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Chapter 1: The First Accomplice
Amidst the unprecedented change of the [Sacrificial Priestess] that occurred during the audience in the Kingdom of Palcemith.
I quickly left the still chaotic castle; taking Julieta with me, and returned to my residence in a corner of the capital.
Both while boarding as well as alighting the carriage, I took care of the unconscious Julieta. Seeing me walk holding Julieta tenderly in my arms gave a considerable shock to the people around. At any rate, no one had ever seen Anderheim show any concern for his daughter until now.
For the ambitious Anderheim, Julieta was simply a tool to maintain relations with the royal family, a pawn. The people around too knew of the fact and truth be told, [I] before recovering my memories regarded her the same.
But it was different now. Julieta was a pitiful daughter. I always thought that even when I played the game in my past life.
The time when Julieta took up the duties of the Dragon Priestess, who was in charge of managing the festival, was ten years ago when she was ten.
Taking advantage of the former Dragon Priestess dying young of illness, Anderheim forcibly placed Julieta on the seat of the Dragon Priestess to further elevate the position of his daughter, the Crown Prince’s fiancee.
She lost her mother at a young age and was separated from her father at seven. Although there were people to serve her, it was difficult to guess Julieta’s emotions, being forced to live in a plain white shrine. Still, she passed her days looking forward to the day when she would become her beloved Crown Prince’s wife. But she was robbed of it by the inexperienced Heroine. It was obvious that her reaction would be extreme.
Julieta, not having any chance of interactions with girls of her generation, coupled with the role she had been given, made her grow up to be an annoying girl with selfish and haughty conduct. Her speech towards the heroine was unpleasant and her assessment by the maids of the shrine too was harsh.
While that may be true, do not believe it is a sin so great that it negates the ten years of education she acquired or the hard work she put in for her Queen training.
Surely, I mustn’t be the only one who thinks that the heroine lacked principle, falling in love with the Crown Prince despite knowing he had a fiancée?
After we returned to the residence, I put Julieta down on the bed and sat on the bedside, carefully wiping her tear-stained face with a damp towel.
Her real face, hidden under thick makeup was surprisingly more innocent than I thought.
Julieta never revealed her real face in the game until the end. But I, obsessed with [The Dragon and the Sacrificial Priestess]; bought the thick [The Dragon and the Sacrificial Priestess] Character Reference Collection that was sold afterwards, taking advantage of the game’s popularity, and read it from cover to cover. That is why I even knew of the rejected drafts that had not been featured in the game. Among them was “Julieta didn’t have confidence in her looks. She hid her face that was cute in reality with such thick makeup that her original face couldn’t be seen.” it must have been part of the setting of the [Reconcillation/Friendship Ending] that was to be originally included in the game. And even Anderheim, despite being drawn in the game visuals as a villain with bags under his eyes and silver-rimmed glasses that gave a sly impression; his setting was “The owner of a strikingly beautiful face without his glasses.” Perhaps, Anderheim too was a candidate for being a [Secret Capture Target].
In the midst of diligently wiping Julieta’s face, with a small groan, she regained consciousness.
“…Julieta, did I wake you up?”
I intentionally spoke with a soft voice.
Blink, blink. Her jade eyes repeatedly fluttered.
After she had properly captured my figure at the bedside, large teardrops gathered at the corner of her eyes.
“That’s right…my dear Julieta.”
Hearing my words, Julieta abruptly got up in surprise. I gently pushed her shoulders and once again spoke softly to tell her to rest. Julieta was dazed for a while, but before long began ruminating about the events just before she lost consciousness and cried with her face buried in a pillow. She faced me and apologised in a small voice with a “Sorry.”
“…Father. I apologise for not being of any use. …Julieta failed to capture His Highness Vikram’s heart.”
“…No need to bother.”
“…To receive so kind words from Father!”
She choked back a sob.
With tearful eyes, Julieta looked at me.
“Is there any use for me who was abandoned by the Crown Prince?”
“If His Highness Vikram desired the lowly woman as his new fiancee,”
“Surely that woman’s role has fallen upon me.”
“…You’re a clever child, Julieta.”
…As I thought, she is no ordinary foolish girl.
I narrowed my eyes and lovingly stroked Julieta’s forehead.
If it is her, with me she can bloom the brightest shining flowers of rebellion on this ridiculous stage.
Julieta quietly closed her eyes. Even in such a state, her greatest happiness was to be of use to her father and His Highness. Thinking so, I spoke a monotonous line with hints of resignation.
“…My cute Julieta. Until now, I thought of you as my tool.”
Hearing my words, Julieta once again opened her eyes and looked up at me.
Seemingly wanting to say she knew it, she returned a heartfelt smile.
Placing my lips close to her seashell-like ears, I urged her new role.
“You’re my dear daughter. And from today on, my most trusted accomplice.”
“Be at ease, Julieta. All the humiliation you faced, I will return it many times over.”
I held out my hand with a smile and asked her if she would join me.
My dear daughter was confused for a moment.
After that, firmly, she grabbed on to my hand.
Oof, it’s only a chapter in and someone’s already hooked! Glad someone likes my taste in novels hehe…
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