First 4 chapters are translated by ichigoichiebanza. We are translating from Chapter 5. We will update the chapter soon.
It’s strange. The entirety of human life lies within the garden! is something I don’t hesitate to boast, but why is it that I have to head towards the Royal Palace? If His Highness turns into herbal tea, I’ll think about it. If weeds spring up on His Highness’s head, I’ll also tend to them.
There’s nothing interesting in looking at a human being’s face whatsoever. So to pull me away from my beloved garden, stuff me into a tight, rigid dress and imprison me in a carriage, what’s up with this absurdity?!
Now then, who is it that I have to put a curse on?
Father? Or my younger sister? Mandragora would make for a good go-to.
“Why are you staring at your father’s face as if you want to kill somebody with a curse, Theresa?”
“I’m Anessa. Father dearest, you’re hallucinating. For treating eye strain, Rudy ointment will be most effective. Yes.”
“Stop recommending poisonous plants. …… good grief, what a dangerous item you intended to bring into the Royal Palace. Was your plan to plot a royal assassination or something?”
“I’ll have you know that Rudy improves blood circulation. Although, let’s see… I do resemble Theresa. But even if I go to the Royal Palace, problems will arise, right? The current situation is capable of disgracing our family name. So let’s turn back here.”
Bang! I threw open the carriage’s small window and shouted to the coachman, “Alright then, we’ll return to the house! Turn your horses around!”
However, my father promptly pushed me aside.
“It’s a lie! Continue the course as planned! Onward to Kous! ~~~And they call you my daughter…”
He gave a silent sigh.
Hey, I want to sigh over here too. I’m preparing myself for the fact that I’ll be unable to admire my plants from now on.
Battles with things like weeds and pests could be comparable to building a sandcastle; in the end, nothing but your willpower remains.
The burly weeds twist the frail medicinal herbs and drive them away into the shade. As a result, they hang their heads as their limbs come under attack from hateful insects.
Alas, the Paradise Garden only has me to protect it!
“His Highness’s search for a bride or something, it’s far beyond our house, right? We’re in the lowest ranking and on the verge of ruin. In these circumstances, how about refusing the invitation? Because the younger sister vital for all this escaped.”
“As if we could do something like disobey orders from royalty!”
The queen’s proclamation, which has only been a nuisance to others, came out last month.
To welcome the second prince’s adulthood at 15, daughters of the nobility are to assemble at the Royal Palace in order to carry out a bride search for His Highness Ikuta―― it said.
The target range of the daughters goes from just below ten to right above twenty.
Your strike zone sure is wide, Your Highness.
I just barely managed to avoid it since I’m twenty-one. My sister, who’s one year younger than me, was perfectly in range though.
Even so, that.
As the departure to the capital Kous drew closer and closer, a handwritten note was left behind by my sister one morning, who had slipped away unnoticed.
―― Because I’m eloping, I’ll leave the rest to my older sister. Please take care of me~!
Father was the one who had crushed the note in his hands, but the one who tossed it into the hearth to burn was me.
In the fireplace that hasn’t been used until now, the scrap of paper became a lump of ashes.
Father’s shoulders were drooping as the remainders ignited.
But as it is now, maybe it was a good thing that the note turned into ashes. Father had happily delivered an immediate reply to the capital about our family’s participation. His foolish plan right now was because of those few, unnecessary words from my sister, it seems.
Even in our neighborhood, my sister Theresa and I are famous for looking like identical twins. Both our faces and body appearances are roughly the same despite being born within a year from each other, By altering the pitch of my voice to be on the same level as my sister’s, it’s said that people can’t tell us apart – just like with real twins. My protests were also in vain as I was forced to change into Theresa’s dress.
The carriage rocks back and forth.
“That imprudent lust for power will wreck yourself, you know.”
“I have absolutely no hopes in you making His Highness’s heart your own! It’s a million to one chance! But our house has its image to maintain. ‘My daughter eloped with the likes of a lad from town,’ how could I possibly say that……?”
“That face looks quite pleasant on you. Will you undergo a procedure to keep it that way?”
