Translation: Kurehashi Aiko
Editing: Team Foxsunes
His every single action and move was distinguished and gave testimony to his flawless noble upbringing. And as if that was not enough of a proof just how extraordinary he was, the fact that he was assigned as the princess’s aide when it comes to the foreign affair spoke for itself here. He truly was someone that the women of the world would like to get a hold of and won’t let go again, no matter what.
「My name is Heinrich Yado Rubert. It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Von Lancent. I have heard much about you.」
Said the young man while smiling radiantly, a gesture that somehow contrasted deeply with the ruthless look that the eyepatch was giving him.
Also, it seemed kind of off for me that he would put the emphasis on the ‘I have heard much about you’ part of his greeting. It made me feel really uncomfortable for some reason. It also made me feel that the things that this young man had heard about me were not of good and kindhearted nature. And now it was getting me all curious and worried about what exactly he heard about me. However, as much as I would like to know that, now there was hardly the time and place for my personal worries.
「I do believe that this is the first time we are meeting one another in person. My name is Filmina Von Lancent.」
「I do realize that it will only be for a short time while this journey lasts, but since we are going to be travelling companions, I do hope we can all get along well.」
「It would be my honor to do just that. Since we are going to travel together for a while, I don’t think that there is a need for formalities. Please, you can call me Filmina.」
「The pleasure is all but mine, Filmina-dono. Let us hope that this journey shall be peaceful and without any incidents occurring.」
「…… Yes, let’s hope for just that, Heinrich-sama.」
What was that supposed to mean? I really wanted to know, but just before I could ask him about that he extended his hand towards me and offered it for a handshake. So I grab his hand and shake it vigorously, summoning a smile on my face seeing that he was smiling broadly as well. There are so many connotations to the phrase ‘peaceful and without incidents’ that I cannot possibly put my finger around what he actually meant by that. Could it be that he meant something dark and dangerous by those words? Or was that only my imagination and I was overreacting? But still, if he is someone who is closely associated with the princess, it would not be strange if he was aware of all the situations and incidents that I happened to be involved in. And he should be well aware of the fact that every single time it was the princess who supported me and helped me out a great deal. So I cannot really be surprised if someone else’s impression of me was rather poor, looking at how things used to play out in the past. Personally, I chose to believe that he did not mean anything bad by it, but I still could not stop the cold sweat that started to drip down my back when I heard him say that.
At first glance this young man looks nice and gentle. However, since he is directly related to the princess and has access to this part of the palace, it is hard for me to believe that he does not have some hidden motives or agendas of his own, or that at least he’s not aware of things like that. After all, if you wanted to survive in the noble community, you needed to be good at deceiving people and be aware when others would try to deceive you. So he may just look nice and gentle, but in reality he can be ruthless and intimidating beyond all measure. The sheer thought of that scares me just a little bit, making my hands tremble ever so slightly.
Also, if I recall correctly, is it not that the Rubert family has some sort of connections to Count Norbertus? Something was telling me that that was the case, but I could not be one hundred percent sure about that. When it comes to the noble families of this country, Rubert was one of the most influencing and the most prominent of them all. However, if my memory serves me correctly, the Rubert family was not associated with civil matters but rather the military, and the members of their family all served at high offices in the army, with some of them making it as high as the rank of the Royal Knights. So it was especially intriguing that a member of such a family would be assigned for a position like that seemingly out of the blue.
And even despite knowing it was rude to stare at someone for a long time, my eyesight just so happened to shift towards Heinrich-sama’s eyepatch. He must have realized just what I was staring at, for he smiled at me gently in response.
「I happened to be born with my right eye being defective. And being disabled like that I would be of very little use as a military officer. So with that path of career being unavailable to me, I have decided to take the civil option instead.」
「…… Is that how it is? Please excuse me, then. I had no idea about your personal circumstances, but I was so quick to jump into conclusions.」
「Please, don’t worry about it. You did nothing wrong. And truth to be told, I am used to assumptions like that.」
Heinrich shook his head and said that to me. He did not even look upset by the fact that I may have made some outrageous assumption about him in my mind. But even though he said that he was used to that, it is still not pleasant that someone would jump to assumptions about you without knowing a first thing about your circumstances. Still, at the same time it is really admirable that he is unfazed by something like that. He may be still young, but I could see that his character was strong and worth being a role model for his peers.
While I was busy being impressed with him like that, a loud sound of knocking onto the door could be heard throughout the room. Looking towards the door, the princes then looked back at the two of us and smiled brightly at us.
「Alright, now that the self-introductions are well behind us, both of you can sit down for the time being.」
When I sit back down on the sofa I notice something. Even though we were both told to sit down, Heinrich was still standing up, not even in front of the princess, but rather diagonally behind her back. I do not know if there was some hidden meaning behind his behavior like that, but for me it sure seemed weird and painful to some extent. However, the princess didn’t seem to mind that at all, as she only smiled at me gracefully once more.
「Although he has his oddities and quirks, it is without a doubt that Heinrich possesses an excellent aptitude for his office duties. And since he is usually in charge of handling various foreign affairs, he should be of really good use in our current situation. So for as long as you are willing to overlook some of his oddities, there is not a second as reliable of a man as him in this country.」
「I am honored to receive such words of praise, Your Highness.」
「See? That is exactly the kind of behavior I was talking about. Filmina, be sure to take his actions like that with a little bit of reserve, why don’t you?」
I nodded my head to that suggestion and Henrich responded by laughing shortly, even though it was really hard for me to tell if the princess was actually complimenting him or scolding him for his uptight behavior. But it was a rather friendly exchange in between them, one that was enough to make my own heart feel all warm and fuzzy deep down inside. I can understand that these two are close to one another, but I wonder just how EXACTLY close are they with one another? Thinking like that, I can also feel a certain other feeling starting to take root inside of my heart. And I know exactly what that feeling is. Yes, it is nothing more but jealousy.
As far as I am aware of, the princess usually is adorable and well-behaved in front of her family and during official matters, but in private she tends to be a little bit less formal and uptight. Because of that she is beloved by both her subjects and her servants alike, being almost like your typical princess out of a fairy tale. But it’s not like she needs to put up a façade in order to be so beloved. It is simply because “Princess” is only but one aspect of the princess’s personality. At the same time, it is about the way she presented herself to others, making her seem as someone who can befriend anyone and act accordingly in every kind of situation.
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