Blacksmith V4 C3  It was the day of the Autumn Sports Festival.

On that day the students had a chance to show the results of their day-to-day training. Some people were not enthusiastic about it, while others just loved it.

One of the latter was entering my room right then.

“You look on fire, prince.”
“Oh, I’ve done quite a bit for the sports festival today.”
I know that the prince was impatient to show to Iris what he could do. Because given his athleticism, unless he had an accident, he couldn’t be defeated in the individual event.

“Don’t get injuried, don’t get hurt.”
“Who do you think I am? Come on, look at me.”

Perhaps he thought that Iris really cared about the individual event and would cheer him on. I was smiling.
I wished I were right, but I wasn’t sure.

“By the way, Kururi, did you remember to invite the family of Iris?”
“Yes. We had to invite them because Iris is depressed, correct?”
“Yes. Tell my name when they ask for your invitation, later today at the festival.”
“Wait a minute!”

“Don’t you have a grudge with my father?”
“He’s still a noble, there is no problem.”
I was really surprised by the prince’s words.

“Prince, have you invited me personally?”
“Oh, what is it? Is there something wrong?”
“I thought I would be invited through the school. If I am to say your name as an invitation, I couldn’t refuse even if I wanted to, and that troubles me.”
“Is that so?”

This prince, I still didn’t understand my power upon him.
I mean, all of a sudden ordinary people were meddling with the prince, it was quite unsettling.

“Huh, I should have taken care of that.”
“I do not know who should have done what, but if Iris is pleased I’m ok with it, that’s all.”
He was still not understanding.
“Well, Iris’ family members will arrive soon, shall we pick them up?”
“Are you going to welcome them personally!? Do you want to kill them?”
“What are you talking about? Do you mean to go greet them on your own?”
“Please, think about it, you might miss the beginning of the festival!”
“You’re over-exaggerating, end of the story.”

It was impossible to stop the prince, so we reached the entrance of the school.
A coach arrived. It was supposed to carry Iris’ family. I felt uncomfortable.

While I was waiting with such a sense of uneasiness, I heard familiar voices calling my name.
When I looked up, my parents were smiling in the coach.
They looked much happier than I did.

“Dad, mom, welcome.”
“Oh, you look fabulous, my son. And look at this wonderful banquet, let’s have something to eat and have fun!”
“Oh, no need to hurry, it’s nothing special.”
My parents were only concerned about the food. I wonder if it is true, that travelling does that.

“Helan, it’s been a long time.”
The prince stepped in between us. Oh, that development could bring nothing good.
“Oh, isn’t this Prince Arc. I am terribly sorry, we just had a long voyage.”
“No, don’t you worry. If you too would make me the honour of being your guest next summer, I will gladly come and visit your lands, Helan.”
“Yes, absolutely.”
The prince bid them their pardon, and the coach with my parents left.
My father looked pissed.

It was because of the prince’s manners. If you are not used to him, it’s inevitable.
We began feeling worried about Iris’ family.

“Huh, are you going to give up on waiting for them?”

“No, I won’t!”

The tension was building up!

A few minutes later, a luxurious horse-drawn carriage approached the school.
It had to be that one! Definitely!
The prince looked relieved. The same feeling was manifested by my face.

I was wondering what Iris’ family, who worked the field, could have been thinking while traveling in such a coach.
It must have not felt comfortable to play the part of Cinderella.

The coach finally arrived, and the door opened.
A woman with simple clothes came out. Her face resembled that of Iris. She was definitely Iris’ mother.
Even though she was about 40 years old, there was some kind hidden beauty somewhere in her appearance.

“Oh, this is such a beautiful place, I feel like I’ve entered a fairy tale.”
Iris’ mother was admiring the place with her mouth open. Then, a boy and a girl came out.

Even though I said “a boy”, he looked almost as old as us.
He could have been as old as Rahsa, perhaps? I wondered if the two girls were younger than him. He still somehow resembled them, anyway.
They were both beautiful, just like Iris.

