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“So…? It’s rare of you to ask for an audience with me first, and it’s the first time you’re asking an audience with me… together with her,” Prince Kiehl didn’t beat around the bush and immediately asked just right after the three of them were seated on the sofa in one of the meeting rooms in the royal castle.
There was only one knight stationed inside the room, guarding the crown prince.
As good as Ann’s fortune was, the knight was a familiar person… Miles—or Mila who was on a male disguise.
Instead of being wholly focused to the important talk with Prince Kiehl, Ann was glancing at Mila from time to time. However, her being this unfocused was by no means her own fault alone. After all, whoever could ignore the obvious sharp glare headed her way all the time without being distracted… that person deserved to get an award in terms of concentration.
“Uhm, Prince…,” Ann tried to send obvious eye signals as her eyes glanced back and forth from Prince Kiehl to Mila.
The quick-witted prince noticed what Ann wanted to say, so in an understanding, he said.
“Don’t worry, he’s someone trusted.”
The instant Ann heard what the prince was saying, it felt as if her soul had left her body.
How quick-witted, Prince!
I was telling him that I felt uncomfortable with her staring daggers like that at me, and yet it was all you thought I was concerned of?!
The heroine must be so glad to have such a sensible and understanding person like you as her spouse candidate!!
Ann felt like if she didn’t speak up, then nothing would change. Therefore, although she disliked confrontation and would rather live avoiding the avoidable confrontations… she decided this was one that she couldn’t ignore.
“Excuse me, but that person has been glaring at me as if I had stolen his wife and all his money. You, Miles-san, right? Did I ever do something for you to bear grudges at me? No, right? I didn’t recall having seen you before,” Ann snapped.
All the people in the room—except for Ann—now had a surprised expression on their faces.
Even the normally cold Miles looked stunned for a moment that their mouth was even a bit open.
But Miles recovered their usual cold look towards Ann in an instant.
However, Miles didn’t continue as they looked at the prince and Allen, unsure if they should continue at all.
Seeing his knight like this, Kiehl felt a bit satisfied at Miles’ demeanor. Though Miles’ prejudice against Ann was so obvious, Miles still held back and held his duty.
Kiehl took the initiative to say what Miles couldn’t say.
“Since we’re here to talk about you… We already had suspicions about you and it’s been confirmed. You are Arnestianne Lacey du Ermengilde, the surviving daughter of the previous king… Yes or no?”
Miles, no, Mila knew the identity of this body? Did she have any kind of grudge with the villainess? But no, it couldn’t be… As far as I know, nope…
Ann was still confused, but she answered Kiehl’s question, “Yes, and no.”
“Huh?” Miles unconsciously leaked their voice in confusion.
“What do you mean?” Kiehl asked.
“The reason we’re here is to explain this,” Allen finally interjected.
However, he didn’t intend on explaining, as Allen signaled Ann to speak, using his eyes.
Ann received Allen’s eye signal and understood him fully well, unlike the prince who misunderstood her signal. She nodded and she began explaining…
“Here is the truth. I am not someone of this world. My name is Ann, but I came from another world. I died there, had my soul travel through dimension and somehow, my soul landed on this body here, the body of Arnestianne or Princess Anne,” Ann said without even stopping, causing Kiehl and Miles who were listening to have twisted expressions.
When they were about to open their mouths to flood her with questions, Ann quickly extended her palm, signaling them to stay quiet as she still had more to say.
“I know what you wanted to ask me, there’s no need to waste your breath on such an obvious question. You may be wondering, how the hell do I know about it, then? Why did I fake amnesia? Alright, listen. In my original world, everything that’s happening here as well as this world is just a fiction. It’s a coincident that almost all facts are similar if not the same. I decided to not tell the truth because—WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WILL BELIEVE ME?!”
Ann lost her patience as well as breath in her last sentence.
Her sudden loud voice and frustrated yell caused everyone to be stunned for different reasons.
Allen, because he had never seen Ann losing her composure and gave in to her frustration like this.
Kiehl, because he didn’t expect Ann to yell like that in front of him.
Miles, because everything was too bizarre and beyond their understanding.
Faye and Birdie—who were at the furthest corner of the room, didn’t clearly hear the explanation but heard Ann’s yell—were tilting their heads as they were looking at each other in wonder. At first, Faye wanted to be closer to listen to the explanation on what was going on with her beloved mistress, Ann didn’t let her. However, Ann promised she’d give Faye another explanation that was suitable to her age later on. After all, Ann was going to speak about serious stuff with other important people here. She didn’t want Faye to be anxious hearing their talk.
After Ann stabilized her breathing, she added again, not even giving anyone a chance to speak.
“Excuse me for losing it in the heat of the moment. Anyway, let me continue. I mean, even now, after you feel that I am way too different from the previous Anne or Arlea and hearing my explanation, you still feel doubtful, right? What more if I were to say it in day one? I’d be doomed!” Ann said as she used her hand to gesture at her neck—the gesture of beheading.
