Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
I spent the last three days of my honeymoon mostly in bed.
I tried to get up, but I couldn’t garner enough strength from my waist down, and so His Highness instructed me to return back to sleep. Like that, we rested the whole day. When night arrived, His Highness’s passion was tenderly welcomed by my body.
Since I was receiving His Imperial Highness every night, my body was naturally incapacitated during the day.
Should I train my body more?
Since I’d entered the crown prince’s palace, I had been walking around the royal castle and moving my body more, but that might not be enough. Why else would I be unable to get up during these three days of our honeymoon?
In the first place, I’d never heard of any young lady who couldn’t get up after her honeymoon. Horseback riding… even if it was impossible, I had to find some other way to improve my physical strength. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to survive such a night in the future.
I recalled the night with His Highness and suddenly felt the back of my body turn numb. My whole body heated up, and I felt a warmth spread in the pit of my stomach.
While gripping my lower abdomen with my right hand, I shook my head lightly. Such a topic was inappropriate to think about during the daytime.
There was no one standing in front of where I was, overlooking the outer corridor leading to the royal palace. I turned to look behind me. Lady Beata was walking on the stone pavement that led to the royal castle’s courtyard.
“Greetings, Sir Ernis.”
“It’s been a while, Lady Beata. Ah, you don’t need to hurry like that.”
Lady Beata approached at a fast pace, despite her large belly. Her worried maids reached out and advised her to stop, but Lady Beata carelessly pushed back and said, “Leave us.” At the pace she was walking at, she quickly reached me.
“It’s too dangerous to walk in such a hurry.”
“Oh, Sir Ernis is too kind to worry about me. Even though I look like this, I’m rather good at horseback riding. I’ve been training my legs too.”
Her slightly puffed cheeks made her look so youthful that I unconsciously smiled.
By the way, the other day I heard that young Lady Beata had just turned sixteen years old. Her Majesty the King had fretted over the fact she was a young lady who only recently became an adult was already engaged. His Highness Hartward had been thunderstruck.
Moreover, she was a candidate for the crown prince and also the daughter of a noble family. It was no wonder that at the start, plenty of bad rumors had spread amongst the nobles.
His Majesty was increasingly distressed by this. Kilt said that it was His Highness Willacliff who comforted His Majesty and mediated between the two. His Highness Willacliff was truly a kind man.
“… Indeed, you’re as beautiful as a doll.” Lady Beata stared at me with her reddish-brown eyes.
“As a doll?”
“Yes, I have plenty of dolls that I have ordered from a foreign country, but I’ve never seen one as beautiful as Sir Ernis. You’re even more beautiful than a doll.”
“Is that so.”
I was unsure of her meaning, but I sensed her serious gaze observing me. I wondered if I looked that unusual, but I decided to let Lady Beata stare at me until she was satisfied. Eventually, I heard a small sigh.
“I wonder if what the Crown Prince likes is this beautiful face.”
“His Highness Willacliff?”
“Yes, because none of the candidates for crown consort had a face as beautiful as Sir Ernis’.”
How should I reply to this?
“My nanny always told me that a woman must be beautiful in every way, so I’ve always taken good care of myself from a young age. I used a lot of perfume and cosmetics that my mother brought from abroad, so I thought I could be a candidate for the position of crown princess like my dad wanted, but it didn’t work at all.”
“No one can win against a beautiful face like that of Sir Ernis.”
Her neatly groomed eyebrows dipped. That frowning expression on such a youthful and cute face made one unable to believe she was just sixteen years old… How should I reply to that?
“But it’s okay because I became Sir Hartward’s princess. My father and mother are very happy.”
“Ah, I’m happy for you.”
“Yes, thank you. It’s because of this and that that His Highness Hartward met me.”
“Unlike the crown prince, Sir Hartward loves sweets, beautiful clothing, and jewelry. Oh, he also likes plays and music. Right! Once, he took me to the Royal Theater because a famous singer was there. However, the crown prince doesn’t seem to like such things. Such a pity, because I really liked the crown prince’s face, but conversations with him weren’t as fun.”
I was a little uncomfortable with Lady Beata’s story.
As far as I knew, His Highness Willacliff did have a deep knowledge of the arts, including theater and music. He was also well versed in books on the arts and had shown me valuable books on several occasions.
“Not to mention, after arriving in the royal palace, there were a ton of singers and performers invited to host small concerts. At that time, I was pretty surprised at how extravagant it was. But I understood that it was because I couldn’t take a carriage to the theater in the city, and I was truly grateful. I’m very happy to be Sir Hartward’s princess. Hey, is Sir Ernis happy? Are you bored?”
“On the contrary, I am having a good time every day.”
