She and the Night of the Ninth Day 3
The evening party venue fell so quiet that you could almost hear the sound of silence.
I could sense everybody staring hard at us. When I worriedly looked up at Freed, his expression was completely gone, as if saying he’d expected it.
While he was looking at Kate with a gaze questioning the reason she’d ask to be taken along, she said, raising her voice even more.
“Your Highness, for the past few days I’ve visited your bedroom every night. I yearn for Your Highness. Therefore, please take me with you!”
Kate’s face as she implicitly asked him to take responsibility was full of confidence. She looked sure that she wouldn’t be ignored after causing such a ruckus.
I separated from Freed and stood before her, trying to hide him behind me.
“… What is it?”
I could almost hear a voiceless, “Fufun,” from looking at her expression. With a serious look on my face, I asked her.
“You say that you’ve been going to Freed’s bedroom, but he’s slept in the same room, in the same bed as me all the time. It’s impossible he’d meet you.”
“By the way, he’s never gone back to his room during the night. I’ve spent them all together with Freed. We’ve even welcomed mornings together. There hasn’t been one day when that didn’t happen.”
I indifferently declared so.
In other words, it’s as follows.
She couldn’t have visited Freed’s bedroom every night. After all, he wasn’t there.
Freed slept with me every night, and there were days where I hardly even slept. Mostly because we were having sex.
That’s why, even though she told me she’d gone to his bedroom, I wasn’t shaken at all.
The reality is that he’s with me all the time, so he can’t have an affair, and in the first place, he cannot see anyone but me.
When I confidently said that, she shouted, “That’s impossible!”
“You’re lying. After all, His Highness Friedrich was there. We even talked. If you had been with His Highness all the time, tell me who His Highness I talked with was!”
“I wonder. Maybe you dreamt it up, or he was an imposter? Anyway, I don’t want a strange misunderstanding to spread, so could you leave right now?”
“I-I won’t. I’ll have His Highness take me with him and eventually become his concubine!”
As Kate shouted out decisively, I felt like I heard something snap.
I noticed with a strange composure that the anger I’d been enduring might have exceeded the limit.
Then I clearly informed her.
“―― You can’t. Freed is mine only.”
I didn’t say it out loud at all. However, the words I said resounded painfully well across the venue.
“Freed is mine. That’s why, I won’t lend him to you, and I won’t share him either. I married Freed because he agreed to be mine only. No matter what happens, there’s no option of him welcoming you.”
As if I could allow concubines.
I wanted a one-to-one marriage and he accepted that. He gave me all of him, so I also gave him all of me. There’s no way I could accept a ‘concubine’ for some incomprehensible reason.
“―― Yup. I’m only Lidi’s.”
While I was struggling to hold the boiling up anger in check, I heard a soft voice from behind me.
Freed wrapped his arms around my stomach. My anger weakened from the tight hug.
“Lidi, you know I can’t see anyone but you, right? Besides, as Lidi says, I’ve been together with her all the time. I’ve never left her side at night either. Consequently, I couldn’t have met you.”
Freed talked to Kate in a harsh voice. When she heard it, Kate said, “You’re lying…” in a trembling voice.
“What is Your Highness saying? Have you forgotten that we even talked last night?”
“I haven’t forgotten or anything, it simply never happened.”
“But! I was in Your Highness’s room and…!”
Kate persisted. She didn’t look like she was lying. She was seriously convinced that she had a conversation with Freed. It’s impossible he’d have an affair, so I wasn’t worried, but I wondered what it meant.
“Freed… By any chance, do you know anything?”
“As I said, I’ve had zero contact with her. I can swear. However, isn’t it just like you said earlier, Lidi? That she met an imposter.”
Kate’s eyes widened after hearing Freed’s words, and she stared at him.
“I’ve heard that you disparaged and insulted Lidi. Lidi didn’t seem to mind, but as a husband, there’s no way I wouldn’t get angry about my wife being slighted, right?”
As for me, I realized he was aware of what had happened.
“I wish you’d tell me about such things, Lidi. Do you know how I felt when I heard about it from Cain?”
“… I’m sorry.”
I dejectedly shriveled under the rebuke.
I didn’t intend to blame Cain for reporting to Freed.
