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Completed ― My Ex-fiancée Has Had Enough of My Cute Little Sister

𝐂𝐡𝟏

People who are blessed with good looks from birth have an easier life afterwards. I have learned this firsthand.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t on the fortunate side…

My parents said I was lucky to be as good as everyone else, but I had a complex about my looks—I had pale silver hair like the moon and amber eyes that were nothing like my parents’.

I was born the eldest daughter of a count family, and I was obliged to marry a gentleman of the best family background possible. My parents trained me to be a gifted student and to learn all kinds of things, from ancient and modern culture to the arts.

It was worth it. I’ve been blessed with a good match, and I’m engaged to be married to Leinhardt-sama, the legitimate son of a duke.

I congratulated myself that my efforts had finally paid off.

If you ask me, Leanhardt-sama was very pleased with my piano playing.

He also said that he enjoyed talking to me because I had a lot of topics to talk about.

I think this is all due to my parents’ education.

However, a marriage that had been going well suddenly took a sharp turn.

It all started when my sister, Milim, started crying when she first met Leanhardt-sama.

“Charlotte-onesama is cunning. You know how much Milim adores Leanhardt-sama, and yet she’s going to make a marriage proposal out of nowhere—”

She complained, her ruby eyes became moist, and her beautiful black hair trembled.

Apparently, Milim has been an admirer of Leanhardt-sama since she first saw his face at a social gathering and has secretly had feelings for him.

And, she said, she didn’t like the fact that I, who should have known about it, had proceeded with the marriage without telling her.

That’s not true. I’ve never heard a word of it, so it’s an accusation…

“I can’t do this anymore. Betrayed by my dear Onesama, I can’t even pass food down my throat. I’m going to lose weight and die…”

However, Mirim made up a story and claimed that she was sick and fell asleep.

My parents were so distressed by this that they asked me if I really had any idea what was going on.

Milim has always had a habit of crying and coveting whenever I get something new, but I never thought she would want a human being too.

“Milim, you’ll get a good match sooner or later. So this is not the place—”

“I don’t like it. I always believed my destiny was with Leanhardt-sama. I have no choice but to die…”

No matter how hard I try to convince her, she doesn’t accept my arguments.

No matter how selfish she was, I would never give up my fiancé, but when this story reached Leanhardt-sama, I went through hell.

“What?! Your sister, Mirim?! She’s as beautiful as a fairy. The girl who is reputed to be the most beautiful in the country is thinking about me… You said she was sick.”

When Leanhardt-sama came to my house, he demanded to see Mirim.

I thought he would convince Mirim. I think that’s why my parents allowed him to visit them.

But that was an oversight—.

“Charlotte, she’s as beautiful as an angel. I’m going to marry Mirim, who loves me so much.”

All that I had built up over the past ten years was destroyed by my sister’s looks.

My parents thought that my younger sister, Mirim, would be blessed with a good marriage because of her good character, so they did not put any effort into her education, and they were worried about her safety. As if to ridicule me for it, they denied all my efforts.

“Onesama, I’m going to be happy with Leanhardt-sama.”

When I saw the triumphant expression on Milim’s face, an inexplicable feeling of emptiness came over me.

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𝐂𝐡𝟐

I was born into the family of the Count of Arzel. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been striving to improve myself in various ways.

However, being defeated by my sister’s innate good looks was very mentally damaging.

My sister said that she was so shocked that she fell asleep.

I, on the other hand, was far from falling asleep.

I was so frustrated and miserable that I cried quietly in an empty room.

“I never thought that one of the most beautiful women in the country would like me. Of course, I think you’re a beautiful woman, and I enjoyed talking to you. But…”

Leanhardt-sama, who broke off the engagement with a wry smile, kept coming up with excuses that were no excuses at all.

According to him, it would be foolish to ignore the chance to marry someone who looks as good as Mirim. It gave him justification to abandon me.

In the end, he wanted to marry Mirim for a long time, but there were many men around her who wanted to marry her, and the competition was too great. He even said that he would be shocked if he was rejected, so he compromised with me, which was exactly the right line. I have no more hope for this person.

Eventually, he never apologized properly…

My parents are now in a mood of resignation that there is nothing they can do if Leanhardt-sama is not interested, and they are discussing how to announce the engagement of my sister Mirim.

It is natural for parents to want their daughter to be blessed with a good marriage, regardless of which daughter she is.

In the first place, my parents spoiled my younger sister, Milim, to a great extent.

While I was the only one they gave a strict education to, they just said she was cute and pretty and didn’t let her do anything in particular.

“I feel sorry for Miri because this is how much it cost us to educate you, and I’m going to give this amount to Miri when she marries.”

You’ve spent more money on my education than she has, so it’s not fair.

The same amount of money is to be given to Mirim when she gets married.

I’m not complaining about that, but I wish you hadn’t talked like it was my fault.

“Onesama’s Violin It’s very beautiful. Milim wants too.”

“I want that dance costume, too.”

“That foreign-language picture book is very cute, isn’t it? When you’re done reading, give it to me.”

Mirim has always been interested in my lessons, but when my parents asked her if she wanted to do them, she shook her head and refused.

And yet, I’ve been interrupted every time by her wanting something I have. My parents gave her a violin and other things that she never used. It was a waste of time.

“Leanhardt-sama, He said that I was the one.”

“Leanhardt-sama bought me a hair ornament because he thought it would suit me, a pretty girl.”

“Leanhardt-sama—”

From that day on, Leanhardt-sama and Mirim met every day and seemed to be having a good time.

I was getting tired of Milim talking about it to me, who had lost her fiancé.

To put it bluntly, it’s hell.

However, the turning point came suddenly.

“Charlotte, there is actually a marriage proposal for you. I was going to say no because you’re engaged to Leanhardt-dono, but I couldn’t think of a good reason to say no, so I kept him waiting for almost a month.”

Suddenly, my father called me over and told me that there had been other marriage proposals during our engagement.

That’s strange. If you were honest and told them I was engaged to the Duke’s heir, there wouldn’t be any problems…

“The other party to the proposal is the Crown Prince of the neighboring Kingdom of Albinia, His Highness Alfred.”

“Eh…?”

“His Highness Alfred wants you to be his wife…!”

I couldn’t hide my surprise at the unexpected name that popped up.

I couldn’t believe that a marriage proposal from the crown prince of a neighboring country had come to me.

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𝐂𝐡𝟑

The Kingdom of Albinia is a neighboring country to the west of our own Kingdom of Ezerta.

Even though we are neighbors, we are separated by a large river and have many cultural and linguistic differences.

However, about fifty years ago, the two countries began to have friendly relations. Nowadays, the royal families have a close relationship with each other and hold parties several times a year to entertain each other.

From a very young age, I learned to speak the Albanian language like a native and I also learned about the culture, so at parties I would play popular Albanian songs on the piano and violin, and I would give speeches at festivals.

“His Highness Alfredo fell in love with you because you know more about their own culture and are more cultured than any Albanian. As for you, it would be inconvenient if you were to marry into a neighboring country, and more importantly, it would be unfair to His Highness the Duke, so I kept quiet.”

My father tells me the reason why His Highness Alfredo took a liking to me.

I didn’t think that he liked my entertainment at the party that much.

At first, I thought it was just lip service, since he gave his impressions through an interpreter.

I remember that afterwards, he was delighted when I could talk to him in Albanian, and we chatted for about an hour.

Besides, my father was so indebted to Leanhardt’s father that he would not have thought of breaking off my engagement even if he had received an offer from a neighboring royal family.

“Well, Leanhardt-dono broke up with you and got engaged to Miri, and it would be hard for you to stay here if rumors of the broken engagement spread. It will be hard for you to adjust to life in Albania…”

“Please let me go! To a neighboring country! I want to be engaged to His Highness Alfredo!”

He was surprised at how loud my voice sounded.

I didn’t want to be in a house with my sister, I didn’t want to be related to Leanhardt-sama, I didn’t want a future where I had to see them, and I didn’t want this whole story of being able to escape my home to be appealing.

It is true that being the wife of the Crown Prince in a different culture requires a lot of preparation.

However, compared to this hell, it is heaven.

“.. Hmmm. You hate being in this house that much? I can’t imagine how hard it is for you… Very well, let’s give His Highness Alfredo a positive answer about the match. I’ll tell him it’ll take time and preparation to live in a neighboring country. I am sure they will forgive me for the delay.”

In response to my words, my father promised to give His Highness Alfredo a positive answer.

I can’t believe he even considered not rashly choosing to live in a neighboring country—if I recall correctly, His Highness Alfredo was a very friendly and pleasant man, even though we had little conversation.

“That’s why, as I’m sure you’re aware, in the culture of the Kingdom of Albinia, there are rules about betrothal.”

“Yes. It is customary for the man to go to the woman’s home and invite her into his own home when they get engaged.”

There is a cultural custom of the Albanians called “welcoming wife”.

What it is, in simple terms, is this: During the betrothal ceremony, a man takes a woman to her house and walks her to his house so they can get married.

“In other words, after reading the letter, His Highness Alfred will come for you as soon as he has read the letter and is ready. He’ll probably stay here for a few days. You should make your preparations before he arrives.”

“Yes, of course, I’ll make all the preparations.”

My heart, which had been in turmoil a while ago, was now clear.

Thank you, Alfred, for rescuing my heart from hell.

I can’t thank you enough.

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𝐂𝐡𝟒: (𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐭’𝐬 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

I’m sorry, Charlotte.

It’s not your fault. You’re not bad-looking, you’re a top-notch pianist, and you’re an interesting girl to talk to… I’m sure you’re the perfect person to marry.

As proof of this, my parents were very fond of Charlotte. They were happy to have such a good-natured girl as their daughter.

I want you to live your life with confidence. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that you’re attractive enough to go on with your life.

Yes, I had no choice.

The beautiful Miri Arzel—you could almost say she was a fairy or an angel.

Her long, beautiful black hair and ruby eyes are more beautiful than any work of art, and she’s also very pretty.

At the party, I fell in love with her at first sight.

But there were many who liked Miri, and I heard rumors that royalty was also after her.

As a man, it’s not cool to ask for her hand and get rejected.

So I compromised with Charlotte.

But that day… I was shocked, as if I’d been struck by lightning.

To my surprise, Miri had cried that she had always loved me and had fallen ill.

I couldn’t keep quiet. Before I knew it, my body was on its way to Count Arzel’s house.

Because the woman I fell in love with at first sight had become ill as a result of my presence.

As a man, I had no choice but to go and see her.

And I hugged Miri, who was crying in her room…”

“Charlotte, I’m going to marry Miri, who is as beautiful as an angel and loves me so much.”

I’ve decided to marry Miri.

Because you know what?

—It’s a miracle that the person I fell in love with at first sight loves me; it would be crazy of a person to ignore it.

I’m sorry, Charlotte, but I’m going to be happy.

I’ll be happy. A life where I turn around and see Miri’s face there… I can just imagine it.

And then Mirim and I saw each other every day.

I told her how wonderful she was.

I bought her clothes and jewelry that would suit her.

I went to the theater and the museum to make memories with her.

I was so happy that every day was colorful, and I knew what the word “love” meant.

This is true love. It’s a jewel that never changes…

I’ll never forget this feeling.

I had already decided that—

“That picture you drew earlier was interesting, like a frog laying eggs~”

“What? That was a frog’s spawn? No, it’s a masterpiece by the great artist Albertin that shows the battle between the gods—.

“Who’s Albertin? Is he famous?”

“You don’t know who Albertine is? Didn’t you learn about him in school?”

I wonder why.

Conversations with the people you love and who love you are amazingly boring.

Mirim basically never asked me to talk about anything, and she often didn’t know things that everyone would know.

Even if I explained everything, I could tell from her reaction that she wasn’t interested, so the conversation never got going.

“What’s the matter, Leanhardt-sama?”

But she is overwhelmingly pretty and beautiful.

Without a doubt, objectively speaking, Miri is the most beautiful woman in the country.

How can I not be happy in my life if I’m married to such a beautiful wo—

“This dish… It tastes so strange.”

The chef just explained that it’s a high-quality ingredient.

It’s very expensive! That’s three months’ wages for a servant. Each bite is equivalent to a month’s wages, so I want you to taste it.

After all, it took ten of the country’s gourmet hunters to get this food.

Aah—! Charlotte could talk about this food for more than 30 minutes.

Idiot! What was I thinking?

That choosing Miri as my wife was a mistake?

I’m happy. I’m happy. I’m happy. I’m happy. I’m happy—.

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𝐂𝐡𝟓

Three days have passed since my father wrote to His Highness Alfredo with a positive reply to his proposal.

It would take a few days to come to this country from that country, no matter how hard you tried.

Therefore, I was able to prepare to leave my house with plenty of time to spare.

You may not want to bring too many clothes.

The clothing designs in Albinia and Ezerta are quite different, so it would be better to buy something new and wear it there.

“Oh, by the way, Charlotte-onesama. Why have you been packing? Are you going on a trip somewhere? By the way, Sophie also went on a heartbreak trip after her marriage proposal was rejected.”

I had started making preparations three days ago, but Miri, who was crazy about Leanhardt-sama, finally noticed that I was getting ready to leave.

She told me that Sophie, a friend of Miri’s, had recently lost a marriage proposal that was going well.

According to Miri, Sophie asked what went wrong, and she replied, “Your face.”

At that time, Sophie was crying, and Mirim was angry that she didn’t get the joke.

I told Miri not to say anything rude, but she said, “I was just messing with her.”

She refused to listen to me with a sulky look on her face.

She didn’t seem to understand how much her comments were frowned upon.

“Oh, can we tell Mirim now?”

“I guess so. He’ll be coming for Charlotte soon anyway. Let’s tell her first.”

My parents decided to tell Miri that His Royal Highness Alfred, the Crown Prince of a neighboring country, would be coming to pick me up.

I didn’t think it was too much to ask, but Miri often just replies blankly and doesn’t listen to what people say, so they might have been waiting for her to show interest.

“Father~, Mother~, it’s not nice to talk in secret. Please tell me too.”

Miri was in a good mood, probably because things were going well with Leanhardt-sama.

She looked at our parents with sparkling eyes, full of hope, as if the whole world revolved around her.

Miri’s eyes were like rubies, the kind of sparkle that any man would love to see. Miri herself seemed to know it well.

“A marriage proposal has come to Charlotte. His Highness Alfred, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Albinia, will be coming to pick her up soon…”

“…A-al? C-Crown Prince?!”

“You may be sad because you loved Charlotte too, but you need to say goodbye properly.”

“…?”

Miri could not understand what her parents were saying, and after a word or two, she froze with her mouth wide open.

It is true that the story is so farfetched that it may take some time to understand.

If you think about it, it would be absurd and unbelievable for a woman who had just broken off her engagement to leave her country after being proposed to by the prince of a neighboring country.

“F-Father, it sounds like Onesama is marrying the crown prince of a neighboring country. Please explain it in more detail. Milim doesn’t understand what Father is saying. “

“No, I think you understand. That’s exactly what I said.”

“…”

When my father nodded that Milim understood what he said, she stopped smiling and froze.

My sister, who doesn’t move a muscle, looks like a doll…

“— Haaaaaaah?!”

And then, after a few seconds, she screams, her face contorted in a way I’ve never seen before.

I knew she would be surprised, but I didn’t expect her to be so surprised…

“This isn’t fair! Charlotte-onesama!”

I don’t understand why she thinks I’m the bad guy and glares at me with a look of displeasure on her face.

I don’t understand what’s not fair about it.

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𝐂𝐡𝟔

“Father! Mother! It’s strange that I’m getting married to a duke and Charlotte-onesama is getting married to the crown prince of a neighboring country!”

Miri pointed at me with a knife during the meal and made an incomprehensible protest. I wish she would stop behaving so badly…

First of all, I understand your surprise that I am to be married to the crown prince of a neighboring country, but what do you mean by “strange”?

First of all, my engagement to Leanhardt-sama was forcibly broken because you cried and said you were sick.

I don’t want Miri to be the only one to complain about it, so I was a bit annoyed as well.

“That’s not strange. Besides, you can now marry the man of your dreams, Leanhardt-dono, without feeling guilty about your sister. Shouldn’t that be a blessing?”

My father must not have expected Miri to protest.

He tilted his head and argued that it wasn’t particularly strange and that it was convenient that Miri didn’t have to think about the fact that she had stolen my fiancé.

I think that’s a different topic, but I’m willing to hear her argument because I don’t understand why Mirim is so upset either.

“I don’t feel any guilt about Onesama. because Leanhardt-sama likes me. This result is unavoidable.”

“…Regardless of whether you feel guilty or not, Charlotte is Leanhardt-sama’s ex-fiancee. If she stays here, it’s going to be awkward, so there’s no downside for you.”

Milim had no sympathy for me at all.

My mother doesn’t admonish her for it, but she reminds Miri that it will be awkward if I stay in this country.

At least Leanhardt-sama won’t want to see my face.

Because we broke up like that.

Mirim doesn’t understand. If she doesn’t feel bad, she might at least say she wants to see me happy.

“Father, Mother, what you are saying is too difficult to understand. Onesama’s cunning is to marry the Crown Prince, because the Crown Prince is a higher person than the Duke, isn’t he?”

—So, you thought my engagement was cunning for such a shallow reason?

I was taken aback by my sister’s shallow complaint.

I could understand it if it was said by a child of about five years old, but to think that it was said by someone of this age?

Miri may be even more childish than I thought.

“I also want to marry the crown prince of the neighboring country. You are so cunning! Sneaky! Whaaaa!!!”

Miri started to cry, calling me cunning.

I’m the one who wants to cry. My fiancé was taken away from me, and then when I got a chance to be with His Highness Alfred, she cried that I was cunning.

“Oh, don’t cry, don’t cry. Miri, you’re taking it too easy by living in a neighboring country. There’s a lot of spicy food there that you don’t like. You’ll have to make friends from scratch, and most of all, you won’t be able to speak the language. In all likelihood, you’d be happier as the wife of the next duke in this country.”

My father tells Miri about the disadvantages of living in a neighboring country.

It’s all true, and considering the cultural differences, it would be much easier to stay in this country.

But that’s not enough to convince my sist—.

“I-Isn’t that a hell of a place then?! I feel sorry for you, Onesama. I’ll be happy in my own country!”

Isn’t it too soon? Don’t you change your mind too quickly?

Just because my father mentioned a few troublesome points, it seems I’ve become a poor woman to her.

Anyway, let’s just say I’m glad to be free from being called cunning.

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𝐂𝐡𝟕

(Leanhardt’s POV)

Marriage is the only event in life that I do not want to fail.

As the heir to a ducal family, I’m obligated to find the best woman I can find to be my mate.

By those standards, Miri is the best woman I’ve ever met.

After all, she’s the one I fell in love with at first sight, even though I’m picky about facial preferences.

And yet, what is it? What’s this strange feeling?

I thought I made the right decision to break up with Charlotte and get engaged to Miri…

Why am I feeling less and less confident about that choice now?

My beautiful future was confirmed to be a long and happy one with my beautiful wife and kids who look like her.

“Leinhardt, I want to hear your fiancé play the piano again. That was great. No, I would have liked to have had someone like your Charlotte for a wife.”

Charlotte’s talent as a once-in-a-decade pianist was praised by Jack, the heir to the Marquess family.

No, I’m re-engaged to her sister Miri.

“Leanhardt-senpai, I hope you and Charlotte-san will come again to the painting exhibition. I envy you being engaged to someone who knows as much about art as Charlotte-san does.”

Alan, my junior at school and a great admirer of Charlotte, told me that he was impressed with Charlotte’s knowledge of painting and was eager to bring her to the presentation of his new work at the museum organized by his family.

“Leanhardt-sama, I heard that your fiancée, Charlotte-san, won a prize for her geology paper! The Duke’s family is safe with such a well-educated person as his wife!

Charlotte’s academic achievements were praised by Marks, the second son of the baronial family and a long-time friend of our family, and he laughed, saying that the future of the dukes was bright with her. It’s as if the dukes are in danger without her….

Ever since I got engaged to Miri, everyone I meet talks about Charlotte.

It also doesn’t help that I haven’t told anyone that I’ve taken Mirim as my fiancée….

What annoys me is that they all praise Charlotte so much.

It’s as if my choice was a mistake.

And when I told them that I broke up with Charlotte—.

“Huh? Are you an idiot? I can’t believe you broke up with such a good girl.”

“You’re kidding, right? It’s not every day you meet a woman like Charlotte-san. Oo~h, so you broke off your engagement…”

“What?! Y-You broke up with her? Isn’t that a great loss to the Duchy?”

When I told them I had broken up with Charlotte, they all looked at me like I was a fool.

As if the fish you missed was not big enough…

I have Miri, you know.

See, you know she’s pretty, right? Isn’t she pretty enough to make you jealous?

