Is this what you call a castle…?
For a moment, my consciousness drifted away in the subspace that spread out before me, but I’m glad to have come back.
Now, as for my current situation…
I’m walking slowly with Nakia, my escort, on our way to a tea party.
…But even that is difficult and hellish for me.
It’s not like my heart is jumping out of my mouth due to nervousness or anything like that.
It’s more like a desire to sightsee.
I’m trying my best to keep my gaze fixed because it’s shameful to be restless, but if I could, I’d love to look around and explore.
I want to see the guards moving crisply, admire the finely carved ceiling with my mouth gaping open, and lean out over the balcony railing to enjoy the view.
In my past life, I would have been able to gaze in wonder at everything without holding back.
Keeping it all bottled up inside is like a new form of torture.
I’m desperately enduring it because I made a promise with Belritz, but it wouldn’t be strange if something leaked out of me someday when I explode.
And yet, despite my current state, the maids are waiting in another room.
During the tea party, I’ll be all alone.
I’m already exhausted to the core, and I truly want to go home from the bottom of my heart.
“Your hair, Princess Liselotte.”
Did I look like a calf being taken away when I left, longing for Nakia to stay with me and gently adjust my hair?
“You look lovely with your hairpin. You are very beautiful today as well.”
She softly smiles and says, “You are my proud young lady.”
As my combat dress, Nakia chose a delicate yellow lace dress and a hairpin I received as a charm for today’s completely foreign tea party, which I simply adore.
Just like a charm to get through it unscathed, like that boy who came back to life.
I hope I can meet the expectations of my mission today, which are to gracefully finish the tea party and make as many friends as possible.
We were ushered into a salon where several young ladies had already arrived.
As soon as we stepped into the salon, which was dotted with round tables, I felt something was off.
All the young ladies present had blonde hair, and their eye colors were similar too.
At first, I thought it might be a coincidence, but as more young ladies arrived one after another, they all had the same color scheme.
Perhaps it was a tea party with a color theme.
It seemed that they did not have enough escorts for all the young ladies to have one, resulting in a rather strange and mysterious atmosphere with only young ladies dressed in similar colors.
The planning and management of such an event would be quite challenging, but it was no surprise since it was organized by the royal family.
As I didn’t have any acquaintances in the capital, I sat at an empty seat and listened to the performance, when a cool voice called out from beside me.
“Hello, would you mind if I sit next to you?”
When I turned around, a girl of the same age was smiling at me with a friendly expression. Her dazzling blonde hair was wrapped around her neck and her bright blue-green eyes sparkled like jewels. Her cute and lively expression added color to her doll-like beauty.
I invited the lovely girl to sit next to me, and she gracefully sat down, holding her delicate pink dress.
“Are you alone too?”
“Well, yes. My mother couldn’t make it and so I came with my maid. It’s my first time at the royal castle and I’m feeling quite nervous, thanks to being left all alone.”
All my older sisters are already married and not in the capital, and my mother is currently in the midst of a lovey-dovey rendezvous with my father. I don’t mind that they get along well, but there’s also such a thing as being too indulgent.
“Ha ha, I feel the same way. …Well, take a look. The cakes look so delicious.”
A cart being pushed by a server making its rounds around the tables happened to pass by.
As it was a royal event, each item was exquisitely refined. It seemed to be a system where you could choose your favorite sweets, and the two of them giggled and picked out their choices.
Huh… this is fun… What is this? It’s really fun…
It was such a relief that they didn’t have to struggle with the turmoil of excitement in their hearts alone and had someone to share the experience with!
“Thank you for speaking to me. I apologize for not introducing myself earlier. My name is Liselotte von Lotus.”
“Oh, the Lotus Earl’s family? I’m glad to meet you. My name is Eleanora zu McLarren.”
Wow, what a cute name!
She’s my first friend in the capital, and she saved me from being alone at the tea party…!
We continued our conversation in a friendly manner, and I made sure to remember her name. I’m notorious for having difficulty remembering people’s names and faces from my past life.
After chanting for a while, it suddenly descended like a revelation from God.
