13. The Returnee Noble Lady (12)
“It’s all in the past, now. Nothing you should be concerned about.”
“B, but, Your Majesty, you haven’t done anything! You aren’t to be blamed for anything, that’s why—“
“—I’m alright, now. My brother has persuaded everyone around me. I’m living peacefully, as of now.”
“Is that… true?”
“Yes. Although my brother can’t see Rave, he believes in me.”
Beads of cold sweat drenched Jill’s body at Hadith’s happy proclamation.
If I recall correctly, you’ll execute said brother and another half-brother under the charge of treason, better called a civil war, and no one will be left—!?
Moreover, the one who would leak information to Kratos would be Prince Vissel.
“Of course, I won’t astutely say that everything is working along. I don’t even know the actual location of my brother. He’s still being avoided by our other brothers. Still, I want to believe that a day where we can peacefully talk will come.”
Did he keep holding on to such a belief and get viciously betrayed afterwards—?
Was that the reason he fell into despair—?
She didn’t want to jump to conclusions. All she could do was clench her fists in anger, she wanted to punch the wall—that was when the topic changed.
“…From the Kingdom of Kratos’ view, it strange how the Rave Empire hasn’t made any moves in recent years. It seems that it has something to do with the talk about your curse, Your Majesty.”
“That’s right. The yearly deaths of the previous Crown Princes scared off even the best of people. As such, they ran away. Ever since I became the Emperor, I’ve tried to stabilize the political situation. But the rumors still stand, that I am a Cursed Emperor. My brother is supporting me, however, when someone gets even a little hurt, it is linked to my curse. They also suspect the deaths of the previous princes as my doings.”
—despite such a feat being impossible for a prince whom was driven out to be forever forgotten.
However, fear can easily overcome reason.
“Regardless, because my brother is a reputable and ambitious man, my backings have grown stronger recently. But, I can’t always rely on my brother’s will. After all, there’s the saying, ‘once it’s past the throat, one forgets the heat’.”
“…then, the main culprit of the previous ship attack isn’t Prince Vissel? Was it a random attack, or perhaps, another brother is responsible for it…”
“If it’s a member of the royal family, they’ve witnessed their relatives dying one after another. That shouldn’t be a fear that’s easily forgotten.”
“Then, the only suspect left is Marquis Veil…”
Certainly, under such premises, it was difficult to imagine the Royal Family actively abolishing Hadith.
Hadith thoughtfully declared to Jill as a shadow crept over his face.
“It’s already common knowledge here that I’m cursed, but it’s apparently not so in the Kingdom of Kratos. I should’ve explained it to you before we proceeded with the marriage… I was too busy celebrating…”
“…how far did you celebrate…”
“However, there was a high chance you’d drop the marriage if I explained before-hand. It goes without saying that I did the right thing?”
Rave frowned at Hadith, who seriously uttered so.
“Even if you honestly think that, you shouldn’t be so foolishly honest about it.”
“Is that so?”
“I think it would be best if Your Majesty stayed silent from now on…”
Despite her rudeness, Hadith looked happy.
“You should take care—but I don’t think you need to worry about curses and whatnot, anymore. After all, you’re already here.”
“…and your reason for saying that?”
“It’s still full of holes, however I think it’s a curse that occurs when the Dragon Emperor has no wife. Now that there’s a bride bearing Rave’s blessing, the curse should subside.”
“Then why didn’t you just arrange for a quick marriage…?”
Hadith was already nineteen years old and also an Emperor. It would be easy to come up with candidates to be his bride. It was a simple question, however, Hadith smiled bitterly.
“I already told you, didn’t I? I’m a prince who was driven out to the frontier. Even after being imprisoned and left to starve to death, I’m still alive and well—aren’t I a monster? As such, no one wants to come in contact with me.”
Darn it. However, she couldn’t retract her words. All she could do was apologize.
“…I’m sorry, how thoughtless of me…”
“Don’t think too much about it. In the first place, without the ability to see Rave, one can’t receive his blessing. It doesn’t matter even if I am the Crown Prince, searching for a girl with a high enough amount of magic that can see Rave is still a difficult task.”
She was starting to understand the reason why she was treated so amiably. The reason Hadith celebrated—the reason he wanted her to love him…
…in other words, up until now, he only had Rave with him. In other words, he’s always been alone.
‘Happy Family Plan’—such ridiculous words weighed a lot more than before.
“Do you ever think it’s unreasonable that you’re forced to be the Emperor for such a Royal family, people, and everything in your surroundings…?”
“Why would that be? I’m the reincarnation of the Dragon God Rave. I was born to be an Emperor, such is my fate. They are my family and my people. It is my obligation to protect them. By denying it, I would lose my reason to live.”
The Emperor’s smile was both gallant and beautiful.
“I have Rave, and now, you… that’s why, there’s no way I will lose.”
It pierced her eyes, she who tried to stand up against fate and challenged the future. She repeatedly blinked in surprise.
No, regardless of anything, this shouldn’t be true… calm down. In summary, the reason His Majesty wants to marry me is because he wants to lift his curse.
When she thought about it that way, she gained an understanding. Suddenly, she felt optimistic.
“Then, could it be, the condition that the marriage partner has to be under the age of 14 is also related to that curse—!?”
“No. The absolute condition is that she can see Rave. Age is just a safety measure—to put it precisely, it’s a personal preference.”
She shouldn’t had asked.
once it’s past the throat, one forgets the heat: danger past and God forgotten.
***T/N: T, this guy… this guy is the type who actually win love point with the girl when he didn’t try to do so, and when he LEAST expected it… and everything went cathastropic if he intended so instead….