“…Huh? As it is?”
After a tumultuous night for me, I was about to return to my own palace when His Highness told me not to return.
“Oh…Lana Hartley decided to do a big cleanup because of the occasion. So you are to stay here until after the Founding Festival.”
For the most part, I have no right to say no.
I have no complaints for the time being. For now…
“So what am I supposed to be doing? I think the schedule was tightly packed with rituals and events starting today…”
“You are supposed to be sick and resting in your own palace.”
I’ve always wondered if half of my frailty is made up of His Highness’ conspiracy.
We all know that I’m frail.
I get fevers a lot (only about two-thirds of them are supposed to be fevers), I often fall asleep with colds (only about half of them are supposed to be colds), and I fall down a lot (falling down is usually true).
So even if I don’t come out of the room sick, they just think I’m not feeling well again.
“…So, in the meantime…”
“Here you go, Princess. Please put this on.”
‘What should we do?’ When I asked, ‘What’s going on here?’ it was Phil-Lynn, holding several layers of wardrobe boxes and opening the door with his foot, who came in.
It’s amazing how much Phil is allowed to misbehave here.
I tilted my head at the jacket, which was peeking out of the half-opened box because he had placed it down roughly.
“You can’t be a princess while I’m here, can you? That’s why.”
“…So you want me to wear this because it’s…?”
“Oh. I’m sorry. It’s my brother’s old stuff!”
I heard a chilling voice. The frostiest thing I’ve ever heard…An icy voice that makes my spine shiver just by listening
“What are you going to do to Luthia?”
“What…I’m just giving her a disguise. I’m not going to do anything bad. I still like living.”
“It’s not a play.”
“I know. I don’t mean to be funny. But I’m not an idiot, so it’s better to be careful. I mean, who would expect the princess to be dressed like this?”
“…Luthia is not an Alienor, you know.”
“I’m wasting my time. But it’s the most unexpected thing, right?…And then there’s, well…Why don’t we just pretend she’s an apprentice squire who has risen to the royal court because of her connection with me? It’s hard to get behind, and it has enough power as a backing to be absolutely impossible to ignore. Well, it’s the power of the tiger.”
“Why should my Luthia be your connection?”
“…How much do you intend to show off your monopoly? That’s not the problem right now!”
“Shut up…Also, if we’re being realistic, this kind of face would never come out of your bloodline.”
“It’s not just my relatives when I say ‘my connection.’ There’s also the situation where I’ve been asked to nominate a close relative of someone close…Also, I can take her with me if she’s dressed as an apprentice lady-in-waiting or a maid, but I can’t take her with me if she looks like this.”
I’m not sure what the words exchanged between them mean. No, I know what they’re saying. But I don’t really understand the true meaning of it.
Sighing, it was His Highness who opened his mouth first.
“…Luthia. For the time being, you’re going to have to dress like that for the rest of the day.”
It’s a look of sheer reluctance.
“Okay, well then, here.”
Phil invited me to move to the next room.
Waiting there were the familiar maids in uniform. I guess they are planning to help me get dressed.
…I just got dressed a few minutes ago.
I know that noblewomen change their clothes a lot, but I can’t help but feel inwardly disgusted.
I found my own maidservant in the midst of a deep bow.
Her eyes widen when she sees me, and then she looks like she’s about to cry.
Miredei squeezes me into a hug.
“Yeah…It’s all right now. I’m sorry for worrying you.”
…I think she’s lost some weight.
She’s covering up her pale complexion with base makeup. Maybe she hadn’t slept much. If I look closely, I can see that the dark circles under her eyes are also covered by her makeup, and the slightly brighter color of her lipstick is probably to make her look less pale.
“No…I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you.”
“No, I’m fine. It’s okay. It’s not Miredei’s fault.”
I just got involved, and it’s strange that there was an incident like that in the royal palace in the first place.
I smile at Miredei, who gives me a depressed look.
“What’s done is done…Come one, help me get dressed.”
As for the case, it may not be over yet.
I don’t know the criminal who did it, and I don’t know the purpose of it all.
But I came back safely.
Miredei was safe, too.
So, between us, this situation is ‘finished.’
There’s a hazy feeling in my heart that hasn’t cleared up, but I’m sure His Highness will talk to me later if there’s anything that needs to be done.
Maybe…I guess I got my point across. Miredei’s expression tightened and she softly took a bow.
“It suits you.”
Anya…Anna Maria Erlene, the incoming Chief lady-in-waiting of the Rear Palace, was the one who escorted me to change with Miredei.
