The Royal Deal - Chapter 21
Chapter 21 – A Wife’s Duty (1)
“Alec, we need to clarify the terms of the contract.” Just as Amethyst had been about to discuss the points she wanted to clarify in the contract, the carriage came to a halt. The duke promptly alighted and offered his hand to Amethyst in a very gentlemanly fashion.
Taking it, she stepped down and looked up at the grand building in front of her, her eyes widening in surprise, the second she realized where they were.
“But this is the royal palace. Why are we here?”
“You’re not the only one with a family. Did you forget about my sister? We’ve been invited to tea.”
Almost on the verge of panicking, she turned to give him an accusatory glare, “Why couldn’t you tell me about it, earlier?” Amethyst vowed to add a clause of providing prior information of all social commitments to the contract later, if and when she managed returned to the mansion today.
To her happy surprise, tea at the Royal Palace was simple.
The only participants of the tea party, which took place in a quaint greenhouse, were the Empress herself, the duke, Amethyst, the three maids who served the tea and Sir Karune, the first secretary of the Imperial palace.
The greenhouse was shaped like a large bird cage, with elaborate and beautiful decorations. As expected of the Empress who loved flowers, there were flowers that never withered and in full bloom, while outside the greenhouse dark green oak trees encircled the greenhouse, making the place feel like a secret room within a forest.
However, Amethyst couldn’t help but feel nervous as she sat opposite the person who defined the beauty of the place and made all the flowers appear like bridesmaids.
She truly was beauty personified. Seated together with the duke, the twins looked…ha, what a pair of Have-it-all’s!
She had only seen her once from afar during the commemoration party. Amethyst had been amazed at the sight of Belice and the duke seated in front of her.
Belice was the one to start the conversation. “Oh my, Lady Lohikin. I’m so glad to finally meet you. Congratulations to the both of you on your engagement.”
“Thank you for your kindness, your majesty. Please feel free to comfortably refer to me as Amethyst.”
Even though she would be her sister-in-law, she was the emperor of an empire. It was the equivalent to meeting a president of a country.
She was terrified but found herself relax slightly when she realized that Belice was making genuine efforts to make her comfortable. She spoke to Amethyst informally.
“Oh, then shall I? I must confess, I’ve been curious about the two of you. How did you fall in love?” Belice asked, both curious and teasingly.
Amethyst, who had expected such a question, answered without hesitation. “I am embarrassed to say this to you, Your Majesty. But I met Duke Skad for the first time at the commemoration party and fell in love with him at first sight.”
“The party? That was the first time?”
“Yes. I was unable to take my eyes off Duke Skad as he took each step towards me…and my heart pounded madly.” Amethyst recalled a romance novel she had read before and recited whatever she remembered of the frivolous description of the female lead’s feelings at her first encounter with the Hero.
Belice listened to Amethyst with a smile on her face, not betraying whether she believed her or not.
Suddenly feeling parched, Duke Skad brought his teacup to his lips as he recalled their first meeting, when Amethyst who had her mouth full of food hadn’t even bothered to look at him as she answered his questions.
“Then, brother. You tell me. How it was for you. How did you fall in love?” Belice asked with a smiling face that didn’t seem to be smiling at all.
Duke Skad seemed slightly taken aback as the blinding beams of her attention were suddenly turned to him, but with great presence of mind, he adopted a calm demeanour and evaded the crisis.
“Your Highness, when I saw the young lady who was dressed humbly in a dress, certainly not fit for a royal ball, who had her two cheeks full of food, I found her so adorable. She had an indescribable charm that I had never encountered in any other lady. My heart was irrevocably stolen.”
Amethyst’s lips twitched slightly. She realized fully well that his words were indirectly mocking her.
‘If he’s trying to provoke me, he’ll be disappointed. I won’t take to the bait.’
Instead, Amethyst laughed, “I often hear that I eat so well. Elders often praise me for it.”
“How adorable that you can’t differentiate between a joke and a praise.” Alexcent raised a brow, and smoothly mocked her.
“They say those alike come together, Alec, you are quite adorable in that sense too.”
“What? I’ve never acted as such?”
“In my eyes you did.”
“I doubt it.”
“I’m sure I’m right.”
Amethyst glared at the duke, while keeping a frigid smile in place, but he simply shrugged, unperturbed.