“What should we do, Aeris?”
“I’m not sure.”
Time was passing as Aeris stood there with a much more serious expression than usual. The men were troubled over this dilemma. But Maki was different.
“Let’s get this straight. Who is that person? Is she your lover?”
Maki crossed her arms and asked Aeris. Aeris replied frantically.
“Lover? Certainly not. She is one of the princesses. In fact, she is married…no, she’s a widow now.”
Maki and Edwy said at the same time. It was not particularly unusual to be widowed when they lived so long. And remarrying was just as common. Maki had been relieved to hear that she was married, but she couldn’t keep silent once she heard that the woman was a widow. She had plenty more to say, but Chiharu suddenly pulled at her clothes.
Maki turned to her with a worried expression. But Chiharu looked quite normal now. Yes, she did. However, Maki suddenly felt a chill. Chiharu looked straight at Aeris.
“Chi-Chiharu. It’s not that. Never.”
His shoulders slumped.
“What are you going to do?”
“Just throw her out.”
Aaron muttered from behind her.
“Aaron, a lady cannot be treated in such a fashion. Still, what can I do…”
He really could not think of anything. They needed her to get dressed and leave. But that required going into the room and persuading her. And he didn’t want to go inside.
“Aeris. When you came in the room earlier, there were people behind you.”
“Ah, the fifth princess kept following me from the entrance. But I managed to brush her off, as I had an audience with the king.”
However, something told them that there was still someone waiting behind the door.
“The fifth princess. So the younger sister of the first princess.”
“Are they close?”
“They are not close at all.”
Aeris didn’t feel that it was right to speak so boldly about the royal family. However, Aaron did not care.
“They are nearly 200 years apart. And yet they are rivals for Aeris’s affection.”
“Aaron! I do not care for her at all! It’s just that I played with her when she was little, and she seems to have misunderstood something.”
“Well, there it is.”
Chiharu folded her arms and looked at Maki.
“Maki-chan. I want to take a bath already.”
Maki had been watching the scene excitedly and was taken aback.
“Uh, right. Yeah. We’re all sweaty.”
“But it’ll be so much trouble to talk her into putting on her clothes and leaving.”
“Ye-yes. I don’t want to do that.”
“Well, we’ll just have to let them fight.”
A silence fell over the room.
“Di-did you say fight?”
Maki’s voice echoed in the silence.
“Maki-chan. I’m going to open the door.”