Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Since the streets were getting more and more crowded with the coming of the festival, walking through them was similar to passing through a human river. I was desperately trying to keep up with him, otherwise I would surely lose him in this crowd.
「Wait for me, Your…… My Dear Husband!」
「Filmina, if you won’t hurry it up, I might leave you here.」
My dear husband looks behind over his shoulder and beckons me to hurry it up and follow him. Somehow, this gesture of his made me want to scream “The audacity of this guy!” internally.
As part of today’s activities, instead of sitting in the castle or going to the Great Temple I was accompanying Klanven to the castle town. So far it’s been mostly me and him taking a stroll through the streets, looking at the wares of various shops.
And since the difference in our heights and pacing were so great, I had to almost sprint all the time just so I could keep up with him. Having realized that I was falling behind, Klanven slowed down and took my hand in his own, this time around paying close attention to match my pace. Unconsciously, I grabbed his hand tighter so that we wouldn’t get separated. If that man was to see us like that in such a place…… Yes, I don’t even want to think about it. With a gentle smile, Klanven also held tight to my hand.
「Hm, it seems that I wasn’t paying enough attention. Sorry about that.」
「No, please, I don’t mind that in the slightest.」
More importantly, there were other things I really wanted to say right about now. Like the fact that I really don’t want to be here. Let me reiterate. I really, really don’t want to be here right now.
However, walking side by side like this I was somehow able to calm down and have a small talk. For now His Highness Klanven’s intentions were a complete unknown to me, but they weren’t really that important here. Looking up at Klanven’s face, I gathered my courage as I made a few deep breaths before eventually speaking up.
「My Dear Husband, let us go back now. The Great Temple must be raising quite a bit of fuss right about now. But if you want to walk outside of the castle that much, at least have Edilka-sama accompany us……」
「It’s good that both Edilka and the temple knights aren’t here. They would only serve to slow us down.」
And how is that alright with you? While looking at Klanven I continued to walk right by his side, and thought that I could already feel a horrible headache coming up.
Thinking about the talk we were sure to have with the Temple’s servants once we get back forced me to let out a deep sigh. How should we even explain the current situation? ‘I was just taking a stroll through town with His Highness Klanven here”? If only it was that easy. I asked him whatever shall we do about that and he turned around to look at me. “I would like to know that myself”, was the answer. Why was this happening to me?
I thought of the moment earlier when I opened the door. There, much to my surprise, I found High Highness Klanven dressed in a full set of casual clothes, instead of being in his usual attire of High Priest. I wanted to ask him what was the meaning of this, but then he suddenly took me in his arms and while only muttering the word “date”, he left the room through the window, thusly escaping the Great Temple without being noticed by anyone. As a result, here we were currently walking through the castle town, with him seemingly enjoying this little “date” of his.
This, of course, was only possible since that man was absent from Klanven’s side for the day, away to discuss the future escort duties with the rest of the temple knights. Otherwise, we would never be here in the first place. I was worried beyond belief, but he seemed to be rather easy going about this whole situation. And if my memory serves me correctly, weren’t there people who wanted to take his life? I honestly couldn’t tell if he was just oblivious to it all or maybe he just didn’t care?
「Umm, My Dear Husband?」
We also went to compromise that I would call him “My Dear Husband” for the day, since Klanven didn’t like his official title for some strange reason. Looking down at me, he smiled in a gentle way and put his index finger on top of my lips, showing me to keep quiet for a while. Even though he wasn’t all that young himself, he would do this kind of skinship from time to time. If it was that man who would try to do that, my heart would probably be set aflutter, but my partner this time was Klanven. Klanven smiled under his hood, seemingly able to figure out what was I thinking about.
「“My Dear Husband” has a nice ring to it, I won’t lie, but could you call me Klan from now on?」
「Please forgive me for being rude, but I do believe that there are some limits of childish behavior that us adults should not pass.」
At that time Klanven looked just like a small child whose desperate please for a new toy or something sweet has been denied. He even lowered his hand in an attempt to look sad. Please don’t think I will change my mind just because you made a puppy-dog eyes like that.
