The next day. My maid, Mary, wakes me up early in the morning. I rub my sleepy eyes and sit down in front of the mirror to do my hair. This blonde drill curl is quite challenging to achieve.
“…This hairstyle is a pain in the ass. I think I’ll straighten it.”
“Please don’t, my lady. You have magnificent curls. It would be outrageous to make this straight.”
“Is that so?”
I chuckled as I said that, and I could see Mary laughing through the mirror.
“…But still…what’s this message from His Majesty the King?”
“This could be serious; you must show some respect, my lady.”
“….I’m just kidding. I know.”
An early morning summons to the royal castle. Well, nine odds out of ten, it’s probably because of what happened yesterday.
“…Beheading or something?”
“I doubt he would do that. Even if he has the authority, he wouldn’t be able to punish the only daughter of this kingdom’s grand duke for anything more than a fight between kids.”
“Isn’t that overly-optimistic?”
“Isn’t it? That little bastard saying to my little lady, ‘I liked Lily better,’ and other such words worthy of death. Shall we instead just break off the engagement? I can advise your father you would like to do this.”
“I can’t just break off the engagement.”
“Well…in the first place, while this engagement was His Majesty’s desire, your father was very reluctant. I believe it’d be easy for the young lady to break it off if she wanted to.”
“…is that so?”
“Yes, miss. The Smola royal family’s defeat in the previous war with the Raj Empire reduced their collective power. The royal family can’t ignore the Salbert’s, who came out almost unscathed. This family has many allies. To be honest, there isn’t much merit in marrying into the royal family for the Salberts, so this engagement isn’t really beneficial. The master will be happy to break it off.”
“…then why did he accept it?”
“The young lady said, ‘Married to Prince Zeke! Father! I want to marry Prince Zeke!’ while jumping up and down for joy.”
Seriously… self-sabotage, huh? I remembered Mary and the servants’ faces when I woke up this morning, so why can’t I remember much about myself?
“…Rather, I was wondering about the lady’s attitude yesterday. How could you behave like that to the prince whom you liked so much?”
“… I guess I am a little selfish, huh?
“How is the young lady selfish?
“Huh? Aren’t I? His Highness was the one who said so yesterday.”
“… Well, in dealing with His Highness… But such behavior is only natural for a maiden in love. I think it’s charming. Rather, it’s His Highness’s attitude towards the young lady that I question. I doubt the caliber of the man he’ll become.”
“… Mary, you’re quite spiteful towards His Highness.”
“Of course. He lashed out like that at the lovely young lady. If he weren’t the prince, I would have stamped out the most important part of his manhood.”
“Of course. So… how are you selfish, Miss? Rather, isn’t the young lady a person who is fair-minded and righteous? Who treats the bad with the bad and the good with the good, regardless of status? And that son of a bitch–Well, I suppose, in my humble opinion, you are more equipped to be a royal than his highness.”
“… Thank you, but can you stop being so profane?
So that’s how it was. Alice was that kind of character. I didn’t know that until now, but… Huh? You’re a better person than I thought, Alice.
“So, I’m not a selfish person, then?”
“You’re selfish, Miss.”
Either I”m selfish or I”m not. Which is it?
“But it’s an age-appropriate kind… something like ‘I want my cake!’ or ‘I don’t want to go to bed yet!’ And that’s the extent of it. At the age of the young lady, it’s only natural. Instead, the responsibility lies with the head chef, who happily makes the cake when the young lady wants to eat it. The young lady’s lovely appearance has become so plump… Well, the young lady’s beauty won’t change, but it’s still not a very desirable change.”
“I’ll… I’ll be moderate, from now on.”
“Please do so. Then, miss, you are ready to go.”
Finally, Mary gives my hair a light stroke and bows to me. I turn to Mary and lower my head to her.
“Thank you, Mary.”
“Oh, no. It’s my job.”
“But still. Am I… Cute?
“To put it mildly, my lady.”
“Thanks to Mary. Okay, then… I’m off.”
Well, I didn’t intend to get into a fight, but I figured this would be some sort of battle, so I sashayed through the door Mary had opened for me.
AUTHOR NOTE: ‘That was fun!’ I can’t wait to see what happens next! “Hang in there, Alice, hang in there. If you are a person who is a fan of this story, please take a look at it and rate it. … It would be very encouraging, so, please!
EDITOR NOTE: Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this chapter out. I wish I had a good excuse. Really it was just COVID burnout.