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I am a knight of the glorious Royal Guard Order of the Wilhelm Kingdom.
I have been graciously a.s.signed the duty of guarding His Highness the Crown Prince's room.
His Highness whose eyes had always been somehow cold, recently has been showing an extremely gentle countenance.
"Hey, you. What do you think about His Highness recently?"
During guarding, just as I looked at him, the colleague on the opposite side of the door called out to me. The man in sync with me replaced his predecessor about half a year ago, as my partner he has the same duty of defending His Highness's room.
"What, you say? In what sense?"
When I returned a question not understanding what he meant, my colleague shrugged his shoulders and said.
"In the literal sense. I've been thinking His Highness has changed recently. He's an excellent person who never foists unreasonable demands on us. I've never been anxious about following him, but he's too perfect, honestly I was scared"
"You were scared?"
When I knit my eyebrows at the disquieting words, my colleague awkwardly laughed that it's not like that.
"What do you think when you hear perfect person. It wasn't actually the case, but I feel that I was criticized for slightest mistakes. Why can't you do it. I was scared, with how he looked like he didn't hold a special interest in anything. he didn't seem like a fellow human. Of course, I revere His Highness the Crown Prince, but still"
Unconsciously I agreed.
Certainly it may be seen like that.
His Highness Friedrich shows perfect results in everything.
The stiff beauty and gentle gaze that's somehow cold, probably he's not the only one to find it frightening.
When I saw His Highness's characteristic sword technique that could defeat ten thousand alone, I couldn't stop shaking in fear either. From the bottom of my heart I felt I was glad to be on the same side.
"But you know, recently His Highness finally looks human to me"
As I looked in the direction of my colleague who spoke in a bright voice, he firmly nodded.
"Yeah. Because it's like that. When I saw it for the first time, I was so surprised I thought I'd collapse. On the engagement ceremony day. He brought Princess Consort to his room and didn't leave until the next day. If it was His Highness from before, that kind of thing would be impossible"
"That certainly was surprising…"
I recalled the engagement ceremony a few months ago.
The story that His Highness declared during the engagement ceremony that he won't take any concubine spread throughout the castle like a fire. Because he had been a sincere person from the start, that in itself wasn't surprising, but what was, is the story of the soldier present there.
"His Highness was happily smiling"
I thought, what sort of joke is that.
His Highness, who couldn't get rid of the fake impression even when he showed a gentle smile, smiling happily?
Just when I thought that it's impossible. His Highness came back dragging a single woman along.
Naturally I couldn't call out to him.
In fact, just before entering the room, His Highness forced me to be silent with only his gaze, I couldn't oppose the strength in his eyes.
With Head Court Lady fretting the night had pa.s.sed, and around the noon of the next day, I received a shock when His Highness came out of his room in a good mood like I'd never seen before. I'd wondered what happened, but when I heard Head Court Lady's story I only became more surprised.
The day before, who His Highness brought to his room was none other that Princess Consort he had the engagement ceremony with.
Moreover, there had already been the King's Flower' on her chest.
The King's Flower's existence means it's impossible to treat her as his fiancée. The wedding ceremony is still some time away, but she already has the qualifications of Princess Consort.
I have to treat her as His Highness's only Princess Consort. I thought so, however.
While everybody was in a daze from too many things happening, Princess Consort easily returned to her family's ducal residence.
I don't want to remember His Highness's face at that time.
Just before he was in such a good humor that he was humming, seeming about to break into a song (that His Highness did!), and yet the moment he learned Princess Consort wasn't there, I felt like blizzard blew all around.
For our own sake, we can't let Princess Consort go. That incident made us think that from the bottom of our hearts.
"His Highness is infatuated with Princess Consort…"
As my colleague muttered that, I nodded that it's exactly like that.
