It’s not easy having nothing to do.
I’m regaining a sense of time by dividing it by meal time, but sometimes I don’t know for a moment if it’s morning or afternoon.
Smells good…seems like fried garlic
Perhaps the kitchen is close by. There was an appetizing smell mixed in with the breeze.
In this country, dinner is usually around 7pm in the evening.
I still have a bit of time to kill, so I tried to come up with a basic plan for what I was going to do.
To begin with, the funeral service of my mother, which is the main purpose of being here, is over.
A funeral ritual is like an annual mourning ceremony, and the funeral ritual held here is just a formality. My mother’s body is resting in the mausoleum in the royal capital.
If it wasn’t for my crash, I would have returned to the royal capital long ago.
But even though I said I was going back to the Royal Palace, the culprit has not been caught… and there is no guarantee that the Royal Palace will be safe if I think about it carefully.
“Princess…No, Your Highness.”
As I was vaguely thinking about this, Lilia unusually called me “Your Highness.”
I had understood over the past few days that when she called me y’our highness,’ it meant that she was on some kind of public business.
“Yes?” I turn my gaze to the following.
“…The Duke of Elzevert has offered to give the children, and the Duchess, an audience with the others.”
Instantly, I nod my head lightly.
“It seems that His Highness the Duke wishes to introduce his wife, your mother-in-law, and your brothers.”
No, I know what you mean, but…a little bit, I’m thinking about it.
Because, as I’ve said many times, it’s a simple but complex situation.
Here’s a recap.
I am the daughter of the Duke, born of a formal marriage between a Duke and a princess, and I am now the crown princess.
The reason why I go out of my way to call it a formal marriage is because it is very important in this Kingdom of Dardinia.
With that in mind, when I sort out the situation regarding my position and complicated situations, this is a very daydreamy way to put it.
My father, the Duke of Elzevert, has five children in addition to Arthirea.
All five are sons, and it is the current Duchess Luciella, from the second marriage, who gave birth to them.
The first point here is that she is not a “Princess (Dis)” but a “Lady (Fis).”
Although she is an official wife, not a mistress, she does not have the various rights of a princess. Luciella is not a person who can become a princess.
However, this is not just a matter of status. In fact, there have been a number of women who have become “princesses (Dis)” even if their status is lower than that of Luciella.
But perhaps Luciella will not be able to take that position forever. The royal family will never grant her the title of “Dis”.
There is, of course, a reason for that.
Luciella’s children are, from top to bottom, Alan, Dior, Rael, Iris, and Ellis…Alan is twenty-four years old and the twins, Iris and Ellis, are seventeen years old. Of course, their father is the Duke of Elzevert.
This is strange in terms of age! Many people would think that. Because the children of a woman who was married as a second wife are much older than me, the former wife’s child.
But this is really just a simple matter. To put it plainly, she was my father’s mistress all along, and when my mother died, she became his second wife.
My father, the Duke of Elzevert, became the princess’s betrothed when my mother, Princess Efinia, was born.
This was strongly desired by the Duke’s family, and also despite the age difference between them, the royal family did not dismiss it for political reasons.
Although the four dukes and the royal family have been intermarrying for generations, the spouses of the Duke of Elzevert are almost all married from the royal family, which is an unwritten rule.
That’s why they are sometimes called spares of the royal family, and when the queen ascends the throne, the first choice for the royal consort is always someone from Elzevert.
It should be noted that he was already 15 years old when she was born, and that the Duke’s family, rather than the royal family, had a strong preference for her as a betrothed.
This age difference was the source of all the subsequent events.
It was when he was 20 years old that my father, Leonhardt, fell in love with Luciella, the only daughter of Count Finos.
At this point, my mother, Princess Efinia, was only five years old. A fiancée is usually not much help as a five-year-old, so the relationship between Leonhardt and Luciella was tolerated rather favorably, if not welcomed.
This is because Elzevert was one of the largest nobles in the country, and for Count Finos, who was only a regional nobleman, it was not something he could have hoped for his daughter to receive the favor of the next duke.
It was not strange for the head of the four dukes after the royal family to have a mistress or two. Rather, it’s rare if they don’t have one.
Eventually, they had a child together.
That was Alan, the eldest son. Two years after Alan was born, Dior was born, and two years after that, Rael was born…and three years after that, the twins Iris and Els were born…but even after that they were not married.
There is no way they could. Because the Duke was still the princess’ betrothed.
Nevertheless, Leonhardt and Luciella were now like husband and wife. Even among themselves, and as others would have seen it, they were. At the very least, Luciella could not be called a mere mistress.
If there had been a number of other mistresses, it wouldn’t have been a problem. Regardless of whether or not it’s a suitable situation for a princess to marry into, having a number of children for a number of mistresses is not an uncommon story in any country, and if that was the case, things wouldn’t be as complicated as they are.
However, the Duke had no other lovers. It’s not that he didn’t have offers, he’s heard of a few women who would have wanted to get their hands on him, but that’s all.
…I was most impressed by the gossip of the handmaids, who were well aware that there was even a woman who had wanted their hands on him. That’s great, maids. What secret service is that?
At this point, I think the Duke should have refused the princess’s betrothal.
