We’ve finally arrived at chapter 15! Chapter 15 is going to be divided into 3 parts~
Which means, there will be one more chapter left on the main story and 3 extra chapters that come afterwards :3
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Happy reading~Chapter 15 Bertia 17 Years Old (5)
Translated by LynneSuzuran & Senhiro
"Now then, shall we hear your opinion regarding this matter, Baron Inderon?"
"Y-yes, Your Highness!"
In the royal palace's audience room.
I stood next to my father, the king.
There were several guards surrounding us, but unlike occasions where a [proper] guest such as an envoy from a foreign country came, only the people absolutely necessary were in attendance. There was a handsome man wearing a slightly haggard face, with his head bowed in terror.
He was Baron Inderon.
That father of Baroness Heronia's finally left his territory and arrived at the royal palace.
It has already been a few days since the graduation party.
Our days had passed by very quietly.
In the end, the graduation party restarted again afterwards. The academy's students and the graduate's guardians raised high-pitched cheers at their relief upon seeing my healthy appearance and the figure of Bertia being escorted by me as though I was supporting her, with her face bright red and clearly showing that 'something' had occurred.
That got me wanting to give a bit of 'service,' so after apologizing for the commotion at the party, I said, "She is the best partner I could wish for. There surely won't be any other woman who could love me as much as she does. With what happened this time, I was able to further understand the depth of her love," and kissed her head. The whole venue showed varying degrees of excitement, and it was said that this was the most touching graduation party in history.
Though in hindsight, the graduation party that we were in charge on achieved a great success, splendidly overwriting the foolish moves done by Baroness Heronia and her light spirit with enjoyable memories, and the truth was hidden in the shadow.
However, it was only a discrepancy between whether the people's attention was successfully redirected or not, and the problem itself wasn't yet solved.
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It goes without saying, Baroness Heronia dropped out of the Halm Academy.
However, it meant that she couldn't continue to stay in the academy's dormitories, and we had to ask that she be placed under supervision.
It was a matter of course, since she has now become an outsider.
Even so, her father, Baron Inderon, couldn't just deal with everything on his own before he came to the royal capital, and as a result, during the time it took for Baron Inderon to arrive at the royal capital from his territory, the royal palace took care of it.
Of course, it was impossible to treat her as an ordinary guest, given that she was charged for harming the crown prince and for being discourteous to and falsely accusing of crime a member of a marquis house, which had a higher status than her own baron house.
As a result, she was put inside a room reserved for high-ranking nobles under suspicion of crime, which was located in the royal palace, to reflect on everything that had happened and to think about the future.
…Based on what her monitoring knight said, unfortunately, as a lower-ranking noble, the high-ranking nobles pen seemed to her like an ordinary guest room, only that she wasn't allowed to go outside and had to entertain herself.
Preferably, she would've been better put in the jailhouse, but not only was the attack on me her spirit's voluntary action, she was still a minor. Furthermore, though she clashed with a marquis house, due to the custom that [all students are equal] and since it was something that happened in the academy, it was mostly deemed as a [quarrel between fellow students]. There was a quite a delicate line between where or not to imprison her for a [crime], so we couldn't do anything else other than give her this sort of a treatment.
Well, even if it wasn't categorized as a [crime], since the things that she did was known to a lot of nobles, she wouldn't be able to escape from the societal retribution.
Besides, due to shaming the innocent Bertia in front of so many people and trying to ruin Bertia's life by painting her out as someone who [must atone for her crimes] for matters completely unrelated to Bertia, Heronia would have to resign herself to receive the anger of the parent of the slandered daughter—Marquis Noches.
In short, even if it wasn't considered a [crime], there was no doubt that she was in a substantial position to be judged.
However, the person herself—Baroness Heronia couldn't comprehend such a thing at all.
It was truly disappointing. …Mainly the contents of her head, though.
Now then, I have to decide what to do with her from now on somehow or another, in order to close this chapter.
If it were a discussion just among the related parties, it'd be a discussion among Bertia and Baroness Heronia, and me. However, this time, the matter had gotten bigger to the extent that it couldn't just end with that.
It was a slander towards not just the crown prince and a marquis's daughter, but the future crown princess, and in amidst a crowd of onlookers on top of everything else.
Moreover, since she tried to have Marquis Noches take responsibility for a nonexistent crime, it became necessary to have a discussion that involves the parents whether they're willing or not.
In order for this to not leave a big impact on the country, we have to calmly and convincingly bring this matter to an end.
Even if this were a quarrel among children, if we don't take appropriate countermeasures and end up setting a strange precedent, it might become a nuisance afterwards, so we still have to properly put an end to it now.
No matter how indiscriminate the actions of someone with power are, they'd have a large influence in general.
Therefore, just like this, though it was troublesome, my father played a leading role, gathering the concerned party including Marquis Noches and me, and also the people who could ascertain the truth, and prepared the place of judgment.
Incidentally, Bertia is the only involved party who isn't present.
I had a hunch that things would become difficult if she were to intervene, and since there's the likelihood of her being hurt even further by Baroness Heronia who would be brought to this place later, I consulted my father and Marquis Noches and we decided to settle the punishment on our own without telling her.
Ostensibly, the latter reason was the one that went public, but as for our real feelings… the former reason weighed more, but we will keep this matter to ourselves.
"Th-this time, my daughter has caused much trouble…"
"Let's skip the introductions. First of all, I'd like to hear your thoughts regarding this matter."
Marquis Noches completely cut off Baron Inderon as he grovelled, trembling, on the floor.
Marquis Noches leveled a piercing, sub-zero stare at Baron Inderon that he would never have shown to Bertia, and Baron Inderon soundlessly shrieked, "Eek!"
Originally, for better or worse, he had the presence of a kindhearted uncle, and I ended up feeling that his frightened figure was quite pitiful, but… forgiving him here would lighten the punishment of Baroness Heronia who hurt Bertia, so I had no choice but to harden my heart.
In addition, the one who raised Baroness Heronia was none other than him, so it was certain that he also held some responsibility, although it was not entirely his fault.
"With my daughter… with Heronia, I'm going to sever all connections with her."
After briefly grimacing and showing an anguished expression, Baron Inderon firmly bit his lip, raised his face with a somewhat determined expression and announced that.
At the same time, he received a bundle of papers from his attendant that he brought along, and presented them to us.
Those were the official documents filing the request to sever the parent-and-child relation with Heronia Inderon, and to remove her from the Inderon family register.
As long as these documents were accepted, Heronia Inderon would have no more relation to the Inderon House, and she'd become just Heronia—Heronia, the commoner.
It was the moment when Baron Inderon decided to cut off his relation with his foolish daughter in order to protect his baron house… and also the lives of the many people who were linked with him, as he was the head of the family.
This surely must have been a very difficult decision for a parent.
However, after weighing between his feelings as a parent and his duty to protect the other family members and relatives as the head of the family, he made this decision.
…There was no other decision he could have made.
"Hou. Then, what about your daughter's punishment afterwards?"
Without even a slight change in expression at that Baron Inderon's decision, Marquis Noches pushed the matter again.
Marquis Noches being Marquis Noches, was slightly foolish sometimes, but he had to protect the dignity of the Noches Marquis House, and of Bertia whom he dearly cherished.
If we only lightly punished Heronia and chance she by change hurt Bertia again and damaged the Noches family's honor, it was something that couldn't be allowed.
The same case applied to the royal family, as she made reckless remarks in front of the public towards me, the crown prince, so there was no one here who'd protect Baron Inderon's… Baroness Heronia.
It couldn't be helped, since among the nobility, Baroness Heronia's conduct this time was extremely foolish, up to that extent.