The Type that gets Kidnapped
Norfe scolded her.
Chiharu said with her brain that wasn’t quite working yet. She didn’t even realize that she was talking to Norfe.
“Orange? Ah, that Soluna orange.”
Norfe saw the orange that she was carrying and sighed with exasperation.
It wasn’t just Norfe. Maki was exasperated as well. To be precise, she was shouting internally. ‘We’re 25 years old. Aren’t we 25 years old? And you’re chasing oranges…’ At the same time, she had been so worried. And that feeling turned into anger. She could not help but shout out loud.
“Your life is more important than an orange!”
Chiharu was at least calm enough to not call her Maki. On the other hand, Maki had forgotten that they weren’t supposed to draw attention to themselves. And she was now a little frantic.
“Well, she seems to be sorry.”
Norfe said with a smile. He had been quite surprised by Maki’s outburst.
Maki was about to protest, but then she suddenly returned to herself. Norfe thought it was because she had realized that she was talking to royalty.
“It’s fine. Food is also very important.”
He said to Chiharu. She nodded.
She said as she tried to stand up. But she could not. Her legs felt weak. Though, it was evident that she would have had an easier time if she only let go of the orange.
“Is that orange so precious to you?”
Norfe said with a chuckle as he saw the flustered girl. Then he picked Chiharu up and put her on her feet. Chiharu froze with surprise. However, the villagers who had been watching excitedly now roared and applauded cheerfully. Norfe nodded satisfactorily at his people.
“It seems like you are too shocked to stand. I am sorry. Allow me to make up for it by inviting you to the villa, so you can rest.”
“Uh, no. I can walk.”
“But you couldn’t even stand?”
Indeed, that was true. But this was not right. Besides, this was Norfe! The mean prince! Chiharu had just realized this. She would have done something wilder if she wasn’t afraid of falling again.
“I’m sorry. I’ll take care of my little sister! It’s fine!”
Maki frantically tried to take Chiharu away.
“Oh, you’re the one who was shouting. Her brother.”
Chiharu also stretched her hand out to Maki.
“Careful there. You might drop your orange again.”
Chiharu realized this and fixed her grip on the orange before accidentally falling into Norfe’s arms.
Why was this happening…
“Norfe and Chouze, eh? I must say, those are some great names for a brother and sister.”
The real Norfe said with a laugh.
“I’ll also buy the rest of your oranges for the villa. Now, you can take down your stall here and pick up your sister at the villa when you’re done. That way, she’ll have plenty of time to rest.”
He said to Maki before starting to walk away.
“Uh, hey. Wait! Ah…”
As Maki stood there, a knight approached her.
“You should hurry up if you don’t want her to stay for too long.”
“Huh? Oh, fine.”
Maki muttered as she began to fold their tables.
“You should consider yourselves lucky. You got to speak with Prince Norfe himself and sell all your oranges. And you’ll get to see the villa.”
The old man who sold vegetables said to her from the side.
“But we were planning on leaving town today. This is all a lot of trouble.”
Maki replied without thinking.
“I’m supposed to wait here until my brothers return, but I can’t do that now. Mister, could you tell them what happened when they arrive?”
Maki asked him.
“Sure. Don’t worry. Go off and enjoy the villa!”
Maki put everything into the carriage and then picked up the box of oranges and rushed towards the villa.
While it was a villa, it was only about 10 minutes away on foot.
“Um, I’m fine now. You can put me down. I’m sure that I’m quite heavy.”
“What? You’re not heavy at all.”
Norfe said. And he was definitely carrying her as if she was light.
“Chouze, right? Can you peel that orange for me?”
“I want to eat it.”
And so Chiharu had no choice but the peel the orange. Then Norfe opened his mouth as if he expected her to feed him. Chiharu wasn’t sure what to do, but when she looked to a nearby knight, he just shook his head. And so she hesitantly threw a piece of orange into Norfe’s mouth. Norfe chewed and swallowed it before saying,
“Delicious. How much do they cost?”
“300 gil for one.”
“300 gil, huh? A single large Highland apple is 100 gil. Soluna oranges cost 200 gil if you buy them in Lowland. But I see that they are 300 gil in Highland.”
It was shocking that a member of the royal family accurately knew the prices of food.
“It’s because of transportation and personnel fees.”
“Indeed. You don’t look it, but you’re surprisingly smart.”
Chiharu felt very conflicted by this. An 18-year-old had just called her smart.
“Even if they are all human territories, this discrepancy occurs because people want things from the other three territories. Is it wrong to want my people to be able to buy Soluna oranges for 200 gil?”
Norfe muttered and then signaled for another piece. Chiharu shoved it into his mouth and replied. Though, she did wonder if he was even asking her.
“Then you should just export your Highland apples to the three territories.”
“You really are smart.”
Norfe said with satisfaction.
“Something that Highland has that the others don’t. This is quite hard. Besides, we haven’t had much interaction with them until now. Yes, it is difficult. But then the cost will all be on Highland. That wouldn’t be right, would it?”
“I guess so.”
It wasn’t wrong to want to raise self-sufficiency rates. But Highland was too cold for Soluna oranges to grow.
“Ah, we’re almost there.”
“P-please put me down.”
“It’s faster this way.”
And like that, Chiharu was taken to the villa.
Chouze came running out.
“Ah, Chouze. How many times do I have to tell you to stop running like that? You’re too old.”
“But, I’m just so happy. Oh, who is this?”
Chouze looked at Chiharu suspiciously.
“She jumped in front of my horse. And since she was unable to stand, I brought her back here so she can rest.”
“That’s very like you.”
“I’m taking her to my room.”
Then the maids came out frantically.
“That will not do. Even though she is a child, she is still a girl. We shall take care of her.”
“Yes. But more importantly, there is a merman! And I want you to meet him.”
“About that, Chouze…”
Norfe finally put Chiharu down. As Chiharu wobbled on her feet, the maids escorted her away very roughly. You were carried by the handsome Prince Norfe who everyone adores! How dare you!
“I’m taking him to the royal capital. Those are my orders.”
What! Chiharu stopped in her tracks.
“What are you doing? Hurry along now.”
The maids said as they pulled her away. Chouze was complaining to Norfe.
“No! Besides, he’ll get all dried up.”
“Merfolk are able to live outside of the water for up to a month. He’ll survive the journey.”
That was new information! However, Chiharu was hurried away by the maids and was not able to hear the rest of their conversation.