Chapter 1. Prologue
It would be strange to refuse for no reason when he openly suggested it.
“Do you want to go with me, Lady Abdrach?”
“To go together with Your Highness, there is no greater honor than this.”
I thought she would refuse, but surprisingly, she got up from her seat and approached me. Eventually, even Bernique joined and four people went for a walk.
“Rosiane, aren’t you cold?”
“It’s not as cold as I thought. Maybe because it’s daytime, even the sunlight is really nice.”
“That’s a relief, Sister.”
It’s indeed a little chilly, but it was just to the point of refreshing.
“Rosiane, your scarf is loose.”
Bernique, who stopped, came in front of me and adjusted my scarf again.
There are dozens of ways to wear a scarf, and in that regard, it was a very great help for me who was very terrible at it.
“Brother, rather than like that, doing it like this—”
“No, it’s like this—”
“Wait, this is—”
“Is that so? I think you’re right.”
Rather than the two who started a discussion over my scarf, I looked up at the piercing gaze I felt.
Lady Abdrach’s purple eyes were staring at me. Come to think of it, it’s been 10 minutes since we took a walk, but she hasn’t said a word.
“Aren’t you cold, my lady?”
When I asked while looking at her neck which was empty, she said, in a voice as coy as her face.
“Are you showing off your fox scarf right now? If that’s the case, I have a lot, too. My father buys me one almost every day.”
As if she had been polite, her attitude changed completely from when my dad was present.
“I was just asking because you looked cold.”
When I replied while scratching my head, The lady turned her head. Then she hesitated for a while, and then opened her mouth with red cheeks.
“By the way, did Prince Nanuk not come?”
“I guess you didn’t hear. My brother entered the academy.”
Lady Abdrach looked at me with her cat-like eyes wide open.
“I didn’t hear about it. The academy?”
“Yes. If brother comes to the palace, I think it’ll only be on the national festival.”
Since he wants to graduate early, even if he can go out, I don’t think he will.
At my answer, Lady Abdrach’s face changed, as if she would cry. It was amazing that it was all acting.
“I see the glory of the empire. So there’s a coincidence like this, Your Highness the Princess.”
As I turned my head to the voice coming from the back, Young Master Vanitas smiled and made eye contact.
“It looks like you’re taking a walk, am I right?”
“Yes, that’s right but…… Don’t tell me, are you going to take a walk as well?”
At my uneasy voice, Young Master Vanitas lowered his eyes deeply then furtively raised his eyelids. My appearance was captured intact on his calm scarlet-colored eyes.
“Then, may I walk with you? I was just about to take a walk as well.”
“It seems that the Young Master has poor eyesight?”
Bernique, who finally tied my scarf beautifully, suddenly stepped in front of me and asked. In other words, ‘We’re right in front of you and you dare talk to Rosiane?’
“I must’ve been blinded by the beauty of Her Highness the Princess.”
At Young Master Vanitas, who replied with a big smile, I suddenly felt nauseous. To say such a thing without blinking, as expected he’s an amazing fellow.
At that moment, Bernique stared at Young Master Vanitas with a rare flustered look, perhaps at a loss for words.
“Everyone becomes like that when they’re by my sister’s side.”
Suddenly, Leav agreed with those words.
“You must have a good eye.”
As expected, he didn’t forget to be sarcastic as well.
Eventually, the strange combination of me, Bernique, Leav, Young Master Vanitas, and Lady Abdrach, took a walk.
“Not too long ago, my sister magically blew up the balcony of the drawing room.”
“You don’t know how talented Rosiane is with magic. It was really amazing.”
“As expected, Her Highness is outstanding in many ways.”
When the three people who formed a strange consensus chatted brightly with a topic about me, Lady Abdrach was only walking, without even saying a word.
I didn’t want to join that awful talk, so I furtively slowed down my walk.
The three men were so focused on their talk that they didn’t even know I fell back and went on their way, discussing enthusiastically.
“Your Highness is very popular.”
Suddenly, Lady Abdrach spoke to me.
“If it’s popularity, isn’t the Lady also amazing?”
The only daughter of a duke and a splendid appearance, those were conditions that can attract people wherever she goes. If she makes her debut, her popularity will probably soar.
In fact, in the future, she was praised by numerous Young Masters until her engagement with Nanuk was announced.
“That’s a fact of course. What kind of guy would refuse me, right?”
She spoke so confidently that my head nodded automatically.
“Haa, but why………”
Deep sorrow sank into the face of Lady Abdrach.
“Why doesn’t His Highness Nanuk like me?”
That’s probably because you don’t have the impression of a crown princess in Nanuk’s standards.
Even so, I couldn’t tell you the truth straight, so I chose to say anything.
“….. Because you’re not his type…..?”
“That’s what I’m saying! How can I not be his type?”
Um. I lost my words due to her overflowing self-love.
Just in time, perhaps he was done hunting, Eryte ran out of the forest, with something on his side. Thanks to that, our conversation naturally ended.
The three men who had walked all the way in the front realized that I and Lady Abdrach were lagging behind and came running.
“Brother? What’s that?”
Leav quietly stared at the thing hanging from Eryte’s hand. Huh? I opened my eyes wide and looked at the person in his hand.
“Eryte don’t tell me, did you kill someone?”
Even if you’re a prince.
“No! What are you thinking?! I just picked this up!”
I can’t believe you picked up a person. I silently looked down at the drooping girl of my age.
The white hair drooped and was getting dragged on the floor.
Ah. A bad feeling covered my feet.
“Hey, wake up! Hey!!”
Eryte tried to wake the girl up by shaking her violently.
Originally, it was my dad who first discovered her. He went to the forest to hunt and saw her collapsed and took her, it seems that its because my father is in the barracks right now because of me, so she was found by Eryte.
