Chapter 17 – Exploration
The soft pitter-patter of bare feet hitting the floor echoed as Ruri explored the inside of the castle.
This castle was split into different regions. The first was composed of the area near the top of the mountain where the building the Dragon King resided in was located. As you descended through the castle, you hit the second region, third region and so on—all for a grand total of twelve regions.
Seeing as how Ruri was brimming with excitement to see all of it, she decided to start by exploring the first sector.
It had been a few days since the start of her exploration, but she still hadn’t seen everything the region had to offer. Even accounting for the fact that she was doing this in-between studies and at a cat’s pace, it was still taking a lot of time. If one region had this much to offer, she couldn’t even imagine how big this place actually was. It seemed that she had quite a long way to go before she’d seen the entire thing.
Seeing as how she’d seen the majority of the first region, she decided to shift her exploration over to the lower regions. The second region was composed of official guest rooms, the third region workrooms for high-ranking officials, the fourth region departments for the other officials.
Since the castle wasn’t currently housing any official guests, the guest rooms in the second region were all locked and she couldn’t look inside them. And the third and fourth regions were both central hubs of political activity. However, she had her reservations about going into a place with so much confidential information. Then again, if she felt so inclined, she could just employ the spirits to gather information for her.
She made her way to the fifth region where the soldiers’ stable and training grounds were located.
There were guards posted between each region, and a pass was needed to enter and exit, but in Ruri’s case, her spirit entourage was as good or better than any physical pass. Considering that no one was going to encumber a Beloved’s movement, Ruri was allowed to go into any region she pleased based on her reputation alone.
Once she’d descended to the fifth region, she caught sight of women using magic to clean large loads of laundry.
When she made eye contact with one of the women she looked quite startled.
“Oh my! Why, isn’t that the Beloved?” The woman’s exclamation caused the other women to take notice and look at Ruri with equally startled expressions.
Ruri walked up to them and telepathically greeted them, “Afternoon to you all.”
“I overheard some of the dragonkin speaking about them, but this really is the cat Beloved, I see.”
“Yes, indeed. I had never heard of it before now, but there really are Beloveds that are neither human nor demi-human.” All of the ladies’ eyes were squarely upon Ruri.
She had mentally whispered to herself, “Sorry, but I actually am human,” more times than she cared to count.
“Aren’t all of you dragonkin?” Ruri questioned, but she was met with some hearty laughter and an amused answer from one of the women.
“Dragonkin, with their superior intelligence and mana, wouldn’t be doing such menial labor like we are. Dragonkin, whether they be civil servants, soldiers, or those who see to His Majesty the Dragon King’s needs, they tend to serve in mostly high-level positions. Since Dragonkin live long lives, they are able to serve long and stable terms in the political sphere.”
Another of the women chimed in as well. “Work like this, that anyone who can use magic is capable of, is mostly done by demi-humans other than dragonkin. There are humans that can’t use magic, so it’s usually work for demi-humans who can use magic.”
“Wow, you don’t say. I didn’t know that.”
“Then again, there is also the fact that you need to be a dragonkin to work directly under His Majesty the Dragon King.”
Ruri tilted her head, not really understanding what she meant by that.
“Well, you know, the dragonkin have strong mana, so there are demi-humans who feel intimidated by them. Even more so considering it’s His Majesty the Dragon King, strongest of all dragonkin, who lives here. Those demi-humans couldn’t get much work done if they spent all their time feeling out-of-sorts, so this inevitably led to the Dragon King’s aides all being his own kind. So, by keeping all of his aides dragonkin, it ensures that they are all capable of working together, so that is why you will primarily see them among the upper brass. There are some other races strong enough to hang in there, even given the circumstances, but they are few and far between.”
“I see, that makes sense,” Ruri said in understanding Jade’s sorrowful words about how small animals ran away from him resurfacing in her mind.
“I’m a rabbit demi-human, so I unconsciously shrink whenever I pass by a dragonkin,” said one of the ladies.
“That’s not enough to spook me, but if one stands in front of me? Yeah, no good,” said another as they talked amongst themselves about how imposing the dragonkin were to them.
The two presently detailing their fear of dragonkin were both of fluffy animal races—rabbit and dog respectively. The fact that he loved cute and cuddly things, yet they wouldn’t approach him, made Ruri think that Jade had been born into the wrong race.
“How about you, Beloved? Are you all right?” “Oh, yes, I’m just fine.”
