“— As expected of Sir Gerald. You’ve such a wonderful insight.”
“It is a big loss for the Empire that a person like Gerald-sama hasn’t been standing on the front stage of central politics.”
“No, well, hahaha…”
The moon shined brightly tonight. Among those who appeared in this dinner party, Gerald was stuck in the middle with crown prince Wayne and Princess Louwellmina on each of his sides.
“When Prince Wayne and Princess Louwellmina said that, as expected it makes me feel embarrassed.”
Currently, this was the first stage of the two different strategies.
In other words, for now, Wayne and Louwellmina will work together to flatter Gerald and connect him with Louwellmina.
“What are you saying…”
Wayne laughed while his eyes looked like a hawk.
“I just pointed out the facts. I’m a proud person that never says a beautiful phrase toward something that doesn’t exist.”
Louwellmina when she heard that, looked at him with a piercing gaze as if saying “what an insincere thing to say” but, Wayne ignored her.
“Just like His Highness Wayne said.”
This time, Louwellmina smiled sweetly.
“Right now, Gerald-sama’s family is a marquis household which supports the Empire as an important pillar, but Gerald-sama also has the blood of the Antogadar royal family. For you to have such noble blood, my words alone are not enough to describe it.”
This time, it was Wayne turn to gaze at Louwellmina as if he said “Which mouth are those words come out from?”, but of course, Louwellmina also ignored him.
The strategies going well. Being praised by people with high standing such as Wayne and Louwellmina, Gerald was all smiling with joy.
Naturally, he didn’t doubt the two people at all. If we assume by looking as Gerald who had a high pride, the words of the two snakes that had been poured at him would be looked like gold.
On the other hand, the others who participated in the party had a complex expression on their faces.
In this dinner party, there was Gerald’s followers, the imperial delegation, and the Natra Kingdom’s vassals. For Gerald’s followers, they were happy that their lord was happy, though they feel bewildered when they saw the crown prince and the imperial princess entertaining him that much.
The Imperial delegation was also overwhelmed by the sense of discomfort.
Although Viz had talked with them, they were originally the three princes’ men, that was why she didn’t tell them about Louwellmina’s full plan. They were only being told that, since Gerald had come so suddenly, Princess Louwellmina would welcome him together with Crown Prince Wayne.
That was why, in their eyes, Gerald was interrupting an official meeting between two countries. Furthermore, for Louwellmina to smooth over and receive him personally despite the rude behavior of disturbing an official meeting, seeing him having a rude attitude toward the princess, for them, it was no laughing matter.
Even though the other party was from a marquis household, all the members present here thought that he had disgraced the imperial family.
And the same goes for the Natra Kingdom’s vassals. If they knew that Louwellmina was trying to get them involved in a war, it would turn into a complete disaster, that was why Wayne didn’t tell them.
However, since they had come here only because of their trust in Wayne’s decision, they also ended up in confusion just like the imperial delegation. But at any rate, in their mind, they would follow the instruction that had been given to them by Wayne.
That was why, the dinner party proceeding smoothly amid the whispering voices such as “What is going on?” “Don’t know…”.
Be that as it may, none of those voices entered Gerald’s ears. After all, two schemers had decided to join hand and conspire against him. That was why, this result was natural.
However, the only point those two decided to cooperate on was to make Gerald and Louwellmina get together. When the strategies entered stage two it would be different, for that sake, Wayne and Louwellmina scattered sparks everywhere to seize the initiative.
“For the Kingdom of Natra, we’re happy to be able to help the two people to come together. If he hears this news, your father, Marquis Antogadar, he must be happy, we must inform him as soon as possible.”
Wayne said that.
“Oh my, if that happens, then you will be rushed to return back with me. I have finally had the chance to meet Gerald-sama after all. How about we keep this a secret and enjoy our time together for a while, just the two of us.”
Louwellmina also asked Gerald.
If we translated those two people’s interaction in an easy-to-understand manner, it would turn like these…
“Hurry up contact Greenach and dismiss his soldiers.”
