Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 47 (Part 1)
We arrived at the 11th city before evening fell. As our carriage neared the gate, the guards posted there recognized the royal seal and hurried to the driver’s seat to confirm our identities. Their verification ended when Luca showed his face and they courteously guided us through the gate. A sort of flurried presence could be felt in the surrounding area.
“The lord of this city should have received a royal decree and will come to greet us so let’s wait a little longer, ok?”
Did they go out of their way to send a royal decree? No, as the second prince was visiting the city, if they hadn’t sent a royal decree there might have been a dispute about who got to correspond with him. Something that could result in strife between the local nobles must be avoided.
Little by little, skilled workers began to gather around the carriage. They were probably knights and mages. I could feel a nervous energy emanating from them, perhaps because a prince was visiting the city.
A bit farther away, quite a large crowd was gathered as well. I could hear the sound of their chatter. However, that, too, stopped after a while. The tense air did not allow for anyone to speak.
After several such minutes, a voice could be heard.
“Your highness Luca, a thousand apologies for making you wait. We have finished making the preparations.”
“Good work. Well then everyone, shall we get off?”
All of us responded to Luca’s instructions. First Luca descended from the carriage and then, taking his outstretched hand, I got off as well.
As soon as I did, the atmosphere around us began to waver. The unrest spread far and wide. Nobody spoke, still affected by the tense atmosphere of before, but I could still feel terror coming from here and there. It was because my black hair was out in the open.
Knowing full well that we were being watched, Luca stroked my black hair and kissed it lovingly.
“Please wait a bit with everyone.”
I nodded and Luca headed towards the lord who had come to greet us. He was an old man with a long beard holding a large cane. Was he the head of the 11th city?
Our surroundings had grown rather quiet and tense.
All of a sudden Luca let his mana spill out. Perhaps to show his dignity as a prince or to keep those staring at me in check. Anyway, that was Luca’s territory so I left it to him. Instead, I turned towards the carriage and offered my hand to Noel.
“Thank you very much Zagan-dono.”
I nodded at the smiling Noel.
Next were Cindy and Camilla. Miranda got off the carriage on her own.
After confirming that we left nothing inside and that Nina and Bennet got off, Noel stored the carriage away and our preparations were complete.
Then, we, a group of seven people and two horses, waited for Luca to finish with his business.
Currently, the saluting knights have yet to single me out. They were here for Luca after all. Their object of attention was the second prince, who travelled around the country by order of the king. If they had turned their attention to me, it could have been considered more than just negligence on their part.
The guards had a job to do as well, and their attention was elsewhere since many people had gathered in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the prince.
About half of the eyes of those gathered were focused on me. It seems they were torn — should they look at the prince? Or should they look at me? I could still feel surprise, confusion, and fear coming from them, but among those feelings there were some that seemed to have morphed into malice. However, my friends were currently surrounding me and if anyone were to try something in front of the prince, they would be arrested without question.
His greeting with the lord ended after about five minutes and Luca walked back to where we were standing.
“Sorry for making you wait. A mansion has been prepared for us this time as well, shall we go?”
Leaving the horses in the care of one of the knights, we headed towards the lord who was waiting for us.
By the way, Luca was hugging my waist. Was simply holding hands no good? Thinking that, I looked up at Luca and he just smiled in return. So we couldn’t? The situation was embarrassing but it couldn’t be helped.
I somehow managed to swallow my shame as we neared the old man and he narrowed his eyes in a gentle smile.
“To think this person is His Highness Luca’s fiancé? Ho ho ho, there have been rumors for quite a time now. I am called Modeste.”
“Zagan…” I answered his light greeting.
From what I could tell, the man was a mage and had a huge amount of mana. Probably even more than Camilla. He had most likely lived a long life while training hard.
Still, what did he mean by rumors?
“Marquess Modeste, what are these rumors you mentioned?” Luca asked, apparently curious as well.
The marquess began to slowly walk, stroking his beard.
“It was mentioned in a newspaper article that Duke Magnifique of the 9th city personally wrote. He clearly stated that His Highness’s fiancé is a man with the dark attribute. It would be faster to confirm the details yourself — I’ll bring you the paper.”
The marquess beckoned to one of the accompanying mages and told them something. Probably the location of the newspaper. I could hear the words “my study.”
The mage nodded and ran off somewhere.
“Fufu, fiancé he says. It makes me happy Zagan.”
Luca managed to kiss my hair even while walking. As he did, I could feel the agitation of the knights walking alongside us and the surprised stare on my head from the women who wished to catch Luca’s eye.
Albeit only slightly, but the malice I had previously felt also turned into unrest.
I was happy if it was for my sake, but still, wasn’t Luca overdoing it? Walking side by side would have been good enough.
Miranda and Camilla let out a sigh and the old marquess laughed ho ho ho. Guh, I want to bury myself.
“In any case, it was an article published by one of the four grand dukes who safeguard the royal family. The article also included the attack on the young lady from the Brady County and caused quite a stir. It seems Brady-dono went on a rampage in the royal capital.”
“Father did? Ah… pardon me.”
It seemed the marquess had also heard the murmur that came from Noel who was walking behind me. He stopped in his tracks and turned around to face her. His face then creased into a smile.
“Do not worry Brady ojou-san. I am glad to see that you are doing fine.”
“Thank you for your concern.”
Noel bowed her head and the old marquess began walking once again, using his cane. The rest of us continued as well, matching his slow pace.
“Well, I can understand Brady-dono’s outrage. Though the lady in question tried to kill someone, there are many who say that her sentence should be lightened. They say she only attacked a man with the dark attribute and that Brady ojou-san who tried to protect him was also at fault. They also say that it is ridiculous to claim that that man is His Highness’s fiancé.”
“Aren’t… Aren’t they just picking a fight!”
“Undoubtedly so. Their goal, at any rate, is to dye Zagan-dono as evil and to prevent him from becoming engaged with His Highness. They plan to offer their own children for the position since His Highness Luca’s partner, the partner of the crown prince’s sword, would have a close relationship with the royal family.”
I see. In other words, this was because Luca, as the younger brother of the future king, would continue to bear the surname Soleil unlike his younger siblings, who would take on the name of their groom once married?
“It has been decided long ago that the crown prince’s partner would be chosen from amongst the four ducal families. On the other hand, His Highness Luca is free to choose anyone as his partner, which is why such trouble has started to unfold behind the scenes. Greed is such an ugly thing.”
“Fufu. They truly are foolish. It’s also of no help to them that they’re ignoring my wishes. Still, I would never choose anyone other than Zagan. Also, it doesn’t matter what those people say. It’s already been decided that that woman would get the death sentence. I won’t let anyone who has tried to kill Zagan live. So don’t worry, ok Zagan?”
While I wasn’t sure about a death sentence, I did think that the person who hurt Noel should be punished and was happy that Luca had gotten mad for my sake. But would you please stop showing your anger to the point that other people get intimidated?
I could hear faint laughter coming from Bennet and Cindy behind us and the marquess was laughing again as well.