“I should expect nothing less from the Beloved. I am so envious. If I was of a race comfortable being in front of dragonkin, I would surely aim to be one’s mate…”
“Yeah, I sympathize. Being a dragonkin’s mate is a girl’s dream. My, what I would give to have one offer me their dragonheart and swear their eternal love to me.” As the lady breathed a tiny, dreamy sigh, her hands holding her cheeks, the other ladies all gave shrill eeks to show their approval to the idea.
“Mate? Dragonheart?” Ruri repeated, the unfamiliar terminology lost on her. “Do you not know what those mean, Beloved?”
“I can somewhat guess, but would you mind explaining?”
“A dragonheart is exactly what the name implies—a dragon’s heart. And a mate refers to their breeding partner. Dragonkin will give their dragonheart, which they only have access to once in their entire life, to their mate and swear their eternal devotion.”
“They are a race that believes in love with one mate for their entire lives, without ever being unfaithful. I hear there are even those who, if their mate dies, will follow them right after. Any woman would kill to be loved by someone like that, don’t you think?”
“But there must be some examples of couples being at odds and divorcing, right? Not everyone can be with the same person forever, so…”
“No, dragonkin are never unfaithful and will certainly never divorce. I have never heard of a dragonkin doing either. Even the older dragonkin are devoted husbands, so they are the most popular race in terms of marriage partners. Well, they do have a fault when it comes to becoming extremely jealous, but that is just because they love their mate that much!” the lady explained with emphasis.
However, another of the ladies replied, “But we practically collapse just when one of them stands in front of us, much less converses with us, so it doesn’t really matter to us anyway.” It was a statement that doused the flames of excitement in one fell swoop.
That was when the image of Chelsie suddenly popped into Ruri’s brain.
Claus’ existence meant the existence of a father, which meant Chelsie had one of these “mates” once upon a time. However, Chelsie lived in that house all by herself and she never once told her about any kind of “mate.” A dragonkin was only supposed to have one mate, and the absence of one meant that there was a high chance that they had passed away.
It was a hard subject to bring up, but it was very intriguing. As Ruri thought of ways to indirectly ask Chelsie about this the next chance she had to speak with her, she said her goodbyes to the laundry ladies and parted ways with them.
She continued her carefree stroll with no destination in particular in mind. That was when something caught her eye and she stopped in her tracks. She’d found a big tree that she had the intense urge to climb, so she dug her cat claws into the tree and started to inch her way up it.
Her body while in cat form felt far lighter than when she was in human form, which led her to believe that she had increased athleticism as well.
“Oh wow, I did it!” she said to herself, looking over the scenery in satisfaction from atop the tall tree.
Once she had her fill of feeling like a kid again, she descended the tree. Then she discovered a crevice that only her small cat body could pass through, so she did, basking in how it felt to be a cat. The spirits didn’t know what Ruri was trying to accomplish, but they delightedly followed after her.
Her snow white fur was starting to get patches of brown grime due to her going between one unfamiliar place to the next, so she quickly cleansed herself using magic.
She lay on a small protrusion on a building and proceeded to sunbathe until two soldiers walked up to her. It appeared as though they didn’t notice Ruri was there.
“You hear about the higher-ups going into town looking for someone lately?”
“Oh yeah! I sure did! They were apparently shouting stuff like, ‘Find His Majesty’s bride!’ or something like that, weren’t they?”
The word “His Majesty” caught Ruri’s ears and made them perk up. (They’re talking about Jade?) The soldiers continued to converse, not noticing that Ruri was listening in.
“From what I hear, His Majesty has some girl that he’s interested in, so the higher-ups are in a frenzy trying to search for her.”
“Y’don’t say? So His Majesty finally found someone to take as his mate, eh?” “Who’s to say? I don’t have the whole picture, but the chances are looking good.”
“Well, since they’ve got people specifically searching for her, it’s pretty obvious that he has. Wow. His Majesty getting married, huh? Hahaha… Makes me wonder where my mate is hiding…”
The two soldiers commented to each other despondently before walking off. “Wow, so Jade has someone he likes, huh?”
That was when a thought suddenly ran through Ruri’s mind. If Ruri wasn’t able to find a way back to her own world, she would continue to live in this world. Logically speaking, she would eventually find a romantic partner, get married and have children of her own.
However, there was no feasible way for her to build that future for herself if she were to remain a cat. It was a matter that could be resolved if she told them she was human, but Claus’ words still made her hesitate.
