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75

Date Can Be Troublesome

 

 

It was a school holiday and it was a beautiful day.

On days like this, I like to go to the port to find a new peddler and sign a contract.

However, early this morning, His Highness had given me a heads up that we would be meeting today, and it had been hastily decided.

In the past, this would have been an extremely annoying invitation.

But now, I was a little happy about it.

I was also embarrassed when the servants at home looked at me warmly as I hurriedly started preparing to go out after the message came.

Still, I wanted to make His Highness think well of me, so I dressed up, and I guess I’m already suffering from a terminal case of love sickness.

A blue dress and a black cardigan for going out.

Dark blue leather shoes with my hair gathered into a single plait.

“Yulia, you’re really getting into it.”

While I was checking in front of the mirror, my brother came over to me.

“Is there something wrong?”

“You are even prettier than usual. It would be a shame to show it to His Highness, so let’s have His Highness return to the castle.”

“Brother.”

From the way brother is talking, it seems that His Highness has already arrived.

“Didn’t you come to call me?”

He snorted with a huff.

“Let His Highness wait.”

“No, we can’t. We’re dealing with Royalty here.”

My brother escorted me with a look of disgust on his face.

When I arrived at the entrance of the house, I saw dark gray slacks and a simple bordered shirt.

His Highness, wearing a light gray jacket, was waiting for me.

I think it’s unfair of His Highness to dress up so well.

His Highness finally noticed me coming and opened his mouth, but no words came out, and he stared at me dumb-foundedly.

“Is there something wrong?”

When I asked him about it, His Highness covered his face with his hands.

“Clothes? Or the hair?” His Highness murmured quietly to me, despite my uneasiness.

“It’s a trap, Yulia dressed up to go out with me? You never know what she’s up to. …Don’t be so easily pleased.

Can you just be happy?

“Your Highness?”

“What is it?”

I asked his highness, who was still holding his face, coyly, wanting to be sure.

“Does it look good on me?”

His Highness said as he slowly removed his hand from his face.

“It suits you so well I thought my heart would stop.”

Can I take that as a compliment?

No, it must be a compliment.

Good.

My mouth slackens involuntarily.

“Meh. …Cute.”

I was surprised to hear a strange voice coming from His Highness.

“Your Highness, are you all right?

When I hurriedly asked, His Highness said, with a slightly reddened face, that he was fine.

Brother grabbed His Highness by the chest with a flowing motion, said with a wonderful smile.

“Even though she is your fiancée, she is not yet yours, so please do not do anything offensive to her. Curfew is three o’clock.”

“I’ve never heard of a curfew before, and she’s always walking around at three o’clock, even later than that as well.”

“I trust Your Highness to keep the curfew.”

“Listen to me.”

Brother and His Highness stared at each other.

“Wouldn’t you be sad if you were told that your curfew was three o’clock every time you went out with Manika?”

Brother gulped and His Highness looked triumphant.

“And if I happen to find a great product and want to sign a contract, wouldn’t a three o’clock curfew be virtually impossible? No matter how good I am at negotiating, it would be difficult.”

While I was trying to persuade my brother, His Highness gave me a resentful look for some reason.

“What is it?”

“Do you even know what a date is?”

“My schedule for today was to check out the goods around the port, make purchases and sign contracts. His Highness’ invitation was an irregularity that was decided just a few minutes ago. So, what will happen when I come across a product that appeals to me… you know, right?”

His Highness let out a deep sigh.

“You really don’t change.”

Thus began a date between His Highness and me.

First of all, we walked around the city.

This is what we call window shopping.

His Highness offers me a product that I think will sell well.

“I think you would like that.”

“…”

“Am I wrong?”

“Not exactly. … If I may ask, do you know all of my preferences?”

His Highness smiled.

“You’re interested in the unexpected, and I think I can figure out most, if not all, of your preferences.”

It’s no secret that I thought it would be a creepy remark if it came from a regular close friend.

But when His Highness told me this, I felt quite happy.

I tightened my mouth, which was about to loosen, but His Highness looked dissatisfied.

“Don’t look so glum.”

“… I don’t know much about His Highness’ tastes.”

No matter what I say, it is an excuse.

His Highness, who was watching me, looked up to the sky and covered his eyes with his right hand.

I was taken aback.

His Highness glanced at my depressed face and hurriedly grabbed my hand.

“You’ll just have to get to know me!”

“Can you tell me about …?”

When I tilted my head, His Highness looked up at the sky again.

After all, would I be unfit to be his fiancé if I didn’t know what His Highness likes?

