Chapter 59: Dealing with the Baron’s Daughter
My mother cleared her throat at Wilhelm-sama, and at me who acted improperly and embraced him in front of my mother.
I became embarrassed and separated myself from Wilhelm-sama. My elder brother seemed to be holding in his laughter and was trembling with his face turned away.
What on earth did he find so amusing?
「Next is dealing with you, Lady Mary」
His Highness Rayford was already taken away, and only the pale-faced Lady Mary was here.
What would she do now after losing the royal family’s support? I do not think she had any future left with His Highness, so did she intend to return to being a baron’s daughter like before?
Nonetheless, my mother fixed Lady Mary with a sharp gaze.
「There are several things I would like to ask you」
「You were studying at the academy together with His Highness and Carol. Am I correct? 」
It was clear Lady Mary was frightened.
I supposed that was only to be expected. This was the residence of the Duke of Ambrose. Before her eyes were my mother, the Duchess, my elder brother, the Duke’s son, and then Wilhelm-sama and I.
His Highness, her sole ally, was taken away. There was no one to support her here.
「Then, is it true that my daughter, Carol, bullied you while you were studying in the academy? 」
To me, there was no truth in it.
I had not known Lady Mary until that evening party at least. I had not bullied her, either.
To begin with, I had no reason to bully her just because she approached His Highness, since the relationship between His Highness and I was close to horrible at that time.
「Please do keep it brief. Carol bullied you. Is this true or not? Be clear」
You could not answer, could you?
If you were to state you were not honest here, the truth that you deceived His Highness with lies would come to light. In other words, it would be an official slander against me, and your fraudulence would be proven.
I am unclear of what sort of standing Lady Mary’s home held, but among the nobility within the Kingdom, no House could oppose the Ambrose Ducal House. And she would have shown a clear hostility to such a House.
「Please answer. Honestly」
A tremulous voice mumbled so softly.
It was a voice which no one would normally hear. However, as we were waiting for Lady Mary’s answer, we heard it clearly.
And apparently, she still wanted to keep to her wrongdoings.
「Then, please explain clearly. In what way? 」
「……I d-do not…remember much of it」
「I see. Carol’s supposed bullying, which distressed you so much that you ran to His Highness for help, was a kind of incident you forget even when not much time has passed」
「I told you to answer honestly, and you did so, did you not? 」
My mother’s pressing did not stop.
I settled with merely watching Lady Mary with a cold gaze.
Everything was because of Lady Mary.
Suddenly, I started to wonder.
There was no truth in claims like my bullying Lady Mary. Even so, Lady Mary fabricated such a story and appealed to His Highness, leading to the breaking off of our engagement.
If it was not for Lady Mary, I would still have attended the academy, and I would have received the Queen’s training on my rest days. And in the future, I would have become the wife of His Highness and the queen of this country. Surely, while being forever neglected.
His Highness had never shown any kindness to me. Surely, even if we get married in the future, he would have remained the same.
No matter how I looked at it, having my engagement broken off was the right path.
I could not have conveyed my feelings to Wilhelm-sama while I was engaged.
There was not a single thing I lost with what Lady Mary did.
At most, I had to quit school. But Lilia regularly came to visit, so it was not too much of a loss. I only had Lilia as my friend anyway.
What should I do?
Rather than press charges, should I not offer her my gratitude?
「If you were to answer honestly now, you will not be charged with perjury. I shall swear by the name of the Ambrose Ducal House」
「But if you insist on making false statements, then……」
「Mother, please wait」
I intervened between Lady Mary whose face was steadily growing paler, and my mother who continued to press her for answers.
At my words, my mother’s brows rose in surprise.
It seemed she never expected I would cover for Lady Mary.
「Carol, what is the matter? 」
「Mother. Mother wishes for Carol’s happiness, do you not? 」
「Of course. I, your mother, wish for your happiness」
「Then, Mother. In a situation where Lady Mary does not approach His Highness, with a future where I was wedded to His Highness without delay……do you think Carol would have been happy? 」
Mu, my mother’s brows creased.
There was no love between His Highness and me. In a situation like that, even if we went from engaged to married, the future would not change.
Rather, after we married each other, I could only imagine I would be placed in a side room and be left alone.
「……I do not think so」
「Yes, I feel the same」
「Still, the fact remains that Lady Mary used lies to slander you. She should be held responsible for that offense」
「In that case, Mother, I have a proposal」
I smiled and said so to my mother.
And then, I turned to Lady Mary.
She became scared and went hii! I wonder how my smile looked to her at this moment.
「I would like another maid」
「……are you sure about that, Carol? 」
「Yes. Currently, Carol has the honor of being a temporary instructor at the Order. I was thinking I would need another helping hand to make the documents, as leaving it to Natalia alone would be hard on her」
This was true. In fact, I made Natalia work extremely hard last night.
Copying the same document was all that was left, and Lady Mary could do enough.
My mother heavily sighed, and then nodded.
「……Hmm, all right. If Carol wishes so, I shall have her be your maid. Mother will notify the Hopkins Baronial House」
「Thank you very much, Mother」
「However, the House of Duke will not issue any payment. We shall only guarantee food, clothing and shelter. She will not be granted any rest days like the other servants. Also, Carol’s escort during the times you go out will remain to be Natalia. Lady Mary will not leave the manor. I assume that is acceptable? 」
「Yes, I am fine with it」
「B-But that……! 」
「My, Lady Mary, is that an objection? 」
Lady Mary raised her voice to the rapidly proceeding discussion.
But it did not matter to me if she had an objection.
I must be looking like a man-eating demon to Lady Mary now.
「It is fine by me if you disagree. Let us just leave it to the court then」
「Fraud, slander, perjury. And if you still insist on this, we can also add His Highness’s incitement to attempt murder. Will it be twenty years of imprisonment, perhaps? Of course, since their daughter did such things, the revocation of the Baronial House’s title would also have to be taken up for consideration」
「I will do it! Please allow me! I pledge my allegiance to Carol-sama! 」
「No~ it is all right if you object. I cannot even feel your willingness」
「I am willing! Please let me be you maid! I will do anything! I beg you! 」
Ufufu. As I smiled, I looked at Lady Mary who was earnestly begging, groveling with her knees, palms, and forehead on the floor.
And while watching me in such a state…
「……Albert, women are terrifying」
「……I think so too」
…Wilhelm-sama and Elder Brother agreed so.
Thank you to whoever linked the previous chapter to Novel Updates! I was in a bit of a hurry last time, so I wasn’t able to put it up there. (I leave the uploading over there to you guys?)