Marquis’s Daughter’s Grief
The first time I met him, it felt like lightning struck me.
Beautiful Crown Prince with blond hair and blue eyes as if he came out of a story. I wanted to become special someone to him, who never broke his gentle smile.
When I’ve heard there’d be an evening party Crown Prince would attend, I earnestly request Older Brother who has just succeeded the peerage to participate.
It will be the first time in several months I meet Crown Prince.
Seeing his figure, my chest trembled from joy.
At the same time, I saw the woman he was escorting and felt unbearable agony.
It happened only a month ago.
The position of Crown Prince’s fiancée that had been empty until then became the Prime Minister’s daughter’s, both in name and reality.
“It’s His Majesty’s decision”
The regretful voice of Father who’d handed his rank to Older Brother felt like it was thrusting me into darkness.
His Highness the Crown Prince’s fiancée candidate.
I am one of the many such candidates.
Still, I wasn’t different from other candidates.
Perhaps I could have become Crown Prince’s wife. Even if the possibility was low, I dreamt of that alone and spared no effort every day. I would always attend evening parties Crown Prince attended and continued appealing to him.
I do not want to be confused with women who crowded around Crown Prince who could only rely on their beautiful faces and social position.
Although I fell in love with his beautiful face when I was young, every day I’ve devoted myself to becoming a worthy woman.
Thanks to my efforts, I believe my position as the fiancée candidate has recently considerably raised.
A little longer, if I persevere a little longer I might be able to get close to Crown Prince.
I thought so, and yet.
“His Highness’s fiancée has been decided to be Duke Vivoir’s daughter, Lady Lidiana.
Father’s words were more than enough to plunge me into despair.
Duke Vivoir’s daughter.
The woman whose name was always first on the list of Crown Prince’s fiancée candidates.
I have never met her. The rumors say due to a weak constitution, she seldom appears at evening parties.
And yet, in practice she boasts immense popularity among young ladies who know her, and among men she is called Phantom Princess, an unattainable flower who gathers longing gazes.
Her pedigree is number one in this country. Her father is the Prime Minister and the leading duke. Her older brother is Crown Prince’s close aide, there’s nothing more to wish for from a family.
I am from a marquis house myself, but it cannot compare to Vivoir Ducal house.
And she’s the only daughter of the house that is so different.
If she weren’t feeble, she would have been announced Crown Prince’s fiancée already. Nevertheless, the engagement hasn’t been carried out until now, and the rumor began that like this it would come to nothing. At such time.
“Father… Is what you have said true?”
I returned a question in a trembling voice. Feelings of not wanting to believe it filled me.
“It’s the truth. We were convened today. Tomorrow senior statesmen will gather in the Royal Castle for the engagement ceremony”
I couldn’t keep up with the sudden unexpected turn the talk took.
I have never heard of an engagement ceremony as soon as the fiancée was decided.
“I haven’t told you this, but it’s been a little while since His Highness’s fiancée was decided. But, I didn’t know whether His Highness would accept it. I kept silent until the very last minute… I did something wrong to you”
Father, who was aware of my feelings for Crown Prince had an apologetic expression.
“No… For Father to apologize…”
“I’ve also had the opportunity to advice His Majesty several times. But everything except this time was useless… It seems His Majesty wanted to respect His Highness’s wishes”
A gasp escaped my throat.
Reflexively I covered my mouth.
“That’s right. Per His Highness strong wishes, the engagement ceremony will be held tomorrow, and the wedding ceremony after half a year. There’s no way for us to overturn it already”
Marriage ceremony after half a year… I could only be surprised by how early it is.
I asked to confirm in a voice that wouldn’t stop trembling.
“Was what Crown Prince desired, um, the princess of the ducal house?”
“His Majesty said so. With that princess as the opponent, there was nothing to be said”
It’s not possible to compete with the foremost ducal house.
From the start she was the prime candidate. The opponent I can’t raise an objection against.
If the engagement with that young lady is desired by Crown Prince, overturning it shouldn’t be possible.
I hung my head and bit my lip.
Desired by Crown Prince――――, those words tore my heart to pieces more than anything.
“… I wonder if Crown Prince was acquainted with Lady Lidiana…”
It was me who attended every evening party Crown Prince attended. Since I have never met her there, I think it should be the same for Crown Prince.
“According to His Majesty’s story, it seems it was only recently that they met. I’ve heard that His Highness fell in love at first sight. From the start she was the number one fiancée candidate, His Majesty even said, I wish they had met earlier”
“Love at first sight…”
“I have to attend the engagement ceremony tomorrow. And, Milly”
I had an unpleasant premonition from Father’s serious look.
“Engagement proposals are coming to you… Do you understand what I mean?”
I tightly shut my eyes and nodded.
As expected… Once the possibility of engagement with Crown Prince disappeared, I have to quickly marry another man.
It’s something I knew, but I felt my chest painfully tighten.
“Good. Then withdraw”
“… Good night, Father”
I said my farewell and left Father’s room. Somehow, I managed to get back to my room, but that was it.
I lost strength in my legs and collapsed.
“Why… Why could it not be me?”
Tears spilled over in streaks.
Suddenly I was made aware of Crown Prince’s first love and engagement.
I intended to convey my love to the best of my ability, yet without being pushy.
I wanted him to look at me even a little.
Even so, Crown Prince’s smile I received was no different to the one everybody received, I certainly understood he had not one bit of interest looking into his eyes.
Even so, that was fine…
If it’s the same towards everybody, I didn’t mind that.
