May I Ask For One Final Thing? - chapter 1
“What did you just say…?”
As I repressed the feelings in my gut, I fixed my eyes on the man in front of me.
It was then that my fiancée, Kyle von Pallistan, the Second Prince of the Kingdom of Pallistan, decked out in a fine dining tailcoat, declared it one more time.
“I will say it as many times as I must! Scarlet El Vandimion, from this point on, consider our engagement over!”
He had neatly groomed light brown hair that suited his handsome face.
Yet even though he inherited those sharp regal eyes from his father, the King, it was hard to believe he had just turned seventeen years old considering his actions.
If you judged him purely on his appearance, then Kyle looked every bit the dashing young prince who could challenge for the throne… But in reality, he was a bumbling oaf who had become the butt of many a whispered joke in the royal palace.
As his fiancée, I’d been left with little choice but to try and clean up after him. It had proved impossible to wipe out all the rumours considering most of them were based on fact, but at the very least I did what I could to contain the worst of them.
But it turns out that even those efforts of mine were in vain, because at the ball where most of the country’s highest-ranking aristocracy had gathered, Kyle was pulling his most outrageously stupid stunt yet.
“All you noble ladies and gentlemen who have gathered tonight at my behest, take heed!”
The ball was taking place in a glamorous hall, lit up brightly by expensive looking glass chandeliers. Everyone who up until then had been enjoying chatting or dancing with one another turned their heads to look at the sudden commotion.
After making sure that all of the gazes of the hall were upon him, as well as me whom he faced, he hugged the girl with the pink hair and the cute, childlike face who stood next to him around the waist.
Then, he turned that idiotic face of his my way.
“I hereby announce my new engagement to this lady here, Baroness Terenezza Hopkins, as I wish to take her as my true and lawful wife!”
As the Idiot Prince announced that to the crowd, a quiet fell over the assembled nobles.
Meanwhile, in the midst of that stunned silence, Terenezza spoke out in a sweet voice with a smile on her face as she snuggled into Kyle’s side, one hand gripping her pure white dress.
“I will also declare it here! I shall become Kyle’s new fiancée, and I will definitely make him happy for the rest of my life after we become married! Ladies and gentlemen, please bless and congratulate our engagement!”
Just what is wrong with the heads of these two?
As I was still shocked into silence by the sheer ridiculousness of what was happening, some of the more opportunistic nobles began to break into applause, as if they had waited for this moment.
“Such a beautiful couple, you two suit each other well!”
“May the two of you be blessed and fortunate for all your days!”
I found myself glaring at the nobles I heard lavishing their praise on the new ‘couple’.
For a country’s Prince to declare the dissolution of his engagement without the approval of the King or any talk of palimony was absolutely outrageous. Any noble with a shred of common sense or decency wouldn’t be caught dead applauding such an act.
But suddenly, instead of the nobles either attempting to interfere or at the very least show some sort of disapproval for this insane situation, it seemed as if a large group of them had been caught up in the infection wave of applause rippling through the hall.
Honestly, just what the hell was going on?
Looking around slowly, I noted the faces of everyone I saw clapping or offering their blessings.
I suppose this wasn’t a surprise at all, was it?
Every single face I could see were members of the so-called Second Prince Faction, a group of nobles from various places in the country who worked to flatter and lampoon Prince Kyle.
Basically, they’re all in his pocket. How stupid.
On the other hand, Kyle, the Idiot Prince, seemed genuinely taken in by the applause and got even more excited as he hugged Terenezza even closer by the waist and shouted out.
“Ohh, my dear Terenezza! What a gallant and lovely lady you truly are! You couldn’t be any more different from that cold woman whose only merit is her blood!”
“Ahaha. Oh, Kyle, you shouldn’t say that about Scarlet, your former fiancée, don’t you feel sorry for her? Because originally, she was the fiancée His Majesty selected, after all.”
