Chapter 285. Epilogue, Part XIII
At the sight of Charlotte's head drooping, the impatient Albert howled, "Well, what's the shortage for our baby to do with that push and pull thing for the pale, but only tall young Oswald? You just have to grow up and meet a man this Albert chooses."
At Albert's words Maribel nodded fervently. He was not the eldest son of the smart, discreet, and cool-headed Count Adam, and she could not understand why Princess Charlotte liked the boy resembling Duke Oswald so much.
Maribel, who tried to ignore the idea because she thought the fierce opposition would make her love burnish even more, was almost embarrassed by her casual consent.
Determined to change her mind slowly to give up, Charlotte exclaimed amazingly as Maribel tried to intervene. "Albert, my God! Pale just tall? Alexander is the most beautiful creature in the world. Of course, after me! Oh, there's the Marquis for being beautiful on the continent across the sea, but I'm sure he's not as beautiful as Alexander. And how kind and friendly Alexander is. I've never seen such a sweet guy, except my dad and my brother."
Oswald's mouth was wide open, trying to refute them proudly as they disparaged his son's appearance.
"The young Oswald is friendly and kind to anyone, Princess." The heads of everyone who had gathered moved up and down, at Maribel's direct statement.
After a moment of silence, Charlotte sprang up. "Wait and see. I'm marrying Alexander Oswald because I've decided to."
Maribel smiled unconsciously at Charlotte, who proudly held her arms and vowed for the second time in two years. She said with delight, "How could she be unlike His Majesty? That's exactly the way he went straight to Her Majesty."
"That's why I'm worried," the Marquis of Valerian muttered gloomily to Jeremy, whose expression was shocked by Charlotte's vow. It was not very pleasant to see his son have the pain of a broken heart in the first love affair of his life.
"What, it's Charlotte." A few days later, Alexander, who visited Chartreu to find the hunting cap he had ordered along with Count Adam's son Raymond, grumbled, "How did she know I was here?"
With bright blond hair and black eyes, Alexander Oswald was a beautiful boy who had inherited his father's brilliant appearance. The boy was annoyed by all the girls who were anxious to speak to him, so he frowned at the thought of meeting one of them.
"Oh, my God, she is coming here. What should I say and get away from her?" Alexander wanted to avoid her as if a monster were coming.
"Alexander Oswald, long time no see. Raymond, thank you for your birthday present. Does it look good on me?"
The fourteen-year-old Raymond Adam was the same age as Julietta's second son, Luar. He answered politely, holding back his laughter, as Charlotte, now only ten, lightly showed off the hair decorations purchased from Raefany's and presented it as a gift, pretending to be a lady.
"Princess, you look great. You're beautiful. When I saw you in the morning, you didn't say you were coming to Chateau, but suddenly you visited here?"
When asked by Raymond, Charlotte was a little embarrassed, but quickly answered sharply, "I'm here to see Amelie and Sophie. They're so busy these days that they can't stop by the Imperial Castle. I will see you later."
Charlotte was there when he visited the Imperial Castle in the morning to meet with Luar. At that time, he said he was visiting Chartreu with Alexander. She might have heard of the schedule and visited.
But contrary to his expectations, Charlotte just gave Alexander a slight nod and went away without a word. Raymond thought that this situation was just funny. He looked down at the illustrated book he was holding, pretending not to see Alexander with a puzzled look next to him.
"I guess Charlotte got mad because I didn't go to her birthday party."
Charlotte, who would normally have been talking with her arms folded, just pretended to say hello and went away. Alexander kept looking at Charlotte, embarrassed by what she had never done before, and asked Raymond for his opinion.
"Maybe. Did you send her a present even if you didn't attend?"
"You didn't even send her a present?"
Alexander mumbled at the question of the surprised Raymond. "I don't want her to make a big fuss about gifts like she did last year…"
"You've known her since she was born, but that was too much."
Alexander became more nervous when Raymond rebuked him in a treacherous voice. "Do you want me to go now and say sorry, and give her a present?"
"Have you prepared a present?"
"Of course. I just didn't give it to her."
"Did you bring it here?"
"No, it's in the carriage. I was thinking about whether to send it to the Imperial Castle or not."
"Then hurry up and give her a present and apologize for not going to the party."
At Raymond's advice, Alexander had his servant bring Charlotte's gift from the wagon. Then without knocking, he entered Amelie and Sophie's office and approached Charlotte.
Charlotte, as well as Raymond, Alexander, Jeremy, and Charlotte's two brothers both considered Chartreu to be their home courtyard. On the surface they pretended to be formal, but there was no place in Chartreu that they could not go. They were even free to enter and leave the annex, and the manager's office, and Amelie and Sophie's office, were no less than a playground for them.
"I'm sorry I couldn't attend your birthday party, Charlotte. Something happened."
Alexander came into the office and offered an apology, holding out a beautifully wrapped box.
Charlotte agonized for a moment. She was surprised to see the response, when she acted as Duke Oswald had advised a few days ago. At the end of the party, Maribel asked her, "Should it be Alexander Oswald?"
So Charlotte answered, "Maribel, it must be Alexander now, but I can change my mind any time. But until it changes, I'm interested in Alexander. So I can't stand Alexander ignoring me."
Watching the anger in her fair eyes, Maribel hugged her. "Charlotte, my pretty Princess. How did you grow up well like this Maribel taught you? That's right. Until you change your mind, you have to do your best to get what you want." Then Maribel urged her to try as the Duke of Oswald had told her.
Charlotte nodded primly as she recalled what had happened that night. "I think you've been busy with something, but it's okay. Thank you for the gift."
Charlotte took the gift primly and put it down on the table. She would have liked to open presents before, but today she was completely different.
Alexander was all the more embarrassed. "Don't you want to open the gift? It's a mirror with Valor's painting."
As a few years had passed, Valor's work had become so popular that it was almost as difficult to find as a star from the sky. He had gained fame by applying Charlotte's idea and painting on a mirror or furniture.
This mirror was a special gift that Alexander had asked for from months ago. However, he was disappointed by Charlotte's lukewarm response.
"I'll open it after I go back. Thank you." Charlotte looked away as if he should go now.
Alexander thought for a while and went out alone after saying goodbye to her. She seemed angry because he didn't attend the birthday party, but he apologized and gave her a present, so he decided to think she would be okay soon.
"Your Highness the Second Prince, Princess Charlotte's been acting strange lately."
Alexander was visiting the new Feliadell department store in Vicern along with Luar. The Raefany's, Fanyfany, and Chartreu branches were located on the first and second floors of the Feliadell Department Store, which were opened by the wife of the Duke of Elias in Vicern.
"Sir Bertino, welcome. It's an honor to have you here." The manager in charge of the Raefany's branch jumped out and greeted them politely.
Luar, who was a noble Prince but had yet to take over the position of the Archduke of Bertino, wanted to be called Sir Bertino in his place of work. It was to separate himself from his status as a Prince, and from his status as the owner of the Bertino Business Group.
In particular, the biggest reason he wanted to be called Sir Bertino was because of those who wanted to use him politically by alienating his brother Philip for position of the Crown Prince.