She and the Two Crown Princes
“Calling the name of your fiancé. How feminine, Princess”
Stepping firmly, Crown Prince Maximilian slowly approached.
Having my arm seized by his guard knight, I glared at Crown Prince Maximilian.
“Let me go! Now that the magical tool didn’t activate it’s enough, isn’t it. It makes no sense to involve yourself with me anymore”
“That’s exactly right. Unfortunately, this time that bottle is the only magical tool I had on hand. I never would have thought it wouldn’t activate, it’s my mistake. Certainly, with that it’s only correct to withdraw”
That’s reasonable, Crown Prince Maximilian nodded to my words.
Then! when I was about to say that he muttered.
“But, obediently returning home as is would be irritating”
Crown Prince Maximilian came to a stop in front of me. He raised a hand and pointed at my neck.
“If I carve my mark on top of that mark, what face will that man make? It’s regrettable I won’t be able to see that face myself, but don’t you think it’s a good revenge?”
I gazed at Crown Prince Maximilian who said an outrageous thing.
Taking the opportunity of me being unable to move, he slowly drew near my neck in an ostentatious manner.
With his breath on my neck, my whole body shuddered in disgust.
Disgusting, so disgusting it’s unbearable.
Unable to look at him, I turned my face away, the moment I instinctively closed my eyes――――.
“I should’ve said there won’t be a second time”
As soon as I heard the familiar voice and opened my eyes in disbelief, with the sound of the wind an elegant drawn sword was thrust between me and Crown Prince Maximilian.
The beautiful golden sword that interrupted me and Crown Prince at a considerable speed tightly stopped there.
I opened my eyes wide at the tremendously accurate swordsmanship that hadn’t harmed a hair on my head.
Crown Prince Maximilian leapt back reflexively. With my arms still held, I looked up at the person who thrust the sword at the knight.
Seeing the familiar pale golden hair, I felt like crying.
He didn’t answer my voice. With a frightfully cold face he was pointing the sword at the knight who was seizing my arm.
“What are you doing to my fiancée. Release your dirty hands”
Having received Freed’s anger, the knight sent a fleeting glance at his master. As Crown Prince Maximilian nodded, he released his grasp.
Just when I felt relieved that the restraint finally came off, I was hugged by Freed with incredible vigor.
Tightly embraced, I too clung to him.
“Sorry, I’m late”
I shook my head in silence.
My tear glands were about to loosen at his hoarse mutter. Together with his worry, his intense fury was transmitted.
I was relieved to a surprising degree by the strength of the arm hugging me.
“I made you experience something scary”
“… It’s alright. Thanks for coming”
Just as he had said last night, Freed came to my help. He made it in time. I didn’t think I’d be so happy.
“You appeared at an awfully great timing again, Prince Friedrich”
Crown Prince Maximilian, who fell back a little, called out to Freed.
Before I noticed, the knight appeared at his side and prepared to protect Crown Prince.
Freed sent a fleeting glance at them and said in a piercing cold voice.
“No, I regret I couldn’t be here quicker. Thinking you’d be together with her even a little longer disgusts me”
“Kuku. That’s good to hear… Prince Friedrich, how did you know about this place?”
Freed didn’t answer to Crown Prince Maximilian.
But I somehow understood. The moment I called him, I felt the carved ‘King’s Flower’ grow hot. Probably that’s the answer.
“I have nothing to teach you. Not to you who tried to steal a person’s fiancée within the castle of a foreign country, as expected of the Crown Prince of Sahaja, everything you do is depraved”
Freed readjusted his one-handed hold of me and pointed his bare sword at Crown Prince Maximilian. The golden sword that reflected sunlight shone all the brighter.
To protect him, the knight took a step forward. As he was about to draw his sword, Crown Prince Maximilian firmly restrained him.
“Fabius, don’t draw it”
“We’re within Wilhelm castle. You must understand what that means”
With reluctance in his voice the knight’s hand let go of his sword’s handle.
