Arc 1: Your Kingdom
(1) Unknown Land
Ever since he was born, the 4th Prince of the Maillard Kingdom, Licht Jutak Maillard, had a weak body. He had been ‘carefully’ raised in the depth of the castle since childhood.
The prince had just turned 14. When he woke that morning, an unfamiliar maid stood beside his bed.
“…Who are you?”
The prince didn’t hide his displeasure as he stared at the smiling woman. She didn’t show any signs of being offended, only bending her knees a bit as she greeted the prince.
“I am your new maid, Milly. It is a pleasure to be in your service.”
“Hum, so Ichi had left.”
Ichi was the old wet nurse who had served the prince since he was born. She had a habit of grumbling complaints under her breath. The possibility that this smiling woman would also grumble complaints suddenly popped in his head.
“Breakfast has been prepared for you in the next room, so please change your clothes.”
“Eh? I can leave my bed?”
The prince immediately became fond of this new maid. Not only was Ichi old and naggy, she rarely helped him out of bed in the morning. As such, the prince had continually cursed her from his bed.
The prince excited flipped his sheets off and stretched his feet. When they touched the floor, he suddenly felt something amiss. The floor seemed different from the usual.
—Was there always this patterned carpet here….?
The prince slid his feet into his new slippers. Standing upright, he looked around. The room was also not the same one he was used to. The creme-colored walls had a light-green ivy pattern drawn on it. The amber varnish on the furniture glittered in the faint light shining through the curtains. The cushions covered with Gobelins tapestry on the sofa gave a warm accent to the room.
—Where…where was he?
With his mouth agape, the prince froze. The room the prince had remembered was a dim room with thick curtains. The plaster walls gave off a pale blue impression. There was no way that room would give off such a warm feeling.
“Allow me to change your clothes, Prince.”
The sudden deep voice caused the prince to literally jump up. When he turned around, there was an unfamiliar man standing by the door behind Milly.
“…Who are you?”
“I am your new attendant, Fernand, Prince.”
The approaching tall figure made the prince unconsciously step back. It had been such a long time since he had seen such a young man that it scared him. But to voice such a thought would be mortifying, so he endured the fear. He straightened his back, tightly pursed his lips, and looked right up at the man.
“You’re my attendant?”
“Yes, I will be taking care of you from now on.”
“Isn’t she the one who will be taking care of me?”
The prince said, pointing at Milly who was waiting in the back. Fernand showed a calm smile and took another step closer to the prince.
“Milly is the head maid, so she is in charge of tasks such as preparing your meals and maintaining the rooms. My duty is the immediate care of the prince.”
The prince couldn’t wrap his head around what that had meant. But if he stated that he didn’t know, he might be ridiculed, so he gave a meek nod. Then he observed his ‘new attendant.’ He had beautiful blond hair that reached his nape as well as blue eyes the color of a clear sky. His appearance resembled the goddesses and angels he had seen in picture books. The prince giggled a little, imagining that this man could have been the attendant to a goddess in the past.
“Well now, let’s change your clothes.”
Fernand’s long fingers reached for the prince’s sleepwear, but the prince was taken aback and drew back. Ichi had always parroted this to him: “Change your clothes yourself.” As such, he had always done it himself. He brushed the hand reaching for his nape and shook his head.
“Where is my outer garment? I can change clothes myself.”
“I cannot allow that. This outfit has buttons that are difficult to do, so I shall help you.”
The man’s kind tone refused to take ‘No’ for an answer, so the prince relented and allowed Fernand to dress him. It was certain that the buttons had a complicated design, as it required him to bind the string in a strange manner from left to right. The prince also had no memories of these clothes. Furthermore, he had never worn such clothes where the texture felt nice on the skin.
“Hey, where are we going now?”
The prince recognized that these type of clothes would be worn whenever he would leave his room. He had childhood memories of being occasionally brought out to the small courtyard. However, he hadn’t been allowed to leave his room for the past several years, so he currently had no clue about where he would be brought now.
“We aren’t going anywhere. After all, you have just arrived at the Barthelemy royal palace.”
These words caused the prince to raise his voice in surprise, “EH!?” Barthelemy was a wealthy country to the west, graced with abundant natural resources. It had an alliance with the prince’s small country of Maillard to the east. The prince knew this much, but this would be the first time he had ever encountered a Barthelemian. That was not much as the prince had met only a select handful of people from his own country.
“When did I come to Barthelemy?”
“It was late last night. You have been sick for the longest time and stayed at the underground infirmary in the Maillard Castle, correct?”
The prince silently nodded. Just as Fernand had stated, the prince had remained in the underground room known as the ‘infirmary’ for the past two years. There were no visitors; the only people who came to see him were Ichi who had been in charge of his care and the old, taciturn doctor.
“My country of Barthelemy has been boasting the best medical treatment for 1-2 years now among the countries in this continent. So, this place would be perfect for you to receive treatment, yes?”
However, the prince’s face turned dark, and he remained silent. Ichi and the old doctor weren’t around, and he was suddenly left alone in this foreign country. There was no way he wouldn’t be feeling uneasy.
Perhaps sensing the prince’s feelings, Fernand gently patted the prince’s head. He knelt down, grabbed both of the prince’s hands, and peered into his large, sunken eyes.
“There is nothing to be worried about. You will be enjoying your relaxed days here in the royal palace from now on, after all.”
The prince wondered what it meant to enjoy one’s relaxed days… Without giving Fernand an answer, he turned his blank eyes toward the bright window.
Hi, Cael here (though you guys probably don’t know me :x) I’ve wanted to try translating a BL novel and this is my first attempt, so please bear with me.
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