The reception room was quickly being arranged.
After all, the other person was the prince of the Empire. Just because he had come suddenly, it was not a reason for them to turn him back.
Fortunately, the reception room had already been prepared to welcome Louwellmina before this, so Franya was able to meet Dimetrio almost immediately.
However, during the meeting of Franya and Dimetrio, another person was there… Of course, that person was Louwellmina, who had come first…
“… Why are you here, Louwellmina?”
That was Dimetrio first words after he entered the room.
“Why, even if you asked me that…”
Louwellmina who was already inside the room from the start shrugged her shoulders.
“I come to have a fun tea party with princess Franya. Rather, why Onii-sama come here so suddenly? Don’t you think it was a lack of courtesy to come without an appointment first?”
“What did you say?!”
Sparks are scattered between the princess and the prince. The one who stopped that nervously was Franya.
“I don’t mind, so please don’t worry about it. Rather than that, prince Dimetrio, for what reason does the prince come here?”
Prompted by that question, Dimetrio turned away from Louwellmina while still being in a bad mood.
“”… I have no special reason for my visit today. I want to bring a proposal to Natra.”
“A proposal? What…”
Franya glanced at Ninim but it seems she also has no idea about it. Louwellmina seems the same, and her eyes also showed interest in what he was going to say.
And while everyone eyes pointed toward Dimetrio, he declared…
“— Princess Franya, be my wife.”
*Hah?* Everyone, except Dimetrio, showed a blank face.
After a few seconds in silence, Franya tried to confirm what he said…
It wasn’t a mistake. Franya then continues asking despite the shock.
“That, umm… Why so suddenly?”
“During the party, I was a bit thoughtless…”
Perhaps he had already think about what he was going to say. Since Dimetrio response was very smooth.
“Right now, we’re in a turbulent time, the alliance between my Empire and Natra is important. I thought I need to do this to make our relationship stronger.”
It does make sense. However, even so, it was too sudden.
(This, there’s some other motive, right?)
(I’m sure of it, 9 out of 10.)
Franya and Ninim exchanged glances. In particular, Ninim was deeply thinking about the attack of the previous night.
(To ask for marriage, and the sudden visit… It’s hard to believe that all of this is not related to the previous attack…)
Most likely, Dimetrio had ordered the attack.
His purpose was to crack the relationship between Natra and Louwellmina.
However, the attack was stopped by Nanaki, and now, he was using the marriage to pull Natra away from Louwellmina. That was what Ninim had thought.
However, the impression inside Louwellmina was different.
(No matter what, the evil intention is visible…)
Louwellmina has known Dimetrio since childhood. That was why she didn’t think his bold action was motivated only by political factors.
And in fact, Louwellmina’s guess was right.
(As a wife, she would be my possession. No matter how I torment her, no one would blame me.)
The political gains were only an excuse. He only wants to punish Franya who had embarrasses him. That dark desire was what motivated Dimetrio.
(If she gets in the way, I can just clean her up using illness or accidental death as a pretext…)
In fact, if Prince Wayne gets angry, he could use it as a reason to crush Natra.
(That Wayne, he is nothing but a small fry who gets his fame by luck, to begin with. If I get his head, those stupid people should finally be able to properly evaluate who is actually more worthy…)
That was what Dimetrio had thought. He imagined all the praise toward himself. And the first step for that was this marriage.
“… I understand prince Dimetrio’s feeling.”
Meanwhile, Franya was desperately thinking.
“I sincerely appreciate your highness proposal for the relationship between the two countries.”
Franya was a royalty. She had thought that she would eventually marry a person whom she knew nothing for political reasons. When that day comes, even if it threw her into bewilderment, she won’t refuse.
However, the one Franya marry will be decided by her father or her brother who was the regent. and all of that also after discussing it with the influential vassals. She cannot make her own judgment in this regard.
“I shall inform my home country about this right away. After discussing it, I will reply to your highness.”
Therefore, Franya had no choice but to respond like that. It was an extremely common reply.
However, Dimetrio stacks up more surprises…
“No, I want to get a reply now…”
“I don’t want extra worry, and wish to concentrate on the princes’ talk.”
Even with that reason, it was too unreasonable.
Louwellmina then interrupted…
“Onii-sama, that is very unreasonable.”
“I’m not speaking to you!”
Dimetrio silence Louwellmina with strong pressure. As she was listening, Franya shoulder was quivering.
Dimetrio then turned toward Franya once again.
“It is clear that this marriage is in the interest of both nations. There should be no reason to refuse. Am I right?”
