“Please excuse me.”
While a solemn atmosphere filled the room, I sat down right in front of father. With a clever countenance befitting of someone with a job title as the Prime Minister, in addition to the sharp glint in eyes which he usually dons while working, making the atmosphere around him even heavier… And now, since it seems like it has increased to about twice the usual, it made me feel like running away.
“…I apologize for taking much of your time today.”
“Heehh. So you do understand that point at the very least.”
“Not at all.”
Although it was subtle, a vein on father’s face twitched a little… or so it seems. That’s why I said, it’s really scary.
“Whether if it’s regarding father’s position as the Prime Minister or as your title of being a Duke, I do not think I’ve caused father any trouble. What I’m apologizing for is because father [chichi] is my father [otou-sama].”
“Is that so…? And why is that?”
“In the first place, I only caused a rumor to spread out of mischief. There’s also the issue of circumstantial evidence, so I don’t think it’ll affect father’s position as the Prime Minister… Above all, our side belongs to a Ducal House, and it will not fall to ruination just because of an engagement gone wrong. Even in the academy, I handled things in a way that they were sympathetic towards me. This way, they cannot make a big problem out of it. No matter how much clamor Edward-sama makes, it will only end up with a strict reprimand.”
“…About what happened inside the academy, I’ve already heard about it.”
“I have figured as much. And also, I apologize for saying this to father, the Duke… But in the first place, wasn’t father opposed the engagement between Edward-sama and myself?”
“Why, that’s right.”
“Because of my lineage, if it gets connected to the royal family through marriage, it might destroy the power balance of the royal family. Besides, apart from having a Duke and the Prime Minister father, mother is also the daughter of the General. It will still be acceptable if a marriage is formed with the First Prince. However, with the Second Prince, sooner or later, the Kingdom will be split into two.”
After listening to my words, for the first time since I arrived, father smiled… That said, it was one of those evil upward smiles along with sound effects that makes one feel nauseated… Although the person in question probably doesn’t have that intention… Therefore, as I thought, I feel really scared.
“If that’s the case, why do you think I allowed your engagement with Edward-sama to happen?”
About this question, I also thought about it considerably on my way here. If the situation calls for it, I would have definitely picked the former.
“…Because either one of them would be fine?”
“Exactly what do you mean by that?”
“Because if I got engaged to the First Prince, then young brother will also serve him and the First Prince’s position will be firm. If my fiance is the Second Prince, younger brother will be in the First Prince’s faction. In that situation, I will be in charge of watching over the Second Prince to observe if he makes any unusual movements. Well… the former will probably take no time and effort, and truthfully, it’s simpler, it would have been better for father.”
Actually, the story in the game didn’t delve much into the story of the First Prince. Instead, it was depicted that the Second Prince will become the next King. It is actually quite common that the First Prince is the child of the dead legal wife while the Second Prince is the child of the current concubine. One would think that the First Prince will naturally become King even while he’s still in his mother’s womb, but reality is not as easy as that.
The current concubine is a daughter of a Marquis, a House that’s currently in the process of building up their strength, whereas the legal wife was a daughter of an Earl. Thus, when one looks at their family status, the legal wife’s House is inferior to the concubine’s. The King unexpectedly fell in love with the legal wife and used brute force to abolish all objection to making her his Queen, resulting in the current delicate balance.
And the aristocratic society who created that delicate balance are currently swaying and shaking, visible to the eye.
Inside the game, this kind of unpleasant situation was not portrayed. Even at the very end, the game had established that the First Prince was studying in another country. That’s how it was supposed to be, so I didn’t expect it to be this bad. But as expected, reality is harsh.
As for father, it’s not inaccurate to say that he is serving the country and not the royal family. Serving as the Prime Minister, he is keeping a neutral position in the royal family’s dispute. For example, if the situation was connected to the First Prince’s faction, based on the law of the Kingdom, it is likely that he will be judged as inconsequential to the Kingdom and be cast away… If the royal family were to ever fight against each other, the government of the Kingdom will halt. If one thinks about it, it was the right decision.
“Nevertheless, younger brother is completely leaning against the Second Prince. Since that’s the case, father should have been aiming for the annulment of my engagement with the Second Prince. I’m delighted for you, father.”
Since that’s the case, when it comes to my affair, if it’s father, he probably wouldn’t disinherit me. If it’s just that much power, our House also has it. I implied that I did what I did because it was something that father desired.
Father laughed looking really happy. However, even though he was laughing, I can only see him as a villain. If a third party sees him, they’ll probably disintegrate completely.
“That’s right. Certainly, I did wish to have your engagement with the Second Prince annulled. Although I have instructed to keep distance from the Second Prince in case of a disaster… But that guy, he has completely forgotten his duty and is now thoroughly part of the Second Prince’s circle… However, are you fine with this, Iris? Did you not fall in love with the Second Prince?”
“Love is something like a sickness. When it cools down, that’s the end of it… Even I, myself, think that it’s a good thing it happened earlier rather than later.”
Besides, love of a hundred years will probably cool down as well.
“…Hmmm. However, Iris. This time, the current predicament is your blunder. Therefore, it is necessary that I take some measures.”
“…Is that so…”
As I thought, I couldn’t escape the “deprivation of social status, church confinement, and disownment” course… In addition, Tanya seemed adamant that she comes along, I need to somehow convince her to stay.
“I’ll have you go back to the territory and then be under house confinement. Of course, since you’ll be far away from the Royal City, what you want to do in that remote place doesn’t concern me.”
Doesn’t that mean that anything I want to do will be “okay,” and there won’t be any confinement?
“Also, it’ll be a waste if you just stay there and do nothing. Because I will be giving you the ‘Feudal Lord Representative’ position, so at the very least, govern the territory properly.”