I didn't get up until it was time for the Crown Prince to return to the Imperial Palace completely.
It was around the time I left the greenhouse. I found two guards lying passed out on the floor in front of the door, and a small figure next to them.
'He really knocked them out.'
When the dismay because of the Crown Prince's action passed, discomfort soon came. It was because of the pink hair, she raised her head and looked at me.
Her crying eyes were burning red, as if she was crying out of pity because of one of the guards. Even her crying face was pretty.
For a moment I looked at her with a frown on my face, and was about to walk past her. "Wait, Princess!"
Yvonne jumped up and blocked my path.
When my path was blocked, an unintentionally crooked voice came out. "What is it?"
"Oh, hello, Princess. That... as I was taking a walk when I saw these guards passed out..." "And?"
"Ah, I was trying to call someone, and I was worried that the Princess might be going around alone..."
Exactly like the settings in the game, Yvonne looked very innocent and kind.
After telling me why she was hanging around, she tilted her head down when there was no answer back.
"I'm s-sorry. But I'm never like that."
With her shivering shoulders, she was like a fawn without a family in front of a big fierce wildcat. I suddenly got a headache. I didn't do anything, but I already felt like I was the only villain in the world.
'Yeah, it would be just great if Derrick or Renald showed up right now.'
For my safety, I have to get out of this place quickly. I hurriedly opened my mouth. "No need to worry."
"What? It's, uh..."
"They'll wake up on their own. I think you're here to see the greenhouse, please continue." "Uh..."
The moment I was about to pass by, leaving behind a wobbly Yvonne. A bloody's smell hit through my nose. I stopped walking further. And I turned my head towards Yvonne.
A couple of bloodstains were clearly marked on the collar of her white dress. As I looked up, I noticed a slight cut through her soft pink hair.
"Are... you hurt?"
I asked with my eyes wide open. "Ah...well, that's."
Yvonne stepped back from me, shoving her neck in one hand. "I-it's no big deal."
"Come here, let me see."
I went as far as approaching her and forcing her hand off her neck. Yvonne breathed in when I lifted her cumbersome pink hair.
I checked the wound with serious eyes.
Fortunately, the wound was shallow. It was only a slight scratch compared to when I was cut. But I wasn't at all relieved by the madman who did this.
'Crazy bastard! She's the Duke's real daughter!'
Without thinking twice, I felt that the Crown Prince was the culprit. I frowned at his arrogance and stared at the wound on Yvonne's neck.
Not that I was worried about her.
I'm just worried about how the Duke and his two sons will react when they find out. 'Ha... I'm sure he didn't do this in easy mode.'
It meant nothing to think about that now. It was all messed up because of Eclise, and I didn't think it would make any difference if I blamed the fucking game.
"...You could get an infection, so you'd better go ahead and treat it." I opened my mouth, swallowing a sigh.
It was already done, by the Crown Prince no less. There was nothing I could do. I can't be here with an injured Yvonne and be blamed for this....
"Go to the butler and ask him to call a doctor. Then, have a good day." I gently let go of Yvonne, and turned my back again.
But before I could take a single step, my skirt was caught. As she inadvertently turned her head, Yvonne bit her lips and asked carefully.
"He's, uh, he's from the Royal Family, right? The blonde with red eyes." "His Majesty. the Crown Prince."
"You and himAre you close with him?"
After giving her a gentle answer, my face froze from the question that followed.
There were sharp words at the tip of my tongue in response to why she would ask such a thing. However, I struggled not to and spit out.
"How dare you speak of a friendship with the Little Sun of the Empire where it is concerned only one person?"
Yvonne's head was bent down again. But she didn't stop asking questions. "Well, by the way."
"If someone asks why I'm hurtit's better to say, it was just scratch something, right?"
Her watery blue eyes wobbled weakly as they looked at me. I couldn't stand it and twisted my face. "Why are you asking me that? Do whatever you want."
"If you want to make things bigger, tell the truth, and if you want to move on quietly, then keep quiet." At the end of my remark, I snapped her hand off the hem of the skirt.
Her helpless muttering seemed really pitiful. But I watched her with rigid eyes. To be exact, her one arm that's been hiding behind her since earlier.
I just returned to the mansion, leaving Yvonne behind. When I arrived at the main hall to go towards my room, there was a commotion.
