V2 Chapter 27: Parting

“By my father’s order, I will accept you as my spouse. But that’s all I can tolerate. I will not allow you to touch me. Not even a finger.”

The third imperial princess, who met the crown prince for the first time in the splendid imperial palace of Adoastera, told him so as soon as she opened her mouth.

And then, with a cool smile, she continued.

“Eventually, I will adopt a child of my father or brother. That child will be the heir, and I will act as the guardian and run the country. You should know that you are not a king, but a king consort.”

The princess, who had a stunning beauty, spoke of her future plans in a pleasant voice. However, pleasant was only the tone of her voice, and the content was nothing but severe.

What the princess was saying was not a consultation. Nor was it a request. It was not even a bargaining to suppress her future husband from now on.

All that was there was a smoothness that only informed him of what had already been decided.

“If you are dissatisfied with the bedroom, bring in another woman. You don’t have to worry. I won’t object, no matter who or how many you bring in. I hear you broke off an engagement for our wedding. You can bring her in too.”

With that, the third imperial princess stood up. Her unhesitating attitude implied that she had said everything she had to say.

As he watched his marriage partner disappear behind the door, the crown prince could not utter a word. More precisely, the crown prince had not opened his mouth once since he sat down.

This was the first meeting between Azar, the crown prince of Canaria Kingdom, and Sakuya, the third imperial princess of Adoastera Empire.

After that, Azar immediately set out for his return to Canaria Kingdom, but naturally he exploded with dissatisfaction in the carriage.

He ranted that he had not heard of such a thing, that it was different from what he had been told. In response, his attendant, Marquis Corcia, answered him with a serious face.

――The princess was anxious about leaving the country, and that affected her words and deeds. She might also be testing the man who would become her husband. Don’t be stubborn, and accept her generously. Eventually, the princess’s attitude will soften. If you get emotional and argue with her, she will only drift away from you. If the princess complains to her father that she is being treated roughly, it will worsen the relationship between the two countries, and in the worst case, it could trigger a war. To avoid such a situation, you must not make a fuss about the princess’s words and deeds…

The marquis explained earnestly to Azar, who showed some understanding, but still felt uncomfortable.

He had grown up without any hardship as a crown prince. The only one above him was his father, the king of Canaria. For him, it was too heavy to accept a princess who looked down on him as his wife, and to please her as well. And it was not for a moment. It was for the rest of his life.

His depression continued even after he returned to his country, and he appealed to his father to reconsider the wedding, but it was too late for such a whim, and he was scolded by his father.

Azar became more dissatisfied.

It was at that time that Claudia Dragnaut came to the royal palace.

Claudia, whom he had not seen for a long time – for a year, was so beautiful that Azar gasped.

She had always been a healthy and lively beauty, but now she had added a feminine gracefulness that made her charm even more prominent. There was no trace of curses or diseases.

As he saw her, Azar recalled the image of the third imperial princess.

Compared to that arrogant princess, Claudia was much more preferable. When they were engaged, Azar had disliked Claudia’s existence, who surpassed him in both literary and martial arts, but Claudia had always stepped back and supported him.

At that time, that was also unpleasant for Azar, but now it was different.

If Claudia became his wife, she would respect him as her husband. She would not belittle herself by following the imperial princess. On the contrary, she might even scold the princess for her haughty attitude.

Azar broke off the engagement because Claudia was cursed. Now that the curse was lifted, there should be no problem in re-engaging. Besides, being cursed was a scandal in the aristocratic society. Re-engagement would wipe out that scandal in no time. There was enough honor in being the crown princess.

Azar’s idea of making Claudia his second wife was his own kindness.

He did not doubt that this kindness would be accepted. The past Claudia had devoted herself to Azar with a stubbornness that seemed like obstinacy. That was her deep love for him, and it should not have faded by now. Claudia would shed tears of joy when she heard Azar’s offer, thinking that her feelings had finally reached him – that’s how he thought.

When Azar told him this, King Thorvald frowned slightly.

The king was not as carefree as his son. He understood the anger of the duke’s family over the broken engagement, and he also sensed that Dragnaut and Astrid were distrustful of him for deciding on a marriage with the empire that had cursed Claudia. Naturally, Claudia herself would feel the same.

