5 A Friend“s Help
Cedar silently stood a few steps behind the Crown Prince who was busy in a mountain of paperwork.
"Hmmm… so this prince really wasn't that bad." Gale noted in her mind as she sneakily steals a glance from him time to time.
As she was thinking this, a cold breeze blew from the windows and to her surprise, a figure emerged from the shadows at the utmost corner of the room. "Wow! A real-life ninja! So cool!"
It was a black-cladded guy who's face was partly covered with cloth, only showing his upturned eyes and golden optics that seems to glow in the dark, while his long dark hair was neatly kept up. In Cedar's memory, this guy was called Konoki. A member of the King's shadow army and His Majesty's messenger.
When Konoki walked towards the Prince, his gaze turned to the Knight's direction. It was only for a moment, but Cedar felt a chill creeping up his spine as if a venomous snake was probing at him. Still, although he was having a cold sweat, he managed to keep his deadpan face.
The changes in Cedar and Konoki's expressions were only in a miniscule scale but Alexander still noticed this and the corners of his lips subtly raised as an unknown emotion glinted in his eyes.
"Your Highness…" Konoki bowed lightly before placing a scroll on the table. "Here's the list that you've requested."
Without a word, Prince Alexander looked inside the scroll, reading its contents with a nonchalant look on his face.
"Are there any more noble households who were under suspicions aside from the names listed in here?" he asked after a while.
"There's one more. They were highly suspected to be the main instigator of the rebellion, quietly supporting the second Prince's faction." Konoki answered. "However, there weren't any evidence that would lead to them. Every traces were neatly taken care of."
"Hoh~" Alexander exclaimed with an amused look on his face. "And who might that be?" he asked as he lazily propped his chin on his palm.
"It was the Nightingales. Specifically, Ignis and Kravis Nightingale, my Lord."
"What do you think?" Alexander turned to Cedar who went a bit stiff in hearing his brothers' names.
"It was just like them." he clenched his fist as Ignis' twisted smile flashed through his head. "Specially Ignis. He definitely didn't want any lose ends after what happened twelve years ago. Probably, he killed the persons involved with him or he have a means to blackmail them into silence."
"Tsk… Hide and seek is it?" Alexander mumbled as he touched the parchment with the tip of his index finger, setting it ablaze, turning the list into ashes in a split second.
Watching this, Gale was astonished. Although she knew from Cedar's memory that this Casanova prince can be amazing at some point, she was still awestruck upon witnessing magic in person.
"Wow! The special effects used in Hollywood couldn't even compare to the real thing!" she exclaimed inwardly, her grip on the sword tightened as she suppresses her urge to clap and smile like an idiot.
Somehow, Alexander felt the mood change of his knight so he glanced up on Cedar's position.
The knight's face was still in serious mode yet his eyes were sparkling like a child in some sort if festival.
"Pft!" the prince stifled a chuckle and covered his mouth, turning his head away.
Cedar flinched when a suppressed laugh escaped from Alexander's lips.
"Wha— Your Highness?" oblivious to his facial expression, Cedar was bewildered.
"N-nothing…" The Prince replied as his shoulders shook as he waved his hands.
Still, Gale was puzzled and looked at Konoki, only to be met by a watchful gaze without a hint of amusement.
Gale gulped as she avoided his gaze. "What the heck? Why are you looking at me like that? Weren't you and Cedar in good terms?" she cried in her mind.
"Did my father said anything else?" the prince inquired after he managed to calm himself.
"He told you not to show your trump card until the last minute."
"He always says that that it already hurt my ears. What else?"
"...goodluck." Konoki answered.
"...there's nothing else to add, my Lord."
"That old bastard…" The prince grimaced and then brought out a sealed envelope before giving it to the ninja guy. "Go."
Konoki silently looked at the letter, bowed and as fast as he came, he quickly vanished within the shadows, not leaving any traces.
After that, the morning had past uneventfully as Cedar stayed in one spot for hours. However, given that his body was well trained and was used to remaining completely idle, it didn't give any problem to him physically.
