I’m Cinderella’s sister, but I’m reluctantly going to marry the Prince.

Author: Yuzu Lemon
Raw: https://ncode.syosetu.com/n0540gn/

Translator Note: Though the author created this as a single “chapter” story, I’ve uploaded it in parts as it’s about 23 pages long in English. Scroll down for the links to the parts or keep scrolling to read the entire story on this page.


Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5


I’m Cinderella’s sister, but I’m reluctantly going to marry the Prince.

The prince kneels and places a glass slipper on the girl’s foot. The glass shoes fit the girl’s feet perfectly as if they were tailor-made.

“So it was you … my destined princess …!”

Prince Francis, the crown prince of this country, was the man whispering words of love to my step-sister. Is this the beginning of a happy ending? I thought that while next to me, my mother and sister were stomping on the ground in frustration.

But I never imagined that the girl who sashayed into the ball held for the prince to select a bride was my step-sister, Ella. My mother and sister call her “Ash-Head Cinderella,” but Ella is truly beautiful. It’s no wonder the prince was so taken with her.

“Now, let’s go to the castle and have our wedding!”

Prince Francis is holding Ella’s hand with a twinkle in his eye. But in contrast, Ella… for some reason, looks unhappy. What on earth is wrong with you… And the moment I was about to call out to her–

“I’m here to pick you up, my beautiful honey.”

A man dressed in pitch-black robes on a broom suddenly appeared, riding a broom through the window pane. No matter how you look at it, he is suspicious. Can I charge him for the glass repair later?

Yet, as soon as Ella saw him, her eyes lit up, and she ran to him.

“Wizard! I knew you’d come!!”

“I wouldn’t leave you, would I? So then, let’s go on an endless magical journey together!”

“Yes ♡”

That’s… Ella. Why are you hugging the suspicious man? And what a never-ending magical journey!

“Wait… Wait a minute, Ella!”

“Adelina… You are the only one in this house who has been kind to me. I wish you all the best forever.”

“No, no, not me… What about the prince? And the castle? The wedding?”

When I hurriedly called out to Ella, her eyes grew watery with sadness. As soon as her gaze turned towards the prince, Ella let out a ridiculous bombshell.

“I’m sorry, Prince! I’m very much in love with the Wizard!”

“…………eh?”

“So, I can’t be your princess! You’re a wonderful prince, and I’m sure you’ll find a wonderful bride!”

“Ella, wait!”

“Goodbye, everyone! I am happy! Please forgive my selfishness!”

Before we could stop them, Ella and the wizard straddled the broom and flew out of our house at breakneck speed. The castle’s retainers came to their senses and chased after them, but it was too late. The two disappeared into the clouds.

Happily ever after. It’s impossible, right?

“What are we going to do about this…”

“I’ve already sent a message pigeon to the castle saying ‘the prince has found his soul mate’…”

“If we return home empty-handed, it’ll be a disgrace for generations to come…!”

The assembled vassals whispered to each other with indignant expressions.

Impossible. The destined princess ran away from the charming prince…How can they hide this? When people find out, the whole country…No, even other countries would laugh at him.

But the situation has already reached a point where there is no turning back. What are they going to do? 

The prince looked up from his sullen stupor. With a piercing, world-hating stare…he turned straight to me.

“… Hey, you.”

“Yes!”

“You’re… Are you her sister?

“Yes, my name is Adelina.”

Prince Francis walked briskly up to me and grabbed my wrist with a firm grip. It hurts. It hurts like hell. I’m sure he’s mad at me…!

“I’m taking this girl home.”

“What…?”

“You don’t have the right to refuse. Just shut up and be my bride.”

If the circumstances were different, I might have been all aflutter at the prospect of a handsome prince claiming me as his bride. But now I didn’t have the luxury to do so. ‘You don’t have the right to refuse,’ as he said, this is a threat. The prince came to my house to find his dream princess. If he takes me back and says, “This is the person whose glass slipper was a perfect fit,” it will settle the matter. If I disobeyed, he could strip away my title, and my family purged. It was truly dead or alive. I didn’t want to die here, so all I could do was nod my head like a puppet.

… Huh? How did this happen?

Thus, I, who was only Cinderella’s ordinary step-sister, married the prince just to preserve his appearance after the destined princess ran away from him.

***

And so they brought me to the castle. I was basically kidnapped. Lo and behold, everything was already set up for the wedding. This prince is moving too fast. How much did he want to marry Ella?

“Is that the one Prince Francis is destined to marry?”