Miss Terenezza looked down on me with a blatantly mocking smirk.
Even though you haven’t gone through any of the formalities, you already consider yourself the Prince’s betrothed?
Well, fine, so be it.
I’m not going to jealously hold onto a Prince like that. If anything I’d love to hand him over as a gift.
I should have had him returned as a defective product years ago, anyways.
“Hmph. Having spent the past seventeen years up until today engaged to such a dull and wretched woman is the greatest smear upon my otherwise brilliant life! I hate the sight of her awful silver hair and blue eyes! Just seeing her face fills me with rage!”
The feeling was mutual.
Also, even if you might not like it, the silver hair and blue eyes I inherited from my mother are praised by everyone else for their beauty.
I’m not going to suddenly burst into tears if a blind man decries them.
Now then, I’ve heard what they’ve had to say, but what should I do now?
For the time being, as Prince Kyle’s fiancée, my job right now would probably be to get him to somehow defer from this idiotic and self-destructive course he’s plotting, but that would prove to be difficult.
Because, the way things are going, I don’t think he has any intention of listening to me.
That said, if I don’t say anything, it might be held against me later. I suppose I should say I don’t have much choice.
“I would be remiss not to remind you, Your Highness, that the marriage contract between us was something decided by both the royal family and the House of Vandiminion before either of us were even born. Your Highness, do you truly believe that you’re in a position to annul that agreement on your own?”
As I asked him that, Kyle snorted angrily, sneering down at me as if I’d said something foolish.
As handsome as he was normally, he looked a right mess twisting his face like that.
“I can annul it however I please. All I need to do is reveal your many crimes before everyone!”
I couldn’t help but repeat that last word back to him.
What could he possibly mean by crimes? No, I’m not trying to feign ignorance, I really have no idea what he’s talking about.
“Don’t play dumb! I’ve heard all about it from Terenezza! You were filled with ugly jealousy for Terenezza, who I showered with my love, so you decided to harass her constantly throughout the academy!”
As Kyle thrust an accusatory finger towards me, all I could do was look more and more confused.
Just what in the world was this idiot saying now?
“I truly don’t remember doing anything like that. Also, that lady there… You mentioned her name was Miss Terenezza? I’ve heard rumours about her, but this is the first time I’ve laid eyes on her.”
“I’ve already seen your true colours! How can you say that you have never met with Terenezza when the two of you are in the same grade at the academy! If you are going to lie, at least put in some effort! You half-wit!”
Even if you say that…
Hearing the incoherent ramblings of the Idiot Prince, it took some willpower not to heave a deep sigh.
In Granhilde, the capital of the Kingdom of Pallistan, there was an educational institution colloquially known as ‘The Academy’.
Its official name was the Royal Aristocratic Academy and it offered a wide variety of courses from magic and swordsmanship to more theory-based pursuits that would prove invaluable in the student’s future such as the history of the kingdom and best practices in maintaining fiefs.
In addition, it was an obligation for the aristocracy to have their children attend this academy, where they would spend three years from the age of fifteen at the boarding school.
No exceptions were made whether you were from the highest or the lowest noble castes, and both Kyle and myself were enrolled in the academy as upperclassmen.
However, to be blunt, I can’t recall the faces of the people who weren’t in my class.
At the very least, if we attended the same school building I was fairly confident I’d remember their face if confronted with them, but I truly couldn’t recall ever meeting Miss Terenezza.
So, that could only lead me to think…
“Ah, Miss Terenezza, by any chance, are you enrolled in the General Studies Department?”
“So what if she is!? Are you trying to discriminate against Terenezza just because her grades aren’t as good as some other people!? Acting so high and mighty just because you’re in Special Studies… That’s discrimination! Shame on you!”
Since the academy saw over a hundred new students enter through its gates every year, including certain noble children enrolled from abroad, the classes were divided up according to the student’s abilities and grades.
