*T/N: Sorry for being missing for almost two weeks, guys! And no, I’m not going on a hiatus or anything, everything’s fine! I’d like to congrats my uploader slash editor, Alea, for their move! It’s just… the move comes with the issue of not having any internet. As such, please bear with us. Hopefully, we can return to the usual release schedule, soon!
“I was certain you’d be returning from the North the day after tomorrow.”
“Yes, the schedule is for the day after tomorrow.”
As if nothing had happened, Phil continued.
“—However, because I wanted to see you right away, I bolted off with a horse. By changing horses along the way, I was able to shorten the time.”
“…But this horse seems familiar.”
“Yes, this guy is the most reliable, so I sent it to a location close to the royal capital in advance. Thanks to that, I was able to shake off my pursuit.”
What on earth did you do this time?
If it was the same as when he departed, his pursuit would be a group of knights…
“…Instead of returning to the royal capital, did you come here straight away?”
Phil didn’t answer.
Instead, he turned away with a smile on his face.
…I sighed deeply.
“…If I were to return to the royal capital, I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere for the next few days. I’d have to submit a few reports and finish other menial tasks. Not to mention, the monkeys are strangely fond of me. As of the present, I’d like to not deal with them.”
He kept monologuing to himself.
In the end, he breathed out while sitting down on the grass. Thus, I sat down next to him.
“Phil sure is loved by his family, isn’t he?”
“…Thanks, but what about you?”
Phil suddenly leaned in and peered into my face.
“I love Lucia-chan. I always want to see you, how about you…?”
“May I touch you a little? I don’t care if Alves beats me.”
Before I knew it, his deep blue eyes were right beside me.
After removing his gloves, his large hands slowly reached for my cheeks. He patted my skin with the back of his fingers and chuckled.
“Your skin is glossy. Are the people dispatched here useful?”
“Y, yes… they are an excellent help…”
“That’s a relief. Your hands aren’t too coarse. While I like your hard-working hands, it also pains me to see them… Because I love Lucia-chan’s hands.”
Phil softly clasped one of my hands with his.
He gently touched and enveloped it as if it were the most precious treasures in the world. Then, after lifting it reverently, he kissed its back.
Lightly, he kissed the back of my hand over and over. Thus, the number of soft kisses increased. Eventually, after a long time, he let go. At the same time, I released a warm sigh.
Shivering, I gently cupped my cheeks in my hands to calm down.
“I’m sorry, I will restrain myself… But, it’s as if my rationality has forsaken me… I don’t even care if Alves beats me.”
“Lucia-chan, may I kiss you?”
“I’m trying to say, Alves is here!”
I ignored my noisy heartbeat and shouted.
Phil finally raised his face, but he still hadn’t released me.
“…The shepherds here indeed have keen eyes. Moreover, they are too loyal. Isn’t it about time they return to my side?”
Phil muttered such a thing. His eyes watched a horse approaching with tremendous speed.
The large rider exhibited skillful riding while his dark blond hair swayed in the wind.
It was none other than Alves—who should’ve been at the outskirts of the territory.
Without slowing down, Alves approached the well. Then, he stopped in front of us.
Almost at the same time he alighted off the horse, he roughly grabbed Phil’s collar, forcing him to stand.
“I told you to refrain from doing that!”
“…I was merely touching her hands. However, I have to acknowledge you—you’re the quickest, Alves.”
“Actually, on my way here, there are about three to four knights chasing after me. Even though I had the advantage of distance, you somehow managed to chase after me. As I thought, it’s a waste, you should return to being a knight.”
“I won’t. I’m nothing more than a commoner, now.”
While still breathing heavily, Alves spoke in astonishment.
“Still, for you to be chased, what did you do this time?”
“Instead of returning straight to the royal capital, I came here. Be it the knights of the third army who accompanied me from the North, or the guards who came to escort me halfway… oh, and also, I recall seeing two other knights on the road. I managed to shake them off. If it wasn’t for this horse here, such feat would be downright impossible!”
“…Then, doesn’t that mean His Majesty has summoned you? What the hell are you doing here?”
“It’s precisely because I’m a king’s son that I’m fleet-footed, you know.”
Phil spoke happily, but I was an ordinary person. As such, I didn’t understand what that meant.
Realizing that I was staring at him, Phil slipped out of Alves’ grasp and smiled at me.
“The main priority of the royal family is to survive, right? I excelled at many things, but there are few who can compete with the riding technique of the royal family.”
“Is there something like that…?”
I glanced at Alves.
My brother only smiled as he tidied his ruffled hair.
“He isn’t lying. When I became a knight of the royal army, he was the one who taught me. In fact, the royal family’s guards always struggle to keep up with them.”
…There was apparently a considerable discrepancy between the image of the knights and the royal family as seen from the outside and the actual situation.
For the time being, the knights were barbarians, while the royal family had some monkeys in them.
Such was my current impression, and it appeared to be just right. In the first place, the general public shouldn’t be deeply involved with them…
…But here I was, involved with both of them.
***T/N: //Stardew Valley OST – Cloud Country plays//
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