Childhood Friend’s Conflict 4
… That was close.
After I parted with Lidi on my way back to the eastern tower I’m attached to, I was recalling what happen a while ago.
Maintenance of the transfer gate for the exclusive use of the royalty. While I was walking through the royal quarters to perform my weekly duty, suddenly I was called to a halt by the familiar voice.
Unconsciously my legs stopped.
As I turned in the direction of the voice, Lidi was there, surrounded by royal guards and calling out to me.
When I hurried to her side, the royal guards, aware of my status, immediately stepped a little aside to give me space.
She looked at me as if she was relieved.
I was startled by her figure for a moment.
I couldn’t say anything.
She only stood with her back straight like always.
And yet I felt a faint allure from her.
Just by having her turn her eyes at me, my body heated up.
Feeling guilty I averted my eyes, only to catch sight of the dress she’s wearing.
A beautiful dark blue gradient dress with a wide-open neckline.
The dress made to cling to her body suited the slender her well, but seeing the flower that’s His Highness’s symbol clearly engraved on her chest, my heart ached.
After a moment I was brought back to reality.
I managed to rein myself and after breathing out with a face like it was nothing, asked what she’s doing here.
Then, she spoke as if she was a little troubled.
“I came ahead of time because of tomorrow’s evening party. I was a little bored so I thought of going for a walk, but… why is Will in such a place?”
Because of tomorrow’s evening party… That might not be all. I’ve heard Lidi will also attend the audience of the Crown Prince of Sahaja tomorrow. I’ve quickly realized she had come to the castle for that reason.
Still, with the royal guards around, she held back and cleverly mentioned the evening party.
I went along with it, and without touching on it answered her question.
“Maintenance of the royal transfer gate”
Lidi showed interest in my answer and brought up coming with me.
But, it’s a room exclusive to the royalty. With the maintenance entrusted to me, I’m an exception.
I want to grant any of her wishes, but sure enough rules can’t be ignored.
I felt apologetic for having to refuse, when my line of sight again landed on her chest.
… I see, she’s already.
The existence of the ‘Royal Flower’ demonstrates she’s already recognized as the royalty.
Finally realizing that, I ignored the heavy feeling in my chest and nodded to her.
“… No, it’s nothing. There’s no problem if it’s Lidi”
When I agreed Lidi showed a broad smile.
Just seeing that smile is enough to make hearing her request worth it.
To think that I really am afflicted by a serious illness, I mocked myself.
Then I brought Lidi along to the room with the transfer gate, and saying she can do as she wants began working on the planned maintenance.
While working in a squatting position, the presence other than mine, hers, was on my mind no matter what.
Unable to concentrate I stole a glance at her, to see her observing the transfer gate with interest.
With sparkling eyes, she curiously gazed at the transfer gaze.
A smile escaped me seeing her unaware she’s brimming with curiosity as usual.
Just thinking I’m near her made my heart jump for joy.
Perhaps as a materialization of my desire to spend more time with her like this, I spent over twice as long on the maintenance.
Having noticed it, I could only smile wryly.
I’m amazed by my overly honest behavior.
Even so, I couldn’t only be happy.
Thinking of the heavy responsibilities she’s burdened with, before I noticed words escaped me.
“Is His Highness… treating you kindly?”
As her eyes went round, I regretted asking.
―――― It’s a meaningless question.
I already understand His Highness loves Lidi more than anything, and I was made to realize she has feeling for His Highness.
There’s no way His Highness wouldn’t treasure her. He’s so infatuated he’d do anything for her. It’s something I can easily imagine.
―――― Because I’d do the same in His Highness’s place.
Sure enough, she answered positively with a gentle smile.
It was an expression of true happiness, yet it only gouged inside of me.
Then, with a slightly troubled face, she asked if it looks like she’s struggling.
It doesn’t… There’s no way it does.
She always decides everything by herself and walks by herself.
Even if she regretted it, since it’s what she herself had decided on, she’d never turn back.
Simply looking ahead, and always leaving me behind.
… Until she went to a place outside my reach.
“No… it doesn’t. Lidi is… the same as ever”
Although she does things unthinkable of a noble woman without hesitation, I like the way she is. I love it.