「Are you saying that I’m childish for wanting you to call me that?」
「Hmph, you’re no fun at all. I didn’t want to do this, but this is an order: call me Klan from now on.」
「…… As you wish.」
I don’t know why the Goddess chose someone like him to be her representative, seeing just how selfish and childish he could be, and honestly I don’t think I want to know the reason. Aaaaa.
As a last resort, I could always contact that man using the magical bracelet that was on my right wrist. By now he surely must have become aware of our absence and now searching for us, surely being angry. My intentions were to bring Klanven back as soon as possible to try to appease the man’s anger even for a bit. That is why I got closer to him, making sure that we wouldn’t get separated or lost. I was rather adamant on not calling this sudden outing with Klanven a “date”, but I couldn’t keep that kind of attitude forever. We absolutely needed to get back to the Great Temple at some point.
He must have really wanted to visit the castle town, for Klanven looked completely different from his usual self. I don’t know what was his reason for being here, but seeing him like that I decided to swallow the discomfort I was feeling this whole time and go along with his shenanigans for a little while longer. But no matter where we went or what we did, Klanven refused to answer any of my questions.
Then, before we even realized it, we reached the area of the castle town that was called the old town. The distance we travelled was the clear division between the nobles who lived inside of the castle and the commoners who lived outside of its walls. Naturally, it was a place that people like Klanven would never dare to associate themselves with.
Our presence startles a lonely man that was sitting on the ground with a bottle of alcohol in his hand. There were women shouting at their husbands for drinking this early in the day, as well as dirty children running around and beggars whenever you look.
I pull on his hand and look up at him. But he only looks back at me and laughs my worries off, as if he was thinking that it would be impossible for something to happen to him in a place like this. But whether or not he understood that, wasn’t coming to this place would only make it easier for whoever that was targeting his life?
First of all, we should definitely leave this place before some of those extremists come to attack us…… and just as I was thinking that, Klanven came to a sudden stop. Still holding his hand, I stop as well. Then I look forward, but when I do I’m beginning to wish that I didn’t.
「Yo, Mister, Miss. This place is our turf. Now be good and pay the fee and no one has to get hurt.」
「But if you don’t have any money, why don’t you leave the lovely lady in our care?」
…… Well, I think that we all know where this is going. Suddenly, there were two men standing in front of us. I think they might be brothers since they looked nearly identical, and from the atmosphere that surrounded them I could say that they were used to violence. They seemed awfully calm for some random bandits.
We were in quite a pinch right now. Klanven is a priest from the Great Temple. His fighting prowess was questionable to say the least, and I was obviously not any better. Even if I would be forced to summon that man here, for now my utmost priority should be getting His Highness Klanven to safety. But I wasn’t quite sure how should I do that. It was a good thing they weren’t aware of who we were, but they must have took as for lovers because our hands were still entwined with one another.
Suddenly, Klanven raised his free hand to show them that he wasn’t hostile as he made a few steps towards them. No, no, no, what the hell are you doing!? Are you going to get us in more trouble? Even if I had no idea myself, I thought that this was a really bad idea.
I was about to stop him, but then he looked at me reassuringly and next he let go of my hand and reached for his hood.
「I see you are the same as ever. Are you stupid or something? Vie? Feuille?」
「How the fuck do you know our……?」
The two men started to act in a more aggressive manner, but then Klanven put down his hood. For a brief moment I couldn’t comprehend what he has done, but…… Klanven clearly exposed his identity right in front of those two cutthroats. Seeing his face, their eyes opened wide. And their vulgar expressions turned into softer, friendlier ones.
