Chapter 18: Reunited with a Loved One

 “Long time no see, Rebecca.”
 Hearing that, I slowly turned around.

 Standing there was a man who was half a head taller than me, with splendid golden hair that seemed to reflect the light of the sun, and emerald eyes that made even the greenest of fresh greens seem faded.
――It was His Highness the Crown Prince.

 A little over three years ago, when I got engaged to Prince Garrett, I was given the opportunity to greet Prince Garrett and the crown prince, Prince Ethan.
 Since then, I have never met Prince Ethan personally.
Of course, it's been three years since I last heard from him.

 His Royal Highness Prince Ethan will turn 21 this year.
His majestic appearance, which attracted the attention of many people just by entering the venue, showed the dominance of a crown prince that I did not feel three years ago.
 He is a member of a magic division, and I hear that he does not miss his daily training in the midst of his busy political work.
It is rumored that under his military uniform, which emphasizes practical use, he hides a toned and supple body, and that his spirit is like steel.

 Although he is dressed in the minimum of royal attire, he does not like to be flashy in his daily life.
His Highness Ethan carries a sword, uses magic, trains from time to time, and sometimes goes to defeat demons; he can be described as a man of good health.

 That would be true if I knew him more familiarly …

 I suddenly realized I had to discipline myself.
 Here in front of me was the crown prince of the Kingdom of Lendor.
The heir to the illustrious throne, also known as the Prince of the Sun.
I can’t think of him in a familiar way.

“His Royal Highness Prince Ethan …”

 I tore my gaze away, picked up my skirt, and bowed at the waist.

 His Royal Highness the Crown Prince was the only member of the royal family I wanted to and did not want to meet here …

 He was also the first person who had already been eliminated from my mind's list of royal bachelors as soon as I received the fan from Queen Margaret and learned that he was a “royal”.
 His Highness Ethan is engaged to Princess Aaliyah, the first princess of the Kingdom of Xium.
I could not believe that he was a 'male relative of the royal family' who would be introduced to me by the queen, who is trying to mediate a marriage match.

 Still, I wanted to see him at first sight and confirm something before retreating to my domain—I had only met His Royal Highness the Crown Prince once, three years ago.
At that time, he gave me words that left a strong impression on me…

 I just wanted to know.
 Is His Highness Prince Ethan a reincarnation of my other half?
 If so, does he have memories of his previous life?

 My previous life and this life are two different things.
I understand that Saki's life has completely ended and that this life is Rebecca's life.
But there is a big gap between what I understand in my head and what my heart desires.

 If I am mistaken, I can end this life peacefully, holding the love I have for my husband in my heart.

 If I am not mistaken…
 When I imagined it realistically, I realized that exchanging words would not be good for either of us.

 His Highness Ethan's engagement was a contract between nations, which was completely different from the engagement situation in Lendor, and there was no way I could break it.
 The obligations of the position of crown prince are so heavy and ruthless that they can swallow up any individual's thoughts.

 In contrast, I … we were frustrating.
We were possessive of each other, we would not tolerate betrayal, and in return, if we loved each other, we would go as deep as we could.
If we could have it, we would take it all, and if we couldn't, we would thoroughly eliminate it.

 I firmly told myself, that we should not meet if we could not be together… but now it was too late.

 We have met again.
 There was no way I could be wrong.
His Highness Ethan was the only person… that I loved.

 While bowing, I wondered what was going on.

 Since when has His Highness Ethan been aware and to what extent?
 And how is the Queen involved in this matter…?

 From the way things are going, in all likelihood, the “royal man” written on the back of the fan is His Highness Ethan.
 Usually, the names of the partners are written along the middle bone of the fan, so there are about eight or nine names.
Since the words are written on the entire surface of the fan, it is best to assume that there is only one partner.

 If it meant that I should become the mistress of His Highness Prince Ethan, I would have to …

 I shook off my momentary doubt.
 I was thinking too much.
In the first place, the Queen is not the kind of person who would tolerate the daughter of a close friend becoming a mistress or her own son having a mistress.
  Rather, she is a deeply compassionate person who would encourage them to respect each other and nurture their love, even if it is a political marriage.

 It was more natural to assume that he had cooperated with someone in the case of the fan, knowing that he would be suspected of meddling in his future partner’s affairs.

 Even if it was a suggestion to become a mistress, my answer would still be no.
There is no way I would share my beloved with someone else.
 Besides, if I were to be chosen as a mistress, my father would be furious and my mother would rather support my wish to be single.

 After thinking about this, I calmed down a little.
 I'm glad that His Highness Ethan is the only one I've been matched with … I can't help but feel that the letters filling the fan were made with an obsession to never let me get away.

“Please raise your head.”

 His Highness Ethan's voice falls over my head.
I looked up when I reached the point where I couldn't bend any further.

“You haven’t changed much, have you Rebecca? No, perhaps you have? You’re more beautiful than the last time I saw you, three years ago.”

 I can't let my guard down with such smooth words.
Should I not read too much into it?
 I dared to take up only the change in appearance and topped it off with a hint of sarcasm.

“Are you playing with me, your Highness? Your fiancée, Princess Aaliyah, is much more beautiful than me.
 Is this how you treat a newcomer like me? I will retire to my estate as soon as possible.”

 When I replied with a smile, His Highness Ethan's eyes widened.

“I don't want a man with a fiancée.
I will escape as fast as I can.”

 I guess His Highness Ethan understood exactly what I meant when I said these words.
If he were the man I knew, he would have understood it without a doubt.

 The ideal prince, wearing the mask of a perfect crown prince, with eyes that would make even the finest emerald misty with glee, suddenly smiled.
 A light cheer was heard around the room.
Although all of them must be noble daughters, at this moment, they must be feeling like fans who have witnessed the smiling face of their idol.
 If there were paparazzi in this world, their smiles must have fetched a high price.

“Still, as long as I am the 'royal man' written on the back of the fan, you cannot escape—and I have no intention of letting you go.”

 Now it was my turn to be in shock.
 I was convinced.
The mastermind behind the fan this time was definitely him.

 Fortunately or unfortunately, the threats whispered into my ear did not reach those who worshipped His Royal Highness the Crown Prince.






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