She denied it strongly, but there was something clear about the fact she knew.
Taiyou was lost whether or not to pursue the point.
After a hesitation, suddenly, Leticia stood up after being emotionally shaken.
「I’m tellin’ ya, I’m okay. Nothin’ to worry about. My sister will look after me, they know I get like this.」
「Yeah…you did say that.」
He remembered right after the time he had first kissed her. She had told him the same thing calmly…no, resolutely.
(Youran and her really are alike.)
Leticia and Youran weren’t just close friends, but their personalities were a lot alike, Taiyou thought. They were both royally-born, and they had the special ability to put on a different face in front of people.
However, one could tell that there were small differences if you inspected carefully.
How they presented themselves in front of people was one example.
In Youran’s case, she put on a cold appearance in front of others as the Shingetsu no Kami.
She looked at everything with a distant, chilled gaze, so cold that it almost seemed she was commanding her own fate as a tool.
Leticia simply seemed resolute, there was no coldness in her to be felt.
(What’s the difference, I wonder.)
Goals and means…Taiyou was interested in the real qualities that made them that way.
「I’m goin’ home.」
「Back to your country?」
「Yeah, official business to attend to.」
「Official business…just like a princess.」
「I thought ya might say, really? Or somethin’」
「No, I wouldn’t doubt you.」
「…well, it’s a pretty easy thing to get, bein’ a princess. Ya can see me on the news or somethin’, right?」
「You really are a lot like Youran.」
「Why ya say that outta the blue?」
「Even if you came out wearing jeans and a shirt, I’d still think you’re the princess of a good country.」
He remembered back to the first time he met Youran. That twin-ponytailed girl had a rough look, and she talked about whatever popped in her head cheerfully, but he knew she was well-born.
She had a dignified stance, and a tall, stretched stance.
He felt the same about Leticia. Even though she talked very different from a princess in her private time, she still had the good breeding that Youran had.
He thought this as they walked together back to the building.
「Hey, did you hear that Phili Kingdom’s princess is around here?」
「Yeah, didn’t you meet her?」
「There’s no way a laundry maid like me could ever meet her.」
「I guess so.」
Suddenly they heard the voices of two young ladies chattering away. They were taking rest from work, and seemed to be relaxing.
Taiyou and Leticia stopped in their tracks.
The princess of Phili, he said, and looked at Leticia.
She calmly smiled. She was used to being talked about in unknown places, her expression seemed to say.
「So, does she come to where you’re working?」
「She does, but she’s going back soon.」
「I see…I’d like to meet her once.」
「You haven’t met her?」
「Nope. Hey, you’re in the chambers right? You haven’t met her by chance?」
The girl proudly snorted with her nose.
「So you have, must be nice. Wasn’t she something?」
「It wasn’t just that she was something. There’s an aura about her, an aura. Something about her makes the room light up…like light. She’s not just royal, but a princess, a true princess? You know the difference?」
「I guess that she has an aura, right?」
While they listened to the excited maids talk, Taiyou whispered into Leticia’s ear. Just a little comment,
「It’s almost like meeting a celebrity you only see on TV for them.」
Leticia was calm about it, and Taiyou understood.
Maybe we should say something, he thought. The maids’ conversation sounded like those of people when they happen to meet an idol out on the street or something.
Times like that they always exaggerate, and just make up whatever to impress others.
「It’s not exaggerating… Have you ever seen Youran when she’s serious?」
「Yeah, over and over, from far away. I’ve never seen her act normal though.」
The maid sounded a bit lonesome. Somehow, in her work, the maid wasn’t able to meet Youran for real.
「Leticia’s the same as Youran, sparkling bright, both of them just light up the room.」
「Together with Youran?」
The laundry maid was surprised.
「Isn’t that something?」
The next moment. The unbelieving maid’s tone changed.
Listening to this, Taiyou’s thoughts changed. At first it was about meeting someone famous, then the nonsense that came afterwards, and then the comparison between the two princesses. And if they were saying they’re the same, the story became very different.
「They said you two are the same.」
「Yeah, as that idiot…well, I guess so.」
Leticia was calm about it again. Taiyou was a bit prideful about it.
That feeling was close to the time that he maxed his level in his first RPG, and his friend’s reaction to it after seeing it.
Being proud of what you have, and the satisfaction of surprising others with it.
That feeling seemed to slide into different territory now, into mischief.
Taiyou kissed Leticia again without her being able to answer him.
She didn’t expect this to occur, and her face was surprised even after Taiyou pulled away.
「What are ya tryin’ to do?!」
「Well, I was just thinking…」
「That’s not just thinkin’!!」
She angrily told him in a hushed voice.
Right near them, the maids kept talking.
「The guys in the mansion were talking about it, that they’d want to be born in Phili. The men there can enroll to be her personal guards.」
「They say 『We’ll fight and die for our Leticia.』 right? I’ve heard of them.」
「They kind of complained about it, that Youran wasn’t top of this country.」
The maids then talked about episodes showing how great Leticia was.
After hearing that Taiyou went to kiss Leticia again.
She avoided being kissed again by him a second time, but after he gently held her shoulder, he gave her a half-forced kiss.
A kiss that was just a touch on her soft lips.
「She really is beautiful, even though plastic surgery is banned in Phili, you just stay the way you’re born.」
「I saw her talking to the prime minister on TV, really something.」
「She’s supposed to be close to the Queen of England.」
「She came to visit Japan too.」
「She donated to charity from her private money too.」
「She’s close to her siblings.」
Those two maids were really getting excited as Taiyou and the princess were getting excited outside.
As the maids complimented Leticia, Taiyou continued to kiss her.
Compliment and kiss.
Compliment and kiss.
Over and over.
At first she tried to resist, but she began to give up, and finally she shut off herself to the maid’s conversation, simply pressing her lips to Taiyou’s
Not passionate, just a shared kiss.
It didn’t just fulfill Taiyou’s body, but his heart.
The conversation near them simply continued, but the topic changed from Leticia to something else, and the kissing naturally stopped.
(Just a little longer…)
「Yer a horrible person.」
「Well, yeah, I won’t deny it.」
This last event ended a train of events beginning with Aoba, forcing him to smile at himself.
With this finished, he didn’t mind even if it ended with Leticia slapping him, he thought.
「That reminds me, you know that group that’s staying here at Youran’s request?」
Hm? This dragged Taiyou’s attention back to their conversation. They were probably going to start talking about Taiyou now.
「Yeah, there’s a group of five women with only one man. What about them?」
「Those five are all the one man’s lovers.」
The laundry maid was so surprised she squealed loudly.
「Even so, they all get along. It’s really something that the women all know and accept that.」
(Not all five, but at least three.)
After pointing that out inside his heart, Leticia suddenly touched his face.
She stood on her tiptoes.
After Taiyou was complimented by the maids, Leticia was ready to counterattack him.