Chapter 12: The Crown Prince

The place I was led to was said to be the private living room of the royal family. It was a rather large hall with a high ceiling.

Modern people in the twenty-first century would be rushing to find out what a private living room is when they see this. It was large enough to hold a mini-concert.

His Majesty the King and the rest of the royal family were already there. Except me.

Normally, the order of entry would be fixed.

We would enter from the bottom of the royal order, with His Majesty as the last.

Today, I am the last one in line because I have to say hello. Just as in an audience, I’ll greet everyone from one level down, as I return to the capital.

Scary, scary, scary, scary…Why are you glaring at me…?

The moment I entered the room, a strong look pierced into me.

I don’t really care about the attention. But this gaze was not of that kind.

The moment I stepped in, my previous excitement froze.

If looks could kill someone with a gaze, I’d be dead.

The source of that gaze is a young man standing to the right of His Majesty the King…who has the silver of the royal family and the blue-silver coloration that is said to have frozen the winter sky…Maybe, no, I’m sure he is my husband, His Royal Highness Prince Nigel.

As beautiful as his face is, the coldness of his gaze is even more pronounced.

…Ahh, what did I do? No, I’ve never met you before. What’s this hostility from the very beginning, even though Lilia said that there was nothing more than  formality with Arthirea!

For now, let’s try not to be conscious of it. It’s too scary, too scary.

An absolute zero wind is blowing from where he stands.

Wasn’t the Crown Prince supposed to be kind to everyone???

“Arthirea Luciane Thea Dis Elzevert Dardie, has returned.”

I crossed my hands in front of my chest and lightly bent my knees and put my right toe behind my back. It’s a bow of respect from a female royal to His Majesty the King.

My voice sounds like it’s going to fade away due to the high ceiling. Some people might call it cute, but it’s hard to hear. I might need to work on my stomach muscles more.

“Thia, you’re home.” (***It was unclear what her nickname was supposed to be, so I just went with ‘Thia’)

His Majesty the King…His Majesty King Gladis IV smiles at me.

He looks somewhat nervous with his pale skin color, royal silver hair and ash grey eyes.

He looks young, but his age is now fifty-three years old. This person, who ascended the throne after forty, was most heartbroken at the end of his older half-sister’s life. That’s why he cares for me, his bereaved child.

He is the biggest and greatest backer of the Crown Princess Arthirea.

Even though the crown prince has the actual political power, the only person who holds the throne is His Majesty.

“Thank you.”

I thanked him and turned my head down. It’s a habit of Arthirea’s, taught by Lilia.

I secretly take a look around with my head down.

The large dark-haired beauty leaning to His Majesty’s left is Her Royal Majesty Yulia, the First Queen. Next to her, a large man with a stocky, bear-like beard is probably His Royal Highness Prince Alfred, the Second Prince.

Standing one level below is Her Royal Highness Princess Argenna, the Second Queen, and the twin red-haired boys and girls, just like their mother, are His Royal Highness Fourth Prince Errol and Her Royal Highness Second Princess Nadia, standing beside each other.

Are the two side queens not here?

“It was an unfortunate incident with the maid, but forget about it now. I will place the ones who offered you their swords as the core of your guard, and increase the number of guards. You will be safe in the palace.”


How could I ever forget? But I’ll nod at this point.

His Majesty nodded with satisfaction.

This man is kind to me. He shelters me with his absolute power.

But it is not for Arthirea. It is for the already deceased Efinia…for my mother.

He isn’t looking at me.

I know better because it’s relatively easy too see in front of me.

“Thia, I hear you’ve suffered horribly. Are you all right now?”

The warm words of Queen Yulia.

The beautiful queen who gave birth to three princes, including His Royal Highness Crown Prince Nigel, and Princess Alienor, who was married to the Duke of Grachies.

She is already within reach of her fifties, but she doesn’t look it at all. I would believe her if she tells me she is in her thirties.

“Thank you. It’s okay.”

A small nod.

A compassionate smile…the most beautiful expression of this queen, who supports and covers for the nervous and tantrum-prone King Gladis, and has an extraordinary influence on the politics of the country.

But…something about her scares me. Is it because she is too beautiful?

Beautiful, gentle and compassionate…The First Queen is revered by her people as the Mother of the Nation.

In a way, His Royal Highness is a lot like this one.

And then…he looked at me.

So much so that his gaze is already a pressure, a presence.

The one who will be king…Nigel Elsebard Thea Dis Vera Dardie.

A young man, a rare genius born of Dardie’s blood.

He opened his mouth quietly.

“Welcome back, Thia.”

A sweet, sweet voice sounded. A shiver ran down my spine.

Not because I was fascinated by him. But because he’s terrifying.

He was genuinely scary.

Because it’s strange.

Earlier, he should have been angry.

An obvious sign of anger. If I had to describe it in terms of color, it would be a slightly bluish white.

You know? The closer flames are to white, the hotter they are.

That’s how furious he seemed.

That anger quickly disappeared, and then he laughed without showing an ounce of it.

The quickness of the switch…or its perfect exterior is frightening.

“I’m back now, Your Highness.”

I lift the hem of my dress and lightly fold my knees and bow my head.

A smooth etiquette that is ingrained in my body. A series of motions that look graceful and beautiful to everyone’s eyes.

