The moment I decided to open the door, I heard cheerful laughter resound from within, and I unconsciously stopped my hand.
Mixed in amongst the other gentlemen’s laughter, an exceptionally bright and adorable laugh resonated. Ahh, Marietta has come today, right? No wonder everyone is so happy.
I convinced myself to open the door, but the words I heard left me in a daze, making me unable to do so.
“That’s why I’m saying, shouldn’t His Highness Helios say it clearly? That you want to make Marietta the Queen.”
“That’s right, both Marietta and Selen are daughters of the Duke, so it should not be a problem?”
“I agree. Why don’t you try saying it? If it were me, I’d no doubt choose Marietta over the Dull Princess.”
The Dull Princess.
The words stabbed through my heart. I wonder when it was that I realised that it was a derogatory term used to ridicule me both in public and private.
Compared to my younger sister Marietta, with her rolling blonde locks and skin so pale it seemed transparent; large jade eyes with rosy cheeks, there was no doubt that my facial features were quite dull.
I wondered at times if she really was my sister, but both my hair and eyes were an ordinary pale brown; and while almond eyes sounded nice to the ear, what it truly seemed like was a long tapered slit. Even my eyelashes were only half as long as hers. The only thing we resembled was the paleness of our outer skin and even then, Marietta’s skin was smoother and more beautiful.
It wasn’t to the extent of being called ugly, but my looks weren’t gorgeous either. I was often called the Dull Princess, and even from my point, the name rung true.
“Such a thing, how could you say this?”
Hearing Helios-sama’s voice, I became further stiff. I could discern from the flow of the conversation, but as expected, Helios-sama was here.
“It is an engagement that has been decided since our birth. Moreover, Selen has worked so sincerely on her Queen Education, that Father and the Ministers trust her deeply. I can see them oppose it.”
“Well, sure leaves nothing to be desired.”
“Try advising that, and if you’re careless, I’ll be the one being disinherited.”
Helios-sama said so while laughing.
“But well, Selen might be the perfect partner to rule over a country, but that isn’t the sole job of a queen, is it?”
"That's right, if Marietta said 'Do your best!' to me, I would be able to put in 100 fold the effort."
"Well, maybe that is true."
“It’s true, it’s true. But truth be told, I feel even the citizens would feel motivated after seeing Marietta wave and smile at them.”
“That might happen. Marietta’s look is famed even within the castle town.”
“When the carriage in which Marietta rides passes, a crowd can throng for just a glimpse of her.”
I felt my blood drain as the conversation continued. Up until now, I had believed without a doubt that that wholeheartedly learning to reign and being of assistance to Helios-sama as a queen was good enough.
But, even I knew that the voices in the castle town wishing for a glimpse of Marietta increased each passing day. Even the citizens wished for Marietta to be their queen.
“Wouldn’t His Highness Helios also feel motivated when cheered on by Marietta?”
“Well, that, when said by such a beauty……”
“Really? I’m happy.”
“See, I told you it would be like that.”
“After a brief silence, I heard Helios-sama sigh.
“Even if we say that it can’t be helped. It is already time for Selen to arrive. Let us stop the conversation here.”
“Tch, I’m only saying this for His Highness’ sake.”
“Just because cannot make Marietta your princess consort, don’t shut her in the inner palace, alright? She’s our ray of hope.”
“I will not do such a thing.”
Hearing Helios-sama’s bitter voice, I trembled.
I did not know. That Helios-sama was disgruntled being my fiancé. From my position, I could not oppose it. I could only accept it silently. My chest hurt as if it were being wrung. My eyes felt hot.
I tried to endure, but tears fell.
I have always loved Helios-sama, ever since the day Father informed me that he was my fiancé. I like the part of him that could speak freely with others cheerfully and animatedly disregarding their status. He was a little spiteful and selfish with me, but I loved that too.
But, Helios-sama felt differently.
The one Helios-sama loved, was Marietta. He had always believed his engagement with me to be disgusting. Helios-sama would pretend to laugh all his life, and be spiteful at times as if stabbing me in the stomach with a spear…… And then, saying “It can’t be helped” he would console me. Surely, that was how he intended to live.
Even though I always wanted him to smile brightly…… I couldn’t give him that.
The tears flowed out uncontrollably. I cannot show this sorry state to anyone. While taking care not to let out a sound, I quietly went away from that door.
The Dull Princess and the Black Cat’s Amicable Engagement Annulment
2 chapters per week
Been listening to Hated by Life Itself by Mafumafu. Damn, that song hits deep.
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