The Biggest Argument of Personal Feelings (Part 4)
The one who clapped the loudest was La Catan, Celestine’s male attendant. However, he did not look like he was giving his blessings.
In Conrad’s eyes, it looked like a mixture of regret and resignation instead.
「This is quite the unexpected outcome, Your Highness.」
When he opened his mouth, a superficially polite but rude remark came out. He was, perhaps, not a part of the royal family of his own country.
「La Catan. What are you trying to say?」
「You understand what I mean, Your Highness… No, Celestine-sama.」
「You are being disrespectful, La Catan-dono!」
Charlotte reprimanded La Catan, who had omitted the title of “Your Highness” and only called her by name, with a strong tone.
However, La Catan did not seem to care. He raised one of his well-shaped eyebrows, and spoke fearlessly.
「Shut it, Charlotte. You’re just a maid.」
This infuriated Celestine.
What was going on? Conrad found it difficult to keep up with the situation.
Why did this retainer suddenly start acting impudently towards his own country’s Princess Regent?
Only the former Emperor seemed to be grasping the crux of the situation, and kept a close watch with his arms crossed.
Celes, whose intelligence did not match her age, demanded an explanation from La Catan.
「What are you trying to do, La Catan? Do you have any intention of blessing this marriage, or not?」
「I give my utmost blessings to this marriage. Celestine-sama is a pleasure to have as an individual.」
「What? What do you mean?」
「It’s simple, former Your Highness Princess Regent. When you become a member of the royal family, the Eastern Kingdom will be open to our sworn enemy, the Empire.」
「That’s wrong. This is for the Eastern Kingdom!」
Celes’s roar reverberated in his ears.
Conrad began to understand the situation gradually too.
This noble, La Catan, was against the marriage interview. If he wished for the young King Hugh to gain political power, Celestine’s influence had to be reduced. Legally speaking, if Celestine married into the Empire, her influence in the Eastern Kingdom should have been lost. However, the Princess Regent was still the Princess Regent.
She was no doubt a political figure, even though Conrad had only witnessed it once.
La Catan was afraid she would continue intervening in the Eastern Kingdom politics while still being married to Emperor Conrad. When he thought about it, it all made sense.
「I thought the marriage interview would fail… What a disappointment.」
From the Princess Regent’s viewpoint, it seemed as though La Catan did not belong to the main faction and had come along as an inspector.
In the unlikely event that a marriage was established, he would ruin the marriage interview itself. Did he really think such a shallow plan would work?
No, it might have worked.
Even for Conrad, if he had not met Celes before this and attended this marriage interview reluctantly, he would have happily accepted the annulment if something went wrong.
From the beginning, Conrad had not wanted this marriage interview. In other words, this current situation happened by chance.
「Disappointment is such a strong word. How long has it been since you, La Catan, a senior earl, began to have a different opinion about the marriage of a member of the royal family?」
「I should not say this. But this is a decree.」
「A decree, you say?」
La Catan took out a piece of parchment from his pocket, broke the wax seal, and spread it open.
「It is the decree of the King of the Eastern Kingdom, His Majesty Hugh.」
The contents were a little different than expected, and La Catan began reading it out with a clear voice.
「If Celestine de Oiria accepts an engagement with the enemy’s Emperor, she would, from that moment onwards, be stripped off the position of Princess Regent and cease to be a member of the royal family indefinitely. Signed with the King’s seal.」
Was this plotted by the nobles?
Conrad felt that it was impossible for the young King Hugh to take over his sister’s position.
Celestine seemed to feel the same.
She snatched the parchment and ran her eyes across the words that were read out loud just now, and fell on her knees.
「What a disappointment, Celestine-sama. It is truly unfortunate.」
La Catan shrugged his shoulders, but couldn’t continue speaking.
Emperor Conrad himself had furiously punched him in the face.
He had not hit anyone before in his whole life.
He himself was even more surprised by what he did than La Catan, who fell backwards to the floor. Conrad looked at his clenched fist and La Catan alternatingly and gave a warning.
「La Catan-dono… I’m sorry, but I can’t let you insult my future wife any more.」
La Catan’s complexion turned from red to pale white.
He held his bruised cheek and stood up sluggishly.
「There will be a strong protest lodged regarding this from the Eastern Kingdom.」
「What would the protest be about? I was just reproving an insolent noble who insulted the Emperor’s Queen.」
La Catan couldn’t retort when he said that. He had no one on his side in this place.
The guards assigned of both countries had stepped inside the shop after hearing the racket, and they winced when they heard the usually gentle Emperor throwing out scathing words at La Catan.
La Catan scrambled to escape from the shop.
Celes rushed to hug Conrad. Although Conrad was a little surprised by Celes’s unexpected straightforwardness, he gently hugged his future wife.
A modest round of applause was made by Shinobu. Now this was a real celebratory applause.
The round of applause spread and permeated the atmosphere.
「Did I overdo it?」
Hugh, who had received the report sent by the fastest horse, muttered alone.
In the few days afterwards, the engagement ceremony had been announced from the Empire’s side.
At the same time, the Eastern Kingdom had declared Celestine de Oiria to be struck from the royal family’s register.
「It was a necessary thing as Your Majesty had judged. Please be confident in your judgement.」
「Thanks. I will.」
Hugh, who still had to worry about his balance as he got off the throne, made a small sigh.
He had no regrets expelling his sister, but he felt guilty.
It was his elder sister who had brought the country together, instead of his young self. He loved her, and was grateful. That was why he had not wanted her to be married into the Empire as the Princess Regent.
He was still young.
Although he did not intend to lose to adults on wisdom, he was still a child. It would take a little longer to stand up against the Empire with his own power.
In the meantime, his elder sister would have given birth to several children.
It was possible that the Celestine faction, which still continued underground, would attack La Parisia and be led by her future son. The capital was a major transportation hub and it was in a location that was easy to attack. The city wouldn’t fall, but it was necessary to avoid internal chaos.
Hugh’s thoughts were completely different from a normal 12-year-old’s, and his real aim lay elsewhere.
「If I had not done this, my sister would be torn between the Eastern Kingdom and her husband.」
「With all due respect, it is a wise consideration.」
Celestine de Oiria would soon become only Celestine.
She would not be the evil, crafty lady of the Eastern Kingdom anymore, but just a 19-year-old bride, Celestine.
「Thank you for all you’ve done, dear sister. From now on, Hugh will rule this country on his own.」
It was sort of like a gesture to send her off, but at the same time, it was a word of resolve.
The two of them might be completely cut off now, but one day, they would make up.
When that happened, he wanted to chat with her as merely Hugh and Celestine, while eating something delicious in a pub somewhere.
Hugh issued his orders one after another while thinking about that.
He had transformed his elder sister from a princess to a normal person. He had to pay the for that price on his own.
There were so many things to be done, but not many people were left. He would have to take care of everything by himself for a while.
He was not worried. His sister had walked down this path before too.
The locket on his chest still contained a portrait of his elder sister.