“I’m the heroine! I won’t let you have the crown prince, villainess!” Katrina Dunning—a baron’s daughter who’d just transferred to our school a week ago—pointed right at me—Emmeline Ella Arkwright—in a crowded cafeteria as I was enjoying high tea.
Heroine? Villainess? What did that mean?
“I know that you abused your father’s power to force your way into the fiancée position. Even though I’m the one that Lord Uriel loves! You’re despicable!”
You could hear a pin drop in the cafeteria despite it being filled with people. Everyone was staring at us, but no one dared speak.
Wait, just wait a minute. I can’t keep up with this at all. I don’t even know where to begin.
“You! How rude of you to use His Highness’ name!” Yeah, that was a good place to start. Unless you explicitly had His Highness’ permission, you couldn’t just use his name casually like that. I nodded in agreement with the duke’s daughter, Sylvia-Anne Entwistle’s, valid criticism.
“It’s not strange for I—who is loved by him—to call him Lord Uriel!”
Oh, is that so? His Highness allows it? Well, then it can’t be helped. If His Highness has decided this then there’s nothing that I can say about it.
“He loves you? Bullshit.” The reprimand came in a quiet, but clear voice, from the daughter of a marquis, Seraphina Schiff Fairfax.
Hang on. She’s the daughter of a barony, right? Emmeline is the daughter of a duke, with a bloodline far more noble than yours. Just what kind of education had Baron Dunning been giving his daughter?
“See! That’s how you wield your power. Bloodline means nothing. Just because I’m a commoner doesn’t mean that I deserve this treatment! I don’t care about your statuses.”
“Lady Dunning, you’re a member of the nobility, and as such you cannot be allowed to disrespect status in this way.”
“Just because you have nothing but your bloodline to be proud of… How shallow! It’s a shame that Thaddeus and Ezekiel must marry such evil women.”
Thaddeus was undoubtedly the son of Duke Franklin: Thaddeus Est Franklin, while Ezekiel must mean the Marquis’ son: Ezekiel Fern Griffiths. I’m not sure why they came up just now. I certainly hadn’t expected her to use the first names of Lady Sylvia and Lady Seraphina’s betrotheds.
My unladylike gaze drifted towards my friends. Oh… I’m still lacking, aren’t I? I’ve been educated since I was a child not to show emotion so blatantly. How shameful.
“Why are you calling my fiancé so casually?”
“Oh dear, didn’t you know? Thaddeus and Ezekiel both asked me to call them by their first names.”
“Of course, they didn’t.”
“As if they’d allow someone completely without common sense like you to do so.”
“Oh my god! Stop with your accusations! You’re just harassing me because Uriel, Thaddeus, and Ezekiel care for me! It’s because of these characters of yours that they’ve grown tired of you!”
Just who is the terrible one here? I wonder if Katrina is even aware of what she’s doing. Well, I’m in trouble, aren’t I? It’s unbecoming of a lady to make a scene, but if this continues, she’ll cause trouble not only for His Highness, but also disgrace Lady Sylvia and Lady Seraphina.
The trouble is, we can’t just deny all of it.
Katrina, who was recognized as a Saintess, was admitted to the academy due to the royal family’s wishes. It was a fact that His Highness and his future retainers are protecting Katrina, who was essentially a commoner, being the illegitimate child of Baron Dunning. His Highness once told me that he was trying to help Katrina, who was unfamiliar with aristocratic society, by helping her get used to it little-by-little.
It’s unfortunate that His Highness didn’t allow us to participate in Katrina’s education. I’m sure there’s a reason for it that I cannot fathom. Surely His Highness allowed Katrina to call him by his name out of consideration for the fact that she was in such an unfamiliar setting. It was His Highness’ decision, so my feelings were trivial.
We’d become engaged at just six years old. I’ve been told that His Majesty, the King, had approached my father, the Prime Minister. The first time I’d met His Highness—with his silver hair and amethyst eyes—I’d thought he was a handsome and kind man. Neither of us developed romantic feelings for each other, though.
How to put it? I’d say that we are close childhood friends who had grown up like brother and sister. Though we have affection for each other, it’s not the romantic kind.
If His Highness really loves Katrina as much as she says he does, then he should inform His Majesty and break off the engagement. Ours was a political engagement, but I felt that His Highness should follow who his heart chose.
It’s true that he’s often seen with Lady Katrina. They’re always chatting and laughing—even an outsider like me can tell that they have a good relationship.
In fact, just the other day I’d noticed them meeting in town while passing by in my carriage. Judging by their attire, I’d say they were on a ‘commoner style’ date. That reminds me, my maid had been in a rush to cheer me up afterwards. What had that been about, I wonder?
Ah, sorry, I’m getting off topic.
Anyway, Katrina must be telling the truth based on how the two acted every day. His Highness loves Katrina. If that is the case, then I must gracefully step down for his sake. It seems I won’t have to continue my education to be queen. I’ll feel a little sad, but it can’t be helped. I’ll have to congratulate His Highness on finding happiness.
To tell you the truth… There is something that I’ve always wanted to do! Even though it’s a small matter. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it, but I’d like to try. If Lady Katrina becomes Crown Princess, then I’ll be relieved of my duties. Then, isn’t it okay to pursue the dream that I had given up on?!
Well, first I’d have to wait for father and brother to return. Then we’d all need to discuss the situation with His Highness. I have to ask them to break off the engagement as soon as possible and tell them about the dream that I’ve long since had. I want to study abroad in the neighboring country of La Steria.
La Steria is a country that excels in engineering magic. In our country, Vestas, it’s considered unacceptable for a woman to be interested in such a subject, but La Steria accepts women to their programs without prejudice. When I visited as a child, I’d been overwhelmed by the magical devices filling up the city. I’ve admired the technology ever since. Now, I want to be part of their creation.
“Hey! Are you listening to me?”