“That’s good. I thought you might be bored in the company of the crown prince, so I brought you some sweets. I’m glad that you’re happy. You see, out of the crown prince’s candidates, I’m somewhat of an older sister. My mother instructed me to treat the others after me well. But now that Sir Hartward said no gifts, I have to listen. What a pity.”
I wonder if it was because she was my senior that she was concerned about myself, who had entered the royal castle after her.
It was so cute to see Lady Beata talking nonstop until her cheeks were slightly flushed. It made me smile. If I had a sister, she might be like this.
“… What a beautiful face. The crown prince must have liked beautiful faces. I like your face too, Sir Ernis.”
Lady Beata smiled happily, her soft blonde hair swaying.
There was a time when I thought that perhaps she still had feelings for His Highness Willacliff, but I was relieved to see that she seemed to be on good terms with His Highness Hartward.
“Lady Beata, so this is where you have been. His Highness is looking for you.”
“Oh, Harris. Ah! My new dress is arriving today! Have a good day ahead, Sir Ernis.”
“Ah, there’s no need to hurry.”
“Lady Beata, if you walk so fast, you might fall. Take the hand of your maid and walk carefully.”
“Alright, alright. You’re acting just like a big brother, Harris.”
Lady Beata, with her cheeks still puffed out, obediently followed the royal guard and walked slowly towards the royal palace, her maid beside her.
“Thank you for taking care of Lady Beata, Sir Ernis. And I am grateful for your care of my companion.”
I could tell from the color of the ornaments on his chest that the royal guard in front of me was one of His Highness Hartward’s. There was only one close person I could think of who was a companion to a royal guard.
“You’re Kilt’s companion.”
“Yes, I apologise for the late introduction. My name is Harris.”
“Rather than me taking care of him, Kilt has been the one taking care of me, and quite well at that.”
“I think Sir Ernis is the only one who would praise such an unorthodox apprentice chamberlain, right?”
“No, that’s not true. I’m the one who is not like an aristocrat…”
When I answered that, his slightly narrowed eyes crinkled further as if he were smiling.
“I apologize for being so late in greeting you. I was a messenger for His Highness Willacliff back then, so I refrained from introducing myself.”
“Back then… Oh, when you delivered the book.”
”Yes, it was by chance that I was sent on that errand, so I refrained from any personal greetings. But now that you’re my husband’s employer, I thought I should say hello.” The messenger who used to deliver the books to the mansion on His Highness Willacliff’s behalf was indeed the person in front of me. I remembered because he was a large man with a calm demeanor and a friendly smile.
No wonder. Though he was a royal guard of His Highness Hartward, I thought he was rather familiar.
“By the way, did Lady Beata cause any trouble for you?”
“No, not at all. She just seemed curious about my appearance. I hope I didn’t come across as rude in my replies.”
“Oh, I’m sure that’s all right. Lady Beata is like Sir Hartward. They have a soft spot for beauty.”
‘I imagine Lady Beata would have been pleased to see you, Sir Ernis, because of your striking beauty. Did she stare rudely?”
“Just a little. Oh, but it didn’t feel rude, so don’t worry about it.”
“Apologies for any discourtesy. It’s probably because of her physical condition, but her princess education has been postponed for now. I ask for your forgiveness.”
“I’m also Lady Beata’s bodyguard and educator,” Harris smiled, “It’s not easy.” Even when he was His Highness Willacliff’s bodyguard, Harris had a soft and gentle demeanor. Furthermore, although he was a large man, I didn’t feel intimidated by him at all.
Perhaps it’s precisely because he’s like this that he’s Kilt’s companion.
A cheerful and energetic Kilt and a thoughtful and calm Harris. They suited each other. Imagining these two people side by side, I felt happy and grinned.
“So that’s how it is. It’s no wonder that the royal palace has been so noisy.”
“Oh, I’m sorry for my rudeness. It’s just that I’ve been hearing rumors around the royal palace lately.”
“Yes, that the beauty of the Prince Consort is just like a goddess. Some even say that just a glance can add years to one’s lifespan.”
“That… How can I even respond…”
“Among the royalty, aristocrats, knights and guards, the name of Sir Ernis is well known. Before, I used to think that was because of your beauty. But seeing you now, I also get this sense of youthfulness. I’m convinced.”
I started to feel uncomfortable, and wondered who they were talking about. To be honest, I was a bit troubled; I’d never heard this kind of comment before, even though I’d been complimented about my appearance by my upperclassmen in school.
“Oh, I’ve heard from Kilt. Since you’re the royal guard of His Highness Hartward, you had also visited my home before…”
“Yes, I had been to the mansion several times as an escort for His Highness, so I saw you at that time. I had thought that you would be married to His Highness Hartward, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.”
No wonder. If he saw me back then, he must have known that I was a boring person.