There was the General Studies Department where students with average ability (or less) were gathered, as well as a Special Studies Department where students of a higher calibre were taught. Because their school buildings were kept separate and were also quite a distance from each other, it was rare that students from the two departments would ever meet.
Although I did try and explain the above to Kyle, his head looked like it was emitting steam at this point, so it was probably a waste of breath.
For the record, Kyle was placed in the Special Studies Department when he enrolled at the academy, but after entering his performance fell off rapidly and he was soon demoted to the General Studies Course almost immediately.
Honestly, just what is he doing with himself?
“Hmph. So now that the situation has gone against you, you think to hold your tongue and all of this will go away? So be it. If you insist on playing dumb, I will simply list of all the horrible and evil deeds you have committed against Terenezza one by one. First of all…”
Kyle, whose face seemed to be lit up with far more confidence than before, turned around to boisterously address the assembled audience.
I apparently tore up and ruined her class notes.
I apparently locked her in the bathroom.
I apparently spread all sorts of bad rumours.
The worst crime of all was when I supposedly pushed her down the stairs.
We went to school in different buildings, when exactly would I get the chance to push a perfect stranger down a flight of stairs?
Naturally, there wasn’t a shred of evidence for any of these accusations, other than Miss Terenezza’s testimony.
What a farce. Is he seriously trying to condemn me on the basis of such barefaced lies?
…No, that’s not quite it, is it? Truth or falsehood, right now such a thing didn’t matter to Prince Kyle at all.
All he wants is to be free of me, and if that involves marrying some baroness who is clearly only after him for the position he holds, then apparently that’s all the same to him.
“…Fine, that’s enough.”
I couldn’t bear to listen to any more of Kyle’s rambling accusations, so I decided to cut him off midway.
There wasn’t any more point in listening to Kyle’s worthless tales. That’s what I thought.
When Kyle turned to look at me, seeing how cold I looked, he seemed to have deeply misunderstood my expression. With a wide and malicious grin on his face, he spoke at me.
“So, you’re finally admitting to your heinous crimes?”
“You may interpret it however you please. All I wish to say is that in regards to you wanting to annul our engagement, I accept.”
“Do you see that? That cold and remorseless behaviour truly befits a bully like her. Have you heard of this? Apparently, in the fairy tales and the operas, women like you are called a ‘Villainess’? I think such a name suits an evil witch like you perfectly! Fuhahaha!”
Tired of his endless scorn, I let my gaze wander. That was when I saw that Miss Terenezza, who was still cosying up to Prince Kyle, mouthed the word ‘Idiot’ at me.
Yes, I know all too well. About your true nature, that is.
“Now, at last, we can finally be together without anyone harassing us, Terenezza. Yesterday, when you begged me to cancel my engagement with Scarlet, I truly was worried about how it would go. Now my only regret is that I didn’t do this earlier. I’m finally free of this shitty political marriage I was saddled with!”
“Fufu. Kyle, you just became aware of the true love that we share. It was always our destiny to be together.”
“Ohhh, Terenezza! My love for you is overflowing! It’s taking every bit of my will not to take you right here! Is it fine!? It’s fine, right!? I can’t wait for an answer!”
“Oh nooo~ Kyle, we can’t do that hereeee~!”
As I silently looked at those idiots grabbing at each other with cold eyes, I felt a certain emotion begin to bubble within me.
It was a feeling that I had always tried to suppress as both Prince Kyle’s fiancée and a future member of the royal family, a feeling I hadn’t felt since I was a child.
Your Majesty, Father, Mother…
It should be fine now, right? I can’t put up with this anymore.
“Your Highness, Prince Kyle. Before I leave here, may I ask for one final thing?”
As those two continued to openly flirt with each other, I interrupted them without caring at all about their atmosphere.
Kyle, obviously annoyed that I’d interrupted his foreplay, turned around with an angry face, raising his voice.