They looked around, and seemed even more impressed than their mother. Their eyes were shining.

The prince was looking at that scene, and he felt immensely happy.
I hoped he would wait for a while before speaking.

“Welcome, I am Arc Kudan, and I am delighted to welcome the family of my friend Iris.”
The prince bowed with a fawless movement, paired with his flawless appearance.
Iris’ mother opened her mouth even more, incapable of cointaining her surprise.

“Oh, did the prince himself… really invite us?”
She saw that elegant man, and figured out he himself was the prince.

“Yes, of course, for my friend… milady!? Are you ok?”
Before the prince could complete his sentence, Iris’ mother fainted.
She clearly didn’t have the same iron will of her daughter.
The unexpected presence of the prince was too much for her to bear.

Before she fell to the ground, Iris’ younger brother caught her.
“Hey! I do not know what it means to be a prince, but you are putting too much stress on my mother!”
Her brother looked quite masculine.

The prince said nothing, and stood there looking quite shocked.

“I think we should bring her to the infirmary at once.”
“I can carry her, shall you make way?”
“Yes, sure. Please, follow me.”

The situation was still lingering, and the prince was still in a state of shock. He had made Iris’ mother faint, and now her brother disliked him. There was nothing he could do.
There must have been some way to make amends. Surely.

He took Iris’s mother on his shoulder and carried her to the infirmary.

There were a lot of empty beds, so I just had her put down on the first one I noticed.
Then I called a doctor and had him visit her.

“It’s just a temporary loss of consciousness.”
“Thank you.”
I thanked the doctor, and let Iris’ mother sleep on the bed.

“My redhead comrade… or should I say “nobleman”?”
“No, redhead comrade will do.”
“Did the doctor ask for any money?”
“No, the school will take care of that.”
“Well, that’s nice. I got some gold coins before I came here, but I wanted to give them to my sister.”
Unbelievable! Even a commoner was willing to give me gold coins!
Prince, how come you just couldn’t get yourself to do it, uh?

Anyway, Iris’ brother was a good person. Of course he wanted to give that money to his sister, and not waste it over a stupid accident. I would have never accepted it.

“Hey, redhead comrade, this bed is soft, I’ve never seen one so comfortable.”
“I think you should take advantage of the situation and rest for a while, don’t you?”
“Is it okay?”
“Of course, I will take full responsibility, don’t you worry.”

Iris’ brother smiled happily. Her sister, who was hiding behind her older brother, was also listening.
The brother put a hand on her shoulder and whispered.
“Is it alright?”
“Of course.”

They laid down on a vacant bed.
They couldn’t hide their surprise when they sat.
“Oh my, it’s so accomodating!”
“That’s right, I feel like I’m being sucked in!”

“Redhead comrade, you look strange, I’m sorry, I guess we are behaving unappropriately?”
“No, I did the same the first time.”
“Redhead comrade.”
That time it was the sister, who pulled my sleeve and said.
“I am Asia. My mother is Clarissa.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, my sister always tells me to introduce myself, but I forgot. I’m Mikal. Thank you.”
“The same could be said for me, I have been rude. I am Kururi, I’m in the same class of your sister, Iris.”
As soon as I said Iris’ name, they became a lot more talkative.

“Is our sister doing well?”
“She is a good student, but it’s tough here.”
“Does our sister eat properly?”
“She always puts other people’s priorities ahead of her own.”

I saw they truly loved their sister.
Uh, I had forgotten that the prince was still waiting for me.

“Don’t you worry about anything, your older sister is much stronger than you think, and you will meet her soon.”
The two were really looking forward to seeing their sister.

“Hey, would you call her here?”
“Pretty please!?”
“Wait here, and don’t worry!”
I winked and immediately left the infirmary.

Well, how could I tell them Iris was not aware of their presence at the school?
… for the time being, I had to find the prince.

Proofread by Ranthe

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