Chapter 2. The Bride Really Hates the Groom
“I don’t think Princess Katerina wants to marry me…”
Ludwik muttered with a long face while being helped by Adelheid into a coat for the ball.
Although I said I’m not an Adonis, I was reasonably confident in my looks. At least, to the extent that a girl shouldn’t detest me on first impression. The fresh smile I cultivated from serving customers was perfect as well. I don’t think I made any mistakes speaking Endrish either.
Yet, I was called gross after having her turn her face away from me resolutely.
When Ludwik looked up the other things Princess Katerina mumbled and grumbled afterwards, he felt his heart stabbed mercilessly over and over.
The luncheon was cancelled because Princess Katerina didn’t feel like eating, and when he tried to visit her to see how she’s doing, he was bluntly told to please leave for today, so he hasn’t seen her after her arrival even once.
Rumors about Princess Katerina spread like wildfire inside the castle.
“I hear she’s as beautiful as a queen of the faeries, with golden hair the color of melted gold and violet eyes like a gem.”
“‘Furthermore, she behaves with as much majesty as one would expect from the princess of a great empire with three thousand years of history,’ said someone who saw her in wonder.”
Aside from comments on her looks,
“I heard she became sick after seeing His Majesty’s face and barely exchanged any words with His Majesty before retiring to her room.”
“I think this marriage was arranged against Princess Katerina’s will. Wasn’t her face stiff and pale during the welcoming?”
“Perhaps her pride as a princess of the great northern empire wouldn’t forgive being married off to a small and rural country.”
“It seemed she found it unpleasant to speak to His Majesty as well. It could be that, from the standpoint of a princess with high status, she wouldn’t be able to respect His Majesty as her husband since he has the blood of a commoner, though only half.”
Like such, various conjectures are being made regarding the feelings inside the princess’s heart.
These conjectures reached Ludwik’s ear as well, making him feel more and more anxious.
(Was she so cruel because she’s dissatisfied with me after all?)
As Ludwik was beginning to brood over his thoughts again while preparing for the ball–
“It is as Your Highness says. Princess Katerina dislikes Sire, naturally. Why wouldn’t she?”
Adelheid, who had finished adjusting the decorative pocket on Ludwik’s suit, said without hesitation.
“Ehhh, you’re agreeing? That’s usually where you’re supposed to kindly disagree!”
Upon Ludwik retorting reflexively, Adelheid’s ashen eyes brimmed with intelligence. She went on,
“She’s the princess of the great empire that has the most history, is the most developed, and holds the largest amount of territory on the continent. Originally, she should have been able to become the queen of any large nation; yet, the princess came to marry into this small rural country that still believes in oral legends. Even if to us it’s a miraculous stroke of luck, to her, it’s nothing but misfortune. Even if it was the order of her father the emperor, she must be filled with humiliation and anxiety.”
Ludwik had no choice but to nod in agreement to Adelheid’s clear analysis. In fact, he even began to feel pity for Princess Katerina.
“However, I’m confident that Your Highness is someone who is capable of melting her heart and making her glad she married into Rhodesia, for she was able to fortuitously meet such a wonderful partner.”
“Y-you think so?”
Ludwik scratched his head bashfully.
“Yes, it’ll be fine if it’s Your Highness who has a track record of being ensnared by women from a young girl all the way to an old granny.”
“Like I said that’s not true!”
To Ludwik who was beginning to feel exhausted, Adelheid smiled with a discerning gaze. 𝘣𝘦𝘥𝘯𝘰𝑣𝘦𝘭.𝘰𝘳𝘨
“Please have some self-confidence. If Princess Katerina is a radiant beauty akin to the fairy queen who rules the spirit world, then Your Highness is like the legendary knight Albricht who was loved by her. Like him, you are a golden-haired Adonis and kind-hearted, with a healthy body and mind that harbors respect and understanding toward women. The ideal gentleman.”
Adelheid might have been being considerate, as she didn’t say “if looked upon from afar” this time. Still, feeling a little better from her generous praise,
“If you, a woman, assure me like that then I can be brave, Adelheid. I’ll try my best to melt Princess Katerina’s heart.”
