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Lest gently taps his fingers against Arthur's desk as he stares at the other blond, only stopping when Arthur turns back ‘round and sits himself down with a new batch of documents. “Hey, Art,” he calls softly, and the bespectacled young man raises his head, a patient smile on his lips.

“Yes, Lest?”

“How..” Lest starts slowly, feeling his heart rise to his throat, nervous, “How do I become the actual prince of Selphia?” It comes out soft, and Arthur's honey pink eyes widen in surprise, and then that smile of his turns warm, kind. It makes his heart catch and swell, and he has to resist the urge to react the way his heart wants.

“You mean, in an official sense?” Arthur questions, earning a small nod, “I suppose if you had a document with Lady Ventuswill's signature on it, no one would question you if she were to not be here, when someone comes from the capital.. Currently, you have her word, which is no problem while she remains in town.”

No one wants to question the word of a Divine Dragon. Not when she is still around, anyway.

“.. but it'd be difficult to get a dragon's signature..” Arthur realises, smiling sheepishly as he adjusts his glasses.

Venti cannot quite hold a quill in her claws; she is unfortunately far too big.

“Why the sudden interest? You've always done a good job, Lest. The others already accept you as prince,” he asks, curious now.

Lest feels his heart swell a bit more, and he bites back a smile at that.

If Arthur’s constant praise is anything to go by, he is doing quite a good job almost entirely on his own. Arthur really makes him feel as if he is an actual prince at times, when he talks about how well he has done, about how much he has already helped Selphia prosper. Apparently, all he has done has already brought more tourists than Selphia has seen in years. Frey does not help much with the ‘royal’ business, but with her help, the two of them have been able to build small shops and improve their farm together, allowing for more money to flow into town.

Flushing, the acting prince shifts in front of Arthur’s desk, violet eyes slipping for a moment. Brushing a tuft of platinum blond behind his ear, his fingers linger over the charm Venti had given him; he uses it as an earring, though it is a little difficult to see with his hair usually covering it. “There's.. something I can't do, unless I'm an actual prince,” he says, managing a small, sheepish smile, “This will mean that I have noble lineage, right?” It is hard not to say exactly what he wants to say; if he is any clearer, Arthur might catch on when it is too early.

Arthur nods at that, starting to sort through his documents.

They are covered in insignias unfamiliar to Lest, and he cannot imagine how hard it must be to be a prince of the capital. Arthur is always terribly busy, and it is difficult for him to get days off from the sheer amount of work he has to do. Thankfully, he has gotten better at taking care of himself these past three years – he no longer works himself to exhaustion, not wanted to be chastised by Margaret or Porcoline, and, by his own admission, reluctant to worry Lest.

“With Lady Ventuswill's official blessing, anyone would be forced to recognise you as nobility,” Arthur says simply, raising his head again to return Lest's smile, “What is it you'd like to do? I'd be happy to help.”

Lest hesitates, unsure of how he should word it. “I, um.. like.. someone..” he says carefully, shifting again. Trying to catch Arthur’s honey pink eyes, he watches as the other blond freezes up in what seems to be surprise. “I can’t.. pursue a relationship, as I am right now,” he adds, hoping he is not being too obvious.

“I.. see..”

“So.. all I need is Venti’s statement in writing?” Lest questions, excited now, unable to help the way his heart starts to pick up in his chest. With this, he will finally be able to confess to the person he has liked for quite some time now; it will mean no one will think their relationship is for gain. “I can bring the document back here and you’ll officiate it for me?” he asks, clasping his hands together.

Arthur nods again, another small smile making its way to his lips. It looks as sheepish as Lest’s does. “Yes, Lest. I’d be happy to help,” he says, and Lest beams , visibly happy.

“I’ll see you after work tomorrow, then!” Lest hums, pulling on his winter coat, “Have a good night, Art!”


 

Arthur feels his honey pink eyes widen in surprise upon finding the acting prince of Selphia asleep in the office he is currently borrowing – taking a few steps inside, he shuts the door behind him, taking care to do it quietly but quickly in an effort to keep the blistering cold wind out. “I.. suppose he did say he would come see me,” he murmurs to himself as he unwraps the scarf ‘round his neck, slowly approaching Lest. There is a slight ache in his heart as he catches sight of the pink sapphire ring he had given the other on his last birthday –

The ache increases tenfold when he sees that Lest is covered in scratches, clothes torn and bloodied and covered in dirt yet again. “Lest..?” he calls softly, worried as he walks over, reaching forward to try and shake him awake. Something slick greets his fingers, and Arthur instantly pulls away, alarmed. “Lest!” he calls, louder now, and the acting prince sits up with a jolt, raising his head in shock.

