My room inside the mansion.
Sprawled out on my bed, I was currently enjoying Amagi’s lap pillow.
I really felt like I was back home.
“Amagi, how’s Rosetta doing?”
“After finishing her tour of the mansion, she’s currently taking a break to catch up with her family.”
I wanted her to either break down in despair or act more rebelliously.
But right now she just seemed to be happy to reunite with her family.
Or should I just be a bit more patient?
“I see… try to keep an eye on her. I took everything from her, after all.”
“Everything? Does that mean you’ve already embraced her?”
Amagi made a troubled expression.
Wasn’t she cute?
“Master, she’s going to be your wife in the future, if you continue to spend time with me like this, then friction might build between the two of you.”
“I’ll just throw her away if that ever happens. Problem solved.”
“If you abandon Lady Rosetta, you’ll lose the trust of the noble society, Master.”
“Then should I put her under house arrest? I hate petty women.”
My previous life’s wife– she was one of them.
She always found some way to find fault with me.
I could still remember her taking the presents I gave her and throwing them in the trash.
My chest hurt just thinking about it.
I swore I’d kill her with my own hands if I ever saw her again.
If I asked the guide, would he bring her to me?
But now that I think about it, I don’t really want to see her, so wouldn’t it be better to keep the status quo?
Well, let’s just vent all my pent up feelings on Rosetta.
She’d surely resist me.
And in return I’d–
Amagi’s words pulled me back from my delusions.
“Lady Rosetta is going to become your wife. Please treat her gently.”
I couldn’t answer that request, so I stayed silent.
After all, I only took Rosetta as my fiancée so I could break her.
Well, with Amagi and Brian always saying, “Take a bride already!”, I can’t really deny that I was feeling a little pressured too.
Amagi was petting my head,
“We’re planning to have your engagement ceremony after you graduate from elementary school.”
“…okay. No, wait.”
I sat up and turned to Amagi.
“Is there something wrong?”
“Let’s have the engagement ceremony as soon as possible. I want to do it during our vacation.”
“That’s not enough time to prepare.”
“Don’t worry about it. Were you planning to have a luxurious ceremony for Rosetta? It’s okay to be modest, just set it up quickly.”
“There’s also Lady Rosetta’s education to consider. She needs to spend at least three months inside an education capsule first.”
Rosetta had only gone through the minimum of physical enhancements and education through capsules growing up.
This was the main reason for her appalling results in school.
Therefore, in order to improve her grades as soon as possible, we’re having her use an education capsule during the long vacation.
“Quickly send her into the capsule and prepare for the ceremony.”
“…as you wish.”
No matter how strong Rosetta’s steel spirit was, once we had our engagement ceremony, she be forced to accept reality despite how much she hated it.
I’d also be able to take the Claudia house’s Ducal status.
Well, we wouldn’t be officially married yet, so my position would be more like that of a future-duke though.
“Ah~ I’m looking forward to this.”
Rosetta– I will definitely break you.
◇ ◇ ◇
The education capsule room in the Banfield estate.
Doctors, bodyguards, and maid androids were all present there.
Rosetta had covered her body with a thin cloth.
“It’s different from the basic model we have at home.”
The contrast couldn’t have been more apparent– a specialised female staff team was currently preparing the high-end capsule for use.
A female doctor explained,
“This will be a short-term adjustment. Considering the rehabilitation period that comes afterwards, you should be finished in about four months.”
“Most of the long vacation will be over.”
Looking at Rosetta, the female doctor began to comfort her,
“I heard about your grandmother. I wish you two could’ve had more time together, but this is Lord Liam’s order.”
“Yes, I know. My grandmother wants this as well.”
She wiped her tears.
Rosetta was crying, but it wasn’t for herself, or rather, it was because her grandmother wasn’t feeling well recently.
Even if they used elixirs, they couldn’t fix her broken spirit.
Elixirs could cure any injury or illness.
However, all life had a limit.
It was possible to extend one’s lifespan slightly, but Rosetta’s grandmother was quite old.
Aside from her body, her mind and soul were at their ends.
She was running out of time.
“Lady Rosetta, we’ll do everything we can in as little time as possible, but don’t forget that this won’t be enough. Your full use of education capsules will start after you graduate from elementary school.”
Rosetta raised her face,
“–I’ll leave it to you.”
Rosetta then removed the cloth before entering the liquid inside the machine naked.
