41.1 The Groundwork
“What prestige of the royal family!? What competent national mother who can make ruthless and calm judgments!? She’s merely blaming others for her parental failures!!”
With bright red hair burning to high heavens, Angelica shouted in a loud voice that shook the entire mansion.
“I thought you’d say that, Ange!”
“Ms. Kirklight, you stole those words out of my mouth…”
In the drawing room of the Kirklight family’s villa in the royal capital. After hearing about the matter from Sharina and Riol, Angelica sat down on the couch with resentment.
“It is as Angelica has said! What value does trust restored through deception have…!”
The knight sitting next to them couldn’t control his anger either. His right fist was shaking.
“…It came faster than I expected.”
“Well, the queen had this scenario prepared from the beginning. This speed shouldn’t be a surprise.”
The eldest daughter of Count Clydea was welcomed as a member of Roland’s fiancée candidates, into the Dahlia Garden. Just yesterday, the day after the queen visited the academy to watch the magic tournament, that serious announcement was made.
It was said that after watching the match, the queen had a meeting with Sharina and once again apologized for the first prince.
As an apology, the queen promised to fulfil Sharina’s wish to the greatest extent possible.
During that meeting, it was reported that Sharina had finally confessed of her hidden feelings—her fervent yearning for the second prince, Roland. She wanted to be added to his fiancée candidate group.
In order to fulfil her wishes, the queen declared that she’d support Sharina and educate her as necessary.
A good narrative was released, and a memoir was sent to the aristocrats. By the way, Sharina’s princess education was scheduled to start tomorrow.
“If the queen truly thought we’d believe that, isn’t that foolish of her? The students already know the circumstances of Shari and Riol.”
“However, the parents only know by hearsay. Between what their children say and what the royal family says, it’s obvious which they’d believe.”
The reactions of the students who heard the news varied.
There were those whom were confused, those whom were skeptical, and also those who didn’t believe it at all. Some girls believed it and envied Sharina—however, their number was quite small compared to the incident that involved Leonardo. Overall, many sided with Sharina.
However, in regards to their parents, it was difficult.
“Besides, the queen is also outside the academy. I don’t think anyone would believe rumors spread by students all that much. Unexpectedly, the aristocrats might believe students are just impressionable and easy to deceive…”
After sipping the tea brewed by the Kirklight’s maid, Riol murmured.
Sharina was surprised at the fact that only a few students were deceived.
Only a few months ago, everyone would just take in everything the royal family had said as if it was a norm. Everyone thought there was no girl who didn’t yearn to be favored by the prince.
“How is it possible that the princess education will start from tomorrow!? Shari’s house hasn’t even been informed, yet!!”
“The documents have already been delivered. Maybe they’re arrive around this time? After all, they’d use the fastest delivery service available in the royal capital.”
Thinking of her parents’ house, which should be in an uproar around that time, Sharina gently stared at the sky outside the window, the sky which connected the royal capital to the territory of Clydea. With her parents’ Gigant Eagle flight (without gondola version), the letter would arrived in an hour or two instead of two or three days. She was filled with a slight sense of superiority.
“Shari, you shouldn’t be calmly comparing the delivery speed! Riol-kun!! At this rate, Shari will be taken by those people!? Hey, wouldn’t making a fuss, ‘I absolutely despise the idea of marrying His Highness Roland’ work in this situation!? I will cooperate!”
The only reason why the queen agreed to fulfil Sharina’s wishes was because she wanted a good story to spread regarding Roland’s relationship with the countess. It was to back the claim that the countess had been yearning for Roland for a long time. If such a premise was broken beyond repair, it’d be outrageous to force Sharina to marry Roland.
“If you do that, they’d say, ‘Even though the queen went to such lengths to ensure the success of her relationship with Roland, Sharina instead trampled on the queen’s kindness.’ Sharina would then be indicted for openly ridiculing the prince and also ignoring the queen’s kindness even though Sharina was the one who wished for it in the first place.”