It would not appease the duke’s family if he proposed marriage to them now. It would be even worse if it was a marriage that demoted her from the first wife to the second wife, and it could worsen the relationship with the duke’s family.

However, leaving the problem alone would not change the result much. The gap between the king and his subjects would grow bigger and deeper as time passed. He had to take a step somewhere – that’s what the king thought, and his idea was to order Azar and Claudia to act as intermediaries for the pope. If their relationship was restored while they were both serving as intermediaries, that would be good. Even if it didn’t work, the king could show everyone that he still trusted the duke’s family as before.

He wanted to restore Claudia and Azar’s relationship by showing consideration to the duke’s family, rather than making a fuss about marriage or reconciliation from the beginning. That was the king’s aim.

However, if he involved the duke himself or Astrid, Claudia might decline to be an intermediary on the grounds that she was recovering from illness. So he ordered the two of them to escort the pope and leave the capital.

Claudia alone would find it hard to refuse the king’s invitation. It was even more so since he was giving her the honor of being an intermediary for the pope. Even if she was reluctant, she would come to the palace properly.

The king’s plan worked.

However, it only worked until he invited her to the palace, and all his other plans went wrong.

When Claudia appeared in the palace with a smile on her face, holding the hand of a young man in a friendly manner, the king and the crown prince were speechless and silent.


Upon entering the royal palace, Claudia and I were guided not to the audience chamber but to a small, intimate room.

Of course, when I say “small,” I mean in comparison to the other rooms in the palace. The furnishings in the room were luxurious, and everything was well-maintained. According to Claudia, this was a room used by the king when he wanted to have private conversations with those he trusted.

It was probably something like a drawing room for the royal family to enjoy conversations. The king apparently didn’t want this matter to reach the ears of the court officials yet.

Upon further consideration, the idea of assigning a chaperone or a second wife might still be in its early stages. The fact that Claudia’s father, Duke Dragnaut, was not involved in either situation increased the likelihood of this possibility.

The king might first plan to persuade Claudia directly, and then, using her words, convince Duke Dragnaut. If my speculation is correct, the relationship between the king and Duke Dragnaut has become quite strained.

In my opinion, it would be better to talk face-to-face with the duke instead of resorting to such underhanded tactics. However, it may be difficult for the king to maintain his dignity if he were to request a dialogue with Duke Dragnaut, rather than being invited by the duke himself.

The Dragnaut Ducal House has provided both favors and loyalty. I hope the situation doesn’t escalate into something more serious.

As I thought about that, I looked at the side and saw Claudia holding my left hand with a smile. She had been like this ever since we entered the palace – or rather, since we left the duke’s mansion.

This was Claudia’s suggestion. The reason was that our relationship was only a pretense. Claudia would enter my house to make everyone think that “those two are engaged”, but we were not officially engaged. In other words, it would be a lie to say “We are engaged!” to the king or the crown prince. Then, we had no choice but to show our intimacy by our attitude! – That was the result of the duke’s daughter’s eloquence, and that’s why we’ve been holding hands all this time.

It was quite sweaty from holding it for so long, but Claudia didn’t seem to care at all. Sometimes she squeezed my hand, as if she was enjoying it.

By the way, even after the king and the crown prince entered the room, Claudia’s hand did not let go. She held my hand and leaned close to me on the sofa, and the two royals looked at her with a strange expression.

…Is it rude or disrespectful to be so clingy in front of the royals? Well, it’s the duke’s daughter’s doing. She must be gauging the line very carefully – she is, right?

As everyone else was puzzled, the first to speak was King Thorvald.

“I’m sorry to call you out of the blue, Claudia.”

“I’m honored, Your Majesty.”

“And, Sora. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you.”

“Yes! It’s been a long time, Your Majesty.”

As Claudia bowed her head and I followed suit, the situation remained the same, with Claudia smiling and everyone else confused, even after we sat on the sofa at the king’s invitation.

The king broke the silence again.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect Sora to be here. What is your relationship?”

The king’s gaze turned to our hands, which were still connected.

