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Royal Scandal

Chapter Text

“I will accept the divorce”

Daichi Sawamura was born to a long-line of royal consorts; a high-born noble within the karasuno, and a duke of his own right before descending to the title of Empress. Similar to the prince consorts before him, he was always expected to marry current heir to the throne-. It was always meant to be a political marriage; afterall, Marriages within the royal community were always going to be a ploy regarding royal pedigree,studies, and political alliances. 

He believed that he was close to his fiance, afterall, growing up together was supposed to have that effect. Even all the nobles had thought they were a good match with our combined wit and great chemistry. Unfortunately, this marriage led to a waste after all it takes two people to actually make it work . Daichi always maintained the image of a perfect empress- until today.

His husband, the emperor- looked to have a mixed expression of relief and regret. Until now, Daichi has always been a perfect companion and a royal figure, However, ever since she came into the picture and took his gaze away from him, Daichi was made to play the part of a fool- of someone who would make his husband be taken away by someone else. He knew the complication of a public royal divorce- being raised in the royal court did have its’ perks afterall. It would only cause more of a scandal to go through a slow divorce trial against the sawamura family and the high priest.  

“You’re majesty ! This can’t be “

Marquis Akaashi cried out, a bit out of character for the usually stoic man, as he tried to run towards Daichi, but he was caught by the emperor's guards and prohibited from stepping further. Marquis Akaashi, Earl Sugawara, Viscount Asahi- my defenders and friends, I’m thankful for your support however-

“Our Empress, Daichi. Do you really agree to this divorce agreement ,Will you not fight for your marriage and position as emperor consort” . 

The authoritative voice of the high priest was tainted with an undertone of anger- after all, it was no secret that he wanted to keep the marriage to be intact. The odds of fighting and winning the divorce case were slim, it would simply cause a strain for the relationship of the royal family. Since divorcing an emperess for a lowborn concubine was scandalous.

“ I agree to this divorce” 

Daichi calmly stated once again, his voice seemed to carry the same confident tone that was always present whenever he was speaking. The high priest simply closed his eyes, as if he was pained by what he was about to say next.

“And also ask for permission to remarry.”

Daichi suddenly continued. Which caused the whole environment to suddenly shift from a gloomy atmosphere to a shocked one.

“Our Empress Daichi…remarry?”

The high priest looked on shocked over the sudden turn of events, he looked toward the emperor- unsure of the words that came out of the empress’s mouth.  Daichi solemnly nodded as he stretched out his hand, pointing to the edge of the room which was covered by curtains. Suddenly a bellowing laugh was heard, A figure wearing an embroidered veil over their head appeared as if the whole affair was planned. 

“Can I come out now” 

The room was suddenly silent, as if the crowd were trying to decipher the hidden figure. The man walked closer to the center of the court; the way that his figure walked was light and stealthy. When the figure took off his veil, the emperor suddenly raised to his feet. 

“Daichi! He’s-”

“The one that I intend to marry”

Daichi says firmly; clearly implying that it was his final decision on the matter. The High Priest looked like he had an aneurysm- as if this very situation seemed to have exhausted him. He looked toward Daichi, with an expression that relied “You wanted this situation to happen, didn’t you ?” .

Somehow, despite the tense situation, Daichi answered with a smirk. 

‘Even though I have no desire for revenge, I like this feeling’ 

Chapter Text

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. 

Chapter Text

The next day, rumors about the mysterious “hunting ground”  girl had overtaken the court. However, no person has directly brought it to Daichi’s attention other than his attendants. The court seemed unable to hold a secret within its palace walls as the rumors could be heard through the whispers of servants within the palace walls. 
Currently, Daichi was having a meal while his attendants continued to reveal the current gossip regarding the emperor- usually Daichi shouldn’t have allowed this type of idle chatter especially since it could potentially be used as treason yet he let his curiosity get the better of him. After all, Hayato has still not returned his request of having a meal together.
“That woman is probably a runaway slave-” Tsukishima continued as he gave his opinion on the rumors circulating toward the court. “ It seemed rather obvious with how she was chained up- chains on the ankles ? a criminal would rather bite off their tongue then be chained like a dog.”
“Tsukishima-” Yamaguchi warned as he looked toward his best friend- “Not here. The walls are thin.”  
“I know that. However, don’t you think it is beneath us that we have to whisper like cowards over a simple fact? She was found in Viscount Kurokawa’s estate-so she must have escaped from there ” Tsukishima countered back and then slowly took in another breath of air, calming down.
“Baron Tsukishima, we empathize with you but it is best to hold our tongues especially since we have little idea if she is under the emperor’s protection. Even with our noble statuses and our empress’ protection, it would be damaging to earn the ire of the emperor.” Suga stated coldly-
“...Forgive me, Earl Sugawara- I will keep that in mind” 
“Good.” Suga nodded as he then continued to smile. “ Empress-”
A knock on the door interrupted Suga. “Enter” Daichi commanded with authority after he wiped his mouth with a napkin. The door opened to reveal a maid who entered with a tray in her arms. She quickly made her way to the circle of attendants and stopped in front of Suga- On top of the tray, it revealed a letter stamped with the crest of the emperor. I guess he finally responded - Daichi mused.  Suga looked toward him as Daichi nodded; giving him permission to open the letter. 

“My Dear Moon of the Empire, I have heard of your pleas to attend a meal together. Therefore I formally invite you to accompany me for tonight’s dinner at the dining room of the eastern palace. The Righteous Sun, Emperor Hayato Ikejiri”    Suga announced in the room. There were small mutterings from the group of attendants yet overall it seemed to be a positive reaction- after all, Daichi would finally be able to obtain information from the source. Daichi looked toward Suga, giving him a simple wave of hand to signal his approval. Suga nodded back and turned toward the maid.
 “The empress has given her permission and approval to attend the event, it would suit you well to properly convey her majesty’s message.”  The maid curtsied and quickly left the room.“Suga- Earl Sugawara, make preparations for tonight- however be sure to contain your anger as well; despite the complications of court, it would be best to appear unfaced by the current circumstances. No matter how irritating the situation becomes.” Suga simply nodded; He looked toward the other attendants and stated. “ Let’s prepare for tonight. “

--------

After the preparation and paperwork have been finished, Daichi finally heads toward the east palace; accompanied by Suga and Asahi. He looked towards his closest friends and simply asked “ Do you think that Hayato will want to take her in to be his lover?” 

