Do you miss Al like Lily? From this chapter until the end of this arc, it will be full of AlxLily moments~
“Hey, good afternoon, Lily.”
“You came, Al. I’ve been waiting for you.”
It has been a long time since then—.
Along with his work circumstances settled, Al visited the mansion.
I had heard about his visit beforehand, so I didn’t go to the orphanage today.
Yesterday, since Al is coming, I said to Chloe that I will take a day off. She gave me a face full of smile and said, “Please have fun.” After that, she also told me that “Also, please let me hear the story of the two of you.”
Apparently, it seems that me and Al are the ideal couple for her.
I think that it is far from the real situation, but if I deny it, I think that it will be damaging, so I didn’t correct her misunderstanding.
I pretended not to notice that I was happy to be treated like a couple with Al.
As usual, I led Al to the reception room.
After having Luke make us a cup of tea, and after confirming that there is nobody else, I talked about the things that happened when I couldn’t meet Al.
“I have read your letters, but as expected it’s better to hear it directly from you. Congratulations, Lily. You have made your first friend.”
Staring at his gentle eyes, I became embarrassed and dropped my gaze.
“I still don’t know how to handle this correctly. But, I’m having a good time.”
“You said you were going to an orphanage. You were taking care of the children, weren’t you? I wonder what the children are like.”
“Everyone is nice. I didn’t know what to do at first, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to take care of them, but I’m used to it now. Now, I think it isn’t that bad surprisingly.”
Al widened his eyes as if surprised.
What I said to Al was true. At first, I went to the orphanage wholly because of Chloe, but now I am looking forward to seeing the children as well as her.
Children are honest in expressing their emotion.
If they don’t like something, they will say that they don’t like it, and if they like something, they will say that they like it.
I was glad for their straightforwardness because I didn’t know the correct thing to do.
There is no lie in the children’s words of 「Onee-chan, I like you」. It felt comfortable, so I started to take the initiative of taking care of them.
“I’m pretty sure you were teaching the children literacy and calculation, right?”
“Yes. Everyone is greedy to learn, so there is worth in teaching them.”
Although the children weren’t serious in the beginning, when I told them that it would be useful in the future, they began to work hard. While talking about that, Luke was clearing his throat from behind me.
“……what is it, Luke.”
“It’s nothing, I don’t want to interrupt your conversation.”
“If so, don’t disturb me to begin with. You have something in mind, right? It’s fine, so out with it.”
At any rate, this guy will say it sooner or later, so it doesn’t matter.
Recently, I fully understood Luke’s character, I glared at him for a long time.
“Well then, I will tell you. Your Highness. What Milady did with the children is not limited to education. They often pestered Milady to sing. Rather, it is the most frequent thing they do.”
I never thought that it would be revealed here. When I raised my voice reflexively, Al leaned his body forward with an expression that says he was immensely curious.
“Heeh? Lily, you can sing? This is the first time I heard about it. I wish you included it in your letter if you were doing such a fun thing. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Milady is tone-deaf. So, I think she was embarrassed about it. Milady……she only wants to show the good side of her to Your Highness. She probably thought that it would be problematic if she were to be probed further. Indeed, it was a very silly story.”
“Wait a sec!”
I looked at my butler who only said unnecessary things with tearful eyes.
Luke feigned ignorance and refused to look at my face……truly, he has some nerve.
“Eh? But, even though she’s tone-deaf, the children still asked her to sing? Isn’t that strange? It would be understandable if you said that she’s actually really skillfull.”
“Milady is good at putting magical power into her songs. It seems to feel comfortable, and it has a good reputation of people strangely wanting to hear it again even though it is off-key.”
“……it has the worst reputation.”
It’s impossible for me to feel happy being told that people want to hear my song again even though it’s off-key.
No matter how much people told me that it felt comfortable, because my tone-deafness doesn’t change at all.
“No, well, because Milady’s song is strangely addictive. Recently, I’ve come to think that being off-key has its own charm.”
“Don’t say ‘off-key’ repeatedly……since I have sung many times until now, shouldn’t I have become more skillfull?”
I truly hoped for it from the bottom of my heart, but Luke denied it.
