“Eliza… what is the meaning of this?”
“I don’t really understand your question?”
“Why, why would you marry Victor…? You even smiled at him like how you used to…”
“—Your Highness Albert, please stop addressing my wife using her nickname.”
“! …F, forgive me.”
In the arm of His Highness Albert was a woman hiding half of her face with a fan. That woman was Al’s weak point, ‘a proper aristocratic lady’—her name was Johanna. As we talked, she quietly waited.
I heard that the decision to make her his concubine was almost settled.
When it came to His Highness Albert marrying Alice, the presence of someone who would be performing the duty of the queen was considered necessary. I had already seen it coming—I had already expected that if anyone, it’d be Lady Johanna.
The moment I met her in person, knowing that was the result of my plan, I felt remorseful.
It was quite a relief when I found out she was delighted with the marriage prospect. It seemed that she enjoyed the queen’s duties in regards to diplomacy and charity. She also said she didn’t need romance.
From the beginning, Alice made it clear that, ‘my role is to receive love!’ Thus, Lady Johanna was entrusted with all of the Crown Princess’ duties—political affairs, diplomacy, etc. —which Alice abhorred.
Well, that girl’s appearance was good, but she indeed didn’t have the necessary skills.
For me to have a wedding in such a remote area. If Lady Johanna had known the bride’s true identity, she surely wouldn’t have come. Some might slander Lady Johanna, thinking she was showing off the man she had robbed from me.
However, now that I had been adopted by my grandparents, and my family and middle names had changed, perhaps no one would notice me. At the very least, I doubted my poorly-studied half-sister would.
It had become widely-known amongst the aristocrats, what kind of method Alice use to become Albert’s crown princess. The nobles were now looking at the neighboring kingdom with complex expressions—because why do they have to acknowledge such a criminal as a member of royal family?
Due to my guidance, Alice tried so hard to become, ‘His Highness Albert’s ideal woman’, in the end, her rotten nature became exposed.
Even though once upon a time she had said, “No matter what happens, I want to get married with His Highness Albert!” as of the present, she seemed to bemoan her loveless marriage, “It shouldn’t be like this!”
The tryst she had with His Highness Albert that one time bore a daughter. Despite so, the moment she realized having a daughter wouldn’t change His Highness Albert’s feeling towards her, she started neglecting her child.
Foolish woman, even if you couldn’t attain his love, at the very least, you could’ve had a family someday.
Nevertheless, it was still better than her reproducing with a tyrant who masked his abuse under the guise of love, or someone like her—someone like her, whom was doted on endlessly, to the point she thought she could attain whatever she wanted, no matter the method.
“Compared to the time when you were still my fiancée, now that you are married to Sir Nyx, your attitude sure is different…”
His selfish remark annoyed me.
Even though you were the one who forced me into such a suffocating way of life. Even though you didn’t even try to improve the environment. Nowadays, no matter how much I used to love him in the past, I couldn’t help but despise him instead.
I was patient enough. Casting aside my own desires and wants, I persevered. In exchange for my personal life, I had to be content with a life where I couldn’t even spout a careless word—all just to become the fiancée of His Highness Albert.
I didn’t hold any grudges. I didn’t wish for His Highness Albert to suffer the same suffocating life as I had. I also didn’t expect an apology, or gratitude, for my efforts… because I had loved Al.
Sincerely, I had just hoped that the effort I had put in would make me worthy to stand beside him.
I knew the behavior taught by queen’s education wasn’t pleasurable, however, it wasn’t as if I had changed wholly into a new person? My hobbies, my preferences—none of them had changed.
Despite so, I was laughed at. He made me a laughing stock amongst his peers.
That was when my thread of love for Al was severed.
At that moment, all I wanted was for him to understand—for him to reflect on his words.
Some people may call me merciless.
Those people probably believed that if you loved someone, no matter how they treated you, you should continue to love them.
Well, to me, that was just impossible. That was all.
Once they experienced the same situation as me, they would probably come to an understanding.
