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Kiss the Black Cat 3
Nobody other than the royal family knew of it, but actually, in this tower where the Technological Magic Order resided, there existed a mechanism that directly connected to the King. From the past, whenever there had been a situation where a problem arose that couldn’t be taken care of by the Royal Palace Magic Order, the King would personally contact us. Everyone in the Order said that Tech Order might have most probably been a secret Magic Order, originally formed exclusively for the royal family.
Incidentally, the last time there had been a correspondence was a few years ago, and its contents were a request to make a tool to liven up the nightlife with the Queen; it was extremely vulgar talk, but still, it was an important task.
It was the leader’s job to personally talk to the King. Captain, who had a drowsy look, rushed to the communication room in surprise when the signal of communication from the king came.
We, who were left behind, looked uneasily at each other’s faces.
The communication from the king was the greatest happening in this tower.
After a while, the leader came out of the room. While scratching the white hairs growing on his chin, he made a sullen face.
And then, as he was beckoning everyone in the room with his hands, we each stopped what we were doing and stood up and gathered in front of Captain with some bustle.
I wonder if everyone had a bad premonition, but the atmosphere in the room felt heavy. Receiving everyone’s clammy gaze, Captain sluggishly opened his mouth.
「Just now, there was a request from the king.」
‘Gulp’, the sound of someone swallowing their spit was heard.
「It was a request that he wants to ask us to be His highness Chennel’s guard behind the scenes too.」
The moment leader said that, everyone let out sighs simultaneously. As there were no sounds of surprise, maybe everyone had already predicted it in their hearts.
「It’s not as if he doesn’t trust the Knight Order and the Royal Palace Magic Order, but the king is a cautious person. Everyone else is busy now, so he must have thought that we have room to be able to easily do it. Moreover, His highness Chennel is a person with a nervous disposition, so if he stays close to guards all day, he might not be able to sleep at night. Therefore, he requested us to be his guards for the night.」
Then, Captain looked at me. I had a bad premonition.
「When I consulted with the king, I said it. We have just the person for this. Nidel!」
「Aah, …It’s me after all…」
With a thud, I fell to my knees. I knew that the people around heaved a sigh of relief on knowing that the work hadn’t come around to them. I too wanted to heave that sigh in relief!
「The king is bothered by the Royal Palace Magic Order, so it’s an agreement only between us and the king. You, stay close to His Highness Chennel at night for this one month. You have your animal transformation magic that you’re good at. And you can use offensive magic too, you’ll surely meet the minimum for a guard.」
I ambiguously nodded. Certainly, I’m good at my magic of transforming into animals. You could also say that I extraordinarily good at it. It was talent second to none in this country. However, I had not told it to the people around. No one other than my colleagues knew of it.
If the fact that I specialise in this magic gets out, I’ll be forced to do espionage as and when required, and there’s the chance that if the enemy saw any animal, they’d suspect it to be me.
Due to that, I hid the one thing I specialised best at. It was to the extent where occasionally, when I would be free, I’d become a bird and fly in the sky to release my accumulated stress, and when my things fell in places my hands couldn’t reach, I’d turn into an animal that made it possible and recover them. I didn’t have ways other than that that I could use it for. I can use magic quite well, so there’s no need for me to especially feel tired.
「Every night, for a month, I see…」
「It can’t be helped, there’s no one else suitable for this job. In exchange, you can rest easy in the afternoon.」
Wouldn’t be nice to have some rest…thinking so, I looked into the distance. Certainly, in the midst of being so busy, it’d be hard to tell someone to devote themselves to only being a bodyguard, even for me.
「Understood. Because it’s a request from the king, it cannot be refused…」
When I said that, resigning myself to my fate, the people around said words like 「You spoke well」, 「Nidel, do your best…」in a perfunctory manner.
Captain had long returned to his work, for I had agreed.
「How should I get closer to the Prince, I wonder?」
「You have to transform into an animal the prince would like, and then enter the room.」
Hunon and everyone else pondered with me.
「An animal a 7 year old prince would like…a dog?」
「A bird won’t enter a room…Which one is Nidel good at?」
「It’s not as if I’m particularly good at one…well, but it’d be nice to be one that’s easy to move in, being a bodyguard.」
If an assassin actually appears, I’ll return to my human for (I can’t use offensive magic in my animal form), and it would be nice to have an animal that could move about accordingly.
I scratched my chin and thought. Various animals crossed my mind, but the one I decided on in the end was――.
「Well, cat it is.」
「That’s right, they think there’s the danger of being bitten, and not let you come close to the prince if you’re a dog?」
Hunon nodded. Because there were completely fascinated voices raised by the people around, I thought for a bit, and then snapped my fingers.
「It’s a catー, a black catー」
「Nidel’s transformation magic is always perfect, no matter when I look at it…」
Everyone surrounded me, I who had turned into a cat. When I became a cat, everyone looked gigantic, and I shrugged my shoulders in my heart. Maybe it wasn’t seen as anything more than a twitch with my catlike body.
「…But it seems a bit uncute. Or should I say rude.」
「…Nidel’s personality comes out that way.」
「I wonder if the prince will like it. Couldn’t you make it a bit more kitten-like?」
At my colleagues, who said what they felt like, in a murmuring tone, I was annoyed. I thought for a bit, and with a jump, called again for my magic.
「Ooh, he became a kitten…」
「Isn’t he cute…」
「It’s a cuteness unthinkable of Nidel…」
Voices of admiration leaked out from the surroundings, and my colleagues who had been standing up until now crouched all at once and stretched their hands out towards me. It seems the loveliness of my appearance made them want to pat. Humans are self-interested. I, who was hated, was at their mercy as a kitten.
「Nidel, if it’s like that, then you’ll be too powerless. You’ll be trampled before you can become a bodyguard.」
Because Hunon calmly interfered, I who intended to completely agree, thought a bit, and once again called upon my magic.
This time, it was a bit more grown-up than a kitten, but not exactly an adult; a supple young cat. It was ideal for moving about.
「Hm, this is good. It’s quite cute, and seems nimble too.」
After getting permission from Hunon, I groomed my fur that had been patted quite roughly by my colleagues. I hadn’t transformed much as of late, but I spent the whole day in transforming in my teens, so I was well versed in the art of pretending to be an animal.
「Make hay while the sun shines. Show yourself to the prince at once.」
At Hunon’s hasty order, I raised my voice in dissatisfaction with a 「Nyaー」, and reached an understanding with an “I see”. It’ll be hard to find a way of being liked by the prince before becoming a bodyguard, and not be thought of as suspicious by the other guards.
Saying「Nyaー」, and expressing my consent, I nimbly ran out of the room. From behind me, powerless cheers of my colleagues saying 「Do your best」were heard.