“No, I’m sure Miri is beautiful, but…”

“But if I want to marry someone, I’d rather have someone who’s well educated…”

“Miri-san is beautiful. But that’s it.”

W-What? That’s not the reaction I was expecting…

This makes me feel like I’m wrong.

” Soo~, soo~, Fua~a (Yawning). Huh? Is that man still singing? I don’t understand…”

“No, that’s what opera is all about. Also, the reason why you don’t understand is that no matter how many times I wake you up, you always fall asleep, right?”

“Because I’m bored. Leanhardt-sama, please say something interesting.”

Ah! You’re driving me crazy!

What the hell is wrong with her? I think her brain is full of cake and cookies!

Your face is beautiful, but I’m tired of it.

On the contrary, it’s her stupid face that annoys me!

It was exactly what everyone said.

I knew it! Charlotte is good!

I’ve decided to marry Charlotte and live a good life!

I didn’t want to waste my time on this stupid woman who was sleeping three seconds after I warned her…!

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𝐂𝐡𝟖

“According to this letter, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alfredo will be arriving here tomorrow. Please do not be rude to him.”

My father hands me a letter with the Albanian coat of arms and tells me that His Royal Highness Prince Alfredo will arrive tomorrow.

Since the letter arrived yesterday, he must have left in a great hurry.

I feel as if I rushed him, and I am sorry for that.

However, my heart was filled with excitement when I heard that he was coming to pick me up early.

“Eee! Charlotte-onesama, are you leaving for the neighboring country tomorrow?

“I won’t be leaving tomorrow, not right away. Alfred-sama would stay here for a while… Didn’t you hear?

“Ufufu, Onesama. Don’t get mad at me because you’re not as happy as Miri.”

When I complained that Miri wasn’t listening to me at all, she said that I was jealous or something selfish like that.

For a long time, she has always been a slow learner, but she plays the victim so fast that it’s often difficult to have a proper conversation with her.

She has a troubling personality, but no amount of rebuking can make her go away, and I’ve gotten used to it.

“Miri, I don’t think you’ve been behaving this way with Leanhardt-sama, have you? If you do, he’ll get tired of you.”

“Leanhardt-sama and I are in love. He won’t get tired of me. Onesama can’t keep up with her fantasies.”

Apparently, things are going well with Leanhardt-sama.

With such a confident attitude, she must be a little more focused and firm in front of him.

I was worried because she often didn’t listen to what I was saying when she was talking to me.

“Charlotte, that’s enough… I know you want to complain about Miri’s engagement, but you should be more worried about your own engagement than your sister’s.”

“I understand. Father…”

When I complained about Miri’s attitude, my father condemned it.

He seems to think that I’m still holding on to the fact that she ruined my engagement to Leanhardt-sama.

That’s a wicked guess, but I’ve stopped making meaningless objections.

“Fufu, Onesama is getting upset.”

“Miri, I’m worried about you—”

“I said that’s enough.”

Mirim laughs at me, and when I try to reprimand her for her behavior, my father stops me.

Miri cries easily, and I’m wondering if it’s too much trouble not to scold her for it…

That’s why she grew up so much…

“Master, Charlotte-sama, Leanhardt-sama wanted to apologize to you, but—”

“””What?!”””

At that moment, Mary, the servant, told us that Leanhardt-sama had come to visit.

It’s too late to apologize to me.

There were plenty of times when he could have apologized, but he took so long… I can’t believe it.

“Ehh! He didn’t come to see Miri?”

“Well, I suppose Leanhardt-dono felt that he had to settle things properly. Charlotte, forgive him. You’ll never be happy if you hold a grudge forever.”

At my father’s urging, I went to the courtyard terrace to talk to Leanhardt-sama.

That’s right. It’s not so much that I’m holding on to it, but I think a proper apology would help me forget about it and concentrate on my new life in the neighboring country.

That’s why I tried to talk to him alone, but Leanhardt-sama’s apology was not at all what I expected—.”

“Charlotte, I’m sorry, I’m leaving Miri and you can marry me after all!”

“What?”

I had never heard such an emphatic “Huh?” from the depths of my stomach before.

Why are you trying to get back together so quickly?

It didn’t make any sense to me at all.

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𝐂𝐡𝟗

“I’m not mishearing you, am I? Leanhardt-sama wants to get engaged to me again?”

I couldn’t believe what Leanhardt-sama had said a few seconds ago, so I couldn’t help but ask him back.

After all, it hadn’t even been a month since he broke off his engagement with me and became engaged to my sister Miri.

How can you say that when you’ve been talking so much about Miri, calling her beautiful, saying she’s the one, saying it’s your duty to marry her and be happy?

“That’s what I said. Congratulations! You’re the perfect wife for me, the next Duke. I must admit, you’re well-educated, smart, and, most of all, decent. Miri is a far cry from what you are.”

Congratulations, not.

A man who makes such a big deal out of it and then decides to dump Mirim so easily is too scary, whether he’s the next Duke or not.

In the first place, I thought it was insane that he broke off his engagement with me and got engaged to my sister…

No matter how you look at it, it sounds like a bad joke, but Leanhardt-sama brushes his brown hair, which is characteristic of his habitual hair, and stares straight at me with obsidian eyes.

His expression was serious, but I found his seriousness frightening.

“Leanhardt-sama, did my sister Miri do something wrong? I’m sorry about that, but you can’t get engaged to me again. Because—”

If you want to leave Miri so soon, there must be some reason.

Most likely, she had done something to offend Leanhardt-sama.

Anyway, I cannot be Mr. Leanhardt’s fiancée because I am already engaged to His Royal Highness Alfredo, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Albinia.

I tried to explain it to him—.

“Ah! It’s fine, it’s fine! You don’t have to care about it at all! I guess it’s true that beautiful women become boring in three days. I just realized I have more fun with you. Well, you can’t rely on love at first sight. I was wondering why none of the royals had asked Miri to marry them. So that’s what this is about.”

Of course, I care.

To put it simply, you’re tired of Miri, aren’t you?

You say this with a cheerful smile, but that’s a lousy reason…

She may not be a character to be praised, but I didn’t want you to treat my sister badly for that reason.

Talk about being drunk on romantic lines,

You say that you shouldn’t rely on love at first sight, but you made a big deal about Miri being your significant other, connected to you by a thread of fate.

“No, I am concerned about Miri, but not that…”

“You mean my father and mother? That’s not a problem either. On the contrary, my parents were very fond of Charlotte. They thought you’d make a good duchess.”

Again, Leanhardt-sama interrupted me and began to speak.

It’s impossible for me to get engaged to you again.

When I’m talking to Miri, she sometimes interrupts me, and I can’t have a conversation with her.

Leanhardt-sama seems to have the same habit.

“U-Um, Leanhar—”

“What do you want with my fiancé? You seem to be annoying her.”

“”What?!””

I was about to say something when—

A tall man suddenly appeared on the terrace of the courtyard. Standing there with his long blond hair flowing in the air, he had a beautiful, neutral face.

There is no doubt about this man. He is the crown prince of the neighboring country, His Highness Prince Alfred.

“I asked the people at home and they said you were here. I’m sorry. I wanted to see you as soon as possible, so I arrived earlier than expected.”

I didn’t expect His Highness Alfred to show up at this moment.

What to do now? We should finish the story of Leanhardt-sama first—.

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𝐂𝐡𝟏𝟎

“Y-Y-You are! His Highness Alfred, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Albinia! Why is a man like you in the family of the Count of Arzel?!”

When I was surprised by His Highness Alfred’s visit a day earlier than expected, Leanhardt-sama, who looked more surprised than I, voiced a natural question.

The answer to that question is what I was trying to explain to you just now…

“…Why am I here? Charlotte Arzel is my fiancée. So I came here to take her as my wife.”

“Your fiancée?! Is Charlotte His Highness Alfredo’s? Isn’t that some kind of mistake?!”

His Highness Alfred tells Leanhardt-sama that he and I are engaged.

However, Leanhardt-sama can’t believe it and insists that there must be some mistake in his voice.

It is not Leanhardt-sama’s right to say that there is a mistake or anything like that…

“It’s not a mistake. I fell in love with Charlotte. And I asked her to marry me, and I came to get her. In true Albanian fashion.”

“N-No way…”

“Hm? Come to think of it, you look familiar. You’re Leanhardt, right? The Duke’s heir…”

—After explaining our relationship and how we came to be here, His Highness Alfredo looked at Leanhardt-sama’s face and said that he was familiar with him.

I’m sure you do. There is no way that Leanhardt-sama, the legitimate son of a duke, would not have attended a get-together party with the royalty of a neighboring country.

“Y-Yes. I’ve greeted His Highness Alfredo before.”

“Oh, good. I would have been rude if I remembered wrongly… So, what did Leanhardt-kun want with my fiancée, Charlotte? She looked troubled from a distance.”

“Ugh… Well, that’s… I mean, I… Charlotte and I…”

In a voice that doesn’t match his soft tone, he asks Leanhardt-sama why he was bothering me.

Even Leanhardt-sama was taken aback by this, and became sluggish.

“What is the matter with you? You are a nobleman in the Kingdom of Ezerta, a land known for its ladies and gentlemen. Were you going to do something to one woman that you could not say to another?”

“O-Of course not. I’m, no, I’m… Fiancee! Yes, I am the fiancée of Miri Arzel, the sister of Charlotte Arzel here! So, when I was trying to ask her for advice about Miri, I got a little carried away… Well, it was so private that I didn’t even want to talk about it…”

Sweating like a waterfall, Leanhardt-sama said something that could barely be excused.

I don’t want to hear about another engagement from Leanhardt-sama, so I’ll go along with that.

“Charlotte’s sister, your fiancé… —I see. I see. I’m sorry for being so rude, but I misunderstood that Charlotte was involved with a strange man.”

“Ahaha, I don’t mind at all. Hahahahaha.”

“So you’re related to me now. I’ll be your sister-in-law’s husband. Take care of me, Leanhardt-kun.”

“Yes, sir! I am honored to be so close to Your Highness!”

The longer you wait, the more you get.

So as if to embody this, Leanhardt-sama changed very quickly and bowed to His Highness Alfredo.

At any rate, it was good.

Now I can avoid his outburst.

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𝐂𝐡𝟏𝟏

In the Kingdom of Albania, it is customary for a man to go to the home of his wife to meet her husband.

Following this custom, His Royal Highness Alfred, Crown Prince of Albania, came all the way to my house from a neighboring country.

“What’s that? He didn’t have to leave so quickly. Did my Ezerstaish sound funny?”

“No, it was perfect. I am surprised at how much you have improved since we last met.””

When I met His Highness Alfred before, he was speaking basically in Albanian because he seemed to speak it badly, and he had an interpreter with him…”

I was frankly amazed at how fluently His Royal Highness Alfredo spoke Ezersta.

I wonder how much effort he has made to improve so much in such a short period of time.

“I have been studying it ever since I fell in love with you. After all, I wanted to learn the native language of the person I love.”

His Highness Alfred told me that he had worked hard to learn the language of this country in order to take me as his wife. I was so glad to hear that, because it was more straightforward than any words you could say.

It was still early in the winter and a cold wind was blowing, but strangely, I did not feel cold.

“Well, I decided to greet you first, so I came here as soon as I got here, but I had to greet your family too.””

Ah, yes! I think we are ready to greet His Highness, so this way please.”

His Highness Alfred stated that he would greet my family, so I will show him around the house.

—Finally, the day has come.

I have only a few days left in this house.

I would be lying if I said that I do not miss them at all, but I am more hopeful and hopeful about my new life.

My heart is beating fast as I feel His Highness Alfred’s goodwill towards me.

“In the manner of the Kingdom of Albania, I have come to take Charlotte Arzel here to be my wife. On that occasion, I came to greet the members of the Arzel family. “

In the parlor of our house, His Royal Highness Alfred held me by the shoulders and announced his arrival to the family with a stately gesture.

My mother and father looked more nervous than I have ever seen them before, and my sister Miri looked at His Highness Alfred with a twinkle in her eye.

It was the first time that royalty had ever visited our house.

The whole house is filled with tension.

“I will stay here for a week or so, then I will take Charlotte back to Albania. So the family will have to wait until then—”

“You’re still cunning~!!”

“”””?!””””

Although His Highness Alfred was still speaking, he was overtaken by Mirim’s voice: “Cunning!”.

—What is she yelling at all of a sudden?

And in front of His Highness Alfred.

My parents and I both froze. My sister’s attitude was too much…

“I’m sorry. Does the word “cunning” have another meaning in Ezersta? Did I say something weird?”

“Hey, Alfred-sama. Please take me. Miri never saw anyone as good-looking as Alfred-sama in this country.”

Miri stands up and approaches His Highness Alfred, reaching out to take his hand.

She makes a sweet sound and makes her face look pretty—.

I was not expecting that this girl would be so eager at this moment to make a move on Alfred-sa—.

“Hehehe, Alfred-sama is the one I’m destined for…”

“What is it? You stupid woman.”

Miri was having a good time, but I was scared when I heard His Highness Alfred say scary words in his own language.

Anyway, we have to get her away from him as soon as possible. If we don’t get her away from His Highness soon, she might cause his displeasure—.

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𝐂𝐡𝟏𝟐

Royal Highness Alfredo, muttering his displeasure in the neighboring language of Albania, has a cold expression on his face, while Miri, who does not understand the language at all, tries to lean closer to Alfred, looking up at him with watery eyes. 

“Miri! I will not tolerate disrespect from you.”

“F-Father?! You’re hurting me! I just want to be friends with his highness Alfred-sama!”

The first thing that happened was that my father jumped out in a panic and pulled Miri’s arm with a yank.

Miri frowned in pain as father tightened his grip on her hand.

“Don’t be stupid, Alfred-sama is Charlotte’s fiancée…”

“Waaa! Mother, this is terrible! Miri, I’m not an stupid!”

My mother also jumped out and pushed Miri’s shoulders, trying to pull her away from His Highness Alfred with all her strength.

She takes the word “stupid” in stride.

In fact, Miri has done something terrible, but she is completely unaware of it, so she starts to scream and cry.

“…”

The atmosphere was so bad that we all fell silent and only Miri’s loud voice could be heard in the room.

This might have been the first time.

I have never known my parents to really scold Mirim.

They did not want to offend the crown prince of a neighboring country and cause an international incident.

I thank you for your honesty. Miri is the type of person who is more rebellious when you warn her about something.

“She is your sister, isn’t she? You said earlier that she is engaged to Leanhardt-kun.”

“Y-Yes. Yes, she is, but I don’t know what to say. She’s a strange girl.”

“Hmm. I can’t imagine she came from the same parents as you. I wonder what kind of education she had…”

That’s not good. I never thought to expose the ugliness so far…

Miri’s outburst was unacceptable to His Highness Alfred.

Until now, she has been able to cover it up with her charm, but not this time.

The Kingdom of Albania is a country where politeness is valued above everything else. Milim’s behavior could be considered unacceptable.

“Miri Arzel!”

“Ehehe, yes. Did you call for me? Alfredo-sama.”

You are like a monkey. You have to be human. Otherwise, we’ll have to figure out how to deal with the Arzel family after Charlotte and I get married.”

His Royal Highness Alfred complains about Miri’s attitude in the fluent Ezersta Kingdom language.c

He is more harsh than I expected, but I hope Miri will be okay.

I hope she doesn’t cry and scream again…

“Like a monkey? It’s cute, isn’t it? Thank you for saying Miri is cute.”

“…”

Miri, who does not understand the irony of being called a monkey or anything, tries to get close to Alfred again with an adorable smile on her face.

His Highness looked at me in silence, bewildered by her unexpected reaction.

It’s hard to be here anymore. Why is this girl so…

“Alfred-sama, you must leave Charlotte-onesama and—”

“Miri! Stay outside for a minute!”

My father, looking pale, rushes to get her out of the room.

My mother also looks stunned and holds her head in her hands.

I had told them many times that if they left Miri alone she might get into trouble, and they finally understood what I meant.

“F-Father! What’s wrong with you today?! Please let me in! It’s terrible!”

“Is my Ezerta language not good enough? I’m afraid I don’t understand a word she’s saying.”

His Highness Alfred is worried that Miri, who is shouting loudly outside the room, did not understand him.

This is the first day of greetings… I’m more worried about my future—.

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𝐂𝐡𝟏𝟑 (𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐭 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

What, what, what, what is this? The crown prince of a neighboring country?!

I don’t understand!

Because Charlotte was my fiancée just a few days ago! And now she’s engaged to Alfred, the Crown Prince, not long after our breakup?!

You’re too indiscreet! You’re too heartless to leave me and go on to the next guy without any feelings at all…

What about my pride? Alfred’s got a triumphant look on his face, too.

I’m the adult here, and I backed down. The last time I saw him, he was speaking in broken English and acting like a country bumpkin, and I didn’t like it.

But, as much as I don’t like it, Going against the Crown Prince of the neighboring kingdom is an international incident.

As a duke, I can not allow that. If I go against the Crown Prince, our father’s title could fall into my brother’s hands.

I regret saying this, but I’ll have to put up with Miri.

She has a pretty face, and she’d be a perfect wife if only I could ignore the fact that she’s an idiot.

Hmmm. If only she didn’t have that stupidity…

If only she wasn’t so stupid—.

I was supposed to leave Miri and go to Charlotte’s for dinner today, but I changed my mind.

And now that I’ve told Alfred that I’m Miri’s fiancée, I can’t break up with her so easily…

Aa~h, she’s got a good face. I’m tired of seeing it.

That’s the thing. I’ve learned that beautiful idiots piss me off even more.

At first I was like, “She’s a screw-up, but she’s cute, so I forgive her.” But then I got more and more annoyed… But I just have to put up with it.

But I had no choice but to endure. I had to see the good in her—.

“So, Alfredo-sama was a very nice prince. Miri had never seen such a good-looking man before.”

Has she lost her mind? He’s talking about Alfred as if he’s his own lover, saying he’s good-looking and nice in front of a man named me..

I mean, it’s irritating to hear a mature woman talk about herself in the first person.

Normally you say “I.” But then suddenly you say, “Mirim is…” She’s really a tricky girl.

“And Alfred-sama called Miri pretty. I was so happy to hear that.”

And again, “About Mirim.” She says it again.

There are women who are better off watching from a distance. It’s too late to learn that lesson…

Hmm? Wait, wait, wait a minute!

She just said that Alfred said Miri was cute.

Is this a chance?

Could this be my chance to introduce this stupid girl to that obnoxious Crown Prince?!

“Mirim, could it be that you are… Did you fall in love with His Highness Alfredo?”

‘Eh? Leanhardt-sama, what are you suddenly…? How did you know that I adore Alfred-sama?”

It’s obvious. Try to hide it a little.

But I might be able to use this to my advantage. For me to be the winner of the mule draw.

“So, for example, there’s a chance that His Highness Alfred will call off his engagement to Charlotte and say he wants to marry Miri…?”

“…This smells funny. It’s rotten… What is it? What were we talking about?”

This woman can’t hold a decent conversation for long enough.

You’re not listening to me again.

And it’s not rotten! It’s fermented!

Didn’t you hear what the chef said?! Of course you didn’t. You’re a miri.

“So…I’m asking about the possibility that His Highness Alfred is in love with Miri…”

“His Highness Alfred is in love with Miri. because the other day he was staring at me with beautiful eyes.”

That’s it!

Yes, yes, yes!

It’s time to turn the tables!

I’m going to give this joker to that ugly Alfred for sure!

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𝐂𝐡𝟏𝟒

As soon as His Highness Alfred came to our house, my sister Miri made a mistake and came after him, which sent chills down the spines of both my parents and me.

This is the first time. My parents shouted and forced my sister to leave…

After that, we asked his highness to go to an accommodation for dignitaries in the royal capital without even greeting him, leaving us in a strange atmosphere because he was probably tired from the long trip.

Today, I had another dinner with His Highness Alfred at a restaurant in the Royal Capital.

“I am sorry for my sister Miri’s misbehavior yesterday.”

I apologized to His Royal Highness Prince Alfred for my sister’s rudeness yesterday.

I don’t think I did anything to warrant an apology.

But the atmosphere there was terrible, and I am sure that His Highness was very uncomfortable, so I could not help but bow my head.

“I was surprised, it’s true, but I was wrong too. I had let my discomfort show through. It seems that I was tired without realizing it.”

Fortunately, His Highness Alfred forgave Miri.

I was relieved to hear him say that he was sorry himself.

I can’t take advantage of His Highness’ goodwill, but it seems that he is not really angry with me.

“But Mirim, right? Is she all right? She’s Leanhardt-kun’s fiancée, which means she’s a future duchess. Did she do something wrong in public?”

In a serious tone, His Highness Alfred asked me if Miri had done something terrible in public.

Yes, she had. I suppose you can’t blame him for thinking so, given the way she’s acting…

A duchess in the future — and as far as His Highness is concerned, it doesn’t look good.

