Chapter 1

A negotiation called marriage proposal

Di~ing-dong, the temple bell – known as the bell of happiness – resounded .

This is the royal capital of Rojia1 of the Fleur kingdom . The royal palace is built on top of a small hill with an unobstructed view of the royal capital, the most sacred place . In the state church’s sanctuary, a wedding ceremony took place .

Right now, I’m standing in that temples entrance and drew the gazes of all the attending guests . That’s because I’m today’s bride .

The esteemed priest stood on the far side of the altar and across that stood the beautiful groom . The standing figure of Fleur kingdoms knights, dressed in their formal clothes, is honestly pointlessly sparkly and bright . Is that what they call being blessed by god? How should I put it, is this gentleman really going to be my husband?? No matter how much you sugarcoat it, I’m a plain jane . A groom that is more beautiful than the bride, what a heartrending fact…No no no, now is not the time to escape reality . In fact, the wedding ceremony has already begun!

My, Viola Manjurika Euphorbia’s2 and Sashis Chinensis Physalis3 wedding ceremony .

By father, count Euphorbia, I was slowly escorted to duke Physalis on the scarlet carpet . The duke gave me a sweet smile and extended his hand towards me, taking my hand from father .

Each guest had their own opinion on this marriage . Oh my, is there no other way than to let it run its course?

There were looks of resignation and obstination . Hidden under the mask of smiles, I took the dukes hand .

This marriage is purely a political marriage to begin with anyway . There is not a margin of doubt for that . I, Viola Manjurika Euphorbia may come from a noble house, but I’m a poor highborn daughter . Errr, soon I won’t be poor anymore actually . Also, originally our family isn’t the type to greed towards improving our station and despite that, up until now we lived on with the motto of being honorably poor . 4 We neither indulged in luxuries nor were wasteful . Thus, we might be part of the high society, but didn’t even have the minimum amount of socializing . Nevertheless, our family of 5 with father, mother, I, my little brother and little sister had a peaceful and happy livelihood . However, three years ago our territory experienced a historically severe famine and father took up a huge debt in order to save the people of the fief . This debt is the cause for everything!Until now I led a more than modest, or rather better than poverty lifestyle . I worked and worked… . . . stared at nothing but my hands . Still, as a family we worked hard and did our best together .

I worked as a maid, a gardener and at one time even as a chef . I filled many roles by myself . Since before I liked working and spending time together with the servants, rather than with nobles . Not one bit did I suffer .

It was at that time, that the head of the Physalis household unexpectedly came with a marriage proposal .

That was a bit over a year ago . 「Duke Physalis Sashis and I are getting married? 」

Just when I was wondering why father called me to his study, I was told this unbelievable story .

I thought that my sapphire blue eyes, which went completely round, would fall out of their sockets . It was that much of a shock . It was not just me who was shocked . 「That is right . Moreover, the other side is completely aware of our financial situation . They said they would take over the debt, in exchange they ask for your hand in marriage Voila . 」Father had a confused look on his face . Certainly this is sudden, isn’t it . This sure came out of the blue . But suddenly doubt welled up . 「Am I per chance acquainted with the lord duke?」I tilted my head thinking about it, but I can’t remember having ever met him at all .

「Yeah~ indeed . Of course you are not, right? Because immediately after Viola made her debut in high society, the life of the poor began, so you didn’t attend many evening parties? 」Father tilted his head just like me . 「Right? Besides, I don’t have much in the way of flowery words? Were there even any rumors of me in high society?5 And yet, why? If it is the lord duke, he should be popular . 」Like a mirror image of each other, father and I fold our arms at the same time and thought deeply about this while going ‘hmm-hmm ‘ . Even so, nothing comes to mind .

The youthful 24 years old duke, who usually is on knight duty in the royal palace . Also, we are talking about Mr . Elite who became commander of that special division at such a young age . His looks are lovely too, the toned and flexible body in the knight order’s uniform is a sight for sore eyes, countless swooning noble daughters and many other things . Ah, I have never met him, those are just hearsay and rumors . So why would such a duke (read as: super superior property)6, marry an in debt covered, mediocre and plain (saying that myself is depressiiing7) noble daughter? I don’t understand the reason at all . 「Well, since there is no reason to refuse here, or rather I’d be happy to accept it, but how about you Viola? If you don’t like it, I will refuse . 」My gentle father wants to respect my opinion by saying that, but I can’t refuse here, now can I . As if a count family could do something as absurd as refusing a marriage proposal from a prestigious duke family . Besides, this isn’t the place for an in debt covered unmarried girl to refuse and better candidates aren’t coming either . Also because thinking『Being single might be great☆』on my own is depressing . If by this the household is saved, wouldn’t you gladly hand out one or two of me?!「No, father . If it is for the sake of the family, I will gladly accept . 」 He showed a wholeheartedly smile and nodded in agreement .

1ロージア: is there a flower that has a name close to rojia? Rose is rozu afaik . 2Apparently a genus of plants Euphorbia3This chinensis and physalis . 4They were poor but lived a humble life with dignity . 5社交界の噂どころか口の端にも上ったことのない私ですよ?: For the lack of better words, I had to wing this one . Suggestions are welcome . I think the sentence wants to convey, that she is so unimportant/unknown that the other nobles don’t take much notice of her . Much less having rumors floating around . 6In Japanese sometimes furigana’s are written above a kanji to indicate how they are read and thus interpreted . Here the words ちょうゆうりょうぶっけん (Chō yūryō bukken) are written above the kanji for duke, indicating that marrying him is like investing in your dream home or a really good property to invest in . 7へこむわぁ(hekomu wa~a)