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    Melmond had not left the front of the minister’s residence since morning, constantly watching the soldiers. After repeatedly going back and forth until his shoes were worn out, he finally spotted a big guy in shabby clothes coming out of the palace.

    “Abel!”

    When Melmond called his name loudly, Abel stopped walking and looked around.

    “Here, here!”

    When Melmond’s voice rang out again, Abel approached with a pleased expression.

    “You came here on purpose to see me…”

    “Never mind that, come this way.”

    Melmond grabbed Abel’s arm and pulled him towards the empty side, away from anyone’s hearing. And it was only when they arrived at the library where he worked that he opened his mouth.

    “What did Count Truyde say? Did you end up staying by the prince’s side? So now you’re the prince’s official Regas?”

    “…”

    “Why aren’t you answering? Is it not true?”

    Hesitant. Abel lowered his head and avoided eye contact.

    “There were too many questions, so I was thinking about how should I answer.”

    “There were only three.”

    Melmond asked again, this time one by one.

    “Are you staying here?”

    “Yes.”

    “Wow! They officially recognized you as a Regas?”

    “Well, no. They said I’m too plain to be a Regas.”

    Abel chuckled and scratched his head, but Melmond’s expression twisted angrily.

    “Plain? Damn, then how did someone as insignificant as you accomplish what those fancy Regas couldn’t?”

    He berated Abel, who was laughing foolishly, in a heated and agitated manner.

    “You couldn’t say anything and just stood there laughing like that?”

    Abel scratched his head again.

    “The other party is a duke.”

    “That’s true. Still, thanks to you, the prince has changed like this, damn it. Anyway, it’s fortunate that you’re still by the prince’s side.”

    “Yes.”

    Abel, who answered quietly, added as if talking to himself.

    “That’s the most important thing. It doesn’t matter what happens to me.”

    “Huh? What are you talking about?”

    Abel laughed and said, “Oh, nothing,” but Melmond frowned and cursed Truyde with a face that showed his anger hadn’t subsided.

    Abel laughed and watched him quietly before looking around the inside of the library. This place, which had been built a long time ago, was in a shabby state due to lack of proper maintenance. However, the books that had been there since before filled the shelves on the first and second floors. But most of them were just like decorations that no one bothered to look at.

    “Mr. Melmond.”

    “Yeah?”

    Melmond, who was still frowning, looked up and paused when he saw Abel’s expression. His face, as he looked inside, exuded a strange atmosphere to the point where one might think he wasn’t an idiot. Melmond had seen it a few times, but he cleared his throat at Abel’s heavy atmosphere that he couldn’t get used to.

    “Why? Do you have something to say?”

    Then, Abel’s sunken green eyes stared at Melmond. Abel’s face was not handsome, but his eyes were different. Even though they were just ordinary green eyes, there was something warm about them that made him want to keep looking at them. Even when they had a dark glint like now.

    “I heard that there are writings left by our sect’s seniors here.”

    “Well, that’s what they said.”

    Melmond reluctantly agreed in a tone that he didn’t feel like using, but soon nodded.

    “But in reality, they don’t exist. I’ve been here for over ten years and couldn’t find them, so it’s as good as not having them.”

    “Have you searched everything?”

    “Yes. Everything. I examined the contents of each book.”

    Although he didn’t tell his master, Abel had been trying to find it for a few years. He wondered if the record might be stuck between the pages of a book, so he examined each book carefully. However, there were no notes or memos written in the books. So, it must be true that it didn’t exist.

    “Then, um, can you take a look at the surface instead of it’s content?”

    “Are you accusing me of not searching properly?”

    Abel bowed his head as if he was sorry for asking again.

    “No, that’s not what I meant. I just hope you can search again.”

    Melmond finally asked the question properly.

    “What’s wrong? Why are you suddenly acting like this?”

    But instead of answering, Abel looked at the empty space for a moment and brought up an unrelated topic.

    “A black potion. I want to know what it is.”

    So why? Melmond wanted to ask again, but when he saw Abel lost in thought, he couldn’t open his mouth. Something was definitely strange. Melmond sighed, wondering what was going on.

    “Alright, I got it. Let’s look for it again. This time, we’ll examine the outside thoroughly, just like you said.”

    ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖

    Anyone could tell that the prince was in a bad mood. Although he didn’t openly show his claws and fangs towards people like before, he clearly showed his eyes to those who approached him. And just like before, he leaned against the wall and looked at the books with his head down.

    The reason was that this day was different from usual. Abel, who was supposed to come early in the morning, didn’t come because of a high-ranking person’s summons. Instead, unfamiliar people appeared in front of the prince. Most of them were administrators in charge of the prince’s palace, teachers who would educate him from now on, and a new record keeper.

    After Abel’s incident in the forest, the prince had been sitting quietly on the bed, waiting, without paying attention even when Ashler or his maid, Serene, came into the room. But on this morning, even these two were not allowed to enter the room.

    Ashler looked up and stared straight at the person, revealing his reluctance. When Abel appeared, his voice carried both reprimand and a hint of gladness. Of course, there was only one person he would openly reprimand.

    “I received a message that you had already left the Minister’s Palace, so why are you only coming now?”

    When Ashler asked, Abel, who was panting from running, finally answered.

    “Pant, Mel… pant, do… haa, haa… I went to the ministry… haa, haa… and came back.”

    What? He wanted to grab him by the collar and tell him to speak properly, but there was no time for that now. Ashler quickly whispered as he grabbed the doorknob to the bedroom.

    “The prince is not in a good mood.”

