Chapter 29: Reunion 3

“Saifuddien-sama is doing his very best to ensure that we are all safe. He is trying very hard to protect everyone…and yet you, with all your military power you choose to cower away in your kingdom. Are you stupid!?” with teary eyes, Lady Euphemia shouted those words at Edwin.

The blood boiled in Hitomi, Eve, and Margarita…but before they could voice their contempt Duchess Rania was in motion.

“What the hell are you saying!” she shouted as she stood up

Lady Euphemia was not only taken aback by her loud voice but by the intimidating aura, she was emitting.

“Mother I…I just want what’s best for Vidfamne.”

“Ho…Are you saying that I do not know what’s best for my duchy?” she asked in a threatening way.

“No…but…As a member of the Vidfamne alliance if Highland doesn’t join the world in fighting the demons, Vidfamne might also suffer a backlash from it.”

“You need not worry about that, Highland has announced its intention to withdraw from the alliance.”

Lady Euphemia, Princess Siraye, and Princess Louise were surprised by this piece of news they didn’t hear.

“What do you mean? What about the arrangement to have our two houses form a blood connection through marriage…Surely Highland is not expecting-“

“The royal family of Highland has withdrawn its request for marriage.”

[In other words Highland is cutting all tie with the duchy] Princess Louise thought to herself.

[The Duchess was unable to salvage the situation? Just how powerful has Highland become?] Princess Siraye thought to herself.

“That’s…I thought you said that you held no grudge towards our past actions.” She asked Edwin

“This and that are two different things. Highland simply cannot afford to be in any alliance at the moment and as you know the royal family is thin in numbers right now. I see no reason to hold on to a fruitless marriage proposal.”

Duchess Rania could only give a wry smile to Edwin’s remark of ‘a fruitless marriage proposal’

“That’s…Even so. Are you abandoning Vidfamne? Are you abandoning your duty as royalty on the continent? While everyone else is fighting the demons you’re just cowering behind in Highland?”

“Euphemia!” Duchess Rania said in anger before sighing. “Euphemia, I don’t know what happened to you for you to forget everything I taught you. Your attitude toward the king of Highland is bringing disgrace on the house of Vidfamne.”

“But…”

“There are no buts…You are not his fiancé nor his wife!” she shouted, “You understand what that means right!”

“But..”

“Are you going to make repeat myself?”

“Highland has the military might to fight the demons. They should fight to--”

“Under whose banner!?” she asked in a clear voice

Lady Euphemia was confused at her mother’s question but Princess Siraye and Princess Louise knew what that question implied.

“Are you asking your former fiancé, whom you one-sidedly broke off the engagement with, to fight under the banner of your current husband?”

Lady Euphemia's eyes opened wide when she heard those words. She and the two princesses behind her never saw their current situation from such an angle before.

In other words, if the alliance wanted Highland to join the battle against the demons they would need to send someone other than the three of them to negotiate with Highland.

Another problem would be that such negotiations would most likely not go smoothly for the alliance.

Highland might request a larger share of the spoils of war, namely land from the fallen nations in the east.

[You’re asking us to fight under the hero who stole the fiancés of our king. Don’t you think we deserve this much?]

Duchess Rania could easily imagine Highland making such a stance in negotiations.

Lady Euphemia's face went pale while Princess Siraye and Princess Louise had trouble expressions.

They could summarize the Duchess's point in one phrase.

[[[We have become a liability in negotiations]]]

Lady Euphemia turned to face Edwin directly and took two steps forward but Margarita blocked her path swiftly.

“I think that is close enough Lady Euphemia” Margarita uttered

“Wait…Edwin…I...”

“Euphemia… Leave!”

“Eh…”

Duchess Rania gave Lady Euphemia the order to leave with a stern voice.

Duchess Rania had her agenda to consider. Lady Euphemia was only focused on getting Highland to fight alongside the hero in this war, but that was impossible from her point of view.

“Mother…”

“Shelley. You and the aides are to escort Euphemia and the princesses back to her room immediately.”

“Yes duchess” she replied before she ushered the downcast Euphemia and the princess out of the room.

“I apologize for my daughter’s rude behavior.” Duchess Rania said as she lowered her head to Edwin.

“There is no need for that. In any case, our business is hereby concluded. I will be taking my leave then.”

“Please wait. I could have a private discussion with you, your highness.”

Edwin frowned at her request. He wanted to get back to Highland.

“Is that necessary? My retainers are trustworthy you know.”

“|I meant no disrespect to you your retainers I simply wish to have a private talk with you.”

“Very well.”

“Edwin-sama I must object.”

“That right Edwin… what if she tries to seduce with her beauty.”

Both Eve and Hitomi voiced their opposition but Edwin simply waved them away while reprimanding Hitomi for her choice of words.

Edwin and the duchess were alone in the room. Edwin was confident that the duchess wouldn’t be able to seduce him even if she tried after all he spends some time around the spirit queen.

Edwin also knew that there were just something’s one couldn’t say in front of retainers.

In other words, the true discussions were going to be held now.

Edwin watched as the duchess stood there motionless. It seemed she was thinking long and hard about what to say.

She turned Edwin’s way before approaching him.

Edwin was wondering what was going through her mind when she did a dogeza(kowtow) at his feet.

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