“Yulia, did you do that on purpose?”

“What?”

His Highness remained silent for a while after.

“You’re just too cute today. Isn’t this some kind of… trap?”

“Trap?”

“Never before have you shown me your pretty face without an agenda, like you want me to buy something or write a contract for you?”

It’s so rude.

You’re questioning my genuine affection for you.

… No wonder, considering my daily routine.

“Your Highness.

“What is it?”

“I have a favor to ask of you, Your Highness.”

“I knew it.”

I smiled at His Highness, who nodded with a look of satisfaction on his face.

“Since we are on a date today, why don’t you hold my hand?”

His Highness gulped.

“You don’t want to?”

His Highness silently took my hand and started walking.

“You don’t want to hold my hands?”

When I asked again since there was no reply, His Highness muttered quietly without turning his head to me.

“How could I not want to? Aren’t you being too cute today?”

I noticed now that His Highness’ ears were red, visible from behind.

Doesn’t this mean that he thinks I’m really cute?

“You look very cute too, Your Highness.”

The words came out of my mouth unintentionally, and His Highness said.

“I’m not happy about it.”

I chuckled at his words.

For lunch, we decided to eat a hot sandwich I bought at a food stall on a park bench.

“I thought a young noble lady wouldn’t buy food from either.”

“I thought His Royal Highness wouldn’t buy food from stalls either.”

As I said this, I bit into my hot sandwich and heard His Highness’ little laugh beside me.

What a peaceful time.

The mellow air is very soothing.

“It’s delicious. …?”

When I looked at His Highness, he was staring into the distance in a daze.

“Your Highness?”

When I called out to him, His Highness stood up vigorously.

Just as I wondered what was going on, I noticed a woman coming towards us.

She was a beautiful, calm woman with translucent white skin, long light blue hair and eyes of the same color.

When the woman came in front of us, His Highness did not hesitate to get down on one knee and bow his head like a knight.

Realizing that this lady was worthy of even His Highness’s kneel, I bowed to her.

“Oh, my goodness! You’re not my little Roo anymore, you’ve grown up so fast.”

“It’s been a while. Ms. Liren.”

I could tell from his formal greeting that she was of some high rank.

And then I noticed that right beside me, a stocky-looking man with short red hair and dark eyes that seemed to be sucking me in was looking into my face.

I swallowed an inarticulate scream.

“You’re staring too much, Haith.”

The man called Haith continued to stare at me with a straight face.

“She smells just like a chicken that lays golden eggs.”

As soon as I said that, I saw his dark eyes turn to gold.

I involuntarily clasped his cheeks between my hands and stared into his unusual eyes in reverse.

Obviously he was upset and his eyes were swimming.

“Yulia, what are you doing?”

His Highness, who was still on his knees, hurriedly stood up and shouted at me, but I didn’t care.

“What strange eyes! They are incomparable to any jewel.”

His Highness stopped me, and I reluctantly took my hands off Mr. Haith.

“I’ve never seen Haith surprised before.”

“You don’t expect a fragile creature like her to look at you like a predator!”

I wanted to argue that I wasn’t looking at him with predator eyes, but I lost my timing when Ms. Liren started laughing happily.

“Roo, is this girl a friend of yours?”

I couldn’t help but get nervous at those words.

Will His Highness introduce me to this beautiful person as his fiancée?

His Highness opened his mouth, not knowing that I was thinking of such anxiety.

“No. She is my wife.”

No, I don’t think I am your wife.

His Highness hugged my shoulders, even though I was shocked.

“Oh my goodness! I can’t believe my little Roo has a wife.”

With graceful movements, Ms. Liren approached me, looked at me, and said.

“Are you really prepared to love and accompany Roo for the rest of your life? I will turn this whole area into ice if you make my Roo sad.”

When she said that, Ms. Liren’s eyes also changed from ice blue to gold.

That’s when I finally realized that Ms. Liren and Mr. Haith weren’t humans at all.

“I have no intention of making His Highness sad. I’m sure I’ll annoy, irritate, harass, and dismay him, though.”

“Shh.”

His Highness quickly stared at me.

“Hmm. That doesn’t sound very boring.”

His Highness said in disgust at the same time as Ms. Liren’s eyes turned ice blue again.

“I’m confident I’ll never be bored.”

“It’s not nice. Don’t look so tired! Do you want some candy?”

As she said this, Ms. Liren took out a small jar of candy from her shoulder bag.

It’s a glittering, golden candy.

“It’s candy like your eyes.”