“She’s good looking. She has been allowed to make a few mistakes. My parents didn’t pay any attention to her because they thought she would mature as she got older… They didn’t listen to a word I said.”

In the past, Miri has been rude to her superiors, and I have been on edge every time.

She’s never been as rude as he was the other day, though.

For this reason, I have warned them several times.

But Milim’s looks and charm made her tolerable in many ways. My parents told me that she would be fine when she grew up, so they left her alone.

As a result, it was not good at all…

“No, your family will naturally be present at our wedding, and we will also invite dignitaries from neighboring countries other than the Kingdom of Ezersta.”

“I think it would be best not to have Miri attend. I’m sorry…”

“If you can correct her now, that’s fine, but wouldn’t it be wiser to do so? It’s your family business, and I don’t want to embarrass you.”

Prince Alfredo advised me to ask Mirim not to attend the wedding.

I agree with him, but I don’t know what my parents will say. I am sure that Miri will cry and want to attend the wedding.

If it were possible to correct her now, that would be better, of course, but there is not enough time to learn the proper etiquette of a lady.

“I understand. I will tell my parents that Mirim should not attend the wedding.”

“If that’s too much to ask, should I tell them myself?”

“No, I’m afraid that would be too much trouble for Your Highness.”

I can’t believe I’m asking His Highness Alfred to tell my sister not to attend the wedding. We, as a family, cannot make such a request.

Anyway, let’s talk to our parents first…Miri might not complain if she is told that the future of our family is at stake…

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𝐂𝐡𝟏𝟓

After dinner with His Highness Prince Alfred, I returned home and told my parents about the wedding.

I told them that His Highness Alfred was concerned about Miri’s outburst the other day and decided that it would be better for her not to attend the wedding.

“His highness said that if we couldn’t convince her, he would personally tell Mirim about it…”

I also told them that His Highness had said that he could persuade her himself.

In short, Miri would be implicitly banned from the Kingdom of Albania by His Highness Prince Alfred, a sentence that would make both my father and mother turn pale.

“No, no, no, no. If any rumors were to come out that my daughter had displeased His Highness the Crown Prince of Albania, the future of our family would be in jeopardy.”

“The fact that Miri will not be attending in the first place is an embarrassment to the Arzel family…… But that can be dealt with by making up a plausible explanation. She got sick or something…”

There were trembling sounds from my father and mother when they started talking about how Mirim could not be there.

My father reminded me that His Highness Alfred must not intervene.

Of course,

Even so, it would be looked at strangely if his wife’s sister did not come to the Crown Prince’s wedding in the neighboring country.

If His Highness Alfred told Miri not to attend the wedding, it would be interpreted as a sign that she had a serious problem, and her character would be called into question by all the surrounding countries.

If it were to go badly, it might even cause trouble for the dukes that Mirim would marry into.

Of course, His Highness Alfred will not speak of Miri’s case, but it is very difficult to contain these rumors and make sure that no one will ever know about them.

“So, how do we convince Miri?”

“She is a sensitive and vulnerable child. She may start crying even if you tell her softly.”

However, Mirim is a child who believes that whatever she asks for will be accepted.

If you say something harsh to her, she starts to cry and does not feel like having a discussion with you.

My mother expects Miri to start crying, and I agree.

“That’s why I’m so nervous… I’m not sure if we can talk her out of it.”

“Father! Mother~! Oh, this is terrible! You’re leaving me out (sniff)…”

“””?!”””

We made sure Miri was not around and secretly discussing the wedding, but for some reason, she has a keen sense of smell in such situations.

It’s like she’s already read the fact that we’re talking in secret…

She is looking at me with teary eyes.

How should I talk to her now…

“Huh… Miri, I have something important to tell you. Sit down there.”

“Important… What’s important?

My father sat Miri down on the couch with a determined look on his face.

I wonder if he will be able to convince her, or rather, if he will be able to convince her… “

“Miri, you don’t like spicy food. So the party food of the Kingdom of Albania won’t suit you.”

Huh? What are you talking about out of the blue?

What kind of vision did my father have to bring up such a subject…?

“Forcing yourself to eat food that doesn’t suit you will give you a stomach ache. I don’t want to see Miri writhing in pain… So you’ll miss Charlotte and Prince Alfred’s wedding. I will inform them that you are ill.”

“…”

That kind of persuasion is not going to work, is it?

Well, the other day, when she talked about marrying into a neighboring country, she was able to get over it with this story.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to call a wedding with spicy food—

“Mu~u. Miri certainly doesn’t like spicy food. I will not attend Onesama and Alfred-sama’s wedding.”

“””?!”””

How? Is it really that easy to convince her?

That makes me worry about her future…

“I see, I see. Then—”

“Because I’m the one who’s going to marry Alfred-sama. Ufufufu.”

“””?!”””

Miri smiled and said that she was the one who would marry His Highness Alfred, as if it was a done deal.

He had not been able to convince her at all.

Not before that, though.

What’s wrong with you, Leanhardt-sama?

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𝐂𝐡𝟏𝟔

My father tried to persuade my sister Miri not to attend my wedding to His Highness Prince Alfred, but her words froze our family.

She told us that she was going to marry His Highness Alfred.

I wonder if she knows what she is talking about…

“Miri, Alfred is my fiancee. You have Leanhardt-sama, don’t you?”

I couldn’t resist interrupting.

It is not so much that I am selfish, but more that I don’t understand the logic.

I really don’t know how you came to that conclusion.

“Because Leanhardt-sama is not a prince. Alfred-sama is much better looking than Leanhardt-sama. He is the ideal prince that I have been dreaming of since I was a little girl.”

With a twinkle in her eye, Miri shows a pure and innocent expression.

It’s the same expression she has when she begs for a picture book or a violin.

Despite all the talk of engagement and marriage, and of the future not only of her life but also of her family’s future, Miri is still trying to push her way through with her usual selfishness.

“Miri, that’s enough. You’re ruining Charlotte’s engagement. You can’t be so selfish.”

Miri’s mother also complains to Miri in disgust.

She has forgiven her for most things in the past, but this is just too much for her to tolerate.

“Then I will return Leanhardt-sama to Charlotte-onesama. In return, Alfred-sama, please.”

“””…”””

Like a child who craves the candy of someone else, my sister wanted her sister’s fiancée.

And then we realized that Miri really didn’t think anything of it.

She just wants it because she wants it — that’s all she thinks about.

Maybe it’s too late. Maybe it’s impossible to convince her…

I didn’t feel any ill will from her as she begged her sister’s fiance with an open face.

That’s why there is no discussion. She has no reason to feel bad.

“I had been aware of this for a while, but it seems that I have completely misjudged the way I brought her up. I thought that because of her good looks, she would be blessed with a good marriage without having to do anything special…”

My father is upset and laments that he thought Miri’s good looks would lead her to marry into a good family without having to do anything.

He was actually engaged to Leanhardt-sama, so perhaps he was right, but the current situation was enough to make him uncertain about her future.”

“It’s your fault, husband. You took your friend’s words to heart that Miri was too perfect.”

“No, the Marquis of Aston says that if you raise her uninhibited, she’ll be more lovable and have a better chance at a good marriage. He is a leading authority on education.”

My parents started fighting about how they had raised Miri wrong.

It doesn’t matter what they say, because it’s already been said.

Anyway, something needs to be done about Miri.

I can see that she will definitely rebel if you lecture her.

“Mirim! I don’t care what you say, the marriage of Charlotte and His Highness Alfred is a done deal. Besides, His Highness does not like you!”

“No, Father. Didn’t Alfred-sama say the other day that I was cute as a monkey?”

“No, he didn’t. Miri, if you don’t want to be disowned, you’d better let this one go!”

“Father, mother, what’s wrong? Why are you mean to Miri…? (Sniff)(Sniff) Whaaaaaa!”

Miri finally cried as our parents turned up the heat.

This is the kind of situation that can’t be helped, right?

Normally, this would be enough to make her point…”

“It’s no use. Let’s leave her temporarily in a monastery.”

“I guess that’s the only way… But I don’t know what to tell them…”

Apparently, my father thought of putting Miri under house arrest at the monastery.

Miri had no idea what they were talking about, and would occasionally stop crying and tilt her head back and forth—.

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𝐂𝐡𝟏𝟕

“(Sniff), (Sniff), I’ve been sent to a monastery… (Sniff) that’s too much…”

What’s going on? I don’t understand.

I was thinking of having Alfred draw the line at this woman, and now this woman… she’s being sent to a monastery?

—What the hell did she do to deserve that? She’s my fiancée, for God’s sake.

What was Count Arzel thinking? Has she done something stupid?

“Miri, tell me what you did. Count Arzel wouldn’t suddenly try to put you in a monastery if you hadn’t done anything.”

“… (Sniff), Father was mean to me…”

That’s not what I said!

You know, I’m not asking you that! Even a child would give a better answer!

This is the biggest mistake of my life. I shouldn’t have broken off the engagement…

I didn’t know there were people I couldn’t talk to except for the fact that they don’t speak Ezerstanian or something like that…

But I have to be patient —the last thing I want is to have to take care of her for the rest of my life.

“Miri, I know they’re mean. I just want to know how it happened.”

“How did it happen? Well… Um—.”

It’s annoying.

Yeah, it’s really annoying.

I can’t believe how hard it is just to find out what happened from this woman.

“That is, I’m a big admirer of Alfred-sama, aren’t I? So, let’s see, what were we talking about?”

“…So, you walked in on Charlotte and your parents having a private conversation, right? And then your parents told you not to go to the wedding. And they said something about you liking Prince Alfred.”

“Ah, yes, I did. Leanhardt-sama is very smart. I forgot what we were talking about right away. The other day~”

“You’re getting off track! Please continue the story of His Highness Alfred!”

Damn! How can you forget what we were talking about earlier?!

And don’t change the subject so abruptly! This has absolutely nothing to do with what we were talking about!

A~ah, I don’t remember when conversation was so tiring. No, it’s just too hard to talk with this woman…

But after listening patiently…

Apparently, while talking about Charlotte’s wedding, she mentioned that she was going to marry Alfred.

This stupid woman is beyond my imagination.

Of course, people will think you’re crazy if you say such a stupid thing.

But now we’re in trouble.

If she’s sent to a monestery and Charlotte gets married…

No. It was hell just thinking about it…

“It’s no use. I’ll go talk to Count Arzel. I can’t believe they’re sending my fiancee to a monestery.”

“Leanhardt-sama~. Miri is touched by Leanhardt-sama’s kindness… That’s right. Leanhardt-sama is the man of Miri dreams. Alfred-sama is better looking though…”

Stop it. Don’t make him look good.

That’s right. You like Alfred, don’t you? Be confident in that. Why do you waver so easily?

Anyway, I’m wont allow sending Miri to the monastery.

And I’m going to give Alfred this woman.

“Leanhardt-sama, when will you tell father? I am to be sent to the monastery tomorrow by carriage.”

“Tomorrow? They’re moving faster than I thought… Okay… let’s go to your house now!”

Why at such the last minute?

I mean, Count Arzel was going to report it after the fact.

He took the dukes lightly just because he’s now related to the royal family.

I’m going to give him a lecture…

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𝐂𝐡𝟏𝟖

This has become a problem.

I had no idea that Miri would tell Leanhardt-sama that she was being sent to a monastery and that he would come to our house to protest it.

I was more surprised that my parents let Leanhardt-sama see Miri.

Didn’t she say she was going to pretend she went to an etiquette class later?

Why can’t you understand that this is a meaningless thing…

“Count Arzel, what is this? How can you think that I would allow my fiancée to enter a monastery without my permission?”

“No, it’s just that… It’s complicated… I’m afraid so.”

Leanhardt-sama is the legitimate son of a duke.

My father doesn’t want to get into trouble with his father, of course, so he has to keep a low profile.

But today, Leanhardt-sama seems very overbearing.

I wonder if he has some other goal in mind than to stop Miri from going to the monastery…

“Did you listen to Miri’s opinion? Poor Miri! She was trembling and crying! What has she done to deserve this? Tell me what she did!”

“What did she do? I’m sorry, but this is a very private and sensitive matter…”

When asked why he was sending Miri to the monastery, my father became even more sluggish.

This is not surprising, because there is no way my father would tell him that Miri wanted to marry His Highness Alfred, even if she was with Leanhardt-sama.

If such a situation were to come to his attention, he would certainly break off the engagement with Miri.

“What privacy and delicacy is there that my fiancé cannot hear?! Mirim said that you were mean to her, Count Arzel, but what does that mean? Why is she being sent to a monastery? Do you think I’m stupid?”

“No, I didn’t… N-No, I would never make fun of you, Leanhardt-dono…”

“I understand. You wouldn’t say it’s meant to separate them from their true love, would you? Miri seems to have found true love in her life. Tell me who it is.

“””?!”””

What? Miri’s true love? No way, he’d know…

You mean to say that Leanhardt-sama heard all this from Miri, knows what’s going on, and is here to protest…?

We understand it at this moment.

No, then he would be more angry with Mirim than with us…. After all, she has changed her mind.

As these questions were floating around, Miri, who seemed to be in a strangely good mood, opened her mouth.

“…The man I love is Alfred-sama. because he’s so good-looking. He’s a prince.”

“T-This, Miri! You’re standing in front of Leanhardt-sama!”

“I don’t mind. I wouldn’t mind if his highness Alfred and Mirim got married. I have heard that he is very fond of her. I don’t want to quarrel with him.”

What is he talking about? How could you not care?

It’s one thing for Milim to mention His Highness Alfred’s name here, but… but beyond that, I don’t understand what Leanhardt-sama is doing.

And there is no evidence that His Highness Alfred likes Miri at all…

What did Miri tell Leanhardt-sama?

“Master, Madame, Miss, His Highness Alfred is here.”

“””?!”””

Yes, that’s right. Today, I was supposed to have a meeting with His Highness Alfred to discuss future plans, but Leanhardt-sama came out of nowhere and things got strange.

What is to be done in this case? I’m afraid it’s going to be complicated…

“I don’t mind. I would like to speak with His Highness Alfred.”

“No, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Enough! I want to talk to His Highness properly!”

It was going to be a very chaotic day.

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𝐂𝐡𝟏𝟗

Today, when Leanhardt-sama came to protest Miri’s going to the monastery, His Royal Highness Alfred was supposed to visit our house in the first place.

We thought that Leanhardt-sama would go home because of the recent incident, but to our surprise, he wanted to meet His Highness Prince Alfred.

My father tried to stop Leanhardt-sama, but he did not listen to my father.

His Royal Highness, Alfred, looked confused when Leinhardt-sama told him that he had something to say, but he agreed to meet him.

I hope that nothing will happen, but on the other hand, I have a feeling that something will happen, and that gives me a headache….

“Leanhardt-kun wants to see me? I don’t know why, but let’s hear it.”

His Highness Alfred turned his sapphire eyes on Leanhardt-sama and took a listening posture.

The dignified expression on his face was very serious, but that’s why I was worried….

I’m afraid that Leanhardt-sama’s story might upset His Highness.

“No, Your Highness, Alfred. Please don’t stare at me like that. I… No, I’m trying to tell you a good story.”

“Don’t preface it. Please be direct and concise. I have studied the language reasonably well, but I want to avoid misunderstandings.”

I can see that His Highness Alfred is feeling a little frustrated.

When he says “direct and concise,” he implies that he wants to end the conversation quickly.

Leanhardt-sama, however, did not care and started talking with a smirk on his face.

“I heard that His Highness Alfred had fallen in love with Miri, my fiancée. Miri also adores His Highness and would like to be united with him. Therefore, I will step aside and play a part in the marriage between Miri and His Highness—”

“What are you talking about? Is it that I’m in love with Charlotte’s sister? Hahaha, no, of course not. No, it’s rude to laugh at someone’s fiancée. I’m sorry.”

” …What?”

Leanhardt-sama’s story was so outrageous that His Highness Alfred could not help but burst out laughing.

No, no, no, it’s far from true that His Highness Alfredo is in love with Mirim…

Leanhardt-sama was silent and then said, “What?” … Leanhardt-sama rolls his eyes, and his face is getting paler and paler.

It seemed that he was wrong.

“Leanhardt-kun, I can’t believe my ears. But I don’t think I misheard you. Because you look like you’ve lost it. and you’re expressing everything with your face.”

“No, I mean… Your Highness? Then, when you called Miri cute, you didn’t mean…”

With his voice trembling, with vacant eyes and an expression that could have turned him to ash, Leanhardt-sama told him that His Highness Alfred had called Miri “cute.”

No, that’s… Well… Not cute or anything like that…

“I didn’t say “cute.” I said, “like a monkey.” I was being sarcastic. And she said… she interpreted it as “cute.” which I didn’t understand.”

“Like a monkey? Cute? Haaaa?!”

“N-No, what do you mean by sarcasm, Alfred-sama likes me, but he’s too shy to…”

“Shut up! Stupid woman!”

“Ahhhhhh—!”

Hearing the truth, Leanhardt-sama gets up and slaps Miri on the cheek.

No, it is crazy of you to take Miri’s words seriously and to say that you would give up your fiancée because of them, and it is disgusting to hit a woman in the face—.

Miri holds her cheek and is stunned, not understanding what just happened. Alfred-sama was more irritated than before.

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𝐂𝐡𝟐𝟎 (𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐭 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

No way. What the hell is going on? Hey!

What, what, what, what? She’s as smart as a monkey, that’s what they’ll say.

They’d call you a monkey, and you’d say, “Cute.”… It’s beyond my imagination, beyond my comprehension.

Is this woman really from Ezersta? The country bumpkin in front of you has better language skills than you do.

What kind of education did Count Arzel give her? Compared to Charlotte, how could she possibly be…?

“Leanhardt-kun. I was going to laugh at your silly misunderstanding and let it slide…”

That’s not good. That’s not funny.

How rude I’ve been.

Trying to push a girl I don’t even care about onto him…

It’s all Miri’s fault. I was just swayed by this woman’s stupid remarks.

Anyway, I have to tell His Highness that…

That’s right. It’s not my fault. It’s all her fault!

She’s the one who lied to me!

Be cool, be cool, Leanhardt.

“Yes, sir! Thank you! Oh, excuse Miri’s stupidity. I can’t believe I took her words so twisted…”

Anyway, it’s an excuse.

You may think it’s not nice for a man to make long excuses, but I don’t care about that.

The most important thing here is not to aggravate His Highness Alfred’s mood any further.

It’s still all right. We can still start over. I still have a chance to clear up the misunderstanding.

Do your best to explain. Tell them it’s all Miri’s fault.

“No, I’m referring to what came after. You slapped a woman in the face, didn’t you? Is that what a gentleman of Ezersta nobility would do?”

“Slapped her? I slapped a woman in the…”

Oh, my God!

I was so angry that I slapped Milim! This is not good. If my father finds out about this, he’ll disown me!!

He might say that my brother is the heir.

I mean, usually I’d hit you. If you embarrass me by saying something stupid like that.

But I shouldn’t have hit her, no matter how stupid she is. This is a very bad impression…

It’s not so much that I hit my fiancée… I shouldn’t have hit Alfred’s fiancée’s sister.

My family has contacts with some of the most important nobles in neighboring countries who are on friendly terms with the royal family of Albania.

If my father’s name is damaged, I will… I will…

“I-It hurts! Fu~eeeee! Leanhardt-sama’s an idioooooooot!!!”

No! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

I didn’t hit you that hard!

You took too long to feel the pain after I hit you!

Goddamn it! She’s all to blame! Damn! If only I had known she was such a disappointment, both in character and in her head!

“Anyway, I’ll make sure your father knows what happened today. It would be better for the duke’s family.”

“No, no, no! Please, please forgive me! I’m only doing what’s best for his highness Alfred!”

I can’t let you tell Father.

I have to avoid it, or I’m done for…

Alfredo, don’t be hasty. I’m on your side.

“For my best, huh? You were just trying to force me to marry your ex-fiancee, weren’t you? Don’t get smart with me… Or are you making fun of me?”

“No, no, not at all… But I don’t want you to…”

“That’s enough. Your excuses make me sick. Now, will you get out of my sight? Otherwise, I’ll have to tell your father more, won’t I?”

“A-Ah, G-G-G-Good…!”

No! No! No! No! No!

W-What am I going to do? I can’t stop shaking.

My heart is palpitating, and I’m short of breath…

Oh, I’m ruined… I’m done…

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𝐂𝐡𝟐𝟏

Leinhardt looks like a plant that has lost its water after being blackmailed by Alfred.

Leanhardt-sama sits on the sofa, drooping down and not saying a word.

I don’t think we have anything more to talk about…

“Leanhardt-dono, I would like you to leave today. I’ll tell the Duke about the incident with Miri.”

“Ha-ha-ha! Count Arzel to my father? I’m finished anyway!”

When my father interrupted him to defend Leanhardt-sama, he suddenly stood up and laughed.

