T/N: If misogynistic serial sexual assault offenders and rapists in positions of power being defended by other people in power offend you, be warned about this new character.
Ludwig came home from school in a very good mood. Because today is the day Flora es to visit him. He chooses his outfit carefully before a large mirror that Flora gave to him.
From Flora’s point of view, she didn’t intend to personally give Ludwig a full-length mirror. However, once she started producing large plate glass and large mirrors using said plates, she felt she had to give 5 of them to the royal family.
One of them was used by the King, Wilhelm, another was given to his First Wife, Queen Elisabeth. And one for Elisabeth’s son Ludwig and his little, sister Eleonore. The last one was kept as a spare.
However, since Eleonore, the youngest child, is still young, there is a high risk of breaking the large mirror even if it is given to her specifically, so it was decided that it would be given to her after she grew up, and two of them are currently kept in storage.
“Flora doesn’t like things that are too flashy. How about this?” Ludwig asked.
“Yes. It looks very good, Your Highness…” the maids said.
They were fed up with Ludwig’s constantly changing outfits and replied without dropping their professional faces. They can’t say outright that none of this matters, so they’ll just get it over quickly.
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At that time, Ludwig suddenly had a bad feeling. He didn’t know anything concrete. He just felt that something was off. From there, however, Ludwig acted quickly.
Today is an important day for Flora to e over. Having a bad feeling on such a day must be related to Flora. Ludwig immediately made that decision and rushed out into the hallway in the clothes he was trying on. It is bad manners for him to run inside the castle, so he walks as fast as he can.
If his hunch is off and there is nothing, that’s fine. It would be better if he waited for Flora at the entrance rather than putting her in the waiting room while he was still in his bedroom. Ludwig thought that and headed towards the entrance where the reception was, and that’s when he heard a voice.
Thinking that his bad premonition would be that, he hurriedly turned the hallway, and the sight he saw ahead of him made his blood run cold in an instant.
“Hey, you there, girl. I’ll make you my woman. Come with me, and I’ll take real good care of you.”
Flora is entangled with Ludwig’s older half-brother, Prince Moritz. Flora seemed shocked by Moritz’s words. A naive girl like Flora must be frightened if she is pressed like this by the violent Moritz. By Flora’s expression, she seemed scared and about to cry.
“Didn’t you hear him!?! The Second Prince, Moritz, is going to make a girl like you, his woman! Won’t you weep for joy and sing your gratitude!?!”
Moritz’s cronies threaten Flora even more. Flora trembles as she turns her face down. What a poor thing… she must be terrified and unable to move. Thinking so, Ludwig quickens his steps.
“What are you doing, Brother?” Ludwig says as he slides between Moritz and Flora.
“Huh!?” Moritz snapped. “Ludwig! You stay out of this!”
While protecting Flora behind him, Ludwig turns around a little and smiles reassuringly at her.
“Flora, leave the rest to me.”
He almost fell in love all over again with Flora’s beauty, with that small smile, the relieved expression, and that meek answer… or, at least, that’s how it was from Ludwig’s perspective. Flora didn’t feel relieved and she didn’t even smile. She was caught in a messy situation all over again. She was also just making a face at Ludwig’s theatrical and self-assured speech.
“Do you need anything from my, fiancée, Brother?” Ludwig asked.
“Your fiancee…? Fuhn,” Moritz huffed. “So that’s the daughter Margrave Carruthers? No wonder I thought she smelled like a country bumpkin. Hey, let’s go,” he said, glaring at Flora while he started walking.
“Sire…” the cronies replied, also looking dissatisfied. They glared at both Ludwig and Flora before following Moritz.
Only Flora, the guide, and Ludwig remained.
“My apologies, Flora,” Ludwig said. “I didn’t mean to make you so unfortable.”
“No…” Flora said, still looking down.
Ludwig became more and more worried about Flora’s sudden dearth of words.
He knows Flora is strong. If it were only her sword arm, Ludwig would still be no match for Flora. But even so, she is still a naive and humble girl on the inside. If she had been tangled up with such a group and was frightened, she would surely have tasted a tremendous fear.
