Extra 16 – A Man’s Special Moment
I woke up hearing Eru meow. My head was aching and I had a hard time focusing, but somehow I was able to give him a “Good… Morning?” at least though.
I went to sleep early last night, but my body still feels so heavy… And then Eru meowned again, interrupting my train of thought. “… Got it, I’ll wake up.”
It was hard sitting down, my head felt dizzy… And when I tried stepping on the ground, I lost balance and almost fell, “Uuh… It feels as if the ground is shaking…” my voice was also coming out quite rough, Eru’s meows now felt worried for me.
“I’m okay, just a bit shaky… I’m just going to change my clothes…” I closed my eyes for just a second, and when I realized it, I was sitting in front of the closet. “Just why am I…?”
My hand touched the closet and the cool handle felt comfortable… But after holding it for just a small while, I fainted.
By the time I realized it, I was back in my bed. For a moment I thought this morning’s experience was just a dream, but there was a cool feeling in my head that told me otherwise.
Wait, a cool feeling…? I put my hand in my forehead and noticed there was a towel in it, though it was mostly dry. Nonetheless, if it’s cool it means the towel was put here recently.
I looked around the room while holding the towel in place and saw a bowl of water next to the bed, probably what cooled the towel… Seems like someone has been taking care of me.
The window’s curtain is closed, but I can understand it’s still daytime based on the light passing through. In that case, just who is here at such hour? Most people know I wouldn’t be home at this time, and I didn’t expect any visitors, so…
The door opened while I thought about it, “Aah, you woke up?” and the mysterious person showed himself.
“Prince? Why…?” Of all people, he is one that shouldn’t be here at this hour.
“You were sneezing last night, so I became worried and decided to check out on you. I wasn’t planning on going inside without your permission, but I heard Eru make a loud meow so I came in, and by the time I arrived you had fallen on the ground already… I was very worried, but got relieved when I discovered it was just a cold.” He worried so much that he went to check up on me even with how busy he is…? I guess it’s a good thing I gave him a copy of my house’s key.
“Was it a doctor that said I had just a cold?” I ended up asking.
“Aah, yes, I don’t know much about diseases, so I had to ask one, is that a problem?” He replied.
“No, thank you for taking care of me… What about the doctor’s bill though?” I have a feeling I already know the answer to that though…
“Don’t worry, I paid for it.” I knew it! How can I not worry about it!? Money is important! Lending money can always cause conflict, even between friends and family!
“Let me pay you back then, how much was it?” Better make it even now, before it becomes trouble.
“It’s okay, just focus on resting, the sick shouldn’t worry about this kind of thing.” He answered.
“That’s not an issue, it’s not like I don’t have the money to…” And then I started coughing.
“Look, you need to rest, okay? The money is not a problem, how about eating something instead of worrying about that?” He changed the topic.
“You say that just because you think about food all the time…” I joked.
“That’s only because your food is incredible.” He replied.
“Fufu, I can’t help it if I’m-“ And then I coughed again and again.
“Don’t talk that much if your throat is sore… Here, have some water.” He offered me some… I coughed again, thanked him and drank it down, which made my throat feel a bit better. “Don’t worry about it, the sick should be properly nursed after all.
“Ah, I peeled a fruit for you, can you eat it?”
“No… I have no appetite…” Was the only answer I could give him.
“I understand where you’re coming from, but the doctor said drinking lots of water and eating are both important for your recovery, so please try it at least?” Well, there is no cold medicine here like there is in Japan, so I suppose it can’t be helped…
“Okay, I’ll try to eat a bit…” I answered.
“Alright, then…” He took out a plate with a fruit peeled in uneven and weirdly shaped pieces.
“This is…?” I was a bit afraid of asking.
“… It’s an apple.” Well, that was unexpected. “It couldn’t be helped, I’m not used to peeling fruits, I just eat those whole.” That was actually kind of cute.
I giggled a bit before answering, “Well, that’s alright.” I mean, even if he didn’t do a good job at it, he was still mindful enough to peel it and make it easy for me to eat it, so I shouldn’t make fun of him… Though the sight of the prince struggling in a ‘battle’ against an apple must have been fun.
“Don’t laugh… Even if the shape is weird, it’s still an apple at the end. Now open your mouth.” I staggered at that and could only answer with a dumb ‘Eh?’, to which he replied, “What’s with that face? You’re sick, so I’m telling you to open your mouth to let me feed you.”
