Looking towards the new year, Daichi was spending time with his attendants after a long day of consulting with officials. He always enjoyed spending time with them- After all, he thought of them as something similar to a close friend. However something seemed to have happened that greatly affected to the point where they had nervous expressions on their faces- concerning since people of the court were professionals in masking their emotions.
“ Is something amiss ?”
Daichi asked as he looked around his attendants. Koushi Sugawara, better known as Suga, spoke up- which was fairly common as he would often find himself as the head of Daichi’s attendants since he was one of the more highly ranked attendants and a rather close friend of Daichi’s.
“ The Emperor brought a tramp after one of his hunting trips-”
“ Then he ordered us to wash her”
Hinata interrupted Suga; as if he was afraid that Suga’s attitude towards the emperor would reach his ears. Yet despite the interruption, it was fair to assume that Hinata was also put-off by the turn of events. Essentially, all of Daichi’s attendants were omegas from high ranking families- that was only supposed to serve the “empress”. Afterall, all of them were pampered; serving only those who they think are worthy. To command them to serve another omega- especially one with no rank- was incomprehensible and disrespectful. The emperor knew the pride of the attendants almost as much as Daichi himself yet he ordered them to wash a common woman after hunting? Was it not disrespectful for their rank and essentially for their pride- as well as Daichi, who had command over them?
“What woman?” Daichi questioned, unsure of this current information- strange; due to his current circumstances as the empress and the wife of the emperor. He felt a sense of dread of potentially dealing with a concubine- especially considering Hayato had stayed loyal to him for so long.
"We don’t know if she was a prisoner or a slave” Suga answered, cooling down a bit- he looked at Daichi with the expression that he was simply stating a cold fact. “Her leg was trapped”
“Trapped?” Daichi repeated, unsure if the information was useful in uncovering the mysterious woman’s identity.
“Yes, The emperor found and saved her after she was caught in a trap”
Suga and the attendants looked at each as if they were debating over telling more information but then Suga continued as he looked at Daichi with compassion in his eyes- a hint of protectiveness found within them.
“ Even though the woman was filthy, she seemed rather pretty- I thought it was simply nothing but my imagination- after I washed her, it seemed that she was rather beautiful. “
High praise- Daichi noted, a bit stunned that it was Suga who was admitting it. Knowing Suga for a long time, it was a known fact that it was rather difficult to catch the eye of Koushi Sugawara since he was a notorious critic. Suga wasn’t known to show interest in someone, let alone for Suga to admit it- the woman would have had to have been rather beautiful.
“Her beauty was similar to Duchess Kiyoko, the currently ranked beautiful woman in the country”
Hinata admitted bashfully- a trait which was shared by all of whom had witnessed the beauty of Kiyoko. There was common admiration that people held upon meeting the duchess. Sensing Daichi’s discomfort, the other attendants quickly added their inputs.
“Of course, there is no one that is equal to you, Your Majesty.”
Ennoshita quickly added. Daichi evaluated himself- he was fairly average in his opinion, despite being an omega, he was fairly athletic. He never really had an interest in comparing the value of “beauty” that was enforced within the court- and as such, it was rather trivial to make comparisons to the every changing trend of “beauty”.
However, he does know Duchess Kiyoko, despite only meeting for a brief period- he could tell from a single look that she radiated beauty and gained the attention of many nobles. Graceful and intelligent, she was able to make a debut in society that impacted the very foundation of the court. A beloved flower for all to witness from her debut of seventeen to even her current age.
And now a mysterious woman seemed to be the person to rival that position? Rather absurd- however Daichi’s attendants were not people that could be easily impressed. Perhaps, Hayato simply saved a damsel in distress- Daichi tried to reason. It was rather difficult to imagine Hayato falling for another person, especially since he had stayed loyal to him for all these years.
“There is no need to hold back, I know that you are holding yourselves back”
Daichi asked once again- afterall, they were the only source of information that was currently available to him.
“The truth is...the emperor seems to have become fond of her”
Suga finally spoke the full truth- his eyes conveying a message that clearly spoke to Daichi. ‘He’s enamoured by her- He loves her’
“The emperor?” Daichi’s tone held contempt-
“Yes, after we were assigned to wash her. We clothed her with a dress that seemed to have been of her size. However, His majesty seemed to have been concerned over the woman’s weight- as he fretted continuously and rather gently to her”
Tsukishima finally talked regarding the subject, however his tone seemed to suggest that he was anything but interested in the topic- but there was underlying anger found within his tone.
Daichi nodded his head, contemplating over his current choices- afterall, it would be quite disrespectful to accuse his husband for cheating when there was no evidence and Hayato was the emperor regardless of his poor choice to chase other omegas. Should he confront his husband about his? Drive the woman out of the palace? or should she be offered a position within the palace? Regardless of his own personal training to become the empress, there was simply nothing he could do if the emperor wanted this woman.
Viscount Asahi approached closely
“A suggestion, your majesty, how about you simply approached his majesty through the excuse of hearing a rumour that he brought back an injured woman?”
The rest of the attendants seemed to have agreed- after all, it seemed to be the most rational choice that would be chosen.
“Thank you for your suggestions, I will take them into consideration once I have scheduled an arrangement with His Majesty. He is simply a compassionate man- it is possible that he might have brought her in out of concern “
Despite not being fully convinced, Daichi stated his opinion. The rest of his attendants seemed to look as reluctant as he feels- which will honestly quite difficult to his situation- as they were fully aware of the mood that the emperor and the woman had with each other.