3. The Downtown (2)
Rat nodded and picked up the menu on the table.
“If that’s what Artie said, then it’s probably true…”
“Don’t use the word, ‘probably’… Would you please think about it more seriously? Imagine you have a fiancé and said fiancé is recently on good terms with a strange man. In noble society, that man is famous for his misdeeds—they even said he is pink brained…”
In her case, she was famous among women.
…well, she was famous among men too, but in a good way… ahh, why is this…
I narrowed my eyes because I felt upset—I just couldn’t come up with the right words.
Rat raised his eyebrows a little.
…even if just a little, was he able to understand my feelings?
“But all women are crazy about that guy, to the point where you are losing confidence in yourself…”
“Huh? Really, all of them are crazy about her?”
“Yes, everyone, I tell you. This is why I can’t understand the thoughts of men…”
That was when Rat pondered a little. Then, he suddenly switched the topic.
“Why don’t you order something for now? Besides, I think he knows better than Artie thinks.”
…I went to such lengths to ask about this because I’m unsure about that!
I couldn’t do this…
Why wouldn’t you understand me—!? I involuntary felt depressed. Men and women, and also Rat, who didn’t know my situation from the beginning, would naturally say such things.
I just wanted someone who could understand things from my perspective…
All betrothed women experienced the same thing as me, but that didn’t mean I could just vent to them. The rumor of me complaining would spread at the speed of light, for sure.
Then, those rumors would spread endlessly, and I would end up being the prey for those hyenas—sorry, I don’t want that.
“Artie, what do you want to eat?”
“One grilled white fish and one colorful sandwich, please.”
Thinking about at it, I pondered about the future. If everything ended up resolving itself, I would become the Queen. Well, regardless, our engagement was never broken. This engagement was decided by His Majesty. Its dissolution wouldn’t be a simple matter.
Sooner or later, I would marry His Highness and officially became a couple with him… such was the context…
…it suddenly occurred in my mind.
A married couple without love?
Moreover, when His Highness was clearly head over heels with someone as of the current?
…wasn’t that just plain impossible?
Days of suppressing strong feelings would be painful and lead to mutual isolation.
To be honest, I didn’t have any feelings towards His Highness. The same also applied to His Highness.
On top of that, His Highness was also eyeing on someone.
Our engagement wouldn’t work out like this. If the King and his wife were estranged, it could lead to a situation that would cause the kingdom’s downfall.
I might sound like I’m overthinking this, but the one who would be marrying His Highness was also me.
In that case, that Baroness would become his mistress. That already foretold a fraction between the Queen’s family and the Mistress’ family. A mistress was still fine, but the day she became his consort would definitely come. I was judging from the perspective of authority rather than the feelings of the parties.
If I was ignorant of the faction’s leadership, I wouldn’t be able to accumulate power.
After all, a Queen not only required information networks, being also vigilance.
However, when I considered it, it sounded like a difficult way to live…
…this engagement… I wonder if I can pull it off?
“Artie, the sandwich you ordered has arrived.”
While I was inadvertently immersed within my own thought, I heard Rat’s voice. When I looked in a hurry, a grilled fish and my sandwich were already lined up by Rat—they gave a delicious steam.
…ugh, even in this kind of situation, Rat’s grilled fish looks delicious…
“Ah, you’re right.”
I let out an unusual voice.
Of course, Rat didn’t realize that and proceeded to grab a knife and a fork.
“So, why is Artie so worried about this noble lady?”
“Eh? Hmm… there’s also that, yes, even you would be displeased with a sullen fiancé, wouldn’t you?”
I didn’t say anyone, though.
At the moment, I was Artie, just a mere downtown girl. I didn’t have to say who my fiancé was. As long as he didn’t realize anything, I was safe!
“Yes… we’ve been engaged for so long, I never thought it would come crashing down like this… and so easily, too…”
“This fiancé, Artie sometimes mention him, right?”
Rat inquired further. The way his black eyes glinted was so bright, I couldn’t ignore them.
“That’s right. Well, he didn’t say anything, but it’s apparent. There’s no doubt about it. He has absolutely no feelings for me!”
“Eh, no, it’s just, from what I’ve heard from Artie, it doesn’t sound so…”
“I’m not lying. His Maje—that person doesn’t love me. It’s a friendship rather than a romantic relationship, if any.”
“Even though you two are engaged, you’re just friends…”
Rat, who cut the fish neatly and brought it to his mouth, had an indescribable expression. He was probably sorry for me.
“In a novel, for love to grow in a political marriage is common but—in reality, it isn’t so. My relationship with him is cold.”
“You’re still talking about your fiancé, right? Yes, in reality, for love to bud after an arranged marriage may be uncommon, but not entirely impossible.”
“That may be so, but there are only a few cases of that actually happening…”
In fact, I had never heard of love blooming in a political marriage.
Most people either surrounded themselves with mistresses or had an estranged relationship. My head throbbed when I thought about how I was obliged to deepen my relationship with him.
“More than anything, Rat. You’re surprisingly a romantic~”
“No, not really.”
Rat said while sipping his drink. If not, then what?
Back to the topic about breaking off the engagement…
…how do I achieve that, I wonder? How to free myself from this engagement…? The hurdles were too high… talk was easy …
A too high of a hurdle couldn’t be called a hurdle but a wall instead—it was impossible to jump off from.
Perhaps, somehow, His Majesty might consider breaking off the engagement with me…
I didn’t know what kind of promise he made with that Baroness, but it would be harder for him to proceed with it with the presence of his fiancé.
It only came down to two possibilities—me offering to break off the engagement first, or him forcing me to break it off later… I wonder which it was going to be…
His Majesty breaking off the engagement…
…wait, that would mean the problem stemmed from me!! I didn’t even do anything…
There was nothing more disgraceful than being divorced one-way…
Such an egotistical way, as if I would accept that! Fine!
“I don’t want to break off my engagement…”
However, I would instead make it so that the engagement returned to a blank slate! Before he could divorce me! Of course, in a way that didn’t hurt my honor! I would start planning from now!
***E/N: This girl is an idiot.
***T/N: This is one dunning-kruegered female heroine… girl, just chew on your sandwich rather than thinking soooo farfetchedly about the future like that… how pampered and indulged can one be that she could easily shrug off her duty as a Queen like that… I guess it’s a good thing that she backs away now…?