On the contrary, Crown Prince Maximilian was considerably calm.
“Excuse my subordinate, Prince Friedrich. Ah, you seem to have misunderstood, I haven’t done anything yet. So why don’t you lower that dangerous thing”
“I wonder. That you seized a person’s fiancée says enough”
“That’s why I’m saying I haven’t done anything yet. Princess Lidiana, isn’t that right?”
“… That’s so”
With the subject brought up, I nodded against my will.
How dares he despite the failed kidnapping attempt.
I’m amazed from the bottom of my heart. He’s too brazen.
However, I want to avoid the situation becoming troublesome.
It’s undesirable to raise a fuss.
As he said, there was no real harm.
The magical tool didn’t activate, in the end he didn’t touch my body.
Then I don’t want to make it a problem. If I unskillfully kicked up a fuss it could become an international issue and quite likely lead to the resumption of the war.
I know that’s Sahaja’s way of doing thing.
I separated from Freed, straightened myself and faced Crown Prince Maximilian.
Freed showed a worried expression to such me, but I shook my head in silence. This is the scene for me to play. I can’t have a war break out because of me.
I straightened my back and fired myself up.
While showing a smile as natural as possible, I spoke.
“It as His Highness Maximilian said, certainly no problem has occurred. I only encountered an unpleasant pest while strolling through the garden and reflexively ran away”
Next to me Freed laughed faintly.
I nodded with a composed expression.
“Yeah, of course it was unrelated to His Highness Maximilian”
The knight reacted to my unabashed words, but Crown Prince Maximilian stopped him for the second time.
“Hmph. Oh well… That’s how it was, Prince Friedrich. I was unrelated. Are you convinced?”
“If she says so”
Freed maintained his absolute zero voice, every single of his words conveys he doesn’t believe it at all. Just like me, he must not want to cause problems, but it feels like he’s saying this is this and that is that.
“Suspicious, aren’t you. Prince Friedrich. Supposing I did something, I’d like to be presented evidence. Without it, there’s no reason for this one-sided questioning”
The magical reduction bottle seems to have gone somewhere. I’d like to say there is evidence, but in reality the magical tool didn’t activate, in which case it’s nothing but an ordinary bottle. Even if it was found, it’s too weak for evidence.
“Evidence huh. Certainly, it’s as you say. I can’t raise a complaint without evidence… Yes, like this”
Freed, who muttered the last line so that it wouldn’t be heard, thrust his sword at Crown Prince Maximilian at a speed that couldn’t be followed by eye, and returned it to the sheath.
Nobody could see it. And yet.
An unusual, strange noise.
When I turned in the direction of the curious sound, for some reason Crown Prince Maximilian was firmly pressing down on his cheek.
From the gaps between his fingers deep red fresh blood began overflowing.
In the twinkling of an eye it trickled down and soaked into Crown Prince Maximilian’s black formal wear.
I don’t get what happened.
Among the chaos, the two crown princes, Freed, still with the cold expression, and Crown Prince Maximilian, while pressing down his cheek, were simply staring at each other.
Despite still pressing down his cheek, Crown Prince Maximilian raised the corners of his mouth as if it was a trifling matter.
“… How rare, you were serious, huh. You’ve done it”
“I wonder? What might it be about. As you saw, I only sheathed my sword. Or are you saying you saw something?”
At Freed’s provocative line, Crown Prince Maximilian shifted his gaze to his knight.
“I apologize, Your Highness… I have not seen it”
While presenting a clean cloth to his lord, the knight shook his head in denial.
Freed looked at such master and servant scene expressionlessly.
“If you don’t know what happened, then certainly the earlier problem with evidence comes up? Especially now that it’s winter. It could even be kamaitachi1. You better be careful”
No, no matter how you look at it the culprit is Freed…
Everyone here thinks so, but there’s no definitive proof.
On the contrary, Crown Prince Maximilian again showed a smile and nodded.