Luxurious boxes with shiny jewels, dresses and other luxuries piled up all over the place. It was a huge number, with the interior full of the Duke's mansion, which was a couple times larger than the mansions of most aristocrats.
The busy servants greeted me with a bewildered look. As I kept walking with a frown on my face, the butler, who was in the middle of it leading them, recognized me.
"Oh, my lady!"
"Ha, have they already decided to treat her as a lady?" I laughed sarcastically.
The butler looked perplexed at me looking upset. There was only one reason why I felt so dirty.
-...Don't worry about this. I've kept Yvonne in line. I don't intend to make this public until I'm sure.
It was yesterday morning that the Duke told me that. But when I saw him buying and transporting all kinds of luxury goods in less than a day, I felt like my quiet spirit was twisting.
"If you're going to do this, why don't you just take her and dress up her from head to toe? Ha-ha, the real lady is back, and you're advertising it."
I was nervous about kicking one of the golden boxes at my feet. Puck—!
I also felt that I was a very mean villain, but it was hard for me to suppress my irritation. "I-it's not like that, my lady! That's not it...!"
The butler hastily denied my words.
"T-these are all birthday gifts for the young lady, they were brought by the Crown Prince." "...What?"
I hesitated. Dozens of things that at a glance did not seem to be ordinary accessories were on the floor. A vast number of dresses, shoes, gloves, hats and a crossbow placed on top of the boxes.
Looking around the chaotic main hall once again, I asked dejectedly. "These are all... mine?"
"Yes, he told you not to feel pressured." "Ha..."
I was dumbfounded and touched my forehead with an empty laugh. I told him not to give me a gift, and instead he sent a huge number of gifts, as if he had robbed a whole country.
"He sent different types of crossbows, how should I arrange it, my lady?" The butler asked, looking at me with a confused look on my face.
"There are some that are simply used for decoration, and there are ones with magic, and some that seem to be used in war for killing..."
Where he pointed, there really were dozens of crossbow boxes. The servants, who had opened some of the boxes, looked back at me with troubled faces.
'Do you think what I've been eating and doing nothing but shooting a crossbow?!' I thought I should just send them all back.
But then he may come back to the duchy.
I felt a sudden surge of fatigue, I turned around and beckoned the butler. "Heep it organized, butler. I'm tired, so I'll go up first."
"Yes, my lady! Then I'll personally take care of it. Please rest." The butler bowed his head to see me off.
"Now! First of all, we should classify accessories by category!"
With a 'clap' of applause, the butler's voice echoed behind my back as they began to clean up. Somehow, he looked a little excited.
Someone was anxiously waiting for me when I came back to my room. "My lady!"
I slowly walked up to Emily, who looked delighted. "Have you been well?"
She nodded with a rough breath. I took off my shawl and handed it to her. And as I went to the front of the desk, I asked calmly as if nothing had happened.
"What did he say?"
"...At first, he checked several times to see if you had really sent me. When I answered many times, the guild master refused to accept such a request..."
"Emily, just get to the point." I cut off the emphatic maid. "So he can't do it?"
"...I said what you told me to and he said he would prepare and send it soon."
She answered timidly with her head down. The secret instructions I ordered seemed to be quite a burden.
After a brief response with praise, I took out the book I had read a while ago. "But..."
That's not the end, Emily added carefully.
"The master asked me to deliver a message to you." "What is it?"
"With this, he have cleared up all the debts he owe you. So he won't be asked again." My hand, which was turning over the cover of the book, froze in the air.
I muttered after a while. "I'll never see him again."
* * * *
That night, a rabbit appeared in my room with a rough gust of wind. Not the baby rabbit I saw the other day but an adult rabbit.
The rabbit looked at me silently for a while without making any noise.
Am I mistaken? In a hazy gaze, I could see a dark blue color. "Geu-geu-geu."
Soon after, the rabbit opened its mouth wide and vomited something. It was a grotesque scene like a terrible nightmare.
The rabbit, who had just vomited something, disappeared with the gust of the wind again. It felt like a dream, but it wasn't. The rabbit's vomit was in front of my eyes.
I grasped it, and woke up at that night.
* * * *
Time flew by like an arrow, with no chance to catch it. And finally, the Coming-of-Age Day had arrived.