Ruri sincerely wanted someone she could discuss this with—someone close who knew she was actually a human in cat’s clothing summoned from another world and who she could discuss her future course of action with.
Chelsie was off in that far-off forest, days away from the capital, so she couldn’t have frequent discussions with her. She was also worried that her messages via the spirits weren’t being accurately conveyed, and while writing letters was a viable option, Ruri still couldn’t write their language all that smoothly.
As Ruri worried over not having anyone close to her who knew the truth of her situation, she felt it was about time for her to head back, so she walked back up to the first region of the castle.
She reached the first region and was halfway back to her room, spirits in tow, when someone came walking up from the opposite side of the hall. It was a young man, slightly older than Ruri, with short, vermillion hair, reddish-brown eyes, and suntanned skin.
He looked familiar to her, but she couldn’t put her finger on why. Shrugging it off, she continued walking.
The young man’s eyes shot open in surprise once he caught a glimpse of Ruri, and he proceeded to stare at her.
He wasn’t someone she’d seen before, so she automatically assumed that he pieced together from her mob of spirits that she was the Beloved. She paid him no mind and tried to walk past.
The young man called out to stop her. “Hey, you.”
Ruri turned around. The young man squatted down to her and asked, “You Ruri?” “Oh, um, yes, I am.”
“Yes…” His reddish-brown eyes stared right through her.
As she sat in the uncomfortable line of his inquisitive stare, the young man asked her in a troubled manner, “By ‘Ruri,’ you mean that Ruri, right?” Ruri mentally quipped in her mind, Yes, that Ruri. What other Ruri could there be? However, her mind wasn’t prepared for the next words that came out of his mouth. “The same Ruri who was summoned to Nadasha, right?”
“Huh…?” Why did he know that? There shouldn’t be anyone in the royal capital that knew that. She had even instructed the spirits to be careful not to tell Jade and the others that fact. So why was it that this young man knew where she came from? And the surprises didn’t end there.
“Why are you a cat now? You’re supposed to be human, aren’t you?”
Once she heard him say that, she could feel herself freeze over. She hadn’t even told Chelsie, the only other person who knew she could turn into a cat, that she was living as a cat in the capital. There wasn’t a single person around that knew that the human Ruri and the feline Ruri were one and the same—at least, there shouldn’t be. So to have some random person come from out of nowhere and guess her identity correctly left Ruri’s mind in utter chaos.
“Um, err, well, you see…” Ruri drooped her ears and tail and slowly started to walk backward. She was so flustered that she couldn’t even form words.
The more she thought that she needed to say something, the more flustered she became, with the only words coming to her mind being garbled nonsense.
Perceiving Ruri to be in danger from the way she was acting, the spirits floated in front of her to protect her and glared at the young man.
“Stop bullying Ruri, jerk!”
“You guys said that there wasn’t a dragonkin dumb enough to hurt a Beloved, you liars!” “Liars get punished!”
Panic started to dawn on the young man’s face as he realized that the spirits were perceiving him as a threat. “No, no, we weren’t lying. I wasn’t trying to bully her just now; I was just asking her some questions.”
“But look at how scared Ruri is!”
“Listen, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it. But anyone would want to ask a few questions if someone who was once a human being just showed up as a cat.”
The young man’s statement made it sound as though he knew her human form, making Ruri ask, “Do you know me?”
Relieved that Ruri had decided to engage in the conversation, the young man answered, “Yeah, I do. I’m an intel operative and I was doing some undercover work in Nadasha a while ago. I managed to see you around that time, so I know of you. I also saw you when you got carted off and exiled. Then I told the spirits to make sure to lead you to Grandma’s place. Did Grandma never tell you about me? The name’s Joshua.”
“Joshua…” Ruri repeated, pausing to think for a second. She remembered that Chelsie’s grandson had a name that sounded similar to that.
“Are you Chelsie’s grandson? And by extension, Claus-san’s son?”
“That’d be me. The one and only.”
Now that he mentioned it, Ruri did see the resemblance to Claus more clearly now. “So you know that I’m a human?”
“Sure do. I was originally off in Nadasha for undercover work, but you guys got summoned here in the middle of that. I was watching you guys from the very beginning, so I know pretty much everything about your circumstances from the second you arrived in this world. And I know that you’re a bona fide human. Truth is, I really did wanna go out and save you, but I had my work to do, so I left that task up to the spirits. I’m sorry I couldn’t step in to save you myself, though. Honest.”
