In the early afternoon that had nicely cleared up, one by one, towards the royal palace, luxurious carriages were entering. Among them, a black with gold trimmed carriage was there.
In the window, blue velvet curtains are hung, and the person in the middle can’t be seen. Among the many nobles who put up their family crest by the door of the carriage, the moderately sized golden family crest is engraved below the rear roof. On the four corners of the roof, were images of elemental spirits who protected a person of that family. The family crest was not emphasized, although you could be aware that this was a house of high class.
That carriage, in today’s meeting place, continued to go until it stopped in front of the red carpet. Naturally, the nobles’ gazes gathered on those already descending from the carriage.
When the coachman opened the door, there, where the surrounding gazes gathered, a young man with gently flowing blonde hair appeared. The hair of the bright blue who was just called shimmered, and his prepared appearance shone. The childish ladies blush, and the small yellow one raises her voice.
The young man who did not mind his surroundings at all, lent a hand with a sweet smile.
「May I have your hand, princess?」
「Father…… isn’t making that remark at the place where the princess bears the throne, disrespectful……?」
The boy who had it pointed out to him corrects the situation without looking shy.
「Oh, that is the case, isn’t it. Then, my angel, what should I call you?」
At the young man who was joking around, he smiled back as if something was slightly funny, and took the small hand of the girl who was apparently his daughter.
Her platinum blonde hair is gently coiled until her waist, twice braided, and at the back of her head, it is collected into a bun. The jasper that decorated their chests weren’t as sparkling as her Nigella flower-like eyes that were thought to be like her father’s. The undertone of her dress’ blue, on the whole, is lighter than her father’s, but the lace accents used in places was the same darkness. On the skirt’s rim, the blue lace on the inside contrasts with the white lace, so the white lace is more visible.
With his eyes feeling a sense of childishness with bravery, he smiled, and some of the boys forgot their words.
For the father and daughter who made a lovely picture, their surroundings naturally made way for them.
「Lydia, I’m sorry. I was supposed to get accustomed to it at Via’s tea parties.」
「Flora was born, so there was no way for it to happen. In addition, there is no need for Father to apologize. That I can have a younger sister, I am happy.」
Escorting his beloved daughter while talking at a volume only they could mutually hear, Geordo apologized, but at the same volume, his daughter refused his apology, and with the sensation it was not a lie, he returned a smile.
Originally, the sponsorship comes from the mother, for tea parties his daughter Lydia participates in, but until her official debut into high society, he had been practicing. However, for the time Flora was being born, Octavia had to refrain from things like parties and meetings over tea, and so Lydia’s first tea party became the prince’s birthday party that she was unable to refuse. In the Duke’s house, their position where they rejected nearly all invitations without hindrance had backfired. They were no more than retainers, and could not go against the royal family.
Geordo had severe apprehensions, but his beloved daughter unexpectedly did not have any special nervousness. Rather, she has a wide margin before he worries. Deeply moved by his daughter’s words, on the other hand, he felt a little wonderful.
「You aren’t as nervous as I thought.」
「I am. I am very worried about doing something discourteous to various members of the royal family. But……」
「Father is here with me.」
To his daughter who says it is very reassuring, Geordo has an impulse of wanting to hug his daughter tightly. Bearing it by clenching the hand of his daughter, in order to give her peace of mind, he smiles.
「Of course. If you ever want to go home, say so at any time. Even now is fine.」
「Even though we haven’t even given His Highness, the prince, his congratulations, that would be disrespectful.」
「Even if only I tell it to him it will be fine, however…… I don’t want you to meet him.」
To her unfortunately mumbling father, Lydia tilted her head in confusion. The other party he does not want her to meet, specifically the first prince, it seems, why doesn’t he want her to meet him?
Lydia asked as doubts surfaced.
「……I have only seen him, however, the extent of the rumors I hear is that he is very reputable.」
He is very young while already being wise, with a heart that thinks of the people, as it is, if he grows up he will become a wise king are the foremost of the rumors.