Ludwik replied, upon which
“Yes. Also, women who appear as cold and obstinate as her often witness their hate turn into love starting from just a small cue. Once that happens, she’ll be like pudding in Your Highness’s hands.”
Adelheid spoke as if she was reciting a universal truth.
(I see– if a cool, peerless beauty akin to a fairy queen like her melts into pudding it’d be the cutest thing ever. That’d be so nice–. That’s right, since we’re going to be living together as a married couple, I have to do my part to deepen our bond too. It’ll be fine. Every girl has a good side to her, be it an adorable side or a gentle side. I’ll do my best to come to like her by finding that side of her, and I’ll also do my best to have her come to like me as well.)
However, Princess Katerina did not show up to the ballroom even as the time came for the ball to begin.
Rhodesia’s high ranking officials began to whisper things like, “What’s going on? Is the princess dissatisfied with the marriage after all?” Ludwik was worried.
(She didn’t return to Endra, did she?)
Just as Ludwik was worrying in his mind, Princess Katerina’s arrival was finally announced.
The double doors engraved with linden trees, the national symbol, open left and right, and in front of everyone appears Princess Katerina wearing a gorgeous ballroom dress.
At the same time, the whispers going around grew into a commotion.
It is because Princess Katerina looks beautiful beyond imagination. Everyone thought, “To think she was this pretty!” as they gazed upon her with eyes of wonder.
Ludwik also found himself in awe at the princess’s beautiful features once again. He had thought she was an extraordinary beauty when he faced her this morning in the courtyard of the castle, but she looks even more beautiful and elegant now than she did then.
Her golden hair the color of melted gold shined brilliantly and was done up tied by a lustrous and fine silk ribbon and capped by a jeweled tiara. Her white dress is accented by fur, and both the quality of the cloth itself and the tailoring is on the level of a work of art. The dress fit her willowy form snugly above the waist and expanded as airily as a dream below it.
The spitting image of a fairy queen.
However, just like this morning she still stiffened her cheeks, tied her lips together sharply, and glared at Ludwik with her violet, gem-like eyes.
(I can’t falter. First, I’ll address her with a smile. Then, I’ll invite her to dance with me.)
That’s right. If the princess dances, surely her mood will be uplifted as well.
Even a cheerful smile befitting a seventeen year old maiden would arise in the face that currently has “I hate you” written on it.
(Wouldn’t it be sublime if such an unparalleled beauty smiles at me?)
While imagining that wonderful sight, Ludwik smiled with his whole face so as to express that he feels happy from the bottom of his heart to have met the princess. He faced towards the person who will become his wife in three days and addressed her refreshingly.
“Shelle draenu Rhodesia el stella rivarnya. (Welcome to Rhodesia. It’s an honor to meet you.)”
For just one instant, Princess Katerina widens her eyes. Ludwik was able to perceive a slight waver in the depths of her purple pupils, but that waver froze immediately. Her lips tighten more and more.
Undiscouraged, Ludwik maintained the “smile like a gentle breeze” that he was known for as the Prince of Red Deer Street as he extended his hand towards Princess Katerina.
“Rui else staelya sol rebarno el il felmarta (May I have a dance with you? I love dancing very much.)”
Ludwik had Adelheid check his pronunciation stringently as he practiced by repeating these words over and over again.
For the girl I marry, my only wish is that she likes dancing.
Every girl is endearing and alluring in her own way, but when a girl dances she is ten times lovelier. This is Ludwik’s insistence, because whenever he dances with a girl, he always feels in love with her.
His heart springs as he becomes dizzy from happiness.
(So, if Princess Katerina agrees to dance with me, I’m sure that we can become close.)
Princess Katerina’s shoulders trembled slightly.
Gradually, aside from her shoulders, her arms also begin to tremble more and more intensely.
So as to restrain herself, she grabbed the skirt of her dress tightly with her snowy white hands–
(Is she… feeling nervous?)
If that’s the case I have to put her at ease. When Ludwik tried to say something to her in Endrish, words chilling enough to freeze someone flowed out of her light crimson lips.
