Chapter 46: One Ending
It was a day off.
I am like on a day off every day but, generally, today was a day off. To put it specifically, it was the academy’s rest day.
Therefore, today was my get-together with Lilia.
「Look……First of all, I want you to know that my house, the Anderson Marquis House, doesn’t mean to look down on the Ambrose Ducal House」
I talked to Lilia about the details of various matters.
When I told her I had been kidnapped, it became chaotic when she suddenly spurted out her tea. Your reaction is big as usual, Lilia.
And when I summarized about Richard’s blunder and the truth about Robert, Lilia kept frowning.
「I don’t know how to say this but…」
「Is the Ambrose Ducal House incompetent? 」
I shrugged off Lilia’s words.
Even if she did not have such an intention, since the Ambrose House was fairly higher in rank than the Anderson House, it could be interpreted as my family being looked down on. But that was not what Lilia meant to do.
She was, in many ways, a straightforward girl.
「I mean……first off, Robert, right? He’s actually the eldest son of the Ambrose Ducal House and Carol’s uncle, right? 」
「Yes, he is」
After what happened, I got an explanation from my mother.
Robert was truly Dukeridd-ojiisama’s son and mother’s elder brother. The fact that Robert was the succeeding Duke of Ambrose was also the truth.
However, due to various circumstances, he was stripped off of the Ambrose family name.
「People did think it was strange he was stripped off of his family name during the time multiple girls were sexually assaulted」
「……Well, that is true」
Those circumstances were caused by Robert.
I had not heard it in detail, but when I was still young he used the name of the Ambrose Ducal House as a cover and did a lot of things. Particularly, there was a beautiful girl of a lower nobility among the many girls he had been involved with who was silenced using the family name.
The girl of lower nobility could only cry herself to sleep. The crime did not come to light for a while, but it became clear when several women got pregnant. And when one person started talking, the other victims followed, and Robert’s deed was exposed.
In light of the law, it was an indisputable sexual assault, and imprisonment was imposed. But Dukeridd-ojiisama, who was then the Duke of Ambrose, somehow managed to pull some strings.
As for Robert, he was stripped of his family name but was not thrown out into the streets. Instead, he was kept as a servant at one of our residence. It must have been Ojii-sama’s wish for him to turn over a new leaf while simultaneously being monitored.
Hence, despite receiving Chris’s low assessment and keeping to his poor conduct, Robert was never dismissed from our house.
It would be imprudent to do so, because it was impossible to catch a crime committed out of sight.
「When the nobility’s heir causes such a scandal, the credibility of the house will be lost. Were you not the Ambrose Ducal House, perhaps you’d have had a bitter fall. At least with the Anderson House, if my eldest brother does such a thing, he’d be imprisoned in our house’s dungeon」
「……Is that so」
「It’s ridiculous how he wasn’t dealt with an appropriate punishment and was kept in your household as a servant, just because of a useless wish of wanting him to change. He caused such a scandal in the first place, it’s impossible for him to regain his prestige as a noble」
Lilia was harsh.
But it seemed giving him a proper punishment would have been correct. However, my kind Ojii-sama still wanted to give Robert another chance.
In the end.
「……Well, at the very least, I have grown up before this time’s kidnapping happened」
「Didn’t you often say he has a poor attitude? 」
「Yes. It has long been said that he has a poor attitude towards our head chef. But because our household’s head chef is a young woman……Well, he must have found it annoying to obey, so he stopped. Other than that, he seriously went to work without any absences」
It was true my father and mother were late in dealing with this.
Because Robert kept up appearances, they thought his behavior was going to change along the way. According to my mother, if years went by without incident and Robert died, his remains would have been allowed to be buried in the grave of the Ambrose family.
She never expected for him to kidnap me.
Therefore, my father and mother apologized to me many times.
「Fu~un……Oh well, that’s just the Ambrose Ducal House」
「What do you mean? 」
「Lenient, that is. Like how you didn’t do anything to His Highness Rayford」
Certainly, it was as Lilia said.
For my mother, Robert was her biological elder brother. One could not say there was not the slightest affection for her immediate family. Like how my elder brother Albert was for me.
「So, is Richard alright? 」
「From the doctor’s diagnosis, it seems his wound will close in another week」
「Then, that’s good. But you can’t acquit him, right? It’s because of Richard that Carol got kidnapped」
I am hesitant to say it.
I was just told by Lilia earlier that 『the Ambrose Ducal House is lenient』. If I told her the current situation, I would likely be scolded.
But if I did not say it, she would not leave it be.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.
