MSU – 43

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Come to think of it, it was clear that Elise’s father already knew Benji’s identity from the fact that he ordered that no one must make him work. Thanks to this, he was firmly misunderstood as a fool, but in exchange, no one bothered or gave him trouble.

But Elise ended up nodding. She could not tell the aristocrat, beaming with respect and loyalty, imagining all kinds of hardships and trials that didn’t exist, that, at most, her king had acted like a dog.

Instead, Elise quietly patted the shoulder of the lady who was even wiping faint tears on her handkerchief. She couldn’t think of anything to say.

So she had given a nonverbal cue for her to stop now. But did it mean something different in Faustino? The lady rather seemed to gain encouragement and once again started her speech. The story had been already told by others many times; Elise resigned herself, sitting back and ready to lament. Unexpectedly, her training on how to pretend to listen to her stepmother was helpful in times like these.

“I can’t even imagine. No matter how intelligent you are… he was just baptized, how could you… … .”

‘No, wait.’

Elise’s eyes shook with the new information. Something was terribly wrong.

Elise recalled her first meeting with Benji. She didn’t remember the details, but she remembered that she couldn’t even see his face when she hugged him. She had to go on her tippy toes to stroke his frizzy hair. Benji was a lot bigger than Elise.

‘Then he is younger than me? Then, he’s now…. twenty-two?!’

The age of Benji, which she firmly believed due to his uncertain background, was wrong for a long time. Elise’s heart grew a little heavy.

‘Ah… … . I don’t like younger men… … .’ [t1v: LMAO WAT—that’s what upsets you?!?!?]

The lady talking misunderstood her expression, which had sunk so much that she couldn’t hide it, and tried to rectify it with a bright tone.

“Oh, but he’s so clever and courageous… I never imagined that his Majesty would come back with such a beautiful queen. Handsome, suave, and romantic. Ho ho ho.”

‘Romantic… … .’

There was one more thing that spread like wildfire with Benji’s hero myth. It is the love story of Benji and Elise.

How dangerous was it to give space for the imagination?

The story of the two of them sounded like the romance of the century. As they kept quiet about the circumstances that others did not need to know. It was none other than Benji who ignited the ignorant rumor.

“Who is…. this noble person?”

“My master.”

In this chaotic situation, Benji answered plainly to the questionable gazes towards Elise. Her mouth went dry, and she almost choked when she tried to gulp. It clearly sounded like a romantic metaphor for those who didn’t know the situation.

Everyone was either shocked with astonishment or blushing. Benji was alone in maintaining a calm manner.

Neatly brushed and trimmed hair, straight forehead, cool eyes, and grand facial structure that seemed to have finally found their place, now in harmony with the pure white king’s attire. Although it was unfamiliar to Elise, who had only seen his disheveled appearance, surprisingly, he had the natural bearing of a conqueror with an intimidating dignity.

While Elise was in a daze, admiring his exotic impression, Benji’s stare remained on the confused nobles searching the floor for clarity. Finally, as anticipated, after sharp criticism, he brought forth the marriage certificate.

After that, everything went smoothly. It was thanks to the marriage certificate that Elise, a native of a foreign country, was able to sit on the queen’s seat without any backlash. No one in Faustino could deny a lover who made an oath under the blessing of God. But unfortunately, many added more romantic delusions.

‘Ah, that’s why you were so obsessed with our marriage vows.’

At her belated realization, her deep sigh, raised from the depths of her lungs, came out. She had no idea when or how far he had conspired. Elise massaged her head, struck by a sudden, raging headache.

* * *

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