Hello, everyone, this is Lucie Lina Listell. I was currently a bit taken aback. I was suddenly called by Father when I came home, only to be told unexpected news.
“What?! The princess wants to meet me?!” I unintentionally spoke frankly, but it didn’t seem like anyone cared. The contents of this news were that outrageous.
“Right, the first princess, Princess Eiry. She’s the same age as you, Lucie.”
Come to think of it, Prince Rashmere did mention something like this, but I had completely forgotten about it.
“So I will be the princess’ playmate. Is that correct?”
As of this moment, Prince Rashmere, the first prince, was eight while the second prince was seven and the first princess was six. The royal heirs seemed to be quite close to my age. Given my position, I had a feeling that this news could come one day… Hmm, but what should I do? I had no idea what girls around my age were like. I was, in a way, an abnormality. What could I even talk about with her?
“That’s most likely the case, but it seems that when Prince Rashmere told Princess Eiry about you, she responded that she wanted to meet someone her age. Besides, you wanted some friends, right, Lucie? That’s why I agreed and said that I’ll bring you along.”
Why did he agree?! Ah, but it’s true that I felt a bit lonely without any friends around… Still, I won’t be around for long. I felt a little sorry for the princess.
“I understand. When will we be meeting?” I said, knowing that I had no other choice but to agree. It wasn’t like I could refuse.
“Please tell me this sooner, Father!!!”
Why did he tell me such important information so nonchalantly?! I need time to mentally prepare myself, you know!!!
“There’s no need to be nervous about it.”
“Father, I have no clue about what I could possibly talk to the princess about! I also need to prepare what clothes to wear! And what about gifts? Do you understand the importance of these factors?!”
“Oh, I guess that’s true. I’ll do something about the gifts, so don’t worry about that. I’ve already discussed it with the maids,” he said, but I inwardly exclaimed my displeasure. I didn’t want to return to my room, but I guess I have to.
“Then please handle the matter of the gifts,” I said and dragged my feet back to my room.
It went without saying that the moment I entered, I wanted to do an about-face. The terrifying aura released by those demons…err, I mean, the maids holding weapons (dresses) were waiting for me.
* * *
On the day I was to meet with the princess, Glen was being somewhat unreasonable. It was terrible. At two years old, Glen had grown even more adorable. With his angelic face and teary eyes, he begged, “Don’t go, sister,” and I was so close to saying that I wouldn’t go. Mother managed to pacify him in her arms. By the way, the moment Father or Grandfather tried to hold him, Glen would loudly bawl, resulting in the two men being kicked out of the room by Grandmother.
Inside the carriage, Father, who usually looked cool, was depressed. Being rejected by Glen must have been a huge shock to him.
“Father, are you feeling okay?”
“…Why doesn’t he like me?”
I could almost hear the sound effect of his shoulders dropping.
I obviously didn’t have an answer to give him. Although, I could see why for Grandfather, given how scary his face was…
“The royal palace…”
“Yeah, you haven’t been here since that damned…ahem, I mean, cheeky prince apologized to you.”
Father, what were you about to say just now? I was sure that if he heard what you said, you’d be sentenced to death. Well, in the end, you were still badmouthing him. I felt like recently, Father had been expressing his true feelings.
“Come to think of it… what kind of person is Princess Eiry?”
I was worried that she was going to be another version of His Highness. But the princess wouldn’t be like that… right…? I fearfully looked over at Father, and he was making a strange face.
“Hmm, well, she’s not exactly cheeky or anything… but I guess she’s a bit strange. I think it’s better for you to see for yourself.
“Father, what do you mean by that?!”
What kind of person is a “strange princess”? I was scared!
“She’s nice, so you’ll be fine. I think you two will get along well, Lucie.”
* * *
Our carriage arrived at the gate that led directly into the inner palace where the royal family stayed.
“Oh, it appears that Prince Rashmere is here to welcome us.”
His Highness stood right in the middle of the gate with his guards behind him. However, something felt wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on it. While I had this on my mind, I took Father’s hand as he helped me off the carriage.
“You came, although you’re late.”
He was full of himself as usual.
“My apologies, but we’ve arrived ahead of schedule.”
His abrasive language was the same, but something still felt off. What exactly was it? I walked to stand before His Highness, carefully observing him.
—That was when it hit me.
I snatched Father’s sword and pointed it at Prince Rashmere’s neck. His guards reacted, but they were too slow. Master Klaus was much faster.
“What is the meaning of this?! How dare you point your blade at the first prince!!!”
The guards shouted, accusing me of treason while Father said nothing. Huh, no way? I began to think that this was a test of sorts for me. Did these guards truly not realize? I only felt pity for them. Then I inhaled deeply.
“Silence, you fools!!!”
I recalled how Grandmother would get angry at Grandfather and I shouted like her. Oh, I was quite loud there. Maybe this was the result of my singing practice. The knights flinched. Hey, now, you guys have to be better than that. I’m just a child, you know?
“This isn’t His Highness! How could guards not know who they should be guarding?!
“!!!” The knights were speechless.
I looked at the prince in front of me. He raised both arms, his body rigid. Then he slowly went down on his knees… Wait, down on his knees?!
The person with His Highness’ face was crying. Whoa, I had goosebumps now. If I didn’t know the prince’s personality, I would’ve thought that he looked rather adorable, but since I knew, I felt disgusted… What?! Why was he crying? Being who I was, I promptly came back to my senses and was flustered. Oh wow, I actually made him cry.
“Yeah, I see now. Lucie, lower your blade. It’s fine.”
Father spoke in a calm voice despite the current situation we were in. He took his sword back from me.
“What’s going on here?!”
I could see people running over from the other side. Those people were the prince’s actual guards.