Home Post 1169-chapter-4


Frederick was the crown prince. And a year later, he would become the emperor.

I had to find someone who was powerful enough to withstand such great power.

Grand Duke Lucian was the only person that Crown Prince Frederick was reluctant to oppose.

Lucian was the current emperor’s younger brother, and also Crown Prince Frederick’s only uncle. The entire navy was under his command. Furthermore, as of the present, he was the closest to the throne after Frederick.

…For reasons unknown, even after becoming emperor, Frederick didn’t dare to trifle with Grand Duke Lucian.

In other words, Larino’s judgment was correct.

I quickly called Dixie. Time was of the essence. To overturn this situation, I had to somehow win over Grand Duke Lucian before it was too late.

At my summon, Dixie came running.

“…Make an appointment with Grand Duke Lucian, Dixie.”

As I spoke, my voice was sonorous and clear.

“Grand Duke Lucian…? Your Highness, you shouldn’t meet another man in secret before marriage. It isn’t a good look. The faction trying to find fault with Your Highness won’t remain silent.”

“I don’t care.”

I said firmly.

While talking to me, Dixie stared at Larino, who sat on the table. Dixie answered, her eyes still glued to Larino.

“You don’t care…? Why would you…?”

“—‘Cause Belissa doesn’t want to marry Crown Prince Frederick!”

Larino spoke with a shouldn’t-that-be-obvious look on his face.

“Huh…? N-no, that absolutely won’t do, Your Highness!”

Dixie looked back at me and went pale.

“Hold on! This is a promise between the royal family and the imperial family! The king won’t allow this!”

Dixie stomped her feet in tears. She was meek and timid. Nevertheless, she was always eager to protect me in the face of danger.

“Don’t worry.”

After I marry Grand Duke Lucian, not even the King of Medice can lay a finger on me.

After all, I’d become a quasi-member of the imperial family. My brother, who was always eager to please the empire, wouldn’t dare to do anything.

I laughed coldly.

“Don’t worry at all. She has me. She’ll live.”

Larino pointed at me with his paw.

“Make an appointment right away.”

Dixie looked back and forth between me and Larino, before nodding with a perplexed expression on her face. Then, Dixie, who hesitated, spoke very carefully.

“…I beg your pardon, Your Highness, but did the bunny doll just speak?”

Dixie cried.

“…Am I dreaming right now?”

* * *

Florence was the largest port city of the Empire of Boswell, where Grand Duke Lucian resided. After all, the Navy was located in Florence.

—Now is my only chance to persuade Grand Duke Lucian.

Grand Duke Lucian was the one who brought me directly from the Kingdom of Medice to Florence.

I thought about him.

He was rather reticent…

I was on the same ship for 15 days, and I could count on one hand the number of times I spoke with Grand Duke Lucian.

Apparently, he was also a capable soldier…

Additionally, Lucian had one fatal weakness.

He had a child.

After the last war, he returned with only a child and no woman. Despite all the rumors, Grand Duke Lucian responded with silence.

…Moreover, five years from now, Grand Duke Lucian will appoint the child as his successor. Having an already designated heir was a weakness for an unmarried nobleman.

Six years later, Grand Duke Lucian will get married. However, not a single child was born between the couple.

There were many different theories, such as that there was something wrong with Grand Duke Lucian, the Grand Duchess, or both.

Since the couple appeared to have an amicable relationship at the official event, it only fueled more rumors. However, according to those who were invited by Grand Duke Lucian, ‘there was no passion.’

That may be an aristocratic way to say that there was a lack of intimacy between the two.

Then, he was either stoic… or there was really something wrong with Grand Duke Lucian.

Anyway, one more piece of information to add: he didn’t like women.

The reason Grand Duke Lucian got married at that time was probably because of his growing heir. The purpose was probably to place the child on the Grand Duke’s family register.

Grand Duke Lucian needed a wife, one who could properly support him.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought Larino made a good choice in choosing a husband.

Larino stayed at the mansion with Dixie.

I didn’t know what Eleanor was up to right now, but I told Dixie to keep it a secret.

I slowly turned my head in the direction of where Xavier was.

Xavier was the central capital of Boswell’s thousand-year-old citadel.

Frederick appeared from there.

The corners of his lips slowly rose as he extended his right hand toward the place where the blazing sun was setting.

With a nasty face, he raised his middle finger.

“I’ll f*ck you good.”

I learned the phrase from Dixie a long time ago. I slammed the window shut and ground my teeth.

—I’ll definitely become the wife of Grand Duke Lucian!

Because I fell ill immediately after unpacking in Florence, Grand Duke Lucian had to be my guardian for about a month longer than expected.
The emperor, empress, and crown prince of Boswell were understanding of the princess’ health.

Three days had passed since my arrival.

I raised my fingers.

Frederick would arrive in Florence in about four days from now. I had four days of grace period.

One way or another, I had to make a tempting offer to Grand Duke Lucian.

Has it been ten minutes?

Grand Duke Lucian came out to the drawing room of the Navy.

He was a highly trained, well-muscled man befitting a soldier serving in the military.

If Frederick embodied beauty that sprang from a flame, then Grand Duke Lucian’s beauty was confined within a frame.

Glossy, silvery hair tousled all over, along with the forehead and bridge of the nose falling tightly beneath it. Even more fascinating were the blue-green eyes inherited from the imperial family.

While Frederick’s eyes were closer to green, Grand Duke Lucian’s eyes were closer to blue.

Also, the two didn’t look much alike.

“I’m sorry I’m late. The meeting got extended. What business do you have, Princess?”

Grand Duke Lucian asked in a gruff voice. His every movement was reminiscent of an elegant and gigantic white leopard.

“The attending physician strongly advised the princess to rest. It appears that the trip from Medice to Boswell took a toll on you.”

“I’m feeling somewhat better now. Thank you for your concern, Grand Duke.”

His eyes landed on his watch, before returning to me once again. A refined gesture carrying the implication of keeping it brief since he didn’t have much time.

“Thank goodness. The entire imperial family is very worried about the princess’ health, especially my nephew, who is eagerly awaiting her arrival.”

Grand Duke Lucian’s eyes twinkled softly as he looked at me.

Even though he didn’t say anything, I felt as if he was looking right through me. My hands and feet grew cold. My lips, curled up like a bunch of clothes, throbbed with what was inside.

“—Therefore, let’s finish our business quickly so you can get some rest…”

“I came because I have something to tell you, Grand Duke. It won’t take much time.”

The bitterness in my mouth was rinsed away by the moderately cooled tea.

Tension swept through me.

I had a strange feeling that the man might already know everything about me.

“I came to propose to the Grand Duke.”

At that moment, for the first time, there was a disturbance in the eyes of the man who quietly stared at me.

A small feeling of joy bubbled up.

“Princess, just now, the princess…”

“I came here as the fiancée of Crown Prince Frederick. You may think that I’ve gone mad, but I’m very rational right now. As soon as my health recovers, my marriage with Crown Prince Frederick will proceed. I also know that the Crown Prince is on his way to pick me up.”

He gave me a look of ‘how could you say such crazy things when you know so well?’

In fact, his transparent blue eyes were clearly reflecting all the harsh criticisms directed at me.

“—But, what if I object to this marriage? If the purpose of this marriage is to form an alliance between the Kingdom of Medice and the Boswell Empire, do Crown Prince Frederick and I really have to be the sacrifices? Instead of Crown Prince Frederick, can’t the Grand Duke take his place?”

“—Wait a minute, Princess.”

“No. Please listen to me first, Grand Duke.”