Chapter 20: The Crown Prince's Circumstances (Ethan POV)
“Huh! Huh! Wow…
Oh, my God?”
“What is it, assistant? I don't like hearing that from you.”
“It's the wish of the man in question.”
“Ah, him, he wished to be reborn in the same world as his other half in exchange for his life.
The man had worked to help me in his dreams.
I went to great lengths to reincarnate him as a prince and his other half as the son of a powerful nobleman.
He was born safely the other day…”
“Yes, I know.
I'm sorry about that, but you've got the wrong gender.”
“They have different genders.
The other half is a man's wife, in other words a woman.”
“What? Damn, since you said they were each other's half, I inadvertently …
I'll have to retrieve the soul once and reincarnate it as a new female child.
As for her memories …
well, she'll remember in time.”
We were classmates in junior high school.
We were in the same class in the third year of junior high school, and I exchanged words with her for the first time.
It was a rural junior high school, a mammoth school consisting of three elementary schools in the area, with nine classes of 40 students at the time.
There was a possibility that I would not even know her face until the end, but I knew only her name.
She was the ace of the swimming team and often won prizes at competitions, and was often honored at morning assemblies.
When I saw her up close, I felt like I had been shot in the chest.
It was love at first sight.
The first thing out of my mouth was, “You're going to like me,” which I didn't think I would.
Her eyes widened in surprise and she said, “I don't know.
I'm dating someone,” she said, laughing vaguely, and at that moment my first love was shattered.
After that, we spent a year as mere classmates, and after graduating from junior high school, we went to different high schools.
The next time we met was in the summer of my third year of high school.
She broke up with her man at the time and was free.
I ended up going out with her on a whim, and after graduating from college, we got married.
The next time I met her was the summer of my senior year of high school.
She had broken up with the guy she was with at the time and was free.
I pushed her into a relationship, and we married upon graduation from college.
After we were married, I asked her what her first impression of me was.
She giggled and said, “What a funny guy.”
I sulked a little and she replied desperately, “But I was happy.
You were very likable from the beginning.
That's what's so weird,”
We were blessed with an eldest son, and when he reached adulthood, we took the opportunity to travel abroad.
Renting a car and touring the sights was fun.
However, our happiness was destroyed in an instant.
A car ran a red light on an intersection and plowed into us, and … into the passenger side where she was sitting.
“Shu-chan, are you okay …?”
Those were her last words.
I cried out and prayed.
God, the Creator of all things, or whoever.
I prayed anyway.
“Saki is my other half.
Please … I beg you, in my next life, I want to be born in the same world as Saki.
The price is the rest of my life now!”
Someone responded to my cries.
He said that he was grateful for my help in the dreamworld, or that if he rejected the wish that cost my life, he would turn into the worst demon in history, but I don't care about the details.
The wish was granted.
I passed away, still holding Saki's warm hand, and was reborn as a prince of the Kingdom of Lendor.
At 43 years old, it is honestly hard to start over as a baby.
Even though I was only consciously an old man, in reality all I could do was babble and cry, my body wouldn't do what I said, and I couldn't even turn over.
Even when I grew up a little, the vocabulary in my head didn't come out as words.
The consciousness of an adult dwells in the body of a child.
Not being able to do what I wanted was extremely inconvenient, but I think there was some kind of stop-gap in the way.
The memory of a previous life was a tremendous advantage.
Children do not understand the meaning of learning as recommended by adults.
Therefore, they pursue only what they enjoy and are interested in.
But I had already experienced that.
I have already experienced it.
Using my flexible brain and physical abilities to the fullest, I have improved myself so that I can be sure to get the girl I am sure to meet in the future.
At the same time, I became familiar with this world, starting with my position as a prince.
I recognized not only my own longing—to be with her again—but also the importance of serving my country and its people as a prince.
The number of people I cared about in this world increased, and I think that was a major reason.
Especially my younger brother.
Since I had no siblings in my previous life, I had no brother;y love for him.
No, it was more like rasing my son again.
Well, I wouldn’t say I didn’t have ulterior motives.
Parents of the nobility, hoping to secure a osition in the imperial famile from among their own people, came to the royal palace with their daughters.
She was not among them.
I was 14 years old, the same age we met in our previous life.
My expectations were disappointed and I was unable to find her that year as well.
Perhaps she had been reincarnated as a commoner's daughter.
With this thought in mind, I accompanied various visits to the city and went around the city on the sly.
Still, I couldn't find her.
We are the same age.
There may be a slight margin of error of about one plus or minus a year, but to some extent I was able to narrow down the search.
I had never imagined that the search for her would be so difficult.
I began to consider the possibility that she was born in another country.
The difficulty level would increase, but I still had no intention of giving up on her.
As long as there is a status system, it is desirable to destroy the royalty and aristocracy first.