Suga stares at Dachi for a moment and then locks eyes with Asahi, clearly the two seemed to form a plan. “ Your- Daichi, I may not speak for the emperor yet I know that you are someone that is incomparable especially with one that he simply picked up from somewhere”.  Suga started with an underlying tone of anger- however Daichi knew enough about his friend that Suga’s anger was not directed to himself rather to Hayato. 

“That’s correct, No matter how beautiful this person will appear to be, you are our empress; that currently supports the foundation of our glorious empire. “ Asahi added; “ Right? He would be blind to think otherwise” Suga confirmed with a nod. 

Daichi grinned as he heard  his friends’ attempts to comfort him. “ Informal Speech? How improper of you, Suga ~ but you’re right….Thank you”. The two attendants grinned as well, as if conveying their support for their empress but more importantly their friend. The three continue to walk in silence till they reach the dining hall. 

“You both are dismissed for today, be safe on your way back”

Daichi commanded. He looked towards the dining hall where two guards were outside. He waved his hand indicating that he was entering. The guards bowed in respect and finally opened the door. 

-----

The dining halls of the eastern palace were always rather lavish. Noticeably, the distance of the table between the seated figures were far too long; As the two royal figures dined and talked regarding the current political issues- specifically the preparation of The Solar Celebration. ‘It is probably best to be done with it’ Daichi thinks as he prepares to bring in the subject. 

“Em- Hayato...I heard that you saved an injured woman during your hunting trip?”

Hayato looked up from cutting his steak; staring intensely at Daichi before finally sighing.

“Daichi, who told you that ?”

Daichi noticed that his tone was a bit tense- seemingly on edge; his fingers also seemed to fidget; an indication that he was rather nervous. Yet by the wrinkle in his brow- ‘it would not be wise to mention the source.’

“...my source does not matter; however may I assume that it is correct?”

“It must have been your attendants. “

“Clarifying again, my source does not matter. It was hard to miss since everyone in the palace was talking about it; Is it correct ?”

Hayato seemed to become more aggravated as the question was repeated. 

“Hayato?”
“...Don’t rush me.”
“...”

A flash of regret seemed to pass by Hayato’s face as he said those words. Yet, he continued to clarify his words.

“I have no idea what kind of rumors that you have heard of; however it is true that I rescued an injured woman during my trip”

He called her a “woman” and not a “runaway slave” , Daichi noted. 

“Is that so? May I ask where she is currently located?”
“Empress”
“...please tell me”
Hayato took a deep sigh; 
“ Daichi, we only meet for dinner twice during the week. Would you not want to spend it more eventfully? After all, we still have to focus on the solar celebration.”

The tone of his voice was icy;
The indication was clear;
‘Don’t involve yourself with this’

‘...maybe my prediction of this woman was right. However I will not back down’ 

“Your Majesty. I have not suggested anything unusual after all, I am also a master of the imperial palace.  I am simply asking if you brought an injured woman since it has never happened before.”

Daichi causally spoke- simple; it would not be appropriate to appear overbearing. The tone was similar to the ones used in discussing the preparations for the solar celebration.

“Are you only asking due to curiosity ?”

Hayato asked in suspicion with a hint of disbelief. ‘ like I would harm someone after being injured out of jealousy’ Daichi was in a similar state of disbelief- yet he maintained a calm façade.

“Of course. Why else would I ask.”
“ I simply rescued her after she accidentally got caught in a trap. She’s not too injured however I have placed her in a room with a maid to observe her condition.”
“I see.”
“Do not worry yourself. I will not ask of your attendants to take care of her again”

Hayato continued cutting his steak; keeping silent throughout the meal. Quite a difference from the causal chatter that normally circulates around their visits.

Chapter Text

After the silent dinner, Daichi went back toward his chambers accompanied by a few guards. He briefly thinks of the silent treatment that he had received over dinner due to his questions. ‘A shift of balance within the span of a day.’. He finally reached his chambers and dismissed the guard after he opened the door. Most of the omega attendants seemed to have stayed behind including Suga and Hinata.

“How was it, your majesty ?”

Hinata asked excitedly; eager to know of the results of the conversation.

“He didn’t reveal much information other than confirming our suspicions”

Suga looked pointedly at Daichi, clearly not believing his friend for a minute. 

“Then you would not have appeared so disheartened. Have you had your heart be broken?”

“...”

“It’s alright, my empress, it would be best to tell us lest we be prepared”

“He mentioned that he saved a woman; and not a runaway slave from a trap.”

‘ I didn’t even get the name’  Daichi mused in his thoughts; however a huff interrupted his train of thought, he looked toward the source only to see Noya looking rather unimpressed- although normally one for excitement, he seemed to be taking the situation quite seriously as well.  Despite not meeting the mysterious woman, He already knew that she could pose a potential problem.

“ he said that he is simply taking care of her-and he seemed rather discomforted with the topic.”

Hinata seemed to have a great problem with that answer as he stomped his foot with a loud “Thud”. He turned to face Daichi once again. The other attendants stared at him with a warning look- the most heated coming from Kageyama. 

“Your Majesty, be wary; as that was the exact words that my father said before beginning an affair.”

Hinata’s voice seemed to be full of anger as the  room was also filled with a rather distressing smell coming off the omega. However before it could any further. Suga held Hinata’s hand.

“Do not let your anger blindside you.”

“But- that’s what it implies! Those are clearly a sign of an early affair. Why else wouldn’t he want to talk about it ?” 

The other attendants seemed to have a bit of a mixed reaction. With Noya, it seemed to have gained his approval as he nodded his head. While Kageyama and Suga looked like they were holding themselves back over Hinata’s blunt responses and possibly treacherous words. However none seemed to have denied Hinata’s claims. 

Suga then looked back at Daichi. Seeking to ask permission, Daichi simply waved his hand again indicating a positive. Suga then looked back at the other attendants and simply said “All of you are dismissed for today; leave now so that I may talk to the empress in private”.  The order seemed to have snapped the other attendants out of their conversations with each other; as they left, they seemed to have shared a look of pity- ‘it seemed like everyone agrees that the Hayato is seeing another woman.’

Sensing Daichi’s depleting mood, Suga held Daichi’s hand- something that would usually reassure Daichi ever since they were children. 

