That day I had a lesson in the afternoon. A man swiftly opened the window of my room from the outside, as I was trying to start with my daily manual labours.
As I turned around and tried to catch up with what was going on, I looked clearly puzzled. I didn’t care.
In that moment I also realized that my room was exposed to enemy invasions at any time.
“What are you doing here?”
“Well, well… I have a lot of things to do.”
“What things to do? You are a prince, you don’t have to do anything at all.”
“Sorry… You are just an artisan, you don’t know anything about noble families.”
“Could you leave me alone, please?”
“Once you are done here, would you help me out?”
The prince crouched down and caught sight with me.
The atmosphere was surprisingly serious. For real.
“What is it?”
“In reality, I was looking for Iris right now.”
Oh, wow! I found a stalker. It was 9:31 am, and the prince was trying to get himself arrested.
“What, what are you doing?”
He grabbed my wrist and I shook off his hand.
“No, I am just kidding.”
“Well… Kururi, if you could help me out…”
I was busy, though.
The prince assumed a more regal tone, and a new, selfish aspect of his personality transparred.
But cooperating with him would have a positive impact on my future.
The prize was worth the effort.
“Ha, the unfaithful retinue will let the prince carry out his mission all on his own.”
“Why do you have to be so hostile?”
Ho ho ho, I hit the nail on the head there.
Why was he looking for Iris? Whatever his motives were, I was worried.
What could have been going on?
“Iris was in the room next to this one a couple of minutes ago, so I thought we could go and have a look.”
“No, you’re being intrusive. Please stop it.”
“We don’t have time.”
“No, you never have time, do you.”
I followed the prince, but I hoped that story would end shortly.
“Iris is a very anxious person, don’t forget that.”
“Bah! You do whatever you want! It’s not like I care about Iris really!”
That sounded quite childish.
“What am I supposed to do exactly?”
“Don’t just stand there, you have to escort me, escort me.”
“Escort? Is that my job?”
Escort of the prince, a duty worthy of a noble. I guess I would do it.
“Recently, Iris has become quite worrysome, don’t you think so?”
“Well, I’m not a woman, so I don’t really know what is going on in her mind right now.”
“Iris has definitely been depressed recently, and if a friend of mine is sad, I feel like I have to do something about it… so we must find out what is going on, but we must not reveal ourselves.”
“You said that we were going to do it right now, right? Where are we headed?”
“… If something happens to Iris, I’ll never forgive myself.”
“You’re forcing me to do this, remember that.”
Feeling silent anger, our stalking continued.
Today, Iris only took classes in the morning.
I looked at her sitting in her class, she seemed focused.
There seemed to be nothing wrong there.
“She’s fine now, she’s listening to the lesson.”
“So this has nothing to do with it?”
After the lesson, Iris walked into the library.
Apparently, we were about to find something out very soon.
We were peeping through the bookshelves.
“She seems ok, nothing looks wrong.”
“We’re wasting our time, we won’t find out anything today… wait.” Someone approached her.
As the prince pointed at them, three mysterious beautiful girls were approaching Iris.
They all had brown, long hair.
They looked nice at a first glance, but there was something strange in the way they walked and moved their hands.
Their skin was bright, and looked very neat. They had well-shaped hips, and were not excessively skinny.
I didn’t think anything good was about to happen. No, not at all.
The prince looked very worried.
My face was pale.
It was because they were smiling. Not as friends, there was malice in their faces.
It didn’t look good!
Curse them! The prince was livid at those three girls!
They were definitely about to harass Iris.
I had never realized that before, but Iris was being harassed at school.
They were doing it right there.
The prince was about to jump out! Don’t make anything stupid!
They eventually reached her, but Iris didn’t look worried. She was not really bothered by those petty things.
I think she was much stronger than me.
One of the girls hurriedly hit Iris’ chair.
Iris’ pen slipped, and drew a long line on her book.
“I’m so sorry, can you forgive me?”
“Well, you didn’t do it on purpose, there is no problem.”
Iris answered with a smile. She showed confidence, and didn’t look bothered by any of that.
The girls left.
That event left huge scars.
Not on Iris though. She went back to studying as if nothing had really happened.
Iris was not the type of person to lose her temper over something like that.
Fortunately things had not escalated, and the incident had died out quickly.
I was sure. Iris was not at all concerned.
In regards to the prince… ah, a storm was gathering.
The prince run after the three girls, who were walking away.
I hurried up and caught the prince’s hand.
“Let it go! Now you know what you wanted to, let it go!”
“Not yet, I’m not done with those girls.”
“It’s not necessary!”
He kept on pulling until I could do nothing but let his hand go.
“Okay, then do whatever you want. But that won’t help Iris in any way.”
“… how can you say so?”
“No, please, go and make a mess for nothing.”
“Ok, I won’t do anything. But why is Iris feeling sad then?
Somehow I looked a bit victorious.
“Iris just doesn’t mind it. She would rather have to work harder for her degree because she is discriminated as a commoner, so that everyone else will be impressed by her. That’s how the world works.”
“Yes, she must face her own troubles so that the prince will appreciate her more, that’s how she feels.”
“… Ok, I think I understand. Their execution is suspended for now.”
I saw Iris kept on studying.
What was the hardest part of this job?
It required a lt of endurance.
While Iris was eating in the school garden, we took the chance to have lunch ourselves.
We both ate sandwiches.
Mine had plenty of sauce.
The prince had a vegetables sandwich. Raw vegetables, from what I could see.
“Hey, I like that one as well.”
“Please, have a morsel.”
I let him do as he pleased. It is irresistible to be harassed by power.
Iris ended her lunch and looked happy.
There was nothing wrong at that moment, apparently.
Still, the prince was mumbling.
Well, I had other plans in mind, but was the prince really going to follow Iris for 24 hours straight?
It was about time we talked about something important.
“Prince: why do you think people reward other people?”
“There are several possible reasons. Maybe if you like a certain person, and that person feels happy for the reward, then you feel rewarded as well.”
“What will I get for helping you?”
“We’ll get this sorted out after Iris’ issue will have been dealt with.”
Well done, peasant. That seemed to work!
I had never owned anything of value.
That was fine. Even if your house collapses, a merchant will still have precious items for sale, so they won’t ever get lost. It was some kind of long-term investment.
I really wanted something valuable though. This time I was actually expecting something in return.
But in order to achieve that, we still had to fix Iris’ issue.
“Iris is going.”
“Okay, let’s move.”
Our suspicious stalking mission was not over yet.