AUTHOR NOTE: Finally, our first guy is caught like in the title.
”Well, I have a pretty good idea what happened. Zeke.
Zeke responds with authority when His Majesty calls his name.
”Well, there’s a lot to say, but it’s basically your fault.”
“What! Why? This girl–!”
“How can you be so rude to a lady, and to Lady Alice, your fiancée, saying you wish for another woman?”
“But, sire! I mean it! I don’t want to be with her, ever!”
“Oh, that’s convenient. I don’t want to be with His Highness, either.”
”I’m not going to argue this. To start with, your betrothal is a royal decree and a political marriage. There are things you may not agree with, but… Be patient.”
“Why! Why should I put up with this, father! I’m a prince!”
“…Ha! You can leave now. Lady Alice, I’m sorry to trouble you, but please take care of this idiot son of mine. I raised him wrong, or at least raised him to be selfish, I guess. Oh, and you don’t have to call Zeke by his honorific title. A girl who can speak up to Zeke is a rare breed.”
“What! No, Father!”
“Yes! Leave it to me!”
“…But no dropkicks are allowed, okay?”
“…Yes, sir. It’s disrespectful.”
“It’s not that. It’s because you’re a girl.”
Then His Majesty steps down from his throne and gently strokes my head with a smile.
Hahaha?! Face! Your face is so close!
“…I’m not saying it’s disrespectful, but…Wouldn’t you rather I didn’t see a pretty lady look like that?
“…Why are you blushing, it’s disgusting.”
“Zeke! You can’t say that to a lady!”
Zeke turns away at His Majesty’s words.
His Majesty covered his eyes as if he was tired of Zeke.
“…Ha. That’s enough. The two of you, please go away.”
Zeke and I bowed to His Majesty as he returned to the throne.
◆ ◆ ◆
“…Hmph! Why should I have to put up with this evil wench! I’m a prince!”
Is this guy still saying that stuff? Zeke and I walk side by side as we leave the throne room. It’s not that I want to accompany him, but this is the main path.
“Yes, yes. It’s a pity, Your Highness. But this betrothal is the king’s decree, so please give it up. Well, you can break off the engagement if you’re determined to avoid this marriage.”
Well, I don’t think that’s possible either. Given the state of the kingdom, he can’t just break off the engagement.
“What’s the matter, Your Highness? You suddenly shut up. Has a screw snapped?”
I twist my head at His Highness, who suddenly stopped and fell silent. And His Highness stares at me in frustration and turns away in a huff.
“…I’m not a spring-loaded doll. There’s no way I can break a screw.”
“I’m just kidding… Well, what next? Do you really want to break off the engagement and risk His Majesty disinheriting you?”
“I’m not gonna risk that.”
“Well, after all, Your Highness has no purpose if you aren’t the prince, right?”
A selfish person who’s lost their status and wealth is nothing but more than an annoying person.
“You really are a genius at making fun of me, aren’t you! But, you know what? Aside from being ‘The Prince,’ I’m—”
He broke off and huffed with a self-mocking laugh. That laugh, tinged with melancholy, was so attractive it was hard to believe it came from a seven-year-old.
“Well, you’re probably right. I guess there’s no value in me except as a ‘the crown prince.’”
The look on his face took my breath away, and drew me in–
“What’s up? Why are you the one who shut up all of a sudden? Did you find it surprising that I would start saying this?”
“Oh, no, that’s not it. It’s just that this conversation is getting long. I’m a bit hungry. I didn’t have breakfast.”
–Blah, blah, blah. A seven-year-old with a hint of sex appeal, I am not into it at all. Instead, I’m a fan of His Majesty. I like older guys who are a bit more reserved.
“…a person in your situation… would normally say, ‘What’s the problem?’ They would ask, at least! So why is it that you said you were hungry!”
“No, I’m not interested.”
“Hold on! Can’t you be a little curious? You’re my fiancée! You can have breakfast later, you know. I’ll tell the head chef of the royal palace to prepare a special menu for you!”
