Chapter 53 – Gut Feeling

At that time, after Allen finished talking with Kiehl and went to fetch Ann…

He couldn’t help but wonder how the woman she was discussing with his best friend was doing. Unconsciously, his footsteps’ speed increased as he approached the royal garden.

When he caught sight of her from afar, he saw how she was playing the swing like a child. Only then he remembered that she was indeed way younger than him. But he never saw her in this light before. Her stern expressions and hateful demeanor from before made him forget about her age.

Even if she was indeed an adult, she was still young. As her husband who was also older and more experienced with the world than her, it was only right for him to protect her.

If this kind of her is indeed real, then he ought to do that.

But if this is only a façade…

Just as this grim thought entered his mind, a maid noticed his presence and greeted him, “Allen-sama, are you here to fetch Arlea-sama?”

The dimming light in Allen’s eyes immediately recovered as he firmly answered, “Yes.”

The maid quickly went to inform Ann while Allen slowly walked after her.

Right after the maid finished talking to Ann, the girl turned around to look at Allen. Her eyes widened and her expression turned delightful.

Looking at her shining eyes that looked straight at him as if she missed him greatly and was so joyful from seeing him, Allen’s heart thumped.

…Meanwhile, Ann didn’t realize this as she simply turned to Allen who she considered to be her ‘savior’ from this situation, without masking her feelings in the slightest bit.

In her rush, Ann also quickly got off from the swing and almost came running towards Allen. She was just like a puppy who rushed towards its owner…

Allen’s heart trembled even further, but his expression only moved slightly. He was always a calm person, but this couldn’t go on. His heart’s defense wasn’t that strong yet… for this was his first time experiencing ‘spring’.

“Are we going home now?” Ann asked.

Going home.

Since when does he start to think that those words sounded quite sweet?

His gaze and voice unconsciously turned gentler as he confirmed, “Mhm.”

Still in a high dose of love drug, Allen unconsciously reached out his hand to grab Ann’s hand, however Ann reflexively turned to the side and grabbed Faye’s hand instead…

That was the trigger Allen needed to get out from the influence of the love drug. His mind calmed down as he walked at his usual pace.

During their way home, Allen asked about Ann’s impression so far towards her time in the castle.

“Hmm, it’s really big. It can be considered a neighborhood on its own. It’s really fun playing in the garden and looking at various places. The library seems to have lots of interesting books!”

“Do you want to live there?” Allen asked.

Ann turned to look at Allen with a surprised face and a little bit of a ‘Are you dumb?’ expression as she answered honestly, “What? No. Walking around the castle on daily basis seems tiring. Not to mention having to clean and tidy the whole castle… It’s not really a good place to be made into a ‘home’.”

Allen’s face froze instantly.

Is she dumb? There are maids over there. It’s not like she will be the one doing the cleaning and tidying up even if she’s living there…

Only commoners that have no maids would be doing such work themselves.

But she is a noble, isn’t she?

No, no, wait… She has amnesia!

But… this much is an ingrained common sense here, right?

Will amnesia even clear that out and ingrain a new common sense in her?

 

***

Meanwhile, back in the castle…

Prince Kiehl was receiving the report from the people who was with Ann while he was discussing with Allen.

And when it was the knight, Miles a.k.a Mila’s turn…

“She is suspicious, Your Highness.”

Therefore, Prince Kiehl’s expression turned serious as he asked, “How so?”

“…Her every gesture is,” Mila answered.

“Elaborate.”

“I just think she’s hiding something from her gesture. I’d say we have to investigate her thoroughly, Your Highness,” Mila answered.

“Yes, elaborate what gesture you observed in her that made you say so,” Prince Kiehl continued to ask.

“This is…,” Mila stuttered.

“You’re the only one to give this kind of evaluation. Others couldn’t find anything suspicious from her. Therefore, I need you to elaborate further,” Kiehl stated.

“Her gaze around the place—”

“The other people said her gaze harbored nothing suspicious. When did you see that? Was there nobody else who saw her expression at that time?”

“I–,” Mila was tongue-tied.

The pressure that the prince exerted caused her to be unable to lie.

“Tell me the truth. Why do you think that way? Only then I can consider,” Prince said.

“…Gut feeling, Sir. I don’t think she is a good person,” Mila said with a weak voice.

“Have you met her before in the past?”

“No, Sir. Never,” Mila answered honestly as she knew that her lies would be easily uncovered by the royal family. Lying would only cause her to appear suspicious and that would bring her unnecessary trouble…

“…”

Prince Kiehl was silent for a while, and so was Mila who didn’t dare to utter another word.

The atmosphere around them was cold.

Finally, the prince said, “Alright, you can leave. I’ll take your opinion into consideration. Dismissed.”

Mila immediately returned to her knight-like attitude as she saluted the prince and left without saying another word.

Kiehl then called the maid he stationed next to Ann together with Miles before to question her about her interaction with Miles. Only then he received an information about how Miles seemed to be really cold and hostile towards Ann, it was to the point of suspicion.

Noting the maid’s answer, Kiehl came to a conclusion that Miles was somehow biased towards Ann.

As for how they had met and interacted before and why Miles was hostile towards Ann… He had no clue.

Every knight that was employed by the royal family would have their background checked prior to them working here, so Kiehl took out Miles’ document and read about his family background.

There was nothing out of ordinary, and he lived with his family quite far from the place where ‘Arlea’ could have been living in the past.

What about her supposedly real identity as the former princess?

Had they met during that time when the rebel forces escaped from the capital?

It could be a possibility, but he had never heard of such thing. Miles’ family’s loyalty was without no doubt, so if they were to encounter anyone from that side, they would’ve reported it already…

Since Miles assertively said that she was suspicious, it would be related to her real background, right? If he knew about it and had an encounter with her in the past… His family would know and they would’ve reported it…

Kiehl felt a bit dizzy.

Why is it that he’s surrounded with weird people that he can’t comprehend?

First, the saintess…

Second, his friend’s wife-in-name, Arlea…

And now, a third weirdo appeared, Miles…

The first two were females so he could safely assume that as a male, it was indeed difficult to understand females…

But the third one was also a male…!!

In the end, Kiehl could only decide to investigate more about Miles and also ‘Arlea’ and ‘Princess Anne’, in hopes he could make sense of all the oddities he felt…

- my thoughts:
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