This was going to happen eventually but I’m glad Liz finally hears of it. 😀
Also, a super fuwa~fuwa moment. My heart certainly went doki doki <3
7 Years Old: Chapter 29 – His Highness and the Trivial Truth
Editors: Nahct and Wafflez
After the duel was over, His Highness came barging into the room.
As Father seems to be in a discussion with His Majesty, I borrowed a guest room and, having moved, was slowly unwinding in the room alone. 「A little girl shouldn’t have to overexert herself」, said His Majesty and he graciously loaned me an excellent first-class guest room. If I wanted to, I could even stay for the night.
Your Majesty, what are you implying? Is it wise to leave the decision to stay the night to a young girl? Well, I had heard that it might have to do with a retaliation from someone. Although I would still turn the tables on him.
Gilles and Father went to deal with the matter and somehow ended up meeting up with Lord Zerais’s father. In other words, it was a 「Your son made a pass at my daughter」sort of complaint trip. Most of all, it was to end the attempt.
That was good and so, I didn’t mind the encounter with His Highness.
However, I didn’t want to be seen playfully leaping and bouncing on the bed.
….. But, see, isn’t it a momentary yearning to leap about on a super soft and fluffy bed? The soft and fluffy feel can’t be compared to the one at home. Can’t I enjoy it? It’s not like I have dirty feet. I’m just reverting back to an innocent childlike state for a bit.
「Er—- Erm, Your Highness, what can I do for you?」
In a panic, I corrected my seating posture while my hands smoothed the dishevelled skirt back into place. ….. Ah ah, I wanted to run away and hide my face in shame. Calming down, I thought it was a silly thing to do, even for me.
His Highness stared at me with his mouth wide open before he gradually began stifling a laugh. Feeling a needless overwhelming shame, my face turned red as I glanced downward. ….. If only I could somewhat turn back time.
「If you’re that interested, then it’s fine to come over and play whenever you like」
「Please don’t te-tease me」
I–I have a hunch that it’s the first time His Highness has beaten me. Having been seen, there was no room to retort. Just looking at his smiling face irritated me.
「First of all, good job, Liz」
Whilst I kept silent from embarrassment, His Highness slowly compromised by sitting down beside me. As it wasn’t a sofa but a bed instead, it left a somewhat complicated feeling. We’re kids, however, so it’s ok.
「I didn’t think Liz was that strong」
「It’s only because his abilities were lacking」
「Even so, Liz is strong. More so than me」
His Highness grinded his teeth while feeling vexed, grasping a sizeable amount of bedsheets tightly in his hands.
Members of royalty generally have high levels of magical power. His Highness, too, is not an exception. It was presumptuous or rather, a far outcry to compare our skills based on the outcome of today’s duel with Lord Zerais.
For His Highness to embrace such an inferiority complex, it seems that my magic abilities are high. Even though I didn’t give it my all during the duel, it still left His Highness feeling frustrated.
「It’s good that Liz isn’t going to be that bastard’s bride but, as a man, it’s complicated」
「There is that and also because I would like to be excused from something like marriage」
「It’s thanks to Liz’s strength that you were able to avoid the worst-case scenario ….. However, you being stronger than me leaves me with mixed feelings」
「Your Highness also has magical talent, and haven’t you been diligently training without playing truant for three years?」
When I first met His Highness, he said that he would endure his training and studies. It seems that promise wasn’t a lie. I heard from Father that he put up with the extremely strict coaching everyday. Merely because of that promise. Because of something that I had said on a whim.
Father said I had a lot of influence over others. Though some things aren’t easily discernable, whenever I’m involved with someone, the person and everything about them seems to change. For example: His Highness, Gilles, and Maria. To them, if they hadn’t met me, their future would have been drastically different.
Even so, I’m only just encouraging and supporting them.
「…… If Liz wasn’t around, perhaps my self-awareness wouldn’t have sprouted」
「You’re overestimating me, Your Highness」
「No, if Liz hadn’t scolded me, I wouldn’t have worked this hard. ..… I wouldn’t have bothered even in the future. You’re remarkable for that, Liz」
Lowering his eyes, His Highness slowly took my hand. His Highness was just three years older than me; his palm which was bigger than — I thought as it slowly began to wrap around mine.
