For some reason, I was groaning with my head in my hands at this game-like route choice scene where I received confessions of love from people who I thought were my friends.
In the first place, I’m in the rival/villain position, not the heroine position! And there’s even the bandit leader… How did that happen!?!?
I was bewildered by the scene in front of me when I heard a throat being cleared nearby.
I slowly turned my head in the direction of the clearing to see the king standing there looking at me with a complicated expression on his face.
Then the king turned to the guard who had come to report about the bandit leader.
“Ah, for now, go get the bandit leader as soon as possible.”
The guard, who had been puzzled by this strange situation, came to his senses at the king’s words and rushed out of the audience chamber.
Then the king turned to me again and scratched his head.
“I’m sorry, Miss Cecilia. I’m sorry that my careless remarks have caused this to happen.”
“Oh, well…no, it probably would have ended up like this sooner or later, so…”
With a bitter smile, I looked at everyone who was still staring and holding out their hands to me.
I let out a big sigh and put my hands on my hips and said crisply with a dumbfounded expression on my face,
“Honestly, I’m very happy about your feelings for me. But…I can only think of you all as my dearest friends, so please give up on me and choose someone more deserving and suitable!”
Everyone looked sad at my words, but I ignored them with a cold heart.
Because…if you think about it, Nina’s title as the “Celestial Maiden” still has about three months left, and the game itself goes until Nina’s term ends. If that’s the case…maybe there’s still a chance that everyone’s feelings will change from here on! It must change!!!
As I was thinking this earnestly, Kaiser softly hugged me.
“Cecilia…no one is more suitable than you!”
“No, you should look in a different perspective…”
“I can’t see anyone other than Cecilia!”
Kaiser looked at me intently as he appealed to me.
As I was in trouble with Kaiser, I was suddenly pulled away from him by my arm to the other direction, and this time Ghislan hugged me.
“There’s no way I’d pick anyone but you!”
“You’re the only one I can trust with my heart, Cecilia, you’re the only one I can trust. So…don’t tell me to choose someone else!”
“Uh…even if you say so…”
Ghislan’s pained and angry expression made my heart ache, but that didn’t mean I would break.
Then, another hand turned my waist and pulled me away from Ghislan. Prince Alfeld hugged me from behind.
“I promised my father and mother that I would bring Cecilia home with me. And I was also told that I must win. I have no intention of losing to anyone else.”
“…Oh, that’s what the two of them meant when you said goodbye…”
“So I’m not going to give up.”
“Please give up, because I ask…”
As I was stunned by Prince Alfeld’s words, with a strong shock, Prince Leon pulled me away from him and hugged me.
“Hey! Prince Leon!”
“Hey, Sister Cecilia…do you really think I can give up on you?”
“Ugh! But I’m sure that even Prince Leon can find someone other than me…”
“If you say any more, I’ll lock you up again, okay?”
“I won’t say it!”
I shook my head violently as I stiffened at Prince Leon, who gave me a black smile.
Then someone stood behind me, grabbed me by the waist and lifted me up.
I was so surprised by the suddenness of the situation that I was turned around and put into a princess hug.
And in front of me was Viktor, a serious expression on his face.
“Viktor! Hey, please put me down!”
“Princess…if you will retract your earlier statement, I will let you down.”
“I don’t think that’s…”
“My heart is set on the princess. And now I can’t choose anyone but you, no matter how much you ask, I can’t do it!”
“I’m sorry, but to be so blunt…”
Viktor was staring at me with an even more serious expression, and I was at a loss for words.
Just then, two hands entangled my body, and both of them tried to pull me away from Viktor.
As I was about to fall in that unexpected state, Viktor put me down on the floor, and Nina and Lady Lateia hugged me at the same time.
“Nina!? Lady Lateia!?”
“Lady Cecilia! I still can’t leave you to those men!”
“Yes! We, being women, can take better care of you than they can!”
“What? No, to take take care of…I’m fine on my own, but…”
“I can’t leave Lady Cecilia alone…I can’t do that!”
“I will dedicate my life for Lady Cecilia!”
“Hey, what are you saying!?”
As expected, the remarks that were too heavy made me pull at my face.
