7. The Castle (4)
“Then, shall we depart, Baroness Schmia?”
Kevin beckoned to Baroness Schmia, who smiled with tears brimming her eyes. I stepped aside, waiting for Baroness Schmia to leave the room.
I kept watching her as she walked pass me, that was when my eyes met with Baroness Schmia’s.
Suddenly, precisely at that second.
Baroness Schmia grinned at me, full of provocation.
My frustration peaked instantly—I had almost thrown my fan at her.
Before leaving the room, Baroness Schmia had ridiculed me. A momentary event, so fleeting that I doubted anyone else but me noticed.
“Alright, I shall also take my leave. Thank you for today.”
“Ah, yes—Tia, it’s about the upcoming ball.”
When I tried to leave the room, His Highness suddenly called me.
What, there’s still something left?
I stared at him, and he dropped his gaze again with a slightly uncomfortable expression.
The upcoming ball? I wondered if he wanted to appeal to me—to gain my permission to let him be Baroness Schmia’s escort or some other stupid thing. If he dared to escort another woman even though he already had a fiancée, he wouldn’t be the only one tormented by the shame.
Until now, I had allowed him to mingle with Baroness Schmia because it still hadn’t done nothing too risqué to my honor, yet.
But if he dared to straight on tarnish my reputation, I wouldn’t forgive that.
Before anything else, there was an engagement to break.
“The next ball that will be hosted by the Royal Family, you do remember about it, right?”
There was no way I would forget. An invitation was sent to me. I was irritated by His Highness’ roundabout words. Yes, it was about time for him to inform me about it.
“For that occasion, I want to give you a dress. Would you come with it?”
As I fell silent, His Highness smiled.
“I have to go to Merton territory tomorrow to attend a meeting. I’m going to return the day before the evening party. As such, I can’t see Tia until then. In the meantime, I’ve arranged for the dress to be delivered. So please wear it when you attend the ball. You understand, Tia?”
I didn’t know what did he meant, but I guess I will be receiving a dress and I should attend the ball wearing it?
More than that, His Highness was departing tomorrow? But, from the earlier conversation, didn’t he promise to meet with that Baroness at the same day?
“Good. Then, let’s meet again at the evening ball. I’ll pick you up.”
For some reason, His Highness nodded with relief. …I truly couldn’t comprehend His Highness at all. He seemed to be on good terms with Baroness Schmia, and it didn’t seem like a relationship between brother and sister.
I would also like it if it was truly a platonic love, or a brotherly love—but no matter how I perceived it, it was certainly a love between man and woman—!
“Romaj, please escort Tia.”
When His Highness spoke, the secretary, Romaj Colon, who stood quietly next to His Highness this entire time, bowed reverently. He was originally a Viscount, but because of his competency, he became a chosen subordinate of His Highness.
His Highness seemed to value people with skill more than people with high status.
But, in view of the current situation, I wondered if he also prefer commoners rather than nobles…
Certainly, having a conversation with other nobles was taxing. A façade was even required. After all, every word could be fatal. Even the slightest misstep could result in losing your entire family. Each word weighed as heavy as the world.
By comparison, commoners had it easy, they didn’t have to filter their every words. Truly, it would be so much easier if I could talk freely like that.
Romaj called me, who was deep in thought. Deep, black, eyes with green hair. Romaj was a very cautious person, but he was also very loyal.
“Lady Tiarize, I shall escort you.”
“I’ll be in your care, then. His Highness Lyon, His Highness Williant, I shall be taking my leave.”
His Highness Lyon, then His Highness Williant—after all these years, it felt strange to mention my own fiancé’s name. For the first time since ten years, I had called my fiancé’s name.
“Yes. Take care.”
After seeing His Highness nodding, I left the room.
…for some reason, I’m exhausted…
Looking at the green hair swaying in front of me, I kept pondering.
By what way could I dissolve my engagement…?
Amilia was the only one with experience of annulling an engagement with royalty. But it was ten years ago. I was sure that nowadays, doing such a thing would be harder.
I would be disgraced, and at the same time, it would ruin the future King’s reputation.
Well, if he broke his engagement with me, His Highness should be okay—after all, he had Baroness Schmia.
What about me?
I would suffer more loss than gain.
I didn’t think that it could be helped. After all, in this era, a woman’s worth is low.
I can just abandon this society!?
While I was walking down the hallway of the Royal Palace, I reestablished my dream of becoming an adventurer.
***T/N: At first, I wanted to complain about ‘bro… you don’t just expect the other girl who happens to also be your fiancee to okay your dress arrangement after such a grand display of you giving the girl you supposedly cheated with a jewelry…’ but it occurred to me if this whole thing is really a misunderstanding, then perhaps he did it on purpose–after all, it would be worse if he actually gave the jewelry to Schmia behind Tia’s back. But there’s also the fact that Tia wasn’t supposed to be there to witness them together that day…
…my point is, bro, if you truly love Tia stop sending mixed signals left and right? It only make you appear as if you want to eat both cakes…
…Tia easily ditched her obligation to become Queen just like that… lol. Are the women of that era this free to decide their future…