Chapter Five: The Prince Worries
One day, you will meet your fated princess.
For my childhood dreams to come crashing down like this…I’d never imagined such a reality was even possible.
“…Haa.” A loud, exasperated sigh echoed throughout the office.
The Crown Prince’s—or rather, my—secretary, Conrad, raised his head from the documents he was looking over at the sound. “Your Highness, your happiness will escape if you sigh like that.”
“It already did.” Ella, my fated princess, had run away with another man, and then I married her sister from the sheer shock of it all…just what on earth had I been thinking? Now that I’ve calmed down, I can only say that I definitely rushed into this.
The First Prince, Francis, age twenty, married.
That’s my new profile. That’s right, I’m married. I’ve heard an awful lot of “congratulations on your marriage” lately.
“Your Highness, have you visited The Princess Consort since your wedding?”
“Although your marriage may be just a formality, treating her so coldly might cause people to become suspicious. Even if you decide to get divorced eventually, I believe it would be prudent to keep up appearances for the time being.”
Another sigh escaped me. I did agree…I couldn’t continue to ignore her.
“Please rest assured, I will never seek your love. That’s why you should erase me from your mind. Feel free to take a lover or concubine and live as you wish to. In the meantime, could I trouble you to provide me with clothes, food, and shelter? I promise to remain quiet. Once everything settles down, you can also divorce me.”
The elder sister of my fated princess—Adrianna, was it?—said this to me on our first night. Now that I reflect, I’d done something terrible to her. From her perspective, she was forced into a marriage with a person she didn’t love. She might have already had a fiancé or lover, but I forced her into the marriage all the same. Then I abandoned her.
The more I think about my behavior, the angrier I became with myself. All I’ve been doing is running away without facing her.
“…I should have a proper conversation with her at least once.”
“I’ve been receiving reports about Her Highness from her maids. Would you like to hear today’s report?”
I hadn’t bothered listening to any reports about her before. I usually deliberately disregarded her by telling him: “It’s fine so long as she doesn’t cause any trouble.” I can’t keep that up, especially after deciding to face her properly. “…Go on.”
“Her Royal Highness has built a garden and a ranch in an open space near the royal villa. Apparently, she energetically farms every day.”
“Just today, she and the maids of the royal villa took part in a fishing competition. Her Highness ended up catching the largest fish…”
“Hold on—” Farming? Ranch? Fishing? Isn’t this…some kind of mistake? “Is that really a report on my Princess Consort?”
“The daily reports have been fascinating. You really should have read them sooner.”
“You should have told me!” I slammed my fist on my desk, but the corners of Conrad’s mouth only lifted in amusement.
“Your Highness, you sure have brought back an interesting person.”
“I didn’t think she’d be like this…” Though not to the same extent as Ella, Adrianna seemed to be a delicate young lady raised lovingly. Well…if these reports are accurate, then I was wrong about her. “…I’ll visit the royal villa tomorrow.”
“Of course, Your Highness. Though, unfortunate you didn’t visit today, as you would have been able to take part in the fishing contest.”
I ignored his jokes and thought about her. I wanted to see how she was doing as soon as possible. According to the reports, she appeared to be doing just fine even without me visiting her. Somehow, I felt both relieved and conflicted.