Chapter 52: I Firmly Reject Political Marriages!
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Little Tyrant Doesn't Want to Meet with a Bad End Chapter 52: I Firmly Reject Political Marriages!

It wasn’t uncommon for things in life to not go according to plan, and learning how to cope with them was part and parcel to navigating life’s difficulties. That being said, there were still a few events that cut exceptionally deep into one’s heart, like one’s father remarrying, or having to marry off one’s adopted sister.

Roel was only ten this year, but he had been through the vicissitudes of life. He had experienced the beauty of modern society, as well as the extravagant life of a noble in an era of feudalism. Despite his appearance as a cute little boy, he already had the mentality of a forty-year-old father.

Thus, when he heard that Alicia was going to do ‘bridal studies’, he was utterly floored. He had actually forgotten that such a day would come when Alicia would have to be married off.

Roel was no longer living in the modern era anymore. This was a world plagued with disease and war, where most countries would never reach their optimum population. In response, countries naturally encouraged more childbirth. The Theocracy, as the moral compass of human society, had many teachings encouraging childbirth too.

Due to this, the people in this world tended to marry at a young age, similar to how it was in the Middle Ages in Roel’s previous world. It was perfectly normal for girls of 14 or 15 years to be mothers. It was common for nobles to take it slightly slower, but most noblewomen still married and gave birth by 17 or 18 even so. Any woman who remained single beyond 20 would be considered a spinster, or using a more common term in Roel’s previous world, an old maid.

Of course, this standard only applied to ordinary people; transcendents followed another set of rules. Transcendents would undergo some physical changes, due to the assimilation of mana. This would result in their lifespan increasing or decreasing by some degree. So, it depended on context. Nevertheless, most nobles were already grandparents by the time they were in their fifties.

In this world, childbirth was viewed as a blessing rather than a burden. An additional person in the household meant an additional pair of hands to help out. Furthermore, the more children one had, the more likely the chances of drawing a SSR.

This was especially so for noble houses. The older a noble house was, the fewer offspring they tended to have. If a noble house were to usher in a patriarch who was exceptionally good at ‘sowing seeds’, even the ancestors would leap out from their graves to offer praise to the great Sia above!

It was not to say that old noble houses were lacking in that aspect. Instead, the problem stemmed from the rules governing the circle of nobility.

To put it simply, there was no freedom to love amongst nobles. Marriages were decided by one’s parents, and they were used as political tools to consolidate power.

More often than not, nobles would only meet their betrothed partners once at a ball and, perhaps, have a dance together before suddenly marrying one another. For the couples, such a practice was almost like drawing a lottery. If they surprisingly clicked with one another, it would be all for the best.

Putting aside those lucky ones, the reality for most high society marriages was that they are barely being held together by a thread known as duty. There were even some couples with completely fractured relationships.

So, how high could the birth rate possibly be?

What Roel was most worried about now was Carter embroiling the young Alicia in that political game.

Alicia was going to be eight this year. Going by conventions, they should have already decided on a fiancé for her. In fact, Carter’s aim in adopting her was to elevate her standing, so as to find a good husband for her. If she was going to start her ‘bridal studies’ now, could it be that there was some progress regarding this matter?

Roel was deeply worried that she and her future husband wouldn’t get along with one another. Just thinking about it made him fidgety like an ant atop a searing hot pot lid.

Giving Alicia away? No way in hell! I haven’t gotten enough of stroking… Cough! Where else am I going to get my Affection Points from then? Besides, who is she going to be betrothed to?

Roel struck his bed with his fist as he grit his teeth in anger.

No, definitely not! It would be like sending a lamb into the mouth of a tiger if we were to betroth Alicia to those noble young masters! Besides, there are no good people amongst those noble rascals… except for me, of course!

Roel righteously denounced the depraved nobles of the world while distancing himself from them. Once again, he affirmed his will to keep Alicia by his side, and he vowed to use all means possible in order to oppose Alicia’s marriage.

“Ey? Wait wait wait wait wait! Aren’t I in the same position too? Isn’t it possible for me to get into a political marriage too?”

This notion stopped Roel briefly and caused him to ponder his own situation, but a moment later, he burst into laughter.

“Ahahahaha, how can that be possible? How could I possibly not know if I was already in an arranged marriage?”

While Roel was carefully considering how he could keep Alicia in the Ascart House, a carriage bearing the insignia of the Guardian of Radiant Wings came to a halt at the entrance of the Labyrinth Villa.

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“Why does your face stiffen whenever you meet me? Just what have I done to incur your displeasure?”

In one of the villa’s reception rooms, Nora greeted Roel with a bright smile while making an apt remark about his stiff fake smile. Roel, who was just smiling for the sake of maintaining a basic level of civility, quickly let it fade before responding.

“It’s all a misunderstanding. You are the one and only princess of the Saint Mesit Theocracy, an exalted existence. There are many who would queue up just to catch a glimpse of you. It’s my deepest honor to welcome you into our humble abode.”

Leaning into his sofa, Roel spoke words that sounded like they had come straight out of a textbook. It was a replica of the polite yet distant attitude Alicia had shown him back when they first met.

Nora pondered this response for a moment before trying a new gambit. She replied with a downtrodden tone.

“I thought that we would have become close after I saved you, but it looks like it was all one-sided thinking on my part.”

Nora’s eyes drooped down and the graceful smile she usually plastered on her face withered a little. Her eyes reflected dejection and helplessness, and she gave off an air of misery that would evoke pity from all beholders. It was an appearance no one would have expected from the confident princess, almost feeling as if anyone who had tried to hurt her, whether in word or deed, were grave sinners who should be condemned to the lowest depths of hell.

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“…”

You win, alright? Can you stop acting like this?

Roel felt his head hurt a little as he looked at Nora. Looking back, she had indeed saved his life. If not for her stalling Bron’s allies for a good two minutes, he might have ended up with a couple more fractured bones or worse.

Reciprocation was in order. It would appear immature on his part to continue treating her so coldly after benefiting from her assistance.

“Nora, thank you for your help.”

(Affection Points +100!)

Roel squeezed out his words of gratitude with great difficulty, and fortunately, Nora swiftly reverted back to normal after hearing them. She gracefully walked over to a chair and sat down.

“I was the one who saved you for that incident, but considering the overall outcome, I feel like I should be the one thanking you instead.”

“Hm?”

“As the young princess of the Theocracy, it’s my responsibility to rally the young nobles under my banner. However, I’m rarely in the Holy Capital, and I devote far too much time to my knight training. The influence I command has diminished without me noticing. That gave the Elrics an opportunity to stick their heads in and form their Elric Youth Faction. Basically, it’s my negligence that resulted in this situation.”

Nora confessed, and her open and honest attitude in admitting her faults left Roel feeling a bit more respect for her.

As the saying went, ‘if my liege treats me with sincerity, I shall repay him with loyalty’. While Roel didn’t consider himself as her subject, her earnest attitude still stirred some changes in him.

I guess it’s fine not to put that much distance between us.

Novel Notes

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