Haunted Duke’s Daughter:Tina
Haunted Duke’s Daughter: Tina
There are two main types of nobles in this country: senior nobles and inferior nobles. The higher nobility has preferential treatment when they want to take over their parents’ business, but the lower nobility does not have such treatment.
In particular, baronet is a title given to those who have achieved something or to merchant families that have been in existence for generations, and is the lowest rank of nobility having no fiefdoms. They are called “upstarts” by both senior nobles and commoners, and are sometimes ridiculed as nobles in name only.
Even so, it seems that there are many commoners who yearn to become nobles, and there is no end to the number of applications. Although there is a strict screening process, several people are still granted baronet titles every year.
Tina’s birth family, the Breha family, was given the baronet title shortly before Tina was born. The Breha family runs an inn in a small town about a week’s ride north from the royal capital. It is the largest inn in the town, and even though it is a small town inn, the fact that it has been in business for many generations was highly regarded, and they were finally given the baronet title.
My acquaintance with His Highness was really just a coincidence. A boy walking in front of me dropped his pen, so I picked it up and gave it to him, only to find out that he was the Crown Prince.
His Highness was very surprised and rolled his eyes, but he immediately smiled and said, “Thank you.”
His Highness is a very famous person in this school. He is kind to everyone and treats us, the lower class nobles and commoners, without distinction. There are many people who admire His Highness, and I was one of them. For that reason, I was very happy to be thanked directly by him.
However, since the day I picked up the pen, my school life has changed. His Highness began to talk to me from time to time.
On the way to the school building or when we passed each other, His Highness would talk to me in a friendly manner. Two of my friends from the school were there several times, and they seemed to be surprised that His Highness was talking to me.
“Tina, what have you done?”
One of my friends, Katie, asks me about it. Her face looked very worried.
“That…….His Highness dropped the pen, and I picked it up and gave it to him, that’s all.”
“No, no, no, that’s not it. His Highness only looks so radiant when he talks to Tina.”
That’s what my other friend, Alia, says. But I really don’t have any more ideas than that. My two friends looked at each other, as if they had guessed from the fact that I kept tilting my head.
“You really don’t get it, do you? Maybe it’s love at first sight.”
“No, not to Tina……..Maybe.”
They had this conversation right in front of me so I panicked.
“No, it can’t be! His Highness has a fiancée! It’s……!”
“But this engagement was not decided by His Highness, was it?”
“I think His Highness’ first love might be Tina.”
Hearing this, I felt mildly dizzy.
There are two famous students in this school. One of them is His Highness, of course. And the other is His Highness’ fiancée, Liliane Aldis. Liliane is famous for her fiery personality, and everyone tries their best not to get involved with her. As for me, I avoided Liliane whenever possible.
However, if what they are saying is true, I will not be able to continue acting like that. Liliane would never forgive me.
I sighed, and my fears came true.
One day, I started to be harassed by some people. I was ignored by some of my classmates, my belongings were hidden, I was pushed in the hallway, and many other things started to happen.
It was around that time that rumors began to circulate that His Highness was giving me special treatment. Since I had already given up, I decided to take all those harassments. It might have been different if I could have apologized directly to Her Highness Liliane, but I didn’t have the courage to do so.
It was my fault for talking to His Highness in an unworthy manner. Alia and Katie both say that this is not the case, but if it were not for my actions, His Highness would not have paid any attention to me. I still think it was because I acted without thinking.
The harassment has been going on for a long time. His Highness seems to have heard the rumors and has become more concerned about me.
“Since you have a fiancé, please leave me alone. That should solve the problem.”
In the end, I couldn’t say those words. Then one day, I was pushed off the top of the stairs.
After a moment of floating, I imagined the pain of hitting the hard floor, but I didn’t, Alia was holding me up. She was staring at me with a terrible expression. The other side was Liliane, who was also frozen with her eyes wide open. In front of her gaze was Her Highness.
It didn’t take long from there. His Highness blamed Lady Liliane and told her that the engagement was over. When I heard this, my mind went blank, and I found myself looking at His Highness with concern.
“Are you okay, Tina? Liliane has already left……”
“What are you……doing?”
My voice had become so stiff that I could hardly believe it was my own. I say to His Highness, who tilts his head.
“I believe that Lady Liliane is your betrothed, Your Highness.”
“I’m no longer engaged.”
His Highness replies in a resentful tone.
“The one I like is…….”
A few days later, I heard that Lady Liliane had retreated to the Aldis house. In the end, I was unable to apologize to Lady Liliane.
Sometime later when I was waiting for the prince at the third floor entrance to talk to him, someone came up the stairs, even though the class was not over yet.
Me being here would not look good to the senior nobles, so I hurriedly hid to see what was going on. I was surprised when I saw the person who came up. It was Lady Liliane.
Liliane seemed to be talking to one of the maids about something. Her expression was very natural, unlike when I had seen her before. I made up my mind to talk to Liliane.
I was wrong about Lilia. Lilia forgave me and then became my friend. Now, Lilia is my best friend.
“I thought you were a very scary person, Lilia.”
“What, out of the blue?”
Today, we are drinking tea together in Lilia’s room. Incidentally, this tea is brewed by Alisa. As expected of Lilia’s personal maid, the tea is very delicious.
“Because I’ve been bullied so much by so many people.”
“I feel bad about that…….”
“But now that we’re friends, you’re so caring, it’s really surprising.”
When I said that and smiled at Lilia, she turned her cheeks slightly and looked away. The gesture seemed very cute.
“And hopefully you’ll get along with His Highness, too…….”
“I don’t think so.”
The answer was immediate. I know it’s not unreasonable, but…….
For me, the Lilia of today is exactly what I admire. I think it is very cool that she speaks her mind clearly. His Highness is also a person I admire. I think it’s sad that the two of them don’t get along.
Lilia says a lot of things, but I don’t think she dislikes His Highness that much. I know that Lilia was in love with His Highness. His Highness also seems to have feelings for me, but I’m sure it’s just a passing fancy. If he sees the Lilia of today, he will fall in love with her.
I wish I could be the one that would bring them together.
“Lilia. I’ll do my best.”
If I could reconcile the two of them, Lilia might be able to get engaged to His Highness once again. Although she doesn’t say it out loud, I’m sure Lilia would like that.
For the sake of Lilia, who has forgiven me, I will do my best.
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