Katariona Tells the Story of her Past Life to Leon and Marie
The story of her previous life is dark.
It’s a long story, so it’ll be divided into two parts.
If I don’t do Rio’s previous life arc in multiple sections, my mental health will be damaged (sweat).
At the age of 15, I made my social debut. My debutante was at the Royal Ball, and my escort was, of course, my fiancée, His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Richard.
“You are exceptionally beautiful today, Rio.”
“Thank you. You look great as well, Rick.”
As I danced the first dance with His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, the stares of the people around us were watching with envy. I was a little nervous being watched by the eyes of so many and couldn’t manage to dance as gracefully as I usually do during practices. Fortunately, His Royal Highness was just as good as my brother at leading the dance, so I didn’t make any mistakes.
After the first song had ended, I was feeling a little thirsty. So, I declined His Highness’s invitation to another dance and went off to get some refreshments, to which he smiled and nodded.
“Let’s get a drink for Rick, too.”
As I hurried back with 2 drinks in hand, I overheard a buzz in the hall. Looking towards the center of the venue, it was His Royal Highness the Crown Prince dancing with Charlotte.
“Who is that young lady?”
“It’s Lady Charlotte of the Baron Campbell family. She was recently granted light magic the other day by…”
“She’s not as gorgeous as Lady Katariona, but she’s certainly a lovely lady.”
“Now that she’s a bearer of light magic, I’m afraid the royal family won’t leave her alone.”
As I was listening to the hubbub of gossip amongst the other noble ladies, my gaze gravitated towards the center of the venue, where His Royal Highness and Charlotte were dancing, staring into each others’ eyes with such a passionate gaze. When he was dancing with me, he didn’t look at me with eyes like those he has right now.
I couldn’t bear watching them any longer, so I left the hall and went out to the balcony. I wanted to enjoy the cool breeze for a while.
“Rio, it’s dangerous for you to go out to the balcony alone cause some idiot might try to hit on you.”
“……Chris. I just didn’t want to stay for another second longer in that hall……”
Chris and Charlotte are both 15, so they’ve already had their debutante.
“It’s clearly my brother’s fault. He just up and left his fiancée to dance with another woman…even though he’s the Crown Prince, he can’t even act like a proper gentleman. If I were a guy with a fiancée like Rio, I would’ve never let Rio be alone.”
I smiled and chuckled.
“Yes. Now, wouldn’t it have been awesome for Chris to have been a gentleman. I’m sure you’d have been very popular with the ladies.”
“Fufu. As a matter of fact, I know how to dance the male part. So, would you care to have a dance with me?”
“Oh, my. I can dance the male’s part, too. When I was learning with my brother, I learned the steps for the gentleman’s part.”
We both looked at each other and burst out laughing.
“Thank you, Chris. I’m alright now, so I’ll head back to the hall.”
“I’ll give my stupid brother a warning.”
“Since he’s gotten involved with Lady Charlotte, he’s been acting like a fool.”
Chris mumbled softly, staring in the direction of the Crown Prince regretfully. Fool? Do you think so? It doesn’t look that way to me…
“I want to slap myself for thinking that way at the time.”
Clenching my fist, I thought of the saying that love is blind. At the time, I must have been in love with the Crown Prince for some reason. I haven’t really thought of it much in this life.
“I thought he was a scoundrel, but I guess he’s also an idiot, wasn’t he? From now on, let’s call him Prince Dumcrap.”
“That’s a good name.”
Prince Dumcrap is an abbreviation for being stupid (dumb) and trash (crap)…Marie’s poisonous mouth is spitting a lot of venom today. But, I thought it was a very appropriate naming choice.
“Princess Christina was a good friend of the young lady in her previous life. Are you sure she’s brother and sister with Prince Dumcrap?”
“They’re siblings that share the same parents. Don’t you see the resemblance?”
“Nevertheless, their souls’ radiance is completely different.”
I wonder what the radiance of the human soul looks like? I’ve heard that only gods can see it, so I guess I wouldn’t be able to understand it even if he described it to me.
“What’s the difference?”
