BBYW Vol. 2 Chapter 9 (WN)
Chapter 9 – Troubles of a Golden-Haired Princess
【POV: Rossellia Baal】
(Oh, what am I supposed to do?)
My name is Rossellia Baal — I am the fourth child of Emperor Baal and the only princess in the current imperial family.
I was born with the most noble blood in the empire and have lived a life free of hardship.
If you asked me whether that is a life of happiness or not, however, I would not be able to say yes with confidence.
“Rossellia, I wish for at least you to be happy.”
Father, the emperor, used to say that all the time.
Unlike my brothers, all sent to war, I spent most of my days in court. Because of that, I could spend more time with my father than my brothers ever did.
“To be born as a man in the Baal imperial family, a clan of conquerors, means to live on the battlefield – there is nothing that can be done. I too have seen my share of wars and battles, against many foreign powers and sometimes even my own family. However…you have not.”
Father could only live as a member of the imperial family, as the emperor.
He could never approach his sons as a father would. All the love and affection reserved for them was spent on me. That in itself was fortunate, but my father’s love could also be heavy, oppressing.
“Please, you at least, live a life free of violence and blood. I beg of you. Please become happy, as a normal girl, as a woman. If you were to become a sacrifice for the sake of the empire…I would truly cease being a father, and become nothing but a bloody conqueror.”
Those were the last words my father told me. Did he really know how difficult it would be for me to keep such a promise?
Born as the imperial princess, in usual circumstances I would be used as a tool for political marriage. Did he really think that I could ever attain the happiness of a normal woman?
(Even if I wished to obtain such happiness, it would not be possible for me. Even without ever stepping on the battlefield, ever getting involved in politics, the fact that I am the only imperial princess does not change.)
That prediction came true before long.
Lars Baal, the first imperial prince, presented me with a marriage prospect.
The husband-to-be was the son of a powerful noble of the Lamperouge Kingdom, the heir of Margrave Maxwell — Dyngir Maxwell.
“Frankly, this is all quite sudden. Was this matter approved by the imperial conference already?”
“N-No, actually, not yet, but…”
My older brother, Lars Baal, replied to my question rather awkwardly.
(Of course. To marry me off to an enemy country…at the very least, that man would never allow it.)
I sighed, carefully making sure Lars did not notice, and reflected on his intentions.
(If I married into House Maxwell, that “guardian of the eastern border” and influential noble family of Lamperouge would become connected to the empire. It would certainly make it easy to turn them into allies and break through the border. Lars’ First Imperial Army could cross unscathed into Lamperouge and head directly towards the capital. He would thus fulfill the condition set in father’s will and become the next emperor…)
It was a one-sided, egotistical request. He was really trying to pawn off his younger sister to an enemy country, in order to become emperor…
(Did you even try to think about what kind of treatment I would receive in Lamperouge, dear brother…? Of course you haven’t, as you are now…)
Lars Baal was definitely not an evil man. He was sincere, generous with his subordinates, known for his large heart. He could be emotional and impulsive sometimes, but many respected and admired him, despite such weaknesses.
(I liked him too, but…that battle changed him.)
After losing to the Maxwell forces five years ago, the well-loved Lars turned into a man who did not think twice before sacrificing those around him.
He lost his most invaluable retainers and became more and more obsessed with the throne.
It was painful to think that this ambition was born from his desire not to render the sacrifice of his vassals as useless — painful to see how this desire ended up causing even more suffering to those who served him.
Two years ago, he forcibly embarked on an invasion of Lamperouge via the southern seas, but could not even reach the kingdom and fell before Draco Omari, the infamous pirate and ruler of the southern sea.
After these defeats, the First Imperial Army did not have enough military power left to pose a threat to Lamperouge. In other words, forming a connection with House Maxwell via political marriage was the only path left for Lars to become emperor.
“With all due respect, Prince Lars, what gives you the authority to present the Princess with a marriage prospect?”
I was still unsure about how to reply, when I received unexpected assistance.
“Kh…Knight Captain Salazar…!”
Lars glared at the man that interrupted our conversation and growled his name.
Rajang Salazar, one of father’s most trusted subordinates, was the captain of the Imperial Knights.