“Your Highness the Crown Prince, why don’t we make a deal?”
Baroness Katrina Dunning, flirtatious and saccharine sweet no more, uttered.
The first snowfall also occurred on the same day. The graduation party was only a week away.
Since His Highness would be graduating that year, the party would be held at the Royal Palace. Considering the start of the social season, which was that month, a grand party would be held.
Gorgeous, glittering chandeliers. Golden decorations that’d adorn the entire ceiling. The ladies and gentlemen would be donning dazzling clothes suitable for a marvelous banquet.
Perhaps, the graduation party would be as extraordinary as the rumors.
The Arkwright Family, consisting of my parents, my brother, and his fiancée, would also be in attendance.
I heard that they postponed my brother’s wedding until after my graduation. Upon hearing that, I felt sorry for my sister-in-law. In consideration of my student life, the couple made sure to keep their relationship a secret. After all, if a new family member were brought into the mansion, I’d surely be disheartened.
I was ashamed to admit that my brother’s prediction was correct. After all, considering that my sister-in-law would become the new mistress of the house, I wasn’t in a position to take precedence over her. Thus, as my brother had feared, I’d probably be withdrawn.
But, don’t get me wrong.
I had an excellent relationship with my sister-in-law. However, I wouldn’t be able to spend time with her as I used to comfortably. In the future, the servants also had to prioritize my sister-in-law over me. Despite how trivial it sounded, if there were too many mistakes in the priority, it’d eventually lead to conflict.
…I don’t want any discord! No way!
Because of that mindset, I’d surely be cooped up in my room. As a result, it’d seem as if I’m avoiding my sister-in-law. Eventually, it’d lead to an actual discord.
Although I felt guilty about the two, who had taken care of me, I was also full of gratitude.
With such a thought in mind, I escaped from reality.
I pictured their grand wedding ceremony. Then, the two would be bestowed with an heir. Thus, in a few years, while putting a hand on my cheek, I’d remark to my sister-in-law, “Today, the Arkwright Family is safe, too.”
…Alright, how did I get into this?
At the venue where His and Her Majesty, the aristocrats, the graduates, and church executives gathered, Sylvia and Serafine stood in front of me for some reason. Before that, His Highness and his aides—Franklin and Griffiths—were also present. Katrina was there, as well.
Before me, there were also some gentlemen and church members. They stood there after being summoned by His Highness. After His Highness had read the documents he received from Franklin, the aristocrats turned pale. The church members, on the other hand, showed a bitter expression.
Apparently, the documents were the church’s hidden logs. They detailed the church’s cash flow, such as the sources of funds and expenses for their dubious work. It was said that the church would train a group of children to become full-fledged assassins. The church had built up enormous wealth by receiving requests to assassinate dignitaries.
Oh my, how terrifying…!
Not to mention, my name also came up as one of the assassination targets. Apparently, they sent assassins many times!
I, I’ve never heard of any of this! I didn’t even notice anything!
Since when was my life targeted? I couldn’t recall any of such things!
From the flow of the story, Katrina seemed to have played a significant role in that catch. She revealed a lot of decisive evidence, such as the church’s hidden log itself and the assassins’ hideout.
I heard that the church’s people were utterly astonished, to the point they screamed, “Why do you know that!?”
Katrina was indeed a mysterious person. She was truly a saint. She had the clairvoyance to be able to foresee the future.
The church, which His Highness sentenced, glared at Katrina threateningly. They were cursing at her.
“Hmph! You’re out of your mind! Since when did I become your ally? All you wanted is the power over the Royal Family, right?”
“Are you aware that you’re blaspheming against God!?”
“By God, who’re you referring to? As an executive, you’re both dictatorial and also selfish. As if someone who prioritized filling his belly and pocket like you can speak about God!”
“What did you say—!?”
The church’s people, who used to welcome me with a smile, cursed at Katrina. At that moment, they resembled the demons more than anything else.
But I, despite having witnessed it directly, still couldn’t believe it… Those people, who should’ve been friendly, had changed so much. It wasn’t easy to believe that they were trying to assassinate me.
Why… Why me…?
“Certainly, the aristocrats were the ones who asked for the assassination of Lady Arkwright. But surely, you also thought that she was in the way! Don’t you try to escape the blame, now!”
“Did I ask any of you lots to kill her, though? I’m the heroine! Such an inhumane thing; I want none of it! I can kick her out of the way just fine, thank you. But you did something as unnecessary as that!”
“…Then, are you telling me that you’ll kick her fairly and squarely?”
Griffiths muttered in a daze.
I thought the same.
At the same time, it felt both pleasant and refreshing to see that side of her.
…On the other hand, those aristocrats had banded together to assassinate me.
“—I hereby declare the sins of the church and those who are responsible for it.”
The cheerful voice of His Highness echoed. My noisy heart mysteriously regained its calm.
“—The attempted murder of the next princess, incitement to murder, embezzlement, and mandatory fraud. Thus, the remaining accomplices will also be arrested and ruled here.”
Unlike the aristocrats, who didn’t resist imprisonment, the church struggled until the end. At that time, the Royal Family and even the supposed saint, spewed curses toward them.
I felt genuinely horrified.
“—Emmeline, are you alright?”
“Your Highness, I…”
I was unlikely to be able to express the source of my anxiety. As such, I could only open and close my mouth like a fish seeking air.
His Highness gently stroked my shoulders. Then, he reassured me.
“I won’t let anyone lay a finger on you.”
“Could it be… Your Highness, until now…?”
“I didn’t want to scare you, so I secretly attached a shadow to guard you.”
A shadow was a knight who had been specially trained to protect the Royal Family.
He attached such a beloved figure to me…?
“I can’t afford to lose you, Emmeline. Therefore, won’t you let me protect you?”
He did everything for my sake…
…How grateful I am!
However, I shouldn’t be swayed by His Highness’ kindness.
Still, my heart stirred with a sense of relief.
In the end, my overflowing emotions spilled into tears.
“Oh, my Emmeline…!”
Suddenly, His Highness pulled me into an embrace.
At the corner of my vision, I saw Katrina stroking her chest in relief.
Translator’s Notes: ///Let go of her cross and bible/// You aren’t the only one praying there, Katrina… Holy Jesus, thank gawd…
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