But he didn’t refuse…I’m sure it was political and all sorts of things, but as a personal opinion, I think that was a terrible decision.
Here’s what happened as a result…
That’s where my mom’s tragedy happens, which complicates my current situation.
A princess who is only fifteen years old has already been married off to a man who already has five children and is fifteen years older than her, as well as a woman who is treated as a wife…This is a tragedy for the princess.
At this point, the only thing the princess had over Luciella was her status.
In this case, youth could not be a weapon. The youngest princess, bright and pretty, was popular with the people. But in the eyes of men, she would be seen as nothing more than a child.
The charm, composure, or maturity of a woman…A fifteen-year-old girl couldn’t have possessed something that would attract a man in that sense.
Moreover, Luciella had five children…and Luciella would have already had confidence that she was loved.
…If she had had at least five more years, the position might have been reversed.
As far as the portrait was concerned, the princess was a wonderfully beautiful woman. I think so when I look at my own face born from her.
But the princess didn’t have that time.
On the night of my birth…the night of the princess’s death…the duke was at a party at his villa to celebrate the birth of the youngest child born to Luciella.
He ignored the news of his young first wife’s water breaking and did not stop the party, ignoring the messengers from the main residence who visited him several times afterwards, to let the party continue.
He gave priority to celebrating the birth of his mistress’s child, and thus missed my birth.
Normally, my father would have named me, but it was my mother, the princess, who named me.
I think it’s a very beautiful name. I really like the name Arthirea Luciane, which is also in the first passage of the Scripture.
And Princess Efinia had prayed to the Cardinal of the Church of England who was there for my baptism…His Eminence Julius, who is now the Supreme Cardinal.
“I beg you. Please let me and this child return to the royal capital. I don’t want to stay here anymore.”
That became her ‘final wish.’
It was her ‘final wish’ because she died an hour later.
The ‘final wish’ was something special.
In the teachings of the Church, the ‘final wish’ must be fulfilled.
If it is recognized as a ‘final wish,’ the Church will absolutely fulfill that wish with the authority and power it possesses. No matter what obstacles there may be to its fulfillment.
However, that is why there are strict rules for it to be officially recognized as a ‘final wish’. Otherwise, the people who were at the deathbed might say that it was the final wish of the deceased.
Because it was the night I was born…and that was the time, ironically, all the conditions were in place and the final wish was granted.
Incidentally, those conditions are fourfold:
Condition 1: The presence of a high-ranking clergyman of the State Church → Cardinal Julius.
Condition 2: Two or more knights of knight rank or higher must be present in the room → the knights of the princess’ guard.
Condition 3: Attendance of the deceased’s blood and in-laws → Blood: I, the deceased’s child, and the Grand Duke of Keydia, the deceased’s half-brother. In-laws: the deceased’s mother-in-law, the former Duchess of Elzevert, the deceased’s brother-in-law, Count Saudia, and his wife, and others.
Condition 4: If the deceased was a nobleman, the presence of a nobleman not of the deceased’s blood or consanguinity → Count Verni and Baron Fern, emissaries from the royal family who planned the birth of the princess.
Therefore, the princess’s ‘final wish’ was fulfilled.
The next day, when the Duke rushed in, everything had already been decided.
Princess Efinia was to be buried in the royal mausoleum, and I was to be raised in the residence of the Duke of Elzevert in the royal capital.
It was first and foremost unprecedented for a princess to be buried in the royal mausoleum, her family’s home. I think you will understand that that unprecedented thing includes unspoken circumstances around the ‘final wish,’ but it was approved on the spot.
Their marriage of only two years had brought nothing but pain to the princess.
“What shall we do, Your Highness? As a private offer…”
Lilia asks me over and over again as I get lost in thought.
I want to meet my third brother in person and thank him. But I feel like I should keep this and that separate.
I tilted my head slightly, and then shook my head.
It’s not that I’m innocent…but I don’t have any memories of Arthirea, and there’s still a feeling in me that I can’t forgive the Duke and Duchess.
I feel sorry for my mother…
Something tingled in the back of my nose.
It’s just now…Even though I’ve always thought as Arthirea, I still don’t really feel it…and there are parts of me that still tell myself that I’m not her.
But at times like this, I feel connected to Arthirea, as if I really am Arthirea.
There’s a feeling in this chest that fills up tightly with…something akin to sorrow.
It’s something that makes me want to cry and scream.
It’s something that Maya Izumi, who doesn’t know this world, couldn’t possibly have.
No matter how tragic it may be, after all, if it’s just someone else’s problem, it can be passed by as if you were reading a book or watching a drama.
And yet, there’s something that lodges in the back of my mind and I can’t ignore it.
I only just heard the story and now I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget it.
I will not meet them.
I shook my head quietly again, and Lilia bowed her head with a somewhat relieved look on her face.
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One thought on “Chapter 4: Final Wish”
Wow. Sick! I blame the system actually. I mean, his fiancé (MC’s mom) only 5 at that time. Kinda makes sense if he falls for other.
True… He should just cancel the engagement (it was ridiculous, after all. But, I don’t know the circumstances yet… So can’t really judge).
But…. He did lay his hands on 14/15 yo girl (that’s why mc was born).