A few strands of hair fall out with a rush.
What passed in front of me was a sharp blade.
“…Don’t come any closer, you insolent fool.”
It was Count Diha, who had just been introduced earlier.
Unlike His Highness, who appears to be calm at first glance, he was clearly furious.
With a glance at Mistress Felicia, whose eyes are wide open and who is shaking, Count Diha takes a glance at her, and with a flowing motion, he puts down his sword and kneels down.
Those who are allowed to wear a sword in the palace are also allowed to pull it out.
The fact that Count Diha drew his sword here is apparently not a particular problem.
“My relatives have donee something disgraceful, Your Highness.”
The Count bows his head deeply.
“…That’s right. It’s ruined the Sagriza evening party.
His Highness kept his smile on his face.
It is a very old saying that the first evening party is called the Sagriza Evening Party, after the bell of Sagriza, which marks the beginning of the world.
…It’s certainly been messed up.
It was not necessarily a party with any special meaning. It was just that it was the first night party that His Highness opened in his own name. It would have been a success if it had gone off without a hitch, but this was hardly a success, to say the least.
Ah, but I guess it was rather successful for my purposes…
My mission for this evening party was twofold.
First, to make my first dance a success.
Second, to not tell anyone, but to show them how well I get along with His Highness.
It’s a bit painful to hear people ask what kind of relationship do I have with His Highness, or if there even is such a relationship to begin with. His Highness and I have a bond that is not just a political marriage. I wanted to show that.
For various reasons, or perhaps because of my age, we don’t have a physical relationship, but we do have a psychophysical bond in our own right—mainly in the form of his stomach!
I was hoping to check out the concubine applicants who would eventually come.
Though I sorely miscalculated that someone would volunteer here.
Judging by the applause and cheers after our dance was over, I think the dance was a great success. Everyone’s reaction wasn’t too bad either, so I’m sure I’d get some points for it.
On the other hand, the effect is not immediately apparent, but I think everyone here understands that His Highness does care for me—Throughout this whole fiasco, His Highness has been holding me in his arms.
“I can’t apologize enough to Her Royal Highness for this…”
Count Diha gave a bitter smile and bowed deeply.
“No. I hope there will be no more such disturbances in the future.”
I shake my head. Excessive apologies are not necessary for me.
“Why!? Why don’t you understand? I am an admirer of Nigel-sama.”
The sound of a grieving voice.
“Shut up. Do not utter His Highness’ name without pardon.”
Miss Felicia had a sad look on her face with tears in her eyes.
“…Even father said that if I am as beautiful as I am, I might be able to capture His Highness’ heart.”
The young lady looked back at her father, saying that no one was on her side.
The Marquis of Rhodelia’s complexion became paler and paler.
I wonder if he’s okay? I wonder if he’s breathing? I’m a little worried.
…You know, that’s just lip service from a parents’ greedy eyes. You shouldn’t take it so seriously.
Perhaps the Marquis had said something close to, if not exactly, what she had said.
But surely it was not intended to incite her in such a way.
For the Marquis, Miss Felicia would have been such a cute daughter, and if she said she was raised by a single man, it would be unavoidable if her parent was a little too foolish.
“…Everyone said that if it was me, His Highness would like me too! They said I’m much better suited than Her Highness!!”
The young lady looked around in a circle. Several of them looked away.
Perhaps the Marquis’ friends and subordinates, or those who served the house, would have agreed with her if asked.
Perhaps it was a light banquet talk for those who were close to them only.
Miss Felicia is indeed beautiful, and is much more balanced in age than I am.
As if tired and disgusted, Nigel-sama let out a long, long sigh.
Then His Highness’ hand gently covers my ears.
“You need hear no more. The daughter of Marquis Rhodelia must be a little off her rocker.”
“I am okay.”
It’s not something I like to hear, but I don’t really care about what she has to say.
Although I’m kind of at my limit already.
Mentally. And physically.
So I opened my mouth.
“…Daughter of Marquis Rhodelia.”
Suddenly being approached by me, Miss Felicia looked as if she had been struck empty for just a moment. Then she immediately turned over to hide such an expression from her face.
“…You said you wanted to serve Your Highness…but what can you do?”
She looks up involuntarily.
“I have the pleasure of helping to keep His Highness healthy, albeit in a small way.”
It may sound vain, but I am trying to improve His Highness’ diet with everyone’s cooperation.
If left unchecked, His Highness will be incontinently unhealthy, so a well-balanced diet is important. I may be like the person who makes His Highness eat vegetables in this way or that, but as long as His Highness eats all of his food well, that’s all that matters.
“All the people who serve His Highness are excellent people. The secretaries and stewards, as well as the ladies and maidservants, have been carefully selected. What skills do you have that would make you useful to Your Highness in preference to them?”
“…I can give comfort to His Royal Highness…”
“His Highness’ will is something that only His Highness can understand. I don’t think it’s right for you to assume it without permission.”
‘What do you think?’ And I look up at His Highness Nigel.
His Highness shakes his head with a dismayed face.
“Yes, and unlike Her Highness, I am an adult now. I can fulfill his wishes in a way that Your Highness cannot.”
Ah, she means she can help at the bedside.
His Highness cut in mercilessly.
“I have a proper princess, and I’ve never needed mistress.”
Then Nigel-sama continued with a straight face.
“If it’s for comfort, there’s Luthia…What more do I need?”
It’s a soft tone, but what he’s saying is very sweet.
Your Highness you idiot, you idiot, you idiot!! This is too much of a surprise!
My heart trembles helplessly.
I’m sure His Highness wasn’t particularly conscious of it.
“…As this is a family matter, I leave it up to you to deal with it. Make sure it never happens again.”
“Understood. My most sincerest apologies.”
I watched in a somewhat unrealistic and fluffy mood as the decisions were made before my eyes.
“Your Royal Highness, I adore Your Highness from the bottom of my heart.”
His Highness Nigel was about to open his mouth to the appeal of the tearful young lady, but Count Diha interrupted it with a blank expression that showed no emotion.
“…So what? Do not impose your one-sided feelings upon His Highness.”
Maybe it’s because he’s one of our people, but Count Diha’s tone is relentless.
…Also, let’s try a little harder.
It takes a lot of willpower and guts to pull myself back from my almost distant consciousness.
“…Luthia, that’s enough.”
He picked me up softly.
“I’m sorry to put you on the spot.”
A voice, whispered in my ear.
I tried my best to keep it at bay, but perhaps it was because I was relieved that His Highness had said it was enough, that my consciousness drifted away into a whiteout.
T/N: Kyaaaa! (⁄ ⁄>⁄ ▽ ⁄<⁄ ⁄)
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