Ruri couldn’t believe her ears—she was blown away that there was someone else who knew of everything that had happened to her, from the beginning… all the way to now.
And if the young man standing before her was the same one who’d advised the spirits to lead her to Chelsie’s house, then she owed him her life.
“No, no, thank you very much. Thanks to you directing them to take me to Chelsie-san’s, I was able to live a very cozy life—entirely free of any hardship. So, really, thank you very much.”
“Grandma can seem pretty uninviting, but I assume she was nice to you?” “Yes, she may appear uninviting, but she was a great and kind caretaker.”
“Thank goodness for that.” The corners of Joshua’s lips curled into a smile. He firmly pet her head then gave it a few gentle pats.
(I had thought that I was very unlucky to be brought to this world, but I’ve actually been extremely lucky. I’ve been getting help every step of the way this whole time.) Running into such warm and generous people was the greatest stroke of luck that Ruri could have asked for.
True, the help they gave her had much to do with her being a Beloved, but, on the other hand, she could’ve been captured by malicious people trying to use her for their own gains—by a nation like Nadasha, for instance. If she had come to this strange and unfamiliar world and been fed lies and manipulations, then she probably would have taken it all at face value.
All that could be said was that she was truly lucky.
The more she considered her narrow escape, the harder it was to contain her anger toward the Nadashians who’d brought her to this world. (No, they can’t get away with what they did…) Ruri thought, close to fury.
“So, anyway, why were you a human back in Nadasha but a cat here now?”
“Oh, yes, about that…” Ruri began to explain about the bracelet that turned her into a cat, about running into the street ruffians once she reached the royal capital, and about how she was forced to visit Claus as a cat because she ran into the same thugs the following day.
“Sounds like you had quite the ordeal. Public security in this nation is pretty good compared to some, but that doesn’t mean those types aren’t lurking around. I’m glad you made it to Dad’s safely, though. Otherwise, who knows what would have happened to the royal capital just because of a couple of hoodlums?” Joshua glanced over at the spirits. They were all gung-ho about attacking Joshua up until a minute ago, but now that he was having a calm conversation with Ruri, the spirits had quelled their anger and became docile.
“Um, Joshua-san? I do have a favor to ask of you.”
“Just ‘Joshua’ is fine. Probably a custom where you’re from, but no need for strange suffixes here. We’ll just keep it casual. Anyway, what is it?”
“I’d like it if you were to keep me being a human a secret. I haven’t told Jade-sama or Claus-san yet…”
Joshua cocked his head in confusion. “Why’s that? Is it because everyone already thinks that you’re a cat?”
“That’s right. I had initially planned on telling them that I’m a human right away, but Claus- san, you see…”
“You mean Dad?”
“He said that he was glad that I wasn’t a human Beloved… So I thought that I might be treated poorly here if I told him I was a human. I couldn’t find it in myself to do so.”
“Did Dad really say that?”
Joshua looked as if he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
Ruri didn’t want to believe either that someone as hospitable and kind as Claus would change his attitude toward her upon learning she was human, but she had no other option but to play things safe to protect herself. She was alone and vulnerable in the royal capital without Chelsie around.
“I don’t know what Dad meant by saying something like that, but Dad isn’t the kind of guy who discriminates just because someone’s human. Well, there are people who belong to the ‘dragonkin are superior’ camp, but that’s really only a small handful and Dad isn’t one of them, so I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t say anything even if you did tell him. I mean, he’d be taken aback sure, but…”
Ruri shared Joshua’s sentiments. She hadn’t heard Claus say anything derogatory concerning humans since that day, and Jade would likely be understanding if she explained the situation to him. She didn’t peg either as being the sort of narrow-minded people who based their attitude toward someone on their race, and it was probably a good idea to hurry and speak to them before this went on for much longer and got even more difficult… But a tiny sliver of worry still remained.
It was because they had built up such good relationships that the idea of them turning against her frightened her so much.
“Well, you can tell everyone once you feel sure enough that no one will freak out, alright?” “So you’ll keep my secret?”
“I mean, seems like Dad is the one to blame for all this in the first place. Best for you to say something when you’re most comfortable, yeah?”
“Mm-hmm, thank you, Joshua,” said Ruri. He ruffled her ears with playful roughness but looked at her with a gentle gaze.