“I don’t know…”

“She’s more plain-looking than I expected…”

Um, I can hear you…?

Unable to say anything, I was thrown into the waiting room, prickled by curious stares.

“Damn, the dress is too tight…! I made it in the exact measurements that the prince ordered!”

I nearly vomited as the corset tightened to the point that my insides almost popped out. The wedding dress that the prince had made for Ella was too tight for me. Isn’t it a bit too much of a challenger to make a dress by eye measurement alone, Prince? This is probably very tight, even for petite Ella.

I managed to squeeze my standard-size body into the dress and stand with Prince Francis at the front door of the chapel. It’s probably only been a few hours since the prince became aware of my presence. I glance to the side and see that he looks like he could kill someone just by looking at them. Honestly, I’m scared.

“Look, Evelina,”

“My name is Adelina.”

“I don’t care what your name is. Anyway, you were spotted by me on the day of that ball. And the glass slipper was perfect for you, okay?”

Okay? I like to ask him, ‘What do you think?’ but he probably has no intention of listening to me. The answer is ‘yes’ or ‘yes.’ If I refuse, death will follow. I know perfectly well that the only answer is ‘Yes, of course.’

“All is ready, prince.”

You were a kitten in front of Ella, and now you’re an obnoxious, rude prince in front of me. What a scam. I’m glad Ella didn’t fall for this guy.

How can I think that like this is someone else’s problem?

“His Highness Prince Francis and his princess are now entering!”

With the booming sound of trumpets, we quietly made our way through the chapel.

Oh, isn’t the Prince’s destined princess quite plain…? I’ve gotten used to being pierced by those stares.

In sickness and in health, or something like that. The vows ended with a depressing feeling, and in the blink of an eye, it was time for the kiss of vows.

The prince brushes away my veil with a rough hand.

His gaze is cold. I can feel the reluctance in his eyes. But I’m also reluctant. Or rather, I think I’m being treated much more unreasonably than you are? While I’m thinking about this, the prince’s face moves closer.

My forehead? Maybe a cheek? What a surprise, he defied my expectations and gave me a firm kiss on the lips!

Ah, goodbye, my first kiss. It was too sudden to have any particular impressions.

Thus, my wedding ended in a very disappointing way.

***

I wish they had just left me alone, but it was the night of the wedding – or the wedding night.

Prince Francis came to me as I was lounging in my bedroom. I couldn’t possibly ask him to leave, so I decided to make him a cup of tea.

“There’s something I want to tell you… Listen, don’t ever think that you’re going to get my love.”

“I understand.”

I don’t want the prince’s love, so it’s okay. I only participated in the prince’s ball to meet a worthy partner from among the participants.

Prince Francis mumbled something as if he was caught off guard when I readily agreed to it. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, so I might as well just say what I wanted to say.

“Prince, this marriage is an accident … it’s like an accident.”

“… That’s right.”

“So the prince is welcome to forget about me. You are free to do as you please, whether you take a mistress or someone on the side.”

“… Hmm?”

“For now, if you can just provide me with the necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, I will promise to be quiet. When the situation has cooled down, you may divorce me if you wish. And…”

I fell to my knees on the ground, bowing deeply before the prince, who was pompously reclining on the sofa.

“My unworthy sister has caused you problems…I apologize for this inconvenience.”

It’s mostly the prince’s fault that he ran too far ahead and couldn’t backtrack, but it’s true that Ella, who eloped with the wizard, lacked decorum.

At any rate, I felt sorry as a sister, and also for the sake of self-preservation (important here), I decided to apologize to the prince.

There was no response from Prince Francis. 

Eh, this atmosphere could be dangerous…? Just when I was beginning to think that, a quiet voice came down from above.

“Raise your face.”

I slowly raised my face, and the prince looked kind of… He looked a little awkward.

“I mean, it’s not your fault. Why are you apologizing to me like that.”

“The fact is that my sister is the cause of this fiasco. This is my apology as Ella’s sister.”

Also, it’s a good idea to make an apology. If the Prince ever wants to take my head, I hope he will remember how I got down on my knees today and stop. However, it’s a bit of a gamble.

“… Enough. I’ll do what I want. You do what you want, too.”

With that said, the prince lay down on the big sofa, turning his back on me. I watched him for a while, but he didn’t move from there. This is… Does this mean he’s going to sleep in here tonight?

I should have said, “I’ll sleep on the couch, and the prince can use the bed!” Then again… I am tired, too. I would prefer to fall asleep on a soft bed, not the couch, if possible.

