Chapter 17 The Smiling Princess Part 1

 The Smiling Imperial Princess Part 1

 The day of the founding of the Empire of Mysia.

 On the good day of the thousandth anniversary of the founding of the nation, Alexandra Arlesmeier is married to Martin Martynovich Gulieva, the emperor of the Volturnine Empire.

"Sis-sama! For the first time, I'm glad I was born a woman!"

 Annemarie, who had happily helped me dress up for the wedding with the maids, smiled with the gaiety of a large flower coming into bloom.

 With eyes and hair the color of brightly burning flames, Annemarie wears a dress and ornaments of the same color.

 At the ceremony where the marriage of Martin and Alexandra is officially announced to the royal family and some of the nobility, Annemarie at first intends to attend in the attire of a general.

 If it hadn't been for the maids who took care of her since she came to live in the castle, she might not have known until the day of the ceremony.

 They told me, "I want to see Annemarie in her dress! When I said, "I'd like to see Annemarie in a dress!", I was met with some reluctance, but when I repeated my plea, she told me in a shy little voice that she would be happy if my sister would choose it for me.

 Annemarie, who was tall and had the ideal muscles for a soldier, was certainly choosy about the clothes she wore, as she sadly told us.

 However, it was not at all impossible that she would not look good in a dress, as she had assumed.

 On the contrary, the way she stood, with her back perfectly straight, was as eye-catching as those of the best ladies.

 Making the most of her tall stature, she designed a mermaid line dress.

 The skirt, which spreads softly from mid-thigh, is embroidered with countless large roses.

 Although she was embarrassed and could not get used to it for a while, the boldly open back of the dress made the line from her neck to her back look wonderfully seductive.

 I could see the men who had been complaining about her being unfeminine begging for mercy with their eyes wide open! I couldn't help but laugh when one of the maids snickered.

 All the ornaments are made of rubies.

 Two large rubies of the highest quality, called pigeon blood.

 A magnificent necklace made of diamonds surrounded by rubies is a national treasure.

 Ziege had never been allowed the opportunity to wear it, even though he had asked for it many times.

 Although this was an arbitrary action that should not have been allowed even with His Majesty's position, when he piled up a stack of documents reexamining Annemarie's contribution to the country and pressed the person in charge for permission, the person in charge apologized for the lack of research and took prompt action.

 Earrings, bracelets, and circlets with the same cutting of rubies were also given to Annemarie.

 Annemarie did not know that the ornaments were national treasures, nor did she know that they had been given to her.

 However, her Majesty personally handed them to her and told her that they had been given to her by Eleonora, and she was grateful for the loan of these items, which were appropriate for Alexandra's veil.

 How surprised and pleased he would be if he knew the truth.

 Her Majesty's indication that Annemarie was worthy of wearing the veil must have been most gratifying.

"Yes. Of course! It suits your gorgeous red hair that I can't help but admire, your bright eyes with fire in them, and your dignified appearance!"

"Hmmm. And I'm glad I was born a woman because I got to see you in your most beautiful attire before Martin-dono did!"

"Oh my."

"Even though it was said that there was no precedent for it, I rose to the position of general as a woman, and had to maintain it... although I was abused by incompetent men whose abilities were far below my own, and encountered many humiliating situations! But compared to the honor of being the first one to see my shining sister's outfit, it all seems trivial!"

 There was no darkness in Annemarie's smile.

 She appreciated Alexandra's wedding dress to that extent.

 What a lovely sister she is.

 We've been apart for a long time.

 I'm so happy that we've come to a point in our relationship where we can honestly express our feelings to each other.

"By the way, sis-sama, I heard you've allowed them to attend. Are you sure... you're sure?"

"I wasn't sure either, but Martin-sama said so."

 Yes, Allen-chan!

 I want those scum to be present at the ceremony when Allen-chan leaves the country.

 The emperor will formally condemn them, or rather, announce their crimes. such a short time, with so many restrictions still in place with the gods?

 I got to dote on my daughter a little bit, which I've been wanting to do for a long time.

 Finally, he wants to show his love for his daughter.

 I think it's also an apology and atonement that only the emperor can make.

