It had been a few days since Alexel and Princess Victoria had started staying in the castle.
I decided to put the engagement matter on the back burner for now and prioritize the entertainment that my father had asked me to give them.
First, I visited Princess Victoria’s room and invited her to show her around the castle.
“…Huh? Why do I have to walk around the castle with you!?”
Princess Victoria gave me a very disgusted look as she said this.
“As I told you when we first met, it is because I am to keep Princess Victoria and Alexel company for the duration of your stay at the castle.”
“…Alexel? Why do you call my brother by his name!?”
“What? I was forced to call him that, so…”
“I don’t believe it! My brother has never let anyone call him by his name before! And I won’t let you keep in touch with him. Don’t you dare speak to me like that!”
“No, I’m sorry, but even if you say that…”
I smiled awkwardly and scratched my cheeks as I looked at a resentful Princess Victoria.
“I don’t want to talk to you anymore! Get out! Besides, I’m going out with Prince Kaiser now, so I don’t have time to deal with you!”
When Princess Victoria said that, she turned her back on me and left to her room.
After all that, the maids of Princess Victoria, who were left in the room, looked at me with a smile. I smiled back and said I’d be back, and left the room.
Ah~ I’m hated by Princess Victoria after all. Well, I guess she doesn’t like the fact that I seem to have taken her beloved brother away…but if possible, I want give him back to her. -Sigh- it can’t be helped. It seems that Kaiser is going to take care of Princess Victoria, so I’ll just leave the rest to him. For now, I’ll go to the other one…though I’m not too keen on it to be honest…
I let out a small sigh and started walking towards the room.
When I arrived at Alexel’s room, the door was unusually left open, so I quietly peeked in through the open door.
Then I saw Alexel sitting at his desk with a serious look on his face, and Noel standing beside him with a bunch of documents held to his chest.
Oh my, it looks like they’re busy. Then I shouldn’t interrupt them here, so I’ll come back another day!
Although I said so regretfully in my heart, my face loosened happily and I decided to leave in silence.
Then, as I slowly turned on my heel and stepped out of the room to leave quietly, a voice called out to me.
“Where do you think you’re going? Cecilia.”
I turned around fearfully and met eyes with Alexel, who was staring at me from inside the room.
“I’ll say it again. Where do you think you’re going? Didn’t you come here for me?”
“Ahhhh, well…I was thinking about giving Alexel a tour of the castle, but since he seemed to be busy, I thought I’d better not do that today…”
“Well, that’s a nice invitation. Let’s go.”
“What!? But you’re busy, aren’t you!?”
I hurriedly looked at Noel as Alexel handed over the documents he was holding as he stood up.
But Noel only looked at me and smiled.
“Cecilia-sama, don’t worry about it. I’ll just finish going over the portion I just received.”
“Is that so? But…there might be oversights, and…”
“No problem. This time is perfect.”
“That’s right it is. Now, Cecilia, can I ask you for guidance?”
As I was talking to Noel, Alexel had approached me and placed his hand around my waist.
I was upset at Alexel’s behavior, but when I looked at Noel, he was smiling and waving his hand off at me.
“Hah~ I understand. I’ll show you around. But…could you please stop holding my waist?”
“Because it’s hard to walk! And…there’s a lot of eyes on me, and to be honest, it’s embarrassing.”
“Hmm, don’t worry about the other people. Sooner or later you’ll be walking like this in front of more people anyway.”
“What? What does that mean…”
“Because you will be the Empress in my country and will be walking next to me.”
“…I hope I never have to.”
“Kuku, I guess you can say that for now.”
Not wanting to talk about this any more, I dared not say anything, and decided to focus on showing him around the castle, which was my original goal.
I took Alexel around the castle with me.
As I was walking down the corridor to show him around the courtyard, I noticed a familiar figure walking towards me from across the corridor.
“Ah! Sister Cecilia!”
Prince Leon, who so happily called my name and waved his hand, rushed towards us with a smile, then he paused a few steps away and stared at us as his expression clouded.
“Sister Cecilia…why are you so attached to Emperor Alexel?”
“No, I don’t like sticking around either…”
“Then…it’s okay to leave, right? Hey, Emperor Alexel, my Sister Cecilia hates you so can you just leave?”
“Well, I can’t just listen to Prince Leon’s request.”
