Tensei Saki de Suterareta no de, Mofumofu Tachi to Oryouri Shimasu ~Okazari Ouhi wa my Pace ni Saikyou Desu~
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Chapter 21: The Queen Candidate of the Western Royal Villa
You might be wondering why a queen candidate was living in a villa within the Royal Castle complex while I was the Queen, right?
Well, the cause of this complication goes back to the foundation of the Wolfwald Kingdom. The royal family into which His Majesty Glenreed was born was quite old, with a history that stretched back several hundred years. However, the Kingdom of Wolfwald was only a few decades more than a century old.
At that time, there were five small countries in this area, including the kingdom ruled by His Majesty’s ancestors. Because they were small, the five countries were often tormented by foreign enemies. To counter the threat of neighbouring kingdoms and demons, they decided to unite as one nation, choosing the most powerful among them, with His Majesty’s ancestor, as their common ruler.
The whole area, including the royal capital where I now resided, once had been land that His Majesty’s ancestors had ruled for generations. This land was located in the centre of the country, and the territories of the other four small former kingdoms surrounded it to the east, west, south and north. While the country was now a single state, it had been five separate kingdoms no more than a hundred or so years ago and was still far from being a completely unified nation.
Although His Majesty’s family was now the sole royal lineage, the former royal descendants of the other four kingdoms still held a great deal of influence as dukes.
This state of affairs had had a real impact on the selection of the queen for generations.
Basically, the queen was usually chosen from the ducal houses of the descendants of the former royalty of the four countries. It was slightly different from being a concubine, but most of the previous Queens were from the four ducal families.
Generations of Kings had chosen their rightful Queens from among the candidates put forth by the four ducal houses. In fact, two years ago, each of them had offered a queen candidate to His Majesty Glenreed.
At the time, it had been barely a year since His Majesty had ascended to the throne following the sudden death of his father. Though he was known as the Silver Wolf King and had made great achievements on the battlefield, his influence in the country had still been far from solid. That was why he’d had to accept the queen candidates backed by the four ducal families into his royal villas.
The four queen candidates lived in royal villas within the royal palace, quietly vying with each other for the title of the Queen. They also attempted to approach His Majesty, but I heard that His Majesty, who hated women, was not swayed by them.
…I believed that His Majesty’s aversion to women was probably also a political ploy.
It has been three years since his accession to the throne, and he was still in the process of consolidating his position in the country. If he were to appoint a Queen right now, there was a high probability that her relatives would go out and disrupt national politics.
They chose me in order to avoid such a scenario in the future. They didn’t want to pick a queen from among the four candidates, but it would be difficult if the Queen’s seat remained empty forever. So I was chosen for the time being as a mere figurehead.
Again, it was customary for the queen of this country to be chosen from among the four ducal families. No one in this country, not even me, expected that I would remain the Queen for long. 1
It was a way to buy time for His Majesty to consolidate his position and choose a Queen to stand by him for the rest of his life. The role I was asked to play was nothing more or less than that. I was only a temporary, titular Queen.
I was the one who had to abide by the “White Marriage” and retire from my position as the Queen after two years. Because of these circumstances, the four queen candidates were still staying in the royal villas, aiming to become the future Queen.
“Lady Leticia, welcome to Lady Natalie’s royal villa.”
Lady Natalie, one of the queen candidates, was a descendant of the royal family that once ruled the small country to the west.
Lady Natalie’s royal villa was a beautiful mansion made of stone with exquisite sculptures. It was only a short distance west of the main castle, and to be frank, its location and architecture were superior to my own. I could guess a few reasons why they had given me such a remote villa, but I hadn’t pursued it since I didn’t feel troubled by it.
My royal villa was located in the forest. The dearth of people there was ideal for me to spend my time comfortably and at my own pace.
I could spend my days playing with the wolves and cooking at my leisure. Regardless of His Majesty Glenreed’s true intentions, I was grateful.
My days were peaceful and relaxing. But at the same time, even though I was just a decoration, I was still the Queen.
For the past ten days or so, the four queen candidates had been wrangling over who would be the first to make contact with me. As a result, it seemed, it had been decided that Lady Natalie would be the first to invite me.
Lady Natalie, who was currently one of the candidates that might officially become the Queen in a few years…Unable to turn down her offer, I put pause to my slow life and stepped out of my beloved villa.
I wanted to see what kind of woman Lady Natalie was in person. I wanted to, but…It was a bit tedious and depressing, to be honest.
“Lady Leticia, you may enter.” A servant announced my entrance and the doors to the dining room swung open.
The dining room was beautifully decorated with lots of glasswork. I could already smell the spices in the air, though there was not yet food on the table. They would probably bring it out after I was seated, so what I was likely smelling some kind of lingering scent that had seeped into the dining room.
Even though there was no food, it already smelled like this. It was enough to deepen one’s depression. As I sighed inwardly, a girl with light blue hair turned her gaze towards me.
“Welcome, Lady Leticia. We are all delighted to welcome you.”
The voice that spilled from her small lips was as beautiful as the ringing of a glass bell, yet robotic.
She was the daughter of the duke who ruled the western part of the Wolfwald Kingdom. The youngest queen candidate, who resided in the Western royal villa.
The girl I met in the spice-laden place was beautiful, with a doll-like face.
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