Translation: Kurehashi Aiko
Editing: Team Foxsunes
「Tell me, just what exactly have you been talking about for the past while?」
That man’s voice right now was really low and sounded awfully depressed. It was all the more impactful for me since I was used to hearing his voice as nothing more but grand and majestic, beautiful, and full of confidence. But right about now that voice was not even close to sounding like its usual self. I wanted to say “You took the words right out of my mouth” but I ultimately decided against that and instead I spoke loud and clear so that he could easily understand me.
「 As I told you before, I was asked by the princess herself to come together with her to her pre-marital meeting so that I could assist her as an official aide. I am sure I have mentioned that.」
Could it be that I perhaps said something strange or inappropriate? I tilted my head slightly while closely observing that man, but he only let go of my hand after looking at me for a moment out there. I thought that he was going to say something to me, but after another moment he just backed away, leaned away in his chair, and covered his face with one arm, looking towards the ceiling as if he was going to find something in there.
Perhaps he was too embarrassed about the fact that he has lost his cool and composed appearance and he could not bear to look at me right now? If it was indeed like that, then he really is a piece of work, that husband of mine.
「Edi? What’s wrong?」
「…… It’s nothing.」
「I said that it’s nothing. Please don’t worry about it.」
No, you see, it does not work like that. If you are just going to say “It’s nothing” while sounding like that, then it clearly is not “nothing”, and that is just going to make me worry even more. So when you tell someone that it’s nothing it’s actually quite the opposite. And if you don’t want to say just what exactly the problem is, this is only going to make the matters worse. But that’s right. Right about now the strange behavior of that man is not the biggest point of concern. That would be the princess’s request, if nothing more. That man can wait.
「But anyways, that’s just how it is. I will be leaving the house for about two weeks together with the princess on an official delegation. And while I am gone, I would like you to not work yourself to the point of exhaustion. Please remember to eat proper meals and be sure to get enough sleep through the night.」
「Sorry, but I cannot do that.」
Even though I was not quite finished yet, I could hear that man mumbling those words from right behind his arm-covered mouth. And his words were clear enough for me to understand them. Just then, he brought his hands down onto the tablecloth that was all dirty from the food that splattered all over it. Something in his eyes shone brightly and in the very next moment, the tablecloth was brought back to its original state, with no stains remaining on it. That only took a blink of an eye. He did not need to use his magic for something as trivial as that. However, the deed was already done and the man looked at me again when he put his hands down.
「What’s with that “So that’s just how it is” attitude of yours? Besides, you don’t have to tell me just how selfish and self-centered that princess of ours is. I know that as well as you do, if not even better. I am talking about that other part.」
「Umm, you see, about that.」
I could totally understand why that man would like to know about that. I do realize that since I was in a hurry with my explanation, I might have omitted a thing or two that would be of importance to this subject. And now I was coming to regret not taking my time to do things properly. However, is a pre-marital meeting really something I would like to tell that man about in greater detail? And taking into consideration that the matter was not even made public yet, I should refrain from saying anything more. However, even I knew that a mere “official delegation” would not be enough of an excuse to convince that man that easily.
I am more than well aware of the fact that once this man decides to pursue something, he will not let go of it until he gets the full picture. But at the same time, he is not someone who would go around town and repeat what he heard. If I were to disclose everything to him, he would surely keep it all to himself. I guess the best course of action here is to just be completely honest with him. Besides, I am more than sure that once the princess decided to share that information with me, she was well aware that that man would find it out from me almost immediately afterwards. With that being said, I have reached my conclusion. I faced that man once more.
「You do know about the princess having to leave the city for official delegation sometime soon, right?」
「Oh, you mean that? Yes, because after all, it’s a rare occurrence for the crown princess to ever leave the capital city. But aside from the fact that she’s leaving the city, I do not know any additional details. So you are going to have something to do with that?」
To put it simply: yes. That is exactly right. However, that fact alone seemed not nearly enough to convince that man. It seems that he knew that there was something more to that story and he was waiting for me to tell him just that. His gaze seemed to be piercing me with one simple question: “Why you? Why do you specifically need to accompany the princess on that journey?” It looks like I won’t be able to avoid having to answer that particular question. Having realized that, I took a deep breath and readied myself to explain everything to that man.
「That’s right. It looks like this “official business” the princess will be attending to is actually going to be a pre-marital meeting. Or, at the very least, something that is very similar to a meeting like that……」
「–––––– A pre-marital meeting? For that princess of ours?」
「At least that is what I heard. And since the princess herself was the one who told me about that, I see no reason why would she want to lie to me. That is also when she asked me to accompany her.」
What I decided to keep for myself was the fact that it was the first time ever that the princess asked for my help in such a way, like a woman would ask another woman. There was no need to tell that man that.
Up until now, it was the princess who would reach out a helping hand towards me every time I needed help, so it is only natural that when she came to me seeking help in her own predicament, I would not refuse to give her just that. I simply would not be able to live with myself if I refused. Especially when she put it like that. Besides, helping out the princess would be like helping this country itself. I wanted to live up to the expectation that the princess was having towards me. As a fellow citizen of this country. As one of her loyal subjects. But above everything else, as her dear friend.
「That is exactly why, Edi, I want to accompany the princess of my own accord. Please, try to understand it and let me do this.」
「I told you, I cannot do that.」
His voice sounded as though it was cutting all further discussion short. I could see it from his expression alone: no amount of reasoning or pleading would be able to change his mind about that matter right about now.
「Knowing that princess? I don’t think that it’s as simple as having you assist her during her matchmaking party. Or maybe you have already been told the exact details of what this delegation trip is going to entail?」
「…… Unfortunately, no.」
That could indeed be a problem. I know that the man wanted to believe that story as well, but without the details or the exact itinerary, he would not be easily convinced that there are no strings attached to that trip. Of course, I wanted to ask the princess for some details myself, but at the time she only responded that she absolutely cannot disclose any details yet. At the time I thought it was quite alright and that I’ll just accept anything that will come at us. I mean, if the princess could not say anything, then how could I press her for details? After all, the princess is a wise and intelligent person. The thought that it might be something bad or dangerous never did cross my mind. But still, I wanted to believe in the princess and trust her.
Can’t wait to see more? Want to show your support? CLICK HERE to be a patron and get additional chapters ahead of time!