Chapter 60: Cooperation
“Your Highness, this is a gift from Her Highness Princess Edna…”
In comparison to Alesia’s shyness, Mark’s expression is dark.
“Edna? I see.
Edna knew it all along.”
“Congratulations, Alesia, Hakeem.
I wish you both the best.”
Hakeem realized right away that his highness was mistaken.
“No, Your Highness! No.
It’s not Alesia I’m marrying! It’s the girl who works in the market.”
“Huh? R-Right, I see.
It’s just a misunderstanding.
N-No, I mean, Alesia, you look beautiful.”
“Thank you for the compliment, your highness.”
The blushing Prince and Hakeem, who was looking down and shaking his shoulders and holding back his laughter, made Alesia feel very awkward.
“Have you had your lunch yet, Your Highness? I have some rabbit meat, so I’ll make rabbit meat petilles.”
I’d like to try it.
It’s been a while.”
“Then I’ll go change first.”
After watching Alesia walk away, Hakeem straightens up and turns to face Mark.
“Your Highness, I don’t think she realizes it, but there are many men in the market who are after Alesia.
She is a beautiful woman who does not show it, and she is a hard worker who treats everyone with respect.”
“… I see.
Of course she is.”
“But Alesia is a wizard, and she has to look after the mulberry trees on the farm, so she can’t leave.”
Hakeem continued, looking directly at Mark.
“And for some reason, she’s always had this [need to be useful to others] ever since I met her.
As a wizard who can’t leave the farm and is obsessed with being useful, Alesia will put her own happiness on the back burner for the rest of her life.”
“Yeah, I guess so…”
They both appear to be very serious.
“In this country, there is only one person who can make Alesia happy and protect her with the power of the state.”
“… I know.
I’ve always followed Alesia’s wishes, but I came here today to express my true feelings.”
That was new to me! Best wishes! I’ll be cheering for you.”
Alesia returned after changing her clothes.
“Come on, let’s make the petilles.
Will you assist me, Hakeem? Chana is on vacation.”
But, Hakeem suddenly said, “Sorry.
I’m going to pick up some ponkas “and left.
“…If you want to make petilles, I’ll help you.”
“Your Highness? Can you pull it off?”
“Don’t be silly.
I cook with the soldiers when we’re at camp.
Alesia is chopping leeks and garlic while Mark stands nearby.
“Alesia…Do you want to help people?”
That is my life’s work.”
“Why don’t you marry me? You will be able to serve the people much better if you become a member of the royal family.”
“…I believe I will have difficulty dealing with important people.”
The answer comes quickly, and Mark washes and places the potatoes in the basket one by one.
“If you want to keep your wizardhood a secret, I’ll do my best to keep it that way.”
Alesia started cooking the vegetables and rabbit meat in a pot.
“I will do everything in my power to protect Alesia and everyone else on the farm.”
“…For at least another decade, I want to work for others, not for myself.”
“If it’s ten years, If you want me to wait, I’ll wait.”
“Mark-sama will be 29 years old in ten years.
I have never heard of a crown prince being alone at that age.
But I am indebted to the royal family and the state, so it would be unfair to just give my opinion… Can’t we just be friends?”
Alesia peels and quarters the potatoes after roasting them.
I’ll wait for Alesia to change her mind.
But I’m not going to waste time waiting; I’m going to wait while I get rid of any man who comes near Alesia.”
“Pfft! What are you talking about? It’s not funny.”
Alesia burst out laughing.
Mark places the potatoes in the pot and begins to boil them.
“Does your highness want to marry me because of your position? It’s hard, isn’t it, when you have to marry for a job?”
“I’m not marrying Alesia for that.
And coming here for lunch was not a job.
But I know you don’t think so.
I’d like to take Alesia as my wife, and I’d like to resolve this misunderstanding as well.”
She looked at the profile of His Highness, who was mashing potatoes next to her.
He continued to talk while cutting the bread while looking at the recipe.
“Being royalty is my mission.
The hard times and the good times are on my path.
I can only choose the best path and live for my country, you and my people.”
“Call me Mark.”
I’m impressed that you’re only 19 years old and have such a strong resolve.”
Mark gives a bitter smile.
“I’m not going to force you into a marriage you don’t want, but I’m also not going to give up.
How about we collaborate for the good of the people of this country? There will be people who want to take Alesia for themselves out of self-interest.
I can protect you from them.”
“… Your Highness, no, Mark-sama, I have no objection to working together.
Then let us cooperate for the sake of the people of this country! Now let’s fry some patilles.”
“Petilles? Did you discuss it while you were making patilles next to each other?! Normally, you’d do it by giving her a jewelry bracelet or necklace!”
“I didn’t have much of a choice, Gil.”
Mark speaks to Gil with a distant look.
“What exactly do you mean by “cooperation”?! Wasn’t His Highness going to ask for a marriage proposal?!”
“They’ve been hiding for 14 years in order to keep Alesia out of power.
We are no better than Herrud if we force her to marry.
So let’s start with cooperation…”
“This isn’t a military plan!”
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