Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Chapter 2: Childhood Friend’s Service
Several days have passed since that eventful day.
Rou wakes up at the light of dawn, changes his clothes and equips his knight armor.[Peacock Tower] is said to be the most beautiful place in the entire castle. On its top floor, besides Reaina’s private bedroom and living quarters, are various rooms such as: study, gym, grand bath, cafeteria, maid’s quarters and the guest rooms.
Rou was given one of the guest rooms as his own bedroom. From the corridor’s windows you could see a large garden with exotic trees and plants.
“G, good… morning…”
The maids would always greet the newcomer carefully. He always returned the greeting, but he was clumsy at doing that, as he did not get accustomed to living in a place full of women quite yet.
Living in a royal castle as a knight was way different from when he was living together with his parents. Of course, he had to adapt himself to it, but it was a process impossible to achieve in a manner of few days.
“Oh my, if it isn’t Rou-sama. Good morning.”
It happened right when he got in front of Reaina’s bedroom and tried to brighten his spirit for the incoming work. The door to the bedroom opened suddenly and a beautiful brown-haired woman appeared in front of him, bowing down to him slightly. However, the boy could not bring himself to look at Diana in the eyes since that night and averted his gaze.
“I believe that Reaina-sama will leave her room shortly. Please do you best at work today, too.”
Whenever the boy saw the Maid’s gentle smile, his heart would immediately start to beat faster. His voice also sounded rather nervous.
Thanks to his constant swordsmanship training, he had no real romance experience and had little to no immunity to women. So for him, an adolescent boy, it was even harder not to get conscious around his first sexual partner.
Besides, Diana was a tolerable adult beauty. Every time he saw her beauty, the sensation of that time from the bathroom would surface clearly, and his face would become bright red.
(I’m on duty right now! I cannot think of such strange things…)
While he was trying to collect himself, the luxuriously decorated door opened.
Reaina showed up, accompanied by several maids. Her presence was truly overwhelming for him, so full of elegance for a mere teenage girl.
“G, good morning, Reaina-sama… I hope that you are well today…”
“…Oh, morning. Thanks for working hard so early.”
While the boy knight was looking at her golden hair shining in the light and bowed down, she only cast him a lonely glare and walked away with the hem of her dress fluttering.
“Ah, please let me accompany you.”
Rou was determined to do his duty as the princess’s guard until the end, even though the Princess herself seemed to be dissatisfied with that idea. Even so, lately she seemed to somewhat acknowledged the boy seriousness, as she was not complaining about him following her around and she kept him with her during her morning public meetings.
(Reaina-sama really is wonderfully beautiful…)
The place where the public meetings were held was not so far away from the Peacock Tower that housed Reaina’s room. Rou walked behind his Mistress’ back while walking down the long corridors filled with weavers, luxurious paintings and antiques.
Even among the beauty of all the county’s fair maidens, Reaina’s beauty was still outstanding.
“S, sister. Good morning.”
It was Mirianne who appeared from behind the corner of the corridor together with her maid Karen. She saw the Princess’s group and greeted them. She may have looked young, but it was all elusive, as the elegance, nobility and beauty could be well seen in her facial features.
“Ah~, it’s Rou-san! Good morning to you~~”
When she saw him following the Princess and her maids, the little princess rushed to him with a smile on her face. Of course, the Princess as well as her maids looked at surprised all at once.
“G, good morning…”
The boy hung his head while the young princess was laughing and her older sister was glaring daggers at him.
Mirianne seemed to like him quite a bit, with him saving the King from a murder attempt on his life before.
“Wow, you are the knight protecting my sister~. Rou-san, you’re so cool~.”
“Eh… Ah, this is… Thank you very much…”
Mirianne is staring at Rou with the eyes of a true admirer, while her eyes glitter and shine. Rou felt glad that someone was thinking of him like that, but on the other hand he was somewhat embarrassed. Moreover, the one who said that was a prestigious princess known throughout the whole kingdom, and that fact made him become even redder in the face.
“Huh, I wonder why that man seems cool to you?”
“No, that’s exactly why…”
The young knight hurriedly changed his expression under the cold gaze of his Mistress.
“Eeh~, that’s because Rou-san is the Hero, isn’t he? He is so cool~, I’m so envious that my sister is being protected by someone like that.”
“He’s not all that good. And besides, I don’t need to be guarded all the time.”
Since Mirianne was praising the boy so much, Reaina finally got irritated and answered like that, as if not being convinced at all. In addition to that, during their whole conversation Karen was glaring at him so much as if she wanted to put a curse on him.
“Well then, since you don’t need him, sister, you can give Rou-san to me~!”
“A, Ann!? Are you being serious right now!?”
This sudden proposal left everyone speechless and amazed. The little princess laughs happily seeing their reaction.
