Daybreak arrived, and sitting in a daze with drowsiness, I received scraps from the prince’s breakfast; and noticing the increase in the number of guards, I temporarily left the prince.
When I rubbed my face against the prince’s legs and after going Nya~ Nya~, and turned my body around, as expected the prince, who had raised a cat understood my feelings.
Saying 「Return back by nightfall」he made a slightly desolate face, but he permitted me to leave.
He understood a cat’s wilful nature. Besides, after meowing in reply, I left that place.
When I left the castle, the rays of sunlight poured in, and made my heart feel dispirited. In the first place, I lived a lifestyle avoiding basking in the sunlight, so it was too stimulating for this tired body of mine. I didn’t even have my robe to block it.
I ran while reproaching my body, into the comfortable tower. And as soon as I entered the room, I undid the magic. It had been a long time since I’d used a long duration magic that lasted for around half a day, thus my senses felt strange for a moment.
「Yo Nidel, welcome back. How was it?」
「Perhaps you’ve been by the prince’s side all this time?」
To the mass of black that approached me, shuffling, I nodded.
「The plan was bang on. The prince seemed to like cats in the first place, so it went too well to be true. I was in the prince’s room all this time, guarding him.」
When I said so, lethargic words of praise that went something or the other like「Ooh, as expected of Nidel」overflowed. There was no mistaking it that the real meaning behind the words was 「With this, we can leave everything to Nidel and can continue our life as normal.」
「But, there’s a problem.」
「What is it?」
「I’m too at leisure, and I feel drowsy.」
When I said that, the people around nodded quietly. That was the only reaction. Peering at the colleagues who had once again scattered and cold-heartedly returned to doing their respective jobs, I approached the dirty divan in the depths of the room. On top of the divan that was rarely used, broken magical tools were piled up, but I dropped them on the floor.
「I’ll sleep till the evening’s meeting.」
When I laid down saying so, the slave driver’s unconcerned harsh words, saying 「Do your work other than guarding properly too…」piled up. I ignored them and drifted off to sleep. Working throughout the day, and then continuing to use my magical power at night without sleeping a wink, that’s been decided against my will.
When I closed my eyes, I could hear the rustling sound of everybody working. With that as my substitute for a lullaby, I soon fell asleep.
Rubbing my still sleepy eyes, I left for the meeting that was continued from yesterday. I thought, wouldn’t it be alright to not leave on behalf of the Technological Magic Order, but it wouldn’t be good to show too much of a lethargic figure. Moreover, it’d be better if I too knew of their plan for guarding.
When I visited the meeting room, the members of the Royal Knight Order and the Royal Palace Magic Order, who had arrived beforehand made a slightly surprised face. It seems they thought I wouldn’t come.
「Is Tech-san also interested in the plan?」
「…No, well more or less.」
When I smiled wryly, the captain of the knights praised me,「That’s some dedication」. I lethargically lowered my head and sat at my usual seat.
The meeting was yet to begin, but they were all conversing in a serious manner, with papers unfolded. Seeing Squad commander Legato, who was at the centre of all this, I smiled wryly, guessing Squad Commander-dono must have had the work pushed onto him again.
Just as my guess, once the meeting commenced, in the plan for guarding that had been announced, the load Legato had to bear was too much.
It seems more or less all the guarding of the bedroom for a month is going to be done by Legato. It seems it was decided in view of the prince’s actions the previous night. If a single person was a guard as far as possible, they said that the burden on the prince would be lessened. Nevertheless, on the other side of the bedchamber, other knights and magicians would guard in shifts.
However, he would be alone in the bedchamber. Legato’s burden was terribly huge, but I thought well, it can’t be helped. When there are few people as guards, one must use competent people. Moreover, our country is quite busy currently, and the main body of knights is busy too.
That being the case, their squad was the main focus of attention, and amongst them the most competent was squad commander Legato, thus his selection had been set in stone.
On top of it, from his appearance through the meeting, it seems Legato himself raised his hand to volunteer. Quite a choice like a serious man I thought, looking quietly at Legato from my seat.
Even though we were of the same age, he was a man within capabilities completely unlike mine.
For a person to take up an administrative post in Royal Knight Order, no doubt needed one to be competent, but in addition, one’s manners, appeared and intelligence also needed to be above average. It was a matter of course, since they were to be seen by people from foreign countries. It wouldn’t do if they were unable to uphold our country’s dignity. Legato as a Royal Knight was an ideal one.
Legato had a serious atmosphere, but when he laughed it’d become gentle all of a sudden, so I’d often think It’s nice when he smiles while observing him.
Compared to that, I wasn’t even a member of the Royal Palace Magic Order that requires manners, so I was a carefree person who disregarded my looks. Just like a magician, I’d never held a sword nor trained my body, and having always worn a hood, I’d not even got a healthy tan. At times when I was cooped up in the tower, I’d tend to even forget about food and sleep, so I was excessively unhealthy. It wasn’t just me, all the members of the Technological Magic Order tended to be so.
My lack of hair had grown to adequate length and curled up. There have been numerous times when I’ve had to take off my hood in public places, and I’ve been told 「You have such a face, I see.」. Believe it or not, I was renowned as a handsome young man in my neighbourhood as a child, but due to not prolonging that virtue, I grew up to become an ordinary person. No, there’s still traces of that left. 「What a waste, had you become a member of the Royal Palace Magic Order properly, you’d have shined even more brightly」, I’ve been told by the servant Obaa-sans in the Royal Palace.
However, not only am I young, but I’m also 27 years of age, what’s with shining from here on…doing it properly is also a pain in the neck, due to such a useless way of thinking, won’t I continue living on just like this in the end, I thought.
I didn’t have any intentions of getting married either, I’ll surly spend my life in that tower repairing and inventing tools that no one quite understands. I don’t think it’s that bad of a life in itself.
Come to think of it, squad commander Legato is still single. I think I’d be a bit shocked if Legato got married. I’d feel like I’ve been completely left behind. I’ve been completely left behind even now though.
The agenda of the meeting was, nothing but the plan of guarding Prince Chennel, and thus, the work preparations of the Knight Order and the Magic Order for a months interval were talked about. I won’t serve anything other than the night guarding duties, but they have to serve during the daytime too. I sympathised lining up people, it was a huge task.
The battle scene would continue till the coming of age ceremony of our prince ended.
All through the meeting, the king’s gaze caught my sight multiple times, and in order for other people to not catch wind of it, I nodded with my gaze. 「I understand, our side is perfect」, when I put in some confidence with my gaze, the king replied with his gaze 「I’m sorry, I requested you」. Perhaps, such a conversation ought to happen.
The position of the Technological Magic Order was quite low in the Royal Palace, But we were quite handy to the Royal Family, with the king topping the list. As a handyman.
The meeting ended, and I left the room. And showing my face in the tower saying,?「Well then, I have to go for guarding」I changed into a cat right there, and once again rushed to the prince’s side.
If I make it to the prince’s side by supper, there might still be some food left.
Thus, my double life began.
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