Cain probably had good intentions when he reported to Freed. I completely forgot about it and didn’t mind that much, but I understand why Freed got angry.
“Um… I didn’t think it was important.”
“The result is this. I knew about it, so I could deal with it in advance, but otherwise it would turn into a large uproar. Lidi, talk with me about such things from now on.”
“… I don’t like tattling.”
I gave in after he called my name for the second time.
Certainly, the situation might not have turned into a splendid uproar thanks to Freed being aware.
In that respect, it was my mistake that I made light of her, thinking she wouldn’t be able to do anything anyway.
I didn’t imagine she’d even get everyone involved in trying to become Freed’s concubine.
The position of Freed’s concubine must just be that attractive though.
Freed directed a cold gaze at Kate.
“I was thinking of turning a blind eye if you hadn’t done anything. It’s something Lidi forgot about too, so it would’ve been fine. However, from my experience, women like you never think of anything good. That’s why I made the first move.”
“The first move? What does Your Highness mean?”
Kate asked Freed in a quivering voice.
“I placed my imposter in the bedroom I don’t use. Of course, I talked about it with the guards beforehand. I also told them to let in any woman who tries to sneak in, since the imposter inside would deal with her. Didn’t you find it strange that the guards let you inside so easily?”
“You’re lying! After all, the person inside was Your Highness yourself! The voice, gestures, and the appearance were all of Your Highness, so that shouldn’t have been an imposter… Besides! Why would you deliberately let me inside the room! Showing me in without turning me away means one thing, right?”
“Turning you away would just provoke you more and escalate your actions. You might have then gone against my most important Lidi. To ensure that didn’t happen, I decided I had to make some compromises and satisfy you. That’s why you were let inside.”
“… T-Then… That His Highness was…”
“An information broker I hired in advance. He’s particularly good at disguise. I’m sure you won’t believe me though, so I’ll call here the person himself. ―― Abel.”
“Yes yes. Whoa… There are so many people…”
In response to Freed’s voice, Abel appeared. Abel was dressed just like Freed. The only difference was that there was no ring on his finger.
When Abel suddenly appeared, the inside of the castle became astir.
Freed ignored that and asked Abel.
“Did this woman come while you were working for me?”
“Yeah. She’s been coming since the night of the day when Mr. Crown Prince made the request of me. She was impatient to give herself to me, but as promised, I didn’t lay a finger on her. And as told, I only told her, ‘Go back.’ She didn’t leave the room no matter what though. She stayed until morning, you know? I was sick of it. I couldn’t sleep at night during the request period thanks to that. I had to settle for naps.”
Everyone’s eyes were nailed to Abel who sleepily yawned.
Everybody present was paying attention to his and Freed’s conversation.
Freed nodded with composure.
“The fact she’s been staying until morning means she wanted to make what happened clear to the surroundings, right?”
“I think so too. She seemed satisfied when morning came and left saying, ‘I’ll visit at night again.’ I think she’s actually an incredibly bold woman. Staying in the room until morning despite being completely rejected is not something everybody can do.”
“And you haven’t laid your hands on her.”
“I was told I wouldn’t be paid if I had. I swear I’ve never touched her.”
Kate, who had been staring in mute amazement at Abel, seemed to have pulled herself together and started raising a fuss.
“Wrong! He wasn’t the one I was with! I was with His Highness Friedrich! After all, he’s not like His Highness at all! Even I wouldn’t make such a mistake!”
“It comes to this, huh. I don’t really want to do this in front of such a crowd though. Look, as an information broker, I don’t show my cards.”
“I told you from the beginning that this could happen? Besides, won’t it serve as a demonstration for new customers?”
“… If anything, I’ll just be recognized as Mr. Crown Prince’s protégé…. Well, fine. If I can earn money, the client doesn’t matter, and this is also in the contract.”
While complaining, Abel made signs with his hands. The place seemed to shine red, and in the next moment another Freed stood there. Abel took the form of Freed. They looked exactly alike, so everybody on the spot was doubting their eyes.
“Is that fine?”
Even his voice was completely like Freed’s. He was more accurate than during the masquerade ball.
Come to think of it, at that time he imitated ‘Apollo’ going only by the rumors. Now that he knew the real thing, it’s natural he was able to do a more thorough imitation.