Chapter 1 Part 3 – Marriage Life
Ruby, who couldn’t fall asleep, tossed and turned. She wasn’t sure if it was due to her new surroundings or excitement. She was to stay at Grit Marquis’s residence for one night, and the next day, she would leave with Eli for the wedding.
“This room has been where generations of the Marchioness of Grit have stayed.”
Perhaps that’s why the room was decorated with furniture that might seem overly opulent. However, the mansion, with its understated grandeur, didn’t feel excessively extravagant or overly simple. It exuded a dignified charm that carried the weight of years.
Ruby got up from the bed and looked at the adjoining room. There was a small sitting area separating the two rooms, and the adjacent room belonged to Eli Grit.
It appeared he hadn’t come in yet, as the room was silent.
He must be incredibly busy.
This was the moment when Ruby began to understand why she rarely saw him even when he was in the capital.
The mansion had been quiet the whole time, but it soon became a bit more bustling. The sound of a carriage entering the estate could be heard.
Amidst the commotion of servants bustling about, Ruby felt a touch of unease. She had not yet slept, and she contemplated whether she should greet him. She was still awake and had the light on, which he might notice. Failing to greet him would be impolite, and she recognized this.
With these thoughts in mind, Ruby put on her robe and went outside.
“Whose carriage is that My Lord?” Damon, who was waiting outside, asked.
Eli had arrived in a splendid, gold-adorned carriage. Even the exterior and size of the carriage were notably different from what Eli would usually ride.
“It was a gift from the Emperor, who couldn’t attend the wedding but wanted to contribute in some way,” Eli explained.
The Emperor disliked not being able to do anything for the wedding of his right-hand man. This seemed to be related to his pride. Thus, he always wanted to give Eli something. While other nobles might have welcomed such gifts, Eli wasn’t excited about them.
“It’s just a wedding, I don’t know why there’s so much fuss.”
“Your Grace, he cherishes you.”
“So instead of offering to help me with a stupid wedding, why don’t you go
Eli stopped dead in his tracks on the stairs.
Damon turned his attention to what had startled his master. Lady Ruby was standing there, looking flustered after overhearing their conversation.
“It seems you haven’t slept yet,” Eli commented, his voice casual, as if he was entirely unperturbed.
“I couldn’t fall asleep, I came out to greet you when I heard you were coming…”
Ruby tried to explain the situation as best as she could, given the circumstances.
“I see, Did you like the dress?”
“Yes. I loved it.”
Ruby responded quickly, relieved that Eli didn’t seem to mind the intrusion.
“I’m glad to hear it. Oh, and we’re leaving for the estate tomorrow, right after the wedding.”
“Ah… Are we not having a reception?”
“In the capital, no.”
“Oh… I see.”
“We can have it at the estate if you want to.”
Ruby was tempted to tell Eli her mother might want a reception, but she thought better of it. The way her mother had sent a letter protesting her marriage suggested that she might not be interested.
“No, it’s fine.”
“That’s good. There will be many opportunities for parties in the future.”
Eli accepted Ruby’s response without further inquiry.
“Tomorrow is going to be a long day, and we don’t have much time to rest, so it might be best to get some sleep now.”
“Ah…… yes. …… You too, My Lord.”
As Ruby walked back into her room without another word, Eli realized he was glad he’d married her.
“When we go to the temple tomorrow, we’ll be traveling in the carriage His Majesty gave us, so have it ready”
“Yes, My Lord.”
Giving Damon his final orders, Eli soon entered the room.
Damon’s final instruction, and Eli’s earlier command, echoed in her mind as she sighed.
With the doors to Eli’s room finally closed, Ruby allowed herself to breathe freely. It seemed that even though she was gazing into his room, he didn’t mind her intrusion.
Eli had mentioned the “pointless wedding,” and Ruby pondered this. She was well aware of why Lord Grit had accepted the marriage. She chastised herself for her continuous hurtful thoughts and decided to abide by the old saying: “Don’t ask for too much.”
Tomorrow, she would become Ruby Grit, not Ruby Rainier. Sharing a last name meant that no matter what others said, she would be the only woman by his side.
“Let’s not ask for too much.”
Ruby reaffirmed this to herself and finally succumbed to her sleepless night.
The wedding of the two took place at a temple. A temple wedding symbolizes a sacred union. It was said that by receiving the blessing of the gods, they would help the couple live happily. However, it came with a significant cost.
There were different levels of blessings, and Eli chose the highest level, which meant that even after death, the gods would still watch over the couple. It didn’t hold any particular significance, but it was a show for his mother, the Dowager Marchioness Grit. After going through the trouble of having a temple wedding, he figured that the highest level of blessing would be the most effective.
Besides, the cost meant next to nothing to Eli.
In the morning, Ruby wore her wedding dress and, alongside Eli, headed to the temple. Since it was a hastily arranged wedding, neither of them had many close family members in attendance. Instead, a handful of relatives and friends were there to witness the simple ceremony.
As a result, the area in front of the temple where Lord Grit’s carriage stopped was surprisingly quiet. There were no elaborate decorations or a large crowd of guests. It was a minimalistic wedding.
“Shall we go in?” Eli stepped out of the carriage and extended his hand towards Ruby.
No blessings or the usual flower petals or bouquets were seen on this day, but Eli’s presence was all that Ruby needed. Just the thought of him made her heart race, and she realized once again how much she loved him.
