Chapter 14: The Day of the Engagement Announcement

The next day, after the day I met Viktor the capture target, unexpectedly, I was feeling down because I had to attend the engagement announcement at the castle, but I didn’t have a choice but to put on the beautiful pale light blue dress that Kaiser had picked out for me and wait for him to pick me up from the castle in my room.

If I only wanted to go to the castle, I should have gone in my family’s carriage, but Kaiser decided on his own that since it was an important day, he would provide a carriage with a proper escort to pick me up.

…Hmm…did Kaiser act this forcefully towards Cecilia during the game? As I recall, he was basically a bit of an afterthought and tried not to get too involved…well, he had no choice but to go along with Cecilia’s selfishness because he was her fiancé…but I guess that’s because we’re still kids, right?

I was puzzled because I remembered the way Kaiser had behaved since we met.

I stopped thinking for the moment and headed for the front door when I was informed by a maid of honor that a carriage had arrived to pick me up.

When I came to the front door, I found a smiling father and mother who were already waiting to see me off, as well as a grumpy-looking brother.

The three of them were to come later, so I was the only one going first.

“Oh Cecilia, that dress looks great on you. I’m sure Prince Kaiser is a great judge of style.”

“…Thank you, Father.”

“Cecilia-chan, if you go to the castle by yourself, make sure you don’t have any rough edges.”

“Yes, Mother.”

“…Cecilia, it’s not too late for you to stop going.”

“…Brother, if I could, I wouldn’t want to go there either. But it’s my duty as a fiancée, and I don’t want to embarrass the Heinz family.”

“Cecilia…”

I smiled at my brother and he smiled at me with a resigned look on his face.

Just then, the front door opened and Viktor came in through it.

“Huh? Viktor?”

“Princess, I’ve come for you.”

“Could it be that Viktor is the guard?”

“Yes, I will protect the princess all day long.”

“…Then, please.”

I wasn’t expecting Viktor, the captain of the order, to come as my bodyguard, so I was surprised, but I convinced myself that it was better than having to go with a complete stranger.

I glanced at Viktor’s left hand and was relieved to find a white bandage wrapped tightly around it, which seemed to indicate that he had been treated properly.

When I looked at my father and the others to greet them in their departure, for some reason the three of them were looking at me and Viktor with puzzled expressions.

What on earth is going on…Ah! Viktor’s “Princess…”

I noticed this, but it became too much of a hassle to explain anymore, so I quickly greeted him before he asked me any questions and got into the carriage with Viktor.

I arrived at the castle and waited in the antechamber with Viktor’s escort.

“Princess, I’ll be waiting at the door, so if there’s anything you need, please call me at once.”

“Oh, yes…Well, I don’t think there’s anything in this place that could possibly happen.”

“Still, call me!”

“I…I understand.”

I responded to Viktor’s words with a dumbfounded expression, and he nodded with a very satisfied look on his face, then turned on his heel and was about to leave the room.

But after a few steps, he stopped and turned his head to me for a moment.

But I couldn’t see that expression clearly and wondered what the hell was wrong with him.

“Viktor?”

“Your Highness, today you look very pretty…beautiful.”

“What?”

“Now, excuse me!”

When we were alone in the carriage, Viktor didn’t say anything to me, so I was surprised by his words, as I didn’t expect him to praise me at this time.

I was surprised at his words, but perhaps because he heard my surprised voice, he immediately turned his face forward and walked out the door at a fast pace.

However, I didn’t miss the fact that the moment Viktor’s face disappeared, the part of his face that had been visible to me turned slightly red.

You don’t have to go out of your way to compliment me on my appearance when you’re embarrassed to be concerned about me…….But Viktor being embarrassed was a little precious and cute! Sure, I used to groan when I saw the occasional picture or scene of the heroine shying up to him in games, but I still like the raw shyness! Well, I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t see it from the front…but I was still happy to see it!

I was secretly happy to see him, thinking that I would never see him again.

I was sitting on a couch, drinking a cup of tea that was prepared for me, until the time came for me to relax.

But for some reason, Kaiser’s face had a puzzled expression.

“Hi Cecilia…I’m still glad I chose that dress. It goes well with your beautiful hair and looks great on you.”

“Thank you…and you look unhappy…how can I help you?”

“Yeah, it’s because…I was wondering why Viktor was standing in the hallway.”

“…What? Didn’t Kaiser choose Viktor as my bodyguard?”