I guess my father wanted to defend Leanhardt-sama because it would not be good for him if Leanhardt-sama broke off the engagement with Miri or was disinherited.

“Whatever, Charlotte! I’m going to drag you with me! If you think about it, it’s annoying that you’re the only one who gets to be happy! Prince Alfred! Let me tell you something!”

Leanhardt-sama stares at me with bloodshot eyes and says he can’t allow me to be happy.

I don’t understand the logic or what I have done to him…

In any case, he is very confident. I think he wants to say something to His Highness Alfred is…

“Charlotte is my ex-fiancee! She broke off our engagement and immediately compromised to accept your marriage proposal! Isn’t this a betrayal! If I had stayed engaged, she would not have accepted your marriage proposal, and she cowardly kept silent about her past engagement to me!”

Leanhardt-sama accuses me in a quick accusatory tone.

What he says is true. I intentionally kept silent about my engagement to Leanhardt-sama.

If I had known he was going to be this violent, I probably should have told His Highness beforehand that he is my…

“What do you think, Your Highness Alfred, that woman is a vicious fox. She is calculating and desperate to win your favor while pretending to be ignorant of what is going on. This black-heartedness is the true nature of this vixen!”

Perhaps refreshed by his shouting out loud, Leanhardt-sama looked at me and His Highness Alfred with a fresh face.

He looked as if he had acted for the sake of justice.

He calls me vicious and a vixen… I never thought I would hear such a thing from him.

“…What about it?”

“What…?”

His Highness Alfred, who had been listening to Leanhardt-sama’s protests, said a single word.

Leanhardt-sama looks as if he is out of his depth, as if his reaction is different from what he expected.

“I’m sorry to say that I don’t understand why you’re accusing Charlotte of being so good at what she does.”

“…No, no, no, Your Highness. Because Charlotte has betrayed you. She was engaged to me. I’m on your side, and I don’t—.”

“That’s enough!”

His Highness Alfred stopped Leanhardt-sama from denouncing me further.

Leanhardt-sama stopped speaking with his mouth hanging open at the sound of his voice.

“I didn’t know that you were her ex-fiancée, but I knew from the moment I received the letter that Charlotte had just broken off her engagement.”

“What?!”

Yes, that’s right. I told His Highness Alfred that I had just broken off the engagement in time for my father’s reply letter.

He told me that it was just a matter of timing and nothing else, but…

“The reason she didn’t tell me is to protect your honor, the shameful man who got engaged to his ex-fiancée’s sister without a care in the world. And now you’re here ungratefully revealing it to accuse her. Apparently, you are my least favorite type of person.”

“…Your, your highness. Wait a minute…”

“Fine, if you’re going to pick a fight with my fiancée. I have my own ideas…!”

“No…!”

Leanhardt-sama fell to his knees.

His face is pale and he is trembling, his teeth chattering.

This is going to be rough on the Duke’s family…

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𝐂𝐡𝟐𝟐: (𝐌𝐢𝐫𝐢’𝐬 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

Leanhardt-sama, you are terrible! You said you would help me find the man of my dreams, and then suddenly you hit me in the face…

It’s the worst. I still have a tingling sensation and I wonder what I will do if my face gets a scar…

“…Your, your highness. Wait a minute…”

“Fine, if you’re going to pick a fight with my fiancée. I have my own ideas…!”

“No…!”

Ararara?

Leanhardt-sama is looking like he’s losing his mind because of Alfred-sama’s anger.

—Suck on that.

He deserves it for smacking me in the face.

Ufufufu. Alfred-sama was angry with him for my sake.

My cheeks hurt so much that I couldn’t hear what he said, but I’m sure he did.

I knew that Alfred-sama loved me, not Charlotte-onesama.

Yes, he does. Of course he does.

Because Charlotte-onesama is ugly, she talks in difficult incantations, and she is a boring woman who is good at playing a musical instrument.

“What’s wrong, Leanhardt-kun? If you don’t have any more business to do, can you leave? I have a lot of things to discuss with Charlotte about our marriage.”

Alfred-sama, you are judging the evil Leanhardt-sama in style.

And for my sake… Ah, this is true love, isn’t it?

He is good-looking, smart, and a prince… Miri wants to be Alfred-sama’s wife…

” … Y-Yes! Please! Please give me some leniency, your Highness! …!”

“…”

Ufufufu. Leanhardt-sama, you’re not looking so good with your teary eyes.

Alfred-sama is a million times more attractive than this ugly, violent man.

I’ve made up my mind.

I’m going to confess to Alfred-sama again. With the cutest face ever—!

With a look that will make all the gentlemen look back…!

I’m sure that Alfred-sama will fall in love with me too.

Look at Onesama’s face…Miri would never be able to live if she was born with a face like that. Ufufufu.

“Um… Alfredo-sa—.”

“So, you’re sending Miri to the monastery. Good. I didn’t think she deserved to be a guest at my wedding, so now I can protect the honor of the Arzel family.”

“Eh…?”

What? What? What? What?

Oh, Alfred-sama, why do you take the story of my being sent to the monastery with such a smile?

“To tell you the truth, I was worried. I heard Count Arzel has a soft spot for Miri. Sending a girl like this to a rigorous party is like letting a wild beast run free.”

A-A girl like this? It’s strange that Alfred-sama should speak so ill of me…

O-Onesama is nodding her head at that? I don’t think so…Charlotte-onesama must have told Alfred-sama something bad about me—.

Onesama, that’s terrible!

Telling Alfred-sama all sorts of lies to prevent me from being happy…!

“A-Alfred-sama! Wait! I, I, I am not the horrible woman Alfred-sama says I am!”

“Huh. Well, let me ask you something, Miri… Do you know the name of my father, the King of Albania?”

“…Eh? Does the king have a name?”

“…Count Arzel, I need you to get this girl out of my sight immediately. If you want me to pretend I didn’t just hear that.”

Hey, hey! Father!

Why do I have to be thrown out of the room?

What did I do? What did I do? What did I do?!

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𝐂𝐡𝟐𝟑

What an abomination… How rude…

My sister not only could not answer the name of the King of the neighboring country, but she thought His Majesty the King of Albania didn’t have a name.

How could she come to such a conclusion?

In all likelihood, she couldn’t even remember the name of His Majesty the King of Ezersta, let alone the neighboring kingdom.

This is beyond disrespect.

It’s definitely on the level of being accused of bad parenting.

“Your Highness, I’m sorry! I know that my sister’s disrespectful behavior is unforgivable. Truly—”

“No, you don’t have to apologize. Just because I can’t believe that she is your sister doesn’t make you any less valuable.”

During the apology I made for Miri’s comment, Alfred held up one hand and said no.

I appreciate your generosity, but this is too much for my family.

I haven’t even digested the matter of Leinhardt-sama, and the thought of Mirim gives me a headache.

“But Count and Countess Arzel. What kind of education have you given Miri? Even a sheepdog has more discipline than that.”

…Miri is finally being evaluated as less than a dog.

Normally I would deny it, but I have already lost the will to do so.

However, His Highness Alfred is not angry with Miri.

Rather, I think he is saying that he cannot forgive our parents for causing her to become the way she is.

“Well, that’s, uh… The Marquis of Aston, an authority on pedagogy, taught that a child brought up without inhibitions grows up to be a good child with a relaxed personality…”

“We gave Charlotte a very crammed education, and she excelled academically, but we got the impression that Miri lacked interest. We tried to give her a lot of autonomy.”

In thoughtful, frightened tones, the parents explain how my sister came to be like this.

The Marquis of Aston is certainly the country’s leading pedagogue, and all three of his sons graduated from the Royal Academy with first class honors and hold important positions in the country, but it doesn’t sound like they were given the same kind of education that Miri had.

“Do you think this is the result of listening to Professor Aston’s educational theory? Don’t make me laugh. I heard that he creates an environment where his children are free to pursue their academic interests and learn as they wish. He never said anything about letting wild animals run free, unless I am mistaken in the translation of the books I have read.”

“”Ugh…””

“You didn’t just listen to half-truths because you were tired of educating her, did you?”

It seems that His Highness Alfred has read the Marquis of Aston’s books.

I thought it was strange too, but after hearing what His Highness said, it made sense to me.

The Marquis of Aston, who is an authority on pedagogy, would never say that we should just leave them there and do nothing…

“It seems, Count Arzel, that you are largely responsible for what happened to Miri. It’s going to take a lot to turn her back into a real human being. Wouldn’t that be a problem for the monastery?”

“Y-Yes. I mean, I can’t deny that…”

“At this rate, Charlotte will be adopted by one of our dukes, and we’ll have to assume that you don’t want anything to do with her either. We don’t know what would have happened to Charlotte at your whim.”

“Eh, I can’t have that…! You’re kidding, right? Haha… If that happens, it’s the end of our family…”

My father is laughing with a pale face, but I can tell from the look on His Highness Alfred’s face that he is not joking.

Leaving this house and being adopted by another family, even if only in name… I’m sure my parents would like to avoid that.

They would only consider their daughter’s marriage based on whether it would benefit the Arzel family or not…

It seems that the marriage will not go off without a hitch.

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𝐂𝐡𝟐𝟒 (𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐭’𝐬 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

Damn, why do I have to go through this?

That bastard Alfred really told my father! He told him about all the things I did, like slapping Miri and forcing Alfred to take that stupid girl!

So I’m summoned to my father’s study.

He had looked at me with a sour face when I broke off my engagement to Charlotte, and he was not so happy about my engagement to Miri either.

I explained to him how much I loved her and made him forgive me.

So it hurts to be asked about it.

It hurts me so much. And when the royal family of Albania is involved…

“Leanhardt, you… I heard you went on quite a rampage. I didn’t expect His Highness the Crown Prince of Albania…!”

My father stares at me with an intensity I’ve never seen before.

Father is trembling, as if remembering how he had been bowing down to His Highness Prince Alfred in anger at the shame our family had brought upon us.

“No, no, father…His Highness Alfred is exaggerating a bit…”

I was already losing my grip on him. He is the absolute leader of this family.

He values the tradition and dignity of the dukedom above all else, and he hates to see the family name tarnished.

And this incident has gone far beyond his capacity for anger.

—That is why I have no other choice but to make excuses.

“So it was a lie that you beat Miri, that you loved her so much that you wanted to leave Charlotte and marry her?”

“No, no, it was light. It’s as light as a fresh spring breeze.”

Father asked if what Alfred had told him was a lie.

It was true, I had actually slapped her without much force.

But Miri was simply overreacting.

I tried to convey the nuance, but—.

“You idiot!!”

“Hiii!”

The sound of my father’s fist hitting the table echoed in the room.

because I didn’t really hit her. I have to convey that nuance properly.

And that was when I was at the height of my frustration at finding out that stupid Miri had said something stupid.

“Remember what you said to me when you said you were going to get engaged to Miri? You said, “I’ll be her shield and protect her at all costs, no matter what troubles lie ahead.”

“Huh? Did I say that?”

At that time, Miri was so adorable and so cute that I felt like I could do anything for her.

—The excitement was high for a while.

“What are you laughing at?! I’m not laughing at all! We’re not talking about something that happened years ago! Not even a month has passed! I can see through your small human comprehension!”

“Sh*t…”

Father has no idea how stupid Miri is, which is why he can say such a thing.

Try to face her for even a week and you’ll feel nothing but stress.

In short, it’s as if I had an accident. There aren’t many stupid women like that.

It was bad luck. I’d have put up with it if I’d had any brains left in me.

“Elmhardt, come in here…!”

“Yes, Father…”

He yelled at me for a while and then let my brother, Elmhardt, who had just turned 15 this year, into the room.

Elmhardt is a timid and unreliable boy who is always scared of something.

“As you know, Leinhardt has brought shame on our family. An embarrassment of epic proportions… —That’s why I want you to take charge of the family, not Leinhardt.”

“Hey! Father, wait!”

The thing I feared would happen.

He really said he didn’t want me to take over the duchy, you damned father!

But I’m sure Elmhardt, who’s so frightened of me, will refrain—.

“Really?! I’m so glad! Now I can live my life without worrying about my brother!”

“What…?”

Elmhardt had the biggest smile on his face.

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𝐂𝐡𝟐𝟓

This morning… Miri was taken in a carriage to the monastery.

I feel bad for her.

I also feel bad about what happened to this girl.

More than half the reason my sister is the way she is is because of her environment.

If her parents had not interpreted educational theories in a distorted way, she might have been a little more self-reflective…

“The environment is a bit harsh for Miri, but I hope she will persevere.”

“I think it’s a chance for her to get mentally stronger in a slightly harsher environment. Your sister is at a critical point in her life. She may or may not be reborn.”

Yesterday we did not have time to discuss this, and His Highness Alfred also went to the Duke’s house, Leanhardt-sama’s parents’ house, so he came here today again.

Now that the Miri and Leanhardt-sama matters are settled, I can think about the future.

“So, um… You’re not going to ask Charlotte to adopt her somewhere else, are you? She’s a very important daughter… It’s not like she’s a failure like Miri.”

“A failure…? Will you then take responsibility for your own failure? Isn’t it your fault that Miri grew up illiterate?”

My father knew it would be wrong to ask me to be adopted by another family, so he confirmed this to His Highness Alfred.

But when he said the word “failure”, His Highness Alfred expressed his displeasure explicitly.

I think it’s because my father thinks of Miri as if she were someone else.

“W-Well, that’s true, but… That’s why I suggest re-education at the monastery…”

“Master…! Leanhardt-sama’s brother, Elmhart-sama, is here. He has something to tell you about the house…”

Leanhardt-sama’s younger brother, Elmhardt-sama, is here?

I heard that His Highness Prince Alfred came yesterday to complain to the Dukes, so I assume that’s what this is about….

If he wanted to apologize to Miri or break off the engagement, he would have come himself…

“Your Highness Alfred…”

“Hmm, I don’t mind. It’s not like I had nothing to do with it since I went to the Duke’s yesterday. If you and Elmhart-kun want me to leave, I’ll come back.”

In the end, Elmhardt-sama wanted to greet His Highness if he was present, so he was escorted to the reception room with His Highness Alfred present.

As I recall, Elmhardt-sama had just turned 15 years old. He still looks a little young…

When he met my eyes, he turned a fresh smile toward me.

“Your Highness Alfred, I apologize for not being able to greet you yesterday. I’d like to apologize for that as well as for my brother.”

With dignity and formality, Elmhardt-sama addresses His Highness Alfred and apologizes.

I had the impression that he used to be shy or timid, but he seems to have changed a lot….

“It’s not your fault. You don’t need to apologize. If you want to talk to the Count, you can do so beforehand.”

His Highness Alfred did not ask for an apology from Elmhardt-sama in particular.

He urges him to give priority to the matter of his visit to my father.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me. My Father took my brother’s disgraceful behavior yesterday very seriously, Count Arzel…He’s decided to let me take over the reins of the family. On behalf of my brother…”

“”What?!””

I had expected that Leanhardt-sama would be disinherited, but it was too soon.

The Duke seems to be very upset…

“So, what do you want to do, Count? My father has no objection to calling off the engagement.

“Hmm…”

“If the Count does, I would like to take Miri as my wife.”

“”What?!””

Elmhardt-sama said, which no one had expected.

Time stood still.

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𝐂𝐡𝟐𝟔

Elmhardt-sama, Leanhardt-sama’s brother, visited our house, and to our shock, he said that he wanted Miri to be his wife.

We were silent because Miri had just caused a problem.

Even His Highness Alfred seemed surprised.

“I am very happy with this offer, Elmhardt-dono, but… Miri has just misbehaved with His Highness Alfred the other day and is to be re-educated in a monastery.”

My father is upset, but explains to Elmhardt-sama that it has been decided that Miri will be re-educated in a monastery.

Perhaps the Duke and Leanhardt-sama have told him about this as well…

“Yes, my father told me. He told me that she had approached His Highness when she was still engaged and that she thought His Majesty the King of Albania had no name. What a unique woman.”

It seems that Elmhardt-sama knows the whole story and wants Miri as his wife.

I wonder what he is thinking when he smiles so brightly…

I have the impression that he is amused by Mirim.

“Elmhardt-kun, I don’t understand what you are trying to do. You are the heir to the duke’s title. Why don’t you think about choosing a woman more suitable for the future duchess?”

My father and Elmhardt-sama were having a conversation when His Highness Alfred came in. He was so interested that he interrupted them.

Many women would like to be proposed to by a duke, and Elmhardt-sama is still young, so he should take his time thinking about his future.

It’s something that my parents and I have been wondering about, so I’m glad he didn’t mind asking.

“Yes, I agree. I think that she has become a very inflected personality. I don’t believe in smart women…Yes, I guess she’s become a bit of a degenerate. But, I think there is room for Miri to become more obedient if I discipline her strictly from now on.”

“…”

For a moment, the air that Elmhardt-sama was giving off was tense.

It was a little scary to hear him say those two words, discipline and obedience, as if they were nothing at all.

“I knew my brother’s character and I was ready to take over the family in my own way, because I knew it would happen one day. I want to decide everything on my own. So I don’t need a wise woman. Besides, Miri is the one who helped me get rid of my brother. Hahaha…”

Behind his calm tone, you can sense his contempt and resentment toward his brother, Leanhardt-sama.

He says he will make her obedient, but he will be merciless with her, won’t he? It’s like he’s training an animal.

I guessed it as I looked into his eyes, which seemed to glint from time to time.

“Hmm, I have a little brother too, and I’m a little scared of him. I’d like to know what he thinks of me.”

“If I had had a smarter older brother like His Highness Alfred, I would have gladly asked him to be my successor. Don’t worry, we won’t let Miri get involved with the Albanian royal family.”

His HighnessAlfred’s remarks were coolly dismissed by Ermhart-sama, who expressed his firm intentions.

My parents must be very grateful for this suggestion.

Hmm?

Wait a minute.

What do you mean?

“We won’t let Miri get involved with the Albanian royal family.”

“Then that’s what I’m hoping for! I’ll be happy to give you my daughter! “

My father said, in a good mood, as he offered his daughter.

I have a bad feeling about this…

“Thank you very much. Then, Mirim-san will be adopted by a branch of our family, and we don’t need the parents who raised such an illiterate daughter.”

“”!?””

Time stopped again.

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𝐂𝐡𝟐𝟕

Elmhardt-sama, who wanted Miri for his wife, demanded that she be adopted by a branch of the duke’s family.

This was probably done to get her parents to break off their relationship.

I thought it would be better not to take her in anyway.

“No, no, Elmhardt-dono. That is impossible. I would not give my precious daughter up for adoption, and I would not allow her to marry.”

Naturally, my father refuses to marry the duke, which would be a loss of meaning.

He said that such an arrangement would be unacceptable and that they would only lose out.

My father was pale when His Royal Highness Alfred suggested the same thing to him just the other day… But he is not so strict with Ermhart-sama, to whom he hasn’t even gotten engaged yet.

“Is that so? I thought it was a good story. Maybe Miri won’t get any more offers. Rumors travel fast, and one day they might even reach the royal family…”

“What?! Will Miri’s case reach the royal family? Elmhardt-dono, are you…”

Elmhart-sama’s words could be taken as a threat.

He says that if we don’t give him Mirim, he will spread the word that she has disgraced herself in front of His Highness Alfred, but would he really want to go that far?

I don’t see any advantage in having Miri, and I can only think of it as an attack on Leanhardt-sama.

Is it because he still looks young? It seems to me that he is believing, or trying hard to believe, that he is right in making a wrong choice…

“Elmhardt-sama, if you are considering Miri for your wife because of your feelings for Leanhardt-sama, you would be wise to stop. Please think calmly about your future.”

I advised Elmhardt-sama not to marry Miri because of personal feelings of resentment.

It is obvious that this person has a grudge against Leanhardt-sama. However, it is not right to let your feelings of resentment lead you to marriage, and it will not make you happy.

“Charlotte-san… You have been a good sister all your life. You don’t know how I feel. You don’t know how I feel, having been humiliated by having to stay under my brother just because I was the second born.”

Elmhardt-sama looks at me with glazed eyes.

It seems to this person that I have had a smooth sailing life all my life.

I’m sorry, but I don’t think my words will make any difference.

“Charlotte, give it up. He’s a sick man. Our words will not reach him. We’ve both experienced our fair share of stress and adversity but we can’t discuss it.”

His Highness Alfred was born a Crown Prince.

It seems that he closed his mouth, saying that his argument would not reach Elmhardt-sama.

“Well, you have some time on your hands. Take your time to discuss it. But I don’t have much time left before I bring Charlotte home. So, are we ready?”

“My apologies. I’m sorry for the embarrassment and taking up so much of your time.. I’ll leave you alone now.”

His Royal Highness Alfred, who had read that a long talk would not lead to a conclusion by the end of the day, advised Elmhardt-sama to take his time in discussing the matter.

He accepted the advice and got up to leave.

