Chapter 2 Part 4
The Kingdom of Reshfeld and the Valugan Empire were currently in a state of armistice.
The reason for this was the engagement between Prince Yuri Leto Reshfeld, the second prince of the Kingdom, and Imperial Princess Valtrune of the Empire.
The deep ties between the royal families, along with an unspoken understanding not to invade each other’s territories, had brought about a period of temporary peace in both countries
――However, that peace would crumble in just a few years.
“Please wait a minute! Does that mean the Princess was dumped by that trashy prince!? That’s awful…! In the military academy, he treated the Princess poorly and was infatuated with his country’s saintess or something… I wish that trashy prince would just break a limb. Let’s feed him to the dragon mounts!”
The tentative peace was nothing more than that.
Indeed, Mia’s outburst seemed to confirm that the peace was false and on the verge of collapsing.
Still, the language was rather harsh.
Since the revelation of the entire story about Princess Valtrune’s engagement annulment, Prince Yuri’s reputation had plummeted in Mia’s eyes. Many in the Empire disliked the Prince for his selfish behavior at the military academy… So much so that Mia referred to him as a ‘trashy prince’, reflecting how much he was disliked.
The story told earlier was just the final blow. The initial evaluation was not that high, either. It was as if a near-zero evaluation had plunged into the negatives.
“I’ve suspected that Prince Yuri would talk about breaking off the engagement for a few months now, so I don’t really have any particular thoughts on it.”
“Heehh~ The Prince must be deceived by that saintess! Aren’t you vexed?”
“No, I didn’t particularly like Prince Yuri myself…”
said the Princess, expressing it flatly with a forced smile.
Watching the two at the military academy, anyone could infer as much. There was never a scene where the Prince and the Princess were chatting amicably. The political nature of the engagement was all too apparent.
After all, like me, Princess Valtrune is living her second life.
Perhaps because she had already experienced the grueling process of nullifying her engagement, she seemed prepared. That was why she could find me hiding in the bushes when told about the annulment.
She was not distressed by the immediate disadvantages and was always looking forward, concerned about the Empire’s future.
“Her Imperial Highness is stronger than Mia imagines. Besides, talking about it now is pointless.”
I added, and Princess Valtrune nodded in agreement.
“Aldia is right. Prince Yuri doesn’t matter anymore. What we need to think about now is only the Empire’s future. Things will probably get tough from now on.”
Princess Valtrune’s and my minds are filled with thoughts on overthrowing the Kingdom.
Mia shouldn’t know this yet, but eventually, we will be swept into the ravages of war.
“After hearing the current conversation, you should now understand why I… tried to get everyone to go to the Empire, don’t you?”
She nodded slowly.
“Are you okay with that, Al?”
“Yes, I made up my mind when I talked to Her Imperial Highness.”
Being from the Empire, she would have naturally sided with them even if I hadn’t persuaded her. However, I also have many friends from the Kingdom.
“I understand. Al didn’t want a future where we fight, right? I don’t quite understand why Al brought everyone to the Empire’s side since you’re from the Kingdom, though.”
There might have been a future where I could have brought my friends, including Mia, from the Empire to the Kingdom. But that probably wouldn’t have led to a happy ending. Including Princess Valtrune; I want to protect those dear to me.
“But Al made that choice because of the Princess, wasn’t it!?”
“Well, I get it now! If you compare that trash with the Princess, of course you’d choose this side~ The Princess is fundamentally kind and doesn’t get angry irrationally.”
“That’s right. Her Imperial Highness is very charming.”
“Wow! Al also agrees~!”
Mia laughed lightheartedly, making casual conversation.
The difference in reputation may also be a factor. But Princess Valtrune has given me something far more precious, incomparable to such minor evaluations.
“Her Imperial Highness is also a benefactor to me. That’s why I decided to serve her.”
“Yeah, I owe her a debt of gratitude that I could never fully repay.”
I now stand by Princess Valtrune’s side and will continue to serve her no matter how dire the circumstances may become. I am certain that this determination will not change, regardless of how much time passes.