Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 5 – Sea Dragon
The field trip was probably the noisiest event in Ain’s academy life. A year and a half have passed since then, and Ain has been successfully promoted to the third grade.
Today, on a hot day in the middle of summer, he left the castle to attend to his official duties in the castle town. He was on his way back to the castle, looking a little tired after completing his official duties.
After passing through the main street, he stepped into a quiet residential area lined with noble mansions and stopped as he stepped on the neatly lined cobblestones.
Suddenly, a thought leaked out of his mouth.
“Dill, don’t you think we could take a detour?”
Ain said to Dill, who was walking next to him, but Dill smiled lightly and said.
“Yes ─ of course not.”
“I-Isn’t it fine…! There’s still time, and… we’re not using carriage today!”
“His Majesty has told me not to allow any detours. So please forgive me.”
“…Grandfather has ordered you, huh? Damn… He got a head start on me.”
“Isn’t there something you want me to do?”
“Even if there is, I could at least take a little detour… Oh well, I’ll just put up with it for today and go home.”
Lloyd was in a good mood as he walked behind them.
In addition to his son Dill’s softer demeanor, he and Ain have grown closer.
“Dill has changed, hasn’t he?”
Chris spoke to him, and he answered in a particularly good mood.
“Yeah, that’s right. Martha and I laughed every night at how the stiff man had changed so much. I have to thank Ain-sama for that.”
“You see… he’s no longer calling him Your Highness anymore; he calls him by his first name, Ain-sama.”
“I’ve heard about it from other knights as well. These days, Dill is really easy to talk to.”
“Furthermore, I heard that he always says, “Ain-sama is a wonderful person” as if it were a habit.”
Dill was determined to be Ain’s bodyguard, and even when they met face to face, he did not even smile. As a father, Lloyd never thought that Dill would change to the point of being able to smile like this.
“I will accompany you another time. I’ll talk to Warren-sama and the others about what Ain-sama said.” Said Dill.
“Ah, yes. I’ll be patient then…”
In the past, Dill did not judge with emotion, but now he shows emotion. It’s proof that the position of Ain’s knight has been established within the knighthood.
Eventually, the four of them went under the gate of the castle and went inside. Olivia, who had been waiting for them, approached Ain and doted on him as she always did.
“Ain, welcome back. How was your work today?”
“It was no problem. …Also, I’m a little embarrassed.”
“That’s good to hear. Fufu, thank you again for your hard work today.”
When Olivia hugged him, he said he was embarrassed, but the inconvenient words did not seem to reach her. As usual, the Second Princess can only see Ain.
Standing a little farther away, Lloyd smiled at Chris.
“Some things never change, do they? Olivia-sama’s love for Ain-sama.”
I want her to remember the two words “self-restraint.” That’s all Chris cares about.
“Unfortunately, it’s changed. I mean, it’s mainly gotten worse.”
“Fumu, I guess you could say that.”
Olivia’s love for Ain was unceasing. Rather, it only continues to grow, Chris sighed as he looked at Olivia, who she served.
◇ ◇ ◇
──It was at night.
As soon as he left the bathhouse, he went to the salon.
Ain, who was taking a break after taking a bath alone, was approached by Krone, who was also taking a bath. It seems that they were taking a bath at the same time.
“Was Ain also taking a bath?”
She calmly spoke to him, but now she was even sexier than her age.
Her cheeks were burning from the bath, her silver-blue hair was still slightly wet, and the scent of the fragrant soap wafting from her hair was making his head spin.
Ain gulped down his glass of water and looked at her, his throat cooling rapidly.
“Since I’m done with my studies, too. … How about you, Krone?”
“Me too. Do you mind if I sit next to you?”
The sofa in front of him was empty, but if she wanted to sit next to him ─ Ain had to agree. As soon as Krone sat down next to him, the scent that tickled his nostrils increased even more.
“It’s strange that I was so reserved at first. Now I’ve gotten used to borrowing the large bathrooms.”
“It’s almost like you live here, so you don’t have to be shy.”
“No, I can’t. I don’t want to be a woman who can’t be discreet.”
She was the kind of woman that Olivia and the others liked. Ain poured water into two glasses from a jug on the table.
“Do you want to drink too, Krone?”
“Yes, thank you.”