She was certain that she would be happy no matter what happened in the future. With that conviction, Ruby gently took Eli’s hand, just as any other bride would on her special day.
“That’s not it.”
With one word from Lady Marie, her mother-in-law, the casual tea time among the family turned into a lesson in etiquette for Ruby.
“When you hold the cup, make your fingers more delicate and elegant.”
In response to her criticism, Ruby nervously adjusted her grip on the teacup. However, her tense body and fingers didn’t comply with her intentions.
“If even the youngest can do it, why can’t you?”
Eve, Eli’s younger sister who was sipping tea with them, remarked. Ruby heard these words almost every day while living with Eli’s family on the Grit’s estate.
“Well, I’ve been watching and learning .”
Ruby replied, trying to brush off the criticism. Still, her response felt as inadequate as her attempts at refinement.
“Do you think you’ll improve by the upcoming party? Or is it reasonable to still be worried about the etiquette of the Marchioness even after three years of marriage?”
Feeling embarrassed, Ruby mumbled quietly.
Lady Marie, who felt uncomfortable with the hastily arranged wedding in the capital, constantly pointed out Ruby’s shortcomings.
“What about the dress?”
“I’m planning to wear one of the dresses I had fitted for the previous tea party.”
Even though the usual nagging continued, Ruby had no intention of changing her decision, avoiding the cold stare of Marie.
She was the daughter of the Rainier family, a minor noble family with many flaws, and there was no way to describe her as a perfect match for Eli, a prominent figure in the empire and the right-hand man of the current emperor. Not only did she lack political influence or financial wealth, but she also had no impact on society. Yet, she became Lady Marie’s daughter-in-law and the Marquis Grit’s wife.
Marie had strongly opposed the marriage until the wedding was arranged, except if the wedding was to be held hastily in the capital
Marie decided to isolate the two newcomers immediately after their wedding. She knew that if they didn’t spend their first night together, the marriage could be annulled.
It had been a few days since she had pestered Eli, holding onto him with the hope that he would listen to her.
“We’re already married. It won’t make any difference to do this, Mother,” he said as if he knew her intentions.
After realizing that, she stopped trying to keep her son around, but the headache that had been a mere excuse turned into a real ailment, and she suffered for several days.
After that incident and after observing him, it seemed that Eli had no intention of breaking this marriage. However, that didn’t mean she showed any affection towards Ruby.
Marie, upon understanding this, began using disciplinary measures as an excuse to torment Ruby. This was a way to ease the frustration building in her heart. Since the recurring migraines that had plagued her for years were all due to Ruby, the responsibility for them had to be placed on her.
“The preparations for this party must be done well.”
“I’ll do my best.”
While it might take three years to get used to it, Ruby always seemed to slump no matter what, and she hadn’t heard her say that she was doing her best. Her thoughts were preoccupied with questions like,
“Is this the best I can do?”
Whatever she did, it all boiled down to criticisms of Ruby’s lacking manners and her family’s inferiority to the Grit Marques family.
Still, things were a little better in the early days of their marriage. Eli stayed at the estate with her at that time. Although he woke up early and came back late, they had a formal greeting with each other daily.
When Eli was with her, everyone at the Grit estate treated Ruby kindly, and everything seemed as if there were no issues at all.
The real problem started after that. Eli had a very busy life, traveling to the capital to look after the emperor, handling imperial affairs in other countries or regions, and then returning to the estate.
Ruby wanted to be with him as much as possible and to accompany him. But she couldn’t follow him everywhere.
“Why not continue staying here? I can teach you what you lack, and it will be good for you, my lady,” Marie suggested at that time.
Ruby wanted to be with him, but when she realized that he didn’t want to, she didn’t insist. Their marriage was based on the premise that it wouldn’t be a burden to Eli.
“That would be good.”
“You made a good decision.”
Marie smiled at Ruby with sincere gratitude at that time, and it was the first and last time.
Since then, Ruby had been living on the estate, except for the early days of their marriage when she moved with Eli.
Marie’s nagging began around that time. Wanting a perfect daughter-in-law, Marie couldn’t even tolerate small mistakes. However, under these circumstances, Ruby became even more nervous and made more mistakes.
Ruby Rainier knew that as the daughter of the Rainier family, a family with many flaws, she didn’t measure up to be Marques Girt’s wife. Not to mention the fact that she didn’t possess any political influence, wealth, or social status.
Despite knowing this, she accepted it. It felt like she didn’t need to stress herself as long as she acknowledged it.
“Alright. Since it’s been a while, and Eli will be here, you better do well, naturally.”
“Is he coming?”
“You didn’t know? He sent a letter a few days ago saying he’s coming.”
Marie scolded Ruby lightly. As always, Ruby considered it her fault and tried to gloss over the situation.
“I’ve been so busy lately, I must have forgotten, I’m sorry.”
Ruby always took the blame upon herself instead of admitting the real issue. After all, speaking the truth would just lead to unnecessary confrontations.
“In any case, you’re young, but… Perhaps… Ugh. I’ll do the preparation for Eli’s dinner.”
Marie clicked her tongue, and at the same time, she enjoyed her tea contentedly.
Ruby, too, smiled with a rare happiness at the thought of seeing Eli after a long time.