7. The King Brother’s Fiancée (2)
The sun was shining brilliantly, yet Ferliana’s heart was overshadowed with guilt.
“…You have to stay firm. I’ve come all the way to the royal castle, so I have to help Lord Elberon.”
To calm her nerves, Ferliana intertwined her trembling hands together.
She stood in the outer corridor of the royal castle. Through the large windows, she caught a glimpse of the blue sky and the garden called ‘Rose Garden.’ It was a special place where only the royal family and those related to them were allowed to enter. Ferliana had never stepped foot inside.
“Even a mistress like Lady Parnetta was invited to such a place… I wonder if Lord Elberon will take me there someday, too…”
As Ferliana laughed self-deprecatingly, an oblivious and carefree voice resounded.
“Oh, aren’t you His Highness Elberon’s fiancée? Lady Ferliana of Marquis Grendegel?”
The woman donning a fine dress and staring triumphantly at her was none other than Eleonora.
Ferliana smiled softly and bowed.
“I’m honored that you remember me, Lady Bazestilma. Now that we’ve met, would you like to have some tea with me?”
Contrary to her smile, Ferliana’s heart was laden with desolation.
“She’s still young, so I’m sure that some sweets will be enough to loosen her mouth.”
Although her heart ached, Ferliana resolved herself.
In response, Eleonora grinned.
“Is this what they call ‘a moth drawn to a flame’? Anyway, the kidnapping failed, but it’s never too late to revisit the plan and teach her a lesson!”
What a full-fledged villainess she was.
But then, Eleonora recalled something.
…Come to think of it, did she think that His Highness Elberon didn’t love her? It seems that she’s oblivious to the fact that Elberon treasures her. If so, she probably doesn’t know that he’s deliberately pushing her away to prevent her from being targeted by the Lydian faction.
Eleonora’s espionage skills—or rather, the spy of the duke family was simply top-notch.
—Then, this woman is Elberon’s weakness! With him gone, the crown prince position will become Lydian’s! All right, I shall take advantage of any weaknesses I can get. Ohohoho~…
Unlike Ferliana, Eleonora, who didn’t feel guilty in the slightest, grinned.
“Of course! It’s nice weather today, so why don’t we have some tea at the Rose Garden!”
Eleonora knew that Ferliana had never been invited to that place before. She intended to hit where it hurt.
Before anything could happen…
“Huh? Eleonora? You still haven’t returned to your mansion?”
The voice of her beloved was akin to a lullaby, and Eleonora found herself blushing.
“Y-Your Highness, I didn’t expect to see you here. I was about to head back, but I met Lady Ferliana, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk to her in the garden.”
Lydian, who didn’t read the atmosphere, immediately joined. As a result, the three ended up having a tea party.
Unable to reveal her true nature to the person she loved, Eleonora desperately behaved herself.
It turned out that Lydian was such a gentleman and a cute boy.
When she saw the happy couple, Ferliana’s guilt doubled.
“To think that I intended to trap such an innocent child… I’m truly horrible…”
Anyone who was familiar with the two would’ve said something like, “…Trust me, you’re the most innocent among them.’
—But then, a low voice of a man echoed.
At the gate of the garden, Elberon stood, panting.
The news that Ferliana had returned to the royal capital out of her concerns for him had reached Elberon.
Elberon glowered at her and bellowed.
“What are you doing here!? Hurry up and go back to the territory!”
His roar, which was akin to that of a beast, shocked Eleonora.
In return, Lydian snapped—only because he thought that Elberon had scared his Eleonora.
“Hey, why are you threatening my Eleonora?”
Lydian’s eyes were wide open. His atmosphere had changed dramatically.
Lydian’s aura alone was enough to dominate him, but Elberon resisted the urge to kneel and clenched his fist. It was the stubbornness of a man who didn’t want to appear pathetic in front of his fiancée, Ferliana.
However, Lydian sneered at Elberon.
“I see, it seems that you don’t intend to apologize. At first, I thought of overlooking it since you’re my relative. But if I crush the woman you love, you’ll understand what I’m going through, right?”
The color drained from Elberon’s face, but for some reason, Ferliana seemed resolute.
“Your Highness Lydian, His Highness Elberon doesn’t care about me. You can do whatever you want.”
Rather than being terrified, she was more than happy to be of service to Elberon.
‘—I won’t miss this chance. His Highness Lydian’s scandal will benefit Lord Elberon. In that case, I don’t care what will happen to me.’ (Ferliana)
Although she feared Lydian, she kept taunting him to protect her man.
“Your Highness Lydian, I am not so fragile as to be frightened by being yelled at. Otherwise, I’m unfit to be a prince’s wife!”
At the same time, Eleonora was also furious. She also had a principle of returning the favor by a hundredfold.
‘—That’s good courage!’ (Eleonora)
However, Lydian mistook Eleonora’s wrath for grief, and a cruel grin appeared on his beautiful visage.
“I applaud your courage, Ferliana.”
Lydian casted the cleanest spell so as not to defile the garden.
In the next moment, Ferliana collapsed on the spot as if she was sleeping.
In shock, Elberon ran up to her and called her name in desperation.
The magic, [Eternal Sleep] was a passage from the forbidden spell tome in the royal palace
As the name suggested, the victim would fall into an eternal slumber. Only a true love kiss could break the curse—but Lydian wasn’t going to tell him that.
