Just a few days away from the ball….
In the frontier territory, everywhere there was an advertisement regarding the second Prince, the report announced that there was no bride counterpart.
Since we were ordered to stay as a parent and child, we were living a secluded life in our mansion.Wrinkles were growing on my father’s face and his hair was falling. That said, I was sad to lose my garden work that I was immersed before. When there was weeding to be done, I would collect the hat from my room.
Every time I took a break, I sat on the bench, I was unconsciously worried about the other guests.Whenever I had some herbs I would I present it to him, he unconsciously chose his favorite herb.
During tea time, my father’s concern was whether the cookie would turn red before it got cold.
The time I was in the royal palace was less than a month ago, but the time I spent with his Highness and Peko was so enjoyable, even if you were to push it back to your memory to try to forget, it would come back with force.
It was a week when the solitary life ended. Close to sunset a messenger from the royal palace came.
It seemed that the punishment was announced by his Majesty, the messenger was just the harbinger. I looked at my father’s face, and whenever I made an eye-to-eye with someone while speaking, I panicked when they replied.
“Lady! Anessa! They are coming!!!” announced one of my maids.
What’s going on? The messenger came just now!” I said. The maid replied,”Even if you say that, take a look out of the window! The carriage has stopped in front of the gate!”
Running to the side of the window, I saw what she was talking about. In front of the gate, a wonderful horse carriage had stopped and the door opened. It was covered with golden and white decorations, and someone about to step out from the door had polished leather shoes. And they were stepping on the prepared step board.
It was His Highness …! When he saw me he said, “It seems like there is something you want to say directly, looks like you are going out somewhere by yourself?” I could not escape anymore. I was hungry and I was going to pick my father to meet His Highness.
Under the setting sun, the golden hair was red shining brightly. It seems that I was a little late as the adult ‘s ceremony was busy. His cheeks were sharply scraped and the childhood was missing already. There were shadows under his eyes, it could have been due to fatigue or because of the dusk. His Highness Prince Itaka was stroking the back of his hair: and looked like a grown-up young man.
I could not see him fairly speaking with my father as I had lowered my line of sight. A golden head of pure gold, eyes shining like diamonds, dressed in a white formal dress with a sword on his belt that was elaborately embroidered with a shoulder strap. The sword was inlaid with jewels that struck the eyes. Although it was a decorative sword, would it be effective if used in combat?
My father guided the Prince to the mansion while talking.
When the grandma who was sitting down on the sofa in the lounge was in front of us, we were confused as to whether it would be good to sit next to her, but the High Priest guided us to a sofa that was on the opposite side.
When tea was brought to us, His Highness ordered us to meet him and his knight.”I’m sorry it is an unscheduled visit to this kind of remote neighborhood right now, luckily I’ll return immediately return to the royal palace without delay” said the Prince, “It was fun to watch the outskirts of the Kingdom, because the affection I have for Baron Dalton, I wanted to see your territory once again.”
“Did you visit my territory? Unfortunately, there are not any rare items such as special products.”
“Nature is valuable because cities, towns, and citizens are damaged often due to demons than small villages.The reconstruction of the whole of Lionia is still far, but the people are vibrant here. Don’t you agree that we human are really strong willed?”
“Y-yes, you are right… I pray every day for my people, I also prayed for your travel, for you to find a good place to visit… But I was also waiting in fear your judgment.”
“That is true, Your Majesty decided your treatment.” My father was holding his breath. Royal punishments were never good, they were usually harsh.Was he already informed directly by His Majesty? … … Looking at our pale faces, he smiled a bit.
“Baron, Your Majesty is well aware of your loyalty and skill, so we took a decision about this matter… We will confiscate half your properties!”, said His Highness.My father said,”I think you know I have a miserable property, there is nothing in my house at all, I will show you a catalog anyway, but I’m sure you will not be satisfied at all!” It seemed strange, but my father was looking a bit relieved… Did he think the punishment would have been even worse?
“Of course, I will look at the catalog, but half of the offering is a good decision… Your Majesty’s words are absolute – do you understand?” replied His Highness.
I understood why my father was relieved. Usually, even if half the property of the poor aristocracy was devoted, you still could never buy one royal pardon.
Even if you did not raise your annual salary or tax revenue, you could only cover it a little, so His Majesty was really merciful. His Highness said, “The knight accompanying me to your territory told me not to publicize this case. Although I understood that it was a fierce decision and the selection of the bride has not been made yet, we cannot let the people become rebellious because they fear poverty.”
My father was so impressed that he jumped out of the sofa and rubbed his forehead on the Prince’s shoes. I closed my eyes and kneeled with my father in shame.”Thank you very much! Thank you! Thank you!”, he kept repeating over and over again. “Please raise your head, I just told you your Majesty’s words, please directly tell your Majesty if you would like to thank him.” said His Highness.
