14. A True Friend
After that, I took Luria and looked at the flowers blooming in the courtyard of the royal palace for a while.
Well… half of me was thinking about what to do next.
When I returned to the mansion, I expected my father to ask the same question as always—
“—How was it?”
Honestly, I’d like to say, ‘It’s over for His Highness, so give up.’ But His Highness’ case was supposed to be kept secret until the graduation party.
That was why I was thinking about how to answer my father while watching the flowers.
I didn’t want him to do anything unnecessary…
There might be one particular strategy that would work well against ignorant people…
While thinking about that, when I was staring at the beautifully blossoming flowers, a person with the same hair and eye colors as His Highness approached us.
Aiden Rolaud—the second prince.
He was as popular as His Highness Feld due to his refreshing appearance.
By the way, he was also one of the people who weren’t involved in my condemnation. After all, he was busy traveling around the kingdom every day in order to learn how to be the future chancellor.
If the second prince had intervened back then, it might had concluded in a different way.
The second prince knew the meaning of ‘Noblesse Oblige’ better than anyone else.
I thanked the queen for such a second prince and smiled.
“Your Highness the Second Prince, it’s been a long time.”
“It’s been six months, the Duchess of Samaria.”
“Have you finished studying under the tutelage of the Grand Duke?”
“Ah, it was rough, but I managed to do it. Well, thanks to that, I’ve grown more powerful. Now I can be confident because my swordsmanship is better than the Duchess of Samaria.”
“My, did you just train your swordsmanship?”
“To be exact, I was training my sword arm. …No, I guess I was just swinging a sword around.”
The second prince shrugged his shoulders and winked. I laughed involuntarily.
I recalled that he loved making jokes and used to make everyone laugh.
The second prince suddenly asked in a serious tone.
“I heard that my brother is behaving foolishly in the streets lately, is that true?”
I was at loss at how to explain.
The second prince seemed serious. If I were to explain, he might understand.
If possible, I wanted to avoid the topic altogether, but how was I supposed to shrug it off?
When I was thinking about that, the main character of the topic appeared.
Moreover, for some reason, his expression was intense while his tone was flustered—
“—Violet, why are you with Aiden?”
When asked by His Highness Feld, the second prince and I stared at each other and tilted our heads.
Honestly, I didn’t understand the meaning of his question.
For the time being, I should answer him.
“I’m merely having a conversation with His Highness the Second Prince who has only returned to the royal palace for the first time in half a year…”
When I answered that, His Highness showed an awkward expression.
Then, the second prince clapped his hands as he spoke to His Highness with ridicule.
“It’s as she said. Rest assured. We’re having a conversation as friends, unlike the suspicious friendship my brother has with the rumored baroness.”
“What did you say—!? Mia and I aren’t that close—!! She’s a good friend of mine—!!”
“A ‘good friend’…? Then, I ask this of you, my brother. As a man, do you see linking your arms together like a pair of lovers with someone as the opposite sex an act of friendship?”
When the second prince said that with a grin, His Highness’ face turned red. Feld glared at Aiden.
If there’s anyone who deserves to be glared like that, then it’s your own reflection on the mirror, Your Highness.
…Was what I honestly wanted to say to His Highness.
However, I maintained my composure and spoke with a relaxed voice.
“Your Highness, I’m merely talking to a close friend of mine who I am meeting for the first time in half a year…”
I said so and slowly approached the second prince’s side with a smile.
Then, His Highness yelled at me.
He looked so ridiculous.
“Violet, you’re standing too close to Aiden!”
“…Why can’t I? He’s my close friend. Besides, it isn’t as close as when His Highness walks with Baroness Abazn.”
His Highness was rendered speechless. I smirked, though I was deeply fed up.
“His Highness, I’d like to talk with my friend for the first time in a while…”
His Highness answered and quickly left the courtyard.
When I was taking in that situation with amazement, the second prince, who had the same expression as me, spoke up.
“Is my brother unaware of his own feelings?”
“I’m sure he just doesn’t want to admit it. I’m not sure why, though.”
“…Probably, towards the Duchess of Samaria… no, that’s sick, anyway.”
“Is it some kind of incurable disease?”
“Let’s call it that. So, what are you going to do now, Duchess of Samaria?”
“I’ll just leave it to you. I’d be happy if His Highness the Second Prince would lend me a hand.”
When I said that and stared at the second prince, he seemed to contemplate it for a little while, but then nodded slowly.
“…I see, that’s what you’re planning. I understand. When push comes to shove, I’ll just follow the Duchess of Samaria as much as I can.”
“Thank you, Your Highness the Second Prince.”
“Instead, could you come to my homecoming party as a friend next time?”
“I’ll gladly attend. I want to say hello to your fiancée, Natalie.”
“I’m sure she’d be happy to meet you. Also, the mysterious crown prince of the Neonheart Kingdom, who no one had ever seen before, is also participating. He seems to be a sturdy man. Who knows, he might be able to literally crush my older brother.”
The second prince said playfully. I laughed.
At the same time, I felt that an opportunity had come.
After all, last time, I didn’t get to meet the crown prince of the neighboring kingdom.
***T/N: Tf, it’s either
censored: 1.) Is jealous and is actually in love with Violet, 2.) He wants to eat both cakes, 3.) He’s projecting–With the 1.) being the most unlikely. censoredhole!!
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