「I heard he has glittering golden hair and eyes, but the contents of his character are good.」
「That’s right. Opposing him is hard……」
Regarding Lydia, whose eyes are shining with her evaluation of the first princess, her father Geordo had a facial expression like he was holding back saying bitter things. If it’s the general rumors, he’s good, but the information from his trusted friends also say that the rumors that appear to be true are highly probable. The expectation Lydia heard the rumors wasn’t betrayed, it seems. That was the main cause of Geordo’s anxiety.
Geordo changes to a different subject in order to brush off his anxiety.
「Which reminds me, you’re wearing that something that you weren’t wearing from the time you were trying clothes on on.」
Escorting with his right hand, he points at the blooming flowers in his line of sight. With his white gloved hand, he stops at the Nigella ribbon with the white baby rose that looks like it was imprisoned in the moment it was about to fall apart. During the time of final adjustments to the dress’ ensemble, Geordo, who it was matched against, thinks the accent that wasn’t there at the time is curious. Until now, it was the first time he saw a fresh flower for decoration. He feels a faint divine protection of a water spirit.
At her father’s question, Lydia instantly froze up a little. Because it was really a little change, only Geordo, who was holding hands with her, noticed it.
「……this, this is a charm.」
「It’s lovely. Isaac understands what matches Dia well.」
Lydia, with unbelievable thoughts, looks at her father who is expressing a sweet and sugary smile. Even though she hadn’t even said the name, how did he know?
「Isaac is water aligned, isn’t he? ……Magic to freeze the flower is skillful, you know. I also want him to teach me that.」
Without exception, he received a report of the magical aptitude of the workers of the Ernest household. With that, Geordo had a general understanding, and remembered the magical aptitude of the younger gardener apprentice.
However, it’s an interesting way to use water magic. Basically, water magic was used to snatch away the moistness.
Geordo, together with admiring the dainty magic, comparatively wanted to seriously understand the method. He wanted to give his wife a bouquet of flowers with his own magic.
Lydia, whose surprise was clear from her mouth, as she starts to understand, a new question floated to mind.
「Oh, I’ve done something unromantic, it seems.」
Having done something regretful towards him, Geordo mumbled to himself. It seems Lydia wasn’t aware it was handmade.
Lydia’s eyes widened while looking at the blooming flowering on her left wrist. Then, gradually something like happiness welled up in her eyes.
「You made a good friend, haven’t you?」
Seeing Lydia meekly nodding her head, Geordo feels delighted at his daughter’s growth. He’s truly glad that boy came to his house. If it was before he met her, he would not have been able to see such a gentle expression even until now. He couldn’t even wear matching clothes with her, maybe.
「Geordo, as expected, you also came.」
「Zinvarka, are you also with your daughter?」
When they arrived at the assembly hall, he was called by a voice from his friend, and Geordo turned his head to face that way. While escorting a girl wearing a dress colored green like fresh leaves, a fine young man who Geordo was not as short as came along. Confirming that, Lydia pinches the hem of her skirt and makes her prepared greeting.
「Dia, this is Zinvarka, the vice leader of a chivalric order.」
「I am Zinvarka von August. It is a pleasure to meet you, young lady.」
「I am humbly called Lydia von Ernest. My father is very grateful to you.」
At Zinvarka, who put a hand on his chest and gave a bow, Lydia, with both hands slightly elevated her skirt and bowed.
「Rather, because I am having his help, do not worry about it. Ahh, this is my daughter, Tordelise.」
「I am the oldest daughter of Marquis August’s house, humbly called Tordelise.」
With her brown hair that was the same deep brown as her father’s shaking, Tordelise nervous-lookingly became panicked and returned a greeting.
「Your daughter is cute like a young rabbit, isn’t she? Somehow or another, she isn’t so nervous.」
Geordo smiled to give her relief, but Tordelise blushed and her body excessively stiffened. Zinvarka, as if he was amazed, faces his friend with half-closed eyes.
