She and the Second Day 2
Taking along three personal escorts Freed gave me, I headed towards Princess Ophelia’s room.
Cain followed me in hiding. On the way when we entered the royal quarters, although I felt apologetic, I dismissed Wilhelm escorts.
“We’ve heard from the Princess that the Crown Princess of Wilhelm would be coming. Please enter. However――.”
I glanced at the soldiers I brought with me.
Soldiers of other countries can’t enter where royalty lives. It was that kind of thing.
Thinking that it was natural, I ordered them to wait at the entrance.
“However… Princess Consort.”
“Even in Wilhelm only select people can enter the royal quarters, right? It’s the same here. The royal quarters have proper security, so you needn’t worry.”
“… We understand.”
The escorts were reluctant, but ultimately, they had no choice but to back down, since those were the rules.
“Do you understand where the Princess’s room is? If you’d like, I can lead the way.”
“I’ll ask for that then.”
One of the soldiers stationed at the entrance to the royal quarters offered to show me the way, so I obediently took him up on that.
I separated from my escorts and followed the Irvine soldier. I was again surprised by the castle’s open structure that I’d seen before. The security system is firm at the entrance, but the inside is too open. There might be no need to worry about anything because we’re in a high location, but I think people like Cain can enter here as they please, so I wonder if it really is alright.
While I was worrying about other people’s problems, a woman who seemed to be a noble girl stopped walking from the opposite direction and glared at me. Despite wondering what she was doing, I decided not to mind and continued walking. The moment we passed each other, she whispered.
“… For a woman like you to be His Highness Friedrich’s princess consort. A beautiful woman would suit him more.”
I never would’ve expected to be told that while walking through the royal quarters of a foreign country. While surprised, I came to a stop.
I could’ve ignored it, but I couldn’t forgive the words that not only made light of me, but also of Freed.
―― It’s like saying Freed is blind to have chosen me.
Certainly, I can’t be called a peerless beauty, but my love for him is second to none, and while I don’t intend to use it, I have power thanks to Father having an extremely high rank of the preeminent duke.
Or rather, Wilhelm and Irvine should be equal, so there’s no reason a mere noble girl should look down on me, a Crown Princess. Or did she think it was alright because she said it in a whisper?
Usually, you wouldn’t pick a fight with somebody like me though.
“… You are?”
When I looked at her asking for her name, she stood firmly despite flinching and boldly introduced herself.
“I’m the daughter of Marquis Lyric, Kate. Do you need something from me?”
“Need or whatever, I think it was you who first talked to me.”
I was amazed by the boldness of the noble girl as she shamelessly pretended her earlier remark hadn’t happened. The noble girl called Kate was wearing a flashy outfit befitting Irvine. She herself also had a flashy atmosphere, so I was sure she was very confident of herself.
“I apologize if you’ve heard it. I was merely talking to myself. I thought I was quiet enough that no one could hear me.”
How impudent. She obviously meant to have me hear it.
However, a Marquis’s daughter, huh.
I wonder what her father would think of picking a fight without thinking about the opponent’s status, but first of all, I asked what was puzzling me.
“―― I’ve heard that we’re in the royal quarters. It’s not a place where a marquis’s daughter like you can enter, is it?”
“I was invited as the Queen’s conversational partner. Lately, I’m the person the Queen invites the most. The Queen is very pleased with me.”
I carefully observed the noble girl who proudly stated that.
―― I see.
She’s a person who abuses borrowed authority.
The reason she picked a fight with me without knowing her place is her absolute self-confidence born from being liked by the Queen, who has the highest position in Irvine.
I understood the reason, but that alone didn’t make her behavior good.
“The Queen being pleased with you has nothing to do with me. You should refrain from making impolite statements towards the Crown Princess of another country. I don’t feel like being disparaged by a mere marquis’s daughter. I wonder if you can’t imagine that it could develop into an international problem.”
When I indifferently told Kate so, her face turned red, perhaps from humiliation.
“Wha…! Nothing to do with you… This is Irvine! You really are a nauseating woman. Someone like you is unsuitable for His Highness Friedrich. I’m much better…”
“Aah, did you fall in love with Freed last night? Indeed, he’s a wonderful person, so it’s natural.”
This was exactly the situation I’d been worried about.
