Princess Nadia Ulyssia, the second princess and half-sister of His Highness Nigel…Nadi came just after the first dance was over.
I thought I was sitting in the chair next to the temporary throne, worrying about my aching toes and cramped calves, but she came as if she had been waiting for me. Nadi can be very impatient.
Oh, I’ve been waiting for this to end. Absolutely.
I was so happy that Nadi was here because I was doing my best dancing to a song that was less than three minutes long. If I talked to Nadi, he wouldn’t ask me to the next dance.
“…May I speak with His Royal Highnesses, the Crown Prince and Princess?”
After picking up her gown and giving an abbreviated greeting, Nadi opened her mouth with a somewhat thoughtful expression.
At first, Nadi couldn’t have a proper conversation with His Highness, but after she came to visit me many times, she eased up a lot because she got used to it. And yet now, for the first time in a long time, she’s so nervous that she’s pale.
Well, not much sibling intimacy, but…
Perhaps His Highness doesn’t quite know how to treat a half-sister who is not an object of his protection.
Of course, I don’t know the right answer, nor is there a right answer to begin with, but His Highness’s treatment of Nadi is just the same as the Crown Prince’s treatment of a noblewoman. The only thing special about it is that he call her by her name if he has to.
“It’s not a problem…Luthia, stay here with Nadia. I’ll bring you a drink.”
His Highness, who is very attentive, leaves me and Nadi alone.
I think he understands that it would be difficult for Nadi to talk to me if he were there, but at the same time he thought that I should have something cold to drink because I am feeling hot from my fever.
I’m told not to drink anything at the evening party, but it’s a different story if His Highness brings it to me.
“What’s the matter? Nadi.”
I call out to Nadi, who seems unsure of how to speak.
“Luthy, I’m sorry.”
She suddenly apologized and I tilted my head.
“…I’m really sorry to say this out of the blue.”
Nadi hesitates, and then closes her mouth, as though she’s about to say it several times.
The temporary throne is placed on the top seat, and everyone is not allowed to approach it from a certain distance. It’s not that there’s a partition, but that’s the rule.
Though it’s painful to look at!
Nadi is royalty, so she can come on his own. But those who are not royalty cannot come here on their own unless they are called.
And as long as Nadi, the princess, is talking, no other person can push Nadi away and talk to me.
Royal rituals are really detailed…
But I think that’s why His Highness left me and Nadi here and excused us from our seats.
Otherwise, there is no way His Highness, who is overprotective of me, would have left us here alone.
The biggest job of all at this soiree is done! The rest is just smiling next to His Highness.
I’ve been told it’s okay to leave, but I’m going to make sure the timing is right because if I go back to my room right after the dance, it will look like I only came out for the sake of duty.
And I’d like to have some checks and balances too!
Anyway, since there are so many rumors going around, here’s one thing I’d like to mention, we’re actually very good friends! That’s what I want to show that.
I’ve been planning all sorts of things, too.
“Nadi, it’s a new gown. After all, you look good in orange.”
I smiled at Nadi and changed the subject.
“Thanks. With this hair color, there’s only so many colors that go with it, and Luthy told me that orange would look good on me too.”
Nadi, who is honest, is happy to talk about it. Nadi loves to talk about fashion and knows a lot about trends. She is not the type of person who creates trends, but she is always gathering information.
“Yes, you look great in this dress.”
Many of Nadi’s gowns were pink. They were also rather pink-toned in color.
Of course, it was a color that suited Nadi, but it was a bit childish, in fact.
The same shade of pink would be different if it was a lighter shade, a salmon-pinkish shade or a grayish-pinkish shade…And then there’s the design.
The current trend is the excessive use of lace, which is, in a way, a display of financial power.
Lace is quite expensive, even if it’s just a little bit.
In fact, Nadi’s gown today was designed by the two of us.
Lace is trendy but I don’t think we should use it too much, so we made a point of using it in certain ways. I used lace on the chest and cuffs in a slightly lighter color than the orange gown itself. The gloves are white, but with a splash of orange floral embroidery.
Nadi’s evening gown for her adult evening party had an open décolletage and a large neckpiece adorning her bust…This is right on trend. It’s a good idea to keep the basics in mind while adding your own personality to it.
“The pearl necklace was your mother’s, wasn’t it?”
It was a design I had seen before.
It was knitted in a beautiful pattern with small white pearls and large conch pearls, and it must have been the pride of Nadi’s motherr…Her Highness Princess Argenna.
“Yes, it was a gift from my mother. I’m an adult now.”
Nadi looks a little happy.
She said that she couldn’t hate her mother for whatever reason.
It’s a boring jealousy… her case… So always trying to do things, nagging, always complaining about marriage and rejecting any candidate …But still always worried about her late marriage.
I guess these worries are the same in every world.
My mother died at the end of my teenage years in the other world and shortly after I was born over here, and I’ve only heard stories about her, so I don’t have much of a connection to a mother.
