Suppose an adult, with some sense, was to be told that the Crown Prince had tried to challenge a young noble girl to a sword duel. What do you think they would do upon finding out?
The answer is the obvious of obvious, you put a stop to it. Then, you’d reprimand.
This might have been a bit of a strong play to spread the fact that Endo was missing a few screws. But since I arrived today, his downfall was due to his own lack of common sense. Even in the royal palace common sense is definitely still around. So of course His Idiot Highness was safely stopped by an adult.
“His Highness Endo is seriously reflecting on his actions and would like to take back everything he has said-”
“Let me go, Igusa! You think it’s okay for a viscount like you to pin down the head of the crown prince!?”
Endo had probably just lost his final chance. And after Viscount Igusa had gone through all that trouble to try and smooth things over for him. A selfish student who can’t read the mood is also a disaster for the teacher.
Even so, the attack this time is too blatant to be overlooked.
“Repent…? His Highness doesn’t seem to be in agreement though…”
I tilted my head with a slightly doubtful look. Even when a lady is complaining, she must retain a refined demeanor. I felt bad for Viscount Igusa who’s face stiffened at my words, but what I really wanted to say was much worse; ‘I am holding quite a grudge against your student, so please torture him mercilessly for me’.
At my words Endo flared up as expected.
“Of course I’m not! Why the hell should I have to repent?”
“Just shut up, please…!”
Finally Viscount Igusa, who had already had to deal with so much today, clamped Endo’s mouth shut with his hands. If he held the nose as well Endo could surely faint, but of course that wouldn’t happen.
Even though I’d probably like him more if he was unconscious.
“It is as you see, Viscount Igusa.”
In contrast to the entertaining situation in front of me that held nothing back, I had quietly locked away all my uncivilised desires in the jewel box of my heart. I am a lady. I cannot forget my manners and roll around in laughter at His Shameful Highness.
“To show you such an unsightly thing, it is inexcusable Lady Christina! Please accept my sincerest apologies.”
“Well, I shall receive your apology…It seems you’ve had a hard time as well.”
Only the last part was sincere.
As a daughter of the nobility I had heard a few rumours about the palace.
It seemed that Endo had unbelievably not caused any real problems until now. The Royal family’s problem child was said to be Charles. Endo was known to be arrogant but with his excellent grades they didn’t care too much.
All Endo’s tutors must be blind. Either that or the royal family’s education principles have gone in a ridiculously strange direction.
“While I am just a girl, I carry the honor of House Noir on my shoulders as its daughter. I have held my pride to protect my house. To have such abuse hurled at me, I cannot stay silent, would you not agree?”
“Just when did a bitch like you stay quiet and take my words!?”
I was quite relaxed as I knew that Viscount Igusa would automatically shut Endo’s irritating mouth again. I may be saying this, but I thought it was quite a feat how I had manipulated the situation such that I could one-sidedly complain freely.
“Such words…Whatever shall we do now, Viscount Igusa? Even though as it is now I will have to return home to my father tell him exactly what has happened here today…?”
Not that I would.
Those threatening words were the opposite of what I actually thought.
My father strangely has no confidence in me. If I was to tell him what happened today, he would groundlessly assume that I was the one in the wrong and rush to apologise to the royal family.
Be that as it may, to Viscount Igusa who didn’t know those circumstances, it was quite a threat.
“…What is it that Lady Christina wishes for?”
I put my finger to my jaw and looked studious.
While my threat just then was light, I also needed to keep this story from spreading. However, on this occasion to be satisfied with just a promise of secrecy was a little…
I had no need for an apology made up of just words, nor for money or presents. Anything given to me by his highness, well, I would have it burnt with the trash. My wish was not for something trivial like that.
My wish was to cause Endo even greater suffering.
I had been sure that he would be troubled by such a vague demand, but there wasn’t a moment of hesitation in Viscount Igusa’s reply.
“I will make it so that His Highness fully understands the mess he has caused today. As his swordsmanship instructor, I have received prior permission from His Majesty to use corporal punishment when critical. Although I am only his swordsmanship instructor, I believe it will be sufficient. What it means to be a gentleman, I am fully prepared to drill it into his body. Please have confidence in me.”
Viscount Igusa’s eyes were serious.
I was left blinking in surprise at the outcome that was very different to my predictions.
“Yes. It is different to the teaching methods a lady would know, but its effectiveness is guaranteed.”
“I see. Well if it’s like that, then I am convinced. Afterall, we are both still children. Making such a big deal out of it would be strange.”
