She and the Irvine Kingdom 8
I couldn’t provide evidence, and the information I provided was too vague. While I was reflecting that I shouldn’t have rashly told her, Ilya said.
“… I believe you.”
“I’m saying that I believe you. Because Lidi, I don’t think you are a person who’d say that just to comfort me. Um… I don’t know what it is, but you have a reason why you can believe that fortune-teller… Right?”
Surprised, I nodded.
“I can’t tell you the details, but it’s not a lie. Um… I’d be happy if you could believe me.”
“Yeah, of course. I believe you, Lidi.”
“Because Lidi, you’re the first person who learned everything about me and became my friend since I’d come here. It’s impossible not to trust such a friend.”
Ilya clearly said that and looked straight at me.
“Thanks, Lidi. You did your best for me… My older sister is alive. Alive, and in that country. Even knowing that is enough.”
“Ilya…. I’m sorry that I couldn’t be clearer.”
I wished I could’ve said something more certain, but that wasn’t possible.
When I regretfully apologized, Ilya shook her head.
“No. Until now, I didn’t even know if she was alive or dead. Lidi, if you hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t even know that. I’m immensely grateful.”
“… If there is any further news, I’ll absolutely inform you.”
It’s unpleasant, but I often get involved with Sahaja. I’m sure I’ll have some connection with them in the future as well. I hope I can learn something about Ms. Philia on that opportunity.
Perhaps sensing something, Ilya made a worried face and said.
“Thanks. But, don’t overdo it.”
“Yup. I know that.”
I nodded with a serious face.
I understand Ilya wouldn’t be happy if I overdid it, and in the first place there’s Freed and Cain, so I don’t think I’ll be able to overdo myself either.
“Come to think of it, I met Princess Ophelia during the day. She said you weren’t very close, Ilya.”
Because there was nothing else to add, I changed the topic.
When I talked about Princess Ophelia, Ilya nodded ambiguously.
“Yeah. We don’t interact much… Um… I want to talk with His Highness’s younger sister, but thinking that she’s a natural-born royal, I feel terribly daunted…”
I forgot because she now talks with me normally, but Ilya is naturally an extremely introverted person. Her initiating a conversation is a pipe dream.
What if it was the other side that talked to her first though?
“I… usually stay indoors and I’m not too assertive, so… I wonder if Princess Ophelia doesn’t like me much. I know I can’t continue like this, but…”
“Ilya, do you want to become friends with her?”
When I asked just to make sure, I received a weak but positive answer. So I nodded.
“I’ll be in Irvine for the next ten days, so Ilya, I’ll help Princess Ophelia and you get along, but…”
Ilya made a fluster face. But, even though I said I’d cooperate, there’s a limit to what I can do.
“I can’t do much. First of all, I’ll try asking Princess Ophelia about what she thinks of you, Ilya.”
“I can’t act without asking first, right? It’ll be alright. I’ll skillfully weave the question into our conversation.”
“I-I don’t think that is the problem… Lidi, you’re assertive, or how should I put it, you’re the type that acts immediately after setting your mind on something.”
“I guess I am. After all, nothing will happen if I don’t make a move.”
“Amazing… I can’t act like that.”
Ilya’s eyes were sparkling as she looked at me. Her large round eyes were lovely.
While thinking that Ilya really is cute, I heard, “Princess Consort,” from the direction of the evening party venue. It was a low male voice.
To call me that, it was unmistakably a Wilhelm soldier. Certain of that, I answered.
“His Highness has called. Please return soon.”
I checked a nearby clock. It seemed we’d been talking for quite a long time. No surprise that Freed grew impatient.
“I understand. I’m coming right now, so please wait.”
When I looked at Ilya, she nodded. We both exited the balcony. A handsome man dressed in evening wear was waiting inside. His face was familiar.
If I remember correctly, he was the knight of the Primera Chivalric Order who helped with the Japanese café preparations. He introduced himself as Levitt. I’ve heard from Freed that he was formerly a navy soldier, and with Lord Garay’s recommendation he transferred to the Primera Chivalric Order. He was one of the escorts this time.
