“…Aristocracy is a complex society. Many things surprise me… I had no idea that I would ever be this surprised…”
“…I’m sorry, Lord Salbert. I apologize for visting you on such short notice.
“No… My daughter’s gone crazy, no matter how you look at it… I understand that…”
My father, Lynd Salbert, who said that gave me a tired look. He is an attractive man with a smooth, handsome face. He is a handsome man, but… but he’s also, well, he’s my father, you could say he’s a cool type or a cold-hearted type, or… well, you know. He looks like an intellectual yakuza.
“What do you think you’re doing, Alice? This is kidnapping.”
“No, sir. It was consensual.”
“You call that consensual? I was forcibly pulled…”
“It was consensual. Because, Your Highness, isn’t it easy to pull my hand off? If it’s about strength, His Highness is stronger than me. So, since you allowed me to pull you along, isn’t that a consensual agreement?”
“…and then you start talking about it…”
Father exhales in a dumbfounded way when he says that. Quibbles like this are beyond reason!
”I’ll send word to His Majesty myself. And then? Is His Highness going to live here?”
“No, that’s not…”
“Hey! Why would you answer!”
“Because I’m going to be teaching His Highness his lesson! If we don’t do this, Your Highness, you’ll become a joke prince!”
“J-Joke! That’s disrespectful!”
“His Majesty permitted me to be like so! From now on, the plan is for me to train the prince to be a great man!”
“You’re gonna train…”
“What? Alice, that’s enough. For now, Your Highness, please rest easy. Jim will show you around. Jim.”
“Take care of His Highness.”
Saying that, Jim, the butler, bowed his head to His Highness and said ”I will show you around.” After they left, Father turned his gaze towards me.
”….Why did you do this, Alice?”
I can’t help but shiver at the piercing eyes. It’s that thing. It’s the same eyes as my boss who laughed and got insanely angry when I made a mistake!
“Well, I mean…”
“His Highness maybe your fiancé, but he is the first prince of our kingdom. The Crown Prince getting kidnapped by his vassals is a big problem. Even if it weren’t, the odds are stacked against His Highness.”
“I felt…sorry for His Highness. He has no tutor. The queen is busy with her…”
His father let out a sigh at my words, ‘Huh.’
”…You said all that, Your Highness. Well, you’re right.”
“The…You know. The Queen considers His Highness to be, um…”
“…That’s not something we can talk about.”
“…Just so. You may not be able to understand this yet, but I’ve given a lot of thought to it, and that”s why I nominated you to be His Highness’ fiancé.”
“Mary told me His Majesty approached you.”
“…do you know what the word ‘consultation’ means? I don’t use that word often.”
“Well, uh… well, you know… I read it in a book!”
“…Well, that’s good. You know what, Alice? There was certainly talk from the royal family. One of the reasons for this was that His Highness Zeke’s position is weak. Our family is one of the most prominent noble houses in the kingdom, and I have every intention of supporting him. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a great deal more to say about it. It’s a good idea.”
It’s a political marriage. Not surprising.
But…Most of all, you were very fond of His Highness. His Highness is hungry for love. Seven years old, it’s only natural. So I thought your love for His Highness would relieve him of his loneliness…”
Then Father sighed.
“…I never thought you’d bring him home.”
“What’s that? Well, whatever. In any case, I can’t blame you for bringing him home. It would not be good for His Highness’ mental health to live in that royal palace.”
With that, Father rises from his seat.
“I’m going to bed now. Don’t stay up late, either. And make sure you take good care of His Highness.”
“No, Father. I didn’t pick up a dog or cat like that.”
“I’d rather it’d be a cat and dog. His Highness is going to take my precious daughter away from me, you know.”
“…Are you a tsundere, father?”
“No. It’s nothing. So, good night!”
“Wait. I didn’t get to the main point.”
“What is it?”
“You said you were going to teach His Highness how to study, but teaching means you must have mastered the subject yourself.”
“Well… yes, that’s correct.”
“But you are only seven years old. You haven’t learned anything. What do you intend to teach His Highness?”
…Oof. Yeah. I was a seven-year-old girl now. Now what do I say? … ‘I’m actually a reincarnation. I’m about the same age as you, Father! I am comfortable teaching kids and all that!’ Is it okay to say that? I feel like the relaxed worldview of “Wakuaku” would allow for that…
“…I am not going to teach him ‘academics’.”
Let’s just play it safe here.
“Okay. So, what will you teach him?”
“I’ll teach him what it means to be a ‘king.’ That’s what I’m going to do.”
”Isn’t that more difficult than academia? Only His Majesty could teach such things, right?”
Only the King can teach him the way to be king. But, Father?
“What I can teach him is how to be the kind of king the people want. A king that would be a joy. A king that would be fun. That’s the kind of king I’d like to have….It’s sad. I would be happy to teach His Highness how to be that kind of king.”
“… but the king can’t run the country if he only listens to his people.”
“To listen or not to listen is the decision of the moment, but I don’t believe ‘not knowing’ is the way to go about it.”
“…you’ve changed, Alice. Are you really a seven-year-old?It’s almost like an adult … as if someone has taken over?
Father looks at me quizzically. Oh, shit!
“Now that I am His Highness’s fiancée. Let’s just say that I am awake now.”
I’m not lying. I’ve ‘awakened’ to the knowledge of my previous life.
”…Hmm. Then let’s try to keep it that way.”
“…If I may be so bold to speak…Are you sure?”
“The engagement was made in the hope that being together with you would help heal His Highness a little. The academic studies can be taught by someone else. You will teach your highness to be the ‘king the people want’.”
You can count on me. I’ve played a bunch of Otome games, and I’m the best at achieving ‘The Prince’s Path’!
“…I just got a chill in my stomach… Anyway, this is good. Alice.”
He gave me permission.
“Yes! Leave it to me, Father,” I replied cheerfully.