She and the Second Day
Per Freed’s declaration, I’d been embraced until the morning sun rose. I was eating breakfast while stifling yawns.
I got a few hours of sleep, but after all, I was still sleepy.
I don’t think there’s a woman who wouldn’t lack sleep after associating with a Wilhelm royal. I again thought that Wilhelm consorts not having work in the morning is a great, gentle system.
Being able to sleep in the morning is wonderful.
“You look sleepy.”
What is the culprit of that saying?
When I unconsciously glared at Freed, he returned a sparkling smile.
… His face is good.
I hate how it makes me want to forgive everything.
“Jeez… Whose fault is that…”
“Sorry, Lidi. I just adore you too much. Starting tonight, I’ll let you go to sleep a little earlier, so could you forgive me?”
“… Really, please do that. I also have various plans.”
“I know that.”
Freed nodded with a serious face.
However, I’m the one who never gives him a categorical no. Since I can’t help it when it comes to Freed, I gave up and enjoyed the southern cuisine of Irvine.
There was coconut milk that isn’t used in Wilhelm much and various southern fruits.
The appearance of the food was vivid, just looking at it was fun.
The main dish was fish, and since it was summer, it was prepared lightly.
Mango juice permeated my body.
Since I was still tired, I thought a hearty breakfast would be hard on me, but it unexpectedly went down well.
The court ladies I brought with me from Wilhelm were serving Irvine dishes while befuddled.
Fundamentally, everybody can eat meals in their own room.
It’s because Prince Hendrik worried so we could have meals in peace, but I was really grateful for that.
Of course, that won’t apply if we are invited by the King or the Prince, but I understand that it’s only natural.
“Freed, what are your plans for today?”
The breakfast finished, and the court ladies withdrew. When it became just two of us and I asked him about the things he had to do, he said while relaxing on the sofa.
“I’ll have a luncheon meeting with the King of Irvine. In a while Alex will come for me and we’ll go together.”
“Lidi, you? It seems you made a promise with Princess Ophelia yesterday.”
“Yup. I just received a letter saying to come to the Princess’s room once I’m ready. She also invited me for lunch. And, she wrote that there’s something she wants to show me.”
The letter was delivered before breakfast.
It came when Freed was changing clothes in the neighboring room, but the court lady who brought it wanted an immediate reply. Since I promised yesterday, I wrote, “I accept with pleasure.”
When I told him that a letter had arrived, Freed raised his eyebrows a little.
“I see. Just in case, can you show me the letter?”
“? Yup, fine.”
I handed Freed the letter I’d placed on the desk. He checked it and nodded like he was convinced.
“Yup, it’s alright. It seems real.”
“Even though we’re in a friendly country, this isn’t Wilhelm. Everything has to be checked. It’s about self-defense.”
I think no one would try to assume the Princess’s name in Irvine, but it’s better to watch out for it.
“S-Sorry. Freed, the next time I get a letter, I’ll show it to you before writing a reply.”
The court lady who brought the letter was attached to the Princess, so I easily trusted her, but I reflected that I shouldn’t be so trustful.
“Yup. Do that. It’d be too late if something happened to you, Lidi.”
I understand how much Freed treasures me, so I obediently nodded.
When I incidentally looked in the window, Cain was there, waving his hand.
I hurried to open the window. Cain must’ve known there was nobody but us here and came inside.
“Good morning, Princess.”
We exchanged greetings.
He checked the surroundings again and spoke.
“I need to talk with both of you. ―― Is that fine?”
“? Of course it’s fine, but is it something important?”
Cain affirmed and looked at me and Freed. Hearing that it was important, both me and Freed prepared to listen.
And, when we heard the story from Cain, we both stared at him in surprise.
“Eeh!? Abel was there? Moreover, he’s a member of the Hiyuma clan!? What’s with that chaotic development…!”
“Abel ran away from Sahaja, so it’s like that… I see.”
While I was shouting, Freed held his chin and nodded.
“He must find those he can’t use irritating. Using the pretext of the Marquis Westin matter to deal with Abel sounds like something Maximilian would do. Cain, Abel wasn’t asking for our protection, right?”
Cain denied in response to Freed’s question.
“He’s simply leisurely enjoying holidays. Just, he wants to earn money, so he said to definitely come to him if you have a request. He gave the name of the inn he’s staying in. This is only my intuition, but I think he’ll appear if you visit him…”
“… Yup. I have the same feeling.”