“The princess’s soul shines very brightly. It’s like she was born to be a queen.”
In our country, women have the right to the throne. Should anything happen to the Crown Prince, Chris would be the first in line to the throne.
“If the Crown Prince brat becomes king as he is now, he’ll likely have a rather mediocre reign, but listening to Rio, it seems he’ll be a foolish king.”
“The Kingdom of Findalia’s future seems bleak. Would you like to defect to a neighboring country with your family now?”
“……Let’s make that our last resort when and if I’m chosen as the Crown Prince’s fiance.”
Back to telling my story.
Since then, the Crown Prince began to prioritize escorting Charlotte, not me, to various noblemen’s soirées. Even when Chris and my brother both admonished him, he didn’t care.
Realizing the situation, I decided to prepare myself for him to annul my engagement at any moment. I decided to prepare myself for an annulment at any time. If a noblewoman breaks off her engagement, she would be regarded as damaged goods, so it was uncertain whether I would be able to find another fiancé. Even if I did find one, good marriages are hard to come by. I would either end up marrying as the second wife of an older nobleman, marry a wealthy commoner, or enter a convent.
His Royal Highness did not offer to break off our engagement, and soon my graduation party had arrived.
His Highness refused in advance to be my escort to the graduation party, so I had to ask my brother to be my escort instead.
And as expected, His Highness escorted Charlotte. I thought that this time he was definitely going to cancel the engagement.
That’s when the incident happened.
Someone had sent an assassin to the party to kill Charlotte. The assassin was caught in the nick of time, so nothing major happened.
However, the assassin made an outrageous confession. He said that he was ordered by me to try to assassinate Charlotte……
“Katariona! You were trying to kill Charlotte! The assassin here has told us the truth.”
I was disappointed by the fact that he tried to condemn me. He didn’t even use my nickname, Rio, and instead called me by my full name.
“There is no such thing! I have never known that assassin over there. And, such a terrible thought as killing Lady Charlotte has never once crossed my mind!”
I desperately tried to explain myself. I never once thought of killing Charlotte, not even for a moment. On the contrary, I was planning to congratulate the two of them when the Crown Prince offered to break off our engagement.
“Just as well. I was planning to give you a little more time, but I hereby declare the annulment of my engagement to you! And I hereby announce my intention to become engaged to Miss Charlotte Campbell.”
“I accept the annulment of our engagement, but I wasn’t the one who tried to kill Lady Charlotte. Please believe me on that!”
Two shadows appeared in front of His Royal Highness, blocking him from attacking me in his fury.
“Your Royal Highness! My sister is not the kind of person who would plot such a terrible thing! If you continue to suspect my sister, I will formally bring her to justice in the name of the Marquis de Grandeur!”
“Is your view of Rio such a terrible girl who would hire assassins? If you are going to condemn Rio, then you better know that I have other ideas about the matter!”
I was so happy seeing the two of them defend me that tears started to spill down my face.
“Shut up! Guards. Lock this woman up in the dungeons until her trial. I don’t care if you have to torture her! Get a confession out of her!”
“I will not let you touch a single hair of my sister!”
Brother pulls out his sword, but he’s surrounded on all sides by guards.
“Brother! That’s enough!”
Chris tried to use her magic power, but it was blocked by a magical barrier. If this continues, the two of them will be dragged into this mess.
“Please wait! I beg of you. Please listen to what I have to say. Rick. No, no, His Royal Highness, Prince Richard.”
“Capture Sieg and lock him in a cell. Chris should be locked in a room with a magical barrier.”
The Crown Prince looked at me with a cold, disdainful gaze, then turned his head away and let the guards take me away.
“You can take your plea to court. Take them away.”
“NoOoooOo! Brother! Chris!”
The guards dragged me away as I called out to them. “Rio!” The two of them shouted, their voices quickly fading into the distance.
TL: Is it just me, or does thinking about the prince make you want to punch something? Also, for clarification, this is Part 1 of the first part. The next chapter will be part 2 of the first part. So in total, there will be 3 chapters covering her backstory.