Chapter 96 – My work is my hobby


“I didn’t think you’d buy something with so many uncertain aspects in it…” His highness commented with a puzzled expression, after I told him about the hotel I recently bought, “And do you really want to grow closer to the daughter of earl Aino?”

I handed over the materials that she gave me to his highness, “I was interested in the good location… And I was thinking of going on a vacation this weekend, so, if you’d like it, why don’t you join me, your highness?”

His highness froze for a small while, but he soon recovered, and checked the photos attached to the document I handed him, “You mean the two of us could go on a trip together?” his highness warily asked.

I smiled at that question, “That’s what I was thinking about. Though will you have enough time? I heard you’ve been quite busy now that my brother has been working mostly with the prime minister.”

Even now, there were many documents piled up on the desk at his highness’ office.

“A two-day break on the weekend… If I put some extra effort into it, I should be able to go.” His highness replied.

“Please don’t overdo it.” I worriedly told him.

His highness giggled at that though, “Once you get engrossed in something that might make you money, you automatically forget all about me, so I’d rather accept your invitation as soon as possible.” His highness smiled at the dumbfounded me, “Consider it a prenuptial trip.”

I invited him to this trip to make up for the loneliness that I was feeling from spending less time with him, but now that he said it was a prenuptial trip, it suddenly felt obscene.

“We’ll be sleeping in separate rooms, alright?” I told him.

“I guess that’s fine.” His highness said, in a clearly good mood, while sorting some documents.

Somehow, I felt like I had lost to him.

“Don’t make a face that makes it seem like I just did something inexcusable. You know that I’m really happy to be with you.” His highness told me.

I made a dissatisfied expression, but before I realized it, I was already spouting words I didn’t really wish to, “Recently, your highness has been really quick to say sweet words, haven’t you!? Aren’t you ashamed!?”

His highness laughed out loud at that, “If I act shy, then I won’t be able to get anything across to you!”

“That’s not true.” I replied.

“I don’t want to make you feel uneasy or anxious, and I don’t want to fight you either, so I’d rather deal with this embarrassment and say everything I want to, so as to make you feel safe.” His highness explained.

His thoughts were quite outlandish. I was happy to know he was thinking of me, but it should still be quite embarrassing for him to say those things.

“That’s unreasonable…” I muttered.

I don’t want him to push himself too hard to say those words, and I definitely don’t want him to lie to himself to say them.

But contrary to my feelings, his highness called out to me in a cheerful voice, “There is hardly anything that is more embarrassing than making you cry, you know?”

I remembered the time me and his highness had a fight. He had prostrated himself before me in a truly outstanding way…

“Besides, it was a happy miscalculation to see your radiant, pretty, embarrassed face once I started saying what I thought.” His highness stated.

Am I being ridiculed? He must be ridiculing me. He wishes to see me blush and panic.

Otherwise, I can only think he is trying to make me have a heart attack.

“Please don’t ridicule me.” I muttered in a really small voice.

His highness seemed to have heard me though, “I’m not ridiculing you.” for as he said that, he approached me, hugged me lightly, and kissed my forehead, “I want you to show this cute face only to me.”

His highness was looking too cool these days, which is a problem… Or is it because I like him that I feel like he is good looking?

“It’s not a cute face…” I muttered.

“No. You’re definitely cute.” His highness replied.

And then, just as the mood was starting to get really sweet, and our faces approached each other, the door to his highness’ office was vigorously opened.

“Brother! Huh? The young lady is here too?” Michael stated as he entered.

“Michael! Read the mood!” His highness exclaimed.

Michael ignored his highness’ sorrowful cry and clung to him, “Brother, listen…”

“I want you to read the mood, not to listen to you…” His highness grumbled.

The sweet mood had already dissipated though, so I decided to just step away from his highness and listen to Michael, “For now, why don’t we sit on the couch and have some tea?” I suggested.

His highness’ face seemed to be filled with despair as I made this suggestion, but he reluctantly moved to the couch.

I prepared some tea and sweets for us, then looked at Michael, who took a sip of the tea and started talking, “It’s about Grandma!”

Figured as much… I bet his highness is thinking the same thing too.

“Grandma never flirts with me!” Michael exclaimed.

His highness stared into the horizon, and muttered, “That’s why you should understand that I don’t want you to get in the way of my flirting with Yulias…”

I couldn’t quite hear him that well though, so I’m not sure what he said.

“You and the young lady have been flirting a lot lately though! It’s unfair!” Michael exclaimed.

I don’t think we ever flirted much, though?

“Michael, you spend more time with lady Vanette than I spend with Yulias, don’t you?” His highness stated in disbelief.

And he was right on that. Me and his highness can’t meet up unless we specifically make time for each other, but Michael goes meet lady Vanette as soon as he finishes work. They meet basically every day.

