BBYW Vol. 2 Chapter 14 (WN)
Chapter 14 – A Margrave’s Pride
“…may I inquire about the reason?”
Rossellia received my reply, but did not lose her composure and calmly asked for the reason.
“Were the conditions I set not sufficient enough? Or maybe…I suppose, you are not satisfied with me…”
“No, that is not it.”
I replied frankly. How could I be dissatisfied by marrying such a goddess of an imperial princess?
“Let me be fully honest, your proposal was extremely attractive. I don’t feel any loyalty or gratitude towards a place like the Kingdom of Lamperouge. I honestly think that I would have loved just going with the flow here.”
“In that case…why did you not?”
Rossellia’s gaze was serious. I returned her look, just as sincerely.
“Our loyalty and gratitude towards the royal family, the dishonor of betraying one’s master, the advantages to be gained by allying with the empire…I don’t care about any of that. This is…a matter of pride. The pride of the Margrave house that has guarded the border until now.”
Rossellia blinked at my unexpected reply. I nodded.
“Fifty years have passed since the foundation of the Kingdom of Lamperouge. If we count the alliance that existed before, the years become a total of about 150. In that time, House Maxwell has never let an enemy across the eastern border. Not once.”
I repeated the words, to stress how important a matter it was for us. Having safely guarded the border for over 150 years was the pride of House Maxwell.
“This eastern province has been protected by my ancestors, and I will not be the one to let enemies trample over it. Not one imperial soldier will ever set foot across the border.”
“Is that…different from loyalty?”
“It is. I couldn’t care less about the royal family. Not about protecting them or the kingdom. I fight to protect my ancestors’ pride and my own convictions.”
I poured out my sincere thoughts.
I do plan, one day, to defeat House Lamperouge and declare independence. There is no need to borrow the empire’s assistance, though. It would be pointless if House Maxwell could not become independent on its own.
“You can call me stubborn and laugh, if you want, but no matter how much you or anyone else laughs, I will never bend my pride. No matter how much money I’m offered or how many beautiful women are sent to seduce me.”
I grinned, with some self-deprecation.
No matter how much I tried to explain it, the imperial princess before me would probably never understand what I felt.
“I can’t embrace a woman with hands that have thrown away their pride. Without pride, a man isn’t a man anymore.”
Rossellia fell silent for a while. Her gaze did not sway, however, and remained fixated on me.
I did the same, and looked straight back into her eyes.
We gazed at each other’s eyes for several seconds, then minutes.
The silence was eventually broken as Rossellia spoke first.
“…I am truly sorry. I have tried thinking about it, but it appears I cannot fully understand what you mean.”
“I bet. If I was in your position, I wouldn’t have managed to either.”
“However…I can understand that it is an unshakable will that made you refuse my proposal. I shall take my leave for today.”
“I’m sorry, really. You came all the way from the empire for this, after all. I can send a letter to the empire explaining that you did no wrong, if you wish.”
I bowed my head and apologized. No matter the reason, I cast shame on a woman. In such a case, the shame should be born by the man.
Rossellia smiled and shook her head.
“No, that will be alright. I will explain to my brother.”
“Today’s result was a pity, but if there ever is another chance, I would love to speak with you in a more leisurely setting.”
“Me too. I’ll serve you tea made from our finest tea leaves ready for that occasion.”
Rossellia covered her mouth with her hand and laughed softly. I understood that I had seen a sincere smile from her for the first time.
“Hehehe, I am looking forward to it. With your permission, then…”
Rossellia stood up, held the edges of her skirt and bowed politely. I stood up too and bowed my head.
I watched her entourage leave, then dropped back down on the sofa.
“That was a commendable decision, Dyn.”
The old man, who had been silent throughout the visit, spoke up.
“To choose the pride of the noble house guardian of the border, over profit and loyalty! A decision well fitting the heir of House Maxwell. Even if this decision will lead to another conflict with the empire, I am proud of it!”
“…who cares about that.”
I grumbled back and the old man looked at me sternly.
I was honestly glad to hear his words of encouragement, but honestly speaking, at that moment, I couldn’t care less.
“GAAAH!! What a shame! Damn it all to hell, what a SHAME!!”
“Nh, Lord Dyngir…!?”
I shouted and grabbed Sakuya. My sudden outburst surprised both her and the old man.
“You don’t see women like that often!! Who cares about pride, I should have moved on her, damnit! The ancestors’ pride!? A man’s convictions!? Blast it all!! Why the hell did I say that!? Whyyyyyy!?”
I was overcome with regrets. Thinking about it better, what was the point of putting up a cool front there?
“Maybe I should have done it once, then refused later…”
“What shameful things are you spouting, my son…?”
The old man sighed. I ignored him and buried my face in Sakuya’s chest.
“Good, good. You truly worked hard, Lord Dyngir.”
Sakuya patted my head gently. Thin and short, Sakuya did not offer much in terms of bosom and voluptuous charms, but it was still a woman’s chest. Burying your face in it was calming, after all.
“Hn…come on, you should not pull pranks on me here.”
I held Sakuya’s waist and caressed her butt and thighs through her maid outfit. Her expressionless face blushed ever so slightly.
“Haah…and I was honestly impressed.”
The old man stood up from the sofa and left the room, leaving me alone with Sakuya.
“Aah…Sakuya…I need you to do something for me.”
“Anything, Milord. Shall I be at your side tonight?”
“That’s…not necessary, today.”
Sakuya was surprised by my unexpected reply. Being the womanizer I am, she probably expected me to ask her to console me in bed.
“Pick a few of the best Fangs of Steel and send them to guard the inn Rossellia is staying at. Have Shana go too.”
“Well, that is not a problem, but…may I ask why?”
I raised my head from Sakuya’s chest and replied.
“Security. If my prediction is right, they’re going to try to kill her tonight.”