His Highness would also probably give plenty of sympathy to that miserable, pitiable expression – I said what I was thinking out loud, but Father was able to muster up his most piercing glare towards me.
“Weighing up his options between royalty and commoners, it’d be a problem if His Highness kicked us out.”
“When he hears about our house, he’d be surprised and shout ‘This place is also part of Rionia?!’ because it’s totally out in the sticks, huh. It’s no use attracting a man with a heavenly presence like that prince towards yourself, right? Plus, a noble with a commoner is destitute only in name – their livelihood won’t simply change if they happen to be with one. Although the elopement was some time ago, I think that girl will steadily go through with it. Because she’s stubborn, you see.”
“Hmph, looks as if I don’t have to worry. It’s because both of you sisters are all alike in shamelessness, huh.”
“Yes, Mother also said the same thing. That’s why, ‘the only thing worth worrying about is Father’s receding hairline.’”
Having a chewed up, sour look on his face, Father turned away from me and gazed outside the window.
Although I reluctantly took up this responsibility and more, I fully intended to accomplish my role as a scapegoat.
…… after all, we’re soft on our family. Both me and Father.
I don’t want to do something like bring my sister back. I also don’t want to make my father look foolish.
If I also continue telling lies, the facts of the story could change up on me. So if I don’t expose my true colors to absolutely anybody and everybody, it’ll be fine.
A blasphemous parent and child pair.
Rumble, rumble. The tremors of the carriage induce a drowsy sensation in me.
Even though the carriage definitely falls short of a soft bed, my body’s lacking sleep. Getting roused out of bed first thing in the morning and dragged into this whole eloping crisis… The rhythmic vibrations are pleasant ――
“…… up. Wake up, Theresa.”
I’m often mistaken for my younger sister, so correcting my name is an unfortunate conditioned reflex.
Shh, Father whispered in a low voice to inform me. We’ve arrived at the Royal Palace.
A handkerchief was thrust before my half-open eyes – since I was looking at him dazedly in a sleep-induced stupor, “Your drool, wipe your drool off!”
I was scolded by Father. Looks like I was fast asleep.
Accompanied by my father to the Royal Palace, I’ve marched into the den of thieves. An unpleasant air of trickery and wiles swirl around this place.
“Listen up, Theresa. The bride selection period is one month. If you’re patient for one month, I’ll allow you to do as much of your favorite gardening as you want.”
“A new hoe, spade, seeds, garden brace, bird repellent net, and also the promise of fertilizer. Please don’t forget it, okay?”
“It’s multiplying! The promise was supposed to be only a hoe, spade, and seedlings!”
“Father dearest, it’s unpleasant to go and make such a huge commotion with your shouting. …… also, I wouldn’t mind a success fee later.”
“………… got it. Don’t go around earnestly causing anyone any trouble, you hear? I’ll come pick you up after a month.”
“Please leave it to me. I’ll keep an eye out without causing a racket or standing out, just in case the million-to-one chance of catching His Highness’s attention happens. Please take care of the gardening in my absence, okay?”
“Ah, I’ve hired a gardener to take care of that for a while.”
With the commitment resolved in an especially satisfactory way, Father said, “I implore you, properly return His Majesty’s greetings!” as I bade farewell to him in parting.
A maid quickly came and approached me. “I shall humbly guide you around,” she said as she bowed her head.
As expected of the Royal Palace. The people working here are also beautiful in uniform.
The gorgeous castle interior wasn’t half bad. Paying only slight attention as I was passing through while half-asleep, I went towards the hall where the other bride candidates had gathered.
Wooooow, it’s certainly noisy in here, huh……
I had just entered the reception hall and was already engulfed in a cacophony of sound. As I winced from the noise, I shrunk back and took refuge in a corner.
If three girls had gathered it would be noisy, but what on earth is this? There might be hundreds of people assembled here.
The children below ten are crying, and as for the maidens chattering amongst themselves in amusement – their voices are in the upper registers of ultrasonic waves.
It seems as if I’ll choke from all the foundation and perfume odors mingling in the air.
