It’s been a while. A slightly depressing chapter.
Straight off the translator’s block so I apologize for typos (as always). Hope you enjoy~
If you look to your right (not mobile viewers though) you can see a new sort of progress area. It’s updated manually with roughly guesstimated values, so don’t count on them being too accurate. Knowing me, I’ll forget to update it sooner or later but for now, whatever…
Dedicated translators, please pick up my projects~!
No need to ask, just drop me a link to the next chapter and I’ll redirect people to the story’s new home. ;3
The Unilateral Engagement
Ever since I fell in love with Wilhelm-sama, I began to read love stories frequently.
There were various stories, and each ended with a happy conclusion, so when I read them I also became joyful. Especially when I thought of the actions the leading lady, gently embracing or tenderly kissing, and when thinking of doing those things to Wilhelm-sama, I floundered around in bed by myself.
Father often teased,「reading love stories, Carol is very precocious」, and then I would puff out my cheeks. I have already become nine years old. I am a splendid lady.
However, there was one dissatisfaction I had towards love stories.
In any one of them, the leading ladies would always be wedded with a thin and young prince.
No matter how I searched, there were no stories of being married to a husband that was 46 years older. When I asked the freely associated rental library, they said that there was no such story.
If it was possible I wanted to read such a story and apply it to my circumstances, or so I was thinking, but what a shame.
Love would be fulfilled without fail.
Without ceasing to believe so, I was undoubtedly foolish.
――Then, one day.
A world-altering discussion arrived.
I went to the royal palace with Father.
I was only lead by Father, and was clueless as to what sort of discussion it could be. But all I was told, was that it was an important discussion.
Then, deep inside――in the small, parlor-like room beside the throne room, the one that first appeared was a woman.
「My my, Duke Ambrose. Welcome.」
「Responding to your invitation, I’ve come.」
I had seen this woman in the evening parties I attended. She was this country’s Queen.
Always youthful, I thought she was a beautiful person.
Behind her, who was separated from his usual duties as an Imperial Knight, was Wilhelm-sama, who had a manly face on today as well. It was likely the reason he was here was because he was serving as the Queen’s escort.
I wanted to greet him, but it was improper to take arbitrary actions in front of the Queen.
Somehow able to suppress my urge, I sent my gaze behind the Queen.
There, a young boy sat in a chair.
「Say your introductions, Carol.」
It could be said,「uwa, how self-important」, was my first impression of the boy. With a face that looked like he would cluck his tongue any moment, he looked towards me with a glower. Overall he was a pretty boy, but my true opinion was I didn’t really want to become friends with him.
He wasn’t that far in age with me, but I thought him to be more of a child.
「Nice to meet you, I am Carol Ambrose.」
However, since Father told me to greet them, I slightly pulled up the edges of my skirt and introduced myself.
Towards my introduction, the boy turned his face away with a hmph.
Did I do something wrong?
「Reyford, that sort of behavior is unbecoming.」
The boy said while looking disgruntled and looked towards me. Just by that, I knew the true identity of this boy.
Even I am a noble’s daughter. As expected, I’ve heard talk of his Majesty the King’s only son. His name was his Highness Reyford. I hadn’t met him even once yet, but I never thought that I would meet him at a place like this.
But, why did he wear that sour face that looked like he would click his tongue at any moment?
「……Reyford el Fureakisuta.」
「It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Your Highness.」
Did I do something to make him hate me? I don’t have any recollection of doing so, but I likely wouldn’t have dealings with his Highness anymore after this, so it would probably be fine.
There, with a “pon” Father clasped his hand onto my shoulder.
「Be happy, Carol.」
「You and his Highness Reyford will be betrothed. The relation between the Ambrose Ducal house and the Royal family will be stronger than ever from now on.」
To Father’s unexpected words, I lost the words I was thinking of.
I was, His Highness’, fianceé?
「Just as I’ve heard, she’s an excellent lady. Gilliam, Wilhelm.」
「It’s an honor to receive your praise. Even though she’s this age she’s fairly precocious, and whenever she reads her love stories she would have her cheeks dyed red.」
「I can guarantee the virtue of Lady Carol’s capability. Even though she’s still young, she sufficiently understands etiquette. She is qualified to be his Highness’ fiancée.」
「As expected, girls grow up fast. Speaking of Reyford, even though he’s the same age as Carol, he’s still so childish it’s troubling.」
「Hahaha, boys are like that. Even my son, they’re all naughty and troublesome. Even though he will have to support the Ambrose house in the future.」
「No, just having children is a wonderful thing. To a single man like me, such a conversation is envious.」
「Isn’t it because you declined all your proposals, Wilhelm? Even though his Majesty and I are always telling you to hurry up and get married.」
While I was speechless, Father and the Queen, even my beloved Wilhelm-sama were discussing with considerable excitement.
The one I loved dearly, was none other than Wilhelm-sama. By no means did I hold any affection towards his Highness.
Additionally, from the outset he took on a behavior as if he hated me.
Why did I have to get engaged to his Highness?
And right in front of Wilhelm-sama’s eyes.
「Look, Reyford. In the future, Carol will become your wife.」
「With you married to Carol-chan, the country will be even more strengthened. As the next King, you understand your responsibility, don’t you?」
Even though he was plainly discontent, his Highness nodded.
Engagement between the Royal Family and a Ducal House―― For me from the Ducal house counterpart to reject it, it would be discourteous.
However, even though there was dissatisfaction, his Highness seemed to consent.
His Highness――The Prince.
In love stories, where many ladies had been tied to in marriage, the ideal partner.
Since I was able to become engaged to such a partner, I supposed I should consider myself a fortunate person and have no choice but to be delighted.
「As the future Queen, you must support his Highness Reyford. Like so the kingdom will become a firm rock. Leaving the official engagement ceremony for a later date, for today at least offer your formal greetings.」
No matter how much I tried to escape from reality, reality relentlessly cornered me.
I understood it. I also resigned myself to it.
From the start, it was something I was prepared for.
I was the noble daughter of the Ambrose Ducal house, Carol Ambrose. Towards marriage, there was no way I would have the liberty of choosing.
No matter how dearly I loved Wilhelm-sama, I understood that there was no way this love could be fulfilled.
But even so.
「Your Highness Reyford.」
「I am an incompetent person, but I am in your care.」
If possible, while in front of you who I love.
Like this, while I became someone else’s belonging, I didn’t want you to see this.
I, Carol Ambrose, age 9.
I learned that in this world, God didn’t exist.