Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama
The slap from Almeria sent Prince Fabian flying. Knocking over all the dishes on the dining table, he crumpled onto the floor.
「A kiss? A marriage? Tough luck, you’re disgusting.」
「Eh? Ehhhhhhhhh…!? What in the –!?」
All the prince could do was blink in confusion. When our eyes met, he was such a sorry sight that I couldn’t resist giving him a smile. I didn’t mean it, of course. Anyway, I had dispelled Almeria’s curse about thirty minutes before the lunch ceremony.
After all, someone had tipped me off.
When Almeria returned from the date, she was in a ‘charmed’ state, eyes vacant and deliriously repeating the prince’s name. Since she had been given a powerful drug, it took some time for the effects to be completely dispelled.
Thankfully, the effect wore off in time.
「What on earth just happened, Fabian!?」, roared the King of Reubens.
「Father, this girl… she hit me!」
「Prince Fabian… could you please provide us with an explanation?」
King Randolph was still seated, expressionlessly looking down at the food-soaked prince.
「An explanation!? That’s my line! Your daughter just hit me –!」
Almeria raised an eyebrow. Her fury — no, killing intent — could be felt by everyone present.
「Expecting me to suddenly give you a kiss? Are you stupid? A lecher? Or a pervert?」
「Calm down, Almeria. You too, your Highness. Nobody knows what is going on right now」, said Elvi, trying to restore order.
「When I came to my senses, this prince of yours was trying to kiss me!」
「Trying…? Do you not remember what you said!?」
Looking troubled, Elvi glanced at me.
Apparently, Almeria had no recollection of the events that had happened before the aphrodisiac wore off. Prince Fabian clicked his tongue. Seeing that an endless argument was about to arise, I cut everyone short.
「Princess Almeria returned from the date in a somewhat drunk and unresponsive state. I had to help her sober up… one way or another.」
So it was you? , mouthed the prince, glaring at me.
「She does not remember agreeing to the marriage. I was sugar-coating when I called her ‘drunk and unresponsive’.」
「’Drunk and unresponsive’? We had a nice stroll together and when she got tired, she had a single glass of pineapple juice. To get drunk on that? Don’t mess with us!」
「Well, I won’t beat around the bush anymore. Prince Fabian, you did something to cloud the princess’s judgment and used that opportunity to coerce her into agreeing to your marriage. Am I wrong?」
My shadows had observed everything.
However, the prince continued to make excuses.
「Can you repeat what you said earlier? Something about Prince Fabian having prepared something?」, I said to a girl sitting on the other side.
Leinora — the girl I had slept with the previous night — nodded.
「Yes, his Highness…」
「–oi, you! What are you saying!? Oi!!」, wailed the prince in desperation, but to no avail.
「I was ordered to mix the aphrodisiac into the juice. A handsome sum of money was given to me to relate this to the waiter at the café.」
Almeria stared down at Fabian like she was looking at a worm.
Elvi sighed deeply.
「Your Highness, I cannot let this go either. Drugging a target to achieve your own desired ends… is that not above a scion of the Reubens family?」
「Shut up! Shut up shut up shut up shut up –!」, sputtered Prince Fabian, pointing a finger at Leinora. 「You! Do you know what you’ve done!? Listen, girl! You’re gonna get it when we get home!!」
「I no longer have any use for someone who can only treat me like that.」
With that, Leinora abandoned her nobility. She had most likely managed to become the prince’s secretary due to her looks. A miserable tenure, no doubt.
「Do you even know my name, your Highness?」
My eyes met with Leinora’s. The prince looked at us, wide-eyed.
「Y-You! All of you…! So you’re all in cahoots to fuck me over!?」
「Wasn’t it you who tried to fuck us over?」, said a visibly confused Almeria.
「Your Highness, I advise you to rethink that statement of yours.」, added Elvi.
Leinora had been hesitant to tell everyone the plot. I had had a serious discussion with King Randolph about it.
After a long silence, he finally spoke up.
「The whistleblower Leinora-dono and her entire family will be protected under my name. Equal nobility will be bestowed upon her if she so wishes.」
To confirm my suspicions, I had inquired of Leinora the previous night —
「Those bandits that attacked us… they were your men, weren’t they?」
The bandits from yesterday had been impeccably clean. Even if they were grimy, I would still have suspected that they were actually soldiers. None of them had had the intention to attack us seriously. The leader I killed had also been distracted — most likely looking out for his allies led by the prince.
For a knight-in-shining-armour to gallantly appear and save the day — what a cheap scenario deliberately devised for the prince to impress Almeria.
Lying on the bed, Leinora chuckled.
「Nothing escapes you, Roland-san.」