“I detest dancing.”
It was not in Endrish.
It was in Dahl, the language used in Rhodesia, and more than that, her pronunciation was flawlessly accurate to the point that even among natural-born Rhodesian citizens, there’s probably not many who could match it. Ludwik was speechless from both the content of her words and the fact that she spoke them in the language of Rhodesia. To Ludwik who remained petrified with his hand extended out to her, the princess again spoke coldly in Dahl that sounded too perfect.
“In particular, coarse folk dances make me want to throw up. The atmosphere here is sickening, so I’ll be taking my leave.”
She informed. Her dress, hemmed with fur and laces in the pattern of light snowfall, whirled elegantly as she turned around and left the hall.
The princess’s attendants that accompanied her from Endra hastily chase after her. Ludwik could see Adelheid furrowing her eyebrows from the corner of his eye.
The hall erupted into an uproar, and Ludwik was left dumbfounded in the center of it all.
◇ ◇ ◇
“I don’t have the confidence to become Princess Katerina’s husband, Adelheid.”
“Please don’t assume a fetal position on the throne, Your Highness. It’s ruining your image as a golden-haired Adonis.”
“If looked upon from afar, you mean. In the end I’m only a prince on a regional level, a hunk based on context, and a lame country bumpkin if seen up close.”
“The worth of a man is not in his looks. Sire has not only status and power but also youth, does Sire not?”
“It seems to me that in Princess Katerina’s eyes, I’m seen as nothing more than an unsophisticated greenhorn of a weak and minor nation that she can’t even find on a map.”
“We will use Sire’s charm to overturn the situation. There are cases like this in Rhodesian fairy tales as well, such as “The Earl Who Raised Pigs,” in which an earl pretending to be a swineherd toys with a willful princess and “The King with a Pointy Chin,” in which a king pretending to be a vagrant takes a proud princess as his wife and rectifies her personality. Taming a shrew is a man’s romance, Sire.”
“Even if you, a woman, tell me what a man’s romance is… Actually, are you saying that from Princess Katerina’s viewpoint, I’m in the same category as a vagrant? Wouldn’t it be better to have her return to her home country then?
“That’s not possible.”
“Then, postpone the wedding.”
“That is also not possible; we will have Sire and the princess exchange the vows of marriage in the cathedral in two days. Once she’s stuck in marriage, I’m sure even Princess Katerina will resign to fate and become an adorably sweet wife.”
“Don’t say something you don’t mean an ounce of with such a sincere face!”
As the two of them repeated such exchanges, before long the day of the wedding had come.
(Is it really okay to marry her with things as they are?)
One hour before the wedding.
Ludwik was still hesitating. Wearing a white bridegroom outfit, he paced back and forth in the courtyard of the castle.
(Since the night of the ball, I haven’t been able to talk to Princess Katerina at all as she had shut herself in her room. Even if it’s a political marriage, it’s not good to become married like this.)
Princess Katerina is about to finish her preparations as well. She and Ludwik will be moving to the castle cathedral for the ceremony shortly and joining a parade in the town to introduce the new queen afterwards.
“I’ll try to talk to Princess Katerina once more before the marriage ceremony begins.”
Deciding thus, he walked across the courtyard well illuminated by the sun. It was then.
He heard a rustling sound above his head.
Startled, Ludwik jerked.
(A white bird?)
Something white and frilly traversed through the grove of beautifully pruned trees. It was clearly bigger than a bird.
The sunlight was blindingly bright so Ludwik couldn’t see very well, but it looked like it could be a human girl– no way!
Making more rustling sounds while bending twigs, the white shadow jumped into a window of the castle building.
(That’s Princess Katerina’s room! This is bad!)
In this tranquil and small rural nation, it’s hard to think that there is a force that would do something as extreme as sending an assassin to target the bride in order to prevent the king’s marriage, but nothing’s impossible.
Panicking, Ludwik rushed to Princess Katerina’s room in a fluster.