Riol held Angelica whom was about to leave the room. From the beginning, the queen’s bet was low risk with a high return. The situation was high risk with no return only for Sharina and the others.
“I see… the reason why the queen didn’t just take Sharina to the castle right then and there is because she knew there’s nothing we could do to go against it.”
Tobias, who relaxed his trembling fist, muttered in voice mixed with despair towards his lords.
To prevent suspicion, Sharina would probably be confined to the back palace. Afterwards, in order to fulfil the queen’s aim, Sharina would need to play the role of a lovestruck lady, one who yearned for Roland with all her might—be it at school, at evening parties, and in public.
By expecting Sharina to do all of that, the queen must had taken the risk of Sharina disobeying her order and spreading the truth in front of a large number of people into consideration.
“No, it’s a bit different.”
Riol shook his words again Tobias’ words.
“With her authority as a shield, the queen is certainly trying to subdue Sharina. The queen might understand how much Sharina likes me, but is probably unaware of how madly in love she is. The queen probably thought, ‘Well, even if she has some feelings for her lover, there’s no way she won’t be attracted to becoming a princess. I’m sure she’ll lose to temptation and accept the role in the end.’”
Even if the queen had prepared an escape route in case of failure, she probably thought things would proceed in a convenient way.
The crown prince, who had everything—status, lineage, wealth, magical prowess, and appearance. By agreeing to be married with him, she’d be entitled to the title of princess, and wouldn’t lack either authority or wealth. The higher the status, the less things would appear valuable to them. Moreover, those of higher status were rarely denied their desires.
For the queen, it must had been akin to switching an old, tattered, doll that her child liked so much for some reason, with a new doll that was much more expensive and better looking. Not only were their perspectives different, the worlds they lived in were fundamentally different.
“Hey, Shari, why don’t we just let this kingdom to fall into ruin all at once…?”
Even the flames of anger that had been flaring up earlier had been vanquished. Angelica could only remark with hollow eyes. Such a serious offense was spouted by an aristocrat.
“Well, if I really were to be separated from Riol, the man I’ve sworn my eternal love to, I’d throw myself into the sea the day before the wedding ceremony while entrusting thousands of suicide notes to Apollon. He’d then scatter them all over the royal capital with a Gigant Eagle, baring the naked truth to the masses.”
Sharina came up with a concrete plan that couldn’t be called a joke.
“Afterwards, I shall be together with Riol in the afterlife…”
“Don’t kill me off in this world, either.”
“Yes, of course, Riol! Let’s be together forever!”
Riol replied very calmly.
“If Sharina is forced to do that, even if I become guilty of treason, I’ll beat down the escorts, the queen, His Highness—just to make way for the two of you to escape abroad!”
“Calm down, Tobias, I have something else for you to do.”
Riol immediately stood up and stopped Tobias, whom was about to depart for the royal palace immediately—it wasn’t even the day of the ceremony, yet.
“…What do you want me to do? Could it be, Riol-kun, you’ve planned something!?”
Hearing Riol’s words, Angelica’s eyes returned to life.
“If it’s about reclaiming Sharina, won’t you guys be the enemy of the royal family? As I thought, that role should be mine…”
“I won’t let you do that. It’s not only a strategy to get Sharina back, but also a strategy to get Sharina back safely.”
Riol sat down on the sofa and declared powerfully, turning his eyes towards Angelica and Tobias.
“I’d like to request your help to ensure its successfulness. Will you guys help me?”
“Is there anything I can do?! Say anything, I’ll do it!”
“Of course, I’ll do anything within my capability!”
Riol smiled happily and said to the two, who leaned forward and answered.
“I want unpolished magic stones. It doesn’t matter what the elements are, make as many as you can with the elements you are good at.”
He lowered his gaze a little—because that was a feat he was incapable of himself.
***T/N: Lol Sharina legit scares me with her determination in this chapter man.
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