She and the Second Day 5
“I’m sorry. I kept you waiting.”
After Edward safely led me back to my escort soldiers, I thanked him and returned to the room provided to me together with my escorts.
Freed was already in the room, and as soon as I entered, he hugged me with all his strength.
I love being hugged, but it surprised me, since it happened out of nowhere. While I was incessantly blinking my eyes, Freed let out a relieved breath.
“I’m glad. You were late, so I worried that something could’ve happened.”
“I-It’s alright. Raid was a very good child, so I had so much fun that I lost track of time.”
“Raid? Who’s that?”
As Raid had said, Freed seemed to have no idea. I thought I’d better explain it quickly, and still hugged by Freed, I talked about her.
Hearing the story, Freed had his eyes widen in surprise.
“It’s Princess Ophelia? No, certainly her middle name is Raid… And, she dresses as a man? I’ve been to Irvine many times, but it’s the first time I’ve heard of it.”
“Because, she’s okay looking like a woman for a short time. She said she was doing that when meeting you, Freed.”
“Yeah? No, certainly she had a weak impression so I couldn’t remember her straight away…”
“Isn’t it because she put all her effort into her façade? Freed, you didn’t hear about it from His Highness Hendrik?”
“No… Not at all.”
Freed shook his head in shock. Was it so unimaginable to him?
“I remember her hair being short. I thought it was a waste that it only reached her shoulders despite being so pretty. Hendrik didn’t say anything, so I simply let it go thinking she was just that kind of person, but… It’s beyond my expectations. Doesn’t she look like a man?”
“Well. She’s a woman, but without knowing anything, you’d normally see her as a man. I saw Raid looking feminine first, so I thought she was a cool woman though.”
“And, you told me that because you were worried that I’d get jealous?”
As Freed peered at my face, I nodded with a serious look.
“What else could it be? We made a promise to go to town tomorrow. Hey, I have one question. Freed, if a rumor about me going on a date with a man appeared, what would you do?”
“I’d kill that man. Isn’t it obvious?”
Hearing the words said without any hesitation, I sighed.
I’d thought it’d be like that, but my guess was unpleasantly on point.
Freed unwrapped the arms holding me and held me up in his arms. As I found myself in a princess carry, I twined my arms around his neck in a fluster.
“I couldn’t forgive a man approaching my Lidi. Because Lidi, you’re mine.”
“I know that. I don’t want to go on a date with anybody but you either, Freed.”
While I thought that it was an extremely serious, “Yup,” Freed slowly started walking with me still in his arms.
“I understand about Princess Ophelia. I’ll also check it with Hendrik tomorrow. If everybody in Irvine knows, I think he’ll answer honestly if I ask. Ah, but before that.”
As Freed stared into my eyes, I stared back.
“I also have things to do, so I won’t say I want to go with you, but I want to confirm Princess Ophelia’s appearance. If I don’t see it myself, I won’t be able to calmly cope with the rumors spreading.”
“… Yup. Let’s do that.”
I’m sure Raid wants that too.
I then wondered if there wasn’t something I hadn’t talked about and recalled Edward.
“? What is it?”
“Freed, do you remember? About Sir Lantinotz.”
When I brought up the subject of Edward, Freed made a dubious face but nodded.
“He’s the knight Hendrik is thinking of making Princess Ophelia’s partner, right? I recall meeting him yesterday. What about him?”
“I asked Raid about what she thought of Sir Lantinotz. She answered that it was impossible.”
“Eh… Is that so?”
As Freed looked surprised, I told him.
“Yup. They’re childhood friends and he’s understanding of her, so she’s placed him at her side, but she has no romantic feelings for him.”
“I see… Then, Hendrik misunderstood after all?”
“Seems like it. Raid said she explained to His Highness Hendrik, but he wouldn’t listen. She didn’t want to go to Wilhelm because she dresses like a man, but the big part of the reason was also that she noticed the plan to get her together with a man she didn’t love and felt repulsed.”
“That’s… certainly unpleasant.”
I agreed with Freed.
If he went there as a guardian knight, I think Raid wouldn’t be so angry. Prince Hendrik made many mistakes.
“He was probably impatient to get them together and someday have them take over the country, but… it backfired completely. Reid doesn’t love Sir Lantinotz, so it’s natural she’d get angry at His Highness Hendrik trying to take strong measures.”
“I see. It might be good to talk to Hendrik about that.”
Freed sighed, and I hurriedly told him.
“Wait a while. There seems to be another reason why Raid didn’t want to go to Wilhelm. And, she said she’d tell me once we became closer. So even though you can ask His Highness Hendrik about her dressing as a man, I think it’s better to talk with him about anything else after hearing everything and obtaining correct information.”
“… Got it.”
Freed thought for a while then nodded.
“In the first place, I can’t do anything about Princess Ophelia’s matter. I didn’t know about her dressing like a man, and it was also you, Lidi, who got to know her true feeling about Sir Lantinotz. That’s why, I’ll follow your instructions regarding this matter.”
Understanding he said that because he trusts me, I felt happy. A strong feeling of wanting to live up to his trust welled up inside me.
“I need to do my best, huh. For now, I hope we can become closer when we meet tomorrow.”
Talking with Raid was very enjoyable. Putting aside trying to get information out of her, she made me want to get closer with her. If I’m to be honest, she’s too good for the people of Irvine who keep her at distance solely because of her appearance.
“You said she’ll show you around the town. Please be careful.”
Holding me in his arms, Freed arrived at the bedroom. Well, I’d predicted it, so I wasn’t surprised. When I was lowered on the bed, I reached out my hands and invited Freed.
The expression on Freed’s face as he heard my invitation turned bewitched.
While hanging over me, Freed said.
“Really, I keep being surprised learning of the various things I didn’t know. I had no idea about Princess Ophelia’s matter. The times I only talked to Hendrik and the King of Irvine and returned to our country feel like a lie. Things I had no idea about come out one after another, as if it was my first time in this country.”
“Freed, am I useful?”
It was still my second day in Irvine. But when I for some reason asked that, Freed nodded with a serious face.
“Incredibly. I didn’t think you’d become friends with Princess Ophelia right away, and you keep discovering things I was unaware of. Lidi, I’m truly saved that you’re here.”
“I see, then I’m glad.”
I was relieved to hear Freed’s words.
When I grinned, Freed kissed my forehead.
“But, you know?”
“I’m the happiest that I can bring you on official business like this, and it helps my mental stability. Lidi, visiting foreign countries is not so bad when I have you, and I can get excited to do my best.”
“Really Lidi, you help me just by being on my side. And, no one else could do it, you know? It’s really incredible.”
“Fufu… Do I just need to be on your side?”
I asked while giggling.
Perhaps what I wanted to say got conveyed, as Freed’s eyes widened a little. Then he said, “No way. It’s impossible I wouldn’t do anything when you’re by my side, right?” and blocked my lips.