“Is Princess Katerina unharmed? Just now, a suspicious person entered the princess’s room through the window–”
As Ludwik informed the Endrish attendant, the attendant immediately turned pale and opened the door to the room.
“Fela fiino (What is the matter?)”
The two of them were met with a cool voice.
Wearing a pure white wedding dress, an unworldly beauty with brilliant golden hair and violet eyes glared at Ludwik severely.
While feeling intimidated by unreal beauty that trumped what he had previously seen from her once again,
(E-eh? There’s no one here besides Princess Katerina.)
Ludwik thought flusteredly.
“Pardon me, I saw a suspicious person jump through the trees and infiltrate this room, so I was worried about the princess.”
To Ludwik who explained confusedly, the princess informed in a chilly voice.
“Ana polar nai lest. (No one entered the room.)”
Ludwik felt so embarassed he could die, but he recalled that his original goal was to talk to Princess Katerina before the ceremony.
“Sorry, but could you leave the two of us alone for a little while?”
Ludwik told the attendant.
Princess Katerina made a blatantly annoyed face, but it seems even she couldn’t bring herself to tell Ludwik to kindly leave because she’s not feeling well when he’s right in front of her, so she tied her lips tightly.
The attendant withdrew, and the bride and her groom were left alone with each other.
The princess is turning her face away.
“Umm… Sara eluna faurelina maliege fair toris libera (Sorry for suddenly intruding. I came because I wanted to speak to you before the ceremony, even if only a little.)”
“…We can speak in your language.”
“T-thanks. Then umm, though Rhodesia may seem rural and lacking to someone from a great empire like Endra, it has lots of good things too. It’s regretful that I can’t show you any of them before our wedding, but after the wedding I’ll guide you around, so let’s tour the country together.”
To the princess coldly presenting the side of her face, Ludwik conveys this sincerely.
Even if it wasn’t her wish to marry into Rhodesia, Ludwik wants her to know the good parts of Rhodesia if only a little.
“I’d love for you to see the sunset at Lake Mariner and the stars shining on the lake’s surface at night. When fall comes, the nearby orchards bear a bunch of fresh apples and grapes, and when winter comes, you can skate on the frozen surface and fish in ice holes for pond smelt. In spring, the streets are littered with ripe blueberries and hawthorns are also in full bloom. The theater that just opened in town is small but lively, always being packed full of spectators. On Sunday, plays based on Rhodesian fairy tales such as Jean and the Big Bean Vine and Snow White and the Seven Faeries are put on during the daytime for children to enjoy.”
Princess Katerina’s lips and golden eyelashes fluttered ever so slightly.
For the first time, Princess Katerina showed signs that she was interested in what Ludwik had to say, so Ludwik injected fervor into his words and pressed the attack.
“Yes. Rhodesia is called the treasure trove of fairy tales you know! A third of Rhodesia is covered by forest, and it is believed that in the forests lie another world where the fantastic characters who appear in fairy tales live. Many legends surrounding that theory remain to this day. Rhodesian children all grow up being taught stories about the forest. We’re warned, “Don’t go deep into the forest, for strange things happen there.” The most famous story related to the forest is about a fairy queen and a journeying knight–”
As if drawn by Ludwik’s words, Princess Katerina who has been facing away turns her gaze towards him little by little.
A faint blush appears on her white face, and her cool violet eyes begin to glitter–
Her shoulders shook as if she just became self-aware and her cheeks abruptly stiffened again right after.
“Elle lista moire farest renoreno fariarta kirano ria fasta belo Albricht leah sirna eterna moir lilianda shia fauna colena delera! Rena! (How childish! To think the citizens still believe in fairy tales, it’s just as expected of a small rural country. The educational standard is beyond the pale. Albricht, a dignified and handsome journeying knight with golden hair and emerald eyes, accidentally strayed into another world while wandering about in the forests. A romantic epic about how he meets the queen of the fairy country and spends his days playing with her lovingly in a golden room with seven doors. I could laugh so hard that my belly looks like it’s boiling water. I mean, my stomach! That’s right!”