Seeing this situation, I think there is no need to ask “what kind of”, but well, the king had no choice but to ask.

Claudia answered in a cheerful voice.

“I’m going to move to his house in Ishuka soon, Your Majesty.”

“Really? Is that so?”


Claudia nodded and then erased her smile and made a serious expression.

“Originally, I was supposed to have moved to Ishuka by now, but after the successive incidents in Titus Forest, I consulted with my father and postponed the timing. I was thinking of reporting it to Your Majesty from my own mouth someday, and when I received your invitation today, I thought it was a good opportunity and came with him.”

“Hmm… Sora is a brave man who tamed the indigo winged beast wyvern, but he is still a mere adventurer. You and Pascal are very bold.”

The king’s eyes turned to me.

I mentioned it a little before, but officially, the one who defeated Jijinbo in the previous royal turmoil was the Duke of Dragnaut. This was something that I and the Duke of Dragnaut decided after consulting with each other. Of course, the king doesn’t know that I saved Claudia with a soul donor.

From the king’s point of view, it must be strange that Claudia is so fond of me, and that the Duke of Dragnaut is trying to give his precious daughter to a mere adventurer.

To this, Claudia smiled slightly.

“Your Majesty, is there a house that would hesitate to form a bond with the Dragon Slayer?”

The one who reacted to this word was not the king, but the crown prince.

The thirteen-year-old crown prince glanced at me with a glare, then leaned forward and spoke to Claudia.

“Claudia! You don’t seem to know, but his dragon slaying achievement has not been officially recognized yet. There is a suspicion that it is a false achievement. There are even voices that scorn him as a fake dragon slayer!”

“I’m afraid, Your Highness, I’m aware of that.”


The crown prince leaned forward even more, as if he had achieved his purpose. He seemed to be about to jump over the table and hug Claudia.

Against her former fiancé, Claudia smiled slightly.

“Those are pitiful words.”


“The venomous dragon that left its name in the myth. He – Sora-san – stepped into Titus Forest where it appeared. To challenge the dragon. I think that alone gives him the right to call himself a dragon slayer. How many of those who slander Sora-san were in that forest on that day, at that time?”

Claudia’s rebuttal made the crown prince shut his mouth.

Claudia stared at him.

“Those who did not challenge the dragon cannot deny the words of those who did. Fake dragon slayer is a pitiful word created by those who were not in that forest on that day, at that time. I consider it a worthless slander.”

The room became silent at her unwavering tone.

The crown prince clenched his mouth, his face turning red. Claudia had only condemned those who slandered me as a fake dragon slayer.

But the crown prince must have felt as if he was being criticized, since he was trying to ride on that slander.

At this time, the king opened his mouth, probably to protect his son.

“You trust Sora, don’t you, Claudia?”

“Yes, Your Majesty. From the bottom of my heart.”

The king listened to Claudia’s voice, looked at her face, and closed his eyes. Then he let out a big breath, as if he had made up his mind.

“I wish I could have called you my daughter, if I could.”

“Those are words beyond my worth. I’m sorry I couldn’t meet your expectations.”

“Will you accept being an intermediary for His Holiness?”

“It is an honor for my duke’s family. I will humbly accept it.”

Claudia bowed her head politely. She probably thought that she couldn’t refuse both of the king’s requests. It would crush the king’s face, even if it was an unofficial occasion.

Perhaps this is going according to the king’s plan, but there’s probably no need to read too deeply into it.

Afterward, having finished his business, the king quietly left the room. The crown prince followed his father, but even after the king left the room, he remained inside, standing with his back to us in front of the door.

Wondering what he was doing, Claudia and I tilted our heads in confusion. The crown prince then turned to face us with a resentful expression, glaring at us – no, at Claudia. It seemed he had been waiting for Claudia to speak up.

“Claudia! After all that he’s done for you… Are you really okay with this!? If you’re being forced to listen to that man or the duke against your will – “

“Your Highness.”

“What!? So, you really – “

“I am happy now. I wish for Your Highness to be happy with Lady Sakuya as well.”

After quietly stating her feelings, Claudia deeply bowed her head. The gesture, meant to show respect, seemed to convey a farewell – and it probably wasn’t just my imagination.

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