Hm? … Hmm?
Eleanora zu McLarren…?
If you’re talking about Liselotte and Eleanora, that’s from that novel…!
I’m not a mob character or a friend character.
I was the protagonist of the novel, and I was a villainess…
I was a typical villainess who was accused and executed by the capture characters who supported Eleanora~!
As if expressing the shock in my heart, the music being played changed to something heavy.
Unable to shake off the shock, I looked around following the others’ gaze and saw a woman appear from the back door. It was the queen, the hostess, dressed in a dazzling deep red dress embroidered with gold thread.
The queen calmly walked up to the table in the back and looked around the salon, nodding in satisfaction.
“Welcome. It seems that many glamorous young ladies have come, and it’s as if flowers have bloomed in this rough castle. Today, we have prepared tea leaves imported from the Western country. It has a refreshing taste and is well-liked by the king as well.”
The words “well-liked by the king too” could be heard whispered around.
…I see, so this is what they call a royal warrant…
The writing on the packaging didn’t look like anything I had seen in my previous life.
So here and now, they have lined up the products recommended by the royal family…!
With a shock that felt like being struck by lightning, I quickly regained my composure.
That’s right, there’s no need to worry just because I’m the villainess.
After all, I wasn’t reincarnated just before being accused.
In the novel, I elegantly avoided a bad end, so I just need to follow that example.
If I have hints, I can cheat my way through it.
Although I don’t remember all of the capture targets, I believe the prince was the main one.
In the original novel, the first meeting with the prince… um, what were his characteristics again?
I tried to remember, but various princes from different novels mixed together and raced through my mind.
Please be quiet… I beg you.
“Today, my son Falce and Gilbert will also be present. Both of them are not accustomed to being in the presence of women or at such occasions, so I would be grateful if you could overlook any mistakes they may make.”
As the queen delivered her speech, I was desperately trying to recall even a fragment of information about the princes, but then she dropped a bombshell.
What, here and now!?
I’m struggling to keep up with this sudden turn of events. Was this really how they first met?
It’s only been three days since I became aware of my reincarnation, and there were two princes, right?
Maybe one of them was a hidden character that only made a brief appearance in the early stages of the story?
In the midst of my confusion, the queen urged me to meet the two princes.
The one with platinum blond hair and golden eyes was the first prince, Prince Falce, according to the queen’s introduction.
The other with ash blond short hair and reddish-brown eyes was the second prince, Prince Gilbert.
Both had exquisite features, but I remembered, as I saw Gilbert’s straight and cool demeanor. Gilbert was, to put it simply, a disappointing ikemen (handsome man). Although he seemed like a good choice as a main capture target, I remember having a lot of fun reading him as a tsundere lover.
However, the other prince is still not quite distinctive in name or appearance. He gives off an intelligent and gentle impression, exuding a princely aura that seems to say, “I am the rightful main character for this route.” However, a bandage wrapped around his forehead stands out prominently.
“Please enjoy your conversation,” the queen said as she closed her speech, but she didn’t mention a word about her son’s injury.
Hey, why isn’t she mentioning it?
Is it something that shouldn’t be talked about?
Or is it a typical messy situation in the royal family?
It’s bothering me, but I don’t want to get unnecessarily anxious about it.
Come to think of it, I recall the boy from the other day also had an injury in the same spot and had golden eyes…
And his younger brother had reddish-brown eyes too…!
Their hair color and overall impression are different, but these two are the boys from the other day!
I never thought I would meet the princes right off the bat and almost die in the process.
No, wait, it’s not normal to think that way. If I didn’t notice it back then, I would have definitely died.
It’s too much of a tight schedule to have a divergence on the same day that my memories from my past life returned.
And then I realized something that made me want to pull my hair out.
In the original novel, the story began with the first prince already deceased.
And the main capture target in the fictional otome game described in the novel was none other than Prince Falce.
By meddling with the story, I had changed the premise of the novel and its otome game, and there was no telling what consequences it might have.
What a shame, huh?
My second life is already screwed up.