I looked at Miredei and she nodded, of course.
Looking at the large figurehead in front of me, I am—the image of a skinny boy.
Yes. Not a girl…but the form of a boy.
…Here, even men usually have long hair…
Or rather, many men may have grown their hair longer than others.
This is because it is considered to be the etiquette of a warrior to grow his or her hair long and to express a warrior’s resolve.
“…Isn’t it strange?”
I spin around to show them.
“It suits you.”
Anya informed me with a smiling expression.
I was wearing a lacy white shirt and white slim trousers with a pale wisteria coat over the top.
It made sense that they belonged to Phil’s brothers. The decorations are not as ornate as those worn by His Highness, but they are very well tailored.
…It’s a bit of a surprise.
I look like a boy, albeit a little underdeveloped. It’s not a girl dressed as a man, but a boy. Although he’s thin and wiry, it’s still a boy.
…It seems that women rarely wear pants here, so maybe that’s why.
My long hair was braided and tied with an unadorned dark purple ornamental cord.
The knotted hair is a clear sign of an aristocratic man. The length of the hair varies from person to person, but it is said that it is the proper etiquette to braid it and tie it around the neck.
“It suits you, but it’s also very flattering.”
“That Her Highness, the Crown Princess, would stoop to such a boy’s form…”
“It’s not that I mind, but are there any contraindication to dressing as a man?”
Rather, it’s much easier to move around in than a gown, so I feel like it’s going to be a bit addictive.
“No, that’s not really the case…”
“…When she was a little girl, Princess Alienor used to dress like this.”
Anya mutters with a distant look in her eyes.
“Her Highness Alienor?”
Miredei’s eyes widened.
It must have been quite a surprise to her that the princess, who was rumored to be the best lady in Dardinian society, had ever worn a boy’s clothes.
“She is now renowned as the best lady, but as a child she was a very mischievous prancing horse princess. People often said that there were four brothers and sisters, or that she was born a woman by mistake.”
By the rumors, she’s a beautiful, intelligent and very lady-like princess, but there’s often a completely different story that pops up.
“…Her Royal Highness.”
Anya said with a slightly softer expression.
“Her Highness’ mother, Lady Fia…Efinia has always said that someday she would like to dress up as a boy like that and run around the garden with all her might.”
“…Did that not come true?”
“Yes…Lady Efinia wasn’t as strong as Her Highness was…and the environment wasn’t conducive to that, so…”
…So that means Lady Alienor is the exception.
Perhaps it was bad timing, but I have yet to meet Princess Alienor. I’ve only heard of her through rumors, but she seems to have many faces.
Maybe it was because of the mention of my mother, or maybe it was just some memories, but the air was fuzzy.
“…By the way, could you tell me about the event I’m supposed to attend today?”
“Your Highness? Why do you intend to know that?”
Anya nods her head.
“I don’t know what to do…It’s an official announcement that Crown Princess Arthirea will not be present.”
I just want to know.
“…After breakfast, we will have an audience with the members of the Privy Council who are resigning today. After that you will have an audience with the clergy in the West Palace Cathedral, where you will have a meeting with the clergy and perform two ceremonies. Later, you will have an audience with the royal family in the East Palace and a ceremony in the East Palace. The ceremony will be held in the Prayer Room of the Royal Palace. Afterwards, the Crown Prince and the Princess will enter the sanctum sanctorum together.”
“…How far is the Crown Princess absent?”
“You will join us from the ceremony in the Royal Palace. It’s about past eight in the evening, if I’m not mistaken. Until then, we have been asked to be with you in your present form.”
…Why would the Crown Princess not attend?
If I’m going to accompany him in this outfit anyway, it shouldn’t matter if it’s Crown Princess Arthirea. So what is the reason for avoiding it? Why do I have to take a break? Whatever it is, I guess it means that His Highness is going to do something again, but…
…I don’t like it.
There’s a blur in my mind.
It’s not clear, and something in the corner of my mind tells me it’s different.
…It’s not that I don’t like being excluded…No, it’s not quite the same as being excluded.
Until now, I didn’t dare to know the reasons for what His Highness did—because I thought His Highness wouldn’t do anything wrong.
Of course, I still believe that His Highness wouldn’t do anything wrong.
—It’s not that I don’t believe in him.
I just want to know.
What His Highness did because of me.
Or what His Highness will do because of me.
Whatever it is, I don’t think it’s right for me to remain ignorant of it all.
Not that I can do anything…But I still have to see it properly.
…I see, that’s what I was mulling over.