The soldier who was guiding me to the Princess’s room addressed Kate with a pale face.
“You! While you may be the Queen’s favorite, you are much too impolite to Her Highness the Princess of another country. Restrain yourself.”
The soldier stood to protect me. While thinking that Irvine has good soldiers, I said.
“It’s fine. I don’t really mind… Actually, even in my country there are many women who have said such things. You’ve fallen in love with Freed and vented your envy at his consort, me, right? I always wonder, why say that to me? You could talk with Freed directly, and yet for some reason nobody does that. I’m curious if you all think that I’ll step down from your strong words. Besides, I’m not sure if nobody notices, or if you all pretend not to know, but I’m the daughter of the preeminent ducal house of Wilhelm, and now the princess consort of the Crown Prince of Wilhelm. I want you to think calmly about who of us will get crushed if we get serious. Isn’t it too convenient to think that because I’m quiet, I won’t do anything? I simply think I should only use my authority when appropriate, do you not even understand that?”
Kate’s complexion visibly worsened. No matter how I look at it, she didn’t think that far. How foolish. She shouldn’t have picked a fight she’d regret. Or did I appear so much like a sheltered young lady to her? That makes me happy though.
In the first place, my doctrine is to accept when somebody picks a fight with me. I don’t like being looked down on, so I’d rather let them have it. Such noble girls often conspire together. Rumors spread, so it’s easiest if they learn not to mess with me.
Thinking so, I spoke a little overbearingly.
“You boasted that the Queen is pleased with you, did you not? Actually, I’ve also received an invitation to a tea party from the Queen. It’s a rare opportunity, so I’ll talk about you at that time. About her favorite child.”
“Ara? Is it something that I can’t tell the Queen, who cherishes you?”
When I smiled sweetly, Kata trembled with fear all over. Then she glared at me.
“I had no idea the Crown Princess of Wilhelm has such a bad personality! You are a good match for Princess Ophelia!”
“Princess Ophelia? What about her?”
Why did Princess Ophelia come up here? When I tilted my head, Kate said irately.
“Don’t you know?! About that mannish Princess! It’s only natural the Queen cherishes us. Feel free to tell the Queen if you want. You’re the worst for tattling, though!!”
Then, she gave me a sharp look and ran away saying, “A woman with a personality as bad as yours is unsuitable for the Crown Prince. I’m more beautiful, and I even have breasts! Just look!”
I reacted with a twitch to her last words.
“… I’ve grown recently.”
Certainly, Kate’s breasts were big. While I couldn’t deny that, I pulled myself together that I’d grown in my own way, and I ultimately shouldn’t lose. I’m still a teen. I have expectations for the future. I’m not asking to be as big as Mother-in-law, but I still yearn for abundant breasts, or more precisely, cleavage.
“… Lady Lidiana.”
The soldier fearfully addressed me. Noticing that, I made a smile.
The soldier vigorously bowed.
“I’ll immediately contact other soldiers and arrest that noble girl. She was unbelievably discourteous towards Her Highness the Princess of another country…!”
“It’s fine, I don’t really mind.”
I told the soldier staring at me with a pale face.
“I don’t want such an inconsequential thing to become a problem. I don’t mind, so I wonder if you could ignore it. Such people are often all talk, so they rarely act. And if she does, I’ll utterly defeat her the next time.”
I overlooked it today, but I’m not so kind as to close my eyes for the second time.
If she still goes at me despite being told to mind her own status, I won’t stay silent. I won’t act in a way that would inconvenience Freed, but I will retaliate within my capacity.
“Otherwise, I’d be looked down on.”
When I said that with a smile, the soldier said, “If Lady Lidiana says so,” with a bewildered expression.
“However, supposing you encounter any problems in the future, please tell us immediately. I don’t want it to appear like there are only such people in Irvine.”
“I don’t think that. But, thank you. I’ll depend on you if push comes to shove.”
“Then, let’s go. We’re wasting time.”
I urged the soldier and began walking. The soldier muttered.
“Lady Lidiana, you’re strong… But, someone like you might be a good match for the Princess.”
“? What do you mean?”
Kate’s remark from a while ago, the soldier’s words, I couldn’t just ignore them.
But, the soldier only evasively said, “Please confirm it with your own eyes later,” and bowed.