During a sunny afternoon, two weeks before the graduation party, I, Emmeline Ella Arkwright, found myself in an unprecedented crisis.
Why? Just how did I get caught?
I had made a secret plan. On a temporary basis, I should be able to leave the Kingdom under the pretext of a formal invitation. It should’ve been a perfect strategy since it was for a good cause.
My father stood before me, whose eyes I didn’t dare meet. Meanwhile, my brother stared pitifully at me.
By the way, His Highness was there, as well. Despite sporting a princely smile, his eyes…
—His eyes aren’t laughing at all! How terrifying!
“Let me repeat the question once again—why would you decide to attend the evening party of the Crown Prince of La Steria in half a month? The party, which will be held to determine a fiancée for the Crown Prince?”
“Be… Because I got invited.”
“But you’re my fiancée. How’re you going to be in time for an evening party that’ll be held in the neighboring country, and not to mention, during the same day as the graduation party?”
I couldn’t say it. I couldn’t say that it was because I was sure he’d be escorting Katrina. Not here, not in the place where both my father and brother were present!
If His Highness still had an ounce of kindness, I was sure he’d become my escort to not embarrass me. However, if His Highness didn’t feel obliged to do so, it’d be meaningless for me to attend the graduation party.
Thus, in the name of participating in the evening party that I was invited to, I wanted to see the magic engineering school with my own eyes.
Despite knowing how farfetched it was, I dearly wished that my dream of continuing my study there would come true.
By the time of the graduation party, my engagement should’ve been annulled. Thus, I replied to the invitation to the evening party, saying that I’d attend.
Who would’ve thought I’d be exposed at such an early stage.
It went without saying that my father’s wrath struck me like thunder. Even my brother, who’d rarely complain about me, scolded me. I was still recovering from all of that.
As of the present, the prince, who happened to be at my house, was doing a cross-examination.
I haven’t heard that he’ll come…
Even though he’s supposed to be my fiancé, he didn’t inform me of his visit.
Your Highness, you’re not in a position to complain…!
“Emmeline, certainly, the Royal Palace had been contacted concerning La Steria’s evening party. But, without the duke’s report, I wouldn’t have noticed that an invitation had been personally delivered to my fiancée. Yes, the Royal Family isn’t informed of that. You are aware that it isn’t a mere evening party, right? The party is held to select the Crown Prince’s fiancée. For you to go to such a place, think about the implications. The meaning of you, who are about to become the Crown Princess, attending a party without the knowledge of the Royal Family. The meaning of going there without even consulting me, the prince.”
Yes, I understand it well.
Not only would it bring shame to the Vesta Royal Family, but it might also become an international issue.
But I can always introduce myself as His Highness’ fiancée, you know…
Despite knowing how reckless it was, I couldn’t contain my curiosity.
“You’re engaged to the Vesta Royal Family. Therefore, I’d like you to think it through.”
I wondered why His Highness was so desperate to make me stay to the point of sacrificing his feelings. To the point that he’d give up on a happy future he could have with Katrina.
Indeed, if judged solely by her status, Katrina was unfit to marry into the Royal Family. However, if they truly loved each other, it was only a matter of finding a high-ranking aristocratic family to adopt Katrina. As for the queen’s education, as I said before, If Katrina did her best, she’d surely be able to do something about it. I believed that there was no trial that true love couldn’t overcome.
Regardless, despite my many suggestions, His Highness would only shake his head. Upon listening to my side of the story, Franklin and Griffith—His Highness’ aides—also disagreed.
The more desperate I became, the more His Highness’ eyes lost their light. Also, for some reason, both his attendants shot him a caring gaze. It was as if they couldn’t help but pity him.
I wonder why?
“Emmeline, please wear the dress and pieces of jewelry I’ve specially prepared for your graduation party. On that day, you’ll also be escorted by me. Therefore, I can’t allow you to attend the evening party of the Crown Prince of La Steria. Do you hear me?”
In such an indescribable atmosphere, His Highness pressed me for an answer.
“Afterwards, the Royal Family shall file a complaint against La Steria for doing something akin to a blindside. Duke, thank you for having informed me.”
“I’m truly sorry about Emmeline. It seems that I haven’t educated her properly. Emmeline, respond properly to His Highness.”
My… My father’s gaze is terrifying.
It was a first for my father, who had always been strict, to be angry. Due to my father’s strictness, my brother would often spoil me. But my brother didn’t appear to be on my side this time, either.
My father’s terrifying voice shook my shoulders.
Please don’t stare at me like that!
“…I understand. I apologize. I’m not going to attend the evening party of La Steria.”
“You’ll also be wearing my dress and attend the graduation party with me as your escort, won’t you?”
“Then, it’s alright. Oh, and one more thing. Whenever you’re about to correspond with the Crown Prince of La Steria, be sure to relay it to the duke.”
“The duke shall be the one to deliver your letter to him. If the Crown Prince were to send you a reply, the duke would only hand it to you upon checking its content.”
“I’ll be sure to do that.”
Only my grandmother, the younger sister of La Steria’s former emperor, talked to me.
I had never received a letter from the Crown Prince of La Steria…?
What are they talking about?
“Alright, then. Emmeline, tomorrow, we’ll be seeing each other at the school again.”
While seeing off His Highness, many question marks flew around my head.
After I was alone in the carriage, I let out a sigh.
It was no coincidence that I visited the Duke of Arkwright’s mansion. Emmeline had been behaving oddly these days. Every time I saw her in school, she seemed fidgety and restless. Sensing that something was about to happen, I canceled all my afternoon appointments and immediately arranged for a visit with Emmeline’s father, the Duke of Arkwright.
Upon joining him, who was on duty at the Royal Family, we immediately went to the Arkwright mansion along with his illegitimate son, Jasper. The duke, who had heard from Emmeline’s personal maid that she was currently writing a letter, burst into her room.
Thus, Emmeline, guilty as charged, got struck with a massive thunderbolt.
Needless to say, a lovely scream echoed throughout the mansion.
…Be it her expression or her face—I can’t get enough of them.
However, it was truly at the last minute. I wanted to thank my intuition. Had she replied that she’d attend the evening party, I’d be in big trouble.
It was worth knowing from our long relationship that despite having common sense, Emmeline had a penchant for doing strange things.
—Now, the stage is set.
All I had to do was make some fine adjustments.
By staying alert until the end, I managed to prevent Emmeline’s departure, which was the most worrisome. Therefore, I needed to nip it in the bud.
Only two weeks left. You wouldn’t know how happy I was. In just two weeks, I’d be able to tell you everything.
I’d be able to tell you that ever since the day you became my fiancée, you’ve always been my only one.
Now give up and fall into my arms.
Translator’s Notes: ///The prince’s sensor atm///: I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!
Have a Japanese story or the likes (Drama CD, etc.) you’d like to read? Want it to be translated? I’m open for commission!