She and the Irvine Kingdom 9
It sounded like something Freed could do.
He guessed Levitt was a beastman but still promoted him regardless of his identity because he was capable.
He’s broadminded like that.
And he loves me. My husband I’m proud of.
As I happily grinned, Ilya said in a surprised voice.
“Eh… Older Brother, you became a knight… Then you won’t return to the island?”
As Ilya asked that, Levitt clearly affirmed.
“They’ll manage even without me. I don’t intend to return. I finally became a knight and met a person I can serve and respect. I intend to continue serving His Highness Friedrich. More importantly, what about you becoming the Crown Princess of Irvine?”
“I just married at Father’s command…”
―― Surprisingly, it’s a small world.
While listening to their exchange, I thought that.
I never would’ve thought he’d be Ilya’s acquaintance.
“Hey, there’s one thing I want to ask. Ilya, you’ve been calling Levitt Older Brother, but you aren’t really siblings, are you?”
I asked just to make sure. They’re from the cat and tiger clans, but there are always exceptions.
“Yeah. I used to often play with Brother Levitt. I think of him as my real older brother. Lidi, there was also a wolf beastman Brother Aeon I’ve told you about before, but since he left five years ago, we’ve had almost no contact――”
“Aeon left!? Is that true?”
Despite being surprised by Levitt’s sudden violently menacing attitude, Ilya affirmed.
“He said he wanted to find his mate…”
“No way, Aeon did…”
Disbelief was written on Levitt’s face.
“I thought it would be alright to leave the island because he was there…”
Perhaps the shock was so big that Levitt became dumbfounded.
“The blood of ancestors was strong in him, and his strength exceeded mine. Moreover, he loved the island. Yet he left…”
“Brother Aeon said he couldn’t find his mate on the island. Um… Afterwards, my older sister disappeared too.”
“Philia too? … Then, didn’t most of my childhood friends disappear… What should I do with the island…”
Levitt opened his eyes in astonishment, but he immediately calmed down.
“N-No. It’s not the time for this conversation. His Highness is waiting… Princess Consort. Please return.”
Ilya looked puzzled by what he said. Levitt told her persuasively.
“Ilya. I’m a Wilhelm knight now. Certainly, I’m worried about the news from the island, but it’s not the time for that… However, I’m glad to have met you. Let’s talk again if there’s an opportunity.”
Despite looking unconvinced, Ilya nodded.
The way I look at it, since they finally met, it would be good if they could talk slowly, but considering their current social status, it would be difficult.
A Wilhelm knight, Levitt, speaking to the Crown Princess of Irvine, Ilya, would look strange to others.
I wished they could talk, but knowing it would be impossible, I ended the conversation and, following Levitt, quietly exited the balcony and returned to the evening party venue.
Immediately after I exited the balcony, I heard a voice.
It was my husband waiting for me. He must’ve been worried that I wouldn’t come despite being called for and came for me myself. Seeing me, Freed made an obviously relieved face.
“I’m glad, Lidi. I sent for you, but you wouldn’t come.”
“I’m sorry. We got a little carried away in the conversation.”
I said so to gloss over it. I directed a questioning look at Ilya who came in after me, and she nodded.
It seemed she was okay with me telling Freed.
I looked at the other person concerned, Levitt.
I thought that he might not want the fact that he’s a beastman known, but he also gave a small nod with a determined face. Apparently, both didn’t mind me talking about this with Freed.
I was thinking of staying silent if either hadn’t agreed, but it’s a different story if both say that it’s okay.
Be that as it may, it wasn’t something I could talk about here. I decided to talk later when it’s just the two of us.
Freed pulled my waist to himself.
“I understand you hit it off with Princess Ilya, but I think it’s time to return to our room. Tomorrow’s schedule is busy. Lidi, you must be tired too, so let’s retire early. I’ve already talked about it with His Majesty the King.”
I’d been thinking that it would be a little hard on me to return to the venue as is, so I was grateful that we’d return to our room. When I nodded, Freed faced Ilya.
“Thanks for being friends with Lidi. Hendrik has been looking for you, so please go to him.”
“Well then, we’ll excuse ourselves. Let’s go, Lidi.”
When Freed urged me, I told Ilya.
“Thanks for today.”
“I feel the same. Um… Can I invite you again?”
“Yeah. With pleasure. I’ll be waiting.”
I’m happy to talk with Ilya. Although I have a set schedule for the ten days, it’s not so tight, so I think I’ll have enough time to talk with her over tea.
After confirming that Ilya returned to Prince Hendrik, we left the venue.
Released from the excitement, I unconsciously sighed.
