The man hesitated at first, but he stepped forward and stood before the queen consort.
Underneath the blue sky, his tattered clothes stood in stark contrast to her pure-white dress. It was like a representation of the state of the country: the aristocrats lived entirely in luxury while the poor lived painful lives.
The man brandished the old gun, almost an antique at this point, and pointed it at the queen consort.
The king turned pale and stood in front of her.
“Victoria, stand back!”
“You fool. You will be the one to stand back, Frederick. The position of the king is more important than the queen consort. You understand, right? I shall be your shield.”
Besides, she was wearing an orichalcum dress.
Victoria pulled the king’s arm to have him stand behind her.
The soldiers quickly returned to their senses and attempted to hold down the man, but the queen consort lightly lifted her hand and ordered them to stop.
“Nobody move. If this person wanted to be a hindrance, he would have promptly fired at His Majesty. I refuse to overlook the act of harming the king in my presence. So much as putting a scratch on him is an affront to me.”
The citizens thought, “So handsome…” But it wasn’t only them; the escorting aristocrats and members of the marching band felt the same. The citizens began to wonder if the rumor that the queen addressed the servants with a smile on her face and the king beside her on the bed was true.
The man shook his head.
“I-I won’t be tricked! No matter how handsome you are, you’re still an aristocrat! And a woman! I bet you spent thousands on that dress!”
“What are you talking about? I know not what you are referring to.”
“Are you saying that you don’t know the price of the dress you spent the citizens’ money on?! Who the hell do you think you are?!”
“The queen consort.”
That was true.
She abruptly asked the man.
“Do you think the royal family is acting unfairly? Are you not pleased with my beautiful attire?”
“Th-that’s right! Our blood, sweat, and tears went into that money, and yet you’re living comfortably and carefreely every day! The local lord, the aristocrats, the royal family! All of you are living far more comfortable lives than us! How many months would I have to work just to buy that kind of dress?!”
“Mhm. I see.”
The queen consort nodded and asked the man again.
“Then, if you were told to die for the sake of the country, could you promptly comply?”
The man couldn’t understand her intention behind the question and shouted.
“A-as if I could! Why would I do that? I don’t want to die for this country. My life is mine to live!”
“I thought so. That is how normal people feel. However, the royal family…will die for their country.”
She calmly declared. Her words had a strange power behind them. It contained a majesty you wouldn’t think could come from such a young lady, as if she was an empress.
“As those supported by the citizens, we may need to become hostages to protect the citizens from other countries. If the citizens revolt, we will be killed by them and die! If local lords wage war against the country, we will stand first at the frontlines and die! Only those who have the resolve to do such are aristocrats…are royalty. The more beautiful and luxurious lives we live, the heavier the responsibilities!!! My beautiful attire is a declaration of my determination. It’s proof that I am always willing to die for you, the citizens!!!!!!”
She said in a clear voice. The air trembled. The man opened his eyes wide and let his gun drop from his hands.
Frederick didn’t think he had the same resolve and guts as Victoria, but he chose to keep quiet about that given the man’s feelings. The king was a man who could read the mood, after all.
“—If it’s to protect the citizens, your queen consort shall immediately offer her life. The royal family…the aristocrats exist to protect you all. …Do not forget. This queen consort always loves her people!!! Even if I am detested, if I am resented, or if it is an emergency, I shall throw my life down for you!”
The man crumbled to the ground. Nothing had been done to improve his life, but he felt like he had been remarkably saved for some reason. Why was that?
The ordinary citizens, the aristocrats, and the marching band remained confused on the sidelines and felt pressured by the mood to clap. What was going on?
The queen consort used her pale fingers to grab and lift the man’s chin up. She said in her beautiful voice.
“If your life is difficult, if living is painful, come to me. I shall be your aid. I am always with you all.”
The queen consort said, mounted her horse, and gallantly left.
From the sound of things, it seemed that several people had fallen in love.
The king, left behind, looked slightly troubled, but he patted the fallen man on the shoulder.
“Um, well… Hey, there’ll be a country-wide banquet now that’ll last for some time for our marriage, so you’ll be provided with alcohol and bread by the royal family… Eat your fill and cheer up, okay?”
Not only was King Frederick a bit of an idiot, but he was also soft-hearted. As such, there wasn’t a single hint of majesty in his words. It wasn’t clear if the simple words he used at this time sufficiently raised or lowered his popularity after his foolish stunt of breaking off his engagement.
Afterward, the soldiers dragged the man off to prison, but by the queen consort’s degree, he was acquitted three months later.
He returned to his home, but he came back to the castle after some time to complain about the severity of his local taxes. The land was investigated as a result, and it was discovered that the local lord had committed unscrupulous acts. He was convicted and expelled somewhere.
The man also applied to serve as a guard at the castle and was appointed. His work at the White Station gave him two days for vacation and no overtime. With the proper wages he earned, he paid for medicine to give to his father and younger sister.
By the way, his sister’s sickness was incurable, but an anonymous person sent an invitation letter to a renowned doctor who could do something about her condition.
The anonymous person addressed themselves as ‘The Eternally Lovey-Dovey Partner of the Automatic Sprinkler’, but their true identity remained unclear.
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