“– I see, I understand the story.”
Wayne who had listened to Franya’s words silently after she came to his office murmured.
“I’m sorry Franya… I seem to have made you feel lonely.”
“No, there’s no reason for Onii-sama to apologize.”
Franya shakes her head.
While stroking her hair gently, Wayne said…
“However, you feel being left by the change huh?”
Wayne then think. It would be easy to line up some words and comfort her temporarily, but that won’t solve the problem. What she need was a pillar that could support her heart. And that pillar must be strong enough to prevent Franya from being crushed by the feeling of alienation and helplessness.
(… I want to stabilize the administration more but, I guess I have no choice…)
Wayne then took a glance at Ninim. She picked up what Wayne was trying to do, she nodded and agreed.
“Alright then, Franya, could you help me with work?”
“Onii-sama work?… In other words, being father’s substitute?”
“That’s right. As you may know, an imperial mission will visit Natra soon. While they stay here, I will focus on the reception. But in the meantime, other agendas and problems need to be solved.”
Rather, oftentimes, trouble would lie on top of another trouble.
Based on that, Wayne would even willing to hire a cat help.
“Of course, Ninim and other vassals could do the work for me while my hands are full with another thing. But, in some case, there’s something that needs my approval or some problem that need to be attended personally…”
“Which mean I have to do that?”
“That is how it is…”
“It is needless to say but, right now Franya has no ability to take on complex national politics yet. Therefore, in such case, consult with a trusted vassal. If you asked for approval or statement, listen to the opinion of senior vassals, and follow through it. When you hear it like this, the job might sound like a decoration.”
But, he continues.
“In a place where authority and social status are important, just by having a royal decoration could be enough as a lubricant. And for Franya, to participate and seeing such a place personally would become a great experience. How is it, would you like to try?”
He asked her formally, and Wayne already knew what kind of a reply would come.
Because he could see the will to do it on Franya’s face.
“… I will do it. Unn, by all means, Onii-sama.”
Wayne nodded with satisfaction.
“How admirable, then let us make a plan with that intention.”
Then Wayne said something to end the talk.
“Franya, let me say this… In this world, strong determination does not always promise results. However, the will to move forward is very precious. — As your elder brother, toward you who have that will, I’m very proud of you.”
Franya looked surprised for a moment but then she smiled…
Ninim and Franya walk side by side in the corridors.
Franya’s gait was light, and even humming could be heard from her.
“Ninim, did you hear it? My brother said he was proud of me.”
“Yes. I’m also very pleased to see your highness growth, and have a high expectation for the future.”
Ninim responded with a smile.
“Ninim, I will do my best! I will do my best not to betray my brother’s expectations!”
“I will also help your highness with this little ability of mine. But, don’t get too excited now. The real thing would be after the imperial mission arrived.”
In response to Ninim, Franya calmed down.
“I guess you’re right. My job would start when the imperial princess come—…”
Suddenly, Franya stopped talking…
She paused for a few seconds to ponder something and then turned her gaze at Ninim.
“… Ninim, one thing I wanted to ask you.”
“Please ask me anything.”
“What does Ninim think about my brother marriage?”
‘Finally huh?’, Ninim had wondered when she would ask that question. It was easy to predict that soon she would ask that. Perhaps, because her anxiety had been removed, Franya finally could afford to ask the question.
And if she was asked whether she was concerned with that, then the answer would be yes.
The fact that the imperial intention was unclear was the truth. But once they set aside that, Wayne marriage with the princess would make the country ties with the Empire grew stronger, and that would strengthen Natra too…
—But, she knew that Franya didn’t seek such retainer answers.
“I thought, my brother, would marry Ninim.”
Franya then continues speaking before Ninim could interject.
“My brother and Ninim are always together, always taking care of each other. … That’s why, in my mind, it is natural for my brother to marry Ninim someday. And I would be very happy to have Ninim as my sister-in-law… But…”
Wayne ended up having marriage talk with the imperial princess.
The King could have a mistress in addition to the legitimate Queen, but depending on the imperial princess character, there was the possibility that she would not allow a mistress.
“… I’m very happy that your highness Franya thought of me that much.”
Ninim responded with a soft voice and continues…
“I will never marry his highness, Wayne. Even if this marriage talk case didn’t come.”
“Why is that?”
“Because his highness Wayne is the crown prince of the Natra Kingdom, he is Wayne Salema Albarest, and I am a Fulham, Ninim Raleigh.”
Fulham people were being discriminated especially on the west side of the continent. Many of them were treated as slaves, and in some area were even hated. If the prince of the Natra Kingdom, in which bordered with the west side of the continent, make a Fulham as a Queen, there would be a major backlash.
“If his highness Wayne said he wants to make me his Queen, then I will cut my own head as punishment for seducing him.”
“That… Ninim is okay with that?”
Ninim said that without hesitation.
She could not speak as if she held some hope. Ninim spoke with such determination but, her determination broke down the instant she saw Franya was about to cry.
“A, no, when I said that, that does not mean I would do that, it was a figure of speech.”
Ninim spoke while looking flustered.
“Emm, I will only say this to your highness Franya, it is true that I feel a slight regret for not being able to be his Queen. But, I’ve already received an honor higher than that.”
“– I have, that person ‘heart’.” |TLN: Once again, remind you, she is not using ‘Kokoro’ but ‘Shinzou’. |
Ninim then put her hands on her chest.
“His highness Wayne will eventually have a wife. There might be just one person, or two, or three… His highness will love the woman who becomes the Queen, make children, and then those children he will love them…”
Ninim smiles… She noticed that her words were filled with certain heat.
“But, no matter how many wives and children he has… Just as the sun and the moon, there are only one of them, the ‘heart’ is also only one. Until the day, when his highness Wayne finishes his long journey. I am the only one who is allowed to have his highness ‘heart’.”
“… Hmmm, I can’t understand that very well.”
Due to that response, Ninim return to her sense, cough, she then cleared her throat and continue…
“W-Well, what I want your highness to know is that being a married couple is not necessarily a relationship accomplishment between a man and a woman, Now then, let us return to your room for today…”
After forcing the talk to an end, Ninim quickens her pace while taking Franya with her.
Like that, time goes by until the time the Imperial Princess arrived.