“Even if we meet every day, she still doesn’t flirt with me! Even if the shy and fidgety Grandma is absurdly cute, I still want to be more like you and the young lady, who go all ‘kyaakyaa’, Rud!” Michael exclaimed.

I don’t remember ever saying ‘kyaakyaa’ or anything like it.

While I wondered how to argue over Michael’s statement, he seemed to have seen the hotel photo on the table and picked it up. 

“What’s this?” Michael asked.

“It’s a hotel I recently bought.” I replied.

Michael’s eyes started sparkling, “That’s great! Young lady, I want to go to this hotel on this weekend! It’s so perfect, I can take Grandma out on a date!”

His highness’ expression started twitching as he heard those words.

“Michael, don’t you need to work this weekend?” I asked him.

The store is at its busiest during the weekend, after all. As the store’s owner, I can’t really overlook negligence from my employees.

“I want to flirt with Grandma, so I’m taking a leave from work during this weekend! It’s alright, the store’s manager already gave me the okay!” Michael replied.

Well, if he has already applied for a leave, and his request has already been granted, then there’s nothing I can do.

“There’s a beach near this hotel too! I want to see Grandma in a swimsuit! You should sell some swimsuits at the store and use a photo of Grandma as the model to guarantee the sales! I can be the photographer for it too! Isn’t it a great idea, young lady!?” Michael asked.

Swimsuit… Photo… Using lady Vanette as a model would certainly make it sell a lot.

“That’s certainly a great idea.

“Well then, your highness, I have an urgent matter to attend to, so I will take my leave.” I smiled at his highness.

“Wait, you’re already leaving?” His highness asked in disbelief.

“I have to go home early to finish a swimsuit design that might suit lady Vanette.” I replied.

“So you’re really going to take Michael and lady Vanette with us this weekend…?” His highness asked.

I blinked a few times at that question, “I don’t think the photo will be very impactful without the right environment?”

“That is not my point.” His highness sighed.

I tilted my head at that, trying to understand what was going on.

“Weren’t we going to the hotel alone…?” His highness asked.

Well, that was the problem, wasn’t it? “Isn’t it more fun with a large group?” I asked.

His highness let out a deep sigh, “I didn’t expect it would be this hard to be alone with you…”

“You know…” Michael interrupted us while he put a cookie on his mouth, “Do you really think her brother would allow the young lady to travel alone with you, Rud?”

I hadn’t given it much thought, but I doubt my brother would let me go on a trip with just his highness…

“Isn’t it better to reluctantly accept going with me and Grandma than the alternative?” Michael asked.

His highness sighed once more, and took a sip of the tea that was already starting to grow cold, “… I suppose having more people on a trip isn’t bad.” he started.

Seems like his highness gave up on trying to get my brother’s permission to travel alone with me.

“Alright! Then I’ll go tell Grandma about this too!” As he said that, Michael got up and ran out of the office in full speed.

“He left like a storm.” His highness tiredly muttered.

“I have to get ready too.” I stated.

“Get ready?” His highness asked.

“Yes! Get ready to take swimsuit photos!” I exclaimed.

As he heard those words, his highness raised his eyebrows, “Don’t you think you should try enjoying the vacation instead of going there to work?” 

“I plan on enjoying them, but I also enjoy working.” I replied.

“Vacations are for resting. It’s normal to rest and devote your time to your hobbies at those times, isn’t it? I’m worried that you might die from overwork at this rhythm.” His highness stated.

I wryly smiled at his highness’ worried expression, “Don’t worry, it’s fine! I’m resting properly myself, and I also have plenty of time for my hobbies.”

“Hobbies?” His highness asked with a clearly surprised expression.

“What about it?” I asked.

“I didn’t know you had hobbies. What are they like?” His highness curiously asked, “Is it something we can do together?” his eyes were filled with anticipation.

I felt like my doom was approaching with each word he said… I could only avert my eyes at that.

“What are you averting your gaze? Is it a hobby you can’t tell anyone about?” His highness asked.

“N-no…” I muttered.

“Then please tell me.” His highness said.

After a small while of silence, I forced myself to mutter the answer in as much of a low voice as I could muster, “It’s work.”

“Huh?” His highness said.

“My work is my hobby!” I exclaimed.

“Can you even call it a hobby?” His highness asked.

I have no hobbies other than my work, alright? “I’m confident that I’d get sick from stress if I lost my job.” I stated.

“That’s a bad thing to be confident about.” His highness replied.

“But that’s why I was very excited when you asked me to manage the country together with you, your highness. That really made my heart flutter.” I told him.

Even now, just remembering his highness at that time made me feel excited.

“I’m glad I moved your heart.” His highness softly smiled.

That made me feel a huge tug in my heart. Please stop making such defenseless faces, your highness.

“Then, your highness, please make sure to finish all your work before the end of the week.” I told him.

And with that, I ran away and left his highness office.

After all, I also need to prepare for this trip.

Expecting to enjoy some leisure time with his highness, I returned home with an exhilarated feeling.

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