…How did this happen?…
No matter how much I think about it, I can’t figure it out in my head.
…I don’t think I could ever call this a walk.
There are many definitions of a walk.
But if you don’t actually walk on your own, it shouldn’t be a called walk. At least, by my definition.
“My legs have already healed.”
‘So I can walk on my own,’ I said, but when I tried to get down from his arms, he held me back firmly.
“It’s fine like this.”
It’s not! It’s definitely not fine!!
I don’t know what to do anymore, or I’m happy but I’m not happy, but I’m a vain person so I do my best to look unfazed.
…Maybe it’s just been a while since I’ve been held like this.
I don’t feel any discomfort or fear at all when I’m being held in his arms. Rather, I feel protected and secure.
“……Where are you going?”
“You’ll look forward to it after arriving.”
His Highness looks like he’s enjoying himself.
It may even be the first time I’ve ever seen him look so happy.
Somehow, even I’m having fun.
“What are you thanking me for?”
“You took me out for a walk.”
Although, I don’t know if we can call it a walk in the park right now.
…and I’m also not actually walking.
“…There’s nothing to thank me for.”
His Highness looked a little embarrassed.
Oh, I think I might really like that expression right now…
I’m sure this expression on His Highness Nigel’s face is very rare.
It was vaguely clear to me that he had slipped from the Rear Palace to the Main Palace.
Both buildings were built in the same period, but the difference in purpose between the private and public parts of the building may be reflected in the different atmosphere.
He turned in the middle of a long corridor and stood in front of a large door.
“This is my office.”
“It’s not very wide, is it?”
“If it’s too much space, I can’t concentrate.”
I can understand that very well.
The reason why I feel at home in my bed is because the canopy and ledger make that place feel like a small room, and I feel at home in my library where the couch is, because it’s surrounded by bookshelves and separated out like a small room.
“…Nobody else is in here.”
I thought there would be at least an aide, but it was unattended.
“Yeah. They’re all out for an investigation.”
“Yes. The work of an aide is diverse. There’s a lot of investigations and research to be done.
Then he stepped into the archives next to the office.
“…Push this shelf.”
I do as I’m told and push the third bookshelf against the wall with all my strength. But despite my best efforts, the bookshelf doesn’t do a thing.
“…still can’t do it?”
His Highness smiles and pushes the bookshelf together with me.
Then, quickly, the bookshelf slid sideways.
“I see, so it’s connected.
“Ah…This, too, is said to have been made by Ney.”
Arsei-Ney…an ancient genius architect…like Leonardo da Vinci
I stepped into the black, gaping space while being held by His Highness’ arms.
“There are stairs from here, so be very careful.”
I responded in passing, but to tell you the truth, I don’t even remember how I got here anymore.
When I’m being held, I wouldn’t know or remember the way, right?
I wouldn’t even be able to get to my own palace unless I was sent there.
…Well, even if I hadn’t been held and walked on my own, I probably wouldn’t have understood it anymore.
“…Is this underground?”
“Yes. Underneath the grounds of the Royal Palace is a vast underground palace…It’s not just the royal palace. Al Greya is a city with a vast labyrinth underneath it.”
“Yes. It’s a labyrinth of complex mysteeries. Legend has it that it can sometimes even be rearranged from time to time.”
“It’s just a bit of folklore, because I haven’t confirmed yet.”
He says so ruefully.
He really likes academics.
He’s said many times that he wanted to be an academic, and others have said so too.
Come to think of it, I wonder where that library is…
“……What’s is it?”
“No…I just remembered the underground passage I walked through with His Majesty who died before.”
“From the cathedral through an underground passage to an obscure library, right?”
I scurry around and look around. I thought I’d see something familiar, but honestly, all the passages are the same, and there’s no characteristics to rely on.
“I’m proud to say that I’m probably the person who knows the most underground, but unfortunately I have no idea what that library is. The basement is as good as a labyrinth, and I don’t know everything about it.”
He looked a little disappointed.
A library is a treasure trove of knowledge. It’s said that getting one new library is worth the same as getting a country, and someone with a thirst for knowledge like His Highness would be very interested.
“Some day let’s go looking for it together. With a snack and lunch.”
“…Yeah. A ‘pik-nik,’ I believe, right?”
“Yes, a ‘picnic.’”
We smile at each other.
I think this is good…
It was warm, comforting, and full of tingling feelings.
A quiet voice called out..
I looked in the direction of the voice and saw several men.
All of them wore white coats.
“His Highness Nigel, it’s rare for you to visit at this hour.”
He was an older man a few years past fifty. The man, with the appearance of a dandy uncle with a monocle on his left eye, gives a smile.
“Ah. I had plenty of time to spare today.”
“Aren’t you going to be called out again soon for saying that?”
“Well, that is a possibility.”
They must know each other well. They lightheartedly banter with each other.
“Your Highness, would you be so kind as to introduce us to the ‘one in your arms?’”
His Highness sighs.
As I recall, he said the same thing before…when I was meeting Count Diha.
“Are you so unwilling to introduce us to your lovely princess?”
“Yeah, I’m reluctant to.”
His Highness had a straight face.
What? What do you mean by reluctant?
“…I really want to keep her locked up, not shown outside.”
His Highness tightened his arms to hug me tightly.
“Nigel-sama is as obsessed as ever with the things he loves, isn’t he?”
“…there aren’t many things that appeal to me.”
“Well, it can’t be helped. Nigel-sama has too many likes and dislikes.”
They then looked at each other with a grin, and then looked at me.
His Highness Nigel looked over at them, then looked at me and introduced me with a sigh.
“…Luthia, these are the scholars in charge of the excavation of this royal palace.”
“Excavation…Is it Ney’s architecture?”
Yeah… And rejoice, everyone. She is my only princess and the ‘Princess of the Key’ of our time.
Ooh, cheers can be heard from their mouths.
One of the academics kneels down in front of me.
“It doesn’t matter when you’re free. I would be delighted to be have your assistance.”
“What do you mean? I can’t do anything.”
“All you have to do is join us for an experiment.”
They nod vigorously as I lean my head.
Something about that might be a little scary…
The somewhat disconcerting sound contained in the word “experiment” causes me to look at Nigel-sama as if to ask him a question.
“You guys, Luthia will only go along with the experiment when I’m with you.”
“That’s not very helpful.”
“Nigel-sama will not have much time for experiments.”
“Fools! No man in his right mind would leave his important princess to crazy scholars like you.”
Then he hugged me tightly.
There was nothing colorful about it. However, there was something like an obsession with hugging a precious stuffed animal or hugging a pillow or something like that.
“Princess, we are always waiting for you.”
“Please feel free to come at any time—without His Highness Nigel.”
His Highness looked like he had just squashed a bitter worm.
That face was funny, so I smiled a small smile and secretly murmured in His Highness’ ear.
“…It’s okay. I wouldn’t be able to get here on my own even if I tried.”
His Highness smirked and chuckled at my words that I had no sense of direction…but he smiled somewhat contentedly.
T/N: I don’t know about you guys, but I quite like possessive Nigel (´｡• ω •｡`) ♡
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2 thoughts on “Chapter 16: A Walk in the Royal Palace”
I also love reading about possessive Nigel very much. It feels fluffy seeing how much he loves her 😍
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It’s a great contrast with his stoic personality! 🥰
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