Chapter 9: Courted by the Crown Prince
I was blown away by the explosion and found myself stuck in a tree branch, unsure how I was going to get down.
“What should I do? It’s too high to cut the branches here.”
This tree is hundreds of years old, and I’m stuck on a very high branch. It appears that cutting the branch and jumping down is impossible.
A small shadow comes below me. It’s Ruria.
Ruria attempted to help me up.
“You can’t, Ruria. You’re still small—find Laseid-sama or Layleigh-san.”
Ruria shakes his head.
I appreciate Ruria’s willingness to help me, but he is smaller than me and cannot lift me.
Suddenly there was a rumbling of the earth. The rumbling gradually drew nearer.
“Is it a monster? Ruria, run away!”
Ruria continues to shake his head, refusing to leave my side.
“Go! I’ll be just fine.”
Looking down, I notice a four-meter-tall troll smirking at me. People who are stuck are easy prey.
The troll was hideous with his big nose and pointed ears.
Trolls are not intelligent, and they move slowly. They are, however, extremely powerful. If it catches me, I won’t be able to get away as a five-year-old.
“So, what should I do now? Even if I cut the monster with a “wind blade,” trolls regenerate quickly.”
While I’m worrying, the troll is trying to climb the tree .
There isn’t any time to waste. I’ll cut his head off.
I was about to cast my spell when――.
The troll’s head has been cleanly severed. Someone has unleashed a magic spell before me.
“What are you doing? Do you want the troll to eat you?”
The voice that came from another tree belonged to Prince Bernhardt.
With the help of Prince Bernhardt, I was finally able to climb down from the tree.
“Your Royal Highness—thank you for your help.
We decided to hide in a tree hollow while persuading Ruria, who was hesitant, to call Laseids. — We sit in silence, facing each other.
As expected, we will not do anything reckless to settle the matter here.
“…You can address me as Bern—that’s what my closest friends and family refer to me as.”
“We only met today—we’re not very close, are we?”
“You’re not cute—did you say you’re Mariel? How old are you?”
“I’m five years old.”
Prince Bernhardt drops the branch he is holding.
“Five years old? My younger brother is also five years old, but he is even dumber—he isn’t as mature as you are.”
That’s an awful thing to say. I feel bad for his younger brother.
“That means there are all kinds of five-year-olds in the world.”
I shrugged my shoulders.
“You’re a peculiar five-year-old. But I doubt I’ll grow tired of being with you—do you want to be my queen?”
“I don’t want to!”
“Answer immediately? You do realize you’re going to be the crown princess?”
“I’d hate to be in that kind of position of responsibility. My ambition is to live a slow life with my fluffy friends.”
I’ve decided to live a slow life if I can save Okaa-sama or prevent the Third Battle of Cryna.
“Let the Crown Princess’s subordinates do her work—you can live the slow life as the Crown Princess in the Palace.”
“That is simply impossible! To keep her position, the Crown Princess must perform her duties well; it’s a role I’m not qualified for.”
“… No, I don’t think so—and the more you say no, the more I want you.”
“Just give up.”
Outside, I can hear wingbeats. Laseids appear to have arrived.