Since time immemorial, people couldn’t keep a secret completely.
With that reasoning, it was inevitable for the news about the prince marriage become a hot topic. After the previous victory, such a hot topic spread fast from the court to the entire castle people.
Fortunately, many people welcomed this… It showed how much Wayne had gained popularity with the people and also their expectation toward the alliance with the Empire.
“Now the alliance between our country and the empire would become stronger.”
“The sick king would be relieved if he heard this news…”
“I wonder what name the prince’s child would be?”
“Hahaha, isn’t that a bit too fast?”
Even though the marriage was not yet been formalized, that was how the story usually flows…
Or rather, such a thought was actually quite the normal ones… Especially since the kingdom people who didn’t know what kind of a person the imperial princess was, making them adding various speculation and dramatization.
Starting from the rumor telling her voice was more beautiful than jewels, her appearance that was comparable to that of a goddess, and since Wayne had the history of studying in the Empire, the rumor of them having a secret rendezvous started to spread as well…
Of course, Wayne’s instruction was to let the rumors to flow as it was since he didn’t want to pour more oil into it by saying something. Ninim also had no objection regarding that.
Although there was none– Lately, things had changed a bit… The rumors itself were not a problem but, they had twisted the rumors in a strange direction.
And the cause for that was Ninim herself.
It was a fact, that Wayne trusted Ninim very much. Everyone in the court also recognizes her as his aide and also as his ‘lover’.
Therefore, a question appeared inside their mind which started the rumors, the question was ‘What would happen to her after Wayne got married?’
“Well, it can’t be that she would leave the palace right?”
“No well, for an aide to leave his highness side is…”
“However, depending on the imperial princess feeling, she might not accept any other woman by his side?”
“Umu… An aide is different compared to a mistress but, I do think such a possibility for that to happen exists…”
Such a story started to spread in the royal court.
And because of that, Ninim was troubled. And while doing her usual government work, she was thinking about how to deal with it but…
“By the way, what do you think Ninim-sama?!”
“To think you would ask directly…”
Nimim was caught by the court ladies who were taking a break from their work, preparing the conference with the empire.
“Of course, I would ask. Because everyone is curious about the answer…”
“That’s right. A triangle relationship, between His Highness Wayne, the Imperial Princess, and Ninim, such an amazing story…”
“I don’t remember building a triangle relationship but…”
She wondered, how much exaggeration had been added to the rumors by now. While feeling amazed, Ninim told the court ladies…
“I will say this clearly, I have no intention to leave the court… And no matter who his highness married with, I will still work by his side…”
Ninim told them the truth. Compared to the difficulty of the government affairs that accumulated every single day, it would be easier to coax a sheltered princess heart.
“If you understand that, don’t spread any more strange rumors… If it enters her highness ears, I can’t even guarantee what would happen…”
That was Ninim greatest concern.
She didn’t care about the rumors. However, just like a normal human would, Wayne also had his limit(royal wrath). And the rumors might touch that…
“Cieh— I understand…” “Ninim-sama is really stiff…” “Well~, It can’t be helped I guess?”
Nimim sighed looking at the court ladies who obeyed reluctantly…
Ninim, who was often standing in between Wayne and his other vassals, would talk politely toward those who need to be respected, and for those who could accept a more open attitude she would at least respond with a lighter attitude, she was very meticulous when it comes to that.
Thanks to that, she could have a friendly relationship with the court ladies, but when she faced with this situation, she regretted that she was not more stern and a bit more dignified…
Though that being said, it was not uncommon for that kind of thing to happen. Ninim changed her mood quickly…
“Now, I will return to my work. I will tell you guys again, please avoid causing his highness angry. You guys should know what happened in the past right? Even if I say something, I won’t be able to stop him..”
The court ladies nodded repeatedly understood her words…
After confirming that, Ninim returned to her works…
(If I hammered some nails like this for a bit, the rumors should calm down a bit…)
Half of that was her hope for that to happen…
(But this excitement… If by any chance that what Wayne said was true, that this marriage was just an excuse, everyone would be very disappointed…)
As she walks down the hallway, Ninim thought about Wayne’s speculation.
Ninim knows Wayne’s depth of thought. His intelligent that sometimes make a chill runs down her spine, she could not underestimate his words…
But still, she also thought that there was the possibility that it was all just overthinking. The problem right now was that Wayne himself didn’t understand the opponent true reason.
(But if Wayne is wrong, and their reason is truly for strengthening the faction …)
She believes that he would marry the princess just like what he said to his vassals. As part of a political marriage.
And she understands that. After all, he was a royalty of the Natra Kingdom, there was no way for a woman who had no special status could become his spouse.
