In the Moonlight[Part 1]
Taking advantage of the other person’s shocked state, I pressed on.
“That’s all, and since it is already late at night, please excuse me. Your Majesty, Your Excellency, good night.”
I bowed my head very deeply.
“Y-Yes, good night.”
The King answered, his mouth agape. It seems like it was done unconsciously. Fortunate enough, I decided to withdraw from the King’s office.
This is the early withdrawal strategy. If the King recovers from his stunned state, it is likely to become awkward again. But—
……The appearance of the Prime Minister who was observing my actions was creepy. Yes.
Isn’t it strange? Although I snapped, I thought he would say, “That can’t be approved,” or “Do you think such selfish behavior will be forgiven?” Is there any other speculations……?
No, no, let’s not think about scary things.
It’s hard to say that . . . the rumors are nothing new but anyway, I told them that the facts are different and I’ve also expressed what I wanted to say at the same time…… Yes. That’s the most important!
I’ve said it!
A head-on act of defiance.
I quickly passed through the hallway of the main tower where there are more guarding soldiers than usual, my mood raised in high spirits.
I bet the King did not expect that I would become defiant. There is no way it can be reversed, and if he thought that I was hesitating to give up and accept the engagement, then he was underestimating me.
……I bet he was. Had I never known that I was sold in exchange for forfeiting the remuneration. And—had I never heard about Greed-sama’s childhood.
Ever since I heard that, I also thought a lot, and I thought that I should not be doing it like this.
Exposed to the gaze of the guarding soldiers, I passed through the main tower of the castle via the hallway that stretches from the Palace to the servants’ quarters and I stopped for a moment to take a deep breath in order to calm my mind.
From here, I can see the West Courtyard—the place where Greed-sama and the demon with a boy’s appearance have fought. Right now, it was being illuminated by a magical tool lamplight.
It’s the same as always as the scenery I see during work break. You can’t believe that a fight occurred here. However, it is true that I met a demon here.
……Really, what a long day.
Running around the castle, I encountered a Minotaur and a humanoid demon, teleported through magic, making me feel magic sickness, and the very last thing was being sold by the King and the Prime Minister.
Because I still had to do my work, my body is dead tired. My mind’s HP is roughly reduced and is close to zero. I am exhausted both physically and mentally.
But I don’t feel like sleeping right now.
……That’s natural. Ever since this morning, my emotions have been swinging like a pendulum and in the end, I finally snapped. In this condition, I will never be able to sleep at once.
I want to calm my heart. So, in order to cool my head, I did not return immediately to my room when I entered the servants’ quarters and instead, I passed straight through the dimly lit hallway.
Different from the very lavish Palace which is filled with furnishings and art objects, the hallway of this building is dreary.
The brightness is also different. At the central building and the main residence, candlestick-type magical tools called lamps are arranged at 3-meter intervals and are always bright, however here in the servants’ quarters, the installation of light-emitting magical tools are less than half. Naturally, it is dim at night.
However, because I am familiar with the way, I don’t get lost. I arrived at the door leading to the courtyard.
If you open the wooden door, there is a little garden behind the servants’ quarters.
I think it’s about 15 square meters? It is called the courtyard, but it is not the courtyard of the castle but the courtyard for the servants.
It is located in a position that is hidden behind the servants’ quarters and cannot be seen from the main residence. It is a place wherein us employees are permitted to use freely and will not be seen by the royalty and state guests.
Also, it is also a place of experimentation by the gardeners, and it is also a place that has become a herb garden for the chef’s hobby and profit.
But tonight, the beautiful flowers tended by the gardeners are in full bloom, and when I approached the places where the herbs were planted, I got a whiff of a little of its nice scent.
The courtyard of the castle is a beautifully maintained space, but I liked the garden here so I visit it sometimes. My mother also liked planting herbs so it reminded me of my house’s garden.
……A thought crossed my mind, I thought about what would happen to my family if I ignored the national interest. Thinking about my family and the Milford clan, I should not oppose the King and should accept Greed-sama’s proposal for the national interests. To do so is the right way for a noble. It is what the Prime Minister said.
