She and Her Waking
Somehow, I feel like I had a long dream.
When I opened my eyes, I saw the ceiling I’d already become used to seeing.
Ah, I’m in the bedroom of Freed’s room, I was just a little surprised that I could tell by the pattern on the ceiling alone.
I incessantly blinked.
Feeling a person’s presence, I slowly turned my face there.
Then, my eyes met with Freed’s, who for some reason was tightly grasping my hand while sitting on the bedside.
“… Good morning”
Although I wondered about the worried look in his eyes, I spoke.
“Nn? Good morning?”
I don’t know really have a grasp on what time it is. Or rather, what happened for me to lie in bed.
The moment I looked at him with a troubled face, having absolutely no memories of it, he strongly pulled me towards himself and hugged me tightly.
I couldn’t hide my confusion about the strength in his arms.
“Err, umm… Freed?”
“I’m glad, I’m truly glad. Is your condition okay? Does it hurt anywhere?”
“Eh, no. I’m alright”
There’s nothing wrong with my body. I only feel like I’ve slept well.
Having no idea what Freed meant by saying that, I tilted my head.
Why in the world would he be glad that I woke up.
“Do you remember us being attacked at the end of the date? Afterwards when we returned to the castle, Lidi collapsed. Already three days have passed since then”
Hearing the unexpected answer, overwhelmed with surprise I unblinkingly stared at Freed.
He nodded silently.
Of course I remember going on a date labeled as an inspection with Freed.
The exchanges we had too, us being attacked at the end too… I also remember using neutralization magic.
But, my memory gets vague from there.
I somehow neutralized the flame magical art, and after that… I wonder.
Somehow my memory is fuzzy.
According to his story I seem to have more or less kept my consciousness until we reached the castle, but honestly, I don’t remember that far.
“Sorry, I only remember until the guards came”
When I honestly said that, saying that it can’t be helped, Freed loosened the strength of his embrace. In a little space he’d made I fixed my posture to make it easier to talk.
I don’t see him letting go of me.
“The court physician said it was fatigue and stress. Sorry. I drove you into that condition”
“Eh, that’s not Freed’s fault”
It was unavoidable that we were attacked. It’s not Freed’s fault.
When I swung my head left and right, Freed once again strongly pulled me towards himself. His arms were once again filled with strength.
“No, because I was disappointing I had Lidi try too hard. Even though Lidi is just a normal girl who hadn’t undergone any training. You were afraid of the fight, weren’t you”
Tightly hugged, I let out a breath, overwhelmed by relief.
Wrapped in Freed’s scent I’ve already got used to, my body spontaneously lost strength.
My heart pounded inside Freed’s arms, still I calmed myself down.
If I can protect him who’s now hugging me like this, I don’t care about forcing myself a little or being scared.
“I’m fine. I’m unexpectedly bold”
When I answered, for some reason he further strengthened his embrace.
A husky voice resounded close to my ear.
“Liar. Lidi is a delicate, frail woman. So when you’re very cool from time to time, I fall in love all over again”
… Somebody please do something about this embarrassing person.
I know Freed is saying it seriously, but I have truly no idea how to answer.
I was so perplexed my mouth was just meaninglessly opening and closing, in the end I buried my face in his chest without saying anything.
The hand gently stroking my hair as I clung to him felt comfortable, so I brought my face closer to be further spoiled by him. Spontaneously I closed my eyes from the inexpressible feeling of happiness.
For a while I ecstatically surrendered myself to him stroking my head without getting of it tired, but suddenly I began worrying about the time.
“… What time is it?”
When I asked Freed who let go of me, the answer came right away.
“I guess it’s just before breakfast. Nn? Perhaps you are hungry?”
“That’s not it… but is it fine? Freed, have you been sleeping properly?”
Perhaps he’s been sitting on the chair watching over me without getting any sleep.
Concerned about it I tried asking, but telling me not to worry Freed clasped my hand.
I understood that answer. He surely hasn’t slept.
All this time after I unluckily collapsed.
“… You can’t force yourself like that”
“Before I met Lidi I could go for a week without sleeping, so this much is fine”
He understood I had noticed. While admitting he hadn’t slept with a wry smile, he made an ever more problematic statement.
Going for a week without sleeping, what kind of human being is he.
I was so surprised, I spontaneously asked.
“Is your physical condition okay with that?”
“It’s been like this for the past few years. You could say I got used to it. Besides, now that Lidi is here it’s fine”
“Now that I’m here?”
“Right. I told Lidi, didn’t I. I had difficulty with controlling my libido and magical power before. At that time, I was hardly in the state of mind to sleep”
As Freed said that it was terrible, I recalled that he indeed had said something like that.
“Now there’s the King’s Flower, and I have Lidi by my side. I can sleep soundly, and three days without sleep is nothing. Besides, it’s what I wanted to do. Lidi doesn’t need to worry about it”
Hearing him say he wanted to be by my side when I woke in a gentle voice, I became somehow restless.
Somehow, I feel like Freed’s sweetness is becoming more severe.
If it continues like this, I’ll die of embarrassment.
Still, I’m honestly happy he stayed by my side.
When I said my thanks and directed a smile at Freed, for some reason my stomach growled. In a fluster I pressed my stomach. The timing is so bad I want to cry.
Why couldn’t it wait. It’s too uncool.
I was laughed at.
While I couldn’t raise my face Freed tenderly rubbed my back.
It felt just slightly comfortable, so I looked up.
Even if I say so myself I’m awfully simple.
“That you have an appetite proves you’re healthy. While Lidi slept, you haven’t eaten anything. Before we talk, shall we eat first”
He heard the growling of my stomach, so I couldn’t give any other answer.
