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“Excuse me, would you mind if I sat next to you?”
When Hiro looked up, a woman in a red dress was standing there.
Her wavy blonde hair was tied back in a bun, flowing down from her right shoulder to the front, while her lustrous blue eyes looked down at Hiro. The well-proportioned and ample body is sure to catch anyone’s eye.
Her skirt is boldly slit from the thighs, and the beautiful legs peeking out from the slit are enticing and fascinating.
However, it was not her appearance that bothered Hiro; it was the surrounding nobles’ buzz that bothered him. The woman, wondering about the reaction of her surroundings, closes the distance between Hiro and her.
“Ah, I’m sorry. My name is――Miste Calliara Rosa von Kelheit. Formerly the third princess, and now the acting head of the Kelheit family. Henceforth, it shall be known to you.”
After a brief introduction, the Duchess of Kelheit gave a captivating smile.
“I see. I can certainly see why Liz would be so enthusiastic. You have an unusual look, as does the color of your hair and eyes.”
Hiro did not show surprise on his face, but the turmoil was squeezing his heart.
(It’s so early. Why――why did she appear at this time?)
He was expecting her to contact him eventually, but not now, much later.
(Could it be that they’re really being cornered that far?)
There is no time to think for long. He couldn’t let her realize that Hiro was thinking.
Even though she is Liz’s sister, she is now the acting head of the Kelheit family. There is no doubt that she is approaching Hiro to take advantage of him. The more Hiro gets nervous, the more she gets her way.
Not wanting to let her take the initiative, Hiro, feigning composure, indicated the next to him with his hand.
“Go ahead; there’s no one else around, it’s fine.”
“That’s nice to hear.”
Rosa placed one of the glasses she was holding in both hands, the one filled with the red liquid, on the table in front of Hiro. It’s probably wine or something, but because of the possibility that it might be mixed with something, Hiro decided to refrain from drinking it.
“Um, I don’t drink alcohol, so…”
“Ah, I didn’t know that. Then you can rest assured, this one is just water.”
And then she replaced it with a clear liquid――a glass of water.
The scent of roses tickled Hiro’s nostrils as soon as Rosa sat down next to him.
“What does Liz’s sister want with me?”
“It’s just that my sister wrote about you in her letter. And since you’ve done so much for her, so I thought I’d drop by and say hello.”
“I’m the one who’s indebted to Liz. It’s a pleasure to meet her older sister.”
“Oh, Your Highness Hiro, you don’t need to talk so formally. Let’s take it easy on each other. Above all, you are in a higher position than me. That would be an example to others.”
“Understood――ah, I mean, okay. Is this good?”
“Yes, that’s all right. You should know your place in the world a little better.”
She smiled happily and drank the wine, then chuckled and tilted her glass.
“It’s a shame that you can’t drink wine as good as this one.”
“I’m not good at it.”
It’s not because he’s a minor――in this world, one considered an adult at the age of fifteen.
“It’s a pity. You’ll gain a lot of benefits from drinking in the future.”
“I don’t think it’s a good time to drink, though, because things are so crazy these days.”
“Hmm, are you being cautious or timid? I wonder which one you are?”
“Maybe that’s because I’m a coward.”
“I can’t believe this is coming from a man who was so imposing in his audience with the Emperor. May I ask why you have such low self-esteem?”
Hiro made a cold face as she looked at his profile with interest.
“I’m afraid of regret. For example, on the battlefield――no matter how much they cry and scream, no matter how much they beg for their lives, I will not forgive them. If I let them off the hook, someone else might be unhappy. Still, unless it’s worth it.”
She looked dumbfounded because the boy’s expression had changed, or perhaps because she realized the madness that lies deep inside him. Rosa pours a glass of wine, empties it, and then calls the waiter and asks for a new wine. After enjoying the aroma of the white wine the waiter brought, she asked Hiro.
“How old are you this year?”
“You are terribly distorted for your age. It’s arrogant, even. Kuku, I’m curious about your past.”
“It’s not much of a past. I’ve just been through a lot of trouble.”
“Is that so? So what if――for example, I become your enemy here at this moment?”
“I won’t do anything. I’ll draw the line, but if you cross it, I’m going to come for your head.”
“You won’t kill me now?”
“If I do that, I’m just being barbaric. I’m not that short-sighted.”
“You’re thinking straight, aren’t you?”
“If I lose reason, I’m no better than a beast. It will only make more enemies, and it won’t do me any good. It will only cause trouble for my companions, and above all, it will only make me regret it.”
A hint of regret passed through Hiro’s distant eyes, but it was only for a moment, and Rosa did not seem to notice.
