She and Her Mother
“Ara ara, this one is wonderful as well”
“Rosina, I think this one would also suit your daughter”
“Truly. She will stand next to His Highness, so I want to make her as beautiful as possible”
“Of course. I intend to put all my skill into making her a breathtaking beauty, so please look forward to that day”
“I am counting on you, Clara”
In front of me Mother and Clara were frolicking just like young girls.
Unable to keep up with them shillyshallying about jewels and happily chattering, I could only obediently be a dress-up doll.
The day after the King’s Flower grew.
Freed, who far from not letting me go when dawn broke, didn’t separate from me even when morning came, was urged by Clara from across the door that it’s time (probably they conversed via telepathic communication) and finally finished the act without even trying to hide his unwillingness.
“… I wanted to embrace you more”
Freed sighed bitterly. Languid, I rubbed my eyes while inside his arms.
“Isn’t it enough… I’m sleepy…”
In the end, I didn’t get a wink of sleep, so I’m unbearably sleepy.
Even if my body isn’t in pain, what makes me sleepy makes me sleepy. Also, my hips somehow feel heavy.
Well, if that’s all after being embraced all night long, then certainly the King’s Flower’s power is not something to scoff at. Or rather, I feel without it I really would have been crushed in his embrace.
Considering that, I can’t thank enough the first king who created the King’s Flower secret art.
I feel like otherwise no partner would be able to go along with the monstrous matchless stamina.
“It’s not enough at all… This is not enough to convey my love”
“… Jeez, I recognize it, so it’s fine”
Eiya, I pinched dissatisfied Freed’s cheek.
Ouch, Freed’s voice as he said so was mushily sweet as ever.
“I want to neglect the government affairs and embrace Lidi…”
“I don’t need a husband who doesn’t work”
As Freed’s words unpleasantly reminded me of yesterday’s King’s line, I remonstrated him in a fluster.
It’s okay to ignore work so try to conceive… That won’t do.
Or rather, I won’t last, in various ways.
While I wanted to be spared no matter what, Freed fixedly stared at me.
Feeling like my thoughts were exposed, I was shocked for a moment.
“Does Lidi like men who work?”
As Freed asked with a relatively serious face, thinking that I guess I do, I nodded.
“Err… I do… Or rather, I think people who work with utmost effort are cool”
“Hmph… If Lidi think that’s cool, I guess I’ll do my best…”
“… Well, Freed is cool as is”
I muttered the last line inaudibly. Still, his sharp ears seem to have picked it up.
He happily smiled and tightly hugged me.
“Thank you. Lidi, you’re cute no matter what you do”
“Your Highness! It’s time”
Just when we were about to kiss, Clara’s loud voice resounded.
At that moment we both stopped moving.
Good grief, Freed shrugged his shoulders with a smile in his eyes.
“If it continues, she might just break into this room. It can’t be helped. I’m going”
Freed lightly put his lips on my forehead and got up from bed. He quickly put on a robe and left the bedroom.
I also sloppily put on the stripped and scattered around night clothes and once again crawled into bed.
I’m truly grateful that I’m just sleepy and there’s nothing like strange muscle pain.
“Fuaaaa. Sleepy… I’ll sleep just a little…”
I’ll be desired tonight anyway. Lack of sleep is the enemy of skin. At least I want to sleep a little in the morning.
While comfortably falling asleep, I listened to Freed’s voice letting Clara enter the room.
“Princess Consort, please wake up soon”
“Nn? … Nnnh?”
I heard Clara’s voice nearby. I frowned and turned over. My consciousness dimly awakened.
Still half asleep, I called out to the owner of the voice.
“Good morning, Princess Consort. I apologize for not giving you enough sleep, but there are plans for today. You have to get up soon…”
“Plans? Ah… I see”
Clara’s words made me recall my afternoon schedule today.
Today I’ll be trying on the wedding dress for the ceremony that will take place in two months. That said, I didn’t choose the design. It seems the style of the dress worn for a wedding ceremony has been the same for a long time. The dress was made earlier by the purveyor to the Royal Family, but I’m honestly very happy about it now.
―――― After all is said and done, I’m marrying my beloved.
“Today your mother will be here too, so if you could get ready a little earlier than usual…”
“I know. I’m sorry, I’ll get up now…”
It must be a consideration for me who’ll become a bride. The female parent, that is Mother, was allowed to participate in today’s dress fitting.
The Queen is also scheduled to participate, but it seems she’ll be a little late. She informed she will head there as soon as her official business is over.
Basically, today’s event is off-limits for men. Of course, Freed who’ll be the bridegroom is not allowed to enter either.
He will see me in the dress on the day of the wedding ceremony.
I pressed down on my head that didn’t yet function well and raised my body.
Taking it as a cue, Clara began moving briskly.
I stretched grandly. Looks like today will be busy.
“Lidi, it’s been a long time. I wonder if you’re well”
“Mother, I haven’t seen you for a long time”
In the afternoon I moved to the dressing room. Already waiting for me were several clothing and accessories craftsmen, and Mother.
Mother, who I see for the first time in a while, is wearing a dress in subdued colors and has her hair done up prettily.
Mother was surprised as her gaze stopped at my chest for a moment, but without saying anything she simply hugged me.
“You’re not yet married… so come back home every once in a while”
My eyes moistened from Mother revealing her true feelings that she feels a little lonesome.
I’m totally happy to marry Freed, but entering the Royal Palace also means I won’t be able to freely return to the ducal residence.
Thinking so, I immediately felt lonesome.
