I may not have actually met him, but I have a very good reason for hating Endo Edward.
If I were to sum up his personality in one word it would be ‘arrogant’.
‘How to be a good king’, was drilled into him ever since he was a kid, I guess you could say it worked. Everyone around him praised him for being a prodigy. He was showered in praise and great expectations, they called him ‘the perfect heir’.
Being raised in that kind of environment led to Endo believing he really was the most amazing person in the whole kingdom.
Of course he would end up looking down on others and thinking he’s god’s gift. The fools around him just kept encouraging him, so his arrogance has only grown worse over the years. Well, that doesn’t change the fact that his personality is rotten. Everything was just as it was in the game, well outside my interference anyway.
To put it mildly, it was impossible to get along with him.
I wondered if just like in the game he would have that firm belief gently melted away by Michelie. It does make me worry about the future of this kingdom a little.
Only idiots would think they are god’s own gift until their mid teens. I wish they would use their brains. Let them meet Mariwa and then see how smart they think they are. Raising Endo strictly, but in a world wrapped in cotton wool. Unfortunately the Crown prince is still caught in his own delusions of superiority.
Thinking he’s unparallelled even though I, who prides myself on my genius, is not only in the same country but also the same generation as him. Honestly, his arrogance is annoying.
Even though a genius such as I is right here, to think he had surpassed number one, just how conceited can he get. I try to remember to forgive his crime as simply that of one who does not know the outside world, and yet the way he acts is infuriating. Even just remembering his lines from the game make me feel sick. It’s not just His Highness Endo that I cannot get along with, cannot get along with anyone so arrogant and pompous.
Be that as it may, my opponent this time holds quite a lot of power. He is one of the few people who held more power than a Duke’s daughter such as myself. Because of that I’ve tried my very best to never, ever, come into contact with His Royal Highness.
I knew that if we came into contact – we would fight.
Even worse, of course, I would end up winning. There’s no telling what he would do if he had his pride shattered by someone younger than himself.
I tried so hard to avoid him, and now he ends up forcing me to meet him. And for some unclear business. The letter only invites me to visit him, it doesn’t mention anything about why.
Even now, as I make my way to the royal palace, I have no idea what his goal is.
I’m being following a servant who is guiding me through the palace. As expected of a royal palace, all the furnishing and art displayed in the hallway are in perfect taste. Even just walking through it in passing I could tell how much effort went into it.
Even once we arrive at His Highness’ room, with all the thoughts going around in my head I still haven’t figured out what’s going on.
But surely there’s no real reason to be worried.
I am a lady. No matter who I am faced with, I have the courage to hold my smile and laugh. It’s like that. Even if he is the very portrait of self conceit, my force of will has been forged as hard as diamond by Mariwa. I will endure.
With my decision to endure, the servant walking in front of me stopped. We had arrived at our destination.
“Your Highness. Lady Christina Noir has arrived.”
“Hmm, she’s arrived, huh. Come in already then.”
Hearing his tone, I internally frowned. What a rude reception to someone like me, who was but a step behind the royal family as the fiance of a prince and daughter to a duke.
Even if I was already annoyed having only just stepped forward, this much was fine. This was simply the ripples of a single drop in the wide pool of my heart. It hardly affected me.
I tried to calm the worried expression of the servant with a smile. To be able to apologise with just a look, the servant was quite experienced.
Seeing my composed face, the servant opened the door. With that encouragement – I entered the room.
Waiting inside for me was a boy just a few years older than me, with blond hair and blue eyes. His bright eyes were for some reason narrowed in displeasure, rather than the fluffy blond hair Charles has, his was dead straight. Even though the siblings shared many features, overall he had a harsher look about him.
Entering the room quietly, I glanced briefly at His Highness Endo before curtseying.
“Christina Noir, here in reply to your invitation. Today-”
“Aaah, let’s just forget about that stuff for now. Don’t waste time with such foolish lip service. Sit there and wait.”
Even though I prepared a polished curtsey, His Highness did not seem to be at all impressed. On the contrary, he cut off my greeting with a frown. His behaviour made it clear he thought my formal greeting were annoying, to that I internally clicked my tongue.
He has no idea about efficiency. A person who did not understand the importance of manners was disagreeable for this reason. Someone who does not understand the subtleties of personal relations can never be seen as noble by others. To think that even on a first meeting he doesn’t even try.
Though I could think of a very suitable complaint, some as modest and steady as I would never dare to abuse a member of the royal family. Following His Highness’ instruction I sat at the prepared table.
