“Why do you feel so down, prince?”
I spoke to the prince who was grieving at the entrance of the school.
He was obviously depressed.
It was unbelievable. All of his efforts had lead to an accident that made the mother of a girl he loved faint.
“Huh, I screwed up.”
“Hey, I’d appreciate a bit of support.”
I was being selfish.
“I don’t get rewarded for caring about the prince’s feelings.”
He gave me an astonished gaze. Then, he looked bored and sighed deeply.
“You always think about gold, gold, and more gold, don’t you ever think of anything else? Don’t you strive to have a pure heart, like I do?
And yet he loved to spend time with me, didn’t he? Besides, it was my future we were talking about!
“That is a feeling I cannot always afford to indulge into.”
“What are you talking about? You must have lived in luxury, what is going on in your home? Are you burdened with debt?”
There was a misunderstanding.
My father was not exceedingly wealthy, but he hadn’t fallen as down as to make debts.
He was fine, and so was our family.
I felt the prince was trying to get a weight out of his chest. It was serious.
“As soon as you thought you might get something, the light in your eyes changed.”
He seemed hesitant.
I wondered, did it show that much? Well, I guess we were at it eventually.
“It’s nothing, really, you just seemed to be feeling anxious about your future, so I just wanted to give you something that would guarantee you a better future.”
I held the prince’s hand with both hands. Would I let it go? I did not want to let go of the warm feeling of the prince anymore.
“Prince, you are truly pure-hearted.”
“I feel like a cash dispenser.”
The prince pushed me away, and started walking.
“Well, future is built on work; so work hard, Kururi Helan…”
I followed him in a hurry.
Well, I never said what I wanted from him.
We were going in circles, and that story began to look ridiculous.
You are not such a bad person, are you? Prince, you can’t think that!
We reached Iris’s room, to tell her that her family had come. The prince, all of a sudden, became nervous.
“About that reward.”
“Wow, it’s not like we just had an argument over that! We’re in front of Iris’ room, would you kindly…?”
“I’m talking about the payment for following Iris yesterday, I have not received it yet. I need a good guarantee for my future, so please, just give me something.”
“Ah, you heartless bastard… eh, I’ll give you this!”
In saying that, he picked a golden bracelet covered in precious gems out of his pocket.
Why did he keep such a thing in his pocket? It looked pricey!
“Prince, this is…”
“I meant to give it to Iris’ mother, but as you keep on pestering me… well, I’m tired of hearing you talking about your future, so I guess that will do as your reward.”
“How much money is it worth?”
“I DON’T KNOW!”
In hearing the prince shout, Iris opened the room’s door.
Iris, looking out of the room, saw those two noisy people having an argument.
“What? Arc and Kururi, what are you doing here? Were you looking for me?”
“Well, oh, oh, Kururi wanted to see you, but because the girls’ dorm feels so empty, he asked me to come with her.”
That was a crappy excuse. We were both there to tell her about her family.
“Isn’t it, Kururi.”
The prince gave me a smiling face that looked like a carving on a wooden mask. I had to back him up.
“… yes, exactly.”
I had just received the bracelet, now I had to play the part. I had to remember not to take bribes, in the future.
“Are the two of you good friends? If you are afraid of coming alone, you should have invited Toto.”
The prince had a serious face.
Iris was relentless.
“Yeah, Iris. Since we are comrades now, the prince said that it would give you a considerable position regardless of what the future holds for you. Isn’t it the case, prince?”
I had said it before, so I might as well say it again.
Why didn’t I weight the words I had put in front of Iris?
“Well, that’s right, I made a promise from comrade to comrade.”
I just used that word, but what was all that “comrades” thing?
I wondered since when were we using that word.
“Well, I’m your friend, and friendships should not be poisoned with schemes about one’s interest in the future. Am I right?”
It was a good observation. She was right. 100% correct, but I had forgotten that. That would be good for everyone to remember.
“Yes, friendship is something about the person alone!”
