“Lord Melchor Postenmeyer, Your Excellency.”
Roseline, stuttering, called out to his random appearance.
It was difficult to say his name as it was long.
She should have just said ‘My Lord Your Excellency’.
The grand duke shuffled his way toward her and placed a few sheets of paper on the table.
“This… What are these” asked Roseline.
“A promissory note and a power of attorney.
And the marriage pledge.”
Roseline took the promissory note and power of attorney as random but couldn’t understand what the last one meant.
“Check it yourself.”
A large document containing unnecessarily fancy gilt was stamped with the emperor’s seal.
[Emperor Balthazar permits the marriage between Melchor Eckhard Julian Noff Postenmeyer and Roseline Crimson Rose.]
Roseline closed her eyes for a moment then opened them.
The magic of changing the handwriting of the marriage pledge hadn’t worked.
It didn’t turn into a pigeon and fly away like magic.
It really was a marriage pledge.
Roseline’s head was off in the distance.
“Under the agreement of Count Crimson Rose, you will become Grand Duchess Postenmeyer this coming spring.
So you can’t be blamed for your father’s crimes.”
“Countess Renate Crimson Rose and her son Alfons Crimson Rose couldn’t avoid the crimes, but thankfully His Highness said he doesn’t want it turning into a big deal.”
“Instead of being taken into custody they were fined, and the Postenmeyer bore the burden of the large fine.”
Roseline felt like an idiot, only able to say one word: “Huh” The grand duke continued in a calm voice, but Roseline couldn’t understand a word he was saying.
According to what he’d said, the report from the emperor stated the following:
Since Roseline’s name had already been put into the Postenmeyer family registry for marrying Melchor this spring, she was not a member of the Crimson Rose family and was not able to get married because her birthday hadn’t passed.
To fulfill his duty as a husband, Melchor had decided to pay the hefty fine so Renate and her son Alfons could avoid being sentenced to prison.
Because Melchor had paid twice the price to buy back the throne and territory of the Crimson Rose family that the emperor had seized, Roseline’s mother and brother could continue to live in the estate’s mansion, and their employees could work for their salaries.
“But this isn’t about the condition of the mansion; for the time being, your mother and brother will stay in this mansion.
It’s going to be a while before you’ll be able to see them again since I have to go through the procedures.”
Roseline’s mind was occupied with what would happen with her mother and Alfons.
But now she couldn’t be relieved that they were being released.
This was not the time for that.
“Excuse me, Your Excellency”
“At this point, we’ll tear down the mansion and build a new one.
I’ve left it to a highly-skilled architect, so there’s no need for you to worry about that.”
“No, it’s not that.
I have no idea what you are talking about right now, Your Excellency.”
Roseline looked up at him with wide eyes as if embarrassed, but he was still calm.
“There was no such exchange between me and Count Crimson Rose, so I can’t readily offer to help for no reason.”
That’s how it was.
Because the two had met for the first time that day.
Even Roseline had met Melchor for the first time, but he had been just surprised that she looked like someone he remembered.
“If I’m going to save your family and return the land and title, it would be natural for me to become your husband and help my wife.”
Roseline thought this was anything but natural.
“Meanwhile, you were underaged, and I couldn’t marry you because Count Crimson Rose, the head of your family, opposed it.
Now that position is vacant, and we can get married since no one can oppose us.”
So now…” Roseline felt as if she had been beaten by his sudden outburst of nonsense.
It wasn’t that she didn’t know the meaning of what he was saying, but she couldn’t understand the situation.
“I am not sure why you are doing this.
You don’t think it’s weird to marry a woman you don’t even know, Your Excellency”
“It wouldn’t be uncommon.”
“That would be a political marriage.
But you’re not doing that.”
He had to stop her from being dragged away, but there was no justification to do that for a stranger.
So he had lied, saying they were engaged.
“It’s weird that I said I’d marry you to save you”
“You know nothing about me.”
“If we don’t get married, you might be thrown into prison and die unexpectedly.”
Roseline claimed to be innocent, but there was no way to exonerate her.
If she goes to trial, she would be found as a criminal.
Truth without evidence does not overcome plausible lies.
Roseline knew that much.
“But… Still, this is too weird for me.”
“Saint Bardelio claimed to be a husband after risking being excommunicated to save a woman who was nearly stoned to death.
Admiral Auclihy took in a bunch of enslaved girls he didn’t know as concubines, freed them from slavery, and returned them to their homeland in order to save them.”