Pechin Ninim claps her cheeks.
“Well then, I should return to Wayne…”
Ninim speeds up her walking speed through the hallway.
On the way toward the office, while greeting at the people she passed by, someone called her—
Called from behind and feeling the chilling sound from the voice, Ninim stopped and turned around…
Not many people called Ninim casually… The people who did that were only, the King, crown prince Wayne, his sister Franya, and—
Ninim spoke the man’s name with deep respect and bowed.
Levan who was being directed such attitude looked just like the example of a straight-laced person. His expression was stern, like steel that was being forged by his daily work.
However, the most unique characteristic of him was his hair and pupil. His hair was white, and his eyes were crimson red. In other words, he was the same race as Ninim, the Fulham.
“It is fine to talk while walking. Do you have some time?”
“Yes, I do not mind. Is this the matter regarding his highness Wayne?”
The two then exchange words while walking along the hallway.
“The story of the marriage had reached his majesty. I want to know the details…”
“If that is the case, I don’t mind being called earlier…”
Levan then snorted a little…
“Fuh, You can’t work as the future head of the family like that, understood?”
In response to that, Ninim smiled bitterly.
“What does the current family head, Levan-sama said, I wonder…”
A long time ago, the Fulham people were being discriminated in the continent, especially on the west side. There was a group of Fulham people who reached the Natra Kingdom after they wondered the continent.
Despite being discriminated, the King of that time was willing to receive the Fulham people, who had deep insight after wandering the continent. Among the Fulham people, there was a person named Raleigh, who later become the King’s aide throughout his life.
Since then, the Fulham produced many excellent people, and the ruler of that generation would take them…
In the process of that, three custom was born as a result. First, one Fulham would be carefully selected for each royal family member to serve as their close aide. Second, the selected Fulham would be given the last name Raleigh. And Finally, the Fulham who serve the one who one day would take the throne becomes the head of the Fulham clan.
And Levan Raleigh was a Fulham who had been serving as the King’s aide for many years, and the current head of the Fulham clan who lived in this country.
“So, how is the progress of the marriage?”
“As far as looking at the messenger, they seem very serious… Before the talk was being decided, Princess Louwellmina would personally come here to visit.”
“Oho… It seems this cannot be treated as a joke anymore…”
“But, it seems his highness Wayne thinks there’s something hidden behind this proposal…”
“Fumu… Any report in regard to her highness princess Louwellmina?”
Just like in any country, there was also intelligence agents in the Natra Kingdom. But Natra had an intelligence network that uses Fulham people’s network scattered across the continent. Previously managed by Levan, now it was entrusted to Ninim.
“Not much. The princess was rarely being seen even in the imperial court, and we could even count the number of times she attended any parties…”
Ninim shook her head while giving her a report.
“Since right now the imperial court is in turmoil due to the political struggle, it would take more time for us to find more information regarding the princess.”
“I see… I’m curious as to who had the gall to arrange the meeting between his highness and the sheltered princess but…”
“As expected, someone is pulling behind the curtain huh?”
“It would be natural for us to think that. … Unless prince Wayne and the imperial princess was actually an acquaintance, how’s the situation in that regard?”
Toward his question, Ninim shook her head.
“No, some rumors are circling but, unfortunately…”
Wayne and Ninim were basically always together… That didn’t change during the times when they studied abroad together. Of course, there was a time when they had their private time— But she didn’t remember they ever had an imperial princess as an acquaintance during the time they stayed in the Empire… In the first place, even Wayne himself said he didn’t know any imperial princess…
“I see… But, I take it that his highness is not denying the marriage itself, yes?”
“Yes. We’re moving forward with acceptance in mind.”
“That’s fine then… It would be a disaster if he refused just based on feeling…”
After all, most people feel that it was impossible to refuse the proposals… And there was no uneasiness either. But the words Wayne said crossed Ninim’s mind…
(As expected, as Wayne said, there’s something hidden behind this…)
As Ninim pondered, Levan continued his talk…
“But, I know that it is impossible for ‘his highness’ to accept that. Although young, his highness is someone who manages to regulate his feeling and taking a bird’s-eye view of things… … His majesty as well. As expected, the Natra’s royal lineage is indeed filled with monsters…”
Ninim stopped her thought and frowned…
“Levan-sama, as expected, isn’t that a bit going too far? Calling them monsters…”
“—No, that is the correct expression…”
Surprisingly, Levan said those words with a strong tone.
As he said that, Levan stopped walking. Seeing that, Ninim also stopped her steps and turned her gaze at his eyes who seems to gaze at a faraway distance.
