Chapter 86 – Appointment
I arrived at the castle when the bell of 10am had just rang, the prince was supposed to meet me here, but he was nowhere to be seen.
… Isn’t the man the one that is supposed to come early and wait? ‘Sorry, did I make you wait?’ ‘No, I just arrived.’ We’d have this kind of classic dialogue.
… Wait, why am I thinking of this as if it was a date…? There must be something wrong with my brain, is it because it’s spring?
Still, it’s not good to keep a woman waiting, should I complain?
I don’t know how much I’m allowed to wait though, everyone would have access to a watch back in Japan, so it was easy to know the time. Also, phones allowed us to contact one another in case we were late, but there are no such conveniences in this world. The only ways to tell the time are by the position of the sun and by the bells that ring every 2 hours.
In other words, measuring time by minutes was normal in Japan, but that doesn’t make sense over here… In my past life an error of 30 minutes was within acceptable range.
I had nothing to do while waiting, so I thought of those things, until I saw someone coming out of the castle in a hurry that is. As he got closer, I realized that the person in question was the prince.
It’s only been about 10 minutes since the bell rang, so I’ll let him off this time.
“Sorry, did I make you wait?” The prince asked while panting.
“No, I just arrived.” This conversation… Isn’t it just like a date? What is my brain doing? It must be spring’s fault! “Good morning, Prince. Thank you for inviting me today.”
I visited the castle several times, but the garden is a first for me, as you can only enter it if together with the royal family. I did see it once In my previous life, but I had no opportunity to properly check it out because I was chasing after the king that was skipping on work.
“Ah, I’m glad you came… That said, your outfit, isn’t it quite different from the usual?” The prince asked me.
“It’s because we won’t be making any intense movement today… Does it look weird?” I bought this outfit because I liked it quite a bit… I know it’s different, but to hear it didn’t suit me…
“No, not that! Suiting you… I think it’s actually pretty cute?” He said.
Wow… How long has it been since I have been praised by someone of the opposite sex? Or rather, isn’t it the first time if I don’t count family or close friends? I know they mean it, but I can’t take family’s praises as anything but flatter, so this is a bit embarrassing.
“Tha-thank you… You also look very cool.” I praised him, his outfit was not his usual rough one, he used formal clothes instead, but the prince didn’t look uncomfortable at all. Also, it showed his body shape more clearly than usual, so I could see he was diligently training.
He surely has plenty of muscles… J-just what am I remembering!? “I… Is that so? These clothes are nice from time to time I guess.” He answered. We both weren’t very used to complementing one another, so things became pretty embarrassing.
“We-we shouldn’t remain here, sh-shall we go to the garden?” Unable to endure this pink air, and also remembering the reason we’re here, I suggested we moved, I don’t know if it was the Queen or Princess Aria that called me, but it’s not a good idea to keep them waiting… So it couldn’t be helped that I staggered.
“Alright, I’ll show you the way then.” The prince affirmed while taking my backpack and putting it on his shoulder.
I don’t like when he acts cooler than me, so… I should give him some payback, right?
I walked to his side, held his free hand and crossed our arms, even with our height difference, this kind of thing is no problem… This works as payback, right?
The prince was pretty surprised by my sudden move, but I kept walking as if it was nothing, his face got pretty red though… This was a through success.
I tried walking without saying anything, but I staggered when the prince grasped my hand and slowly caressed it. It felt as if a shock struck me and I wondered if I should let go, but I was the one that held his hand first, and it would be a loss if I let go, so I moved on.
And so, we both walked side by side. While I did see his face was red, I’m sure mine was too. Walking with our hands held like this was pretty embarrassing.
We walked without looking at one another all the way to the garden almost without saying anything… And we were completely unaware of the three people following us.
It took us around 20 minutes to go through the castle and arrive at the garden, there was a guard at its entrance, but we passed unquestioned since I’m with the prince. However, I did feel a stare in my back… I suppose it’s because I’m entering a place that is restricted to the royal family, so it couldn’t be helped. Deciding not to worry about it, we went in.
There were many flowers blooming right now, probably because it’s spring. In just a quick glance, I could notice that some flowers weren’t native to this country.
In my previous life I knew a lot about medical herbs, poisonous plants, rare flowers and things like it, but I don’t know anything about flowers in general. I can see that some look like plants from Earth, but that hardly means anything. All I can understand is that they’re beautiful.
Still, being surrounded by lovely flowers in full bloom, feeling their fragrance and being taken in this tranquil environment made me quickly forget about time.
Occasionally I asked the prince about a flower’s name, but he seemed to be clueless about them and could answer less than 10% of my questions. Right now I feel pretty good though, so I’ll forgive him.
However, I haven’t seen neither the Queen nor Princess Aria yet. Since the prince invited me, it was understandable that we didn’t meet up outside the castle, but I expected them to be in the Garden. “Prince, are the Queen and Princess Aria not here?” I asked.
I was anxious because they haven’t appeared yet, the prince stayed silent for a while, but he seemed restless. “They are probably in the castle. Why? Do you need them for something?” The prince’s expression was weird, but judging from his answer, they’re not here.
… Huh? Why did he invite me then? And what is that look in his face? Did they ask him to bring me, but were not able to come, so he ended up staying the day with me? Is that expression the one someone makes when they’re being forced to do something by others?
Seems like the prince is going through a lot… Somehow though, I felt a pain in my chest as I reached this conclusion. “If you need them for something, should I call for these two?” He said.
Without thinking about it, I instantly replied, “No, I don’t need them… I was just curious.” I don’t know what those two are up to, but I don’t want to ruin this mood.
After that, we slowly spent our time watching the garden until noon.