The Biggest Argument of Personal Feelings (Part 3)
Celestine de Oiria, who wore a hood over her eyes, gracefully entered the shop.
Her face was completely hidden, which made it hard for Conrad to read her expression. There was a man who appeared to be a noble beside her, and another female attendant who followed behind.
When he saw the female attendant, Conrad almost raised his voice involuntarily.
It was Celes.
Her glasses were gone and her hair was tied up, but it was unquestionably Celes standing there.
Even Celes covered her mouth in surprise when she saw Conrad.
「Thank you for the pleasure of having us today. This is the first time we have met. I am… 」
The former Emperor began to introduce himself as he invited the hooded Princess Regent to take a seat.
Although they were from neighboring countries, the Princess Regent had never had the opportunity to meet face to face with the members of the Imperial Family.
It was mostly due to the bad relationship between the two countries during the era of the “Hero King”, the previous King of the Eastern Kingdom.
It was originally supposed to have been a historical meeting, but the stage today was this Izakaya. How would future historians portray this meeting?
The noble called La Catan, who was accompanying the Princess Regent, also offered his hand to the former Emperor. His name often came up in spy reports. He had strong connections with the young King Hugh, and was also the Princess Regent’s guardian.
However, none of this mattered to Conrad.
They talked with their eyes as they looked at one another. The former Emperor looked suspiciously at the two who were still standing up, and bowed deeply towards the hooded woman.
「Welcome to the Empire. Thank you for coming all the way here.」
「We are also thankful. It was a very good experience, as I have never had the opportunity to travel so deep into the Empire.」
While the two had smiles directed at one another, there almost seemed to be sparks flying between them.
Shinobu wondered whether this was what people meant by “a tense atmosphere”.
On the other hand, Conrad and Celes were just staring at each other.
Even though they had exchanged a few words, they still had more to say. Something about Celes’ appearance made him think that way.
The Princess Regent and Celes sat face to face with the former Emperor and Conrad, respectively. Sebastian and La Catan stood off to the side.
「Now then, I’m sorry to have had you travel so far, but I would like to say that this will not be a marriage interview.」
Conrad stared at the former Emperor who said those unexpected words. What was the point of having that argument earlier?
The former Emperor, who began the talk by going straight to the point, made a dark expression.
It was easy to perceive the guilt he felt in saying those words.
「As I said beforehand, my grandson is unenthusiastic in this matter. So, I thought perhaps… 」
The former Emperor must have realized that there was a low chance of success in this gamble when he had talked about it beforehand.
「Our side has been thinking about reconsidering this matter as well… 」
Even the Princess Regent sounded pensive.
Even though the preparation had been meticulous, it was being considered a failure from the start.
In the first place, Conrad was unwilling to marry. Furthermore, there was a large age gap between the marriage candidates. Even if it was a political marriage between enemy countries, it had been set a little too hastily.
Conrad’s eyes did not move away from Celes, considering the situation as someone else’s problem.
It felt like a miracle for him to meet her again.
「This is rather regrettable.」
「Yes, it truly is.」
The former Emperor sighed together with the hooded Princess Regent.
It was reasonable to say that both had travelled all the way to this Izakaya Nobu for the sake of each other’s dignity.
Shinobu wondered what would have happened if it was Celes in that seat.
Conrad would have accepted this talk in a heartbeat.
Although Celestine had not spoken any ill words towards the previous Emperor in regards to the unfavourable discussion, it was just a trivial matter.
What surprised Conrad was the fact that the former Emperor did not intend to force the marriage interview.
He had thought that his grandfather did not understand his own grandson’s heart, but unexpectedly it was the grandson who did not understand his grandfather’s heart.
「Now then… since the Princess Regent has gone out of her way to come all the way here, why don’t you give her your greetings, my grandson?」
The former Emperor tugged on Conrad’s sleeve to encourage him to greet the Princess Regent.
However, Conrad did not move. There was something else he had to do.
He grabbed the hands of Celes who was across from him.
The grandson turned to his grandfather and declared as the Emperor, his tone surprisingly clear and firm.
「Grandfather… I would like to marry this woman.」
He then remembered that he had not asked for Celes’ agreement first before stating his intention.
Celes did not take her hand away. She merely blushed, and nodded.
The former Emperor did not seem to understand what was happening.
With a stunned and dazed expression, he looked at Conrad, Celes, and the Princess Regent.
「Wait a minute. Even though the marriage interview was canceled, to announce it in front of the Princess Regent… that’s a little too… 」
The former Emperor tried to stand up in a panic, but Conrad quickly caught him by the hand.
「No, grandfather. I am the Emperor of the Empire. What is the throne for if I can’t choose my own partner to be with for life? 」
The Princess Regent suddenly began to giggle as she looked at the former Emperor’s embarrassed expression. The giggle gradually grew louder and immediately became a noisy laugh.
「What, what’s going on?」
The Princess Regent took off her hood in front of the panicking former Emperor, wiped away her tears from laughing too much, and pointed her finger at Celes.
Under the hood was a woman with freckles who resembled Celes’ stature.
「Isn’t that right, “Your Highness, Princess Regent”?」
The Princess Regent called Celes the Princess Regent.
Celes, who was now the center of attention, responded with a smile.
「Yes. I, Celestine de Oiria, Princess Regent of the Eastern Kingdom, am honoured to receive this marriage proposal from the Empire’s Emperor, Conrad V. 」
The other people in the shop could only stare dumbfoundedly at the two Princess Regents, who were smiling.
Conrad, the former Emperor, Sebastian, Taisho, Shinobu… even Reinhold.
These six people looked as if they had been bewitched by a fox.
「Celes… are you, the Celes?」
Conrad’s question came out a little late. But, there was nothing else to ask.
「Yes, I am Celestine de Oiria, the real Princess Regent. This is my maid and body double, Charlotte.」
「Body double… 」
Charlotte, the Celes lookalike, bowed respectfully.
Her movements were just like Celes’, as expected of a body double. If she hid her face, no one would be able to tell them apart.
As it was, the marriage interview in AItheria was in enemy territory. It was only natural to be vigilant, as they could only bring a few attendants.
The tense atmosphere gradually turned into a peaceful one.
「I am going to need you to explain to me what is going on later… 」
The former Emperor muttered softly while putting on a smile, and Conrad, who was standing beside him, replied with a smile.
「It’s love at first sight. There is no helping it, right?」
「It depends on the time and situation… But, well done, my grandson.」
The former Emperor placed his hand on the Emperor’s shoulder. It was a warm gesture.
At that time, a round of applause echoed in the otherwise empty Izakaya Nobu.