Louwellmina loves the Empire.
She loves the Empire which mixes ethnicities, cultures, thoughts, and beliefs.
That was why she had thought of devoting herself to the Empire. She had a dream of supporting the Empire. That was why she had continued to learn greedily. She never doubted that her efforts would be rewarded.
But, her childish dream broke down at a certain banquet. The Emperor asked the eldest son about political matters, and the eldest son could not give an answer. When the Emperor became displeased and the atmosphere of the place became heavier, Louwellmina, who was present, spoke the correct answer.
As a result, the Emperor praised Louwellmina. The surrounding vassals were also praised the princess. The eldest son became embarrassed with a red face, but she didn’t care. What was important to her was that she became the pillar of the Empire as soon as possible.
However, ever since that day, her surroundings changed. The time she spent learning about politics was changed to learn poetry, and dance and the vassals who worked in national politics were kept away from her. From how she was not allowed to enter the court in which usually she would be allowed to go in and out, it was obvious that someone had the intention of keeping her away.
At first, she had thought it was the work of the eldest son who she embarrassed, but it wasn’t. Everything was directed by the Emperor himself.
The Emperor loves Louwellmina as a father.
However, he had no intention of treating her as his successor.
All of that was because Louwellmina was a woman. The Empire was a country that advocates meritocracy but, the Emperor believes that a woman should sing with their beautiful voice rather than speaking politics.
But what makes Louwellmina’s body trembled was after another incident.
Louwellmina who saw the Emperor’s strong intentions tried to work around through the vassals. However, no one was willing to cooperate with her.
And they did that not because they were afraid of the Emperor. Although they had some difference, they held beliefs just like the Emperor, that women should sing with their beautiful voice in the flower garden, rather than getting involved in the muddy world of politics. Furthermore, even the women who lived in the palaces also thought that was ‘natural’.
And what makes it more terrifying was that all of them meant no malice. While she was being allowed to learn and be an intelligent woman, she was being kept away from the political center so that she would not have the misfortune due to speaking out her political mind.
How do you think one should verbalize the shock received when she knew that?
It was not just one or two-person. Not even just inside the court, such thought was shared as common sense in the Empire. Louwellmina who realize that could not do anything.
Since then, Louwellmina began to live in seclusion inside the palace.
She lived a life of suffocating days, where she holds a book and turn the page one by one, while feeling a sense of emptiness, no matter how much she learned. She had also tried to blame it on the surroundings. She also began to hate that she was born as a woman.
Having nothing to do every day, and pass the time in silence.— Seeing such a figure, her elder sister suggested one thing. ‘Why don’t you go to the military school to change your mood?’.
Louwellmina then followed her elder sister’s suggestion. After consulting with her older sister, she would use the excuse of examining her future husband. Of course, the marriage of the imperial family isn’t decided by the person themselves– But, the Emperor who saw his beloved daughter in low spirit must’ve racked his brains out as well. And since there was her elder sister’s recommendation, he approved her going to the military academy.
She decided to hide her status when she entered the academy. She made various reasons but… The truth was that she thought if she didn’t become Louwellmina, she would be able to escape the suffocating life.
Then, Louwellmina— Met someone.
“Wayne, the last painting has arrived.”
Strang brought the painting into the room. It was from a famous artist, the painting had worth that if one were to take the painting out from the frame, it would cause the hand to tremble, fearing damaging the painting.
Though despite that, Strang and Wayne handled the painting in a rough manner.
That was natural. After all, all of these paintings were fake.
“Good, they are better than I had imagined.”
“Indeed, it would take someone with a very good eye to find out these are fakes.”
“But still, you did well to gather all of this, Strang.”
“I have some connection with painters. Glenn, how is your side?”
“I’ve prepared the infiltration route and escape route of the mansion.”
Glenn responded with a quiet voice.
“However, are you sure we should do this? Our opponent would be an aristocrat, you know?”
“Oi oi, it is already too late to worry about that now. Besides, you know that that aristocrat family had exploited the people of his territory, right?”
“Well, yes, I know of that but still…”
“What are you worried about, this is not an assassination. What we’re going to do is just change the paintings he got using the money he collected by exploiting his people with the paintings Strang had brought. No one will get hurt.”
“That’s right, Glenn. We will then sell the paintings to those who understand its value and distribute the money we got from it to the exploited people. It is a perfect plan in the name of justice!”
“Justice, Justice… I see, I guess you’re right!”
“Uhuh, as usual, you’re really an easy person.”
“I agree. I’m worried that he would be tricked by bad friends…”
“The two of you, did you say something?”
As Wayne and Strang shook their heads, Ninim appeared in the room.
“The negotiations have been settled. With the arrangement, we now should be able to sell the paintings to the west.”
“Alright then, shall we collect our stuff now…”
The members leave the room one after another. Wayne also took a painting on his hand and about to leave but then turned back suddenly…
“What’s wrong, Lova? Spacing out like that.”
Being called out, Louwellmina trembled a little and only slightly moved her face.
“… I was just observing a little.”
“Observing? About what?”
“About you of course.”
Wayne’s eyes blinked for a moment then, he laughed with a smug face.
“In other words, finally you’ve noticed how handsome I am, right?”
“No, there’s no such a thing.”
“None at all.”
“Do you have to say it twice…”
“Don’t you think a third time a bit too cruel?!”
Seeing Wayne who kneading his face, Louwellmina heaves a heavy sigh and continue the talk.
“Somehow, looking at Wayne who have no troubles, I feel envious…”
“What are you saying? A fight? Are you trying to sell a fight here?!”
“I don’t mean that, but I’m being truthful here. — That I’m jealous of you.”
Seeing Louwellmina that looked gloomy, Wayne whispered ‘I see’ with low voice…
“Then, excuse me…”
Louwellmina grabbed Wayne’s neck collar when he was about to turn back and leave…
“Normally this is where you offer to listen about my worries, no?”
“No no, I have no intention of dealing with such an annoying subject…!”
“For someone who makes a bold plan of stealing aristocrat paintings, you sure could say something that pathetic…”