He emphasized every word, and paired them with forced smiles.
Iris had broken my spirit, and I couldn’t go on talking about that topic.
Since I didn’t know what to say anymore, I subdued.
“Kururi, did you have something to tell me?”
Oops, I completely forgot about the reason for our visit.
Should I talk first?
Iris’ mom was asleep in the infirmary! Right then!
I hesitated, I didn’t want to tell her. I felt uncomfortable.
“Iris, I got a new variety tea, would you drink some with me?”
The prince hit me with his elbow. I made a deaf growl.
“Well, it doesn’t seem anything serious, why were you so hesitant to ask me that?”
“It is an exquisite tea, so I thought the prince might come with us as well!”
Iris’s gaze darted both of us.
Focused, wide round eyes were staring at the prince.
Usually no man would have been unhappy to be stared by those eyes; but sometimes they could make a man feel uneasy.
The prince was no exception.
“Actually, down below… there is a nice sweet cake, how about having it together?”
We were trying! We were trying to have Iris come down and meet her family!
“Thank you, it should be perfect along with Kururi’s tea.”
With a smile, Iris completely opened the door.
“You are both hiding something from me.”
I would not give away the secret, no matter what!
I hit the prince with the elbow. He immediately hit me back.
“Can you stop behaving like children, and tell me everything already? I won’t get mad at you, I promise.”
She would get mad.
She would absolutely get mad.
“Ok, first of all, the prince did it.”(en:ruthless kururi is ruthless…)
“The prince did… what?”
Iris made a strange face. I wondered what she thought the prince might have done.
The prince was about to speak, but Iris spoke first.
“It’s ok if you don’t want to admit that you stole my underwear, I know some guys do that, but I will not forgive you the next time.”
What?! We had nothing to do with underwear thefts!
“No! Iris, I didn’t do that! Seriously! I don’t know who stole your underwear!”
“Iris, it’s true! The prince is telling the truth! We didn’t steal any underwear!”
As we were vehemently trying to defend ourselves from that accusation of theft, we ended up raising our voices, and with the word “underwear” being cried in the corridor, people from the nearby rooms immediately opened their doors.
“Eh? What? What?”
“Who is doing what with underwear?”
As a result of desperately trying to get out of that situation, we had only made it even more embarrassing for ourselves!
“Ok, we know nothing of underwear thefts! Everyone please calm down!”
I felt exhausted.
At the end of the day I was still a noble, and I was there screaming about underwear.
The dorm gradually got quiet, so I finally got back to talking to Iris.
“I am sorry, it seems I have misunderstood.”
“No, don’t worry.”
“Ahahah, I put you at the center of a funny misunderstanding, and I don’t feel like getting angry anymore.”
The prince looked very shaken after being accused of underwear theft, so I thought it would be better if only I talked.
“Actually, Iris, your family came to the school…”
I finally managed to say it. I felt like I had been relieved of a massive weight. Acting is better than planning.
I had been very clear with my words, but for a moment Iris did not understand.
“… my family? You mean my mother, Mikal and Asia?” (En: should it be Michael or Mikal?For now Mikal…)
“Yeah, they are all at the school right now.”
Iris covered her mouth with both hands, and she ran away without saying another word.
The prince and me followed her.
“Iris, wait, wait! They are in the infirmary!”
Iris usually didn’t act so impulsively.
I hadn’t anticipated that.
Now Iris was running surprisingly fast, and we were being slowed down by the people in the corridors.
The door of the infirmary opened vigorously.
Inside, Mikal and Asia looked very vivacious.
And Iris’ mother, Clarissa, was lying in the bed, awake.
It was Iris’ mother that noticed her first.
Iris knelt and hugged her mother.
Soon after, her two siblings also joined them.
Iris hugged her family with bright eyes, a huge smile on her face.
Me and the prince closed the infirmary’s door.
It was better for us two bastards to leave.
We went out and looked at each other’s face.
There were a lot of things to talk about, but… for the time being, we felt good.