Act 46: Meeting the Prince for the First Time in Two Years
This situation can be summed up with that one word.
Vernoux-sama seemed to have predicted the accident when he heard my sudden voice and caught me before I hit the ground, but this situation wouldn’t have happened had he not pulled me in the first place. When she thought that, she couldn’t help but hold a grudge against him instead of being thankful.
The room where the voices were echoing from until a while ago had gone entirely silent.
“… Vernoux-dono, what on earth are you doing?!”
“Well, sorry. Hold up. Are you alright, Dilly?”
Please call an ophthalmologist if you think I’m alright… Would it be nice if I cuss him like that right now?
No matter how you look at it, this is a really embarrassing entry, Cordelia thought as she thought about how to break the status quo. If I don’t regain my balance, then I won’t be able to get out of Vernoux-sama’s arms. With her eyes still dropped on the ground, she carefully adjusted her feet while desperately trying to calm down. If I rush myself and actually fall down, then I won’t be able to make any excuses or recover.
“… So, Vernoux-dono. What are you doing?”
“Clay, you were nagging His Highness, weren’t you? Dilly got shy because of you, and we were going to enter so she didn’t have to worry. It’s my fault for pulling her, and I have reflected on this.”
“Nagging…?! Whose fault do you think it is in the first place?!”
“Ah, oh, I’ll listen to you later. We have a guest… That’s not it… Is that how you act in front of His Highness? And, close the door for me.”
The young man in glasses, who was named Clay, gave a long sigh, then he glanced at the door. Then, the sound of the door closing was heard. The guards had closed the door. Vernoux could have told the guards to close the door instead of Clay, but he seemed somewhat upset.
While listening to their exchange, Vernoux and Clay knew each other better than Cordelia had thought. If so, then he should be able to guess that this blunder had been caused by Vernoux.
She felt somehow relieved that it was still somewhat better even if this situation was undesirable, and an unfamiliar pair of boots entered the edge of her vision.
At that moment, Cordelia froze.
“Are you alright? Are your legs hurt?”
That voice was clearly different from Clay’s and Vernoux’s.
However, that didn’t mean she didn’t know who it was.
The person who Clay was complaining to was the Prince. Vernoux had said that he had cleared everyone away.
Thus, she knew who the owner of this voice was… even if she didn’t see his face.
(It can’t be anyone else but His Highness, Sylvester…!)
Cordelia forcefully moved her stiff body, separated herself from Vernoux, who was supporting her and bent her legs.
“Please pardon my discourtesy in front of you, Your Highness. I am honoured that you have invited me here today. Cordelia Enna Pameradia, here at your request.”
It wasn’t appropriate to greet His Highness at the entrance, but there was no other way.
“Please raise your head. Vernoux is probably the one at fault for what had just happened.”
The moment she heard those gentle words, she bit her lip. However, she couldn’t keep looking at the ground forever. Didn’t I prepare myself so I can face him?
Cordelia told herself as she calmed herself and slowly looked up.
A young boy with gold eyes and a gentle expression caught her eye.
“It’s been a long time. Do you remember me?”
She felt that his aura was closer to the game Sylvester than when she saw him two years ago at the Flantheim mansion.
And, she noticed something else.
(… I’ve seen a similar scene in the game.)
I’m sure that there was a scene where the Heroine looked up at His Highness, Sylvester at this angle. It’s like I’m looking at a nightmare, but I can’t help but notice this.
“… Does it hurt after all?”
Sylvester seemed worried because Cordelia was taking her time to reply, and she hesitantly nodded, “A little.”
It actually didn’t hurt that much. However, if my feet hurt, then I probably wouldn’t have to stay here for long. Also, it’s not a complete lie since it’s not like it doesn’t hurt at all.
However, Sylvester looked a little upset by Cordelia’s reply.
“That’s not good. Vernoux, call the doctor…”
“Huh?! It’s fine!”
That would make my visit longer, and this incident will get bigger. Cordelia hastily concluded and declined the offer. However, Sylvester wasn’t convinced.
Then, Cordelia heard someone cough deliberately.
“She said so too. And Your Highness, your schedule is packed after this. Please award her the permit right away.”
“Clive, don’t rush. It’s rude to her since she came all this way, right?”
“It’s fine since I properly changed my schedule. And, I’m more concerned about Cordelia if she is injured.”
When Cordelia heard that name, she remembered that she had heard it from Cyrus.
(If I’m not mistaken, he was investigating the Queen candidates, Marquis Eames’s…! So Clay is Clive-sama?)
