BBYW Vol. 2 Chapter 12 (WN)
Chapter 12 – Revealed Face
“I am deeply grateful for your invitation, Margrave Maxwell.”
Rossellia bowed deeply, her face still hidden by the veil. I couldn’t see her expression, but I could tell that the imperial princess, who was the same age as me, was nervous.
(Rossellia Baal…was her name, right. This is kind of…disappointing.)
I was looking forward to seeing the beauty of the century, but she wouldn’t show her face. I couldn’t help but feel my shoulders drop.
“Oh no, you honor us with your presence, Princess. I am truly sorry for making you wait so long, with my son being away all this time.”
Father replied with a casual tone, probably to put the princess more at ease.
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Lord Dyngir.”
“The pleasure is mine. To meet Your Highness face to face…well, not exactly, but I’m glad to see you.”
“Oh, my deepest apologies…I always wear this veil during social outings. I shall remove it if you deem it improper, though…”
“Yes, well, I’d be glad if you…”
“No, no, there is no need to! Please, let us talk just like this!”
I was going to ask Rossellia to take off her veil, but father barged in.
“It is perfectly fine for you to keep the veil, Princess!! Isn’t that right, Dyn!?”
I scowled, but did not protest any further.
Rossellia looked at me and my father, then assented.
“Very well then…if you would allow me to be forward, I wish to speak of the reason why I have come to visit House Maxwell. Not too far in the future, there will likely be a battle between the empire and the kingdom: when that happens, I wish for House Maxwell to side with the empire. That is why I have come.”
“Ooh, you came all the way here, to request House Maxwell to betray the kingdom?”
Rossellia turned towards me and nervously nodded.
“I apologize if this may offend you, Lord Dyngir…but I have heard that recently, the former crown prince Sullivan Lamperouge stole your fiancee. The rumors also say that he also attempted to assassinate you…”
“You sure know your stuff, don’t you? But what if they’re all just rumors?”
I indirectly denied there was any truth in them, and Rossellia nodded.
“I do not believe all of them to be the truth, of course. However, it seems clear to me that House Maxwell and House Lamperouge do not enjoy an amicable relationship at the moment. If House Maxwell decided to stand on the empire’s side, it would gain a larger domain, exemption from imperial tax duties for 20 years and the title of Duke.”
“I see, those conditions don’t seem too bad.”
I sincerely expressed my thoughts and nodded. Frankly speaking, it was a better prospect than anything we’d get by staying under Lamperouge.
We could always take more territory with force if we wanted, but tax immunity was a very welcoming condition. At the present, we’re paying taxes to House Lamperouge, even though they didn’t really do anything for us, and I couldn’t really say I agreed with it.
I gave a sideways glance at my father.
He closed his eyes and looked away from me. Looks like he’s telling me to decide.
(He lets me make a decision that could change House Maxwell forever? Pretty heavy responsibility…)
I closed my eyes and reflected for a short while.
To choose honor and stay with Lamperouge, or choose our interests and side with the empire.
(Allying with the empire definitely sounds more profitable than staying in Lamperouge. Though it might mean giving up on the independence of House Maxwell…)
In any case, as long as the empire is healthy and strong, we can’t really rebel against the kingdom. Which means…
“Indeed, your conditions are not bad at all. But, to be honest…I can’t trust them.”
I spoke my honest thoughts out loud. I didn’t trust House Lamperouge, but the Baal Empire had been an enemy for years: I had the same – meager – amount of trust in them, too.
It wouldn’t be too far-fetched for them to stab us in the back as soon as the kingdom goes down.
“Maybe Your Highness doesn’t know, but I’ve had to deal with assassins from the empire pretty much all my life. It’s a bit much to ask me to fight on your side, don’t you think?”
“…I am truly sorry…I really did not know about such assassins.”
Rossellia bowed in apology. The white veil trembled, following her motions.
“…indeed, your suspicions are more than justified. I do not know if it will be enough for you to believe, but I wish to make an oath to you, personally..”
After my reply, Rossellia held the veil with her hands.
“I, Rossellia Baal, from this very moment on, offer my person to Lord Dyngir Maxwell. Please take me as your wife, or as a hostage — use me as you see fit.”
Rossellia then removed the veil. Her face was thus finally revealed.
As soon as I laid my eyes on her, I froze.
“I beg of you to accept me, Milord.”
Before my eyes was not a young woman but a blonde-haired goddess.