「You, with that face, don’t seduce my daughter……」
「That’s unthinkable. I only seduce my wife.」
「Ahh, yes, yes. For now, with your face and position, not getting nervous is impossible.」
During the middle of the fellow fathers’ relaxed conversation, Lydia greets the girl for their first meeting.
「Tordelise-sama, this is the first time I’ve talked to someone close to my face. If it’s fine with you, from here, if we can be on good terms, I would be happy.」
「I, is that so, I’m afraid to be friendly with the beautiful Lydia-sama.」
At the smiling Lydia, Terse shrinks back in fear. While watching over their daughters’ exchange, the fellow fathers look over the state of the assembly hall.
「The gender ratio is half and half, isn’t it?」
「If it’s only the adults, it’s very painful. It’s easy to understand.」
In the assembly hall, boys and girls close to the prince’s age are accompanied by their parents. There are also those with both parents here, but half of them are similar to Geordo where there is only a single parent. Basically, escorting a lady is a man’s duty, so fathers coming together with their daughters are many.
「Only because Flora is there, Via did not come.」
「If Torde had said she wanted to see a glance of the prince, I would not have come.」
While making a sullen face, when Zinvarka looks in the direction of the daughters, there appears to be two people talking about the prince whose eyes are shining. The surrounding girls are also looking with the same level of expectation.
「……As expected, he’s coming.」
「Marquis Victor? That house’s timing is bad……. he arrived after, it seems.」
At Geordo’s mumbling with a pensive facial expression, Zinvarka understood the moment he pointed at them, he remembers it’s an acquaintance not in this place.
「Because his wife is going to bed, he’s coming alone, which is regrettable, it seems.」
「It’s because he’s gentle, isn’t he…… If there’s another opportunity, we should visit.」
「We should. Well, if we accidentally came making gloomy facial expressions, it would be disrespectful.」
「That’s right. Making Dia nervous is no good, isn’t it.」
「……Really, your family is your basis for everything, huh?」
At the idea of discontinuing a gloomy topic, when Geordo approves with a smile, Zinvarka replies with an amazed voice. As a subordinate who arrived, how, until here, does he briskly suspend the priority of the host right now?
Incidentally, when their talk stopped, from where the orchestra had been preparing, wind instruments loudly sounded. Everyone in the assembly hall, at that signal, became quiet, simultaneously facing the double doors at the top of the wide staircase ahead, bowing their heads.
Slowly both doors opened, and the king, then the first queen, the second queen, and then the second prince appeared.
The king stands in the center, and the other three people stand behind him. The king with a well-projected voice, invites them to lift their heads, and then after confirming everyone followed, states his opening greetings. He says simply his thanks for gathering for the sake of his son and the purpose of enjoying oneself to their heart’s content. Not prolonging his speech, rather, he’s sorry that he appeared before the main actor, and only when the king showed it was a joke, everyone laughed.
「Then, today I wish to show our main event.」
Saying that, when the king steps back to the side of the first queen, ahead of the opened doors, a boy with golden hair and eyes like melted honey appears. The moment he appeared, clapping hands and cheers gushed forward, and at that, he accepted it like it was a gentle breeze while he moved and stopped where the king was standing just some time ago.
The model of a boy who was like an angel that sprung forth from a painting deserved to fascinate others. Even deeply religious people would think he was a true messenger from heaven. His dizzying gold hair and white porcelain skin was the envy of women, but if it’s him, then no one is jealous.
The first prince slowly looked around the assembly hall, and after confirming all present were silent, smiled deeply and opened his mouth.
「I am Roy Leonhard Von Rosenheinz. Now, in everyone’s minds, gathering for my sake, I give my thanks. I am still inexperienced, but I want to work vigorously for the same of the people and help my father. Somehow or another, from here on, for all of my subordinates, the people of this country, I want to help them. Then, the chance to meet with all of the young, like-minded persons after this, is very delightful. Certainly, we should talk about the future of this country.」 [T/N: I had 「Roy Leonhart Von Rozenhein」 but again, matching the manga here for convenience to you guys coming from there.]
