She and Her Father
Too many things happened, so in the end I went to bed in a huff and slept until the next morning.
When I opened my eyes, my first thought was that it had become a hassle….a huge one at that.
I slowly got up.
When I decisively peered at my chest, the unchanged blue rose of the ‘Royal Flower’ brilliantly asserted itself.
Seeing it again, I dropped my shoulders.
… It wasn’t a dream.
No, of course I knew.
I just wanted to escape reality for a bit. That’s all.
I was really troubled last night.
I want to say this was already a whole lifetime worth of troubles.
In the end… worrying had become troublesome. In other words, I accepted my fate.
… Okay. I get it. I’m a woman too.
Since it has come to this, why not just get married.
As long as there is the ‘Royal Flower’, I can’t run away. Yesterday, I received a thorough explanation on how troublesome something called the ‘Royal Flower’ is.
I will not be able to become someone else’s wife with something like it.
Or should I say, the Royal Family would not permit it.
Anyhow, there was nothing I could do other than to obediently marry.
“Why did something like this happen to me?”
But even if I ask myself that, there will be no answer.
However, if there was something like an answer, it would be like this:
You reap what you sow.
I know. I already knew that.
Unfortunately, because I carelessly did it with that kind of guy, it has become like this now.
“But, I suppose I should consult with Ms. Delris just in case…”
Ms. Delris, who is famous as the country’s best witch, may possibly know a way to escape this situation.
I nodded to myself as I recalled Ms. Delris, a witch who lives in the corner of the town.
I have not bothered her since buying the contraceptive from her before, but I did get permission to visit her for fun.
It might be a good change of pace to go visit her.
Although I understood that I already couldn’t escape, I thought that I should try whatever I could for the time being.
◇ ◇ ◇
The atmosphere at breakfast was heavy.
As it was time, I went downstairs and headed towards the table. Only my parents were there.
None of the usual servants were present.
When I sat down urged by the table where the meal was prepared, my father addressed me in an unusually strained voice.
“What is it, Father?”
I tilted my head in wonder.
Something was strange about the atmosphere. When I looked next to my father, I saw my mother worrying about something.
While thinking the situation was incomprehensible, I took a sip of the tea that was prepared.
I slowly tasted it… Is it Assam today?
“… Ahem… Lidi, I heard from His Highness yesterday.”
Just when I gave up on my father who had a hard time speaking and enjoyed the tea by myself, he finally cleared his throat and began to speak.
I was starting to get irritated by my father’s roundabout way of speaking, but for the time being I decided to listen.
Quickly say it. I’m heading to Ms Delris’s place after this.
“Is it true that you were given the ‘Royal Flower’?”
Talk about a fastball, I almost reflexively spat my tea out as my father asked me such a thing. That was close.
Surprised, I stared at my father. In order to confirm the truth, he motionlessly stared back at me.
… I can’t escape this.
The same purple eyes as mine were telling me to say the truth.
He was probably asking as the Prime Minister rather than as a father.
Understanding that, I gave up and shrugged my shoulders.
“… It’s as you say.”
He must not have expected me to admit it so easily.
My father rose from his seat and bent forward towards me.
My mother held both hands over her mouth in disbelief.
… Even I didn’t want to believe it.
“Didn’t you already hear it from His Highness?”
“He skillfully avoided it… I judged you probably wouldn’t willingly tell us, so I ordered an investigation…”
My father glanced at me with a scowl on his face.
There are many people who would shake in fear from this gaze, however being on the receiving end of it on a regular basis, I thought nothing of it.
Seeing how I was still calm and composed, my father let out an ostentatious sigh, and took out several sheets of paper from his breast pocket.
“… This morning, my subordinate came back. He brought back an unbelievable report… Lidi, it seems you have gone to a masquerade ball!?”
The investigation report was slammed onto the table loudly, and my father intensely glared at me.
My mother next to him went pale and looked like she’d collapse at any moment.
…..Wow, it has already been found out.
As expected of the intelligence agency under the direct control of the ducal house. Considering how little time they had, they did a great job.
Our house has since long ago employed personal spies that deal with intelligence activities of national level. It was a simple matter for them to thoroughly investigate a girl’s relations with men.
They were supposed to be under the jurisdiction of my older brother who’s currently away, but it seems that my secret had been completely exposed.
Freed probably didn’t say anything for my sake.
While I do feel grateful for his consideration, since I’ve already been found out there wasn’t much meaning to it.
“Yes, I had my interest in them piqued up recently.”
“Do you know the purpose of masquerade balls!?”
If I don’t properly talk my way out of this, there’ll be no end to the thundering bellows.
While thinking that no one other than me had seen this side of the Prime Minister, I answered.
“I heard that they were evening parties where one goes to have fun while hiding their identity.”
“You idiot! Why don’t you understand that this is only the ostensible reason!?”
“… There was no other way. For the sake of my goal, I didn’t have the luxury to choose.”
When I answered nonchalantly, a low groan resounded.
“Why did you do something this foolish?”
“Because I didn’t want to marry His Highness the Crown Prince. I would do whatever I could to avoid it, and that was the most reliable method I could think of.”
Both what I did and my purpose were found out anyway. It was clear from the look on my father’s face.
Since that was the case, then there was no point in lying.
However, the surprising thing was that although my father looked fed up by me using that kind of method, he didn’t appear to think it was unexpected.
I found it strange, so I put that feeling into words..
“I can’t sense the word unexpected from your face, Father.”
I honestly stated my question. My father let out a tired sigh.
“… How many years do you think I’ve been your father? I always worried that someday you would do something like this.”
