Translator: Solaris Editor: Queenie
「Tch, retreat! I said retreat!」
The shadow men fled from the area at an alarming speed. Soon only the mysterious figure and I remained.
「Th-thank you very much」
Without uttering a word, the figure simply turned around.
Without thinking, I reached out and grabbed his cloak.
The hood of the cloak fell, exposing a silver mask with a dove engraving. I knew someone who wore a mask and carried a staff with a red jewel… It was the same person who had helped me in the marketplace. However, what really caught my attention was the figure’s hair.
I muttered unintentionally.
Long silver hair spilled onto the figure’s shoulders.
Beautiful shining silver hair.
It was similar to the hair I recently had the honor of untangling each morning. No, it wasn’t similar. There was no mistaking it. It was exactly the same as His Highness Klanven’s hair.
I couldn’t manage anymore words. Instead, I simply gazed at the mysterious figure before me as he re-adjusted his hood.
As I stood in mute amazement, a beautiful and familiar voice reached my ears.
A man wearing a blue knight’s uniform came rushing towards me. His long blonde hair was tied back and looked like a tail swaying back and forth.
I wasn’t able to call out to him.
The figure before me flipped his staff over to reveal the underside. The hilt had a sharp blade attached to it.
The blade flashed as it was pointed directly at my throat. If I dared to move carelessly, it would all be over.
The blade was so sharp that it could easily slit my throat and end my life without a doubt.
I gulped and clenched my sweat slicken hands into fists.
I could sense bloodlust radiating from the figure before me. The atmosphere around him expressed more than words possibly could. His silence even felt like it could pierce my skin.
I felt my strength slowly drain from my body and I sank to the floor in exhaustion. The figure simply readjusted his staff and continued to point it at my throat. The man who was currently disguised as Edilka Vince called out my name.
He then kicked the ground with force, leapt, and thrust himself between the figure and I. The man looked over his shoulder and glanced down at me. As I gazed at his beautiful face I saw a dangerous glimmer in his sunrise-colored eyes.
He had become bloodthirsty in an instant.
「I’ll kill you.」
I shouted as he drew his sword and rushed forward to attack the other man. Clang! The sound of colliding metal filled my ears. The blond man’s hair swung like a tail as he repeatedly attacked the taller man with tremendous force. Even though the taller man was able to fend off the man’s sword with only his staff, the battle had already become one-sided and he could do nothing but defend. I am well aware that my husband is a wizard, but I did not know that he was also an excellent swordsman as well. When he eventually closed in on the tall man’s chest, it seemed that the battle was over, but the tall man simply leapt back and fled. My husband rushed to follow, but he thought against it and sheathed his sword. He turned around and came to help me up.
「——Are you okay?」
「Yes. Somewhat. But, Sir Edilka, why are you here?」
「I noticed that a spell to clear people from the area had been cast. I sensed something was up, and I was right. Fortunately, the spell didn’t inhibit my magic, so I was able to get through.」
I see. So that’s why no had been in the area.
It was still difficult for me to stand, so he supported me with one hand and caressed my cheek with the other.
「Didn’t I tell you to call me if you are ever in danger?」
His angry tone greatly contrasted his gentle hands. I somehow let out a laugh and apologized.
「I’m sorry. Now that you mention it, when I tried to call for you, my voice didn’t come out.」
He didn’t scold me anymore, instead he peered at my face.
「Do you have any ideas about who that guy might have been?」
I thought about how it would be insolent of me to throw around names, but nevertheless I continued.
「But that person’s hair was just like His Highness Klanven’s hair.」
His sunrise-colored eyes blinked at my words. The man then rested his hand on his chin and sunk into deep thought.
「It’s nothing. Just go on as usual. There’s something I want to investigate.」
「……Okay, I understand.」
What else could I say? He let me go, nodded once, and was soon out of sight.
He had teleported. Despite the fact that magic was prohibited within the palace he had still been able to use such a high-class spell. I could only stand there in wonder.
