7.1 The Room in Early Summer and the Second Prince
Ever since her engagement had been annulled, Dia’s daily life had altered dramatically.
Until then, no matter how much of a ‘ghost’ Dia was to the Royal Palace, the Queen Education still proceeded every day. In those days, she was so busy she barely had any time for herself.
…but now, since I’m about to be discarded, that education is no longer necessary…
Richardo and the Queen, who often check on Dia’s condition, told her that they would like her to spend time reorganizing her thoughts.
The festival of Evemeria would be held on the last month of the year.
There were also royal ceremonies on New Year’s Eve, but they were more like rituals.
After two festivals, right around the end of the year, there would be Evemeria. There was no wonder she was told to relax.
Noin understood the Royal Palace’s intentions. That was, to gradually weaken Dia so that on the day of the ball, people would think she had self-harmed herself to the point of dying.
Nevertheless, even if she was about to be killed on the night of the ball, she was still a greedy person. This greedy person would like to have a pleasant day—therefore, by all means, she couldn’t consume the water they served her. Dia had to use her own two hands to pump water.
Dia opened the door to the balcony and scrapeding up the snow onto a plate.
She did it because she couldn’t get to the garden outside. As such, she had to lean out to gather snow, to the point she had to crawl—who would’ve thought she would degrade to doing such?
For a pitiful girl who merely wants to drink cold water to have to do this sort of thing…
All she could do was work hard while containing her anger.
At that time in the Fashitar, fire ores would be stuffed into the reservoir of the water pipes running around the royal castle. Thus, if the faucet was to be twisted, all that would come out was hot water.
In that kingdom where the night was long and the winter was harsh, if the water passed through a vast facility such as the royal palace in its actual temperature, it would freeze upon flowing out.
Therefore, as strange as it was, a measure to just heat up the water was taken.
According to Noin, in a land where magic was rich, such tedious labor was unnecessary because the water pipe was enforced with magic. Both hot and cold water could be produced at will.
“…Who dared to set my room’s temperature to that of early summer—!”
Dia begrudgingly cursed under her breath.
As of that moment, she had an intense hatred towards the person who switched her room temperature to early summer. In a season where only hot water came out of the faucet. In a situation where her only other choice was to drink the poisoned water from that jug.
Finally, after the snow on the balcony had been collected, she combined it with the hot water she had pumped to cool it down.
Wiping the sweat on her forehead with the back of her palm, Dia gulped the chilled water in an instant.
“…Ah, a delicious reward for my labor.”
“…Oi, you didn’t do anything again, did you?”
Dia turned around slowly, only to see Noin who had randomly appeared again.
She wanted to show him the appearance of a dignified Duke’s daughter, but no can do—her bangs were messy and her sleeves rolled up.
Nevertheless, Dia still tried to greet him with a ladylike, gentle, smile.
“I apologize, Noin. As you can see, the room is as hot as the beginning of summer—for some reason. As such, I don’t have much appetite, so…”
“Let me state this now, I don’t have any intention of being your Chef.”
“Well, well, is that so~?”
“Oi, why did you avert your eyes just now?”
“Gyu—!? Who told you you’re allowed to pinch a lady’s cheeks—!? Unforgiveable—!!”
The King of the Night was being dishonest—and not to mention, plain rude.
However, Dia benevolently didn’t point out the contradictions in his words.
The truth was, every time the Night King appeared, he always gave her food.
Recalling that, the only day Noin didn’t bring food was the day Dia’s engagement was annulled.
All the other times, he would usually bring some food.
…could it be… the creatures of the Night Kingdom love to feed humans?
Obviously, she couldn’t relate to the way those high-ranking creatures enjoyed their lives. But perhaps, when feeding her, Noin gained the same pleasure Dia would when she feed a baby Mukmugris.
Noin could tell through the look on Dia’s face that she was questioning why the number of visits had increased lately. He then explained.
“…Do you think there is an audience who’d come all the way to the theater but then purposefully miss the show?”
“…Mu… as the ‘show’, I have a lot of pent-up, indescribable, feelings regarding that. But indeed—to watch the show is certainly the most interesting time for the audience.”
