Chapter 15: The Prince’s First Love (Edward’s point of view)
I move my pawns with caution. I only need three more moves to win.
Mariel must be realizing there’s nothing else she can do.
How many matches have I had against Mariel since we began playing chess?
I couldn’t believe it when Mariel asked me to play chess for the first time.
Mariel had previously only talked about trivial matters, such as whether she looked good in her dress today or begged me to buy her an ornament.
And she’s always curling her hair like Croissant, but she’s been wearing only simple hairstyles lately. To be honest, it looks better on her.
I can’t help but admire her because she’s so cute.
“Hmm, I’m not sure what to do. I resign. His Highness is very powerful…”
Mariel pauses for a moment before gracefully announcing her resignation.
She no longer refers to me by my nickname. She called me Ed not long ago.
“Why don’t you call me by my nickname, Mariel?”
Mariel appears perplexed.
“You called me Ed not long ago; why did you suddenly start calling me your Highness?”
“Because of that. His Highness is a prince, and I believe it is only natural to address him as such.”
“We’re cousins. You can call me by my nickname.”
Mariel appears to be maturing; according to my mother, girls mature the fastest.
“Anyway, Ed is fine.”
Mariel is hesitant, but she eventually nods.
More than anything, I wished Mariel would address me by my nickname.
My father, mother, and I haven’t had tea in a long time.
“I heard Edward recently began playing chess with Mariel?”
“Yes, Father. Mariel is a real challenge.”
Mariel is an excellent chess player. I lose to Mariel once every three matches. She is becoming increasingly competitive.
“Mariel has settled down strangely; she was very active not long ago.”
“Your Majesty, the girl grew up overnight; Mariel has been beautiful since she was a baby, but she gets more beautiful by the day.”
I don’t have any sisters. That could be why my mother adores Mariel so much.
“If I had a wife, it would be Mariel.”
I accidentally expressed my true feelings. I immediately covered my mouth with my hand.
“Huh? Does Edward have feelings for Mariel?”
Father smiled bemusedly as I affirmed, impatiently moving my hands under the table.
“Then we’re in big trouble. Because the Crown Prince of the Crotalion Empire has proposed to Mariel.”
What?! But the Crotalion Empire has been a long-standing foe of ours!
“I strongly disagree! Allowing Mariel to marry the Crown Prince of Crotalion is tantamount to holding her hostage! “
I can’t help but get up from my chair and yell.
“The current Crotalion Emperor is friendly, and Mariel’s marriage would serve as a link between our two countries. It sounds reasonable to me. But I had no idea Eduard was so taken with Mariel. That is an issue. Hmm.”
Father appears distressed; he is thinking of his country because he is the king.
But I refuse to give up Mariel.
After my parents’ tea party, I went for a walk in the garden and discovered a drowning puppy in the pond. The pond in the garden is not very deep, but I guess not for a puppy. Why is it drowning in the first place? Don’t dogs know how to swim?
I could leave it alone, but if a dog drowns in front of me, I might have trouble sleeping.
I’m about to summon a servant when I realize…
[I like a man who’s kind enough to save a drowning puppy from the river,] Mariel said casually in the middle of a chess game.
The next thing I know, I’m jumping into a pond to save the silver-furred puppy.
Puppies squeak incoherently.
Come to think of it, Mariel said that she likes animals.
Let’s make this puppy into a present for Mariel.