I didn’t want to waste words on them. The satisfaction you received when you explained something and being understood was both great and short-lived.
I didn’t even feel sorry. As the crown prince, I believe he should have put up with the situation. He should’ve been patient—by the end of the queen’s education, I might have been able to return to my usual self; the usual Eliza His Highness Albert so loved.
Instead, he just moved on to another. To describe the aftermath of the whole situation—rather than him falling into my so-called trap, he was just suffering the consequences of the path he had chosen to go through. I didn’t even harbor any malice towards him.
Besides, I didn’t really do anything wrong. I just taught my cute half-sister the type of woman my beloved fiancé preferred;
“Al’s type of woman is the complete opposite of you, Alice.’
‘He likes those girls who appear in stories, who’d masquerade as knights—isn’t that impossible for you?’
I was the one who gave her the advice, but it was all up to her on how to interpret it. It was also her own decision to make.
Alice may have uncovered my intentions, but she couldn’t blame me for anything.
As of the present, I refused to endure anything. No longer the future national mother, I would stand in front of some stores—something I wouldn’t have been allowed to do back then to avoid being criticized.
I also loved to run around with Victor and his dog in the garden, getting ourselves covered in dirt—my favorite pastime back when I was a child.
No one could chastise me there.
If I were to tell the previous me, whom would be married to the future king, the joy I now had, as my husband and I became a pair of adventurers, I wonder if she’d believe me. I could now spend the remainder of my life basking in freedom.
Although it was a suffocating way of life, such was the obligation of the future queen. My attitude, back when I was still his fiancée, was perfect.
However, it ended with me becoming the receiving end of his hate, instead.
His Highness Albert, who disliked perfect noble ladies, then turned to Alice.
He had made Alice believe that, ‘Even though he’s close with his fiancée, he just couldn’t accept her changes.’
Then, she relied upon my stepmother who doted on her obsessively because she herself couldn’t obtain my father’s affection.
My stepmother probably thought, ‘At the very least, I have to make this child’s love come true.’ All while also projecting her own miserable self at the same time.
If he had listened to my words of advices, which I had told him many times, he wouldn’t had been dragged by Alice into that private room. Did he perhaps think it’d be alright since a maid and an escort were present?
It was impossible for Alice’s thin arms to take off Albert’s clothes. An aristocrat’s corset was also not designed to be removed by one’s own self—therefore, the maid and escort themselves may have also been planted. Because he had willingly entered the nest of the predators preying for him, he should had been aware of that.
Pressured by diplomatic relations, that future king had no choice but to accept the wedding presented by the neighboring king.
Actually, wasn’t that fine?
Wasn’t it truly beneficial for the kingdom?
After my engagement was broken on behalf of Alice, I married Victor whom was seven years older than me.
However, it wasn’t at all arranged.
It was because I believed it was possible to build a trusting relationship with Victor—whom never said anything bad about me, me who set up her own man with another and resorted to political trickery to escape her own engagement. He had also willingly accepted my hand.
…Before grandfather could contact me about his consent, I was quite shocked by the letter that had reached me first, written by himself.
I met Victor during my time in my grandparents’ territory. At that time, I’d usually address him as, ‘Big Brother Victor’. To His Highness Albert and I, Victor was akin to a real brother.
He was the grandson of my grandfather’s best friend who reigned the neighboring territory. He grew up alongside us, including His Highness Albert whom was undergoing his medical treatment at the time. Therefore, he was like a family.
As such, of course Victor also knew about my tomboyish side.
When he discovered I was now acting like a proper lady, he supported me, ‘I’m sure you’ve worked very hard to become such a lovely lady.’
Despite the current me being different from my tomboyish past self, there was no change in treatment from him. He treated me like how he used to.
He told me that I was cute—just like how he used to when I was a child.
After being treated like a girl for the first time in a while, my face suddenly grew hot.
***T/N: In all seriousness, reading this story is akin to reading the venting of an actual, person–which isn’t over the top and also relatable. Wow, just wow.