Following lunch, Alexis hurried to the National Library with Eden.
The library is a big two-story stone building not far from the castle. Maria used to be the assistant manager of the library. So, Alexis leave it to her to find out the documents.
Now, entering through the large double-opening doors, he saw the library is lined with bookshelves that cover the high walls.
As he stepped inside, a young man who looked like a librarian walked up to him and said, "You must be His Highness Alexis."
「Yeah, I am.」
Alexis nodded and the librarian said, "Maria-sama and the others are waiting for you. Please come in."
With these words, he led Alexis and Eden to the basement of the library.
* * *
The basement seemed to be off-limits to the public, and there was no sign of anyone else.
Looking around the cold stone vault illuminated by the wall sconces, he found that the walls were lined with bookshelves, and the shelves were filled with old books.
The books are so valuable that the general public is not allowed to enter.
Now, in the center of the room, Maria and Lily are spreading out dozens of books on a large table, and when Alexis see them, the librarian says, "Then, I'll leave you to it. Excuse me," and left.
Alexis and Eden both walked toward Maria and the others.
Their footsteps echoed softly in the quiet room.
Maria was the first to look up.
She held out the open book in her hand toward Alexis and said, "Prince-sama," she said.
「I have gone through the book you requested. First, a book about the Moon God, who is the center of Sagrado's faith. Second, a books about the god of death. Third, a book about the afterlife... and the gods, right?」
Alexis nodded and answered, "Yes."
「So, did you find it?」
「All the books in this room, yes」
It was Lily who answered that she had found them.
Lily pointed to one corner of the books spread out on the table and said, "This is the Moon God." She pointed again to another corner and said, "This is the God of Death." Finally, she pointed to the end of the book and said, "This is a book about the gods."
「We looked for it, me and Maria-san. Still... she's amazing! She seems to remember all the titles of the books. All I had to do was to bring them from where I was told.」
Lily looks impressed and reports this to Alexis with a twinkle in her eye.
Maria, perhaps not used to receiving compliments, turns her cheeks down and mumbles, "It's... it's no big deal."
「It's a big deal! That's great, Maria-san!」
Lily smiles at her.
Alexis nods, pleased with her accomplishment, and says, "I'll think of a reward later..."
「What? What reward...?」
Maria gives Alexis a suspicious look.
「Let's see what's inside」
Maria shakes off her thoughts and walks closer to Alexis.
「Would you like to check them one by one?」
「Yes. For now, let's start with the one related to the Moon God...」
「...This book? Then, this is the page」
Maria flips through the relevant pages and puts them in front of Alexis. Thanks to her, Alexis didn't have to look for it at all.
（...This girl is amazing, isn't she?）
Alexis had already known that she is a studious person, but it seems that she is a genius as well.
However, there was one more thing that bothered Alexis.
「...Are you sure you don't mind me getting this close to you?」
He couldn't help but murmur.
Even though she was showing him the book, Maria was so close to him that their shoulders were almost touching.
Maria looks aghast, and she opens the distance slightly in a hurry. She herself must have been unaware of this.
「Of course, I don't want to...」
Maria growled in a voice that sounded as if she was about to disappear.
「I-I don't want to, but it's to show the book to Prince-sama—Ah, not that I'd stop you, but if Prince-sama wants to look into it himself, that's fine...?」
「Oh, please don't do that. Sorry, please continue」
Alexis answered honestly.
She meant it in a sarcastic way, and it must have sounded snide enough, but Alexis didn't get angry.
（...Why is he...）
Maria grits her teeth.
（He's a prince, isn't he? Doesn't he want to use his power to twist me, the impudent one, by force? —Or does he think I'm insignificant?）
Maria, killing her frustration, approaches Alexis again and starts to open the book.
（I've been so brusque, so horrible... doesn't he have something to say? What is wrong with him...）
Maria feels a strange, angry emotion.
But pushing them down, Maria continued to help Alexis with his research.
* * *
「Ah...I have to go and finish Sara-sensei's business... I'm sorry, but I'll leave you first.」
Lily's words made Alexis realize that a lot of time had passed.
「Oh...sorry. Thanks for keeping me company. Thank you.」
Alexis looks back at Lily, and Lily responds with a beaming "No, no, no."
「If it's all right with you, you can ask me anytime. If it's for prince... Ah, no, nothing at all!」
Lily turns red as if remembering something and shakes her head.
「Then, I'll leave first!」
With that, she left.
Maria and Eden are the only ones left.
But come to think of it, Eden has been standing still for a long time.
"Eden," Alexis said to her.
「You can go, too. You can leave the rest to me and Maria.」
Eden replied with few words.
Yet, there was a hint in his voice that he did not need a chaperone. The tone of his voice suggests that he was asking her if he did not need a chaperone.
「You know the court well, don't you? Go to the castle and prepare the rooms. For you, Maria and Lily. I have my own room, even though I'm hardly ever home」
Eden nodded. She then turned and left, apparently choosing to follow Alexis.
When Alexis looked back at the table, Maria was back at Alexis' side with the next book in her hand.
Flipping through the pages, she said, "Next, here. There is a description here," while pointing to the text as if to follow it.
「...Ah, I'm sorry. Sorry to bother you.」
Maria pauses for a moment as Alexis says this.
And she mumbled "...nothing."
「I just like reading books. But ot is not that I particularly dislike it」
Maria's voice is the only sound in the quiet, cold stone stacks.
She kept her eyes fixed on the book, and their eyes did not meet.
But when Alexis looked down at her, Maria's slender shoulders showed that she was not very nervous.
"...I see," Alexis nodded, his expression softening.
「I'll have to thank you later.」
「No... I don't...」
「Don't be shy. I'm here for you」
「No... just get on with it」
Maria urges him coldly to continue, and Alexis does so. The conversation is interrupted.
Turning his attention to the book again, Alexis thinks to himself, "I'll just make sure to thank her properly."
She had a strong distrust of men. But she has gone so far as to go out with Alexis, who should be a man she is not good at. That's why Alexis thought that he should repay her properly.
Please bookmark this series and rate ☆☆☆☆☆ on the Novelupdates -> here!
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for reading.