She and the Last Day of Her Stay 3
Ilya looked disappointed, but she nodded.
“I understand that. However, all the successor candidates have disappeared, so the island is now in trouble. Sol’s Sister Tithi. Aura’s Sister Philia. Nox’s Brother Levitt. Nova’s Brother Aeon. Sol and Aura have successor candidates, even if they’re little, so they will manage somehow, but Nox and Nova….”
“… I don’t really care who takes over. Besides, our fathers are still alive and well. There’s no need to hurry back.”
“You might be right, but…”
“… You only say that because you’re no longer involved with the island.”
Ilya’s eyes opened wide. Levitt indifferently told her.
“Have you ever seriously thought about why everybody left the island? Everybody gives different reasons, but the intention is ultimately the same. We’re sick of the island’s insularity.”
“B-But… it’s the only way to protect ourselves from humans…”
“You’re talking about becoming slaves if we get caught, right? That’s certainly the case. However, even with that in mind, everybody wanted to leave the island.”
“Is… that so?”
“Only the generations of our fathers and grandfathers are scared. Meanwhile, we had been talking about wanting to leave the island someday…. Only Aeon was different. He’d been saying, ‘I can’t stop you all from leaving, so I’ll stay and protect the island.’ And even then, Aeon too left the island.”
“The first among us to leave was Sister Tithi. It was because Sol was even more insular than other clans. She was too free to be able to stand it. That’s why she left.”
I was startled when I heard Ms. Tithi mentioned.
Certainly, I could recall Ms. Tithi saying something to that effect.
She told me she’d left because she hated Sol’s insularity and being tied down to a mate. From listening to Levitt’s story, I understood that Ms. Tithi was the pioneer of leaving the island.
“Lidi said that Sister Tithi lives in Wilhelm…”
“Yeah. She looked to be doing well. She didn’t seem to notice, but I saw her several times when I helped with the Japanese cafe as a Princess Consort’s guard.”
“Eh, you didn’t talk?”
“There was no need to.”
“No need to….”
Levitt looked like he found Ilya’s surprise strange.
“We’re both doing well, so there was no need to talk to her, right? Am I wrong?”
Ilya seemed unable to understand Levitt’s indifferent way of thinking.
“Then, tell me, why did you talk to me?”
“I think it’s normal I’d wonder what’s going on when I saw you at an evening party in Irvine together with Princess Consort. Moreover, I was interested in the situation on the island. It made no sense to ask Sister Tithi about the island, since she’d left before me.”
“… I see. Then, searching for my sister might be uncalled for too…”
“Hm? It’s normal for the younger sister to search for her older sister, right? If you want to search for her, why not?”
As Levitt tilted his head, Ilya quietly replied, “I wonder.”
“All this time, I thought I had to search for my sister. But Brother Levitt, after listening to you, I started wondering for the first time if my sister wanted to leave too.”
“Given Philia’s personality, that sounds likely. Well, why not think about it after finding her? I don’t think she’ll mind you finding her.”
“… Thanks, Brother. I’ll do that.”
Despite her gloomy expression, Ilya thanked Levitt.
Levitt scratched his head with, “Ah jeez!” and told Ilya.
“Why are you getting depressed when you’re no longer involved with the island? For now, search for Philia. She’s your sister after all. I’ll look for Aeon. I’m honestly worried he’s missing, since Aeon is a man with a strong sense of responsibility. If nothing happened to him, he should’ve contacted or went back to the island.”
“If Aeon doesn’t return to the island, I can’t do my knight work in Wilhelm in peace. So this is also for my sake. Do you understand?”
“I wonder if I should ask Sister Tithi…”
Ilya finally smiled when she heard Levitt’s muttering.
“I’m sure Sister Tithi will be surprised to see you, Levitt.”
“No, I have a feeling she’ll just tell me not to talk to her because it’s bothersome.”
Levitt sighed, and Ilya nodded, “That might be so.”
“Our social statuses are too different, so I can’t remain in contact with you. If there’s any big progress on your side, send a letter to the island. I’m… reluctant, but I’ll also keep in contact with the island.”
When Ilya nodded, a voice called out to her.
“It’s about time. Are you done?”
The owner of the voice was unsurprisingly, or how should I put it, exceedingly irritated Prince Hendrik.
He must’ve disliked them seriously talking face-to-face. His mood had considerably soured.
Ilya noticed that and nodded in a fluster.
“T-Thank you very much, Your Highness. We’ve finished.”
“I see. Then it’s fine… You said you’re Levitt, right?”
When Prince Hendrik spoke to him, Levitt answered despite his nervousness.
Prince Hendrik glanced at Levitt and muttered, “Hmph.”
“I’ve heard that you’re Ilya’s childhood friend and looked after her a lot when she was young. But her husband is me, so from now on, I’ll protect Ilya.”
“Yes, please do that.”
For some reason, Levitt smiled when Prince Hendrik laid bare his possessiveness. Then he turned to Ilya.
“You married a good person. I’m relieved that I don’t have to worry about you.”
“… Indeed. His Highness is very good to me.”
Levitt nodded over and over to Ilya’s words and then bowed to Prince Hendrik.
“Your Highness, I know it’s strange for me to be saying this, but still, as Ilya’s big brother, let me tell you this. Thank you for making Ilya happy. Please take care of my little sister from now on.”
“… You don’t need to ask me.”
“Yes, excuse me. I’m truly thankful that you spared some of your valuable time for me today.”
Levitt once again deeply bowed and withdrew behind me in an escort-like manner.
His neat switchover left a positive impression on me. He could become the next patriarch, so I’m sure he’s been an excellent person from the beginning.
“Hendrik. That was quite an unseemly sight.”
Freed came here while cracking a joke. Prince Hendrik glared at him.
“Don’t touch my sore spot. Even I think I was uncool.”
“While you couldn’t control yourself, Levitt thanked you and acted like he knew his place. I’d choose Levitt over you.”
“Guh… That’s why I’m saying that I know. In the first place, you’d always choose Princess Lydiana, right? What’s with ‘I’d choose Levitt over you?’ Could you not bring up something so impossible?”
Freed raised his brows and chuckled.
“So you understand, Hendrik. Lidi is the only choice for me.”
“I’m the same. Haa… Really, how uncool. Ilya, you’re not fed up with me, are you?”
As Prince Hendrik asked anxiously, Ilya silently nodded through her embarrassment. Prince Hendrik couldn’t resist Ilya’s lovely gesture and hugged her.
“Ilya! I love you too!”
“Hyah… Y-Your Highness…”
Being hugged in front of other people was probably too demanding for Ilya, as she trembled, looking quite pitiful.
“Lidi, we should go soon. If we don’t prepare to return, we won’t make it in time.”