What should I do? I pondered with my chin in my hand. When the prince was in his puppy state, he needs a veterinarian, not a doctor, right? But it was too late to do so. The royal veterinarian who takes care of the princess’ pet canaries and horses would have already left long ago.
In that case, it would be best to let him rest. I made up my mind. I changed into my pajamas and lay down next to the prince. But wait, what if I fell asleep like this and he woke up as a human? It wasn’t some kind of romance novel, after all.
Of course, such a thing could very well happen, so let’s be prepared.
I closed my eyes and fell asleep.
* * *
In the morning, when I opened my eyes, I saw the prince’s flawless complexion, without a single visible pore, filling my vision.
When he was a dog, he used to turn his back to me, but now he was completely facing my direction. Of course, he wouldn’t be wearing anything under the blanket. I carefully slipped out of the bed so as not to wake the prince.
Then, I stood there, basking in the morning sunlight, and admired him with a mesmerized look. How can a person look like that? And why were his shoulders so broad?
Suddenly, the prince frowned and tossed and turned, causing me to startle and look for a place to hide. If he finds out about this, he’ll surely make a fuss.
However, he still couldn’t open his eyes. His golden hair was sticking to his cheek, as if he had sweated while sleeping. Perhaps he was still not feeling well. I placed my hand on the prince’s forehead. But to my relief, his temperature wasn’t hot.
No, it shouldn’t be a relief, right?
Why did he have to open his eyes while I was touching his forehead?
I awkwardly smiled at the bewildered prince.
“No, I didn’t. I kept my promise. Please stay calm, nothing happened between us.”
It was only natural that nothing happened since he’s a royal. Of course, I’m in my pajamas, and he was naked, but whatever. And he was actually naked only half the day, so it doesn’t really matter, right?
“Oh, nothing happened. We just slept together.”
“You’re a human. It’s adorable when you’re a puppy, but it’s nice to be able to communicate when you’re a human.”
The prince let out a deep sigh. It was clear that something unacceptable had happened according to his standards. It must be tough, considering the prince’s level of knowledge. Even just holding hands with him, he thought I would become pregnant.
“I couldn’t help it. I thought you were sick, Prince. How could I leave a cute little puppy with a fever all alone?”
“Just… stop it.”
“But now you’re fine. Your body temperature is similar to mine.”
“…You, why are you doing this to me? Seriously.”
“It’s not you, it’s Daphne.”
For the first time, the prince called me by my name. He didn’t stumble or show any signs of displeasure. I was delighted and burst into laughter. It felt like we had become a little closer in just one day.
“Yes, Your Highness. By the way, it’s nonsense that a woman can get pregnant just by holding hands, so don’t worry.”
“I, I know. W-we didn’t even hold, hold, hold hands.” The prince started to stutter heavily. His blushing face proved that he had once again been subjected to improper sex education by his nannies.
I scratched my head, not knowing what to do with this ignorant yet harmless prince. And come to think of it, he probably doesn’t even know how to read, truly.
“For now… Should I borrow Sir Janiche’s clothes? You don’t have any separate clothes to wear. Besides, your clothes are always dirty.”
“Y-You don’t have to keep emphasizing that. I was doing just fine before you showed up…”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
I have to emphasize it so that the prince doesn’t go back to the top floor. I bowed my head apologetically, as if to express my remorse.
As if I couldn’t be polite enough at this point, the prince waved me off, but I quickly stopped.
“I’ll have to get new clothes for you, Your Highness. You’ll be staying with us from now on, right?”
“U-Us… You mean… with Daphne and… Sir Janiche?”
“Yes. With Sir Janiche, whom you tore the shoulder of.”
“I… I don’t like that person. I don’t know why, but he scares me.”
“That’s strange. Sir Janiche is not a scary person.”
His appearance can be a little intimidating, he has sharp features and a muscular body. If the prince’s standard is based on the people he has encountered in his life, which would be only me and his nanny, then I can somewhat understand.
I nodded my head and spoke to the prince.
“Could you stay here for a moment? I need to change my clothes.”
“I-I’ll leave. I’ll leave.”
“Are you going out naked?”
He seemed to think about it himself, and then he closed his mouth. Then, he flipped the blanket all the way to his head, which was unexpectedly cute.
I thought he would be cute only when he was a puppy, but it seems he can be adorable even as a human. After glancing at him once, I took out a new black dress from the wardrobe.