“… I’m tired.”
Attending an evening party in a foreign country was unexpectedly tiring.
Unconsciously I grew weak. Seeing that, Freed laughed quietly.
“Good work, Lidi.”
“Thanks. But I’ll hang in there until we’re back in our room.”
“Fufu. Nobody is watching.”
“That’s not the problem. Ah… Older Brother?”
I looked around. Escort soldiers were here, but I couldn’t see Brother.
While I was wondering where he’d gone, Freed said.
“I think Alex will leave in a while. He’s used to such situations, so he’ll manage somehow.”
“Aah, he was caught by some young ladies. Well, knowing him, he’ll skillfully throw them off.”
As the eldest son of a ducal house and Freed’s close aide, Brother has attended many evening parties. It’s futile to worry about him.
“Ah… A night view.”
On the way to our room, there was a spot where the night view looked beautiful.
The town was lit up, but the place where the ocean should be was pitch black.
“… We’ve really come to Irvine, haven’t we.”
Seeing the scenery completely different from what I usually see, I unconsciously said so. Freed stopped walking and stood next to me.
“It’s really different from Wilhelm, isn’t it? Say, has it made you want to go home?”
“I wouldn’t say that, but after all, it’s my first time in another country, so it seems various things weigh on my mind.”
“That can’t be helped.”
Listening carefully, I felt like I could hear the sound of waves.
I enjoyed the night view with Freed for a while, then we returned to our room. We thanked the soldiers escorting us at its entrance and separated from them.
“Welcome back, Princess Consort. The bathroom has been prepared.”
I was taken to the bathroom by the court ladies who had been waiting and prepared for the night as usual.
I took a hot bath and, feeling refreshed, changed into thin night clothes.
I sat on the large four-poster bed and was given hot water. As I relaxed, the court ladies said their good nights.
“Well then, we will retire for tonight. If you need something, please freely call for us.”
“I understand. Please take care of me tomorrow.”
The court ladies bowed and left the room. Replacing them was Freed, who came from the neighboring room after changing clothes. Perhaps having bathed too, he was wearing a white bathrobe.
Freed sat next to me and softly smiled.
It was a gentle smile that Freed only ever shows to me.
“Lidi, good work.”
“Freed, you too. Good work.”
He drew me to himself, and I obediently leaned on his shoulder. Perhaps feeling relieved by that, I was assailed by fatigue.
Coming to Irvine, I first met the Princess, then greeted the King and Queen, and finally participated in the evening party. It couldn’t be helped, but it was an upheaval. I was only now able to relax. After all, royalty is busy.
“Ah, that’s right…”
Before I forgot, I had to right away talk about Levitt.
Thinking so, I told Freed about Ilya and Levitt being acquaintances.
When I informed him that Levitt was a beastman, Freed nodded, looking like he was expecting it.
“Freed, did you notice?”
Freed affirmed with a wry smile.
“He’s considerably stronger than other people. When Esteemed Uncle introduced him, I was indirectly told that. That’s why, I thought it might be that case. Be that as it may, I didn’t pay undue attention to it. What’s important is that he’s a serious and excellent knight.”
“Yup, you’re right.”
Being a beastmen cannot be a negative factor for Freed. Watching him interact with Rena or Ilya made me near-certain of that, but I was still happy to hear what he said.
He’s a person who doesn’t judge others by appearance or race. It’s natural Levitt would serve Wilhelm because of him.
“Be that as it may, I never would have thought he’d be Princess Ilya’s acquaintance. Hendrik is jealous, so I think it’d be quite hard to provide them an opportunity to talk in private, but I’m happy the friends could meet after a long time.”
“Yup. I think so too. I hope they can talk more during our stay in Irvine… I wonder if His Highness Hendrik would permit it if they weren’t alone. If they are okay with it, I could be present.”
When I said that, having somehow guessed Prince Hendrik and Freed are the same deeply jealous type, Freed smiled wryly.
“Well, if you’re there, Lidi, Hendrik won’t complain, I guess?”
“It’s said that birds of a feather flock together, and it really feels like that…”
Of course, their personalities are different, but their desire to monopolize their partner and deep jealousy feel very similar.
When I nodded thinking that Ilya has it hard, Freed pushed down my shoulder. I fell over onto the bed.
While I was blinking my eyes, surprised by his sudden action, Freed covered me.
“Let’s end the conversation at that and enjoy our time together.”
Freed’s face approached. In the twinkling of an eye my lips were blocked. His hands began feeling around my body.
Noticing I was about to be embraced, I pushed back Freed’s body in a fluster.
“Wait…! You can’t…!”