I clenched my skirt as I collected my breath.
Then, I asked Young Lady Liz in order to judge the situation.
“The knights of the Brigo Family are famous for their equestrianism, right Are they often hunting too”
“Ah, rather than hunting, we focused on training to protect and defend.
My father has a principle to never let even one of our territory’s residents get hurt.”
The second prince nodded slowly while patting me like an adult as if he was trying to make me at ease.
“As expected, the victory will be the blue knight order’s, so please don’t worry.”
Please don’t say that.
The anxiety that I might really be dragged to the ominous parade at this rate swept over me.
Perhaps my anxious heart was showing, the two of them examined me with flustered eyes.
The second prince asked me very carefully as if he couldn’t believe it.
“Young Lady, are you perhaps, don’t want to become the lady of the day”
His voice unexpectedly went higher.
Young Lady Liz was also looking at me with a rather same expression.
I was really curious about what kind of person I look like to others
How could they believe that I wanted to sit on that chair
“Because I don’t want to.
That chair and the stick, all of it.
The parade itself.”
Young Lady Liz stared intently at me then finally lamented ah and nodded, pretending to understand.
“You like black color right! You must prefer a chair with the same color as that carriage!”
Prince, please don’t look at the carriage with a serious expression.
I tell you, no.
* * *
After the conversation we shared while having different thoughts ended, I and the two people in front of me were tired.
Not only the juice, even the snacks were near empty.
Young Lady Liz took the last cookie and blushed.
“Since everything has been emptied, it is good for the maids because they only need to pack lightly when they go back later.
After all, if you leave the cookie, they have to throw it out.”
“Still, this is not right according to etiquette.”
She spoke dejectedly.
I stole a glance at the young ladies that were sitting sophisticatedly in the distance.
There were people moving busily since morning to prepare that table.
The ingredients used in the cookie like sugar and butter were hard to obtain by commoners.
I couldn’t believe they wasted it like that only for ‘behaving properly’.
It was a thinking method that I could never understand.
I encouraged Young Lady Liz, who was hesitating to eat.
It is the right thing to enjoy delicious food.
If you eat it well, it is the same as rewarding the people who prepared the snacks.”
A few of the maids and Dana who were standing near us smiled lightly.
Even amidst the warm gazes from everyone, Young Lady Liz was still very hesitating, but soon she put the cookie in her mouth and slowly began to bite it.
A happy smile lingered on her face while she savored the last cookie.
After moving my gaze from her, I asked the second prince, who was still sitting hesitantly next to us.
“Is it okay for you to not greet your fiance”
It seemed like tonight, the news about ‘a prince, who left his fiance and stayed next to a young lady of the duchy who was lucky to ascend her status’ would spread wide.
He nodded with a nonchalant face.
“There’s nothing to talk about even if we’re together.
Perhaps, she is also more comfortable with my absence.”
The dryness imbued in his words made me ask no more and turned my gaze.
Even at noon, when the sun was at the top, the forest was dark and damp.
The mature prince was staring intently at such a forest.
Usually, men would be all excited and nervous even if they didn’t participate in the hunting competition.
At least about who would catch the most prey, or about what kind of performance they would see.
Except for when he was shocked when I said I don’t want to sit on the golden chair, he was constantly calm.
“Don’t you want to participate in the hunting competition”
“Are you talking about this competition I don’t really want to do it.”
“Why It’s a chance to measure your skills, right”
As if she was also curious, Young Lady Liz looked at the second prince.
“My skills are lower than those of my Master’s, anyway.
Is there any reason for me to join a hunt that I couldn’t win”
It was such a brief and clear answer.
“On top of that, if I enter the forest and lose my way, I am likely to die.
I don’t want to die in a foreign land.”
He had a point, but was this something that could come out of a twelve years old’s lips
The purple eyes of the boy that I examined carefully from the side looked empty with neither dream nor hope.
Young Lady Liz desperately rejected the tragic end that was drawn by the boy.
“Tha-thats’ not true! If you get lost in the forest, the knights will come to find you, and if you don’t go too deep, then you won’t meet the wild beasts!”
“We can’t be sure about that.”
He replied with gravity then added.
“Well, even if we don’t enter the forest, it doesn’t mean that we are safe.
After all, this place is also a part of the forest.”
It was the moment when my first impression of him being mature and composed changed.
It turned out he was a very gloomy and pessimistic person.
“There’s paladin order and the black knight order from the Bolton duchy protecting this place!”
The second prince gave no comment to Young Lady Liz and quietly nodded.
However, it didn’t seem like he was persuaded by her words.
It felt like he found arguing to be tiresome, so he roughly humored her with ‘if you think like that, then that must be right.’
“Well, that’s right.
Nothing special will happen.
Because everything is already all set like this.”
I, who was scanning his lukewarm expression, turned my head when I heard a strange sound similar to a sharp metallic sound.
As I looked around, the two people next to me also followed me to check the surroundings.
“Didn’t you hear something earlier”
I stood up from my seat because the ominous feelings didn’t go despite hearing Young Lady Liz’s answer.
Then, at that moment, screams of the young ladies, who were a bit far from us, rang.
At the same time, just like clouds covering the sun, something covered the sky and made the bright ground dark.
The sudden change led everyone to raise their heads to the sky.
Then, they saw it.
An enormous amount of wyverns circling in the sky, covering the sun.
I saw a wyvern the size of a house that was clearly looking down at this ground, descended to the young ladies’ tea table.
It was a surprise attack from monsters.