Three hours later, Adelaide was in the Grand Castle’s fancy reception room, asking for the umpteenth time, “Still no news on them?”
When Adelaide picked up the teacup—for the umpteenth time—and asked, a delegate accompanying her did not know what to do and repeatedly replied, “They only said that they’re getting ready, Your Highness.”
The delegate’s face while answering apologetically had a hint of joy on it. They were all trying their best to relieve Adelaide of her awkwardness.
That was because Adelaide, the new envoy, was their hope.
They’d all expected to protect her life when she came to Hessenguard. Otherwise, there was no reason to leave her home country and come to an unfamiliar place, where unpleasant things, such as assassination and plague, had taken place in the past.
While Marquess Canavan worked hard to keep a stronghold on this place, they had also planned to take care of him from time to time, but they all had to stay away because he had collapsed over something ridiculous.
No matter much they said they were delegates, they couldn’t come out to Hessenguard and sniff around, which was why Erna had hoped the new envoy was someone influential.
Erna hadn’t expected the royal princess to come, of all people. On top of that, Adelaide was the most cherished princess in the Kingdom of Haband. She was the daughter of the third queen who had fallen in love with the king at first glance, and her hair and eyes looked just like her father’s.
Famous for her beauty since childhood, she was skilled at winning her father’s heart. Even the king of Haband, who was very serious, made Adelaide attend dinner only with his sons, and always took her wherever he went.
Adelaide was a beautiful flower cherished by the Kingdom of Haband.
That Adelaide had come to this place. Saying that was just like saying Haband was strongly intervening in Hessenguard’s affairs.
On top of that…
The delegates recalled questions Adelaide had asked them after arriving, to learn more about Hessenguard’s situation.
They had explained in detail to her what they felt while spending time here. Adelaide had asked questions after listening to them with interest. About a specific target, to be exact.
“So, how many knights do you think there are in all, led by Lord Kalion?”
“Does Lord Kalion seem to be involved in state affairs to a certain extent?”
“From what you’ve seen, how is his relationship with Erna?”
Adelaide wanted information on Kalion as if there were nothing to hide about him. Even the delegates couldn’t know unless they were fools. Princess Adelaide was here to seek out Kalion.
Well, it was given since there still wasn’t a single piece of news about Princess Erna’s baby.
It had been Haband’s idea to send a new princess to have a child with Kalion and to literally retrieve the magician, Erna.
It was a good plan, they thought, but…
“…Lord Kalion and Erna’s relationship looks very easygoing.”
At that, there was a look of wonder on Adelaide’s face.
“From what Marquess Canavan said, Erna tends to cling to his every move.”
Adelaide had thought that was obvious from the letter she’d seen. Was it right to say that Erna was loved by someone?
Adelaide had a recollection of Erna’s smart appearance as a child. A royal daughter who had walked around in a gloomy mood with no maids in a separate building away from the main palace.
She also remembered how Erna’s brothers had often visited and poked at her, laughed at her. Adelaide didn’t feel sorry about that. She thought it was natural to be treated like that because she was ugly.
There were words Adelaide had heard countless times from her parents while growing up: My beautiful daughter.
Beauty was the most important reason why Adelaide was loved by the kingdom. That’s why it was natural that the unbeautiful sister deserved not to be loved and should be ashamed of herself beyond that.
Her teacher sometimes said in class that you shouldn’t judge people by their appearance. Adelaide was not oblivious of that; it was common sense and morality. It was not the truth, however.
On top of that, she and Erna were nothing else but royal princesses.
In Haband, women could not succeed on the throne. Therefore, since she had been born as a princess, her most valuable life was to marry into a noble family or a neighboring royal family and become a stake to keep their property and troops tied to royal power.
Of course, people would call her “the messenger of peace” or “the bridge of peace” in a more pleasant way.
However, unlike other princesses, Erna, who’d had no support, had never once had a man suck up to marry her. So Adelaide had thought: “My sister really is worthless trash to the kingdom. She’s a leech worth no more than a commoner and enjoys a comfortable life in royalty.”
So, Adelaide had watched insensitively when their siblings bullied Erna. No, sometimes she’d cheered for them, cursing Erna’s name, thinking, if you’re like me you’ll leave the palace.