“Don’t oh my me!!….A masquerade ball of all places! When I received the report, I thought my heart would stop!!”
That was surprising.
I never thought that my father would be aware of it.
“… If you had known, I wish you had used your power to stop the engagement with His Highness…”
“As if there’s someone else that I could entrust such a troublesome daughter like you to… Or did you want to marry Will? Was that why you came up with such a last resort?”
Suddenly hearing the name of my childhood friend, I went blank.
Why did his name come up here?
‘William von Pellegrini’, nicknamed Will.
The eldest son of Duke Pellegrini.
The current Magician Division Commander. 23 years old.
He is the eldest son of a family that is comparable to our Vivoir house, and he is my only childhood friend.
He’s been renowned as a genius magician since childhood. He has grey eyes, black hair, and well-ordered facial features.
Yes, not only can he use magic, he’s a genius in magical arts..
This is a world where magic, magical arts, and secrets arts exist alongside each other.
Magic is something that one can activate in no time using the magical powers within oneself. There are many simple uses for it. For example switching the lights on and off, talking to someone who is far away, these are all possible with magic.
Magical arts can only be activated after constructing a spell using a circular formation called magical formation. By constructing spells, things that can’t be done with magic are possible.
Secret arts are something that’s a combination of magic and magical arts. Each one is too unique to fit into one category.
Although I went on a tangent, in short Will is a genius at constructing those magical arts spells.
Not only is Will extremely famous, his younger brother who shares his colors is the same.
His younger brother Gregor, the second son of the Duke, made a name for himself as the Royal Guard Order Commander.
I don’t know him very well since I’ve never met him. Will was practically the only man allowed to be close with me anyway.
“If that was the case, you should’ve told me. In the first place, even if you didn’t go to some place as dangerous as the Masquerade Ball, if you’d asked Will, he would have happily taken on the responsibility.”
I furrowed my brows at my father’s apparent misunderstanding.
I, with Will? … Impossible.
“Father, Will is like an older brother to me, I’ve never thought of such things.”
“Is that so? But in Will’s case…….”
“Certainly, Will doesn’t have a fiancée yet, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for him to shoulder that kind of responsibility. Even I can understand that much.”
Will is kind.
He cares about me more than my real older brother. For some reason, he doesn’t have a fiancée yet, but I didn’t feel like getting him involved in this matter.
Besides, I could never ask someone who’s like a brother to me to take my virginity.
“…..I think Will would be troubled.”
“Would he? ……As it was, a marriage proposal was likely to come.”
“You must be joking. In the first place, Father’s and that Duke’s terrible relationship is such a famous story that even I know of it.”
Father and Duke Pellegrini have had a bad relationship since long ago. Their relationship, so to speak, is like cats and dogs.
Marriage between such quarreling houses is unheard of.
My father should have excluded Will from the beginning.
That’s why I also did not say anything.
“… I’ve recently heard that guy also yielded.”
I could not make out what my father muttered.
“…..Well, there is nothing to be done now. That’s fine. However, a young unmarried girl does not attend a masquerade ball alone. Do you understand?”
The words were so domineering that I nodded.
Of course I don’t intend on going back there ever again.
“Honestly… Though it’s good that his Highness was there by chance, something irreversible almost happened!!”
“Well, I was aiming for it.”
I was glared at for saying that.
“…….Haa. I get it, so be quiet. And so? Is there no doubt that he granted you the ‘Royal Flower’ there?”
Because I was told to shut up, I affirmed without saying anything.
My father mumbled while holding his head.
Like he was saved by His Highness’s quick wit and so on.
No, but is he ignoring the fact that Freed was in that place?
It felt unfair that only I was the one getting criticized, so I said without thinking.
“Why was His Highness in such a place?”
When I pointed that out, my father became lost for words for a moment.
However, he easily recovered and put on a serious face.
“It’s not something praiseworthy, but it’s not something that can be openly criticized either… His Highness also has his circumstances. Furthermore, as of now, I’m more grateful towards His Highness. So I won’t do things like condemning him.”
Once again I shrank under his gaze.
Aah, so he’s saying it’s my fault. I get it.
“Since you’re his partner, I’m sure he’ll tell you why. So ask him directly.”
That’s what my father said, but I honestly wasn’t interested.
My principle is that as long as from now on he doesn’t fool around, I won’t make a fuss over his past with women.
I don’t intend to criticize him for things that have nothing to do with myself.
“… In any case, you were granted the ‘Royal Flower’… Concerning that, His Majesty the King has ordered me to bring you along to meet him. Tomorrow, we will head to the Royal Palace, understand?”
I nodded obediently and thought of something.
“Father, are you going to confirm it?”
Rather than as a father, I guess this time he was speaking from the position of the Prime Minister.
Thinking that, I tried asking about it, but my father shook his head.
“It’s customary that after His Highness bestows it, His Majesty is the next to confirm it. Make sure not to show it to anyone until then.”
There seem to be some troublesome rules put in place.
I didn’t want to talk about any more troublesome things, so I quietly nodded.
My mother, who had kept silent the whole time, spoke.
“Lidi… What a foolish thing you did…”
It’s about the masquerade ball, huh.
Mother’s sad expression she had for the whole time must’ve come from hearing about it from my father earlier and worrying the whole time.
Being stared at with teary eyes, I couldn’t help but feel like I was at fault.
“Never do it again, okay?”
“Yes, Mother. I am sorry”
Seeing how I obediently apologized this time, my father let out a heavy sigh.
“Let’s have breakfast. This is the end of this conversation.”
Translator: Broken Jinsei