Chapter 1. Prologue
Translated by soxfxia
It was something that wasn’t mentioned in the original. Perhaps because I seemed surprised, Erdos continued speaking in a voice mixed with laughter.
“Rosiane is a flower that has shared a moment of glory since the founding of the country. It is a name known to all the people of the Empire, and a name known even on a distant continent beyond the Empire.”
“…..My name is….?”
“That’s right, Rosiane. I wanted you to be loved, so I gave you that name.”
Never for a moment did they not love Rossiane. Somehow the tip of my nose was tingling.
“Rosiane, you are a proud Esteria, my beloved daughter, and the only princess of the empire. Even if you’re not good at something, it won’t change anything. So don’t worry too much.”
His eyes, dyed with orange by the sunset, drew me with warmth.
The unbelievable word penetrated deep into my heart.
What is it? What is it with that common word that makes me excited and heartbroken at the same time?
As I was trying not to cry, Erdos gently put me down.
“Whatever you do, we love you. Rosiane.”
The warm voice was enough to melt the frozen day. Tears welled up in my eyes and a strange feeling could be felt in my chin.
Eventually I couldn’t hold back my tears and ended up crying.
I became impatient because the entry time was delayed to soothe me and fix my appearance again.
We were supposed to enter after all the other nobles, but now it was delayed even more.
“I’m sorry, because of me….”
“It’s okay. The main character can enter late.”
His silly joke made me smile.
In front of the door of Bijou Hall, there stood Nanuk, Eryte, Bernique, and Leav, who must have been waiting long ago.
An unknown emotion soared in me when I saw them reaching out to me with a faint smile.
What should I call this? The answer that came out after much thought is, how should I say it, reliability?
I’ve never expected anything from anyone, but I keep on wanting to lean on them.
I, who never and couldn’t rely on anyone, keep on wanting to rely on them.
Even if their affection is for Rosiane, not me.
* * *
As the door opened and Erdos took a step forward, as if planned, the crowd split into two and kneeled, giving courtesy towards the royal family.
It was fortunate that their faces were not visible for now, so I breathed a sigh of relief and loosened my grip on Erdos’ cloak.
In the front of the hall, there was a platform consisting of a total of three sections, with one chair on each side of the lower sections and one chair a little further in the upper section, a total of four chairs.
And in the top section, a golden twinkling crown greeted Erdos with dignity.
Leav and Bernique stopped when they stepped on the first section and Nanuk and Eryte stopped when they reached the second section.
Erdos sat on the throne as naturally as ever. The children sat in chairs as he beckoned.
“Raise your heads.”
Erdos’ low voice expressed his presence in the quiet Bijou Hall. The nobles who were on their knees began to rise one by one.
I watched them in Erdos’ arms.
A lot of people looked straight at me. This was Bernique and Rosiane’s birthday celebration but they must have all come here out of curiosity, malice, or some unknown reason, as it was also the place to announce that Rosiane was awake.
“I would like to express my gratitude to all for attending the birthday banquet of Bernique de Esteria, the third prince, and Rosian de Esteria, the first princess. I hope you can celebrate and enjoy their birthdays.”
The sound of the band’s music, which had been lowered until the end of Erdos’ words, regained its original volume.
A muffled murmur spread through the sound of the music mixed with noise. I didn’t know that people’s eyes would fall from me.
“I see the light of the Empire. Greetings to God from Berten de Vanitas.”
Then, a man comes to the platform and gives his greetings..The man had pink curly hair and friendly eyes. Except for his dark navy blue eyes, he looked just like the boy I saw in the library yesterday.
“Duke of Vanitas.”
Erdos called his name in a very annoyed tone. But the Duke of Vanitas didn’t seem bothered at all.
“I sincerely congratulate His Highness Prince Bernique and Her Highness Princess Rosiane on their birthday.”
His eyes gently bent towards me.
“I can’t believe Her Highness has opened her eyes like this. You look just like His Majesty. Your Highness, Princess.”
Everyone seemed to be paying attention to my answer, wondering if I was an idiot.
That was understandable. There were rumors that even if I woke up I wouldn’t be fully sane, and I had only been awake for half a year.
However, I replied with a smile.
“Because, I am his daughter. Just like how your son looks a lot like you Lord Vanitas.”
Including the oddly unpleasant part.
In my reply, Eryte suddenly grabbed his belly and giggled, and when he saw Nanuk, who gave him a look, he closed his mouth.
“Hoho, have you ever seen my son?”
“Yes, we met in the library.”
Now that I think about it, his tone of voice yesterday was somehow sarcastic. Like ‘This book must be difficult, but you dare to read it?’ Should I say it feels the same right now?
“Well, that’s good. Since my son is here too, may he formally greet you?”
I glanced up at Erdos. He looked down at me and waved his hand.
“Maybe next time. My daughter seems to be tired.”