He told her he’d been summoned to the royal office, so she headed down with him. When they came inside, they saw Claus and a clearly exhausted Jade working. Ruri used her feline jumping abilities and hopped onto Jade’s desk to get a better look at his face.
“Jade-sama, are you all right? You’re not looking so well.”
“Yes, I’m fine, nothing’s the matter.” Jade unfurrowed his tense brow and gently stroked Ruri’s fluffy little head. The small smile on Jade’s face brought an answering one to Ruri’s as she stood and let him pet her to his heart’s content.
Opposite the two of them, deaf to the world in their heartwarming moment, Claus handed Joshua a report which made the young man shout aloud.
“Aw c’mon! It doesn’t have to be me that does it! ’Sides, that’s diplomat’s work anyway!”
“You are the only one who doesn’t have his hands full right now. You’re perfectly capable of handling diplomatic matters, aren’t you? We certainly cannot send an inept escort to meet with the person who might be His Majesty’s future wife.”
“But we still don’t know it’s her for sure, right?” “Enough backtalk; just get to it.”
Ruri turned her attention to Joshua, who was grumbling with displeasure, and asked him, “Is something the matter? …Jade-sama’s future wife, you said?” Jade gave a sidelong grimace to the wall at Ruri’s question while Claus explained.
“We have been searching for the girl His Majesty was… smitten with at first sight, whom he met in the city, and we have had reports that a girl who matches her description has been carted off to a certain nation to be a slave. So, to solve this, we are sending Joshua over to meet and pick up the girl in question.”
Someone had a strong reaction to Claus’ explanation—but it wasn’t Joshua, it was Jade.
“Who are you saying was ‘smitten at first sight’? I simply said that I thought she was interesting; that’s all.”
“The elders are the ones saying that and the ones conducting the search,” Claus replied, prompting Jade to breathe a heavy sigh. “Well, regardless of whether or not she becomes your wife, a citizen of the Nation of the Dragon King was abducted and taken away by slave traders, so we are obliged to help them. Just like you said, we don’t know whether she actually is the right girl until we get His Majesty’s confirmation, so just make sure to keep any careless comments to yourself,” Claus warned Joshua.
“Yessir. Aye, aye, sir,” Joshua said sarcastically. He gave in and nodded, though his impatience with this task was written all over his face.
With that put to rest, Jade stood and picked Ruri up. “Taking a break,” was all he said as he exited the office, Ruri in his arms, and headed toward his private quarters. It was a place Ruri had never entered before.
As one would expect from the private quarters of a room used by Dragon Kings of yore, the room was luxurious and extravagant. Ruri looked around with extreme interest. In stark contrast, the bedroom connected to the parlor was decorated in darker colors, giving it a more subdued atmosphere. Ruri thought it better suited Jade’s personality.
Jade placed Ruri on the bed and began to undress. Ruri panicked and turned around.
In Jade’s eyes, Ruri was simply a cat that was capable of speech, so he wasn’t hesitant about changing in front of her. It was an act that was extremely bad for Ruri’s heart.
After Jade had changed into some simple loungewear—a shirt and trousers—he once again lifted Ruri up, climbed into bed, and lay down.
“Huh? Wha? Jade-sama?”
“I’ve been too tired to finish work recently. You’re soft, Ruri. Touching you helps relax me.”
His remarks bordered on sexual harassment, but again, to Jade, Ruri was just a cat. She tried to offer some half-hearted resistance, regardless.
“Just so you know, I am technically a nubile young girl…” “Don’t worry; I’m not into cats like that.”
She wondered what Jade would do if she were to tell him now that she was actually a human. The reasons it was difficult for her to come clean were stacking up.
It wasn’t very long before Ruri heard deep, regular breaths and looked at Jade’s face—his eyes were closed and he was fast asleep. He had Ruri firmly in his clutches, and she couldn’t really move. Soon, she reluctantly gave up on escaping his grip. Instead she watched Jade’s surreally beautiful face as he slept beside her and started to think.
(So Jade has someone that he likes…) She recalled the conversation she’d overheard the soldiers having earlier. She’d thought their talk was just baseless rumors. However, it didn’t seem to be a rumor—it seemed to be fact.