In response to the raging billow of Endrish assaulting him,
Ludwik uttered as he darted his eyes about. Princess Katerina quickly looked away with her eyes and conveyed with a chilly countenance in perfect Dahl.
“Since it seems it isn’t an important matter, may I ask you to leave now? I have things I want to prepare.”
Feeling like he just had massive amount of cold water dumped on him, Ludwik retreated backwards. As he turned around to leave in a hurry, he incidentally noticed that there were leaves stuck on the hems of Princess Katerina’s wedding dress.
The princess grabbed the skirt of her dress and pulled it behind her, then glared at Ludwik.
“To ogle the bride before the ceremony, how vulgar. Do kindly take your leave already.”
Being rejected bluntly, Ludwik couldn’t say anything more and left Princess Katerina’s room with doubt in his mind.
(Why did she suddenly start assaulting me with Endrish? I couldn’t understand what she said at all, but for a princess who confined herself in her room she seemed avid, or rather, like a normal girl who was chatting excitedly with a friend before that. A~ah, but I couldn’t become friends with her in the end. If Princess Katerina doesn’t want to marry me, I don’t want to force her… but after all, I can’t say, “Let’s cancel the wedding” given the position I’m in either. Will she really grow fond of and open her heart to me after we marry like Adelheid asserted?)
Even after the wedding ceremony began, Princess Katerina did not resign.
Beneath a pure white veil that’s finely meshed, the bride continued to tie her lips resolutely, stiffen her cheeks, and look away from Ludwik throughout the ceremony. Whenever Ludwik glanced at her face from the corner of his eye, he felt his stomach hurt.
“Now then, bridegroom, please take the oath.”
“Yes, I do.”
(Ahh–, I swore just like that–)
Next, it’s Princess Katerina’s turn to swear.
However, she glued her lips tightly shut like a shellfish and showed no intention of opening her mouth. She furrowed her eyebrows such that they couldn’t be furrowed any further and maintained her silence obstinately.
The cathedral was as silent as a graveyard in winter.
As Ludwik felt his heart pounding from anxiety, the archbishop urged the princess on, upon which she cast her eyes downward, bit her lips tightly, and finally,
She muttered in a voice as faint as a phantom.
(I’m glad she didn’t yell “I don’t!” and run away.)
Ludwik felt relieved for the moment, but
“You may now kiss the bride.”
As Ludwik drew near her face nervously, she forcefully dodged her head to the side right before their lips were about to touch, causing Ludwik, who had lost his target, to fall forward slightly from his momentum.
Their cheeks awkwardly brushed against each other.
Before God, I acknowledge that the two of you are now husband and wife.
The archbishop declared pompously, and applause burst forth.
(Eh? I didn’t actually kiss her just now, right? Eh? You’re going to acknowledge it anyways? Is this really okay?)
Next to Ludwik, who is looking around the crowd restlessly, the bride has her faced turned away.
In the subsequent parade and wedding banquet, Princess Katerina emanated a chilling aura like the northern winds that rage across permafrost. She kept her head turned away from Ludwik the entire time, literally giving him no face at all. The populace who crowded the streets yelled out, “Congratulations on the marriage!”; however, once they saw the irate bride, they too became silent. Then,
“I feel sorry for His Majesty…”
“As expected, the princess is displeased with his commoner background.”
“You have my sympathies, Your Highness.”
Words of sympathy and condolence like these continued to resound.
The events of this day would later be called “Queen Katerina’s Wedding Incident.” Ludwik, who ended up having his discord with the new queen revealed to his retainers and the citizenry, wanted to crawl into a hole if there was one.
“Sorry, I can’t do this after all.”
“Once the marriage is consummated, all women become attached to their husband without exception. If it’s Your Highness, everything will be fine. When tomorrow comes, the queen will be all lovey dovey.”
“Is it your vice to coolly assert, “It’ll be fine” without a single shred of evidence! Adelheid!”
As soon as the banquet ended, Ludwik was made to take a bath and change into his nightgown, then driven into his bedroom all under Adelheid’s instructions.
Thin silk curtains and a canopy covered the expansive bed from all sides, and a feminine silhouette could be seen within.
