“. . .I finally did it.”
I can’t bear this self-loathing. Walking through the corridor facing the garden in the new world I’ve been transported to, I reflect on my actions and hang my head in shame. Just as Corl said, “There’s no way you can sleep with someone you don’t love,” I blatantly fell into despair because Theodore, who never tried to make a move, didn’t show any interest. This negative thinking led me to list the princess’s good qualities, belittle myself, and yet secretly hope that he would choose me, only to become afraid and mention Angelica. And foolishly, it seemed like a good idea to me. After all, that way, even if the engagement were broken, I wouldn’t become an unrelated person.
And then, I blurted out my thoughts without thinking, and Theodore called my name in a tone that was so strong that it could be considered the first time he had ever done so.
“Ester… Do you really like me?”
“…Are you saying that Theodore?”
In response to Theodore’s natural question, based on my previous statements, I ended up getting angry. This was my biggest self-loathing point.
“…And I said that you were distant and didn’t want to be with me, but that was his Kol’s voice that I heard from him all this time. In other words, it was like a declaration that you could read my mind. Despite that, Theodore listened to me and wondered if someone had whispered something to me. He didn’t even consider the possibility of being able to read my mind.
If the voice in my heart that always feels uneasy is correct, I would suspect that he can read my mind to some extent. Saint’s magic has various abilities, so it’s not an impossible story. However, even his coldness didn’t consider the possibility of having his mind read.
In other words, I have no idea what he’s thinking. His coldness might be wrong, and Theodore might really love me from the bottom of his heart.
I realized this at a time like this. I hurt Theodore, made him cry, made him angry, and finally understood how kind he was.
“What kind of face should I make when I see him?”
It’s painful to have the feelings of someone who likes me doubted, pushed away, and hurt due to my overreliance on magic and attempts to assign them to someone else. It’s difficult to be doubted in my feelings of love. As evidenced by my immediate defensive reaction. To put it mildly, I’m despicable and awful, and no matter how much I apologize, it feels insufficient. The slightly cold night breeze seems to be accusing me, and I even feel a chill and sneeze in my ill-fitting coat that I grabbed hastily.
…But still. The fact remains that if I don’t apologize, things won’t improve.
I don’t have the courage to go back right away, but I’ll come back when I calm down. I’ll apologize sincerely and tell him that I want to be with him forever, if he’ll have me.
When I sighed and thought about it, someone spoke.
Oh, isn’t it Estelise-san?”
“Third Princess, and Your Highness the Imperial Prince…”
Coming from the opposite direction were the princess I don’t want to see right now and the Imperial brother known as “Tanuki Gramps.” Though I have various thoughts about the Imperial brother, it’s proper etiquette to at least greet him politely, so I do, and he grins and nudges the princess.
“You must have something to do later. You should go now.”
“Well, thank you for your concern, Grandfather. Goodbye.”
“So the Veiled Lady is here, which means Theodore-sama is alone now. This is my chance!”
I’m such a fool for letting them be alone in the same room to keep Theodore from being alone. I try to stop the princess who hurriedly runs off, but the Imperial brother stands in my way.
“It’s been a while, Princess Acardi. Are you free? Why don’t you keep this old man company?”
“. . .Thank you for the invitation.”
“Shall we go then?”
He didn’t even give me a chance to refuse. This was an outrageous act of coercion. I thought that the emperor, who was capable and had a good character, and his brother, who was blood-related, would be similar in some way, but it seemed that was only in appearance. At that moment…
‘’If Dorothea can handle it well, the motive for the murder will become more convincing, but I wonder.’’
Although it was unclear what was happening, from the ominous words I heard from his Kol’s voice, it seemed that this Tanuki-Grandpa was up to no good again.
Unfortunately, it seemed that I couldn’t focus on Theodore right now. I switched my feelings of anxiety and focused on gathering information, following him as we walked away.
“. . .I may not have any clever stories, but if it’s okay with you, I’ll keep you company.”
“Good. My older brother and Diark seem to be quite fond of you. I was interested.”
‘’We should just colonize small countries like Acardi right away… My brother is spineless. We must exterminate those strange people who claim to be descendants of the saint’s bloodline. In fact, they worship them in the Entlich territory near Acardi.’’
“. . .I am honored beyond words.”
I’m used to the gap between Theodore’s fluctuating personality and his Kol’s voice, but this old man was something else. However, judging from his use of the word “exterminate,” he intends to kill me… or does he? He didn’t speak with much conviction. He said it depended on the efforts of the princess, so she’s probably involved.
“What were you talking about with the third princess?”
“Oh, her birthday is in three days. I happened to meet her and congratulated her.”
“Well, you’re a kind grandfather.”
I deliberately brought up the topic of the princess to shift the focus.
‘’…We plan to have her die at her birthday celebration. It’s your instruction, too.’’
the vulgar younger brother of the emperor’s kol, smiled at me with a crude grin. Is this old man trying to do something like the assassination plan of Diark during the founding party again? He’s an incorrigible old man. I want him to stop.
“That child is probably in love with your fiancé. I’m sorry.”
‘’I advised Dorothea to cause attempted murder on the princess and make her fall from grace, so that she could take that young man for herself… But an attempt is a weak reason to start a war. The princess, who was about to lose her fiancé, went mad with jealousy and asked Grose Baehr to assassinate the imperial princess. The emperor, whose precious daughter was killed, declared war on Acardi… That would be better. It would have been easier to kill Dorothea first, but… it’s better to wait until the birthday celebration to make sure there’s no escape.’’