While continuing my domestic search, I first turned my attention to the neighboring Kingdom of Xium.
It was at the age of 17 that the situation took off.
The Kingdom of Xium privately asked me to marry Princess Aaliyah.
Princess Aaliyah is the first princess of the Kingdom of Xium, and is the first in line of succession to the throne, where the firstborn is the heir regardless of gender.
I wondered what was going on, even though she was the heir to the throne who would carry the country on her shoulders.
As I was twisting my neck, I received an offer from Princess Aaliyah herself to meet with me and explain the situation.
To put it simply, what she was seeking was a fake engagement for a limited time.
Princess Aaliyah has a powerful enemy, and in order to eliminate that enemy, she offered a deal in the name of engagement.
Even though the content of the proposal was related to the succession to the throne, she wanted to explain the situation in good faith despite how reckless of a proposal this was, and she went into quite a bit of detail.
As a matter of fact, Princess Aaliyah's mother, who was a full princess, had recently passed away in a fragile state.
According to Princess Aaliyah, her mother died in her place.
The Queen Consort, who is now Queen, wants her own son to be King.
Although she is the main suspect, she has yet to find proof.
The loss of a mother does not change the order of succession to the throne.
Princess Aaliyah's life was still in danger.
So, in order to camouflage her lack of interest in the throne, she decided to marry the crown prince of another country, despite being heir to the throne.
Princess Aaliyah offered to go along with the fake engagement in order to save her own life and avenge her mother's death.
The maximum period of time would be four years, until her sister princess came of age and the issue of succession became a bigger fight.
They intended to have a match by then.
King Xium said, “The Queen Consort comes from one of the most prominent noble families in the kingdom.
If you want to remove her, prove that she killed the previous Queen on your own.
Then you will be able to prove your standing for the throne.” He said, meaning that he would comply if Princess Aaliyah went along with the fake engagement.
All of the quid pro quo would result in the payment for her career, so to speak, after she ascends the throne as Queen.
I guess there is no loss for the current King.
Frankly speaking, I wonder if the parent-child relationship is safe.
I have to wonder, but this application was also convenient for me, as I wanted to find my wife within the Kingdom of Xium.
There was another reason why I was so eager.
I felt a kinship with Princess Aaliyah.
Princess Aaliyah's vengeful eyes.
I had the same intense glint towards the asshole who killed my wife.
The only thing I had left to do in my previous life was to take revenge on the person who had taken away someone I cared about.
It was like looking at my past self, and in a way, I could say I was bonded to her.
I was already ready to accept the deal, but there was one last thing I wanted to ask.
“Why did you choose me? Did you not think that I would misuse the offer in the first place?”
Princess Aaliyah answered my question without hesitation.
“My country and the Kingdom of Lendor have established friendly relations.
Your country is not interested in expanding its territory, and besides, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince has no one committed to his future at the moment.
Besides … Your Highness prefers the same sex, don't you? And, I want to find a spouse in my country in the future, since I will be Queen when I fulfill my long-cherished dream.
For this reason, I need someone who will certainly break off the engagement.
In other words, you are the ideal match.”
What is this ton of information?
I was about to rebute, but then I thought carefully.
Arranged marriages—I've broken many of them.
From the daughters of domestic nobles to the princesses of various countries.
I’ve been immersed in the magic circle — indeed, I had frequently engaged in physical combat with swarthy men.
Furthermore, thinking it a waste of time, I participated as little as possible in social gatherings—and even then, I avoided them as much as possible, except for the obligatory dances.
Also, if this information was leaked, it would be a big problem… but I had been playing along as a role model, and hadn't even played around with women.
“I believe His Highness is willing to make a deal.
Isn't it depressing to be swarmed by women who want to be your fiancee? I hope you will accept it, even if only for a few years, with the intention of using me as a barrier.”
—You have a point.
I also set a condition for the deal.
The engagement must be terminated after four years.
In addition, she was to help me find my one and only other half in Xium, and if I found her, she was to explain to her about the deal.
You sure are a romantic looking for your ideal marriage partner?
Yes, of course.
She is the one chosen by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Lendor, so she is no ordinary woman.
For the sake of the future of our two countries, I would like you to introduce her to me.”
The way Princess Aaliyah said it, I thought that my wife and this lady might be kindred spirits.
I have no intention of making light of such an important matter.
A tight and confidential document was exchanged.
With my parents' approval of this backroom deal, we were now happily (?) married.
The engagement between the first prince of the Kingdom of Lendor and the first princess of the Kingdom of Xium was sealed.
My wife, she must be the same age as me.
I had been strangling myself with this blind assumption, but I realized too late when Garrett introduced me to his fiancée- shortly after I had signed the contract with Princess Aaliyah.
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