「What the, if it isn’t Klan!」
「Long time no see!」
「Fufu, it’s been a while, you two.」
The two men came closer to Klanven and threw their arms around him, gently touching their heads with his. There was something really unreal in this whole scene. They looked just like a bunch of puppies playing together. However, I still couldn’t allow myself to lower my guard down for some reason.
While I kept staring at the three, their eyes finally turned towards me. It seems that the crisis was averted for now, but I had no idea how should I act in this situation. So I just smile while the two step away from Klanven…… Vie and Feuille, was it? They stared at my face for a moment.
「Miss, are you with Klan? If so, sorry for scaring you.」
「Eh? No, please, no harm done.」
「Say, Klan, is this Missy your woman? So that’s what your tastes are? I see you haven’t changed at all.」
The two of them were staring at me, but this time in a completely different way than a few moments ago, and I didn’t know what to say or how to act. I felt like I was being deceived here. I knew myself better than anyone, and I wasn’t as shallow as to fall victim to cheap compliments.
First of all, who are those people? They were acquainted with a member of the royal family and the High Priest of the Great Temple, and they acted so overly familiar with him. It was truly suspicious.
「We can talk some more in a minute. First, let’s settle down somewhere.」
「Sure thing! But Klan, hope you’re aware that today’s your treat, right?」
「Let’s go to the usual spot. Others will be glad to see you after such a long time.」
Their talk goes on and on, while leaving me completely out of it. Klanven turns his head towards me and flashes me his usual smile.
「Well, something like that. But enough about that, let’s go.」
While Klanven began to walk with a man called Feuille, his companion, Vie, put his hand around my shoulder in a friendly manner.
「Now, now, Missy, please come with us as well.」
「But, Klan-sama and I still have our work to do……」
「Work can wait. Now, come on, come on!」
The man began to pull me after him, and faced with his strength I couldn’t really resist. So, I was dragged to wherever these two men, Vie(provisional) and Feuille(provisional), were currently guiding us. And that placed proved to be nothing more but a local bar.
「Now lookie here, if it isn’t Vie and Feuille! Here to finally settle your tab…… Hmm, Klan!?」
It was a small but lively place, full of both young men and women drinking their alcohol and eating some food, all the while chatting with their respective companions. One of the waitresses that greeted them opened her eyes wide upon seeing Klanven. After her loud exclamation, the whole store went silent in an instant. Then, there was a loud cheer.
「Ooooh~! It’s Klan! It’s been so long!」
「What’s that, you should have informed me if you were going to come!」
「Kyaanh, you look as handsome as ever!」
「Hey, let everyone know! Open the barrels, it’s drinking time!」
…… One man stood on top of the table and raised the loud cheer, and others followed suit with cheering and raising their mugs in the air. No one here seemed to be displeased with Klanven’s visit, quite the opposite, everyone was happy and overjoyed with having him here.
I called out to him and he just turned around and smiled happily at me.
「You see, lots of those people are my acquaintances from the time before I was called to the Great Temple. I sometimes come here to have a drink and take a break from work.」
He told me something like that, and I honestly had trouble with answering to those sudden revelations. I get it that he needed a break from work. The priests from the Temple were not forbidden from drinking alcohol, but it was dependent on the person’s selfishness where and in what quantity they would drink it. Now, as courage and recklessness are two entirely different things, so was drinking and responsible drinking. …… I’d best stop thinking about that. Nothing good is going to come out of that.
「Hey, Vie, move out of the way! Ahh, Klan, I so wanted to see you!」
While I was trying to wrap my head ahead around our current situation, there was a woman in a really fancy clothes that pushed Feuille aside and walked straight to Klanven. Such flashy clothes…… is this underwear, perhaps? The woman next hugged Klanven tightly and rubbed her huge breasts against his face. She also pressed her bright red lips against his pale cheek.
With a huge kiss mark left on his cheek, Klanven smiled in a charming manner.
「Hey there, Aisha. You look as lovely as ever.」
「Why thank you. And I see you are as much of a charmer as always.」