CHAPTER 4 PERSUASION OF THE CROWN PRINCE

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『Arggh! That f*cking advisor! He always talks too much!』

 

After club activities were over, I rushed to our meeting place.

 

It was a small park right in the middle of Mana's high school and my school.

 

Mana, dressed in her school uniform, was quietly reading a book on a bench.

 

It was like a scene from a movie.

 

If Mana was the heroine, could I be the hero?

 

No, that would be impossible because a dull guy, like me, who was in a sweaty jersey from junior high school, would not be a match for her.

 

I almost fell into my chronic negative thinking, but this was reality, not a movie, and I am definitely Mana's boyfriend.

 

“All right,” I stepped forward as I encouraged myself.

 

『Mana-chan!』

 

When I called out to her, Mana looked up towards me after she placed a bookmark on the book she was reading.

 

The smile on her face when she turned towards me made me feel weak.

 

Oops, I shouldn’t show her this kid-like expression on my face.

 

I'm trying to be the cool, good-looking guy right now.

 

I sat down next to Mana, trying hard to keep my cheeks loose.

 

『Nee, Haru-kun.』

『Hmm?』

『Why don't you take off the ‘chan’ when calling me?』

『Eh?”

『Don’t you want to just call me Mana?』

『Eh…? Ah! Uhm, that is…』

 

I understood what she said and became upset.

 

My eyes were swimming in an unusual way.

 

In addition, my face also felt hot.

 

I've been “Mana-chan” since I was a child.

 

It's hard to get used to calling her that.

 

……No bur, I always wanted to call her that.

 

Mana giggled at my confusion and looked into my face.

 

Her face was so close.

 

This was bad, at such a distance, I was afraid that the noisy beat of my heart would be heard…

 

『Everyone at school calls me Mana, you know?』

『…Everyone…?』

 

Hearing those words, the high waves that had been surging in quickly receded.

 

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『…do the boys in your school call you that, too?』

『Some of them do.』

 

Mana giggled.

 

After hearing those words, a deep crease was carved between my eyebrows.

 

I was her boyfriend but I don’t say her name like that, instead people the same age as her do…

 

I felt angry when I thought about it.

 

Only me and my family were allowed to call her Mana, and her female friends too!

 

『Haru.』

『!』

 

I've been called Haru-kun all this time.

 

When I looked at Mana, her face was a little red.

 

If I pointed it out, I'm sure she would say it was because of the sunset.

 

But Mana stepped up and so I should too…!

 

『M-Mana!』

 

I called out impatiently, so my voice was louder than I expected.

 

I could feel myself blushing so much that I could clearly tell it wasn't because of the setting sun.

 

Mana looked a little surprised but then smiled at me.

 

『Yes, what is it?』

 

Mana moved and filled the little gap that existed between us.

 

『………..!』

 

 I smelled something soft and gentle, like cherry blossoms, and because of that I turned my face away.

 

『Hey, today is the anniversary of the first time we called each other by name, and…another anniversary to celebrate.
Shall we add more?』

When I turned my face back to see what she was talking about, Mana's face was closer than before.

 

Because she was so close, I could feel the warmth of her body…

 

『Can you please close your eyes?』

 

Wouldn't that be better if it was me who was saying it?

 

I thought so, but my body was mature enough to follow the instructions.

 

『Mana…』

 

“*Siiiiiiigh* What a shitty dream…”

 

When I woke up this morning, my mood was subtle.

 

“It's because ofPuberty!” I thought to myself.

 

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It was as unimportant as Alvin's boasting about his good looks and Ethan's boasting about his muscles.

 

“Edward?”

“No, it was nothing.
I just had a bad dream.”

“I'm sorry to hear that.”

A day had passed after hearing that a Saint had been summoned.

 

The sky was still dark and the rain had not stopped.

 

I decided to stop my plan to go to the orphanage and go to my room to work on my desk.

 

Right now, Yuno and I were inside my private room, just working on my pen.

 

The crown prince, Alvin, who was given the task of winning over the Saint, headed for the temple early in the morning.

 

He brought a large luggage of some kind, but it seemed to contain flowers, ornaments, and other gifts.

 

A handsome prince and a set of nice gifts.

 

A solid tactic.

 

If she was the one who had been summoned, this would be easy, and we would see blue skies by the end of the day.

 

…But, If it was Mana, would she fall in love with Alvin?

 

No, No.

 

“Fall in love,” was it?

 

She could fall all she wanted to.

 

Yeah, totally, totally, OK.

 

It was not my problem anymore.

 

I shook my head trying to get rid of those thoughts.

 

The past life was past, and I should focus this life,

 

Of course it was better not to get involved with a troublesome saint.

 

Besides, in this life, my type was a pretty lady that was a little younger than me.

 

I am sixteen years old now, the same age I was when I died.

 

The Saint was said to be nineteen.

 

I don't want someone that was older than me again.

 

So I'm going to support Alvin as much as I can.

