Princess Sherry's Tale - Chapter 2.1
“Bigger than you, my lord?”
In response to Sherri’s blunt inquiry, Hans scratched the back of his neck with an embarrassed look on his face.
“Of course, I’m above average, but I’m the kind of person who competes with technique more so than size.”
Sherri’s small, moist lips slowly parted. That must mean he’s much bigger than Hans, and he even said it with such seriousness… It stoked her curiosity. Exactly what scale could make the biggest womanizer in the Mihalshel fiefdom humble?
Out of curiosity, Sherri, without realizing she was doing so, raised her frail hands in the air and tried to make an estimate. It shall not be deemed as impressive if it all fit inside her hand. This much? Or more than that?
Looking at her, Hans chuckled. He took Sherri’s hands and brought them down. He said, “Save that thought to enjoy later. Do you remember what I told you a while back?”
“I know what you’re referring to. You said that the pleasure of taking one’s time to gain something coveted outweighs the enjoyment of gaining it right away, yes?”
Even as she spoke, Sherri could not erase the disgruntled expression on her face. The words would be fitting if there were a man to make her feel this ‘pleasure’ they were talking about. Despite her appearance, she had never properly seduced anyone. Up until now, she’d only had experienced men who immediately clung to her, asking for her embrace, after meeting her eyes once.
Aren’t men alike? she thought, any man is like any other man. Even so, since he was a virgin at that age with no experience with women, would he hold out for a few hours?
Over the head of the red-haired lady who smelled strongly of rich, alluring roses, Hans’ face twisted into a smirk. Then I’m sure you can forgive me this once for my bad mood, Miss Sherri.
“You must be my new guard, Lord Tol. I’m sure you’re familiar with my name from hearing it often, but it is Kasheira O. Mihalshel, your future leader.” Sherri batted her long, dark eyelashes. They were so lavish that even the sight of her fluttering lashes was boundless in their elegance and beauty. Plus, until now nine out of ten men had been won over by a glance like that.
“It’s an honor to meet you, your royal highness, Princess Kasheira. I am Tolcher Begoti, the sixth son from the house of Count Begoti. Please, call me ‘Tolcher’.”
Is he part of that remaining one? She’d heard he wasn’t immune to women, so Sherri had expected him to be shy. However he seemed to be the type to act stiffly and maintain strict boundaries.
However, rather than feel offended by this attitude Sherri found her curiosity rising. That may have been because his appearance was even more magnificent than she expected. Looking at him up close, the boy was indeed beautiful. Actually, she thought, since he’s two years my elder, perhaps he’s a beautiful man.
As she had sensed from the beginning, he seemed like the exact embodiment of ‘the standards of knighthood’. His blue-green hair, shorter than was typical of noble sons, was arranged neatly at the nape of his neck.
If Hans was an attractive man, Tolcher’s appearance seemed almost inhuman. To the point that if his ears had been pointed one might mistake him for the legendary elves, famed for their beauty.
Sherri, who rarely paid much attention to how others looked, let her gaze linger. She’d had a strange impression that he was the kind of man who drew gazes to himself, but looking at him up close, there were also parts of him that stimulated her. Was his exceptionally stiff attitude part of the reason he reacted unlike other men?
With that, Sherri’s eyes slid past his face and skimmed over his broad shoulders and chest. Her new guard seemed even taller than the taller-than-average Hans. She had to crane her neck quite a bit to look at him.
With vast shoulders and an impressively muscular body that even the knight’s attire did not hide, this man had yet to be touched by a woman…
With that face, and that body, you mean to tell me you’ve spent your life focusing solely on swordsmanship?
A naturally exquisite physique, an innate athleticism, excellent skills with swords, and a tenacity that others could only admire; she’d heard he possessed it all. With that kind of talent he could easily overpower his peers. Thanks to this, he was an unsurprising choice for Sherri’s new guard despite his relative youth. Lord Hans, who used to serve as her escort, joined the imperial knights on the recommendation of the Marquis, and the position had become vacant.
Sherri was reluctant to pry her eyes away, despite having observed him for a time. Then, she spoke with a slight coyness in her voice.
“Is that so? Everyone close to me calls me Sherri. Uh, I’d like it if you called me that too, Lord Tol…”
“That would be absurd, Your Highness. Also, I’d be more comfortable if you called me ‘Tolcher’.”
Her new guard answered immediately as if he had been waiting to do so. Someone who knew him well would have probably realized he was nervous. However Sherri could not know this, and her expression turned sulky.
He showed no reaction to her coy tone, and he was declining to call her by her name? And that firmly?
Even his firmly clamped mouth gave no sign of opening again. Eyeing the silent ‘Tol’, whose eyes were cast down, Sherri’s pout deepened.
“If you do what you usually do and lunge at him recklessly, the man will run away.”
Indeed, it was as Lord Hans had said. It was her first time meeting this kind of person with such a distinguished face as he had. So, how on earth was she to go after a man with such solid walls in place?
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