(It’s Princess Katerina!)
“Well then, please have a good night.”
Adelheid bowed reverently and left with the attendants.
(Ahhhhhhhhhhh, wait, don’t leave us aloneeeee)
Well, it’s not like the two of them can play a tournament of cards with everyone on our bed as newlyweds on their first night. Though Ludwik’s never had a lover, he of course knows what the groom and the bride are supposed to do on wedding night.
(What am I scared of? It’s not like the one waiting for me on the bed is a white wolf; she’s a human girl.)
“It’s me; I’m coming in.”
Ludwik says to her casually. Since he’s her husband now, Ludwik thought he shouldn’t be overly formal. He parted the silk curtains and entered inside.
Princess Katerina was sitting with her knees touching in a white nightgown, looking like the legendary werewolf who transforms from a beautiful woman into a white wolf when under moonlight. The white wolf looked at him sharply.
Her pointed gaze read, “If you approach me, I’ll gnaw off your windpipe.”
Ludwik almost ended up saying, “I’m sorry” and turning around, but
(The white wolf Branshire is a legend; the one here is my wife, a human girl whose canines won’t enlarge and nails won’t sharpen into claws even if moonlight is shined upon her.)
Ludwik chanted this in his heart and forced a smile out.
“Umm, would you prefer we speak in Endrish?”
“El faea matalu estelite noa (I’m still not very fluent in Endrish, so), phil altair chestirode (If I say something unintelligible, please tell me.)”
Ludwik aligns his knees together and straightens his back like Princess Katerina before sitting down on the bed, upon which the princess’s eyebrows became even more downwardly acute.
(A human girl won’t cling on to me with her teeth, won’t bite my flesh off, won’t tear my body into two.)
“El kalis tronidardo torisfea mist dela (I also think that I’m probably still lacking in various ways as your husband myself).”
(I’m being stared at with intense eyes, but I can do this.)
“Chellu toris faruda est vera roos (I don’t plan to skimp on any effort to make you fancy me, so).”
(It feels like I’m being stared at even more intensely now, b-but I’ll be fine.)”
“Elude anaphile chestia (Could you please accept me as your husband?)”
(If I say that it feels like I’m the bride– Rather than that, her face is scary after all. She looks angry– She trembled just now– She’s biting down on her li–ps, and she looks like she’s about to jump me from the way she’s brandishing her nai–ls!!)
Just as Ludwik felt his physical safety in jeopardy–
A transparent drop spilled across the princess’s cheeks which had turned pale.
As Ludwik opened his eyes wide in shock, drops of tears began to fall from the noble violet eyes of the princess of the north. With her eyes and eyebrows still pointed while biting hard on her lips and gripping the mattress with both hands, tears fell down her face nonstop like a heavy rain.
(W-Wahh! What should I do!)
Having his bride suddenly cry on him on their wedding night, Ludwik’s mind was scrambling. Moreover, the one crying is the icy princess who’s been nothing but cold towards him.
The way she’s crying is like that of a little girl, hiccuping now and then as she cries and cries. Seeing her tighten her shoulders and try to keep her eyebrows pointed with all her might, Ludwik felt his heart tighten.
(Ahh I see, she stressed herself a great deal so as not to show me any weakness… to do something like marrying a half commoner from a super rural country three days after meeting him for the first time, she too couldn’t help but feel insecure just as any girl in her situation would.)
Ludwik felt a compelling desire to console the crying and trembling princess somehow.
Ludwik has always been weak to women when they’re vulnerable or when they’re worried about something. If a woman like that is in front of him, he just can’t leave her alone and ends up trying to help her. Such is his nature.
And so, discreetly bending his torso toward the crying Princess Katerina,
“Dia toris faeria miste (I won’t do anything you don’t want me to). Christa royla nieque (So please don’t cry).”
Ludwik said wholeheartedly.
Princess Katerina looks up at Ludwik with her disheveled face. Ludwik smiles at her, upon which she distorts her face even more and squeezes her eyes shut. Tears begin to trace her golden eyelashes to their tips before falling without pause again.
