10. If you Have the Courage to Step Forward
Thus, the night fell upon us.
That day really tired me out. However, having resolved a problem, I felt a little closer to His Highness… I hoped tomorrow we could progress, too.
It was time to head to bed.
Inside the mansion’s simple bedroom, His Highness and I were about to go to bed.
Even if we were sleeping in the same bed, all we did was sleep beside each other. Yesterday was also the same.
I had finished changing into my nightwear. It was a pastel pink nightie. I had gotten changed in a small room directly connected to the bedroom.
I was waiting for His Highness to go to sleep, first.
But for some reason, His Highness remained in his chair.
At the end of his line of sight… was me. His beautiful, blue, jewel-like eyes were directed at me.
My cheeks became hot.
“Y, Your Highness, it’s embarrassing. Don’t stare at me so much…”
“I’m sorry, it’s just that Alisa in her nightwear seems so beautiful…”
“Didn’t you see it yesterday?”
“That’s right… but I’m still not used to it.”
His Highness averted his gaze all at once. But he kept sneaking glances at me.
I couldn’t stand the embarrassment, so I went to bed and slid underneath the blanket.
If I did that, he shouldn’t be able to see me.
After hesitating a little, His Highness joined me in bed.
However, he was a little far from me.
Because it was a large double bed, we could afford to distant ourselves.
His Highness then blew out the candle.
When it became pitch black, I once again realized that His Highness and I were sleeping alone.
I was sleeping sideways with my back to His Highness—because I was embarrassed.
I didn’t know what His Highness was doing.
Although we had sleep together yesterday, I was nervous. My heart was pounding incessantly, and I couldn’t fall asleep no matter what.
How long had passed?
His Highness called out to me. My heart skipped.
…What happened, I wondered.
“Are you still awake?”
“Yes, I can’t sleep.”
“Me, too… it’s just, it’s like a dream come true, to be able to sleep next to you…”
His Highness muttered softly.
What a strange thing to say. Why would he dream of sleeping beside me? When it came to His Highness, surely, there were many other women who’d suit him.
I didn’t know why His Highness considered me irreplaceable.
However, the His Highness kneeled to me, begging for me not to annul our engagement, was definitely a fact.
Although I felt embarrassed at that time, I also felt overjoyed.
…It was indeed a dream come true.
Then, I shall tell him—
“—It’s not a dream, because I’ve been by His Highness’ side all this time.”
When I said that with courage, it was a shame that I couldn’t see His Highness’ expression.
However, I felt that His Highness had relaxed quite a bit.
“…Thank you. I will do my best to be with Alisa. No matter the difficulties, I will always protect Alisa and turn Arkhangelsk into the best territory.”
“…Yes! Your Highness will surely be able to do it…!”
“As long as Alisa is by my side, I can be strong.”
His Highness said that in a gentle voice.
His Highness, who was right beside me, needed me.
Arkhangelsk was still a poor territory. In a way, it was akin to my relationship with His Highness. We hadn’t done any couple-like activities.
However, both could be changed little by little—as long as one had the courage to step forward.
Therefore, I decided to take just one step forward.
I gently got up and reached for His Highness’ body in the dark.
Then, I put my arm around His Highness’ back and embraced him tightly.
His Highness screamed immediately. He must be very surprised.
I couldn’t do it earlier, but that time, I successed.
Not only did he have a broad back, he was also warm.
Maybe due to nervousness, his body was tense.
“Since you couldn’t hug me today, I will hug you in exchange.”
“Does Your Highness dislike it…?”
“I, I don’t!! I’m happy, but… but!!”
“Then, it’s okay, isn’t it?”
When I whispered the into His Highness’ ear, his body became limp almost immediately.
I imagined His Highness must be quite embarrassed by now. His face must be bright red.
Then, I imagined his smile.
Again, it was a pity that the room was pitch black. I couldn’t see His Highness’ expression.
His Highness gently put his hand on my waist. I truly wanted him to reciprocate my embrace. Instead of just him gently placing his hand on me, I wanted him to hug me tightly.
However, just feeling His Highness’ hand made me nervous. Gradually, his warmth turned into a sense of security.
When I clung tightly to His Highness, I couldn’t control my thoughts…
“I, I love Your Highness… I like your kindness, your bashfulness, your calmness during emergencies, when you said you need me… I like everything about you.”
“Of course! But, I don’t know anything about His Highness, yet… That’s why, I want to know…”
I didn’t know anything about His Highness—yet.
What was his favorite food, what kind of childhood did he have, how was his relationship with Mikhail, I didn’t know anything about him—be it something trivial, or something important.
I didn’t even know why His Highness loved me so.
But… I was sure—
—once I knew, I’d love His Highness even more.
Together, let’s turn this territory into the best one!
I also wanted to know more about His Highness, and gradually shorten the distance between us.
What was needed for that was the courage to step forward like today.
“I also want to know more about Alisa.”
His Highness whispered—then, he proceeded to hug me back, tightly.
The warmth of His Highness enfolded me.
Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, my life as a lord along with His Highness would continue…
…I felt very happy, and was looking forward to the next day.
-Arc 1, END.
***T/N: Man, they get to hug at last… squeeeee