Chapter 12 – I was challenged to a match
A few weeks have passed since my field was resurrected, and it’s now the middle of summer. Finally I heard the news that Mary and Prince Alan have been officially engaged.
And today, when Mary visited the Claes mansion, I immediately tried to shake her for information.
“Mary, so the engagement was decided on, congratulations!”
“Yes. Thank you very much. I’m now a prince’s fiancee as well. I’ll be together with Katarina-sama, I’m so happy!”
Mary is very happy, but…… it doesn’t sound very much like it’s because she is longing for Alan.
“Uhh, have you already met Prince Alan?”
“Yes. I already met him.”
“……And, how was it?”
“How was what?”
“Well…… like what did you think of him……”
After all, since I stole his famous pick-up line earlier, I still feel a little bit guilty towards Prince Alan. I wonder if Prince Alan was able to attract Mary without his best line.
“He was quite a handsome person. Oh, and he praised me in the same way that Katarina did about my garden.”
“Ohh. And then?”
Hmm. For now, it was just like the scenario. What I was concerned about was what comes after.
“What do you mean, and then?”
“Uhh, is there anything after that?”
“……That’s all there is.”
Mary looked at me curiously. What’s this!? That’s all!? Oh no, what about those lines in question…… Did he not say them?
“Well, uh. I wonder, did he say anything about Mary’s green thumb?”
“……Green thumb…… Man, Katarina-sama, have you been listening at all!?”
“……Oh, that means, he did say it? Is that right?”
For some reason Mary seemed rather shy, and she continued rather hesitantly.
“It’s so embarrassing. No way, to have Katarina-sama herself hear such a thing……”
“Oh, so he did say it…… Huh? Me?”
“Yeah, I mean, are you really listening? I told Alan what Katarina-sama said, about me having a green thumb.”
“Eh? You said that to him yourself? Moreover, exactly what I said?”
“Yeah, hearing something like that from Katarina-sama, I was really happy, so I also told it to Prince Alan.”
As she said so, her cheeks were flushed red.
……So, what does that mean. Since Mary told Prince Alan first that I praised her green thumb for being a special existence, Prince Alan never got the chance to say “Mary, you and your green thumb are a special existence.”
And then Prince Alan didn’t have anything else to say. I had already said it. I’m sorry, Prince Alan.
After that, it seems that Mary still has a favorable impression of Prince Alan, but not that kind of favor…… I’m really sorry, Prince Alan.
……Well, since they are still connected by an engagement, you should still have a chance to make her realize the charm of a prince. Good luck, Prince Alan.
It seems that, since I was looking off into the distance, Mary was worried and asked me, “is your stomach alright?” She’s really such a good ojou-san.
Since I’ve already interfered with you two’s happiness, I truly hope you can find happiness.
I can’t act as a go-between for the two of them anymore, but decided to cheer for them softly in my heart.
And then, a few weeks later. I was harvesting the last of the vegetables from the field.
“Ojou-sama, the prince is here to see ojou-sama about something!”
For some reason, Anne looked to be in a panic.
“Really Anne, why are you so panicked. Since it’s Prince Jared, isn’t it fine if he just comes here to find me like usual?”
As for Jared, at first we greeted him solemnly each time, after three days like this, Jared himself said “you don’t have to greet me like this,” and would usually come find me by himself.
He’s gotten completely used to my appearance in workwear, so there’s no need to change my clothes to welcome him anymore. So, there’s no reason to panic just because the prince has come.
“That’s not it. Ojou-sama. It’s not Prince Jared.”
What are you saying, Anne. There’s no party or anything today, so there shouldn’t be any princes visiting me apart from Prince Jared. I pulled up a well-grown cucumber.
“Prince Jared’s younger brother, the fourth prince, Prince Alan has come!”
Involuntarily, I dropped the cucumber on top of the soil.
“I don’t know why he’s here, but he’s here to meet Katarina-sama.”
Somehow, I had a premonition that something really bothersome was about to occur.
I dashed back to the mansion, and changed into ojou-sama clothes with Anne’s help before heading to the guest room to meet Prince Alan.
Then I went to the guest room in a hurry, and there was a boy with a self-important attitude slouching on a chair.
“You kept me waiting.”
This boy, didn’t even greet me properly in my own home, and with such an attitude. He’s got such a terrible attitude. By reflex, my cheeks began convulsing. “How dare you visit unannounced with that kind of attitude” is what I’d like to retort with, but…… He is just an eight year old child. I have the mental age of seventeen + nine, and am a good adult. That’s what I tell myself.
“I am so very sorry. I took too much time to get ready. My name is Katarina Claes.”
“I’m Alan Stuart.”
I greeted him like an adult, and with a smile, but Alan once again only had a self-important attitude.
Alan Stuart. Since he is a capture target, he’s quite handsome indeed. But, he doesn’t resemble his twin Jared. If Jared is an orthodox handsome prince type with blonde hair and blue eyes, Alan’s handsomeness has a wild streak to it, with his silver hair and blue eyes.
However, even though he is so handsome…… He’s such a self-important brat. It was just like the selfish spoiled Katarina before my memory returned.
Even though Jared is also a prince, he isn’t this self-important. Although Jared’s game character was always thinking something unknown on the inside, on the surface he was always calm and humble.
That’s what I was thinking as I observed the selfish Prince Alan.
“Katarina Claes. I came today because I have something to say to you.”
The selfish prince turned a sharp gaze on me for some reason.
“……Uh. What would that be?”
