Chapter 262: A New Queen
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“Good day, Earl Fiton.” As soon as Braydon sat down he was greeted by an Earl he had never met nor recognised. Whilst he might have been ignorant before, having spent over a year as a noble in his own right, he had made sure to learn. Or at least Nela had made sure he had. And yet he still did not recognise the man.

“Forgive me, but I am unfamiliar.” Braydon apologised as he shook hands with him.

“It is only reasonable, I was ennobled after you left Boshil to return to your fief. I am Earl Gren. I was granted territory on the southern coast.” That would explain it. Whilst the King had taken a considerable number of previously noble lands as crownlands, he could not take all of it for himself. Hence a large part of the south had been granted to people the King deemed loyal or useful, or both. 

“Then I congratulate you, you must have made a grand contribution to the Kingdom to be granted such a title.” Braydon doubted that the King would give the title of a landed earl to just anyone, even if the territory granted were a particularly poor one. Not that a territory in the south was.

“Yes, I have put my company at the disposal of His Majesty for building the royal navy.” Earl Gren elaborated on Braydon's unasked question.

“Oh, had the King not confiscated the navy of the traitor?” He would be absolutely shocked if the King had not since that would be one of the best ways of limiting the influence of Duke Burn. Not to mention that he did not want the largest navy in the Kingdom not to be under direct control of the crown.

“That is the case, but the King is looking to expand it. It is a bit of an open secret amongst anybody with a background in shipbuilding.” The Earl explained. Not that it was something that directly affected Braydon, hence his lack of awareness on the subject. He wondered if it were due to the naval build up in Shuluk or the piracy that it was designed to deal with.

“Looks like the person in question has arrived.” Braydon nodded towards the entrance of the cathedral where the large doors opened for the first time since possibly Aled’s coronation. The rest of them had entered through the more reasonably sized doors to the side, but this was the wedding of a King. The large doors had been opened for him and would not be closed until after the new Queen entered.

“Here enters King Aled II of Fiveria!” A crier announced the King’s arrival, a bit redundant since people had noticed when the giant doors had been opened but in line with tradition. As the King walked to the front in his formal regalia, the nobles who had taken their seats all stood once more, though this time in silence.

“Here enters Lady Agate Burn!” Once the King reached the front by the altar, it did not take much longer for his bride to arrive. Once she passed the threshold, holding the hand of her father, the doors slowly closed behind them. As they reached the front of the hall, the people that they passed sat down.

When she passed Braydon he noted that she was wearing a light blue dress, a bonus for him since it would fit well with his gift. Something that he had not planned but was still beneficial nonetheless. It was not long after that the father-daughter pair reached the altar themselves and the future Queen let go of her father’s arm and the latter moved to take his own seat. 

“Here today, we stand before Elanitia to celebrate the union of Aled Fiver and Agate Burn.” It was only once the couple were facing one another and the Duke had taken his seat the Bishop began the usual spiel. 

Instead of paying attention to what the Bishop was saying Braydon took the time to try and find anything from the couple’s expressions. Aled held a neutral smile that would be expected of a polite meeting rather than his own wedding; but that did not exactly give away his thoughts on the matter. His bride stood facing the opposite direct so he could not see her entire face, but from what he could see she was at least more tense than the King. Whether that was due to nerves he could not tell but she was taking this with the gravity that would normally be expected.

“Please exchange tokens of your commitment.” The Bishop finished with asking the pair questions about their fidelity and moved on to the most important part of the ceremony. The token could be anything of value, though it was typically a piece of jewellery. Which piece was favoured differed between countries but in Fiveria, it was a bracelet or a ring.

The King was the first to give his, a golden bracelet. Braydon could not see much more than that from his distance but he was sure that it was at least worth a viscount’s entire fortune. His bride gave him a ring, similarly golden but adorned with some kind of jewel.

“With this you are now married in the eyes of Elanitia and the church, may your union be prosperous.” The Bishop said this and stood back. On queue, the King stepped forward and kissed his new Queen, to the standing ovation of the attendees.

With this the ceremony was almost over, only requiring the pair to leave together. Once the applause died down, the King held the hand of now Queen Agate, and slowly advanced back to the doors which were already being opened. The hall was once more silent until the doors were closed behind the royal couple and only until that point. 

“Well that went smoothly.” Earl Gren commented.

“I would hope that it did.” Braydon did not exactly want to see something go wrong at the royal wedding. Not to mention that it was at the party afterward that anything more interesting would happen.

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