I Don’t Want to Be a Lady Chapter 66
Luiden and I, who entered the cleanest and nicest inn in the village, separated into our own rooms. Returning to my room after washing with bath water, I muttered as I dried my wet hair.
“Sir Dale is on his way, right? If he gets caught too early, I will be in trouble…”
I used Sir Dale to evade Duke’s Krow pursuit of the crown prince. He must be running hard, erasing our tracks while pretending to flee to the carriage.
I felt sorry for Sir Dale, but I had no other choice because it was the safest way for both Luiden and I to reach the battlefield. It was a hasty plan, but I thought it was a good idea.
“The crown prince is more stupid than I thought.”
He didn’t ask or wonder who the coachman was, how I knew the coachman was planning to hurt him. Even after being slapped on the cheek, he didn’t ask about it.
“I feel like I’m teasing an innocent child who doesn’t know anything. It’s embarrassing.”
I wrinkled my nose as if I didn’t like it.
“By the way, we lost the carriage, so we should get a new one.”
In my plan, where to get a new carriage was already decided. For now, she would rent a carriage here and there as soon as possible.
“He would be surprised when he sees me, right?” The corners of my mouth stretched out as if recalling someone I’m happy with.
It was the next morning.
“You must have slept well all night,” said me, who saw the crown prince’s dumbfounded expression.
“This hay is warmer than I thought. I fell asleep as soon as I put my head on it.”
My lips dropped when I saw the face of the crown prince smiling brightly with hay on his hair. What kind of prince sleeps in a haystack like this? Is he really the crown prince? Isn’t he just an idiot?
The crown prince asked with a worried face whether he knew what I was thinking. “Baroness Devit, have you been okay all night? I was worried that you might get hurt on my behalf.”
How could someone worried like that sleep well all night? I, who barely held back the words from coming out of my throat, said sourly, “Now, let’s go eat.”
“Eat?” The crown prince’s eyes lit up for a moment.
I wanted to starve him for a day, but Luiden stopped me, so I ended up having to take care of his breakfast.
“There’s only one place that’s open early, so I will take you there.”
I, who brought the crown prince to the inn’s restaurant, ordered soup and potato salad.
Hungry for the hard labor he had experienced for the first time in his life, the crown prince ate with a very graceful and restrained motion despite extreme hunger. The hay clinging to his hair overshadowed his nobility.
I also felt it a while ago during the meal with Luiden. I hurriedly shoved the food myself, but Luiden scooped out his soup gracefully. After all, the imperial family is different, right? It was a refreshing shock to me, who had only seen people who were faithful to their needs.
The crown prince, who had already finished his meal, lifted his napkin gracefully and wiped his mouth. And the person whose hand gesture was so noble a while ago asked me with an innocent eye.
“What should I do now?”
My heart sank. Why is there such an easy person without a plan? He looks like he will give me his liver and gallbladder if I want.
The crown prince was only waiting for Arianne’s instructions. That was the way he lived. He had lived as how the empress and Duke Krow had told him. It’s been a long time since he had forgotten what he wanted to do and what he could do.
He had just lived as they wished. To live as they wished and become the emperor of this empire in the future. Because he heard that’s the reason for his existence. All he could do of his own free will was to run away from the concubines who were harassing him and sneak into an empty room like a game of hide-and-seek.
“If you’re done eating, we should move. The carriage and all necessary items already bought. We have everything we need for camping, just in case,” said Luiden who had just entered the restaurant.
I looked at Luiden with a face that I didn’t understand.
“No. I was wondering how it could be so different.”
“Let’s leave now. We have a long way to go. We will have to be on the way at least one full day.”
At my words, the crown prince asked, “Where are we going?”
“My friend’s house,” I said with a bright smile.
A little while later.
“I knew this would happen. Your Highness isn’t helping at all.”
“I’m sorry. It’s because I feel sick. This carriage is really too shaky.”
I was blaming the crown prince. As we couldn’t go far for a long time due to motion sickness, we stood up, and repeatedly stood up, it became night before we knew it.
In the middle of the night, I and the party, who set up camp in the hills, picked up dry branches, made a bonfire, and sat together. In just one night, I was completely in control of the crown prince.
Uh… I’ve never seen anyone scarier than my mother. The crown prince was afraid of her shooting back at him. There was no one who treated him recklessly so far, but that woman scolded him without hesitation as if it was natural.
“Stop it, Baroness Devit. It seems like it was a lot of hard work because it is his first time away from the imperial palace. I hope you can understand.”
Luiden was reluctant to take the side of the crown prince. In response, the crown prince looked at Luiden with an emotional face.
“Do you still say that when you look at this situation? If it weren’t for the Crown Prince, we would have already arrived at my friend’s house. But what is this now? We’re going to be homeless!”
At Arianne’s scolding, Luiden lowered his head subtly. The crown prince who saw him also lowered his head with a disappointed face. Arianne turned two of the noblest men in the empire to bow to her in an instant.
“I’m going to go in and sleep now.”
“Huh? Then me too.”
“I beg your pardon? Are you going to sleep in the carriage with me now?” Arianne shouted at the crown prince who stood up after her.
“Then where do I sleep?” asked the crown prince with a fierce look on his face.
“Sight. Your Highness, You can sleep on the blanket next to the Second Prince over there.”
