Start reading The Remarried Empress on YONDER (2024)

Chapter 1: A Fallen Empress

“I accept this divorce.”

A faint smile appeared on her lips at my words, but I seemed to be the only one who noticed.

Sovieshu—my husband, or now my ex-husband—glanced down at me, his face showing a mix of relief and regret. It was hard to tell which he felt more.

I had been a good partner and a perfect empress. Until now.

We had never even fought before he brought her into the palace.

“Your Majesty! This is preposterous!” Marquess Falhan shouted as he rushed toward me, but he was stopped by the emperor’s royal guards after just a few steps.

Marquess Falhan, Countess Eliza, and vice commander Artina have protected me throughout this whole ordeal.

I shot them all a look of gratitude, then turned toward the high priest.

The High Priest’s brow was furrowed angrily. “Empress Navier, do you truly agree to accept this divorce without any objections?”

He wanted me to fight.

He wanted me to take this to court, refusing to get divorced no matter what.

I obviously wouldn’t stand a chance against the emperor.

But over the several years that the trial was underway, people would hear about it and criticize the emperor and his mistress. He’d suffer in popularity and she’d be the laughingstock of the empire.

That was what the High Priest, my family, and friends wanted.

I shook my head.

A divorce trial might hurt Sovieshu’s reputation, but it would scar mine as well.

And I simply wouldn’t get what I wanted if I was entangled in that mess.

“I accept,” I repeated calmly.

The High Priest winced and a few pitying exclamations came from the crowd.

“And I request an approval of my remarriage,” I continued.

The room went quiet and the High Priest’s eyes widened in surprise.

Even she looked shocked. Next to her, Sovieshu knitted his brows and looked at me as if I was acting strange.

The High Priest asked in a confused voice, “Empress Navier, by remarriage, you mean…?”

I held out my hand and pointed.

As if on cue, a man burst into laughter. He stood behind a curtain beaded with precious stones and wore a semi-transparent veil. “Is it time for my grand entrance?” he asked.

The silence was replaced with a loud murmur.

The man walked confidently through the curtain and took his place beside me, removing his veil.

Sovieshu jumped in astonishment. “Navier! You couldn’t mean—!”

“He is the one I wish to remarry,” I told the high priest, who stared at us agape.

I smiled at the handsome man next to me.

He shrugged his shoulders, completely unfazed by the general reaction.

Seeing that put me in a good mood.

Although I didn’t mean to do this for revenge.


The House of Trovi, my family, had produced multiple empresses.

Marriages of convenience were common among the royal family and the nobility. We considered marriage to be a political tool and devoted our love only to our lovers. It was common for both male and female nobles to have lovers.

Sovieshu’s father, Emperor Osis III, had wanted someone from my house to be the future empress of the crown prince. I was chosen when I was still a child and entered instruction when I was young.

I had followed the previous empress around, learning things required of the role, such as Imperial Palace etiquette.

Thankfully, Crown Prince Sovieshu and I were good friends.

We didn’t consider ourselves lovers, but it was no matter, since we got along so well. Some marriages of convenience didn’t even have that. We considered ourselves very lucky to have so much in common.

The nobles thought of us as an adorable pair of lovebirds, and we spent many a day with our heads together, discussing the empire we would build together in our future. We were a team.

Even after Sovieshu reached adulthood and inherited the throne, we remained on good terms.

For about three years, that is…


I had been busy planning the New Year’s celebration.

My ladies-in-waiting seemed upset when I returned to my room after a long day of discussions with government officials.

“What is it?” I asked worriedly.

“His Majesty brought some filthy girl back with him from his hunting trip,” Countess Eliza, the head lady-in-waiting, replied in a sharp tone.

Lady Laura scowled. “I suppose he took a liking to her, because he summoned a few of the other ladies to wash the unkempt little thing.”

All of my ladies-in-waiting are daughters and wives from esteemed noble families; they don’t even use their own hands to wash themselves at home.

They only wet their hands for me.

Sovieshu must know how proud my ladies-in-waiting are, yet he made them bathe a girl he brought from a hunting trip?

“Who was she?” I asked.

“She’s probably a prisoner or a slave,” said Countess Eliza.