It was time to go to bed, and I checked on the prince.

Okay, no change. I turn off the light… No change. I can assume that this is going to stay that way for the rest of the night. I have to admit, I’m relieved. No matter how high in status and handsome he is, I don’t want to share a bed with someone I don’t particularly like.

“… Good night.”

For some reason, I said that out of my usual habit.

He probably didn’t hear me anyway… But then a soft voice comes back from the darkness.

“… yeah.”

… Oh, God. I’m tired, but I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

***

My life as a princess began the day after the wedding… But I have nothing to do. The schedule is blank. Prince Francis intends to discard me soon, so I suppose he thinks it’s useless to give me a royal education. What a wise decision. I’m almost in tears of gratitude.

“How may I help you today, Your Highness?”

“Ummm… Well, then, can you show me around this detached palace?”

I should know where to go and what to do in my spare time so that I can live a fulfilling royal lifestyle. While having a nervous maid guide me to the palace given to me, I search for a place where I can make effective use of it. After she showed me around, we took a break, and I gently asked the maid.

“In the afternoon… I’d like to go fishing.”

“What?”

The maid blinks her eyes.

Well, there’s… The outside of the palace connects to a forest with a natural river running through it that looked good.

As a royal NEET with nothing in particular to do, I would take it easy by fishing in the sun, experimenting with growing vegetables in my garden, and building a ranch in a vast open space.

Huh… I had always longed for a life like this. When I reluctantly married the prince, I didn’t know what would happen, but I’m honestly happy to have found my dream life.

Thank you, Ella. I would love to know how you are doing, so please send me a letter once in a while.

But this lazy life of mine is only for a limited time until the prince, and I get divorced. When we get divorced, will I get any alimony? If possible, I would like to have land in the country. I would spend the rest of my life in the great outdoors. I have big ambitions. To that end, I should mollify the prince to some extent, and make arrangements so that negotiations in the event of a divorce will be as favorable as possible.

I had just baked a carrot cake while thinking about this when Prince Francis appeared.

“Is there anything troubling you… I came to ask, but from the looks of it, you seem to be doing fine.”

“You’re right.”

Watching me bake a cake while laughing with my maids, the prince seemed to understand at once that I was enjoying my royal NEET life. I stopped the prince as he was about to leave and offered him a piece of freshly made carrot cake. The idea was to boost my favorability with the gift to help the divorce negotiations go well. I hope the prince doesn’t notice.

“I hope you like it.”

I wondered if he’d say no… But the prince unexpectedly ate the cake.

” It has a unique taste. What kind of cake is this?”

” It’s a carrot cake.”

“Carrot…You mean this is made with a carrot?

The prince suddenly stood up with such force that his chair fell over, and I practically jumped out of my skin. As I slumped over, the maidservant, who had turned bright blue, softly whispered in my ear.

“I’m sorry, Princess…! I completely forgot, but the prince doesn’t like carrots very much…!”

You have to give me that information first!… What can I do after the fact?

The prince quivered and turned bright red. Oh, this confirmed my execution, I am sure of it. Goodbye, my short life. In my next life, I want to be born to a wealthy farmer’s daughter or something. Nevermind the contradiction.

“You said this is… carrots?”

“Yes, these are the carrots I grew in the garden of the detached palace.”

I was now desperate, and I gave him a babbling explanation as if I were a full-fledged chef. However, the prince never says, “Cut this woman’s head off!” On the contrary….

“You can make something so delicious with carrots…!”

… Could it be that you like the taste of commoner food? An elite chef who works at the palace wouldn’t cook such a rustic dish, right?

“… You really are an unusual girl, Carolina.”

The prince smiled happily as he said that. I think I might have been thrilled by his expression…If only he hadn’t gotten my name wrong.

‘Prince, I am very sorry to inform you, but my name is Adelina, not Carolina.

***

 After that carrot cake incident, the prince began to visit the detached palace where I live from time to time. The prince seems to be busy. Maybe he’s jealous of my NEET life.

At the very least, out of compassion, I serve the prince a homemade, rustic-smelling pastry every time he comes. He surprisingly seems to like these flavors. He usually eats only the finest food, so I guess it’s unique flavors for him.

Just as I was enjoying my peaceful days like that, a storm suddenly arrived one day.

“Next month, we will be welcoming a delegation from the south to our country. You should attend the party, too.”

