thing.
“All right. I’ll receive –“
There was no need to refuse Bryon’s gift, so the moment I accepted.
Name: Noah Ararat
Emperor of the Empire
Level: 17 + 1 / ∞
The “+” on my status, which is always in the corner of my eye, has gone up.
And – two at once.[TN: His Intelligence went from ‘D+B’ to ‘D+A’ and Speed went from ‘E+C’ to ‘E+B’]
I was surprised and looked at the woman – Jessica.
A woman who became mine and also boosted my stats by two at once.
This is a …… gem.
“You’re — not just an ordinary woman.”
“As expected of you, Your Majesty, I admire your keen eye. I never thought you would notice it in this instant.”
“What manner of person is she?”
“I can only tell you that she is the kind of woman His Majesty likes.”
Byron and I talked a lot about preferences when we selected Ada.
That preference was – an ambitious woman, you say.
Well, unlike my father, she was being presented directly to me.
It’s only natural that I should choose her based on my own preferences.
“Among them, she was the one with the best qualities.”
So she was the hardest-working of them all.
Then I can understand what I felt from her behavior.
“With this, I’ll take my leave …….”
Byron said and left quickly.
It is second-rate to say, “Best regards,” here.
I understand without saying it, and I do not like it when people say it.
Of course, the downside is minutes, but the first-rate person is the one who can get rid of that minute.
After Byron and the maid were gone, it was just me and Jessica in the room.
I gazed at Jessica, observing her.
There was nervousness, then excitement.
In the midst of the excitement, I felt a slight tug.
“Did you volunteer to be my concubine? Or did Byron beg you?”
“I would like to answer. I went to Master Byron myself and asked him to train me.”
“Fumu…… Fumu? You willingly offered to become a concubine?”
“And you personally knocked on Byron’s door?”
Finding that route, I guess she was a brilliant woman even before she was trained?
I’m getting more and more interested.
Jessica gently reached out her hand.
She held out her hand, palm up. And there was something on her palm.
“It’s ten reens.”
“What is it?”
As expected, I could not read her intention.
Even including my time as the Prince, no one would give me, the Emperor, money as little as ten reens.
In fact, it’s not the case here.
That is why I could not read her intention.
“I received this when I met Your Majesty for the first time.”
“Fumu. Tell me more about it.”
“It is the ten reens that Your Majesty distributed to those who were present during his first meeting with His Highness the Thunder Prince.”
“…… I see.”
To be honest, my memory was a little hazy.
The first time I met the Thunder Prince Indra – Audrey’s grandfather, we were outdoors.
And it was attention grabbing.
I also remember being recognized by Indra.
I remember this much.
And when that happened, I definitely handed out money to the people who were there.
That’s the money from that time, huh.
“When I caught a glimpse of Your Majesty, it was like lightning went through my whole body.”
Jessica’s air changed completely.
A fierceness was added to her grace and elegance..
“I yearned for you! I admired Your Majesty more than anyone else in the world! That’s why, I don’t care if I will be just a servant, please let me be by your side!”[TN: Shitt, a Yandere!?]
She was begging me with all her might.
I understood her feelings – I understood them strongly.
Of course, I have no intention of letting her go.
I called, and a maid entered.
” Ask the Empress to come in here.”
The maid bowed reverently and left, and almost immediately Empress Audrey entered.
“You wished to see me, Your Majesty?”
“Did you catch our conversation this early?”
“Yes, as the master of the inner court I would be since a merchant has brought a woman with him.”
Well, it is a natural reaction.
“Then it’s a quick matter. She is Jessica, and she will be a concubine.”
“—-! T-T-T….thank you very much!”
Jessica burst into tears.
“Ara Ara, are you so happy?”
It was natural for Audrey to be surprised at such joy.
I told Audrey about Jessica.
When I first met Indra, she simply encountered me, then found Byron, and worked herself up to this point.
Audrey’s eyes lit up when she heard that.
Then she turned to Jessica and (as Empress) took Jessica’s hand herself.
“You are something to behold.”
“You must have come all this way because you see the splendor of His Majesty and because you are fascinated by it.”
“Fufu, then you are more than welcome. Nice to meet you, Jessica.”
“Yes, my best regards.”
“Now, let’s have the maid show you to your room.”
“Yeah, just a minute.”
I stopped Audrey, who as the master of the inner court was about to move.
“What is it?”
“She will be treated a little differently. I will take her in as a concubine, but I want to use her as a subordinate as well.”
Audrey and Jessica were both surprised.
“She’s got a lot of skill, you know? Since she’s trained herself to that level, it would be a shame to just have her as a concubine.”
Jessica was delighted, but then she looked down slightly.
She’s happy that she’s appreciated, and that it was me who appreciated her.
“But, Your Majesty, it is customary for the concubine to be in the inner court.”
“I will remove that. From now on, there will be more like Jessica. To begin with, half of the people in the world are women, and there must be a lot of talent among them. It would be a waste not to utilize them.
“I understand Your Majesty’s thirst for talent, but–hm”
With a ‘hm’ Audrey’s eyes widened.
“The princesses’ case–is this what …… is for?”
“As expected of you, Your Majesty. I didn’t realize you had thought that far ahead.”
“I’ve been thinking about it since Cindy. That’s when Arlene’s case came along. I thought this would be a great way to kill three birds with one stone.”
“It’s amazing, Your Majesty.”
“Eh? What is that ……?”
Audrey explained the situation to Jessica, who did not understand what was going on.
I broke the tradition of the royal family with Arlene’s case.
It’s a clear statement that I am an Emperor who mercilessly deals with the traditions of the royal family, even those related to women.
Even if I use my concubine as my subordinate, there should be no big resistance now.
“Ahh, ……, after all, …… His Majesty is…….”
Jessica, who had received the explanation, gazed at me with eyes that became increasingly entranced and fascinated.
Audrey, who said that a woman fascinated by me is her friend, looked at Jessica with a satisfied expression on her face.
The next day, I summoned Henry to the garden of the detached palace.
Henry and I were relaxing in the pavilion, while Shirley and Jessica were fighting at the end of the pavilion.
They were engaged in a mock battle with weapons that had both had their tips flattened.
The two were fighting evenly.
Shirley’s swordsmanship was earnest and strong.
In contrast, Jessica’s swordsmanship was elegant and graceful, as if she were dancing.
The battle between two contrasting styles was beautiful, coupled with the fact that they were evenly matched.
“Those jabbering people will make a fuss one way or the other.”
When I mentioned to Henry that I would be using Jessica as a subordinate, he replied flatly.
Thankfully there was no opposition, and there was no need to persuade him.
“Let those people chirp.”
“So, why did you invite me here? It’s more Oscar’s jurisdiction, isn’t it?”
“I want to add Jessica to the suppression team. That’s why I called you here.”
“Suppression ……you mean to the front lines this fast?”
“To let her get some experience.”
I looked at Jessica.
The woman who became concubine Jessica last night in my arms was showing graceful and fierce swordsmanship that I could not have imagined from her loveliness in the bed chamber.
“She is the best talent I have seen so far. I want her to gain many experiences.”
“For that purpose, you want her to go to the front lines, to the harsh battlefields, …… and on the contrary you want her to be treated favorably, huh.”
“That’s what I mean.”
” ……Your Majesty, if you go that far, the noises will die down.”
“I didn’t care about the noise from the start,……, I leave it to you. Make sure that she doesn’t die. Anyway, let’s put her in a position where she can gain experience.”
“By your will,”
Henry said and bowed slightly.
I looked at Jessica and imagined the fun things that were ahead of her.
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