She and the Night of the Ninth Day 4
“Your… Your Highness…? Two Your Highnesses?”
Kate looked like she saw something unbelievable.
“Do you understand with this? The person you spent time with wasn’t me.”
Freed pointed out the facts. Kate quivered, but even so, she persisted.
“Then, I need proof! Is there any proof!? The proof that I was together with this imposter! Perhaps, the imposter was with Princess Lydiana, and I was together with the real one?!”
I became flabbergasted from having a finger pointed at me.
―― There’s no way I’d mistake Freed, is there?
What was that person saying?
Freed also looked obviously upset, and with a very displeased face pulled off the ring from his finger.
“Then, how about I show you evidence? Abel, come here.”
“? What? … Aah, I see.”
Abel tilted his head at being called by Freed and came closer. Perhaps he was told something, as he looked intrigued.
“Good. It seems interesting, so I’ll go along with your charade.”
“It’s a great help. I’ll give you additional compensation for this.”
“Hurray! All of a sudden I’m motivated!”
Abel made a guts pose.
Then for some reason both went into the crowd of onlookers. I was wondering what they were up to, and soon enough, two people came out.
They faced Kate and said at the same time.
“Can you tell which one of us is the real me?”
Two people with exactly the same voice, same appearance, and same face were looking at Kate. She stared at them in confusion and then said in a quivering voice.
“Which one… Are you telling me to determine which one of you is the real His Highness Friedrich?”
The two of them didn’t say anything. They just silently urged her to quickly make her choice.
Kate was unable to stand their gazes and desperately pointed at one of them.
“T-This one. This is the real His Highness!”
“Unfortunately, you got it wrong.”
The Freed Kate pointed at became Abel.
Kate realized her mistake and said in a fluster.
“T-That now was just an accidental mistake. I was simply surprised by suddenly being told that, that’s all! Everybody can make a mistake, right!?”
I thought it was a flimsy excuse, but Freed calmly nodded.
“Ohh. Then you are saying you can recognize me if it’s not sudden?”
“O-Of course I can!”
Her gaze wandered around. It was obvious that she wasn’t confident. But Freed didn’t mention that and told her with a smile on his face.
“I see. I’ll give you another opportunity.”
“O-Once is too little. Um, I want to try doing this several times!”
It was a desperate proposal, but Freed accepted her plea.
Kate looked relieved and then nodded, full of fighting spirit.
“… I’ll definitely show that I can distinguish Your Highness!”
And so, ‘who’s the real Freed game’ took place.
As Kate wished, it continued for ten times. The result was four wins and six losses, simply proving that she was clearly unable to tell the two of them apart.
Freed told the vexed Kate.
“This confirms that you can’t tell me and Abel apart.”
“I-I got it right four times. It’s not like I can’t tell you apart――”
“Even if we accept that your first mistake happened from nervousness because you were surprised, that doesn’t apply to the later mistakes. If you were able to tell, don’t you think you’d have nine or ten wins?”
Kate bit her lip as Freed logically rebutted her. I was looking at her while thinking that she should give up when she glared at me.
“Certainly I might have been mistaken. But, isn’t it possible that Princess Lydiana is the same? If neither of us can distinguish Your Highness Friedrich, there’s no proof that I spent time together with the imposter!”
“Eeh… You haven’t given up yet…?”
While I was in a way impressed at her refusing to back down even after she struggled so much and lost, Freed told me with an apologetic look.
“Lidi. I’m sorry, but can you cooperate?”
“… It’s fine. This all happened because I left her alone. But, is it alright to do something like this as we please?”
We’d already made a big disturbance unbecoming of an evening party. I was afraid the current situation where everyone was paying attention to us would bother the King and Queen of Irvine who were attending tonight, but Freed slightly smiled and said.
“You don’t have to worry about that.”
“Yup. I’ve already made arrangements.”
If Freed says so, it must be alright. To begin with, it was my fault, so of course I nodded to cooperate.
After I agreed, Freed and Abel once again disappeared into the crowd. They came back at once after around thirty seconds. Seeing them, Kate laughed, “Fufun.”
“Now, please make your choice now! You don’t know which one it is, right? There’s no way you’d know. After all, there’s no difference between them!”
―― Why are you looking at me so confident that I don’t know?
I looked at her pitifully.
“What is it?”
“No, it’s nothing. Which one is Freed, is it?”
I turned my eyes from Kate to Freeds. They were brilliantly smiling. At first glance, they looked exactly the same… but I could immediately tell which one was real.
I walked up to the one I decided on and clung to him.
“This one. This one is my Freed.”
When I said those words, I was hugged back. His touch made me convinced my choice had been the correct one.
“―― Correct. That’s Lidi for you.”
“If you’d thought I could make a mistake, I’d be upset…”
“I believed in you, Lidi. I was sure you wouldn’t make a mistake and would choose me.”
“Naturally. You’re completely different.”
Their appearance might certainly have been the same. But, they were different. His eyes looking at me were decisive.