    Thump. As Abel entered while listening to the warning, the prince jumped up from his seat and rushed over.

    Then, with a swoosh, he tightly embraced Abel’s legs and buried his face in them. Ashler could never forget Abel’s expression at that moment. While smiling gently and stroking the prince’s black hair with his large hand, his eyes strangely sank heavily. He soon covered it all up with a forced laugh.

    “Euhaha― Prince, did you worry about me? Oh, I have nowhere to go if I’m not by your side. Don’t worry even if I’m a little late. I will definitely come to your side.”

    While saying that, he hugged the prince tightly. It was no different from his usual behavior, but suddenly a loud commotion could be heard from outside the door.

    “Oh my, put the prince down right now!”

    Abel was startled and turned around, only to see one of the newcomers stepping forward with a stern expression.

    “How dare you lay a hand on a member of the royal family. Even if you’re a Regas, that action cannot be tolerated… Huh!”

    The person who had stepped forward hastily took a step back with a contemplative look. Although he turned his head as if he was afraid, people could tell that he had made eye contact with the prince. Upon seeing this, others who already knew the eerie gaze from those eyes automatically turned their heads.

    Only one person, the young record keeper who had just arrived, stepped back but still looked up at Abel. When Abel coincidentally met his gaze as if asking something, the record keeper softly spoke to the prince as if regaining his composure.

    “Your highness, these people will be teaching you various things starting from today.”

    The prince turned his expressionless face to look at Abel. Abel smiled at the prince and he knelt down and placed him on the ground.

    “To become a great king in the future, you must learn a lot. So…”

    Abel tried to let go of the prince, but the prince instead tightly wrapped his arms around his neck with his small arms. Then, as if refusing to let go, he buried his face in his neck. After a moment of silence, Abel looked up at the person who had caused the commotion.

    “He will gradually adapt. But he only just started speaking yesterday. So, could you give him some time?”

    The last question was directed at the record keeper. However, the young record keeper remained expressionless, and the person who had caused the commotion coughed and replied, “Understood.”

    Abel hugged the prince again and turned his body towards Ashler.

    “Now let’s go to the forest, Sir Knight.”

    The raccoon he had promised didn’t come because it was almost sunset. Abel apologized and sat down at the entrance of the field where the two of them often went. He sat the prince on his lap and explained the herbs among the surrounding grass and gave him snacks to eat.

    He showed the ants gathering around the crumbs that fell on the ground. Abel laughed as he watched the ant carrying a piece much larger than its own body walking diligently.

    “This little guy is very clever. He knows the size he can’t carry, so he doesn’t even think about touching it. He finds what he can do first. I once watched ants all day long, and it took them a whole day, but they eventually brought all the necessary food. They took it little by little without leaving any trace, and they moved it all in just one day.”

    Abel gently stroked the prince’s head without realizing it.

    “It seems that people are the same. If you change little by little, before you know it, everything will change greatly. Even if it’s something you don’t like… if it’s something you eventually have to do.”

    Abel’s voice faded and silence came, but the prince showed no reaction. However, Abel knew that the prince understood everything. The prince was smart. It wasn’t because of the difficult books he read. He had a feeling that he always understood even if he didn’t react when something was explained to him.

    So the prince must have known why he was telling this story. However, sitting in the grass, the prince stubbornly kept his arms folded and showed no reaction. Normally, he would have looked up, but he only watched the ants diligently moving with his eyes. Still, Abel continued to speak.

    “As long as I’m alive, I will always be by your side, Prince. You can see me anytime. So please trust me and open your heart to others little by little. They are all people who want to help you, Prince.”

    “……”

    “I will do anything with you, Prince. If you study difficult subjects, I will learn it with you. If you receive etiquette education, I will receive it too. Will you do it with me?”

    He asked quietly, but there was still no answer. Abel smiled sadly and turned his eyes to the empty space. A small sigh escaped his lips he spoke as if talking to himself.

    “Actually, Prince, I don’t really hope that you will grow up to be a great king who makes this kingdom a better place to live.”

    If someone else had heard it, they would have accused Abel of insulting the prince and would have gotten angry, but the story slowly continued from Abel.

    “The prince is smart and wise. So, if you learn a lot, you will become a great king who will leave a mark in history. However… I hope you are just happy living day by day, even if you pick fruits in the forest rather than gaining glory or power in the palace. It’s okay to spend the whole day doing nothing and lying on the grass. If you felt good lying down and feeling the wind, I hope you continue to live this kind of life. I hope you live a life where you truly feel happy, Your Highness.”

    There was a moment of silence after his words. Abel, who was looking at the empty space, moved because of a small hand grabbing his arm. When he looked up, the prince was looking at him. Abel smiled at him habitually and regained his composure before adding.

    “I’m sorry, Your Highness. I forgot about your position and spoke empty words.”

    Abel stroked the prince’s head with his large hand and let out a heavy voice.

    “But even though I’m not smart, I know that you will be the one to lead this country. If it’s something unavoidable, then, Your Highness, I think you should accept this reality and find happiness within it. Even if there are people who want to use you in reality, don’t be ashamed of accepting it. Because you are still young, Your Highness. It is natural to follow what cannot be helped. So please don’t turn away from the things you have to do now, even if you don’t like them or they don’t suit your taste. If you try hard and make an effort, eventually you will move in the direction you desire, and then you will bear the fruits you wished for, just like ants that carry a bigger prey and constantly move until they make all the snacks their own.”

    The prince closed his eyes again and showed no reaction, but Abel continued to stroke his head. Even if the prince ignored his words, it didn’t bother him. He didn’t like having to say such things.

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