The wind blows a little stronger, and the surface of the lake sways, creating waves.
While gazing at that, the meal was prepared on the gazebo’s table.
“What are you looking at?”
“Hm? The lake is shaking. The wind is a bit strong today.”
“Ah, it might rain tomorrow. I think it will be fine until we get home, though.”
Even though the queen’s work is busy, once or twice a year,
I bring Chris and Kyle, and the three of us come to the royal forest for a picnic.
We make sure to spend our time leisurely when we come here.
When handed a sandwich by Kyle, Chris pours soup into a bowl for me.
Feeling happy as I’m always pampered, I take a bite of the sandwich.
. . .Has it been twenty-two years since then?
Because of abundant magical power, Chris, Kyle, and I age slowly.
I look just past thirty, while Chris and Kyle appear almost forty.
Year by year, I feel our age difference less and less.
On the other hand, everyone around us is getting older.
Many have retired from working in the palace due to old age.
“Hey, I think it’s about time.”
“You mean, to abdicate?”
“Yes. Julian will be twenty-two soon. The same age I was when I ascended the throne.
Leon will support him, and Agnès’s engagement is settled.
I think they’ll be fine without us.”
“Indeed. It might be time to let go.”
Eddie and Diana’s child, Julian, became the crown prince at the age of sixteen.
With a large physique and physical abilities resembling Eddie, and a strong sense of responsibility and intelligence resembling Diana.
Although I intended to let him choose whether to become the crown prince, Julian made the request.
‘Please choose me as the successor.’
Upon graduation from the academy, he married a princess, and they already have two princes.
Leon, two years younger, had apparently planned to support Julian as a royal brother all along.
He studied abroad in Rujail for college and returned last year.
He wanted to see other countries for Eugenis’ sake.
Since returning, he’s been working as Julian’s aide.
He plans to wait until Julian’s children grow a bit before marrying.
Four years younger than Leon, his sister, Agnès, had quite a struggle deciding her engagement.
Agnès’ fiancé is Douglas’ son Lucas.
Twenty-six-year-old Lucas and fifteen-year-old Agnès are eleven years apart.
Even though she’s a princess, I don’t intend to marry Agnès off for political reasons,
I planned to let her choose when she came of age, but
When Lucas, who turned twenty, left the royal palace to return to the Marquis household six years ago,
The nine-year-old Agnès, who didn’t want to be separated, cried and resisted.
I thought she was sad about losing a close brother,
But that wasn’t Agnès’s intention.
Even at nine years old, she had chosen Lucas as the one with whom she wanted to spend her life.
Lucas was aware of those feelings,
It seems he thought it would be impossible for him to propose marriage due to his own position.
And as Lucas thought, there was opposition from the nobles.
For a princess to be married into the Marquis Taylor household of Douglas, who became a royal consort,
The reason was that the power of the Marquis Taylor household would become excessively strong.
However, even as consort, I have not given birth.
The consort’s power comes from being the father of the future king.
Since that’s not the case, there’s no problem with Agnès marrying into the Marquis’s family.
It took six years to convince the nobles of this.
Finally, last month Lucas and Agnès’ engagement was settled,
The only remaining royal children are Emillia and Prince Ishra’s child Corinne,
But reports say Corinne has no interest in marriage.
Apparently, Corinne takes after Prince Ishra and is interested in developing magical tools.
I think she should pursue her research as she likes.
. . .I can confidently say that it’s okay to leave it to the next generation now.
I understand now why my grandfather went to the detached palace six months after he abdicated to me at that time.
I want to watch over them because I’m worried, but I must not interfere with the next king.
“I will gradually hand over the king’s duties to Julian,
And once I abdicate, I think I’ll move somewhere else.”
“. . .Hey, isn’t it enough now?”
“Sofia has lived for this country all this time.
So, after abdicating the throne, you could go wherever you wanted,
I think you should be free to live as you please.”
“Where do I want to go?”
“Just say what you, Princess, want to do. We will follow that.”
“I see. . . thank you.”
I’m free to do what I like now, I don’t have to live to protect the country and the people.
Did I fulfill the responsibility of the throne I inherited from my grandfather properly?
Chris, who smiles softly with narrowed eyes, and Kyle, who still strokes my head like when I was a child.
The three of us, freely, as we like.
“. . .I want to see Lilia.”
“To Lilia? Do you know where she is?”
“No, I don’t know. I don’t know where she is, or if she’s even there anymore.
That’s why I want to go searching in different places.”
“You want to go on a journey? That might be nice too.
We can travel to other countries looking for magic that you, Princess, don’t know about.”
“Yeah, that sounds fun.”
“Then, it’s settled?”
It’s going to be busy for a while.
Preparations for the handover and coronation, arrangements for the mansion where we will live after abdication.
Naturally, it’s likely that they would prevent us from going on a journey,
I have to decide where to live in the country.
I’ll go to various places and come back to Eugenis,
And report to my grandfather and Otou-sama who are sleeping in the royal tomb.
Over and over again, until the day I sleep there too.
I am so happy, indeed.
Eugenis, known as the largest magical nation in the world, was not originally a magical powerhouse.
The turning point was the era ruled by Queen Sofia, known as the little wise queen,
Research conducted jointly with Prince Ishra of Rujail achieved evolution unlike other countries.
However, there is little description in the history books about Queen Sofia.
Since the next king after Queen Sofia was the son of a cousin prince,
There were even researchers who thought that the queen did not really exist.
That theory was overturned only in recent years.
A diary left by the granddaughter of Marquis Douglas, the consort of Queen Sofia, has been discovered.
The stories I heard from my grandfather were all interesting, but
The most interesting was the story of Queen Sofia.
It seems that after abdicating, Sofia-sama built a small mansion in the royal forest,
And lived there with consorts Chris-sama and Kyle-sama, but,
At some point, all three had disappeared.
My grandfather said that Sofia-sama and the others must have gone on a journey.
Because he remembers that Sofia-sama said she had someone she wanted to meet sometime.
Sofia-sama was very beautiful, and although she was nearly fifty when she abdicated,
Even then, she was still young and beautiful like a girl.
I thought that was surely a lie, but my grandfather did not look like an old man until the end.
If having a lot of magical power slows down aging, I’m sure I’ll be the same.
Otou-sama and Okaa-sama are still young too.
Ah, but I’m envious.
I have seen pictures of Chris-sama and Kyle-sama, and they were really beautiful men.
Although the picture of Sofia-sama, who was solely loved by those two, was also beautiful,
I also doubted whether there really was something like the three becoming one.
I wonder if it is truly possible to love each other without fighting.
My grandfather was a consort, but he secretly told me that he was not Sofia-sama’s husband.
It seemed to be no problem because my grandfather’s only one was my grandmother, but that’s also wonderful.
I’m sure Sofia-sama was with Chris-sama and Kyle-sama until the end.
Imagining that is fun, and I asked my grandfather for the story many times.
Maybe, if she comes back to Eugenis someday, I can meet her.
To a wonderful queen who was loved by everyone.
(Excerpt from Henrietta・Taylor’s diary)