She and the Night of the Ninth Day 5
The Queen ignored Kate and approached us, then she bowed her head without any hesitation.
“I am sorry, Prince Friedrich, Princess Lydiana. A person from our country acted impolitely towards you. You have my apologies.”
In response to that, Freed put me down and politely answered.
“No, I am the one who’s sorry for ruining the long-awaited evening party. We’ve caused trouble.”
“No, I’ve heard in advance that this might happen. Neither I nor His Majesty mind it. However, Kate, it’s regrettable. It’s very regrettable.”
I was surprised to learn Freed had talked with her about it in advance. But considering there could be a disturbance at the evening party where the King and Queen would be attending, it might have been necessary to tell them about that possibility in advance. The reason nobody stopped the ‘who’s the real Freed game’ or why Freed told me it was alright was because it had been discussed with the King and Queen beforehand. I was satisfied with that explanation.
“Queen, I… just…”
Kate’s gaze clung to the Queen. The Queen looked back at Kate with cold eyes.
“Just what? You caused an embarrassing scene in front of a crowd of people. Do you understand that you humiliated the country?”
“That’s wrong, Queen! I just yearn for His Highness Friedrich, so…”
“So you committed such a reckless act. You showed off that you spent a night together in front of so many people and asked him to take you with him. How will you take responsibility if all Irvine nobles start having ideas similar to yours?
“Then you fell for the imposter. Moreover, he didn’t even entertain you. Be grateful to Prince Friedrich. He ordered the imposter not to touch you, so you are still pure. Personally, I think such thoughtfulness is wasted on a person like you.”
Kate tightly gripped her dress.
“In the first place, you are aware that Prince Friedrich renounced his right to concubines, right? You knew that, so why did you decide to do something so foolish?”
“That’s because… I’m more beautiful, so such a thing doesn’t matter…! Queen, didn’t you say it yourself too! That’s I’m the young lady that looks best in the dresses of your choice! In other words, it means I’m the most beautiful, doesn’t it?”
“Is that what made you so utterly conceited? You really are foolish. If you had looked at them even for a moment during the welcome party, you’d have known that Prince Friedrich cherishes Princess Lydiana. There’s no gap for another person to enter. Without being able to see something so simple, you acted according to your own desires. Until now I turned a blind eye to it even though I had been slightly worried, but I can’t protect you after this time’s foolishness. You’ll receive appropriate punishment.”
Despite her complexion turning pale, Kate desperately pleaded with the Queen.
“I-I haven’t done anything wrong! I just wanted to attain a suitable position for the beautiful me. What’s wrong with that!? T-That’s right! Even that mannish princess is only respected by everyone because she’s a princess, right? It’s unforgivable that such a phony woman is respected more than me! That’s why, that’s why I… I!”
Perhaps due to her impatience, her true feelings that she’d been concealing leaked out. I involuntarily frowned at her unseemly feelings. The Queen looked at her without concealing her exasperation.
“I see. Is that the real reason why you wanted to become Prince Friedrich’s mistress? That you couldn’t stand being treated as inferior to Ophelia? Fufu… Yes, I understand. You’re the source of the cruel rumors about Ophelia. Doesn’t it seem like you regularly look down upon that child? Even though there are no bad rumors about that child in the Royal Capital, there are always unbelievable bad rumors around the castle. I wondered why… I left the investigation to Ophelia since I thought it was her problem to solve, but there’s a limit to seeing my daughter being looked down by a girl.”
The Queen declared so and looked at Kate with cold eyes. As if she was overpowered, Kate took a step back.
“W-Why… Queen, you distance yourself from the princess… That’s why I…”
“Who said something like that. I love that child, Ophelia. There’s no way I wouldn’t love my dear daughter.”
“B-Because… I was told you disliked her dressing like a man… That’s why you gathered us to put dresses on us…”
“Isn’t that obvious? What parent would be happy with their cute daughter dressing like a man when she shines more than anyone when dressed up?”
“… No way.”
The Queen ignored Kate, who started trembling, and while looking around said.
“It’s a good opportunity, so let me tell everyone, because some of you still seem to misunderstand. We find it very regrettable that Ophelia dresses as a man, but both His Majesty and I love Ophelia as our child.”
A murmur ran through the venue.
The Queen resolutely said.
