Chapter 32:

The Tale of Yori-sama and Sir Keiichi

My childhood friend ran away from home and now I have to share a room with her?!

"Oh great Yori-sama, I, your faithful and devoted Knight Sir Keiichi, humbly offer thee the finest iced cherry juice I could find in the entire world, riding day and night through unimaginable hardships in order to get this delivered to you, my beautiful princess."

Koyori's stunned face is absolutely priceless as I recite my terribly wordy lines, her initial reaction prompting me to keep up the act for as long as I can somehow endure and wing it.

"Now let us indulge ourselves in the freshness of this drink, shall we?"

Submissively, I kneel down in front of her, handing her the juice.

"Oh, thank you very much, Sir Keiichi. A plain young maiden such as myself is hardly deserving of such noble devotion."

She merrily plays along, sending a meaningful glance in my direction.

"Thus, Yori-c - I mean Lady Koyori, self-proclaimed cutest princess of these lands, shall humbly grant you, Sir Keiichi, a wish. What can a young maiden such as myself offer your knightship in exchange for your delicious gift?"

I'm trying hard not to laugh out loud. The whole situation is utterly comical and yet strangely serious.

A wish, huh? Well, I'll humor you then…

"Lady Koyori, then may I humbly request your hand?” I ask without thinking first, now forced to wing it from there. “Let us ride into the sunset in sweet togetherness and I shall be yours forever."

Koyori's face lights up at this.

"Then, from this day, my heart shall belong to you alone, your knightship."

Koyori takes a pose, extending her arms in a manner that could only mean one thing.

Wait, are we going to take it this far?!

Koyori's soft hands suddenly enclose my own. A kick of adrenaline is rushing into my veins. I'm holding hands with a girl IN PUBLIC AHHHHHH.

"Sir Keiichi, you are the best," she whispers quietly before tugging at my arms which makes me lose my balance, sinking right into her, my head suddenly finding itself pressed tightly against her chest.

Forget what I said earlier, I’m not ready to touch her in weird places so casually yet.

"AH, I WAS JUST ACTING MY PRINCESS, MY BODY IS NOT YET READY FOR YOUR GREATNESS, NOW FREE ME FROM THE SHACKLES OF YOUR HOLY ARMS, AHHHHHH!!!" I scream in utter panic as my head rests on a certain bulging feature of her body.

Suddenly, Koyori, too, falls over onto her back like a turtle, sharp laughter erupting from her entire body. I find myself tumbling over as well, my head no longer pressed against a gentle hillscape but instead landing on a quivering stomach.

Suddenly, I can't be bothered by the people around us giving us stares. Before long, I'm holding my hurting stomach, laughing like I've never laughed in my life before until it turns into a nasty stomach cramp.

After what feels like an eternity, I finally manage to get my spasms under control. Our eyes meet and…

… we're laughing again.

Little later, we're thrown out of the public pool area.

And just to be clear: NO I DID NOT CONFESS TO HER, I WAS A. C. T. I. N. G.


"Well, that went well," I comment on our situation drily. We’re standing in the afternoon heat like toys at a lost-and-find that no one cared to pick up, pondering what to do.

"I was actually going to invite you to the waterslide paradise but I guess that's no longer possible. Dang, I've never been suspended before…"

Koyori spins around merrily though, beaming a look of appreciation my way.

"That's alright, we can just come back tomorrow,” she argues weakly but even Koyori can’t entirely hide her disappointment. Nevertheless, Koyori wouldn’t be Koyori if she didn’t have some cracked things to say in response.

"You, sir, have made your Highness’ day already. There's not a single thing your cute princess desires except…"

Her gaze ping-pongs between her hands and mine for a bit until it hits me.

Oh, she's still not done role-playing? Well, actually why not…

"Just to clarify," I announce somewhat nervously as I offer her my hand. "I was just acting s-so… Uhm…"

Koyori beams at me as she gently surrounds the hand I offer her with both of hers. A terrible heat climbs into my face which isn't left on Yori. After all, you can still hug someone without it being romantic but it gets a lot harder to argue about that with handholding…

"Yes, and Yori-chan was playing along, tehehe."

After some hearty snickers, she adds more seriously.

"Kei-kun is really good at acting so Yori-chan couldn't resist."

Our gazes meet, her sparkling green eyes burning holes into my dark blue orbs.

She's totally trolling me, right? She's acting like someone who's sticking her head into the clouds after something great has happened. Then again…

I spin around, the fingers of my sweaty left hand nervously grasping her right one.

I'm nervous but… right now I'm holding her hand because I want to and she is holding mine because she wants to. Besides, I have a duty to fulfill…

"Oh gorgeous princess,” I proclaim, back in roleplay mode. “Those heavenly gates may have denied us entry but rest assured that I shall accompany you on our journey back home. Until the demon lord at my house lays sight on the two of us, I shall swear to remain in tight connection with you, my lady."

I can feel Koyori's fingers tighten around mine as she showers me with an angelic grin.

"My dear Knight, please lead the way." 

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