A few months have passed since I started living here. Apart from her, I’ve become more used to being around Allen, the Duke and Duchess Winsley, along with most of the mansion’s servants. I still get nervous whenever I’m around more well-built men, but my whole body doesn’t shake like it used to.
She’s always close by, and I always feel relieved after she tells me, “It’s all right. It’s not scary,” pets my head, and then rubs my back.
I heard the Duke was still investigating the dark auction, but I never thought I’d be caught again……and this time she and Allen were brought with me…….
It was a dark room similar to last time……but this time she and Allen were here too. And not just them, there were some other noble and commoner kids captured here along with a couple beastmen kids like me. I wasn’t alone like before.
“When we don’t return home today, our usual servants will report to Father and Mother, and they’ll come looking for us right away. ……But if we don’t know who the mastermind holding the dark auction is by then, they’ll end up escaping again.”
She’s acting so brave. But, I could tell she was afraid from the slight tremble in her hands, so I ran up and hugged her. If I could stop her shaking even a little…….
“This is the only door……maybe we should stay here and wait for an opportunity until the dark auction starts. But, it’ll be meaningless if we end up sold at the auction……maybe the single-celled idiot duo will come back again.”
“Rose-sama, what do you mean by ‘the single-celled idiot duo’?”
(Single-celled…….idiot……maybe she’s talking about those guys earlier. Rose has said things like that before. But, I’m happy that we’ve gotten a little closer.)
We became friends with a kid named Will who is a little older than us, and after sharing information, we all started coming up with a plan to escape.
Allen managed to escape thanks to her.
(Now that I’m the only one here, I need to protect Rose!)
Until help gets here…….I decided to stay close to her no matter what.
On the day of the dark auction, her father Duke Winsley came with a large group of knights and arrested all of the criminals.
That was when the Duke took the two of us into a different room.
“This is His Highness William, the first prince of this country and heir apparent.”
(Geh. So it really was like that…… I knew he was a noble because of his refined gestures, and I did think his scent and the gaze he carried was different…….)
And then, that guy said something ridiculous.
“……I find it hard to believe that you’re really two years younger than me. You look the part, but the way you think is different from how I’d picture a six year old girl. How about becoming my younger brother Eric’s fiancee? He’s a little……that……”
(F-Fiancee!? This guy’s little brother….. No good! That’s definitely no good! Rose belonging to anybody else……I hate it. ……But, what does Rose and the Duke think of it?)
“……I’m afraid someone like me is too discourteous to be a fiancee for a member of the royal family.”
“Your Highness, I have to interject as well. That…..Roselia is only six years old, and it’s still much too early to start talking about something like fiancees.”
“Heheh, Duke, are you sure it’s not really just you not wanting to give away your cute daughter? Or perhaps your real qualm lies with the fact that we’re talking about Eric?”
“…..Well, it is true I might consider the possibility for a moment if we were talking about Your Highness William, but Prince Eric is……. My sincerest apologies, but I only wish for Roselia’s happiness.”
“Haa, how frank. Well I can understand your feelings at least. However the Winsley Dukedom is important to the royal family. There’s also the fact that your meritorious actions after this last incident have left us in your debt. His Majesty won’t stay quiet about this. ……A formal invitation will be on its way soon.”
(T-Thank goodness….they both said no. But, there would be nothing they could do if the king of this country gave out a royal decree. Rose would become someone else’s……. It’s hopeless right now. I wanted to get a little closer to Rose…….but with things like they are now……I have to become strong and smart!)
“Roselia……No, allow me to keep calling you Rose. So then you can keep calling me Will as you did before. I’d feel lonely if you were to draw away from me now that you know I’m a prince. ……That goes for the young prince as well.”
He finally looked over at me. His eyes were sharp, cutting through my circumstances and my heart.
I was relieved that that last part didn’t reach her ears. Just like he said, it’d be lonely if she took a distance from me just because she knew I was a prince……. I want her to keep stroking my head like she always does.
I’m going to be with her from now on. And I tried making sure that gaze understood that.