“No. Viktor is the captain, so he should have been doing something else…that’s why the escort was supposed to be someone else who was skilled. But for some reason it was Viktor, which surprised me. Besides…”

“Besides?”

“When I was talking with Viktor in the corridor just now, for some reason he called Cecilia ‘princess.’ Certainly, I don’t think it’s wrong for Cecilia to be called a princess, but…I was wondering why that Viktor suddenly started calling Cecilia a princess.”

“…Oh, that’s…”

I thought I had to explain to Kaiser, so I picked out what happened yesterday and explained.

Then, for some reason, as he listened to me, Kaiser’s expression became more and more grim as he listened to me.

“……..Cecilia, I’m just checking, but you’re really not injured, are you?”

“Yes, Viktor helped me.”

“Yeah, well…”

So Kaiser muttered to himself and fell silent as he stilled to think about something.

“What’s wrong with you, Kaiser?”

“…I thought it would be safe with Victor, who had never had a conversation with a woman until now. No way, Victor would fall for…”

“Is he going to fall on you? Did something fall out?”

“No, I’m talking about this…well, from what I just told you, Viktor himself doesn’t seem to be aware of it, so he should still be fine.”

I was looking at Kaiser, who was mumbling about something I didn’t understand, in a strange way.

Then Kaiser noticed my gaze and looked at me with his usual pseudo-smile.

“Excuse me Cecilia, please don’t pay too much attention to what I was saying. I was just thinking about it for a moment.”

“Oh, really…”

“But it’s time to head to the hall.”

“Oh, yes.”

So I left the room as Kaiser took my hand and urged me to leave.

When we went out into the corridor, Kaiser hugged me around the waist and started to walk away, but Viktor was walking behind us, following silently.

Hey, why would he hug me around the waist like it’s normal—? To be honest, it’s hard to walk…

I thought so, and I looked at Kaiser, but Kaiser was walking around with a very satisfied look on his face, so I didn’t feel like saying anything else.

But more than that, the sharp look on my back didn’t make me feel at all comfortable.

When I mustered up the courage to glance behind me, I found Viktor staring at us with no expression on his face.

Being completely unsure of what he was thinking frightened me, and I quickly looked forward and made an effort to avoid looking behind me as much as possible.

I continued walking down the corridor in that state for a while and finally arrived at the door to the hall.

“…Princess, this is all I can do, but I will guard the hall until the engagement announcement is over. But if anything happens, I will definitely come to you, so please rest assured.”

“Yes, yes…thank you very much.”

Viktor said to me with a serious expression, and I was slightly taken aback, but replied anyway.

How alert are you to a mere engagement announcement…?

With that in mind, he bowed and left Viktor’s back with a bitter smile on his face as he left.

“…Come on Cecilia, since it’s our engagement announcement, let’s make sure it’s a success!”

“Yes…”

While looking at the unusually enthusiastic Kaiser, I replied to him with some dismay.

“Oh, it’s time for you to take your hand off my waist, please.”

“Why?”

“What? No, I’m not sure why you are asking, but I’m not sure I want to go into the hall in this state.”

“I think it’s a good time to show everyone how well we get along, don’t you?”

“Well, that’s true, but…”

“Cecilia doesn’t need to worry about it, just let me take care of it.”

So Kaiser said with a nice smile and quickly announced our entrance to the man standing at the door.

He immediately announced in a loud voice that we were entering, and the door slowly opened from the inside.

With a twitch in my cheeks, I gave up, and with Kaiser’s urging, I stepped into the hall.

When we entered the hall, the aristocrats who were already inside welcomed us with smiles and applause.

This time, unlike the last time we debuted at a social gathering, there were a lot of aristocrats, both adults and children, in attendance.

So, as I proceeded through the hall, feeling looked down upon by the adult aristocrats, I felt a great sense of oppression indeed.

But I couldn’t show such feelings on my face, so I walked ladylike next to Kaiser with a smile on my face like a Duke’s daughter should.

When we arrived in front of the king and his wife, who were already waiting for us on the stage, Kaiser and I bowed our heads together and greeted them.

After that, Kaiser spoke to the nobles who had gathered in the hall.

“I am grateful that so many people have gathered today for the announcement of Cecilia and my engagement. I, Kaiser Ron Beizelm, am pleased to inform you that today I am engaged to Cecilia de Heinz, daughter of Duke Reinhardt de Heinz of this kingdom.

“I am Cecilia de Heinz. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

So I identified myself and plucked the hem of my skirt and gave a lady’s bow, smiling at the nobles gathered in the hall and greeting them with a smile.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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