“Well, we’re having trouble with Elmhardt-sama. I am sorry, your highness. I didn’t mean to make a mess of things.”

“Yes, indeed. I knew I couldn’t leave Charlotte in this house. I’m determined to get her to Albania as soon as possible. I’m not going to go through the trouble of rumors spreading anymore. I will do whatever it takes to protect her.

His Highness Alfred said and picked me up in his arms.

Eh? He suddenly put me in his arms!?

Then he carries me out of the house and puts me in the carriage.

“I’ll send someone to get your stuff later.”

Before I could catch up with my thoughts, the carriage had departed.

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𝐂𝐡𝟐𝟖

His Highness Alfred threw out the discussion, took me in his arms and left for the Kingdom of Albania in a carriage.

I was so worried that I might lose his affection for me, which was understandable.

“I’m sorry, Charlotte, for being so forceful. But I had to get you out of that house as soon as possible.”

His Highness Alfred apologized to me with an apologetic look on his face.

His clear eyes transmitted even the sadness to me and made me feel uncomfortable.

It seemed to me that he was strongly appealing to me that he did not really intend to do this.

“I don’t mind. But, Your Highness Alfred, are you certain?I have family problems, and I don’t feel that I am the right person to be your wife.”

I told His Highness that I had been feeling uneasy.

My parents, my sister, and my ex-fiancée’s family have too many problems, and I thought that I would be a burden to His Highness Alfred.

Even if I were to marry in Albania, I would not be sorry if something happened to damage His Highness’ honor.

It may be too late, but I still had to check.

“You were thinking about that. It may be true that the connection between families is important in a marriage. But more importantly to me is how well I can protect the person I fall in love with.”

His Highness laughed at all my worries and anxieties, which were almost crushing me.

He told me that I was more important than what was going on between our houses.

“Your Highness Alfred, I…”

“Don’t worry. I came for you because I promised to make you happy. I will never waver in that commitment.”

His Highness smiled and tried to reassure me.

I, too, have made up my mind and will devote my life to his highness.

even if it means severing ties with my family.

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“We have finally arrived. This is the “Leicester Bridge” that connects Albania and Ezerta. All travelers between the two countries must go through formalities at customs. “

It took us three days to reach the border of Albania by carriage.

I was afraid that there might be difficulties in crossing the border, but His Highness said only a word or two, and we passed the border without any problems.

Finally, we reached the only bridge connecting Ezersta and Albania.

The bridge is a symbol of friendship between the two countries, connecting land to land, giving it a mystical atmosphere.

“This is the first time I have seen it. It is amazing. It makes sense that before this bridge was built, the two countries had little contact…”

“Yes, it does. This bridge is like a matchmaker between you and me. Without it, you and I would never have met.”

“Yes, I felt exactly the same way. And I thank my lucky stars that I met His Highness Alfred.”

I agree with His Highness Alfred as I get out of the carriage and take in the spectacular view.

It is no exaggeration to say that this bridge connects me with His Highness Alfred.

The bridge connecting two lands separated by a great river, combined with the historical background, seemed to me like a fantasy.

Crossing this bridge into a country with a different language and culture — of course I was anxious, but that was nothing compared to the magnitude of the hope I had for the future.

His Highness Prince Alfred held me by the shoulders, and I felt his warmth as my heart beat in anticipation of my new life.

With my hometown at my back, I walked forward into the future.

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𝐂𝐡𝟐𝟗 (𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐭 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

Elmhaaaardt!!

You can’t be smarter than me and expect to be the heir to a duchy!

Father too!

It was just one mistake!

I’ll admit it was a bad move to fall for that idiot. That’s why I wanted to leave Miri for the future of the Duchy, because I knew it was wrong.

It was not my intention to offend His Highness.

If I had known that Miri was wrong, if I had known that Charlotte had correctly informed him, I would not have made that mistake.

The problem was that the information had not reached me properly.

So, simply put, it was a series of bad luck. I just drew a low probability, like one in a hundred or one in a thousand.

Elmhardt is not a duke. He’s the kind of man who makes mistakes that pale in comparison to this little one.

The proof is that he’s no better than I am.

—I’ll have to convince your father.

Yes, you’re right. If I really ask him to put me back as heir to the dukedom, I’m sure he’ll forgive me.

“Leanhardt-sama, the master wants to see you.”

And then my father called me.

Is this a chance?!

Maybe he thought he’d gone too far by declaring that I wouldn’t succeed him.

Yes. He must have! Because it’s definitely too much.

Yes! Did you see that?! Elmhardt!

You’ll remember that when I’m back as an heir!

I’ll repay you a thousandfold for the humiliation you’ve caused me!

…I went to my father’s study in high spirits.

“Father! You’ve forgiven me?! Thank you!”

I gave him a beautiful bow.

Well, that’s a good bow that shows off my humility.

Father is now smilin—.

“Huh? No! You thick b*stard. Be thankful I don’t disown you!”

“Ugh…!”

My father yells at me in a loud voice.

What the hell… You’re not… Then don’t call me…

What the hell do you want? I don’t understand.

“Elmhardt wishes to take Miri Arzel, your still fiancée, to be his wife. I don’t appreciate the beating, but that girl… Is it true that she doesn’t even know that the King of Albania has a name?”

My father said that Ermhart wanted to marry that stupid girl.

Was Ermhart crazy enough to want Mirim as a wife?

Oh, come on, my brother. Are you out of your mind? She’s a stupid woman.

Of all the people, to choose Miri as his wife…

“Elmhardt for Miri? Hahaha, what’s he really saying? You’re right, Father, she’s—.”

No, wait.

What if Elmhardt brought Miri home as his fiancee and then, say, attended Charlotte and Alfred’s wedding and misbehaved?

He’d be chased out of the Duke’s house for sure…

Chance! A great opportunity has arrived!

This is my chance to take back my place from that as*hole of a brother!

“Well, she’s a bit of a know-nothing, but if she doesn’t fit in with me, maybe he will fit in with the hard-working Elmhardt. He likes to teach people.”

“Hmm.”

I wanted to push Ermhart to make such a stupid choice as taking Milim as a wife.

So I will tell my father that this is a good idea.

Be thankful, Elmhardt, that I am giving you what you want.

“It’s just that Miri is now… Miri is being sent to a monastery. As far as I’m concerned, if we’re thinking about the future of the Duke’s family, Miri’s sister Charlotte is getting married to His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince of Albania, and I think Elmhardt should go with her to say hello…”

“Hmmm. Certainly, many of the families there are close friends of ours. If she doesn’t attend, there will be strange rumors, I suppose.”

Yes!

At this rate, we’ll get Miri back from the monastery and send her to Charlotte’s wedding with Elmhardt.

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𝐂𝐡𝟑𝟎 (𝐄𝐥𝐦𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐭 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

Leanhardt, you’ve given our father a lot of trouble.

It’s easy to understand a shallow man’s thoughts. He wants me to take Miri Arzel to Albania to humiliate me.

Most likely, he naively thought that if I made a mistake, he would be rewarded with the heir to the dukedom.

“It’s all too simple, brother. How could you think that I would fall for such an obvious strategy? As usual, you think I’m a fool.”

Indeed, you’re shallow to think you can make me dance with such a simple scheme.

It’s that kind of easy-going nature that got you disinherited.”

Even so, I don’t like it. I’m curious if Father took Brother’s words seriously enough.”

But he’s still my father’s son.

He should have disowned that man right away, but instead he listens to his opinion and shakes it at me like it’s a good idea.

I’m going to have a talk with my father now.

About marrying Miri and whether or not I will be at Charlotte and Alfred’s wedding…

Well, it’s not easy being heir to a dukedom.

“If you really want Miri as your fiancée, it will only make sense if it’s beneficial to our family. You know that, don’t you? I already consider her unfit to be a future duchess.”

My father mentioned to me the demerits of being engaged to Mirim.

I guess he’s heard what happened from His Highness Prince Alfred, but it’s a bother…

“I’ll discipline her. I’ll make sure she’s worthy. And I will cut her off from the Arzel family. I’ll take care of everything.”

I said I had no problem with Miri.

In his heart, he thought it was unfair that he hadn’t discussed the advantages and disadvantages with my brother.

After all, my father had a soft spot for my brother.

I will discipline Miri so that I can control her.

No matter how much she cries, I will train Miri to be worthy of being a duchess.

That’s right. There are many ways to make her obedient, such as not feeding her or locking her in a dark room.

“Well, wait. Charlotte-dono is getting married to the crown prince of Albania. It would be a shame for our family to cut off that connection. “

Father seems to think that Charlotte’s marriage to Prince Alfred is beneficial to our family.

Well, I can understand that, but…

“His Highness Alfred hates Miri. I’m sure it will cause him some displeasure.”

“How dare you ask me to leave everything to you when you can’t even solve such a trivial problem? Then I’ll choose your partner after all.”

Damn, you’re still an inflexible father.

You even allowed my brother to switch fiancées…

But there’s nothing we can do about it.

That damn Leanhardt gave up his seat for me.

I’m afraid I’ll have to put up with a little of my father’s selfishness and a little of Leanhardt’s shenanigans.

It would be fun to make that foolish brother rejoice that I have fallen for his schemes.

“Yes, Father. As you wish, His Highness Alfred will see that Miri has grown up to be a duchess in her own right. I’ll be responsible for reeducating her. “

“Well said! That’s my son! Then we’d better bring Mirim back from the monastery immediately.

Well, we are a little ahead of schedule.

Actually, I thought it would be a good idea to keep her in the monastery for a while, but…

In any case, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. I mean, we have to go and get her now, or we won’t make it in time.

Let’s go get Miri.

You’d better be ready to discipline her in the carriage.

We need to prepare everything.

Ufufu, what color should I dye?

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𝐂𝐡𝟑𝟏 (𝐌𝐢𝐫𝐢’𝐬 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

Oh, it’s so boring.

Why do I have to live in such a boring place…

Father forced Miri and her luggage into the carriage and took her to a musty place called the monastery.

It is a strange place where scary people keep doing things that she doesn’t understand.

I wondered what was so much fun when they closed their eyes, muttered spells, and sang songs.

I’m so bored that I want to sleep…

“Fua~a…”

“Miri-san, concentrate and pray to God. Praying is not synonymous with not thinking.”

“What do you mean by “synonymous”

“Ha~a… It means the same thing. You go back to your room and practice your reading and writing. We have some children’s textbooks that were donated the other day. “

Sometimes they say strange words in foreign languages and make fun of me who doesn’t understand them.

Lately, everyone has been calling me an idiot, but why has everyone suddenly become so mean to me?

I can’t believe that my mother and father, who were so kind to me, have suddenly left me.

It must have been Onesama who told them to do something mean.

“You’re not concentrating well. You need to be absentminded and pray to God in your heart.”

“What do you mean by “absentminded”?

“Ha~a…”

Really, everyone here is scary.

They make you sleep in a small room, wake you up when you want to sleep, force you to eat things you don’t want to eat, tell you difficult stories that make you want to sleep—.

I’ve been living like this for three days now, and I feel like I’m going to die.

“… Huh? She’s only been here for three days… The Duke? But she’s a member of the House of Arzel… What? The fiancee of the heir to the Duke’s heir? This girl… I can’t believe it…”

Behind me, a Sister is talking to a woman I don’t recognize.

She sounded surprised, but I don’t know what it was…

“Miri-san, they want you to come back to your parents’ house. Apparently, they have an offer for you. I can’t help but think it’s madness for you to join the Duke’s family, but… Please at least learn to read and write.”

“What? I can go home!”

What happy news!

I guess Father misses Miri now that Miri is gone.

Ufufufufu, If it were true, I would not speak to you, but I forgive you.

“Don’t laugh out loud. In the presence of God, do you understand? God is a being that doesn’t speak, that we can’t see… But he sees us. He sees us from heaven—.”

“I don’t understand.”

“He sees us, whether you like it or not. So be mindful of your behavior so you won’t be ashamed when God sees you.”

As I thought, we don’t understand each other as if they were speaking a foreign language.

Isn’t it?

If you can’t see or speak, it’s as if you don’t exist.

Does “God” mean a person who does not exist?”

“Miri-sama, my name is Anna, an emissary of the Duke’s family. Elmhardt-sama is waiting for you in the carriage.”

“Elmhardt-sama? I’ve heard that name somewhere…”

A dark-haired woman bows her head and says that someone named “Elmhardt” is waiting for me.

I have heard the name “Elmhardt” before, but I can’t remember where.

“He was Leanhardt-sama’s brother. You were Leanhardt’s fiancée, so you must at least know the family structure, right?.”

“Ah, you’re talking about his brother…! Did Leanhardt-sama tell me that?”

“…I wonder what the Duke and Elmhardt-sama are thinking… Are they going to destroy the house? Maybe I’ll find another job…”

Yay! I can finally leave this strange place

I don’t know who Elmhardt-sama is, but I’m so happy…

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𝐂𝐡𝟑𝟐 (𝐄𝐥𝐦𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐭 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

Miri Arzel is coming to me.

I have nothing against her, but I have to give her a hard time.

Because my brother hasn’t invited me to dinner parties with the Arzels, I haven’t met her. I think it’s a good thing that she doesn’t see me acting my timid self in front of her.

I can’t let “him” take advantage of me…

I used my connections to the duke’s family to get an invitation from the royal palace of Albania.

In this case, absence is out of the question, and I will not embarrass myself in any way.

I will discipline Miri and go to the party.

There is not a shred of compassion left in me. 

Forget it.

“Elmhardt-sama, I have brought Miri-sama.”

“I’m Miri Arzel. Nice to meet you, Elmhardt-sama.”

“…”

“Elmhardt-sama…?”

She’s so cute!

Eh? Eh? Eh? Eh?

Is Miri really this cute?

It can’t be true, right? She’s by far the cutest woman I’ve ever seen!

Oh, my God! It’s like a fairy has landed in the real world… A live action goddess! It’s like… It’s like she’s the sum of all kinds of beauty!

“…”

She was so beautiful that I forgot to say a word.

When I heard that my brother had left Charlotte and gotten engaged to Miri, I thought, “What a stupid thing to do!” But I think I understand a little…

“Elmhardt-sama, Miri-sama says hello. Is there something wrong with your health?”

“Ah?! I’m fine. Anna, please escort Miri-san to the carriage.”

My servant Anna is worried about my health, but I am not sick. I was just admiring her. No problem.

You must keep a cool head, Ermhardt!

I have three days from now to subdue her, discipline her, and attend the wedding of a neighboring prince.

That’s right. Just because she has a pretty face doesn’t mean anything.

The problem is that this woman is so illiterate that she doesn’t even know that the King of Albania has a name.

What does her face matter? All right, now let’s get down to business—.

“Elmhardt-sama, let’s go together.”

“Y-Yes, of course. I, uh… I’m going to, uh, discipline Miri-san, or rather, study with her. Yes, study…”

She’s holding my hand!!

P-Please don’t do that! Don’t hold my hand with such soft hands.

I’m too nervous to speak properly.

“Are we studying, Elmhardt-sama? Are you going to teach me how to study?”

“Y-Yes, yes. Because we’re going with Miri to the kingdom of Albania.”

“You’re taking me on a trip? Thank you. Ermhardt-sama is a very kind and nice person.”

“Very kind…? Oh, really? You’re wonderful too, Miri-san.”

In three days, Miri will be a full-fledged lady!

I was going to discipline her by beating her, not even feeding her!

You can’t lose! I’m a hard man!

I’m not like “him”!

She’s just a very pretty and beautiful woman… but what does that matter?

If I can’t discipline her strictly here, I’m finished.

That’s why I—.

“Hey, Elmhardt-sama, why don’t you walk with Miri?”

“Yes! I’m coming!”

“I’ve got to find a new job…. Ermhardt-sama has the same face as Leanhardt-sama…”

(Translator: Potato-tan: The Curse of Miri, lol)

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𝐂𝐡𝟑𝟑

During the first few days in the Kingdom of Albania, His Highness Alfred and I had a very busy schedule of visiting various places to greet people and prepare for the wedding.

Fortunately, His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen both liked me and said that they were happy to have a good daughter, so my biggest concern has been resolved.

I hope we will be able to work well together in the future—. 

“…So, Elmhardt-kun is very eager to come, and I’ve already sent an invitation to him and to Miri.”

“?!… I see. That’s very kind of you.” 

I was surprised.

Miri was supposed to be sent to the monastery, but Elmhardt-sama wanted to bring her back to attend our wedding.

When we had met him, he had said that he would marry Miri, but that he wanted to keep her away from her parents, not us.

“Well, I guess he has his reasons. But, I don’t think he can handle her in just a few days…”

Elmhardt-sama’s situation.

I heard that he has replaced Leanhardt-sama as the heir apparent to the duke. Does that have anything to do with it?

It is natural for a duke to want to get along with the royal family of a neighboring country, but…

“Nevertheless, if something should happen—.”

“I suppose so. We can’t just cut off relations with the dukes. If he insists on being there, I will not tolerate tardiness or rudeness. This is not just my opinion. It is also about the prestige of the Kingdom of Albinia.”

I understand what His Highness Alfredo is trying to say.

As a nation, we must be strict against insults and disrespect because we want to have an equal relationship with the Kingdom of Ezersta.

Tolerance is important, but in this case, he went to a great deal of trouble to ask for an invitation — and if he spoiled the wedding, the penalty would be much greater.

“Well, who is more afraid than us, your parents? They can’t say they had nothing to do with it, not after giving Miri such a bad education. To avoid that, they sent her to the monastery.”

“I suppose you’re right. My father would not have expected that. I’m sure he didn’t think that Ermhart-sama would go to bring her back.”

Not to mention my parents. They must be feeling sick to their stomachs over this.

His Highness thinks that the two of them are the most culpable since they didn’t educate Miri to be uninhibited in the first place.

“I’m sorry to bring this up at a time when we are preparing for a beautiful ceremony. For now, I will station the military police near your sister and Elmhardt. If something happens, we can move quickly.”

His Highness Alfred is on high alert.

Elmhardt-sama was confident that he could discipline Miri, but I wonder if he will be able to do so.

We tried to think that maybe our fears were unfounded, but memories of my days with my sister prevented me from doing so.

“Speaking of which, have you gotten used to life in this country yet? No, you seem too familiar because you are very adaptable and your language is as fluent as those who have lived here for a long time. On the contrary, I’m worried about you. Are you taking it easy?”

His Highness Alfred changes the subject, perhaps sensing the uneasiness in the air.

He doesn’t seem to be sure if I’m used to the way things work in the Kingdom of Albania.

To be honest, I don’t know if I am accustomed to it. The wedding is only a few days away, and I’m busy with the preparations… I have my hands full with that. I can’t look at my situation calmly.”

As soon as I arrived in the Kingdom of Albania, I greeted Their Majesties the King and Queen, and from then on, I had to deal with the daily greetings of the nobles who are closely related to the royal family, so I couldn’t think about anything else.

“You’re amazing after all. You normally appear tired, but you put on a cool face and try to look at yourself In a new environment. “

“No, it’s not a big deal.”

“No, I’m glad you’re going to be crown princess. I didn’t think there was such a thing as the perfect woman… Thank you for following me.”

Holding my hand, His Highness Alfred stares at me with clear eyes.

I would like to thank you as well…

Thank you for bringing me here—.

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𝐂𝐡𝟑𝟒 𝐄𝐥𝐦𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐭 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

In two days, two days, Charlotte and His Royal Highness Alfred will be married.

By then, we must make Miri Arzel a lady who will not be ashamed to be seen anywhere.

The carriage is already on its way to the Kingdom of Albania, and the clock is ticking.

How could I be so reckless as to discipline her on the way?

Because I can do it!

Isn’t this just like my brother, who has nothing but thoughtless and shallow ideas?

No, I was in the position of a wise general who was eagerly waiting for my brother Leanhardt to make a bad move.

It may be impossible for a normal man, but for a man with a merciless and cold heart like mine, disciplining a single woman is a piece of cake.

I can do it! I can do it! I can do it!!

Believe in yourself; you’ve waited for your chance, even if you’ve had to slurp up the muddy water all this way!

If I can make it through this stage, I have a bright future as a duke waiting for me.

I hold hope for the future in my hands.

Yes, in the palm of my han—.”

“It’s warm to hold your hand like this, Elmhardt-sama.”

Miri reaches out and takes my hand in hers.

—warm and soft.

Why are women’s hands so delicate and fine-grained?

I don’t have sweaty hands, do I? My hands have always been sweaty when I get nervous…

“O-Oh, it’s warm. Miri-san. Ahaha.”

… Huh? No, no, wait. This reaction is…

It’s not! It’s not “Ahaha”! What are you smiling about, me!

I can’t look at Miri’s face! Smiling is even worse…! I can’t smile…smiling makes me feel less dignified.

“Elmhardt-sama, you really must start educating Miri-sama soon, or you will never be able to get back.”

“I know. Anna, do you really think I’m going to fail?”

