Translated by : pewpew
The Conclusion of the negotiations
Several days after accepting the marriage proposal from the Physalis duke family1, somehow now the Lord Duke himself personally appeared at our home. Together with numerous engagement gifts.
Extravagant yet delicate dresses and dazzling jewels that I only have seen at a distance so far. In addition, there was this and that en masse.
It is a secret that the whole family pulled back, not to speak of getting restless, towards the presents carrying personnel that kept coming in one after the other.
「The debt would disappear just by selling off all of these….」
「Oi! Viola!! Don’t say that!!」
Absentmindedly muttering those remarks, I recovered from my whole faced smile after father's immediate denial while emitting a dark aura.
The eyes of my younger siblings too, turned into dots after seeing these luxurious and dazzling gifts for the first time.
In front of that dumbfounded Euphorbia family, the gallant Lord Duke appeared.
「Pleased to make your acquaintance, Lady Viola. I am Duke Sashis Chinensis Physalis. For consenting to the marriage proposal, I am grateful and happy. 」
Saying that, he floated a captivating and beautiful smile during the reverent greeting.
In contrast to me who, for the first time saw the Lord Duke’s beautiful form and style live, was standing dumbfounded in a daze. Beautiful! Handsome! I have heard rumors like that, but the real deal outshines his fame. A tall and slender figure with a firm body. Typical for knights, his thick black hair was short and neatly arranged in a refreshing look. His eyes with the same black color, were stern and manly. A straight nasal bridge, lips that right now form a tender and bright smile, no matter which part you take, it's flawless. Even putting everything together brings out a beautiful form that is in perfect harmony! Because that sort of sparkling gentleman is in front of my eyes, expecting me not to get nervous is absurd right?
「P-Pleased to meet you, I am Viola.」
I fumbled over my words.
But instead of retorting to the unsightly me, the Lord Duke smiled widely and said,
「Quite according to the rumors, you seem to be a cute lady. Earl-dono2, I still have a few things to discuss with Viola, would that be fine? 」
In a heartbeat my hand was taken and facing my father he expressed his request to have an informal talk with me.
「Yes, yes, by all means. If it is alright with you, we can prepare seats in the garden. 」
Father said that while nodding his head like a bobble head figure.
「Thank you very much.」
Immediately then, together with the Lord Duke we headed towards the garden.
Reaching the in the afternoon sunshine gleaming modest garden, and as soon as it was just the Lord Duke and me.
「I need decoy wife!」
Was the first thing he declared with a smile.
Ee? What is this person getting at now??
For a moment I couldn’t believe my own ears over what the Lord Duke said. That is not something you declare with such an extraordinary smile, right?
...ahem, I lost my composure. Because of the annoying chirping of the little birds in the garden, I thought I misheard it.
「Yes, a decoy. To tell you the truth, I have been dating my sweetheart for about 6 years now. I do love her, but it can’t be helped that she is a former wandering dancer. Let alone being a commoner, if the origin is unclear the surrounding will oppose it no matter what, marriage would not be possible. 」
I’m confused since this doesn’t concern me at all. The Lord Duke is still floating that beautiful smile, while telling me this incredible matter quite cheerfully.
「However, lately the people around me are nagging me to get married and make a successor. 」
「But as I said before the marriage would not be recognized. And I don’t want to be separated from her. Therefor I need someone to be my decoy wife and pretend to live a regular married life. 」
I have been told something rather crazy, but I couldn’t help but give halfhearted answers. I did more or less change the intonation though.
Frankly speaking, for me and my marriage partner (in other words the Lord Duke) it is already too late since he already has a girlfriend. So if I were to become the legal wife, I would be mistress No. 2, right? That said, mistress No.2 is below, right? Since it has been decided that I won’t be loved. Wait, what? Wait a minute, I’m confused. Talking about a lover and mistress No.2, that is normal3. Well, then what am I as the legal wife? Aaa, I can’t come to understand this. Enough.
Oh well, what can I say, there is always a catch in good things like these. If there wasn’t it would be suspicious, right? Leaving that point aside, I can consent to this4.
I spaced out and thought in circles over and over again while staring at the Lord Duke’s dreadful smile, he continued.
「Oh, it is no problem if you do as you please. It would be troubling if you were to be too flashy, but it is fine if you find a lover too. I promise to take care of your daily necessities and any inconveniences. 」
Smiled the Lord Duke sweetly.
While smiling he gave that savage statement, I almost carelessly tripped over somewhere! Waiiit, waiiit!! There is a savage here!!
With a wide open mouth, I was staring in astonishment.
… let’s calm down a bit, me. And start by closing my mouth that stands open stupidly.
Although a normal noble daughter would flip out by now, my situation is a bit complicated. In the end my family's debt is entangled in this marriage proposal after all. If I don’t deal with the debt, father, mother and my younger siblings5 will have to go through hardship. If I flip out over these conditions and cancel the engagement, my family will continue headlong down the road of poverty. No, we are already at the very bottom・the bottom of the nabe pot, right?6 We are also regarded as the black sheep by the superior members of high society7. Prestigious aristocratic family disgraced by declining nobles! ….. actually that sounds a bit co~ol☆
no no no no no, if it is only me, enduring it is a good thing.
I talked about this the other day already, but a happy love life is distant for me, who since birth to the age of 18 didn’t have a gentleman on her mind 『I’m poor and have to help out the family, being single for life is great too~☆』. Instead of thinking about those gloomy future prospects, I should be grateful to be able to live a life without any inconveniences. Not having to worry about old ages is good!
While having these thoughts inside my head,
「Understood. If the debt is being taken care of, I don’t have any problems8. 」
A splendidly composed answer.
Well, even so, I still don’t think I can of making a lover.
Perhaps since I replied indifferently without anger, the Lord Duke made a slightly surprised expression, but immediately returned to his usual smile.
「Since it is a matter of course, I will happily oblige. I look forward to working with you from now on. 」
He gave me his right hand. Might this be the 『Conclusion of the negotiations☆』 handshake?
I took that hand with my own without a moment of hesitation.
With this the former political marriage between the Physalis duke family and the Euphorbia Earl family changed and concluded to a marriage by contract.
1 公爵家: For the lack of a better vocabulary I translated this literal here. Dukes house of Physalis? Dunno, sounds like physalis is a place rather than a familyname.
2 I have no idea how to translate 殿 (dono) without making it sound weird. 殿 as a suffix, similar to 様 (sama) is used to respectfully address someone, usually equals afaik.
3 she doesn’t mind him having a mistress or two. Or regards it as normal that he would have mistresses.
4 その点においてはみょーに納得しましたけどね: Absolutely no idea what みょーに is suppose to mean, a quick google search brought be some weird half bald dude and I’m too short on time to research this further. sorry.
5 幼い (osanai): means very young. It implies that her younger siblings are still children.
6 nabe pot and the dot: While I’m pretty sure you know what that is, here plus the dot, she is making a joke similar how you’d make a pun. A dad joke basically. This is the first time I see it used like this, so the middle dot probably has more uses.
7 その上社交界からも爪はじき決定です: made no sense at all to me, so I guess 爪はじき actually means爪弾き, the first being claw gun(I think?) and the latter “black sheep” or being ostracized.
8 She literally says to protect the debt here