“The emperor is the type of man that rarely hunts; it must have been a miracle to him to find a beautiful woman in a trap”

“Suga”

“Daichi?”

“Before, my mother and even the former empress used to say that even if Hayato chooses another lover; I must not let myself feel hurt-it is common for emperors to obtain multiple lovers.”

Suga seemed to have a “puffed” expression- a common sign that he was irritated. However this topic seemed to be out of his expertise- since Suga had a marriage out of love to Asahi yet he does know the complexities of court. 

“I did not want to state this in front of my young attendants however I am a little prepared if the emperor chooses to make her as his concubine.”

“Daichi…”

“But when he doesn’t speak to me, it does...hurt me. After all, were the times we spent together simply amount to nothing for him? That he would speculate that I would hurt people simply out of jealousy?”

Suga held Daichi’s hand a bit tighter...as if wishing to lessen the burden that his friend is currently experiencing. 

"Whether he has ten or a hundred concubine, it would not affect my position as empress...he and I never did love each other. So logically, we should be fine...yet I feel this empty space within my heart… Suga, please don’t look at me like that…”

Daichi looked at Suga, who seemed to be on the edge of tears. Suga stares at Daichi for a moment before engulfing him in a hug before quickly pulling away. 

“Daichi...even though your marriage may have been a political one, it does not deter your feelings- you two have grown up together even longer than our friendship. It is not shameful to feel sad- it is simply a human reaction.”

Suga then returned to hold Daichi’s hand; staring toward his eyes. Silently conveying his support- that it was natural to feel those emotions. 

“Then would Hayato feel the same if I chose another man to cherish?”

“ I am not as close to his majesty as you are; so unfortunately I do not know his heart; however I do know that the deeper that one finds themselves  in love, the more painful it becomes to loose”

Daichi forced a small smile- already aware of the heartbreak that lies ahead. 

“I see...at least I will hopefully feel better soon since it is improbable for the woman and I to meet”

“Yes, Your Majesty. Even if she becomes a royal concubine, she will never be able to enter high society.”

Daichi looked forward; a bit more determined after the talk with Suga. Although slaves could always rise through status; it was simply impossible for high society to accept any outsiders...especially runaway slaves therefore no matter the blessings that Hayato might give to her, Daichi can easily avoid her. He should simply calm down and not let his emotions overwhelm him.

Chapter Text

“The emperor goes to visit the slave everyday?”

“I heard that he personally brought her food”

“He’s acting rather indifferent to the rumors surrounding the two of them; how shameful.”

“He even called a court doctor to inspect her foot.”

The whispers of the palace garden was obviously noticeable- only getting louder as the people talked about personally seeing the emperor with his new mysterious woman. Daichi sighed- wanting simply to hear silence within his garden where he deliberately asked for a hidden nest-like swing chair that he frequented to simply spend time for himself. A secret place where not even his attendants knew about; even Suga didn’t know the exact location of it. 

‘About a week has passed; yet the mutterings of court has not cease’

Daichi closed the book that he had tried to read a few moments before. As Hayato’s interest and increased visits grew, so did the rumors surrounding the couple. Everyone was enraptured by the woman capable of acquiring the emperor’s heart. ‘ wasn’t it fortunate that I have never met her?’

The last dinner that he shared with Hayato was simply filled with discussion about the solar celebration; he decided to not bring up the woman- for now, The best solution was to simply compromise; act as the ignorant but dutiful empress.

‘However faith seemed to have a different plan’


It was another day where Daichi and other officials had a meeting to discuss the solar celebration. 

The feeling of a clogged throat seemed to have become a normal occurrence for him- after all, the duty of the empress is to make sure that every event will go through smoothly. After the meeting ended, he decided to simply have a break by walking through the central garden. He was accompanied by his attendants as well as Ennoshita, who was currently on duty as the deputy commander of the knights. As the two talked about Ennoshita’s recommendation for the ceremony, a whisper could be heard. “Is that him?”

Daichi looked around to see a long brown haired woman sitting in a wheelchair accompanied by two maids. Their eyes met for a moment, brown eyes looking at each other- except hers was of excitement while Daichi was one of confusion. The woman smiled as she attempted to stand up from her chair-the two maids tried to stop her but stopped after seeing his gaze.

The woman grasped the handle of her chair and attempted the weary bow. Daichi simply stared a bit confused: although the woman seemed to be the runaway slave that the emperor saved...it was the central garden- a place where no mistresses were allowed to go. Never had there been any accounts-As the central garden was a gift presented to the current empress. To simply waltz in without the consent of the empress was disrespectful to the authority of himself.

‘Still- she greeted me despite her injury”. Daichi waved a hand in acknowledgment. He turned to walk away, willing to let this situation not escalate further when he heard a voice from behind him saying “Hey”.

‘...hey?’

‘Is she greeting me?’ Daichi questioned in his mind. ‘This is the first time that I have been addressed like that after becoming empress; not even Suga or Hayato.’ . Daichi turned around a bit flustered- to be addressed so informally was rather uncomfortable. The woman wheeled closer to Daichi, while the two maids seemed to share the same flustered expression that Daichi wore. “Yui, Don’t” but then the woman continued forward. 

‘Does she have a matter to settle with me? If she did, then my position as empress would be rather obvious yet she said ‘hey’ to me without regards to formalities?’

Daichi looked at her with a perplexed look- a bit calmer than before. The woman drew closer and greeted him again.

“I’m Yui”

“Yes...Yui.”

The woman grinned as if she was pleased to be called by her name. ‘Does she want me to acknowledge her as Yui? ‘  Daichi thought, a bit curious- however not to the point of asking the reason.

Despite the oddness of the situation, Daichi decided to simply move on from this . His audience time had already been extended enough from having his full attention in discussing the solar celebration though the tales of strangers for so long. Daichi looked over at Yui who simply had a grin on her face and sighed from exhaustion. She didn’t seem to have an emergency- so it didn’t require his attention.

Daichi simply waved once again as he turned to leave; but as he did so, Yui reached out a hand and pulled on the sleeves. Before he could fully react to the pull, his attendants were alarmed and Suga quickly slapped her hand away.

“How Rude!” (Hinata)

“Do you not recognize the empress?” (Yamaguchi)

“I’m sorry, I would have called out for you but I didn’t know your name”

Yui looked on bashfully. ‘She didn’t know that I was empress yet she whispered ‘is that her?’ to her maid?’ Daichi noted.

