You see that featured image? The one up there? THAT’S AL AND LILY. It’s the cover image that was released yesterday. But the LN itself will be on sale on 3/27. Lily is so cute, I just—can’t. I think her hair should be blonde though, not brown.
Hmm, there is something quite strange about Al’s hand, but I just can’t put my finger on it……okay I’ll let myself out. Enjoy the chapter!
I held the cat that seems to have relaxed its vigilance with both hands. I passed one hand under its armpit and held its butt with my other hand.
“……you seem pretty familiar with this.”
“I’m not used to this, but……I like animals.”
“Is it weird?”
I guess it is strange that I like animals. That’s what I thought, but Al shook his head.
“It’s not like that. I just think that the composition of you and small animals will be quite like a painting……if the cat is a bit cuter.”
“I think it’s cute enough.”
“……I don’t understand Lily’s aesthetic sense. Then? What are you going to do now?”
Hearing Al’s question, I lowered my head while holding the cat.
“My apologies. You went through the trouble to invite me. But, I would like to give medical care for this child. May I return to the mansion?”
It is not permissible to ruin a prince’s invitation. I knew that, but I couldn’t help it because I was concerned about the cat in my hands. I feel the cat is breathing a little bit roughly, so at the very least, I want to clean it and give it some meal.
“I’m sorry. I am truly sorry. I will accept any scolding later. That’s why—”
A quiet voice resounded from overhead. When I raised my face, Al was smiling helplessly.
“I said that I will help you. It’s only natural for me to take responsibility of my words until the end. I will not get angry. I will go with you to your mansion.”
“Is it okay?”
“Of course. It will be terrible for me if we part in this place. Because I have worked hard to make time for today. I don’t want to part just yet.”
“……thank you very much.”
“We better hurry up if we want to help that cat. Shall we go back to the carriage?”
I nod to Al’s words and quickly return to the carriage.
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“……please hold on a little bit more.”
I called out to the cat I held in my hands. The cat in my arms was limp. I had wiped some dirt with a handkerchief that I had but I guess it would have to be disinfected properly.
The coachman sped up the horse and we arrived at my mansion.
Luke who came to pick me up must be wondering the reason I had returned home much earlier than planned.
“What happened? Did you fight with His Highness?”
“No, it’s not like that……please, take care of this child!”
“‘This child’? Eh! Understood. Is it alright to do it in Milady’s room?”
Noticing the cat, Luke changed his expression. Bringing Al along, the three of us entered my room.
Normally, I would greet Father and Mother in the mansion, but this is an emergency. I decided to talk to them about the situation after everything is settled, and then I allowed Luke to prepare for the first-aid treatment.
“……I wonder if it will be okay.”
Using the hot water drew in the washbasin, he cleaned up the cat who scrunched up its face in pain.
Using three big towels to wipe its body, he finished treating the wounds. Fortunately there was no deep gash, and when he put water inside the dish, the cat lapped it with delight. The feed that Luke gave the cat was what he had asked the chef to prepare.
At first the cat was cautious, but it couldn’t win against its own hunger, and soon began eating timidly.
“What a relief. The cat eats it……”
“If it has an appetite, it’s going to be fine for the foreseeable future. It seems that the wounds are shallow.”
“Is that so……”
I looked at the cat who is currently eating in front of me and sighed in relief. Its condition is completely different from when it was dying, now it is full of life force.
If there were many severe injuries, I had thought about using cure magic, but it seems to be unnecessary. One should not use cure magic on a wound that can be healed by one’s own power to prevent one’s self-regenerative power from weakening; that’s the cure magic’s way of thinking.
If one uses such magic frequently, even simple wounds won’t be able to heal naturally. Of course, if the wound is severe, one should use it without hesitation, but the risks are higher if it is only a minor injury.
Cure magic is not just convenient.
“What is it?”
While feeling relieved, I stroked the back of the cat, but Luke suddenly called me with a terse voice.
“Master and Madam are here.”
“They are here?”
“……please send them in.”
I commanded Luke. Perhaps, they were worried about the fact that I came home but had not greeted them yet. Or, since Al is with me, maybe they have come to greet him. As I was waiting, my parents came into my room after being led by Luke. And behind them was Yugo-niisama.
My father first turned his attention to Al and lowered his head.
“Your Highness. My daughter is always indebted to you.”
“Sorry about the late greeting. It was an emergency situation.”
As Al said so, my father nodded.
“I’ve heard the story from Luke. Lily, I heard you picked up a cat.”
Apparently, my parents came because I brought a cat back.
This is bad. When I nodded while thinking so, sure enough, my father said.
“What you picked up is that ugly cat, huh……since the treatment for its wounds is over, just put it back in the place where you got it right away.”
When I frowned, Yugo-niisama who was behind my father also agreed.
“If you want a cat, I will prepare a prettier cat that is suitable for the daughter of a Duke. So, put that dirty cat back……it doesn’t match the beautiful us.”
“Nii-sama, are you still saying that kind of thing? ……Father. Although we have finished treating this child’s wounds, it will surely die if it is released in the wild. I can’t just abandon this child once I have finished helping it. I have promised to take care of this child until the end, so please allow me to keep it inside the house.”
“If you want a cat that much, we can arrange for a more beautiful cat like what Yugo said, you know?”
“It doesn’t have any meaning if it is not this child. Father. I would like to help this child. I think ‘helping’ should not be a temporary thing. I can’t just stop at this point. I think that would be the same as abandoning this child. Please. If you’re uncomfortable with it, I will try not to let it out of my room. That’s why—”
Although it looked like he had been thinking for a while, in the end my father nodded.
“I never thought that you would ask us so desperately 「I want to have a dirty cat at home」 like that. You always ask for 「a new dress」 and 「jewelry」, and we thought that was fine as well. It appears that you have grown quite a lot without our knowledge.”
After saying something quite moving, my father turned to face Al.
“I think my daughter has changed just after she was engaged to you. I ought to say thank you to Your Highness.”
“It’s fine. I haven’t done anything. These changes are because Lily has tried her best as she wanted to change her life. I don’t want you to thank me, but I want you to acknowledge her efforts.”
“……I understand. Lily, I understood your reasoning about the cat. I will talk to those in the residence. Later, tell me its name.”
After he said that, my eyes are becoming wet.
I’m glad that my father understood and allowed me to keep this child, I’m really happy. Since they have finished their business here, my father went out of the room with my mother and the only one who remained was Yugo-niisama.
“Lily, I haven’t approved it yet.”