“What was he doing?!”
After that, I ended up kicking Mika out of the room because I couldn’t stand the embarrassment.
The moment I kicked him out, I didn’t know what I should do as I felt the heat gathering in my face, and I plopped down on the bed in the adjacent room.
Then, after rolling around while holding my knees for a while, I screamed that to myself.
Right now, I’m trying to push the limits of how small a human being could curl up their body.
“What was he doing…”
Mika was certainly quite intense on physical intimacy since he was little.
But ever since I distanced myself from him, Mika was always angry, always complaining, and always making a scary face— And so, that’s right, I completely forgot about it.
Mika’s face that smiled happily flashed through my mind.
And then, my face heated up again and I involuntarily screamed “Uwaaa” in agony.
(If you show me a face overflowing with happiness like that… I…)
The palm of my hand that had been touched by Mika’s lips was hot.
His hot breath that brushed my skin, his jade eyes that looked at me intently, and his fingers intertwined with mine— All of them, with all of them combined, it didn’t seem like my heartbeat that was pounding loudly would subside anytime soon.
There was nothing else I could do but make myself as small as possible.
As I thought of that, I curled up on the bed getting smaller and smaller.
(Aah… Damn it.)
It even made me teary-eyed.
I had already forgotten why I decided to distance myself from Mika in my first life, it was such a long time ago.
However, when I saw his smile again after a long time, I immediately realized it.
About my regrets before I died.
Before I was burned at the stake that time, my heart was filled with all sorts of regrets.
It should be obvious, but I was thinking about things such as; how I could have stopped my brother’s execution, how I could have done something about His Majesty’s incident, or how I couldn’t do anything to protect the people of this country.
All I could think about was wondering where I had gone wrong, or when I had made the mistake— my own helplessness always swirled around me for a long time.
But then, Mika’s tears that I saw that time, right before I died, took everything away from me.
Everything I had as a prince, everything I had in my life, and the reasoning that had held it all together, was gone.
I just thought about one thing very, very strongly.
—I wish I had stayed by his side more.
That was the only regret I had in the last moments of my life.
Even if I tried to deny that it couldn’t be true, or convince myself that it was a silly thing, a feeling of relief spread through my chest just by seeing Mika’s face.
That was my everything.
Why did I go out of my way to the knight’s anteroom first thing this morning to check on him?
Why did I choose Mika instead of Machina?
(I definitely… already know… the answer.)
This isn’t a new life or anything like that, this is still my life.
I wasn’t reborn with a plain face, or lived in a rural village with a simple and kind girl.
My life remained as it was, the one where I had distanced myself away from Mika.
Even if marriage between men is allowed in this country, I’m a prince and Mika is a knight.
No matter what happened, we would never get together.
At least there might have been a possibility if Mika was of a higher family rank than a count, but there’s almost no chance of such a thing happening in this country’s system.
I wanted to spend more time with him.
Influenced by those strong feelings, I ended up choosing Mika.
But perhaps, the choice I had made in my first life was the correct one.
After all, if he were to keep on smiling at me like that, at such a close distance, I’m sure that one day—
(…My heart will be broken.)
I would rather just stay unaware of this feeling.
In my first life, I think I could have still turned back.
In the end, I ended up regretting it, but I still could turn back.
And then, I finally realized it at the verge of my death.
(What the worst timing…)
At least if I had the next life waiting for me, even those regrets would have been sublimated.
In this life I returned to for the second time, I ended up trying to sublimate those regrets.
I completely made the wrong choice.
What should I do, what should I do? I was at a loss by the unanswerable questions that kept coming to my mind.
(I haven’t seen Mika being that happy in a long time…)
There are still so many things I have to do from now on.
Such as about my life, —and even my brother’s life, it would involve a lot of hard work.
And yet, my head was full with thoughts of that red-haired knight, it made me bite my lips.
As I forcibly pushed up my eyebrows which were about to droop with both hands, I felt the need to direct my thoughts to something other than Mika.
In any case, I don’t understand why, but I got a chance to make up for it.
One day I would eventually have to think about why that ended up happening, but above all, my brother’s life is at stake.
This wasn’t the time to be thinking about that red fur ball.
(It’s okay, it’s okay.
I only chose Mika because he would give me his opinion.
The opinion of that crude man, who doesn’t even think of me as a prince, will definitely be useful.)
In any case, I have to set a plan.
About how I could change the future.
Tomorrow was still a rest day, so Mika would be coming to the castle.
I’m thinking of asking him to think about it together with me.
(Aah, —so we’ll be together again tomorrow…)
And then, Mika’s smile popped into my mind.
For a while, I was still rolling around over and over on the bed.
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