Hinata glared at Yui; his expression seemingly getting angrier.

“This is His Majesty The Empress. Be more wary of your actions!”

“What ?...I know the empress”

‘I know the empress’ 

Daichi frowned at the strange words; he looked at Suga and Ennoshita who also shared his bewildered look- 

“I...I’m Yui”

‘Who is Yui?’ . Despite already sparing a glance at Suga and  Ennoshita, it was rather accurate that the rest of his attendants were also confused. After all, they have never met this person before. ‘Do we know each other enough to share our names? I have met many guests over my reign yet there were no women that matched...therefore she was not a guest that I invited...could she be a guest of Hayato?’

“Do you know me?”

Daichi asked forwardly, deciding to not draw the conversation any further. Yui looked surprised at my question.

“You don’t know me?”

“I’m unsure”

“Ah…”

Yui looked at a loss-and she whispered to the maid “what do I do?”. As the silence continued to go on, Daichi just sighed tiredly; he looked to suga who simply nodded. ‘Just ignore and leave’ . Before Daichi could attempt to leave however he was interrupted when Yui called out again.

“I am living in the eastern palace due to the kindness of his highness, the emperor”

‘I guess my initial speculation was correct’ Daichi concluded. 

“The slave?”

The words slipped out of Daichi’s mouth before he could stop it. ‘Then why was she in the central garden?’ Daichi turned to ask the question before quickly registering that Yui had turned pale.

“Your Majesty, forgive me but Miss. Yui is not a slave”

A maid came forward to correct Daichi. ‘Yet my attendants who were present recalled that she was possibly a run-away slave- and the accounts of Suga’s was rarely wrong. If it was simply false rumors then it would have been corrected.’

Looking at Yui, Daichi found himself thinking of Suga’s former words regarding the time where they described her. He didn’t care much about rumors yet Suga’s description was quite accurate as Yui was quite beautiful. Her image wasn’t as graceful and elegant as Duchess Shimizu yet Yui had a soft and natural appeal. Round brown eyes that could provoke one’s protective instinct. Long brown hair that made her pure and innocent to be more “homely”.

Looking toward Suga with a questioning look, he solemnly nodded as if remembering an unpleasant memory.

“Yes. I now know who you are.”

“Thank goodness, I was actually wondering when we would be able to meet.”

“Meet?”

“I asked the emperor but he kept telling me that I shouldn’t bother; that didn’t felt right though”

‘Meet each other? Strange. For what reason?’

“So what should I call you, your majesty?”

“....’Your Majesty would suffice “

Daichi answered perplexed over the development of this conversation. Unsure about the topic of addressing himself in other matters; they weren’t close after all so there was no reason to give his name to her.

“Huh?”

“That’s it.”

Yui seemed to have suddenly been tired of this conversation as well as she wheeled her chair to address her maids. When suddenly a hand grasped the handle of her chair- it was Hinata.

“Just who do you think you are to address the empress like that?”  

He shouted as he continued to glare at Yui with trembling fists.  Suga turned to walk towards Hinata before he could do anything drastic but before he could he was interrupted by Hinata.

“Filthy”

It was then 

“What do you mean by filthy”

It was then when Hayato appeared, his voice as cold as ice.



Chapter Text

The emperor saw Hinata insult the current person of infatuation- The scene that followed was quite hectic. Despite the terrifying implication that Daichi knows could potentially happen. Treason.  He had to remain headstrong- An empress should always remain confident; for even if they were less than the emperor in terms of position; they still hold powerful authority. 

Hinata and the other attendants quickly bowed to him- however it seemed that Hayato was furious as he shot a glare towards them. Daichi moved a bit towards Hinata- feeling that the young one earned the ire of the emperor.  

Daichi stared towards Hayato with a neutral expression; Already having greeted him before it would have been rather repetitive to continue to greet him. Hayato stared towards Hinata then turned his attention to Yui.

He sighed heavily; Yui looked toward him with eyes full of tears- probably caused by surprise as none of the comments before have ever caused an extreme reaction. The wide look she gave to him resembled a trembling small animal.

“Don’t cry”

Hayato stated softly however his efforts seemed to be in vain as it only proceeded to increase her crying. Despite himself, Daichi couldn’t help but notice that her crying seemed to be fake- an ability that most court ladies specialized in: a demonstration of yearning- for pity. 

“I said don’t cry”

Another unfortunate thing that comes with growing up with Hayato was that he had little tolerance for disobedience-  his unsympathetic voice resounded within the area. Yui proceeded to be unable to stop her tears.  ‘ She seemed to not be afraid of his coldness’  . Daichi continued to stare at her as she continued to cry; already knowing that Hayato would proceed to order until she complied. However to his surprise, Hayato pulled out a gold trimmed handkerchief  and held it out for her.  She continued to cry despite the offered handkerchief. Hayato simply sighed...and he wiped her tears by himself. 

“You’re a handful”

There was a hint of worry in his tone; despite the iciness that it held before. His eyes seemed to hold the warmth that he felt for this girl.  Daichi couldn’t help but feel his heart throbbed again- ‘ No….No, it’s natural’ He reminded himself of Suga’s words of encouragement a night ago.  Daichi decided that this situation had already accumulated enough ruckus for today and turned to leave as he instructed his attendants to do the same. 

“Let’s go, my legs ache” 

Distraction.

Daichi thought- he was unable to stop Hayato from taking a concubine however it does not mean that he had no ability averting his eyes. His attendants quickly prepared to leave as they followed him. 

“Wait; Stop”

Hayato commanded, his tone icy once more before Daichi and the rest of his attendants took a few steps back.’ First Yui and now Hayato?’  Daichi couldn’t help but be annoyed- after all it seemed that everyone was under the impression that they had the right to hold their authority over him.

“Leave that attendant behind. Empress”

“For what”

Daichi replied; his tone a mixture of profession, matching the same icy tone that Hayato used. He already knew which attendant as Hayato’s glare was directed solely on Hinata.

“Leave him”

“He is one of my personal attendants. As such, you have no jurisdiction over him without my permission.”

Hinata’s complex seemed to become paler. The small whisper of treason was evident within every attendant’s mind. The ominous implication was even within Daichi’s mind; despite the small insult that Hinata had thrown, there was still a large possibility that it would have been considered a direct attack to the emperor- he was only safe because of Daichi’s position from exile or death but that still lead to many unsavory punishments. 