Yes, she’s the same as ever.
No matter how much time passed, I’ll keep loving her.
Even though I’d rather she changed, I felt I could do anything and everything for her as she is.
“Right? That’s why it’s okay. Thanks for your worry”
As she suddenly peered into my face, I lost my breath from surprise.
With her so close that I could feel her breath, my heart jumped.
Unable to withstand the shock I leapt back.
Thump thump, my heartbeat quickened so much it hurt.
I honestly thought I’d die from shock.
Completely unaware of my feelings she sulked.
Cute, dull, and cruel Lidi.
You never consider with what feelings you face me.
Wanting to see my various faces, hating if I were misunderstood.
I’m begging you, don’t make me happier.
Even if I’m all too aware there’s no deep meaning in it, can’t I have hope.
Perhaps, I still have a tiny chance left.
… Even though I understand that’s not the case.
Despite the great turmoil in my heart, I continued the trivial talk with her.
I pulled myself together and resumed the transfer gate maintenance.
The talk turned to the Crown Prince of Sahaja, curious about the kind of person that’s coming, her face flushed with great interest.
When she makes such a face, something bad happens.
I had a bad premonition from my experiences until now, but unintentionally I leaked my true opinion that she should be quiet.
And then, she approached me with a sullen look.
Apparently, a considerable number of people had cautioned her.
While I wondered who had advised her, she kicked me with all her strength from behind.
“Ouch, Lidi… What’s that for”
As I stood up and sighed, I heard a satisfied fufun.
Taken aback, I lost strength in my body.
Aah… It’s Lidi.
The girl I’ve always known and loved.
“You truly… haven’t changed”
“Ugh… I was venting my anger. I am sorry”
There’s no way I’d get angry.
It can’t be helped that I’m happy she treats me with the same distance as before.
I didn’t need an apology at all.
Enduring the feeling of wanting to scream, I told her.
“Don’t mind, because you’re like this, I…”
I looked over my shoulder at her.
At the girl with a curious face.
… Cute. I can’t help but love her. It’s regrettable I can’t give her my everything.
The girl I love so much is so close. At a distance that if I reached out, I could touch her…
I heard Lidi’s voice.
But, it doesn’t feel real. My eyes can only see her.
I want to touch her cheek. Touch and hug her.
… And I want to steal those cherry lips.
The desire swelled up.
Unable to stand it, I reached my hand towards her.
She just looked at it.
I don’t understand what’s happening. It’s such an expression.
She has no idea what I’m trying to do.
But, that doesn’t matter. I want to touch her. I desire her.
The brake I’ve always applied broke. I couldn’t endure my feelings growing stronger.
Almost. A little more and I’ll reach her.
When I thought that.
Her stomach rumbled.
Her face grew red and she stepped back.
With her movement I finally regained sanity.
What was I trying to do just now…?
I petrified in shock.
I couldn’t believe my behavior.
Even if I can’t have her, with my feelings for her it’s enough if I can be of use.
I should have thought so and yet――――.
My actions just now make me want to bang my head against a wall.
Just a little more and I’d do something that can’t be undone…
Though I received a shock from what I was about to do, in response to her empty stomach I still produced a candy that I always hide in my breast pocket.
Her favorite grape taste.
Since a long time ago I’ve carried snacks for her who’s often complained about being a little hungry.
I still haven’t stopped that habit, it seems to have been useful today.
She’s truly unguarded, thinking so I tossed the candy into Lidi’s mouth.
Seeing her smile happily, I thought it was truly good I didn’t go through with my urge to do what cannot be undone.
―――― That’s right, I want to protect her smile.
What would I do if I ruined it.
I thought so, and yet she once again asked a cruel question.
Why do I always have something to eat.
Of course, for you.
But… I can’t say that.
To deceive her I noncommittally told her magicians get hungry, and Lidi who can’t use magical arts honestly believed it.
That honesty is also lovely… And hateful.
Why haven’t you noticed, I want to grasp her shoulders and shake them.
It’s such her whom I love.
It’s such her whom I cannot give up on no matter how much time passes.
Enduring the chest pain that made me want to cry, I simply hung my head and smiled.