Chapter 104: Late Participation of the Ball
The ball seemed to have already begun. When we presented our invitation to the guard, we were guided to the hall where the nobles were already in lively conversations.
Apparently, we were a little late.
Soon after entering the hall, I met with Lilia. Lilia was in a crimson dress as usual; red looked good in her.
And as I was here as Wilhelm-sama’s wife, I was half a step behind him.
Lilia first bowed before Wilhelm-sama as she went towards me.
「How do you do, Wilhelm Ambrose-sama」
「Y-Yes. How do you do」
「I am Lilia Anderson, the eldest daughter of Marquis Anderson. I had the pleasure of being close to Carol in her time at the academy」
「Oh, was that so? I hope you will continue to get along well with my wife」
「Yes, thank you very much」
Lilia, who had a smile on her face, really looked the part of a high-born daughter.
I was honestly moved that I was called his wife in public like this. However, Lilia’s extremely demure act weighed more on my mind.
Perhaps, Wilhelm-sama would not be able to see the deviousness underneath it.
「Huh? 」 (Carol)
「Hm? 」 (Wilhelm)
It was then I suddenly wondered.
Lilia and Wilhelm-sama seemed to have met for the first time, but it was Lilia who was with me at the wedding. At that time, they should have met each other at least once.
Surely, Lilia would have thought of that question as well.
「It is an honor. I had also attended your wedding」
「O……Oh, was that so? Forgive me」
「At a wedding, and with being the groom yourself, it cannot be helped if you do not remember the faces of those who were in attendance. And being the knight captain in particular, you must have had a lot of associates from your work. However, I wanted to formally introduce myself to you, the one who my best friend Carol is married to」
「I see. Well, I did not know Carol had such a reliable friend. Please continue to treat her well」
「Yes, thank you very much」
Hmm hmm, nodded Wilhelm-sama.
She completely hid her true nature. Was this how a noble daughter got through society?
Lilia held the edges of her skirt and once again bowed to Wilhelm-sama.
「May I speak with Carol for a moment? 」
「Y-Yes, you may. I will go and greet His Majesty and my acquaintances. Could I leave you to speak with Lady Lilia, Carol? 」
「Ah, yes. I understand」
「All right. Take care not to follow other unscrupulous people」
「My, such a thing would not happen」
I felt pleased that Wilhelm-sama was worried.
However, I was dressed to show I was married. Besides, I should not be interested in anyone other than Wilhelm-sama to begin with.
Wilhelm-sama probably had to greet a lot of people with his work. But if I go with him, I might get in the way, so I would quietly wait instead.
After excusing himself, Wilhelm-sama left.
Lilia heavily exhaled.
「Ugh, I’m tired」
「Hang on a little bit more」
「It’s tiring to show a formal smile. Usually, I would have brushed him aside had he been some other guy, but he’s Carol’s husband and Flarekista’s hero after all. I have to treat him with a proper attitude」
「My……But if you try too hard, will you not grow tired in the future? 」
「Not really. Wilhelm-sama and I have no common ground at all, so it’s fine. And when I visit Carol, he’ll be working anyway」
「……That is true」
I did not know how long Wilhelm-sama would be working.
But whenever Lilia came, Wilhelm-sama was practically absent. It was unfortunate they had no common ground. Then again, Lilia was a beautiful woman, so perhaps I should be relieved that I did not have to worry.
Lilia crossed her arms and looked around.
「Do you know what this ball’s about? 」
「No, only that it is hosted by the royal family」
「His Majesty said it earlier……this function is to officially announce His Highness Edward as the heir to the throne. Because to the general public, His Highness Rayford is still the heir. Carol was late, so it seems you didn’t hear the announcement just now」
「Is that so? 」
「They can’t expose the royal family’s shame. That he was muddled by the charms of a lower-ranked noble’s daughter, and after trying to act violently against a duke’s family, he was finally arrested and placed under house arrest. This is just me, but they’ll probably say he’s ill or something and won’t let him out ever again. It’s pathetic」
Good grief, I was shocked.
We were not the only ones here. I did not know if we were within hearing distance, but there were people around us.
Despite that, Lilia spoke without reservation.
Still, this ball was like some ceremony then.
His Majesty probably made such a remark at the beginning. In that case, I could see why Wilhelm-sama went to greet His Majesty.
「And it seems they’re also looking for a good partner for His Highness Edward」
「Is that so? 」
「His marriage to Carol is out. Well, if it’s His Highness Edward, he’s very popular anyway」
When I looked to Wilhelm-sama while saying so, he was talking to Edward-san, the very subject of our discussion.
A hand pointed to my direction. Perhaps he asked about my whereabouts.
Edward-san raised his eyebrows like he was surprised, and then headed this way.
「N? Eh…His Highness Edward? Does he have some business with Carol? 」
「I am not sure……? 」
I was only going to blame Edward-san a little, but Edward-san himself should have nothing to tell me.
But for some reason, he made his way through the crowd and was heading here. What could the matter be?
Well, since he was heading this way, I might as well greet him.
I bowed towards the approaching Edward-san.
「It has been a while, Your Highness Edward……」
Edward-san went past me.
And stopped in front of Lilia.
「Please, tell me your name! 」
Lilia, with a face that seemed to say, “I don’t understand”.
And Edward-san, who was kneeling before Lilia.
What kind of situation was this?