Chapter 258: Wedding Gifts
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“So, have you thought up a decent excuse for His Majesty?” Nela inquired. They had arrived at the capital the day before, it would not be two days until the start of the wedding proceedings. And the main public areas were already fully decorated for the occasion, it was obvious that this celebration was being used to wipe away any memory of Duke Ryder’s rebellion and showing that the kingdom was stronger than it had ever been.

“I am pretty sure that he is fully aware of what I have been doing. He has his own people in Shuluk, no doubt.” Even if Braydon came up with an excuse it would have to be something that was at least a half truth because the King would know if he was lying.

“Then you had better think of which parts of the truth you want to say. Just do not say the whole damned thing.” She stressed the point. Even if the King knew it, there was no point in openly admitting it.

“I am aware. Though I doubt that the King has enough free time right now to spend a long time asking me about what I am doing.” If there was one person who was busy right now it would be the King. He was preparing for his marriage to the daughter of arguably the most important man in the kingdom after himself. Everything had to be perfect.

“That might be the case but we have no clue about what kind of relationship he will have with his future Queen, he might be incredibly free immediately after his wedding.” Nela had a point, this was a political marriage if ever there was one. There was a high likelihood that Aled might not want anything to do with her outside of official functions.

“Even if they hate each other, he will have to show some restraint considering whose daughter she is.”  Duke Burn might have something to say if his daughter was neglected immediately after becoming Queen. If not for loving his daughter, which he apparently did, then for the potential influence he could gain by having his daughter as Queen.

“We shall see.” There was nothing more that could be said on that front until something happened.

“Do not think that I am the only person that is going to be asked about Shuluk. You have been staying in Cliforge over that time. He might come to you to ask questions as well.” Braydon turned the situation back on Nela. For better or worse the rest of the nobility saw them as in the same boat. 

“There is no need to worry about me, my father is still my father.” Nela had a great shield against the King being too intrusive. Her father was his best friend.

“Fair enough.” He could only nod at that. 

“What about the gifts though. You are known to be very rich, people will be looking at the gifts that you give. If you give something subpar, it could be taken that you are upset with the King or against the marriage.” This was probably the most pertinent thing for them at the moment. Even more so than talking to the King about Shuluk. It was one thing for the King to question him in private. It was a complete other thing for his court to think that there was a rift between Braydon and Aled.

“Colin sent word ahead of us but I have yet to check in with the butler to see how that is going.” They had only arrived the day before and basically immediately gone to sleep. He still needed to talk to the servants to see what had been going on.

“Then you should call him over. It is a mere day or two before the wedding.” Nela urged. 

“I was going to after this anyway, Braydon said that but it had slipped his mind entirely.” It did not take long for the butler to arrive after Braydon motioned for one of the servants to bring him.

“You called, My Lord.” The man bowed as soon as he entered.

“My chamberlain should have sent word ahead of us to acquire gifts suitable for the royal wedding. Tell me how that has been going.” Braydon inquired.

“Of course, My Lord. We have contacted and made an urgent request of the best goldsmith and jeweller in Boshil to work urgently on a matching tiara and necklace for the new Queen, they should be finished in time before the wedding takes place. Since there are very few nobles who have higher standing than yourself after Duke Ryder was deposed and Duke Oakley is still missing, there should not be any delays.”  The butler had evidently put in quite the effort to get such prestigious craftsmen to work on his gifts. Though Braydon’s ascendant position in Fiveria likely helped with that.

“You have done well. I would like to see them as soon as possible.” Braydon praised the butler before he was dismissed.

 “What are your thoughts?” Nela asked.

“My thoughts are that we unequivocally give the necklace but only give the tiara if it looks like the Queen is favoured.” Braydon did not want to make it look like he sided with the Queen if she was not on good terms with Aled. A tiara was a bit more sensitive than any other piece of jewellery.

“It would be good to give the tiara in private if you are going to give it either way.” There was no need for Braydon to become the talk of the town right now regardless of the royal relationship. Rather it would be better for Braydon’s ambitions that little attention was paid to him until after the Shuluk civil war was over. 

“Then I shall do that if it comes to it.” Braydon nodded. It might be a good method to appease the King too when Aled came to question him on the Shuluk matter.

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