“I will not let you. I will entice him until Greenach exploded…”
Of course, it was impossible for Gerald to know their ulterior motives.
The only thing that entered his mind was exactly what they said. And knowing that was the reason why those two people continue their verbal warfare.
“But princess Louwellmina, Sir Gerald and you would become a couple soon, not only Antogadar, this is important for the whole Empire. I’m sure this news would become a great encouragement for the citizen who had been in chaos due to the Emperor’s death. Besides, isn’t it the duty of the imperial family to announce this kind of news as soon as possible? (Translation: Go and crush the rebellion together with Antogadar.)”
“But, for us to only receive, it would be bad for us to return without being able to give Natra anything. How about prince Wayne join with as and go to the Empire? I would like to personally give something as thanks for helping me get together with Sir Gerald. (Translation: If you’re going to tell me that, then how about having Natra to back me up?)”
“Thank you for the invitation. But, unfortunately, I have to support this country on behalf of my father. I cannot be negligent, even if the one who requests it was Princess Louwellmina. Truly, very unfortunate. (Translation: Absolutely not! Go and think of a way to get the throne without my help.)”
“Is that so? Then, for now, a letter telling them of your support about our union would do. Imagining the surprise face of my brothers and Marquis Greenach when they read the letter makes me want to smile a little. (Translation: Then, let me use a letter of support to go public.)”
“Then, if that is the case, I will add a few lines of my own in the letter. It was nothing much, really. If it is for the future Marquis Antogadar and his wife, I will spare no effort to support. (Translation: Hah? I don’t know what you’re talking about~…)”
As the two of them keep talking, the flow suddenly changed.
“Your Highness, excuse me for interrupting during a conversation.”
Ninim, who was standing behind them, gently offered a document to Wayne.
“It is something that your highness needs to check immediately, it is urgent.”
Wayne then takes a look at the document. It was a common business report, or that was what normal people would see when they saw the content but, it was loaded with a sign that only Wayne and Ninim knew.
“Excuse me, please continue between the two of you.”
If he ignored the report, Louwellmina might get what she wanted at a critical moment.
As he read the report, Wayne looked at the sign. The content was the result of an investigation about Gerald.
(Well, let see, oho, really? To think that it was not coincident that Gerald had returned back to Antogadar territory…)
Due to the unexpected content, Wayne unintentionally looked toward Ninim. Then, in response, she whispered to him that it was not a joke.
(But, you know, what do you mean that it was no a coincidence?)
Then he continues reading while looking confused. In the report, half of Gerald’s life was written.
Gerald Antogadar was born as the legitimate son of a Marquis family and was raised without any inconvenience/
When he was in Antogadar territory, he never suffers any anguish, conflicts, frustration or even regrets, he had a smooth life as if he was walking on a paved road.
But, the story changed when he entered the imperial city. The disgust toward the traitor which was ‘Antogadar’ family were being directed at Gerald, who all this time had been protected in his territory.
As a result of that, the stress was enormous for Gerald. He becomes a man who easily runs away to liquor, lust, gold, and jewelry. He also surrounded himself with people who only talk good about him. Thus he becomes known as a notorious man of debauchery.
One day, during those times, he met with Louwellmina, and since then he had been pursuing her. If that was love at first sight then it would be fine but, there was more to it. He simply saw Louwellmina’s popularity, and he thought he would be recognized if he had her as a lover— Which means, due to his inferiority complex he wants Louwellmina.
However, his distorted courtship could not reach Louwellmina’s heart. She manages to dodge him curtly. But soon, anger filled his heart. He thought, she might be a princess, but was it okay for her to look down on him this much? Was such an unreasonable act of hers allowed?…
And when she found out the princess went to Natra, his anger exploded. Though on the surface it was just a traveling aboard, Gerald had heard the true purpose of the travel was a marriage talk, when he heard that, he lashed out on his servants and also cursed at Louwellmina. If he was not a marquis son, he would’ve been captured for lese majeste.
After that, he had suddenly returned to Antogadar territory.
The reason for that?
