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Chapter 19: The Invitation

“Your Highness, Her Royal Majesty the Queen has invited you to tea.”

He presented me a card on a silver tray. It’s embossed with the royal coat of arms of the two-headed dragon.

Wow, I wonder how they made it? I’m very impressed with the detail.

“……I’m in trouble. I don’t remember the manners or anything.”

“What are you saying to His Highness the Crown Prince, who has tea with you every morning? If there was a problem, His Highness would have warned you about it long ago. The Crown Prince is very strict about such things.”

“Because woman are more detailed about these things.”

A woman’s enemy is a woman, Lilia.

“I can’t refuse the invitation. The queen’s invitation is an order.”


I’m depressed. Well, let’s think of something fun to do.

“Oh, and by the way, Lilia, I will not be having dinner over here tonight.”

“What is it?”

“The Crown Prince said we should have dinner together sometime.”

It was my first dinner invitation.

I’m kind of happy.

Morning tea is nice, but having dinner together feels more intimate, doesn’t it?

“Well…that is good.”

“Yes. Do you think dinner would be good with His Highness?”

“I don’t think His Highness will eat anything bad.”

“That’s true.”

“I’m looking forward to it. We’ll see what we can eat.”

Dinner is basically stewed food, so I don’t think there’s much that’s too bad to eat.

“And now that my escape from reality is over, it’s time for the Queen’s tea party.”


Lilia, you are merciless.

I feel that my position has weakened lately.

“It will be the afternoon after tomorrow. Some of your garments were tailored the other day.”

“It’s not like…sleeves and all that lace, is it?”

“It’s okay. It’s designed so that you won’t accidentally dig the lace of the sleeve into your tea.”

“Thank you.”

It’s no laughing matter. Lace is all the rage in the court of Dardinia right now.

They even go out of their way to wear lace on their sleeves. Even men have lace on their sleeves.

“…I’m not going to be alone with the Queen, am I?”

“No. She is inviting all the ladies of the harem to join.”


It makes me feel a little better.

“You are not good with the Queen, are you?”

“……Yeah. But actually…”

No, His Royal Highness was scary at first too.

I thought I’d never be able to handle this type of person. But now it’s nothing, so I feel sorry to think that way.

But I can’t help but think, I’m no good at it…It’s not because I think that way for a reason.

“Your Highness…was raised from the age of four to about nine years old in the hands of Her Royal Majesty.”

You don’t remember, do you? That’s what Lilia’s smile says.

“Yeah…eh. So the palace here was empty then?”

“Yes. A little over a year after it was built, when Your Highness was four years old, there was a poisoning incident that destroyed the kitchen. So I heard that the Queen took you in.”

“………I’m sorry, I don’t remember any of it.”

Her Royal Majesty Yulia, the First Queen is the birth mother of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. In other words, she is my mother-in-law and foster mother.

And yet, there’s nothing that comes back to me at all.

It’s rare that I don’t remember it clearly. Mostly, I can remember something vaguely.

“The reason why Your Highness left the Queen’s care and came back is because there was a proposal to make His Highness the Crown Prince take in a consort.

“That’s the kind of story that’s normal.”

Age is also something to be considered.

“But His Royal Highness the Crown Prince rejected it outright, saying his wife would always be in the main palace, and so he welcomed her into the palace.”

“So, less than a week later, a thief attacked you and killed your nanny.”


“How do you know this?” Lilia asked.

“His Highness told me a lot of things. He said that people would hide those things from me, but that I might step into danger by not remembering them.”

He told me the details of the incident in that matter-of-fact tone.

His Highness’s perspective is very objective and his stories are coherent and easy to understand.

The topics of conversation these days are usually my past stories that His Highness knows about.

“………That’s not a topic suitable for tea time, is it?”

“It’s no use trying to tell His Highness Nigel that.”

“I agree.”

And that’s how you can see the Crown Prince’s true character.

“The criminals were three men and a woman hired by the Tirese family. I’ve heard that she was the new maid hired to open the palace.”

“That’s right. The Tirese family was the family of the King’s mistress, Liliana, who was said to be His Majesty’s favorite mistress at the time.”

“The nanny, Madame Marlene, was mistaken for Her Royal Highness, who was supposed to be staying at the palace here that night…”

“Yes…Her Royal Majesty was here until dinner, but she caught a cold and returned to the main palace, in case it should spread to the Princess.”

I don’t really understand the significance of the Queen staying at my, her daughter-in-law’s, palace.

Were we so close that we didn’t want to leave?

“Was I close with Her Royal Majesty?”

“Well…very few people in this building know what happened back then, and I arrived here shortly after that incident.”

Well, I guess so. My maidservants are all young.

“When I met her, Your Highness had already shown little interest in your surroundings.”

I see. So I was already a doll princess by then…I’ll ask His Highness next time. When did I become a doll?

“What happened to the attacker?”

“The thief was quickly seized and, after a trial, sentenced to death…The punishment in this case was quite large.”


“The involvement of Your Highness in the assault infuriated His Majesty. As a result, the family of the head of the Tirese family, who had ordered the raid, was called out of their domain. The family name was severed. The master and his son were condemned to death. Liliana was sent to a monastery and forbidden to leave it for the rest of her life. Also, the houses in the Tirese line were struck off the rolls of the House of Lords.”

Being removed from the House of Lords’ roster means that they will no longer be nobles.

The culprits got what they deserved, but a number of people were also involved who didn’t know how far they were involved.

But to go to such lengths…

Maybe that’s what I’m hoping for with Ellucia’s murderer.

“His Majesty is mild-mannered, but as far as Your Highness is concerned, that is not the case. His Majesty’s concern for you is extraordinary.”

“…It’s is a bit much, isn’t it?”

What am I supposed to say?

That’s how much regret His Majesty has for my mother, I suppose.

“That’s right…But there have been various cases against Your Highness, and it has become a pattern that the culprit in the case against Your Highness will be executed if caught, and the ringleader will die a painful death after severing the family’s line.”

It’s a nasty pattern.

“After the incident, His Majesty ordered the princess to return to the palace, but the crown prince stopped him from doing so. He said, ‘Arthirea is not a member of the royal court, she is my queen.’”

“The Crown Prince said it was because the environment in the rear palace wasn’t good. He said that it would be troublesome to get involved in crappy women’s fights in the rear palace and to have them spout off on their own.”

“I think there was a better way to say it…”

His Highness doesn’t embellish his words at all when he talks to me.

He always seems to be in a bad mood, and his curt tone of voice sometimes makes me think he’s angry with me.

But he doesn’t have that hollow fake smile when I first saw him, nor does he speak to me in a fake sweet tone of voice.

…I’m okay with that. Nope. That’s fine.

“But His Highness…”

“As Your Highness’ lady-in-waiting, I am delighted to see that you’ve become so close to him.”

“…Lilia, don’t tease me.”

“I’m not kidding. I’m just stating a fact.”

She’s lying. I’m sure she’s joking.

That’s not funny. It’s not like that at all.


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