The emperor sent Gilbert Bellacian to a small island in the west near the valley of Chaos. Although people were assigned to foresee the island once in a while, he was practically exiled.
However, if Count Bellacian is officially punished, they would not use the word “punishment” because it could cause damage to me or Diana.
Count Bellacian left west without much resistance. Rumor has it that he’s going crazy.
I don’t know if he’s lying or is really out of his mind, but even if that’s true, no sympathy arose from me.
Diana also showed little interest in Count Bellacian’s rumour.
After that day, Diana stayed at the Crown Prince’s Palace to prepare for the Knights Academy.
Usually nobles were admitted without taking the test and can receive a letter of recommendation. But Diana said she wanted to take the test fair and square, so I respected her will.
Diana was extremely busy because she had to take basic physical tests, swordsmanship, and even written tests.
Edon, who graduated from the Academy of Knights, is also helping Diana, just like an instructor.
She kept her eyes on the book even though it was close to midnight.
“Diana, take it easy.”
I put the snack and rosemary tea down on the desk.
“Wow, I am already so hungry. I’m so lucky to be able to study while drinking tea from my sister.”
She took a sip of rosemary tea.
“You’re overdoing yourself, aren’t you?”
“The test is just around the corner.”
Diana answered bravely. She was like a different person from the original Diana.
The Diana of ‘The Beast and the Lady’ was beautiful but gloomy and indecisive. From beginning to end, she was torn between Blake and Richard.
But now Diana is confident and decisive.
“Don’t feel too pressured, though. We have next year if it doesn’t work this year.”
Diana is 10 years old, so she had one or two more chances if she failed.
“No! I don’t want to call a kid younger than me a senior.”
So that’s why it’s so important to her…!
“I have to pass this time!”
Diana passed the entrance exam at the Academy with excellent grades, ranking 9th overall and 2nd among women. It was worthwhile to practice swordsmanship steadily for two years.
But Diana didn’t look very happy. Isn’t the result satisfactory?
“Diana, you’re ninth, you did a great job.”
“Yes. I’m surprised it came out better than I thought.”
“But why is your face so gloomy?”
“I need to be away from you when I go into the academy.”
Diana sighed. I grinned and pinched her cheeks lightly.
“The entrance ceremony is next February. We can stay together until then.”
“Then, do you want to not go to the academy and live with your sister?”
“…..I can’t. I have to be a knight. So please wait for me in 6 years.”
Diana will graduate next year at the age of 17. Blake’s also gonna be 17.
Will I be able to lift Blake’s curse by then? Or should I give up everything and get ready to leave?
Diana’s eyes shook nervously when I couldn’t answer.
“Yes. I will.”
I’ll try to wait for you with Blake, whose curse has been lifted.
I am going to do my best. But I couldn’t make any promise.
“Preparing for admission…”
Trying to change the subject of conversation, suddenly Diana grabbed my hand and hung her pinky finger on mine.
I tried to remove my hand in embarrassment, but she gave strength to her little finger and smiled.
“It’s a promise.”
I was forced to hang my finger and I was in the promise. However, when I saw our little fingers intertwined with each other, a smile came out for some reason.
“Yes. I promise.”
I ended up making an uncertain promise.
One year has passed. This year was also a year when Tensteon fell into Richard’s ruse and lost his life.
Before the year went by, I wanted to find a way to lift Blake’s curse, but the year ended without finding any clues.
There is a New Year’s ball today. I entered with Tensteon as always.
As the Crown Princess, I offered New Year’s greetings in turn to the nobility and envoys. And when the main dance began, I naturally moved toward the terrace.
Diana, who was in the terrace, jumped and waved her hand. As there were many participants today, the competition for the terrace was fierce. But she’s able to take the best place.
I was walking towards Diana, but Richard stood in front of me.
Richard, who turns 17 this year, became a complete man. I didn’t like him very much, but I couldn’t deny that he is handsome.