“…Sorry. Yes. I appreciate the opportunity to hear your story.”
…Well, okay. This is a bit of a hassle, but I’ll listen. It’s not because of the breakfast thing!
“…What you are… Huh, well, good. Do you know anything about my mother?”
“Mother? Your mother…”
“His Majesty’s former wife, the late Queen Liliana, was it not?”
Yes… I remember now. Right. The prince’s mother died when he was very young.
“…My mother was a frail woman, but she was extraordinarily beautiful. She always had a pretty smile on her face… There was an epidemic three years ago, Cholera.”
“…before she died, my mother told me, ‘Please, become a great king.’ My sick mother was always worried about me. She hoped that one day I would become a great king and lead a good government.”
“…That’s not an impossible task, you know? His Majesty is a good ruler.”
This prince was ripped apart on the internet. “If this pompous guy becomes head of state, the country will fall.” The problem is more than just a matter of being a great king, don’t you think?
“…You have something to say, don’t you?
“…What exactly do you think is my problem?
“Where do I start… I mean, do you even study about what it takes to be king?”
Wow… this guy just blatantly looked away.
”…You can’t slack off, Your Highness.”
“I’m not slacking off! It’s just… I don’t have a tutor or anyone to ask.”
“I know, I know! If one is a member of the king’s bloodline and determined to administer a good government, he needs to learn on his own, without resorting to private tutoring… but I can’t help it.”
You sound upset, Your Highness. No, I understand.
“No tutor? Why– Oh, is it that your ego is getting the better of you?”
“No, no! That’s not it… Father’s second wife…”
You don’t like the way things have changed.
“…It’s not bad. I mean, I’m sure the baby she had is cute and… and my father’s only concerned for my baby brother, Allen, these days.”
“…I’m seven years old now. To begin with, kings have always been lonely. So I shouldn’t complain…”
…No, that’s not right. This time, the Prince has done nothing wrong.
”…Your Highness, have you mentioned this to His Majesty?”
“…How could I possibly say that?”
“It makes me seem like I’m jealous of my brother. I’m just his former wife’s son, after all. I’m nothing but an obsolete decoration in this palace.”
“His Highness smiles to himself as he says that. His Highness looks a little sad, but still shows a stout smile.”
”–Let’s go, Your Highness.”
Involuntarily, I was angry. Why? This is neglect! What did he say, ‘I didn’t raise him right?’ You didn’t raise him at all, Your Majesty! Of course, this prince was going to be a piece of shit! How would he know unless he had someone to tell him!
“Let’s go–? Hands, hands! Get your hands off me!”
“Don’t be embarrassed to hold hands with a girl.”
“Yes? Where are we going?”
Yep. In the first place, if Your Highness becomes the king without developing into an adult and not knowing a single thing about anything, this country will fall apart. If that happens, even I, the daughter of a duke, will never be able to live in peace.
”Where? Isn’t it obvious?”
…so this is for my peace, too. But more than that.
I felt slightly more compassionate towards him.
”Your Highness is going to study… And I’m going to teach you!”
–For the sake of this foolish, pitiful prince, I’m turning him into a total darling, that no one would be ashamed to have in an otome game!
AUTHOR NOTE: That was fun! I can’t wait to see what happens next! Hang in there, Alice, hang in there. If any of you think that this is a good story, please leave a comment & rating… it’s very encouraging, so thank you!
EDITOR NOTE: About this line “…It’s not bad. I mean, I’m sure the baby in her belly is cute and… and my father’s only concerned for my baby brother, Allen, these days.” … Yeah, I’m not actually sure if he’s talking about his brother being the baby his stepmom carried, or if it’s supposed to be that she’s pregnant again. If a later chapter reveals that she’s not currently pregnant, then I’ll note the change in translation before the start of the story.
EDITOR NOTE (UPDATE): After reading ahead a few chapter’s, I’ve changed the line to be “…It’s not bad. I mean, I’m sure the baby she had is cute and… and my father’s only concerned for my baby brother, Allen, these days.”