“O.. oh, Art,” Lest greets.

It comes out soft and a bit slurred, and the smile that forms on his lips is visibly tired.

“I was tired, so.. I ended up falling asleep, here..”

Arthur sits himself beside the other, gently taking Lest’s arm in hand. “You’re.. bleeding, Lest.. Why didn’t you go see Nancy and Jones like you usually do?” he asks softly, tracing a thumb under the gash in Lest’s arm.

It is not bleeding that much, but it does look painful; it is a complete surprise that Lest did not get this properly taken care of by the clinic.

When a hurt look flickers across Lest’s face, Arthur immediately releases the other and whispers a soft apology, guilt causing his heart to ache. “Wait here,” he says, “I’ll grab my first aid kit and bandage you up.” Making a mental note to grab a few health potions, too, he gets up and brushes a tuft of Lest’s platinum blond hair from his face. It has bits of dirt and grass in it, though, thankfully , there does not seem to be any blood in it.

“Alright,” Lest says, his warm smile returning, though it seems as if he may fall back to sleep any second now. Today has obviously completely exhausted him, though it is hard to tell where exactly he went today; there are far too many monsters capable of the damage Lest has taken, with their claws and teeth and magick.

Arthur cannot help but worry. Lest, unlike his older sister, does not go into battle with a protective shield. Compared to her, he is a hundred times more cautious, but his Snow Crown does not offer much protection with only its blade.

Reaching down under his desk, Arthur grabs a few green health potions and the first aid kit, taking care not to drop any of the vials as he holds them to his chest in one arm. They are not particularly heavy, but the glass is quite fragile; they would shatter and spill even on the rug. It would bode well to order stronger vials. “Do you hurt anywhere else, Lest?” he asks as he walks back over, setting the potions on the coffee table and the kit between the two of them.

Lest shakes his head as he holds out his arm, and Arthur glances again at the pink sapphire ring. It is caked in a bit of blood, but that will wash off very easily; all Lest needs to do is bathe or wash his hands whilst still wearing the ring.

Unable to help but keep glancing upward at the acting prince’s face, Arthur finds his heart a nervous mess in his throat. The ring was meant to be a romantic gift, truthfully –

– but judging from what Lest had said yesterday.. it seems he already has someone else in mind.

The two of them have spent quite a bit of time together, these past three years, and though Arthur was reluctant at first to admit it, he likes Lest. With each day that passes, he falls the smallest bit harder.

Lest has one of those sweet, warm smiles on his lips as Arthur dabs a potion soaked cotton ball against the gash in his arm.

It does not seem to hurt. Arthur is careful, listening for any winces, looking for any flinches, waiting for Lest to tense up. “You need to be more careful..” he murmurs, and Lest makes a soft sound, like stifled laughter.

“I can always count on you to take care of me, if I get injured,” Lest says, violet eyes widening a moment later. With his uninjured arm he pulls something from his cloak; it seems to be a bit difficult for him, and Arthur releases Lest’s other arm to allow him an easier time. It takes a moment, but the acting prince pulls out a rather large rolled piece of parchment, and Arthur recognises what it is. “I brought you this! You can sign it for me, can’t you?” he asks, visibly eager now, “And then.. I can finally ask you on a date.”

“P.. pardon me, Lest?”

Tan face flushing, Lest unravels the parchment for the other, showing him what seems to be Lady Ventuswill’s claws making small markings in ink on the parchment, acting as a sort of signature from her. Then, in his own neat handwriting, are the details designating him as prince of Selphia; it seems as if he was instructed on what to write, given the slightly complicated wording. “Will.. you go on a date with me, Art? Now that I’m a real prince.. no one can say I’m trying to use you, or.. try to deny the fact that I don’t actually like you..”

Arthur feels his heart catch, and he manages a small nod. Slowly, he realises why Lest had wanted to officiate his position as the prince of Selphia; he must think himself a ‘normal’ person, someone not yet in the correct position to date someone from the royal family. Lest may be worried by what the people in the capital might think, or what Arthur’s family will think, if they hear that the thirteenth prince of Norad is found to have gone out with a ‘normal’ person. “Of course I’ll go on a date with you, Lest,” he whispers, tone soft, affectionate, “I’ve been waiting for you to ask.”

Lest lights up, extending his arm again. The gash in his arm looks a little better, now.

Picking up another cotton ball, soaking it in more green potion, Arthur continues to clean it up.

“When you’re done bandaging me up.. we could take a walk to the lake,” Lest suggests, voice just as soft, quiet glee laced within it, “and then we could grab a hot chocolate on our way back.”

Raising his head again, just enough to meet Lest’s violet eyes, he offers the prince of Selphia a small, loving smile. “I’d love that, your highness.”