Chapter 56: His Highness, Intrusion 2
Be His Highness’ fiancée once more?
I absolutely refuse such a thing.
His consideration was shallow enough that I rejected it like this even without making sense of it, his arrogance was without limits when he had nothing to be proud of beyond his lineage, he was too proud to even apologize when he was the one who cancelled the engagement and, furthermore, his brain was filled with air. Why would he think I wanted to be betrothed to him once more?
However, His Highness Rayford frowned at my answer.
「What did you say? 」
「I said I decline. That is my answer」
His Highness’ frown was saying, “I do not understand what you mean”.
The one who actually did not understand was me.
「Your Highness, I already advised you earlier that Carol will refuse」
「Silence, Duchess. I am talking to Carol」
「Why should my mother keep her silence against someone1 who does not listen to any of her daughter’s wishes but only to his own opinions? 」
「What did you say……! 」
「Does Your Highness wish to be betrothed to Carol once more? 」
My mother’s question drew a frown from His Highness.
「……That is not the case. If Carol truly wishes for it, I will consider it. That is all」
「Well then, since my daughter does not wish to, there is no need to consider at all」
「I ordered you to shut up! 」
His voice finally rose in volume.
Despite the sound argument, he really could not understand.
「It is all right, Carol. Be at ease」
「No, this is a good opportunity. Mother will never again bind you to an engagement against your wishes」
My mother’s reassuring words filled my heart with warmth.
If I had my mother’s support, then I had nothing to be afraid of.
At that point, the opposite side’s other person, Lady Whatshername, was placating His Highness.
「Your Highness, please calm down」
「But, Mary, they are……」
「It is all right, because His Highness is the one who will support this country in the future」
「M-Mm. That is so」
Ah yes, her name was Lady Mary. It was not Lady Maple, after all.
It sounded sweet though. Was it not a proper name to give to someone?
「Hmph. Well, this approach was extremely unpleasant for me in the first place」
「What do you mean? 」
「My mother said she would not acknowledge Mary as the crown princess」
「I suppose she would not」
But of course.
Their social standings were too far off, and she seemed to neglect her education in the first place.
She should at least study more seriously if she intended to support His Highness.
「Even I cannot bear to take away Mary’s free time for anything like difficult studies. It is enough support to me for Mary to stay as she is. But I was told, “The crown princess must be someone who received the education”, or something that does not make sense. If it was you, then your education is already done. Therefore, if you wish to be the crown princess, then I could let you have it」
「I do not want it」
I once again answered without pause.
Surely, he did not think I would agree to such an irrational excuse in the first place?
And yet, His Highness pulled a surly face at my immediate response.
「……What are you dissatisfied with? 」
「I find just about everything dissatisfying」
「You……And I even intended to put up with whatever you throw my way. I do not know how you are so carefree now when it is only because of Mary’s kindness you are living like this」
「……Excuse me? 」
My life had no connection to Lady Mary in any way.
To begin with, we never talked at the academy, and we never had something close to a conversation to this very day. Although she was here with His Highness, she said nothing to me.
Already, I am tired of talking with His Highness.
「Lady Mary and I have nothing to do with each other」
「Quit your foolish act! Are you saying you do not remember what you did?! 」
Come to think of it, I did accept the hearsay about me bullying Lady Mary without question.
Nothing was true about it though. To begin with, we had nothing to talk about.
Why on earth anyone would believe that sort of nonsense was beyond my understanding.
「As I had said at the night of the party, I do not remember doing something like that」
「That is a blatant lie! Tell me then why Mary was suffering so much! 」
「How would I know such a thing? 」
I did not want to listen to him any longer.
But the way I impolitely responded seemed to have incurred His Highness’ wrath.
He glared at me with eyes filled with much rage that it was plain to see.
「I had thought of forgiving you if you just ask, yet even my generosity is trampled……! Well then, if you say you want to atone for your sins, I no longer have any kindness left to give you! 」
「Not once were you ever kind to me」
「Shut up! 」
Thinking about it, from the start of our engagement, His Highness and I never spoke with each other at all.
I went to the Royal Palace almost every day, but there was never a time His Highness wanted to see me, nor did he ever give me a word of appreciation on my studying.
We went to the academy together, but I never spoke with His Highness in school. Lilia even asked, 「Are you really engaged to His Highness? 」.
Well, that was all in the past.
「So, umm……what does Your Highness intend to do? 」
「That goes without saying! I know all the cruelty you have done to Mary! If you do not repent, then you shall not be given the same compassion as the kind Mary gave you! 」
「Haa, is that so? 」
What could he do?
His Highness was certainly a member of the royal family, but he did not have much power. In the future, as he was the heir to the throne, I suppose he would become the king of this country. But at this point in time, he was merely a member of the royal family.
At the very least, His Highness would not be able to give an order like stripping the Ambrose Ducal House of their title. If a revocation of a duke’s title was ever put into consideration, it was necessary to at least have both the representatives of the other ducal houses and His Majesty the King’s approval of the decree. And if a precedent where a title revocation was made without a significant reason, the rest of the ducal houses would also be at risk of losing their titles.
I do not think there were any nobles who would commit such foolishness.
At the same time, His Highness would not be able to punish me.
Even His Majesty the King could not do so.
Rather, if the royalty were to order for a human’s head to fly, it would be tyranny by absolute monarchy. And the Kingdom of Flarekista was by no means an absolute monarchical, but a constitutional state. The king, the nobility and the people were all equal under the law.
In other words, I would not be punished if I did no wrong, regardless of His Highness’ orders.
「If you do not repent even after all that, you shall be judged under legitimate means」
「Let Mary testify to everything you had done! To expose your atrocious deeds in court! 」
I see, so he was not foolish enough to order his guards to cut my head off here and now. Well, he was still plenty foolish though.
But was His Highness aware of it?
His Highness blindly believed Lady Mary. He was probably thinking, “Everything she says is right. Therefore, I am justified.”
「Y-Your Highness……? 」
Beside him, Lady Mary’s face was terribly pale.
 Carol uses 己 / onore, a derogatory form of “you” like kisama. I think this nuance is important to note, as Carol had been speaking politely up until this point. ↩