44: The Inside of the Carriage is a Locked Room
There was a big difference in the carriage that I was riding now and the carriage that I rode a while back. No, there was no point in comparing them in the first place.
After I boarded the carriage and exchanged simple greetings with them, I wondered what kind of torture-like questions they would ask me, but the time passed in silence.
(Well, I’m relieved that time is passing peacefully.)
Roberto-sama had his arms crossed and eyes closed and looked as if he was thinking about something.
Lancel-sama glanced at the scenery at first, but now he was sleeping. Well, that’s fine.
Me? I was sitting with my back straight, showing my good manners. My face was expressionless, but there was a storm raging inside me.
(Yes, I can’t calm down! Because I’ve never been in a locked room with men other than onii-sama and father!)
The third imperial prince and his entourage. I guess I could also call them the Glittery Big Four.
It is believed that they would be in charge of the monarchy in the future and they were good-looking, high-ranked nobles who everyone wanted to become acquainted with. Furthermore, they were all single.
If I’m with such people, then the ladies would hate me even if they think I’m a noble. If I’m careless, then I might be pestered by some strange man and I might become unvirtuous. If they think I’m a commoner, then my life might be forfeited… That is how scary a woman’s jealousy is. It’s really scary.
Various thoughts like that were jumbled in my mind.
And the fact that Ayesha-marie from the Thousand House has disappeared is known to everyone, it doesn’t matter if they’re noble or commoners. I don’t know how information is circulated.
If they knew that I had returned, furthermore by the side of the third imperial prince, then there’ll be chaos.
Seriously, why am I being called by the third imperial prince…?
What kind of power can oppose him?
Well, there is an example of intervening with the law right in front of my eyes.
Nevertheless, I still want to go to the library if I have time. I want to read that law book.
I will protect myself.
If I can’t do that, then there’s no need for me to become a commoner. It was good enough to be protected by my noble blood.
“Um, can I stay at the 『Hen Inn』while I’m at the Royal Capital?”
Roberto-sama’s immediately opened his amber eyes.
“You’ll be staying at my estate.”
(Are you trying to shorten my lifespan?)
“You can’t have an audience with the imperial prince like that now can you? We’ll prepare everything for you.”
I probably shouldn’t frown while acting as a noble.
But these people don’t understand how I feel. My emotions should show, since I hated it so much that I stopped being a noble.
“Please prepare a wig that’s different from my normal hair colour. I should have disappeared, so there’s no way I would be loitering around Roberto-sama’s estate or the Royal Palace.”
“The people at my estate won’t tell others… But, yes, I’ll prepare one for you.”
Lancel-sama looked curiously at Roberto-sama and I since we were talking as if we were also on equal standing.
“Wow, this is the first time I’ve seen an Ojou-san talk so bluntly to Roberto. You seem smart. Like Dick, you don’t try to flatter us,” Lancel-sama said in a sociable tone as he stared at me.
His short black hair and black eyes gave off a friendly feeling, but he was a knight in the Royal Imperial Guards so his appearance might be deceiving. He seemed like he would eliminate someone if he judged them to be harmful.
Ah, scary, scary. Why do I have to get involved in such a world again?
But if I talk to them, then I can get information.
I only know the high-ranking nobles from the noble almanac.
I have to suppress the storm inside of me and gather information.
“Are you acquainted with Dick-san?”
“We were in defence school together. Dick’s a commoner but he was really good. Ranks don’t matter inside of the school, so we still talk as if we are still in school. We worked together at the Royal Palace, but he volunteered to move to the guards. Even now, he’s the most successful person there… And I think you know this as well, but Roberto and Dick are like oil and water. They don’t get along. They always quarrel whenever they meet.”
On the other hand, Roberto-sama frowned.
“Lancel, don’t say unnecessary things.”
“Are you close with Dick? Why are you working at the guard building?”
… He’s good. He pretended that he didn’t notice the leading question and asked me something in return. He’s many times better than you, Captain Weller.
I replied while pretending not to notice this, “I just became acquainted with him, so I can’t say that I’m close with him. I think you already know this but when I decided to change my social position and live a new life, the Master of Hen Inn introduced me to his older brother who works at the dining hall in the guard building. I started working there from then. Our relationship is only that of someone who works there and someone who comes to eat there.”
“I admire the Master for being tight-lipped. It was considerably hard to find your whereabouts.”
“Then, it would have been good if you had stopped looking for me.”
“I hope that it was worth the effort.”
What the hell? Worth the effort… They just ordered people around them and didn’t even look for me themselves. They just use their authority however they like. I don’t have enough information to counter those words. Will I be emancipated if I appeal my feelings to the imperial prince? There’s no guarantee that that would happen.
I became more anxious as I pondered.
I have to try not to think of unnecessary things.
I took out a scarf for embroidering from my shoulder bag. The design, which were cherry blossoms, was lightly sketched on the scarf. I threaded the light pink petals.
I felt Roberto-sama and Lancel-sama looking at me with curiosity. Have they never seen someone embroider something before?
We still had some time before we arrived at the Royal Capital.
It was a waste of time to just sit here and do nothing. I have to finish the scarf that was assigned to me as homework.
I should be able to calm down if I embroider something.