3.4 The Struggle of a Reincarnated Marquis’ Daughter
“…L, Lady Juliane, you’ve grown even thinner…”
“Well, a lot has happened…”
“…She used to be plump and glossy, but as of now, Lady Juliane looks ephemeral… I wonder if she’s sick.”
I muttered inwardly.
Even though I had long been seated in the drawing room where tea parties were always held, Alfred still hadn’t arrived. As such, the chatter of the servants, which I could hear through the wall, became my BGM. It was apparent that they were pitying me.
When I was thinking that I might have been stood up again today, the door vigorously opened.
“Juliane, I apologize for the wait—”
—When I opened my eyes, Alfred appeared. His calm atmosphere made me feel like a vessel. However, a slight irritation could be felt from his gait. Perhaps because it was a surprise entrance, I could hear a squeaking noise in my chest—
—it sounds like ‘kyun’?
I had even forgotten to stand up and could only tilt my head.
Alfred’s lips, which had begun to open, closed as he walked with tremendous force.
“Georges! Call a doctor!”
“That’s unnecessary! Besides, Your Highness Alfred’s complexion looks worse than mine!”
Because he suddenly crouched before the sofa, our faces were close. Alfred’s gorgeous face crumbled in awkwardness. He showed me a tired and powerless smile, as if he was being chased by something.
“I’m sorry for summoning you, but I haven’t finished my work, yet.”
“I see. Then, I will head home. There’s no need for you to go through all of this when you’re so busy.”
“It’s almost finished—it’s almost finished, so please stroll through the garden as you wait. Of course, that is if you’re alright with it.”
When I tilted my head, Alfred suddenly stood up again and left without even sparing me a glance.
I didn’t understand. Even though he hated my guts, he still told me to wait and even considered my mood?
He was being too selfish.
I just wanted to sneak away and go home.
At times like these, I wish I were a flying squirrel… using the extra skin on my upper arms, I want to ride the wind and go home immediately…
Since I was the future princess, I had the right to enter the castle freely. Well, except for the private areas of the royal family, of course. In the end, I decided to take a stroll around the corner of the garden where the flowers that bloomed in winter were gathered. That spot was very much recommended by the maids, as such, I just went with it.
For him to insist upon me staying… I wonder if our engagement is finally getting annulled…
Over the past month, Alfred spent his time sealed away in the royal palace.
Amalia and the other ladies came and went, and it seems that they actually met. However, there were no rumors of them getting a lot of attention from Alfred at the royal palace.
Ohohoho, it must be tough for Amalia! Even more so once I decide to show her Sasha!
I soon tired of the flowers in the garden. Even though I was no longer obese, the thought of an ugly person enjoying flowers while smiling like a fairy was just unpleasant. Besides, the servants, who were watching over me from a distance, would also be unable to enjoy the flowers.
I sat on the bench at the side and looked up at the sky.
“Ah, the air feels really cold now that I shed all that fat…”
Even though it was a chilly season, the weather was nice. Even in the middle of winter, until a while ago, I was sweating. I wrapped a thick scarf around my body and shrugged.
“Oh my, in the windy winter garden, I found the Queen of Night.”
Being suddenly called to from behind, I almost coughed my heart out. Still, I eloquently turned around. That garden was dedicated to the royal family. As such, only the royal family, or someone of similar stature, would be permitted to enter.
As such, the person who beckoned for me couldn’t be a suspicious person.
“G, grand duke…!”
Surprised, I trembled. That was my first time meeting him. However, due to the portrait in the hall of the royal palace, I recognized him instantly.
“…What a unique look you have. You aren’t the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, but you’re certainly fetching.”
The Grand Duke, David Glaive, who had the so-called ‘special smile’, was a neighbor of the Kingdom of Rudelva. Or rather, the ruler of a neighboring country.
The Principality of Glaive, which was ruled by the Grand Duke, was a country considered to a the relative of that kingdom. In fact, even the Grand Duke himself was blood-related to the Rudelva Royal Family.
He was a little taller than Alfred. He was a grown man.
His side-swept silver hair showed a clean outline.
His mild green eyes and high nose bridge were well-balanced. His lips were a little thin. Although he seemed like a very kind and beautiful boy, he had a slightly terrible atmosphere.
At the age of 25, the Grand Duke was still single.
I heard that the reason was because he couldn’t keep his lower half under control.
“…This is bad! Lady Juliane is in danger!”
“Tell His Highness Alfred to get over here quickly!”
The servants and the knights in my surroundings became wary. However, no matter how aggressive his lower half was, I didn’t think I was in danger.
