Warm Place Chapter 11


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Reminiscence 4

“Ooh, my beauteous? ——princess, whenever I think about you… um…”

“……Okay, cut.”

She looks as if she’s just swallowed a bitter bug as she glares at me.

“Eeh?! Again?!”

“It’s downright unacceptable. Start over from the beginning.”

“I’m not the one who’s going to act as the prince anyway. Can’t I have some leeway around it?”

Her class is going to perform a play at the culture festival, so I’m helping as her practice partner. But for some reason, she’s the one coaching me instead.

“You don’t understand, do you? The mood is important. It doesn’t make for a practice if the opposing role is acting like a pole.”

“Even if you tell me, I suck at acting and such.”

“……haah. From the beginning, please.”

“Okay.”

Her role is the princess who’s yearned by a prince from another nation. I think it’s a perfect role for her with how beautiful and refined she is. But, she usually hates taking part in conspicuous events like that. I wonder what makes her accept the leading role. Although, I’m sure she won’t tell me even if I ask her, so I won’t.

“Pray tell me, why are you here?”

“I wish for meeting you again. That is the sole reason I have come from the neighboring… nation.”

I read the script and deliver my lines to the best of my acting abilities. But I fumble my words, speak in monotone many times, I know exactly how terrible I am at this. She, on the other hand, delivers her lines smoothly without even looking at the script.

“No, you mustn’t. You are the prince of our enemy nation, are you not? It will be perilous should anyone discover you here.”

“Even so, it is my wish to meet you.”

“Why would you face such risks?”

“……um, the horse——”

 

Smack!

My head is hit with the script. Although it doesn’t hurt much, isn’t it cruel of her to hit me so suddenly?

“What horse? Which line is that from? How can you make that mistake when you’re reading from the script?”

“S-sorry. Huh? It seems that I’ve skipped some lines. Umm, my next line is…”

I trace the dialogue with my finger so that I can read it correctly this time.

“It’s because, I love you.”

“………”

What’s wrong? I thought that I’ve read the wrong lines again, but after double-checking the script, I see that it’s not the case. It should be her line next.

“Ah, did you forget your lines? Here, look——”

 

Smack!

 

By the time I notice that I was smacked on the head, she’s already turned away from me and is walking towards her mansion. What’s going on? Is she going to the toilet? But did she really need to hit my head for that?

With nothing to do, I read the script again and practice until she returns. After a while, she returns while looking a bit displeased.

“Welcome back. Are we continuing from where you left?”

“…Yes.”

She breathes in and gets into her role. Drawn by her serious expression, I can’t help but stiffen mine, as well.

“Dear Prince, you mustn’t. You will not be forgiven for it.”

“This love may be a taboo, but it matters not. I can’t contain, my feelings towards you anymore.”

I have memorized the dialogue around here, so I gaze in her eyes instead of the script.

“…No, you can’t. You can’t do this, Prince! Don’t say another word!”

“I’ll say it as many times as necessary. I love you.”

“………”

“Huh?”

She’s stuck again. What’s wrong? Has she actually forgotten some of her lines in this scene?

“Say——”

 

Thud!!

 

“Ouch——!!”

This time she uses all her strength and hits my head with the corner of the script. There is a limit of being unreasonable. I rub the place where she hit me. I don’t think it’s going to be a bump, but there is a throbbing pain when I touch it. Tears well up in my eyes from the excessive pain as I glare at her.

“Ow, gee, what are you doing?”

“~~hh”

She glares me back with an indescribable look on her face. I don’t understand the reason behind her enigmatic actions, so I have no idea what to do, either.

“Hey, you gotta practice properly.”

“——We’re ending it here today.”

“Eeeh?”

“More importantly, as I’ve told you the other day…”

“Okay, okay.”

 

 

She never cares about other people, she’s self-centered.

But no matter what happens, I will never hate her for that.

 

 

Thinking that it’s just the way she is, I smile and forgive her.


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