Translator: Kurehashi Aiko Editor: Queenie
「First of all, grab the first flower and wrap the next one around it. Just like that, you see?」
Each of the children struggled earnestly to mimic my movements in order to make their own flower crowns.
「Yes, yes, good. Just like that. Now please continue to wrap the flowers just like that, until eventually it forms a closed ring. You see? It’s now completed!」
I connect the two ends of my crown together, and then place it at the top of my head. Seeing that, the children proceeded to work even harder to make the crowns all of their own.
After a while, one of the girls stood up and walked to the young man who was standing under the tree some distance from us, and extended her hands to him while holding her flower crown in them. The man watched her with utmost curiosity.
「…… What is it?」
He asked the girl, and her words must have startled the little girl, for she started to shiver just like a small animal would. Still, she didn’t put her hands down.
「Mister Knight, please accept this gift!」
「……………… For me?」
The young knight’s eyes glowed with surprise upon hearing this. He looked at the girl who kept presenting her crown to him, and although you couldn’t exactly tell it at first glance, you could say that she must have been extremely nervous right about now.
He then kneeled in front of the girl and took the crown from her shivering fingers.
「…… Thank you.」
The man thanked the girl in an awkward manner and flashed her a smile, to which the girl’s cheeks turned bright red. Ohh, I think that I’m seeing something rather interesting. For that man to show a genuine smile like that.
Seeing that, the other children stopped working on their crowns and raised their voices in unison, shouting ‘That’s not fair!’ at the girl.
「That’s not fair, Pamela! I wanted to give my crown to Mister Knight as well!」
「Me as well!」
Not only girls, but boys as well get up and run towards the man, offering him their crowns one after another.
Now that I think about it, that man looked as though it was his first time at a festival like that.
Even as I am now, I would be still too embarrassed to do something like that, and I continue to gaze as the man receiving crown after crown from the children while looking puzzled. At the same time, His Highness Klanven sat next to me together with Liliana, the little girl from earlier. He was also wearing a flower crown on top of his head.
「It seems that Edilka is rather popular.」
「I see that you have a keen eye when it comes to people, Your Highness.」
Apparently the children’s favor was currently split between His Highness Klanven and that man. A beautiful appearance seems to attract people regardless of age, and it is something that I’m quite envious about.
I keep looking at that man with envy in my eyes, who right now looked completely unfamiliar to me, all restless and confused.
With both the blonde knight Edilka Vince and His Highness Klanven present, the children were clearly torn in between them, not knowing what to do…… It was the worst kind of situation, one that was quite daunting. It is in those situations that men tend to bond the most with one another. I’m so jealous of the obliviousness of these children, not knowing who that man really is.
Haa, I unconsciously let out a sigh just like that.
「…… What is it, Your Highness?」
Squish, His Highness Klanven pokes my cheek with his finger and then smiles brightly. For some reason he looked to me as though he was making fun of me.
「I never thought that you would get jealous over something like this.」
「I’m not jealous. If anything, I might envy them just a little bit.」
「Hmm, is that really so?」
He removes his finger from my cheek, and then His Highness Klanven laughs. I can’t stand that he was able to read me just like an open book.
When I turned my eyes away from His Highness Klanven, I could see a completed flower crown right in front of my eyes. Looking down in surprise, I could see a five-years-old boy holding his flower crown to me with his small hands.
「Oh my? What’s wrong?」
Was it that he didn’t understand something? However, the crown in his hands seemed to be completed, so that was probably not the case here. I leaned closer to lend him my ear, but he only extended his crown closer to my face.
「Nee-chan, I want to give this to you!」
Oho, oho? Now won’t you look at this. I can feel my face blushing as my lips unconsciously smile. I lower my head towards the boy.
「Thank you so much, it makes me really happy. Can you put it on my head?」
Although it was difficult to say whether or not it was a good compliment, he did try his best at making that crown. The boy smiles even brighter as he puts the flower crown on my head.
「It’s the day of the long awaited festival! Nee-chan, I shall offer this flower crown to you!」
「Oh dear, that makes me so happy……!?」
At that moment, the boy’s figure disappeared from my sight. I look up and see that man approaching us from the side, coming through the waves of children. Once he arrived at our side, he put his hand on the boy’s shoulder.
「Edilka-sama, what are you doing? Let him go. Let him go, I said!」
「I’m sorry, but I think it’s already too late for this little guy.」
「E, Edilka-sama?! Your Highness, please make him stop this madness……」
「Fufu, do I smell something interesting brewing in the air?」
「Your Highness, I beg of you, please make it stop right this instant!」
His Highness Klanven laughed, thinking it was a funny situation, but in reality it was anything but that.
