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She and the Promise 2

I don't want to rely on Ms. Delris too much, but there's no other way regarding Andre, so it can't be helped.
I've heard that after losing magical power, Andre has become so obedient that people think he's turned over a new leaf. It seems it takes a lot of force of will to suppress magical power from going out of control. Freed said that he could slightly understand Andre always being on the edge from being preoccupied with it.

"It's not suffering that you can endure. I might be exaggerating, but it feels like being driven mad by magical power. Wanting to suppress it even a little, you turn to women. Because embracing women is a better relief than nothing. I think Andre especially suffered, not being good at controlling magical power from the start. If he got the Royal Flower it would settle down, but he didn't… Of course, I don't feel sympathetic. What Andre did was unforgivable no matter the reason. Selling the country is always wrong."

Andre was transferred to the top floor of a tower owned by the country in suburbs where few people live.
It seems he's under strict, 24/7 security.
It would be natural for him to be given death penalty, but his sentence became life imprisonment.
As for Milly, she lost her status as a marquis's daughter and has been put in a countryside convent.
It's harsh for Milly, who'd lived as a n.o.ble lady until now, but it's remarkably light as a punishment. Thinking of me, Freed had her sentence reduced in considering for her brother's achievements.
Her brother had several territories seized and was demoted from the Primera Chivalric Order Commander to Vice Commander. It was only that much because he had volunteered to stand on the frontline against Sahaja and showed Freed his loyalty.
It seems the person himself had been resigned to death penalty, but he was given a light sentence due to voices of the order members who adore him wis.h.i.+ng for a lighter sentence, and Freed himself saying losing him would be a serious blow.
Milly left for the convent a few days ago, but unfortunately, I couldn't meet her.
I wanted to meet once if possible, but she seems to have firmly refused. She was too ashamed to meet me, and Freed too stopped me, so I gave up on meeting her.
But, I've received a polite letter from her.
In it she sincerely apologized for her foolish behavior driven by jealousy and wished for my happiness with Freed. I reflexively replied to it.
I haven't received a reply yet, but if Milly feels like it, I hope we can exchange letters.
That is, if she still considers me her friend――.

"Ah, yes."

Addressed by Ms. Delris, I put a stop to my thoughts.
When I turned my face to Ms. Delris, she placed a ten centimeter-tall jar in front of me. It was full of small star-shaped candies of various colors.

"Waa, how pretty. What is it?"

When I picked up the jar and looked at it, Ms. Delris said.

"It's my wedding present for you. It's a bit early, but you won't be able to come here for a while."

Recalling the week-long honeymoon with Freed after the wedding, I flushed.
After getting married, Freed will be given a special leave. We'll be secluded in a villa together for a week. Hearing that the court ladies won't bother us inside the villa, and that food and the change of clothes will only be brought at set times, I pressed fingers to my forehead.
Somehow I could hear voices wis.h.i.+ng us good luck on an heir. We won't get in the way, so flirt as much as you like. I don't think I was imagining that at all.
Of course, I'll strive to satisfy that wish as the Crown Princess, and I personally want to have a child with Freed, but such straightforwardness is embarra.s.sing.
Moreover, a few days ago, Freed negotiated with the King to have his leave extended. He gave a proper reason of it being a reward for the war with Sahaja, but I'm just a little afraid to hear just how it turned out.
While I was seriously worrying over just how far we will go, Ms. Delris said.

"These are the stamina recovery medicine in form of sweets. The medicine I usually give you is the powder kind, right? I thought it might be hard to use with the Crown Prince nearby. These are the kind you chew and swallow, so you can take them whenever you find the opportunity."
"Ms. Delris…"

I was moved to tears by the present perfectly fit for my circ.u.mstances.
I still haven't told Freed about the stamina recovery medicine. If he knew there's something like this, he wouldn't hold back for sure (I'm unsure if he holds back even now), so for my own sake, it's categorically better to not teach him.
That's why I was worried about how to take the medicine without getting exposed for that week, but I never expected Ms. Delris to be so attentive.

"T-Thank you very much. It's a really great help."
"You've amused me many times. Besides, it's my friend getting married. It's normal to give a congratulatory gift. You'll be alright with one sweet. The taste is somewhat sweet. Before flavoring them, I adjusted the sweetness with the man over there as the test subject."
"Ah! That d.a.m.n sweet tea! Was that an experiment!?"

Cain alertly reacted to Ms. Delris's words.

"Cruel! It was so bad my teeth hurt!"
"It was a sacrifice for your master. Be happy you were useful."
"That ain't the problem!"

Cain got mad, but Ms. Delris showed no concern at all.

"It wasn't only sweet but also properly effective, right? Tell me, what are you dissatisfied with."
"The taste!! What else could it be!?"
"Err… I don't understand what you are talking about…"

Concerned about Cain getting unusually angry, I asked Ms. Delris a question, but it was Cain, not her, who answered with his eyes wide open.

"Princess! Listen here, Granny-!"
"You don't need to worry."
"How can you!"

… Hmm. That is to say, it's about Cain being a victim of Ms. Delris's tea again.
Cain and Ms. Delris are close friends.
From what I've heard, he often hangs around her house and is frequently allowed to stay over.
From my point of view, it's the relations.h.i.+p between a grandmother and grandchild.
Ms. Delris is a surprisingly mischievous person, so she often plays with Cain, who she's pleased with. She does it precisely because they're close.
Thinking that it's a good thing that Cain, who had been lonely after losing his family, found someone like that, I watched over them while grinning.

"Really, your face is saying it's someone else's problem…"
"Err, sorry?"
"… I don't really mind."

Making a sulking face, Cain looked like a boy of his age.
I couldn't see the master at all.
There's no doubt Ms. Delris's existence has a good effect on Cain.

"Well, that's how it is. Here, take it. There's enough for when you and the Crown Prince seclude yourselves, right?"
"… Thank you."

I became lost for words from the specific words.
Still, I gratefully accepted the jar decorated with a pink ribbon. I felt happy to receive a present. Then, Cain said while frowning.

"Princess, isn't it better to go back soon? It seems the Crown Prince returned to the room. He asked if you're done already, Princess."
"Ah… It's so late already. I understand, could you tell Freed I'm going back?"
"Got it."

I looked up at the clock. Before I realized, it had become evening.
When I said my farewells and stood up to leave, Ms. Delris said.

"Come here again when you have time after getting married. There's someone I want to introduce to you."

I tilted my head at the unusual words. Cain next to me also made a surprised face.

"Err, who?"
"You'll know when you meet. Well, it's a strange person, but not a dangerous one. Cain, you too. Come together."
"Me too? Well, I'm Princess's escort, so I intended to come anyway…"

Cain was designated again. I and Cain exchanged glances.

"… Who is it?"
"Who knows? Don't you have any idea, Princess?"
"There's no way I would. Even if I look like this, I'm a sheltered daughter of the preeminent ducal house. I don't have that many acquaintances."
"Sheltered… Princess, like always you're saying some questionable words."
"Shut up."

When I complained about the composed retort while averting my eyes, Ms. Delris clapped her hands.

"Anyway, keep it in mind. You're going home, right? The Crown Prince is waiting. Go quickly."
"Yes… Then, I'll come again."

I nodded and after promising that went up the stairs.
I heard Ms. Delris's voice from behind.

"… I can't go, but I pray you have a good wedding. Be happy, Lidi."
"Yes. Thank you very much."

I smiled at her cordial voice and nodded.
It's alright. I'm not uneasy about marrying Freed in the slightest now.
Various things will happen in the future, but I'll overcome them together with Freed.
I resolved myself again and left Ms. Delris's house.