“I’m glad to see you’re safe despite all that’s happened. We were somewhat frustrated with the lack of communication, though.”


“I’m sorry.”

Like Arthirea, I try to be patient and not show it on my face.

Fewer words and a flat tone of voice as much as possible.

But I felt a twinge of regret swirling in my heart.

I have a tremendous amount of feeling that it is my fault.

At least, I made no effort to contact him at all.

I don’t know who reported it and how, but there had been so much going on since my accident that all I had heard was fragmented yet vague reports of attempted poisoning and the like, that he must have been very frustrated.

The civil servant who had been dispatched by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, I honestly didn’t know who he was as if he was air.

I didn’t even know that there was such a person in the castle of Elzevert, and I only found out because I witnessed an unfamiliar person talking to the gate guard as the person in charge, with Count Stassen in charge, on entering the royal capital and asked Lilia who he was.

Lilia, who is in charge of my affairs, had told me that because of his presence, it was not necessary for me to contact the Crown Prince, and Count Stassen, the head of the guards, seemed to think the same, but apparently he was wrong.

At least, I’m sure there was a miscommunication.

He said he was sent to intercept us on the road, but in my eyes, he didn’t fulfill that duty at all, and furthermore, he wasn’t even able to communicate with us at the bare minimum.


Maybe I’ve worried him.

I am his wife, albeit in name only.

Besides, if you’ve known me since I was a child, you might have some compassion for me.

“Well, I can’t blame you for being unconscious, and…I heard you have a confused memory, but are you okay now?”

A smile that floats…a smile of self-love, much like the Mother Queen.

But an empty smile.

What makes him different from the queen is that he is aware of it, I suppose.

A cold will that seems to contradict the compassion in his eyes.

…Somehow, there doesn’t seem to be much compassion or anything like that for me…

Sorry. Quick denial.

Yup. This person may not have any sweet feelings.

I don’t know him well, but it’s something I think about. It’s very, very intense and present.

“There are a lot of things I don’t remember…”


“But it’s okay.”

He flashed a look of disinterest at that answer of mine.

That may have been the only honest expression I saw on his face at this time.

“Yes. That is good.”

It’s only for a moment.

But he quickly pastes a soft smile on his face.

“…Is that all?”

His Majesty makes a somewhat dissatisfied expression.

No, no, no, no. That’s all I need.

I don’t want to say anything more, and I don’t want to imitate poking at the bushes and bringing out the snakes.

“After this, I’m going to spend some tea time with you alone…”

Then…he laughs.

If I didn’t know anything…If I didn’t feel it, I would have been able to swoon over it, I’m sure.

But I can’t, because I’ve found out. I’m just scared.

No, I don’t need it. I just need this already!

I wanted to shake my head as hard as I could.

If it wasn’t for the expressionless Arthirea’s signature doll-playing act, I would have been shaking it around like swinging doll.

“That’s good.”

“Yes. I haven’t had a chance to talk to you at leisure recently…”

“Oh yes, that’s right. Thia isn’t going to be a child forever. From now on, I’ll have to spend some time alone with her.”


He laughs beautifully.

I wonder if I would be in trouble if I told him that His Majesty’s kindness is a nuisance…I have a bad feeling about it.

My knees were about to collapse.

To be honest…I’m not very good at it that type. I’m not a fan of those sadistic, two-faced, dark-hearted people. I don’t want to get close to them if I can help it.

I’m begging you to help me.

What comes to mind is Lilia and Count Stassen, who offered his sword to me. Two people I can trust right now.

I can’t believe that’s my husband…

I feel sorry to call him that.

But the more he laughs, the more I can’t help but feel fear.

I’m even more scared…than I was of Queen Yulia.

The speculation that the impeccable crown prince has a dual personality is now almost certain.

Why is my husband, of all people, the most difficult type to deal with?

I want to curse my bad luck.

I won’t say I hate him because I don’t know him well enough to say I hate him.

But I don’t need a husband who is so handsome he is considered a beauty!

I don’t need a husband who is said to be a genius!

I don’t need anything special!

I’d rather have a…normal person.

Because I don’t want a husband who’s all over the place like that…and by the way, the awkwardness seems to be specially made!

“Your Majesty, I think it’s time to end to Thia’s return greetings. We’ll leave you to it.”

“No, It’s good. I want to stay here.”

And yet, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince walks over to me in a daze and stands in front of me who is frozen.


The sweetness and bitterness snatched at the tip of my nose in a huff.

Something that seemed to be grasped but wasn’t…emerging as a vague memory, I thought I was trying to remember something important.

That was the moment when I thought I was close to getting…a clear grip on it as it was about to take shape.


My vision swayed.

For a moment, I didn’t know what had happened.


His Highness Nigel picked me up in his arms.

Not like a princess hug, but like holding a small child.

His Majesty the King and Her Majesty Queen Yulia looked at us with satisfied eyes.

Her Royal Highness the Second Queen doesn’t seem too interested, and the twin princesses are staring at me as hard as they can. The prince’s side of the family is dawdling, comparing me to the princess, and…His Royal Highness Prince Alfred, the younger brother of the Crown Prince Nigel, is looking at me with a warm gaze. It’s something like…‘sorry for your loss,’ or something like that.

I was just frozen in His Highness’ arms.

I felt like a frog being stared at by a snake.


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