When I saw the murky eyes of the girl together with her small groan, I caught my breath. The fake Rosiane, who I didn’t want to appear, eventually appeared.
That is, in the hands of the person who noticed her trick in the future and killed her.
Based on what I read in the [Prince!] series, Baron Freiselben was a very sly and inhumane person.
In order to get his share, he constantly brainwashed his daughter from an early age, and he engraved cruel words deep inside her heart so that she could not question his actions herself.
In other words, Aie de Freiselben is a big victim of emotional abuse. Of course, that doesn’t mean that her sins will disappear.
The events such as manipulating Lady Abdrach with her snake-like tongue, or changing her target to Eryte, who received the crown prince position that Nanuk put down, and manipulated his lover.
But will it be the same even now? A lot has already changed starting from the part that I am alive.
“I am Aie de Freiselben, the daughter of Baron Freiselben.”
Looking at her half lowered eyes as if she was embarrassed and red cheeks, made me feel confused.
“But what were you doing in the forest like that?”
“It’s embarrassing, but my body is weak, so I often faint. If it weren’t for Your Highness, I would have been in big trouble. I thank you with all my heart.”
“Is that so?”
Eryte scratched the back of his head awkwardly, and the child grabbed his hand with a very pure expression.
“Your Highness is my lifesaver. Can you please give me a chance to return the favor?”
“No, I don’t need it.”
When Eryte gently pulled out his hand and spoke, the atmosphere sank to the point where no one could open their mouths.
Except Leav who sneered.
“Rosiane, I’ll definitely catch a bigger animal than dad’s bear, so look forward to it!”
Eryte turned around, then faced towards me, as he shouted and he ran fast and disappeared into the forest again.
No, what is he going to do….. I sighed after glancing at the child who froze, her figure was still the same as when she grabbed Eryte’s hand.
“My goodness, what is this.”
Lady Abdrach, who was watching the series of events on one side, muttered.
“Were you perhaps saying that to me?”
Tears formed around the eyes of the child who was bowing her head, as if they were going to flow down at any minute now.
Suddenly I realized that the major villains of the 1st Prince in the [Prince!] series had gathered, I looked at the confrontation between the two interestingly.
“Well, you can think whatever you want. Let’s go, Your Highness the Princess.”
Lady Abdrach, who coyly retorted, approached me. With bleary eyes, I wondered what in the world she was thinking, being friendly to me.
Still, seeing the two future conspirators in disagreement at their first meeting somehow made me feel at ease.
* * *
The banquet was held in a lighter atmosphere than usual. Although the weather is still a bit cold, the banquet hall
and the garden was decorated, making it perfect to move around.
While chewing the bite-sized meat pie, I heard stories about what Eryte caught during the day.
“So far, I’ve probably caught more than 30 deers?”
At the huge number, I was worried that the animals living in this forest would run out and pretended to be sulky.
“Eryte, you said you’d catch a bear for me, but why did you catch so many deers only?”
“Uh…. There was no bear bigger than the bear dad caught though…? Ah, this won’t do! Rosiane, this brother will catch you a bear right now!”
Eryte disappeared through the garden without time to stop him. I shook my head after thinking for a while if I should chase after him. No matter how much I run to catch that jerk, it’s impossible.
“Huh? What about brother?”
Bernique, who had disappeared to get drinks, returned with an unbelievable sight. Bernique and Leav each brought dozens of different drinks on the tray.
“Are you going to fill your stomach with drinks?”
“I was going to take the orange juice because you like it, but brother said you liked raspberry juice, so we just brought several kinds.”
‘One of these will probably have one that suits your tastes’
Is that it?
“Isn’t it heavy? Why don’t you put it down for now?”
“This much is fine. Rosiane, you’re going to drink raspberry juice, right?”
“Sister, you’re going to drink orange juice right?”
The two put a tray in front of me at the same time. They faced each other generating a spark.
“Little brother, can’t you see Rosiane’s expression saying she likes raspberries?”
“You don’t know much, brother. That expression is a craving for oranges.”
“You’re the one who’s so ignorant, my cute little brother. There’s nothing like fresh and bouncy raspberries that goes well with Rosiane.”
“Brother is the one whose ignorance pierces the sky. There’s nothing like coy and sweet oranges that goes well with sister.”
I don’t think you should discuss ignorance. The fight between the two is looking to become a long term battle.
When they were arguing like that, I couldn’t see my surroundings, so I just thought that I should go to my dad and then took a step.
However, my father was sitting with his chin propped as if he was bored and was talking to the nobles, making it difficult to talk to him.
“Should I go take a walk……”
I should also look for Eryte.
Unlike the banquet hall, where the temperature inside was controlled by magic, the garden was quite chilly in the evening. If it weren’t for my shawl, I definitely would’ve had to go back.
“Are you going for a walk?”
Lora, who was on standby, quickly followed.
“Does Lora want to go as well?”
“Yes, of course. It’s temporary, but an escort is an escort.”
She replied brightly with a wink. We passed by a fountain full of chocolate and a fountain filled with red wine and went slightly deeper into the garden.
Even in winter, the fresh Rosiane flowers entertained the eyes. As I walked, I arrived in front of a white gazebo with a semi-transparent canopy.
It seemed to be an appropriate place to take a rest as there were no people since it was a place about a five minute walk from the garden.
“Let’s take a break here.”
I sat on a soft chair, swinging my feet, when the bushes on one side of the garden rustled and shook roughly.
“How strange, it’s not even windy.”
“It’s a person.”
Lora calmly said as she looked at the head with a leaf that popped up between the bushes.
I thought that I was quite familiar with the hair color that repeatedly went up and down intermittently, indicating their presence, the one who raised their head to show their face was Aie de Freiselben.
[tn: Aie is pronounced as ‘Ai’]