Though I understood the pain of receiving 100 lashings a day from my own training, I wouldn’t have to see the actual punishment in person. Besides, having corporal punishment added to Endo’s everyday life wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“Words cannot express your kindness, Lady Christina. In my effort to teach His Highness how to be a strong leader I have been misguided and caused this…No. I have no excuses for this.”
Well it’s true that there isn’t really any excuses for this.
Even if you say that, the real problem here is Endo who caused all this. I might be forced to kick His Highness while he’s down to really teach him his lesson.
“Viscount Igusa. If I may be allowed to talk to His Highness in private?”
In order to completely break Endo, Igusa being here was now just an inconvenience. At my request, Viscount Igusa glanced between his raging student and my small lonely figure with worry. Even though I was really the dangerous one right now.
“I beg of you, please?”
“I understand. If his Highness does anything, please call and I shall return at once.”
“Thank you, Viscount Igusa, I will be relying on you.”
With a sweet smile I easily broke his weak resistance.
With the door shut, at the departure of Igusa and the servants. I waited until I was sure there was no one but us around to break into a wide smile.
I took off the mask of a lady that I had been wearing until now, and scoffed at Endo with my true face.
After having hidden my true feeling for so long, being able to show my true feelings on my face felt pleasant. I slowly crossed my legs and though I was sitting down while he stood, I was definitely the one looking down on him.
“Well you heard it yourself, Your Highness. How are you feeling?”
“…Bastard, you were like an entirely different person.”
“It was obviously just me. I trust you still remember our promise though, Your Highness? That from now on I may be as rude as I like to you?”
“….tch. We didn’t even have the match.”
“Oh? While technically correct…”
While gnashing his teeth in frustration, Endo tried to wriggle out of the contract. I responded obediently. I didn’t still use his title out of politeness. I just didn’t want people to think we were close friends on a first name basis.
“I see, I see. It is indeed as Your Highness said. We did not have the match.”
“What do you want to say…! If you have something to say, why don’t you just spit it out!”
It seems that he saw through my sarcasm. As if he couldn’t bear it anymore, his words came out roughly. To his demand I merely smiled sweetly.
“If you say so, Your Highness. It’s not anything of much significance but…you do see that you don’t have the power to hold the type of match you want right?”
A vein bulged on his forehead even though I had only obediently responded to his order.
I wonder why he’s so upset? I am only laying down the bare facts just like he told me to…
“Shall I say it again, Your Highness? Have you understood that even with all you have, any popularity, planning and all that you have worked all these years for, that even then you don’t have the power to have a sword duel? Once you finally understand, just let me know. Then we’ll see if you can honestly say that ‘we didn’t have a match’.”
“Saying we ‘didn’t’ rather than ‘couldn’t’, is that your pride? Hah. To think the future king wouldn’t know his own limits? And then to go back on his word? How despicable. Your place in society will be that of an irresponsible liar who’s word means nothing! Do you understand yet, Your Highness!?”
“I understand! It was my bad! If I say that, it should satisfy a fox like you!”
“Exactly! Looks like you could finally say the words I wanted to hear! Let me praise you! I’m so proud of you, Your Highness Endo!”
He made a strangled sound.
If one was to say what sort of sound it was, it would be that of His Highness reaching his limit. It would appear that when Endo has been pushed so far that his face has become wiped clean.
To have perfectly cornered this bastard of a prince is incredibly satisfying. However, the fun really starts from here on out. My anger, irritation and hate have not disappeared. I want to hurt him with my words until his pride is a broken, dead husk on the ground.
As I was thinking this, the very guy I was thinking about turned on his heel towards the door.
“Where are you off to, Endo Your Highness?”
“To the toilet.”
“Is that so?”
It was obvious he was lying, but I decided to see how this would play out. Such a prideful prince wouldn’t just run away with his tail between his legs.
Though he was probably leaving to try and find a way to get back at me, I wasn’t worried. With Viscount Igusa backing me up, Endo was limited in what he could do.
I only had to wait until I had finished the last of the sweets and tea for the door to open again.
Well let’s see what reinforcements His Highness has brough. His wasted last minute futile resistance, I raised my head leisurely without much expectation.
My cheeks stiffened.
Endo coming back was expected. I wasn’t the least bit scared by Endo who was glaring with enough of a grudge to cut through bone. I honestly couldn’t care less.
The problem was the person behind him.
The person using my nickname was a size smaller than the eleven year old Endo.
Even if it was just the shadowy figure of a child stepping through the door I knew exactly who it was.
The third prince, my fiance.
“We finally meet.”
Charles, had come through the door.