“Please don’t say that, just this once—.”
At that moment, Erdos exuded a breathtakingly strong energy. The Duke of Vanitas, whose face had lost its color, stepped back and bowed his head. His head looked like cotton candy when I only saw the top of his round head.
“Ahem, then we’ll greet you next time.”
Blushing, he stepped away from the platform.
“How dare you to whose daughter…..”
Erdos murmured quietly. When I saw Erdos’ reaction, which was in line with Bernique and Leav’s reactions, I remembered the moment I had forgotten.
It was a moment when the strange sense of deja vu that I felt from the first time I saw it was revealed on the surface.
Why did I forget about this?
Perhaps the reason why the royal family is hostile to him is because they implicitly know that he is a candidate for Rosiane’s husband.
The second son of the Duke of Vanitas and Rosiane are engaged. To be more precise, the girl who entered the Imperial Castle when Nanuk turned 17.
Only now did I remember the incident of a girl receiving the name of the deceased Rosiane, growing up as a princess, and getting betrothed to the second son of the Duke of Vanitas.
Of course he [Prince!] He was a common villain in the First Prince series, but now that I was Rosiane, I couldn’t write it off as much.
But now that I’m living as Rosiane, will the same thing happen? What will happen to me when that child appears? Will she come to the Imperial Castle just like in the original work?
If not then……..
Ha, I don’t know. Just because I’ve been like this for half a year, I feel so miserable.
As much as I don’t want to go back, I don’t want to be taken away by anyone.
Erdos hugged me closer and soothed me, perhaps because he felt my body tremble.
“Rosiane, are you okay?”
The gentle way of speaking stopped my trembling. I nodded, looking as pale as the day.
The banquet hall was in silence from the moment Erdos uttered his words. I got down from his arms unable to bear the gazes on me.
“I want to get some fresh air.”
He rose from his seat at the sound of my terrible trembling voice. I sat him down again and shook my head.
A lot of these people came for me and Bernique, but when I said that shouldn’t the owner of the castle keep his seat, he called Nanuk instead.
“Go for a walk in the garden until Rosiane calms down.”
Nanuk easily picked me up and left the Bijou Hall with a sharp gaze on his face. When I buried my face on his shoulder, his soft hands gently stroked my hair.
Nanuk put me in the chair in front of the fountain and sat next to me.
“Have you calmed down?”
When I nodded silently, Nanuk stood up saying he would bring a drink.
But I don’t want to be alone. My hand reflexively stretched out to grab him. However, before I could reach him I withdrew my hands thinking he wouldn’t like it if I became bothersome.
“I’ll be right back.”
Staring at his leaving back, I pulled my knees close and buried my face.
“I see the light of the Empire. I am the second son of the Duke of Vanitas, Simad de Vanitas.”
Suddenly, a familiar voice spoke to me.
As I looked up, Simad de Vanitas’ friendly face filled my vision. Because he was standing in front of me with his knees bent.
“I was rude to you yesterday. Your Highness, may I sit next to you?”
“If I say no, you won’t sit down?”
His eyes bent into a half moon shape and he proceeded to sit next to me.
“If it’s an imperial order I will do as you say, if it’s not, I’ll sit down.”
What a brazen and nasty thing to say.
I turned my head to the other side and waited for Nanuk to come.
“You seem to quite hate me, Your Highness.”
I looked back at him, who suddenly spoke in a pitiful tone. The soft eyes were shining pitifully.
“It’s not like that, I just simply want to be alone.”
Just now, I had been thinking that I didn’t want to be alone, however I lied to him out of good will. Then the tail of Simad’s mouth rose heavily.
“That’s a relief.”
He smiled shyly. His cheeks were blushing like a boy who met his first love.
“Have you read my book?”
My book? I looked at him with slowly blinking eyes, then he continued with a languid look on his chin.
“The “Psychology of Human Relations” book.”
“No, not yet, but was the book written by Master Vanitas?”
When I gave him a suspicious look, he gently lowered his gaze and whispered.
“It’s a little hobby. More than that, you may call me Simad.”
He said, meeting my eyes again. Unlike the duke, dark scarlet eyes shone clearly under the darkness.
“I like Master Vanitas.”
[ ‘like’ as in she prefers to call him that]
I expressed my firm refusal because we were not close enough for me to call his name and I also did not want to cause any misunderstanding.
Suddenly his eyes sparkled playfully.
“You like me?”
Just as I was about to frown at his pointless pun, Nanuk appeared with a glass of juice in both hands, uttering his name.
His face, which was usually expressionless, was filled with clear hostility and displeasure.
It’s the first time I’ve ever seen his eyes like that, so I froze, but Young Master Vanitas greeted him with a smile as if used to it.
However Nanuk, who lightly ignored the greeting, only said a few words in a deadly voice.
“Who likes who?”
A cold silence filled the garden.