I knew that this was not good, so I ducked out of the way and prepared myself to get away from them.
Then the king, who couldn’t bear to look at us anymore, interceded with a disturbed voice.
“You…you are all going too far with the condition that I approved for Miss Cecilia. As expected, I will not allow you to embarrass Miss Cecilia. For now, you will go back to your rooms to calm down at once.”
“Kaiser, did you not hear my words as the king?”
“…I—I understand…Cecilia, I hope you’ll reconsider, too.”
Then Kaiser and the others reluctantly left the audience room.
It was finally quiet and I let out a breath of relief.
“Cecilia, are you alright?”
I was gutted and exhausted, and my father and brother approached me with a worried look on their faces.
“I just can’t leave my adorable Cecilia here!”
My brother shouted with a stern expression and suddenly hugged me, and I turned my face towards him in surprise.
Then he smiled softly as he looked at me and gently patted my head.
I was happy and embarrassed by the feeling, as my brother hadn’t touched me in a long time.
Although my brother is a bit too much of a sis-con… it’s still comforting to get a hug from family.
As I thought this, my brother looked at father with a serious expression.
“Father, let’s just take Cecilia home like this!”
“Cecilia would be better off at home than here, wouldn’t she?”
“Well, that’s right… but is it okay to go home?”
“Of course it’s okay! Isn’t that right, father?”
“…I would like to, if possible.”
“So what’s wrong?”
Seeing our father’s reluctance, older brother asked him with a pissed off look on his face.
Then the answer came from another direction.
“Roberto, I understand that, but I can’t return Miss Cecilia home so easily.”
“Your Majesty? How can that be?”
“You know as well as I do that Miss Cecilia has been missing for a while and that the bureaucrats don’t think well of her in the first place?”
“…Yes, But that’s it!”
“Well, it was certainly my son at fault, but it was Miss Cecilia herself who asked that this not be made public…Miss Cecilia, do you wish for me to announce it?”
“No, you don’t have to do that.”
“That’s right. Well, that, and the fact that the engagement with Kaiser is now cancelled, will make Miss Cecilia’s position even worse. If Miss Cecilia were to return to the Heinz family right away with such a situation, there would be suspicion of disagreement between the royal family and the Heinz family. And you know that this would put us both in a very bad position.”
“So I’m sorry Miss Cecilia, but I hope you will at least stay in this castle until the end of the tenure of the ‘Celestial Maiden’ and show that you are not on bad terms with Kaiser and the others.”
The king looked at me with an apologetic expression as he said that.
…After all, I guess I couldn’t escape from here until the end of the game period…
While thinking so, I slipped out of my brother’s arms and looked at the king, smiling bitterly and nodding at him. It was unavoidable.
“Brother, I’ll be fine. Besides, I consider Kaiser and the others to be dear friends, so as expected, I’m very unwilling to have rumors of being on bad terms with them.”
I said that and showed him a smile.
When he saw that, my brother reluctantly nodded and became silent.
However, the king and my father spoke to me with an apologetic look on their faces.
“…Miss Cecilia, there is actually one more reason why we want you to remain in the castle.”
“Why do you want me to stay in the castle?”
“As a matter of fact, it was already decided when Cecilia was still Prince Kaiser’s fiancée…I want Cecilia to attend to the emperor of a neighboring country and his sister the princess who are due to visit this country in a week’s time.”
“I was actually going to let you know a little earlier, but…because of your disappearance happening…”
“What? Huh? Well, in that case, we can send someone else…”
“I’ve already told him that Prince Kaiser’s fiancée, the Prime Minister’s daughter, will be his partner during his stay. It’s hard to change that on a moment’s notice. The fact that you are no longer Prince Kaiser’s fiancée will certainly be heard, but your position as the Prime Minister’s daughter won’t change, so I’ll still be asking you to do the job. The reason for this is because Cecilia is the highest rank among the noble daughters.”
“And if it goes well, I think the bureaucrats’ opinion of you will change. That’s why I’d like you to do your best”
“Uh…Yes. I’ll do the best I can.”
I dropped my shoulders and nodded with a gulp, resigned to the fact that I’d have to work hard for the Heinz family.
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