“You’re majesty, Grand Duke Komaki has sent you another gift of silk from a foreign land”
Daichi sighed, The grand duke was one of the few relatives of the emperor- known for his disinterest in obtaining the throne- yet he was still a noble that has often given gifts to the empress to obtain their favor. During the morning, he would have preferred to enjoy a cup of coffee with his attendants- yet it seemed like the grand duke decided to have a servant bring a gift.
Looking up from his cup of coffee, Daichi looked at the gift- it was a rather fine quality of silk that shone like the scales of a cutlassfish. ‘Yet it would be improper to accept.’ Daichi thought ‘considering the intention of the sender- a favor of any royal has always been highly demanded’.
“Send him my thanks, however I cannot accept as this could potentially cause quite a misunderstanding”
Daichi stated, already used to rejecting gifts from nobles- he would rather not deal with potentially harboring a favor to anyone. The servant simply nodded and replied with a respective “Ok” before proceeding to leave.
“That man hasn’t gotten tired yet?”
Suga remarked- annoyance noted within his tone; as the rest of the attendants laughed. The mood in the room became peaceful once more.
Quite unexpectedly, a second visitor appeared- however it was not a noble asking for a favor. However, it was an official who was there to coordinate today’s schedule however it was an easy task that quickly finished.
To his surprise, a third visitor appeared. This time, it was Yui.
Daichi looked at Asahi- the current guard in charge, who simply looked back sheepishly as though he was also unsure on the reason why Yui was here. Suga clicked his tongue- also unamused with this turn of events.
“Why does she dare come here- after what she did”
Asahi looked at him and back at Daichi, with a nervous expression on his face- although Asahi was not personally there to witness the event, he had heard about it- quite frankly, everyone at the palace did.
“She did not state the reason of her visit, however she seemed quite eager to talk to you, Your Majesty”
Asahi replied- his expression and composure calming down, though he stood determined to follow orders. Suga then looked at Daichi.
“Will you be receiving her, your majesty?”
‘Frankly’ Daichi thought ‘ I don't want to see her, after all, it would be simply logical to not want to see someone who frankly had no regard to common courtesy. Eventually perhaps I would be used to talking to Hayato even when he would have multiple concubines- however this is neither the time or the place. ‘
“Let her in.”
Suga questioned in surprise. Daichi simply picked up the handle of his cup of coffee. ‘Despite Yui being a concubine, she was still Hayato’s first love...if you could call it that. It would be damaging if the relationship between both monarchs would sour. Additionally, he could tolerate a single visit.’
“This is our second time meeting, Your Majesty. Hello, I am Yui”
As though she was simply ignoring the events with Hinata, Yui smiled brightly- mirroring the smile she had during said event. Suga did not hide his displeasure as he sat with an impassive in a stony silence. Daichi kept a blank expression as well- an expression that was polished from a young age.
“Unlike previously, I am sure that you are his majesty’s concubine. Congratulations.”
Stating his blank greetings, Daichi decided to simply proceed to the main point- afterall, he felt the urge to just finish this conversation as quickly as possible.
“What brings you here?”
“What brings me here?”
“You and I are like siblings now, Your Majesty. Family.”
Yui stated cheerfully- proud of her accomplishment and status. Suga choked at her words, clearly not expecting the blatant regard while he was drinking his cold coffee. Despite the admittedly humorous site of Suga's incredulous reaction; the room quickly felt several degrees colder. It was not hard to see that many of Daichi’s attendants(including Suga and Asahi-) were now glaring at Yui. However it seemed that Yui’s attention focused solely on Daichi.
Daichi was bewildered. ‘Siblings? Family?’
“Because we have the same husband. ”
Daichi’s impeccable blank expression almost cracked- he could feel his patience quickly fading away. The concubine contract was simply that; a contract. If the contract was not extended then the concubine would simply be asked to leave the premises. Despite their titles, Royal concubines weren’t a part of the imperial family, nor were their offspring- they do gain a significant amount of wealth however that is where the extent goes.
‘Yet now, this woman would consider us to be siblings? Simply due to the fact that we share the same husband’ . Daichi thought, internally fuming. ‘There were so many errors in that statement that I didn’t even know where to start.’
As Daichi collected his thoughts, Yui simply clapped her hands together-
“May I call you ‘Brother’, You’re Majesty?”
‘There was a limit with how generous one could be’ Daichi thought as the atmosphere grew chillier. ‘ and this is probably mine.’
Daichi responded bluntly. Yui’s expression dropped- as if she was disappointed by this outcome, yet Daichi could not bring himself to care further regarding the topic. Yui then stared at Daichi, tear faced and an expression similar to shaking doe. ‘She probably never imagined a rejection; yet isn’t that more amazing? After all, she practically said “Yes, let’s be siblings. I took away your husband, but can we get along?”
“Is it because you don’t like Yui?”
“It is not a matter regarding hating you.”
‘Of course, I dislike you.’
“You may have become the Emperor’s concubine, but are not my sister.”
Daichi stated, forging a fake smile. It was simply the truth-there were no empresses that have simply regarded a concubine as sister-nor does Daichi intend to be the first one. Yui simply started to sob a bit more- ‘she must think that I am ridiculing her’. Daich sighed, smiling didn't work- nor does it think that he could actually stop her from crying and he didn’t want to be “graced” with her presence some more- so there was only one option.
After Yui left, everyone within the room was in disbelief.
“Indeed…I really don’t know what to say about her.”
Suga stated in shock. The other attendants were also in a similar state. ’It was true that most of my attendants have ever met a previous concubine- especially one that called on the empress.’. Daichi frowned-he turned to the eldest attendants, Takeda.
“Is that what a concubine is like?”
‘Although I had been in and out of the Imperial Palace since I was young, I had never met any of the previous emperor’s concubines while being educated in court. I hadn’t been old enough to debut in society yet, and so I had nothing to do with the concubines of the late emperor.’ Daichi reflected on his experiences.
“Concubines rarely see the empress. As most concubines’ feelings would become hurt if they were disliked by the empress.
‘Maybe Hayato likes a person like Yui.’
Suga sighed as he ruffled his hair. He simply could not comprehend the mind of the emperor. He looked toward his own husband- who assured him with a small smile. Suga shuffled toward him and grasped one of his hands.
“She will need lady-in-waiting sooner or later. The Emperor says she is a commoner, but I am afraid she is not like a commoner at all. I wonder if any young woman would want to be the lady-in-waiting of the concubine…”