“You know, I have a dream of experiencing love like Okaa-sama’s.”
Upon hearing that, Mabel blinked her eyes in surprise.
Mabel had heard that their mother had passed away due to illness a few years after Mabel was born. Although Mabel had little memory of her mother, she had heard from Kathleen that their mother had shared various stories with them.
“Yes. It seems that Okaa-sama was once in love with a masked mage.”
Mabel almost spat out the tea she was drinking. She hadn’t informed her sisters about her marriage to Eugene yet, so she cautiously repeated the words “masked mage.”
“A masked mage, you say?”
“Yes. It seems to have happened before she married Otou-sama.”
According to the story, their mother came from a high-ranking noble family, and her marriage to the current king, her father, was somewhat predetermined. She never questioned it herself, but one day she met a masked mage and fell in love.
“But Okaa-sama was the future queen. On the other hand, the mage had a different status. One day, the masked mage suddenly disappeared.”
―May your future be filled with happiness
The masked mage left only that letter and left their mother.
Their mother grieved for a while, but their father, who was the crown prince at the time, supported her. He continued to love her without reproaching her for being involved with another man. Drawn to their father’s sincerity, the two of them married as planned.
“Of course, sincere love like Otou-sama’s is wonderful too. But I think that the mage who willingly stepped back also had strong feelings for Okaa-sama.”
Kathleen said that and smiled happily again.
Mabel, who had rarely heard about their mother’s story before, felt like she was a distant figure. But as she listened to the story, she felt a strange tickling sensation.
“Hehe, that’s why I support Mabel’s love too.”
When Kathleen picked up her cup, she let out a small “Oh.” It seemed that the tea had run out. As Mabel was about to stand up to get a refill, Kathleen gently stopped her.
“It’s fine. I’ll be going now.”
Mabel sighed deeply again as she watched Kathleen return to the castle, telling her to think it over slowly.
‘Okaa-sama and the masked mage…’
The only mages Mabel knew were Eugene and a man named Row who had come recently. She had heard that there were a few others, but she wondered who had fallen in love with her mother.
‘It couldn’t be Eugene, right?’
A shadow passed through Mabel’s heart. She had heard that the masked mage had a long lifespan due to their magic. If that was true, there was a possibility that Eugene and her mother had fallen in love.
For some reason, her heart ached.
If it was really someone like that, Eugene would surely say something and notice. It should be fine, Mabel reassured herself, but she felt frustrated that her inner feelings were unsettled.
At that moment, she heard a rustling sound from the trees. Mabel turned to see if Kathleen had returned.
However, what she saw was not her third sister, but a person wearing a black mask. Judging from their physique, it was a man, and there was one person in front and another behind.
“Who are you―”
Before Mabel could stand up and shout, the men quickly rushed towards her. One of the men took out a large sack and spread it over Mabel’s head.
‘What is this?!’
Her vision was blocked, and Mabel felt a tight sensation, like a rope, tightening around her torso. The rope was tightly wound, depriving Mabel of her freedom.
As she thought her body was tilting, Mabel was lifted sideways.
“No, what’s happening?! Someone help me!”
With her legs and shoulders held, the men carried Mabel away. It happened in an instant.