While listening to the voice of His Highness I thought that our family had many problems since a long time and had been unable to raise his face for a long time….There is no place like the Royal Palace near the frontiers. It was inevitable to host his Highness, the Prince, at our residence, the house of Lord Dalton. It was the best we could offer him in our mansion, but it was like offering a knight a stable boy’s room.
The chef was likely to faint with our poor dishes, but I was sure he would do all he could to get the best ingredients to make him a delicious dinner. Maids and servants were also ready to prepare the mansion, fussing about in haste and precision. I hoped everything was decent enough for His Highness.
The chef wanted a few herbs so I headed to the garden to collect the fresh herbs, and when twilight approached I approached a maid and asked for fresh linens for His Highness’s room.The sheets were to be wrinkle free.The personal things were to be taken care of by the aristocracy- even if they were – the poor aristocracy.
The bed had a moldy smell as it was not used and it was a long time since the sunlight entered the room. Eeeee, thought, placing a perfume bag would help get rid of the moldy smell or get better! Was the candlestick scraped? You should turn your back! A stain on the carpet? Place a furniture over it to hide it! Was the vase unnatural in the middle of the floor? Consider it a trend in the remote area or the frontier!
By the time I gave the room a decent facelift I was exhausted. I would have liked my father to entertain the guest for dinner. I would never be forgiven if the Prince found his room, not to his liking.
I returned to my room and chose a dress from the wardrobe. I had no fashionable dresses like Teresa. The plain brown dress was my favorite because the dirt could not be seen on it. I tied my hair and put on a light makeup.
I found an unfortunate woman staring from inside the mirror. Even though I had the same face, it was a fact that my personality was not bright like my sister … With a bitter smile, I thought, to an inexperienced woman I would have looked like exactly the same.
“Good…”, I had been directed to the palace as a bride candidate for a young and beautiful prince. I was so ashamed, my face was bright red.
I didn’t like a single aspect of the royal life. I had never longed for a life in a castle. I did not want to have a connection with the upper aristocracy. It was all unnecessary to me at the same time it was also necessary. For some reason, I was saddened to think His Highness had not liked me.
I never drank alcohol, but this time I tasted it.
Even my father, whose anxiety over the last ten days was out of control due to his warm heart, seemed to have drunk too much wine and was a little unsteady even though he was in front of His Highness. It was impossible to get off the alcohol fumes in such a short time. My mother’s eyes were narrowed. There was probably going to be a prohibition of alcohol for the rest of my life in this house.
There were also other drunkards other than my father. A barrel that is not even a bottle in front of Captain Jack. If the captain is a kore, he is also a knight who is a subordinate. I switched from a glass to a mug. Irrespective of whether you were tired after a long journey or not, you had to make an appearance. The maid was running around with wine and beer and the cellar of our house was likely to be empty soon. I gave up on the situation and went away because of the drinking the singing was getting louder and louder.
I was relieved that I did not have to talk directly with His Highness.
When I returned to the room, a bright moonlight was streaming in through the window and I forgot to close the curtain.The moon glitter sat in Midairen, perfect for night dreams… … It was getting cold and I had not directly apologized to His Highness as yet because I was a coward and I preferred to hide.
“Tomorrow they will return to the royal palace. I would like to find the courage by then” I thought.
Since I could not sleep, I slid out of the room secretly. As always whenever my heart was troubled I would go to my favorite garden. I sat down on the bench and took out a small bookmarker from the pocket of my nightdress. The paper had long gone because I was keeping it away during confinement. While stretching the broken corner, I looked at the pressed flower on one side.
In the yard of the manor, I also grew a reel bloom at the foot of the bench. Lilot with a blue small petal seems to deepen its blueness in the moonlight. A cool aroma arrived with the night wind.
“- Good evening Good evening, isn’t the moon beautiful?”
I was shocked when I heard the voice and I did not dare to look back.The footsteps of someone stepping on the earth was getting close to me.“You will get a cold in such light clothes”, said His Highness and placed his jacket on my shoulder to keep me warm.
His highness, Itaku, sat next to me. He was dressed in black pants and a white shirt. I wondered if he had changed his clothes in his room. I thought that all the royal clothes were gold and silver embroidery, but there seemed to be simple clothes as well. Only the Houjou ring was shining in his hands. I had never liked the way the Prince’s hair was combed, but in the royal palace this hairstyle was considered trendy and it always made me feel a little tense.
Was he here to lecture me again? Imagining the scourge to be faced the next day was annoying. I consoled myself.
“Heh, I saw someone heading to the garden, so I followed that figure…Why are you here in the late evening?” asked His Highness. Dark blue eyes were looking straight at me.
…… This is surely the opportunity the Mia God had given me to apologize to His Highness.
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