“Unfortunately, you haven’t improved at all. Milady……since you possess great talent, don’t you think you need to try a little bit harder? Right……how about getting a vocal instructor? I will arrange it for you, if you don’t mind.”
“I don’t need it. I only sing in front of the children after all. They know about my tone-deafness and I have already resigned myself.”
When I sighed, Al raised his voice, “Right!”
“Lily’s song. I also want to hear it.”
“……if you heard Luke’s story, you should understand it, right? I……I don’t want to say it myself, but I really am tone-deaf.”
“But, it is also a magical voice that makes people want to hear it, right?”
“Magical……I mean, I also don’t understand it myself. However, I can’t let Al hear something that I know will be bad.”
“Don’t say that. Please?”
A battle of please-impossible continues for a while.
Eventually, the battle ends with me giving in. I can’t win against this person after all.
……I knew this.
“……I will sing just a little bit. If you laugh, I will stop immediately.”
“I know, I know.”
Reluctantly, I began to sing. The song I chose is the nursery rhyme that I sang to the children the first time. It’s because it is short and I am accustomed to singing that song after receiving requests from the children many times since then.
“……that’s the end.”
Originally, it should be up to the third verse, but I only sang until the first verse1.
I’m afraid of what Al’s reaction would be like. I examined his face……he doesn’t seem to be laughing.
He doesn’t say anything for a long time, so I called out his name. Al instantaneously blinks his eyes and apologizes while smiling wryly.
“Before I realized it, I was enraptured by your voice. It was a song that left behind an impression. It certainly was not good, but I think your song is a wonderful thing that can make people feel comfortable with its charm.”
“……thank you very much.”
As expected it was not good.
It couldn’t be helped, but I feel a bit disappointed. After all, as Luke said, perhaps it would be better for me to learn singing from a vocal instructor.
“Hearing your song, somehow it makes me feel very sleepy. I wonder if it’s because it makes me feel relieved.”
“It sounds like you were busy.”
“Yeah, I’m a royalty, so it can’t be helped. Fuaahh……I’m sleepy.”
He seems to be really sleepy, Al made a small yawn. And then, his eyes turned towards me.
“Hey, Lily. I want to ask you a favor.”
I wonder what it is. While thinking about such a thing, I nodded and Al said.
“Just for a moment is enough, but would you lend me your knees? Really, I’m getting strangely sleepy.”
“K-knees? I, I don’t mind.”
I wonder what he meant by that.
I don’t know, but Al is always helping me. If there is something I could help Al with, I think want to do it.
“Um, so, what should I do……?”
“Here. Sit next to me.”
I was sitting across Al, so I got up from the sofa and moved to the seat next to him. When I sit next to him as he told me to, Al falls onto my knees.
I raised a strangled voice due to the sudden development.
“I told you to lend me your knees, right?”
“Y-you did, but I didn’t know it will be like this……”
I never thought that he meant lap pillow. While I was frozen with Al on my lap, he said.
“You are my fiancée, so this should be fine, right? Or is it not good?”
“H-how could it be not good……”
“Then, is it unpleasant?”
“T-there’s no way it is unpleasant……”
“It’s fine then.”
While saying “I’m glad” as he laughed softly, Al closed his eyes on my lap. I stared at him with my eyes wide open.
“Milady. For the time being, I recommend you to be silent. His Highness seems to be tired, so maybe it is better to let him sleep for a while.”
Hearing the awfully calm voice, I nodded to indicate my agreement.
“T-that’s right…….hm? Luke!”
“Y-you saw it coming.”
“Saw it coming……oh yeah, I’ve been waiting for it the whole time. It was very obvious.”
“Why didn’t you stop him then!”
There should have been many chances to stop him. When I glared at him, Luke shrugged his shoulders.
“I am merely a butler, it’s impossible for me to remonstrate His Highness. Besides, as Milady seemed happy, I thought that it would be insensitive of me to stop it.”
More than that, I want to question him for nearly one hour about the part where he said that I seemed happy. I absolutely shouldn’t have that sort of expression.
1 I think the nursery rhyme that Lily sang is Tulip, a Japanese nursery rhyme. There are three verses. Here’s the song: