Cale came into the room, carrying a thick book. He walked slowly to the table where Choi Han was sitting. After a little hesitation, he said.
«Choi Han, I have a favor to ask.»
«It... Perhaps a little excessive, and you don't have to do it... In fact, I'll get mad if you decide to do it, even though you don't want to.»
Choi Han wondered. What kind of request could it be?
«You see, I found out that the nobility of this kingdom has one unpleasant law.»
Cale hesitated again.
«Every nobleman must marry before the age of 22.»
Choi Han's eyes widened.
«But... You're a nobleman, aren't you?..»
«Yes. And this rule is mandatory. If you don't get married before 22 of your own free will, a some kind of special matchmaker ball will be held in the Palace or mansion of your family or whatever, and you will have to choose someone from there.»
«What the bullshit?»
«It's something like there's a problem with the amount of noble families in Roan, and so they are trying to increase their numbers... I wasn't very interested.»
«Cale-nim... What are you going to do?..»
Choi Han looked extremely concerned.
Cale blushed and looked away.
«I... I was looking for a way... A workaround. And I found something.»
He opening the book in place with the bookmark, and, without looking into Choi Han's eyes, put it on the table before.
Choi Han saw the headline. "Regarding the Knights and their Masters, from the 23rd of the 6th months of 567 years."
Cale looked only at the book, still avoiding Choi Han's gaze.
«Roan's laws prohibit nobles from tying the knot with those who are much lower in rank. However, on the basis of many precedents, the law was created. People call it "about knights and princesses".»
«Cale-nim... How does it solve the problem ..?»
Choi Han still didn't understand what Cale wanted.
«The law says that any master has the right to tie the knot with his knight, whatever his social status is. And... There is no problem with same-sex marriage in Roan, although it is not very common. It's not specified anywhere, which gender should be a master, and which knight, and there have already been such cases…»
Choi Han sat tense. Why did Cale mention same-sex marriage?
«Cale-nim, but you don't have a knight... And you won't have enough time to find someone. There's only a few months left…»
Cale flipped the pages to another bookmark. "Regulations on the requirements for obtaining the title of knight".
«There are a lot of requirements. You definitely don't have time to find someone.»
Сale started listing.
«It says here that this person must wield a sword, spear, or other type of weapon at a good level. He must serve his master for at least a year before becoming a knight. It must have the potential for further growth. There are no origin requirements. There are also no restrictions. At least one family member and two persons of nobility must confirm qualifications of potential knight.
Choi Han looked at Cale. There was a question in his eyes. Cale finally turned to Choi Han.
«Choi Han, I don’t think there’s any problem to officially make you my personal knight.»
Choi Han froze.
«You're... You're asking me to...»
«If you don’t want to, just say so. I don't insist. I can look for another solution...»
«No, Cale-nim, are you okay with that?»
Cale stared at Choi Han.
«What? Yes. Of course yes. I am absolutely satisfied with my current life, and I don't want to change anything. And if we... We'll be married, nothing will change.»
Choi Han turned back to the book, and flipped to the law on princesses and knights.
«O-Okay. What is needed for this? What is required of me?»
Cale exhaled quietly with obvious relief.
«We must make you a knight, and then apply for a wedding. Alberu will help with this, he promised.»
«...You have already discussed this with Alberu?..»
Cale looked away.
«He was the one who suggested it. It's the only method. I checked...»
«Who just said he will look for another solution...»
Choi Han muttered, shaking his head. Then he began to find out the details.
«...Does marriage impose any obligations?»
«...We will go to official events together.»
«You will also join the Henituse family, but we will be a side branch, and you will be considered the head of the family…»
Cale remained silent.
Cale, still red-faced, pointed at some line of the law.
«This law, as I said, was created to increase the number of noble families in the kingdom. Therefore, if the heir marries, he remains the head of the family. If this is not the heir, then a new surname appears, and the knight becomes the head of the family. This was mainly done because knights were often heirs to fading families. Thus they were resurrected.»
Cale paused, and then timidly continued.
«We can take your last name, or we can blind it to Choi Henituse... Sure, Cale Choi Henituse sounds a little weird, but not bad... Although I would prefer Choi Rok Soo, what can you do...»
The last sentence was spoken very quietly, but Choi Han heard it.
«Then my name will be Han Choi Henituse?..»
«It turns out like this.»
Choi Han stared at the book in shock.
«W-well, what else is required?»
«We must have at least two children.»
Choi Han turned to Cale in bewilderment.
«Foster children counts, so we'll just adopt Raon, Hong, and On.»
«...I told you, nothing will change.»
Сale was so embarrassed that wishes the ground would open under him.
'I can't believe I had to ask Choi Han for this. How could he even agree?'
Choi Han couldn't not realize that this fictitious marriage with Cale will destroy for him the opportunity to find some nice girl and create with her a happy unit of society.
