Updated: Mar 17
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Prince Kyle properly wakes up, and he and Tara have a little conversation...
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Episode 200. About 10 months (77)
Matilda grumbled at Walter and handed me a handkerchief.
"By the way, the Capital is just as far away. What a load of nonsense!"
I bowed once again to the grumbling doctor.
"Yes. Thank you very much for going on such a long journey without hesitation, Doctor."
"That's enough gratitude! Blow your nose."
I turned around right away and blew my nose, and Matilda tapped Walter and spoke.
"Notify me in advance next time. And don't disturb me when I'm sleeping. Also, I'm here because it was the Second Prince. If it was anyone else, I wouldn't have come. Do you understand, Captain?" The Doctor yelled, tilting her head back to look at Walter, who was rather tall.
"Hehe. Yes, Doctor. Thank you."
Walter smiled and scratched the back of his neck like a child.
"Then I need to make a medicine to help with the purification. Let him take it as soon as he wakes up, before he becomes physically active. That's the best time."
She was telling me to not leave and stay by his side.
"Yes, I'll keep that in mind, Doctor."
At the same time as my answer, Walter said.
"Phew... I'm relieved. I'll guide you to your room as well. It must've been hard for you, 2nd Aide, so go back to your room and rest. I'll take the medicine and give it to him when he wakes up."
Walter, who had been on his horse all day long, waited for me by the open door, rubbing his aching back and waist.
"It must've been difficult for the Captain, too, so I'll do it myself."
"No, I heard you've been here the whole time without taking a proper break. I can get some sleep in that chair over there, so you can go and sleep."
"Oh, go and rest! Compared to the outdoor barracks, this place is heaven. Heaven!"
Then, I hesitated for a moment.
I felt something on my finger and looked down. The tip of his left hand was touching my right hand's index finger.
I could push it away, but I didn't want to.
So, I decided to stay here tonight.
"Captain, I can't do that. You must be tired, so go ahead and rest first. I'll watch him a little longer. Since you have a schedule for tomorrow, I think it would be good for you to sleep well. I have no plans tomorrow, so I can rest then."
"But you're too..."
"Look in the mirror, Sir. You have black circles under your eyes, and you look so exhausted it's as if you're about to collapse."
"Is that so?"
"The young Aide has a point. Stay in this warm place and you'll probably fall asleep in five minutes with your head on the bed. I'd bet my hands that you would."
Hearing the Doctor's firm insistence and use of Tazza's famous line, Walter quickly walked to the wall and looked at his face in the mirror.*
"Oh, no, that can't be. I'll ask you to continue a little longer, 2nd Aide."
Then he left the room with Matilda.
When Kyle woke up, it was barely dawn and still dark.
Slowly opening his eyes, he looked at the ceiling and then turned his head feeling something touch his hand.
She was sleeping next to the bed, bent over.
Her small, clenched fist was in his hand, and her beautiful face was leaning sideways. To Kyle, it looked like she was a part of a dream.
But Kyle knew it wasn't a dream. He carefully raised his upper body and sat against the headboard.
His back and sides were sore, but it wasn't difficult to move.
For a long time, he watched as the light of dawn illuminated her face, which had previously been in darkness.
When the light shining through the window next to the bed completely lit up the room, chasing away the darkness of dawn, she moved with a "hmm".
Then her hair tickled the corners of her mouth, and she furrowed her eyebrows.
Kyle carefully nudged the hair away and tucked it behind her ear.
Her face became serene once more.
Then, as if she'd tossed and turned, she fell asleep again. Kyle simultaneously desired to wake her and to let her be.
But he couldn't wake her up from her sweet sleep for his own greed.
Kyle just left her soft hand in his, no–he was just grateful to lean back on his bed and watch her sleep.
How long had it been? At some point, she suddenly opened her eyes.
After blinking a couple of times, she quickly straightened.
Tara clasped her hands together and pulled them to her chest, looking down at herself in surprise.
Kyle's hand was abandoned on the bed because she slipped away so easily.
Kyle's gaze went to his hands, briefly lingered on the bed sheets, and stopped on her face.
"It's been a few days... Hasn't it?"
His voice felt awkward, as if it wasn't his. She stared at Kyle for a moment and replied a beat too late.
