7.2 The Room in Early Summer and the Second Prince
The Second Prince Jillreid had short silver hair and pale blue eyes.
His beautiful face could give a terrible impression—but at the same time, he exuded a mysterious aura that could calm his surroundings.
The blue attire displaying the royal insignia indicated that he had participated in the Bableclair ceremony. Dia thought of the magnificent ceremony held at the church—until last year, she was invited.
“Jillreid, please think about this from another’s perspective. I don’t feel anything in particular, but for those maids, this must’ve been a terrible outcome. After all, for the current First Prince’s fiancée’s maids to be assigned to his former fiancée… I’m sure they would like to rejoice by their Master’s side, but they can’t do that because of the festival.
“However, that’s still lacking in foresight by you. You have no one to assist you now… to let those ladies take a break without considering their positions… even if my brother allows you to do as you please, you’re still an unmarried woman. As my cousin, you should’ve exerted some more self-control… for the sake of Marietta, I understand that I’ve also crossed the line by conveying this to you, but it’s not as if I can just overlook this.”
Dia smiled and listened to his sermon, which was delivered in an appalled voice.
Jillreid, who saw such a Dia, began to grow confused in the middle.
“…You don’t seem to want to accept those maids.”
“Yes. Jillreid, I’m still but a vulnerable girl at heart. Could you forgive this of yours for selfishly wanting to spend such a day alone because of recent happenings?”
“…that’s just careless. Tonight is Babelclair, won’t you at least visit my residence?”
“I don’t want to bother your wife—she just gave birth, right? To put it simply, I want to spend today alone because I don’t want to be around other people.”
Listening to Dia, Jillreid sighed deeply, clutching his head in his hand.
“…What a stubborn sister you are.”
“Fufu, you just realized that now? So, you came here only to talk about Marietta?”
“…No, apart from that, I want to ask you something. Dia, do you remember the picture book of the King of the Night you had at that mansion you lived in as a child?”
Jillreid stared straight at Dia while she blinked.
Since the other party was the Prince, she should’ve served him tea, but unfortunately, there was no maid in the room. In fact, Dia could brew the tea on her own, but using the utensils in the room might risk getting him poisoned—as such, there was nothing she could do.
If that happened, someone could easily frame her for attempted assassination of the Second Prince.
“…a picture book of the King of the Night?”
“Yes… actually, in the forest of Hydratarts, a somewhat serious incident is occurring now. Did you know the mining quantity and quality of the forest crystals of this kingdom have been decreasing since last year?”
“No, I wasn’t aware of any of that because Richardo hasn’t said anything.”
“The most prominent anomalies have been spotted in the forest of Hydratarts… Ten days ago, said forest was gradually covered with ice. I was dispatched to the forest to determine the cause, but still, it remains unknown.”
“Well… isn’t the winter of this year particularly cold?”
“Usually, in that forest, the soil won’t freeze no matter how cold the winter is. Due to the warm water gushing from underground, the forest is usually blossoming even in this season… how can this happen? Is the forest dying?”
The two knights, standing in the doorway of the room nodded towards his words in a somewhat haggard manner.
Perhaps they were also involved in the forest survey along with Jillreid.
“Then, the cause might be hot water? Certainly, the hot water originates from somewhere near the Valley of Tahau, the border area. Perhaps something blocked it? Or the spring dried?”
Towards Dia’s words, did Jillreid’s eyes just wavered?
He had an ambiguous expression—he failed to even smile and nodded with pain in his face.
“…That is not impossible. But, I feel like something important was written in that book I read in your mansion when I was a child in the wake of that tragic incident. About the pact made with the King of that forest… Dia, those previous claims you made are sensible, but, as you can see, the Forest of Hydratarts is behaving strangely…”
“Jillreid, I would love to help you with that. But, I don’t remember much about the picture book you mentioned. If I’m not mistaken, the story is about the terrible but beautiful King of the Night which resides in the woods…”
It was a thick, dark blue, cloth-pasted book.
It was made like a picture book, but now Dia knew it was a textbook imitating a picture book.
She wanted to read it again and searched the library of the Royal Palace, but she couldn’t find such a thing.
That picture book was always in my Father’s office, and it was said that only the Gillasfi could read it… and also the princes who visited the mansion…
She remembered the distant sensation of touching that book.
Dia had never forgotten the contents of that picture book—after all, she had read it over and over again.
But, divulging it to Jillreid was an entirely different story.
Jillreid’s shoulder drooped in disappointment as he titled his head curiously.
His short hair was slightly wet, he probably crossed the courtyard, and got drenched by the snow from the snow-covered branches on the way there.
“…I see. I’m sorry for asking such an unreasonable request. What are you going to do about tonight’s festival supper?”
“I see that we’ve returned to that topic once again. Well, I can have tonight’s supper properly delivered to my room. You may have forgotten, Your Highness Jillreid, but this is the Royal Palace. I won’t starve to death just because I told a few maids to take a break.”
***T/N: Yeah, stay ignorant forever, you band-aid, kool-aid, brother of an asshole!!!!! And fall to ruin!!!!