BBYW Vol. 1 Chapter 5
Chapter 5 – Dealing with Fools Takes its Toll
【POV: Duke Rosais】
In a private room of the royal palace…
“Nonsense!! I, the crown prince, have to marry into a baron’s family!? Do you realize how stupid it sounds!?”
Before me, a fool was shouting and gesticulating.
The fool’s name was, naturally, Sullivan Lamperouge — the kingdom’s former crown prince.
“Unfortunately, His Majesty the King decided thus. We must ask for Your Highness’ acceptance.”
I carefully picked my words. Dealing with the aftermath of the events was exhausting enough: I was already sick of dealing with prattling fools.
(Why do I have to do this in the first place…)
So I cursed under my breath.
Normally, it was His Majesty’s duty to deliver royal edicts and announce such decisions. But this time I, the chancellor, was sent to act in His Majesty’s place.
His Majesty the King loathed the idea of announcing such a thing to his beloved son, so the troublesome task was laid upon my shoulders…needless to say.
(Not only did he fail to uphold his responsibility as king, but as a father too…)
How many times has the royal family disappointed me in the last month?
I was not a man of extreme ambitions, but the recent events caused the word “rebellion” to flicker in my mind.
“There has to be some mistake!! I’ll talk with my father!!”
Sullivan roughly curled up the royal edict into a ball and threw it on the floor.
I felt my facial muscles tense up.
A royal edict is not only signed by the king in person but also bears the royal seal of the Lamperouge kingdom. Treating a royal edict in such a way was a barbarous act, tantamount to treason.
Even if this man still had the rank of the crown prince, if such an act occurred in public, his execution would be inevitable.
(I might as well use this to have him executed…but if I did, His Majesty would die of grief.)
I kept my composure as I repeated the facts.
“Unfortunately, this has already been decided. Could you please confirm the contents one more time? You can see the royal seal has been stamped, yes?”
Sullivan finally realized what he had done and picked up the royal edict at his feet, an awkward expression on his face. He spread the high-quality parchment, carefully stretched out the wrinkles, and read it again.
“Y-yes, there is the royal seal…but I cannot believe this, I cannot believe my father would abandon me…I thought I would just be demoted until things boiled over…to marry into a baron’s family…? W-what did I do to deserve this?”
“What did I do…you say…?”
Could it possibly be that this man has not yet grasped the extent of his actions?
Margrave Maxwell was the guardian of the eastern provinces and the biggest single military force in the kingdom.
The house of Rosais was the leader of the central nobles and the pivot of the kingdom’s political world.
This man turned both of these major noble families into his enemies and created an unmendable fissure between them and the royal family, yet he still acts like he’s the victim?
(I should maybe consider myself lucky that the engagement was broken. At least my precious daughter doesn’t have to marry this buffoon anymore.)
While mentally sighing in relief, I started explaining again, as patiently as I could.
“Lord Sullivan, as I believe you are aware, in this kingdom, there are four margrave houses, the so-called ‘Four Houses’, who possess vast power. The royal family and duke families have higher official rank and greater political authority, but as these houses are charged with defending the borders, their military power is something even His Majesty the King can’t ignore.”
“You have snatched the fiancee of the heir to one of such margraves and enraged them. Without proper punishment, a rift would open between the royal family and the margraves. Please understand that His Majesty the King took this decision with a heavy heart.”
Sullivan turned pale and started trembling. Apparently, he finally understood the gravity of his actions.
“I…I just fell in love with Selena, and…was I in the wrong? Is it wrong to pursue true love…?”
Sullivan weakly collapsed on the ground, mumbling such words with a lifeless look on his face.
“True love, sir? So very beautiful.”
My lips twisted, and I slowly shook my head.
“It is truly unfortunate, Lord Sullivan, but beautiful and righteous are two different things. If you truly simply wished to uphold your love with Selena Nommes, you should have made proper preparations. At the very least, if you had first apologized to Maxwell, then talked properly with Marianne, your punishment would not have been so harsh.”
Sullivan, his palms on the ground, screamed in desperation.
Had Sullivan not made this mistake, he would have become my son in law.
If I had kept a closer eye on him, I could have prevented him from falling so low, couldn’t I?
(I suppose I shall give him my support to not further offend Maxwell. That is my responsibility.)
So I was thinking when, as a final gesture of good conscience, I got on one knee and stretched a hand to Sullivan.
“I know, I know!! I just need to fix the mistake!! Just need to make it as nothing happened!!”
Overwhelmed by Sullivan’s sudden momentum as he stood back up, I moved two steps backward. I could not tell why, but I had a terrible feeling about it.
“I take back breaking the engagement with your daughter!!”
My body bent backward and my eyes opened wide.
Did this man really say that…?
“If I get engaged with Marianne again I don’t have to marry into Baron Nommes’ family! And since I have a duke family as support, I can be the crown prince again too! Then I can just use the Rosais’ finances to pay Maxwell a recompensation! Selena…well, I can take her as a concubine, and it’s all settled!”
(How low will this man stoop to…?)
I could tell that all signs of emotion had left my face.
How selfish can one be? To force the people around him to move for his sake, with no regards at all for their own circumstances…
“Good, good, it’s decided! Go call Marianne!! Tell her that I’ll let our engagement be mended and— ”
Before I realized it, my right hand grabbed Sullivan’s neck.
He surely never expected something like that to happen: there was nothing but shock and surprise in his eyes.
“Did you seriously think that my dear daughter’s life, that the future of the noble house of Rosais, is for you to decide on a whim? Who do you think you are?”
“The *former* crown prince, yes?”
Sullivan’s face lost color, turning a shade of purple, so I finally released him.
He collapsed on the floor again, coughing several times.
“Be thankful that we are in the royal palace…if we had met outside, I’d have strangled you.”
“Kaah…haah…haah…don’t think…you’ll get…away with this…”
He still hadn’t spouted all of his nonsense, apparently.
I raised a foot and pressed the heel on Sullivan’s right hand.
“I won’t get away with this? What will you do, then? You, the adopted son of a baron, without a shred of power or authority? What can you do to the head of house Rosais? Say it.”
“F-father will see to it…!!”
“The same father said that he will not meet you. He probably doesn’t want to even see the face of his idiot of a son.”
“Y-you’re lying!! Father would never abandon me…!”
“Go confirm that yourself then. Not that you even have the right to request an audience, as you are now.”
I turned my back to Sullivan.
I had no more words for the man. As they say, there is no cure for stupidity.