6. The King’s Brother’s Fiancée (1)
The king’s younger brother—Gridlen’s war of independence (actually there was no war at all) was quickly quelled.
Parnetta had squandered all his fortune.
When Lydian received the news, “I thought of making you pay for insulting Eleonora, but that’d be akin to kicking a dead horse.” He clicked his tongue.
After discovering that he was in love with her, Lydian no longer hid his fondness towards Eleonora. In a sense, the king’s brother, Gridlen, had saved him. Lucky guy.
One afternoon, at the usual tea party, Buffeg spoke of his mind.
“—Who would’ve thought that Lady Parnetta, the reason His Highness Gridlen declared independence, would also become the reason for his bankruptcy.”
The queen’s maid, Elmera, disagreed.
“Actually, we’ve seen it coming from a mile away. After all, even before her expulsion, Lady Parnetta had been splurging on luxury items.”
Buffeg was alone with Elmera that day.
He chanced upon her in the hallway, and spoke. “The weather is nice today, isn’t it?” Followed by, “I have delicious tea.” The conversation progressed, and they found themselves having a tea party in the courtyard.
Since Elmera was a close aide to the queen (a maid from her parent’s house), Buffeg didn’t have to worry about information leakage. In a sense, they were in the same boat.
“It’s a shame that his engagement with Lady Vanessa ended in an annulment. However, His Highness Lydian was delighted by the news, particularly because he had expressed a strong desire to recruit her into his faction. I’m sure she’s a very talented individual.”
Elmera nodded at his words.
“Indeed, Lady Vanessa is a spectacular young lady. In the first place, His Highness Gridlen was a buffo—I mean, he didn’t have the knack for territory management. As a result, Lady Vanessa, who was in charge of practical matters, became his fiancée.”
Elmera, who was about to reveal her honest opinion, rephrased with a smile.
As someone who served the abominable demon king, Buffeg had no choice but to bottle up his frustration. Surely, the same could be said about Elmera and Gridlen.
Before Buffeg and the others could openly condemn Gridlen, however, the latter had already found himself teetering on the edge of the cliff.
Not only did his last backing, the queen dowager, collapse, he also went broke. As if that wasn’t enough, Parnetta switched to a new man, “—Lord Gridlen won’t buy me a new dress… He doesn’t love me anymore…”
She didn’t even do it out of malice. In her own words, she just ‘found a new love.’ What a loving woman she was. Surely, her new beau would also be ditched in the not-too-distant future.
Heartbroken and buried in debts, Gridlen suffered both mentally and physically.
His older brother, Elberon, came to his aid.
Although Gridlen was a hopeless man, he was still Elberon’s cute and precious brother. They used to be close back in the days.
Thus, Elberon arranged for debt consolidation, hired lawyers to deal with unscrupulous loan sharks, and reformed Gridlen’s business.
“—Thank you, Brother… I’m so sorry…!”
“What are you talking about? We’re brothers, aren’t we!?”
—In the mansion, a touching brotherly love scene unfolded.
Overjoyed at her sons’ reunion, the queen dowager clenched her fist. “Now is the time to unite and drive Lydian away!”
Now that Gridlen was eliminated, Lydian and Elberon were in a one-on-one duel, but the Lydian faction was very laid-back.
“As if Elberon stands a chance against our Lydian!”
“The battle is already won.”
Hahahaha…. The senior vassals and Duke Bazestilma shrugged it off.
Only Eleonora felt threatened—not because of Elberon, but his fiancée, Ferliana.
After all, unlike Eleonora, Ferliana was an impeccable noble lady with upstanding morals, education, and beauty. So much that she became a hot topic at the girls’ meeting. “If Lady Ferliana becomes queen, our country will prosper!”
Thus, Eleonora saw her as an enemy.
“She’s a nuisance! Let’s just kidnap her and get rid of her!”
As a proactive woman, she immediately ordered her knight… But Ferliana had disappeared from the capital.
Concerned about Ferliana, who was exhausted from the fatigue of the days (power struggle), Elberon arranged for her to leave the royal capital.
But, because of the clumsy way he handled it, Ferliana misunderstood that she was hated. As a result, she sank further into paranoia.
“—If I hadn’t been his fiancée, Lord Elberon wouldn’t have lost the support of the nobles.”
She wept every night, oblivious to the actual backstory (the fire dragon summoning incident).
It didn’t end there.
Even when she was staying in Elberon’s territory, when she ventured to town, all she heard were the voices praising Lydian.
The town’s madams would gossip about how awesome Lydian was. Heck, even the drunkards on the street would boast about Lydian’s accomplishments as if they were their own.
“He’s such a prodigy! Despite being only 10-years-old, he cultivated disease-resistant wheat!”
“Moreover, he didn’t only offer his discovery to his own territory, but also to the opposing faction for free! He’s kind and wise—exactly what we’re looking for in a king!”
If Buffeg were to overhear that, he’d retort, “I apologize, but that wheat was left over from an experiment. It’s a defect.” Nevertheless, the others believed in the sincerity of the young prince.
—The same went for the innocent Ferliana.
“His Highness Lydian’s fame has spread far and wide…! I wonder if Lord Elberon is okay?”
Ferliana was so worried about Elberon that she returned to the capital and concocted a plan.
Although she was similar to Eleonora in this particular regard, the ultimate difference was whether or not there was conscience.
In contrast to Eleonora, a full-fledged villainess, Ferliana was a fair maiden.
“As much as it hurts my heart to scheme against a child, they’re still our political enemy… I’ll try not to harm her as much as possible. By taking his beloved Eleonora to our camp, we might be able to control His Highness Lydian to an extent. I feel sorry for Lady Eleonora, but…”
Ferliana waited until the appointed day, weighed down by guilty conscience.
Furthermore, the target, Eleonora, was on a picnic date with Lydian in the monster-infested forest.
Despite being a villainess, Eleonora was still an ordinary human being. She’d been in perils many times, but because Lydian lacked common sense—
“—Eleonora is delicate, I have to protect her!” Had his overprotective switch turned on.
Certainly, anyone would be overprotective towards their beloved, especially if she was in great danger many times. Nevertheless, when compared to Lydian, who could still smile in the midst of the raging flames, the monsters were like ants.
At the same time, there was also the desire to show off to the person he loved.
“Eleonora, are you okay?”
“I am! This is just a breeze!”
The two passionately stared at each other.
Buffeg watched his master enjoy a perilous date, and thought to himself.
“The battle for the crown prince’s position sure is pointless…”
Gridlen’s next flier: “No b*tches no cry.”
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