21.1 [Day 2 (5)]
“Both the House of Lords and the temple both seem to have received the evidence we presented.”
“After all, it’s not often they can chance upon the weaknesses of the royal family.”
It was only yesterday that Astel and Kasier, who sat facing each other, sent the evidence of the affair between the first prince and Lumina to the House of Lords and the temple.
For those who wondered what to do with the crown prince, who caused unprecedented commotion—such as publicly declaring the annulment of his engagement, that proof was valuable.
Otherwise, all the claims for condolence money and consolation fees could be entirely avoided.
The prince had blundered.
If he couldn’t pay it, the king would be forced to draw from the national treasury.
Either way, it was valuable evidence for those who wanted to diminish the power of the royal family.
“I hope they’ll be able to use it well.”
While muttering with satisfaction, melancholy bled into Astel’s expression.
“So, what have you learned regarding Lorona’s accident?”
“We only know that the carriage toppled over in the suburbs. The coachman hasn’t regained consciousness, yet. Her body is being kept in the church.”
“The merchant told me that Lady Lorona’s body was disfigured. Once her body has been mended by the church, they’ll return her to the count family.”
“How generous of them.”
“…For as long as she lived, Lady Lorona was known as a pious woman. Not only was she a devout follower, she also donated to the temple. Therefore, she had many supporters within. Presumably, had she become the queen, it’d have been joyful news for the temple.”
“Is that so…”
According to the information Astel bought from Zerio, Lorona was a generous woman. Not only did she donated to the temple, but also to small chapels where the orphans lived…
…Hence, the temple mourned Lorona’s dead. Astel’s impression of Velbutte and Lumina, who betrayed Lorona, was at his lowest.
The evidence he had provided might have been too weak to result in any sort of penalty, but it’d still leave a stain on her reputation.
Once that happen, the two would fall into ruin. Then, Lorona would garner sympathy from all her surroundings.
Instead of being remembered as a woman who had been discarded by her fiancé, and not to mention, despised by her own sister—Lorona would be seen as an unfortunate woman, someone who had fallen victim to her sister’s deceit.
The only thing Astel regretted was that Lorona was no longer there to execute that plan in person.
After all, once it came to fruition, she should’ve been happier.
It happened when Astel was still the prince of Stella Empire.
A party was being held in the Kingdom of Nirna on the anniversary to the end of the war.
Astel, a 10-year-old boy, attended a party in a kingdom different than his own.
The escorts were busy attending to his father and other siblings. It resulted in an ease of mobility, which he appreciated.
“How does this all taste?”
The sweets lined up on the table were all beautiful, but he couldn’t picture their taste. He was hesitant to reach out for one.
While he was staring at the plates, someone stood beside him.
“This one is sweet, while this one taste a little salty. Do you like nuts?”
When he turned at the pretty voice, he saw a girl who was a little shorter than him.
For a moment, Astel believed the beautiful girl with shiny silver hair and violet eyes was a moving doll.
The surprise rendered him speechless. In that time, the girl tilted her head. The cuteness of said gesture made Astel’s heart leap in a way it had never done before.
“Do you dislike nuts?”
“N-no, I like them!!”
Because of his unexpectedly loud voice, their surroundings turned towards him.
Perhaps because she was surprised, the girl’s eyes widened a little.
“Uhm, pardon me…”
Embarrassed, he apologized. The girl, who paid no mind to his previous outburst, shook her head.
“…It can’t be helped. I was who suddenly spoke to you. Were you startled?”
“No, you shouldn’t be the one to apologize, I’m the one who shouted out…”
The surprisingly solid phrasing of the girl made him embarrassed.
Astel’s voice grew even fainter. Inwardly, he was crying. He just wanted to disappear. The girl furrowed her eyebrows as if troubled.
Then, she glanced at the table, before calling for her maid to fetch a small cookie from it. She proceeded to present it to Astel.
“This is my favorite cookie. Please enjoy it.”
Compared to the other sweets, the cookie handed to him by the girl wasn’t so unusual-looking. However, to Astel, it appeared special.
Then, Astel ate the cookie under the gaze of the girl.
Due to the nervous brought by the girl in front of him, who looked at him expectantly, he could barely taste it. Still, he desperately chewed it.
The girl was pretty cute.
Astel soon realized that her facial expression, which he initially thought was doll-like, was also quite eloquent. Perhaps, that was because her expression had remained calm the entire time.
Her kindness was demonstrated when she made her inquiry of Astel, and her violet eyes which radiated anxiety over whether or not he’d like the cookie she chose were as beautiful as jewels.
Moreover, the girl was unlike any other girl Astel had ever met. She was both quiet and gentle, while her presence was akin to the spring sunshine.
Astel believed she was the first to ever approach him so naturally. During his entire lifetime, his surroundings had treated him specially.
“Hey, what is your name?”
***T/N: I dunno, man. I ship Lorona more with Shesam cuz that guy kinda down to earth and more retalable,
he also doesn’t act like Lorona is a trophy to claim…
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