“Your Majesty.”

As he called himself, Russell lifted the hood that was covering his face.

Even in the dark, Russell's appearance was brilliantly revealed.

You wield the sword so mercilessly towards me.”

“…I thought it was prey.
I apologize, Your Majesty.”

“It's alright, because it was the same for me.
But how did the duke get this deep into the forest?”

“Ah! Down there, in the forest…”

Elliot met Rose's gaze and opened his mouth to reply that he was looking for shelter from the rain.

But before he could utter a word, a small figure rushed past him.

“Your Majesty!”

Elliot stared at the back of Rose as she ran past him to Russell with her long blonde hair and the hem of her dress flying.

Russell's eyes widened when he caught sight of Rose.

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“Your Majesty! You're lost too!”

“Rose? Rose, why are you here?”

“That, that…
I came to the mountain by chance and got lost.
I was looking for a place to hide from the rain with Duke Proud.”

“What? Where did you get hurt? Game still roams this mountain, and you were completely soaked in the rain.”

Russell clicked his tongue as he looked over at Rose, who was drenched in the rain.
He hesitated for a moment as he tried to remove the cloak he was wearing.

A dress that was already wet from the rain would be heavy, but Russell's cloak was even heavier.

“If I put this on, I won't be able to go far, and I'll tip over.”

Rose waved her hands.

“I'm alright.
I'm more concerned that His Majesty might catch a cold from this cold rain.”

“I'm strong, so I've never caught a cold.
Rather, I'm worried about Rose.
Come here.”

Russell lifted the cloak he was wearing.

It can't be helped that you're already wet, but if you cover yourself under my cloak, you will be able to avoid the rain.

It was Elliot's outstretched arm that stopped Rose, who hesitantly headed toward Russell's arms.

“Your Majesty.
I can't see my fiancée leaving in the arms of another man.”

Russell's narrowed eyes turned to Elliot.

“Then you want to tell Rose to stay in the rain? And you haven't had your engagement ceremony yet, and even that will be canceled.”

“But it hasn't been canceled yet, so we call it the prospective fiancée.
So take that arm away.”

“Duke Proud, what if I don't withdraw my arm at the Duke's will? I don't know exactly where I can get shelter from the rain, but until then, will Rose continue to get wet?”

“Then take off your cloak and hand it over.”

A deep sigh escaped Russell's mouth.

“Okay, okay.
Is this acceptable?”

Russell took off his cloak and placed it over his and Rose's heads.

Although Rose avoided falling into Russell's arms, the two remained close.

Elliot nodded.

“It's fine.”

After giving a satisfactory answer, Elliot lifted the cloak draped over Russell's arm.

Before Russell could even stop, Elliot tucked himself into the cloak.

“Wait, Duke! What good is this doing? It's too small for the three of us to hide from the rain with a cloak.”

“I might catch a cold if I continue to get caught in the rain.”

“What?! That doesn't even make sense.
Aren't you a person with good stamina even if it rains all day?”

Rose shrugged as she watched the two arguing overhead.

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Russell's cloak was large, but not enough to cover the two stout men and the little Rose.

Caught between two tall people, Rose thought vaguely.

…Perhaps the beasts that are said to have been released on the mountain are actually these two.

Thanks to Russell's coat, I've avoided getting any more raindrops on me, but I'm shivering.
I've been exposed to the cold temperature for too long.

Rose couldn't help but let out a small sneeze.


The sound of Rose's small sneeze silenced the two men, who were growling at each other like ferocious beasts.

The silence fell in an instant, and Rose covered her nose and mouth with her hand and rolled her eyes to look at Russell and Elliot alternately.

She awkwardly lowered her hand and pointed forward.

“Well, then…
Shall we go?”

Russell and Elliot each supported Rose on either side, moving along with her stride.

A strange energy began to flow between the three, who still couldn't find a place to hide from the rain.

No one said a word as the three people walked, and the rain showed no signs of stopping.

It was Elliot who finally broke through the silence and spoke.

“Your Majesty, do you know a place to seek shelter from the rain?”

I've never been to this side of the mountain, so I don't know, but I looked at the map before climbing the mountain.
If you go in this direction, there will be a cave ahead.”

After walking for some time in the direction Russell pointed, a large cave appeared, just as he had said.

A sigh of relief escaped the three of them at the same time.

The entrance to the cave was quite large.
The rain and wind hit the entrance, but fortunately they were completely sheltered from the rain due to the depth of the cave.

However, the wind was still strong, and a fire could not be lit.

Elliot started a fire with a match he had been carrying with him for emergencies, but the wet branches and wind made it a difficult task to achieve.

He clicked his tongue and threw the match away.

“It couldn't catch fire.
I guess I'll have to find a dry branch or wait for the wind to die down.”

Russell, who had been staring into the darkness of the endless cave, turned at Elliot's report.

There will be no dry branches.
When the wind calms down a bit, I'll tear off a part of my clothes and set them on fire.”

Russell, who had spread the cloak the three of them shared on the floor, looked at Rose.
Her lips had turned blue.

He stepped up to her and put his palm on her cheek.

“Your cheeks are cold, Rose.
Take off your coat.
If you keep wearing wet clothes, your body temperature will drop more and more.”

“Ugh, yes.”

Rose removed her overcoat.

She may have worn a winter dress, but as she was supposed to be only in the greenhouse, Rose's dress was thin compared to other winter clothes.

Looking at the trembling figure with her arms wrapped around her, Russell took off his inner coat.

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