The Legitimate Queen - Chapter 1
Betrayal, Fights, Obsession, Affection, and A Meaningless Promise (1)
The blonde prince collapsed helplessly to the floor. It was shortly after taking a big bite of the sanguinaccio dolce1A pudding made from pig’s blood which is made creamy and sweetened with ingredients such as chocolate, milk, pine nuts, raisins, and sugar. Here it’s a bull calf’s blood made from a bull calf that Ariadne had served him.
This was the result of trusting her.
Ariadne nodded to herself and handed Prince Alfonso over to the soldiers who were waiting.
In this way, the owner of the kingdom had changed.
“I’m sorry, Your Grace.”
Ariadne looked at the man quietly. She knew her method wasn’t right, but she had someone to protect.
She then walked into the king’s chambers like she were strolling through her own house. But no one stopped her even as she stirred up the palace upside-down.
He was in the king’s chambers. The person she blindly loved, the object of her worship, her perfect fiancé, Caesar De Como. The illegitimate child of the king. That son of the king who had never become a prince.
“How did it go?”
“— I am done securing the body of Prince Alfonso. I have handed it over to the soldiers of Pisano.”
At those words, the cautious stiffed expression disappeared from Caesar’s sculpted visage, and a bright smile appeared in its stead. As if all the candles in the room were lit up in an instant, the world was turning brighter and the temperature was getting warmer.
That’s right! That’s enough!
Caesar jumped from his father’s throne where he was sitting and held Ariadne’s hand. At the heat dissipating from his touch, Ariadne’s body trembled as if his joy and affection were transmitted to her.
“Well done. Once I take his life, I will make you the most precious woman in the kingdom.”
“My father is in critical condition, he could die any day now. It wouldn’t be strange if he died right this instance.”
Currently, the old king was lying on his deathbed. And now that Prince Alfonso was also dead, there was no one that could stop Caesar de Como anymore.
“With this, our time is coming.”
Ariadne was not interested in the new era. It was enough for her if she could be beside him and make him happy.
Caesar de Como, the marquis of the Kingdom of Etruscan and the ‘cousin’ of Prince Alfonso, immediately raised troops on the border and took over the castle as soon as King Leo III was on the sickbed. The justification was Prince Alfonso tried to poison the sovereign.
No one believed that, but also no one complained in front of Caesar’s soldiers who filled the royal castle. Then, like lightning, Prince Alfonso’s body was hung on the walls of Castle San Carlo in the capital. Caesar proclaimed that Prince Alfonso was caught at the border trying to seek asylum with the enemy state, the Kingdom of Galico.
“Look! Prince Alfonso, the wicked traitor! He joined forces with the enemy kingdom to ascend the throne by trying to poison the king! I, Caesar de Como– No, Caesar de Carlo, have stepped in as a regent to protect the Kingdom of Etruscan and our king. So people, please rest your trust in me and follow me!”
Caesar’s coup d’etat was successful, yet after becoming the regent of the Kingdom of Etruscan, he had to spend nine years strengthening his position.
During this time, Caesar needed a woman next to him to take on the role of governing the palace. Since the Queen of Leo III died a long time ago, that highest position in the kingdom was held by Ariadne, Caesar’s fiancée.
However, Ariande’s disastrous social reputation reached even before she entered the royal palace.
“I heard she’s only twenty-two years old?”
“She grew up on a farm since she was young. It’s said she has no culture.”
“I saw her at the party, and she didn’t even dress up properly. Well, she’s ill-bred anyway.”
Ariadne was a symbol of everything unjust. The woman of the king’s illegitimate child who drove out the legitimate prince was also the illegitimate daughter of the cardinal. She had no outstanding education or achievements to boast of and to top it all, she had yet to officially marry King Regent Caesar. She gave her all for her man only to be treated as a joke. It was widely said, she was a woman with nothing to show who liked to hang up on men.
Naturally, the ridicule of the regent also increased.
One day, when the disrespectful atmosphere was at its peak, something happened at her regular tea party. An old countess, the elder from the family of historical lineage, from the capital, spoke loudly about the secret of King Regent Caesar’s birth. The secret was well-known among the aristocrats of the capital, but it was not among the aristocrats in the countryside.
“I heard … Actually King Regent Caesar is not the cousin of the crown prince, but the illegitimate child of Leo III?”
These aristocrats of the capital had never been fond of Ariadne and Caesar since a long time ago. However, it was out of line to talk about the king regent’s background, in a loud voice and in the presence of Ariadne.
Ariadne tightened the grip of the fan she was holding.
“Is it true?”
“I’ve heard about it, too.”
“But bastard is the product of an unclean relationship that is not blessed by the Gods….”
These noble personages were sitting with their backs to Ariadne who was currently seated at the head seat of this handmade tea table. They were treating her as air with the countess at the center. Their attitude clearly screamed -’Even if you don’t like it, what are you going to do? You’re a half aristocrat, the cardinal’s bastard that seized unjust power.’
“It’s not true, isn’t it? If not, how can such a person be made the king?”
“However, there is reliable proof … The mother is— ”
Ariadne could tolerate someone maligning her, but it was unacceptable to speak ill of Caesar. He was the focal point of her life and the object of worship … noble, strong … he had endured so much pain.
“Only when the birth record is clean will it be determined whether they are of royal descent or not. King Regent Caesar is of a filthy origin, unsuitable to be hailed a king.”
In the end, the old countess who first started the story, came to the conclusion as if it were a supreme court. Her resolute remarks rang in Ariadne’s parlor.