In this stuffy atmosphere caused from all these bodies packed together, I fan myself behind my back with a folding fan. I don’t stop sighing. It looks as if I’ll begin to be crushed from the front.
However, let’s think about it. Due to so many people gathering around, standing out amongst the crowd will be difficult.
Unless I engage in some very unreasonable behavior, I probably won’t draw any attention to myself.
Crash! rang the gong. The hall reverted back to silence.
The prime minister, who just came out, appeared to be explaining the guidelines for the current bride selection process.
………… I can’t hear anything. He’s way too far away.
But thanks to the impromptu, light-speed game of Telephone between all the girls, one way or another I was able to know what the prime minister’s words were.
First, we were all to split up into small groups.
Well, the conditions would be unappealing if a marquis’s daughter were to be in the same group as a low-ranking noble like me, right? It’s only natural.
For one thing, His Highness is visiting a group every day. Accordingly, it then becomes possible to deepen your sense of intimacy with him.
Because the number of people in attendance is so large, it is only possible to meet His Highness once per week. Once the girls knew that, a wave of dejection ran throughout the group.
Fufufu, it’s fewer than I expected.
Four meetings in one month. Only four meetings. If I let my encounters with His Highness idly pass by, I’ll be looking forward to my rose-colored future.
For a start, it’s been established that the selection period is one month.
Once His Highness has made a decision on his bride-to-be, the announcement will take place the next morning of the final day. Those who weren’t chosen will be sent away from the Royal Palace.
Even if I grumble and remain here, the position as his bride is beyond my power. And wouldn’t I get called useless later? The people close to His Highness’s side will definitely join in on that.
Leave it to me! For the sake of His Royal Highness, let’s quickly depart! Become gone with the wind!
In response to the voice calling out my sister’s name, I forced my way through the herd of maidens.
“Kyaaaa!! Your Highness! Your Highnesssssssssss!”
It’d be corny for me to scream like that. While trying to endure the goosebumps I sat down next to Miss Miranda, who was breaking out into falsetto screams of joy.
The way everyone was behaving was as if the tasty-looking teas and pastries never came into their sight at all; rather than brewing black tea, hot gazes were brewing toward His Highness instead.
It’s perfect camouflage.
The group members’ faces began to look resigned at times, but over the course of these seven days I’ve repeatedly observed them. With a splendid average age of fourteen, these girls possess a high-strung tension – and I’ve made that enthusiasm mine!
But for a twenty-one year old aunt mingling together with these charming, lovely maidens, pulling off an identical sense of tension……
The intentions of my heart are anchored in selfishness; that tension is on the same level as getting mauled by a demon, but it can’t be helped.
Gazing at His Highness from afar is only a third-rate job, you know. Daring to slip into his admirers’ clique was an excellent plan.
I’m Theresa. They call me Theresa, so I’m Theresa.
If it’s the case where I also need to act as my sister, then if I hypnotize myself some more… I can put up with this shyness. I have to!
Haha. I pulled a bit of your attention, huh, Your Highness? Flaunting my body was effective.
His Highness Ikuta was a maturing boy.
Indeed, the girls were all making such a huge fuss about it. And I can agree with them – he has a well-kept appearance.
Blond hair and dark-blue pupils. Resembling his older brother, the First Prince, with his tall height and long, slender, well-proportioned features. If you were to compare him to his grim knight escorts, His Highness looks scrawny and wiry. But, popular expectations are that he’ll grow after this.
A calm demeanor befitting the royalty’s sense of noblesse oblige was fostered in such a person. Despite only their slight differences in age, the likes of Miss Miranda and company seem cruel and immature in comparison.
After reaching the mark of exchanging a few unimpressionable conversations, His Highness excused himself and left.
I was never able to show off my appeal! The other girls’ lips pursed together, creating some very displeased looks.
“It’s okay. There’s always next time!” While these words of comfort were spreading around, everyone steadily regained their enthusiasm. It seems these girls all firmly believed that.