It was an ordinary exchange, but Ain was attracted by her extended fingertips. Her fingertips were thin and shapely, and her rectangular nails were neatly trimmed. The glass foot was gently pinched by her neat fingers and brought directly to her lips.
The lips were shiny and shapely, with a charm that seemed to suck you in when you looked at them.
“Hmm… fuh. Hey, Ain.”
She called out Ain, but his reply was delayed as if he was engrossed with something.
“You can’t do that to anyone but me, okay? You don’t even know that you have an unpleasant face just now, do you?”
“Fufu, it’s okay. I don’t feel bad about having Ain do that to me.”
“Does that mean I can still look?”
It was a blunder to be found out. But Ain returned to take advantage of what Krone was saying.
“Sure? Do you want me to get a little closer to you?”
“Eh, h… huh..?”
“Is this enough? Or would you prefer this?”
The distance between them is almost zero. Their arms rubbed, and their thighs pressed together. Ain finally raised her voice.
It’s not a game to be won.
He felt that he had read in some book about the art of war or something like that. He thought he should be able to get some distance back from her now.
“If it means I win, then it’s okay to keep going like this, right?”
“──So that’s how it’s going to be.”
“Does Ain not like me doing this to him?”
“I-it’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that… I’m embarrassed.”
“I know. I’m doing it to see that face of yours, after all.”
Ain holds his head when he sees the smirk on Krone’s face as she giggles. He hadn’t had a chance to win anything from the start.
──As the two of them were doing so, they heard a noisy voice outside the salon.
“What’s going on?”
“…It’s unusual at this hour.”
Ain stood up abruptly. Krone stood next to him, and the two of them walked side by side.
Ah, that’s right! I heard a raspy voice in my ear. Ain thought.
“Huh, could it be that voice?”
“Is it Lloyd-sama?”
“I think so. I think something’s wrong.”
Ain paused near the door and listened to the conversation coming from outside.
“Ah. Some time ago, a fishing boat that was out in the open sea was turned into a wreck.”
“But isn’t that enough to identify it caused by a monster?”
Lloyd was talking with Warren.
“It’s not just that. It is said that a fishing boat that went to the distant seas found a huge shadow. …I guess that means it has finally shown itself.”
Ain’s body stopped as he sensed the sword-breaking atmosphere.
“H-hey, Ain? We should also leave and…”
“Shhh… Wait for a moment.”
If they leave, they might not be able to hear. Ain feared that, and he grabbed Krone’s hand, who had spoken out, and brought her close to him to quiet her. As soon as he grasped her hand, Krone involuntarily fell silent.
Then she heard the conversation outside but seemed to be somewhat distracted. She reached out with her free hand and began to play with the back of Ain’s piled-up hand, tracing it with her fingers.
“It’s revenge. You’re being sly all of a sudden.”
They whispered to each other, and Ain smiled and listened again.
“We need to get the battleship to Magna as soon as possible.”
“Yes, that’s right… I’ll be in touch with my people.”
“It could appear at any time. I’m glad they didn’t say it was a sudden appearance.”
“Then we’ll move the battleship as soon as tomorrow.”
Warren’s words were the end of the conversation, and a little while later, there was no sign of anyone outside the door.
“Could it be that, the sea dragon…”
The only thing that comes to his mind is the king of the sea that he encountered more than a year ago on the day he returned from the field trip.
The horror of that time rushed through his body, and his hands naturally began to sweat. He tried to move his body to sit on the couch and think about it.
“You can let go of my hand now, okay?”
No matter how much Ain tried to let go, she fought against it and would not let him go. She’s got a lot more tricks up her sleeve than anyone imagined, from comparing the size of their hands to tickling the space between their fingers.
“Why do I have to let go? Ain’t you the one who grabbed me?”
“No, that’s because I’m trying to listen to the conversation outside…”
“But why should I let go just because the conversation is over?”
There’s no reason to keep linking them together, but Ain doesn’t have a way to argue with her.
“And … what’s going on? Your heart is beating really loud.”
” ─Really? When we’re holding each other’s hands together like this, I get nervous, and my hands start to sweat.”
It was a quick excuse, but not a bad one, Ain thought.
In the end, he could not think about the conversation between Lloyd and Warren, and they walked together through the castle, still holding hands until he escorted Krone to her room.