This time, with my father, I entered the great hall where the welcome ball of Emperor Alexel and Princess Victoria was being held.
There were already many royalty and aristocrats in the ballroom.
But among them, there was one place where a large crowd of people had gathered.
“…Father, over there!”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Father and I smiled bitterly as we stared at the gathering and walked towards the crowd, me putting my hand on his arm.
When we arrived at the place where the crowd was gathered, Father intentionally cleared his throat loudly so that the crowd could hear him.
“Oh, excuse me. We’d like to say hello too, if that’s okay?”
When the nobles who had noticed their father’s coughing, turned towards us, they hurriedly opened up the place and scattered away at that father’s smiling but silent face.
As expected of father.
It seems that since he has been the prime minister for many years, no one is so eccentric as to try to oppose him.
I was amazed at my father, but kept a smile on my face, not showing it, and looked at the tall figure in front of me.
There stood Emperor Alexel, dressed in a black ball gown, with no expression on his face.
“I’m sorry for the delay in greeting you, Your Majesty Emperor Alexel. My name is Reinhardt de Heinz, I am the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Beizelm. Henceforth, I hope we will get along smoothly.”
“So you’re Lord Reinhardt. I’ve heard much about your political skills.”
“I’m very flattered. But…of course…I’m told that His Majesty Emperor Alexel’s political skills are even more impressive than mine.”
My father spoke with the face of a Prime Minister, and Emperor Alexel spoke with a wry smile on his face.
I didn’t say anything, but instead listened to their conversation in silence.
“Ah, that’s right. I haven’t introduced you yet. This is my daughter Cecilia. And I am pleased to say she will attend to His Majesty Emperor Alexel during his stay in this castle. Now Cecilia, greet His Majesty.”
“Yes. Your Majesty, Emperor Alexel, greetings for the first time. My name is Cecilia de Heinz. It is a pleasure to meet your acquaintance.”
I stepped forward and said my name, plucked at the hem of my skirt and bowed gracefully.
But Emperor Alexel quickly glanced at me and then turned his gaze elsewhere, as if he wasn’t particularly interested.
That’s when I finally realized that Emperor Alexel was the only one to greet.
And it seems that father realized as well, and he turned his gaze and asked Emperor Alexel,
“By the way Your Majesty, where is your sister, Princess Victoria?”
“…Dancing over there.”
Emperor Alexel pointed his gaze directly with his chin, and my father and I followed his gaze and turned our faces to the spot.
And there we saw Princess Victoria dancing happily with her cheeks flushed, with Kaiser and his usual pseudo-smile on his face, dancing as her partner.
…Ah, beautiful men and women are indeed picturesque!
I watched the two dancing proudly and was simply impressed.
But then I felt some kind of gaze, and when I turned my head to the side, I saw Emperor Alexel looking at me intently.
“Your Majesty, Emperor Alexel? Is there something on my face?”
“…I remember that Miss Cecilia was the former fiancée of Prince Kaiser.”
“Yes, that right…”
“As I recall, rumor had it that Miss Cecilia had been dumped by Prince Kaiser and the engagement was called off…”
I wondered when I was supposed to have been rejected after hearing Emperor Alexel’s story, but well, I didn’t dare to correct him and kept quiet with a vague smile on my face.
“… From the look on your face and the way you were looking at Prince Kaiser earlier, it seems that the rumor was just a rumor.”
Then Emperor Alexel laughed lightly, the corners of his mouth rising as he looked at me as if he had seen something funny.
I was simply puzzled by the look on Emperor Alexel’s face.
After the greetings, father and I left the Emperor and went to greet the other noblemen, just smiling and exchanging formalities with them whenever they asked us about Kaiser.
And when it was all over, my father apologized and walked away from me, saying he had some business to attend to as Prime Minister.
After I saw my father off, I was thirsty, so I took a glass of juice from the waiter and moved to the wall so that I wouldn’t be in the way.
But…although I expected it, I’m going to be asked to explain the details about the dissolution of my engagement with Kaiser~. Well, it looks like no one would believe me if I told them it was called off.
With a bitter smile, I took a sip of the juice in my glass to moisten my throat.
Then I felt the presence of someone standing next to me and casually turned my gaze to find Emperor Alexel standing next to me.
“Huh!? Emperor Alexel!”
