Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
The Lion King was often thought of as a fierce tormentor, but all of his closest retainers knew that he actually has a benevolent and gentle side.
He was especially weak to children, and if he saw a crying child, he couldn’t help but reach out to him or her at any time.
He was serious and strong, but also kind. The Lion King, who was also kind and gentle, was widely loved by his subjects as well as his people.
When Alvaro came out of Liore’s room, Guirus bowed to him as usual.
“…What the hell was that?”
“I’m sorry? Your Highness?”
Guirus was puzzled by Alvaro’s words, which were unexpected.
Alvaro hesitated a bit before speaking, then stroked his mane and shook his head.
“He’s just like a child.”
Today was the first time that Alvaro had seen Liore face to face. However, Alvaro had researched Liore’s reputation in Dirahangyen beforehand.
Some praised him for his appearance, calling him the “Black Jewel of Dirahangyen,” while others called him “the ruthless and merciless prince of magicians” or “the arrogant prince who flaunts his beauty and magic power.” In fact, ever since he moved into Huckins, he had been annoying Alvaro with all sorts of strange orders. He thought that he was the arrogant and spoiled young prince that he had heard so much about until this moment when he actually saw the real thing.
“All I could smell from him was fear and sadness.”
Many beastmen had a keen sense of smell, but for Alvaro, a lion, this was particularly so. He could not only easily grasp the scent of things, but he could also detect emotions and other subtleties of the heart. Of course, he couldn’t sense every emotion, but he could detect strong emotions, even when they were being hidden.
He could sense emotions that were relatively easy to understand in Liore, who had been crying and expressing his emotions. He was clearly “frightened”, “sad”, and “confused.” There was no hint of animosity toward Huckins or Alvaro at all, nor was there any impression of arrogance or an intent to make a fool of him.
Guirus’ nose was not equipped with the same abilities as Alvaro’s. After hearing Alvaro’s words, Guirus tried to picture Liore and how he’s been.
“Frightened, huh? Whenever I visited his room, he didn’t move his face much, so I couldn’t notice it.”
“There are times when reputation and reality diverge, but even so, it’s too far removed from what people have told me about him.”
Alvaro put his hand on his chin and stroked it to comb the fur as he started thinking.
“How is His Royal Highness?”
“He’s crying himself to sleep. When he wakes up, get him some hot soup or something. He’s pretty hungry.”
Guirus’ eyes widened slightly at Alvaro’s words, then he bowed his head, “I understand.”
When Alvaro came to his room, Liore was lying curled up on his bed. The fact that he was laying on the bed so comfortably after trying to escape from the house added fuel to the fire of Alvaro’s anger.
Alvaro’s first words were, “What do you think you’re doing?” He yelled at Liore.
Liore jolted up at the sound of the voice and looked at Alvaro in a daze. And then he added, “What the hell do you want? Why are you taunting me like that?” Liore stared at Alvaro through the gap between his long bangs, and just when Alvaro thought that tears were slowly coming to Liore’s eyes, he did indeed begin to cry in a flash.
The reaction was so unexpected that Alvaro was puzzled. He had thought that Liore would be happy to see him being defiant or angry.
Yet, he was sobbing and whimpering like a child. A much smaller and weaker being stood in front of him, shaking and saying “I’m scared” and “I’m sad” with his entire body. Alvaro hated seeing crying children above all else. He couldn’t bare his fangs at the sight of Liore, who was crying as much as he was.
No, considering what he had done so far, he could have torn him to pieces with his claws (in fact, Alvaro was prepared for a bit of a fight), but that didn’t happen.
What could he say? From Alvaro’s point of view, Liore was very, very…
(What a poor, pitiful figure…)
He was as frail, thin, and pitiful as a bird with its feathers plucked. He couldn’t help but feel sorry for him.
In some ways, Alvaro felt as if he had been struck by lightning. Of course, he had seen humans before, but this was the first time he had seen one so frail and fragile.
The fact that there was such a disparity between this current situation and the previous information affected him even more. He had assumed that some unsavory “human” would be waiting for him based on the rumors and his previous actions. But when he lifted the lid, or rather, opened the door, what he discovered was this.
Of course, Alvaro had no desire to tear apart crying children, nor did he have the time to pick fights with people who were not hostile.
No, he should have just left the crying Liore alone, but Alvaro didn’t. He found himself wrapping Liore in his own kingly fur for some reason. He cradled him in his arms, as if to comfort him.
Alvaro shook his head slowly, as if to stop himself from thinking too deeply.
“Either way, it’s a fact that he planned to escape. We can’t allow that to happen. Starting tomorrow, be sure to apply a lock on the room from the outside.”
“Arrange for the Palace’s magic blocker to be upgraded, just in case. By the end of the evening. He already tried today, but that doesn’t mean nothing else will occur.”
“We’ll decide what to do with this matter later. Originally, I’d be happy to turn him over to Dirahangyen…”
Alvaro combed his nails through his mane, which had been disheveled by Liore’s touch, while giving instructions to Guirus. Guirus nodded earnestly and replied to each one.
Alvaro, who had just finished speaking, cleared his throat with a gurgling cough. He then asked Guirus,
“…Isn’t that guy cold?”
He said something a little too fast and so out of context that even the perceptive Guirus had to clarify.
Alvaro gazed into the distance and muttered in a slightly angry tone, still speaking quickly as he cleared his throat.
“So that’s it.”
“Do you mean His Royal Highness, Your Royal Highness?
“That’s right. With such a hairless body, isn’t he cold? He was only wearing a thin sheet.”
He remembered the feeling of him wrapping his arms around him. His small, thin, hairless body was sleek and smooth. It must have been the cold that made him shiver in Alvaro’s arms. That must be it, Alvaro reasoned.
“Yes, I’ll have the bedding brought in right away.”
There was a pause in Guirus’ reply to Alvaro. The king’s words had been so unexpected.
He had no idea what happened just a few moments ago between the king and queen. However, the king, who had been furious with him, was now caring for him for some reason.
He was not sure where this concern about the cold would lead to, but whatever it was, the king was worried about the queen.
“Well… make sure it’s as light as possible. That’s… he’s going to get crushed if it’s heavy.”
This time, he responded without a pause, but a small sense of certainty came over Guirus.
“Your Majesty, where would you like to stay tonight?”
“That’s enough for today. Let him sleep.”
“Feed him soup as soon as he wakes up. The stay will be… after tomorrow.”
The king had clearly taken an interest in the human queen. And this interest appeared to be a protective desire as if he were guarding a chick that had fallen out of the nest.
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