Chapter 7: The Crown Prince of an Enemy Country has Arrived
I couldn’t resist the allure of fluff.
I had fluffed Blanc the owl, but bird fluff is not the same as cat or dog fluff.
For the first time in a long time, I was delighted to fluff fluffy creatures.
Finally, I told the entire story of my life as Mariel the first time, how I became Marie the Japanese, and how I restarted as Mariel the second time.
“For a five-year-old, I thought you were pretty mature.”
“I thought it was odd because she said things about avoiding war.”
I regret having inadvertently spoken in front of these two.
“You said your mother died protecting Crotalion’s Crown Prince from the demons?”
“Was that really the case?”
Laseid places a thoughtful hand on his chin. He’s still in his Shiba-inu form. He’s cute that way too. I’m tempted to touch his curly tail.
“What do you mean?”
“Because Crotalion’s crown prince is a demon.”
Shocking! I had no contact with Prince Bernhardt the first time, so I have no idea how he is…
“I’ve never heard of such a thing! He’s a demon?”
“It’s understandable that you wouldn’t know—after all, I’m the only one who knows he’s a demon.”
The Empress of the Crotalion Empire’s founding Emperor was a half-human, half-demon, and her blood is sometimes passed down to her descendants.
“The demon prince is stronger than the average demon—he can’t be hurt easily.”
“But Prince Bernhardt was seven years old at the time.”
“Age doesn’t matter—he recently came all the way to the dragon village just to challenge me to a fight.”
I see why Laseid is acquainted with the Prince of Crotalion.
I gulp down my saliva.
“Of course, it’s me—I thrashed him to a pulp.”
Laseid, in his shiba-inu form, stands proud and tall. He then places his paw on my knee, wagging his tail.
“Do you want to save your mother?”
“Yes—the only thing I can think of right now is to avoid war or stop Okaa-sama.”
“I have a good idea—leave it to me!”
With that, Laseid ran out onto the balcony, transformed into a dragon, and flew away.
“Where is he going?”
“Well, I’m not sure—I’d rather have another helping of macarons, Mariel.”
Layleigh-san, who takes the form of a cat, asks me in a haughty and endearing tone.
“Is this Laseid’s good idea?!”
Laseid returned the next day with a guest.
What a guest!
That is, Crown Prince Bernhardt of Crotalion!
“Is this her? The daring one who wants to fight me? But isn’t she still a child as Laseid’s student?”
The boy has black hair and clear gray eyes. He’d be a girl with a lovely face if his hair was longer.
No. You’re the child here, aren’t you?
“Wouldn’t it be quicker to talk to each other with your fists? I thought it would be better if you fought and listened to the victor—fight to your heart’s content!”
Do you mean winning the match against Bernhardt and putting an end to the war?!
Laseid crossed his arms and laughed while Ruria nibbled on his head.
Chew him some more, Ruria!
“He’s kidding, right?”
I ask Layleigh-san, smiling next to me.
“I think he’s serious.”
Darn it! muscle-brain dragon!
As I glare at Laseid, Prince Bernhardt points his index finger at me.
“Hey! you, little girl—what’s your name?”
Prince Bernhardt’s pompous demeanor irritates me, but I bow like a lady.
“It is a pleasure to meet you, little bo(y)—Crown Prince Bernhard—my name is Mariel, the daughter of the Grand Duke of Rosenstone.”
“Who are you calling a little boy? Wait? Did you say the Grand Duke of Rosenstone?! So you’re the daughter of Kalkstein’s chief court magician, Rezerotta Rozenstone?”
Prince Bernhardt looks at me with his hand on his chin.
When our eyes meet, he smiles at me. A shiver runs down my spine.
“Hmph… a direct disciple of Laseid and Rezerotta’s daughter. Interesting. Okay, fine—I’ll give you what you want if you beat me.”
This Crown Prince is a self-centered type.