Hunting Contest (6)

“What do you mean by a name tag?”

Roelin tilted her head and asked Silloa in return.
Silloa then continued while looking rather satisfied with the said name tag in her hand.

“If the Empress were to give this rabbit a name, I would then engrave it here and hang it on the rabbit’s neck.”

The name tag that Silloa had been holding was made of some large yellow jewels.
Just by looking at the small rabbit ears that were crafted on the name tag, one could only guess how much the jeweler’s devotion had already gone into it.

However, Roelin started questioning Silloa as if she had heard a rather unexpected statement.

“What should I really do for the rabbit? What’s the point of naming it anyway?”


“When it goes back into the wild, wouldn’t it get in the way of this child later on?”

“Uh… uh, are you going to send it back to the wild?”

“Of course.
It’s only right to send it back to its own original place, right?”

Roelin nodded with a calm look.
In fact, Silloa became embarrassed and hesitated for a while before she soon looked rather disappointed.

“I’ve been feeding it for the past few days and I’ve also grown rather attached to it… So, I thought that you were going to raise him since, Empress, you gave him a bed as well.”

“It had gotten hurt due to my own mistake, so I have to take responsibility for it until I send it back soon afterwards.”

“On top of that, Empress, you also seem to love this guy a lot.”

Silloa opened her mouth again as if she could not abandon her lingering feelings.
Then Roelin smiled vaguely and replied to her.

“He does look cute.
But I can’t simply raise all the cute things in the world.”

“But… So then, you won’t be needing this name tag after all.”

Silloa alternately looked at the name tag and the rabbit and her hand with disappointing eyes.

Just then, an unexpected voice was heard from the bedroom door.

“Even so, the finances of the Empress’ Palace will never be in such an absolute problematic stage that even a single rabbit cannot be raised well.”

“Oh! I greet Your Majesty.”

Silloa was surprised by Kergel’s smiling voice before she presented an act of courtesy.
Roelin, who had also taken notice of him, stood up before she opened her mouth.

“As far as I know, the time which I was supposed to receive my education will be in the afternoon.”

“The morning meeting ended rather quickly.
That’s why I came over to have lunch with you, Erita.
Anyway, I can just teach you after lunch itself.”

Roelin’s eyelids trembled from the name—‘Erita’—that had leaked out of Kergel’s mouth.

On the first day he began teaching her horseback riding and archery, he had called her out by that name.


Perhaps it was Kergel’s own kind of courtesy.
In addition, even if the marriage was made without any need for affection at all, it might have still been an act to show his willingness to stay faithful to this marriage.

It would have been much friendlier to call out with a name rather than just to refer to her as the Empress or even address her without calling her name at all.

…if the name truly was her very own.

The problem was the fact that the name was not hers at all.

“Are you really going to send that rabbit back to the wild?”

At Kergel’s words that followed once again, Roelin swallowed a bitter smile before she eventually nodded.

“Yes, Your Majesty.
That would be good for the rabbit itself.”

“Why? Wouldn’t it be better for such rabbits to live in luxury rather than striving to survive in that rough wild? It won’t have to worry about being eaten or hunted as well.”

“But it’s definitely better to be able to live freely than to be locked up and raised.”

Kergel squinted as he listened to Roelin.

“Erita, your words seem to have another different meaning altogether.
Do you wish to talk about yourself by comparing it to a mere rabbit? It sounds like a breeding ground that entraps you whole.”

“…No way.”

She shook her head.
It was just right to refer to it as the rabbit.
But she didn’t mean to mention this current place as of now.
She was talking about her life back in Rakain before.

She had lived in a Separate Palace back in Rakain.

So above all else, she knew how precious freedom truly was.

“I’m solely talking about rabbits.”

Roelin shook her head repeatedly and said so.

She didn’t wish to talk about herself, who had lived a worse life than such rabbits.


“Women wear pants as well?”

In that manner, one can ride a horse properly as well as hunting too.”

Roelin asked the dress designer and looked back at herself in the mirror with those curious eyes.
The person stated that what she had donned was a hunting suit which the women of Seroif had enjoyed wearing.

As she was dressed in a jacket, pants and boots, she looked so strange and awkward.
It was only natural since she had never worn a pair of pants in her life before.

Moreover, she had thought that pants were exclusively for men only, so she never imagined that she could actually wear them one day.

“Empress, please try out your hat.”

At that time, Silloa opened her mouth along with a hat from the designer.
Roelin turned her head while still looking in the mirror and saw the hat that Silloa was currently holding onto.

The brim of the hat was narrow and it had a sleek style.
It felt rather contrary to the elegance and quiet beauty of what had been expected from a Rakain woman.

Of course, that didn’t mean that she wasn’t fond of her hat at all.
It was awkward, but it was absolutely practical and comfortable.

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