She and the Morning of the Ninth Day 3
The Queen was surprised, and so was I.
After all, Raid said she loved Prince Hendrik. I heard from her that she couldn’t forget about her real brother and she continued being tormented by those thoughts. And now she’s fallen in love with a man.
Since she’s talking about it to the Queen, it means he naturally can’t be Prince Hendrik. I felt guilty for it, but I was immensely curious who was it that stole Raid’s heart, that had continued being in an unrequited love for so long.
The Queen was also unable to hide her interest, her eyes sparkling.
Her daughter who behaves like a man finally found a man she loves. I think it’s natural she’d nosily ask.
“You have a beloved gentleman? That’s joyful news, but let me confirm just in case. He is a human, right? Hendrik is already married, so there’s no helping it, but it would be a problem if you also married a beastman. You have to give birth to the successor of Irvine.”
It was a statement that discriminated against beastman, but given the situation, it couldn’t be helped. Raid showed a reassuring smile when she heard the Queen’s question.
“It’s all right. He’s unmistakably a human. However, he’s not from this country, and I don’t think he’s a noble. Is he still acceptable?”
Those were difficult conditions, but the Queen nodded.
“… As long as he is a human male of a suitable age, I won’t ask for much. To be honest, I wanted you to marry a son of a prominent domestic noble, but it would be strange to only allow Hendrik’s selfishness and place the burden only on you. However, you do understand the surroundings won’t look favorably at what Hendrik did, right? Dealing with that is your job as the next monarch, okay?”
“Of course, I understand that.”
“Then do as you wish. And? What kind of person is that man? Does he love you?”
“I will win him over.”
“Yes. After all, I met him and fell in love yesterday.”
As she nonchalantly said that, I, the Queen, and even Ilya became lost for words.
The Queen said gingerly.
“Yesterday? Did you say yesterday?”
“Yes. It was something similar to love at first sight. I realized when I parted from him, but I appeared to have fallen in love with him. To be honest, I was startled when I realized. I’d never expected to experience this emotion myself. I questioned myself many times after I returned to my room. However, no matter how much I think about it, I seem taken with him.”
Raid said it embarrassedly, but I wanted to hold my head when I guessed who he was.
Because… There was only one man Raid met yesterday for the first time.
A foreign man who saved Raid when she was in danger.
―― Abel. Only him.
“Eh, you’re kidding. No way… Him?”
Of all things, she fell in love with the former Sahaja information broker. My eyes opened wide, and Ilya tugged on my dress.
“Lidi, do you know who it is?”
I guessed she wasn’t told by Prince Hendrik. Unaware of yesterday’s kidnapping, Ilya cutely tilted her head and asked me. I awkwardly agreed.
“Lidi, it’s likely the person you imagine. No, it’s as said, love is something sudden. I never thought I’d contradict myself about having a man I love so fast… If I have him, I can persevere even at something as difficult as being the monarch.”
Hearing that she fell in love with Abel, a Hiyuma clan survivor, I really held my head.
It’s wonderful that Raid has finally fallen in a new love.
Raid hated always holding onto her fruitless love. I’m happy she escaped from it and of course I want to support her moving forward… but the other person is Abel.
―― Why did this happen?
I have completely no idea why she’s fallen in love with him, but well, love at first sight is like that.
To begin with, it was also love at first sight that made me lose my heart to Freed. The moment I saw his blue eyes for the first time, I was caught by him… Well, not that I noticed. But now I can declare with certainty that it’s where it began.
It started with love at first glance, I became closer with him, and now he’s my precious husband. So I won’t deny that feeling, but… it’s that miser Abel, no? Is that really okay?
While I was being seriously confused, the Queen looked at me.
“Judging by your state, Princess Lydiana, you know who he is, don’t you? What kind of gentleman is he? Is there any problem with his character?”
Abel. That money-loving information broker.
I feel like there are nothing but problems, but the feeling of wanting to support Raid in moving forward with her new love won, so I decided to emphasize Abel’s good points as much as I could.
“He’s very talented. He’s about twenty-year-old, and there are no problems with his health. I wouldn’t call his appearance bad either. However, he has tendency to do as he pleases――”
I stole a glance at Raid. She nodded strongly and said, full of confidence.
“It’s a wife’s duty to discipline the husband. If I can marry him, I’ll have a tight rein on him.”
“… I see.”
If Raid says it’s okay, I have no right to interfere. Love as you want.
In the first place, I’m very happy Raid has found a person she loves. I’m sure Abel will run away from something as unthinkable as being the Prince Consort of Irvine, but there’s no way I wouldn’t help my friend in love. Abel will have to give up.
“Well… I don’t think he’s a bad person.”
He’s greedy with money, and I often don’t understand what he’s thinking, but I don’t think he’s a bad person.
It can even be seen from the fact that he won’t kill. Abel belonged to the Sahaja underworld, and yet has never killed. He says a lot of things, but it seems he’s a man with strong beliefs. I don’t hate people like that.
When I honestly stated my opinion, the Queen nodded.
“If Princess Lydiana says that, he should be a person without particular problems with his personality. Ophelia, I don’t mind if you want to marry him, but first of all, bring him before His Majesty and me. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Esteemed Mother. Of course I do.”
The Queen clapped her hands. Ilya sitting next to me gingerly addressed Raid.
“… Lady Ophelia. Um… I am truly sorry for causing an inconvenience. I was so happy that I could marry His Highness that I didn’t consider the hardships it would cause for other people. I was thoughtless… I should’ve had more awareness as a beastman. I only realized I couldn’t have a child with His Highness after we got married. His Highness is the Crown Prince, so he needs a child, and yet…”
“Sorry, but stop at that. Elder Brother said he wouldn’t want anyone but you, Sister-in-law. That’s why there’s no point in wondering what would happen if you had refused marrying him. Resistance was futile.”
“But… I… I’m sorry…”
Raid stroked downhearted Ilya’s head. The triangular cat ears shook.
How enviable. I wanted to stroke Ilya’s head too.
“What? I said it before, right? The fault lies solely on Elder Brother, not on you. He knew everything and still decided to marry you. But if you’re feeling sorry, it’s just right. As an apology, keep me company without shriveling.”
Ilya completely froze up, and Raid grinned. Seeing Raid’s expression urging for an answer, Ilya nodded with resignation.
“Umm… I will do my best.”
“Yep, I’m looking forward to it. However, those cat ears are truly pleasant to touch. It’s the first time I touch them, but I feel like I could get addicted.”
Raid touched Ilya’s cat ears while laughing. Ilya looked like she was being tickled. Having seen them like that, the Queen turned to me.
“I invited you to this conversation because I heard from my son last night that you knew his wife’s identity. Moreover, you’re my son’s wife’s friend. I planned to make you an intermediary if worst came to worst. Considering the result, you were very helpful, but I apologize for using you.”
As the Queen lowered her eyebrows, I shook my head.
“Eh, I don’t mind at all. I’m happy if I can help everyone get along.”
If I can be of use, use me as much as you want. I’m happy that I’m not a hindrance.
The Queen showed a relieved smile from my words and looked down at her coffee cup.
“… It’s turned cold. Let’s have it brewed again. Now then, this isn’t why I’ve invited you all today. Once we have tea, let’s get to the main subject.”