In a slightly annoyed tone, Anna urges me to discipline Miri.

Anna is supposed to talk to Miri because she is the closest to her age among the duke’s servants, but she doesn’t seem to have the right personality and only talks about business.

My father says he hired her because she’s good at what she does, but I don’t like smart women like her.

“Yes. I’m thinking about it and I’m worried about whether you’ll be able to return to your home country safely.”

“…It’s unnecessary to worry. I’ll do it properly from now on.”

You know, you’re the kind of person who doesn’t hesitate to talk about fears…

She starts studying Albanian next to me because she knows she will have to look for a new job in Albania if I don’t do a good job.

She definitely underestimates me. I should be angry, I—.

If even the servants underestimate you, you will never succeed in getting the dukedom.

But Anna has a good point. If I take Miri as she is to the wedding, I’m doomed.

I’ll make her a perfect lady.

No, wait! What am I saying?

Yes, that’s right. She doesn’t have to be perfect at anything.

It doesn’t matter if it’s just for show, just the basic manners.

Miri spent her life with the Count’s family. Even if she lacks some common sense, she should be able to correct her pretense…

Well, before that, she should learn at least a few greetings in Albanian.

This will not take more than 30 minutes, as long as she can introduce herself.

“Miri Arzel is a delicious sweet potato —(in Albania).”

“No, please listen to me one more time —(in Ezersta). My name is Miri Arsel —(in Albanian).”

“Miri Arzel is a delicious sweet potato —(in Albania).”

Why?!

Why are you saying words out of your mouth that sound nothing like my pronunciation?!

We’ve been asking and answering this question for more than an hour!

What? Only two days left?

I don’t know if I can do it—.

“I, Anna Williams, was formerly a servant of the duke’s family. —(in Albanian).”

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𝐂𝐡𝟑𝟓

Finally, the wedding is just two days away.

Preparations for the wedding are going fast.

Is this the Albanian way?

Not long ago, Leanhardt-sama told me he was breaking off the engagement, and now I’m marrying a Crown Prince in a neighboring country.

When I calmly think about my situation, I feel like I’m dreaming, or it doesn’t feel real.

“He~y, Charlotte! Long time, no see! I’m also glad to see Alfred is doing well!”

“Your Highness Siegfried, have you come here already?”

“Siegfried, I’m glad you’re here.”

His Highness Siegfried Ezersta, the second prince of the Kingdom of Ezersta, has already arrived at the Royal Palace to attend our wedding.

It seems that he is a friend of His Royal Highness Prince Alfred, and he consulted with him about me.

It was typical of him to tell him to work on his language skills first before meeting me. He had learned Albanian as a child and had been talking to Prince Alfred without an interpreter.

This person is very important to Albanian-Ezersta relations. He will be at the ceremony next week not only as a friend of Alfred, but also as a representative of the Ezersta royal family.

“Hahahaha! It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Albania, so I thought I’d take in some sights! Charlotte is a very talented girl who has been the target of many men in my country. You lucky bastard!”

“Thank you. I’m happy to have her as my wife.”

“Your Highness Alfred…”

His Highness took me by the shoulders and assured me in no uncertain terms, that he was happy.

I’m glad to hear you say that.

Despite the cultural differences between Albania and Ezersta, they all seem to be glorious… I was looking forward to the rest of my life.

“I see. I see. I’m glad you are happy because the marriage of an Ezersta nobleman to the royal family of Albania is a historic event. I believe it will lead to lasting peace between our two countries. I hope it will be a good wedding…!”

As I look at His Highness Prince Siegfried’s face, who is in a good mood talking about the peace between Albania and Ezersta and looking forward to the wedding, I am reminded of the fact that my sister will be there with Elmhardt-sama.

If she were to misbehave, I am sure that His Highness Siegfried would be very angry.

Even if His Highness Alfred forgives her, if His Highness Siegfried does not, our family and the Dukes in the Kingdom of Ezersta will not get off scot-free…

“What’s the matter? Charlotte, your face is pale. Are you ill?”

“No, no, I’m fine. Thank you for your concern.”

His Royal Highness Siegfried looks at my face with a worried expression.

He is a gentle man, but when he is angry, he is merciless.

His righteous indignation has led him to expose the wrongdoings of several officials…

His determination in defending justice in the royal court may be a quality that His Royal Highness Alfred shares.

“Sieg, We’re still getting used to our new life and the pressure of marriage. Charlotte will be nervous, too. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to let her rest.”

His Royal Highness Alfredo, seeing that I was nervous, said he would let me rest and sent me to my room.

I try not to think about it, but I can’t shake off my anxiety.

“O-Oh, yeah. Right, right. I’m sorry. I’m going to go see some sights. I’ll see you at the ceremony.”

And with that, Siegfried waved his hand in the air and went off to see the sights.

I’m sorry that you felt uncomfortable. 

I must be mentally stronger…

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𝐂𝐡𝟑𝟔 (𝐀𝐧𝐧𝐚’𝐬 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

I’ve been employed as a servant of the Duke for three years now.

My parents were happy to hear that I would have a secure future with the Dukes. They were happy that we wouldn’t have to go without food, but I’m not so sure about that now.

Their eldest son, Leanhardt-sama, was not so clever.

His words were often careless and condescending, and he often misspoke.

Well, he was a legitimate son of a duke, so there was no one to protest him to his face, but this only made him worse.

So I was a little relieved when he chose Charlotte Arzel as his fiancée.

I thought that if she were to be the future duchess, she would support Leanhardt-sama and protect the duke’s household. They said she was well-educated and that she was thought to be the most popular among the noble Ladies.

—I didn’t expect them to break off the engagement so quickly.

I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that Leanhardt-sama had broken off his engagement to Charlotte-sama.

Is he going to be okay? I’m sure all the servants in the duchy thought so, too.

His fall from grace was terrible.

Miri Arzel, the sister of Charlotte-sama,

Even for me, a commoner, she lacked culture and made me fear for the future of the dukes.

Leanhardt-sama regretted that he had been distracted by her appearance and tried to break up with her, but this was not the right way and it caused displeasure to His Royal Highness Alfred.

His character of being rash and prone to gaffes was probably the cause of his displeasure.

Thus, Leanhardt-sama was disinherited and his younger brother, Elmhardt-sama, became the heir to the dukedom.

I was relieved to hear that someone like Miri would not be the future duchess, and I had expected someone more decent, if not as good as Charlotte-sama, to marry into the family.

And yet—.

“Miri Arzel is a delicious potato (Albania).”

“No, please listen to me one more time (in Ezersta). My name is Miri Arsel(in Albanian).”

“Miri Arzel is a delicious potato (Albania).”

Why is she here now?

And Elmhardt-sama, who was so confident that he would discipline Miri-sama ruthlessly, has not even been able to teach Miri-sama how to introduce herself properly.

I had a bad feeling about this. After all, when Elmhardt-sama saw Miri for the first time, he looked so disheveled.

Come to think of it, he had no tolerance for women at all. And he did not show up at parties because of his brother, Leanhardt-sama.

And he used to be nervous around me…

He is also very taciturn and has a relaxed demeanor, which makes him look smart, but he is just average in the head.

However, because he has been oppressed for so many years, he longs to be a schemer and thinks he is better than his brother.

He seems to be carrying on a sulk that is common in adolescent boys.

Tomorrow is already the wedding of Prince Alfredo and Charlotte-sama, and Miri has spent the whole day trying not to call herself a “delicious potato.” But that doesn’t stop her from calling herself a “delicious potato.”

In spite of all this, Elmhardt-sama is never angry and still does not change her habits.

Wouldn’t it be better to run away? Or rather, can I run away?

“Yes, that’s right! I have no choice! Anna! You will attend the wedding as Miri!”

“… Huh?”

Elmhardt-sama said something impossible, like he wanted me to attend the wedding as Miri’s double.

No, I don’t care if I was in a place where no one knew Miri, but Charlotte-sama, Mr. and Mrs. Arzel, Prince Alfred, everyone knows what she looks like, don’t they?

I questioned Elmhardt-sama’s sanity.

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𝐂𝐡𝟑𝟕

Tomorrow is the wedding day.

I knew that in this country, the marriage ceremony starts as soon as the bride-to-be arrives, but now that I am a part of it, I feel like it is very hectic.

Fortunately, His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen have let me be His Royal Highness Prince Alfred’s wife, so I don’t have to worry about my future.

The only thing I am worried about is…

“No, Charlotte! You are my daughter! I’m so glad you’re doing so well! So take good care of the Arzel family! I will adopt my nephew Benjamin as my heir, but only if House Arzel is at peace!”

His Royal Highness Alfredo did not want to do it, but Their Majesties urged me to send the wedding invitations to my parents as well.

It would have been strange to send one to Miri and not to my parents.

My father bowed to me, his daughter, as deeply as I have ever seen him bow.

He looks exhausted and his eyes are darkened, probably because Miri is going to the wedding.

My father will be held responsible if she causes anything to happen at the wedding.

“So, has Miri arrived yet?”

“No, not yet. Isn’t she with you, father, and the others?”

“Yes, I heard that Elmhardt-dono went to pick her up at the monastery. I don’t know what he’s thinking.”

We were told that Miri was going to attend the wedding with Elmhardt-sama, but it seems that she has not joined my parents yet.

Elmhardt-sama said he would re-educate Miri to do what he wanted, but if he picked her up at the monastery and then came here, it would only be for a few days—my father would worry and so would I.

“Well, then, we’re leaving. Please give my best regards to His Highness.”

My father bowed to me several times before returning to his lodgings in the capital of Albania.

I’m sure I won’t be able to sleep tonight. But I have to sleep somehow.

I can’t be the Crown Prince’s bride if I don’t get enough sleep.

Relax and calm your mind.

“Charlotte, I’m sorry, but we have another guest. They’re anxious to meet you. Your sister and Elmhardt-kun have arrived at the very last minute.”

In the evening, His Highness Alfred told me that Miri and Elmhardt-sama had finally arrived.

We thought they wouldn’t be here today, but…

Anyway, let’s go check on Miri.

“I apologize for the other day. I seem to have offended His Highness Alfred in particular. Once again, congratulations on your wedding.”

“…”

Next to Elmhardt-sama, who was smiling and bowing, sat a dark-haired woman whose face was hidden by a large black mask.

Miri…? Her hair doesn’t look very shiny… She’s always taken better care of her hair than anyone else.

“So, Elmhardt-kun, I want you to tell me something about the masked woman next to you.”

“Huh? Uh, yes. Yes, of course. She’s Miri. She has been stung by bees in several places and is in no condition to show her face, so I’m going to have her attend the meeting wearing a mask…”

She was stung by a bee?

No, no. What did you do? You don’t think that Elmhardt-sama is abusing Miri in order to discipline her, right?

“Attending under a mask… I think she should see a doctor. I can get you to a doctor as soon as—.”

“N-No, doctor, it’s okay. I’ve already taken care of it. Isn’t that right, Miri?”

“…”

The masked Miri nods her head in affirmation of Elmhardt-sama’s words.

By the way, she hasn’t said a word since a while ago.

There is something wrong with her…

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𝐂𝐡𝟑𝟖

In the evening, Elmhardt-sama and Miri came to visit us at the royal palace in Albania.

However, Miri was acting strangely.

She has been stung by a bee on her face and is wearing a black mask for the wedding.

And she has not said a word since a few minutes ago.

I don’t think she has ever been this quiet before.

“Elmhardt-kun. I thought you had a modicum of common sense. Even if you do have a personality problem… Don’t you think it’s not polite to attend a wedding with a mask on?”

His Highness Alfred let the bee sting incident slide for the time being and questioned the pros and cons of having Miri wear a mask to the wedding.

Yes, it would be wrong to let Miri wear a mask to a ceremony attended by the leading nobles of Albania and even the royalty of neighboring countries…

“Miri, her face is all swollen and she looks so miserable… But she was in tears, wanting to see her sister, Charlotte, on her big day! I was also moved by her feelings for her sister!”

The performance was abysmal; frankly, I thought so too.

If by chance, Elmhardt-sama punched or slapped Miri in the face when she didn’t listen to him… I think she must have suffered a serious injury to her face.

Speaking of which, he was in a scary mood when he said that he would use any means to discipline Miri. His brother, Leanhardt-sama, also hit Miri.

Elmhardt-sama may be willing to raise his hand to a woman.

“Excuse me, Elmhardt-sama. I am a relative of Miri. May I see what her face looks like?”

I have been bothered and annoyed countless times.

But Miri is my only sister. I am not without compassion.

If she’s been hurt so badly, I can’t just leave her alone.

“Cha-Charlotte-san wants to see Miri-san’s face? I don’t think Miri would like that very much. Because, of course. There are certain faces that you can’t show, not even your family.”

Elmhardt-sama is clearly agitated.

That’s suspicious. It’s weird, no matter what I think…

After all, Miri is Elmhardt-sama—.

“Elmhardt-kun. I cannot make up my mind whether or not to allow Miri Arzel to attend the meeting without seeing her face. If her face is in fact sympathetic, I will not refuse to make a special exception.”

“I see… if Your Highness Alfred insists so much…”

Ermhardt-sama looked resigned and took the black mask off Miri’s face.

Her face, which had been hidden, was now revealed…

“”!?””

We were speechless.

Miri’s face was covered with numerous red spots. It looked as if she had been stung by bugs in several places.

It did not look swollen, and did not appear to be bruised or otherwise injured.

Apparently, she hadn’t been injured by violence.

“…”

“Her throat was also struck, and I don’t know if she will be able to speak tomorrow. But I have taught her some manners and will not let her do anything rude. Isn’t that right, Miri-san?”

Miri nodded silently at Elmhardt-sama’s voice, her face somewhat vacant and lifeless.

She was more confident about her appearance than anyone else, so perhaps she was shocked…

I’m worried about her when she looks like this.

“Hmm, never mind. If you are responsible for her, I will make an exception.”

His Highness Alfred, perhaps feeling sorry for her, approved of Miri’s attendance.

Indeed, if she is so quiet, it might be all right.

However, there is something strange about it. I hope my fears are unfounded.

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𝐂𝐡𝟑𝟗 (𝐄𝐥𝐦𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐭’𝐬 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

“Y-Yes! We have no choice! Anna! You will attend the wedding as Miri-san!”

“…Huh?”

No matter how hard I tried to get Miri to remember to introduce herself, she kept saying she was “a delicious sweet potato.”

I decided to resort to one last resort.

What is the last resort?

Doubles.

Fortunately, Miri and Anna are of similar build and have dark hair.

As long as you hide your face, they will look alike.

Anna is not very happy about it, but it is a big deal for the Duke’s family.

She may not like it, but she has to work.

“Fortunately, you and Miri are similar in height. Your face, well, it’s not great, but if you hide it with a mask or something, you won’t be recognized.”

“Elmhardt-sama, please calm down. There is no way you can attend a wedding wearing a mask. And what about my voice?”

Hmm. Anna has a practical problem.

But it is no longer possible to have Miri attend the ceremony as the undisputed lady of the house.

I just fed her an Albanian dish, but she stumbled at the first step of etiquette.

I tried to teach her. But it’s hard to teach her when she looks so cute, her eyes are moist and she’s scared like a little animal.

Oh, how dainty…

At this rate, she’ll be stuffed when the food is served at the party…

“I’ll ask permission from His Highness Alfred about the mask. I’ll just say you got stung by bees all over your face.”

Yes. I’m sure His Highness Alfred will forgive you if you tell him that Miri’s pretty face is in trouble.

Let’s say she got stung by a bee and her face is all red and swollen.

“Of course, he would demand to see a doctor. At least His Highness and Charlotte-sama will definitely check my face. What if they order me to take off my mask?”

“Then I’ll pretend that you insisted on going to the party and forced Miri to take your place.”

“And you think I’ll agree to that?”

I suggested that if Anna found out, she would be the one to blame, but she gave me a blatant look of disgust.

This woman has no restraint these days. Let’s clarify the relationship between master and servant here…

“Anna, you’re a very good servant. That’s why I chose you as my attendant. And… Your family is indebted to my father, but you won’t return the favor, will you?”

“It is the Duke who is in my debt, not Ermhardt-sama…. Ha~a, but I have no choice. Miri, look at my palm.”

“Look at my palm? —Eh? Goo, goo, Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…”

“?!”

Anna put her hand over Miri’s and gave it a quick shake, and to my surprise, Miri fell asleep.

Huh? What is this? What does this mean? What’s going on?!

“I learned hypnosis because I thought it might help me get a new job.”

“Where do you think you’re going to work? And don’t just casually tell the Master you want a new job.”

I heard that Anna can use hypnosis.

No, it’s more than that. She can put people to sleep just by holding their hand.

“It usually takes longer to put someone to sleep, but thank goodness it’s a simple one. This way, you can make a simple suggestion.”

Anna pulls out her make-up kit and paints numerous red spots on Miri’s face.

What are you doing? You’re playing a trick on Miri’s pretty face—.

“Miri-sama, when Elmhardt-sama asks you a question, you nod your head. However, if Elmhardt-sama clears his throat, you shake your head. Then move with Elmhardt-sama until you wake up. Keep your mouth closed so that you never speak.”

Anna then gives the suggestion.

Her hypnotism is not universal. She can only give simple commands.

Still, it’s impressive enough, but where is she going with this…

“Listen, Ermhardt-sama. Please get permission from His Highness Alfred to allow Miri to wear the mask at the wedding… Then I’ll exchange places with her. If anything should happen to the Duke’s family, my family will be in trouble.

And so, with a half-asleep Miri and a black mask, I went to the palace to greet His Highness Alfred and Charlotte.

Good, good, now I can save face. If I fail, Anna will take full responsibility.

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𝐂𝐡𝟒𝟎

The day has finally arrived.

After the sad event of losing my fiancé to my sister when Leanhardt-sama told me he was going to break off our engagement, I am finally getting married.

The man I am marrying is His Royal Highness Prince Alfred of the neighboring Kingdom of Albania.

I know I have caused His Highness a lot of trouble and inconvenience, but he has always supported me.

“Alfred-sama was so determined to make Charlotte his wife that he studied the language of the Ezersta. He was so excited that he had found the perfect woman that I was surprised to see how passionate he was.”

Gina, who has taken care of me since I came to the palace, told me how much His Royal Highness Alfred cares for me.

I had heard such a story from him in person, but hearing it from somebody else gives it a different feeling, and it warms my heart, though I feel a little embarrassed.

—While I was thinking about this, I heard a knock at my door.

Gina opens the door to answer it.

Who is it?

“Ara, it’s Irene-sama. Are you here for Charlotte-sama?”

“I just had a chance to say hello to her the other day. Can you give me a moment?”

“Your Highness Irene, I’m so sorry about the other day. I was a little nervous…”

Princess Irene, Prince Alfred’s sister and Princess of this country, has come to see me.

I had only greeted Her Highness Irene along with His Highness Alfredo when we first arrived in this country, but what was she doing here…

“Indeed, you speak fluently, as if you were an Albanian, while my brother doesn’t speak Ezerstian very well.”

“No. His Highness, Alfredo, speaks perfect Ezertian.”

“No need for flattery… Gina, can you leave us alone for a moment?”

“Yes, of course… !”

Princess Irene folded her arms and looked at me with the same blue eyes as His Highness Alfred.

Her long blonde hair is just like His Highness Alfred’s, and even a stranger can tell that they are brother and sister.

But what is so important that she has to visit? I’ve been feeling very intimidated for a while now, but…

“You know, the other day, you played the piano and violin, right?”

“Y-Yes…! His Highness Alfred requested that I play three songs.”

The other day, apart from the wedding, His Highness Alfred also held a party to introduce his fiancée, at which His Royal Highness asked me to play the piano and the violin, which are all popular here.

I was very nervous, but I remember being relieved to finish my performance flawlessly.

I wonder if I did something to offend Her Highness Irene during that performance…

“Well, since no one’s here now, I’ll tell you—yes, the performance was great! I was so moved! I had goosebumps! Oh, can I shake your hand?”

“Eh? A-A handshake? Ah, yes. All right…”

Suddenly, Her Highness blushes and asks me to shake her hand.

The hand she held out to me trembled slightly and felt cool as I shook it.

“Oh, and I have one more favor to ask you…”

“One more favor? Please, whatever you want.”

We shook hands, and looking at her hand, Her Highness Irene said, in a faltering tone, that she had one more favor to ask.

She seemed to be in a state of deep thought—.

“Sister! May I call you Sister Charlotte?!”

In a loud voice and with a serious face, Her Highness Irene asks me if she can call me her sister.

Yes, of course. Of course, I would be her sister-in-law now.

That means I’ll have two sisters…

“…I’m glad you called me that. I feel like I’ve been accepted as His Highness Alfred’s wife.”

“Haha…! I’m pleased to meet you from now on, Sister Charlotte!”

I extended my hand again to Her Royal Highness Irene, who smiled at me.