“Jeez~just stay away from her!”
“Hey, Prince Leon, please calm down!!”
Prince Leon set his eyes on me and reached out to remove Alexel’s hand from around my waist.
I tried to stop Prince Leon from doing so in a hurry, but he wouldn’t listen to me at all.
No, no, Prince Leon! You’re dealing with the emperor of a neighboring country! In some cases, this can be a very bad situation!!
I struggled to calm Prince Leon with a cold sweat on my back, but I could feel him getting more and more irritated by Alexel’s hand, which didn’t move at all.
Just when I was beginning to get a headache from both of these unadulterated attitudes, the red beryl necklace that Prince Leon always wore around his neck fell out to his chest.
“Hmm? Isn’t that…a red beryl?”
“What?…How did Emperor Alexel know?”
“That’s a rare ore that can only be found in my country. It’s only natural to know it.”
“What? You can get this in Emperor Alexel’s country!? I’ve talked to all sorts of merchants who deal in ores, but in the end I couldn’t find out where to get them from!”
At the words of Alexel, unexpectedly, Prince Leon’s stern expression from earlier changed drastically and he looked at Alexel with a sparkling expression.
As expected, even Alexel was puzzled by such a change in Prince Leon’s attitude.
“Fufu, Prince Leon is very fond of ores.”
“Hey, hey, Emperor Alexel! There are a few things in my ore collection that I don’t know the sources of. Do you know if you would be able to tell?”
“Well…to some extent. I am still the Emperor of a country whose financial sources come mainly from minerals.”
“Wow! Then you can come to my room right now on and take a look at them, right?”
Saying that, Prince Leon asked Alexel for his help.
When he saw Prince Leon, Alexel looked at me with a troubled expression.
“I’ll show you around some other time, so for now, please go to Prince Leon’s room.”
“…If that’s what Cecilia says.”
“Yes! Oh, and of course, Sister Cecilia must come with me!”
“What? Me too?”
At Prince Leon’s invitation, my face stiffened for a moment, but I quickly changed my expression and nodded to Prince Leon, who was staring at me with expectant eyes, giving him a wry smile.
It’s okay, it’s okay…It’s not just me this time. There’s no way I’m going to let him lock me up anymore!
While telling myself so, I went with Alexel to Prince Leon’s room.
When we arrived at the room, Prince Leon began to show us further into the room.
To be honest, I was intensely upset inside, as I had expected him to bring some ores out to the parlor instead.
“Please follow me, there is a dedicated mineral room in here.”
Prince Leon happily opened the door that led to his bedroom and urged us to come in.
However, the room beyond that was overwhelming my head and my footsteps were getting heavier and heavier.
“…Cecilia, what’s wrong?”
“No, no! It’s nothing…”
“But you look a little pale. What if you’re not feeling well?”
“It’s all in your head! See? I’m full of energy!”
I smiled at Alexel and gave him a small pose as a way to show him I was fine.
“Hmm? What’s wrong with both of you?”
“No, it’s nothing!”
“Yes? Oh, here.”
So the three of us eventually opened the door of the room and went down to the basement where I was locked up before.
“…Wow, this is quite an impressive amount of stuff.”
Alexel looked around the room in amazement, and I looked at the room in amazement as well.
“Huh? It’s obviously not the same as before…”
Alexel was looking around the room, away from me, at the ores on the shelves.
Then Prince Leon approached me and whispered in my ear.
“I had the place renovated right after that event, and turned it into a complete storage room.”
“It’s true…the water room that was in the back is gone, and the bed and all the other furniture is gone too.”
“Yeah. And of course I took down those bars.”
“…I wanted to show Sister Cecilia again and apologize properly. I’m so sorry for that time!”
“Well, I’m glad you understand.”
Prince Leon’s feelings were transmitted, and I naturally relaxed my body, which had been tense, and smiled softly.
“Huh!…I still love you, Sister Cecilia. Please choose me.”
I was confused by Prince Leon, who was staring at me with a serious expression, when Alexel interrupted the two off us.
“Would you like me to confess my love for my fiancée as well?”
“But are we done seeing the ores? If it’s okay with you, me and Cecilia can go back now, right?”
Prince Leon glared at Alexel who had interrupted him, but he couldn’t win against a discussion about his favorite ores, and in the end, everyone spent the next few hours talking about them.
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