Chapter 24: Kiss the Lover 5
The days in the Northern Fortress went by smoothly. We’d spent a significant amount of time there, yet while it appeared long, time flew by in the blink of an eye. Before we realised it, the time had come for us to return to the Capital. We were reluctant to part from the people at the fortress who we had become good friends with.
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Captain Ballam too patted my shoulders with a smile.
「Legato, I’ll leave the Royal Palace to you. Let’s meet again.」
「Yes, I’m truly thankful.」
「I’m looking forward to your rumours.」
Captain Ballam brought his body close and whispered to me, making a teasing face. I smiled wryly.
Thus, we left the Northern Fortress.
The journey back to the royal capital went by smoothly and we reached the capital as planned. We arrived in the evening, but the Royal Palace was expecting our arrival and thus received us smoothly.
When I went to greet the captain and vice-captain of the Knight Order, I was told to do the formal greetings tomorrow, and after the expedition troops were put in order, they were released.
I too, returned to my room; the first thing I did was to open the window. The room, unused for a month, was dusty.
However, the most important reason as to why I’d opened the window was for the person who’d always visit from there.
He must have heard that I’d be returning from the expedition. ‘He might come to visit me, no, he’ll come to express words of thanks,’ I imagined.
However, on that day, he did not visit my room.
All night I wondered as to why Nidel-dono did not come meet me.
Does he not want to meet me anymore? Just like he’d said before the expedition, will he stop meeting me in private? Or, did his feelings towards me die down already? Or perhaps he was ill?
I, who could only think of such things, restlessly dove into a month’s worth of work in the Royal Palace. The people around perhaps thought that I was confused after being away for long time, but I was absent-minded because of Nidel-dono.
I searched for his figure when I moved about the Royal Palace, but I could not find him. In the first place, people of the Technological Magic Order weren’t seen that often.
I, who was nervously wondering whether he’d come this night, finally realised. If I was so bothered by him, why not go meet him myself?
Once I thought of that, I sped up my work and was able to squeeze out just a little bit of time, heading to his natural habitat, the tower.
When the tower came into sight, my heart started throbbing. When I thought of how I was going to meet Nidel-dono after a month, I started feeling strange. I’d been thinking of him every day this past month.
I stepped foot into the tower and peeped at the floor where the members gathered. It’d been a while since I’d visited this place, the last time being when I’d gone out on errands as a rookie.
The members who’d noticed my presence all raised their heads, revealing varied shocked expressions.
「…It’s Squad Commander Legato…」
「Ooh, to see the person in flesh so close…」
While hearing whispers spread, I looked around the room. When I searched for Nidel-dono, I saw a figure resembling him dozing off on the divan.
When my gaze locked onto him, a member clad in black robes stood up.
「…Do you have any business here?」
「Ah… um, with Nidel-dono.」
「Ahh, as expected.」
At my reply, the person in front of me grinned. The members nearby also curled up their lips and smiled. The member closest to the divan shook Nidel-dono’s body.
「…Nidel, your husband came.」 𝒃𝙚𝙙𝙣𝙤𝒗𝙚𝒍．𝒏𝒆𝒕
When I gave a wry smile, thinking They’re treating me as a husband, huh. Nidel-dono got up, speaking with a half asleep voice. 「What do you mean Husband…」Once he noticed me, he looked on in surprised, before changing his expression to a wry smile.
Nidel-dono got down from the divan and approached me, passing by me with the words,「Outside, let’s go.」I chased after his figure in a fluster.
「Well done on your expedition.」
Once we left the tower, Nidel-dono turned back to look at me and his wry smile changed to a gentle one. I looked at him in a daze. Nidel-dono looked at the surroundings then frowned.
「Sorry for making you come all the way here, but is it something urgent? There’s curious eyes everywhere in the Royal Palace after all, so if it isn’t something urgent, I’ll go to your room at night, is it fine then?」
Nidel-dono looked up at me and tilted his neck to the side just a little. His black eyes softly sparkled as he studied me.
At Nidel-dono calling out to me, I returned to myself. At the same time my body temperature rose suddenly. My face burned up and my heart throbbed violently. Even my blood rushed to my head.
While I spaced out, assaulted by my body’s reaction, Nidel-dono continued staring at me.
「Legato, are you listening?」
「…Ah, ahh. Got it, night’s fine.」
「…I see. Then, I’ll see you at night. Sorry for making you come all the way to the tower.」
After shooting a look at me from his lightly worn hood, Nidel-dono turned on his heel. I watched him return to the tower dazedly.
When Nidel-dono left, I sunk to the ground.
When he entered my sight, I could see nothing but him and my body suddenly became strange. My face still felt hot.
Oh my God.
——I’m, falling in ——love with him!
I was shocked by my own stupidity. I wasn’t like this before the expedition. Of course, I’d held complex feelings, but it wasn’t like this.
When I met him after a month, things turned out like this. Was it because I thought of him every day throughout the expedition? Every day, I repeated, I want to meet him badly. It might have been self-suggestion. Just how simple-minded was I?
I place my hand on my forehead and looked down.
All throughout the expedition I worried myself. I worried about what I should do with him, what he was to me. And I was worried enough that I couldn’t sleep.
All those worries ——They turned out to be meaningless.
When assaulted by these violent heartbeats, more than what I’d even felt for my first love, it couldn’t be helped. His expression and voice were stuck in my mind, something I couldn’t forget and I wanted to meet him again badly.
I placed a hand on my face, my blush yet to disappear, and simply stood there like a fool.