“Have they been shown to you?”
“Not…as of yet.”
Sir Leonhard sat across from me inside the carriage. When he questioned me, I looked down.
Under one of his absolute zero stares, if he were to question whether I lacked common sense or not, I’d cry. Yeah no, that was a lie. I’d probably flip out.
“He’s busy throughout the day, and I lose courage when I think of disturbing his work. But, the sooner the better, right? I’ve decided I’ll ask him to make time, even if it takes a few days.”
It sounded like I was trying to justify myself, but the words just fell out of their own volition.
When I peeped up at him with a You must be surprised, right? look, for some reason Sir Leonhard looked uneasy. Rather than shock, it seemed like he was worried about something.
“What troubles you?” I asked him timidly.
His jet black eyes seemed to settle on me with hesitation.
“Have you said a word of your meeting with His Majesty to Prince Christof?”
“I haven’t,” I said with clarity.
Sir Leonhard’s expression became even more clouded.
Looking at his brows furrowed in worry, I was impatient. What was it, have I messed up?
Though I did encounter my father—who I hardly ever saw—I hadn’t considered it information I needed to go out of my way to report, but had I been mistaken?
Silent the entire time, Sir Leonhard took notice of my self-doubt forming and softened his expression, like he was trying to let me calm down.
“Ahh, it was nothing. I am not criticizing you, princess. Please, do not make such a worried face.”
I must have looked absolutely pathetic.
I’m so glad…I didn’t make him mad.
“Your Royal Highness…”
“The story you have inclined to share with me, have you not considered sharing with Prince Christof?”
At the unexpected question, I stared with eyes wide.
It took a moment for my brain to catch up. The story I told Sir Leonhard…in other words, telling my brother? About me knowing about the future?
It slipped out, speedily and without hesitation.
“I can’t tell him. If I must, I would rather tell my father,” I said decisively.
Sir Leonhard’s eyes opened as wide as mine had.
I cleared my throat to cover up my split second of fascination, and continued to explain myself.
“My story makes no sense, but I’m sure my brother would still believe me. Additionally, I do believe it would be to my advantage for any course of action I take from here on out.”
“While Chris is my older brother, at the same time, he is also the heir to the throne. I mustn’t do anything to influence him, such as giving him information that may or may not be true. The future I saw has already begun to change, and not one thing remains that is for certain.”
“Your Royal Highness…”
“That is where I stand.”
After I gave him a plausible reason, my serious expression remained unchanged as I added another thought.
“If the future I have seen was to come true, somewhere down the road my brother will one day have to use me for the good of the kingdom, won’t he? Not as my brother, but as the prince.”
Sir Leonhard did not refute me.
Even if the reality was hard, he would never cover it up with a kind lie, and his honesty was what I loved about him.
My expression softened with the strength of my feelings.
“However, I’m sure it won’t be because he is cold and unfeeling. My kind brother will surely suffer from worry, because he treasures me and Johan a lot.”
The night the royal palace was attacked, I had believed him to be able to use me for his purpose.
He needed to be able to draw a line between the two; it was not a matter of him using his little sister, but being capable of making the princess fulfill her duties. I myself wished to be useful, so there was no need for him to feel indebted to me.
And yet, Chris had protected me the way an older brother would his little sister. He had spoiled me, and hugged me close.
Even though he was probably the same when it came to not having anyone to spoil him.
Like hell I’d be able to tell someone like that to, Use me for what you need.
“My real intention is, very simply, commonplace selfishness.”
I was still content to be a child.
I’ll stay his spoiled little sister.
Until my brother does not “use” me, and places his confidence in and “trust” in me.
“I have no desire to be used by my brother, and I don’t want to let him use me, either.”
Sir Leonhard stared at me, and a long silence fell inside the carriage. Only the sound of the wheels hitting the ground was audible, but it wasn’t unpleasant.
How much time has passed, I wondered.
He wasn’t upset with my outrageously selfish reasons, and only looked upon me kindly.
“I understand. If it is as you have you said, this conversation will go no farther than us.”
“Sir Leon…thank you very much.”
“Not at all.”
It is not something you should give thanks for, he smiled wryly.
The next second, his expression became serious, and he bowed his head.
“I am merely your lowly servant, but I have overstepped my bounds. Please, forgive me.”
It was apology that would accept nothing but a clear explanation of what he thought of himself.
I also liked this side of him a lot. But, it felt like I was being pushed away, so I felt lonely.
If I wasn’t the princess, would he be more willing to be at ease with me? I wondered.
But if that were the case, he wouldn’t be able to protect me like this.
“Your Royal Highness? What is the matter?”
If I thought about it, his interactions with the Priestess was because she was the Priestess.
He didn’t just pamper her. He scolded her, and at times, he cheered her on as well. He called her name with that deep voice. And patted her head with that big hand of his.
How nice… It wasn’t fair.
I also want that big hand to pat me. You’re silly, I want him to joking say to me. I want him to give me a light poke and affectionately say, There’s no helping you.
“Sorry. It’s nothing.”
But, none of it was possible. As the princess, I had my limits, and it was a wish that could never come true.
A whim as impossible as asking for the moon.
It was saddening, but that was reality.
There was no use hoping, so I couldn’t bring trouble to Sir Leonhard again.
I made up my mind, and smiled at him to put him at ease, but…
“Your Royal Highness.”
“It does not appear to be nothing.”
Sir Leonhard wasn’t deceived at all.
On the contrary…he looked a little angry. Was it just my imagination?