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Chapter 35 – To be Careful with Alcohol
One day at the banquet, Jill disappeared from beside me while I was talking to His Majesty Najika. He was supposed to be nearby, but there was no sight of him.
Perhaps I felt slightly depressed about being in a foreign country, as I became restless whenever Jill was not around me.
Even so, I still drank heavily… It was because His Majesty Najika offered me plenty of drinks, so I couldn’t help but keep drinking.
His Majesty Najika might look like a minor by Japanese standards. But in this world, there was no particular law that forbade minors from drinking alcohol. He might still be a boy, but he was quite an alcohol connoisseur.
I was getting quite drunk, so I left my seat to get a soft drink and searched for Jill while I was at it.
I looked around the hall while walking, but I couldn’t find Jill anywhere… Did he return to his room without telling me? No, Jill wasn’t the type to do this…
As I was walking past the balcony, I found Jill talking amiably with Queen Elizabeth in said balcony.
Jill was facing Queen Elizabeth, so I didn’t know of his expressions as he talked with her. However, from what I saw of the Queen’s face, they seemed to be friendly with each other.
I suddenly recalled the last time the three of us talked together. Back then, Queen Elizabeth looked very happy and was friendly as she talked about Jill’s past… A past that I knew nothing of, not until she recounted it in front of me…
The night sky was picturesque, and Queen Elizabeth’s face was even more so as it was illuminated by the moonlit eve. And something stirred in my heart, a certain kind of turmoil, as I saw her happy face that was further cast aglow by the light from inside the hall.
I turned my back from the balcony, went straight to the table where the drinks were served, took a glass of red wine, and returned to my seat beside His Majesty Najika.
“Ah, Akira-dono. That’s for the tables at the back. I recommend a glass of white wine rather than the drink in your hand.”
His Majesty Najika said this with a slight pout. He looked adorable as it made him appear child-like, and it emphasized his boyish charms.
“Fufu…. I’ll partake of the white wine later, as per Your Majesty’s recommendation.”
After I said this, I was in the mood for something… atypical of me. As it so happened, I drank the glass of red wine in my hand in one gulp.
Even after chugging it down, I continued my conversation with His Majesty Najika. I took the recommended white wine and wanted to drink it too, but I was so plastered that I couldn’t drink it.
Now, the situation was gradually becoming fraught with danger. I felt dazed, my sight was hazy, and my heartbeats were getting louder by the minute. My face was too warm, and above all, I felt sleepy from the drinks I imbibed.
I should go back to my room before I make a mistake…
I wanted to talk to Jill, but something told me that I probably shouldn’t disturb them right now. Also, Eric-kun and Jade-kun returned to their rooms earlier…
I called out to His Majesty Najika and requested one of the servants in the hall to relay my message to Jill. After I did that, I parted from His Majesty and left the hall room.
The quietude of the corridor was a stark difference from the bustling ambience of the hall room. As I walked down the corridor, I heard the quick pitter-patter of footsteps behind me. When I looked back, the sight of a relieved and swiftly approaching Jill greeted my eyes.
I knew it was a little too late for me to notice, but Jill looked handsome in formal wear. His wild appearance as an adventurer also suited him, but dressed like this, he had the dashing aura of a high-class noble and made me remember… Ah, this person, he too was a member of royalty…
I wasn’t sure if it was because of his hairstyle, but I felt that it did lend a hand in enhancing his handsomeness.
“Are you alright? If you’re going back, then let’s go back together.”
Jill looked at me with a strange expression. In the thick of the moment, his handsome face was closer than I expected. Furthermore, this sudden proximity increased my heart rate at an alarming rate.
“…It’s quite unusual. Are you drunk? You don’t look well. Or maybe there was something that upset you?”
He sounded concerned about me. His low voice… The pitch of Jill’s voice gave me a sense of comfort.
I thought with my mind that had grown dull with drunkenness. Something… I was upset about…? I knew for certain that it wasn’t a good feeling…
… It may be more of a bad feeling… but rather than that, it was closer to the feeling of alienation… And I knew this feeling… This was…
“…Maybe – maybe, I’m jealous…”
Jill’s eyes widened in surprise.
Now, this was getting a bit dangerous. My brain’s filtering capacity had turned off. At this rate, I might end up spilling out everything on my mind.
“…Haha…What am I even saying…? I – I’m sorry. I’m quite drunk right now, so my brain isn’t working at all… I can’t speak properly with you right now… So, I – I’ll go back first!”
Anyway, this whole scene made me want to flee right this instant, so I quickly turned my back on Jill and made my way towards my room in a jog. Or, at least, I tried to. Instead, Jill caught my arm as I tried to make a run for it.
“Hey! Don’t run suddenly while you’re still this drunk, or your condition might worsen. Alright, for now, I won’t pry about this any further. So, don’t go wandering alone while you’re unsteady. I’ll walk you to your room.”
In the end, I obediently returned to my room while being pulled by his hand. Somehow, I managed to pull myself together until I parted with Jill in front of my room. But once I was alone, I couldn’t hold on anymore.
And just like that, I sank onto my bed as if I had collapsed. I could no longer fight against the intense feeling of drowsiness brought about by the alcohol. The moment my head hit the pillow, I was out like a light.