While finishing talking, cheers and applause that were more passionate than the ones before sprang out.
While in the middle of the clapping, Geordo mumbles with a volume that can’t be heard.
「Saying he’s smart is unfair, huh.」
「You’re saying that?」
Only Zinvarka who was next to him picked it up, surprised. If other people heard, they would only be able to hear sarcasm, but he was thinking it seriously.
「Mou, I haven’t been told by my daughter I’m the most good-looking, huh……」
「It would be good if you had only been told that.」
While looking at his daughter who was eagerly clapping her hands, when Geordo who was seeming lonely let his feelings show, Zinvarka replies not with encouragement, but his true feelings. Hearing something like that from his daughter, Zinvarka hadn’t had that experience either. Rather, for the aim of what is needed from being a young assistant leader, the beard he was growing to supplement his dignity gave him a bad reputation with women in his house.
With the first prince’s opening declaration, from the orchestra a gentle sound began to flow. The middle of the assembly hall is a suitable temperature that seems to make you forget it is midsummer outside, so spending time with a lot of people is easy. Although the buffet party is sponsored by the royalty, there is a relatively relaxed atmosphere. The first prince himself walking around and saying hello to everyone is the root cause. It isn’t that at the prepared seat of the royalty, he passively receives congratulations, rather to the person who arrived, they turn and give their thanks.
When the greetings of unrelated elder statesmen who do not necessarily have children end, self-serving nobles nearby scramble to give their congratulations, then the children begin to introduce themselves. Geordo looked over how with only a word or two, they properly go one by one, exchanging conversation, and did not feel pleasant at how his daughter was looking at the prince with a respectful look.
「Are you Duke Ernest?」
「Yes. It is an honor to make your acquaintance. Congratulations for this time, your Highness.」
He stopped his eyes, towards Geordo who respectfully gave his thanks.
「Thank you. I hear you are an excellent duke. Furthermore, that standout appearance, there is no one who would mistake it.」
「It’s something excellent. Surely, hearing that sort of thing from his Highness with a dazzling appearance is satisfactory.」
At his smile that he feels as if it was shining, Geordo returns a smile like a sweet-smelling flower. At the situation of two good-looking people lined up next to each other, the surrounding women let out a sweet sigh.
「I too, following my father and other state officials, want to build my strength from early on, and retire early.」
「You give me too much credit, to equal me with His Majesty. Because my father entrusted this territory to me, there isn’t an ending of retirement.」
「That is because the duke’s territory is wide, isn’t it? With the royal capital, if coming and going is frequent, either one of them will become neglected. It’s a wise judgement.」
At the boy who without delay shows consideration for the circumstances he understood, Geordo’s smile doesn’t change, and is surprised in his inner thoughts. Certainly, this is only called a wise king of the future.
「Duke, is this your daughter?」
「Yes. This is my daughter, Lydia.」
「This is the first time we meet. I am humbly called Lydia Von Ernest. For this occasion, absolutely, congratulations.」
Different from other nobles, until asked from the prince, Lydia introduced herself as his daughter. It had been avoided, but this was as far as he could go.
Lydia’s expression was nervous, but her voice was not too excited, and with a tightly controlled voice she gave her congratulations. Geordo felt proud at his daughter of his house who did not feel ashamed to show manners.
After the prince slightly opened his eyes, his facial expression began to smile broadly.
「It’s like a fleeting fairy, I think, you have dignified eyes. Truly, you have a beautiful daughter.」
At the blushing Lydia, the prince held out a hand.
「Would you like to dance with me, Lydia-sama?」
The instant it occured, Lydia couldn’t believe it, but if possible she wanted to reply to the elegantly smiling prince’s invitation.
From those surrounding them, seeing the two young people with envious and other various looks, Geordo, who was ostensibly seeing his daughter off, mumbled with a lower than usual voice.