“Huh…”

No, no, no, is it okay to put me in such an important place? I was sure that he was about to replace me with a competent mistress, but I wondered if that was not the case.

“Um, would I be capable of fulfilling such a large role?”

” Are you worried? Then I’ll arrange for a teacher to come here tomorrow.”

No, no, no, don’t educate me, just take someone else instead of me… Oh, dear, I couldn’t tell him I was unwilling. I can’t help it. I am a little more than a decoration, but I will try my best for Prince Francis. So, I hope he doesn’t blame me if I fail.

The next day, my impromptu princess training began. That said, compared to a real princess education, it was child’s play. When bowing, you have to bend from the waist and not just your head, and other stuff on that level. I am originally a modest but aristocratic daughter, too. The minimum level of manners is already ingrained in me.

“How are you doing, Nidorina?”

Adelina, Prince…What an unnecessary thing to get into; it’s not worth it anymore. I smiled and let the prince’s misunderstanding pass.

“I’ve heard about your progress from your teacher. I know you will not make any terrible mistakes in public appearances.”

That was good… I’m not sure if I can say that it was a good evaluation. However, if I pass the test, it’s fine.

As it turned out, the reception ended without a hitch.

“For a princess met through fate, she’s pretty plain, isn’t she…?” I have already gotten used to the piercing gazes like that, so I no longer pay attention to it.

“Well done, Katerina. I heard that the goodwill ambassador of the southern country was very pleased with you.”

I received a compliment from the prince. With this, my neck remains connected. Huh.

But it’s not like I’ve done anything praiseworthy. Originally a plain-looking person compared to my sister and sister-in-law, I didn’t go out to social gatherings very often, and my daily routine was to read the books I borrowed from the library. As a result, I have a mountain of miscellaneous, unimportant information in my head. And this time, the goodwill ambassador over there happened to share the same hobby as me. But that’s all. If he had been a gleeful extrovert, my reputation would have been tainted. It was dangerous.

But following this welcome party, my NEET life changed.

“Look, Princess. So many invitations!”

“Everyone wants to have a friendship with the wise and famous princess!”

Wow, please don’t send me invitations. I’m not much of a social butterfly! What’s more, a wise princess … a ridiculous rumor is spreading. I’m sure people will be very disappointed if they see the real thing.

But if I ignore all these invitations, I might inadvertently offend some important people. If that happens, my life would be hanging by a thread. I don’t want that. An amicable divorce would give me the country life I’ve always wanted!

… It’s no use. At best, I’ll attend and embarrass myself. They only invited me out of curiosity anyway, and once they meet me and are disappointed, they won’t invite me again. I’m also the prince’s wife, and I want to believe that they won’t treat me that badly.

“Can you sort the invitations in order of priority? I don’t think I’ll be able to attend all of them.”

“Understood!”

… Sigh. Prince, please hurry up and find a replacement for me, please.

***

Against all expectations, the invitations to me did not decrease. On the contrary, the more time passed, the more they started to increase. I thought they wouldn’t invite me again once I attended, but I was very wrong. Hah, I don’t understand these people.

“… You look tired, Karina.”

I forced myself to smile too much at the invited tea party, and my face became sore. The prince came to the detached palace and laughed at me as I collapsed with twitching cheeks.

“You’re doing well. Would you like to go to the summer villa for a week or so?”

After all, he’s willing to take me to a summer villa owned by the Royal Palace. I would be happy if I could leave here, even if only for a week.

I nodded without a second thought.

Mountain! River! Lake! Nature! At the detached palace, I finally regained my energy.

I was worried that if I came here, I’d have to worry about entertaining him or something, but fortunately, the prince set me free. Maybe he just came with me because he has a mistress over here.

Hmm, it’s a nice place to be, nonetheless.

If I successfully get a divorce, please give me this detached palace …as a consolation prize, is it too greedy? I was thinking about such luxuries as I cooked a dish of wild vegetables.

On the last night of my stay, the prince invited me to walk by the lake with him. Oh, is this finally the reveal of his mistress’ existence? I was thrilled, but the prince showed no sign of broaching the subject any time soon.

“There is a small boat. Let’s ride together.”

Oh, you’re taking us to a place where no one can overhear? As expected of a prince. He’s a tactician. The prince and I got in a small wooden boat, and we paddled out to the lake.

… It’s about the center of the lake. As expected, no one will hear us here, right? I was waiting for the prince to bring up his mistress, but for some reason, he said something completely unrelated.

“Look up.”

What in the world is this all about, I wondered, but I looked up. 

