“Huff, huff, ahh… I-I made it in time…”
“You must have quite the status to arrive barely in time for the investiture ceremony.”
“Tha-that was close.
I completely forgot that it was today.”
Even though it was an important ceremony, Mika, with his spiky thin hair still poking out all over the place, came running here at full speed like always.
He put his hands on his knees while catching his breath.
Seeing him like that made me stare at him coldly, shutting my eyes to the fact that I also overslept.
Still, it was rare to see him panicking like this.
Sweat was running down his neck, and there was something like dust on his hair, which made me wonder which shortcut he had used to get here.
I stretched my hand and brushed it away, while thinking that he probably woke up barely in time.
Corliss, the capital of Pluvia Kingdom, is located on a hill.
The castle that towered on its highest point, —this Corliss castle, could be reached by a short walk from the center of the royal capital via a cobblestone road.
He must have ridden his horse through that road.
Just earlier this morning, I remembered this man glaring at me at Corliss Square, and he also said “idiot” to me with his eyes.
It made me feel slightly irritated.
“Well, I made it in time anyway, so it’s fine, right?”
As he said that, Mika fanned himself with his knight’s uniform flapped open in front, then he let out an exhale.
Even if he was here for his childhood friend’s knight investiture ceremony, he shouldn’t talk like that.
In the first place, he was called to this occasion as one of the three candidates who were chosen.
What’s with that way of talking?
For today’s investiture ceremony, three knights each were summoned for Brother Seth, Brother Vincent, and I.
I went all the way to the anteroom near the throne room where His Majesty was waiting to check up on Mika, but there was no sign of him.
I had no choice but to wander around the hallway, and by no chance, he arrived at the castle just barely in time.
The first time it happened five years ago, I didn’t go out of my way to check up on him, so I didn’t know how it was before.
This time, the reason I ended up going to check up on Mika was probably that I wanted to see his cheerful figure to make me calm down a little.
When I think he probably overslept last time as well, it made me stare at him with blank eyes.
“So, did you choose properly? It’ll probably be Machina, though.”
“…You will know in a few minutes.”
“Well, that’s true, but still.”
As he said that, Mika neatly fastened back the front of his knight’s uniform, which he had used for fanning himself.
The blue knight uniform, which swears allegiance to the royalty, was a lighter blue than the royal blue that we the royalty wore.
Because they weren’t an existence to be equal to the royal family.
The golden tassels on his uniform swayed in the breeze.
And then, I glanced at the medals lined up in a row.
This man showed up barely in time, but the fact that he was chosen for this occasion meant that he has a good family background and accomplishments.
Mika flung his cloak, which he held in his hand, over his shoulders.
In the dazzling morning sun, Mika’s red hair became see-through and his jade eyes glistened like the surface of a lake.
Mika’s color suited the blue knight uniform very much.
That’s right, I had always thought of that.
Even when I saw his figure in the middle of practice, I could easily recognize him.
I don’t think it was such an unusual color, but somehow it seemed special to Mika.
“Hey… that outfit suits you.”
Mika’s eyes widened at the words that came out of my mouth involuntarily.
I just wanted to say it out loud, there wasn’t any special meaning to it.
When I saw several knights coming out of the anteroom into the hallway, I realized it was time to go.
As I saw them bowing, I thought that this is the way it should be.
But I couldn’t speak for Mika since I was also still dawdling around in this place.
And then, a grandiose trumpet sounded.
The knights lined up in front of the throne room and kneeled.
While thinking I should probably go back and put on my cloak too, I started to walk.
“Anyway, the prince enters from a different room.
You’re the one who’s going to be late.”
“I guess so.
But the third prince will be the last to enter anyway, and no one will be interested in someone like me.”
“…..Nagi, did something happen?”
Mika had a surprised look on his face, and then he raised one eyebrow dubiously.
Seeing him like that, I ended up chuckling.
As I was about to reply with “Nothing”, I could see the maid with round glasses come running from the other side of the hallway with great speed, which sent a chill down my spine.
Despite her demeanor that was like a small animal, I had suspicions that the blood of plubear flowed in the veins of that maid.
Before the plubear in her roared in front of these distinguished knights, I quickly left the place.
I had to return immediately to the anteroom of the royal family, or there would be no one to handle that bear.
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