Translation: Kurehashi Aiko
Editing: Team Foxsunes
That being said, it seems that for this man it was still not enough. He just shook his head while remaining silent and looking at me with a harsh gaze.
「Personally, I am against this whole idea. From what we may know it might even be a trap and we might play right into someone’s hands.」
I could tell that the man was not joking, because during that time I would be somewhere where he could not contact or help me if there was ever an emergency. That man continued talking, and his every word was only serving to confirm the anxieties I was feeling deep down inside of me.
And I understand his concerns. I really do. I understand it all too well that he does not say all that just to be all negative or pessimistic. He says all that because he cares deeply about me. Honestly speaking, it would be far more concerning if that man told me to go with the princess without investigating the matter further. In that case I would surely be the one to oppose the idea. But still, I would like for that man to just bear with me just this once and let me go. I don’t want to give up on this journey, but I can’t just get rid of the feeling that it is just me being selfish here.
「It might sound selfish, but I take pride in being able to call myself the princess’s friend. Not only that, but the princess herself considers me to be her friend and she helped me more times than I could count. That is why, if there is something I can do to start repaying her the kindness she has showed me, I want to give it my all.」
Even though she is a member of the royal family, the princess is still nothing more but a teenage girl. She may not show it in her day to day interactions, but she must have worries, fears and anxieties like any other human being of her age. Otherwise, I just can’t see any reason for why she would want to nominate me as her companion for this trip of hers. If she wanted just your typical caretaker, then she did not need to bother with someone like me. One of her handmaids would be more than enough of a suitable choice here.
Besides, that man keeps on telling me that he’s opposed to this idea, seemingly out of concern to me, but I don’t think that it is all that there is to it. There must be something else for a reason here. And if that man thinks that I have failed to realize that, then he is in for a rude awakening. That is why I look him straight in the eyes and say:
「Edi, I don’t want to think that it may be the truth, but do you possibly don’t want me to lend the princess a hand? Is that is?」
「This is, is……」
As the man stumbled for his words the expression on my face turned to something like “See, I could totally see right through you”. Not to mention, sometimes I just could not help it but to get jealous over the fact that that man and the princess had that close and familiar relationship, where they could freely exchange friendly banter in between one another. Incidentally, when I say that I might be jealous of their relationship, I mean both of them, not any one of them in particular.
I have always thought that for both that man and the princess alike, being able to talk so freely and without constraints must be a truly precious thing. So it would really be surprising that this man would like to do something that would cause harm to the princess or to make her sad. Or could it possibly be that this man was trying to prioritize me only, but was doing so in a really clumsy yet cute way? When it comes to all manners that are not work related, that man can surprisingly be really clumsy, to not say socially awkward or incapable of living in a society. And here I was hoping that after Lucius, that man’s half-brother who visited us during autumn, that there might have been a slight improvement in that department, but sadly it turns out that this is not really the case here. I can see that there is still a long way in front of that man.
Anyways, it seems that while I was at a loss for words, that none of us would be willing to resign from our respective wishes, and that we will most likely remain at an impasse. I could see that there was not even a slightest bit of hesitation in that man’s eyes. This was going to be troublesome.
「In any case, I am opposed to that idea. You can relay that to the princess.」
「No, I won’t do that. You can oppose the idea all you want, Edi, but I won’t change my mind, no matter what. I am going to accompany the princess.」
After that brief exchange there is a moment of awkward silence in between us. But in the end, it was that man who turned away from me first. That man said absolutely nothing, and just resumed eating his meal as if nothing had happened at all. I don’t know if it can be read as “If you want to do something, then do whatever you want” kind of silence, but I would surely read it as just that. Still, I was going to go together with the princess and that’s final. There was absolutely nothing that man could do or say to make me change my mind. If I got discouraged by the mere fact that that man disagreed on something with me, I would never be able to take a step on my own accord. Besides, it’s not really that I need to have his permission to do every single little thing. And I knew it better than anyone in here that no matter how I pleaded with him, that man would not change his mind about the princess. Not in a million years.
I know that it is a reason to be worried. Looking back, there was a number of incidents and happenings where I used to attract trouble and all the wrong kinds of people towards myself when I was trying to do something on my own. And usually, the resulting troubles were a nuisance for that man. Still, this is something I really must do, no matter what.
「I’m sorry it has to be this way, Edi. But no matter how much and how strong you object, I am not going to change my mind.」
This time, things would go a whole lot different than they transpired during the time when I was appointed as the personal caretaker of His Highness Clanwen. This time around, I would follow the princess of my own accord, of my own free will. Convincing myself that, I resumed eating my own meal with renewed vigor. I could feel that that man was staring at me intensely all the while, but I tried my very best not to raise my head and look his way.
After that meal, we have not exchanged but a single word for the rest of the night. I don’t think it needs to be explicitly said here, but it was only natural that the “continuation in the bedroom” about which that man was talking about earlier did not come to pass.
* * *
After that, two weeks came to pass in a blink of an eye. The day of my promised trip together with the princess was finally upon us.
I was guided to a guest room in the royal palace and served a cup of black tea while I was supposed to wait. The sky outside of the window was clear, the day was nice and sunny, but contrary to that clear sky outside, my own heart was filled with nothing but thick black clouds. And all of that was that man’s fault.
For the past two weeks, that man and I rarely spoke to one another and we were doing our very best to avoid one another on every possible occasion. But maybe that’s actually for the better. Even when I tried to talk to him about it, he would just mumble that he was busy and would storm away, or would outright refuse to talk to me himself, saying that “We have nothing to talk about”. If he wanted to act like that, then I guess that there is nothing I could really do about that, now is there? Moreover, for the past few days, that man was coming back home at really late hours, so it was utterly impossible for us to hold a normal conversation.
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