She and the Irvine Kingdom 4
Of course, he wouldn’t outright say that in front of a foreign royal who we weren’t particularly close with, but the silent pressure on me was terrible.
―― Freed, you don’t need to worry though, I’m not interested in anybody but you.
I explained that with my gaze for dear life.
Perhaps satisfied that I noticed, to my relief Freed returned the expression on his face to normal.
―― Yup. Let’s be careful.
It wasn’t a romantic look, but it’s better not to displease Freed.
Freed is troublesome when provoked. To be specific, he’s persistent at sex on the following night. I don’t want such a play after coming to a foreign country, so I reflected from the bottom of my heart that I need to be more careful about my actions.
“Um… I don’t mind.”
Edward, who seemed to have heard my and Freed’s words, reservedly said so.
He must’ve taken Freed’s words at face value. While I felt sorry because it had nothing to do with him, Princess Ophelia said.
“Quite so. You needn’t worry about Edward. Now, Lady Lidiana. I have one question, you will attend tonight’s evening party, right?”
“Eh? Yes, of course I will.”
Ophelia forced the topic of her knight to end and talked to me. When I nodded despite my surprise, she said regretfully.
“I can’t participate in the evening party due to certain circumstances. So, if you like, I hope we could talk alone tomorrow in the afternoon. Is that okay with you?”
Rather, it’s just what I want. When I nodded with a smile, Princess Ophelia made a delighted face.
“I’m glad. Lady Lidiana, ever since I heard you would be coming here, I’ve been thinking of becoming friends with you by all means. I want to listen to various stories, so I’m looking forward to meeting you tomorrow.”
“Thank you. I’m also looking forward to it.”
I was relieved to obtain a chance to approach Princess Ophelia. My objective is to become good friends with her. I know it’s not something you become just by thinking of it, but I intend to spare no effort for ten days from today.
Prince Hendrik, who was watching our conversation, said.
“Ophelia. Princess Lidiana has just arrived here and must be tired, and she also needs to prepare for the evening party. I want to show them to their rooms soon.”
“… Do as you want.”
Princess Ophelia’s face, that had been all smiles until now, suddenly turned serious.
Her voice was also emotionless. Hearing it, I recalled Prince Hendrik saying that Princess Ophelia was ignoring him.
“I’m sorry for stopping you, Lady Lidiana. I will call for you tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it.”
I was even more surprised when she did an about face and spoke to me with both her voice and the expression on her face soft.
As my eyes darted about, she completely ignored her brother and went back inside her room. Her personal knight silently bowed and followed his master. When I heard the door close, I finally came to my senses.
“Eh… That was…?”
“Right? She’s been like that to me all the time recently. No, she’s been even worse. But, I’m glad. She appeared to take a liking to you, Princess Lidiana.”
I was astonished. While we were walking, Prince Hendrik complained.
“She was still better than usual today, since she talked to me. Even when I talked to her yesterday, she didn’t return a word. As expected, she yielded… Haa, in the past she’d fawn over me going all, Older Brother, Older Brother. When did she start acting like that, I wonder.”
“Isn’t it because of your uncalled-for scheme? Princess Ophelia must not want to go to Wilhelm.”
“There’s no way. Because, she listened to the story of going to Wilhelm with interest. Ophelia’s mood only turned sour after I said she’d be going together with Edward, I guess.”
“Eh, that means…?”
Will things be alright if she hates being alone with her personal knight?
Come to think of it, she forcibly ended the conversation about her knight.
“Um, excuse me for asking, but is Princess Ophelia on bad terms with Sir Lantinotz?”
“No way! That was just Ophelia hiding her embarrassment.”
“Hiding her embarrassment?”
It didn’t look like that at all. When I unconsciously looked at Freed, I saw him also make a surprised face.
“… Hendrik. Sorry, but it didn’t look to me like Princess Ophelia loved him.”
I nodded to show that I agreed with Freed’s words.
But, Prince Hendrik chuckled, “You don’t get it, do you?”
“That’s the familiarity special to childhood friends. She can’t be honest after all this time. Edward has an obvious aura of being in love so you can tell straight away, but Ophelia is at a difficult age.
Is it really like that?
I tilted my head, unsure.
However, I only just talked a little with Edward and Princess Ophelia. So if I was asked if I know anything about them, I think the correct answer is that I don’t.
I have no doubt that, being her long-time sibling, what Prince Hendrik said is more correct.
I nodded with a doubtful face. Freed didn’t seem to want to get involved, so he didn’t continue the conversation.
While we were led to our room, the conversation returned to Princess Ophelia, and then to the Royal Capital of Irvine and the details of the evening party.
The guest room prepared for us was in the east wing of the castle.