“―― Refrain from falling for strange rumors and looking down upon the princess of your own country. Recognize that your actions are embarrassing you as Irvine nobles. Moreover, while I don’t know what my daughter thinks about them, let me tell you that both I and His Majesty feel extremely displeased. I think it’s also my daughter’s fault for not trying to correct the rumors, so I’ll turn my blind eye to what happened until now, but if you do something similar from now on, we won’t stay silent. We have no need for people who complain about the Royal Family.”
The Queen’s words made the venue fall silent. The Queen then turned her eyes to Kate.
She had collapsed on the floor, still trembling. The Queen glared at her and sharply gave an order.
“Guards. Take her away.”
In accordance with the Queen’s order, the guards seized Kate and took her away. Kate didn’t resist.
She was in no state to offer resistance.
When Kate was gone, the Queen once again bowed her head to us.
“Let me apologize to you again. Since I knew about that child’s foolishness and just stood and watched, I bear all responsibility for this matter. If you may permit, can you leave punishing that child to us?”
“Lidi, is that fine?”
Freed looked at me. When I nodded, he told the Queen.
“Yes. We leave it to you.”
“Thank you… I was to some extent prepared for this, but I didn’t believe it would really happen. It’s unbelievable how discourteous she was to the Crown Prince and Princess of a foreign country… That child didn’t even have the minimum pride a noble should have.”
The Queen placed a hand to her cheek and sighed.
Then she finished the topic saying, “Let’s talk again,” and went back to the King.
After the Queen left, I asked Freed.
“… Freed, you talked to the Queen about her, didn’t you?”
“I know it disgustingly well how that type of woman can act. I told the King and Queen that at worst she might disturb the evening party.”
The disgustingly well part resonated all too much within me.
“I was sure she’d sneak into my bedroom, so I decided to use it against her. I asked Cain to make a request with Abel and placed him in disguise in the unused room. If she hadn’t come, I’d have forgotten about her the same as you, Lidi. But the outcome is as you see. She kept going to Abel’s room every night and tried to use it as a pretext to follow me to Wilhelm. She chose the path of ruin herself. Even though she could just not have acted, she hadn’t even considered that possibility.”
“That helped me as well though. She desperately visited the room with my fake, so she didn’t bother you any more, Lidi. I think Abel did a good job in that meaning as well. Lidi, you spending your days safely is most important.”
“If you think that, I won’t mind if you increase the compensation.”
Abel interjected. Freed talked back to him.
“I’d offered you more than enough and even said I’d increase it just a while ago. Any more would be unnecessary.”
“After all, it didn’t work. I said that since there was a slight chance, but Mr. Crown Prince isn’t so lenient after all.”
Abel shrugged his shoulder and said, “That’s right,” like he remembered something.
“I’ve been thinking of living in Wilhelm for a while after this. It’s fine if you pay the request fee over there. I’ll go collect it in the near future.”
“Eh, you’ll live in Wilhelm?”
When I involuntarily asked from the surprise, Abel grinned.
“Yeah. I found you guys incredibly lucrative. I totally didn’t expect requests from both of you during the ten days of your stay. It fills me with hopes for the future, and because the last time was like that, I couldn’t even sightsee, right? So I think it’s a good idea.”
“Besides, my face has been splendidly revealed in Irvine now. It’ll be hard to do behind the scenes work in this country. It definitely appears like I have the backing of the Crown Prince of Wilhelm, so nobody will want to use me, right? Haa… It’s become difficult. Did you… come up with this strategy to entrap me from the very beginning?”
Freed simply smiled as Abel glared at him.
Yup, this was the face saying he’d absolutely thought of that. Abel perhaps understood that too as he breathed a large sigh.
“I don’t really mind. It’s me who decided to go to Wilhelm. I’ll let you keep me for a while as you planned, Mr. Crown Prince. I think you already understand, but I’m super excellent, right? In the future, I’ll keep demanding appropriate compensations, okay?”
“Yeah, I know that. If you promise not to work for anybody else, I promise you bigger compensation than for this time.”
At those words Abel stamped his feet in an easy to understand manner.
“Kii! It’s frustrating that I can’t refuse! Shit, I’ve never worked exclusively under one person… Well, it happens sometimes.”
Abel dejectedly dropped his shoulders.
There was no problem with the current Abel who had no relationship with Sahaja staying in Wilhelm, but for an instant, the appearance of Marianne and Tiris crossed my mind.