Despite his young age and rash outburst at times, Hinata was still part of the empress’ attendants- a valuable member of his entourage and honestly Daichi was a little protective over the young one especially since Hinata is one of the attendants that have supported him openly.  Surely, Hinata’s comment on his behalf  shouldn’t be a warrant for punishment. While his words may have been harsh; he was still a noble and part of the empress' personal attendants. Yui, on the other hand, had no noble status, not officially a royal concubine, and was potentially a runaway slave. For Hayato to punish Hinata would publicly disgrace him from society.

As well the authority of himself;  the empress. 

Daichi stared back at Hayato; his gaze reflecting that he was unwilling to bend the knee.  However; the emperor seemed unable to fully pay attention to Daichi; his glare fixed on Hinata. 

“He may be one of your personal attendants. However he is also one of my subjects. How dare he speak like that.”

“Then I will personally scold him” 

“You think a scolding will fix someone who calls another person ‘filthy’? Surely not”

Despite Hayato using that term occasionally as well. Daichi couldn’t help but point out within the confines of his thoughts. Hayato looked toward a guard that was stationed near the exit of the garden; he then proceeded to point at Hinata. 

“Lock him up for five days; give him only water and hard bread. That will surely give him a lesson”

Hayato commanded;  if Hinata’s face had paled a bit a while ago then it surely would have been a white now. Daichi’s attendants let out a small shout of protest with Nishinoya’s shout being the loudest; having developed a huge soft spot for Hinata over their training as knights.  Daichi’s gaze never left Hayato, as he continued to try to reason with him.

“That is too harsh, You’re Majesty”

Daichi stepped closer to Hayato; despite already knowing that the emperor’s orders were usually final leaving little room for arguments. However this only served to let Daichi experience the cold glare on himself. 

“He called a woman in a wheelchair, without the ability to properly walk yet ‘Filthy’.  yet you stand here to defend him. How is this punishment too far?. “

Daichi stood firm; It was unreasonable that Hayato had not considered the points- that he was over crossing without addressing the concerns of his supposed equal. His Empress. His Confidant. His Friend. 

“Well you only watched. You probably think that was not too far.”

“My attendant only viewed it as proper to stop her from grasping the helm of my coat.”

This seemed to have been the wrong answer as Hayato’s face only began to darken.

“You were walking away from her.”

“Your Majesty.” ‘That is not the point’

“And what may I ask is wrong with holding a coat. Is the empress’s coat more noble than a human’s hand”

“Then shall I have one of the servants pull your coat as well? If your coat is also not more noble than a human’s hand. Is that still acceptable?” 

Hayato only raised an eyebrow and smirked.

“Your words are meaningless. That situation is not the same with Yui; do you really think that it’s the same situation?”

“Is it different?”

“It is.”

“Then what would be the difference of the situation” 

“Yui is not a servant”

Not a servant. Yet also not an officially titled concubine. No status. Despite the reason that Daichi’s mind supplied, one part wanted to change the example. If it was a concubine who grabbed his coat, would it be the same?

“Lock up the empress’s attendant for seven days. Make sure that nobody is allowed to visit her other than those who bring her water and bread.”

Before Daichi could further defend Hinata and change his example, the punishment became more severe. The further he would oppose him, the harsher the punishment. 

Daichi looked back at Yui, who was looking at Hayato with obvious awe. Her Hero who defended her honor. Yet despite this; he couldn’t help but feel like he swallowed something bitter- this was an absurd punishment; it would deeply scar Hinata’s reputation not only as a noble and also as an unmarried omega. Daichi was tempted to defend Hinata more- which would have been potentially mutinous words yet an empress could not overturn the emperor’s authority. He could open a trial for Hinata but he would have been useless since he would have been released by then.

“I accept the punishment, Your Majesty “

As Daichi was contemplating on the various scenarios that could lead to nothing but defeat. Hinata stepped forward; gracefully accepting the punishment- an act used to preserve the remaining reputation of the empress within the given reputation. Daichi’s face flushed red with anger and shame- for not being able to defend his own attendants from unwarranted punishments.

“Go” 

Hayato commanded as the guard accompanied Hinata. At least he has the decency to not raise a hand on him. Hinata moved with him, yet the tremble of his hands were obvious to Daichi. 

Rather than asking the appropriate question of why another woman was out of bounds within the palace territory- a place that only the empress has authority over. He seems to only be concerned only with that woman as he briefly proceeded to compliment Daichi on his hard work within the court. 

Despite not being passionate and love stricken lovers; Daichi has thought that Hayato considered him as a friend. Now, they were neither; With a grit of his teeth, Daichi turned away. Already exhausted over dealing with the events that transpired and the interactions of both of them. Now he understood why his mother always advised to never interact with concubines. 

 

Chapter Text

The imperial palace was once again fueled by the news of Hinata’s confinement. 

The situation was viewed as a demonstration of the emperor declaring his love to Yui. It was treated as an unofficial competition between the empress; who had lost. Similar to how the court would spread these types of rumors, none has officially stated this in Daichi’s presence; however his attendants were constantly alert of all court rumors-especially regarding the reputation of their empress. 

“I should have done something !”

Nishinoya exclaimed, furious over his viewed incompetence over the situation. In his own words, he should have kept everyone away from the woman as soon as he saw her. 

“The emperor seemed to favor her” 

“I used to have admiration for him; however, how could he disregard the empress’ words.”

However, through the anger, his attendants were also worried for the future.

“It’s only been a few days since their arrival; yet he seems to be enamored by her.”

There was nothing that he could have during this situation; concubines were simply a common occurrence in the Karasuno Empire. 


Daichi and Hayato acted like the situation happened when they met each other once again within the central palace. As the empress, Daichi focused on his work and tried to forget about what had happened during that day. Yet as he stands in the solitude of his room, he remembers Hayato's cold gaze that felt like a bruise in his heart- but it ached less when he kept himself busy.

When Hinata’s imprisonment of seven days had finally ended, Daichi went to the tower to retrieve him by himself. Despite his compose position, it was obvious to Daichi that the young omega was still recovering from shock- as well as hunger; after all, it was likely that his diet was affected greatly by only the consumption of only water and hard bread. So as they returned to the empress’s suite, Daichi asked the other attendants to tend to Hinata as well as let the young one use the bathroom and bring him some soup. He also personally asked the other knights to acquire Hinata’s favorite cake. 