Furthermore, since Elberon didn’t know that Lydian could use magic, he mistook it as a seizure of some kind. After all, Ferliana had been ailing for some time.
“—You, were you suffering all along…?”
But Ferliana could no longer reply, and as she laid motionlessly in his arms, Elberon wept.
“Forgive me, Liliana! Please forgive my foolishness! I love you! You’ve always been important to me! I kept you away in order to protect you! Someday, I want to tell you how much I cherish you, but I should’ve done that when I still could—!”
…Elberon completely misunderstood.
Now that his goal to break Elberon’s heart had been achieved, Lydian lost interest. He turned to Eleonora, “Would you like another cup of tea?”
Eleonora, who wanted to get back at Ferliana, was frustrated because her scheme had been foiled.
Now that Ferliana was out of commission, she’d unleash her wrath by crushing Ferliana’s relatives!
—Once I go home, I’ll lie to my father and make him crush the Grendegel family! I won’t let her off the hook so easily!
Such was Eleonora’s thought.
Unaware of her radical thought, Elberon carried Ferliana and went to her parents’ house.
He thought that her parents would have a clue about her illness, only to discover that no one in the Grendegel family, including her servants, cared about Ferliana in the slightest.
“Oh no, she has a strange disease? It must be fate! Please marry Lulutia.”
The head of the family immediately introduced her to Ferliana’s younger sister.
Lulutia, who was egoistical, despised the fact that Ferliana took her place as Elberon’s fiancée. She devised various schemes to drive a wedge between the two. Indeed, she was the root of the misunderstanding between Elberon and Ferliana.
Upon discovering that Ferliana had collapsed, she smirked at Elberon.
“She must’ve been forsaken by God for her utter uselessness! Your Highness, we’re destined to be together!”
Instead of rebuking Lulutia, her parents defended her.
“…Are you insane? You’re basically telling me to abandon Ferliana and switch to her sister!”
Elberon was furious at the brazen and shameless proposal.
“Your Highness Elberon, you should be careful with your words and actions. Would you like us to join His Highness Lydian’s faction instead?”
The Marquis of Grendegel scoffed.
“Have it your way. I coveted the throne so that Ferliana could become my queen. Without her, none of that matters anymore!”
Leaving them with those words, he took the slumbering Ferliana back to his own palace.
“What a fool!! Let’s forget about him, Father! I knew it, His Highness Lydian is my destiny all along!”
After being humiliated, Lulutia angrily begged her father.
Her father, the head of the family, also believed that his daughter could do no wrong.
“Of course, His Highness Lydian suits you the most. Let’s go to the palace at once!”
Thus, the whole family raced for Lydian’s palace with a carriage.
Despite their unannounced visit, Lydian still welcomed them to the drawing room. He had a vague inkling of what was happening.
‘Did they find out that I was the cause of Ferliana’s collapse? If so, they’re quite sharp. I want to use them as pawns.’
When it came to competent people, Lydian would welcome them with open arms.
…Only for them to misunderstand that the little prince was at their behest.
“Your Highness, we’ve come to introduce our daughter, Lulutia. Lady Eleonora is a despicable, wicked woman, unfit to become a queen. Unlike her, our daughter, Lulutia, is noble and kind, just like a saint…!”
The Marquis of Grendegel smirked as he boasted of his daughter while also badmouthing Eleonora on the side. Lydian, in return, also smiled, but it was out of anger.
“Is that all you want to say? Well, not like it matters, because I want to hear none of them. Farewell.”
The Grendegel family was granted a swift death at Lydian’s hands.
The royal palace had a barrier, so no matter what magic he used, the premises and the furniture wouldn’t be destroyed.
However, their deaths weren’t enough to appease his wrath, so he flew in the night sky to burn their house down. Such was the price of incurring his wrath.
In the meantime, Eleonora, unaware that the object of her revenge had disappeared, waited patiently for her father to return from his inspection.
The hard-working man finally returned home the day after the tea party.
Eleonora immediately asked her father, who’d just returned home.
“Hey, Father! The Grendegel family is profiting off tax revenues and tyrannizing its people! Crush them immediately!”
Unbeknownst to Eleonora, those things she made up on the spot were true.
“The Grendegel family? Their mansion burned down last night, and the entire family was wiped out.”
Eleonora was surprised.
“Looks like something happened with the Grendegel family. Well, they’re gone now, so forget about them.”
Isengard consoled Eleonora.
Even though a nobleman’s mansion was destroyed overnight, it didn’t make the news. The head of each territory was issued a gag order.
It went without saying that only one person in this country was capable of such a feat.
“—It must’ve been His Highness Lydian’s doing…”
“—If you anger that prince, there’s no saying what’ll befall you…”
As the high-ranking aristocrats trembled, Eleonora, failed to exact her vengeance once again, wailed bitterly in her room.
“I’m sure it has something to do with that Dragon Shrine brat! After all, I heard that all the dangerous goods in that store were crafted by him! Blowing away a house is child’s play for his bomb! You dare stand against me!? I’ll definitely find him and make him pay!”
As she wept, Eleonora vowed her revenge.
Lydian is so humble he didn’t mention that he invented ‘The Sleeping Beauty’!
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 like (Drama CD, etc.) you’d like to read? Want it to be translated? I’m open for commissions!