 

“Is it noon already? I wonder if Older Brother Alvin made it to the temple.”

 

I placed down my pen at the end of my work and stood up from my sit

 

Through the window it was still raining.

 

“Yes, I suppose so.
If nothing else happened.”

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The saints were to move in secret, but only a few people knew about it.

 

Yuno was one of those who knew about it.

 

“But it's troubling that the saint's mental state has such an effect on the country.”

“Yeah, I thought so too.”

“It's been a long time since the rain made the castle town lively, but…The saint is feeling sad, isn't she?”

“I don't know.
The rain reminds us of tears, but rain may not always equal sadness.
If this rain is a 'rain of blessings,' she may be smiling now and accepting Older Brother Alvin's tribute—”

 

A flash of light came through the window as if to interrupt me as I was speaking.

 

Then after next moment—

 

*Doooooooooooooooooooo*

 

“Whoa!”

“!”

 

A loud roar as if an explosion had occurred.

 

Lightning strikes.

 

The sky was even blacker and rumbling, and the thunderstorms were likely to continue.

 

“…Is this another influence of the saints?”

“Ah…it might be.”

“I see things didn't work out with Alvin-sama.”

“Hmmm…But, maybe it was a shocking love-at-first-sight moment or something, you know?”

 

As soon as I finished talking, there was another flash of light, and then a thunderbolt struck.

 

The rain increased in intensity, and the wind became even stronger.

 

Suddenly, it became a big storm.

 

“…seems to be a pretty intense love at first sight.”

“H-Hahaha…”

 

The only thing that came out was a dry laugh at Yuno's joke.

 

By all means, it felt like the saint was angry.

 

“I don't know what Elder Brother Alvin is doing…But, ain’t his good looks a treasure?”

“Unexpectedly, Edward's turn may come around.”

“I'm in trouble.
If Elder Brother Alvin is not good enough, Elder Brother Ethan has to do something about it.”

 

At the same time as the news of Alvin's return, I was called back to the queen's private chambers, the same as yesterday, to discuss the saint.

 

“Alvin, it seems things did not go well.”

“My apologies…”

 

I was about to blow out a “pfft” when I opened the door and saw Alvin with a regretful look on his face, but I should praise myself for holding back.

 

It's a pity that the saint case wasn't settled earlier, but it was good to see that look on Alvin's face.

 

“We don't have a choice.
How was the saint? Can you talk her out of it?”

“This is what I told her through the door…”

 

『Saint.』

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『…Who?』

『My name is Alvin Astraea, Prince of Astraea.
I am here to welcome you.』

『…To welcome?』

『Yes.
I have prepared a room for the saint in the castle.
Please make yourselves at home there, and not in this humble place.
I have prepared everything that is appropriate for the saint.
I hope I can be of assistance to put your saintly mind at ease.』

『…It’s fine.
Please leave me alone…』

『I can't leave you alone, Saint! Will you please open the door? First, let's look each other in the eye and discuss.
Then we can build a relationship of trust.
Then…!』

『Leave me alone! I am…I am still…!』

 

“Then lightning struck after she said so…”

“Pfft”

“……..”

 

Oops, I shouldn't have done that.

 

This time, I couldn't hold back and let out a laugh.

 

He was so upset that Alvin gave me an icy stare that I had to clear my throat to cover it up.

 

He said, “let's look each other in the eye” but the whole point is to show off your looks, right?

 

It was obvious that he was confident that as long as he can get her to look at him, he can get her to fall for him.

 

Sure, he had good looks to be confident about, but he couldn’t even get them to look at you and ended up getting turned away at the door!

 

That was so funny, HAHA.

 

“Ha! You're pathetic, Elder Brother.
It’ll be my turn tomorrow, okay?”

“No! And It is not something that can be done in a day.
Mother, it must be painful for the saint to see people change from one day to the next.
Can't you leave it to me for a while longer?”

“Fumu…I suppose so.
I think it's too early to come to a conclusion in a day.
Let's leave it to Alvin and see what happens.”

“Thank you very much.”

“…But I want this to be known to the public as soon as possible.
We don't want this to drag on too long, do we?”

“I understand…”

“Tsk.”

 

I looked out the window as I heard Ethan's tongue click.

 

“This will never stop…”

 

The queen overheard this and glanced out the window as well, then asked Alvin,

 

“How’s the Saint’s mental state?”

“She was unstable.
I got the impression that she was grieving and depressed about something.”

“Certainly…I sense a deep sadness from this rain.”

 

Mana was crying…

 

I'm pushing it to the corner of my mind that it doesn't matter, but from the beginning I felt this rain was tears.

 

The kid who was sobbing with a towel because they didn't have a handkerchief was no longer here.(1) (I searched about this for hours and  honestly, I don’t know what this means sorry…)

 

 

1: Raw version : ハンカチがなくてタオルを持ってオロオロしているガキはもうここにはいないのだ。

 

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