Thinking about such a development of events, Cale felt a lump in his throat.
'At least Choi Han will stay close. Even though it's selfish, I wouldn't want him to leave.'
Cale felt like complete trash. Choi Han loses the opportunity to have a family because of Cale, and he's looking for the upside. He wanted to fall under ground even more.
Cale lay on the bed for a while, self-flagellating, and then he began to go to sleep. Tomorrow, he would teleport back to Alberu to inform him of Choi Han's agreement and discuss further actions in more detail.
«Cale, you're aware that you two must have intercourse on wedding night?»
Cale looked at Alberu with a blank look.
«My dear dongsaeng. Why did I give you, I ask, a book with a description? I told you to think it over carefully!»
«There was nothing like that!»
Alberu pulled out a book of laws, flipped through it, and pointed to a line.
«Here. It's clearly written: a couple who have taken an oath before the God of the Sun must spend their wedding night together.»
Cale stared at Alberu.
«What "so"? It's written here!»
Cale raised his eyebrows.
«We'll just sit in one room after the wedding and that's it. Isn't it obvious? Who needs rules?»
Alberu opened his mouth to burst into a scolding speech, but suddenly shut up and turned pale.
«You... You haven't read the book about vows to the God of Light, have you?»
Cale became wary.
«No... In the book, it was said that the vow is made so that the couple will receive a blessing. That's it.»
Alberu exhaled heavily and turned to the table in shock.
«Cale, I'm sorry... I didn't take into account that you're from another world. Any nobleman knows this book here... This is very important information, and since the Church of the God of the Sun is very popular with us, weddings are legally held in this church. The oath is also made through the God of the Sun.»
Cale panicked. Apparently, this oath was not the kind of thing that can be ignored.
«How does this relate to the first wedding night thing?!»
Alberu stared at nothing for a moment, then walked to the bookcase and pulled out a beautifully designed book with a sun made of gold on the cover. Laying it down carefully on the table, he began to flip.
«You see, my predecessors were very careful to keep order in the kingdom. You know why. And their efforts also touched upon the institution of marriage.»
Alberu finished flipping through the pages.
«The nobility always had a huge problem: marriages for profit without the consent of the future wife. After searching through many variants, they managed to find an ancient oath to the God of the Sun. It is not particularly rigid, but it has two parts. The first is standard, the wife swears to obey her husband in everything, the husband - to protect and respect his wife and everything in this spirit. And in the second part, both swear before the God of the Sun that they are ready to confirm the voluntariness and desirability of marriage.»
Alberu began to read.
«"This oath is checked on the first wedding night. If the husband wants to take his wife by force, or nothing happens between them, the marriage will not be recognized by God." The priests will know about this from a special book, after which the marriage will be annulled. I can’t help here.»
Cale was silent with a shocked expression on his face.
«It's over. Now Choi Han will refuse.»
«Hmm? Why would it be all of sudden? I don't see much of a problem…»
«Have you lost your mind?! What do you mean you don't see much of a problem?»
Alberu winced at Cale's absolutely inappropriate behavior towards the king. It's time to get used to it.
«No, of course, it's unpleasant that you will have to tell it after Choi Han agrees, but I don't see anything so terrible for him in this... You better not worry about Choi Han, but about yourself. You're going to play the role of wife, not him.»
«It doesn't matter! I don't know about you here, but on Earth there are very big problems with same-sex relationships! I was afraid to go to him with a simple offer to sign the papers, and this... This...»
Cale covered his face with his hands.
«You think it's that bad? Maybe you can ask Choi Han first? If you yourself don't mind, of course.»
Cale bit his lip.
«I... In any case, I have no choice. Either that, or live with some unknown noblewoman. Who wants to use my money, my villa, my summer house, my farm... I didn't try so hard for that. I would prefer to share it all with Choi Han.»
«Are you sure about this?»
Alberu smiled bitterly.
«Please think about it carefully. I know you and Choi Han have a very close relationship, but that's too much. You still have time. The wedding needs to be announced a month in advance, until then, make a balanced decision and, if you understand that you really don't mind, talk to Choi Han. Most importantly, remember that there is another solution - I can correct the laws.»
Cale nodded and prepared to leave. He wasn't going to use Alberu's offer. Changing the country's most important document in favor of his sworn brother could greatly shake his position. It was a way out, but an extreme and undesirable one.
Then Cale thought of something else. Blushing, he voiced this to Alberu.
«Hyung... There is another problem. I have a very superficial idea of how this happens between two men, and Choi Han may not have even heard about this.»
Alberu sighed heavily.
«Roan's library probably has books on this. Go and look. And don't forget to take the volume on the vows of the God of the Sun. Study it carefully.»
Cale, grimacing in displeasure, headed for the exit. Already at the door, he turned around and said sincerely.
«Thank you, hyung.»
«Not at all, Cale.»
«See you, Your Majesty.»
With these words, he went out and closed the door.