Slightly, I envy her…
I can’t understand the close kinship and proximity that exists only in close blood relations…parent-child, brother and sister relations…
Because in both this and that world, ‘I’ am thin on the terms of family.
Still, I’ll just listen to you a lot…
If I say it out loud, I just won’t get it, so I quietly shut my mouth and listen to what she has to say. Because of that, I think I know quite an abundance of actual examples.
In Nadi’s case, it seems to me that the Princess has settled into a moderately good relationship with her mother when she went to a remote palace outside the city and was physically separated from her.
When you are too close to each other, you often see things you don’t like about each other and butt heads over small things, but when you are away from each other, you can be more considerate of each other.
“They are all beautiful pearls, aren’t they? As expected of Alhane.”
Pearls are a speciality of Alhane, and perhaps that is why there were so many pearls in Princess Argenna’s jewelry.
White pearls shine beautifully with red hair.
“White pearls are the most popular, but there are many different colors of pearls, especially the pale red ones like this one, which are very rare. My uncle told me that he is going to give me a hairpiece for my next birthday, so I am looking forward to it.”
“Luthy’s gown is lovely, too. His Royal Highness has always had good taste.”
“…Why do you know that?”
“Because all of Luthy’s things are hand-picked by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, right?”
“Yes, but…what? Is that famous?”
“It’s not that it’s famous, it’s more like…Basically, a husband gives his wife something to adorn herself with.”
“…Ah, I see.”
“It’s just the basics. In Luthy’s case, you’ll have gifts from your father, Princess Yulia, or your parents’ house.”
“Yeah, I guess that’s right.”
“But at a formal sit-down like this, it should only be reserved for the Crown Prince.”
“…Those cufflinks belong to His Highness, don’t they?”
Nadi gazes at the cuffs of my gown.
“Yes…His Highness told me to keep it on.”
Lilia and the others didn’t forget to put these on when I was changing out of my lunchtime gown.
Fortunately, or perhaps it’s just as calculated…the amethyst goes well with my night-colored gown today.
“Do you get it?”
“Oh, I think he just lent them to me, right?”
“Of course not! He gave you the order to use it. And those new cufflinks you’re wearing, they’re blue jade stone, Luthy’s color.”
“Oh. You didn’t notice? It’s the color of your eyes. I think he was looking for that color so hard.”
“It’s rare to find a blue jade stone that deep in color, and even though it’s been processed, I think it’s quite large.”
Hey, what are you talking about, Nadi? And in a place like this!
My face is so hot. I’m definitely turning red! I hurriedly hid it with a fan.
“And those shoes are very nice, too.”
“Ah…looks very cute on the outside, but they’re pretty much just torture shoes.”
“Torture…what? Are you okay?”
“Yes…They’re very beautiful and pretty, but you have to train to wear them. The heel is so high that people who aren’t used to it will only waddle around.”
“What? Is that so?”
“Yes. Between you and me, it’s a painstaking measure for His Highness and I to manage to dance.”
“…There’s a height difference.”
“I’m jealous of Nadi and His Highness Errol. There wasn’t much of a difference.”
Nadi’s partner is her twin brother, His Highness Prince Errol.
They probably will always be partners, until one of them has a fiancé.
“Because we’re twins…but Ell seems to be unhappy about it.”
“Escorting me…If you’re not happy, why don’t you go ahead and get engaged or something?”
“You shouldn’t say that because it would be too much.”
“That’s right, but…”
Nadi’s mouth twitched a bit in frustration.
Perhaps it was because we were talking about such a trivial matter that Nadi’s complexion improved a bit. I guess she’s starting to calm down.
“…So, what’s going on?”
‘What’s the problem?’ Nadi gave a small shake of her head as I encouraged her to speak.
“…It’s not me.”
“If it’s not Nadi, then is it His Highness Errol?”
“So whose problem is this, then?”
“Yes….You know my cousin…Do you know my cousin, Renate, the daughter of Duke Alhane?”
“Yes. We met at lunch today.”
She’s that food-loving-looking young lady, isn’t she?
“…Renate might enter the rear palace.”
I guess the surroundings were unclear. Nadi covered her mouth with her fan and said in a very quiet voice.
“…Um, does that mean, as His Highness’ princess?”
I also cover my mouth with my own fan and ask.
I haven’t heard this story at all, but Nadi probably heard it from the daughter’s side, so it can’t be a mistake.
Whether or not it’s in line with what His Highness Nigel said, I’m not sure.
‘I’m sorry,’ Nadi said, her face falling. She felt bad that she couldn’t do anything about it, and there was a hint of regret in the sound of her mumbling voice. But it wasn’t like it was Nadi’s place to apologize.
“It’s not something that Nadi should worry about.”
“But…I’m sending you a rival from Alhane.”