“Ann-sama… This is a little bit too much…”
“Ufufu~, I am quite serious about that. Well, what do you say, Rou-san?”
The princess comes closer to the boy, seizing the opportunity, looking into his eyes with so much hopes and expectations.
“Eh, ahh… Even if you say that…”
Surprisingly, it was none other than Reaina who got in between Mirianne and the boy who did not know how to answer her.
“Stop it right this instant, it is utterly unbelievable that you, Princess Ann would like to be with someone like this man.”
“Geez, sister, please, no need to be angry. Well then everyone, please have a good day.”
Mirianne grabbed the hem of her little skirt and bowed down while laughing innocently like a mischievous child, and then turned around and walked away while swaying her blonde hair, totally disregarding her older sister.
“P, please wait for me, Ann-sama!”
After casting a quick glance at everyone one last time, Karen also chased after the little princess.
“Wh, what was that… Goodness gracious…”
The Princess crosses her arms on her chest and sighs heavily.
“The same thing goes to you, as my personal guard don’t be be flustered by such petty things!”
“Y, yes ma’am… I am terribly sorry about that…”
Winning the trust of his Mistress was a hard task indeed, so Rou dropped his shoulders and continued to follow the group. Diana was the only one to smile while watching that whole situation.
“So, the only thing left to do now is to go on a patrol…”
It was well past midnight when the party finished and Reaina returned to her bedroom. Rou finished his duty guarding the princess for the night.
Lately it has been raining all the time, with rain getting especially strong at night and you could hear the roaring of thunder in the distance. Because of that, he felt more and more tired, but he mustered his strength and went out on patrol late at night.
“Now then, where to go now…?”
He didn’t wanted to walk alone through the dark corridors that depended only on the light of candles, creating an atmosphere completely different from the glorious one during the day. But a true knight cannot be afraid of the dark, so he walked forward in silence.
(Diana-san is nowhere to be found…)
When he was alone, that sweet memories kept on surfacing inside of his mind. Since that time they hadn’t got the chance to be alone together, but those sensuous experiences as well as her gentle presence became the support for the boy’s heart, unfamiliar to the castle life.
Then the image of Princess Mirianne came to his mind. Apparently she took quite a liking to him and was fond of the idea of him becoming her very own knight.
Her behavior was totally different from his Mistress’ cold demeanor, and it was truly a breath of fresh air. But he was merely a boy whose sense of loyalty was so strong that he wanted to win Reaina’s trust no matter what.
Suddenly a flash runs outside of the window. Then, after a short delay, a huge crackling sound hits the ground. It seems that a lightning bolt struck nearby.
It was in this moment, when yet another lightning bolt struck hit the night sky without warning. He thought that he heard a shriek coming from Reaina-sama’s bedroom.
“Reaina-sama… Is everything alright!?”
Even though it was the middle of the night and he knew he might be overstepping his authority, he knocked on the door to Princess’ bedroom without hesitation.
However, there was no reply at all. No one opened the door for the young knight. Faced with this situation, he had no time to worry about a similar bathroom situation that happened just a few days ago.
“Please pardon the intrusion!”
He looked into the bedroom, surveilling the dark room for any possible assailants, and was relieved to find nothing of the sort. There was, however, a movement on the bed, visible in the dim light of a candle.
“… Who goes there!? It’s beyond rude to enter someone else’s room without permission!”
“Ah… It’s Rou. I heard a scream, so I thought that something might have happened…”
He wasn’t able to see the Princess’s facial expression right now, but judging from her tone of voice it must have been really sullen. The boy hurriedly reported the situation, falling onto his knee besides her bed.
“A scream…… Ahh, th, this is… It was nothing…”
This answer was truly unexpected to the boy, who was ready to be rebuked for barging into the Princess’ bedroom without permission. However, that scream couldn’t possibly be a mere ‘nothing’.
“Good work, but you may leave now…”
Another lightning bolt struck again as Reaina was uttering those words. This time, however, the flash and the roar were almost simultaneous.
The Princess let out a scream, covering her ears with her hands.
“A, are you alright, Your Highness…?”
The fact that Princess Reaina was apparently afraid of thunder came as slightly surprising to the boy, but almost immediately after that he heard her angry voice.
“Y, you little! J, just now, you smirked, didn’t you!?”
“Eh? Aah, no, I, I did no such a thing…”
Her pride was so great that the Princess couldn’t stand the fact that someone learned of her fear of thunder that her face became beet red as she hid under her sheets, glaring daggers at the boy.
(Ugh… R, Reaina-sama… S, so cute…)
He felt as if he just got a glimpse of Reaina’s true, girly nature, instead of this cold front she was putting everyday.
“About that, this is… I, it’s a secret! The maids… and of course my Sister, you mustn’t tell anyone about it!”
Her face turning ever redder than before, it looks like Reaina was desperately trying to hide the fact that she was afraid of thunder from everyone else.