Chapter 37 - Spring Festival Part IV
Ryu Astre (Point Of View)
A voice whispered, “Your Majesty, the Princess will be arriving now.”
I was sitting with my brothers who are currently dining at a round table. It was filled with extravagant meals when the elevator door opened that caught them by surprise.
Inside the elevator are Princess Yume, Yiyi, and the Princess’s bodyguards who had their curiosity piqued and overwhelmed by looking at the hall. An unprecedented scene. Since there was only one round table in the middle with four people eating together. While a few servants are standing at the sides, it doesn’t change the fact that looking into an almost empty hall in a famous restaurant was one of a kind experience.
Roy, who saw the group in the elevator blinked a few times, he said, “Hmm? Am I hallucinating? I think I can see the Lady of Snowcrest inside the elevator?”
“Me too,” Gavin agreed.
“Umm guys... I think you’re not wrong,” Blake confirmed.
“Ryu?” Yume said who was also confused. It was an obvious thing to happen, the Princess having a bewildered look when she saw me in an unexpected place as the YFC Restaurant. When my brothers heard her spoke, they immediately understood that she was the real deal and stood up.
“Greetings Lady Yume,” my brothers said, paying their respect to the daughter of the Duke. Her title was equivalent to a Marchioness so she would only need to pay respect to the Royalty and those with the same title as her parents. That’s why almost anyone would at least need to greet her first.
“Greetings to these gentlemen.”
“Hello, Princess. Hello, Yiyi,” I added. For me, I don’t really need to greet nobles from the Zen Kingdom with too much respect like kneeling or bending since I’m a foreign individual protected by the foreign exchange rule. I would only be required to at least slightly bow to greet, even if my current title was currently in the lowest rank.
Because forcing someone from another country to submit will be mistaken as an offense against the foreign country itself. That’s why such rules were created to prevent conflict and misunderstandings. However, greeting the Princess with respect was a different story.
“I’m quite appalled from what’s currently in front of me, Sir Ryu,” Yume said. Her tone was quite harsh. Have I done something wrong?
“Good afternoon, Sir Ryu,” Yiyi replied.
“Hmm? Do you two already know each other?”
“N-Not really Milady, we just bumped into each other once.”
“When exactly?” The Princess’s eyes became doubtful, watching straightly at our expressions.
“Hehe. I can’t remember, Milady. A-Anyway why is Sir Ryu here anyway?”
Good call for Yiyi. She immediately changed the topic and it seems effective based on the Princess’s facial expression soothing down. “Well, we have plenty of time to talk, why don’t you ladies and the sirs sit first and eat.”
“...Alright, please accept my sincere gratitude, Sir Ryu.”
My servants assembled a few sets of tables for the bodyguards, while Princess Yume and Yiyi sat at the round table with us.
“Is it really fine for me to sit here, Milady? Yiyi whispered.
“Well, Sir Ryu already insisted,” Yume said, glancing at me.
“It’s alright, I also wanted to talk with the two of you. And Yume, please just call me Ryu as we promised.”
“Why?” Yume asked, again in a harsh tone. I was confused why, when Yiyi whispered something to her making her mood relax and happy. “P-Please forgive me for my previous response, Ryu. And Thank you.”
The bodyguards started to eat while they praised how delicious the food was. They were placed far enough not to hear or disturb us. My brothers who finished eating believed that they will only be a hindrance so they pardoned themselves and left with the excuse of enjoying the festival. Leaving the three of us at the round table.
“I guess the ladies still have no appetite,” I said, seeing that Princess Yume hasn’t touched a single food on the table.
“Are the street foods yummy?” Teasing her a little bit.
“Mm, they are yumm—Is... Is it so obvious?”
“Milady ate a lot,” Yiyi said.
“Milady, the food here is so delicious!”
“Hahaha, then the Princess can just eat later.”
“But I don’t think I can afford such luxurious food, Ryu.”
“Don’t worry, the tabs are on me. But I’m curious. The Duke doesn’t provide for the Princess?”
“My father does. But not much, since he taught me to be frugal, so I was only provided for my necessities. And I was also saving money to buy a gift—Now that I think about it, I almost forgot to ask you a question.”
“Ask anything you want, Yume.”
“I’ve been meaning to ask this a while ago. Please excuse me for asking about your Kingdom. You see... Since you are from the Xan Kingdom, do you know anyone named Fan?”
