Hunting Contest (9)
“It’s an honor to meet the Empress.
My name is Pauline Bashel.”
“Nice to meet you, Lady Bashel.
But if it’s Bashel—”
Roelin tilted her head as she was greeted by an old lady who had approached her.
“Heinez is my son.
He doesn’t look like me at all, does he now”
The old lady burst into laughter as if she knew what Roelin was currently wondering.
The sound of a loud laugh had drawn some attention from the people around them.
You and him… Well, your hair color looks rather similar.”
“He was born with silver hair, but my hair is now gray because I’m already old.
Originally, my hair was red.
Heinez resembles my husband.
When my husband was young, he had been a very handsome man even within the Empire itself and it’s truly a relief.”
“Yes—no, I’m not saying that…”
Roelin had responded casually to the words of the old lady and Pauline, but soon became embarrassed as she began to gloss over her words.
Then, Pauline opened her eyes wide and laughed loudly once again.
“Hohoho! I never knew that the Empress was such a cute person.
If I had known earlier, I would have asked His Majesty to let me come to meet you first and greet you.”
Roelin smiled awkwardly.
In the meantime, other women around her started creeping up as well.
Then, no matter who had said something first, they all eventually spoke up.
I also reflected on how prejudiced I have been until now after seeing the Empress.
I shouldn’t have been biased against those unfounded false rumors.
Rumor has it that she’s very arrogant and picky… whoops!”
A middle-aged wife, who had been excitedly talking, instantly covered her mouth.
The act of rolling her eyes away had revealed her own sense of embarrassment.
I’m truly sorry.
I was too excited and made a slip of the tongue.”
It’s okay, Lady Mayer.
You didn’t make everything up for nothing.”
“…uh, you know, still… Aren’t you uncomfortable”
A lady named Mayer stuttered and began asking Roelin carefully.
Obviously, what she had brought up was an utter disgrace to the Empress.
No, it was clear that not only the Empress, but anyone who knew what happened at the time would never want to put it back in their mouths as well.
It was a shame for both sides that the Empress had mocked and ignored their own country, Seroif.
“I’m not the one who should feel uncomfortable, but the people who were hurt by me at that time.
I’m in a position to offer apologies to them, but I don’t deserve to be offended again as well.”
Roelin answered Mayer’s words with a calm face and looked around slowly.
Those who had approached her were all strong-looking women.
They were so different from those colorful ‘girls’ who could be seen back in Rakain.
It did not simply mean that they were larger or even ragged than those noble women of Rakain, but they were just different.
Roelin felt only that with these women.
It was something that could never be obtained from fancy dresses or even expensive jewelry.
However, when she first faced these women in a hunting competition, Roelin felt quite embarrassed somehow.
At a single glance, they were husky and boisterous women, so even she, herself, had felt embarrassed about how to treat them.
She even thought that she should have already guessed in advance when she saw the outfit that was donned by Silloa, who came along to the hunting competition with her.
None of the women in Seroif was just like a ‘flower’.
Even though it was their very first time meeting the Emperor and his companion.
Maybe that was why.
Roelin erased the embarrassment and difficulty she had felt at first and before she knew it, she began admiring them.
It was a rather short time, but they were absolutely attractive.
Both the old gray-haired lady and the middle-aged woman who already started having wrinkles around her eyes were much more energetic than she was, and it felt really good to see that.
To the point where she wanted to resemble that aspect of them as well.
And to the point where she wanted to have that kind of strength and confidence in return.
“I truly apologize here onwards.
I’m truly sorry for my foolish behavior from before.”
Roelin bowed her head and apologized.
It wasn’t actually her fault.
However, as long as she lived under the name of ‘Erita’, all of the faults Erita made had become her own.
That was why Roelin thought that she should start by ‘recognizing and apologizing for those mistakes’.
In that manner, she would then become even more confident.
Lady Pauline was seen catching those wild boars deep in the forest before dragging them out.
Oh my God.
A wild boar which had been beaten to death from an axe wielded by an old lady with gray hair.
Roelin looked at the scene for a while and stared down at her bow.
“You have met with the wrong owner.”
She touched the still bow with her hands and soon shrugged.
In other words, the hunting competition was no different from a festival itself.
Inside the tent that was located on one side, sweet snacks and cold drinks that were brought to cool off sweat had constantly come out and on the other side, the hunted beasts were already dismantled on the spot before being baked golden brown.
It had been such a simple and unprecedented sight that it was hard to believe that the event was actually hosted by the Imperial Family.
She turned around after glancing at Kergel’s act of socializing himself amongst it.
Originally, the maid and knights would have had to follow her, but unless it had been deep into the forest where there were no dangerous beasts, it was then okay for her to walk around alone.