「The food must have gotten cold by now.」
Even though I knew it wasn’t the time to say such things, I couldn’t help but sigh in front of the lukewarm dishes.
It’s fine. I bet he can reheat the food with magic.
As I pushed the cart and once again set out to His Highness Klanven’s office, I felt my chest tighten.
I poured black tea into a teacup. As hot steam and a gentle aroma filled the air I added a dash of milk and brought it before His Highness Klanven.
「Your Highness, your milk tea.」
「Ah, thank you.」
As he raised the teacup to his mouth, I found his gesture to be so elegant and beautiful that it would make a lovely painting. His Highness Klanven sipped the milk tea without any hesitation.
Did he believe that the milk tea wasn’t poisoned? Or, did he just not care? I wasn’t certain if he trusted me or not, but I wanted to believe that he did somewhat trust me.
As I placed the dishes back on the cart, I snuck a glance at His Highness Klanven.
After the incident, I had brought the meal to the Purple Peony Court. But, when I arrived, Klanven had already finished his work and returned to his private office in the Red Rose Court. When I had finally arrived at his private office, I told him that the meal had gone cold, but he insisted that it was fine and ate it graciously without a single complaint.
I was certain that the person who had rescued me at the market was the same person that rescued me today. Despite the fact that they had thrust a sword at my throat with the intention of killing me, there was no denying that they had saved me twice.
That person’s hair was definitely the same shade of silver as His Highness Klanven’s hair. The long beautiful hair that I had the pleasure of combing each morning. How could I mistake it?
The more I thought about it, the more their figures overlapped within my mind. It seemed both impossible and possible that they could be one and the same.
I would be relieved if I could talk to him, but unfortunately that he has been out since noon.
Since His Highness Klanven didn’t have a sense of danger, he wouldn’t mind nor even suspect anything if I left my post.
I stifled the sigh that threatened to escape at any moment. My eyes flicked toward His Highness Klanven who had finished his evening meal and was now enjoying his tea. Then, I heard a soft laugh. His Highness Klanven looked up at me with his amber eyes and said, 「Was there something you wanted to say?」
That phrase wasn’t a question but contained the desire to confirm something.
「Yes, does it look like it?」
Having been answered with another question, His Highness Klanven rested his chin on the table and stifled laughter rang softly from his throat.
「Well, I wonder… 」
His Highness Klanven seemed to grow annoyed at my roundabout answer but concealed it with cheerful laughter. I could now express my suspicion that His Highness Klanven and the figure from this afternoon was the same person. I cannot easily believe that His Highness Klanven, a priest and a member of the royal family, and the mysterious figure who may as well be a 「shadow」were the same person.
The figure’s splendid silver hair was very familiar and his height was taller than average, just like His Highness Klanven. They seemed to be identical.
He told me to act normally but the situation continued to irk me.
「 Your Highness. 」
「What is it? Wah!? 」
I ignored His Highness Klanven’s surprised voice and grabbed his arm as he was reaching for the baked sweets I had prepared earlier. Without hesitation I ungrudgingly grasped the fine fabric and rolled up his sleeves.
Just as I thought, the scar he got from the afternoon scuffle――……
As I unconsciously whispered those words His Highness Klanven chuckled and pulled back his arm.
「How bold of you. Why so sudden? If it’s a late-night invitation could you please wait a while longer?」
At his frank teasing I felt my face redden.
「I’m so sorry, that isn’t my intention at all. I am truly sorry for doing something so unpleasant.」
His Highness Klanven, as always, laughed gently and fixed his sleeve.
「I don’t mind. If it’s you, I wouldn’t be bothered, on the contrary, I’d be happy to―」
「His Highness Klanven. Your Highness, if you say things like that, with that attitude, there will no doubt be very unpleasant rumors. Therefore, I ask that you please stop your teasing.」
「By rumors do you mean the rumors about us that have been circulating lately? 」
It seemed that the rumor about an affair between His Highness Klanven and I had reached his ears as well.