Chapter 36: I know more than you
There are 72 noble families in the Kingdom of Istonia.
The majority of them support the royal family’s policies and are well-governed.
Only the five noble families are unique.
They clearly took a different stance from the royal family and other nobles.
The current head of the Aizen family
He rose to become the family’s head at a young age and was a genius with many accomplishments to his name.
He is regarded as a rising leader among those who oppose the royal family.
I knew it was coming, but he just appeared out of nowhere.
I’m on high alert.
However, I must not appear surprised, agitated, or angry.
because I am His Highness’s wife.
“Pleased to meet you, Duke Aizen.”
“You may refer to me as a Schwigel. It is a privilege to meet His Highness Prince Rayne’s wife—i’ve always wanted to talk to you.”
He greets me with a friendly, kind expression and a smile.
He appears to be a very nice man.
No, perhaps he is a good person.
It is not always bad to go against the wishes of the royal family.
At least he is not showing any hostility toward me right now.
We’re meeting for the first time today, so it could just be a friendly greeting.
I had only been thinking about it when I realized
I was surrounded.
by strange men.
There is nowhere to walk through because they stand at regular intervals.
“Ah, yes. They’re my friends. They were also excited to meet Her Highness Princess Phyllis.”
These are the people who share Duke Schwigel’s opinion.
to keep me from fleeing?
to prevent me from speaking with other nobles?
I’ll be on my guard. You can never be too careful.
I brace myself.
“You appear nervous.”
“――! Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not used to being in such situations.”
“That’s completely understandable—Her Highness comes from a neighboring country. I had also heard she worked at the court there.”
Everyone is aware of my origins.
The nobility must know that I used to work at the court.
“It must have been a very brave decision to marry a prince from another country.”
“It wasn’t, His Highness Rayne is a wonderful man.”
“You’re a good woman. You also consider helping your husband—besides, I’ve heard you’re a gifted grantmaker with uncommon talent.”
Schwigel’s eyes are filled with a smile.
Something is going to happen.
I had a hunch.
“You personally stood on the battlefield in Suerre and inspired the soldiers—It is not a simple task.”
“Her Highness seems to have a great talent. That is why His Highness chose her to be his wife—she possesses abilities that will benefit the country…”
I think I understand what he’s saying.
In a roundabout way, he’s attempting to say that all His Highness sees is my power.
Guide the topic in an understandable manner.
“In fact, we all had reservations about his highness’ marriage. Why did His Highness suddenly take a wife after avoiding marriage for so long? It would make sense if the reason was her ability.
“His Highness is a reasonable man—he will always prioritize profit over feelings. Sometimes he takes bold measures. I’m sure Her Highness is going through a lot.”
“… I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Duke Schwigel looks around suspiciously, then whispers softly in my ear.
“I’m afraid His Highness made you his wife so he could take advantage of you—Isn’t there something behind this?”
That’s how you get there.
There’s no denying it.
His intention is to bring me into his camp.
“There’s nothing going on behind the scenes—I adore His Highness.”
“Right now, we’re the only ones around—there is no reason to conceal our true feelings. It wouldn’t be surprising if His Highness holds your weakness and is threatening you.”
Duke Schwigel smiles.
in a refreshing way, but with a tinge of black flame in his eyes.
but that’s fine.
He has no idea.
He is unaware of the origins of our relationship.
He’s just causing a stir.
to identify and exploit my weaknesses.
“No, I don’t think so—His Highness is a kind man.”
“..You are a strong woman. But I’m sure you’re aware. His Highness is willing to go to any length for himself and his country. He has a cunning side. And you know what happens when he no longer needs Her Highness.”
He’s been making assumptions all along.
What information does this person have about His Highness?
“Does Duke Schwigel know His Highness?”
“No, I am just an ordinary nobleman—I am not close to His Highness… That’s the equivalent of a commoner befriending a nobleman.”
“Is that so? Then you have nothing to be concerned about—I know His Highness better than you do.”
Schwigel furrows his brow.
with the expression of a wry smile.
“Well, you say the most amusing things. You’ve only been here for a little over a month.”
“I’m not joking.”
Somehow I got irritated.
Is it because he disparaged His Highness?
There is no clear explanation.
But I felt compelled to tell him.
“I am His Highness Prince Rayne’s wife.”
“――You are, indeed—I was impolite. Please accept my apologies.”
He smiles and bows his head.
Then he said goodbye to me and left.
The nobles around me vanish along with him.
“Did they ask you any questions?”
He was standing next to me before I knew it.
“Did you happen to hear what he said?”
“No, I could see him talking, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying.—that’s why I’m asking you.”
“There wasn’t much of a story there.”
“Really? But, in the end, you seemed determined.”
He could see the look on my face even though he couldn’t hear me.
“I told him exactly that: “I am His Highness’s wife.”
I raise my head.
His Highness’s profile looks like he’s smiling.