31. Idle Talk: The Monologue of the Former Fiancé (2)
Lelouche’s princess education was especially fierce.
When she was 10-years-old, and I was about 13-years-old, I once had a private conversation with my mother.
I asked her, “Do you really need to be so strict?”
To that question, my mother’s sharp eyes widened for a moment. However, she soon concealed her face with fan.
“Do you think I’m someone who’d waste my time doing something unnecessary?”
“But there’s still time before she makes her social debut, other than that—”
“You, are you going to suspect me of bullying her due to my grudges, as well?”
The moment I asked that, my mother sighed loudly.
“I just reprimanded Zafield the other day. I made a mistake with him, but you, on the other hand, are about to make your social debut.”
She’d be qualified to participate in the social circles after her thirteenth birthday. The same applied to other aristocrats, as well. Naturally, that also included the royal family. Seemingly about to reach a turning point, my mother put her hands on my shoulders. After confirming that no one was around, her face approached mine.
“…The world of women is really difficult!”
I was taken aback by the tone and attitude that was different from her usual lady-like manner. However, my mother’s enthusiastic speech that resembled a complaint didn’t stop.
“I don’t mean to say that the world of men is sweet. All I can express is, sinistery hides beneath all those prim appearances! Lurking behind those smiles and white powder is nothing but filth! Moreover, to hide behind a man once it becomes inconvenient—that kind of mindset needs to be changed! I believe that when someone hit you, you need to strike back a million times harder!”
“M, mother, I got it, already…”
“Is that so?!”
I felt like my mother, who laughed on purpose, had been possessed by a demon of madness. As I withdrew, my mother looked down at me.
“Anyway, whether she likes it or not, as the one who’ll stand at the top, she’ll have to face some battles. If this auntie were to give her the slightest bit of leniency, she’d get gobbled up. I wouldn’t want that. As such, I have to give her proper weapons to stand up for herself. To give her the right amount of confident to laugh at those noisy, feathery, cretins.”
She then smiled gently while saying, “I’m still her second mother.”
My mother would only show that warm expression when Zafield or I fell ill. At the same time, I couldn’t get the fact that my mother had just spoken with such vulgarity out of my mind.
It must have been my imagination…
I couldn’t believe she just referred to herself as an auntie, to have badmouthed other aristocrats. What was more—to call them ‘noisy, feathery, cretins.’ while grinning…
No way, there’s just no way.
Then, I asked for a confirmation.
“Then, it isn’t because you dislike Lelouche or her mother?”
“Oh, I dislike that ‘Foreign Beauty’ princess, alright. But I do wonder… will her beauty remain for eternity? Not only that, she’s so subservient to her husband, even referring to him with honorifics from her kingdom… Her brazenness drives me crazy.”
She didn’t seem to want to hear it. I didn’t know what to call her honest impression.
Then, my mother snapped her fan shut.
“I won’t do anything as petty as hitting the girl. She’s innocent. Rather, I feel sorry for her. She has to marry into the royal family despite the fact that she doesn’t like it. It’s because of the family history of her parents… Well, the daughters of noble families are nothing more than tools. Still, as expected, I wish we had a little more choice in this day and age.”
Mother was formerly a princess of a neighboring kingdom. She seemed to have gotten married for the sake of maintaining peace. But like a habit, she often told my father, “I married you because I want to.”
In fact, in her homeland, there seemed to be many candidates for the marriage. Among her brothers and sisters, she seemed to have been chosen. She said that she won the title of Queen Lapisenta through rock-paper-scissors after having a conflict with her younger sister.
Lelouche, on the other hand, was born to be my fiancée. Due to the agreement decided by her parents, she wasn’t given any options. It was the same for me… but I couldn’t think of anyone other than her, so I never thought of it as unfortunate.
—But what about Lelouche?
I couldn’t ask her that because I was afraid.
As I pondered about that, my mother gently stroked my head.
“Well, that’s why. As a man, what you’ve just done is quite evil. If you’re one of the gentlemen, try to be in a position where she can remain assured enough to focus on her battle. Refrain from stepping into her world.”
“…But, what I just did, isn’t that what women usually want?”
I lifted my eyebrows at her so-called general theory. My mother dismissed me with a smile.
She said, “You should broaden your horizon.”
That smile convinced me. That was the face of a woman who stood at the top of the kingdom—
—and that was also what Lelouche was striving for.
***T/N: I wished that she’d become queen.
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