Chapter 28: The Starry Sky
From the scorching hot day when sweat flows, the summer night where the wind blows a little cooler. I was walking down the street lit by streetlights on my way to the dormitory.
During the day, I was asked by William-sama, “I want to go out at night. Can you come with me?”
William-sama, Charlotte, and Prince Finlay, were assigned to their respective laboratories in the spring without hesitation, and the time was approaching the end of the first year.
As I approached the gate of the dormitory with a grand setting, I called out to the gatekeeper.
“Excuse me, I am Flores, serving under His Grace the Duke William Moore. Could you put me through to William-sama, please?”
The gatekeeper, with a friendly smile, extended his hand and said,
“Please show me your identification.”
I took out my identification from my chest pocket and handed it to the gatekeeper.
The gatekeeper quickly glanced at the identification and nodded, returning it to me.
“I have confirmed. If it is His Grace the Duke Moore, he has been waiting inside the gate for a while now. I will have an attendant call for him, so please wait for a moment.”
Before he finished speaking, the guard behind the gatekeeper disappeared into the gate.
After a while, William-sama walked up.
“Leah, I’m sorry to have you come out at night.”
William-sama smiled and called out to me, shaking my head.
“No, please don’t worry about it. It’s a knight’s honor to be trusted by his lord. Besides… William-sama, were you waiting outside for me? You didn’t have to do that…”
When I said this, William-sama calmly smiled.
“It’s a bit cooler outside the room because of the wind. And wouldn’t you be able to meet me sooner if you were inside the gate?”
Without any further words to add to the smiling William-sama, I nodded silently.
“There’s no point in standing here talking. Let’s go. Follow me.”
Looking at William-sama who started walking, I followed suit.
Climbing up the hill many times.
When I came to the thicket at the back of the hill on the way, William-sama finally stopped.
“I’m sure it’s supposed to be over there …”
Muttering that, he checked the other side through the gaps in the thicket. The animal trail was winding and I couldn’t see ahead.
I became more cautious in the narrow path that seemed too narrow to attack even if an enemy was lurking, but William-sama raised his cane and confidently advanced on the animal trail.
We passed through a narrow path that seemed long and short. My eyes widened at the suddenly open view.
It seemed to be on top of a cliff.
William-sama walked into the back and looked around the cliff.
“I heard about it, but it’s truly beautiful … Leah, come and see.”
At William-sama’s words, I also approached the edge of the cliff.
There were countless lights from houses below the cliff. As far as I could see, a group of shining lights that seemed to scatter stars beyond the horizon. And in the sky, the real stars seemed to be shining with pride.
The moon had already set, and only the stars and the lights of the houses were flashing in the space.
It gave me the illusion that I was swimming among the stars.
For a while, I was fascinated by the lights in front of me and returned to myself with William-sama’s voice.
“… It’s a beautiful view, isn’t it?”
“I was told by a classmate. They said it was a special place even in the capital.”
He turned to me and smiled.
“I wanted to see it with you.”
I was speechless at his happy smile.
Not Charlotte or Prince Finlay, but “him” …
William-sama said he wanted to see this special view with “him”.
I was startled to find that my existence had unexpectedly penetrated deeply into William-sama.
I was well aware that “he” would not be able to stay by William-sama’s side for long. As I get older, it becomes more difficult to pretend to be a different gender.
After protecting William-sama, there will come a time when I will leave his side of my own accord.
I don’t want to be a source of pain in his heart when “he” leaves him. Yes, I don’t want that.
I wondered how big “his” presence in William-sama had become.
(I am just a knight. I am nothing more than one of William-sama’s servants. William-sama is so kind, he probably has feelings for me, a mere knight, just like he does for the other servants. That must be it.)
I tried to convince myself of this.
(But… if, by any chance, William-sama has deeper feelings for me than for other servants? I haven’t even considered such a possibility. I just wanted William-sama to be able to live a happy life, and I didn’t think about what would happen after I was gone. I don’t want to make William-sama sad. What should I do? I don’t know…)
Without finding an answer, I stared at the glittering darkness.
The twinkling in front of my eyes continued to shine brightly, regardless of what was going on in my head.