I just realized that the author is the same author who wrote I Don’t Want to Become a Crown Princess (R-18). I have to say, the author has really improved her writing.
ED: clover. eristol
Recognizing him, I quickly stood up. With the prince standing in front of me, it’s impossible for me to be discourteous by remaining seated.
As I stood, I hurriedly made a curtsy appropriate for a noble lady as a greeting to Prince Alan.
“I-I apologize. My name is Liz Beltran. It is embarrassing to admit, but I didn’t notice that Your Highness was entering. Please excuse my rudeness.”
I was having cold sweat due to my blunder. Although I was waiting for this person, I didn’t notice him until he approached me, so even if I am punished I have no right to complain. That would be incomparably rude.
While I was trembling in fear, Prince Alan gently said.
“Raise your head. It seems that you know me, but I’d like to introduce myself first. I am Alan Roseblade. Ah, you don’t need to be afraid. I have also kept you waiting. I’m sorry that I’m late for our promised time. I thought that it was not good after all, so I came to pick you up myself instead of sending a soldier.”
I felt relieved that I was forgiven. I was worried about angering the prince and causing an inconvenience to my father.
But it seems that Prince Alan was not angry.
That’s good. Thinking so, my expression became relaxed, and then Prince Alan opened his mouth.
“—Now then. So? You are not a 『villainess』? Earlier, you said such a thing, right?”
Listening to those words which were being said without hesitation, a gasp came out of my mouth.
Eh, just now, what did this person say?
“A-ah……excuse me? Your Highness?”
“You seem to have received a lot of shock. You didn’t notice that I came in and kept talking to yourself. It seems like you were telling yourself that you are not a 『villainess』.”
Even though I intended to keep my thoughts to myself.
Hearing that I, apparently, was saying all those things out loud, I paled.
—This is bad. That means the fact that I was peeping has been exposed.
That was my first thought.
Because 『villainess』 is the word I picked up from them, otherwise it wouldn’t have come out of my mouth.
It is an unfamiliar word and I don’t even know its meaning. I think it would be the same regardless of who heard that.
“U-um……I, I was……”
“I wonder if the door was left open? Well, that was our mistake, so I don’t blame you because I think it was not unreasonable for you to peep. Instead, would you let me know something? Why were you desperately denying it, saying something like 「I’m not a villainess」? Perhaps, did my brother’s words remind you of something?”
Prince Alan hit my weak point while smiling.
Seeing me speechless, Prince Alan seemed to be convinced.
“I see. I knew it. So, you were crying because of shock, huh?”
“Huh! Crying, such a thing is……”
I wasn’t crying. I glared at Prince Alan firmly. But, the prince reached out to the edge of my eyes. Then, he made a gesture like scooping something.
“See, tears are accumulating at the edge of your eyes. It’s cute that you cried due to shock. You’re quite different from the 『villainess』 I heard from Will. The 『villainess』 who he was talking about was more of a thick-skinned and shameless woman.”
“T-thick-skinned and shameless……”
Realizing that I was being disparaged behind my back, I trembled due to the severe insults.
“Yeah. Because, if you were listening then you would know this, right? Arrogant and selfish. Hates it if she doesn’t have the best things……um, after that, what was it again? Anyway, do you think that such a person would be sensitive and worried about petty things?”
“……I don’t think so.”
—These are all about me.
I was upset inwardly, but I nodded because objectively, indeed those are exactly right.
“So, you were lamenting that you shouldn’t be such a person. Am I right?”
“That is a matter of course. If it were you in my place, Your Highness, what would you think? Hearing that you are the worst person and things like that, would you be able to agree with that?”
“I wonder. If I were truly the worst, I think that I would have to change myself……but, the worst person would hardly reflect on themselves, so on that point, I might not be the worst.”
Unexpectedly he gave me a serious answer and I was surprised.
“Yeah. So in that sense, I think that you are not as horrible as my brother said. Because your face just now was colored with remorse and introspection. You were having conflicts about that, right?”
“You are in a difficult situation. But, you don’t want to admit it. I think that was a natural reaction. I think I would also have a shock if someone said those things about me.”
“……what are you trying to say, Your Highness?”
I couldn’t grasp what Prince Alan is trying to say. When I stared at him, the prince blinked his eyes incessantly. And then he gave me a broad smile.
“Aah. You seem to be very troubled. That being the case, I thought about cooperating with you.”
For a moment, I seriously didn’t understand what he was saying. The prince continued his speech while smiling.
“It’s frustrating to be called a 『villainess』 by my brother, right? You want to say that it is wrong, right? Or am I wrong?”
“That is……not……wrong, but.”
It is as Prince Alan said.
I want to say that I am not a 『villainess』 like Prince Wilfred said. I want to say that I am not such a woman.
But, I realized that I can’t deny it. I can’t say that it’s wrong. And I am troubled because of that.
Finally becoming aware of my own feelings, I bit my lips while hanging my head down and Prince Alan clapped his hands to draw my attention. Hearing that loud sound, I raised my head. I found that he was staring right at me.
“Therefore, I propose that we cooperate. I have heard from my brother various things about what a 『villainess』 is like. So, I can advise you using that as a reference and I think that’s not a bad offer for you.”
Hearing the word I am not accustomed to, I tilted my head. Prince Alan nodded firmly.
“That’s right. If you were truly the worst lady, you wouldn’t say such a thing. Seeing you receiving a shock from what my brother was saying, I thought that there is a room for improvement. How about it? Do you want to try hard to avoid becoming a 『villainess』 together with me?”
This proposal is a good offer for me who don’t know anything about a 『villainess』.
Certainly, Prince Alan who is Prince Wilfred’s brother will have various information. But, I don’t know why he is even offering such a thing.
He is not my fiancé yet……so I don’t understand his reason for helping the worst woman who is said to be a 『villainess』.
I am lost on what to do.
If it was the me from some time ago, I wouldn’t think it was strange because 「It’s natural for him to want to cooperate with the beautiful me」. But, in this short period, my perception has changed. I don’t think Prince Alan would help me who is said to be the worst person.