To be honest, it was a bit difficult for the Grand Duke to get out of the house.
A young butler with troubled expression suddenly rushed out. It seemed that someone would manage the situation even if I left it alone.
I haven’t been introduced to the Grand Duke as His Highness Alfred’s fiancée. Maybe he views me as a life definition of an obscene topic. Or he just doesn’t want to admit to having a rotund fiancée…
Anyway, I was someone who’d soon become irrelevant.
However, since Sasha would become the crown princess, would some relationship remain?
Given that Kyle might ended up with some official role in the royal palace, I should display the utmost courtesy as a daughter of the Gessel Family.
I stood up and spoke a mouthful of a perfect lady’s greeting.
The Grand Duke’s big hands suddenly wrapped around my fingertips.
“Your unique atmosphere has the ability to attract people’s hearts. I haven’t been in such a romantic mood lately. Or it could be you awakened that part of me. There shouldn’t be any guest today, whose daughter are you?”
To blame your romantic side on me is just selfish!
Besides, it’s really unpleasant, so I hope you’ll stop!
Even though I glared at him, the Grand Duke only smiled.
What a loose guy. This guy is too loose. He’s so aggressive, it’s ugly. He’s just a beast at this point. Until the wedding is decided, I can’t allow him to see Sasha!
As expected, I felt terrified and withdrew. However, I got caught on the bench and almost fell backwards.
His big hand supported my back. The inside of my head became hot and stuffy. The Grand Duke’s handsome appearance soon approached me. I was agitated by the unpleasant feeling.
“You’re as light as a feather. Your dress is chic and nice. When you gaze at me from below, I feel like I’m being gazed at by a queen. I’m thrilled.”
The Grand Duke’s lips distorted slightly, and he smirked. Generally speaking, it should be sexy, but his pick-up lines were indescribably ugly.
Both physically and mentally, I stiffened. After all, even though I had been engaged with Alfred ever since I was eight years old, we had never been intimate with each other. The farthest we had gone was when he squeezed my upper arm, if that counted.
However, being touched by the Grand Duke made me feel disgusted. I felt cornered, as well. As a lady, I had to put up with him, but I had my limits. When I was close to puking, the Grand Duke pulled his face close to mine.
“Your frightened expression is so adorable. Even though you want to make it seem like you hate me, it doesn’t seem like you’re completely immune to my charm, after all.”
The Grand Duke, who helped me stand, caressed my back.
“You probably came to seduce Alfred. Let me tell you, it’s probably useless. I don’t think you should even hope of succeeding. His preferences have changed a lot. Many ladies have shown up, and so far, he doesn’t like any of them—”
After I had quickly assembled his words in my head, I received an epiphany.
I see, His Highness Alfred is looking for a suitor, but so far, has found none! It means that he doesn’t feel anything towards Amalia, yet! This means that if I show him Sasha, I will definitely win!
Inwardly, I made a victory pose. Soon, I heard the sound of rushing footsteps behind me. Looking back, it was Alfred.
The Grand Duke laughed and called out to Alfred. “Hey.”
Alfred shouted in a voice that sounded as stern as ever. The Grand Duke’s eyes widened.
“J, Juliane? As in, your fiancée? Eh? Didn’t you say that your fiancée is fat and ugly?”
Fat and ugly.
That was right.
I couldn’t argue against that at all.
Still, that was how he introduced me to his relatives?
Wasn’t that too much?
“What are you doing here?”
Alfred asked despite being out of breath. Towards his question, the Grand Duke narrowed his eyes.
“There was a beautiful woman in the garden, what other reason do I need? You don’t like any of them, anyway. So, I was thinking of testing my luck.”
I didn’t know what he was trying to imply, but could he not speak as if I wasn’t there?
It seems that this man has gotten tired of the women of his own country. Hence, he came here under the notion of smelling the roses.
I was relieved that Sasha wasn’t there at all. Considering how beautiful Sasha was, it was scary to think of what Mr. Loose Guy over there would do to her.
“Juliane, did he attempt anything?”
With furrowed eyebrows, Alfred stared at me. I made an appalled expression.
Why would someone such as the Grand Duke attempt anything towards someone as ugly as me?
“He just helped me when I fell down. Although… he suddenly held my hands, which surprised me.”
“…Held your hands?”
With a distorted expression, Alfred glared at the Grand Duke.
Towards Alfred, who looked so terrifying as if he was ready to kill at any given moment, the Grand Duke only laughed nonchalantly.
***T/N: Eek, a loose guy has appeared…
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!