“Not to mention, just now, you were on the floor, licking a plate. Truly the sight of an utter tragedy, if you ask me.”
“…I never licked it.”
She—she did try to drink the last drop, but not to an extent she would lick the plate!
Dia, who looked straight at Noin, suddenly noticed that his otherworldly beautiful cape—so beautiful, it could be called poison to human eyes—had a part that was torn cruelly.
“…Noin, what happened to that?”
“Hm? …Ah, I torn it a little.”
“…You torn it.”
Dia was appalled by Noin’s nonchalant explanation, but he suddenly averted his gaze.
Dia’s eyes gleamed in curiosity as she followed the direction of his gaze.
“—is someone coming?”
“Yes, and a noisy one too, good grief…”
After hearing that disgusted remark of his, when her gaze returned to the place he once was—there was nobody.
Looking around the empty room, Dia sighed softly, anticipating the visitor in scrutiny.
Even though Noin just came…
She wanted to talk with him a little longer.
Dia had no choice but to adjust her sleeves and fix her bangs.
It was the courtesy of a noble lady to dress up and meet visitors, but today would be a little difficult for such an occasion.
After all, usually, she would call the maid to dress her. But that afternoon, all the maids assigned to Dia had been dismissed by she herself.
Such treatment was unbefitting towards a Duke’s daughter. However, today was the pre-celebration of Evemeria festival, which was called Babelclair.
The day before Evemeria was called Babelclair, and the day before that was Clavis. Both were festivals to increase the blessing of the Evemeria Festival.
Babelclair was a festival for parents to spend time with their children, while Evemeria was for people to spend their time with their whole family.
Until now, the festival of Babelclair too, I usually celebrated it together with Richardo along with the King and Queen in the Royal Palace.
The dinner would last until late at night, and it was also customary to stay in the guest room until morning passed. Until last year, Dia would spend time with her new family from the afternoon, preparing for the festival with them.
This year, her engagement was abruptly dissolved and she ended up spending her time cooped up there.
That was why Dia had ordered her maids to take a break that afternoon.
I wanted them—who are mostly mothers with young children—to spend their time with their families. But, that desire of mine certainly doesn’t stem from kindness…
…I just want to use my remaining time—only three days—just for myself.
Nevertheless, even though it’s Babelclair, for someone to dare visit me—!
As she thought of throwing the hot spice oil at that guest, the guard knights of the Night Violet Wing immediately visited her.
Because there was no need to divide the chain of command in the Royal Palace, there were no stewards in the building where Dia lived. As such, the knights would be the one who received the visitor.
In retrospect, Richardo probably didn’t think of her wing as a residential place—but more of a prison instead.
“…Dia, is it true that you were being a nuisance to Marietta?”
“If it isn’t Lord Jillreid. Frankly speaking, I don’t understand what you’re referring to.”
Jillreid, the Second Prince of the Kingdom, who welcomed himself into the room, suddenly said so.
But, he stopped, looked around, and silently took off his fur coat—
—must be hot.
“Isn’t the fire in the fireplace too strong?”
“Please look over there. It isn’t even lit.”
“Who manages the fire ore furnace in this wing? I’ll speak to them later.”
“There’s no need for that, this afternoon, I dismissed all my maids so they could take a break. It’s alright. You better leave it be, because even without those adjustments, I’m in no danger of being frozen to death.”
“…Back to the main topic. I heard that when Marietta’s former maids from the Morning Haze wing were sent here, the Night Violet wing, you dismissed them without hesitation.”
Sitting on a chair that Dia forgot to offer, Jillreid leaned his head back before sighing.
Thanks to his royal bloodline—which bestowed him good look, even though he was behaving sloppily, he still looked refined.
…For that, perhaps Richardo is a peacock. I can’t find someone who perfectly fits the illustration of a graceful, calm, brilliant, black-eyed creature other than him.
…For that, perhaps Richardo is a peacock.
nah, he’s a plain <del datetime=”2021-11-04T08:21:02+00:00″>censored </del>.
And I hate this kool-aid–wait, sorry, I keep switching his name for some reason–band-aid prince the very moment he came here on behalf of that other Thot who went along with someone else’s fiance.