“It has been 200 years since the Natra Kingdom was founded. His Majesty was the fourteenth king of the Natra Kingdom, he was also a great man since an early age just like his highness Wayne. … But, normally all of that is impossible… Yet, here the Natra Royal family who already passed so many generations still have the power over national politics while maintaining their authority and sense…”
Certainly, there were not many countries that could continue like Natra in the continent. Although most of them had talents, not many royal families were still able to lead the national politics like the Natra Kingdom.
In many cases, the longer the dynasty, the less interested the Kings in politics, and the more they indulge in pleasure. Gradually, their authority would fade away, then the country would fell into destruction after someone took over the power.
“Power could easily make people fall. If it was the first generation, he could withstand the temptation because he was the one who drew blood and sweat to found the country. The second and third generations whose country still young might be able to regulate themselves. However, it would become difficult after that. As time goes on, the pain becomes history, and the trace of blood and sweat disappeared… At that time, what remained was the royals and nobles who inherited the houses without suffering.”
Levan sighed heavily.
“Since they are not the one who creates it, they only receive it and since an early age, they are being made to think such a thing as a natural thing but, why could they restrain themselves so much? Not to mention, since the time they had settled their thought, they had been whispered by the surrounding that they were a special being…”
“Is it a normal thing to be distorted then?”
“That’s right. If I had to say it without restraint then, as long as the person was a royal, as time goes on, the descendants would be distorted. It was unusual to receive power while restraining oneself from worldly desire.”
That was Levan’s comments toward the Natra Kingdom royal families who had not been distorted even after so many time passed.
“If you think about it, the founder, King Salema was also had his own personal history regarding this… As expected, it seems to be inherited by blood huh? Our ancestor Raleigh, he had a keen insight to choose Natra at that time. By supporting Natra, one day we should be able to achieve our dearest wish.—”
Ninim interrupted Levan’s words which had began to heat up.
Realizing that, Levan cleared his throat and returned the topic.
“…. Anyway… I understand about the marriage… It seems we need more time. For the time being, I will return to his majesty side…”
The King was currently retreating away from the court due to illness, and Levan was being entrusted to manage that side. Therefore, it was rare for him to appear in the court these days.
“I understand that he is very busy due to work but, please do tell his highness Wayne to come and visit soon. Though Her Highness Franya had visited every day, sometimes his majesty also wants to see his son’s face too…”
“I understand, I will relay the message.”
Levan turned his back and went away.
After seeing him off, Ninim sighed.
“Is the conversation over already?”
Due to the sudden voice from behind, Ninim was literally jumped in surprise.
When he looked back, a boy was standing there. He was the same age as Ninim, or a bit younger… Somehow, he had a low presence in him but, his hair was silver and his eyes were crimson red— He was also a Fulham.
“You’re too careless, Ninim. Aren’t you also has the duty to be Wayne’s guard?”
“… I would’ve noticed the presence if the other opponent is not you.”
Ninim told the boy while also adjusting her disturbed breath.
“Anyway, Nanaki, stop calling his highness name casually in a place where people might listen…”
“We’re the only one around here, you know?”
“That kind of conceit will give birth to a terrible mistake.”
“As usual, you’re still annoying, Ninim.”
“You… Oh well…”
Ninim, who thought that the conversation won’t advance if they continue like that, decided to suppress her irritation even though her face ended up looking stiff…
“More importantly, do you need something from me? Since it seems you can’t say it in front of Levan-sama.”
“No well, the reason why I didn’t come out and join the conversation was because I didn’t like him…”
“… So, what is your purpose coming to me?”
“I want you to meet Franya.”
“Her highness Franya?”
Ninim blinked her eyes repeatedly due to the unexpected words…
Franya Elk Albarest. The Princess of the Natra Kingdom.
Two years younger compared to Wayne, she was a cheerful and kind person, who was loved by everyone in the royal palace.
And this Nanaki Raleigh was the Fulham who was selected to be her escort.
“Come to think of it, I’ve been busy and haven’t seen you guys for a while… Did her highness need me for something?”
“No, Franya did not call for Ninim…”
Nanaki shook his head in response and said…
“I don’t know why but, Franya looked depressed lately. Then, Holy said she should talk with Ninim…”
Holy was a chamberlain who always took care of Franya. Unlike Nanaki, she was very good at sensing human subtleties.
Ninim then thought why she wanted her to come, and one thing comes to mind…
“… Ah, I see, about that huh?”
Realizing something, she then turned her gaze at Nanaki.
“Where is her highness Franya right now?”
“Right now, she should be in her private study.”
“Let us head there then…”
Ninim together with Nanaki then went to Franya’s private room.