48. Escort Duty (Camila)
A little girl said, while being held by a young man.
“While I’m learning etiquette from Lady Sufia, will Your Majesty be working?”
“Yes, I’m meeting with the chairman of the firm.”
“Then please don’t forget to bring Zeke with you.”
“Also, don’t forget to take your medicine.”
“Yes. Will you come to my office after you finish studying? I think the pound cake is just about done.”
“I understand, it’s a pinky-promise!”
The two who promised to each other were akin to close friends. The young man was the Emperor of the empire while the little girl was already his bride, therefore, no one would be surprised by such scene.
All I can do is smile while looking at them~
The Emperor’s smile… certainly, everyone can smile, but what’s truly inside?
With her hand on her cheek, Camila sighed.
Zeke, who was once beside Camila, went to the young man’s side, followed by the little girl jumping down to approach Camila.
“I’m sorry for the wait, Camila. Time to go.”
Like an adult, Jill separated from His Majesty and went to the room where her etiquette tutor waited.
Instead of discriminating and oppressing people, she would give out instructions and take proper responsibility. The true epitome of a Captain—as Zeke said. Even her appearance, which was that of a ten year old girl, seemed unsuitable.
However, no matter how much Camila thought about it, that recent conversation somewhat suited her childish appearance.
…speaking of which, Zeke was saying something weird.
When that girl was fighting the Goddess, she looked like an adult woman.
Camila thought it was an illusion. After all, at that time, the night sky glittered with magic. It wasn’t impossible for said magic to play with her vision.
But, she was suddenly concerned—
—what could this little girl be?
If that girl truly wasn’t a mere, cute, little girl but a woman, would Camila be content to just look at her with a smile?
Camila grew anxious at what she used to perceive as a mere childish smile.
“Hey, Jill-chan~, what do you like about the Emperor?”
“Eh? What’s with the sudden question?”
Jill responded to the question like how an ordinary girl would.
Camila continued walking through the corridor with Jill.
“He kept smiling at Jill-chan, I’m worried if you might be misled by that~”
“The Emperor is certainly super good-looking, but what about on the inside, behind all that~?”
“Uhm, Camila, you’re being profane towards His Majesty right now.”
Even if so, that was the only way Camila could express it.
—‘that’; his innocence which betrayed his outer appearance. His honest cruelty. Everything—including his mysterious gentleness.
“I know Jill-chan has set her eyes on the Emperor—but, to jump into marriage, isn’t it a bit too hasty~? No matter how strong you are, you’re still a ten year old. Therefore, I’m worried that Jill-chan might be misled by her own feelings.”
“…I can’t deny your points there, Camila.”
Camila put her hand on Jill’s shoulder. What Jill currently required wasn’t a man, but a friend that would listen to her.
“That’s why~ Camila onee-san is quite worried~ are you really, reaaally happy with your decision? Why would you decide on the Emperor?”
“…’I have no choice’, I thought. I decided to because he’s too pitiful.”
“Be-because he’s too pitiful~?” After parroting that, Camila panicked.
“Wait what—!? It’s because Jill-chan felt sorry—!? B, but, isn’t love supposed to be heart throbbing, something that makes you unable to pry your eyes away from him, instead of, …this—!?”
“I do feel my heart throb, though? His Majesty also faints frequently, right? That makes me unable to pry my eyes away from him.”
“I’m saying that that’s completely different~!! Love is, love is when everything he does seems cool, to the point it makes you want to scream, ‘kyaaa~’!!”
“Hmm, I’m not sure about that. Personally, I think the fact that I still want to help him despite how cool or perfect he is, is the definition of my love.”
Camila became speechless for a moment.
Jill looked up at Camila in both a meaningful and mischievous way.
“For example, if Camila is in any peril or difficulty, I would be feeling sorry for you, thus lending a hand. It can be called sympathy. Because to me, Camila is someone I am obligated to protect. But His Majesty is different.”
“Eh… wait~? What do you mean, ‘different’?”
“His Majesty is a person that can manage until the end through anything, even if it means being alone—and I dislike that. I don’t want him to face anything solely by himself, I want to help him. My help might be unnecessary to him, but still, I want to help. Love is a pretty troublesome thing, huh?”
“Somehow… I understand your point~”
“No matter what people say, His Majesty is strong. Much stronger than Camila and even me.”
Camila unconsciously held her chest—it was as if she was being stabbed there.
“That… that stings~ most importantly… eh? What was it that I’m about to say?”
“Even if you asked me that…”
“Ah, I got it. Jill-chan likes His Majesty because he’s strong—“
—while at the same time, Jill considered Camila to be a weaker man than His Majesty the Emperor.
Protecting and reaching out were within Jill’s kindness. It was a natural thing for Jill.
“…I’ll stop thinking about it~”
“Some things are better left untouched in this world~ sometimes, even adults need to look away from the reality~…”
“You said something similar to His Majesty.”
“Wait, stop talking, I’m in a bit of a mess right now~”
“Huh? Hm, on another side, compared to His Majesty, I think Camila is more of an adult.”
Beside Camila, Jill laughed. Her laugh was childish. Even her stride was small.
Ah, I understand now~
There’s no doubt about it, this girl is a woman.
That’s why she can’t properly understand the feelings of a man.
“Yes, yes~ I’m indeed an adult, so what? Do you want me to hug you, Jill-chan~?”
“Even Camila is teasing me, now… I’m fine, thanks.”
“Haha~ I’m just joking~”
Stunned by herself, Camila smiled bitterly.
Jill gave no one else but Hadith the chance. He would be casually hugging her while she said nothing to him and let it happen—yes, indeed, that privilege belonged only to Hadith.
Even if unconscious, women were always strict at drawing the line.
“I should’ve noticed from the start~”
“Nothing~ just some gibberish~”
Camila was sure she would also have her own privileges, especially during emergencies—
—or rather, isn’t that specifically the job of an escort?
“What is it this time?”
“I noticed it, you know~ Jill-chan, you’re actually glad to be hugged suddenly by His Emperor, right?”
Camila was a little frustrated.
Be still, my beating heart. Don’t let this girl grow into a woman you prefer.
It’s all Zeke’s fault. Let’s leave it at that.
Camila decided to devote herself to her duty of escorting Jill.
***T/N: awwwwwwww Camila toooooo~~~~~??!?!?!?! Man this extra chapter is like a dream.