With the princess like so, Ludwik spoke about famous spots in Rhodesia and recited the fairy tales of the country to her.
“Did you know that there are various versions of the story about the fairy queen and the knight Albricht? When we tour the country, I’ll take you to the forest which spawned the legend as well. It’s not scary if we don’t go too deep; plus, the greenery is very pretty right now, and the freshly picked blueberries and lingonberries are ambrosial.”
Princess Katerina continued to cry the whole night, and Ludwik continued to comfort her the entire time, not laying a single finger on her body.
And then, the next morning.
To Princess Katerina, who had fallen asleep halfway through from crying herself to fatigue, Ludwik gave a tender greeting with his back against the sunlight coming in from the windows.
As soon as she woke up, she opened her eyes and mouth widely and reddened her face in embarrassment. She quickly turned her face away, jumped off the bed like a bunny, and hid herself behind a screen in the back of the room.
She must be feeling embarrassed from having carelessly cried in front of Ludwik.
Her golden hair that’s brighter than the morning sun was entangled with itself in a mess against the back of her pure white nightgown. Having followed her delicate back with his eyes as she hid herself behind the screen, Ludwik felt his heart thump even harder than it did last night.
(So cute– I thought she was as menacing as a white wolf, but would you look at that, she’s just a normal seventeen year old girl after all. Ever since she came to Rhodesia, our gears have been grinding against each other, but I feel like we can get along from now on.)
◇ ◇ ◇
As he recalled Princess Katerina’s reddened face, Ludwik slackened his cheeks.
“Ah, princess– I mean, my queen.”
When Ludwik addressed her at the breakfast table, he was shown the side of her face coldly.
While thinking, “Eh?”, he tried to call out to her when she got up to leave the room, upon which this time she abruptly and quickly distanced herself from him.
Thereafter, whenever Ludwik tried to talk to her, she would stiffen her entire body and walk away briskly.
“It seems that things didn’t go well for His and Her Majesty on their first night.”
“To be disliked so much, I feel sorry for His Majesty.”
He was cast gazes of sympathy from those around him once again.
(I’m sure she just feels embarrassed when we’re in front of others.)
Ludwik tried to reassure himself as he waited for Princess Katerina to pass by the hallway. When she appeared, Ludwik made sure no one else was around this time before he called out to her,
But, as soon as he spoke, she twitched her elegant shoulders then jumped back lightly, pointed her eyebrows inward like a razor, and made her violet eyes into triangles as she stared at Ludwik. Her two hands, tightly made into fists, were held to her chest.
(S-she’s just embarrassed. She’s staring at me insanely hard, and she’s becoming the white wolf again, but she doesn’t actually hate me right? She won’t come biting onto me, right?)
Even as Ludwik felt his strength waver, he still smiled.
“Elus malta fabio asteria (May I speak to you in your room after dinner?)”
He asked like a gentleman in Endrish, upon which,
He was coldly answered clearly and decisively in Dahl words pronounced perfectly. It wasn’t just the words; her eyes were also chilling.
“H-how about tomorrow?”
“Then the day after tomorrow.”
“Whether it’s one day or two days or any number of days after tomorrow– no.”
(Hey, I’m your husband you know!)
Princess Katerina focused upon Ludwik with an expression as cold as absolute zero, as if she was the goddess responsible for blizzards.
“Last night, you said that you wouldn’t do anything I don’t want you to.”
“Eh? Ah, right.”
“If that’s the case, please don’t step foot into my room hereafter. Not just at night, but also in the morning and afternoon. And also, please try your hardest not to enter my line of sight. Please don’t address me. Please don’t breathe in front of me.”
“Wai–, Wait a second—”
How are we going to fulfill our duties as a married couple then? Are you going to come to my room? Ludwik wasn’t oblivious nor lionhearted enough to ask such questions.
To Ludwik, whose throat was choked up with words, Princess Katerina, who looked like a graceful fairy queen with her golden hair and violet eyes, uttered as if to throw a stone of glassy ice at him,
“Gradde dela polino (You stink of the countryside, so please don’t come close to me.)”