She and the Irvine Kingdom 5
“It’s been a while since I participated in an evening party with you, Fred.”
I went to a masquerade ball not long ago, but it felt more like an infiltration than participation. As a matter of fact, there’s hardly been any evening parties where we’ve danced together.
Freed also said, as though he noticed that for the first time.
“True. Come to think of it, I don’t remember dancing with you much, Lidi. Thinking that it’ll be the first time since we got married, I’m getting a little nervous.”
“Freed, you have nothing to be nervous about, right? You’re skilled.”
“I’m nervous, since I really want to show my wife my best side. Lidi, I want to appear cool to you.”
“You’re cool enough as you are though.”
If he was any cooler, my heart wouldn’t last. Even without that, every day I suffer from an incurable disease of seeing my husband as wonderful.
Besides, I feel it wouldn’t be good if Freed was too cool. For example, some troublesome young lady could fall in love with him.
I can declare that there are barely young ladies like that in Wilhelm anymore, but this is Irvine. I wouldn’t be surprised if ten or twenty young ladies who went mad from his charm appeared. And in that situation, the target of those young ladies would be his princess consort, me. No matter how many young ladies came at me, I don’t intend to lose, but it would be best if I didn’t have to fight.
“Freed, you don’t need to look any cooler.”
When I said that with a serious face, Freed chuckled.
“Lidi, if you say that, you don’t need to become any cuter. I feel sick just thinking that somebody could be leering at you. It’s enough if only I know of your cuteness, Lidi. Nobody else needs to know.”
“Jealous, aren’t you?”
“You say that now?”
Rather, I was amazed by him saying it so openly. However, I’m hopeless, because rather than finding it unpleasant, I felt happy.
We enjoyed the scenery outside the window together. I absentmindedly gazed at the ocean I don’t often get to see.
A person appeared outside the window on the balcony. It was so sudden I gasped.
For an instant I thought it was someone unknown and my body froze, but the arm hugging me was not agitated in the slightest. When I found it strange and looked ahead, I saw a familiar person waving his hand.
“Infiltration successful. Princess, you too appear to have arrived safely, I’m glad.”
Cain, who had taken a separate route to Irvine, appeared.
I hurriedly invited him inside. It was our reunion after three days, but he looked just as well as when he’d left. His clothes were clean, and his face wasn’t dirty. He didn’t appear like he had travelled for three days.
Or rather, his clothes were different from usual.
He was wearing short-sleeved, cool clothes. The color was the same as his previous clothes’, but the design was loose, and it looked enviably airy. The heavy muffler that he always winds around his neck was also replaced by something more cool-looking.
I unconsciously stared at Cain wearing plain clothes for the first time.
“Eh… Cain. Those clothes…”
“Sure enough, this country is too hot. I’d stew and die in my usual clothes. That’s why I changed them.”
“Aah… I see.”
I thought it was hot a while ago, so I agreed with his opinion.
Especially wearing a scarf around the neck like Cain must be hard in this country.
You’d collapse from a heatstroke.
“I think it suits you, but I’m not used to it.”
“I think so too. But, you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. Those clothes were seriously dangerous.”
“Yup, you’re right. And, so. When did you get here, Cain?”
After nodding with a serious face, I changed the topic.
Cain too must’ve not wanted to continue it, as he readily accepted the topic change.
“Yesterday morning. Thanks to the permit I’d received from the Crown Prince, I was able to get here very quickly. I stayed in a nearby inn yesterday. Afterwards, I got suitable clothes from a stall in the Royal Capital.”
The details of how he’d obtained plain clothes sounded convincing.
And, hearing that he rested in an inn made me relieved. Long-distance travel is more tiring than it seems. I think it’s good he took a little break.
At any rate, I was relieved. Freed then said.
“I’d be troubled if you had been late. I’m glad the permission was useful.”
“Rather than being late, having the Crown Prince’s seal gave me the maximum priority to the transfer gate. Of course, I stood out. It was uncomfortable…”
Fundamentally, Cain more often acts in secret. No doubt he was restless like that.