“Why should I listen to the begging of a bitch criminal who dared to harm my fiancée!? You stupid fool! Guardsmen! Drag this woman out of my sight immediately!”
As Prince Kyle’s shout echoed through the hall, I heard the clanking of sabatons on the ballroom floor.
As the crowd of people peeled apart, the guardsmen who had been assigned to provide security appeared.
Oh, I see, it just so happened that these were all Prince Kyle’s floozies as well? He really went out of his way to prepare all this.
“Now now, Kyle. She did say it would be a final request, so isn’t it fine?”
Not quite understanding what she was thinking, Kyle frowned at Miss Terenezza’s soothing words.
“It shouldn’t be a big deal, anyway. If she has a final wish for you, you could make it a condition that she confesses all her crimes in front of His Majesty as a condition, right? It could end up benefitting us.”
“I see. You sure are smart, Terenezza. Very well, Scarlet, what is it that you want? I will be willing to entertain your wish if you fulfil that condition. You should be grateful that I’m so generous.”
“That will be fine. Thank you very much, Prince Kyle, Lady Terenezza.”
After a quick bow, I slowly approached the two of them whilst suppressing the trembling in my left hand.
“Well, what is your request? Money? Jewellery?”
“…You’re really fine with hearing it?”
“You’re taking too long! Out with it quickly, before I change my mind!”
“Then, I won’t hesitate… Lady Terenezza, are you ready?”
“Ha? What are you saying…?”
Then, towards Prince Kyle, who looked absolutely mystified, I gave him a huge smile that he had never seen me wear before.
“Because once I’m this close… There’s absolutely no way I can hold back.”
Then, slowly raising my arm…
“It’s a bit late, but here is my final request. May I send Terenezzathis fucking bitch flying?”
Without waiting for an answer, I drove my clenched fist straight into Miss Terenezza’s face with all of my power.
Her agonized scream tore through the ballroom.
Miss Terenezza, whose nose gushed out a torrent of blood, flew through the air before landing in a collapsed heap, her arms and legs twitching slightly as a thin trail of drool dripped from her mouth.
“Haa… That was satisfying.”
I chirped that out from the bottom of my heart.
It seems that everyone who said that violence hurts the one committing it the most really was a liar after all?
Because I was still basking in happiness after smashing in the face of that shitty girl.
“Y-you bitch!? W-w-w-what the hell did you just do!?”
“I was feeling angry, so I hit her. Is there a problem?”
As I answered him like that, Prince Kyle stared at me like I’d grown a second head on my shoulders.
Well, I suppose that reaction makes sense?
This was the first time I’d done that in ten years, so of course, this man, who only knew me as his obedient fiancée who always played the part would be surprised.
Until I was seven years old, I had a bad reputation for silencing any person who made me angry with my fists, so I soon earned the nickname Mad Dog Princess. Well, nobody remembers that nickname anymore, except for my victims.
“I have something that I would like to say to those members of the Second Prince Faction gathered here tonight.”
I spun around splendidly, the hem of my red dress floating as if it were weightless, as I eyed the shocked people surrounding us.
“You’re all lower than pigs, you worthless bastards.”
Even though I had to suppress everything that made me who I am, I did it do devote myself to the betterment of the country.
Even though I had to sacrifice so much, I had to endure the pain obediently and wordlessly, like a doll.
These worthless pigs who don’t care at all about anyone else as they scramble for the biggest piece of the pie… Just to try and improve their own position, they played their part in this sham of an engagement annulment, trashing everything I had worked so hard to achieve.
How could I hold myself back now?
“Therefore… You won’t have any complaints if I send you all flying, will you?”
Putting my hands into the pocket of my dress, I retrieved my gloves.
I’ll need to make sure to protect my hands, since I’m going to be punching a lot of people, after all. That would only be befitting a lady.
“Well then, shall we get this show started? Who wants to get beaten first? Please raise your hands and step forward.”