Responding late to that sudden interaction, I blinked my eyes before I looked into His Highness’s face ….. Ah, it was a good thing that I had looked and it was somewhat regrettable.
His hand demandingly gripped mine as His Highness leaned closer. I was caught by the painful pleading look in his eyes. Even though he was just a child, it was a shock as I felt slowly depressed by looking into his eyes.
To be honest, I have a bit of trouble dealing with His Highness. Although I don’t dislike him, if I had the choice, I wouldn’t want to be close to him.
It’s because the opposite sex has been affectionately approaching me upfront.
Initially, I had thought that it was just the suspension bridge effect. It was simply that the man I had provided aid to had embraced that affection and misunderstood, or so I had believed.
Yet, for three years, he continued to approach me. Even if I saw the truth and was aware of the misunderstanding, I didn’t receive him coldly.
In other words, this was unmistakably genuine affection.
「Does Liz ….. dislike men like me?」
Being asked in a whisper, I was unable to respond with words and could only shake my head in return.
My weakness is that I’m weak to affection. There’s no self-interest; I don’t reject when genuine affection is directed towards me. It’s different if I’m accepting, but I can’t easily hate, dismiss, nor discard it aside.
Thinking about why I somehow have trouble dealing with His Highness, somehow unconsciously, I expected this type of detestable development to occur. It was impossible for me to come outright and flatly refuse him.
In the end, I am human after all and was conscious of His Highness’s affection. It’s one thing to receive affection, but another to embrace it. Whilst I do not have the same passion as he does, my love for him hasn’t changed and I don’t want to hurt the people that I love.
Towards a person who has gently and seriously voiced his affection, I can’t so easily turn him down.
「I know that Liz doesn’t have any feelings for me」
「But Liz has yet to select anyone. Doesn’t this mean there’s still a chance for me to be selected?」
Pulling a bit, his hands encircled my waist and back, embracing me tightly. Having never considered that a ten year old’s speech and behavior could be like that, I felt extremely confused. His Highness, who is ten years old, was seducing the seven year old me.
Why has His Highness matured so much? Surely, I’m to be blamed for it. An unbelievable ten year old who had matured and was romantic. He was usually an immature and conspicuous youth, but today, this ten year old had obtained an unimaginable charm.
「Hey Liz, won’t you give me a reward?」
「For the me who’s working hard to continue persisting three years onwards」
Smiling softly, His Highness moved closer to my face just like that. From thence action, I was unable to react.
「….. Your— Your Highness, did you behave childishly three months ago deliberately?」
「Hnn? Ahh, that. I was more or less serious, however ….. It’s better since Liz wouldn’t mind if it was slightly childish. I was thinking of touching you more affectionately」
Upon hearing His Highness uttering such things as he whistled, I held my cheeks whilst my muscles stiffened. Fortunately, nothing came out of my lips, although this wasn’t usually the case.
Rather, th—this child has been acting, deceiving me as always. Even till now, I’m certain he has always been acting.
Well, I can’t say I’ve been deceived since I hardly meet up with His Highness. Behind my back, he has probably been growing up. There’s a saying — if you don’t meet a man for three days, you should rub your eyes and look at him closely*. Even Ryomou himself was a surprisingly altered person.
「I–I’m only seven, Your Highness」
「Well, I’m going to be ten years old. To an adult, a three years gap isn’t a big difference. There are also cases of nobles whom are tied together despite the ten year gap between them」
「Is that a problem?」, His Highness puzzlingly said, and I had to swallow the words with downcast eyes.
….. I’ve probably awakened a terrifying child. It’s a crime of conscience and, like, really scary; what is this?
TL Note: Lu Meng (otherwise known as Ryomou Shimei) from the Three Kingdoms was known for to have mentioned this proveb. The Japanese phrase varies a bit from the Chinese. The original phrase (as per Wiki) is “When scholars part ways for three days, they will view each other in a different light when they meet again later.” It means to look at a person in a different light, especially after the person has made remarkable improvement.
I could have gone with another phrasing from James Howell, “Respect a man, he will do the more” however I felt it fit better if I stuck to a literal translations.
Comment below and let me know if you felt that the other two phrasing would have fitted better with the text.