Within the capsule, she curled up like a fetus.
(Grandmother, I hope you’ll be able to participate in the engagement ceremony…)
Falling unconscious, her body strengthening and studies inside the capsule had begun.
◇ ◇ ◇
Liam’s merchant– Thomas was in a frenzy.
“Hurry it up! We need to get everything ready before the engagement ceremony!”
Count Banfield’s engagement had been announced.
Moreover, there was less than half a year before the actual ceremony was scheduled to occur.
The subordinates were rushing to load the containers onto the ship.
“Is there a reason why they’re in such a rush? Couldn’t they have just held the engagement ceremony after they graduated from elementary school?”
Thomas explained to his complaining subordinates,
“The Ducal house’s predecessor– Lady Rosetta’s grandmother doesn’t have much longer to live.”
The subordinates fell into thought,
In other words, Liam was rushing the engagement so that Rosetta could have her grandmother see her proud moment before it was too late.
And Thomas was trying to answer those feelings,
“Apparently, they’ve lived quite the difficult life until now. If we don’t do our best here, we can’t call ourselves merchants of the Banfield house.”
The subordinates silently returned to their work.
◇ ◇ ◇
The territory has been strange recently.
Usually, around this time some kind of wacky fashion would be trending, but what was popular right now was– my story.
For some reason, the motive behind me rushing the engagement ceremony so suddenly was because of Rosetta’s grandmother.
Watching the news on the monitor, the newscaster was explaining the event,
“Lady Rosetta, who Lord Liam decided to make his fiancée, seems to have lived quite the harsh life until now.”
The reporter then started to tell Rosetta’s circumstances, explaining in detail how the Claudia Ducal house has been treated so far.
They overdid it.
The things they showed were way worse than what Wallace told me.
‘And to save such a Rosetta, Lord Liam decided to marry her!’— they said.
The mass media in the territory was under my control, but it was kind of unpleasant when they made the lies in the propaganda so obvious.
It’ll have the opposite effect and make me look like a joke.
“And the previous Duchess– Lady Rosetta’s grandmother, isn’t feeling well.”
I’ve been told that we were using elixirs to prolong her life.
But this is the first time I’ve heard that this was the reason behind the rushed ceremony.
I looked towards Amagi, who was currently attending to me,
“What’s the meaning of all this?”
“Because Master’s and Lady Rosetta’s story makes good gossip, isn’t only natural for it to become popular amongst your people? By the way, it looks like talks of turning it into a drama or a movie are in the works.”
“…you’re kidding me.”
They were making it sound like my meeting with Rosetta was fate.
Despite there being no such elements, it suddenly transformed into some kind of emotional love story.
Are the people of my territory okay? Are they acting like this because they’re about to snap?
Did I tax them too harshly? Let’s give them a break, and squeeze them again a bit later.
“Amagi, let’s lower the taxes, but only a little bit.”
“That’s surprising. You want to lower taxes during the engagement ceremony?”
“Yes! Let’s make things a little cheaper so that my people can have a break.”
“In that case, I’ll arrange for it right away.”
I wiped my sweat.
My people made me feel uneasy.
Although they were making things convenient, they were scaring me.
No, wait– I can use this situation.
After making such an embarrassing story out of Rosetta’s meeting with me, she’d surely be mortified.
I’m looking forward to that.
“It looks like this engagement ceremony is going to be fun.”
As I grinned, Amagi silently watched over me with a smile.
◇ ◇ ◇
When the long vacation was almost over.
A large number of visitors had rushed over to the Banfield estate.
Wallace was dressed in formal wear, and was currently enjoying a drink,
“I was expecting something more extravagant, but this really gives off a calming feeling.”
Kurt was also invited, and was currently wearing his own formal wear,
“But isn’t it beautiful?”
“For a Count’s ceremony, it gives off an amazingly calming atmosphere. I’m not saying he skimped out or anything. I’m just happy to see that he didn’t do anything weird.”
Sometimes, nobility made their parties too elaborate– often creating events that couldn’t be understood.
“The only kind of weird events that I know to have succeeded would be bucket parties.”
“Oh, but aren’t bucket parties classics?”
“Yeah, I’ve only participated in them a few times, but they’re amazing. Definitely classics. The person who invented them is a genius.”
The participants were enjoying the food and drinks that were set up in a buffet-style.