Glasses, long hair and a crease between his eyebrows. Clive, who seemed to be very serious, gave Cordelia an impression that he was the complete opposite of Vernoux. From the way he rebuked Sylvester, it was evident that he wasn’t welcoming her at all. His argument with Sylvester, which was loud enough to be heard from outside, was probably because of who the Prince had an audience with.
(He glared at me straight away, and has a bad impression of me… Well, I even feel like he sees me as an enemy, but that might be convenient for me.)
If Clive-sama wants me to leave quickly, then it matches my purpose. If so, then rather than just having to hope, it would be easier for my wish to come true if I create a situation where he has to drive me out.
Cordelia thought and looked straight at Sylvester.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your concern. However, even though I am immature, I am from the Pameradia House. I’m afraid of what others will think if I bother you with something like this. I can visit the doctor myself if the pain doesn’t go away.”
“If you are that worried, then I can show her to the doctor’s office. So, please give her the permit as soon as possible.”
Cordelia grasped her fist inside at Clive’s offer.
Yay! Now I can go home!
It’s self-interest, but if Vernoux-sama created this situation as the outcome, even though I was made to look uncool, I couldn’t help but be grateful.
Cordelia, who had calmed down a little, felt strangely satisfied at the same time.
(It’s certainly no wonder that ladies are attracted to the Prince.)
If a boy with a soft demeanour and was so considerate is the Prince, he would only leave people with good impressions. Cordelia would want to be involved with someone who acts more gentlemanly than he was in the game if she didn’t have that terrible memory. Even so, he was a person who the current Cordelia feared and wanted to avoid, and he made her want to cower. It could already be called a strong reaction.
(Even if 『Cordelia』was just suffering the consequences of her actions, I shouldn’t get involved with him. I won’t be able to recover if I make a blunder.)
I don’t want to die yet. I can’t get involved with him.
On the one hand, it won’t be a problem if I warm up to him. On the other, there will still be people who doubt me, like Clive-sama, even if I distance myself from him.
(Even… even if I don’t talk to His Highness, there may be people who believe that I’m harassing the heroine because of jealousy.)
If that happens, there’s a risk that the Clydereines, her family, will confront me, and it’s highly likely that I will cause trouble for my family. Also, it’s possible that those who feel adverse to the Pameradia House will try to trap us so that they can eliminate us. As a result, death may be the only thing that can be avoided, but that’s not the outcome I want.
(… I really shouldn’t get close to Prince Sylvester after all.)
I have begun making my own territory through the mobile library and tea parties, but I can’t stop what others say. It’s almost impossible to completely deny strange rumours.
But it’s not like I’ll meet the Prince daily after this.
“… Please wait a little.”
Sylvester said and went straight to the desk at the back of the room. He took two tiny boxes from on top of the table and returned to where Cordelia was.
“Here you are. Congratulations.”
“I will look at it.”
Inside the box was a small square dark blue glass plate. On the surface of the glass, written in white letters, was her permit to enter the Big Bookcase.
(This is… I wonder if this is a magic tool that works like a security release.)
The plate was attached to a long silver chain that could be worn around the neck. It won’t look good with dresses, but it’s useful for researchers.
“Please bring this with you when you enter the Big Bookcase. Be careful not to lose it.”
“Certainly. Thank you very much.”
“… You’ve handed her the permit. Then, I’ll see her off.”
Clive’s voice sounded sharp in contrast to Sylvester’s calm voice, and it would typically offend a lady, but those words were salvation for Cordelia.
“Thank you very much, Eames-sama. I’m sorry for troubling you.”
Clive frowned for a moment at Cordelia, who was smiling, but immediately stopped.
“I’ll leave it to you, Clive.”
“I actually wanted to talk to you more… This is really disappointing.”
Sylvester said, and Cordelia desperately tried to stop her face from stiffening.
“You wanted to talk to me?”
“Yes. For example… Like, how did you come up with edible paper? I’m interested in the concept.”
Sylvester was probably praising Cordelia. However, if only the words were clipped out, then it would sound like she was an odd lady who wanted to eat paper.
However, Cordelia couldn’t say that it was because of her memories from her previous life, so she answered with a smile.
“It’s not good if you hold back and the pain gets worse. It’s disappointing, but I’ll see you soon.”
“Thank you very much for your time. Please excuse me.”
Cordelia curtsied while thinking, I hope there won’t be a next time and left the room with Clive.
She finally felt the weight lift from her shoulders.