"Are you okay, Your Highness? Are you feeling any pain or discomfort? Should I call the doctor? Or do you need water? Oh! Do you want to wash up? Aren't you hungry?"
Seeing Tara rambling mindlessly, Kyle burst into laughter.
"I'm fine. There's no pain or discomfort. I can wash up and see the doctor later... I wonder how much time has passed since I last ate."
"I asked too many questions at once... You've been lying in bed for two full days after you collapsed. Today is the start of your personal schedule."
"Oh my god."
Kyle took a deep breath, briefly closed his eyes, and rearranged his schedule in his mind.
‘Since my plans are messed up, what should I prioritize...? First of all, I need to send a letter to Reese Castle and apologize for the delay, and then meet with Fred. The details will be discussed in the Palace...'
After a while he got his thoughts in order. When he opened his eyes because of Tara’s staring, she spoke.
"Your Highness, it's alright. Even monkeys fall from the trees sometimes, right? So don't be too embarrassed."
"Embarrassed? Monkeys? What does that mean?"
"People who never make mistakes are very discouraged when they do end up making these kinds of mistakes."
Spontaneously, "ha!" burst from Kyle's mouth.
"So, you're saying you think I'm discouraged because I made a mistake. More precisely, you think I'm embarrassed right now?"
She lightly shrugged.
"I understand that you don't want to admit it. It's okay. It makes Your Highness a little more human..."
Kyle frowned and was about to speak, but he stopped when he saw her haggard face and agreed with her instead.
"... I'm human."
"Yes, I know that so much better now. Hehe. Oh, this is water with medicinal herbs that help purify the body. I was told to give it to you as soon as you woke up."
Then, she held out the medicinal water to him. Kyle didn't accept it, and slowly looked at both the cup and Tara's face.
"Are you deliberately saying weird things because you're embarrassed?" He snapped.
Her eyes widened slightly.
"Huh? Why would I be embarrassed? I don't have anything to be embarrassed about..."
Tara's voice grew smaller and smaller. Kyle smirked.
"Was seeing the 2nd Aide crying, saying it was her fault, a dream?"
Checking the temperature of the cup, she turned her head towards him.
"Ha... Ha... When did I cry...? Oh! Did you hear everything?"
She took her hands off the cup and gripped the edge of the mattress tightly.
"Yes. I heard it very clearly as well."
Tara gulped and asked very carefully.
"If it's clear... Uh... How much?"
She scrutinized his face, as if she was searching for something.
She squeezed her eyes shut, and abruptly opened them again.
And she was starting to blush. Her face, which changed in an instant, was so flushed he couldn't take his eyes off her.
After lowering her head and remaining silent for a while, she quickly jumped up from her seat.
"Well, now that you're awake, I'm going to..."
"Tara. Wait a minute."
I couldn't stand to be here anymore. Yesterday's confession floated around in my head and tortured me.
I didn't want to be here because of my burning face.
But Kyle slowly called my name like a languid cat who just woke up from a good night's sleep.
And he was good at talking shamelessly.
"I can't lift my arm."
I thought I heard it wrong, so when I turned around, he gestured at his bandaged chest and shoulders with his eyes.
"What do you mean?"
"I fell on my back, so I don't have much strength. It's probably because my Aurore's purification isn't finished. Can you help me?"
Kyle frowned like something annoying had happened.
But I wasn't one to fall for such a shallow trick. I squinted, and asked with suspicion:
"I've seen this plenty of times. Can you really not lift it?"**
"Why are you doubting me? You think I would lie about this after I've lain in bed for two days?"
I suddenly felt confused.
Yes, he'd been in a coma for two days, and he's not the type to waste time... Oh, he almost had me.
He clearly said he liked me, and I made that confession last night, and now that I'm trying to run away, he's using this trick.
Especially since he's the 2nd Prince, this would be a piece of cake.
Yes, it's definitely a shallow trick to keep me by his side!
* Tazza: The Hidden Card is a popular gambling manhwa, and I'm guessing ‘I'd bet my hands…’ is the famous line
** The MTL here said ‘Is it really not going up?’. Just pointing that out, you know, in case any of you catch the innuendo ;)
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