The structure of Irvine rooms is very open. Perhaps because the palace is located quite high on a hill, there are no walls, let alone windows, where outer walls should be. Only thick pillars standing at regular intervals connect with the ceiling. Perhaps to prevent falling, there is a handrail at chest height on the balcony connected to the room, but that’s all. Despite the heat it’s pleasant thanks to wind blowing, but they’re quite difficult to live in for people used to closed rooms.
While uneasy on the inside that the room prepared for us would have such a structure, I peeked inside. Surprisingly, it was the type of room common in Wilhelm. There was an outer wall. And above all, there were windows.
“The rooms of Irvine don’t have a good reputation among foreign guests. Guest rooms are made referencing Wilhelm. I find not being able to calm down without windows strange though.”
I felt sorry for Prince Hendrik, but I was relieved to hear that. The buildings and rooms of Irvine are certainly open and wonderful, but for me who lives in Wilhelm, I cannot calm down in a room that’s in plain sight from outside.
The room was large, there was a couch and a sofa, and in the back a four-poster bed, without any doors between them. Lace curtains were hanging to block the view from outside.
“There’s a partition on the other side of the bed. There’s a bathroom in the back, so use it freely. So, this is Princess Lidiana’s room, and Freed’s room is right next――”
“Ha? Lidi and my rooms are different? What are you talking about?”
Listening to Prince Hendrik’s explanation, Freed frowned in displeasure.
“I don’t understand why I should be separated from my wife after coming to a distant foreign country. In the first place, we’ve always stayed in the same room in our country. There’s no way I could leave Lidi alone.”
“Eh, you live in the same room?”
Prince Hendrik asked like he was surprised. When I nodded, he spoke, sounding envious from the bottom of his heart.
“How nice. I want to live in the same room as Ilya too. Ilya is shy and won’t agree to it.”
Then he looked at Freed and seriously nodded.
“Got it. In that case, you can stay in the same room as Princess Lidiana. I think it’s a devil’s deed to separate two people who regularly stay together. The room next to this… Well, it’s been prepared, so feel free to use it as you want.”
“Is that fine?”
When Freed returned a question as if he was astonished, Prince Hendrik gave him a thumbs-up with a smile.
“Of course. Feel free to change the room depending on the mood. Fulfilling guests’ wishes is most important. I can tell you’re a close married couple just by looking, so I think it’s fine if you do as you like. I’m indebted for making you come here out of my selfishness. Use it as a dressing room or whatever, I don’t mind.”
Prince Hendrik readily gave permission, and said, “Right, right,” like he recalled something.
“The close aide, escorts, and then court ladies you brought here. I was told they are here already, so I think they’ll come soon. Sure enough, I couldn’t give them rooms in the same location, but they’re as close as possible. You can post your escorts outside your room and have the court ladies go in and out as they please, so don’t worry.”
“Got it. I’ll take you on that.”
Even though it’s a friendly country, it’s natural to use the soldiers of our own country to guard the room. We brought ten escorts for that reason.
After giving us various further explanations, Prince Hendrik seemed to recall something and said.
“I’m looking forward to meeting you at the evening party. Ah, that’s right. You’ll have an audience with Esteemed Father before, is that alright?”
Asked that, Freed made a serious face.
“Yeah, I’ll make sure to come. It would be impolite not to offer my greetings to the King of Irvine.”
“Got it. I’ll report it to Esteemed Father. I’ll pick you up when it’s time. Then, I’ll be going.”
Lightly waving to me and Freed, Prince Hendrik left the room.
Only I and Freed were left.
Feeling restless somehow, I walked deeper into the room. To the back were large windows opening to a balcony with a view of the ocean.
I felt happy to have a room with a good view. The blue of the ocean was very beautiful. When I opened the window, I smelled sea water again. The smell I don’t experience in Wilhelm made me really feel like I’m in another country.
“… It’s a good view.”
Before I knew it, Freed got behind me and gently hugged me.
“Are you okay? Aren’t you tired?”
“Yup. I’m fine.”
I grinned, happy that he worried about me.
To be honest, I was a little tired, but I couldn’t give up with that much. As a consort, I naturally had to attend the audience with the King, and it was my duty to attend the evening party.
Princess Ophelia said she wouldn’t show up, but it was Irvine’s problem, being from Wilhelm, I had no choice but to participate.
Now that I’m married, I can’t say that I dislike evening parties. As Freed’s consort, I’d embarrass my husband if I didn’t attend an evening party. I decided to do my best as his consort, so I’ll actively participate in such events.
Another difference between the web and light novel apparent on the illustration, in the light novel Freed and Lidi go out on the balcony rather than staying inside.