[Rinoa]: “Hey, does Routh like Roselia?”
I asked Routh the question picking at the back of my mind.
[El]: “!? Wha-! Y-You, just what, asking, so suddenly”
Routh almost choked on the tea he had been drinking.
[Rinoa]: “Hmm? I’m just asking because it seems like you have more fun when you are together with Roselia-sama than when you’re with me.”
I have very mixed feelings about that.
Because Routh and I have known each other for so long, you could call us childhood friends. And almost that entire time, my father has been telling me stuff like, “Rinoa, you’ll be marrying Prince Routh someday, so you need to be diligent in your studies.”
I thought it was perfectly normal.
I’m the same age as His Highness and the daughter of a duke house. If the royal family were going to look for a bride from a foreign nation, that would probably be reserved for Routh’s older brother, the crown prince.
That’s why I always assumed I would be Routh’s future wife and did my best to get to know him. It was just a political marriage at first, but…..somewhere down the line……I came to like Routh and the thought of being with him.
[El]: “Well, it’s fun being with Rose.”
He’s thinking about her. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Routh blush.
[Rinoa]: “…..I’ve never seen that face before.”
[El]: “Huh? What did you say?”
He couldn’t tell what I was muttering underneath my breath.
[Rinoa]: “Putting that aside. Did you hear? It sounds like Prince Eric and Roselia-sama have been seen together a lot recently.”
[El]: “…..ah. Just rumors.”
The happy-looking face Routh had on until now suddenly transmogrified, and I could swear I saw a black aura seeping out of him.
[Rinoa]: “R-Right. But it looks like they’re true. Roselia-sama and Prince Eric were seen studying in the library together.”
Well, Julius-sama and Lucas-sama were there with them, but I’m just making friendly conversation. It’s not like I have to include all the details.
[El]: “……I need to go”
[Rinoa]: “Eh? Where? You’re with me……”
[El]: “To look for Rose.”
[Rinoa]: “W-Why……when you are already with me!”
I’ve always liked you.
Even back then……I remember, I fell in love with Routh the moment I met him.
With a pure and innocent smile, “It’s a pleasure to meet you Rinoa-sama,” he captured my heart by taking my hand and saying those words alone.
[El]: “Yeah, but I want to be with Rose. And Prince Eric is the one who is supposed to be taking care of you.”
[Rinoa]: “No! No, I want Routh! We’ve been together since we were small, but I haven’t been able to see you since you came to this country……when you came back the first time, it was like you were a completely different person. All you did was study, train with the sword, and you stopped playing with me completely! And then you decided to study abroad…….”
I was lonely. I was feeling lonely, so how come you never noticed!?
[El]: “I’m sorry, but it can’t be helped.”
[Rinoa]: “……I can use a sword. I may not be as ladylike as Roselia-sama, but I’m strong enough to be able to protect Routh if I need to! I……I……”
I couldn’t finish what I wanted to say.
[Rinoa]: “……I’ll go with you.”
Routh allowed me to follow after him even if he did think it was weird how I lost all my energy at once.