Limited Time, Kitchen Maid of the Fourth Knight Order ~I Got a Job Because I Don’t Want to Get Married~ – Chapter 46

𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐅𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐅𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐥 ~ 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐇𝐚𝐳𝐞 ~

“I apologize, I got the room wrong.”

After saying that, I realized this isn’t a room but a balcony. However, I don’t have the luxury to verbally correct myself.

“Wait for me.”

Even though nothing physically stops me, the voice alone halts my movement. Despite my posture not being lady-like as I try to flee, I can’t move.

“Please, relax. I just wish to speak with Miss Norchev.”

My back hurts, so I choose to take his words at face value and stand up. I can’t make eye contact, so to avoid being rude, I look slightly down. Even this may be considered impolite. My gaze lands on his well-toned chest.

“Please, have a seat.”

As prompted, I sit on the single sofa placed on the balcony. Confirming that the young royal prince also sits on a sofa about 2 meters away, I secretly exhale. It seems sitting was the right choice.

The sofa is plush and soft. It reminds me of a sofa I sat on when accompanying Roa-sama for a break. If the sofas are similar, then that one must have also been luxurious.

“Firstly, apologies and thank you for coming on such short notice, Miss Norchev.”

“Your Highness, there is no need for you to apologize!”

“I haven’t even introduced myself yet. I am Linus Royalcrow. Ah, please remain seated.”

It seems my agitation on whether he truly is the royal prince is transmitted.

The young royal prince doesn’t seem to mind, in fact, he looks amused. Of course, he would be; everyone he meets knows his face.

Although our sofas at opposite ends of the balcony face each other, I can’t see his face clearly. The glare from the glass door in between us is too bright, and it blinds me. Even when trying to look past the light, his face seems shrouded in darkness.

“About the medicine. I received a letter from your family and found it extremely encouraging.”

“T, That is most humbling, Your Highness.”

“You can speak freely as if you were back in the knight order. I just want to talk to Miss Norchev. I won’t punish you for being disrespectful.”

“. . .Even if the punishment is a reward. . .?”

“No, that’s not the case. Nothing will happen here, no matter what.”

Time passes with the sound of the young royal prince’s restrained, low laughter echoing. What is this?

“Once before, someone told me the same thing. That person was also very serious at the time.”

As I struggle to respond, the laughter fades, and the young royal prince begins to speak in a comforting voice.

“The only letter that purely expressed joy was from your family. That made me happy.”

A slight anguish leaks into the young royal prince’s voice.

We can feel joy because our mom is still alive. If she had passed away and then we were informed about the special medicine, we would inevitably wish it had come sooner. Perhaps he received some ungrateful remarks or comments about the support itself.

“. . .I’m sure there are many more who are happy, not just our family. They just haven’t been able to reach you, Your Highness. There are truly many. Ever since we knew you were supporting us, we’ve lived every day with hope. No amount of gratitude could be enough. Thank you very much.”

“Is that so. . . All I can offer is a modest sum of money.”

“Even a small amount of money can do more. If even one more life can be saved, then it is absolutely a good thing. I believe.”

“Hmm, hahaha. You don’t have to be so formal. I find the current Miss Norchev quite agreeable.”

 ㅤ

His way of laughing reminds me of someone. Someone who’s warm and kind, not just helping me unconditionally, but supporting me when times are tough.

“Thank you. Your words give me the strength to carry on. . .By the way, that dress looks wonderful on you.”

“Thank you.”

Choosing a bright color for myself was somewhat resistant, but I thought it would be good if it was recommended by Roa-sama. Surprisingly, lemon yellow suited my face.

“Was it a gift from someone?”

I almost mention Roa-sama’s name but stop myself. I heard that the young royal prince and Roa-sama are acquainted, but I don’t know how close they are.

“. . .I received it from someone whose name I do not know.”

“Huh?”

Darn, I misspoke.

“We don’t call each other by pet names or anything. There’s just someone who calls me by a pet name, and I received it from them.”

The young royal prince looks a bit perplexed. I realize that I’ve explained it very poorly. This could make Roa-sama look suspicious!

“He’s a very good person, not suspicious at all. A hard worker and a kind soul who doesn’t flaunt it.”

“I see. Miss Norchev, you seem to hold this person in high regard.”

“Yes!”

The young royal prince didn’t say anything further, just quietly looked at me. Or so I think. It was dark, and I couldn’t really see, but I maintained my posture.

“Unfortunately, it’s time. That dress and those shoes really suit you, Miss Norchev. Whoever chose them must really care for you.”

The young royal prince quickly stood up, surprisingly giving me a gentle look, and disappeared into the curtain of light.

“I wish to see you again. Until then, take care.”

Before I could say anything, the young royal prince was gone. As I was staring blankly at the curtain, I heard a restrained voice from behind.

“Alice, it’s me. Don’t make a scene, just come here.”

“Could it be, Rene-sama?”

“Yes. Over here.”

Behind the sofa where I was sitting, in the dim light, Rene was hiding.

“Rene-sama, what’s wrong? Do you have a stomach ache?”

“No, I’m going to secretly move you out of here, so follow me.”

The balcony was about one meter above the ground, but there was a scaffold halfway through, and with Rene’s help, I landed on the ground. Is it even possible to exit a party venue acrobatically like this?

“Pretend we were out for a walk. If anyone asks, just say that.”

“Yes.”

As I walked a bit with Rene escorting me, the famous rose garden of the royal castle came into view. Although it’s on the outskirts away from the party venue, it keeps us from looking suspicious.

I feel relieved, as I’ve been tense the entire time.

“You’re not okay. . . but well done. You did your best.”

As I was about to thank Rene for his support and jump over the low hedge into the rose garden, I heard a muffled voice.

“. . .How did it go?”

“Without a hitch.”

Rene quickly picks me up and hides us in a nearby bush. He pins me down, and then covers me with his body. I hear Rene’s tense voice, almost too quiet to make out.

“Don’t move. Erase your presence as much as possible. If we’re found, we’re done for.”

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