42.1 Inside the Queen’s Heart
On the way back from academy within a luxurious carriage reserved for the royal family.
The woman who sighed as she sank into a soft cushion was none other than the queen of that kingdom—Ulysia Scarlet Wayness Elgacia. From the way she looked, it was as if she were shouldering all the hardship of the world.
“One case has been settled… no, I can’t say that so casually. Rather than that, it’s only the beginning…”
Amidst her busy schedule, she decided to attend the magic tournament. It wasn’t to only see her son’s gallant figure, but also to apologize to Sharina Clydea—the female student was said to have given a great deal of trouble back when Leonardo was still the crown prince.
Of course, ‘apologizing’ was merely a pretext.
…The queen’s real intention was to turn that girl into Roland’s fiancée candidate.
There were numerous obstacles in the matter of establishing and appointing Roland’s fiancée candidates who were also known as the ‘Dahlia Garden.’
Consulting with the former members of Rose Garden was out of the question. However, if they were passed over while the daughters of other families were appointed instead, that’d provoke the four families.
As a result, in order to quickly establish the Dahlia Garden while minimizing the provocation to each house, the selection of candidates wasn’t done extensively, but instead arranged behind the scenes. Based on eligibility, the ladies would be recommended one by one.
“Even so, what a sly girl she is! To show that kind of attitude after I have bestowed upon her the highest honor—which is to be my son’s bride! Even though she wished for it since the beginning!”
Although she was the one who picked that girl, Ulysia was filled with resentment.
Despite that, the situation wasn’t one that would allow her otherwise.
The faction around the king’s brother became stronger alongside the progression of the demonic disease. Not to mention, there was also pressure from the faction surrounding the third prince, the son of a concubine.
In order to silence them and solidify Roland’s position as the next king, it was necessary to urgently regain the fading trust and interest of the aristocracy.
As such, she had to painstakingly raise Sharina Clydea, who became a celebrity in a sense, as a ‘candidate fiancée for the new crown prince’. By creating a beautiful narrative, the queen would then be able to appeal to the masses.
“Now is not the time for grievance… for the sake of my kingdom, this amount of hardship is nothing… as a queen, I have to lead.”
For the kingdom—for the benefit of the kingdom—for the future of the kingdom—!
As a member of the royal family, she had to calmly make rational decisions, even if it meant killing her feelings.
As she reminded herself, Ulysia’s expression hardened.
“The color is ugly. Please redo it once more.”
Ulysia sat on a mahogany chair inside a large and luxurious room within the royal palace. The moment a teacup of steaming tea was placed on top of the pure white table, Ulysia spoke in a cold tone.
“Yes. I apologize.”
A middle-aged maid, whom was serving by her side, immediately began cleaning up the freshly brewed tea.
The bright crimson tea was thrown out without even being tasted once. Truthfully, the queen had nothing to complain about. Regardless, the veteran maid wasn’t foolish.
The maid quietly pulled the tea cart. The queen didn’t spare a glance towards the maid as she left the room. Ulysia tightened her fist in annoyance.
“How slow…! What the hell are you doing!?”
Obviously, she wasn’t urging the maid who was about to close the door so she could brew a new pot of tea.
The target of Ulysia’s resentment was neither her maid nor the tea, but the head of Clydea territory whom resided far away from the royal capital.
Ulysia had been waiting for a reply to the letter she sent to the Count of Clydea family a few days ago. In the letter, Sharina Clydea was welcomed as a member of the Dahlia Garden…
The queen begrudged, “The letter should’ve arrived, already…” While glaring at the sky outside the window.
Had Sharina remained obedient and willingly became Leonardo’s concubine, the Count of Clydea would have been able to become affiliated with the royal family.
Imagining the wrath of Count Clydea and his wife upon hearing Sharina had chosen a poor, countryside, baron’s son instead of the crown prince wasn’t hard.
At the moment, they must be thanking the queen for her mercy and encouraging their daughter to not miss that opportunity, something which could also be considered a second chance.
Despite that, although the queen had prepared a perfect narrative, she still hadn’t receive a reply from the Clydea family. It had been a few days, now.
That house should’ve owned a special postal method, one which allowed them to make deliveries from the royal capital and their territory in a matter of hours. As such, the reply should’ve already arrived.
Could it be… despite the speed, the family was reluctant to send a Gigant Eagle, which also classified as a demon, to the royal palace?
“…Or, could it be, they feel suspicious?”
It could be that Owen, the head of the Clydea family, and his wife, suspected that Sharina had incited the royal family’s wrath.
There was a possibility they’d only see such a perfect narrative as a trap.
“…How preposterous. I’m merely getting too anxious.”
That girl was an important accessory. If the queen’s plan was foiled, it’d become a loss for the royal family, one where no gain or profit could be achieved.
Ulysia liked to think that she was a competent woman. A woman who can think calmly as she makes rational decisions for her kingdom. To be swept away by emotion and be seen as an idiotic parent who merely desired revenge was but an embarrassment for her.
“Fools who stand up against authority should be eliminated. Even if they are half-wise cowards, they are still nuisances in the end.”
While rubbing her temple and sighing, Ulysia slowly stood up and approached the velvet curtained window.
No matter how much she looked at the sky, no demon bird came bearing what she wanted. Continuing to wait in front of an empty table was making her feel stupid. At times, her gaze wandered across the scenery…
She saw a carriage at the entrance of the royal castle near the garden below.
The crimson royal crest was drawn on the carriage’s jet-black body. The carriage drawn by black horses was definitely Roland’s—the current crown prince of that kingdom.
Roland alighted from a door opened by his servant, and walked towards the royal castle.
“Oh… Roland… I’m glad, he’s alright…”
Ulysia rubbed her chest in relief as she regained her confidence.
However, the queen’s gaze soon fell upon the strawberry blonde girl who followed after Roland. The queen saw the girl’s gloomy face.
“My, if you’d just reveal your true nature and openly throw yourself at him, you could still be considered cute…”
Sharina Clydea, aA hateful girl whom was the source of various problems and turmoil that plagued Ulysia.
As of the present, it wasn’t like that girl was rebelling against them. Despite that, her appearance, which obediently follow orders like a doll, was somehow more annoying.
Well, Sharina probably did that to convince Roland that she wasn’t as unbearable and overbearing as she actually was. After all, it’d spell trouble for her if Roland were to dismiss her from the role of a fiancée candidate.
“—Future! I’ve vowed my future to someone else! I love that person and that person only!”
Suddenly, Ulysia recalled the last conversation she had with Sharina Clydea in the guest room.
Sharina’s hair was disheveled, she was biting her lips, while her big, round, light blue eyes were open wide.
Those were the words she desperately screamed as she rebelled head-on against Ulysia, the queen of the kingdom.
So, it turned out Sharina was willing to pretend to that extent.
The moment she realized the queen had paid her no heed, she collapsed, full of despair.
That girl acted as if she was a tragic heroine whom was forcibly being separated from her beloved.
“Ah, I recalled something distasteful. How disconcerting.”
***T/N: I’d imagine Sharina’s family and her servants preparing for war…
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