Translation: Kurehashi Aiko
Editing: Team Foxsunes
The light shining through the glass window was warm and dazzling. Located in the far and remote corner of the royal palace, this lovely greenhouse made out of transparent glass was housing various kinds of plants and flowers, allowing some of them to bloom even off-season, because of which you could almost forget that the season was currently early winter. And even though this particular greenhouse was really impressive-looking and the glass used to build it was of the highest quality with a high level of transparency to it, I probably couldn’t even imagine the amount of money that was spent on building it. But when building a place like that, high costs were something that couldn’t really be avoided. Rather, it should instead be noted that the Holy Kingdom of Valgentum did a really good job with it, which earns them the highest of praises. I also heard that the construction of this greenhouse would not be possible if not for the patronage of the Beautiful Princess Clementine and her donation of one of the nation’s treasures, the Living Gems.
Said princess was currently sitting in a chair right in front of me, with us being separated by a small table.
She then reached out her beautiful, long ivory-colored fingers towards a pile of baked sweets that were laying on top of a plate on the table and gently carried them to her mouth. The sweets, even though they were colorful and eye-catching, completely paled in comparison to the plants and flowers that were surrounding us. Her long and well-kept silver hair shone in the rays of the sun, and her dark eyelashes contrasted with the color of her hair, making them alluring and even more beautiful as a result. Her eyes were large and contrasted with the color of her eyelashes, looking like a pair of ambers shining brightly in the sunlight. Her small and cute nose only completed this graceful picture that was her facial features. Her small lips were pale and looked like a pair of petals of some rare flower.
Aah, so unbelievably beautiful. She is so beautiful that sometimes I think it should not be possible. What’s more, it’s not only the beauty of her features. The princess’s inner brilliance was also so dazzling that it could not be concealed. When I think of that, a thought suddenly occurs to me: is it really alright for someone like me, a woman coming from a small noble family to be sitting right next to that person in a place like that? And is it really alright for me to call the princess my dear friend? And even though the princess herself acknowledges me as her friend without any reservations, sometimes I just can’t help myself but to think if I truly belong in a place right at her side.
Seeing that the princess’s teacup was empty, I hurried to pour her a new cup of the freshly brewed medicinal tea. I was really surprised when the princess called for me, Filmina Von Lancent, to come join her during one of her precious tea parties, but I still was overjoyed that I could take part in it. It was also one of the rare opportunities for the two of us to actually be able to talk face to face.
How many times was I already summoned to attend a secret tea party together with the princess like that? Lately I have even started to look more and more forward to those meetings of ours, since it was during them that I would each time discover something about the Princess that I did not know before. Even now I was taking a secret glimpse at the princess as she picked up her teacup and carried it towards her mouth. She was just having a sip of tea, but for me she looked like a diving creature doing something truly refined. While looking at the princess I must have lost myself in her beautiful image, because only when the princess laughed gently I realized what I was doing and instantly came back to my senses. The princess then smiled at me while holding her teacup in one hand.
「Goodness gracious, Filmina. If you will keep on staring at me so intently, you will end up burning a hole through me.]
「I am so terribly sorry. It is because you are so beautiful, Princess, that I simply could not take my eyes off of you. And believe me, I would never want to burn a hole through your beautiful features!]
「Oh? Does that mean your eyes would be able to do that if you tried? I need to watch out for that, then. Since your gaze might turn out to me a most effective weapon against me.]
The princess then laughed happily while I blushed furiously. Even though I was so happy with meeting with the princess, I need to be more careful and considerate of both of my surroundings and the people around me. At this point I should have been more or less accustomed to dealing with beauty, seeing that my own husband is extraordinarily handsome, but there is something about the princess’s beauty that even his handsomeness cannot simply compare to. By simply being right next to the princess today, the world seemed to be an even better place in my eyes.
Perhaps my inner worries could be well-read from my facial expressions, because the princess smiled gently before laughing again with a voice that sounded like a bunch of silver bells resonating with one another. The princess’s voice reverberated throughout the greenhouse, with only two of us inside of it. I felt like that sound would be sure to draw the attention of both maids and knights standing at the entrance to the greenhouse, but right about now I was too focused on the princess to care about such a small detail. Ahh, my goodness, why does she have to be such a wonderful person? In order to try to calm my nerves down and help my burning cheeks to settle down, I tried to pour some more tea for myself from the teapot. However,
Even though I didn’t mean to do that, the power of the princess’s smile was simply enormous. Perhaps it is precisely because of that that when I was lifting the teapot in order to pour some tea for myself I happened to carelessly hit the tray with the sweets with my elbow, causing it to fall to the ground with a loud sound. When I heard that sound, my whole body stiffened on the spot.
「I’m, I’m so terribly sorry! I didn’t mean to do that!]
I immediately shoot up from my chair and get on my knees in order to pick up what remained of the sweets and the shards of what was once a plate. I then put all the pieces right back on the table. Then I saw that the plate was no ordinary one, but the one with the crest of the royal family that was engraved on it. It was more than enough to cause me to break into a cold sweat. But the princess just waved her hand at the pieces of the plate, looking as though nothing at all happened.
「Don’t worry about it. It’s nothing, really. If you want to look at me, please do so to your heart’s content.]
The princess said as if it was really not that big of a deal and much to my astonishment and terror reached out towards the remnants of the sweets to pick one up and eat it. But I noticed that there was something else there as well.
A picture of a handsome young man who looked to be a foreigner.
Next, the princess took a sip of her herbal tea with a completely cool expression. I was hesitant at first to do as she told me, but in the end I decided to do just that and rested my hands on the table.
「I know that I may be overstepping my boundaries by asking this, but is that perhaps the picture of your future partner?]
「Yes, that’s right.]
Hearing that the princess nodded her head in a gesture of “Ah, I see, I see.”, but for some reason it made me feel really bad about myself. I could not even bring myself to nod my head back. A picture of a potential matchmaking partner. It should not be that much of a surprise that a princess of such standing would be an object of potential interest for people from all over the world. Considering the princess’s age, marriage was a topic that would naturally come to mind, since it was just about the right time for a matter like that to be settled. Truth to be told, I am actually quite surprised that the matter was only being discussed right about now, and that it was not settled long ago.
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