When the crown prince saw where Ariane pointed, he shouted in surprise. “Why are you trying to put the crown prince to sleep on a street like that? This is a heavy sin!”
He could put up with haystacks, but he couldn’t stand bare ground!
Seeing him desperately protesting as if he would never yield to that, Arianne asked. “Then should I sleep over there? Would that make you feel comfortable? Crown Prince?”
Seeing Arianne’s eyes shining eerily even in the dark, the crown prince hurriedly shook his head and said, “No, no. I will sleep over there. Don’t get angry.”
After Arianne disappeared into the carriage, the crown prince trudged and lay down curled up on the blanket next to Luiden. I wanted to go back to the palace…
He wanted to go back to the warm, soft bend and cozy place where no one could shout at him. Baroness Devit is so scary… As if overcome with sadness, he trembled as he crouched down, and soon fell asleep.
“Zzz~ Zzz~ Zzz.”
After confirming the crown prince was asleep, Luiden turned his back and lay down looking at him. Brother, what kind of person are you? Now, if this is your true self, then what on earth was that image you showed in the past?
Luiden didn’t seem to be able to sleep easily today.
* * *
“How the hell do you handle things!”
The wine glass that Duke Krow had thrown was shattered.
“That’s what happened so quickly… While I and the knights were all flustered, the carriage had already left. We followed him belatedly, but the carriage had already disappeared…”
Duke Krow said while sweeping his face, “Find out where the crown prince has disappeared! He must be found. And, if possible, get Luiden’s head as well. I won’t tolerate two mistakes.”
“Yes, I’ll keep that in mind.”
After the knight left, Duke Krow was lost in thought. What an extraordinary person. I don’t know how they tricked the crown prince, but they kidnapped the crown prince… What a fool! He always does whatever I tell him to do quietly. Why is he being unreasonably stubborn! It would be a big deal if there were any problem with the crown prince’s safety.
If that Luiden guy even gets rid of the crown prince… It would be the worst. Duke Krow spent his whole life working hard to make the crown prince into a scarecrow crown prince. He had been constantly shaken and brainwashed crown prince so he wouldn’t think right since he was young…
Duke Krow was the one who made him grow up as an ignorant idiot so that he wouldn’t be interested in economics, history, or science, let alone royal studies. All of his teachers were from Duke Krow, and they looked down on him for being lazy and unwilling to learn anything, eventually making him a lonely prince who wasn’t recognized even in the imperial palace. It was just to make him rely only on Duke Krow.
“I’ve made him into an idiot who only does what I told him to do…”
It was also Duke Krow who brought the woman into the crown prince’s bedroom. He chose a woman who could wield a man and pushed her into his bedroom. When the crown prince tried to get away from a woman, he pushed another woman. That’s how the crown prince ended up having five concubines…
Everything had been twisted since Luiden was born. He made the crown prince stay away and hate Luiden, saying that Luiden would take everything he had. That’s how he made their relationship worse than anyone else.
However, as expected from the blood of the imperial family, Luiden, who had a brilliant brain, took the crown prince’s place day by day and eventually made his own followers. Moreover, judging from the emperor’s recent attitude, the crown prince’s position seemed to be in jeopardy.
“Still, I can’t give up to the enemy.”
As long as the crown prince stayed alive, he would eventually become the emperor. Duke Krow was definitely thinking of making that happen. It would be more certain if only Luiden was gone.
“Luiden, no matter how long you fight, you will never become emperor.” His low-pitched words were like brainwashing himself.
* * *
“For breakfast, I cooked potato soup with dried clams.”
Ariane, who received the bowl that Luiden was holding out, looked at him with surprised eyes.
“You cooked yourself?”
Luiden said shyly, “I used to go hiking training with my knights, and that was when I learned it.”
“Awesome. I’ve never cooked before.”
When Arianne looked at him with respect, Luiden’s ears turned red.
“How delicious! I’ve been shaking all night, but your soup cheers me up.”
When the crown prince spoke with pure joy in an innocent face, Luiden’s face hardened.
“Let’s eat quickly and go again. We have to arrive before dark.”
Luiden stood up. Hearing that he had to ride the carriage again, the crown prince’s face turned sullen.
I, who was him like that, said my words. “If you endure it even if you feel dizzy, I will give you candy as a reward.”
“Candy? What is that?” The crown prince asked with a stern look on his face.
“There is. Something really sweet and delicious.”
“Sweet and delicious…”
The crown prince turned his head. “I’m not a child.”
Fortunately, the crown prince endured well and was able to get a piece of candy from me.
“Ooh~ It’s delicious. This is my first time eating something like this.”
“If you listen carefully, I’ll give you more.”
“I got it.”
“Sigh.” A sigh broke out from my mouth.
This kind of person is the crown prince? This fool? I now began to feel that I must stop the crown prince being crowned emperor with all my heart.
“Is this your friend’s house?”
“Yes, this is it.”
“By the way, looking at the map, I know that there is a family of Madam Kaien around here, so why don’t we go there?”
I answered Luiden’s question. “That’s too obvious. Duke Krow must have already sent his men there.”
Luiden nodded his head in agreement.
I stood at the front of the mansion, lifted and released the doorknob twice.
After a while, a man who appeared to be an elderly butler opened the door and greeted us.
“Excuse me, but who are you?”
I smiled brightly and said, “I’m Baroness Devit, Lady Layla’s friend.”