Lady Laura added, “Her leg was caught in a trap.”

I frowned. “Her leg?”

“Yes. Apparently, the Emperor saw her caught in a trap and rescued her…”

The ladies-in-waiting stopped speaking and exchanged worried glances.

“It’s all right. Go on.”

“Even in her squalor, I hear she was a considerable beauty,” Lady Laura said reluctantly.

Another of my ladies spoke up. “I was there, Your Majesty. Even before we bathed her, she was pretty, but she looked stunning by the time we finished.”

“Her beauty was second only to that of the duch*ess of Tuania,” murmured Lady Allister, Lady Laura’s closest friend.

duch*ess Tuania was the most renowned beauty in high society. Now at age forty, she has held that title since she debuted in high society at seventeen. For these haughty noblewomen to say that this girl was almost as beautiful as her…

She must really be an extraordinary beauty.

Perhaps afraid that my feelings might be hurt, the ladies-in-waiting both said in chorus, “But of course, her beauty couldn’t possibly compare to yours, Your Majesty!”

My face is quite beautiful, but everyone tends to overestimate me because they knew me as the crown princess when I was little and now as the empress. It was difficult for them to gauge exactly how beautiful I am.

The ladies-in-waiting wouldn’t be walking on eggshells for that reason alone.

“I feel like there’s more to the story,” I said. “It’s okay. Tell me everything.”

Finally, Countess Eliza worked up the courage to continue. “The truth is… I’ve heard His Majesty has taken a considerable liking to the girl.” Her face paled, as if the very utterance of such a thing was too terrible even to imagine.

“His Majesty did?” I asked.

“We gave her some clothes from one of the ladies-in-waiting with a similar figure after her bath,” Lady Allister spoke up. “His Majesty immediately began fawning over her. He asked her how she got hurt, why she was so thin, whether she was unwell, and he said she seemed pale…”

I frowned. “I don’t see anything wrong with that.”

The ladies-in-waiting exchanged nervous glances at my remark.

One of the older women said, “You may not know this yet since you’ve just come of age and you haven’t been in love before, Your Majesty, but…”

“There was a distinct change in his air and manner, Your Majesty,” finished Lady Allister.

The other woman nodded. “We are only looking out for you, Your Majesty. That’s why we think it would be better for you to hear everything now, unpleasant though it may be.”

“It would be a relief if we were concerned over nothing.”

The only lady-in-waiting around my age was Lady Laura, who came to work at the palace to study etiquette. The rest were all older than me. Naturally, they knew far more about relationships than I did.

“I see,” I murmured, unsure of what to say.

Even if what the ladies-in-waiting said was true, and the emperor had feelings for the beautiful prey that he brought back from his hunting trip, what could I possibly do?

Should I go to his room and tell him to hand her over? Should I force her to leave? Or should I have her work here in the palace?

I hesitated for a moment as I tried to decide how to react.

“Why don’t you mention to His Majesty that you heard about the injured girl?” Countess Eliza asked cautiously. “See what he has to say about the matter.”

Everyone thought it was a good idea and suggested I casually bring up the girl.

“I suppose it wouldn’t matter if she is hired as a servant in the palace…”

“But just in case.”

I nodded and smiled to put them at ease.

“I will,” I said. “Thank you, everyone. I’m sure he only brought her because he felt sorry for her since he is a compassionate person.”


After much thought on the timing, I decided I would ask him about the girl at dinner the following evening.

Although we were married, the emperor and I slept in completely separate bedrooms, one on the east end of the palace and the other on the west end.

I heard it was originally intended to symbolize the emperor and empress looking after the entire empire from both sides.

But the original meaning had faded away, and now, it was the perfect arrangement for the royal couple to live with their lovers without getting on each other’s nerves.

Sovieshu and I didn’t have lovers yet, but we were busy with our own schedules and moved in different circles, so we ate and slept separately most of the time.

Still, we always had dinner together twice a week, and the next evening was one of those.

It would seem too intrusive to go and ask him about the girl right away.

I’ll give it a day.

I still remember what my mother had told me before I got married: “If Lord Sovieshu takes in a mistress later, it’s best not to interfere.”

