fake relationship but its a king and his concubine that was once an amazing soldier but he couldn’t go up the ranks for whatever reason so the king was like listen. hear me out. you can be my strategy dude. u just gotta be okay w walking around shirtless a lot. and soldier dude is like man that’s an UPSIDE and yknow they end up falling in love
some idiot advisor: I can’t believe his majesty lets his boytoy attend these council meetings, it’s an insult to the noble institutions that uphold our nation, it’s an outrage—
a somewhat smarter advisor: you’re just mad bc he pointed out how dumb your naval attack strategy and no one laughed when you made a mean joke about him
Boytoy has gone from a top fighter who was well respected but in constant danger to wearing silks and eating grapes on daises. That fucked up rotator cuff was the best thing to ever happen to him
Bonus points: at least half the other concubines are experts in assorted fields, the monarch brings them to relevant meetings to both play up a reputation for frivolity, and make sure at least one person there doesn’t have an outside agenda.
did you mean: my chief strategic advisors
The kingdom is an absolute monarchy but the harem has become a secret meritocracy. The nobles and official advisors kind of side-eye His Majesty because wow some of these consorts must have like…really good personalities. Kings of the past have had their own specific tastes of course; size, shape, age, color, et cetera. More than one ruler has interviewed consorts feet first and Ardwin the Adventurous’s obsession – God rest him – with snuffling armpits like a sow rooting for mushrooms is well known despite never being alluded to in polite company.
The worst part of it is that the new king takes at least part of his harem with him everywhere and it’s so embarrassing. The Counselors of War have never once met with His Divine Majesty without that hulking battle-scarred consort interrupting with muttered growls or scornful snorts. And the Ministers of Finance all flinch at the sight of that fox-faced one, rumored to have been rescued from the gallows because His Augustness took a fancy to his eyes or some such nonsense. General petition days are even worse, with practically the entire harem drifting in and out of the Grand Hall in turns, insouciant and smug like granary cats who know they’ve been given full run of the courtyards and barns.
It’s absolutely infuriating that the kingdom has never before known such a period of peace and prosperity under this ridiculous monarch.
Tag to this – the biggest secret is the Queen who runs the Kingdom’s spy network.
It’s the envy of all the other Kingdoms around, and not a few nobles!
Not ALL of the Kingdom’s Diplomats are spies. But many of their servants are.
The Queen grew up as a neglected child, and she learned how servants are ignored, but who always know everything that goes on.
Many of the spies are like the Queen – beautiful and seemingly vacuous.
The sp[ies tend to have great fun, and also work closely with the Concubines
#everyone is furious when the king picks his bride #a minor princess! of a minor ally! she’s not even that pretty or smart or anything! #but at least when the king marries her he’ll have to get rid of his harem #or at the VERY LEAST stop FLAUNTING them everywhere #if nothing else her family will object to this insult to her honor
#never has the court been so furious and scandalized all at once #it’s a genuine shock to all of them when ten years later no one has even once tried to overthrow the royal family #(they’re wrong there have been no less than thirty attempted coups twelve of which nearly succeeded) #(but the harem and the spy network are VERY good at their jobs)
This be shiney. ✨
I want the story of how the king slowly collected his harem of Very Clever Concubines, starting from when he was just a spotty teenager and third in line for the throne and got his very first concubine. I want the story of what bad decisions the two ahead of him made regarding their harems that got them killed before they got crowned. I want to know all about when, where, and how his harem slowly gets more additions to it.
I want them to be all quietly entertained by how no one seems to have realised that the king’s ‘type’ is clever people, even when he picks his queen, who has the same ‘type’ as him, but has expressed it in a different way, and everybody is just scratching their head, unable to think of a single thing all these people have in common.
I want humorous political shenanigans! I want the noble classes to be confused and discomforted by the improved quality of life for the average peasant under this king they didn’t want because he was third in line and he’s not listening to them.
I want kings and queens of different countries to Be Concerned and Very Interested in making Good Trade Agreements – and never quite getting the advantage they thought they’d have over this king who they all knew was third in line for the throne, and should therefore be Not Properly Trained for the position he is now in.
I want fun interactions between the harem of advisors and the spy network of servants. I want at least one of those assassination attempts to be thwarted by the ex-soldier concubine and a piece of fruit.