 

During the casual conversation during Daichi and the rest of his attendants. A secretary was sent to deliver a message by the emperor to Daichi.

“His Majesty, The Emperor, requested your presence”

“Me?”

“Yes.”

‘What could he possibly need?’ Daichi turned to Suga; 

“When Hinata is finished, tell him to come and eat; he may also rest for a few days before he comes back.”

“Yes,Your Majesty”

 Daichi turned as he waved to the secretary; and he quickly led the way. As they continued more eastwards to the palace, it was notable that there was a shift of atmosphere. Despite the palace being decorated by the same walls, the eastern part was styled differently.

Daichi was slightly concerned that he would encounter Yui once again yet she was nowhere to be seen in Hayato’s bedroom.

The emperor was sitting by a small round table; usually made for late night writing and the completion of reports.

“You called me.”

Hayato only stared silently, his eyes seemed to be full of things that he wanted to say. 

“What can I do for you?”

Deciding to simply finish this situation quicker, Daichi decided to speak first. Hayato seemed to hesitate as he pressed his lips.

“Your attendant,Hinata, who was imprisoned”

“Hinata Shoyo. The son of Marquis Hinata.”

“I heard that you personally accompanied him out of his prison”

“He is my attendant. He has already suffered during those seven days.”

Hayato looked even more displeased. As if the imprisonment of seven days were not enough for a small insult- there were many insults thrown around in court, yet they do not even get as much attention.

“Did you have to?”

“Are you asking me if I had to take care of an omega that was punished?”

Already displeased by the events that transpired; Daichi was unable to stop himself from sarcastically answering. So much had happened; and he was losing face with the other nobles- Hinata would be considered to be less desirable to connect with due to his punishment. Yet, Hayato was displeased with how Daichi took care of his attendant that suffered through harsh punishments.

“You know what I’m implying. To clarify, you retrieved your attendant yourself to spite me.No?”

Daichi took a small breathe; although he suspected that Hayato would be offended by his actions… he thought that he would have cooled down after seven days- and Hinata needed all the support that he could get, especially from a reputation standpoint. Perhaps, after the situation was settled; Daichi could have let him know that his punishment was far too much, especially to the degree of the “crime”.

Maybe Not.

“I suspected that you might have been displeased.”

“But now, you are taking care of her ? If you had any thought of me, then you would have sent him away. What is an emperor when his empress cares for the people he punishes? Would you want others to take me as a fool.”

“ it is not right to send people away after they have already served their punishment. Besides, his actions were not out of line.”

“Calling people filthy ?”

“He was simply doing the procedure of preventing someone from pulling on my clothes. A scolding would have been enough.”

The more Daichi spoke, the stonier Hayato’s expression became.

“So you will keep that attendant?”

“As empress, it is entirely up to myself to decide on who is my attendant.”

Although Hinata may want to quit working in the imperial palace, Daichi would have to keep her for a while. Not only did he have his reputation tarnished;  He would also have no protection, let alone against the emperor. As the empress, Daichi would use his name to safeguard him.

“I’m tired of arguing with you. Can’t you just be obedient to me, for once ?”

“An empress does not have to bend to the emperor’s will.”

“Continue on like this, and you won’t even be able to begin to compare.”

Compare?

Hayato stared at Daichi; then he put on a composed face.

“I see that you’re tired of this conversation. Please retire for the day. Go back and take care of that misbehaving filly of yours.”

—-

After empress Daichi left, Hayato sighed and rang a small bell on the side of the table. The door opened yet they revealed not a servant who walked in the room.

“Since when do you work ?”

Hayato asked a bit puzzled, Yui smiled sheepishly

“I feel like a burden when I’m not doing anything”

“So will you continue to be working now ?

Yui spread her arms joyfully as Hayato grinned.

Serving the emperor was generally regarded as an honor among nobles. But Yui wanted to work for the emperor because she felt like a burden...she had no idea how nobles would challenge each other over this possible, how cute.

“What an unusual person”

Hayato chuckled over her unique personality; for Hayato, there were two significant omegas so far. One was his mother, a great empress, and the other was Daichi, the current empress. Yet despite being familiar with the empress’s imperial education - even studying with Daichi,  he couldn’t help but think that no matter how graceful those omegas were- Yui, with her clumsy ways, would still be incredible; no matter what she did.

“Sit with me. Let us enjoy a few snacks together.”

Hayato rang the bell once again, and the servant who had been waiting by the door finally entered.

“Pumpkin Pie; bring wine as well.A light one.”

The servant left to fulfill the order. As Yui clapped her hands and exclaimed “Pumpkin Pie!”

“Do you like food that much?”

“Not just any food; after all not many people have eaten pumpkin pie in their life?”

Yui continued to smile brightly - with a childlike innocence that  Hayato couldn’t help but be enchanted by.

“The empress does not even respond to jewelry , no matter how expensive. Yet you are already so happy with the little things.”

“Doesn’t he like jewelry?”

“He does to a certain amount; but he isn’t rather emotional. Rather he only expresses himself in small portions.”

Yui frowed and have a sigh

“He must have grown up rather beautifully and doesn’t know the harsh world then. Anyone would take jewelry for granted”

“Hm?”

“It’s not that the empress is wrong, simply she has a lot of wealth. Even if you got him a big gem, it’s not a surprise to him…”

“That’s true. My prey is smarter than I thought”

Yui blushed as she puffed out her lips.

“Your Majesty, you always call me as ‘prey’”

“Because you’re the prey that I caught in my trap”

“So….Your Majesty”

Yui leaned in to speak to him. She twisted her finger and slowly leaned to him.

“You said that you would make me your concubine…”

“Yes.”

“The empress doesn’t seem to know that yet…”

Hayato nodded, giving her a reassuring smile as he held her hand.

“We’re in no hurry; after all, your legs seemed to not have fully healed.”

“I’m not rushing but I have had an already hard time when I met the empress, I didn’t know how to introduce myself. What if it happens again?”

Chapter Text

“The emperor is going to take the woman to be his official concubine !”

As the news of Yui becoming an official concubine finally was authorized- it was an unexpected welcome that happened on an ordinary day.

“So the emperor is taking in a concubine while our empress is busy taking care of the solar celebration? “

“That’s too much”

“He should have at least waited until the solar celebration was over”

The attendants were sharing the rumors that they have heard within the palace walls. 