*This is bad*, Ninim thought. If this story was being raised in the home country, there would be an unnecessary discussion and there might be an obstruction. That was why Dimetrio going to push it through. But, it would be dangerous to accept such a proposal here…
(Your Highness Franya…!)
Ninim warns her from nodding due to pressure…
However, at this time, Franya could not afford to be aware of Ninim. She was being overwhelmed by Dimetrio pressure. Of course, it was no wonder. She was just a teenage girl who had to face an adult.
(W-What should I do… What should I say?)
Anxiety and Fear started to appear inside her heart, but unexpected support appeared at the last minute.
“Now, Princess Franya!”
Dimetrio raised his voice.
“Since Prince Wayne is not here, the princess should make the decision!”
At that moment, it was as if Franya was being struck by lightning.
Dimetrio might have said those words to pressure her further…
However, he didn’t know. For Franya, those words were like divine grace.
(… That’s right, I am here in place of my elder brother…)
She has a role entrusted to her by her respected elder brother.
When she thinks that, the fear in her body started to disappear, and instead of confusion, her mind had become calm.
(Besides, my brother should be able to easily block this kind of pressure…)
Then, she remembered…
How did her beloved elder brother had survived this kind of pressure…
(That’s right if it’s Nii-sama then—…)
Seeing her smile, Dimetrio was flustered. It was just a normal girl’s smile. That was how it was supposedly but, for some reason he felt he had hit a hard wall.
“I can understand the circumstance… However, the marriage between the royal family must be involved in national politics. It is not something that I, or your highness, could make the decision on our own…”
“W-What did you say?!”
From her cold words, he couldn’t feel any fear from it.
On the contrary, Franya was able to observe Dimetrio with a calm mind.
(That’s right, I’ve participated in the parliamentary assembly too…)
The civil council she had visited. Many speeches she had heard there… What kind of gesture will attract attention? What kind of narrative one should speak so that the other side naturally hear? What do the speakers think and what are they trying to appeal?
That short but in-depth experience, it was not difficult for her to decipher the intent and mind of Dimetrio.
(I understand. This person impatience and embarrassment…)
From Dimetrio’s point of view, it was no wonder he feels that way. The girl that was about to break recovered in a blink of an eye… Though there was no way he could notice that his words were the reason for that…
In fact, Franya’s change was a surprise for Ninim and Louwellmina as well.
(No way, at the last minutes, she could recover…)
(During the party as well, she showed this kind of change… As expected of Wayne’s little sister huh?)
Each of them admired her… After all, the change in Franya was that dramatic.
“… No matter what, that is the only reply I could give right now…”
Franya then felt the anger growing in Dimetrio.
Being asked to marry a prince, one should happily jump on it. Dimetrio didn’t even imagine that he would be refused or be put on hold. That was why Dimetrio felt his self-esteem was being attacked…
“There are many other candidates who wish to become my wife. It is my sincere intention to go here and propose marriage to the princess. And yet, you’re trying to disrespect me huh?!”
The blazing angry eyes were being directed toward Franya.
“Disrespect? There’s no such thing. This is a serious matter which might influence the relationship between both countries. I am convinced of your highness sincerity, that is why I need to carefully consult with the people in my home country…”
However, that angry gaze could not break Franya today…
(Dimetrio has no chance of winning anymore…)
Louwellmina who was watching from the side judges that. She then opened her mouth.
“Onii-sama, enough already. no matter how much you repeated the question, the answer would still be the same…”
This was Louwellmina’s way of trying to help Dimetrio. Of course, the reason why she helps him was because she also didn’t want to continue the boring question where the answer would always be the same.
“Shut up, you be silent!”
But, Dimetrio cuts off Louwellmina’s help.
“This is my discussion with Princess Franya! There’s no room for outsiders to speak!”
As such, Louwellmina has no choice but to stop talking.
Then Dimetrio stares at Franya.
“Fine then, to think I would be humiliated this far! I’ve also decided then! When I become the Emperor, I will deal with Natra the same way you did to me!”
It was a declaration that in the future, the alliance would be broken… With how much passion Dimetrio speaks, even Franya felt startled.
“Fuh, are you changing your mind now? But it is too late, I shall make you regret—…”
At that time…
A situation that no one had expected happened…
“— If it is involving Natra then, I want you to let us join in!”
The door was opened vigorously.
Everyone in the room stopped moving and directed their gaze at the door.
Obviously. The person who appeared there was someone who should not be here…
“Pleased to meet you, first imperial prince, Dimetrio.”
As the person entered the room, he respectfully called him and smiled…
“I’m the prince of the Natra Kingdom, Wayne Salema Albarest.”