124.1 The Things that Change, The Things that don’t Change (Claude’s POV)
Without realizing it, a year had passed since the battle against the Demon King.
“Your Highness! This is also incorrect! A problem of this level is something you should be able to finish by now!”
The Kingdom of Verclaim.
The voice of rebuke echoed within the royal castle.
The soldiers walking in the corridor murmured, “Again…”
However, the scolding wasn’t done with the intent of humiliating the person, but that of a parent looking after a child.
The source of that voice came from a certain room.
“As it is, you will never beat the prince of the neighboring kingdom…!”
“N, no way…”
A strict woman wearing glasses was scolding a man.
The man, whom was facing the table, showed a difficult expression.
The man was none other than the first prince of the Kingdom of Verclaim—Claude Verclaim.
“Well, I can’t help it, I haven’t studied properly until now…”
Claude, who was unhappy, rebutted.
His hair was a little shorter than a year ago.
“That’s why getting a decent score on the test will be difficult.”
“Stop making excuses! Now that I’ve returned, I’ll give my utmost to teaching Your Highness! Be prepared—within three years, you shall surpass His Highness Nigel!”
When Claude tried to argue, the woman showed a stern look.
I, I’m scared… I can’t argue against her…
Claude trembled, and looked down at his book again.
—while the Demon King and the demons had been subjugated, the damage to the royal capital was enormous.
The fear carved into the hearts of the people wouldn’t heal so easily.
But—the miraculous thing was—no one died in the previous battle.
Everyone had survived.
Of course, there were many who were grievously injured, but nothing life-threatening.
Despite engaging in a full-scale war with the demons, the result was miraculous.
“…Because you re-hired me, I thought you reformed. Looks like that isn’t the case. Well, at least your habit of skipping class has been fixed…”
The woman spoke to Claude while clenching her teaching materials.
The woman had previously been ordered to serve as Claude’s tutor.
But, because of her strictness, Claude dismissed her.
I have to catch up with Nigel… It’ll be a little difficult, but I’ve gotten stronger!
Claude thought such while running his brush over his notebook—
—to catch up with Nigel.
Such was his goal.
However, it was impossible to do so with half-hearted efforts. Nigel probably did his best in his studies.
Therefore, Claude required a good educator.
Thus, Claude re-hired his former tutor.
After she had been dismissed, she began living a life of self-reliance cultivating fields in some remote area.
Claude fully believed she wouldn’t return.
Using the power of his authority, Claude could have simply force her to return, but he didn’t want to do that…
…Thus, Claude went straight to her and bowed to her.
“It can’t be helped. I shall raise Your Highness Claude to be a magnificent future king!”
She was strangely motivated and gave an immediate answer.
The result was as such.
“What is it?”
When Claude tried to speak, she answered sternly.
Terrified, Claude spoke with a quivering voice.
“I’m sorry—I just want to express my thanks. You’re always thinking about me, right? I’m sorry for being such an incompetent student.”
The woman was surprised for a moment.
But soon, her face turned bright red.
“O, of course, how unlike you, Your Highness Claude! Your Highness Claude has improved compared to before! A, am I too strict? It can’t be helped, it might be time for a snack…”
She was bashful.
This is my first time seeing this side of her…
If he observed people well, he could see many sides to them.
Until now, Claude had been narrowminded.
That was why, he was quick to anger and couldn’t even notice such awkward tenderness.
Claude resumed his studies while studying her expression and thinking such.
His lesson ended.
He wanted to rest, but Claude forced himself to partake in a meeting with the ministers.
“—Such is the case.”
“—we might be able to restore the economy.”
“—more than that, help the lives of the people.”
The conference room was filled with technical terms, and Claude was about to doze off.
However, while expanding his dictionary, Claude managed to partake in the discussion.
First of all, I have to be able to understand what they’re discussing… otherwise, I won’t be able to take part in the national policy…
With that in mind, Claude forced himself to attend the meetings.
His past self wouldn’t have done so. Listening to the ministers made him sleepy. Therefore, he didn’t even try to listen.
Thus, he ended up being a bother.
When he remembered that, he felt ashamed of himself.
“Although the saint and the prince of the neighboring kingdom have defeated the Demon King, it’s important to prepare for the future. In other words…”
Amidst the meeting, the topic of the saint came up—
—of course, that saint was Eliane.
Today marks a year since that final battle… It’s been exactly one year since Eliane left us…o
When he thought of her face, he felt lonely.
Since that day, there had never been a day when he didn’t think about Eliane.
But—more than Eliane, Claude’s mind was filled with another woman—
…Leticia disappeared, too. Where is she? What is she doing right now?
That was right.
The day after the final battle, Leticia disappeared. She left him a letter.
“It’s because I’m unworthy of you.”
The letter contained such a short sentence.
When Claude saw that, he was depressed.
What does she mean!?
I love her!
He wanted a future with her…
…Even so, where on earth did she disappear to…?
However, Claude didn’t have time to be depressed.
I’m sure Leticia knows I’m working hard…
As of the present, he also didn’t have the courage to go see Leticia.
But one day, once he became a man who could make her and Eliane proud, he’d court Leticia.
At that time, even if meant going through water and fire, even if it meant going to the depths of hell—he would take Leticia’s hand without hesitation.
Thus, Claude made a firm decision.
Hence why, over the past year, Claude had been giving his damnedest, no matter how tough it was.
“Your Highness Claude?”
One of the ministers beckoned to him.
“What do you think, Your Highness Claude? About the reconstruction of the city…”
Claude hurried to answer the question.
In the past year, they had been rebuilding the royal capital at a remarkable rate.
But there was still had a long way to go to return the capital to its former state.
…The citizen’s lives are the top priority. They have to be in a kingdom where they can feel safe.
Claude’s expression turned firm as he continued—
“—A, as for me…”
***T/N: That’s an actual character development right there.
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!