I thought I had changed to be a little better than before, but had I? No, it wasn’t that I’d changed. It was more that I’d become aware that I was His Highness Willacliff’s companion.
With that in mind, before, when I wasn’t even aware of my fiancé, I must have made His Highness Hartward rather bored. That must have been why the engagement was abandoned. A simple, natural result.
“I was a boring person. I feel terribly sorry for His Highness Hartward.”
I really thought so. If he hadn’t been engaged to me, he could have met and married his suitable person earlier.
Plenty of clothes, tea, and the like were bestowed upon me, and now, they were all wasted.
“It’s not Sir Ernis’s fault. In the first place, it became a problem because His Highness Hartward had forced the issue. While the Crown Prince was traveling abroad, we couldn’t stop him on our own. We could only work behind the scenes to keep a lookout for you and make sure he didn’t put his hands on you.”
“… Traveling? Lookout?”
“Oops, my mouth slipped. Please forget the last part of what I just said.”
“About a year before your engagement to His Highness Hartward, the Crown Prince went to another country to promote goodwill with them. Didn’t you hear about it?”
It seemed I had heard such news from my father before.
It was a period where the neighboring countries were continuously arranging for visits. And in such a short time, it was said they managed to arrange and handle these exceptional gatherings. I hadn’t gone to the social circles and didn’t interact with the other aristocrats, so I only picked up bits and pieces of the story.
“When we heard about the engagement, we were very worried about what would happen. We were just relieved to have you back safely.”
What did it mean? As I tilted my head, unable to make sense of it, I heard another voice.
“Harris, you talk too much.”
“Sir Ernis, this is Captain Hardin of the Royal Guard. Have you come to greet Sir Ernis yourself, Captain?”
“Really, he’s just like Kilt. The two of them make for a chatty couple.”
“I wish you could just say we are good companions. And it’s not that I’m too talkative, it’s just that other people hide things too well.”
“That’s because it’s for the best. Here, return back to His Highness Hartward’s place.”
‘Yes, yes, I understand. Now, Sir Ernis, if you’ll excuse me.”
There was something on my mind, but I gave up the idea of continuing the conversation. I was too worried about the gaze of the captain of the Royal Guard, Hardin.
While I looked at Harris’s back as he departed for the royal palace, the captain said, “His Crown Prince is worried about you.” I turned my gaze toward the captain of the royal guard.
Huh? This person looks familiar somehow…
“I hope my foolish brother hasn’t caused you any inconvenience.”
“… Ah! Kilt’s—”
“I’m his older brother. I’m currently the captain of the guards, but I used to be the Crown Prince’s guard.”
“Ah. No, rather, I’m the one who has been helped by Kilt.”
“Is that so. That’s good.”
His smiling face resembled Kilt’s quite a bit. As expected from someone who came from a family that had produced guards for generations, he had a big and sturdy body.
“Maybe, the reason I was being requested for…”
“The Crown Prince will be returning to the royal palace early. I went to tell Kilt about it, but I heard that you just headed out for a walk.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bother you.”
“I’m just filling in the guard duty for Kilt. Don’t worry about it. Come on, let’s go.”
Was it really a bad idea to wander around by myself?
I asked something I had been thinking about.
Like Lady Beata, nobles and royalty usually walked around with their bodyguards and maids. That was common sense. I was aware of how it was. However, perhaps it was because I had always spent my time alone and free at home that I could not get used to such a situation.
His Highness must have understood this, even telling me that I could walk around by myself in the royal palace, but it might not be a good idea.
Besides, when I walked off randomly, Kilt and the maids would go searching for me every time. Should I change this willfulness of mine?
“The crown prince has mentioned it was fine. I don’t think there’s anything for you to worry about. Besides, His Highness often takes walks by himself.”
“That’s because… This is His Highness’s home and birthplace.”
His Highness and myself were in completely different positions. Besides, His Highness wouldn’t cause any inconvenience to the people around him.
“We have guards to escort the royal family. Sir Ernis, you are known throughout the guards. You don’t have to worry.”
“Is that so…”
“His Highness always keeps you in his mind, Sir Ernis. So there’s nothing to worry about.”
Truly, His Highness really cared too much. I wished I could respond as the crown consort, but I had yet to be given a role as royalty or a queen.
As I wondered what was happening and opened the door to my chambers, Kilt’s cheerful voice called out, “Let’s continue to polish our bodies carefully today~”
When his brother heard those words, he demanded to know what those words were, and Kilt retorted, saying that was his method. I laughed at his antics.
I didn’t have any siblings, but I honestly thought that this kind of relationship was good. Furthermore, His Highness Willacliff and His Highness Hartward were also close-knit brothers.
I don’t want to cause trouble for those who care about me.
I reaffirmed my resolve to control myself so as not to cause trouble for those people.