"Isn't that right. At first, I thought he was posing in front of the Prime Minister, but it's completely different. I heard the story of the fellow responsible for the security of the victory celebration party. The whole time he was with Princess Consort, seeming to be smiling? I heard that with his arm glued around her waist he was looking at Princess Consort with an enchanted face"
"I've also heard that. Let alone that, with all eyes on them he even kissed her forehead. I've also heard he fiercely reins in men fascinated by Princess Consort"
"Ah, a guy told me he thought he'd be killed even though he was just a little fascinated"
"I can't help but feel it's childish. Not in my wildest dreams have I thought His Highness would act like this"
"When His Highness is with Princes Consort, he makes such a sweet face, right? When I first saw it, I couldn't believe my eyes"
"You too? Actually me too. I wondered who in the world is he. It isn't good to speak like this, but he's already madly in love"
"I have the exact same impression. But you know, thanks to that I no longer find His Highness scary. Like that it seems like he's really a human like us. After all it looks like His Highness too can love people"
"I can understand what you're saying"
I could fully agree with my colleague's words.
His Highness had always treated everyone equally. It's correct as the person standing on the top, but in other words it only means he regarded n.o.body as special.
There's no way I, who's just a simple soldier, would understand His Highness's thoughts so I may have misunderstood him, but it was enough to think he's a distant person different from us.
"That's why I like how His Highness is now. Pouring all his affection on just Princess Consort. Honestly, His Highness's love seems extremely heavy, but you know"
"Doesn't Princess Consort run away from time to time as a result? No matter how I look at it, His Highness loves Princess Consort"
"Yeah, we can watch the incredibly rare spectacle of His Highness desperately trying to have her love him"
I wryly smiled at my colleague's words.
It's quite interesting watching His Highness desperately try to earn Princess Consort's love.
It's a rare sight.
"Princess Consort loves His Highness too, right?"
When I pointed that out, my colleague burst into laughter for a moment.
"Ahahahaha! Isn't that right. Absolutely only the people in question don't understand that, isn't that right?"
"Princess Consort is incredibly in love with His Highness, isn't she? Everybody would understand that seeing her happy face when she's with His Highness"
"Why doesn't His Highness realize it?"
"Rather than not realizing, doesn't he want to be made to realize it? I have such a hunch"
"Well, Princess Consort seems dull"
When I nodded to those words, I recalled their exchange I'd seen just a little while back.
"I've just seen Princess Consort"
"Eh? Where? Don't tell me she's run away again… Please stop. His Highness will get angry again"
Just as my colleague grimaced, I shook my head that it's different.
It's a dreadful matter, but Princess Consort has already run away several times. It's still fresh in my mind that I've been reprimanded by His Highness each time… It was extremely scary. I had resolved myself to never again, absolutely never again let her go, but somehow Princess Consort smoothly fled.
Although she looks graceful and very beautiful, is she truly a daughter of the preeminent ducal house? She's so energetic I have doubts like that.
"It was in the corridor this way. For some reason she was observing His Highness from behind a pillar"
"Ha? Observing His Highness? Why?"
"I wonder? I don't quite understand, but she was troubled while stealing glances at His Highness. His Highness too, despite realizing that didn't call out to her. All around them was a pink atmosphere difficult to be in. I felt sorry for Lord Alexei who happened to be there"
"Lord Alexei was? How unlucky"
Speaking of Lord Alexei, he's His Highness's close aide and Princess Consort's older brother.
His Highness and Princess Consort being madly in love these days is a famous story among us soldiers, so surely he's the most troubled. And actually, he had a very annoyed face.
"When His Highness and Princess Consort are together, seeing and hearing nothing is the basics. Otherwise… you'll get heartburn"
I nodded seriously to my colleague who also had a straight face. Princess Consort spends a lot of time with His Highness, so I often witness such scenes. For the sake of keeping your spirit in order it's essential to develop a technique to avoid seeing it.
"Lovey-dovey, aren't they"
"His Highness has it nice. Actually, it's a marriage of convenience, right? Yet to marry his beloved, he's too lucky. But you know, looking at His Highness, I'm starting to think it'd be nice to get married"
"I get you. I'm filled with the desire to get married as soon as possible… I think His Highness's reign will surely be peaceful"
"Isn't that right. It was unthinkable for me in the past, but now I can believe it. I'm glad His Highness is the Crown Prince of our country. If he's going to earnestly love his wife just like now, he won't take this country in a strange direction"
"That's right. Then after all what we can do is…"
I broke off words and fixed my eyes on my colleague. My colleague again nodded seriously.
What we can do for His Highness, that is――――.
"Don't let Princess Consort get away, isn't it"
"Isn't it…. Haaaa"
Our sighs leaked in unison.
Even so, it wasn't unpleasant.