As I recall, I was surrounded by a lot of ladies and I didn’t need to go out of my way to deal with him, so I didn’t expect him to come here.
“It’s because I was alone without the young lady who was there with me.”
“Is there something wrong!?”
“I…I need to take a break, too.”
“Is that so…well, in that case, there’s a chair over there where you can sit down and have a rest.”
“No, I can’t take a break in peace over there.”
“Really? I’m told you have a very comfortable chair to sit on?”
“That’s not what I’m talking about…it’s that women are rushing over to me over there.”
“Ah, I see, but didn’t you come here where they are as well?”
“No, it’s not like that. They seem to think that they have no chance of winning with the duke’s daughter over here.”
Hearing Emperor Alexel’s words, I was convinced when I saw the ladies who were looking at me from afar and looking regretful.
“Fufu, well, if you say so, then I’ll act as a shield for a while. Then, shall I bring you a drink?”
“…Miss Cecilia, what is it that you are drinking? Is it alcohol?”
“This one? Ah, I can’t drink alcohol, so I’m drinking apple juice.”
“Apples…then that’s fine.”
“Oh, no, I’ll just take…”
“No, it’s good enough.”
Before I could go to the waiter who was handing out the juice, Emperor Alexel took the glass I was holding and drank the contents in one go.
He drank from the part of the glass that, for all intents and purposes, still had a hint of my lipstick on it.
No, wait! That’s an indirect kiss!!!
Without paying any attention to the fact that I was completely shaken up and frozen by this sudden event, Emperor Alexel handed the empty glass to a waiter who was passing by.
I shrugged my shoulders and let out a small sigh of dismay, thinking that I had been a fool to pay attention to him.
“Speaking of which, Your Majesty Alexel, I heard that you are not yet married, but will you be expecting a fiancée?”
“No, I have been too busy trying to stabilize our ravaged country. I haven’t had time to find a partner. But now that things have finally calmed down, the ministers are insisting that I marry sooner rather than later.”
“Then is there anyone among the ladies you just mentioned that you are interested in?”
“I wouldn’t be here if there was.”
“…Well, that’s right.”
I smiled bitterly back at Emperor Alexel, who looked at me with a dumbfounded expression.
Hmm, as expected, no fiancé in the country, and so far, no woman to worry about! This is my chance to recommend Nina!!!
I immediately opened my mouth to talk about Nina to get Emperor Alexel interested in her, but then stiffened at his words.
“In the first place, any woman who becomes a queen is probably just there to give birth to an heir.”
“…What? What did you just say?”
“That’s why women are only there to have children.”
The fact that I asked him back made Emperor Alexel look a little unhappy and he said the same thing again.
At that moment, my desire to introduce Nina to Emperor Alexel was blown away at once, and conversely, I was filled with anger.
…Emperor Alexel was such a person who thinks about women…I definitely don’t want to introduce him to Nina!!
I stared at Emperor Alexel with a grim expression on my face.
“Emperor Alexel, Your Majesty! Let me tell you, though, I hope you’ll change that mindset!”
“No matter how good a politician Emperor Alexel is, people can’t follow a man who shows such disrespect for women! There will inevitably be a backlash, especially from the ladies!”
“Women are said to only be there to have children, but bringing that new life into the world is a very hard thing to do! In some cases, it can be fatal for both mother and child. Don’t take that for granted! And all the people alive today are born of those women. And, of course, that includes His Majesty Emperor Alexel. And it’s only out of the question not to respect them!”
I rolled up to that point and with repeated rough breathing, managed to get my breath.
Then I finally remembered that I was dealing with the Emperor, and the blood drained from my face.
Oh no! I lost myself in anger and said it all! Is this going to be an international issue? Or will I be executed for disrespect?
Bad thoughts were going through my head and it started hurting more and more.
But contrary to my expectations, Emperor Alexel hid his mouth and I could hear a small laugh leaking out as he quivered.
“Pffft, I’ve never had a woman give me such an opinion before. Even that Victoria is selfish, but she’s never given me such an opinion.”
As he said this, Emperor Alexel looked at me as if he was watching something interesting.
“Ah, Your Majesty Alexel?”
“An interesting woman…I like it.”
Emperor Alexel’s words startled me, and I couldn’t help but raise my voice in a frenzy.
T/N: Greetings, newest harem member
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