“… That’s right. Since Fabius hasn’t seen it, it’s like that. Phew… Very well. I was able to see the rare sight of you being serious. I’ll accept that in place of the souvenir”
It looked like a lot blood had gushed out, but in fact it seemed to be a shallow wound. When he wiped most of the blood with the cloth, the wound was already closing. Even so, there’s no doubt a scar will remain on his especially beautiful face.
But, Crown Prince doesn’t seem to care at all.
I thought he didn’t seem concerned about his appearance, and it really seems to be true. If he was a narcissist it would turn into an uproar, I got impressed by a strange aspect.
Pushing the cloth he’d finished using onto the knight who looked like he sympathized with him, Crown Prince Maximilian turned to Freed. His face looked so much more delighted than when he was with me.
“This case wasn’t originally in my schedule. Though I only had my interest piqued, it was considerably fun”
Freed answered those words while highlighting his displeasure.
“I’m warning you, if you intend to lay a hand on her, come with the whole country of Sahaja in mind. I’ll defend against any aggression with all my might”
“I can’t help but want to smash that face, Prince Friedrich. But this is a no-combat area and we have a truce. I can’t do anything more. Regrettable”
Freed didn’t get on board with Crown Prince Maximilian’s provocation that could only be taken as a declaration of war. He calmly returned.
“No. No matter how angry I got, I wouldn’t start a fight here. I cannot involve citizens in my circumstances. As citizens aren’t royalty’s personal property that’s only natural”
Crown Prince Maximilian responded to Freed’s words with an uninterested face.
“Hmph, after all you’d say that. A king can exist solely thanks to his subjects, it’s no good to freely involve them… Now then, it’s just the right time. Let’s quit at it for now”
Calling the name of his knight, Crown Prince Maximilian turned around.
I thought the beautiful movement without a hint of hesitation is just what you’d expect of royalty.
While leaving, he looked back just once, saying this.
“I understand your attachment and love for your princess… Wait, Princess Lidiana. I will receive you without a fail no matter the difficulties”
I thought only a little about Crown Prince Maximilian’s words.
Probably, clinging to Freed while shivering is correct – it’s the template.
In fact, it’s a shameful story, but I did that yesterday. I clung to him and was comforted.
But, today’s me is different from yesterday’s.
I have enough of being frightened. That’s why I don’t want the repeat of that.
I don’t want to be a woman who’s only protected.
I firmly made eye contact and announced my wish.
“Is that so, then I can only decline however many times it takes. Because I am not a woman who will do whatever you say, I shall resist with all my power. Please be prepared for rejection”
Hearing my words, Crown Prince Maximilian opened his eyes as if surprised.
“… I didn’t think you’d reply like that. You’re a woman completely outside the norm. But, it’ll be fun making you submit”
While disgusted by him laughing kuku from the bottom of his throat, unintentionally my real opinion leaked.
At those words, everybody around solidified.
The first person to recover from the dead silence was Freed, who let out stifled laughter.
I think it’s probably because he’s most used to my conduct.
“Lidi… To say pervert…”
Next, Crown Prince Maximilian came to his senses.
His face looked somewhat shocked, but his mouth still formed a smile.
“Princess… After all you’re interesting”
“Pervert… His Highness is a pervert…”
The knight next to him looked like he received a shock.
Everybody’s eyes gathered on me who destroyed the tense air in an instant.
Unable to endure, this time I hid behind Freed.
More clearly than before, Freed’s shoulder trembled in laughter.
While Crown Prince Maximilian stared at such me, suddenly his mouth broke out into a soft smile.
Unconsciously I opened my eyes wide at the gentle smile that I’d never seen before.
Freed’s expression also showed astonishment at the smile unnoticed by the person himself.
Crown Prince Maximilian, unaware of the smile he had shown, gave a short farewell and gallantly turned on his heel.
Then, taking the still shocked knight with him, this time he headed back to his own country.
1) A youkai that travels on a wind cutting people, connected with winter. ↵