Chapter 98: The Sins of His Highness Elias
Lex will explain. He started with the story of that first meeting, being crammed into a small house, he talked about the mechanism for making magic stones but blurred the production and completion, and being asked to offer it, he was judged as a heretic and captured if he refused.
“Thank you for talking so much despite your exhaustion. Mr. Peltra.”
After that, His Holiness Namadrius IV took a moment to think, and then began to talk.
“The original sin is that Prince Elias had an affair with Miss Ina while he was already engaged to Miss Vilhelmina. Prince Elias, do you have any objections?”
“…Vilhelmina tried to kill Miss Periknen, who was then Miss Ina Madetoya.”
I raised my hand and asked for permission to speak.
“That’s the reason Your Highness degraded me in public and married me to Alex Peltra. Regardless of the right or wrong of that act, the injustice was a matter before that.”
His Highness mutters in resignation.
“Yes… There was no love between you and I.”
“Love can be achieved through the efforts of both parties. The responsibility lies not only with His Highness Elias, but also with me. I gave up on that will to nurture it at an early stage.”
The relationship between him and me had become flavorless and dull.
His Holiness asked.
“Why is that so?”
“Because I continued to be rejected by His Highness, and I couldn’t get any help even if I talked to my father. Especially after the affair started. I reprimanded His Highness and Miss Ina many times orally and in writing, but the result remained the same.”
I show a gesture of looking up and thinking.
“So, thinking back now, it was short-sighted to want to kill. I should have thought of other ways if I had been calm. However, at the time when I was rejected by my father and His Highness, the fiancé, I didn’t think there was a problem with that choice.”
“It’s difficult to continue pouring out unconditional love. How about Lord Periknen?”
“… I didn’t reject my daughter. I just told her to stay put.”
“How about Your Majesty? Don’t say you didn’t know.”
“It is true that I underestimated the possibility that it was just a passing fancy from his student days. However, I never thought that he would break off the engagement like that while I was away from home.”
It’s a lie when Lord Periknen says it, but it may be true when the king says it. However, it seems like he’s trying to shift the topic and avoid responsibility.
However, His Holiness doesn’t pursue it and faces His Highness directly.
“So, does Miss Ina have any objections?”
“No, I don’t. I… I apologize to Vilhelmina-sama.”
She bows her head.
You acknowledge it? I had a feeling that you might say that ever since we spoke directly before, but when I consider this place as a venue for a debate, what would be her conditions for victory, and what is she thinking about in order to achieve that?
“Hey, Ina-sama. I ask you, who has been educated for over a year to become a Crown Princess. Was it strange behavior when I tried to kill you?”
“No, considering my actions and position at that time, and the position and situation of Vilhelmina-sama, it was a natural choice.”
“Ina, are you betraying me?!”
“No, your Highness, I would never betray you. I simply spoke my honest thoughts.”
Miss Ina grabbed Elias’s sleeve and leaned in to look into his eyes and said.
“Ina is on Elias-sama’s side.”
“And Vilhelmina-sama is probably…”
With a small cough.
“I did not give you the right to speak for my heart.”
Miss Ina gently let go of Elias’s hand.
“Well, your Highness Elias. Why couldn’t you love your fiancée Vilhelmina? Did you not try to love her?”
“Why did I…”
A wrinkle of anguish appeared on Elias’s forehead.
“Yes, it is written in the scriptures that one should love, but that is only because it is difficult to love. But why couldn’t you love her, what do you have to do to love her, and how can you continue to love her? The answer must come from the depths of one’s soul.”
A long, long silence fell, and after a time that was as long as it took for tea leaves to open, a voice leaked out.
“…The teacher praised Vilhelmina. My father and mother too.”
The queen dropped her fan.
“My servants and friends…I felt like they were being taken away from me… I felt it.”
The prince looks this way. It seems like it has been a long time since his blue eyes looked so clear and straight.
“I’m sorry. I have lost everything ten years too late, but I thought you were my enemy. But you should have been my closest ally.”
I nod silently.
His Highness Elias stood up with an unsteady step.
“Your Majesty, Your Holiness. I…I want to renounce my right to the throne. I confess all my sins and wait to be judged as a sinner, and accept all the punishments.”
And then he struck his knees to the floor.
“And if allowed, I also plead for Ina’s mercy.”