It had been a while since Lilia arrived, so he might have brought us another cup of tea.
「Please forgive my intrusion, Ojou-sama, Lilia-sama. I have brought another round of tea」
「Thank you, Richard」
The door opened and Richard came in with a bandage wrapped around his head.
Lilia looked at Richard with doubt. Then, she looked at me and frowned.
Richard poured tea in our cups, glanced at Natalia’s chest, and left the room. He suffered such an experience, yet he still had not changed.
「What’s going on? 」
「Richard has been doing only indoor work for the time being」
「He’s acquitted? 」
「The one who committed the crime was Robert, after all……. Richard just happened to be attacked on the day he filled in as my escort……」
I kept my eyes on Lilia as I answered.
Lilia stared at me with narrowed eyes and creased eyebrows.
「……Carol, you, didn’t say it」
「What do you mean? 」
「It was because of Richard’s wandering eyes that you got kidnapped. And because Richard was your escort, Robert took this chance and attacked. In other words, everything was because of Richard」
Lilia’s eyes were scary.
She saw through everything. Only now did I realize my shallow knowledge.
「You……did you randomly decide for Richard to be your escort? 」
「If you consider what I told you just now, Richard is, without a doubt, no good. And to randomly decide on him……you’re the only one who could do it」
「……That is so」
Richard was an excellent steward. Only, he had a weakness for women’s chest.
I could not lose such an excellent servant because of me. So I had a talk with him, and we agreed he would only do indoor work so that such an incident never happened again.
In his current state, I am not so cruel as to inform my mother.
「Ha~a……Really, the Ambrose Ducal House is truly lenient」
「……I do not have anything to respond to that」
「Well, as long as Carol’s fine with it. Besides, if Richard’s only doing indoor work, then there’ll be no danger from now on」
「Natalia, make some proper arrangements on your next day off」
Natalia bowed her head at Lilia’s words.
Still, how do I say this…actually, the biggest reason for my quick rescue was Natalia.
Although she did not have to mind about anything on her day off, Natalia especially detoured and shopped along the road connecting the Order and the Duke’s manor.
And so, it was Natalia who found the injured Richard and promptly reported to the Order.
The following day after I was rescued, she kept saying “I am sorry, I am sorry” while crying.
It was not Natalia’s fault, though.
「Well, all’s well that ends well, right? 」
「I’m glad you’re okay」
Indeed, despite the twists and turns, I am safe. I was supported by a lot of people, and I returned safe as a result.
「Lilia, too, thank you very much」
「It was Lilia who taught me that a man’s crotch is a weak spot. In an emergency, I was able to kick Robert’s crotch and escape」
Lilia gave a slight wry smile.
「Well, don’t worry about it that much」
「But I do thank you」
「It’s alright already, mou……That aside, what happened with Wilhelm-sama? 」
Lilia was embarrassed, so she changed the topic.
Lilia would always change the subject whenever she was praised. It made her embarrassed.
But Lilia being that way was also cute.
「Oh yes, please listen! 」
「To tell you the truth, there was progress between Wilhelm-sama and I! 」
It was truly delightful.
With this, my way to become Wilhelm-sama’s wife had advanced a step.
「What do you mean there’s progress? 」
「That following day, I told him once again, “I want to be your wife”」
「He~eh. Then, what did he say? 」
I had a big smile on my face.
Simply recalling Wilhelm-sama’s words on that day would cause my joy to overflow.
「Wilhelm-sama told me he will take into consideration1 making me his wife! 」
「Take into consideration, he said! Carol is fortunate! 」
「……Eh, is it just me? Er, what exactly has changed? 」
I went kyaa~, shaking my head.
Just thinking of the day I would become Wilhelm-sama’s wife filled me with joy.
「From being his friend to being considered as his wife, I progressed! 」
「……Ahh, un. If Carol’s happy, then it’s fine」
「Yes, Carol is happy! 」
Wilhelm-sama, please wait for me.
I, Carol Ambrose, am still immature.
But I would definitely be a lady worthy to become the Knight Captain’s wife—.
This concludes the first part.
Thank you for joining me.
We will continue on with the second part, so please wait a moment.
I look forward to your continued support.
 前向きに善処 is an expression used when one does not want/cannot give a straight answer. I think Wilhelm used this phrase as a way of dodging Carol’s question. So, it’s like “I’ll think about it, but no promises” sort of expression. ↩
Technically, it’s the end of the first arc. But in the raws, there’s one more chapter left before it continues to the second part. I’m basing the TOC on that.