With this informal meeting with His Highness, the official schedule created involves two tea parties, one banquet, and one ball. It appears that only a select number of groups can attend the ball happening in the fourth week.
Dukes, marquises – beyond highly-ranked nobles like them, the decision of how many groups from the lower court ranks could attend was currently postponed.
A nonstop month without breaks.
His Highness is going through a lot of trouble, being summoned to things like tea parties and dinner parties every day.
I heard this somewhere, but according to the eyes of the other people attending the party, our group was the final one of the round. Looks like we set the record for His Highness’s shortest stay.
We were given the relative freedom to act as we pleased.
On the days that His Highness doesn’t come, the girls zealously exchange information in the salon: what the latest local trends are with choosing dresses, etcetera, etcetera. These fired-up maidens in love were striving to improve themselves, as their objective was to score points with His Highness.
Well, I don’t have any connection to this stuff.
“Hmmhmhm♪ If the fine weather continues to last then I’ll feel good, but y’all were on the verge of wishing for a little damp weather.”
In the depths of the Royal Palace, I came across my heart’s oasis.
The moment I discovered this medicinal herb garden located in the back of the castle, my chest throbbed. I intently begged the Royal Palace gardener to let me do some gardening, and I got him to agree.
At first, the old man had made fun of me to my face. Since it seems that it’s seldom my kind becomes struck in the heart by a love for medicinal herbs, he handed over a spade to me with a cramped spasm of laughter.
It truly is a magnificent herb garden. The Royal Palace definitely didn’t cast it aside.
“Ahh, Binzsade! That green countenance putting on an aloof, standoffish air. If it weren’t for your thorns acting as biting words, I’d be on the verge of squeezing you tightly and never letting go! Ooh, my darling Gondorut! Your verdant, plump leaves are in full bloom. Gah, if only you didn’t cause skin rashes when we’re rubbing our cheeks together……! And I haven’t forgotten you, Gushuteb! Please don’t tempt me with those seductive tendrils, your aroma causes me to break out in hives! I’m detestable!”
“Missy. Hey, Missy. You’ve been doing nothing but showing off your eccentric habits in a loud voice. Could you do me a favor and not do that, please? You’ll invite misunderstandings.”
“But I’m only calling out my lovers’ names.”
“Hey, hey, in that case you’ll definitely be misunderstood, Missy. You’re a bridal candidate for the second prince, aren’t you? Yet you’re idling about in a place like this. So how about putting your hair up at least?”
I became familiar with this old man after spending a couple of days here. Knitting his eyebrows together in what looked to be concern, his red, sunburnt face gazed at the kerchief on my head.
Even I’m self-aware that a noble’s daughter watering the plants looks bad. That being the case, the hand towel I’m donning conceals my face in addition to shading myself from the sun.
Hehe, it’s both killing two birds with one stone AND practical.
“His Highness’s schedule today is to meet up with the group of earls’ daughters, so there shouldn’t be any worries. Just so you know, I also take the time to fix up my hair when it becomes my appointed day.”
“No, that’s not the point I’m making.” He sighed, pausing in his speech for a moment. “This humble one will return to the garden – Missy, you should return to your proper place as well.”
“Watering the plants is good and all, but harvesting the cabbageworms is my job. So leave the work to me.”
“And watering the plants is also supposed to be my job?”
After seeing the old man off as he carried away his rake and pruning shears, I restlessly peeked around at my surroundings.
…… I was told to stop it with the pest extermination, but he didn’t explicitly forbid me from weeding, right?
Cheerfully tugging at my ribbon cuffs, I rolled up my sleeves.
I then airily spread out the hem of my dress (which was only a nuisance at this point) and gathered the fabric pooling around my ankles close together, fastening it together with the ribbons mentioned earlier.
It’s unsightly but remarkably easy to move in.
Work trousers are the B-E-S-T when gardening, but when it came down to it I didn’t think they were necessary at the Royal Palace. So, I went and left them at home.
I don’t have gloves, but plants like Gondorut have several ways to not come in contact with them. If I’m careful, it’s not a problem even with my bare hands.
I immersed myself in the weeding.
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