“I believe in her. That’s the only explanation that makes sense, though it may be too absurd,” Allen added, showing his support towards Ann.
“Then, what happened to the real Anne’s soul?” Prince Kiehl asked.
Ann pointed her finger at Kiehl as she said, “I’m glad you asked! This is where our problem is.”
Ann had fully discarded all the teaching that her strict tutor, Simone, had been trying to instill in her head.
She then continued again, “I sometimes feel like her soul hasn’t left this world and is lying dormant inside this body. There were some occasions where I clearly felt that…”
She stopped as she gazed at Allen.
“What she said is right. Therefore, I am here to propose something that will solve all our problems,” Allen said.
“What is it?” Kiehl asked.
“We’ve been worried about her identity as the previous king’s offspring. However, Ann—the current soul inhabiting her body right now—is a completely different person although her body is that of the previous king’s daughter. As she is right now, she has no intention of going against us. What we need to do is simply to let her soul stay, and drive away the soul of the original Anne,” Allen stated.
Be as cruel as it might sound, the original Anne was destined to die, lest she’d bring trouble in the future. So, Ann could only nod her head in agreement.
Though in her heart, she doubted if it was possible… After all, wasn’t she the intruder and not the original soul?
Still, perhaps it was possible…?
“This is bizarre…,” Kiehl said as his hand was on his chin.
“However, I like the idea. Of course, it’d be better if you were to be disposed of, since if what you said is true, your body is still…”
As Kiehl said it, Allen quickly stared at him with a very cold gaze.
“…but I see that my friend has taken fancy on you, and I wouldn’t want him to be sad losing you, or angry at me. He can hold grudges for all eternity,” Kiehl quickly said as he raised both his hands and shrugged.
“I’m glad we’re on the same page,” Allen didn’t deny anything that Kiehl said.
“Well, truthfully, as long as the so-called problem of ‘the long-lost princess’ is gone, then I’m fine with whatever solution is there. If she is still the original Anne, I wouldn’t believe it even if she were to plead her life. She’d strike in the future… But if she’s indeed a different person altogether that doesn’t mind… Hmm, as expected, I still need some sort of precautions,” Prince Kiehl said.
“What do you suggest?” Allen asked.
“Have her die,” Miles chose this exact timing to interrupt, causing Allen to shoot him a dagger-like glare, Kiehl to look at Miles in surprise, while Ann looked at this crossdressing girl in horror.
“Not literally,” Miles added.
“I’m surprised, you seem to have thought of what I had thought,” Kiehl nodded as he started explaining.
“We will have your current identity gone. Princess Anne has been long dead. Arlea, the daughter of the traitor, dead too. We have to construct a new identity for you, a safe one that will not be able to cause any wave to the monarchy. And… Oh well, let’s save it for later. The priority now is to let the original Anne’s soul be gone, lest she’d take over…,” Kiehl said.
“Indeed,” Allen nodded.
“Yeah… I am surprised you actually believed me right away like this,” Ann was amazed.
“Don’t get me wrong. The biggest reason I believed in your absurd story is Allen’s trust in you. And… we will know whether or not it’s true later, anyway,” Kiehl said.
“…How?” Ann asked.
“Well, sooner or later, you’d meet her anyway… But we will know later after we let you meet the saintess. Her holy power should be able to handle stuff as exorcism… We’ll have to let her study your case and see if she can do anything to solve this,” Kiehl explained.
Of course, it’d be the saintess! The heroine!!
To make her likeable and to make other capturable targets’ affection towards her justified, she must be someone who’s portrayed with extraordinary abilities. No wonder things will move in this way…
However… Is it really alright for me—the one occupying the villainess—to see her, the heroine?
In the stories I’ve read, this only calls for more troubles…
Fingers crossed… I guess, since there’s no other way?
A bit hesitantly, Ann nodded, “Alright, then.”
Miles finally spoke, “Let me try to inform her of this and ask her.”
“Ah, right. Please do. Convince her brother to let her. You’re close with him, right?” Prince Kiehl said.
Miles nodded, “Leave it to me.”
Just as Ann was about to look at Miles in gratitude for not commenting anything and just trying to help, Miles suddenly turned to glare at her.
“Just so you know, I am still wary of you. And I don’t really trust you.”
“…Si—I mean, bro?! Do you have any problem with me? Like I said, I am not Anne! And what grudge do you even have with me or the original Anne? Say it, won’t you?” Ann wanted to solve everything right now, she was just tired.
“…Nothing. I just don’t like you,” Miles blatantly said with a deadpan face, causing Ann’s expression to be like the emoji (」゜ロ゜)」
YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME?! I HIGHLY DOUBT IT!!!
Ann cursed Mila with the whole zoo right in that instant, inside her heart.