Second Prince Moritz is infamous. There were rumors that he wasn’t satisfied with just hiring sex workers at brothels, so he went out into town and forcibly kidnapped moners then assaulted them. Furthermore, it is said that he not only abuses his position with moners but even the daughters of aristocrats, using them and then throwing them away. If that is true, it is absolutely unacceptable.
However, due to the power of Queen Amelie, it has not been possible to crack down on Moritz until now. In the first place, if scandals about the royal family spread, it would bee a hindrance to the reforms that Wilhelm and Dietrich were trying to do. Both of them struggled to deal with it, but there was no definitive evidence, and they were troubled by the fact that they could not openly investigate on a large scale.
It would have been scary if the naive Flora said such blatantly obscene things said to her face. Thinking about this, Ludwig invites Flora to her room with a smile on her face so as not to make her uneasy.
“Now then, there’s no use staying here. Let’s go to the mon room,” Ludwig said.
“Yes,” Flora said.
Ludwig dismissed the guide and herded the still-unwell Flora to the mon room.
No matter how much you say they’re already engaged to be married, if a young unmarried man and woman are alone in a man’s private room, much more his bedroom, it will cause a big motion. Naturally, Ludwig had no intention of causing trouble for Flora, so the two of them sat facing each other in the mon room and drank tea.
“How do you find the tea?” Ludwig asked.
“Yes, it’s very delicious. As I expected from your selection, Your Highness,” Flora said, praising him.
Now that she’d entered the mon room and been served tea, she seemed to calm down considerably.
“And these tea cookies are also delicious,” Flora said.
“Aren’t they?!” Ludwig said. “Our chefs developed those cookies through much trial and error, based on the recipes you taught them, Flora.”
Things are finally getting back to normal. Ludwig felt that they were back in that good mood.
“So, about our engagement announcement…” Ludwig said.
“Your Highness Ludwig,” Flora said, cutting him off preemptively, “for the Royal Family of Ploiss, it would be better to marry with the Southwestern Feudal Lords for the instability in their region rather than marrying a Western Feudal Lord when that region is stable. For the sake of your future kingdom, please consider your marriage partner with caution.”
“Flora!” Ludwig cried. “Marriage should be between people who love each other. It’s not like a political marriage like you’re saying, but our feelings for each other are important, right?”
“If we were moners, it would be fine,” Flora said. “But that’s not the case for those who stand at the top. In the first place, the marriage between the royal family and House Carruthers is also a marriage of convenience. And if there is a more suitable partner than a daughter of Carruthers, you should give priority to them.”
Flora is correct. Two people who are royalty or high-ranking aristocrats should not give priority to their feelings and abandon their responsibility to the country and territory. But, despite that:
“If so, Flora…… would a marriage of convenience with House Carruthers still be fine?” Ludwig said. “Who should be prioritized over a political union with you and why?”
It’s already possible for two people who love each other to overe any societal barriers and marry regardless of status. 1 So if Flora doesn’t agree for that reason, who does Flora think is better than her? You won’t be able to persuade Flora so easily because she’s clever. But she can also be persuaded with reason, as well.
“Currently, the conflict with the Kingdom of Frasia in the West is in a lull, and in the same direction, House Carruthers is loyal to the Kingdom of Ploiss, so there is no possibility of betrayal from us,” Flora said. “In contrast, disputes with the Principality of Aust in Southwest have recently been erupting, and tensions are only continuing to rise.”
“Hmm…” Ludwig hummed, nodding.
He’s not going to deny that. That is certainly the case at present. But what does she mean?
“There is a great noble family who holds vast southern territory, the Bayen Duchy, and there is also a great noble family in the southwest, the Sachsen Duchy, and both are already close to the Principality of Aust,” Flora said. “On the other hand, if both families side with the Principality of Aust, the Kingdom of Prussia will be exposed to the danger of being attacked by Aust in an instant.”
“That is……” Ludwig said.
If either the Bayen or Sachsen Duchies, both bordering the Principality of Aust, attacked Ploiss on the side of Aust, there is a risk that they will invade major cities in the north at once. It would be fatal if these settlements, including the royal capital of Berne, were destroyed.
