She and the Office
As soon as the door opened, I heard Brother’s voice and my feet stopped for a moment.
Brother rushed to me, and shook my shoulders.
… Hey… It’s unpleasant. I’ll puke.
“Are you okay? What the hell happened!?”
“O… Older Brother. I’m okay, so… let go”
Freed pulled me away from Brother who shook me so much I felt sick.
Then he held me in his arms to hide me. His attitude as if he claimed ownership feels embarrassing.
“Alex, I understand you were worried, however you better calm down a little. Let’s sit down and talk, everyone. First let’s have some tea prepared”
“A… aah. Sorry”
Seeing me tightly hugged by Freed, Brother seemed to have finally collected himself.
And then separated from us who flirted even in such a place.
While Brother had rushed at Freed, Will slowly came here from the back of the room.
As Freed wouldn’t let go, I only turned my head to him and bowed.
“Sorry, you must’ve been busy. I also made Will worry, huh”
“No… I’m glad you’re safe”
“Thanks. Freed came to my help so I’m okay. More importantly, it ended up being such a big deal… I am truly sorry”
When I muttered so with lowered eyebrows, Will shook his head.
Glenn closed the door and came to Will’s side.
“You are already recognized as Freed’s Princess Consort within the castle. It is a matter of course that if something happens to you it will develop into a big problem. I believe the measures Alex took were most proper”
“Yup, I am sorry. I am reflecting”
Having that pointed out a little harshly, I obediently apologized.
He’s the Commander of the Royal Guard Order. You could say he’s the person in charge of security. It’s a matter of course for him to give me frank advice. As I cast my eyes down regretting my carelessness, Glenn denied that that’s not it.
“I have heard the apology earlier, besides I am not angry. If you understand everybody was worried, that itself is enough”
Told so I could only nod, somehow I only felt more apologetic.
“Glenn, that’s enough. Let’s hear the whole story. Lidi, sit on the sofa there. I’ll have Clara bring tea now”
Everybody moved at Freed’s words.
In the middle of the room was a low table and sofa that could fit up to six people, on its other side were two large office desks lined up side by side. Perhaps the one in the middle is Freed’s. And the one a little on the side would be Brother’s desk.
On both desks documents were piled up.
While for some reason confirming that I sat in the indicated place.
“And? What actually happened?”
After drinking tea and calming down, Brother sitting in front asked a question.
While I thought a little about what I should say, Freed, who took position next to me, started taking first.
“When I arrived at the scene, Lidi was seized by the other party’s guard knight. I don’t want to remember what happened afterwards, but it looked like she was being approached by Prince Maximilian”
The instant Freed said that, everybody’s eyes turned to me.
Although startled, I tried to explain the situation for the time being.
“That’s… Err, I was caught while trying to escape… Or after all, I’ll talk from the beginning, whenever you have any questions ask”
I thought it’d be meaningless to talk from the end, so I decided to explain from the beginning. It’ll be easier like that.
When I spoke of leaving the room and going down to the garden, Brother asked Freed curiously.
“Going through a break in a hedge to the general area… huh. Freed, is there really such a secret path?”
“I also said it to Lidi some time ago, but there is. However, since I raised a barrier there it shouldn’t be passable or discoverable. I’ll confirm it later”
“If she didn’t go out on purpose, she can’t be blamed much. Nobody who visits the garden would normally find it”
“Right. Lidi, and then?”
Urged to continue, I hesitated just a little.
It’s embarrassing to say I got lost.
“… In the place I didn’t how to get back from Crown Prince Maximilian called out to me”
When I briefly stated only the conclusion, Glenn spoke while tilting his head.
“Why have you met again in such a place? I do not believe you would meet under usual circumstances”
“I can only say the other party somehow came. Accidental encounter?”
When I said that, Brother breathed out, shocked.
“So another enemy encounter. It’s extremely probable”
“Another you say… It wasn’t on purpose… Err, then not wanting to get into trouble I thought of leaving the scene, however the other party brought up taking me back with him…”
“Prince Maximilian did?”
When Freed tried to confirm, I nodded.
“Yup, but I expected he wouldn’t do such a foolish act right in the middle of the Royal Palace, right? That’s why I said so, however…”
“Talked back… That was dangerous, and then? I don’t think that Prince would withdraw with that much”
Asked whether he did anything, for now I’ve decided to report what happened as is.
