Chapter 23 – A Full Moon and a Waltz
“You have my sincere gratitude. I don’t know how I can ever repay you for helping me.”
I stood there, a little stunned, as she thanked me earnestly.
The woman in the dress and her guard knights.
She had such a calm way of carrying herself, and every movement was beautiful.
Apparently, the person I had helped was the empress of the neighboring Neunzehla Empire.
She was so high-born that I felt as if our very souls were on different levels.
This was not someone I should be talking to…
“Please let me know if there is anything that I can do. You have saved my life.”
I nearly fainted at the gush of grateful words.
In-in any case, I have to get through this moment without failure!
“Not at all. I only did my duty as a Royal Magician of Ardenfeld.”
I replied with the first and most proper-sounding answer that came to me.
I had been desperate to avoid saying anything rude, and I felt that I had at least not embarrassed myself as a Royal Magician.
“Lady, that was amazing!”
Said the small crown prince as well.
However, what Luke said after that made me strongly regret the way I had acted.
“You should have received something. There is no rule that Royal Magicians can’t receive any gifts.”
So I should have accepted something…
Perhaps I could have asked for a year’s worth of delicious meat…
As my shoulders dropped with disappointment, Luke chuckled.
And so I punched him in the shoulder with annoyance.
He should have told me that sooner. What a mean person.
Still, I did gain something.
Everyone was praising me for protecting the empress.
“We were able to save her. Thank you. It’s all because of you.”
Said Ms. Leticia, which filled me with joy.
“Ms. Leticia is so amazing and wonderful.”
“…Wait, why are you going on about her, when we did so much together? Really.”
“Huh? Did you say something?”
As always, Luke would sometimes say things that I didn’t quite understand.
Still, this was a job that allowed me to use my beloved magic, and my superiors and friends were good to me.
Those were the things that I had gained.
It would be greedy to want more than that.
However, there was one thing I was still disappointed in. I had not been able to dance in spite of practicing so much.
There was no question about it. They could not recommence the ball after such an incident, and so the Red Rose Ball ended quickly.
I suppose it had saved me from embarrassment in front of Luke.
But it was such a rare opportunity, that I had wanted to do it.
I had even practiced secretly in hopes of surprising him.
And so it was with this feeling of slight regret that I walked in the night garden.
As we had been involved in the incident, we had undergone some questioning by the Royal Knights Order.
And so I left much later than usual, and it was already midnight.
There was no one around us, and it was as if the palace itself had gone to sleep.
Like we were the only two people in the world.
Just us in the great and quiet garden.
An idea suddenly came to me, and I opened my mouth.
“Hey, hey. Why don’t we dance a little?”
“What’s this all of a sudden?”
“I just thought it would be quite nice to dance in a great garden, when it’s midnight and there is no one around.”
I thought he would look at me with exasperation and call me a fool.
However, Luke was silent for a brief moment and then replied seriously.
“Very well. If that’s what you wish.”
“Good. Then it’s decided!”
I dashed over to the grass and looked over my shoulder to Luke.
“Do you have no concept of setting the mood?”
“Of course, you don’t. I already knew that.”
Luke said with a chuckle.
“I should not be expecting such things.”
He sighed and then grinned at me.
“Well, let’s do it then.”
And so we faced each other, hand in hand, and danced the waltz.
When I flawlessly executed the steps I had practiced last night…
“Oh? You’ve improved.”
The sapphire blue eyes glimmered and I smiled.
It annoyed me that Luke was constantly helping and holding my hand.
I wanted to stand next to and compete, saying, ‘I will not lose!’
I want to be like that, as much as possible.
And so we danced in the night garden, where no one could see.
With a golden moon shining above our heads.