“I received a birthday gift from him a few years ago. The letter said he was from the Xan Kingdom. I haven’t met him personally, but... Um... It’s also the reason why I’m saving money so that I can buy him a gift to express back my gratitude.”
Fan? The Xan Kingdom? Let me think about it... There’s no way anyone in the Xan Kingdom would gift her without me knowing. Wait... Now that I think about it, I did send her the first magic device I’ve made, and I never wrote who was it from. I was too engrossed with learning and creating magic devices that I almost forgot. To think that Princess Yume would make a big deal out of that. But on the other hand, I think it was nice to know she didn’t forget about me.
“Yes, I do know him.” The Fan in the letter isn’t a name, since it was a word that came from my previous life. I’ll just explain it to her next time when we’re alone.
“Really?” Princess Yume gleamed in excitement. “Do you know what kind of gift he liked?”
“Ehm... I think anything the Princess gives him will be treasured.”
“That’s not helpful,” she pouted.
“So how was your date?” I promptly changed the topic.
“Didn’t you rejected me because you already have a festival date? Or you guys haven’t met yet?”
“Hmm? I think you misunderstood since it was Yiyi who I made a promise to, so I’ve to respectfully decline your invitation that time. And... The only person who could’ve been my date is already with someone,” she sighed, “now that I remember, I should thank the owner of this restaurant for rescuing me from that couple.”
Knowing that Princess Yume didn’t have anyone in her heart lifted a heavy burden in my chest. Now I realize that I do really care about her. I glanced at her enchanting black eyes as they shined, which caught me by surprise when she noticed I was looking. Instead of rebuking me, she just stared back. “You have beautiful eyes, Princess.”
She stiffened. Her reaction was so easy to understand based on her facial expressions. One of the things I like about her—I mean liking her as an admirer, yes, I like that about her as a fan.
“Mm... Thank you.”
“A-Anyway, Yume and Yiyi can always come here if the ladies want to eat, for free.”
“I’ve been thinking about it, Ryu. Are you the owner of YFC?”
“Pfffp!” Yiyi who was eating, choked. “Cough! Milady, you mean Sir Ryu is the owner of the best restaurant in the city?”
“Not just in this city, but the whole Kingdom,” I said, lifting my head with pride.
“Would you like to accompany Milady with the festival?”
“Sorry?” I said.
“Pardon?” Yume said.
Sweats dripped on Yiyi’s face, she added, “I mean, accompany us? Hehe.”
“Yiyi, when did you—”
“Alright, I’ll accompany you guys.”
“Then it would be my honor, Princess.”
“Mm, but in exchange, please answer some of my questions.”
Yume Valenz (Point Of View)
After eating and taking some rest at the YFC Restaurant, we went back to the streets with an additional person, my friend Ryu. When I learned about him being the owner of YFC, I asked him many questions about his identity.
He told me that he was once a resident of the Zen Kingdom who had a lucky encounter to have the support of the Xan Kingdom. Then I wondered if he was once a slave, but I immediately discarded that thought when I felt that it was inappropriate. I remembered him saying that he was the King of Xan Kingdom. Is that even true? Thinking about how excellent he was, it might be possible. But I think we have the same age though? Then what if he really was a King, what should I do?
“Yume, where do you want to go?” Ryu said, looking at me.
While thinking about his identity, I chanced to glance at his black hair. It was beautiful. I never thought about my own hair as good before. But now that I saw it in another person, my perspective became different. When I’m with him, my world changed wonderfully. I’m happy. So I decided that be it a King or a Slave, he will always be someone important to me.
“I’ll go anywhere as long as I’m with you,” I said without thinking, shifting my gaze to his gorgeous blue eyes.
“Pffft! Milady, is that a proposal?”
“—What?! No, it’s not!” Oh my goodness, I was so lost in thought that I blurted something I shouldn’t. I can feel my face burning with embarrassment, so I walked quickly moving forward leaving them behind so that they wouldn’t be able to see my flushed face. A few minutes passed without noticing that I just stepped into a secluded place with tall buildings. “Where am I—Hmm?”
I turned around seeing Ryu running while his arms stretched towards me. The time suddenly slowed down as I noticed the ground below me and the ground below Yiyi who was in a distance was glowing. Weird characters in circles were inscribed as they shine more brightly every second passed. “Are these magic circles?”
“Yume, dodge!” Ryu shouted.