Kurt looked around,
“There sure are a lot of aristocrats in attendance. My father seems to be making a lot of greetings.”
There were far more nobility attending now than there were at the coming of age ceremony.
And Wallace knew why.
(Liam… were you aiming for this?)
Liam had declared himself as hostile to the Berkley family.
With them having a common enemy, the sensible nobles were now beginning to gather around him.
Although they were still in a phase of wait-and-see, Wallace was still surprised.
(This doesn’t bode well… the battle between the Banfield and Berkley houses will no doubt become a proxy war that’ll involve the other nobles of the Empire.)
This will become a civil war between the virtuous nobility and the unscrupulous ones.
The representative of the sensible ones being Liam.
“Ah, Liam’s here.”
Liam had appeared in the video projected into the sky.
Both him and Rosetta were dressed in clothes of pure white.
◇ ◇ ◇
The engagement ceremony.
Apparently, both Earth and the Intergalactic Empire had the tradition of taking kisses and vows in front of a great number of people.
They were quite similar in that aspect– as I thought so, I felt the desire to see Rosetta’s face, which was currently hidden behind a veil, grow within me.
A man who had taken the role of priest told us to say our vows and face each other.
“Rosetta, how are you feeling?”
When I called out to her, she didn’t answer back.
Surely, she was making an amazing expression full of regret right now.
“Everything of yours will become mine. Both your house and the status you were supposed to inherit– all of it was taken by me.”
As I gradually lifted the veil, the lower-half of Rosetta’s face became visible.
Just from that, I could already see that both her makeup and skin were clear and beautiful.
While her fresh lips were brightened with lipstick.
…huh? Isn’t something wrong here? I thought she’d be clenching her teeth right now, but that didn’t seem to be the case.
Or was this a state of lethargy?
Well, as long as her spirit was broken, it’d still be worth seeing.
As I slowly lifted the veil and revealed Rosetta’s face– her cheeks were flushed.
Her moist eyes were shining as she looked straight into mine.
…hey, wait a second! Something’s wrong here!
Did she already give up?! I thought she was a woman with a spirit of steel!
But when I looked at Rosetta’s face–
“–Thank you for accepting me as I am! Darling, I… I promise to always be by your side!”
…darling?! Did she eat something strange?!
This change was at a level where I suspected the doctor might’ve brainwashed her in the education capsule.
However, the maid androids told me, “We did the usual treatment.”
That was proof that they didn’t do anything.
They couldn’t lie to me, so I know that what they said was the truth.
Rosetta closed her eyes and leaned in.
I thought she’d be disgusted by this, and I was completely caught off guard.
In anycase– looking at her up close, rather than cute, wasn’t she insanely beautiful?
No matter how I looked at her, she was gorgeous.
And so, I kissed her to advance the ceremony.
A tear fell from her eye.
Don’t tell me, was she doing all this to trick me?
E-even that would still be okay.
That’d be proof that her spirit hadn’t broken and she was looking to stab me in the back.
Our lips parted.
“Rosetta, I’m looking forward to our future together.”
It was a phrase said with all my feelings of making her surrender to me.
As I smiled while saying that, Rosetta wiped her tears with her finger– and sent her own glowing smile back at me.
…wait a second! D-did she actually fall for me?!
◇ ◇ ◇
At the venue, there was laughter at the sight of Liam getting flustered.
It wasn’t a laugh made to make fun of someone, but more of one made when watching over another with a smile.
Meanwhile, Wallace was observing Liam’s knights.
The head knight was Christiana.
Marie was her deputy.
Both were talented female knights that just suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
“Where does Liam find such people? Two knights at that level are rarely seen even in the palace.”
Next at the engagement ceremony, congratulatory messages were being read out.
Some of them even came from ministers.
Wallace silently continued to drink his beverage,
(Does this mean the prime minister also has expectations for Liam? No, that sly old fox isn’t that nice of a guy. I’m sure he’s trying to keep the balance with the Berkley family.)
However, if the prime minister did have expectations for Liam…
“Well, as long as my patron is competent and happy, I’ll cooperate a little. –I’d be troubled if he suddenly disappeared on me after all.”
Brian。・゜・(ノД`)・゜・。 “Higgu– LORD LIAAAAAMMMMM~!!! Con-congratulat– higgu. It’s painful that the words I want to say won’t come out…”
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com