Chapter 28: Letter from Al
I’m walking around the farm with Donna-san, Al-san, Gil-san, and others.
Actually, I wanted to walk with Donna-san alone, but Al-san refused, saying, “I can’t leave my sister’s side—Please accept my apologies.”
“Wow, chickens! Ponca trees can be found everywhere! The nekta’s branches are shaking! Oh there are so many mulberries!”
Donna-san ran excitedly out of the house.
Then she slipped and fell with a thud after getting her foot caught in the soft soil at the base of a ponca tree.
Gil-san yelled, and he and Al-san dashed to her, with Al-san picking her up.
I fell so hard.”
Donna-san got up laughing.
(Your Highness? Did he just say “your Highness”?)
My heart was racing, but I pretended not to hear him and examined Donna-san’s injuries.
Her knees and palms were swollen with abrasions.
There was some blood, but it was nothing serious, so I was relieved.
I rushed to bring Donna-san inside, rinsed her wounds with water, and wrapped her in the cleanest cloth I could find.
After they had another look around the farm, I gave them lots of fruit and homemade jam as souvenirs, and it was time for them to leave.
“We appreciate everything you did for us today.”
“No, it’s not a problem.”
“I’m sorry that Donna caused you so much trouble.
I’ll apologize later.”
Al-san said, and I quickly responded in hushed tones.
“It was nothing, Your Highness.
I am afraid I cannot accept your apology.”
I bowed deeply and looked up to see Al-san, or His Highness the Prince, with a sad expression looking down at me.
“Alesia, I lied about my identity—I’m sorry.”
Thank you for everything, Your Highness.”
When His Highness heard this, he opened his mouth as if to say something, but he closed it without saying anything and said, “I’m sorry,” before departing.
Princess Edna’s wounds on her palms and knees were immediately discovered and reported to higher authorities.
“Her Royal Highness is taking a nap.”
The queen also summoned Prince Mark.
“Do you know why you were summoned?”
“Yes, I escorted Edna out of the palace—I’m sorry.”
“That’s not all—you have made a lady-in-waiting lie to me.”
The lady-in-waiting who has been caring for Edna since she was a baby has been temporarily reassigned.
“You’ve been moved by emotion—If anything happens to Edna at your discretion, you can’t take responsibility alone.”
“I heard you visited the farm.
Edna must have asked you to accompany her, and you wanted to amuse her.
However, two royals should not leave with only one servant.”
“If this happens again, I’ll need someone to watch your every move, and Gil will be removed from your retinue.”
“…I won’t do this anymore.
Returning to his room, Prince Mark wrote a letter to Alesia apologizing for lying about his identity.
And [thank you for everything; the farm was a lot of fun.
The food was good] was delivered to the farm by Gil.
Mark paid several visits to the farm but did not order an investigation.
He was afraid that if he revealed his identity and questioned them about the source of the water, they would leave the farm and vanish.
That would be a “failure” for a royal.
They could have been watched and searched to make sure they couldn’t flee, but that didn’t seem right.
They had not broken any laws.
The royal family wanted to protect these hardworking, gentle, and honest peasants.
Even if one of them was a wizard, failing to report them is not a crime.
“Alesia clearly avoided me as soon as she discovered I was the prince—That does not constitute discretion.
She meant it as a bother.
A royal family that is despised by its subjects should not be a royal family…”
The thoughts and feelings of this time would be deeply etched in the mind of the fifteen-year-old Mark.
That night, I told my parents about the contents of His Royal Highness Prince Mark, aka Al-san’s, letter.
They were stunned for a moment.
“I was surprised… your mother thought Al-san was a wealthy young man—I had no idea he was a prince.”
“Your father wondered if such a fine horse would be given to a soldier of that age.
So that was the case…”
“Hey, Oto-san, do you think His Highness the Prince was probing our farm?”
“Well, that may be so, but I didn’t think that smile was a lie.
However, in terms of politics…”
“…Your mother believes that if he was a prince, he could have prevented us from fleeing and then interrogated us about the rain.
But he did not do so.
Besides, why would he take his precious little sister to a dangerous location? Maybe he was suspicious at first, but I believe he decided there was nothing suspicious about it.”
After a brief moment of silence, my father turned to face the table and spoke briefly.
If something bad happens, don’t think about your mother and father; just leave.
While we buy you some time, ride through the wasteland on horses.
Go to Isabelle’s and see what happens, then flee far away—Just in case, I’ll give Isabelle-san some money.”
“Our happiness is for you to live a happy and healthy life.
Don’t forget that.”
I can’t leave such caring parents, and I don’t think I could outrun the soldiers on horseback.
“Oto-san, Oka-san, perhaps the royal family isn’t as terrifying as we think—Don’t you think His Highness seems to be a serious and gentle person? Let us not be alarmed, but rather wait and see.”
It won’t rain if I don’t sleep; if they want to exploit me, they won’t kill me or my family.
But months passed and the farm was never called into question.
Following that incident, I began to consider the possibility of fleeing to another country with my family, just in case.
(Maybe Farrill Kingdom… No.)
The Farrill Kingdom in the north is the land of the soldiers I swept away with a lot of water in my previous life.
If I had to flee, I’d rather go to the neighboring Balwala Kingdom to the east.
So I began studying Balwala’s language in the library.
Because Balwala receives more rain than the Kingdom of Laminbo, unnatural rain may be hard to detect.
And one more thing.
There are still many people in this country that I want to help.
So I also started to look for a way to avoid running away, even if my power is known.
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