“I will come home once before long…”
“Please do. But… Have His Highness accept it properly, okay?”
Even though I nodded, I wonder if Freed will really let me go home so easily.
We’re talking about that embodiment of obsession, Freed. In the worst case he may follow, and if not, he will come pick me up in the evening without enduring. Well, I’m happy to be picked up, so it’s fine.
Then Mother separated from me and, looking at Clara’s figure behind me, she opened her eyes wide and stiffened.
Clara was similar, but she uncomfortably lowered her gaze.
“E, err… Mother?”
No good, neither responds.
Unable to withstand the space where nobody speaks, I looked at Mother. Speaking of Mother, she still had her eyes fixed on Clara without making any movements. Tears quickly gathered in her dark brown eyes.
Hearing Clara call her Madam, Mother spilled tears that she couldn’t hold back any longer. As if her not moving an inch before was a lie, she ran up to Clara and hugged her.
“Don’t call me so reservedly… Clara. I missed you”
Clara wrapped her arms back around Mother who spoke in a tearful voice. Her arms were trembling.
“Rosina… I am sorry… It was my fault”
“We were the same in that regard… I was always regretting. Why I didn’t talk to you some more at that time…”
“Aah, Clara. I’m happy to meet you”
Overcome with emotion, both began weeping. Hugging to comfort each other, they continued silently crying.
What is this. This air that feels like I’ve been left behind.
It’s extremely uncomfortable. Strange, I should play the leading part today, and yet what in the world is this.
Surely there must have been some circumstances between Mother and Clara. And I don’t really get it, but I’m sure they got resolved.
I get that. But I could only be flabbergasted how they took no notice of me. Especially because until just before it was a typical “Lidi!” “Mother!” reunion between a parent and child.
Still, sensing it’s an atmosphere I mustn’t disturb, I read the air and decided to obediently wait.
I exchanged looks with the craftsmen preparing the dress ordering them to wait for a while.
They were as perplexed as I was, and while taken aback by the look in my eyes they nodded.
Finally satisfied, the two separated, on their faces remained cheerful smiles.
Mother looked back and told me.
“I’m sorry, Lidi. Today is a day for your sake, and yet…”
“Ah, no, it’s alright. Mother. Umm… Is everything okay now?”
When I nervously asked, Clara answered instead.
“I apologize for involving you in our personal affairs. Princess Consort. I will accept the punishment…”
“No, I do not particularly mind … However, is the problem resolved?”
“Then it’s good. I have kept you waiting. Please begin”
For now, let’s proceed as planned. Thinking so, I called out to the craftsmen who were waiting.
The place had become a mess. And so, I have to take control.
I thought so, but――――.
“Ara? This jewel suits Lidi”
“What are you saying, Rosina. This one will absolutely suit your daughter’s eye color!”
They started getting along perfectly well (because they’d made up?) and began chattering just like two girls.
Of course, their target is me. They marveled at me who put on the temporarily sewed dress, and as soon as the craftsmen asked about the preference regarding jewelry, their conversation began.
Like this one suits me… and so on.
It’s great they’re having fun, but how should I put it, I can’t keep up with their enthusiasm.
Mother happily asked me.
“Lidi. Which Lidi prefers? You haven’t said anything for a while”
“N, no… Whichever…”
I know Mother and Clara don’t have bad tastes.
Both are having fun, so I think it’s fine to let them choose.
I’ll also be happy to wear what Mother chooses.
I faced the craftsmen and said.
“I will wear what my mother chooses. Please listen to their opinions”
“Is that fine?”
“Yeah… I think it’s wonderful to do that. Is that fine? Mother”
When I confirmed with Mother, she blinked her eyes.
“What I choose? Lidi, your wedding is a once in a lifetime event? Won’t you regret it?”
“Yeah. That is why I want Mother to choose for me. Is it strange?”
Told so with a smile, Mother’s eyes certainly moistened for a moment.
“… I’m happy. Then I have to put my utmost effort into choosing. Clara, could you help me?”
“Yeah, of course. I promise to make your daughter shine the most”
“Fufu, you are reliable… Truly, I’m glad you are on Lidi’s side. Please take care of this child”
“Yeah. I will give your daughter enough support for us two”
Mother and Clara smiled together. It’s a beautiful female friendship. And there’s still no place for me.
But well, both Mother and Clara were happily smiling, so while thinking that it’s fine, I smiled together with them.
Unfortunately, the fitting finished without the Queen making it due to the official business dragging on. I received a message from the Queen asking if we could have another fitting tomorrow and while at it have a tea party; because there was no particular problem, I replied that I accept. She’ll become my mother-in-law. I want us to get along.
When Mother was about to go home, she once again hugged me and said.
“Be happy with His Highness. You love His Highness, right?”
“I am looking forward to the ceremony. But as I said before, please come home once in a while. I’m lonely”
While I was tightly hugged by Mother, Clara called out to her.
“It’s about time… Princess Consort. I will guide your mother to the carriage”
Clara reconnected with Mother who had been her friend, still she drew a line at me.
It must be her pride as the Head Court Lady. I didn’t say anything.
“Yeah, I will be fine. I’m tired, so I will go back to the room and get some rest. A royal guard will send me back, so don’t worry. Please take care of my mother”
Having seen them off, I also returned to the room guided by a royal guard.
It’s evening. There’s still time until supper.
I collapsed onto bed.
“… Let’s take a nap”
For now, I’m tired from various things happening.
In the end I slept like a log until Freed returned from the office and woke me up.