Even though he could hear the rustling sound while changing clothes, he didn’t move at all. In fact, he didn’t even twitch, as if he was holding his breath properly. It would be troublesome if he got embarrassed and turned into a puppy again.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
With a white apron tied and a ribbon on my hair, I turned around, chuckling. Now the prince was calling me by my name, and it felt like the distance between us had decreased. Of course, he was still sitting with the blanket turned over his head in a funny way.
“I’ve changed my clothes completely. You can look now.”
“Oh, I won’t look.”
“If you don’t want to, then don’t.”
The prince quietly lowered the blanket. I couldn’t understand why he kept hesitating when I knew he would do that anyway.
“But why did you call me?”
“I want to… give you a present.”
As expected, even in the midst of his feverish state, he remembered that. I looked at him affectionately and put on my shoes. The prince sat obediently on the bed, his face full of curiosity.
“For now, let’s put on clothes. We’ll go to the dining room for the present.”
“Can I… just wait here?”
“It’ll only take a moment.”
However, it doesn’t feel entirely bad to be taking care of a child-like person. By this time, Sir Janiche should already be on guard duty, so instead of knocking on his door, I headed towards the main gate.
“Good morning, Sir Janiche.”
“You must have overslept today. You were nine minutes later than usual.”
“…Did you check the time every day?”
“I do, since I don’t have much else to do.”
This man really has nothing to do. I looked at Sir Janiche with a bewildered gaze and then picked up the basket in front of the door. Then, I handed him a shiny apple and asked, “Do you happen to have any spare clothes? I’m thinking of borrowing them for the prince.”
“Doesn’t the prince have a lot of clothes? I saw them piled up like a mountain yesterday.”
“Those are covered in dust and can’t be worn. Plus, most of them don’t fit him.”
Even on the first day I saw him, he was wearing a shirt that didn’t fit his physique. It looked like he had squeezed himself into clothes that he would have worn as a child. Since no one has actually seen the prince, no one knows how much he has grown. His clothes were so revealing that it was honestly a bit awkward at first.
I quickly forgot about it while admiring the prince’s face, but as far as I remember, he was wearing clothes that clearly showed his wrists and ankles.
“I’m planning to visit the shop today. Since the prince can’t be undressed while I’m away…”
“I understand. Please go to my room and choose whatever you like.”
“Thank you. Sir Janiche, since you’re similar in size to the prince, I’m sure your clothes will suit him well.”
I told Sir Janiche to meet me at the dining room later. It would take some time to prepare breakfast and boil tea, so he said he would go slowly and escorted me.
He was so kind, so why was the prince afraid of him? I shrugged my shoulders and visited Sir Janiche’s room to gather clothes. When I returned, the prince was still sitting in his blanket, looking intently at something.
“Daphne… how do you read this?”
I placed the clothes next to the prince and sat down. In his hands was a romance novel, as if taken from my desk.
While the prince lived in an environment that was not particularly clean, he kept his body perfectly clean. Neatly trimmed fingernails and well-arranged blonde hair…
I read the part that his finger was pointing at.
“That word is pronounced ‘Raymond.'”
“Yes. It says, ‘Raymond is of noble status.'”
“…W-Who is Raymond?”
“Raymond… is the prince of the Isaka Kingdom. He is twenty-three years old this year, with blond hair and blue eyes.”
“I know… about him.”
Most likely because he was the protagonist of the novel? But does the prince have the concept of a novel? No, perhaps his nanny read him fairy tales before bedtime when he was young? However, the nanny he occasionally mentions doesn’t seem to treat him as a human being.
“But Raymond… won’t turn into a monster like me, right?”
“You’re not a monster, but a cute puppy.”
The prince chewed on his lower lip, his eyes turning red. I hope he doesn’t really believe that this man, Raymond, was a real person.
“Raymond doesn’t have the ability to transform. He’s not a particularly remarkable person.”
“…But if he doesn’t change, then he’s normal, right?”
“Well, who knows?”
The Raymond in this novel has had one-night stands with a whopping 99 women before meeting the female lead. Was that really normal? I don’t want to explain things like that to the prince. It’s fortunate that he can’t read right now.
He probably doesn’t even know the meaning of the red colour on the cover. That’s also a relief.
“More importantly, you should hurry up and get dressed. Otherwise, you might catch a cold.”
“Just a moment. Just one more thing.”
“What is it?”
At that moment, the prince closed the book, his face turning serious, and asked with a trembling voice filled with anxiety.
“Daphne… are you close with Raymond?” Read ahead here.