「Is he really seven years old?」
「You were also someone like that, you know.」
Knowing about his frightening childhood, Zinvarka half-closes his eyes. Because he is now friends with the person he thought that because he couldn’t believe the smiling speeches he coolly said, society doesn’t understand.
Lydia, who is unaware of the father’s exchange, is surprised as the prince’s skillful lead while also synchronizing as if to cut dependence on him.
「You’re skilled, aren’t you? I’m glad I chose you as the first lady to dance with.」
「It’s your… first time? With this, it’s very……」
At the seemingly delightfully smiling prince, Lydia is surprised.
「Truly. It’s because I am only receiving lessons alone.」
「I also have lessons alone.」
「Is that so? For a noble, it’s troubling to have little chance to interact with other young nobles. This time as well, it’s my birthday, so I asked father to prepare an unreasonable occasion.」
「Then, this party is His Highness’ idea?」
「It’s merely selfish, you know. There is a feeling of being used, but it’s in my hypothesis.」
At the prince’s satisfied looking appearance, to some extent Lydia was aware that with an understanding of his vassals, he would proceed. In this way when he tried to talk, he would often feel wise.
However, after his first time dancing, the feeling that his expression broke a little was her imagination, wasn’t it? Up to some time ago, the appearance of not being scared of adults had become weaker, instead there is a feeling of being a little closer to being age appropriate.
「Um…… Your Highness, it’s discourteous, but your words…」
「Fufu, if it’s here, the adults also aren’t able to hear, so it’s fine, right? Lydia-sama also doesn’t have to call me that in that formal way.」
It’s fine to call him by name, says the prince while roguishly smiling. Only personally seeing the boyish side made Lydia confused.
「That’s, that’s something disrespectful……」
「It’s fine because it’s a request from me. No one can blame you.」
She faces that innocent, sparkling smile, and Lydia doesn’t understand what the best thing to do is. Calling him by name in a familiar way is disrespectful, but command from royalty is something she can’t go against.
During the time she is worried about which way is right, she continues to look at the smile with an expecting gaze.
「……I understand, Roy-sama.」
When Lydia, who was at point-blank range in front of him, runs out of persistence and accepts, Prince Roy’s smiling face sparkles even more.
「I’m happy. As expected, you were the right noble lady to choose.」
At the boy’s pretty look with his whole face smiling while saying that sort of thing, Lydia’s cheeks became rose-colored. Girls of similar age shouldn’t blush with an admiring look, that way of acting is a terrible story.
「Why did you ask me?」
Based on her family status, she was ready to be invited to dance once, but she didn’t think that she would be invited first by Roy. Lydia doubted it was natural.
「It’s because you talked to me properly.」
「I talked to some others’ children, but they were either too nervous or too admiring that I couldn’t have a conversation, you know……」
At Roy’s words that had a regrettable-seeming smile to them, Lydia understands. She understands well the feeling of the other party not being able to talk with you. Except of those around her age, her position is above the other person, so meeting face to face and talking is difficult, isn’t it. If she had not been able to practice sufficiently, because she was anxious, her nervousness would swell up.
Even the time she dances, openly entering her vision, at the decorating flower charm on her left-hand side, she lets a smile slip. In no small part, it is thanks to this.
「I was starting to think that so suddenly is impossible…… then, Lydia-sama, I was able to meet you.」
The honey-colored eyes look into eyes like Nigella flowers.
「It’s thanks to a noble lady like you that I can’t give up. Thank you for giving me hope.」
「That, I have not done anything……」
Even if she hung her head at the undeserved thanks, the white flowers are reflected. It does not mean she herself knows the preciousness that there is a companion you can talk with. Here, humbling herself again, a gap will grow, and he’ll become disappointed.
Lydia raises her head and smiles.
「If I, for sure, am able to talk with Roy-sama, I would be happy.」
It isn’t from the viewpoint of a vassal, it is with the viewpoint of someone in the same generation, she tries to honestly convey. There, Roy’s bright smile was shown.