I couldn’t help but squeal with delight at the sight that appeared there. The sky above me was filled with stars. Looking closely, countless stars were reflected on the surface of the lake, making it the beautiful sight I have ever seen.

“It’s a rare occasion to see such a beautiful starry sky… I’m glad I got to see it with you.”

“It’s wonderful. Thank you, Prince.”

Maybe this was the prince’s way of rewarding me for my recent exhaustion. I decided to interpret it favorably. I would be even happier if you would also tell me about your mistress if possible!

Oh, a shooting star!

Maybe it was just that kind of time of year, but several shooting stars were drifting across the night sky.

“Did you know, prince? It’s said if you make a wish three times before the shooting star disappears, your wish will come true.”

“If that’s the case … let’s hope so.”

Alimony, alimony, alimony!  Next to me, the prince stared at the shooting star and seemed to wish desperately for something. Even if there’s a potential mistress, it’s probably for the prince’s unrequited love.

***

Summer has passed, and autumn has come, and a happy thing has happened. The princess of a small country in the west is visiting our country to sign an alliance – Princess Priscilla. She is as small and lovely as a little bird, and there are signs of romance between her and our Prince Francis!

“Today, they went to the inspection together …”

“I’ve always thought that princess was too attached to Prince Francis!”

“She tried to dance with the prince first, leaving our princess behind … I can’t forgive her!”

The maidservants of the palace are angry at the princess for that. You got mad for me …that’s not good. I’m finally burned out. I was inwardly relieved as I quieted the girls. 

Ella’s rejection must have deeply hurt the prince. Still, he is trying to move forward. It must be Princess Prisila who healed the pain of Prince Francis’s broken heart.

Oh, thank you for cleaning up my unworthy sister’s mess… and as I was basking in this sentiment, the prince who was supposed to be flirting with Princess Prisila came over.

“… Ekaterina, any changes?”

Yeah, nothing changes. As always, the prince doesn’t say my name correctly. It’s you who’s changed, isn’t it?

Today’s the day! Surely I’ll hear a report of his love affair with Princess Priscilla! I was excited at the thought, but for some reason, the prince only talks about small talk that has nothing to do with Princess Priscilla at all…Could it be that he’s being discreet for me?

No, no, no, I’m only a temporary princess to keep up appearances. If an authentic princess appears, I’ll support her with all my might.

With that thought in mind, I decided to talk to him.

“By the way, Prince, Princess Priscilla, who is currently staying here …”

The somewhat reserved prince’s eyes widened in surprise at her name.

Oh, that’s a bingo!

“… what about her?”

“Nothing, Princess Prisila is a charming person … and I understand she’s very close to Prince Francis.”

“She’s the princess of an ally. I don’t want to be disrespected.”

Yeah, I know! So, please give me a report about that …

“Did Princess Prisila come here?”

“No, I have never seen her other than at the welcome banquet..”

“Well … that’s good.”

No, this is not good. Don’t you want her as your princess?

In the end, today’s tea ended, and the prince didn’t talk to me as I had hoped.

As I was about to see the prince off as usual, for some reason, he stepped out of the room and then came back towards me.

Then he held my hand tightly and told me.

“Angelina, if anything changes, let me know immediately.

“Uh, okay……”

“…Don’t worry. I’ll never let them hurt you.”

…???

Before I could understand, the prince turned on his heel and left.

What on earth was that all about?

Is he practicing to propose to Princess Priscilla?

He told me not to worry, but there’s nothing, in particular, to worry about…

“Good for you, my lady!”

“Yes, Prince Francis only needs our princess!”

“That’s right! You two were destined to meet!”

My conscience begins to throb in my heart and at the joyful maids… After all, I’m not supposed to be here.

I’m a substitute princess.

Prince Francis’s love, his gentle smile, and his worried words should be dedicated …to Ella, and now to Princess Priscilla.

… It’s okay. It will be over soon. The prince and the princess will be joined in true love and have an undisputed happy ending.

As a supporting character, I’m going to leave the stage in style.

— ‘Don’t worry about… I’ll never let them hurt you.”

Stop that.

It’s almost as if I’m the secondary character and hope that he’ll love me one day.

I need to be reasonable and step aside before I cling to him so pathetically.

Biting my lip tightly, I decided to do so for sure.

***

A ball will be held at the castle tonight.

The ball…makes me remember that fateful night when Prince Francis and Ella met.

That day, I was up close, seeing the dreamy sight of two people destined to meet.