I can understand that much, but it’s still too embarrassing! To think I’d be fed by the prince of all people, doesn’t he realize how much this couple-like thingy is embarrassing? It’s unfair that I’m the only one conscious of it!
I’ll look like an idiot if I start panicking now though, so I tried keeping my cool and made an “Ah…”
“Can’t you open it a bit more?” Can’t you read into a girl’s heart!? It’s too hard to open up for a man! “Please open it up…”
I suppose it can’t be helped… “Aaaaah…” And then he put the slice of apple in, which I slowly bit on.
“How about it? Can you eat some more?” He offered the next one while I was still munching on it, so I had to swallow it up.
However, it did taste quite good, surprisingly. And even though I had no appetite, I felt like could eat some more, so I opened up again. “Aaaaah…”
Then he kept feeding me one slice after the other. Before I realized it, the whole apple was gone. “Good job eating it whole, is there anything else you want right now?”
Nothing really came to mind to answer his question though, I just felt sleepy after eating… Oh, I know, let’s pay him back for that embarrassment. “Anything?”
“Aah, as long as it’s something I can do.” Fufufu, don’t regret it now…
“Then please hold my hand until I sleep.” Let me see the embarrassment now!
“Is this alright?” … That’s not how it was supposed to go! The prince held my hand tenderly instead of being all embarrassed about it! “Sakura…?”
Well… “Prince’s hand feels cool and pleasant…”
“Your hands are still hot because of the fever though.” He answered…
“Then… Please hold it until I sleep?” I said that and slowly closed my eyes, his hand gave me some warmth…
And… No reply? I got confused, so I opened my eyes and looked at the Prince’s face, he had a very serious gaze for some reason. “Can I really keep holding it until you sleep?”
“Eh?” My heart started beating faster when looking at his expression while he said that… “A-ahahaha… When you say it with such serious face…”
He stopped me, “I am serious. Listen.”
I gulped, “O-okay…”
“Right now I-” And then Eru meowned.
“Eh? What is it, Eru?” I wondered.
“Oh… Really now?” The prince groaned.
“Just what is the problem?” Eru meowned and tapped on my shoulder, “Are you hungry? I’m sorry, but I can’t make anything for you, could you find some food yourself today?” Eru gave a sad meow, “Also, I’m sick, so it’s better if you stay away from me for the day.” An even sadder meow followed, “Don’t be like that, I’ll make your favorite food once I get better, alright?” Now he gave a happy meow. “Good boy…”
Still a bit dispirited, Eru left the room. I felt a bit sad for him, but it couldn’t be helped… Besides, he can take care of himself.
Oh right, we were in the middle of something important! “I’m sorry, you were saying…?” I asked the prince.
He started mumbling to himself… “Don’t lose to a cat, Sedrim! Today is the day you’ll say it! Don’t give up!” I couldn’t really understand the mumbles though… Until he shouted, “Sakura, I need to tell you something!”
“Y-yes?” He suddenly raised his voice, so I was surprised.
“It may seem unfair to say it in this situation, but I found the courage to finally tell you today and I can’t give up on it now.
“You got sick, and I coincidentally came here to help, things ended up well this time, but it might not be the case in the next occasion. For as long as you’re an adventurer, because you’d be alone…
“Well, this is just an excuse though. What I’m trying to say, and I’m not joking, is that if you’ll allow me, I want to be with you. Through the happy and the sad times, those are my honest feelings.
“I know it feels sudden and that you might be confused, but I don’t need an answer right now, I just want you to think about it and when you’re ready, please give me an answer.” Those words made my heart beat faster and louder, I could also feel his heart through our linked hands… Is this a confession? No, a proposal? The prince? To me…?
“Well, I…” I started saying…
“You don’t need to give an answer right away. Think carefully about it and then give me your reply, for I’ll be waiting until then…” He kissed my hand and then put it back on the futon.
“Ah…” I was assaulted by loneliness now that his hand left me.
“I understand you’ll be troubled if I stay here now though, so I’ll call Chiffon to look after you.” And then, he left the room.
“… You just said you wanted to say by my side… And that you would hold my hand until I fell asleep…” I was really missing the warmth of his hand right now…
With this cold lone hand, I doubt I’ll be able to sleep now… Or so I thought, but I soon fell asleep on my own.