After handing over the man who was suspected of intentionally mixing alcohol into the Crown Prince’s drink and was placed under house arrest to the guards, I quickly walked around the venue towards Ester, trying to maintain my composure as the future king consort, but also eager to see her as soon as possible.
Events like this National Foundation Day party were a rare opportunity for Ester, who usually avoided me, to be by my side. Every second counted, and I didn’t want to waste any time being apart from her.
However, when I returned to where I had been before in a hurry, Ester was nowhere to be found. Suppressing my anxiety, I looked around and found her and the Crown Prince on a nearby balcony.
“Esterize. Are you okay? Here, I brought some water.”
“I can’t. . .I’ll spill it. . .Ugh.”
“Come on, hold on.”
The two of them squatted side by side in front of the railing. The Crown Prince rubbed Ester’s back as she tried to hold back her nausea. Although I understood that it was a kind gesture and that they were just friends, I couldn’t help feeling jealous and my heart ached.
“Wait, I’ll go get someone. . .Huh?”
As I approached them deliberately making noise, the Crown Prince quickly noticed me and smiled as if relieved.
“Sir Theodore, oh thank goodness! She is at her limit. Can you take her to the room?”
“Of course. Your Highness, please continue to enjoy the party.”
Gently holding the dazed Ester in my arms, I bowed to the Crown Prince, who gave me a wry smile and said he would leave it to me. I thought I had maintained a respectful attitude, suppressing my personal feelings, but perhaps my true emotions had leaked out.
I don’t want to be on bad terms with Verde either. Therefore, it is a joyous thing that Ester and the Crown Prince get along well, and if possible, I should also be friendly with him as the future king consort.
I try to keep that in mind, but I can’t seem to hide my envy of his special relationship with Ester.
“. . .Oh, Theodore?”
As we walked down the hallway after leaving the venue, Ester, who had been groaning uncomfortably, finally seemed to notice me. I couldn’t see her eyes behind the veil, but I could hear the faint sound of her blinking rapidly.
“Yes, is something wrong? Do you want to change your posture?”
“No, it’s okay. I’m just not feeling well.”
She covered her mouth with her hand, as if feeling nauseous. I became even more worried and increased our walking speed, eager to take her to her room as soon as possible.
By the way, it seems that Ester cannot teleport when she is drunk. She said it’s because she’s afraid of failing and getting stuck in a wall or on the ground.
“We need to hurry. If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
“I’m sorry, but could you carry me?”
“Of course, it would be my pleasure.”
Ester let out a sigh, seeming apologetic, but as for me, I have no falsehood in saying that it is an honor to support her. However, Ester seems to not believe it.
“Mou. . .don’t force yourself, please.”
“I’m not pushing myself too hard. . .Why do you think that? If you have any issues with my behavior, please don’t hesitate to tell me.”
What could be wrong? Even though I’m doing my best to express my love.
..No, perhaps it was precisely because I was so shamelessly pursuing her, even though she seemed to dislike me, that she found it bothersome. Maybe the way I phrased my concern, trying not to hurt her feelings, was the problem that’s what I thought.
“You try your best to hug me and say things that make it seem like you care… but you never kiss me… I guess that’s your limit. I wish you wouldn’t push yourself to that edge. It’s okay even if you don’t go that far…”
“Cough, cough, cough. . .!!”
I coughed unexpectedly at her words.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m sorry, I’m fine. No, more importantly. . .”
I hugged her tightly, trying not to let her fall as she raised her worried face, while also trying to regulate her breathing.
If the reason she can’t believe my feelings is because I won’t kiss her.
“Is it okay if I kiss you?”
I, who have been intentionally trying to get closer to Ester, have never done such a thing before. I thought it was not an acceptable act, even if she was my fiancé, as there was a possibility that Ester might hate it. . .If that’s the case, even hugging her might not be allowed by that logic.
“No, that’s not what I meant. . .You don’t have to force yourself.”
“What if it’s not a problem for me?”
“. . .It’s impossible.”
“It’s not impossible. In fact, I’ve been holding back quite a bit.”
I’ve wanted to kiss her countless times.
When she loosens her mouth with relief when I return from a mission, even though she avoids me.
When she leans on me, defenseless, even though she’s being hugged by someone she hates.
And when I saw her wearing a dress that matched mine today.
And yet, I’ve suppressed hundreds and thousands of impulses, and now there’s nothing.
“I suppose you’re holding back. . .”
She speaks as if she sees right through me, but does she really understand? If I were to erase the word ‘patience’ from my vocabulary, what would happen to her?
It’s better not to provoke her with such remarks. Rather than speaking of it, I should advise her as quickly as possible.
“Suu. . .”
Ester started to breathe in my arms.
“…Without even considering other people’s feelings. As long as I have your permission, I…”
I shook my head, as if to shake off the wicked thoughts that came to mind.
Of course, I couldn’t afford to think about such things. I had to put Ester to bed as soon as possible. . .
I wished that my love for Ester could be conveyed to her heart.