But I did not obey the King and the Prime Minister.
……I’ll be disqualified as a noble, right? It is likely to trouble our family.
Still, I know my father and my older brother will do something. My Milford family is strangely strong against adversity. Besides, the Prime Minister and Famir-sama will put in a good word for us, so that my Milford family will not be brought for censure.
I am—not worried about myself.
It may be cunning, but I calmly calculated it when I snapped at the King.
—Although I am cornered by the Hero’s proposal, it also helped me at the same time.
After all, doesn’t the country seek for a connection with the Hero?
They will not readily punish the person the Hero proposed to, that is, me. So even if it was essentially lese majeste, I think nothing will be done to what was not achieved today.
Even if the kingdom will sell me, I will not be exiled. Since there is the Hero. That’s why I rebelled.
But it is only temporary that was why I was tolerated. I bet the King and the Prime Minister will still try to get me married.
……That’s why I need to come to a conclusion.
Unexpectedly, my name was called.
Normally, when you suddenly hear a voice in a supposedly deserted courtyard, you would jump in surprise, right? Besides, that was the voice of the person who has given me troubles all this time.
But this time, it was different. It’s just that, I had this feeling. That he will come to see me.
I slowly looked back.
As expected, it was the Hero—Greed-sama who was there.
Illuminated by the moonlight, as though he was a prince from a dream, elegant and magnificently handsome, he was standing a little far away from me. His pale blonde hair is shining in the moonlight. It strangely dazzled in the dark.
Why is he in such a place, I wonder? I shouldn’t speculate on how he found out that I am here. Because the other person was Greed-sama who has special powers.
……Yup. I shouldn’t think about unnecessary things.
“Are you having a night walk? But the wind tonight is cold. Please have this.”
While saying that, Greed-sama approached me while spreading the purple shawl he was holding.
But, guys, do you remember that there is a reason why Greed-sama and I should not get close to each other carelessly?
—Yes. It is the effect of this cursed bracelet, “Till death do us part”! And today, it was activated in the courtyard. It happened when I did not know that I was trying to approach the demon who had a boy’s appearance.
……As a result, thanks to that “bam!”, I was saved.
……Whether it had a sound effect or not, as soon as Greed-sama was three meters away from me, my body floated and I headed straight towards him. I dived into the spread shawl.
With a big smile, Greed-sama caught my body easily, lowered me to the ground and placed the shawl over my shoulder.
“Here, take it.”
……Don’t tell me that quick action, he did not spread it because he knew that I will come flying, right?
I already decided not to comment about the “bam!”……
—Beneath the moonlight, a good-looking man approached a maiden and said, “The wind tonight is cold. Please take this,” and softly puts a shawl around her shoulders—isn’t this scene cliched?!
What is sad, though, is that the maiden must dive into the shawl with a “bam!”. The romantic situation was ruined!! Furthermore, it messed up my thoughts.
Yes, I am now retorting to own self!
Because, because, I am thinking in the corner of my mind! “Where did Greed-sama got this shawl? Since it is a woman’s thing, he does not own this, right? Who should I return this to?”
I also don’t have an ounce of romance! Hey, me, why is this thinking too pragmatic?! Ugh, as expected, I am not a heroine material, am I?
If it was the Princess, she will be touched by the kindness of the male lead’s heart and will never think about such things.
But if it was the Princess, the male lead will not be Greed-sama but Rufus-sama, and for sure, there will be no “bam!”.
“Greed-sama . . . Thank you very much.”
I thanked Greed-sama, who was standing beside me, for lending me the shawl. I hope he will forgive me that I spoke a little monotonously.
However, Greed-sama smiled happily to me.
“Since it is a rare opportunity, would you mind going for an evening walk with me, Aria?”
Greed-sama said as he held my hand gently. That gesture seemed to resemble the action of a country prince and somehow made me thrilled . . . only a little bit.
I nodded, and let Greed-sama take my hand again.