Chapter 1 Sudden storm
My name is Hermina Von Reutlingen.
My father was the King’s younger brother and granted the position of duke.
The blue eyes and black hair given only to the royal family is one of the things I’m proud of. But the one thing I pride myself above that, were my ten older sisters.
Bright Elke-oneesama, who was good at things like knitting and sewing Dorothea-oneesama, who was good at fencing and who would whip out various ways for me to defend myself. The songs Coriana-oneesama sings were world-class and the sweets Charlotte-oneesama makes have a subtle flavor. Cassandra-oneesama taught me to study eagerly, and Cecilie-oneesama’s pursuit of beauty was such a wonderful thing. Alexia-oneesama taught me the beauty of nature and, since the triplets, Bertha-oneesama, Bianca-oneesama, and Clara-oneesama were close to my age, they played a lot with me.
Everyone is so kind and beautiful, I love them.
However, it seems Father had a hard time finding husbands for my sisters, so it was painful for me to watch his hair recede day by day from his difficulties.
When my sisters turn seventeen or eighteen, they leave to be brides.
Even though Elke-oneesama and Dorothea-oneesama had been married, ever since I could remember, they would frequently come to visit us.
My sisters, who left to faraway places to become brides, wondered whether or not they would be able to come back once a year.
Though I pleaded with Father not to send them far away, he explained to me back in those days that it was difficult to find marriage partners within the capital.
And so, one by one, my sisters left to be brides.
Year by year, the wide estate grew quieter.
In the middle of that, an incident that plunged us into the bottom of despair occurred.
The following year after he saw through the marriages of the triplets, Bertha-oneesama, Bianca-oneesama and Clara-oneesama, Father died.
Just when the entire family finally got back together, it turned into a tragic reunion.
A year after our mourning came to an end, I was summoned by my uncle, the King.
Though he may be Father’s brother, I could only count the times I’ve met my uncle with one hand. Needless to say, I’d been extremely nervous on the actual day.
Having last seen me during the funeral service, the King – or rather, Uncle, asked whether I was doing well.
I’d been sad but I had been doing well everyday.
Thanks to Dorothea-oneesama’s training since way back, I almost never get sick, and when I walked inside the abundant forest, my heart would be healed. And besides, the things my sisters taught me had been supporting me.
When I told him that, Uncle told me 「Even when you’re alone, you have your sisters inside you」 .
When he said those words, I felt overwhelmed with emotions.
My sisters who went faraway to be brides existed in me.
When I had that in mind, I felt quite encouraged. I didn’t feel lonely anymore.
After I expressed my thanks to Uncle, he moved on to the matter at hand.
The important business was something astonishing.
It was, regarding my marriage.
If I got the story straight then Father had entrusted finding my future husband to his brother, my Uncle.
That on his death bed, Father entrusted his dying wish to Uncle who traveled incognito to visit him.
Now that our mourning was over, Uncle searched for a marriage partner and recommended one man for me.
He said that, first of all, the marriage was not compulsory. And that, if I didn’t fancy him, he’d find a different person for me.
It seems Father wished for me to have a marriage where I could be happy. Just that sentiment alone already makes me happy.
He says that the other person was a reliable character and a gentleman that even Uncle recognizes. He’d said that the man was bright, cheerful and pleasant. Lastly, Uncle offered up his name.
–Erich Von Weimar.
When I heard that, I nearly raised my voice but right as I was about to, I gulped it down.
He comes from a distinguished family with a long history, the second son of Earl Weimar so both his birth and upbringing were good. Serving as an imperial knight for the second prince, his occupation was nothing to criticize either.
I only met Erich Von Weimar once at a evening party. Having blonde hair and gentle, emerald-green eyes, he was a man with a disgustingly beautiful face.
However, what was unfortunate was that there was an unending rumour that he was considered the number one playboy in high society and frivolous with women.
Recently, I’d heard that he laid a hand on a maid that served the prince and got her pregnant.