It leaked out of my mouth.

Ms. Liren and Mr. Haith blinked their eyes and smiled softly.

“Do you mind if I ask your name?”

Ms. Liren told me that I hadn’t told her my name yet.

“I’m sorry. My name is Yulia.”

“You’re Yuli! I’ll give you a candy bar too, Yuli.”

Master Liren took a handful of candy out of the bottle and offered it to me.

Without hesitation, I put the candy in my mouth.

A normal noble would not want to directly eat the candy that was put out in his bare hands, as it was not classy.

“Do you like it?”

“It’s very good. It has the nostalgic taste of hardened whole honey.”

When I told them what I thought of it, Ms. Liren and Mr. Haith looked surprised.

“Aren’t you a noble, Yuli?”

“Ms. Liren, I’m afraid Yulia is not your average noble.”

“Your Highness, don’t you think that’s rude?”

“Shut up.”

Ms. Liren took another candy and this time she forced the candy into His Highness’ mouth.

It’s a great feeling of being forced to do something that can’t be called ahn.

“You shut up, Roo.”

As if to calm her down, Mr. Haith hugged her around the waist.

“You knew right away that this girl was out of the ordinary.”

“Well, they usually faint when our eyes change color. You know, like Roo’s mom.”

It’s so beautiful.

I tilted my head and Ms. Liren gave me a compassionate look.

“Are you used to non-humans?”

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Master Dragon.”

If there is anyone to whom Royalty bows, it would be the Dragons that are said to give the Royalties their blessing.

Ms. Liren and Mr. Haith are both surprised.

“I can see it in His Highness’ manner.”

“You’re a smart girl. That’s wonderful! Yes, I’m the Dragon who gave Roo his blessing, and Haith gave Roo’s dad a blessing. But I think she might be a treasure. I’m tempted to take her home and put her in the treasury.”

“Just like a chicken that lays golden eggs.”

Ms. Liren and Mr. Haith smiled, but His Highness looked pale.

“I’m sorry, but she’s my treasure.”

“Well, well, well. Rebellious?”

His Highness looked earnestly at Ms. Liren.

“I have no intention of letting Yulia go.”

I could tell by the seriousness of His Highness that this was no ordinary matter.

“My question to you both is, will the chicken that lays those golden eggs live long enough to be tucked away in the treasury?”

The two looked at each other at my sudden question.

“It’s a creature that dies quickly.”

I smiled at Mr. Haith’s response.

“Then I’m sure I would be dead in a heartbeat if I were locked away in the treasury.”

I was so confident that they both nodded their heads in the same way.

“Creatures create treasure because they live freely. I live to make money, so I am confident that if I am put away, I will lose my purpose in life and die soon.”

I clenched my fists as the two of them scowled at me.

“So, the next time you get a chicken that lays golden eggs, why don’t you leave it with me? I’m sure I can create a system that will increase their numbers, make them live longer, and give you more golden eggs!”

“Yulia, your desire is leaking out.”

His Highness’ dumbfounded voice rang out, but I pretended not to have heard it.

“I think I’ll give up on taking Yuli to our treasure house.”

Ms. Liren huffed.

“I’d like to take a tour of the treasury.”

“Yulia, if you take the Dragon’s treasure, our country will be destroyed.”

“Your Highness, please don’t talk nonsense, there may be resources that can be multiplied, like chickens laying golden eggs! I don’t want to take it, I want to increase it!”

“You want to increase other’s wealth too?”

“It’s not other’s. It’s the Dragon’s. And it’s the Dragons who give blessings to the Royal family. She is like another mother to His Highness, and I am his bride to be. This means that Lord Dragon’s assets are my family’s assets. Is there a problem with increasing it?”

When I tried to make a good argument, His Highness held his head and Ms. Liren and Mr. Haith laughed out loud.

Isn’t that rude?

“Yuri, you’re a good girl. I like you! We’re going to visit our daughter now. Do you want to come with us? She hasn’t even laid an egg yet, but I’m sure she’s building her own treasure house, so I’ll ask her to show us around.”

I don’t think there will ever be a time in my life when I will be able to see the Dragon’s treasure again.

“Wouldn’t it ruin your family reunion though?”

I asked, trying not to be rude.

“It’s no bother! Besides, we’re family now!

Ms. Liren pouted cutely.

“No?”

“Yes, sir. Then I’ll take your word for it.”

I clasped hands with Ms. Liren tightly, and my heart leapt with anticipation.

I didn’t know at the time that behind me, His Highness was sad, convinced that the date was over.

 

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