Freed immediately got in touch with Clara via telepathic communication and notified her that I woke up. While at it he ordered to have a breakfast prepared.
Clara came after a short while, and as she saw that I woke up her eyes moistened.
“Princess Consort, I’m so happy you’ve awakened…”
“I’m sorry for causing concern. I’m alright now”
When I smiled to show that there’s nothing wrong, Clara nodded over and over.
“Yes. However, the court physician will visit later to conduct an examination. Please don’t overwork yourself”
“Yup, that’s for the better. I’d be troubled if something happened to Lidi”
“Nn, I understand”
It’s a reasonable course of events, so I obediently listened to them.
The breakfast that was carried in by several people was as splendid as ever without anything to complain about, so the hungry me tried to joyously reach out for it.
But, Freed stopped me.
While I was suspicious of what he was doing grabbing my hand, he smiled cheerfully and said.
“Lidi still isn’t in the usual contention. I’ll feed you”
“It’s not really the first time, so there’s no problem, right?”
“Eh, no, that’s true… but”
Unconcerned about my hesitation, Freed gleefully began selecting food.
Having chosen soup, he scooped it with a spoon and brought it to my lips.
“Solids will surprise the stomach. First will be the soup. Yes, say aah”
“What’s the matter? Hey, open your mouth?”
“… A, aah”
I had no choice but to open my mouth, but being forced into a shame play with everyone watching made me want to cry.
“Y, y e s”
Watching me swallow soup while writhing in shame, Freed smiled in good mood.
It’s embarrassing. Why do I have to go through that.
Or rather, who knew being fed a meal could be such an embarrassing act…
I hadn’t thought like that at all when Will had fed me, even before I thought that I love Freed (provisionally), I hadn’t been particularly aware.
And yet, why does the same act change into something so embarrassing just by thinking that I love him (provisionally).
“Yes, Lidi. Next”
When I resignedly opened my mouth unable to resist, Freed brought the soup in again. I feel like a wild animal being fed.
I have no idea how it tastes.
Clara and the court ladies are silently waiting in the corner of the room, but their existence is incredibly disturbing. I can’t help but feel like we’re being looked at with lukewarm eyes.
Until now similar things have happened many times with Clara and the court ladies watching. And yet, I can’t help but be bothered now.
Why was I cool with something so embarrassing until now, I don’t know myself.
“Is it tasty?”
When Freed asked spiritedly, I nodded.
Actually I can’t tell, but it’s probably tasty.
While feeling sorry for the cooks I swallowed what was left in my mouth. Even when the soup finished and we moved onto solid food, because he chose what’s gentle on stomach I was saved, since it was easy to eat.
“Then, next. Ah, what about the drinks?”
“… I’ll drink myself”
When I unsurprisingly refused, he obediently pulled back.
Having received warm tea while feeling relieved, I tasted it.
I’m not sure whether to be happy or embarrassed about Freed’s gallant helpfulness.
After the lengthy breakfast finished, I was examined by the court physician.
After I received the stamp of approval that there aren’t any particular problems, I had the court ladies take me to the bathroom to wash off my sweat and change clothes.
It seems while I was asleep my body was cleansed with magic, but after all I want to actually take a hot bath.
When I returned to the room, finally feeling refreshed thanks to the bath, Freed was waiting for me.
“… What about work?”
Normally it’d be time for him to work.
When I asked what was on my mind, he assured me that it’s alright.
“That aside, how’s your condition? You don’t have to force yourself if it’s difficult, but if possible, I’d like to hear the story”
“I’m alright. Err, perhaps it’s about neutralization magic?”
I see. It seems he’s been waiting to hear it.
My condition isn’t bad, and I don’t have to hide it this late.
“Okay. The earlier the better. Should we go to your office?”
As I turned to leave the room, Freed caught my arm to stop me.
“No, you’re recovering. I don’t want to force you too much. I’ll call Alex, Glenn, and Will here. For the time being it’ll be those three. Afterwards, I’ll tell it to Father and Prime Minister, I feel sorry but I gave them a brief report. Sorry”
That much is within expectations.
As expected there’s no way it could not be reported to the King. Since I can talk here, I have no complaints.
“Yes. I think it’s natural”
“Lidi can be relieved. I absolutely won’t let it turn out weird”
As Freed told me I don’t have to worry, I nodded with a smile.
Having received my consent, Freed called the three people to his room with telepathic communication.
As expected there’d be a problem if we talked in the bedroom, so we moved into the front room, and I sat down on a chair. Freed took position behind me.
When I looked up, my hair was stroked from behind. It’s strange how my feelings calmed down with just that.
“Lidi, so you woke up”
After a while, the three summoned people came. It’s Brother who opened the door and came in first. When he checked on me, he broadly smiled.
“Your only saving grace is your health, I was surprised when I heard you collapsed. So even the bold you was scared of fighting after all?”
“… Insensitive stupid brother”
That’s not what you say to your little sister who has just woken up.
Now now, Glenn intervened as I scowled in displeasure.
“He’s saying this, but Alex has been awfully worried about you”
“Glenn, it’s fine even if you don’t provide a follow up. It’s fine, I know. Older Brother is such a person”
“Oi, what do you mean by such”
“Isn’t it obvious. You oaf”
I turned away my face in a huff.
Perhaps he’d been worried, but couldn’t he say it just a little differently.
“Lidi, even if you’re up already… are you fine”
While I was pouting, Will asked to grasp my state.
… I think he’s much more like an older brother.
Brother should follow Will’s example a little.
“Thank you. I’m fine now. Sorry for worrying you”
“I see… If you’re healthy… I’m glad”