He was 27 years old. As a noble, he was just barely past the marriageable age, but if one knew about his past, then he may have been a lost cause.
Uncle had said that if I didn’t want to marry him, I could refuse.
However, when it’s marriage with nobles, there were similar situations in every family.
They say it’s a blood contract for the sake of strengthening ties between families. A harmonious husband and wife relationship like the one my parents had was rare.
Thinking that I shouldn’t cause my busy uncle any further trouble, I decided to accept the current marriage proposal.
I was asked, “Are you fine with this?”.
Uncle was probably aware that Erich Von Weimar had an affair.
I returned an immediate response like I was contending in a match, “I couldn’t have asked for more”.
–Having said that, I’m not planning to play a good, reasonable and docile wife at all.
I placed all sorts of self-introductions into a letter addressed to Erich Von Weimar.
To 『my dear』 Erich Von Weimar-sama
First off, I wrote a diplomatic greeting and a message to the effect of thanking him for the trouble, wording things more politely than needed.
Then, I moved on to the matter at hand.
First, the most important point had been my request to bring my mother along to the family I was marrying into.
As a sheltered daughter from a foreign land, Mother didn’t have a lot of people to count on. That’s why, I want to live together with her. Incidentally, the position of Duke was returned to the country after Father had died.
Next, I tried bringing up things I like as a topic.
I wrote about my greatest hobbies being things that were physically exerting, like riding a horse through the forest, or hunting animals during hunting season, or even practicing the sword every single day.
Well, this isn’t a lie. “I’m looking forward to the day we can exchange blows with a sword”, I added.
After that, I wrote that I like popular dresses and jewelry, and that shopping was a hobby.
“There are often times I’d unintentionally do something wasteful”, I appended as a postscript.
It’s not like I buy dresses or jewelry I don’t need though.
I’d often gone out with friends from high society and hosted tea parties once a week. I wrote that without forgetting about the fact that it’ll be a reason to invite a lot of people when we get married.
I eat meals made only by the finest chefs and picky even with the brand of the red tea and confectionaries. This, I wrote in detail.
I want to bring all the servants in my family along into the family.
“The furniture too, if possible”, I wrote, writing every little fancy that came to mind.
I can’t live as the wife of a playboy husband if he can’t grant me at least this much.
I’m planning on giving birth to some children and though I’ll play the virtuous wife in public, I wanted to make sure that the house was comfortable to live in.
Though the letter that I wrote my relatively absurd wishes eventually became fifteen pages long, I sent it just the way it was, without any revisions.
After several days, a maid brought in a letter with a reply from Erich Von Weimar.
In the end, I broke the seal wondering how the other person responded excitedly.
The reply to the 15-page letter came as a one page stationary.
The moment I unfolded the letter, I knitted my brow.
The contents on the page, was very simple.
Hermina Von Reutlingen-sama
Thank you for your letter. It’s my first time receiving such a polite letter, I felt very happy.
I look forward to the day that you’ll be my wife.
With love, Erich Von Weimar
Does that mean he accepted all my unreasonable, pointless, impulsive and inconceivable demands? I didn’t quite understand.
Does that mean his bad reputation had spread so much that he needed an ornamental wife to put on an appearance?
It seems he sent me a present along with the letter.
When I opened the box, inside were sweets that were popular in the capital.
I was told these were elusive sweets that were only sold one box per customer and that you could only get them by standing in line for three hours.
There wasn’t a woman in the capital that doesn’t dream of tasting it. Such a wonderful present.
A letter written with a lovely penmanship. A present in good taste.
He gave me the perfect reply.
Without thinking, my shoulders trembled.
It wasn’t out of anger or horror.
This emotion that’s boiling up in me was, yes, exhileration.
Erich Von Weimar.
You’re not lacking as an opponent.
‘I’ll definitely defeat you （emotionally）someday’, I thought, stirring up my stubborn fighting spirit.
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