“Ilse. You said you’d obey anything I say.”
The Venue for the ball hosted by the kingdom was gorgeous. Not only the furnishing but even the food was beautifully decorated. I was savoring a feast for both the eyes and the palate when Tristan, my fiancé, suddenly spoke up.
“Of course. I swore as much when we got engaged,” I smiled as I answered him.
To be more precise, I gave an oath to his father when I was seven years old.
“Then listen to me now, alright?”
Tristan’s face lighted up, clearly excited for what he was about to say. It probably won’t be anything special, though.
“I’m breaking off our engagement!”
“Oh, certainly. Was that all?”
In contrast to my smile, which remained unchanged as I gave my consent, Tristan’s proud expression clouded over.
The other guests, who were listening around us, suddenly got noisy. They probably didn’t expect such a reply.
But it wasn’t bravado or pride – I said these words out of my heart.
When I played this as a game, I thought the naive puppy attribute was cute, but in real life, he just seemed like a tactless, unthinking idiot. It’s charming on someone in their early teens, but at seventeen, I’m afraid Tristan is just a moron.
If I could get out of this engagement without having to do anything, all the better.
“By the way, may I ask why?” I asked, somewhat curious. I was hoping to annul our engagement, but this was still pretty sudden.
Tristan smiled, as if the question allowed him to regain his composure. I guess he thinks I’m reluctant to break our engagement.
I’d like to learn a bit from your positive thinking.
“Because you’re a cowardly woman who bullies others!”
No, you’re just a smug asshole. “Bullying? I haven’t the faintest idea what you might be referring to.”
I’m serious. I don’t have the time to do such pointless things.
“Don’t try to tell me you have no idea! I have a testimony that says you bullied a schoolgirl!”
No, I already told you I have no idea. What’s with this guy? Listen to people.
Maybe there’s a dull script he’s worked very hard on. He’s trying desperately to follow it. This guy doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘flexibility’. He really does have a small brain capacity.
“What testimony? Who told you that?”
“It’s Esther— No, it doesn’t matter who it was!”
“That’s no good. If you don’t make it clear, people could make as many false accusations as they want.”
How stupid. And he just said her name, too. Besides, that name…
It’s the name of a woman I hate.
“What?! Are you calling her a liar?”
No, listen. You’re hiding her identity, so don’t just tell me it’s a woman.
A heavy sigh escaped my lips. I could feel the beginning of a headache.
“So? Who is Esther claiming that I bullied?”
“Huh? It’s Esther herself.”
He made a surprised face, noticing that he got caught and gave out her name clearly.
It’s too late, you dumbass.
“Wow. So Esther gave out a testimony about the person who bullied her. Moreover, she gave it to the bully’s fiancé. That’s pretty daring. Could such a bold person really have been bullied quietly?”
“The fact that you said her name is proof that she’s telling the truth! You knew who she was because you bullied her!”
No, it’s because you said it first.
“Besides, there’s plenty of other evidence!”
“There’s a wound on her arm.”
“Do you have any proof that I made it?”
“…No, but if we were to look, I’m sure we could find witnesses.”
“Even if you could, I didn’t do it, so it would just be perjury. Anything else?”
“There are textbooks and notebooks that have been completely torn apart!”
“And do you have proof that I did it?”
“Guh… I’ll look for it later!”
Isn’t that just fabrication?
In short, he had some props that suggest she was bullied but no evidence that I did it. How lousy. Esther probably planted them. And so, when she cried out to him, this dimwit believed her wholeheartedly and went on this rampage.
Moreover, it must have been that woman who sent him out to expose it in such a public place.
She’ll definitely be made to cry someday.
“Is that all the damning evidence you have against me?”
“Why don’t you leave it at that, Lady?”
“Oh? But it was just starting to get interesting.”
I was just starting to enjoy Tristan’s teary-eyed inability to refute me when Joshua, my escort and attendant, stopped me. He was beneath me in terms of status, but we’ve been together for as long as I can remember, so we got along well.
“…Well, whatever. Let me know if you find any proof that I was the bully, please.” I was looking forward to it. I smiled and gave an elegant bow before suddenly remembering something.
“Oh, right. You’ve dissolved our engagement. I’ll handle all the formalities, so even if we don’t get married, it won’t hurt us in the slightest.”
Well, have a nice day.
I turned my back and walked away. A few steps behind me, Joshua was holding back a laugh. We passed through the door, feeling refreshed, and gave a high-five as it closed.
“I can finally stop spending time with him.”
“You really did look like you were having a hard time, Lady.”
“It was beyond boring.”
“You were counting money in your head while talking to him, didn’t you?”
“Was it that obvious?” I stuck out my tongue and shrugged.
Seeing my silly gesture, Joshua burst out laughing.
- The names in this novel are all Japanese pronunciations of western names, so I chose to use the western versions of those names. Ilse instead of Iruze (イルゼ), Tristan instead of Torisutan (トリスタン), Esther instead of Esuteru (エステル), etc.
- Styling convention seems to change from novel to novel and translator to translator. For this novel, I intend to use normal quotation marks for speech and emphasis/italics for direct internal thoughts.
- Please let me know if you spot any mistakes.