Her palm had become warm before I knew it.

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𝐂𝐡𝟒𝟏

With about two hours to go before the wedding, I was spending time chatting with Her Highness Irene.

Looking back, I didn’t often have such an informal conversation with Miri.

She rarely listened to me if I did not have something interesting to say.

But maybe I was wrong to stop there.

If only I had been more approachable to her.

If my parents had neglected her education and I had been willing to take responsibility for her care, we might have had a different future.

“So, when my brother kept telling me how much he loved Sister Charlotte’s performance, I listened to it and wondered what it was like. And before I knew it, I was in tears.”

Her Highness Irene happily describes the time I was playing.

The thought of her being my sister-in-law made my eyes water, as if I had always longed for that.

Yes. I wanted Miri and I to be normal, sisterly friends.

And yet, as time went by, the gap between us only deepened. Before I knew it, our feelings had drifted apart.

” …Sister Charlotte, are you crying? Are you still sad about leaving your country?”

“No, it’s not that. I am happy to have a sister like Her Highness Irene… My own sister and I were never very close.”

I had been shedding tears before I knew it, and Her Highness Irene looked concerned.

I’ll have to fix my makeup later…

I wonder why.

I can’t believe I’m thinking like this when I’m on the verge of finding my own happiness.

Maybe I’m too nervous before the wedding.

“Didn’t you and your sister get along? Sister Charlotte’s sister is the one wearing a mask at the venue, isn’t she?”

“Yes, that’s right. I’m sorry, she was stung by a bee and has several red boils on her face.”

“Oh, I don’t mind. I saw the heir of the ducal family greeting the other attendees earlier, and I thought she was Charlotte-onesama’s sister, since she addressed them in Albanian and gave a rather long speech. I see, you didn’t get along with each other.”

“?!”

Miri was greeting them in Albania? And she even gave a speech…

She could have learned to introduce herself somehow, but I can’t believe she learned a foreign language in such a short amount of time.

Elmhardt-sama must have been very good at teaching her.

In that case, if I hadn’t given up on her, I might have been able to change her…

“You know, me too. My brother and I didn’t get along. Until about three years ago. He’s kind of inflexible, isn’t he? But we had a big fight, and that cleared things up… and we get along very well now.”

“Your Highness Irene…?”

“So, you know, if Sister Charlotte wants to make up with her sister, she might want to have a real run-in with her. It’s not too late, since she came all the way across the border for your wedding.”

Based on her own experience, Her Highness wanted me to have a real fight with Miri.

Come to think of it, I may never have had a fight with Miri.

Every time I tried to get angry, my parents would stop me and protect her.

Maybe next time we can talk…. I will tell her the truth. And I will ask her what she really thinks.

Elmhardt-sama seems to have retrained her well, and if she can give a speech, the wedding will be fine.

“Thank you very much, your highness. I will discuss this with Miri.”

“Yes, That’s good. I’ll be rooting for you, Sister.”

I stood up and decided to make today’s wedding a success and to be serious with Miri.

I realize that my life is going to change forever from here—.

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𝐂𝐡𝟒𝟐 (𝐀𝐧𝐧𝐚’𝐬 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

I’m in trouble.

I never thought I’d have to attend the wedding of Charlotte-sama and Prince Alfred in place of Miri.

Even if it’s the master’s command, we won’t get away with it if we are discovered.

Elmhardt-sama is only 15 years old.

Being the heir to the duke’s throne must have given him a kind of intoxicating sense of almightiness, because he believed that he could do it without knowing who Miri-sama was.

And this is the result.

Miri-sama is sleeping in his carriage, dressed in the clothes I used to wear.

But Ermhardt-sama said he left a letter for her not to leave the carriage even if she wakes up, but I have a bad feeling about this…

I advised him to bind her hands and feet, because if she comes here by mistake, everything will be over. But he did not listen to me and said, “What if Miri’s beautiful body gets hurt?”

I can only hope that she will not wake up.

“Oh, I guess Leanhardt-kun is not the heir to the Duke’s family anymore.”

“I’m sorry for the disturbance. My brother was deemed unfit to take over the family.”

He was polite and wore his trademark smile as he addressed the wedding guests, who were all prominent figures in the Kingdom of Albania with ties to the Dukes.

“Is the girl in the mask your fiancée? I heard she was very beautiful, but I see she had a tragic accident…”

“Yes, it was a terrible accident. But she insisted on attending her sister’s wedding. I managed to get permission from his gracious highness Alfred.”

Elmhardt-sama is a blabbermouth and a liar… but he’s speaking through an interpreter, so there’s nothing wrong with being talkative…

To my surprise, no one objected to my disguise. It may have been because His Highness Alfred had told them about it in advance.

Elmhardt-sama smiled and spoke, whispering to me. He asked me to “give greetings and speeches in Albania”.

I guess it’s because no one here knows Miri’s voice, but it seems risky to me.

…Yes, yes. I understand.

“I am Elmhardt-sama’s fiancée, Miri Arzel. I have lamented the misfortune of having to attend today’s great day like this… But such things are insignificant compared to the happiness of my sister. I know that this is not a very nice appearance, but I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of my sister to all of you who have gathered here. (in Albanian)”

I gave a speech in my fake Albanian language, somehow trying to match the tone of Miri’s voice.

Elmhardt-sama is so inconsiderate.

He even asks me to pronounce things in Albanian, even though he himself only speaks a few words of it.

No, you don’t have to applaud or anything.

Please, Elmhardt-sama, don’t look so proud of yourself.

Now we’re in trouble—.

“Well, I’m surprised. I heard my older brother’s fiancée is a brilliant woman, but her sister is quite brilliant as well. (Albanian)”

I, I, I hope my language skills are wrong.

Didn’t the blonde-haired, blue-eyed man in front of me just now say “older brother”?

King Albinia has three children: his oldest son Alfred, his oldest daughter Irene, and his second son Aurelle.

So this is His Royal Highness Alfred’s younger brother—

“”His Royal Highness Aurelle!””

With a round of applause, His Royal Highness, Prince Aurelle, the second prince of the Kingdom of Albania, came up to us.

This is not a good development. I had no idea that the prince of all princes here would be interested in me.

If we deal with him the wrong way, we could get into trouble.

“We’re going to be relatives. We have some time before the ceremony. What do you think, Elmhardt-san and Miri-san? Tell me about the Kingdom of Ezersta.” (Interpreter)

Elmhardt-sama, you have to say no.

It doesn’t matter what the reason is; just say no.

If you stand out too much, you run the risk of being caught in a lie—.

“Please let me speak to you. As heir to the Duke’s throne, I would be honored to interact with Your Highness.”

This is not good. He’s in heir mode, he’s in high spirits…

I can’t even worry about finding a new job anymore.

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𝐂𝐡𝟒𝟑

An incredible scene was unfolding before my eyes.

Miri was in fact chatting with His Highness Aurelle, Irene’s brother.

I was about to go to him to make final arrangements with His Highness Prince Alfred when I found Miri and the others talking happily on the terrace of the Royal Palace.

His Royal Highness Prince Aurelle said he spoke only a few words of Ezerta, but he seemed to be conversing with Miri without an interpreter.

It is as if she is a different person.

How? Isn’t she really a different person…?

I had always felt that Elmhardt-sama wanted Miri to attend the wedding even if she had to wear a mask, but now it seems to be cleared up.

“It can’t be…”

But, I changed my mind when I saw that Miri had also started speaking with an interpreter.

On second thought, we had already met with Miri the other day, and the Dukes would immediately have an international problem if they tried something so outlandish as to have someone else attend the wedding.

There is no way they can take such a risk for a wedding they do not have to attend in the first place.

I guess I’m just too nervous about overthinking things…

“You look great…I know you are nervous because you have never been to an Albanian style ceremony before, but as long as you follow the instructions we discussed, you will be fine.”

“I am nervous. But now that I’m here, I’m ready to convert to the Erelian religion.”

The Erelian faith is the state religion of the Kingdom of Albania. Of course, the style of the wedding is different from that of a typical wedding in the Kingdom of Ezersta.

First of all, it is essentially barefoot. It is not allowed to cover your feet in front of the God Ere, so you must remove your shoes in the church.

The couple then purifies their feet with holy water in front of the god before taking the vows of matrimony.

Anyway, Erelianeists believe that the power of God comes from the feet that tread the earth, so the cleanliness of the feet is the most important thing.

Many cultural aspects are unknown to me, but I must learn to appreciate the taste of water if I want to become an Albanian…

“Oh, Irene mentioned that. Yes, she did. Maybe I was too narrow-minded… Come to think of it, your sister, Miri Arzel, didn’t want to be like that either. She’s a victim of the Count and Lady Arzel’s neglegence… Perhaps we should at least help her to be re-educated so that she can become a lady if she so desires.”

“Your Highness, Alfredo… Thank you for your generosity.”

After I told him that I would like to face Miri head-on, His Highness Alfred seemed to have some thoughts on the matter, and he affirmed it.

It may take some time, but if it’s possible to improve our sisterhood, I would like to do it.

“I also heard that she gave a speech in Albania. I would like to recognize her efforts and her achievements.”

“I was also surprised to hear that. I don’t know what kind of magic Elmhardt-sama used, but it certainly gave me hope.”

“If she can talk to Albania normally, maybe we can start over with a real teacher and training. Most of all, Charlotte, I want to respect your feelings.”

I want to respect your feelings—I am more than happy to hear you say that.

My heart was filled with happiness as the wedding was about to begin.

—How happy I would be to spend the rest of my life with him.

I was grateful for his care as he held my hand and gently stroked my hair, as we waited for the moment when we would become husband and wife.

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𝐂𝐡𝟒𝟒

It seems that all the wedding attendants were already waiting for us to enter the venue, including my parents, Miri, and her fiancé, Elmhardt-sama.

After this ceremony, I will be a completely Albanian person—and yet I want to talk to my family again, especially about my relationship with Miri.

Just as I was thinking that, the incident happened.

“Y-Your Highness Alfred, Charlotte-sama…! I’m sorry to inform you that today’s ceremony has been canceled!”

“”What?!””

The panicked chief of the military police tells us that the wedding is canceled.

What’s going on? The first thing that came to mind was my sister’s face, but I couldn’t speak.

“Police chief, what’s going on here? The ceremony hasn’t even started yet, but it seems that something terrible has happened…”

His Highness Alfred confirmed the facts in a calm and unaffected tone.

If the people at the ceremony had only been violent, it is impossible that it would have been called off.

I think that the person should have been kicked out and the ceremony should have started.

So, there must be some trouble…

“There was a maid who entered the hall with her shoes on. We removed her as soon as possible, but the hall is already unclean, and it will take at least a few months to purify it as a sanctuary.”

“Someone stepped into the cathedral with their shoes on the ground?”

“Yes, It was probably someone from the Dukes of Ezersta. She was calling out the name of “Elmhardt-sama” when we seized her.”

In disbelief, High Highness Alfred listens to the news that someone has set foot in the hall with shoes on.

Yes, the cathedral where Albania’s royal family performs the wedding ceremony is called a sanctuary, and no one is allowed to enter with shoes of any kind.

Blasphemy to God—If a person enters the cathedral with their shoes, the sanctuary will be contaminated with impurity and will not be available for the ceremony unless the priests purify it.

But didn’t the maid, a member of the ducal family, know this?

I have heard that the servants of the Duke are all well-educated and highly qualified.

I heard that Anna, who worked for Leanhardt-sama, graduated second in her class at the Royal Academy… It’s impossible that she doesn’t know Albania’s common sense.

“The maid you captured… And how are Ermhardt-kun and Miri Arzel?”

“Ha! The maid seems to have fallen and hit her head hard against the pillar when we were seizing her, and she is unconscious. Elmhardt-dono and Miri-dono are being questioned, but they are not saying anything…”

“I see. Anyway, there’s no point in arguing about what happened. Charlotte and I will go and talk to Miri Arzel.”

His Highness Alfred calmly held me by the shoulders and said, in a reassuringly slow tone, that he would check on Miri.

It seems that he understands my earlier concern for her.

I nodded and thanked His Highness for his kindness—for thinking of me even at such a time.

“Thank you, Your Highness, for your concern.”

“I’m sorry about the postponement, but maybe after you’ve reevaluated your relationship with your sister, you can start over with a clean slate, alright? Don’t worry, I won’t let anything happen to her. Police Chief, show us the way.”

His Highness Alfred takes my hand and leads me to Miri.

What am I supposed to say to Miri? I wish I could make some progress—.

“I’m sorry, Charlotte-sama. It’s all the Dukes’ fault for trying to look good… I’m ready to take responsibility.”

“Y-You’re Anna…?”

When His Highness Alfred and I went to see Miri… A dark-haired woman slowly takes off her mask—to our surprise, it is not Miri but Anna, the duke’s maid, who is attending the ceremony.

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𝐂𝐡𝟒𝟓

The masked woman who was thought to be Miri was Anna, the duke’s maid, whom I had spoken to several times when I was engaged to Leanhardt-sama.

When she revealed herself to me, I was in a state of shock.

At the same time, I believe that such a strange thing as her speaking Albanian happened.

When I think about it, even if Elmhardt-sama did his best to teach Miri, it would be too difficult for her to give a speech in a few days.

“But I don’t understand. I had my suspicions about Miri Arzel’s double, too. That’s why I checked her face last night… She was clearly a different person then. She was calmer…”

His Highness Alfred seems to have the same doubts as I do.

Miri seemed calm and honest last night.

This gave me a strange sense of security that she would not make a fuss at the wedding.

“I used hypnosis… I hypnotized Miri-sama, and then—.”

Anna begins to speak.

That he had ordered her to be her double when time was running out; that she had hypnotized Miri so that we could see her face first, so we wouldn’t find out; that Elmhardt-sama had put Miri to sleep in the carriage and hadn’t even hired a guard to keep the secret from us—

Elmhardt-sama, who was so confident, implicated Anna…

I pity her because she was good enough to make a statement to His Highness Alfred in Albanian without an interpreter.

“… I’m not so stupid as to not realize my own sins. I think I’ve been a part of something stupid.”

Anna finishes her story without making excuses.

Her family must have received a lot of support from the dukes, and it would have been difficult to oppose Elmhardt-sama.

“I’m not impressed with what you did. As a result, our wedding was postponed…This marriage was not just a marriage… it was to further the friendship between Albania and Ezersta, and at the same time, it was decided to focus on diplomacy from now on.

“Your Highness, Alfred…”

The wedding of His Highness Alfred and I was supposed to be a wedding ceremony that would also signify the beginning of a closer diplomatic relationship with the Kingdom of Ezersta.

I knew that postponing this wedding meant that this goal was far from being achieved, but…

“I have no words to reply with. Please take whatever action you need to.”

“……Our diplomats are looking for someone who is familiar with the affairs of the nobility in Ezersta and is fluent in the language… If you work with the intention of making up for the delay, I’ll consider granting you immunity. You’ve been thinking about a new job, haven’t you?”

“”What?””

Your Highness Alfred, Are you planning to hire Anna at the palace?

She is certainly an excellent and valuable person, and she is very hard-working.

I think she is a very generous person.

I’m sure there will be opposition, but as the crown prince, I’m sure he felt it would be a shame to condemn her.

For one thing, I also think she had no choice but to obey Elmhardt-sama’s order, so I didn’t want her to be punished heavily.

“—I thank you for your generous words. If you allow me, I will do my best.”

“Yes, But you will be under house arrest for a while. I have a great deal to discuss with the Dukes.”

In a calm but firm voice, His Highness Alfred said that he would settle the matter with the Dukes.

This puts the Dukes in a tight spot, and Elmhardt-sama will not be able to return to Ezersta easily.

Also, my sister—.

“Alfred-sama, Charlotte-sama. Miri-sama has awakened. “

“You’re going to her, aren’t you? That’s the way it has to be.”

“Yes, I will talk to my sister until she understands the gravity of her actions.”

With a kind of determination in my heart, I got up and went to the doctor’s office, where Miri said she had woken up.

I made eye contact with her and vowed to make her realize what she had done before I blamed her for her actions—.

“U-Um. Who are you? Do you know me?”

“”!?””

Miri has lost her memory due to the shock of the head injury.

I never thought this would happen.

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𝐂𝐡𝟒𝟔

No way, that’s ridiculous…

Miri, who had fainted after hitting her head, seems to have lost her memory due to the shock.

She speaks Ezersta and understands words like “sky” and “water”. So we know that she only misses the memories of the episode.

“So you are my Onesama, Charlotte. That’s good. She seems to be a kind Onesama…”

“Miri…”

“I feel like I did something very wrong. I can understand that. I just don’t remember what I did, so please tell me later. I need to apologize to you.”

I have never heard her say that before.

She has never apologized before because she doesn’t even know what’s wrong.

“Can Miri be cured? Does that mean she can recall her memories?”

“To be honest, I don’t know. After all, I myself have rarely treated people who have lost their memories.”

The doctor said that the number of people who have amnesia is very small, and they do not know how to cure it.

In other words, there is a possibility that she will remain like this forever.

He said that there were some cases where people were cured by living a normal life, so we started discussing what to do with her.

Of course, my parents were here—.

“She’s is no longer our daughter! She’s a disgrace and she’s lost her memory!”

“That’s right. This child was disowned by the Arzel family. She is no longer a part of the family. She’s a real piece of work. I’m so disappointed in her.”

“She’s just a stupid girl who got the wrong idea just because she has a nice face! How much trouble do you have to put your parents through…!”

My parents were full of it.

I am so disgusted by their tone, as if they are not responsible for anything and that Miri is no longer their daughter because they have disowned her.

“Father, Mother, isn’t it because you both neglected her education that Miri violated the prohibition of setting foot in the sanctuary of Erelian? I think you are responsible for that.”

“Ch-Ch-Ch-Charlotte, whose side are you on?! The Arzel family is in danger!”

My father protested when I told him that he and my mother were responsible and that they should take it to heart.

It’s true that the Arzel family is in danger, but I don’t think we can turn our backs on our own actions in order to avoid responsibility.

“I spent a lot of money to educate you, Charlotte! You should have shared some of it with your sister! You are really to blame for not taking care of her like a sister!”

And now my father is blaming me.

He said I was partly to blame for neglecting Miri’s education…And for not doing anything…

“Enough! Count Arzel, will you sever your relationship with Miri Arzel?”

“Your Highness, Alfred… Yes, that’s right. I have already disowned Miri, so I would appreciate it if you treated her as if she had nothing to do with our family. Yes.”

His Highness Alfred confirmed my father’s words and asked him if he had disowned Miri.

My father is trying very hard to deny any connection with Miri…

“If you want me to treat you as if you have nothing to do with Miri, then cut ties with her sister, Charlotte, as well…! Isn’t it too easy to just take the good with the bad?”

Next, His Highness Alfred asks my father to disassociate himself from me as well.

I think he is asking this question with some kind of intention…

“B-Break off the relationship with Charlotte? No, that’s…”

“You can’t be talking like that! We were planning to adopt an heir anyway, so let’s give up our connection to the royal family!”

“Y-You’re right. First we have to get out of this predicament. I understand, and I’ll cut the ties with Charlotte as well.

To my surprise, my parents easily made the choice to cut off their ties with me.

They disowned both of us to save their own lives.

“I see. You can’t overturn it with all these people here as witnesses. Siegfried, the prince of Ezersta, is also here… Anna, are you keeping the minutes?”

Yes. I have written them in both Ezerstan and Albanian.”

His Highness Alfred reminded her that this was an official statement in the presence of witnesses.

Anna also works as a scribe on the minutes. It seems that being under house arrest means not being allowed to leave the palace….

“Therefore, the Royal House of Albania holds the Count of Arzel and the Dukes of Wildan responsible for these disturbances. As for Miri-Arzel, we will treat her as soon as we find a mortician, and then take care of her accordingly.”

“Oh, no…!”

Hearing His Highness Alfred’s words, the two parents turned pale and were horrified.

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𝐂𝐇𝟒𝟕 (𝐄𝐥𝐦𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐭 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

Where did it go wrong?

I was supposed to be the chosen heir of the Dukes of Wildan.

I was supposed to have a bright future in my hands…

Why, why, why did it have to come to this?!

Miri Arzel walked into the cathedral, the wedding venue, with her shoes on the ground, and her double for Anna was discovered.

I am held responsible, and I have to get out of this predicament and return home somehow.

“It was all done by my servant, Anna! I tried hard to stop her, but she insisted on going to the wedding, even though she comes from a lowly family. She put Miri-san to sleep and forced her to wear a mask!”

That’s right.

From the beginning, I decided to blame Anna.

Of course she’s going to defend me as her master if something goes wrong as ordered.

And if I also say that it was her fault, I should be able to get away with it.

Yes, I’m sure she will—.