In a beautiful dress of shades like the Northern Lights, Ella looked like a real princess. I was completely unaware, to my shame, that it was my step-sister whom I see all the time.

The prince fell in love with Ella.

Unfortunately, though, it seems that Ella’s romantic interest was not for the prince, but for the wizard who changed her fate.

The prince’s love, which was cut off before it could blossom, was surely still with him now.

Maybe it’s still making him suffer.

But …that, too, will soon be over.

I’m sure Princess Priscilla will end it.

“Princess, what shall we do about your dress tonight?”

“Well… can you pick something calming for me?”

I’m just a supporting character.

I must not stand in the way of the main character.

I will watch the two of you get together and step aside as if nothing has happened.

Of course, though, I’ll get a decent amount of alimony!

 ◇◇◇

Just like that day, a large number of people attired in their finery fill the castle hall. Among them, Princess Priscilla, dressed in a bright vermilion dress, is the one who catches my eye.

When the prince and I enter side by side, a great deal of applause greets us.

Still, in their hearts, they all think that Priscilla Princess is more suitable for the prince’s consort than…me.

What a paranoid thought.

“Thank you, Prince Francis, for such a very lovely ball!”

Princess Priscilla immediately came over and is happily talking to the prince.

Hah, they do look good together when you see them up close…

”Prince, would you be willing to dance with me?”

The petite Princess Priscilla looked up as she invited the prince to do so.

Her large eyes were bright and lush, and the way her long eyelashes cast shadows was a marvel to behold.

I don’t think she’s the same kind of human as I am.

“I don’t mind, but I’ve decided my first dance will be with my princess.”

The prince slid his arm around my waist as he said that.

No, no, no, don’t worry about me.

Or is this a plan to make Princess Priscilla jealous? You shouldn’t do that kind of thing, because it will seriously hurt the person you did it to!

“Prince, don’t worry about me–“

“I knew it. It’s not right!”

Princess Priscilla’s loud voice drowned out my words for the prince to dance with her.

I blink in surprise, and Princess Priscilla turned to me with her wide eyes…and glared at me.

The prince takes a step forward to protect me as I involuntarily gulp.

Then, the next moment–

“Come to your senses, Prince Francis. That woman has deceived you!”

Princess Priscilla exclaimed, pointing at me with her slender finger.

… Huh?

“When I came to this country, I asked many people about the prince and his princess. Then I heard many interesting stories about her. ‘The princess who appeared at the ball that day was incredibly beautiful. Unlike the current princess,’ they said!”

Princess Priscilla’s large eyes stared at me as if she were avenging her parents that I’d killed.

As for me, on the other hand, I could only dumbly open my mouth, unable to keep up with the current situation.

“According to my magician, he observed a particularly strong magic power that day, and even now, he can feel a faint magic power from the princess…  You understand it by now, right?”

Before I knew it, all was quiet around me.

Princess Priscilla is smiling so adorably that I almost fall in love with her.

But what comes out of her mouth are words that condemn me.

“Princess Adelina is a witch who uses forbidden magic to charm and manipulate Prince Francis! Ladies and gentlemen, we can’t allow such an outrageous thing to happen!”

After a moment in a daze, I was slowly beginning to understand Princess Priscilla’s words.

… Not good. Very bad.

Because what she said was partially correct.

That fateful day… Ella came to the ballroom with the help of a wizard. Those beautiful dresses and glass slippers must have been made by magic. And I… I’m not the person the prince had first met that day.

Well, it’s not surprising that Princess Priscilla would be so mistaken… I can’t help but think that. But there was no way I could say that. If I tell the truth, it would hurt the prince’s honor.

“Why don’t you say something, Princess Adelina?”

Princess Priscilla smiled victoriously.

I… What should I do?

When I thought about it, an idea popped into my head.

… Yes. This could be our chance. I’m sure Prince Francis plans to accept Princess Priscilla as his bride. The only problem with that is the fact that I’m the provisional consort. Even if the prince decides to divorce me, rumors of disgrace will follow.

On the other hand, if I were the “wicked witch who misled the prince with forbidden magic,” the prince would be a one-sided victim. It’s all my fault. Prince Francis and Princess Priscilla will be united in true love and will have a happy ending.

Once I accept Princess Priscilla’s accusations as true, everything will be fine… though, I have no idea if my head will stay connected to my body.

The moment I was about to open my mouth to fully acknowledge Princess Priscilla’s story–

“Is that all you want to say?”

