Chapter 09: Blue-Eyed Fiancée
I had raised the possibility that they use ‘adopted names’ here, but apparently they don’t.
At first, aristocrats, who are officials, would immediately answer when I asked them for their name.
It was probably easier for a child to remember their position rather than their name.
Actually, I don’t remember most of their names.
But I remembered the names of those who seem to be in the neutral faction.
I’d like to be on good terms with the neutral faction even if it’s just until I get out of here.
The first was the Lord of Treasury, Count Geoffroi de Newnbal.
He looks older than he is, his head is balding, he’s always pale and often holds his stomach.
He is the person who is preserving the finances of this empire, which is on the verge of ruin and is getting worse year by year.
He’s in a position that should best understand the neutral faction.
Money is necessary to do anything even in this world.
Politics is no exception.
If the person who controls the finances were to join either faction, then the balance of power would be completely tilted.
Having said that, the Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies seem to be pressuring him quite relentlessly.
His unhealthy appearance betrayed the grief he was going through.
The second person is Richter de van Warung, also known as Lord Warung.
He was given the position of marshal, the highest rank among military commanders, in the war that took place just before I was born, and he had superiority in the Empire.
However, when my father, the Crown Prince, was killed in battle, he was forced to take responsibility and stripped of his marshal rank.
He lost an eye during war and has it hidden under an eyepatch.
The scars on his face and his warrior appearance definitely make him popular.
He brings his daughter with him when he comes to meet me.
I think her name is… Nadine.
Maybe it’s because I’ve lost weight recently, but the girls who the lords bring with them look at me with the eyes of a predator, but she looks at me with contempt, or like she places herself above me.
And it’s my current obsession to make fun of her while pretending to be an idiot.
By the way, she has a father complex.
Though, that’s hardly shocking.
The third person, Count Palatine Vedett, Alfredo le Vedett.
Apparently, he declared that he would side with the person who places the crown on the Emperor’s head at the coronation.
He didn’t say what his official position was, but according to what I heard from others, he is… the Chief of the Ministry of Intelligence.
In other words, this man is probably the master… of the people in the attic.
However, there was no way I could ask such a question in front of the maids and steward.
I tried to find out more about him… because he’s pretty formidable.
It’s not that he has a poker face or anything like that; it’s just that he’s always elusive.
So, I decided to try a different approach.
The first thing I did was say, “So, you have no work to do!?” in front of the lords since he didn’t state his position.
I was really looking down on him and this probably ruined his reputation.
Aren’t you afraid? I’m extremely scared of being assassinated.
But the man looked really surprised at first, then said, “I am working.” He even smiled.
It really wasn’t a clear answer.
As expected of the Chief of the Ministry of Intelligence.
However, the presence of the people in the attic changed from that day.
There were days when I couldn’t feel any motivation from the person in the attic and there were days when I felt bloodlust from the attic.
Well, I’m just surprised I’m able to recognise bloodlust.
Well, Count Palatine Vedett is definitely their master, judging from their reactions.
The role of Count Palatine Vedett is to monitor and protect me.
I have to deceive their eyes if I want to escape… but it’s alright for now.
On that day, I was brought to the reception for the first time, since I met the lords in my room.
The fact that they were using this room, with its paintings and pottery, meant that the person coming today is probably a foreign envoy.
It’s finally my diplomatic debut.
As I waited in anticipation, a girl not much older than me appeared.
She was escorted here by the miser steward, Helck le Duffe, and she had a perfect smile on her face as soon as she entered the room.
It was indeed a perfect smile, but it was too perfect.
I could tell right away that it was a fake smile.
“Your Majesty, this is the first princess of the Belbe Kingdom, Rosalia van Chalonge Cruveilhier.”
The girl, who had been introduced by Helck, greeted me (it was like a curtsy, but her hands were in front of her stomach, so that they were visible).
Her blonde hair was loosely curled and wasn’t quite in… ringlet curls, and her light blue dress looked good on her.
“Pleased to meet you, Your Majesty.
My name is Rosalia van Chalonge Cruveilheir.” The owner of the crystal-clear voice looked up.
Her eyes, which were as beautiful as sapphires, wavered uneasily.
In a few words, she is a beautiful girl.
It was honestly depressing to see such a beautiful girl cowering.
… I was never told where the Belbe Kingdom is, how powerful it is, or what kind of relationship it has with the Empire.
Aha! Which means they don’t expect me to respond properly because the Chancellor and others will handle the diplomacy.
So, why is a princess, who is about the same age as me, sent here in the first place?
I don’t mean to brag, but I don’t think I have a very good reputation, since I’m at the mercy of the nobles.
What is the purpose of sending a princess… and a first princess at that, to me? Are they trying to engage us? Or do they want to turn my response into a diplomatic issue?
Hmm, I don’t know.
The Chancellor and other’s intentions that have brought me this far might be different from those of the Belbe Kingdom.
Besides, I don’t know if her fears are for me or for the Chancellor and the others.
I’ll trick them to find out the answer.
“I like you! Be my wife!” Everyone in the room, Helck, Rosalia and the maids, were dumbfounded by my words.
… Those are nice reactions.
I feel like this is becoming a habit.
Helck was quickest to regain his composure, “Hah? … No, our Majesty.
It is impossible for you to marry at your age…”
“Then do that.
There’s something similar to that, isn’t there?”
“An engagement…?” Rosalia spoke this time.
Her surprise seemed to have softened her nerves and fear.
Yes, this is much better than a fake smile.
A stiff smile like that would ruin a beautiful girl.
You look like you’re smart… What Helck? We can’t do that either?” I said as I pretended to be unhappy.
I no longer feel embarrassed when putting on these little performances anymore.
“That’s not it, I have to ask first…”
“Then, go! What are you doing?!”
“Y-yes! I’m sorry.
I’ll go right away!”
Helck rushed out of the room.
… The engagement was unexpected from the Chancellor’s faction, judging from his reaction.
Also, today’s maid is from the Regent’s faction, but she left the room by herself after Helck ran out.
The Regent faction is the same, huh.
I don’t know if this is allowed, and I don’t know what the Belbe Kingdom’s purpose is in the first place, but it’s only an engagement.
Even if we get engaged, it can be called off at any time.
Besides, it’s annoying how the lords try to appeal their daughters to me.
I don’t know if this will reduce that.
I guess it’s better than not trying.
And frankly, it’s a perk to get along with a beautiful girl, even if it’s just until I escape.
No, I’m not a lolicon.
I believe she’s going to be even more beautiful when she grows up, aren’t you getting ahead of yourself? This might raise a flag or something.
“So, what kind of place is the Belbe Kingdom?” I asked Rosalia and she opened her crystal-clear eyes and smiled cutely.
“Yes, Your Majesty.
My homeland is…”
It’s better for a girl to have a natural smile like that.
I listened contently to what she had to tell me as if my work had been done, and didn’t realise that she didn’t say ‘my kingdom’, but ‘my homeland’… She had already prepared herself.
A couple weeks later, the engagement between me and the first princess of the Belbe Kingdom, Rosalia van Chalonge Cruveilheier, was announced.
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