Until the waltz ended, the chatted only with each other with a volume that could not be heard by others, and when the music stopped, the two were wrapped in applause. The two who weren’t paying attention to the way they were talking, exchanged gazes and softly laughed. Then, with their hands held as they were, gave their thanks to the onlookers.
Roy gives the signal for Lydia to return to Geordo’s escort and returns to the royalty.
「Then, Your Majesty. Until the next time.」
「Ahh, sometime I’ll show you our proud garden.」
When he exchanged greetings, Roy returned the greetings from Zinvarka and the other vassals.
When she thought back on it, it was just a moment ago although at that incident that was hard to believe, Lydia is uplifted. She herself, now, danced with the prince and talked with him.
Lydia, remaining in her dreamy state of mind and loosening her manners, looks up at her father.
「Father, I didn’t do anything discourteous, did I?」
「No? You were a very wonderful lady, you know.」
At receiving her father’s praise with a smile, Lydia smiled with relief and happiness.
In the middle of the carriage returning home, towards that dream-like incident, Lydia was becoming restless.
「His Highness is no less wonderful than the rumors said.」
「Yes, so it seems.」
Geordo smiles while listening to her talk. In the middle of talking like that, after a little while when they arrived at the estate, a voice from the coachman rings out. Because of that, the conversation is broken off, and Geordo abruptly brings up the topic.
「If, by chance, you were to become His Highness’ bride, would you be happy?」
「That is a story like a dream.」
It’s a development that you’d yearn for completely like a picture book you’ve read. Therefore, Lydia immediately gave an affirmative reply.
「I see. Then, I will discuss it for Dia. From today, it seems like His Highness will be searching for bridal candidates.」
「Then, today, His Highness’ birthday party that was celebrated……?」
「Yes. Of course, that is the main point. His Highness may not know, but because some of His Majesty’s vassals also had this aim, he was able to have a party.」
No, Roy knew. Lydia, who talked with Roy, knows that he went to the party with a sense of his vassal’s intentions. Lydia was annoyed at the truth that meant he was not there purely to celebrate.
「Then, Dia will become that bridal candidate.」
Lydia thought strangely about her father who spoke as if it was a decided matter. Even if the party hadn’t finished, the expectation is that there is no official notice. Even so, her father understood grounds for judgement, it seems.
「It seems there are other candidates, however, if Dia desires it, then I will help, you know.」
It seems only a little lonely, however Geordo touches up his beautiful smile.
「When Dia makes up her mind, could you tell me? Especially if it’s disagreeable, because I will refuse them.」
Lydia understands that there is no way he can go against a command from the royalty. In the case it is officially decided, how much her father will upset others is difficult.
That is all Lydia was able to respond with.
Carrying the reality of their talk, she was absolutely surprised. There wasn’t happiness or any other emotions welling up, only pure surprise occupied her heart.
Geordo might be a silly man, but what a good dad. Straight up willing to fight the royal court over his daughter.
Not much to say in this chapter, other than that I did change a few of my name translations to match the manga. Currently I’m translating Chapter 19, so Volume 1 will be done soon.
One thing I did notice was Volume 2 is long per chapter. The reason why Volume 1 has 19 chapters and the others have around 10 is that yes, every chapter in Volume 2 is about the same length as 2 chapters of Volume 1. I have been able to keep my pace of every 3 weeks but I’m hoping I can keep that up when we hit Volume 2. I was tempted to increase the pace of releases to once every 2 weeks, but I have to see how long it takes me to power through a Volume 2 chapter.
This goes doubly because I’m back to being at the office 5 days a week, which means much less time to translate, as before I could easily do it during my downtime at work; not so much here anymore. Though amusingly I’m here, posting this on my day off, heh. But again, we’ll see, as we have a while until we hit Volume 2 and I haven’t actually translated a chapter from there yet to see the time needed.
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See you all next time!