I gulped at the sudden, frosty voice that came out of nowhere.

Eh, I haven’t said anything yet…! But it seems that the target of the prince’s words was not me. Because the person in the destination of his gaze is unmistakably Princess Priscilla with her drawn face.

“So, so that witch–“

“Shut up. If you insult my princess any further, I will not forgive you, even if you are the princess of an ally.”

At the prince’s sharp, blade-like words, Princess Priscilla hurriedly covered her mouth with her hand.

Seeing that, the prince laughs mockingly.

“Hmph, you have enough brain to understand my words. You’ve saved your life. If you continued any further, I would have taken your head.”

No, no, no, let’s not sound like such an unlikable tyrant! Princess Priscilla may have just misunderstood, so let’s just make me look bad and get it over with, okay?

I pulled at his sleeve lightly to say so, and the prince glanced back at me.

Then he laughed softly.

“Don’t worry, Aroelina. I would never let anyone sully you with such muck.”

… Under such circumstances, my heart inadvertently fluttered.

The prince’s smile and words were so destructive that even the fact he still got my name wrong flew away.

Patting my head lightly as I dropped my gaze, the prince looked around in a circle.

“I apologize for this disturbance, everyone… Regarding the suspicions Princess Priscilla had, I will explain them to you.”

I panicked and looked up as I heard these words.

No, you can’t. You have done nothing wrong. There is no need for you to be hurt at all. Let the truth sink to the bottom of the ocean. You can make me look bad as much as you want. I just want you to be happy!

“That day, the one I danced with–“

“Was me. ♡”

The bright voice heard at that time brought all eyes of those present to the hall entrance. It was Ella, my sister, who wore the same dress as at the fateful ball. Next to her is the wizard in a black robe.

“That’s… The princess from that day!”

“Yes, that dress and the glass slippers… There’s no doubt about it!”

“Then, what about Princess Adelina …?”

Ella and the wizard walked proudly towards me, holding hands without regard to the confused gazes of those around them. When she got closer, Ella rushed over and hugged me vigorously.

“Oh, I’ve missed you, Adelina! Oh, you’re looking a little pale. Are you okay? Are you eating well?”

“You know what, Ella? That’s not the most important thing right now!”

“Come to think of it, yes. Huh, I’m glad you came back at just the right time!”

With a graceful movement, Ella looked around her. The hem of her dress fluttered and fluttered, and everyone let out a sigh of admiration at her beauty.

“Good day, everyone. I am one of the people who is part of the recent commotion. Therefore, I will be happy to explain it to you.”

Ella smiles and opens her mouth as if nothing were happening.

“On the day of that ball, I asked the wizard to prepare this dress and glass shoes for me. And I danced with Prince Francis… It was such a wonderful, fun time.”

Ella squints as if nostalgic for the time that has passed.

“But that was only one night. Now I have the wizard, and Adelina has the prince… So, is there a problem?”

This time Prince Francis opened his mouth to supplement Ella’s words in a challenging manner.

“I apologize for making everyone concerned. However, I want everyone to see her for who she is now, not the illusion of that day. Is there anyone who thinks there was something wrong with her as my princess?”

… No matter how I think about it, I am incapable of doing anything but failing. But despite my inner panic, everyone around me looks at each other and nods at each other.

“Princess Adelina is a resourceful person. As a future queen, she couldn’t be a better gem than this.” It was the Secretary of Justice who said that.

Oh, there’s no reason for you to wag your tail at me at this point!

“Princess Adelina always has interesting stories to tell. Even the talk about growing organics that’s so popular right now started with Princess Adelina.”

The one who smiled gracefully after saying that was the Duchess who invited me to her tea party many times…Is that so. I thought everyone was talking about the fields and vegetables lately but didn’t realize it was due to me…

“Princess Adelina’s outfits are always lovely, aren’t they? It’s so relaxed, and yet it doesn’t detract from her beauty.”

“I hated that cluttered, flashy style of decorating! I’m glad Princess Adelina discontinued it!”

“I hear all the nobles ladies are desperate not to be left behind, so they have recently started studying to become like Princess Adelina.”

“The ambassador from the neighboring country was amazed, you know. He said the people of this country have all become more diligent in the short time that he has not seen them.”

… Embarrassing. It’s very, very embarrassing.

I’m not as great as you people make me out to be! 

I’m just a woman trying to get alimony from a divorce because I want to live comfortably in the country!

“… Did you hear that Alina? They can’t think of anyone more worthy of being my princess than you, it seems.”