Freed must’ve picked a soldier I knew to come for me. When I was about to return to Freed with him, I heard a surprised voice from behind.
“… Brother Levitt?”
I unconsciously looked back at Ilya.
When I stared at her wondering what she was saying, this time I heard Levitt’s astonished voice.
“You… No way, Ilya? Why are you here?”
I alternately looked at Ilya and Levitt’s faces in complete confusion. They both had their eyes wide open and were frozen as though they couldn’t believe it.
“… Er… Perhaps, you know each other?”
When I asked despite thinking that there was absolutely no way they did, they both nodded at the same time. Seeing that, I pulled Levitt’s arm and took him to the balcony where I’d been until a moment ago. Of course, Ilya came with us.
“There’s nobody here… Is it true that you know each other? Is there no way that it’s an accidental resemblance?”
Considering Ilya’s identity, I had to make sure.
The fact that Ilya is a beastman cannot be easily divulged. I thought they might have been mistaken, but Ilya spoke first.
“… I have no doubt. Brother Levitt. The next patriarch of the tiger clan, Nox. Why are you here… Ten years have passed since you went missing.”
Levitt responded exaggeratedly to those words.
“Ilya! The story of Nox is――”
“Older Brother, it’s alright. Lidi is my friend and knows that I’m a cat beastman.”
Levitt looked at me with an incredulous face.
“… Are you really Ilya’s friend?”
“Yeah, that’s right. She’s one of my few friends.”
When I clearly said that, Levitt shook his head left and right with a “Haa…” Ilya then addressed him.
“Older Brother. Why is a Wilhelm soldier here?”
“Why, you ask. I received an order from His Highness to bring back Princess Consort…. Because she was with the Crown Princess of Irvine…. Ha!? No way, it’s you?”
“Don’t raise your voice, Older Brother.”
As Ilya frowned, Levitt quietly apologized.
“I find it simply unbelievable… But, I see. Otherwise, it would be unthinkable for you to be Princess Consort’s friend…”
“That’s how it is. Are you convinced?”
With a reluctant expression on his face, Levitt nodded to Ilya’s question.
“It’s quite difficult to accept the fact that you’re a Crown Princess, but Princess Consort being here confirms it.”
“That’s right, I’m glad you understand.”
“Honestly… I still can’t believe it.”
“I feel the same. I can’t believe that you are here either, Brother Levitt.”
Both nodded in agreement. While silently watching their exchange, I slowly reached my limit.
“Er… May I? If possible, I’d like an explanation for what is going on.”
I couldn’t endure and cut into their conversation. Both of them turned at once.
Ilya said, looking troubled.
“I’m sorry, Lidi. Um… I was too surprised by the situation, but he is Brother Levitt. The son of the patriarch of the tiger clan, Nox. He ran away ten years ago, and I’ve heard he’s been missing since then, but…”
Levitt clicked his tongue at Ilya’s words.
“… Missing is an exaggeration. I simply haven’t kept in contact. I wanted to become a knight no matter what. So I went to Wilhelm. I had my ups and downs, but I managed to make my wish to become a knight come true.”
His explanation was excessively concise, yet easy to understand. Wilhelm also recruits soldiers from foreign countries. Levitt was one of them, and having his ability recognized, he became a knight.
“You… are a beastman, huh. I didn’t know.”
I had the impression that he was strong when he helped with the Japanese café, but it didn’t cross my mind that he could be a beastman. While hanging his head, Levitt told me.
“… I apologize, but I haven’t told His Highness that I’m a beastman. Wilhelm has less discrimination than other countries, but it can’t be said that there’s none.”
Because he was right on the mark, I couldn’t blame Levitt.
However, said Levitt.
“Lord Garay, who was first to appoint me, knows that I’m a beastman. Moreover, he recommended me to the Primera Chivalric Order so I could serve His Highness Friedrich. His Highness Friedrich hasn’t said anything, but I think he’s probably noticed. And, he left Princess Consort’s security to me like this. I want to live up to Lord Garay and His Highness Friedrich’s expectations. That’s how I feel.”
“… I see.”
Hearing Levitt’s story, I spontaneously grinned.