A month or so later.
Cyril relished his newfound independence.
He no longer had to be followed by the ladies who were all gawking at him, or by the noble children who were meddling in Cyril’s affairs, and he had a lot more freedom in his activities.
He has accomplished the following:
- Mingle with the second and third children of upper-class nobility, as well as middle or lower-class nobles that he had a chance to interact with before.
- Participate in school events and club activities as a regular student.
- Sit down with the last of Cyril’s supporters until the morning.
- Take part in costume parties.
- Sneaking around town and feasting in taverns.
With the upper nobles gone, the middle and lower nobles could easily talk to Cyril, and Cyril discovered many talented people there.
In addition, by venturing out on his own, he gained a better understanding of the lives of ordinary people and learned a few tricks of the trade.
It was exactly how he had envisioned an ideal, exciting, and fulfilling student life.
However, there was little progress in the area of “true love,” which was the most important thing.
There are only a few ladies left for him to choose from.
Those who liked Cyril personally, however, did not feel anything of the sort when speaking with them.
Cyril thought about it. What exactly is “true love”?
Then one day, a battered Luke came to the student council room.
Cyril was surprised to see Luke, who was about to collapse, and rushed to welcome him into the student council’s office.
Luke, appears to be about to cry.
“…Brother, I’ve been dumped.”
Since the rumors began, Luke’s surroundings have changed dramatically.
He was always surrounded by happy high-ranking nobles, so he couldn’t move around freely or do his favorite thing, which was reading.
When he finally got past them and went to see the Countess, the woman of his heart, she looked troubled.
“She told me that the crown princess position was a pain in the ass and that she didn’t want to lose time reading her favorite books—It turns out she liked the third prince, who seemed to have a lot of free time and money!”
Luke is crestfallen, and his head hangs as he speaks.
Cyril made every effort not to laugh.
He never expected to be rejected for such a reason.
“All of a sudden, people became interested in me and praised me for everything I did; they had never been interested in my research before, but now they’re talking about building a research institute in my name; it’s such a 180-degree turn that I’m beginning to distrust people!”
Cyril looked apologetically at Luke.
“I’m sorry, Luke; I put you in an awkward position; I didn’t expect the nobles to go to such lengths.”
“True, even though I started it, I never imagined it would turn out this bad—but don’t worry, brother, it’s not all bad! Thanks to that, we’re going to build a great research institute and a library!”
Luke says wickedly.
Cyril erupted in laughter.
That’s my younger brother. He’s cunningly intelligent.
“In any case, graduation is in less than two weeks, and I intend to make the most of it. I hope you find your “true love” by then.”
“Of course, I’ll do my best.”
And then came graduation day.
The king declared that Cyril would be proclaimed the next king.
The audience was in an uproar.
The upper nobility had lost their colors after believing the rumors and deserting Cyril.
They turned pale as they reflected on their own actions, but it was too late.
Cyril stood on the stage, looked around the befuddled audience, and smiled,
“I, Cyril, have been named the Crown Prince, and I will now announce my entourage and protectors who will accompany me.”
The entourage was made up of six people in total.
Samuel and Carlos were chosen, as well as the first two children of the remaining high nobility that stuck with Cyril. He also chose a third son from a highly respected middle-class nobility whom he had recently befriended. And the last was the fifth son of a low-ranking noble family.
It is the first meritocracy of its kind, and it rejects the idea of factions in favor of loyalty and skill.
The firstborn of the high nobility are almost overwhelmed by the results.
As much as they would like to complain, they can’t say anything like, “We took your loyalty into consideration.” They have it coming to them.
With them in the background, Cyril raised his voice.
“Next, I would like to introduce my future partner, Duchess Rosemary Richter.”
Rosemary enters the stage to the shrieks and screams of the high-ranking ladies who had missed Cyril.
Cyril takes her hand in his and gently kisses it.
Rosemary whispered in a worried tone.
“…Luke just informed me. I understand you were looking for your “true love.” I’m thrilled you chose me… But, Cyril, are you certain you want me? You won’t regret it?”
Rosemary, as usual, is more concerned with Cyril than with herself.
Cyril smiled and locked his gaze on her.
“I’ve given it a lot of thought, but I believe that “true love” is more like a “final destination” that you reach when you love and respect each other.”
Cyril laughs and says, “That’s why I thought I could find “true love” with you, who has been there for me since we were kids.
He then kneels in front of Rosemary, who is crying joyful tears, and gently extends his hand to her.
“Will you stay with me forever?”
“I would be delighted to.”
The audience erupted in applause and cheers.
Cyril smiled and turned to the crowd.
“Thank you for your blessing. I’ve also heard that you’re constructing a new research center and library under Luke’s direction. I’m looking forward to seeing them finished as well. Please continue your excellent work.”
And a clear warning, “Even if you find out that Luke is not the next king, don’t back down.”
When the high nobles who had switched to Luke heard this, they looked at him with dead fish eyes.
A year has passed.
Rosemary and Cyril married after graduating from school.
The crowd congratulated the happy couple.
By the way,
The first prince of the neighboring country, who is the originator of “true love”, was deeply moved when he heard the story of Cyril and Rosemary.
He wanted to try it out for himself, so he spread rumors about his own disinheritance.
But the Baroness, with whom he had shared his feelings, said, “I don’t need you if you’re not the crown prince!” and kicked him out of her life.
The prince was so shocked that he collapsed on the floor and was mocked by the entire world.
Later, a fable called “the story of a foolish man who was deceived by the illusion of true love” was based on this story.
When people saw a young man who was foolishly in love in the heat of the moment, they would mock him and say, “You have finally found true love, haven’t you?”
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