49. The Evening at Ragulen
In the end, Phil was taken away by five knights. A week later, he finally paid the Ragulen family a visit.
Seemingly having done his job properly that time around, Phil’s beautiful face was dyed with exhaustion.
As I welcomed him at the entrance, I took a look at the road leading towards the royal capital just in case.
Fortunately, he had no pursuers that time.
“…You came alone today, right?”
“Yes, if I remember correctly, there should have been an escort halfway through. But as usual, I shook him off.”
…Hee. For the time being, it seems that escorts are going to be assigned to Phi—
—and they will be shaken off as usual.
Uh-huh. Thinking too much about it won’t be good for my own health.
I mustn’t worry too much.
While regaining my composure, I lightly cleared my throat.
“Thank you for your hard work. I didn’t know that you’d be visiting today, so I only cooked some stew. Is that alright?”
“It’s more than enough.”
Phil’s weary face relaxed.
“I’m delighted that I’ll be able to enjoy stew tonight… But, I’m especially happy because I was able to meet Lucia-chan.”
Phil smiled gently and passionately kissed the back of my hand.
His movement was fluid, eloquent, and flawless—I couldn’t help but swoon.
Then, Phil erased his smile. I glanced at Alves who stood at the back of the corridor.
With a difficult expression, Phil took something out of his pocket.
“I have a gift for you… It was prepared by my brother, but I want you to receive it.”
Phil, who said so, knelt on the floor.
He stared up at me, in my astonishment, and slid what he was holding onto my finger. The item had been warmed by his body, and it fit snugly on my finger.
Phil’s hand left. My stiff fingers quivered.
There was something heavy and metallic on my left ring finger.
In the light that was began to be dyed the color of sunset, I raised my hand to match the height of my face.
It was a little wide for a female ring. The ring itself was decorated with a delicate pattern. The flower-like pattern resembled that of Phil’s ear cuff from before.
Meanwhile, the particularly large pattern was the crest of the royal family.
…Is a ring supposed to be this heavy?
My body trembled from its incredible weight. The more I saw it, the more suffocated I felt.
“Lucia-chan, if you think that it’s too heavy, you may remove it.”
On his knee, Phil muttered feebly.
I slowly took a deep breath and turned away from the ring.
“…What if I don’t remove it?”
“Then, you’ll be married with me in a year and a half. That’s the only grace I can give you. In exchange, I will protect you by all means.”
With the expression of a haughty person demonstrating his authority, he made a clear statement.
However, he soon became meek again.
“…Even if you chose to remove the ring, I’ll always protect Lucia-chan’s pride and honor. I know the weight of this crest. I love Lucia-chan. I’ll absolutely keep you safe. There’ll be times where I’ll give priority to my brother, but I’m willing to risk my life for you. Therefore, I want you to keep wearing that ring.”
Phil looked truly uneasy as he held my left hand.
For me, the ring was too heavy.
But what Phil endured must had been incomparable in weight.
…If I were to be able to lift his burden, as much as possible—
—would Phil laugh more? Would he show his gentle and calm sides more often, just like when he stayed with us?
I thought of the Phil that’d lie on the floor and smile without a care in the world.
At that moment, I realized that the weight of the ring didn’t bother me at all.
I caressed his silver hair with my free hand and smiled deeply as I gaze into his blue eyes.
“…I’m rather thick and strong. So, I’m confident that I’ll get used to this weight.”
Therefore, absolutely protect me—
—I intended to add that joke at the end.
However, Phil instantly stood up and pulled me into a hug. I couldn’t move until Alves pried him away.
As always, at night, we dined on simple stew.
Nevertheless, the mood was bright. Their pace of drinking alcohol was too fast that day.
Phil took that opportunity to tell Alves that he was still considered a member of the royal army.
I had already given up on telling them to stop with the knife throwing and sword dancing.
It was only a week ago that Phil told me to keep it a secret from Alves.
…Really, what have you done?
“Listen, Alves, you’re still my subordinate, so don’t go against my words! Come back into service and lead the first army for me and Lucia-chan!”
“Huh?! What did you say!? Hey, I’m still against you touching Lucia! In fact, let’s have a match! We shall battle until the new day arrives!”
“Alright! Everyone, be our witnesses! No, actually, you guys are free to join! There are many wooden swords available!”
For some reason, the simple argument that occurred amidst the knife throwing became a full-fledged sword match involving the knights who were temporarily residing here.
…Everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun.
Also, those people were supposed to be the best amongst the elite knights of the kingdom.
Well, since we were far from the town, I refrained from stopping them.
I didn’t think they had drunk that much. Besides, it was already pitch-black outside…
I should had been surprised, but as I kept looking out at the window, I was laughing the entire time.
Perhaps, I was happier than I thought.
***T/N: Aight let’s send this dude to the frontier so we can have our honeymoon, Lucia-chan! -Phil, probably.
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