“Yup, he said he had the way to do it… Err, then the produced a magical tool called ‘magical reduction bottle’”
“Magical reduction bottle?”
Not Freed, but Will strongly responded.
Will bit into it so much I bent back a little. Freed pulled such me towards himself and asked Will for details.
“Will, are you aware of it?”
“Yes, Your Highness. It’s one of Sahaja’s magical tools. It’s a rare magical tool with magic placed on it that confines whatever touches the bottle …”
Hearing Will’s explanation, Brother frowned.
He snorted that he doesn’t like it.
“What’s with that, they had the nerve to bring something like that”
“No, more importantly, His Highness the Crown Prince of Sahaja should certainly hate magic but…”
Finding it strange, Will tilted his head and looked at me.
I responded to his gaze.
“He didn’t answer clearly, however probably the correct answer is that that was a bluff. I think by saying he hates magic he expects to put people off-guard”
Explaining that time’s exchange, Brother spat out he’s done it.
“That Crown Prince has been saying he hates magic for a considerably long time, right? Perhaps he’s been preparing from such old times”
Freed also gravely nodded.
“There’s a possibility he’s used similar methods several times until now”
“But Lidi was… safe”
With Will’s voice everybody’s eyes again gathered at me all at once.
“There’s a possibility if it was handed poorly, you’d be kidnapped”
“Certainly, thinking so, you did well to escape. Have you managed to not touch it?”
Following Will, Glenn too asked with admiration, but that makes it hard to say. That’s because――――.
“That’d be cool, wouldn’t it. It looks like the magical tool was broken so it ended with it not activating”
Will’s eyes went round. He bent forward and fired questions in succession.
“Broke? The magical tool did? In what way?”
While confused by unusually vigorous Will and while recalling the incident some time ago, I answered the questions as accurately as I could.
“In what way you ask… I touched it, but it felt like there was no response”
“Did it crack?”
Upon hearing my response, Will shook his head looking somewhat dumbfounded.
Despite that, he provided an easy explanation of just what was strange.
“If a magical tool breaks, in theory first of all its form should break down. I’ve never heard of one losing it functionality while maintaining the form”
“Even if you tell me that, I felt it became an ordinary bottle”
While reminiscing with all my might about the bottle Crown Prince Maximilian was holding, I said so.
“It might be my mistake since it’s what Crown Prince said, wasn’t there perhaps some defect?”
“Defect… What happened? Thinking about it…”
When I reported Crown Prince Maximilian’s words, while grumbling Will entered the world of his own.
… Still, I’m surprised.
Will too can talk properly when it involves his work. I had no idea.
Normally conversations with Freed don’t connect much, so it feels very fresh.
While I was overcome with emotion, Freed next to me urged me to continue.
“Lidi, continue. What happened next?”
“Err, they looked quite surprised, so I tried to take the opportunity and run away. But I was caught… The rest is as Freed knows”
When I described what happened later, Freed glared at the air, fed up.
“That man. I won’t end it at the lenient bruise on his cheek. That’s not enough at all. If I knew I absolutely wouldn’t send him home with all limbs attached”
Freezing air rose from Freed who got seriously angry.
To somehow manage the air that froze the place in an instant, I brought my body closer to Freed.
As I snuggled up to him while enduring embarrassment, I could tell his body lost strength.
While relieved, I said to further calm him.
“Even though you say so, you wouldn’t do that Freed, would you. Not wanting to make it an international issue you stepped back, right?”
While making a complicated face at my words, Freed affirmed.
“That’s right, but it’s about my heart. I feel it’d be good to do more”
“Since the result was that you didn’t do anything, isn’t it enough”
I ignored Freed who was a little dissatisfied and picked up the cup with tea to moisten my throat, when Brother interjected.
“It’s not good at all. It’s like a proof that you’re being targeted. Crown Prince Maximilian left the castle, but it’s possible he’s still in Wilhelm. It’s enough to warrant caution for a while”
“Eh? As expected, there won’t be a next meeting between us”
“You’re saying that, but this time you’ll surely be dragged away. It may seem good because this time it ended with a failed attempt, but if things went wrong you might have gotten kidnapped to Sahaja!”
I couldn’t talk back since he was completely right.
While I was lost for words, Freed next to me joined the talk.
“Then, Lidi should stay in the Royal Palace for a while”