That man was still holding the boy by the neck, and the boy slowly started crying in despair. I tried to calm my husband down by pulling at the hem of his clothes, but at that time something unbelievable happened.
A bloodcurdling scream cuts through this idyllic scenery that should be quiet and tranquil.
What was that, just now? Just as I blinked a few times and it was as though an illusion dissipated. As if this whole nice atmosphere was just a lie, it was now full of hostility and bloodlust, so much of it that my skin was having goosebumps.
「Hmm? Is that a Werewolf I see?」
Said His Highness Klanven, but I couldn’t really hear him right now.
There were three wolf-like looking monsters right in front of my eyes, looking so terrifying that they sent chills down my spine. There were far away for now so I couldn’t be entirely sure, but they must have been those monsters called Werewolves.
I always thought those monsters were living deep in the forests and were avoiding opened fields like that. However, after the Demon Lord’s defeat things began to change, with demons becoming less and less in numbers, and even the weaker demons started to change their ways to adapt to their new situation, all in the name of survival.
The werewolves bare their teeth, drool dripping from their mouths as they let out a bloodcurdling howls. Seeing them, the children began to scream one after another, tears falling from their eyes.
「E, everyone, please calm down……!」
I somehow manage to calm the children down and gather them together, preventing them from running away in every direction. It wasn’t easy, but I still managed that. Then, I stare at the werewolves.
While I was backing away with the children, His Highness Klanven stood up as well. There was no fear or impatience in his steps. His golden eyes stare calmly at the werewolves, as if they were nothing out of the ordinary.
「It’s alright, it’s alright.」
What is alright in this situation? We were in a serious predicament right here, especially with all the children facing mortal danger. The werewolves howls were making my heart beat like crazy inside of my chest, but even so His Highness’ words were filled with calmness. It was so out of place that I simply couldn’t believe it.
As soon as his Highness finished speaking, there was a surge of bright silver light emanating out of him. It spreads out from His Highness and expands all around us in the shape of the dome.
The werewolves rushed forward with a howl and crashed right into the barrier. Then, screams of pain come out of their mouths. There was smoke coming out of the body parts which came into contact with the barrier.
「I am a Priest, so I can use defensive barriers. Demons of this level are of no problem to me.」
Protective Barrier…… His Highness stepped forward and looked at the burning werewolves, and then he looked back towards me. He smiled brightly.
「Now then, I’ll leave the rest to you.」
「As you wish.」
After that short response, a blue shadow popped out of the barrier. At the same time the little boy, who’s been suspended in the air, falls to the ground and I catch him in my arms. Then, I can see a flash of white.
The boy sees the werewolves heads falling to the ground right in the middle of their feet, accompanied by gushing blood, and I scream again.
「Everyone, don’t leave the barrier’s premises. Your Highness, please take care of Filmina and the children.」
The knight shakes the blood off of his sword as he stares at the remaining werewolves. It seems that for now the remaining two beasts recognized Edilka as the most severe threat for them. They turn their bloodshot eyes towards him. Not intimidated in the slightest, the knight quietly readies his sword.
I don’t know who jumped at who first, but before I knew it, the werewolves were already standing in the pools of their own blood, their heads separated from their bodies.
It was all silent. Edilka calmly walks back to us, then wipes his sword with the cloth that one of the boys handed him from their pockets and sheaths his sword back into its scabbard.
And that was the end of this short skirmish. While I was still stunned, that man walks towards us. At the same time, there was a sharp sound and the barrier all but disappeared without a trace.
「Nicely done, Edilka.」
「Not at all. I’m just glad that no harm came to you, Your Highness.」
He said that in a monotonous tone of voice. As I was staring at his profile in silence, I noticed a trace of blood upon his cheek. Unaware of the blood, he put the handkerchief in his pocket.
「Edilka-sama, please excuse me for a moment.」
The red stain becomes especially noticeable on his fair skin. His calm gaze turns towards the children. In their big and watery eyes you could see the look of admiration.
Ah, a thought occurs to me. This might actually be bad for them. Little children shouldn’t see their idols doing things like that. However,
The children started crying all at once, and they rushed to his side, clinging to him from all directions.
「So scared, we were so scared!」
「Thank you, Mister Knight!」
As the children kept calling him and thanking him, Mister Knight looked like he was at a loss and didn’t know what to do in this particular situation.
–––– Aaah, I’m so glad.
I thought so while embracing the children that came running to me. Also, His Highness also came to my side, all the while stroking the hair of the children that he came across.
「You look happy.」
「Yes, very much.」
This time around it wasn’t sarcasm, but rather my honest thoughts.
Until that man himself asked for help, together with His Highness we continued to keep watch over the children. This is also a form of love.