Kiss the Black Cat 4
First published on Ainushi
While choosing an inconspicuous path, I rushed towards the palace where the prince lived. I’ve visited inside the castle’s premises many times as an animal, so I was quite familiar with the grounds inside.
There was a mountain near the castle. Because animals often trickled into the inner castle from the mountain, I wasn’t seen with much suspicion. It was to the extent of people saying 「Look, a black cat!」when I ran.
Due to the fact that the guard duty this time was to last all night — every single night — for a month, I had to use long-lasting magic. But in a situation where an assassin really appeared, I had to be able to fight. For that sake, I had to reserve a bare minimum amount of magical power.
Thinking so, I paid attention to the allocation of magic. If it were a simple transformation magic, I don’t think I’d have to use magical power to that extent. However, I was a behind-the-scenes bodyguard. A considerable amount of technique was needed so that even the members of the Royal Palace Magic Order will be tricked into not knowing that the creature was a transformed one.
The reason I became a black cat was that it made me the happiest. I could become a cat in any colour and pattern, but an appearance different from my usual colour was fun.
Normally, magical power would leak and be noticeable when I used magic, but I had confidence on my proficiency with transformation magic that I would probably be overlooked with the level of the castle’s Royal Palace Magic Order.I would be detected if they seriously doubted and investigated me. If it came to that, I’d have no choice but to come out clean.
Anyhow, assuming Captain also had the same opinion, in order to save face I’d stick to the fact that「The people of Tech stayed close to the prince throughout and guarded him, just as the King requested」.
While thinking so, I ran and snuck into the palace where the prince lived. As I proceeded ahead, I saw Prince Chennel playing in the palace courtyard. The fact that we can meet so soon was a good omen. If he had been holed up in his room, I’m sure I couldn’t have met him in a way that would allow me to be liked.
A few of the Royal Knight Order members were standing near the prince. It seems the guards, albeit temporary, had begun their job.
When I came closer, the Knights noticed me and were troubled by what to do. Despite that, they let me get closer to the prince. What would they do if I was an assassin, I worried. Good thing I’m a friend.
I’m sure Prince Chennel’s homeland is turbulent, but our country takes peace for granted. It can’t be helped since there hasn’t been much of a war in the past few decades. It’s peaceful on the domestic front too. I sometimes wonder if we lack tension.
「Look, a cat!」
The prince, who had a gloomy face despite playing, noticed me and raised a shout of joy. Great, it seems he likes cats. If he hated cats, I’d have had no choice but to start over with a different animal. Actually, considering the fact that if he hated animals I’d be relieved of my duties, perhaps the prince liking cats might be a regrettable thing.
「It’s a completely black cat! I raised a cat I’m my country too! Its name was Earl Curtis!」
The prince grinned and picked me up in his arms. For the prince to have even raised a cat, what a coincidence.
The people around made a move to stop him, but they hesitated to do so after seeing the prince making such an elated face.
Because he raised a cat, the prince picked me up with a practiced hand. He brought his face nearer and looked at me with a smile. Prince Chennel had brown hair bordering on red and light brown eyes. No semblance of a prince came to mind.
Wondering if thinking that he gave off a countryside-ish feeling was bad on my part, I apologised suitability with a 「Meow-」.
「Great, you’ll be my Earl Curtis here! Hey, is it ok if I keep this cat? 」
When the prince asked the adults around, the attendant who accompanied him from his homeland asked the ladies-in-waiting and the knights with a glance 「Is it all right?」. Because I was an animal of my country, it seems he asked for permission just in case. The ladies-in-waiting and the knights looked at each other. In the midst of it, the oldest knight nodded his head.
「Thank you. It has been many days since I have seen the prince this happy.」
The man who seemed like the prince’s aide courteously bowed his head. There’s no doubt that the prince is all smiles. The adults looked at the smile with tender eyes. Knowing the disputes in his homeland and the threat to his life, the prince must have been feeling down all the time while he was here.
And the moment a cat like me appeared, his mood changed completely for the better. I was of split opinion whether to feel guilty or to feel proud of raising the prince’s spirits.
「Earl Curtis, aren’t you hungry?」
I don’t know when, but it seems my name has become the name of the prince’s pet from his homeland, Earl Curtis. It was a name that seemed nobler than my actual name, Nidel, and made me give a wry smile.
「Earl, c’mere! Let’s go to my room.」
Besides, if you wanted to shorten the name, wouldn’t it have been better to only give the name Earl in the first place?, I ridiculed in my heart while being carried to the prince’s room in his arms. The adults around the prince trailed behind.
The prince’s room was, as expected, worthy of being called a guest room for a foreign delegate; it was quite luxurious for a child and was tens of times the size of my room.
The prince, who’d completely been enraptured by me, from then on didn’t let go of me. I, sitting beside him, received leftovers from the prince’s supper and was able to eat something much better than what I could as a human. Of course, nobody nearby was suspicious of me. Rather, I ended up even getting tender looks that seemed to say Thank you for making the prince happy!.
When I entered the bath, I was a bit frightened. But I who became thoroughly clean was able to enter the prince’s bedroom and curl up on one corner of the wide bed where the prince slept.
Just like the king said, the prince seemed like the nervous type. He considerably disliked the dozens of knights acting as bodyguards and entering the bedroom. In the end, two knights who didn’t give out much of a sense of intimidation stood far from the bed, near the door, erasing their presence. Midway through, the guard knights switched places. Even that slight change of presence woke the prince up. The prince, who woke up many times throughout the night, escaped from reality by stroking my coat of fur.
This job of being a bodyguard is quite troublesome, I sympathised with the Knight Order and the Royal Palace Magic Order like I was an outsider. However, there was no way they would not have even a single person accompanying him to the bedroom as a guard.
With a small number of people, perhaps the same knights ended up guarding the room all through the night. It’s a difficult task, I thought as I was on the soft bed swaying my tail. But as dawn neared, I too realised the gravity of my job.
No matter how much I want to sleep while sprawled on the bed, because I was guarding him there was no way I could sleep. I successively opened my eyes while on the verge of nodding off.
Do I have to continue this lifestyle for a month? Wondering so, I yawned.
Hasr’s Idle Talk:
Heya! Surprised seeing me here? That’s right, I got adopted by Krrizis…That’s not what you had in mind?…Well nevermind that.
Anyhow, I’ll now be continuing all my current TLs (yes, all of them) here on Ainushi. As for Watashi wa Sugoi Desu, I’ll get to thinking about what to do with it someday…maybe never haha.