There’s no way Theodore wouldn’t notice someone’s presence. He looked at me fearfully and with a deeply wounded expression.
“Ester. . .”
“Oh, you’re back so soon.”
“I almost got a kiss, but this woman is just getting in the way.”
“I have a grasp of the situation in general. I was thinking about the time I was bedridden, so I was relieved to know that even a kiss had not been attempted yet. However, Theodore would likely be uneasy seeing this scene after our argument. But with a gaze that suggests she wants to say something, the princess silences him.
“Theodore. . .You understand, right? Saying something will only bring blame to this woman. Well, blame will be placed on her even if you don’t say anything. Hehe.”
Yes, she’s definitely threatening him. Before, even though Theodore had a lower status, I refrained from using any honorifics and called him Theodore-sama out of respect and admiration. However, I felt like clicking my tongue when I noticed she had switched to calling him without any honorifics.”
“. . .Please take him away.”
“Hehe, too bad. Oh, that’s right! It’s your birthday. . .right?”
“. . .Ester, I’m sorry, but I’m the princess’s partner. . .”
“That’s why, take care of her, okay?”
The princess grinned and wrapped her arm around Theodore’s, making me feel frustrated as I let out a small sigh.
“Is that all? I’m going to bed now, so please leave quickly.”
“Okay. See you, Theodore. Come for a fitting tomorrow since we need to adjust the costumes.”
“Even though we couldn’t make it a reality, if we wear matching costumes and attend the birthday celebration, everyone will think he’s mine.”
“What is a matching outfit. . .I prepared it well, even though it might have been a waste. Walking towards my bedroom while glancing at the princess Kol, who was happily dancing around, Theodore’s broken Kol was useless to worry about.
I took off my coat and threw it on the coat hanger. I could hear Theodore’s hesitant footsteps following me, but we both didn’t know what to say, so we remained silent.
I’m struggling to decide whether to tell the truth, and Theodore probably can’t speak carelessly because he’s being threatened. Maybe the princess’s spy is eavesdropping.
When requesting cooperation from Diark, I plan to say that I know this through divination magic. It’s a protocol to use it when it’s likely to be exposed that I can read people’s thoughts or when an explanation is needed to gain cooperation.
Specifically, I will say, “At the birthday celebration, the third princess was killed by Grose Baehr, and a fake me confessed to being the client, and the prince had a prophetic dream that incited the war.” Diark will lend a hand just with that. . .I think. However, Theodore won’t be satisfied with just that. He won’t understand why I didn’t react when I saw the failed kiss scene. It would be unnatural to say that I saw the prediction that I’m being threatened by the princess. No, it wouldn’t work.”
I want to tell Theodore the truth, but it might just be my ego not wanting to be misunderstood. I want to have Theodore protect the princess and prevent a war. . .For that, it’s better to keep the awkward atmosphere as it is now. I can protect myself to some extent with teleportation, and even if I get seriously injured, I can be healed with healing magic. However, the princess will be defenseless at the birthday celebration held in the Hall, where she cannot use the four elemental magics. Of course, Theodore has also mastered martial arts and can protect me even in such a place.
I feel bad for Theodore, but it can’t be helped. Esterize Alessa Acardi, whom he cherishes, is a person who exists for the country. Besides, I originally planned to ask Roland to be my proxy. It was good that I asked him to come as one of my bodyguards, just in case. He is strong enough, and I will have him stay by my side. I will talk to Theodore about everything after it’s all over.
Thinking that way, I slipped under the sheets, and Theodore came to my side. His jewel-like eyes, which always looked straight at me, were now hard to see, as his bangs covered them in the moonlight.
“Ester. . .Can you explain it to me. . .?”
He must also be suspicious of the existence of a spy. As if trying to speak only for me to hear, he leaned his face closer to my ear, and his voice sounded tinged with sadness. When I realized that I truly reciprocated his feelings, my heart started pounding uncontrollably, despite having experienced this proximity many times before. But I must remain calm… I regulated my breathing so that he could see it.
“. . .It’s not necessary.”
“I understand. Good night.”
His voice was as if he was enduring something. It pained me to see him lying down, curled up as far away from me as possible.