|Author: Tensei Mikami||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2269 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 958|
Seletina tightly gripped her treasured sword and suddenly noticed a gaze. However, it was not Eleanor’s. The gaze she followed led her to see Elias walking toward them, his leather shoes clacking.
The silvery nobleman’s figure fit well in the colorful flower gardens, and his shoulder-length silver hair swayed softly as he walked.
When Elias’ eyes met Seletina’s, they turned upward with pleasure.
Seletina cleared her throat to set the tone before the approaching prince, then picked at the edge of her skirt and hung her head deeply.
“Good morning, Prince Elias.”
“Good morning, Seletina. I was sure you’d be here. You’re up early today as well, Eleanor.”
Elias said, smiling softly. However, Seletina suddenly posed an unexpected question.
“Prince Elias, why are you dressed like that?”
Elias’ attire was somewhat different from what he normally wore in the castle. He had leather boots and light armor, and the cloak that matched the white elegant armor was thick and looked rather functional.
The sword at his waist was not as flashy as usual, and the atmosphere around him was rather grave.
“Oh this? I heard that a demon has appeared in a territory not that far away, so I’m on my way to inspect it.”
“Are you sure it’s safe to go there?”
“It’ll be alright, Seletina. I’m not going to fight the demon head-on. Besides, the king’s blood is coursing through my veins. I swear on my name that I won’t do anything dangerous.”
“But,” Eleanor interrupted their conversation, “Why are you going there in the first place? Aren’t the knights and the adventurers tasked with slaying the demons.”
“That’s the point, Eleanor.”
“We royals always stand on the side that’s being protected, while leaving the dangerous work of slaying demons to others. All we do is give orders. We pick troops based on our budget and tell them to go kill this and that.” Elias spoke, appearing somewhat downcast.
“Not long ago I thought that was fine. I believed that it was their job to protect us, while we had our own matters to attend to. However, I realized something after the recent incident. I realized just how frightening the Demons are, and just how noble the warriors who fight them are.”
“I want to be on the side of those who fight. Just how they protect us, I want to give it my best and try to protect them with all I can. I want to grow into the kind of king’s vessel that people are prepared to give their lives for.”
Elias smiled, seeming a bit lonely. He recognized his own weakness and the fact that he knew very little about certain matters. He felt disgusted with himself for being in such a state. He felt ashamed of himself for wanting to sit on the throne while being ignorant and unaware of important things.
I want to change.
He was now determined to break out of his shell. He contemplated what he could do in his own way to bring about that change. His first step would be to acquire knowledge and gain experience.
That seemed like a good starting point.
“Prince Elias… I am deeply moved by your genuine concern for your soldiers and your noble aspirations for self-discipline!”
Seletina exclaimed, her eyes lighting up. She understood the value of a king who cared for his soldiers.
The prince has been raised well.
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Seeing Elias grow in such a manner warmed her heart.
Elias glanced at Seletina and smiled, a troubled expression on his face.
“It’s not such a big deal. I was just made aware of how ignorant I have been up until now.”
“To put it so mildly is…”
“No. These are the facts and I have to accept them. It is not something that I wished to be praised for.”
Elias earnestly hoped for his own personal growth.
“Brother Elias, aren’t you running short on time?” Eleanor asked.
“You’re right! Thank you, Eleanor.”
Elias responded. He glanced at the pocket watch in his pocket and reluctantly put it away.
Then he turned to Seletina.
His mouth closed shut. He looked as if he’d made up his mind.
Seletina’s expression also intensified slightly, reflecting her curiosity.
“Seletina, from what I heard you are leaving the royal capital tomorrow. I will be away as well for a little while starting today, so I won’t see you for some time.”
“This is but a short farewell. However, during this time I wish to work on myself. As a person, as a prince… and as a man.”
All so that I can become a strong man, worthy enough to stand by your side.
The fire in Elias’ jade eyes grew even stronger as he took Seletina’s hands. There was a subtle hint of a proposal in his gesture, but Seletina remained oblivious to it.
She merely viewed herself as a parent figure, and as such was simply overjoyed to witness the prince’s growth.
Seletina smiled, however, she showed a slightly troubled expression.
“I… I too am weak.” she said.
“Well if that’s the case then I will become strong enough to protect you.”
Elias declared, smiling broadly.
Caught in the act, Seletina couldn’t help but smile in return. A gentle spring breeze blew, creating a moment of stillness between them.
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“Seletina, I have said what I wanted to say to you. Well then, time is running short, I’d better get going. Take care… and be careful not to catch a cold.”
“Thank you, Prince Elias. Safe journey.”
“Thank you. Eleanor… Huh?”
Elias paused mid-sentence, his expression becoming perplexed. Elias and Seletina both looked around, searching for Eleanor. However, to their surprise, Eleanor had suddenly vanished from their sight1.