Nadi is well aware that she is a princess. And at the same time, she cherishes her connection with her mother’s family, the Duke Alhane’s family.
“…Rival, is it?”
It didn’t ring a bell.
I mean, what is the intent of having your own daughter as queen when you know that only the child I give birth to can be the heir?
There is too much difference in position from the start to even be a rival.
In any other country, they might think that as long as they have children, it’s fine, but that’s not possible in Dardinia.
Besides, from what I saw at the luncheon, neither Duke Alhane nor his daughter seemed to be bad people.
Not bad people, Rather…neither are the type to stand around behind the scenes.
They say you can’t tell a person by their appearance, but there are many things you can still tell by their appearance.
The type of people who stand behind the scenes are the late Majesty and His Highness.
“Do Renate-sama like His Highness?”
There was no sign of that, though, as far as the luncheon was concerned.
“…Maybe she doesn’t really like him in that way…I don’t know who Renate likes, though.”
Nadi thought for a moment, then opened her mouth.
You mean it’s not because you she likes Nigel-sama and want to just be around him?
If that’s the reason why their pushing in to marry her, I can understand the story. Even if the young lady is the second queen of His Highness, under the current circumstances, there is no merit at all for the duke’s family. Rather, there are more disadvantages. Still, if you say you want to fulfill your daughter’s wishes, then I can understand the meaning.
But if not, then what are they thinking?
“…Um, excuse me, But is Renate left behind in the Duke’s family?”
Holding the fan back up, I ask stealthily again in its shadow.
Nadi rounded her eyes. She didn’t understand quite what was being said.
“It didn’t seem like it, but do you think the Duke of Alhane hates her?’
“No, not by a long shot…To my uncle, Renate is his pride and joy. That’s why he’s kept her at hand without ever having her remarry.
“Because she was divorced retroactively. Formally, Renate is an unmarried duchess, but really, she was married once.
Retroactive divorce is to go back in time and pretend the marriage never happened.
I don’t think that information was given in the profiles of the attendees that were briefly given to me before the luncheon and in the various stories I was given afterwards.
“The man she was married to is our cousin, but he’s physically weak. Well, that’s why Renate, who was a member of my family and who was known to be solid at the time, was chosen as the bride. It’s a good idea to take into account the fact that Renate will interpose the duke’s family.”
“The man is dead, isn’t he?”
“Yes. I doubt he had much of a married life.”
“…That’s sad, isn’t it?”
“Right…but come to think of it, Renate doesn’t talk about that time at all.”
“If you’ve had a retroactive divorce, there’s nothing you can say outwardly about it…”
Even if everyone knows about it, it never happened as the church expunged its records. There was no way they could have spoken of it.
There’s no reason at all to make a second queen out of a daughter who went that far to be unmarried.
“…I don’t know what that means.”
“There is absolutely no benefit to Alhane.”
“But Renate can already have children. Once in the rear palace, she’ll probably have a child before Luthy.”
If it happens, that’s true…but that child will not sit on the throne.
“…For example, if Renate becomes His Highness’ second queen and has a child, and I have a child later, which child do you think will take over?”
“…I think it’s probably Luthy’s child.”
Nadi said so after thinking for a moment.
“Yes. I think so too. So don’t you think that the Duke of Alhane would understand the kind of thing that Nadi can understand?”
“Yeah. I know my uncle is a swordsmanship fool, but I understand that. Besides, there was a rumor that my uncle would let Renate take over with his son-in-law rather than his successor, Leon. I was a little surprised to hear that he recommended her to go up to the rear palace.”
“…On the contrary, maybe that’s the reason.”
“It’s not that the Duke has any intentions of changing his successor, but he has cherished Lady Renate and that’s why the rumors have come up…Even if you want to deny it, there’s no way to deny it because there’s no one to hear such things face to face.”
“I don’t think I’d normally hear about this.”
“But if you don’t deny it, it won’t be good for your heir, Leon-sama, or Renate-sama…Giving the name of certain individuals can cause a lot of rumors and problems, but I think it’s safe to give His Highness’ name.”
If it’s just a rumor, it’s a rumor all year round, and with a story like that, it wouldn’t be hard to figure out the Duke’s true intentions.
Nadi tilts her head cutely.
“Um, I mean it’s okay. There’s a lot of talk every day about going up to His Highness. If it’s only to talk about it, no one will take it seriously until it’s decided.”
At least I don’t take it seriously.
“But if you talk to Renate-sama and Leon-sama about that kind of thing, I think the two of them will be able to properly understand the duke’s thoughts.
The only other thing I can think of is if the Duke is very much enamored of His Highness…
In that case, it would be a terrible story for Renate.
“…If it really comes down to it, I’ll be absolutely against it! So, Luthy, you have to trust me.”
Our private conversation behind each other’s fans was probably the center of attention for the entire audience.
I didn’t know what that meant, or how it would look in the eyes of a third party.
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