A Budding Maiden's Heart is the thirteenth chapter of the Oushitsu Kyoushi Heine manga.
On Heine's break day, the princes come to his room in order to invite him to a picnic. Heine is reluctant, but agrees to join in order to deepen his relationship with his pupils, and that it seems to make them happy, especially Bruno. Licht also mentions that another person would be joining them for the picnic, and a person who seems to be a young man walks in. He congratulates Heine on being the first to tame the princes, and asks him how old he is since he looks younger than his little brothers. Heine indignantly says that he is a grown man, shocking the young man, and asks who he is. Licht says he's betrothed, making Heine wonder if he's engaged to Adele, but Bruno corrects him and introduces her as Beatrix von Lothringen, their cousin on their mother's side and Kai's fiancee.
Heine hastily apologizes, but Beatrix assures him that it's fine since her tendency to dress in men's clothes often causes her to get confused for a boy. Heine, Bruno and Licht remark in their heads on how much of a gentleman she is, despite being a woman. Beatrix says that she is the one who proposed they have this picnic in a park outside of town, and leads the way to the carriage, but not before fixing Kai's shirt. Heine is amazed that Kai already has a fiancee, to which Bruno explains that it is customary for royals to get married at a young age. Licht adds that Beatrix is from an important family and was their childhood companion, but her match with Kai was arranged by their parents so they don't come off as a couple. Meanwhile, Kai is excited about having a picnic with everyone, but Beatrix is secretly unhappy about that, because she was planning on using this opportunity to try to get Kai to see her as a woman and acting like a couple. She even made a lunch for him, but when she got up the courage to ask him to go on a picnic together, he assumes she meant with everyone and agrees. Despite this, Beatrix is still hoping to have some time alone with Kai, and fantasizes about it before being rudely interrupted by Leonhard.
Once they arrive at the park, Beatrix had to teach the princes how to have a picnic as they had never had one before. Heine remarks to Beatrix that she seems like their elder sister. Beatrix explains that she helped Kai look after them when they were little, as they were too much for him to handle when the eldest prince was away. She recounts some stories from the princes' childhoods, embarrassing them. When the picnic is set up, Beatrix steels herself to give Kai the lunch that she made herself by training under her family chef, but Kai holds out the lunch that the Queen Mother gave them. Beatrix awkwardly asks everyone to try out her lunch as well, but Leonhard is shocked by the fact that she placed bell peppers and carrots in it--his least favorite food. Beatrix makes him eat it before turning to Kai and giving him a plate. She nervously asks if it is good, and he says it is, but for some reason his plate is getting fuller as he eats. It turns out that Leonhard was sneaking his vegetables onto Kai's plate, something he does regularly. While Heine and Bruno scold him, Beatrix realizes in despair that she got distracted and missed Kai finishing his lunch, thus missing another chance to show her feminine side. Kai points out some bunnies in the grass, reminding Beatrix that Kai adores small and cute creatures, something which she isn't, but Heine is. Kai shows him a flower patch, and then makes a flower crown. For a split second, Beatrix thought it was for her, but then Kai gives it to Heine, sending her into despair once again. Then, it suddenly rains, and everyone had to take shelter beneath a tree, ruining the picnic. In her head, Beatrix regrets asking Kai to go on a picnic with her if she had known it was going to turn out like this.
Back at the palace, the Queen Mother urges everyone to go change out of their soaked clothes. She also tells Beatrix to change into something before she goes home. After they finish changing, the princes wonder what is taking Beatrix so long to change. Suddenly, they hear her yell that she can't go out like this, since everyone will laugh at her. The princes go to check on her and discovers that she is wearing a frilly dress and her hair down. The princes exclaim over how different she looks, but Beatrix thinks that they are lying and that she looks ridiculous. Heine tells her that they aren't lying at all, and she should know that since they are all still insensitive children with no idea how to flatter a woman. This makes Beatrix smile, and as she heads to her carriage she bumps into Kai, who doesn't say anything about her dress. In the carriage, Beatrix wonders if he didn't like it or if he just doesn't care about her at all. However, Kai comes to her window and gives her a flower crown, thanking her for the picnic and telling her that the flower crown goes well with her dress, saying that it was pretty. Overjoyed, Beatrix says that she had fun as well and that they should do it again sometime, before waving goodbye to the princes and Heine. Beatrix thinks about wearing dresses when coming to visit the palace, and that she is certain that one day they will act more like a couple.
Meanwhile, Heine comes down with the cold and has to stay in bed, with the princes looking after him despite his requests not to.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Heine Wittgenstein
- Kai von Granzreich
- Bruno von Granzreich
- Licht von Granzreich
- Leonhard von Granzreich
- Beatrix von Lothringen (first appearance)
- Adele von Granzreich (mentioned)
- Queen Granzreich (mentioned)
- Queen Mother