“You look beautiful as usual.”
He greeted proudly. What a nerve! Count Bellacian had Diana to spy on the Crown Prince’s palace, and suddenly exploded on the day the Duke’s eldest son announced his marriage and wielded violence.
He didn’t say anything at all, but it was clear behind him is the Duke of Cassil.
He probably used the marriage of his eldest son Frank and Diana as bait to manipulate Count Bellacian. And it’s probably Richard who set up that ruse.
In “The Beast and the Lady,” he used to plot such things.
After doing that to the Count of Bellacian, he says hello without feeling guilty. And he didn’t call me Your Highness again today.
Richard isn’t really interested in me. He just judged me to be worthy of use.
I wanted to ignore him as if I hadn’t seen him, but as Crown Princess, I had to have a decent etiquette.
“Thank you, Sir Cassil.”
“You’re not dancing again today?”
“If you don’t gain experience, your skills won’t improve.”
The main character of the original novel was really full of perseverance, even though he was rejected all three years. He still encouraged me to dance with him.
“That’s a useless worry.”
“My sister is a good dancer, she has practiced!”
Diana ran to my side. Richard fixed his eyes on me without even looking at her.
“Are you practicing by yourself? You have a cute side.”
“She didn’t practice to be cute to you!”
Diana interrupted again. Richard, who treated her as if she was invisible, frowned.
“Lady Bellacian, you’re being disrespectful right now…”
“Sister, let’s go.”
Diana turned her head as if she didn’t hear Richard, and put my arm in hers. Perhaps the two are determined to ignore each other.
“Yes. Let’s go.”
I went into the terrace with Diana. As soon as she closed the curtains on the terrace, she flung herself into a chair and threw off her shoes.
“Oh, my leg hurts. I can’t wear a pair of shoes like this anymore.”
Diana punched her feet with her fists. This Diana, is no longer the delicate heroine, she is a tomboyish girl. But I like this Diana better.
Moreover, this was not the only difference from the original story.
“Diana, what do you think of Richard Cassil?”
“He’s annoying. A bad luck…”
Diana was about to swear, but she looked at me and stop her words. She’s been speaking rather roughly since she came back from the academy orientation.
“I hate him anyway. I really hate him.”
Diana shuddered at the mere thought of Richard. It really doesn’t seem like Richard’s sane. He was ignoring Diana like an air.
“Diana, who do you like more in’The Secret of the Sword’?”
“The Secret of the Sword” is a famous opera depicting the love triangle between the fallen aristocrats and the two men.
In particular, the opposing characters of the two male protagonists, Ma Tap-ju, a highly ambitious obsessed man, and the friendly and warm Count who respects the thoughts of the female protagonist, was somehow similar to ‘Beast and the Lady’.
The opera has been a masterpiece for hundreds of years. People argued about who to choose if they were the heroine.
“Of course it’s the Count. Why on earth do you like a man like Matapju? I just don’t understand.”
Diana’s taste is a 180-degree change from the original story.
Richard is too much of a scumbag to have Diana.
She was worried that Diana might fall for Richard and twist her fate, but she was relieved.
The New Year’s ball continued until midnight. Diana returned to the far-off Crown Prince’s palace. Tenstheon asked me to come with him.
“Do you have anything to say?”
“Come on, I want to have a glass of wine with my father.”
Tenstheon took me to the top of Phillion Palace.
“Wow, I can see the whole palace at a glance.”
“Blake loves this room. When we played hide-and-seek, he always hid in this room.”
Tenstheon slowly shook the wine glass. The red wine drew a beautiful shape according to his movements. It was a completely different color from the grape juice in my glass.
“Why don’t you come to Amoria Palace as a New Year’s gift? His Highness will be very pleased.”
“If I do something wrong, I could hurt the child even more.”
“You’re too careful. His curse will surely be lifted. As long as his father is alive, no one will harm Crown Prince.”
He held the wine in silence.
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