It was to attack Louwellmina’s party who had returned from Natra.
After he read that far, Wayne could not help but surprised.
(Is this for real?)
When he directed his gaze at Ninim, she nodded her head slowly with her cheek twitching. The reason why her cheek was twitching was that she didn’t consider Gerald as a human being. Of course, Wayne also never expected the son of a marquis was planning to attack a princess due to one-sided unjustified resentment based on a misunderstanding.
Furthermore, the more he read the report, it seems in the eyes of Gerald, what he did was the right thing. In his mind, it was Louwellmina who betrayed him, and he won’t be able to feel satisfied unless he settles it with his own hand— He believed that he had to do it for justice.
But, the situation changed due to the letter Wayne had sent.
Gerald who read the letter was said to have shed tears.
[Oh– It was worth it to believe in her. Finally, my feeling has reach her…]
The fact that he had been cursing at Louwellmina all this time had fallen out of his brain. Instead, in his brain, he saw Louwellmina’s image as his wife, standing by his side with the imperial citizen giving them their blessing.
That was why he rushed out after telling his father he would head toward Natra to meet with Louwellmina.
(… I see…)
After reading the material, Wayne exhaled his breath.
(This guy is dangerous…)
Wayne had thought he was an idiotic person but, Wayne never thought it was this bad. If he had met someone that could be used as her substitute, he would without a doubt change his aim to that person.
‘Fate is a cruel mistress indeed.’ Such thought crossed Wayne’s mind as he thought about his situation where he didn’t have a choice but to connect such a guy with his friend, Louwellmina… But—
(But well, I guess it’s fine?)
— Wayne dismisses it without hesitation after a second.
(I have to prioritize my interest here. Besides, the reason why this situation happened, half of it was because of Lova! In other words, this is self-defense!)
If the person herself heard what was inside Wayne’s mind, her face would definitely twitch. He then turned his gaze at Louwellmina.
(– Besides, if you can’t handle that much then, the throne would be nothing but a dream, Lova.)
Louwellmina who sensed his gaze showed a lovely small smile.
Unlike Wayne, she didn’t have the resource to investigate Gerald’s background.
But at least, she knew Gerald’s personality when she met him at the imperial capital. She understands that he had a temperament that needs to be dealt with no ordinary means.
Based on that, she would control him. And she would show Wayne, she could control him. It was a smile filled with confidence in her won ability.
But at that time. Gerald reacted to Wayne and Louwellmina who communicated with each other in silence.
“… Come to think of it, about the letter you’ve sent. Were the both of you an acquaintance in the past?”
It was obvious for the two of them that Gerald’s words were filled with dark jealousy.
And of course, they both assumed that Gerald held such a feeling, and keep their calm.
“Indeed, we’ve met with each other during the time I studied in the Empire. When I think about it, it was indeed filled with valuable(regrettable) moments. At that time, If I had heard about Sir Gerald, I would’ve wanted to make a friend.” [TLN: Wordplay here, the word ‘valuable’ he used had other meaning of ‘regrettable’.]
Gerald nodded at Wayne who speaks about the truth mixed with lies.
“… I should’ve spent my share amount of time in the imperial capital but, I’ve never heard the rumor of prince Wayne studying in the Empire. What kind of life did you have in the imperial capital?”
If Wayne told him the truth that he had faked his identity, went to the military academy, and taking the top result on top of that– Gerald would definitely grimace. That was why Wayne only responded by mixing the truth with lies.
“I wanted to enjoy the culture of the Empire, but unfortunately, there were too many things that I need to learn. I spent all of my days in the mansion and speaking about entertainment, it was only at the level of swinging my sword.”
Like that, it would be natural for Gerald to not know his existence. That was what Wayne had thought, but Gerald bites on an unexpected part.
“Hou… The prince learns sword art?”
“… Well, only as a hobby.”
Wayne felt uncomfortable due to the unexpected flow but, Gerald didn’t let him take any breath…
“What a coincidence. When it comes to sword art, I also do know them.”
((That is definitely a lie—!))