“Well then, Christina Noir. Before we talk about why I’ve called you here…leave us.”
Instead of opening his mouth to return my greetings, he instead ordered the servants to withdraw. The one’s most shocked by his command were the servants in question.
Their hesitation wasn’t because they feared for his safety. Rather, even if they were young, they were still a boy and a girl of similar age. And them being left unaccompanied would raise anyone’s eyebrows. Even if it was to have a private conversation, having the servants withdraw was highly improper.
Usually you might prepare a room for a confidential talk, or let the servants know beforehand but….Ahh, I see. You didn’t want to waste your precious time being considerate.
Having grasped his true character, my heart grew cold.
He could act like this because everyone around him was a ‘tool’ beneath him. My original bad impression of him sank even further.
“Well, Your Highness, That is…” One of the servants tried to speak up to Endo.
“Shut it. Do you think you are in any position to question my thoughts? It’s fine so disappear like I told you to.”
While just making them more curious, His Highness forced everyone to leave. If you’re told twice by a royal like that, you have no choice but to obey. As they left the room, the elderly servant shot me another apologetic look. The concern warmed my heart.
“Christina Noir. There is a reason I went as far as to call you here.”
Aah…this guy is irritating.
I was fed up with being looked down on, but my poker face remained firm. I let my face bloom into the smile of a lady, without a trace of my true feelings showing through.
“I wonder what business you could have with me, Your Highness. Even though Your Highness and I have never had the chance to exchange greetings before, it is an honor to have been noticed by you.”
“I’ve heard you’re avoiding Charles.”
The words that came out of his mouth took me by complete surprise.
It only showed on my face for an instant though. I slowly released my held breath, putting my calm expression back into place.
“I wouldn’t put it that way. With how busy our respective schedules are, it is true that we have only seen each other from afar. Having said that, I am by no means ignoring His Highness Charles.”
“Huh. Even if you don’t hide it, I already know the circumstances. I have heard exactly what’s going on.”
I see. Knowing the circumstance that I myself hardly know, how amazing of Your Highness. As if I could ever be superior to His Highness. How excellent of you Endo. Sarcastic thoughts filled my head.
I, Christina Noir, am much, much, smarter than a dimwit like you.
“Christina Noir, you probably think that guy Charles is troublesome right?”
What on earth is this idiot saying.
“Why I would never think such a thing. My marriage to Charles was a joint decision between our two great families. I am quite satisfied with the arrangement.”
“You don’t have to hide it. I know just how selfish he is. Just being in the same room as him is annoying”
How can you so confidently declare things so off the mark?
My annoyance at the jokes of this arrogant, mistaken, clown of a crown prince, had almost reached the surface when I remembered. In Labyrinth Destiny, Prince Endo hated Charles. Proud and arrogant of his royalty, His Highness Endo could not forgive Charles who lives freely.
The reason he called me here must be to find tools to attack Charles with. Indeed, indeed. If that’s the case then there is only one thing need for my triumph in this conversation. I just have to decline any pompous offer he throws my way.
“Someone like Charles doesn’t give off even the slightest hint of nobility. Everything his does is unbefitting of royalty…and yet why does father overlook it all?”
“Oh my. His naivety is a virtue. Just being around his liveliness make every occasion fun.”
“Huh. That’s some smooth words. It seems being roundabout is your strong point. To hide each and every feeling, you do such a troublesome thing well.”
“Why, I am but speaking honestly about His Highness Charles’. Are you displeased?”
Surely at least this level of sarcasm is allowed. Honestly, I’m holding back for dear life against the strong urge to crush this brat.
Tiny. To think that this is the person who will succeed the throne, what a small heart he has. I cannot understand, because of not overlooking it, even though I am engaged. I guess His Highness is actually just incompetent. While it seemed like at any moment the storm in my heart would break free, I managed to swallow it completely.
“If you find it so displeasing to talk about His Highness Charles, shall we move to another topic?”
“Ha. Even if you hit the bullseye, there’s no rush to change the conversation. Rejoice, Christina Noir. I have prepared a way for you to break free form the troublesome fellow that is Charles.”
It’s okay. It’s. Fine. I’m calm. I’m so very calm. Even if his misunderstandings and his attitude are completely irritating, we are finally at the main business for today. I have no idea what His Damn Highness is trying to propose but I just have to simply refuse and endure and with that it will be the end–
“You, become my fiance.”
“Ha? What the hell kind of nonsense are you saying bastard?”
And though it should have been the end, to endure through this is asking the impossible.