Novel Name : Careful When Choosing A Husband

Careful When Choosing A Husband - Chapter 14

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Will you be my companion?
At the end of that question, Elrose hardened.
She once read about the northerners in a book and it described various characteristics about them in detail. Among them, what Elrose enjoyed the most was reading the part about their customs. More precisely, the part about their wedding culture.
A companion.
That’s what the northerners called a marriage partner, except it was a little different from the relationship between couples, which was how it was in the empire. Once they become each other’s companion, they could never be separated, and even if the other person died, that person would have to live alone for the rest of their life.
The northerners said they didn’t see the marriages happening in the empire as a true union between the two, for they were relationships that could start and be broken off at any time which was not the sacred promise made before God. That was why the northerners were very serious when deciding on who their companion would be.
Therefore, there were many people who only enjoyed dating, and some people had children without accepting others as their companion.
‘But what did he mean? Companion?’
“Oh, uh, that…”
As Elrose opened her mouth in surprise, Lakshan quickly continued after realizing the problem with his question.
“Oh, I said it wrong! I was only asking for you to pretend to be my companion! Not for real!”
“What do you mean?”
“Well… it’s a long story…”
Lakshan sighed and began the long explanation.
“So you don’t want to get married, but your half-brother is forcing you to marry? And you lied to him saying you have someone who will be your companion… and told him my name and explained my appearance?”
Lakshan shrugged his shoulders unknowingly at Elrose’s words as she pointed everything out painfully.
“I’m sorry. I was just trying to pretend that there was someone I’m seeing, but my brother insistently asked me…”
If the emperor hadn’t asked for the name all day, Elrose’s name would’ve never popped out.
“That’s why I told him there was someone who I thought could be my companion. That way, I didn’t think he’d want me to marry someone else anymore.”
Lakshan sighed deeply.
That issue was more difficult for him than exterminating a unit of the Suin people alone.
“My brother is persistent. Well… he’s got power. That’s why he’s the one who’s looking for people and stuff.”
“The ritual for companionship is originally done when there’s only the two people involved, so it’s natural that he won’t see it, but he wants physical evidence…”
“That’s why you wanted to keep the marriage certificate behind.”
With the marriage certificate, the emperor would likely accept Lakshan’s marriage. He wouldn’t be asking a married man to marry again anyways.
“Then do I have to meet your brother?”
“No, you don’t have to. But I was wondering if we could postpone the divorce a little bit.”
With that said, Elrose looked for a reason why she should get a divorce right away.
She was thinking for a long time, but there seemed to be no reason to get a divorce right now.
‘Rather, I was going to ask if we could keep the marriage for a little longer.’
She felt the attack by Camila and her other relatives would try to nullify the donation by any means possible. Plus, if she had divorced and the emperor found out…
‘It would become easier for them to claim that I didn’t have the right to donate to the empire in the first place.’
Camila had also shouted that she paid for a husband. No one else knew about it.
‘Stupid Imperial Law.”
There was a provision in the Imperial Law that marriages made in exchange of money can be nullified. It was made for children who were being handed over for marriages in the past, but the clause was only a small worry and concern for Elrose.
If her relatives applied for and received documents regarding her marriage, they would find out that she had gotten divorced three days after the marriage.
‘Then… they will report me as a suspect in an abnormal marriage.’
A divorce three days after the marriage and the inheritance of title and property. The problem would only get bigger.
Elrose didn’t intend to marry anyone either anyways. She could see the dangers of marriage just by remembering her mother.
There were many cases in the world where you could mess up your life by meeting the wrong people, but there were no cases where you could mess up your life by not meeting people.
‘I’m not exactly thinking about marrying anyone.’
It won’t matter if she kept this paper marriage for months, or even years.
“Since it’s a request from someone who saved my life, I can delay the divorce for a little bit.”
Lakshan had said he didn’t save her himself, but called the security forces instead. But without him, Camila might’ve done something by now. With that in mind, Elrose was able to do whatever Lakshan asked of her, and maybe even more.
There was also no reason to not agree to it, since it didn’t involve any money and she didn’t really have anything else to do.
Lakshan’s face brightened as Elrose readily agreed.
“Well then, please take care of me, Elrose.”
As Lakshan reached out, Elrose smiled and held his hand.
“Please take good care of me as well, Lakshan.”
3. Road to the North
The day after the both of them agreed, they immediately left the capital.
Lakshan lightly knocked out a knight of the Imperial Palace who was on watch and left the marriage certificate and a letter to the emperor in his arms.
The unconscious knight would open his eyes in the corner of a restaurant with a nice glass of wine in front of him as an apology for knocking him out.
Away from the capital, they found a wagon heading north from a nearby village. Fortunately, it was not difficult to find as there were many people returning to the north after the war.
The owner of the wagon then looked suspiciously at the two who were wearing hoods. But, when Lakshan added a few more coins, he let them inside without any further questions.
It was the wild people who were going to the north anyways. Compared to others, they paid neatly and didn’t carry any weapons. It was a lot safer than picking up mercenaries who might turn the wagon over.
While the wagon owner counted the money, Lakshan whispered to Elrose.
“I’ll pay for it on the way.”
“I’m the one who invited you, so I’ll have to pay at least that much.”
“But will it be too much? You should save your money too.”
Elrose’s concerned words brought laughter to his eyes.
On the day at the gambling house, Elrose thought of him as a money-strapped mercenary, probably because of the 50 gold he had been forced to borrow from her.
Lakshan never quite cleared up the situation. After all, Elrose was a person who would only stay for a while and then leave. There was no reason for him to reveal his skills or circumstances to her.
‘She would faint if she found out that everything around my hometown is my territory.’
The emperor was anxious to do anything for his brother-in-law who saved his life. In the end, Lakshan asked for the land of his hometown because the emperor wouldn’t send him back unless he gave him something.
This was the land where his father and his colleagues stayed together when he was young. After it was swept away by the war, its lord died and the place became uninhabited. Now that he was going to stay there for the rest of his life, Lakshan said he wanted it. But, he could not receive it in the name of Lakshan.
‘Since I don’t want to reveal myself.’
Since the war has been over, he just wanted to live quietly and peacefully.
He had killed too many.
Moreover, he was tired of pretending to be the mercenary king instead of his father. So, he wanted to live with his colleagues like a normal northerner and the emperor offered the land to the mercenary king, Kharkan.
It was natural to give the land to the mercenary king who led the war to victory, and no one doubted it.
‘Of course, it was said that Kharkan rarely came to the estates, since he wanders from place to place.’
He didn’t want to keep using that name and the bandages anymore. The Imperial Palace even sent someone to take basic care of the taxes and territorial residents, so Lakshan wouldn’t be more concerned.
His hometown was originally a fertile land, but now the fields had turned into weeds. But, in a few years, they would be able to collect a large amount of tax as they had the best granary areas in the north.
In addition, there was already too much wealth given by the emperor. Even if he were to live profusely until he died, there would be no trace of bitterness left behind.
And she still worried about him saving his money.
Seeing how Elrose was still worrying about his money situation, Lakshan smirked. Still, it had been a while since someone worried about him, so Lakshan decided to enjoy that feeling a little more.
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