Honestly, I have no idea what Alan would want with me. Well, I am Prince Jared’s fiancee, but that shouldn’t have anything to do with it……
If it’s just like the game then Alan should still be avoiding Jared. In particular, there shouldn’t be any reason for him to come to my place.
“You know Mary Hunt, right?”
“……Eh, ah, yes.”
Huh? Why is this about Mary?
“I heard from Mary that the two of you are very close.”
“……Yes. We have a very good relationship.”
Alan’s gaze became even sharper. What is this, what does the prince want to say.
“Mary Hunt has become my fiancee. Did you know that?”
“Yes. I have been told.”
“If you know, stop seducing her!”
“……What’s this about seducing!?”
Alan glared at me with maximum power. I was so stunned that I couldn’t speak.
No no, what are you talking about? This prince, is he okay? When did I seduce Mary…… He says I seduced Mary who is a fellow girl! For sure, Mary is really cute and gentle and I like her a lot, and would also like to get along with her from now on…… I want to have her, but I’ve never even considered getting married to her! I don’t swing that way!
However, Alan ignored that I was stunned and continued to attack me.
“Are you just pretending not to know!? Whenever I invite her, she always says ‘I promised to see Katarina-sama today’ and rejects me, and even when we are together she only talks about you! Everything about Mary is so pure, so it can’t be anything other than you seducing her!”
“Hey, what is this! This is a false accusation!” I couldn’t act like an adult anymore with Alan on a rampage and shouted right back at him.
“What do you mean, a false accusation? It’s the truth! With such a face, you deceived such a pure Mary!”
This arrogant prince, has condemned me to villainy just because of my villainous face. What a disgusting jerk.
“There’s no way that could be true! It’s your fault for inviting Mary when she already promised to come over to my place! Besides, if you were really that attractive then she would go to see you whenever you invite her! You just lack appeal! And, she only talks about me because she finds you boring!”
“……Lack appeal…… Boring……”
I shouted at him in a fit of rage without thinking. Then, after shouting, I became startled. The Prince Alan before me seems to have frozen solid. ……This is bad. I’ve done it now. I’ve said some terrible things to him before I realized it. In the first place, this might be partly because I stole his lines…… However, once again, I can’t take back what I’ve already said, so no use crying over spilled milk. I broke out into a cold sweat.
“……Hahahaha. This is the first time I’ve been made fun of to my face.”
“……Uhh~. That was…… uh……”
Alan’s face looked like it was about to explode at any moment. Ahh, I’ve said something irrevocable.
“I hope you’re prepared, Katarina Claes. That rant, I’ll take that as a challenge against me.”
No, no, nothing of the sort. I didn’t intend to challenge you. I just had a little slip of the tongue…
“Have a match with me.”
Alan loudly declared.
“……And, why did it become like this?”
Anne looked at me with a face full of disbelief. We were in the mansion’s garden, in front of the tallest tree.
“Well, Alan said something like ‘since you’re a woman, I’ll let you decide on the method of the match.’”
“……Even if that’s so, for the prince of a country and a duke’s daughter…… To do something like tree climbing…… that’s so……”
“I mean, the only thing that came to mind when I thought about what I was good at, was this…”
“No, in the first place, for Prince Alan. He’s definitely never done anything like climb a tree! He completely froze solid when you said tree climbing!”
“No, but he was the one who issued the challenge in the first place……”
Indeed, when I suggested “tree climbing” for the method of our match, he completely froze solid. His mouth remained open and unmoving for a full ten seconds. However, when I asked him “perhaps you don’t know how to climb a tree?” he unfroze and retorted “no such thing! I accept your challenge!”
Thus, currently, standing in front of the tallest tree in the garden were me, Anne, Alan, and his servants. By the way, my clever and kind stepbrother, went off to distract my mother so that she wouldn’t find out about this commotion.
The match’s rules are simple. Whoever reaches the top first wins. Alan stared at the tree with his mouth wide agape for a while, but seems to have become determined and rolled up his sleeves. However, Alan’s servants were raising quite a fuss. Then, desperate comments like “prince, it’s dangerous,” and “please stop” were heard.
I had already changed into clothes that were easy to move in, and was fully prepared.
“Well then, Prince Alan. Are you ready?”
“I’m ready anytime.”
“Then, we’ll start at the servant’s signal.”
And then, with everyone watching, the match began.
And then, it finished immediately.
Of course, it was my overwhelming victory. I climbed the tree as smoothly as usual, and got to the top in just a few minutes.
However, as for Alan…… he’s probably never even climbed a tree in the first place. While I was climbing, he was still hesitating at the first branch.
And so, I won the match overwhelmingly, but……
“Prince Alan. With this, the match is over. Is that fine?”
Don’t even think that a spoiled prince who’s never even climbed a tree can possibly beat me who was known as a monkey in her past life! I aimed a triumphant smile at Alan. Then, Alan glared at me with a frustrated face.
“……It’s not over yet……”
“Let’s have another match! I just wasn’t used to it the first time.”
Alan just admitted that it was his first time. He indeed had never done it before. He should have said so from the beginning, how pretentious.
“Is that really alright? You won’t beat me so easily.”
“It’s exactly what I want!”
And so, Alan challenged me many times over, but…… The result was always the same. Well, it’s a natural conclusion.
And then he said……
“I’m definitely going to win next time. Be prepared!”
Alan is really such a poor loser, and went away while declaring “I’ll be back.”
And so, I became Alan’s rival from then on.