15. The Crown Prince’s Entourage and Eleonora
Humans were creatures that believed in what they wanted to believe.
No matter Lydian threatened a certain young lady or protect Eleonora—
“—That’s just a rumor. I don’t think His Highness Lydian even feels anything towards Lady Eleonora! She used her vassals to spread rumors that suit her fancy.”
Many young ladies thought so.
Eleonora was the target of envy every day, but Lydian would keep them at bay.
“Eleonora, I shall escort you to the carriage. Oh, let me carry your bag.”
“Oh my, Your Highness Lydian. Thank you!”
They’d hang out and go home together. In fact, they were in the same class (of course, at Lydian’s expense).
‘I’m glad, but it’s also annoying? I can’t exterminate the pests who tried to latch onto His Highness Lydian! I can’t curse in front of him…’ (Eleonora)
Eleonora, who wanted her beloved to see the best version of herself, reluctantly kept herself in check every day.
As for Lydian, he simply wanted to be with his love. Since he had little interest in others, his obsession with Eleonora only grew.
Furthermore, he also thought that Eleonora’s wickedness was charming. If anything, that part of her only hit the right note with him.
‘Eleonora is acting coy in front of me. However, I know her penchant for extreme things. I really wish that she’d be more honest with me. Still, she’s very cute.’ (Lydian)
Upon hearing that, Buffeg made a passing remark. “They are cut from the same cloth.”
However, it was difficult for the busy Lydian to remain by her side all the time, so he assigned his ‘schoolmate’ to protect her in his stead.
Berthold, the son of the knight captain, Lord Dezguin, and Theselius, the son of the assistant to the treasury, Lord Gunes.
The former was a wild beauty with black hair and dark eyes, while the latter was an intelligent beauty with silver hair and blue eyes.
They were keen enough to see through Eleonora’s true nature right away.
“…Is it okay for such an aggressively evil individual to become the mother of the nation?”
Lamenting, the stern Berthold frowned.
“While I understand your concern, she’s the only one capable of stopping His Highness Lydian. You see, when two potent drugs are mixed together, they might neutralize each other.”
Theselius, looking unusually bold, reassured Berthold.
The two, who had first-hand experience of the horror that was Lydian, knew the truth.
…The first encounter of the three was nothing but intense.
After all, instead of meeting each other for the first time at school, they stumbled upon each other in the demonic forest.
Berthold was full of curiosity, while the levelheaded Theselius was passionate about his research.
Out of youthful urges, they stepped into the forbidden area, driven by hobby, profit, and curiosity.
As they enthusiastically gathered medicinal herbs, a black wolf suddenly appeared in front of them.
Its body, which was twice the size of a bull, was covered in jet-black fur, while the fangs peeking out of its mouth were as sharp as finely-honed blades.
“Theselius! I’ll fend him off! Just run!”
“I can’t just leave you here!? I’ll fight, too!”
“Fool! Your wisdom is the treasure of the nation! We can’t afford to lose you! Besides, there’s no way I’ll lose! Go—!”
However, Theselius persisted. When Theselius saw that the wolf was about to pounce on Berthold, he jumped in front of Berthold, suffering the full brunt of the attack. Enraged, Berthold struck the wolf from the side, and beheaded it.
“Berthold… I… won’t make it…”
“Theselius! Not another word! I’ll call for someone, so please wait…”
“No, I’m a lost cause… Before I sleep, let me say one last thing… I’m really happy to be your friend…”
When the two were about to part ways forever, a boy with blond hair and blue eyes suddenly appeared.
“Quite impressive. Even though you aren’t a magician, you felled the beast. As a reward for showing me something interesting, let me help you.”
Berthold and Theselius were taken aback, but before they could answer, they were instantly healed.
Shocked, the two could only stare at their benefactor, slack-jawed.
“I’m the crown prince, Lydian. I look forward to working with you.”
—Thus, the two were appointed as his entourage.
Buffeg kindly spoke to the two, who were still at a loss.
“The two of you are still young… Oh, how pitiful you are! There’s not much I can do, but if you need anything, feel free to tell me.”
Thanks to Buffeg’s kindness, the two somehow managed to keep up with Lydian’s outrageous actions.
They risked their lives over and over again for Lydian in the demonic forest. When Lydian went to study abroad, they also accompanied him on major battles. Before they knew it, they’d become stronger.
Lydian even praised them.
“I think Berthold’s swordsmanship and Theselius’ wisdom are among the best on the entire Isas. Oh, but still below me, of course.”
…The two, who’d been acknowledged by Lydian, were escorting Eleonora.
“She’s the most important person to me. You have to keep her safe.”
—or so Lydian said, but they were more of a watch than an escort.
Short-tempered, Eleonora wouldn’t hesitate to lash out at someone if they so much as look at her wrong.
Once, she flew into a rage and screamed. “Who do you think I am!?” But Berthold and Theselius rushed to her side.
“Excuse me, Lady Eleonora seems to have a fever. You should submit a notice to leave early.”
They didn’t only interrupt her words, but also prevented her from committing misdeeds.
In a way, it did help Eleonora regain her composure. At the same time, it also served as a perfect bait for those who wanted to trample on her.
“What do we have here? I know His Highness Lydian is absent, but why would you force his entourage to pander to you? Is this how a future queen should behave?”
Just as Eleonora was about to retort, Theselius interrupted her.
“How rude. We’re protecting the future queen, Lady Eleonora, under the commands of His Highness Lydian. There’s nothing to be concerned about.”
Theselius laughed gently.
The young lady proceeded to be taken aback by his eloquent demeanor and handsome appearance, and her sarcastic expression from earlier vanished.
“I-I see, I was just anxious, so I blurted it without thinking…”
Eleonora bit her lips, her eyes bloodshot.
“Lady Eleonora, you look scary right now.”
When Theselius pointed that out in shock, Eleonora replied with a smile.
“Ohohoho, I suddenly got a headache. Can you please take me to the infirmary?”
Eleonora feigned a smile.
‘I’ll call that woman to a deserted place after school and hand out her punishment later—!’ (Eleonora)
Eleonora was aiming for an opportunity to exact revenge. But as expected of the people acknowledged by Lydian, they saw through her and didn’t leave her side even after they’d reached the infirmary.
As a result, Eleonora had to behave once again.
‘—As expected of Lydian’s entourage! They’re not to be taken lightly! They’re the main source of my frustration right now. I’ll ruin their families—No, I don’t think my father will agree as easily… I’ll have to take the matters into my own hands.’ (Eleonora)
Eleonora quietly wrote their names in her hit list.
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