” … “
” … “
” … “
I stare at the queen in front of me. Queen Ekaterina’s cold gaze pierces Prince Zeke and me.
She is a twenty-five-year-old, beautiful woman with long beautiful blonde hair, big eyes, and a high nose. She looks like a doll. She is said to be the woman who comforted His Majesty, who was heartbroken after the death of the former Queen Lilliana.
” … Eh, Queen Ekaterina.”
I’ve heard all this … But? In my opinion, there’s something about her I don’t like. From my perspective as Prince Zeke’s mom, working to turn him from an idiot into the best prince he could be, this person is a sinister person who deprived His Highness of education.
Prince Zeke’s voice is also quivering as he calls out to Queen Ekaterina. He’s trembling…
” … Let’s go home, Your Highness Zeke.”
… I can’t deny that I feel letdown. Because Queen Ekaterina…
” … such an anime-ish voice.”
“What did you say, Lady Alice?”
“No, no! It’s nothing!”
I was scared. Queen Ekaterina was a character without even an illustration in the game, so of course, there was no character voice implemented for her (That’s what I’d call “Exciting! School of Love” logic.) I don’t have a clue what kind of character she is, but …
” … Could it be that His Majesty is a pedophile?”
“Hey! What are you talking about!” Prince Zeke whispers.
“I’m sorry … but … “
” … I understand what you mean. I think she could also pass for my sister, you know.”
Prince Zeke responded to my whispered voice by poking me in the side with his elbow and saying such a thing. No, because … His Majesty’s taste in women is strange to be soothed by this lolita.
” … “
Once again, I look at Queen Ekaterina. I described her earlier as ‘like a doll’… Seriously, this person is of indeterminate age. I guess you could say she’s in her early teens, right? I do have a thing for His Majesty, and if this is his taste, there’s still a chance for me, but…
” … A real-life pedophile is no thanks, though.”
” … yeah, I understand, but … you can’t say that. It’s disrespectful.”
Is she a cold, aloof Lolita? This is where I feel the disappointment of ‘Exciting! School of Love.’ It should have brought this kind of character to the fore a bit more…
” … What are the two of you talking about?”
” W-what? It’s nothing!”
“Ha, yes! It’s nothing!”
The two of us hurriedly replied to Queen Ekaterina, and she revealed a slightly quizzical expression in her otherwise expressionless face. However, a moment later, a disinterested voice came out of her mouth again.
” … I see. Then we shall go home, Your Highness. Get ready at once. I have a carriage waiting outside. Lady Alice, thank you for your help.”
With that, Queen Ekaterina stood up as if to say her business was over and plodded toward the door.
“Eh, Queen Ekaterina!”
Prince Zeke hurriedly calls out to her back. Hearing that voice, Queen Ekaterina turns her gaze to him.
” … What?”
“Well, I… I, I … “
” I, I … “
Prince Zeke clammed up, being stared at by such blank eyes in such a blank expression that it was impossible to know what she was thinking.
” … If you don’t have anything to say, we can leave. I don’t have that much time on my hands either.”
” … “
Saying that Queen Ekaterina turns her back again. Wait, wait!
” Oh, Queen Ekaterina!”
” hm, I beg your pardon! His Royal Highness… His Highness is at home, and he is going to be studying!”
“Oh, you don’t have to… “
“Your Highness doesn’t need to study. What Lady Alice did was a perfect kidnapping. The Duke came to apologize, so I’ll forgive you this time. But there will be no second time. Do you understand?”
Queen Ekaterina tilts her head. That figure is exceptionally adorable. Adorable, but … What you are saying is very scary.
“That, it’s … “
“Queen Ekaterina! Lady Alice is not bad! I… I… I’m the one who came along! So, that … “
” … Then I won’t punish Lady Alice. But I’ll punish you for it. If you do this to me a second time … What a nuisance.”
Prince Zeke’s face contorts with regret. Such a painfilled expression on his face, that expression of great sadness.
” … Why does Queen Ekaterina say Prince Zeke does not need to study?”
It’s kind of —very, very frustrating.
“When I say you don’t need it, you don’t need it.”
“Please tell us why!”
“Such disrespect. No matter that you are the daughter of the Salbert family… This is not the way to talk to a queen.”
” … But … “
” … To begin with, Lady Alice. You have no right to ask such a question.”
Queen Ekaterina who says such things with a bored look on her face. You know, as if she’s dealing with a trivial issue—to say that she wasn’t interested in me.
“—I have the right to ask.”
—I was unequivocally angry.
“Yes, I do! Because—”
If you think about it, you have the right to ask, of course.
“—I’m Prince Zeke’s fiancée! My future husband … If his stepmother is mistreating him, I won’t let it slide!”
—Yeah, this will make heads fly. Like, literally flying. But it’s… It made me sad. I mean, he looks so sad. I didn’t want that look on Prince Zeke’s face.
“So … I ask you as Prince Zeke’s fiancée, Queen Ekaterina. Why … Why don’t you let him—who wants to study—study?!”
Out of the corner of my eye, I see Prince Zeke looking at me with a startled look on his face. It’s okay, Your Highness!
” … I’m surprised. I didn’t imagine you were capable of speaking to me in such a way.”
Queen Ekaterina looks at me with no expression as usual, and Prince Zeke looks at me with anxiety.
” … I’ll protect you, Your Highness.”
At the words that only Prince Zeke could hear, his eyes widened. The way he looked at me was kind of cute and … Yes, this must be what maternal love is all about. It’s okay! I’ll take care of you!
” … Well, Lady Alice has a point.”
” … “
“Regardless of what happens in the future … if you become ‘queen,’ you need to be aware. So I’ll tell you.”
Queen Ekaterina continued. “—His Highness Prince Zeke is already clever enough, so…”
“You don’t have to study to be a king right now. Even without studying such things, Prince Zeke is already a good enough person to be a king. For now, you can play. There’s no need to only think about studying and learning.”
“Uh, uh … Huh? Oh, Queen Ekaterina? The … “
” … What’s going on?”
“Eh, Queen Ekaterina. That … Queen Ekaterina… You think I’m worthy of the crown? That I’m capable of being the king’s heir?”
“Of course. Prince Zeke is intelligent and capable of probably becoming the best king in the kingdom’s history. Prince Allen is surely a lucky man to be able to serve such a highness. Prince Zeke… Even though he’s a half-brother, I hope you will love Allen, too.”
“Yes, that’s, of course. Of course. … “
A little bit of hesitation. Still, I took the plunge.
” … Queen Ekaterina … Are you saying that because Prince Allen is not cute?”
“Of course, he’s cute.”
“So, then … I mean, wouldn’t you be more than happy to have Prince Allen as king?”
” What, when you say why … I mean … “
“I would be more than happy to have Prince Zeke as king. His Highness is Prince Allen’s brother.”
“So, but you said Prince Allen was cute!”
“Prince Allen is cute. But.”
— Prince Zeke is just as cute, if not cuter.
” … “
” … What’s wrong?”
No… What’s wrong? And …
“… Well… “
—Huh? What do you mean?