She repeatedly nodded as if she were evaluating Hiro’s words and then crossed her arms to emphasize her breasts.
“Hmm. Like Stobel?”
Hiro pondered Rosa’s words, but there was no clear answer.
“I can’t assume. But I think he’s more distorted than I am.”
“Hmm, that’s a good answer. He used to be a man with the backbone for an Emperor.”
“Can you tell me what happened?”
“Stobel was favored by the “Thunder Emperor” when he was 18, and he has changed from that moment on. He can no longer consider the feelings of the weak. He truly believes that the strong are righteous, and the weak are evil. That’s why he is extremely afraid that someone stronger than him will appear.”
“…That’s also distorted.”
“There is no end to man’s desire. When you have a lot of power, it becomes even more pronounced. It can even change a person’s character. You had better watch out for it.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
In response to Hiro’s words, Rosa licked her lips and then lifted the corners of her mouth.
“Now――The time is running out, so let’s get down to business.”
It’s happening. If Hiro were not careful, this female panther would bite his head off.
(A gut-wrenching battle would give the opponent more time to think.)
Then――in order to take advantage of our conversation, Hiro decided to cut in boldly.
“Since the Kelheit family is in dire straits, you want to talk about it?”
Hiro’s words caused Rosa’s eyes to become frighteningly sharp momentarily.
“Have you noticed… you are very eager to learn? No, I guess it’s because I’m not good enough.”
“I wouldn’t have known if the eastern nobles had been organized.”
“If you know so much, there’s no need to hide it. As you can imagine, the eastern nobility is on the verge of a division. In an era where men are strong, having a woman as the acting head of the family is a bit of an inconvenience.”
“The nobility of the Grantz Empire is supposed to be a male line of succession. Even the five great nobles shouldn’t be unconnected with each other.”
“Yes. That’s why I’m having trouble getting all kinds of men to make a move on me.”
“It’s a great opportunity to make a name for their house. Especially since they will have exactly what the Kelheit family has been building up.”
“But I don’t want to have the second son from another family that might as well be a scum.”
“I think some of them are better than others, don’t they?
“Maybe there are some. But I need someone who isn’t breathing down anyone’s throat.”
“…Therefore, you can’t get the results you want by having me as your groom.”
Rosa shakes her head at Hiro’s words, denying it.
“I’m not going to ask you to be my groom. And I don’t think you have any intention of doing that.”
“Then you’re going to take advantage of the position of the fourth prince? I’m sorry, but I don’t have enough say in the matter right now to interfere in your house.”
“…That’s right. But there is only one solution.”
She did not answer Hiro’s question but looked around as if she were wary of her surroundings.
There may be someone somewhere listening in. There must be only a few people who can do that kind of dexterity in such a crowded venue…
Hiro sighed and looked at the glass on the table. Rosa had placed it on the table for him, but he didn’t sip it, judging that it was likely to be mixed with something.
(But I don’t want to continue to play this useless game and let the time pass…)
Having made up his mind, Hiro picked up the glass and drank the water in one go. Slight numbness in his throat is the only change in his body. However, should it be okay just to confirm that there is something mixed in?
“I just want to ask you, what was in it?”
Rosa rolled her eyes when she saw Hiro’s unconcerned face.
“That’s amazing. An ordinary person wouldn’t even be able to speak…”
Then she gave a little throaty laugh and sighed deeply as if she thought the deception was futile.
“It’s a powerful numbing drug. I tried to muddle your consciousness, but it seems to have been in vain.”
“A puff of smoke in a public place like this will only make you look bad.”
“It’s just one drunk guy in front of me. How does that make my situation worse?”
“I see. You’ve been thinking about it, haven’t you? And what about the future?”
“Of course. It’s all for naught, though. How can you be that strong… Are you really human?”
Hiro smiles at Rosa’s question.
“Of course, I’m just a bit of a sturdy person.”
“Haha――… I should have prepared a drug like the one used for monsters…”
They were going to have a private conversation that they didn’t want anyone to hear. Rosa drops her gaze to the floor with a heartfelt look of disappointment. It seems that the fact that she wouldn’t walk away even if her plans were exposed was a game-changer for her.
So, in order to regain her composure, Hiro decided to help her out.
“It’s too early to be depressed. Will you keep going with your plan?”
When Hiro said that, Rosa looked up in surprise.
“Are you sure? I didn’t mean to aim for your life, but――ugh?”
Hiro pulled Rosa’s body closer and whispered with his face close to her ear.
“If you’ve eaten poison, lick the plate*, is what they say. I want to hear your story first. Is that okay?”
[T/n: It’s Japanese saying that means that once you’ve committed a crime, commit to it, in for a penny, in for a pound.]