 He's also going to talk about saving the good people that Allen-chan is worried about.

 Can I be considerate of your father's wish for you to marry without worrying about your future?

"...I don't need any more apologies or atonement from your father. But if you want me to take your father's wishes into consideration, I have no choice but to agree, right?"

"You are indeed the husband of Sis-sama! He knows her well. The emperor himself is blessed by the gods, so I'm sure he understands your heart well. I'm also concerned about the people's salvation... in that case, sister-sama's choice is right! I'm sorry. I said something that disturbed you."

"You were thinking of me, weren't you? I'm just happy."

"Thank you, sis-sama!"

"Hmm. You two are really close."

"Father!" "Your Majesty!"

 Bartolomeus, who seemed to have entered the room at some point, appeared with a good-humored smile.

 That day when Dietfried tried to force me to go through with it.

 Ever since I made up my mind to visit Bartolomeos, he has given me so much affection that my past coldness has become a blur.

 Her happy, kind, and joyful smile is one of them.

 It's hard to believe that he was once feared as the emperor who never smiled.

 Some of the nobles seem to be frightened, but most of the nobles and people are happy to see the Emperor smile.

 In addition, the fact that the emperor had turned his hand to Alexandra and was doting on her, there were few people who criticized him for the way he had treated her.

"You're both beautiful!"

"Heh, Your Majesty! Your sister-sama is as beautiful as a goddess, but I am not! You can't do this with me!"

 Annemarie denies it, but Bartolomeus is not offended.

 He just smiles a little, with a hint of childishness.

"What do you mean! This is the first time I've seen you two dressed up together, and both of you are incomparably beautiful. Hey, Alexandra."

"Yes. Yes, father. Annemarie has a glamour I don't have! The red suits you very well."

"If you say so, sis, you have something that I can never have no matter how hard I try! Just being there makes me want to bow down to you. I'm sure you'll become the emperor's favorite queen!"

"An emperor... a man with more than a few worrisome aspects... but as a man who will make Alexandra happy, I have no complaints."

 Bartolomeos mutters thoughtfully, rubbing his chin.

 Annemarie nodded thoughtfully.

"Yes, I suppose so. Your Majesty and I both love your sister-sama very much, but realistically speaking, I don't think we can make her happier than the emperor."

"I am very happy that you approve of Martin-sama, as a bride and as someone who loves him. But my happiness is not complete until you and Annemarie are happy, you know?"

 I can't completely forget the painful past.

 Sometimes you remember it, and it makes your heart ache.

 Still, as long as Martin is by her side, Alexandra doesn't doubt that she will get over it.

 Although we did not hear everything from Bartolomeos, he explained the reason for his disadvantage in good faith.

 He had taken on many of the restrictions imposed by the gods on Alexandra's behalf.

 These constraints bound Bartolomeos' words and actions so tightly that they made his blood run cold.

 Even now, they still bind.

 If Alexandra had taken it all on herself, it would have broken her heart.

 It was only Bartolomeos, strong in mind and body, who could endure.

 It was love at its worst.

 I understand that there was no other way.

 On top of that, I had a strong feeling of respect and gratitude for the way she had endured.

  In the first place, Annemarie's perceived atrocities against Alexandra were, to be honest, much younger than those inflicted by the others.

 Jealousy of brothers and sisters who are better than you is an emotion that everyone has.

 Even Alexandra envied Annemarie, who had found herself in arms despite being a woman.

 Because she was confined in the temple, she focused on the fact that she could act freely rather than on the fact that she had a heavy responsibility.

 I deeply regret that I was too narrow-minded in my closed world.

 It is people like me who are immature! and she respects Annemarie for trying to save her even if it means degrading herself.


 And I'm proud to call Annemarie my sister.

"Well. I think we're ready. Shall we go, Alexandra?"

"Yes. Father."

Annemarie. Take care of the veil."

"Yes. Sis-sama asked for me. I'll give it everything I've got!"

 Bartolomeus laughs as Annemarie makes a fist.

 The maids in attendance also laughed.

 Alexandra, of course, laughed out loud, albeit quietly.