By “Anna,” you mean the maid that Miri had disguised herself as, right? That’s not much of an excuse, is it? Last night, Ermhardt-dono took Miri himself to my brother and Charlotte-dono. There’s no reason for you to listen to your maid, is there? Or the other way around…”

Damn… Prince Siegfried, the second Prince of the Kingdom of Ezersta, a close ally of Prince Alfred, who speaks both Ezersta and Albanian and is a key figure in diplomatic relations between the two countries, has been summoned for questioning.

I thought it was a good excuse, but it was immediately rejected…

“But it’s true. Anna would have said the same thing. It was all her fault. Right~.”

But it doesn’t matter if she’s contradicting herself.

If Anna admits her guilt in defense of me… I’m sure it can be reversed.

“A-Anna said it was her fault, didn’t she?”

“Yes, she did. Yes, she did. “

“…She said that no matter what the master’s orders, she’s guilty as sin when she’s involved in wrongdoing. Compared to you, who’s always making excuses, that’s admirable.”

Anna! You betrayed me!!

She’s a member of the Duke’s household, and she won’t defend her master to the end!

I’ll never forgive her! I’ll crush her family!

I’ll make sure that any woman who takes the power of the duke’s family for a fool will be thrown down to hell!

“So, I guess you, or rather the Dukes of Wildan, will have to take the appropriate responsibility.”

“Appropriate responsibility… What? In the first place, isn’t it Miri-san who is at fault?! You don’t normally go into a cathedral with your feet on the ground! It’s common sense!”

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Why should my future be ruined because of what a woman from another family did?

There’s no way this unreasonable thing can go on.

“Enough! You open your mouth like a child and keep making excuses! Don’t you realize that you are bringing shame to the Kingdom of Ezersta with every word you say?!”

“Ugh~!”

Is it the end for me?

What? What? Eh? Eh?

Anna! Help me. Why won’t anyone help me?!

If it’s like this, I wish my father had never given me the title of legitimate son.

Why am I the only one who’s suffered like this—?

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𝐂𝐡𝟒𝟖

“This first pronunciation is important. Stick out your lips and bite your tongue lightly. Otherwise, the word means “delicious potato.” It’s hard to pronounce because it’s not in Ezersta.”

“My name is Miri Arzel (Albania)!”

A month has already passed since Miri lost her memory.

Since then, the Kingdom of Albania has been preparing sanctions against the Arzel and Wildan families in the Kingdom of Ezersta.

Although they really want to hold them accountable right away, it seems that His Highness Siegfried is intervening to prevent the international problem from becoming more serious.

Elmhardt-sama is still detained in this country and repeatedly claims that Anna is responsible for everything.

Anna herself has been very good at her job, and the head of Albania’s diplomatic service likes her. She is planning to move her family to Albania soon.

In the meantime, I have been staying with Miri.

I tried to have as many conversations with her as possible to make up for lost time.

After losing her memory, she showed interest in everything and became so eager to learn that it was almost a lie.

She read the books I brought from Ezersta in her spare time. She wanted to learn Albanian because she wanted to read our books too. She wanted to learn arithmetic on top of that…

She changed so much that it was scary, but I accommodated her wishes as best I could.

After only one month of study, Miri has learned most of the general culture and is learning the basics of Albanian.

Perhaps if her parents had given her a normal education, she would have had a very different fate…

But Miri has broken a taboo.

The day will come when she will have to take responsibility for that.

I began to worry that the fact that she would be able to understand her transgressions would make the consequences more cruel.

“Onesama,Charlotte-onesama…!”

“—?! Yes. What’s the matter?”

“What are these strange-shaped symbols?”

“Oh, that’s… It’s a symbol for holding your breath for a moment. Many words in Albanian have different meanings depending on when you hold your breath. For example, “◆◇◇◇◇#” means “beautiful flower” if you hold your breath at the first “◆”. If you hold your breath on the “★,” it means “sole.

I was so engrossed that I didn’t notice Miri asking me a question.

In Albania, there are many words that have different meanings depending on when you hold your breath, so it is often difficult to understand the meaning of a word if you do not use the right symbols in the sentence.

Miri, however, has begun to investigate these things and ask questions of her own….

“Charlotte-onesama knows everything. I don’t remember any of this about myself, but I’m sure I used to brag about Onesama~.”

“…”

—That’s cute.

I can see why Leanhardt-sama and Elmhardt-sama were so crazy about this girl.

She has a pretty face that makes everyone look at her, and she absorbs everything I teach her with an open mind that makes me love her even more.

Because she didn’t know anything, she felt bored with everything and started to live according to her instincts.

And because she was allowed to do everything, I guess she can’t stand selfishness anymore.

“Now let’s move on to the arithmetic lesson. The theorem of Aesoptron was discovered by Ezersta in the year 722, when the circle was considered a small universe…”

I regret why I did not have this opportunity earlier.

But for now, let’s cherish this time and teach her as much as we can.

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𝐂𝐡𝟒𝟗

I was adopted by Duke Ebert, a cousin of the King of Albania, and although we have not yet found anyone to take Miri’s place, we have already made the official decision to distance ourselves from the Arzel family.

This means that the father and mother left behind in Albania are completely alone and destitute.

They are now waiting to see what the Kingdom of Ezersta will do to them.

As for Miri, there are different opinions about what to do with her. Some say she should be punished whether she remembers or not. Others think you can’t condemn someone who doesn’t recognize the crime.

“Of course, this made me uncomfortable, too. But I recognize that she is now being given a chance. When her memory returns after a proper education, she will know the gravity of her crime and she will be judged as a person.”

His Highness put the punishment on hold, saying that once Miri is educated, she will be able to know about her sins.

That’s right. If she can gain knowledge, learn manners, and think for herself—.

“Sister Charlotte, are you thinking again? I know. It’s about your sister, isn’t it?”

“Y-Yes. I’m sorry, your highness Irene. Am I playing out of tune?

I was teaching piano to Alfred’s sister, Irene, but I seem to have been absent-minded.

It’s not good. I have to concentrate…

“No, you’re playing perfectly, but… Sister’s mouth was open the whole time. You know, even now…”

“Hmm… I’m sorry. It’s this part, where the modulation went about five times in a row, and finally—.”

When it was pointed out that I was playing with my mouth open, I began to explain, trying to hide my embarrassment.

The famous 200-year-old composer Polmenius’ Piano Concerto No. 7666 is still talked about as a masterpiece in the Kingdom of Ezersta, and I have played it countless times since I was five years old.

“I really admire you for your teaching skills. I didn’t think I could play it in one day.”

“It was only because of Her Highness Irene listened attentively. I look forward to seeing you at your birthday party.”

Her Highness Irene’s birthday is coming up next month, and she has stated that she would like to demonstrate that their friendship with the Kingdom of Ezersta itself has not been harmed by the wedding incident by playing a song from the Kingdom of Ezersta herself.

I was glad she felt that way.

“Yes, I’m counting on it. Sister is going to show off her stringed instruments, her paintings, and the wooden bear she showed us yesterday. With all that’s going on, do you have time to sleep?”

Her Highness Irene is worried that I’m doing too much, but it’s the opposite.

I am always anxious and think too much if I am not doing something, so I am just doing something.

I have been teaching Miri and Her Highness Irene because I want to immerse myself.

“I’m getting some sleep. I’ve been sleeping well.”

“That’s good. Don’t worry about it. Neither I, nor your brother, nor that idiot Aurelius, will despise your sister. We’ll get along just fine.”

“Thank you for your concern.”

I thanked Her Royal Highness Irene for her kind words and left her room.

Everything is going to be alright. I don’t know what that means, but I have to take it all in.

“Onesama! Today I read a book in Albanian by myself. I learned how to use a dictionary.”

“Miri, that’s great. You did a good job.”

She looks very proud of herself and is happy that she can read a book.

I got the everyday life I wanted. But this is still a fake—.

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𝐂𝐡𝟓𝟎 (𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐭 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

Hi! Sorry to keep you waiting!

Yes, I am the true heir apparent of the ducal family—Leanhardt! It’s been a long time!

You’ve done it after all!

Yes… yes… I knew it. See?

I told you, didn’t I? I told you Elmhardt would make a mistake.

In this world, the wise prevail.

I’m sorry, Ermhardt, but you’re going to have to be my stepping stone again.

I heard that Miri ran into the sanctuary.

No, no, no, that’s crazy.

Why can’t you at least let her take her shoes off? It’s not about manners.

He’s being held accountable and he’s not allowed to leave Albania.

He’s so stupid it’s funny. Maybe he’s even dumber than Miri.

I’m sure my father would have understood.

I’m the one who should be the heir to the Duke’s title.

I mean, there’s a chance Elmhardt won’t make it back. I’m sure he’s not qualified.

Kukukukuk—I’m sure he’s unfit.

“I’m the one who truly deserves the dukedom—.”

“Leanhardt-sama…! The master wants to see you!”

“Whoa! What’s the matter, Cloud?! Don’t startle me by calling out to me out of the blue.”

“I tried to talk to you several times, but you just mumbled to yourself…”

Cloud, the butler, said loudly that my father was calling for me.

God, this man… He’s always making excuses.

I wasn’t mumbling to myself. I may have been a little high-strung.

But my father called me—which means that.

I’m pretty sure I know what you’re talking about—you have one choice.

Whoo-hoo! We’re back!!

We did it! We did it! We did it—!

Suck it, Elmhardt!

You have underestimated this brother of yours. Apologize, apologize, apologize to me!!!

“Leanhardt-sama!”

“What the hell?!”

“The master is waiting!”

“I know, I know! Don’t startle me again!”

Damn you, Cloud! He’s talking to me like I’m some kind of fool.

And what’s that book in his hand?

Hmm? “You can make the most of your career! How to Find a New Job.”

What’s that? Is he thinking about getting a new job?

He was a pain in the ass, so it’s refreshing to see him go.

Well… I guess I’ll go see my father now.

It’s time for me to be the star again—.

“Father. I’m sorry to keep you waiting! I’m ready to be the heir again! I will never make that mistake again!”

“…The Dukedom is finished.”

“Huh…?”

I heard an unfunny joke as I declared to my father that I was ready to return as a legitimate son with a serious and determined face.

Hahaha, what are you talking about? Father…

Didn’t he say something about the end of the dukedom? That can’t be true, can it?

Father, you can’t lie to me. Lies are…

It wouldn’t be funny if it were a joke, but the Dukes are going down, so it’s not funny.

“The end of the dukedom, Father… Is that some kind of metaphor? Hahaha.”

“It’s not funny! Do you know how humiliated I’ve been?

…He’s really angry.

Embarrassed about Elmhardt, huh?

Well, I guess Father had to pull a lot of strings to get Elmhardt to attend the wedding.

And then he got his face smashed in because the wedding was ruined.

“No, no, Father. There may have been some reprimands, but it wouldn’t have ruined the dukedom. Our family is a prestigious family with royal bloodli—.”

“That’s not even close! Complaints are pouring in from both the royal families of Ezersta and Albania! It’s a disgrace to the Ezersta! It has damaged the friendly relations between our two countries! His Highness Siegfried has been going around bowing to them!”

What? What? What? This sounds too good to be true.

You’re kidding. Are the dukes going to disappear?

Then there’s no talk of me taking over this house?

I’ll have to live as a commoner from now on…?

I can’t use my career to get another job or anything—.

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𝐂𝐡𝟓𝟏

One week later, it is Her Highness Irene’s birthday.

As announced, Her Highness will perform a popular piece in Ezersta, where Miri and I are from, in the hope that the friendship with the Kingdom of Ezersta will be maintained.

I will attend the performance because I taught piano to Her Highness Irene.

Unfortunately, Miri was not allowed to attend.

Her Highness said it would be fine, but of course, she was the reason why my wedding with His Highness Alfred was postponed. There is no way she can be forgiven.

“Alfred-sama, could you please give it to Irene-sama at her birthday party? I don’t have any money or anything, so I wrote a poem in Albania. It’s a poem to wish Irene a happy birthday.”

“I see. My sister will be happy. I’ll give it to her.”

Perhaps the most surprised by Miri’s change was His Highness Alfred.

It’s as if she’s become a different person, calmer and more considerate of others.

She has also grown a lot in terms of knowledge, as she studies hard to learn things with an open mind.

“This is a profound work. Mr. and Mrs. Arzel… If you think about it, she’s your sister. She can’t be that bad.”

Not only did they not educate her, they didn’t even teach her to be patient and let her do whatever she wanted. By the time I realized it, it was too late and she stopped listening to me no matter what I said.

My father and mother, who are no longer around, did not educate Miri or even discipline her in a simple way.

They gave her whatever she wanted without bothering her, and she thought she could get anything she wanted by crying.

“Well, Irene has been nagging at me, but don’t take it personally. I’m sure this is better for both you and your sister’s future.”

“Yes, I understand. I know that you are thinking about Miri’s future…”

No matter how much Her Highness Irene would allow it, it was clear that allowing Miri to attend the party would only be detrimental to her.

I believe that His Highness Alfred’s judgment is correct.

“Then I will see you tomorrow. Thank you for giving Irene piano lessons.”

“No, I didn’t teach her much. Irene has a good memory.”

“Hahaha, we both agree that you are a very good teacher. I want to hear you play again.”

His Highness Alfred laughed and left the room.

I never realized how precious the peaceful flow of time is. I thought to myself as I watched Miri happily touching the piano in the room.

“Hey Onesama…can you play the song that Irene is playing for her birthday? I somehow know that I have done something wrong and will not be able to attend, but I’m really curious to hear what the song will be.”

“Of course, that’s fine. I played this song many times when I was at Ezersta.”

Miri understands that she is under house arrest for doing something wrong.

Even if she doesn’t remember, she must have sensed such things.

Of course, the song that Her Highness Irene is going to play is the same one that I played many times when I was at home.

I don’t know if Miri was listening to it properly…

“Well, I’ll play it…”

I touched the keys with a plonk and began to play.

I hit the keys as if I were gliding my fingers over the running water.

As if to represent the beautiful lake of Ezersta—.

“… It’s a very beautiful song…”

Miri exclaimed in admiration.

After all, she doesn’t seem to remember it.

We’re going to climax. Let’s get it going.

“Eh? Do I know… do I know… do I know this song? Ah, ah, ah, ah, my head, my head, it hurts…!”

“Mi-Miri?!”

Suddenly, Miri began to suffer and held his head.

Could it be that her memory is coming back?

If that’s the case, Miri—.

“Oh, no, no, no, no, no… I… I… I don’t… What did I…?! No! No! NOOOOooo…!”

Miri cried out in despair… And then she fainted—.

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𝐂𝐡𝟓𝟐 (𝐌𝐢𝐫𝐢’𝐬 𝐏𝐎𝐕)

It was like a long, long dream.

I forgot everything. I was very close to Charlotte-onesama, and Onesama was very kind to me, so I felt very comfortable and happy.

But it is all fake.

While I forgot everything, I learned many things.

What to do and what not to do.

To live, common sense is required.

And human kindness.

Now that I know these things, I can’t stand it.

Because I know that what I have done so far is too big and I am ashamed of it.

Up until the other day—I was, in a word, nothing more than an animal.

At least, I think I was a lowly being who only took the form of a human being.

My words, my gestures, my actions… I can’t stand to look at any of them.

What?

Have I always lived like this?

This is more embarrassing than living naked!

And on top of that, how could I have brought so much shame on Charlotte-onesama?

Why was Onesama so kind to me?

Because I ruined Onesama’s wedding.

I want to die.

I want to die.

I want to die.

I want to die.

I want to die.

I want to die…

Somebody blow my head off.

Someone cut off my head.

I’m ashamed to be alive.

It’s hell to live in such shame.

I’ve known about it for a long time.

Memory loss wasn’t the only thing I didn’t know about.

I knew that my inability to go out was because I had done something wrong.

But the reality was far more than I could ever have imagined.

I can’t take it anymore. I want to strangle myself.

I’m in pain.

I’m in pain…

My heart is in agony, and I’m so sorry.

I really want to disappear.

Please kill me.

God, please punish me.

“Mi, Miri, are you okay?! Does your head hurt? Should I call a doctor?!”

“No, please don’t! Please don’t speak so kindly to me! I’m not worth it…!”

Charlotte-onesama looks at me with a worried face.

Please leave me alone. Don’t be nice to people like me.

Why didn’t Onesama cut me off?

Why didn’t she just throw me in jail?

“What are you saying all of a sudden?!”

“I’ve caused Onesama so much trouble, I don’t deserve to live. So please leave me alone…!”

“What—?! Miri… Your memory…?”

Onesama looks at me and seems to know that my memory has returned.

Onesama, do you understand?

How ashamed am I that I remember my actions?

One way or another, I must die—.

I-I think there was a bottle of poisonous water in my room that was set up in case a rat got out.

If I drink it all at once—.

“Miri, what are you doing? Is that—!?”

“Onesama, Thank you for everything…”

“Miri! Stop it! Miri!”

I gulp down the liquid in the bottle.

A~ah. I’m slowly losing consciousness.

Finally, thank you very much. Charlotte-onesama.

For being so kind to me.

I’m sorry for the trouble I’ve caused you—.

♦♦♦awebstories♦♦♦

“…I-I’m still alive, aren’t I?”

“Miri! You’re such an idiot!”

When I woke up, Charlotte-onesama had tears in her eyes and she was yelling at me.

Oh, I can’t help but feel grateful that she is angry with me now.

However, I wonder what the logic is behind my being safe after taking the poison…

“I could predict that when Miri-sama regained her memory, she would surely want to die. So I gave her a bottle of sleeping pills, telling her they were poison. to calm her down.”

You are Anna.

Anna gave me the poison to kill the rats, didn’t she?

I couldn’t die, could I? But the desire to die hasn’t gone away at all—.

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𝐂𝐡𝟓𝟑

While playing the piano, Miri suddenly clutched her head and said, “I want to die. I want to die.”

With a truly pained expression on her face, she screams in agony and takes a poison, opens the lid of the bottle, and sips the liquid.

I called the doctor in a hurry when I saw Miri, who collapsed shortly afterwards.

—It seems she was just sleeping.

Anna came to me and apologized.

She said that she had given Miri sleeping pills because she thought she would want to die if her memory came back.

She said that she had a bad premonition when she saw how fast she was growing, but I was impressed that he was so tactful.

Lying in bed, Miri wakes up shortly after.

“…I-I’m still alive, aren’t I?”

“Miri! You’re such an idiot!”

I scold Miri with a loud voice.

She really worries me.

Just when I thought she was finally ready to talk about things, she says something stupid like she wants to die.

“Onesama, I, I, I’ve always had a bad feeling about Charlotte-onesama… I never thought anything of Charlotte-onesama. No, not only that. All my life, I have lived without thinking. I am so ashamed of it. I just want to disappear…”

Miri is ashamed of her past actions… She wants to die.

I understand how she feels, but I know from my contact with Miri that she was not selfish with malicious intent.

It is natural for her to be ashamed of her actions now that she has learned to judge right from wrong.

But she forgot something very important.

“Miri, you’re ashamed of your actions, but you don’t seem to be able to reflect on them.”

“O-Onesama? I-I am ashamed of what I have done. That’s why I want to disappear and die—.

“No. You regret it, but you are not sorry. Because remorse means looking at the past and trying not to repeat it. It is not about saying out loud that you want to escape.”

I know that Miri is in pain.

But this is the moment when she can change.

If she could choose to grit her teeth and still live with the shame she is being subjected to, she may be able to see a new life.

“Onesama… I, I! I will change! One day I will take on any sin, no matter how painful, so that one day I can become a lady like Charlotte-onesama!”

Miri’s eyes lit up with an intensity I had never seen before, as she assured me that she would change.

I believe she will be fine.

I am sure that one day she will be a lady of the highest caliber.

♦♦♦awebstories♦♦♦

It has been about half a year since Miri attempted suicide.

The Arzel and Duke families of Ezersta were mercilessly crushed. The father and mother returned to Ezersta and became commoners, and I heard that Leanhardt-sama was imprisoned because of a dispute with the royal family.

Even after his release, Ermhartd-sama did not want to return to his homeland, so he sold his clothes and used the money to rent farm equipment and some land to grow delicious potatoes.

I didn’t know that he had studied agriculture professionally.

“It’s already been three months since Miri started her training to become a Sister.”

“Her attitude of staying in solitary confinement for about three months and quietly awaiting the outcome of the trial gave her some leeway for extenuating circumstances, but I guess she had already decided to give up her aristocratic status. According to what I’ve heard, she has a good reputation even over there.

Miri went to the monastery of her own choice as an apprentice sister.

They say she prays earnestly every day to God and works hard to help those who are seeking salvation.”

“You wanted her to come to our wedding, didn’t you?”

“Yes, But I respected her wishes. Miri has moved on with her life. I’m not worried anymore and I’m going to take care of my own life.”

I take Alfred’s hand in mine and step into the cathedral.

I take a deep breath of happiness that I have made it to this day in one piece…

~END~

(Potato-Tan: I feel empty (T-T))

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