“…How much of a beast lurks within that cute little face of yours?” Rosa said happily and then pulled Hiro’s head into a hug.
Her ample breasts were pressed against Hiro’s face, and the hall was filled with a buzzing noise like a beehive of bees in a daring embrace that took place in the public eye.
“It seems that His Highness Hiro has gotten drunk. I’ll let him rest in my mansion. Someone help me.”
Three ladies and two male nobles responded to Rosa’s voice. They approached with movements that showed no hesitation as if they had been discussed beforehand. There is no doubt that Rosa’s breath is on the line.
“Poison is poison, but it’s sweet poison. You’ll love it.”
Rosa whispered in Hiro’s ear as the male nobles held him captive. From the perspective of others, the scene looks like they are helping a drunkard.
“I hope so.”
“Then let’s go.”
Rosa turned around and saw Aura standing there.
“Well, well, you are… the famous Lady Bunadhara, what can I do for you…?”
“Where do you want to take Hiro?”
“I’m sorry. I don’t have time to explain. We’ll talk later.”
Rosa snapped her fingers, and three ladies surrounded Aura.
“Come, come, let’s have a chat with us over there.”
“Muh, get off.”
“Hohou, you mustn’t go wild.”
With no spirit weapon in her possession, much less a broken arm, she couldn’t resist and was easily trapped by the ladies.
“Now that there are no more people in the way, let’s head to my mansion.”
Her beautiful fingertips slide down Hiro’s eye patch.
Hiro was taken out of the hall and thrown into Rosa’s mansion on the Imperial Palace estate.
They are alone in a room bathed in moonlight. Rosa was sitting on a decorated chair, and Hiro was lying on a huge bed that could accommodate five adults.
“I apologize for the rough treatment.”
“It’s okay, but I’d like an explanation.”
“I know. But you’ve noticed by now, haven’t you?”
“…More or less.”
After a hot embrace in public, the drunken prince disappeared with the widow into the mansion. The two of them have concluded that the relationship between them would be extraordinary.
“The other family would hesitate to offer a marriage to a woman who has become the handmaiden of a prince.”
“It can buy you some time, but sooner or later, you’ll have to take in a husband from another family.”
“Just to buy some time, huh?”
The moonlight in the dark night sky shone through the window, illuminating her beautifully.
“I wonder what would happen if ―in this body―I were to carry your child.”
“In order to escape from the clutches of the Krone family, I have concluded after much deliberation――to become your mistress. You are the descendant of His Majesty the Second Emperor, the fourth prince, and use your title to unite the eastern nobility. Then I will bear your son and make him the head of the Kelheit family. I told you――I need someone who has not had anyone’s breath on him.”
“That won’t satisfy the Kelheit family. If you gave birth to my child, it would be like you took over the Kelheit family.”
“I’ll have to agree with that. The blood of His Majesty, the Second Emperor, will be in the Kelheit family.”
Hiro couldn’t say a rebuttal. The reason is that he saw Rosa’s delighted face.
“There is no need to worry about the blood being cut off. Give the newborn child a daughter from a family connected to the Kelheit family. The Kelheit family’s blood will continue, and they will also get the blood of His Majesty the Second Emperor. Who can complain?”
“The payback for you is great. You’ll have my body as you please, and you’ll also have the eastern nobility on your side. That sounds like a good deal.”
It’s certainly not a bad idea for the future. Aside from Rosa’s body, what Hiro lacks right now is contacts and money. The Kelheit family would be able to solve both of those problems.
“Besides, I don’t want a child right away. I’m no longer pure either. I’d be grateful if you could give me a little time. But that’s just for my convenience, and it’s irrelevant to you. So I don’t mind if you want it now.”
What should I do? Said Hiro, he’s at a loss for a response when someone asked him.
“I don’t mind joining hands with you, but I’d rather not have kids.”
“Kuku, that’s fine for now. I’m sure there will be Liz before me.”
She gets up and climbs into bed, making the bed creak and getting closer and closer.
“As such, it’s late already. Let’s get to sleep now.”
“I don’t think we need to sleep in bed together. I can sleep on the couch if you want.”
“That wouldn’t make any sense. I want the fact that we slept together without sexual activity.”
She smiled mischievously and came next to Hiro and hugged him.
“I have no intention of doing so, but if you can’t stand it, I don’t mind if you attack me. I won’t resist.”
“Can’t we just sleep separately?”
“She’s a great sleeper, just like her sister.”
Thinking that he had experienced something similar before, Hiro fell into a deep sleep. Surrounded by the soft feminine touch, Hiro began to breathe in her sleep.