“She started all that when she was sixteen?”
Hataru held her head high with pride, “Yes. She did. But despite that, I─ she─ we also see marriage as an important matter in a category all its own; it is not merely a contract between two people. Matrimony is a bond that should be reserved for two people who support each other in their efforts, for those who would sacrifice anything for the other.”
“And the task of finding such a person doesn’t daunt her ─ or you?”
“Of course it does! It is quite a rare occasion that two such people ever find each other.”
“Exactly! These things take time. Why do our parents urge us to rush into these things?”
Hataru thought for a moment, “They only want us to be happy, I suppose. To be married to the one you love is to find security, at least, that’s what Princess Hataru thinks.”
“Hmm… you ─ and your princess ─ seem very wise. You’re very easy to talk to.”
“Thank you, Your Highness ─ oh my!” the young woman glanced over the prince’s shoulder and gasped.
“What? What is it?”
Hataru pointed at the blazing ball of fire in the sky, “Look at the time! I left my friends in the cave hours ago! They must be so worried about me.”
“Your friends are in the cavern?” Tarin frowned. “That’s not good. I’m afraid that foul man who had attacked you had friends of his own, and I saw them heading that way. I think they’re the ones who stole my dagger.”
“We have to help them!” the undercover princess rushed into the interminable cavern pathway, the Marcelian prince right on her heels.