"I think so, too. Because of this, I want our meeting to be more dramatic."
Saying this, Renato turned his attention to Mariabelle.
Mariabelle involuntarily looked down.
James asked Renato, who was smiling at Mariabelle, "And by that, what do you mean?"
"I, heartbroken after the death of my fiancée, visited alone the square where the flower festival was taking place. In the empty square, I met a girl as beautiful as a goddess."
"No decent girl would wander around town alone late at night. I agree that Mariabelle is as beautiful as a goddess, but the only girls who would be out at that hour are prostitutes. No matter how much the story is made up, it is unforgivable to make a story that would lower Mariabelle's reputation," James said.
Renato seemed dissatisfied with James' calm remarks.
"Where should I meet her then?"
"We can just say that we met by chance at a flower festival when we were on an inspection tour of the region under our direct control."
"That would be too conventional."
James looked at Renato, who was looking for a dramatic encounter, and James turns his gaze toward the aides with a desire to do something about it.
Carlo shrugged his shoulders with an aloof expression. He then asked, "How about Miss Berkeley, who came to see the flower festival for amusement and was cornered by a gang of thugs, was rescued by His Highness, who happened to be on an inspection tour of the area under his direct control?"
James thought that this was a rather conventional encounter, but Renato seemed unconcerned and urged Carlo to continue.
"They were attracted to each other without knowing each other's names, and then they part without introducing themselves. Then, a month later, they meet again by chance, and His Highness, who was heartbroken over the loss of his fiancée, is healed by Miss Berkeley's beauty and kindness, and asks her to marry him."
"I see... Belle is okay with that?"
When he said Belle, Mariabelle looked up. James, who was sitting beside her, quickly complained.
"I'm sorry, but I would appreciate it if you would refrain from calling her that before you two get engaged."
"I'm sorry. We had decided to call each other by our nicknames while we were in town, and it slipped out... Miss Berkeley, is such a meeting okay with you?"
"Yes, sir. I don't mind."
"Now all we have to do is find a place to meet... It can't be a ball."
For the next year, Renato would have to mourn the loss of his fiancé.
After three months, he would be able to wear mourning clothes and participate in a ball, but surrounded by women who want to be Renato's fiancée, there is no way he can expect a natural encounter with Mariabelle.
"Carlo, do you have any good ideas?"
"...Yes, I do. Lord Berkeley's chosen point of contact with the Empire is Count Fidelo of the Imperial aristocracy, whom the Berkeleys married some generations ago. It would not be strange for Lord Berkeley and his daughter, who have come to look for a new trading partner for their wheat, to stay there."
"The Fidelo family... As I recall, they are famous for their library collection."
Renato seemed to know the house Carlo was talking about as soon as he heard the name.
"That's right," he said. "His Highness and Miss Berkeley will meet again in the library of the Fidelo family. How noble compared to a meeting in a tavern somewhere."
Carlo, who was theatrical, had a very nice smile on his face.
Renato's lips also lifted at the irony of the situation.
Mariabelle looked troubled, but James nodded in satisfaction and promised to meet again in a month.
- My Fiance Told Me He Had Found His True Love and Broke off Our Engagement. It's Too Late To Ask Me To Get Back Together Now!
- CH 20