“...”

Daichi simply stared at his attendants, nodding his head every once in a while in acknowledgement. He reflected over Hayato’s choice in his decision- it was a rather rash decision; by his speculation - the official ceremony would happen just before the solar ceremony.

“My empress, your irritation is showing “

Suga whispered to Daichi; Daichi just sighed; He figured that much- after all, he was simply not interested in answering future questions about his relationships during the solar celebration- after all, it was supposed to be an event to celebrate the new year while establishing strong ties to other nobles. 

“When is the supposed ceremony?”

The other attendants glanced back at each other; eventually it was Suga who decided to be the” bearer of bad news”.

“Rumor has it that His Majesty plans to have the ceremony as soon as possible- likely before the solar ceremony” 


Around noontime, Hayato’s secretary came to the meeting once again to deliver a message. It was regarding the concubine- a rather popular gossip topic among the palace if the other officials were also trying their best to listen into the conversation.

“The emperor would rather the ceremony be simple since there are already large scheduled events and time is scarce.”

“Simple”

Daichi muttered under his breath, events and gathering have always been the duties of an empress- so it was his duty to oversee this event as well. 

‘According to history, it has always been that the emperor’s concubine was not acknowledged as a part of the imperial family. Therefore, any child from them would not be bestowed the title of ‘prince’ or ‘princess’ ; the best title that they could earn favor was duke- yet this would leave them with no ability of succession.

Even so, Once the emperor’s concubine is with a child-then a banquet would be held for their honor.’ 

“Is the emperor authorizing a banquet or to withhold the banquet altogether?”

“It would be quite impossible to invite a large number of people within a small timespace, so we’ll likely skip the banquet.”

“Is there any need for myself to prepare if there would be no banquet”

‘Now that is certainly something’ Daichi mused; ‘it seemed that he already seems to have done the preparations by himself- therefore this ceremony would likely fall in his hands.’

“No. His Majesty stated that you would not have to worry about the preparations since he plans to conduct the ceremony himself.”

‘As far as I know, despite the exclusion of the banquet- the hallways would still be decorated in her honor. So it would likely be a smaller affair to dine with the emperor; invite close allies and sign the document.’ Daichi mused. ‘so I wouldn’t have to worry about it? Was it because of Hayato’s pride or consideration?’

“Tell him that I have received his message.”

‘The finalization of Yui’s status of royal concubine was not harmful to his current status.’ The secretary bowed as he left the meeting room. The other officials kept their attention to Daichi- but once he glanced at them, they quickly pretended to go back to work.

‘Never Tremble.’

‘To show a sign of weakness would be a stain on your reputation. Rumors about how I showed a sign off hurt- even if the concubine was taking apart the things within my life…I refuse to be an empress that gave up because my husband loved another.’

Placing an indifferent expression, Daichi continues to review the solar celebration plan once again and advises on possible renovation.


“The emperor would sign the contract first and then you will sign on the thin blackline below his name”

Baron Moniwa, one of the emperor’s secretaries, was the current advisor that was placed in charge of educating Yui. When the basic outline of the document was finally finished being discussed, Yui’s eyes widened as she let out a loud yell- a sound that wasn’t quite made by a noble.

The Baron simply stared at her awkwardly- he wasn’t quite use to teaching after all, he was supposed to be taking care of important documents. Yui let out another smaller sound of distress and tears flowed from her eyes.

“I understand what you mean but ...Yui has no signature “

“Oh. You can simply make one”

This seemed to be the wrong answer as Yui’s face turned red.

“...oh”

Moniwa figured out the problem.

“You don’t know how to write?”

When Baron Moniwa was assigned to teach Yui, the emperor had proclaimed that she was a commoner- so he assumed that she would knew that basic: after all most commoners were already rather educated. ‘Maybe the rumors of the ‘beautiful prey’ that the emperor favored was indeed a runaway slave. ‘

“I suppose that you don’t know.”

Moniwa wanted to ask if she was a slave- after all, information is a vital necessity within the court. Yet, he decided otherwise as he simply placed a paper in front of Yui. It would not be easy to teach someone how to write in a few days yet drawing her name was a simple task that could be accomplished before the ceremony.

“If you don’t know how to spell your name, I’ll write down several versions of ‘Yui’ so you would be able to choose the one that you prefer.”

Fortunately it seemed like Yui is a fast learner-as she quickly mastered how to write her name. It should have been quite a taxing ability for someone coming from slavery so Moniwa was quite astonished.

“Am I doing alright?”

“You’re doing quite excellently”

After praising her, Yui seemed to beamed with happiness and returned with a smile. Continuing where they previously left off, Moniwa explained what Yui could expect with the signing ceremony.

“There is a big banquet and all the nobles will be there. As such, Miss Yui can invite as many friends as she wants.”

“Wow”

“When the chancellor comes up to you and unfolds the document ; you will sign it.”

“The documents-“

“The chancellor will keep it safe.”

Yui stamped her feet as she let out a small squeal. Moniwa simply watched her once again- before remembering something.

“It is not an obligation but…”

“?”

“Sometimes the empress might send a gift to the concubine when she signs the contract.”

“A gift”

“Yes. After all, the empress is the owner of the palace.”

“...”

“In the viewpoint of the owner, a concubine would live with them in the future. As such, a concubine will not only receive the emperor ‘s love and respect but also the empress as well if they send a gift. If there are several concubines, then the one to receive a gift would be perceived as the top concubine.”

Yui looked a bit unsure.

“So Yui will receive a gift from the empress?”

 

Chapter Text

“I will not be sending a gift”

Daichi spoke in a tone that suggested that it was a final decision- his attendants collectively sighed a breath of relief as they looked at each other. 

“Thank God”

“I was so worried that your majesty might send her a gift”

 

There were many reasons for Daichi’s decisions- not simply out of pettiness that the court would suggest. Firstly, he did a few research regarding the ceremony of the authorizing of royal concubines- it was not mandatory to give a gift. If there were multiple concubines involved - then the empress should refrain from actually bestowing a gift since it was possible for certain ones gaining too much power or influence within court and the empress’s close relatives. 

‘It was true that the situation may not be similar to the one with Yui, yet it is certainly possible for Hayato to acquire another consort. In any case, it is not an obligation nor a worry, after all ; Hayato’s secretary did mention that I shouldn’t concern myself with the ceremony.’