“Well, I got here yesterday, so I was saved. Since there was time, I was able to briefly go around the Royal Capital. I was unfamiliar with the location, so I’d have been troubled later if I hadn’t studied it a little.”
As Cain complained, I somehow asked him.
“Cain, is this your first time in Irvine?”
“Yeah. There were some guys who had been dispatched to foreign countries, but I hardly were. It’s my first time here. That’s why I had to take the liberty to do it.”
The territory of Sahaja is mostly a desert. Just about everything is different from Irvine. While I was thinking that of course he’d be confused, Freed said.
“Cain. Tonight, a welcoming evening party will be held in the castle. What will you do?”
“Nn? An evening party, that means Princess will be together with you, right?”
After making sure that Freed nodded, Cain said, “Then.”
“If you are there, an escort won’t be necessary, right? If possible, I’d like to look around the castle a little more. This room is still fine since it has windows, but what should I say, otherwise it’s so open and prone to intrusion that it’s scary. I feel like I’ll overlook something if I don’t carefully look around the inside and outside the castle once. I want time for that.”
“Ah, and also, I’ve been entrusted a message by Granny.”
“? From the witch? What in the world is it?”
I didn’t know either. Being inquisitively looked at, Cain scowled.
“Before I left, she told me to drop by. When I did, she asked to bring as a souvenir a special medicine herb that only grows in Irvine.”
“? Isn’t that what you were asked for?”
“She asked you to deliver that medicinal herb. Remember what you heard from Princess? That you can come too the next time. Grandma was saying this would be a good excuse.”
A little while ago, Ms. Delris gave Freed permission to visit. Of course, I’ve talked to Freed about that, but certainly, it might be easier to visit when there’s an excuse.
When I took a glance at Freed, he also looked convinced.
“I see. Then I’ll gladly accept. She’s helped me many times until now. And? What are the traits of that medicinal herb unique to Irvine?”
“Purple flowers. It grows on rocks along Irvine’s coast. You can tell just by looking. Granny said she wants seeds from the flowers of that medicinal herb.”
“Seeds from the flowers that grow on rocks, huh. Got it. How much should I get?”
“As much as you can collect. They seem quite precious. It’s not a rare flower in Irvine, but since it doesn’t grow in Wilhelm, she said she didn’t want to miss the chance.”
“Hmph. What medicine is it used for…?”
When Freed stated his question, Cain averted his gaze for some reason.
“No… Um, it’s that. An ingredient of stamina recovery medicine or something…”
When I suddenly understood everything, I became speechless.
It’s a medicinal herb with a stamina recovery effect… That is to say, an ingredient of the medicine that helped me a whole lot.
“N-No! It’s nothing!”
Freed looked at me as I started acting suspiciously. Although I somehow glossed over it, I decided that I had to cooperate here.
―― I must do my best collecting them.
It’s clear I’ll continue relying on Ms. Delris’s stamina recovery medicine. I’d feel bad if at the very least I didn’t pull my own weight and collect the ingredients.
“Freed. U-Um… Can I go on the medicinal herb seed gathering with you?”
“Of course I don’t mind…”
“Thanks. Ms. Delris always helps me, so if possible, I also want to cooperate.”
It’s an indispensable medicine for my night life with Freed. I’ll gather as much as I can.
When I burned with determination, Cain spurted out.
“Well, Granny didn’t say that the Crown Prince has to do it alone, so it should be fine. It’s a good chance, so gather a lot. I’m sure Granny will be pleased.”
“… Will do.”
I intended to do so even without being told that. When I nodded with a serious face, Cain said, “Then, I’ll look at the situation outside,” and put his hand on the balcony handrail.
“I’ll return here tomorrow morning. I don’t think anything will happen, but if it does, call for me. Princess, thanks to our contract I can tell if you do.”
“Then, see you tomorrow.”
Cain nimbly jumped down from the balcony. This was the third floor, but I gave up on telling Cain anything, knowing it would be useless. I closed the window and turned back to Freed.
Freed looked at the clock and nodded.
“A surprising amount of time has passed. Let’s start preparing for the meeting with the King.”