But it was another thing for Gale's mentality. She was bored to death and was itching to move here and there.
She was trying to gather her very last bit of patience and concentration when she felt that she was being watched.
Sure enough, when she turned her head, her gaze met His Highness' eyes. Being caught by his aquamarine orbs, Gale felt her face warming up and her heart beats a little bit faster than usual.
"Eherm…" she cleared her throat whilst avoiding the prince's stare.
Even though she was an actress who never gets bothered by the press' camera flashes and the public's scrutinizing eyes, when it comes to this prince, she gets too conscious whenever he looks at her. It was as if he could see through her soul and that she was naked.
Naked. That word just reminded her the scene that she saw earlier inside the prince's chamber, causing her to blush even more.
"Seriously… are you sick?"
She jolted when she heard the prince's voice right next to her right ear. It seems that the prince stood up and stepped closer to her.
Caught off-guard, Cedar took a step back and without realizing it, he placed his right hand on his ear.
"N-no… I'm f-fine, Your Highness." he stuttered.
Looking at him, Alexander raised his brow and stepped forward, making Cedar take another step backwards.
Noticing his flushed face, the Prince grinned. "Hoh~? Are you being conscious of me now?"
"I-I wasn't…" still faltering, Cedar answered.
"Then," Alexander stepped closer once more and as expected, Cedar also moved backwards. "Why are you avoiding me?"
"Huh? I… I would never dare, Your Highness…"
"You just did." Alexander retorted, a flicker of amusement glinted in his eyes. "and you're also stuttering."
"That…" Cedar was speechless. He couldn't talk back and he was also busy in taking steps backwards as the prince was also getting closer to him while they speak.
"Was it because of what happened this morning?" Alexander asked with an air of innocence. "Because I was naked?"
"Damn it! Don't say that with that kind of face!" Gale shouted in her mind. "Ho-how could that be? It's not like it was the first time… right?" she answered, still trying to calm herself.
"Hmmm… that's true." Alexander nodded. "But it was the first time that we kissed though."
"Waaaahh!!! Don't! Please don't!" she pleaded silently, her mask as Cedar, slowly breaking into pieces. "Your Highness… please just forget it."
"Hm?" Alexander advanced forward with a smile on his face. "Don't wanna."
Gale wanted to run as far as possible from Alexander but it was just impossible and rude. Also, Cedar, the one who owned this body before would never leave the Prince's side on his duty. Furthermore, she could already feel the wall on her back, thus there were no room for retreat.
"I could never forget such a sloppy kiss." saying this, Alexander moved his face close to Cedar's face while his arms were propped on the wall, trapping the knight who was a palm shorter than him. "As a friend concerned about your future, should I teach you?"
"No, thank you." he flatly rejected, forcing a smile towards the prince. "Moreover, it's not common for males to kiss each other." he tried to reason out. After all, Alexander has an image to keep.
"It's not common, indeed." the prince agreed. "but it's not like it's rare either."
"What the hell? Is this prince alright in the head?"
"Besides, there's only the two of us here." Alexander deliberately whispered into his ears, his breath tickling Cedar's skin.
Then Alexander abruptly pulled him close by his waist.
Cedar's whole body stiffened from the unfamiliar sensation.
The prince then raised Cedar's head by his chin, while Alexander runs his thumb on his knight's lower lip.
She shuddered. Even though Gale was against Cedar and the Prince's kiss, she was still conflicted because she feels otherwise. After experiencing the skillful kiss earlier, she knew that she was hooked. It was addictive and it's something she never had in her past life, thus she was yearning for it. However, although she doesn't mind those who chose the same sex as partners, she didn't have that mentality. That's why, even though she secretly had a thing for this god-like royalty, she still wanted to remain straight—for acting purposes and respect to the former Cedar.
"Your Highness, this is…" he turned his head away although his knees are starting to weaken.
"Ssshhh… you should just remember this lesson well." Alexander told him as he held Cedar's head in place and his face closed in.