 

‘Though, it would certainly not be professional to say “please take care of my husband” ‘ Daichi thought- mentally rolling his eyes over how absurd the situation has become. 

“Do not worry. I can think of no reason why I would be required to send one. But I won’t.”

“Shouyo would be happy to hear that !” Nishinoya gleefully cheered

“How is Hinata?”

“When I spoke to him yesterday, he seemed to be doing quite fine- though he did speak angrily of ‘that woman’” Kageyama chimed in while Yamaguchi nodded and Tsukishima just sighed. 

‘It was good that the four’s friendship seemed to be as strong as ever.’

“Marchioness Hinata seemed to be quite furious as well- as she tells the story every time that she holds a tea party. Honestly, it’s quite rare for her to be quite vicious however Shouyo is her son.”

 

Daichi simply waved- it was quite beneficial that there were still those that he can rely on to be on his side. Yui was already under the protection of the emperor and his aides; so there was no need for his further support or to be in close proximity.

“By the way, Your Majesty. May I ask you something ?” Nishinoya surprisingly asked for permission- quite unlike him.

“Go ahead.”

“I heard that the Nekoma kingdom will also be attending the solar celebration? Is it true?”

 

The other attendants seemed to have stopped talking to one another as they fixed their eyes on Daichi. He nodded; and it seemed to have unleashed the full force of their chatter-their excitement radiating from their expressions and speech. Daichi looked at them- he bit his lips lightly to prevent a grin forming from his face. The Nekoma kingdom has been quite elusive over the years- although one of their oldest allies, their kingdom has been steadily improving so much so that their royals have been too busy to attend invitations from other countries.

‘Yet’ Daichi thought ‘that wasn’t the reason for their excitement.’ The rumored ‘Prince of the West’ was the sole brother of the current queen of Nekoma; who was quite renowned for his many accomplishments and rumors.

 

“He is quite handsome,isn’t he?” 

“They say that once you see him, it’s like being casted under a love spell”

“I hear that he’s quite stubborn, to the point where the queen seemed to have given up on proposing that he should get married”

“Are the rumors of him being a seedless watermelon true?”

“I don’t know, but it is suspect that the queen has no children despite her husband- and it seemed like neither the prince does as well despite being rumored to have been with many women”

 

Nishinoya and Tanaka mocked the rumors that various people had already been spreading- in fact, they even imitated how many of the court ladies seemed to have swooned over simple rumors- completed with the viciousness of court people. 

The Nekoma kingdom was one of the kingdoms with a large military power, similar to the Karasuno Empire. In terms of wealth, one of the richest. The prince, who was said to be as elusive as scandalous, was certainly a person filled with rumors.

Daichi decided to simply not think about Hayato and his concubine for now- as he let himself be engaged in the sugary conversation with his attendants.

 


 

“There is no banquet ?”

Yui looked down, crestfallen. After she had asked how big the banquet would be and how whether or not she could invite her friends. She did not expect quite a blow.

 

“But the baron mentioned that we were going to have a banquet party…”

“Didn’t I tell you that the solar celebration would be soon? I didn’t want to rush your ceremony but you wanted to have the signing as soon as possible.”

“?”

 

Despite Hayato’s explanation, Yui seemed to only become more puzzled. Looking at her confused expression, Hayato seemed to have realized his mistake- his explanation went over her head, he seemed to have overestimated her level of common sense. Afterall, just because Yui has been learning more quickly than others, she still had no knowledge of nobility.

 

“It’s my mistake”

“What do you mean?”

“It is not easy to arrange a large banquet in a small amount of time, there are other things that I have to concentrate and prepare for, time is tight, so it would be rude to have one large feast after another”

“Ah…! But is there another banquet on the same day  as Yui's ceremony ?”

“New Years day will be here soon- when we celebrate the solar celebration.”

 

Yui became even more crestfallen as her dreams of being congratulated by nobles in a lavish, grand banquet became dust. She had always loved being cherished- wanted to see people flock to her and so she persuaded Hayato to have the ceremony earlier. It was clear that the emperor was a bit annoyed by her determination so she decided to stay silent - and he eventually gave in.

However she only became more disappointed when the ceremony came-even if there wasn’t a huge banquet, she still expected something similar. And when that didn’t happen, she expected the emperor to apologize and promises of gifts. She didn’t even hear a word from the empress, nor a congratulations, nor a gift either.  Yui also noted with sadness that the palace halls were also the domain of the empress.

Yui had signed the paper diligently- like how the baron taught her to- but as she finished signing, she felt rather empty, not at all the exciting warmth that she wanted to have after her hard work. The chancellor also left immediately, with the excuse that he had work to do. There was no cheering, no applause, no feeling of ecstasy as if she had the world.

Hayato also left afterwards- using the same excuse that “there was work to do” and “I’ll see you later” . When Yui finally returned to her room, she buried her face in her hands. 

 

“Why is it like this ?”

 

Yui’s maids approached her, and attempted to ask what was wrong; and the hurt that she had been feeling finally bursted.

 

“The empress must hate me, otherwise we wouldn’t have skipped the banquet-or the gift. Even if he didn’t give me a present, couldn’t he have shown his face?”

“Don’t cry, Yui, why would you cry on such a wonderful day?”

However Yui’s hurt did not fade. And when Hayato finally went to her after his work, he immediately noticed her somber mood.

 

“Why does my prey look so down on such a meaningful day ?”

“What do you mean meaningful?...nobody even congratulated me…”

“Not congratulated by anyone? The chancellor congratulated you. So did the servants.”

 

But what Yui wanted wasn’t the congratulated by servants- but simply those from nobles. Those who lifted their chins as if they were the best in the world.

 

“The empress must loathe Yui”

 

As Yui’s face grew gloomier - Hayato couldn’t help it, and finally confessed to her.

 

“The empress did not hold a banquet because she hates you, I asked her not to afterall it simply was not a good time.”

 

Yui nodded yet her somber mood could not be denied, seemingly not believing in him. Hayato sighed- already knowing that it was impossible to relax and spend a good time with his concubine.

The next day, Hayato asked his secretary to give a gift to Yui - under the empress’s name.



Chapter Text

“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.

“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. ‘

‘However...’
 “Let her in.”
“You’re Majesty?!”
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.”
“Thank you!”
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?’

“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.’
“No.”

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. 

“Leave.”
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…”