30. Idle Talk: The Monologue of the Former Fiancé
I, Sazanjill Lukino Lapisenta, was the first prince of the Kingdom Lapisenta. That made me the crown prince.
I didn’t know what benefits the order of birth offered. All I knew was that my duty was to become king ever since I was born. At the same time, the future queen had also been discussed.
My future spouse was introduced to me when I was 5-years-old.
“Sazanjill, this is Lelouche—the girl who’ll be your wife.”
Even if she’s called my future wife…
I could only see the black hair of a little girl hiding behind her slightly rotund father. Her long black hair was actually graceful. My mother told me that such a color was uncommon in our kingdom, Lapisenta. Apparently, it seemed to be the characteristic of a foreigner. Her mother was apparently a beautiful woman referred to as the ‘Foreign Beauty.’
…I didn’t think my mother found it as amusing, as that sort of title should be reserved for her, the queen. Furthermore, the daughter of her rival had become her successor. Said daughter would become my wife and would stand while shouldering the future of the kingdom.
…Well, that kind of adult situation had nothing to do with us. We were five and two years old at the time.
“Play with your friend in the garden.”
As there was going to be an adult discussion, I was entrusted with taking care of Lelouche. Of course, there were maids around but… She seemed curious about my actions. She was immersed in observing me.
Well, I’m in trouble…
I had a younger brother who was of the same age as her, but he was currently asleep with a cold. Of course, that was my first time looking after a girl. Occasionally, I saw some little girls at the salon of the tea ceremony my mother participated in, but I only greeted them. I never played with any of them.
As such, what should I do with this girl who seemed ready to cry at being separated from her father?
“What is your hobby?”
“Are you interested in flowers? Let’s admire the garden.”
“Or, would you like me to prepare some sweets?”
“Uh, what about horses? I can be one…”
“A, a horse?”
…Why did she only react there!?
About two hours passed before her parents decided to pick her up. I carried her on my back endlessly and was on all fours the entire time.
“…Your Highness, I feel like I caught a glimpse of the future couple.”
“Well, some say that a man is happier when he’s driven by a woman.”
As they made those remarks, her parents’ eyes seemed distant. But I was wondering if it was alright, since the little, black-haired, girl seemed to be enjoying herself.
Then, I started meeting her regularly.
Even though we were engaged, we were still but eight and five years old at the time. All we did was roam around the garden looking for bugs together.
“By the way, Lelouche, is it alright for you to be looking for frogs today?”
I thought of her as an innocent girl. She didn’t care much about manners—probably because her mother was a foreigner. It was said that her mother was a third princess in her homeland… Well, I didn’t mean to badmouth another kingdom I knew nothing about.
Because of the girl in front of me, I was enjoying myself.
“I mean, Lelouche is a girl? Don’t you want to read a picture book? We can draw together.”
“I hate playing at home.”
“Is that so?”
As it had rained yesterday, Lelouche felt sure that there were still some frogs in the garden. (It seemed that she had read it in a picture book.)
Thus, we ended up crouching down by a puddle.
Lelouche puffed her cheeks.
“Yesterday, I was sewing with my mother…”
“Well, what did you make?”
“A rabbit plush toy.”
“Isn’t that amazing?”
“But it isn’t cute at all.”
She said so and lowered her face. Reflected upon the puddle was her almost crying expression.
She was only five years old, right? Why was she so depressed at not being able to sew?
It was said that the formal princess education would start after she celebrated her fifth birthday. I was allowed to see her for a bit, but my mother was truly stern. She was much stricter than she used to be. My younger brother, Zafield, and I were often punished… But I felt that my mother was even stricter with Lelouche.
Honestly, I couldn’t stand it.
That girl should’ve been crying and running away. But instead, while holding back her tears, she tried to face my mother’s strictness upfront.
…Then, isn’t it alright to spoil her a little?
“If so, can you give me the plush toy?”
“That stuffed animal. It’ll be my birthday soon. I want that stuffed rabbit.”
Her eyes went wide. Those black, pearl-like eyes, which contrasted her bright skin, were staring at me. But, she quickly dropped her gaze.
“But, I already threw it away.”
“If so, make it again.”
“But, it’s awful?”
“It truly isn’t cute?”
“I’ll still like it.”
Then, she laughed a little. “Your Highness is weird.” Until a while ago, she called me, ‘Onii-chan.’ It felt like it had been a long time ago, and I felt lonely.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
As long as it made Lelouche happy, anything was fine.
That was the vow I had made towards my fiancée in my childhood.
“The stuffed animal I promised… is unbefitting of Your Highness. So, I’ll give you this instead.”
During my birthday celebration, what Lelouche gave me in such a mature tone was a ready-made fountain pen. The small rabbit carved with the engraving of my name was probably compensation for breaking her promise. Perhaps, because she was in front of many, she felt nervous. She kept glancing at her parents and my mother.
However, I was aware of it.
She must had done her best to make a stuffed animal. In the first place, she was the one who threw it away when I wanted to see it.
—I carefully accepted the fountain pen, and put on an exaggerated smile that everyone could see.
“Thank you! I’m very happy!”
“Then, that’s a relief…”
But, Lelouche—did you know?
Inside my jacket was the ugly rabbit you thought you had thrown away. There was no way I could dispose of something she had made. Her efforts, her kindness—I wanted to cherish her for the rest of my life.
“This is the best birthday gift.”
***T/N: Is it a brotherly-love?
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!