Well, since Jade was a very eligible man, it didn’t seem unlikely that he might have a person that he liked—or even a wife or two. She simply never considered Jade would have other women on his mind since he always came to Ruri when he had spare time, but seeing as how he was the Dragon King, it’d make sense that he was in high demand among the ladies. His reputation was good as well, from what she’d gathered. Jade’s reign as king was the very embodiment of peace, and his political decisions were said to be wise. She’d never heard even a single person voice contempt for him. Despite being their king, he was always friendly with his vassals and had a very charming and affable attitude.
Jade was fulfilling his role as king with flying colors, so it was silly to think that he wouldn’t have a girl he was romantically inclined toward.
As if to force these disheartening musings away, Ruri nestled next to Jade and fell into a somber slumber.
◆ ◆ ◆ ◆
It was before dawn, in the wee hours of the night, when Jade suddenly woke up. Sensing a presence other than his own, he turned to his side to investigate. There he found Ruri curled up and sound asleep, which brought a tender smile to his face. He ran his hand gently down her back, and his fingers were met with the delightful sensation of her soft, downy fur.
Poking at her nose caused her whiskers to flinch and twitch. Jade held back his laughter at this display of reflexes so as to not wake her. Though it seemed like no amount of poking would be waking her up anytime soon—she was fast asleep. Jade took the opportunity to take a long look at Ruri’s innocent, sleeping face.
He just watched her, which was all it took to bring an incredible sense of peace to his heart.
Jade had never thought that he would ever get to sleep next to a tiny animal, seeing as how he was a dragonkin, until Ruri showed up at his doorstep. In fact, he still couldn’t believe his luck. He’d dreamed of touching an animal’s soft and cuddly fur, but since dragonkin were so powerful, any animal that so much as sensed a dragonkin’s presence would turn tail and run before it could even be approached—much less touched.
When Jade heard that the Beloved was a cat, he’d been afraid that he would freak them out just like every other animal he’d ever come into contact with. The Nation of the Dragon King would finally have a Beloved, but it would have been for naught if Jade scared them so much they didn’t want to stay in the castle.
He’d worried over how to handle the situation, but contrary to Jade’s concerns, he was met with a Beloved who was relatively calm around him—he was met with Ruri.
Her eyes had twinged a little fearfully, but it was the fear of being suddenly brought to an unfamiliar place and being surrounded by unfamiliar people. That factor aside, Ruri had seemed unfazed by Jade. She neither tried to run away nor was she afraid even while surrounded by dragonkin.
She even granted him permission to touch her.
Touching a cat for the first time was an experience that he’d never forget. And it was hard not to find Ruri cute when she squinted her little eyes in delight at being pet, still completely calm and unfazed by his presence. Not to mention that being with her felt extraordinarily soothing, probably due to his wavelength being compatible with her’s to a degree that was very nearly frightening.
He limited how much time he spent with her out of a desire to give her space, but when he learned that Ruri felt just as comforted by his presence as he did by hers he was absolutely elated —all the more because he found everything about Ruri to be so adorable.
He thought to himself ruefully that he was acting like a sentimental old man doting over his first grandchild.
Disappointingly, it seemed that Ruri wanted little, and despite Jade’s best efforts to spend his wealth on her, she wasn’t willing to be spoiled—which didn’t sit well with Jade. She wouldn’t even play with the toy he toiled all night to make for her, despite him so badly wanting to see Ruri playfully pawing at it. Nevertheless, seeing her snow-white fur and wafting tail as she slept beside him was cute enough.
He could watch her like this for hours on end.
Although closed now, her eyes were like jewels—a beautiful shade of lapis lazuli blue. As Jade thought of this comparison, he was suddenly overcome with a case of déjà vu. He felt as though he had seen similar eyes somewhere before, but where exactly…? Jade desperately turned his mental gears until a memory surfaced.
(Aah, the girl those thugs were chasing…) He’d been more focused on her hair color when they met, but as he thought back on it he remembered that her eyes had been just as beautiful as Ruri’s.
Once he started likening her to Ruri, he suddenly found himself a little worried over the girl’s whereabouts. The same girl who might’ve been taken out of the country and sold off by slave traders. Jade knew that he had to act quickly in order to save her.
However, that wasn’t Jade’s sentiment as an individual, it was from his consideration for his people as the king of the nation. He had been interested in the mystery girl at first, but now there wasn’t a soul around who moved Jade’s heart more than Ruri did.
(Well, I guess I just have to leave it to Joshua, then.) Jade thought, reminding himself that they were already carrying out all the steps necessary for her rescue. Then he resumed his sweet slumber by Ruri’s side.