The further in we went, the wider the interior became.
The interior of the cave, which had formed naturally for a long time, was quite cozy.
The traces of animals that used this place as a nest looked old, as if they had long since left.
The prince frowned at the fishy smell permeating from the stagnant water.
While crouching, his body was trembling greatly.
Unlike me who was far less cold than him thanks to the layered dress, his wet shirt was extremely thin.
As soon as I reached out to him, he quickly walked back.
“It’s really discourteous to touch the body of the imperial family.”
“You’re having a fever, right If it really makes you uncomfortable, just think of me as your attendant.”
The boy who didn’t know what to do with my hand that was touching his forehead, soon shut up.
His forehead was burning like fire, but his hands and feet were cold.
It was clear that he was holding out desperately by looking at how his shoulders were shaking because he was out of breath.
I wondered if it was really hard for him to say ‘I’m not okay’.
Then he muttered,
“You don’t have to exert yourself for me.
I’ve told you before, right There will be no one who comes to look for me.”
“I have also told you before.
There will be people who will come to look for me.”
Even after thinking about this rationally, it would be troublesome for the prince to be in danger here.
Even if I was at no fault here, as long as I am a young lady of Miller Duchy, the prince should be okay while he is with me.
“Orion will surely look for both of us.”
I couldn’t understand why this young prince really believed that there was no one who cherished him.
“It is obvious that he would look for you.
Doesn’t he cherish you a lot”
“I believe Orion isn’t a teacher who will neglect his pupil.”
“How could I think of myself as his pupil when I only went through a few swordsmanship lessons a few times a month The word “Master” is also nothing more than a facade.”
The still young voice refuted while breathing softly.
Even though I, myself, was also not a positive person, this prince was beyond normal.
He was busy refuting my words that were trying to take the situation in a positive light while sniffing.
Suddenly I felt like raging up.
“If you think like that, then why are you calling him Master”
“Also as you might already know, Orion is someone who rarely asks others to do a favor or do a favor if he was being asked.”
At least that was Orion Miller I knew.
In the first place, if he was someone who was skillful in dealing with others, he wouldn’t read novels to practice getting his little sister’s favor.
“For such a person to ask for those excellent horses to you means that he thinks of you as someone who could do such a favor.”
“He did that because I have no worldly desire.
He knows that I won’t get angry even if he just takes it.”
“It’s proof that you understand each other.”
“After all, if I die .
“You’re not dying yet.”
I wanted to strike the prince’s back, though for a different reason than I wanted to hit Orion.
Should I really continue this futile conversation that he always ended with ‘I will die’ no matter what the topic was
Suddenly, a sharp voice rang from inside the cave.
The prince’s body flinched and he leaned a bit to my side.
The frightened eyes found back its liveliness in a moment.
“Wha-what is that”
“It might be the sound of bats.”
“By bats .
“Small mammal with wings.”
“I know what bats are.
That- that thing is here”
The prince’s eyes were opened wide as he looked around, then he nervously looked up at me.
“Is there no problem”
“What kind of problem”
“For example, something like they will come closer and attack us .
“They are omnivores, and sometimes there’s a probability they will eat, I mean, attack animals.”
I stole a glance at the prince, then faintly blurted.
“You say you’re bound to die, so shouldn’t that mean you fear nothing”
His pupils quaked as if he was caught off guard again.
Then, he retrieved his hand that was a bit reached out to me and nodded.
He spoke with a determined face.
There is no doubt.”
Wait, why are you desperately trying to die
At this point, I felt like his goal changed from ‘I’m not motivated to live because I’ll die’ to ‘I will definitely die’.
I took a glance at him, then I altered the plan.
I thought it would not be bad to stimulate human instincts to live.
“I learned that because their fangs were very sharp, it is convenient for them to tear their prey at once.”
Of course, their prey was merely insects, their larvaes, or, very rarely, other mammals’ eggs.
At the same time the prince’s body flinched, fear filled in his eyes.
Although it was only for a moment, the eyes that sparked with fright were clearly focused more than his previous dim eyes.
It might be better than losing his motivation to live, at least.
“Their ancestors were the Palaeochiropteryx tupaiodon.
You can say that their ancestor is similar to the wyvern from before.”
I think it was like 3,000 years ago.
The prince slowly came closer next to me and sat down without saying anything.
Looking at his frightened expression, he surely looked like he didn’t want to die right away.
Yeah, I’m glad.
Now I thought at least I would never see eyes stained with resignation and despair from the living prince.
I feel relieved.
* * *