“Or perhaps with the Greif Duchy for the sake of stability and development in the north…” Flora said.
She was about to continue when the mon room door opened without knocking.
So entered Ludwig’s little sister, First Princess Eleonore von Ploiss. She is Ludwig’s full-blood sister and the fourth and youngest child of the Royal Family of Ploiss.
“Oh, wow! So-So cute~~~!” Flora squealed.
Flora lost her serious expression so far and rushed over to Eleonore. She squats down and strokes Eleonore’s head as she runs up to Ludwig.
“Ah~~! Cute~! What’s your name?” Flora asked.
“Mnn~~!” Eleonore shook off Flora’s hand, went around her, then clung to Ludwig’s leg.
“Come now, Eleonore, introduce yourself properly,” Ludwig said.
“Mnn~!” Eleonore whined, hiding even further in the shadow of her brother’s legs, refusing to e out.
“My apologies sorry for my younger sister, Flora,” Ludwig said.
“No, I was a little distraught by how cute she was,” Flora said.
Was that “a little”? Ordinary people might think that, but Ludwig, who is suffering from “Love Is Blinding” syndrome, doesn’t care about Flora’s behavior now.
“I’m Flora Charlotte von Carruthers. What’s your name?” Flora asked calmly.
“… Eleonore,” Eleonore whispered as she peeked slightly out from behind Ludwig’s legs.
Flora’s expression broke again as she witnessed it.
“Again, Eleonore,” Ludwig said. “Try to introduce yourself properly.”
“My apologies. Did Princess Eleonore e here again?”
Almost at the same time as Ludwig spoke to Eleonore still hiding behind his legs, someone knocked on the door that had been left open and called out to them. All eyes turn to them.
“Margarete…?” Ludwig muttered.
The young lady called Margarete and Flora stared at each other. Margarete is clearly not a maid. It was obvious to her just by looking at her. You could tell she was chasing after Eleonore. Flora didn’t know why someone who wasn’t Eleonore’s maid would be chasing the Princess.
“A pleasure to meet you,” Flora said. “My name is Flora Charlotte von Carruthers.”
“Ah, it’s my pleasure as well,” Margarete said. “How do you do? My name is Margarete von Greif.”
The two introduce themselves and understand who they’re talking to. Margarete, of course, at least knows the name of the daughter of House Carruthers and Ludwig’s fiancée. And Flora also knew about House Greif.
House Greif is a prestigious duchy who have territory in the northern part of the Kingdom of Ploiss. The territory itself is not particularly large, but it faces the northern sea, making it a strategic location and future development can be expected. They have been a prestigious House since ancient times, and although they are distantly related, they have some familial ties with the current royal family.
When Flora thought of suitable candidates for Ludwig, the candidates that came up were the Bayen Duchy in the south, the Sachsen Duchy in the southwest, and the Greif Duchy in the north.
Both the Southern and Southwestern Houses have a close relationship with the Principality of Aust, and it is customary to secure their loyalty before the enemy does the same.
Compared to that, why would you want to take in the northern House Greif, who are already relatives, even if they are distantly related? It is exactly because of that drifting familial tie. It’s not unnatural to once more forge a bond with the royal family using a later generation. Furthermore, the territory faces the Hulk Sea, and there is no doubt that it will bee important in the future and will develop.
On the territory of the Kingdom of Ploiss, the above-mentioned three Houses had territories near the north near the sea, and then in the south, where territorial conflicts were erupting due to the border with the Principality of Aust. Therefore, if at least one of them is not taken in and the loyalty reinforced, if all three families defect to the enemy, there is a risk that the enemy will pletely take over all areas that have not had their loyalty secured and Ploiss will end up fractured.
If you don’t like Houses Bayen and Sachsen both, at least take on House Greif in the north, for in a war with the Principality of Aust, you increase the risk of your current territories turning hostile and battle lines turning from a single line into a spiderweb.
Above all, it was rumored that House Greif had a beautiful princess who was a little older than Flora and Ludwig. Flora thought that she would be good as Ludwig’s fiancée.
The two of them were giggling “Hohoho.” and “Fufufu.” while keeping their eyes on each other.