The attitude of waiting for them to tell me felt like an escape.
I clenched my fists tightly.
I finished dressing and went to His Highness’ living room.
Phil-Lynn was no longer there.
His Highness crackled at the sight of me and his eyes fluttered.
“…Sorry to keep you waiting.”
“No…That’s a lot of face changes.”
My face is still the same, though.
But I’ve tweaked the look a little bit with my makeup.
I made my eyebrows a little thicker to make them look sharper, and I made a line around my eyes to make them look upward. It makes a big difference. It was actually suggested that I change the color of my hair, but I refused.
“Your Highness, would you like to have a little tea?”
His Highness put the documents he had in his hand on the desk.
I asked if he would like to have tea, but this is breakfast.
Of course, I wasn’t able to make the usual preparations yesterday. But the kitchen is now staffed mainly by people I raised, so it’s much more flexible.
The breakfast table was filled with green, green, orange, green, green…Although the colors are dark and light, the breakfast table was filled with colors based on green.
His Highness looked around the table about three times.
“…Are you angry about something?”
Was there any reason for me to be angry? I tilted my head deliberately.
“…Aren’t they all just vegetables…?”
“Yes…Anya told me that Your Highness’ diet was terrible while I was away, so I asked to prepare a menu that would allow one to get vegetables quickly. The most important thing to worry about is the lack of vegetables…and now we will not be short of them.”
I smiled and took over the words.
“It’s winter, so we had limited vegetables to use, which gave the cooks a hard time.”
At my unrelenting smile, His Highness sat down in his seat in silence. (***lmao, listen to your wife Nigel)
This is an imitation of His Highness. The more angry he gets, the more he smiles and threatens to put you at the bargaining table where you can proceed at your own pace.
His Highness is very good at this.
“First of all, this is the fried winter broccoli. His Highness doesn’t like this vegetable very much, but please try it as if you were fooled. It’s very tasty with just salt and pepper.”
His Highness’ hand with the fork hesitated for a moment, but he easily brought it to his mouth. Probably because of all the credit he’d gotten so far.
“…It’s surprisingly edible, isn’t it?”
It must have been more palatable than he thought it would be. His Highness’ fork gingerly moved the winter broccoli to his plate.
It was good, wasn’t it? Good.
“Surprisingly, it is superfluous. Winter broccoli is delicious and full of sweetness. And here’s some fried zade and salt pork, boiled zade and sausage in milk, ragula carrot salad…Oh, that’s the bread with zade kneaded into it…Also, today’s soup is a potage soup with winter beans.”
In fact, all of these are vegetables that His Highness doesn’t like very much.
“I don’t know what it is you’re mad about…”
“I’m not mad at you. I’m just worried about you.”
Nutritional imbalances can easily compromise your health.
Portable rations are designed for that, but still, they are portable rations. It’s better and more nutritious to cook real food.
“Oh, and I forgot to mention…That’s vegetable juice. It’s quick and nutritious.”
Served in a beautiful cutting glass was a vegetable juice based on zade, broccoli and ragula carrots, which looked like just a green juice. It was only seasoned with a tiny bit of salt, but this salt was a bit special, and when used in the right amount, it’s softly sweet and salty.
His Highness sips his glass of green juice with a look of resignation on his face.
“I know I’ve said it many times before, but it’s vegetable juice…It is always easy to get nutrition…If you really must have portable rations, please let me know and I will make them for you. The kitchen staff he”re can make it too.”
Then we ate a silent, vegetable-based breakfast.
I didn’t say anything in particular, but His Highness must have been reflecting on something, because he straightened his posture and nodded with a mysterious face to my offer to give me some time.
“I would like you to tell me.”
“I…the reason why Crown Princess Arthirea won’t be participating in the ceremony.”
His Highness got defensive for a moment, but when I asked him, he gave me a look as if he didn’t know what was going on and relaxed his shoulders.
“I don’t see any reason for you to attend, pushing yourself too hard.”
“I can’t do it…”
“Tomorrow is the most important thing in terms of importance. There’s nothing you have to absolutely attend to, you know.”
“……Is that so.”
Something is fishy.
But there was nothing that I could pursue further.
I gave a small sigh and shelved the pursuit for the time being.
T/N: Summary of this chapter:
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One thought on “Chapter 37: Green Morning”
I dont like that he doesnt tell her. 😦 He worries about her and doesnt want to add to her difficulties, but it’s somethimg that affects her, and she needs to be prepared. Doesn’t he trust her to help him carry out his plans?