That’s why I couldn’t have been mistaken. And even if their eyes were closed, I have confidence in getting it right.
I know who the real one is.
It’s probably because I’m connected with Freed through the Royal Flower. Ms. Delris said so in the past. The Royal Flower is a secret art that connects two souls. I think that connection makes me turn to the real him.
I’m sorry I have a trick up my sleeve, but I have no intention of going easy. I can’t not choose my husband.
However, Kate seemed unconvinced and hysterically screamed.
“I-It was a fluke! I wish you wouldn’t get carried away just because you got it right once! We won’t know until you try as many times as me!”
“… Then I’ll do it as many times as you want.”
“Indeed. It might be better if she has the reality thrust at her. Lidi, I’m sorry, but can you go along with it a little longer?”
“… Is there no consideration for me? You married couple, I’ve been going along with it from the beginning.”
When Abel complained with a sulky face, I retorted.
“Don’t make such an expression with Freed’s face. You might not be Freed, but it still feels unpleasant.”
Freed too said.
“Don’t make Lidi uncomfortable. That’s part of your job too.”
“… Of course, but see. I was woken up by Mr. Shinigami in the middle of the night and told that Mr. Crown Prince has a request with me. Profit! So, I thought, but see. It’s certainly profitable, but it’s exhausting… What the hell…”
“That’s your job. It’ll be over in a flash.”
Abel sighed and once again disappeared into the crown together with Freed.
And then, the ‘who’s the real Freed game’ repeated, but naturally, I kept choosing the right one.
There’s no way I’d make a mistake, so I think I broke the game.
“This is Freed.”
Each time I got it right, Kate raised a strange voice, “Kyeeee!” with a look of a demon.
And perhaps because she wanted me to guess wrong, she started giving Freed instructions like, “Please close your eyes,” “Please hide your hands behind you,” “Please turn around,” each time.
Turning a blind eye to the fact that she didn’t have to do any of that when it was her time to choose, I kept choosing the right one each time to convince her.
“No way, no way… How do you know?”
When I identified him from behind, Kate finally collapsed on the spot.
Because I understood it intuitively, it didn’t matter that he was turned around, but she must not have expected I’d get it right. Her complexion turned completely pale.
“How…? Aren’t they exactly the same?”
“Er, if I had to say, it’s the power of love?”
When I said that while tilting my head, Freed smiled happily and Abel grimaced with an, “Uegh.”
“Each time you get it right, I think that it’s impossible for me. Mrs. Crown Princess, I’m confident my disguise doesn’t work on you, so I’ll never again use it against you… My pride is wounded…”
“I’m confident I’ll never mistake Freed.”
“I can see that… Really, you’re close.”
Freed replied right away, and Abel dejectedly said.
“… And, missy over there, you still haven’t given up? The next one is the last.”
Everybody’s eyes turned to Kate. She shouted, “Naturally!” but her voice was obviously weaker than at the beginning.
“The last… Then please one at a time. You can only tell the difference when they’re side by side. I’m sure you can’t when it’s just one of them. As if you could.”
Kate mumbled. I looked at her and nodded.
When I conveyed with my eyes to do what she said, they silently entered among the onlookers. Immediately one person came out. All it took was a glance for me to shake my head.
“Wrong. He’s not Freed.”
Feeling Kate’s gaze on me, I said so.
When I saw the next person who came out, I jumped at him with no hesitation.
Freed proudly lifted me in his arms and laughed, “Congratulations.”
“Lidi, I was sure you could tell, but it still makes me happy to see it. Just how were you able to tell us apart?”
“I’m not sure how I’m supposed to answer that, but I could just tell at a glance.”
I secretly whispered, “It was probably thanks to the Royal Flower,” into his ear and Freed quietly returned, “I see. It was because Lidi and I are connected.”
“Yes yes, it’s my complete defeat. Really, I’m sick of it.”
The match finished, and Abel returned to his original form. For some reason, the onlookers applauded me for getting all ten guesses right.
“Err… Thank you?”
I tilted my head a little. When I turned to Kate, she was quivering all over.
“Why… Why did this happen?”
“You should understand after seeing this. Lidi would never mistake me. The me that you met was Abel.”
Kate grimaced in frustration after hearing Freed’s words, but unsurprisingly, she couldn’t say anything back.
She must’ve understood that since I correctly answered every time, the atmosphere made it impossible for her to say I’d been with the imposter.
“You kept visiting the bedroom of a foreign Crown Prince without invitation and continued to flirt with him without noticing you were dealing with an imposter. And even though you were rejected by the imposter, you didn’t leave the room. On the contrary, you even said, ‘I visited your room at night, so take me to your country with you.’ I have no words to describe your foolishness.”
Kate flopped onto the floor. For some reason, the surroundings became noisy.
While I was wondering if something had happened, they turned around and moved aside to make way. The Queen slowly walked down the newly opened path. I could see the King, but he didn’t move. Apparently, the King intended to leave this situation to the Queen.”
Kate looked at her seeking help.