“Your Majesty, the lord of Socina City, Karana Dominique Von Testermills has arrived and seeks an audience.”
I nodded then placed my cup of tea down and stood up. Luna came up from behind. She looked at the breakfast on the table and in a concerned voice said, “Your Majesty, you have not finished your breakfast. I think you should have them wait a little longer. You have lots of work today, too. If you do not eat breakfast, your body will not be able to handle it.”
“It’s all right, Luna. I can eat something on the way, and it’s not as though I didn’t eat anything. I had some fruit.” I turned my back to face Luna so that she could help me with my cape. Luna patted my shoulder and then pouted, “You got hurt, as well, and yet these jobs are all piled up together…”
“I didn’t really get hurt. It was just an urgent tactic. Don’t worry.”
I then stroked Luna’s face. While Freya looked at me with a complex gaze, I grabbed her hand and said, “Let’s go, Freya.”
“All right.” Freya nodded, and then left the dining hall with me. She looked at me with an odd gaze then scoffed, “Onii-sama, I no longer want to comment on how you behave, but I heard that someone tried to make an attempt at the Royal Princess. So if you cherish the Princess, you best to be mindful of your behaviour, so as to not disappoint her.”
All of my attention was focused on this news.
‘Though I trust that Nier won’t betray me, I’m still upset about it. What, is he trying to make me a cuck?! Get out of here. There’s no way I’ll forgive him. I’ll have him killed! ‘
“I heard that the son of the finance minister went to the backyard while his father was discussing business with Her Majesty and tried to tease the Princess.”
“What happened afterwards?”
“Afterwards, he nearly got choked to death by the Princess. I heard that he is still mentally weak and lying in bed completely immobilised. I guess she gave him a fright.”
‘Ah, I get it now… That’s Nier all right. Teasing Nier is a ticket to death. If that’s how it is now, I don’t need to go after him. I actually feel a little bad that he’s now suffering a psychological trauma; in saying that, I think that Nier is doing a great job controlling herself now. If it took place a month ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if she took his head off. After hearing “almost died”, I feel that Nier has lost her killing intent.’
‘Uhm, it’s joyous news. So if my affair with Luna gets exposed, there won’t be a tragic and brutal consequence, I don’t think.’
“Forget it then. If Nier has done that already, there’s no point in me doing any more. He must be aware of the consequences awaiting that sort of behaviour now, right? Nier didn’t tell me about it, though.”
“Perhaps it is because she felt it was not a good idea to tell you that someone tried to flirt with her. If you got angry, it would make her feel that she did something wrong to you.”
‘That’s true. Being courted by a guy isn’t something females can speak about publicly, especially when Nier has that twisted sort of view of love, thinking that, since she married me, she must protect her loyalty to me. Being teased in that manner and not killing him must’ve dissuaded her from telling me I guess.’
‘To be honest, I’m very interested in Lord Karana. I didn’t get to see her face last time, but I’ll get to see it this time. Up to now, she’s the second one to trick me. The first one who tricked me is dead already. However, I have no comment on Karana.’
‘After all, we both got what we were after. I have nothing to say about being tricked into falling for her trap, as I tried to trick them first, but had it reversed on me. Further, Karana showed me due respect and sincerity when we spoke. She didn’t snatch; instead, she chose to trade so I have a good impression of her.’
‘That said, Freya had no good feelings about her, viewed her with hostility.’
When we got to the entrance of the Royal Palace, I never thought that Karana wouldn’t be in the guest hall, but downstairs when I came down. She was dressed in a purple formal dress. She had pure-white skin akin to snow on a mountain. Her facial features were exquisite and delicate as the most precious world’s treasure. Her pale-purple earrings matched her dress. Her marble-like shoulders that were white as milk looked gentle and shook gently accompanying her movements. Her eyes that resembled amethyst jewels contained affection, but would occasionally show hints of wisdom.
In that moment, I suddenly felt that if mom had me marry her, I might’ve agreed to it.
When she saw me, she shook her light-blonde hair. Then she softly chuckled as she extended her hand wearing a purple silk glove toward me. In her steady, and yet clear voice, she greeted me, “It is the first time I am meeting you, Your Majesty. I am Karana Dominique Von Testersmill.”
I nodded with a smile and extended my hand out to shake her slightly cold hand, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Lord Karana. I am the Prince of the Rosvenor Empire, Troy Galadriel Rosvenor.”
She smiled and said, “This can be considered our first meeting. Please allow me to apologise to you for what happened last time.”
‘Though she said that, I’m fully aware that she was just being polite. She, certainly, wasn’t apologetic. Actually, she was happy…’
I shook my head with a smile and replied, “It’s fine. We both got what we want. I didn’t get to see you last time. Now that I get to see you, I must admit that you are truly beautiful.”
“Is that so? Thank you for very much for your praise, Your Majesty. I am aware of how beautiful your wives are; therefore, I dare not consider myself beautiful before you.”
“No. It’s precisely because my wives are very beautiful that you must be very beautiful for me to praise you for your beauty.”
“Hehe. Thank you for the compliment. I am very happy.”
She blushed and revealed a shy smile. I, too, smiled. The two of us looked at each other and she blushed while being shy to look at me. As I looked at the beautiful Karana, I had a thought.
‘If Mommy Elizabeth were to lead her to me and tell me she was my wife, I’d probably be very happy.’
Just as the atmosphere between us started to become flirtatious, Freya pinched my back from behind causing me to exclaim from the pain. I turned my head around to see Freya looking at me with an enraged look. I smiled helplessly.
‘We have to start proper business now. I don’t know why I say this sort of stuff when I see such a pretty girl…’
Karana wiped her smile away, and then smiled apologetically as she said, “Let us enter the guest hall then, Your Majesty. It was a pleasure to hear what you said, Your Majesty. Thank you.”
*For distinction purposes, I will only emphasise Imperial Princess/Royal Princess where necessary; otherwise, I’ll use just Princess if it should be obvious
**Due to reasons in the old days, women being hit on was commonly the fault of the women, not the man, because it was perceived to be her fault for being provocative or unseemly in some way, and hence the stigma Troy mentions.