“Really?” I’d asked, shocked.

“Has there ever been an emperor who didn’t have a mistress throughout history? Even the great Emperor Osis II had twenty mistresses. You’d only hurt yourself getting upset over it.”

I didn’t know what to say to that.

“Listen, Navier. What you need to do when he brings in a mistress is find yourself a younger, more handsome, and stronger man than Sovieshu and make him your lover. You understand me?”

Commoners would be shocked to hear her words, but this was completely natural in high society, where marriages of convenience were the norm.

Of course, only those children born to a legally married couple were entitled to inheritance and would be recorded in the family register. The temples tested the child’s bloodline, revealing the truth within an hour.

In high society, problems typically arose when a husband loved his wife, or a wife loved her husband, and failed to tolerate their spouse taking a lover.

I’m sure that’s what my mother was concerned about.

So, heeding my mother’s advice, I was not going to talk to Sovieshu about it immediately.

I’ll ask him at dinner tomorrow.

And even if Sovieshu decides to make that girl his mistress… I’ll just pretend not to care.

It’s not like I loved him anyway.

And I knew this was normal for everyone else.

Still, my heart felt hollow at the thought that my husband might take a mistress.

How strange.

I held out my hand and felt my pulse.

My heart was beating away, not too slowly or too quickly.


The next day, rumors about the beautiful “hunting trophy” girl spread quickly.

My ladies-in-waiting were the only ones who dared to speak to me about her, but I heard others whispering in every corner of the palace.

At lunch, my ladies-in-waiting continued to grumble on my behalf.

“I heard the filthy girl is a runaway slave,” Countess Eliza muttered. “She must’ve gotten lost on the hunting ground.”

Lady Laura caught my eye. “If so, then she probably belongs to Viscount Lotteshu. The hunting ground is connected to his property.”

“She should be sent back immediately.” Countess Eliza shook her head. “Instead, His Majesty ordered us to hire servants to look after her.”

That night, the ladies-in-waiting dressed me extravagantly for dinner. My dress sparkled with silver gems, and they paired it with simple pearl earrings. As they worked, they complimented me so frequently I blushed.

My ladies have always looked after me, but today they were working especially hard.

Lady Laura fussed with my train. “No matter how pretty that slave girl may be, she doesn’t hold a candle to you, Your Majesty.”

Countess Eliza nodded. “One look at you, and His Majesty will come back to his senses.”

Despite their efforts, I found it difficult to believe them. If dressing up were all it took to get Sovieshu to fall in love with me, wouldn’t he already be head over heels?

My mind wandered.

Even though I considered the efforts to be in vain, I let them dress me as they wished.

When they finished, I walked to the east building where the emperor resided. In the dining room, I joined him at our usual table, which was far too large for just the two of us.

At first, we spoke only of recent political events and preparations for the New Year’s celebration.

I waited for Sovieshu to mention the girl from the hunting trip, but he never said a word about her. He acted as nonchalant as usual.

Finally, when Sovieshu paused to cut his steak, I cleared my throat. “I was told you brought a runaway slave back from your hunting trip. Is this true?” I kept my voice calm, casual.

Still, the sound of his knife scraping against the dish stopped. Sovieshu looked up.

He gazed at me for a long moment. “Where did you hear that?”

He didn’t seem pleased. In fact, he looked quite uncomfortable.

Seeing his frown, I decided not to reveal my source. “Everyone’s been talking. It’s caused quite a fuss.”

Sovieshu’s eyes narrowed. “I bet your ladies-in-waiting told you.”

“Where I heard it from isn’t important.” I set my fork and knife down. “Is it true?”

Sovieshu’s frown deepened.

I hesitated. “Your Majesty?”


I froze in my seat.

“I don’t know what you heard, but I found an injured girl and helped her. That’s all.”

Not a runaway slave, but an “injured girl.” I picked up my silverware once more. “I see. And where is the girl now?”


“Yes?” I glanced up at my husband.

“We only eat two meals together each week. There are so many other topics we ought to discuss. Do you truly wish to dwell on something so trivial?”

The coldness in his voice offered a clear warning. It meant in no way, shape, or form, should I question him further.

He did not say a single word after that.

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