We’re talking about a person who said, “Thrilling miracle quiz.” Just by talking with him a little, I understood he was a very unfettered man and learned of his obsession with money. Hearing that he wants to be employed to make money was enough to convince me.
“But, wasn’t he not taking requests from royalty?”
“I asked that too. I was told that it’s limited to Sahaja. He has a grudge against Sahaja royalty. It wasn’t the mood to ask for details, so I let it go, but I’m curious…”
“Sahaja royalty… Hey, Abel is a member of the Hiyuma clan, right? Then wouldn’t the cause be that they’re culprits behind the massacre of the Hiyuma clan… No?”
Cain also couldn’t forgive the King of Sahaja. When I pointed that out, Cain said, “I wonder about that,” with a doubtful face.
“Abel discarded red eyes that are the pride of the Hiyuma clan. I don’t think he holds the same grudge as me. He made a deal with a witch that turned his eyes golden and even made him somehow be able to use the secret arts. He uses Hiyuma’s techniques, and yet he’s abandoned his identity as a Hiyuma. I don’t want to recognize him as the same Hiyuma as me.”
I didn’t say anything else.
I’m not thinking of understanding Cain’s complicated feelings. After all, I don’t think they’re something that can be understood. But at least, I’ll respect his thoughts.
To get back on topic, Cain said.
“Anyway. Princess, if you want to make a request of him, you don’t need to worry about me. I don’t want to recognize him as a Hiyuma, but as Kaleidoscope, his ability is certain. His role is difficult for me, so if you need something like that, I think using him is the only choice.”
I was sure Cain would say that there was no need for Abel.
While I was surprised by his unexpected words, Cain clearly said.
“At least his information gathering ability is above mine. I won’t dismiss anybody better than me. Of course, in battle he doesn’t hold a handle to me. The saying, “The right person in the right place,” is right… My late dad also said. Everybody has their specialty. You don’t need to excel at everything. Princess, depending on the situation, you should use me or hire Abel. It’s good to have more options.”
“Princess, if it’s difficult for you to go directly, I’ll make the request in your stead. Abel too said he doesn’t mind if I’m the proxy.”
“… Before I knew it, you’ve gotten very close.”
While I was surprised that he was completely different compared to just a few days ago, Cain frowned.
“We ain’t really close. Abel simply said that he’s pursued by a Sahaja assassin guild, so he isn’t our enemy now. That’s all.”
“I see. Yup, that’s right.”
I was certainly angry at Abel about the fake Freed matter, and I’d like a direct apology, but because everything had been resolved and some time had passed, I decided to let it go.
Be that as it may, I haven’t forgiven him for hurting Tiris yet.
And then, there’s the matter of him deceiving Marianne.
But, I understand those are my own feelings, and in reality, making him apologize would be difficult.
Marianne doesn’t know about Abel in the first place, and Tiris only knows his appearance in disguise.
Even if I brought Abel in front of them, they’d be troubled, and it would be nothing but a distraction from their future. I only want to make him apologize for my self-satisfaction.
―― I can’t quite understand what he’s thinking though.
He’s someone whose ability received Cain’s stamp of approval. In time of need, I may need to make a request to him, so I should be the adult here.
―― It doesn’t mean I want to be friends.
A client and an information broker. That’s all. I can just think of it as a businesslike relationship.
While I was persuading myself of that, Freed said.
“Got it. We’ll rely on him when his strength is necessary. Be that as it may, we’ll be in Irvine for nine days including today, so I don’t think there’ll be an opportunity to make a request.”
“I think so too. Just, well, he asked me to convey it.”
As expected, Freed seemed to accept Abel.
From Freed’s point of view, Abel both impersonated him and pretended to be his excellent subordinate, Duke Pellegrini, so he went through quite a horrible experience. Freed shouldn’t have even considered it, and yet he regarded Abel’s usefulness above that.
I again decided to follow Freed’s royal judgment.
Exactly when the conversation with Cain reached a stopping place, I heard knocking on the door and Brother’s voice.
“Oi, Freed. We’re going soon. Are you ready?”
“I’m coming now.”
Called out to through the door, Freed said, “Then.”
“I’ll be going. I’ll come back in the evening today. You have Cain so I’m not particularly worried, but Lidi, be careful.”
“Got it. Have a good day. Do your best at work.”
I sent out my husband with a light kiss.
After Freed left, I checked the clock and told Cain.
“Then, we should go too. I’ve promised to eat lunch with Princess Ophelia today.”