For some reason, the prince seems happy to talk to me.

I shake my head in a huff, and he chuckles.

“But there is magic power coming from Princess Adelina at this moment, too… Eee!”

Princess Priscilla was still trying to cling to the prince, but he glared at her, and she cowered like a frog staring at a snake.

Prince, that’s enough of that, please.

“Let me explain that for you.”

The wizard who had been idling around hand in hand with Ella came over to us.

“As for the matter of Princess Priscilla feeling faint magic power from my sister-in-law – Princess Adelina, I feel the same thing.”

Who is your sister-in-law?

… I wanted to complain, but it’s not the time.

What do you mean you can feel magic from me!

“Perhaps my sister-in-law has the same kind of magical predisposition like me. So she’s subconsciously cast a spell on herself.”

The wizard comes in front of me and gently takes my hand in his.

The next moment, though, his hand was slapped away by Prince Francis.

“… Don’t touch my princess without permission.”

“I’m sorry about that. But don’t worry, Prince. She’s Ella’s sister, so she’s like family to me, too.”

No, no, no, I still think you’re suspicious!

…The wizard laughs pointedly at me as I struggle to resist telling this to him.

“My sister-in-law is a skeptical and cautious person. And thoughtful. So… She put a spell on herself so that she wouldn’t accidentally fall in love with the prince by mistake.”

“I did magic on myself …?”

“Well, for a wizard, a name has a big meaning. So, you cast a curse so that the prince couldn’t say your name correctly … In a sense, you cast a curse. You wouldn’t fall in love with someone who gets your name wrong, would you?”

… I’m sorry.

Oh… I can feel the prince’s intense gaze on me, but I couldn’t bring myself to look at him.

I’m sorry, Prince. It was my fault he never said my name correctly…

“How can I break the curse?” The prince asked.

Then a happy Ella hugged the wizard and replied.

“Prince. The answer is always that it’s true love that breaks the curse. If the prince truly loves my sister, then he should be able to break the curse and call her true name.”

When the prince heard Ella’s words, he turned straight to me. His eyes were gentle to all intents and purposes… They held a definite heat.

“… At first, it was just to cover up the situation. I was going to divorce you whenever I got the chance… I’m the worst.”

“No, it’s only natural for you to have thought so.”

 I used to wish that I could get a quick divorce too!

But the truth is…

“Gradually, every time I visited the detached palace to see you, I felt more and more at peace. You’ve shown more skill than a master chef when it comes to getting me to eat carrots.”

I couldn’t help but be aware of my cheeks flushing at the prince who smiled so mischievously.

“Even though I didn’t even give you proper training, you have fulfilled your role as a princess admirably. Every time your fame grew, I was as proud as I could be…And I knew I couldn’t be without you anymore.”

The prince’s beautiful, jewel-like eyes stared straight at me.

No, I’m not a person worthy of having you talk to me like that.

I think that, and yet I wish for it. But maybe…

“Do you remember the starry sky we saw at the lake that day? You desperately wished upon a star. I made a wish, too. I wished for you… That we could continue to be together.”

My eyelids burned, and tears welled up in my eyes.

The secret dream hidden in the depths of my heart is about to overflow. This is also your fault … Prince.

The prince gently wipes my tears from my cheeks with his fingertips.

“Maybe you and I weren’t destined to be together. But that doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve decided to stop wavering, to stop hesitating.”

Gently cupping my cheek, the prince informed me.

“Now… I only love you… Adelina.”

The prince correctly called my name. At that moment, the sound of the bells announcing the midnight hour rang out.

“…You’ve broken the spell.”

Was it the wizard or Ella who muttered that so quietly?

The prince broke the spell on me. He lifted it.

My heart, which I had been desperately trying to hide from him, seemed to have been lifted along with it.

“I have always been…!”

The passionate feelings that flow from deep within my heart… Surely this is the love I had locked away.

You’ve slowly fallen in love with me, but from the first moment, I met you… Always.

“Always, you’ve been…!”

I reached out my hand impulsively, and the prince hugged me tightly.

I’m an ordinary person with only weak magical powers.

Obviously, I don’t have a glass slipper or a pumpkin carriage.

I’m the daughter of a nobleman, but I’m not a princess. If I went to a ball, the prince wouldn’t ever look at me.

We’re going to live happily ever after…  I mean, I don’t think everything is going to be perfect.

But I still love you.

When the bell rings at midnight, even if the magic is broken…I promise to stay by your side.

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