That’s fine if I could take the position next to him.
I have dreamed of the day I would have the ‘King’s Flower’ carved on my chest. Even if I weren’t loved, I wanted to have the proof of being his carved.
“The beloved person… something like this”
Moreover, the other party is someone I could never surpass. The duke’s daughter whose name was always first as the fiancée candidate. I’ve heard she had a weak constitution, and yet. I don’t care about that, I fell in love, I wonder if he said that.
“… I want to see what kind of woman she is…”
Putting it into words I strengthened my resolve.
I want to see the woman who stole Crown Prince’s heart.
I don’t really think I can do anything. If Crown Prince is okay with it, I have no right to oppose. However.
I want to confirm that lucky duke’s daughter with my own eyes. Otherwise, I won’t be able to accept it.
I strongly felt so.
I absolutely won’t get agitated.
Resolving myself like this, I arrived here – at the victory celebration party venue.
Wearing my favorite dress, I waited for Crown Prince’s entrance with bated breath.
A commotion spread across the venue in an instant, and then it fell completely silent.
It was apparent everybody’s gazes were focused on the eagerly awaited Crown Prince and… his fiancée.
Nobody around paid attention to Crown Prince’s gentler than usual smile, every young lady stared at his fiancée next to him. Even though seeing him look like this for the first time gouged my heart, I clenched my first and somehow tried to see the woman’s face.
Shock shot through me. Although she is slender, just as the rumors say she’s a beautiful dignified woman.
Her straightened back and dignified bearing are by no means inferior to Crown Prince at her side.
The rumors said she had a weak constitution, but I can’t see anything frail about her. Eyes of amethyst color with strong intent are looking straight ahead in defiance of gazes of the surroundings.
As expected of the only daughter of the foremost ducal house. Despite her young age, the education given to her was perfect, the surroundings could only spontaneously sigh in admiration.
But, what’s important to me is not the appearance of that woman.
What shocked me more than anything was her chest.
Below the collarbone on the left side of her chest a breathtaking vivid blue rose was in full bloom, that was an undeniable fact.
It seems I wasn’t the only one shocked.
All around I could hear the sounds of muffled shrieks.
No surprise. We’ve heard the engagement ceremony concluded with the fiancée being officially decided, but by no means anybody could expect she would already be granted the ‘King’s Flower’.
The ‘King’s Flower’ is the proof of Princess Consort. As it already exists, this engagement will not be overturned no matter what. The shrieks were from women who knew that.
When I’ve heard from Brother, who’s serving as the leader of Primera Chivalric Order, was that Crown Prince and his fiancée spent a night together, I didn’t believe it thinking what kind of joke it is.
Virginity is regarded as highly important for the wedding ceremony with royalty. Before the wedding ceremony concluded, I thought that shouldn’t be possible.
However, the story is different if the ‘King’s Flower’ is granted.
She still has the ceremony before her, but she’s already been recognized by His Majesty as the real Princess Consort, that’s how it is.
And, since she’s Princess Consort naturally there’s no problem with spending time with her husband.
Seeing the beautiful blue rose from distance, my vision blurred with tears.
It’s the decisive proof of being Crown Prince’s. It’s the only thing I wished for no matter what.
I couldn’t suppress my vexation that it’s already on another woman.
While I was fixedly gazing at them, Crown Prince escorted her and had her sit on the Crown Princess’s seat.
As the ‘King’s Flower’ is there, it’s a proper conduct nobody can complain about.
Everyone was observing the two of them without looking away, but the people themselves didn’t seem to care and began cheerfully talking.
Of course, there’s no way to understand what they’re saying.
But after she said something, Crown Prince narrowed his eyes and happily smiled.
Seeing this Crown Prince’s expression for the first time I thought my breath would stop.
Crown Prince, who only had one undisturbed expression no matter which woman was before him, showed a smile reserved only for his fiancée.
This was something I wanted to see no matter what.
His eyes are only looking at his fiancée.
Finally, he dropped a kiss on her forehead, and furthermore directed a charmed, sweet smile at her.
Shrieks arose across the venue, but I didn’t care about hat.
Looking at his attitude towards his fiancée, I felt I understood the real meaning of His Highness desiring something for the first time.
―――― Crown Prince found it. The only one for him.
Although I despaired over it, her attitude was on my mind.
… I understand Crown Prince.
I don’t want to admit it, but he must love his fiancée.
It’s unpleasant, but I could understand it even in this brief time. But, what about his partner?
I don’t mean she hates him. The happy expression she directs at Crown Prince can’t be seen as hate.
But, I couldn’t see it as the expression that harbors the same feelings as Crown Prince’s.
She seemed absolutely undisturbed by Crown Prince’s sweet smile and maintained her composed attitude.
“… What does it mean?”
No doubt she’s loved by Crown Prince and was recognized as Princess Consort, there surely wouldn’t… be a stupid story like this.
But, I can’t help but think there’s a difference in degree of enthusiasm between them.
Compared to Crown Prince, who’s assertively trying to interact with his fiancée, no matter how I look at it she seems to be lacking interest.
“… What’s this”
Even though she got what I wanted so much.
Even though it’s the only thing I desired.
Why does this woman stay so calm.
A small fire lit up in my chest. In the twinkling of an eye it spread and engulfed me.
I surrendered myself to this violent emotion and while clenching my fists intently glared at the woman.
I knew it was an unseemly jealousy, but I couldn’t stop it, nor did I intend to.
That’s why, I haven’t noticed.
I never would have thought there would be a person observing such me with a smile.
“… Found you”