“It suits you so well, Your Highness.”
I twitched my ears at the voice I heard as I dozed. This was definitely the first time I’d heard this voice. Upon opening my eyes, I found that I was on the bed, buried in the crack between cushions. It seemed I had been moved here while basking in the sunlight on the windowsill. I should have woken up if someone had laid their hands on me, but I hadn’t even noticed and just slept deeply. As a cat, there was no way it wasn’t shameful. It seemed that I had lost my touch because recently I had only been living so comfortably.
I first yawned widely, then got up and stretched. I stretched my front legs forward, then I stretched my hind legs, arching my back. After I stretched both my front and hind legs, my whole body felt refreshed. How was I so lithe?
“Oh my. Did you wake up, Butterfly?”
After stretching, Julia came over to me. I rubbed my cheek on the hem of Julia’s skirt. She beamed as I meowed a greeting, Nyaang. As Julia stroked my head, she wore an expression that said I was so cute that she could die. Turning my gaze, the humans were teeming about for some reason. I spotted the sight of Sugar Prince standing among them and leaped down from the bed.
Sugar Prince. Whatcha doin’?
I approached to Sugar Prince leisurely, and he sent a faint smiling glance at me. I meowed at him in response, Nyaang.
The maids around Sugar Prince made way for me to pass, but what’s this? There was a human I hadn’t seen before. I stared at the middle-aged uncle with curious eyes, then turned my gaze to what he was holding in his hands. Luxurious clothes were held in his hands. Seeing the measuring tape wound around his arm, it seemed he was a designer like Uncle Andre, although he wasn’t bald.
I generously decided to pardon the man who had trespassed into my territory without my permission. Since he had come to make Sugar Prince clothes, it couldn’t be helped. But it was only proper to acknowledge him. What, wasn’t there that thing? Like a street tax? Since he had come in my territory to sell clothes to Sugar Prince, he would have to pay taxes. Make one set of clothes for me for every set he sold to Sugar Prince, or using the measuring tape hanging from his arm to play with me would suffice. I pressured the man, batting the swaying end of the measuring tape in midair.
Will you make clothes for me, or play with me? Or if you don’t like that, will ya taste my punch? For reference, 10 punches per one set of clothes.
“Ahaha. The cat seems to be bored.”
The man laughed as he spoke. He moved his arm slightly, wiggling the end of the tape measure. I thought as both of my front paws batted at the end of the measuring tape. This man, such a pro.
I caught the end of the tape measure and gazed at Sugar Prince pointedly.
Sugar Prince. Clothes for me too. Not just collars, I wanna wear clothes too. You can make it out of the fabric left after making your clothes. Even if you consider my size, how big am I really? How long are you going to be cheap like this? Is there a law that says cats must wear only collars? I’m asking if there’s a law that says cats have to go around naked all the time. Just like there are human rights for humans, there’s cat rights for cats toooo. I’m saying I also have a right to not be ragged. So clothes. Clothes. Clothes. Clothes. Clothes. Clothes. Clothes. Clothes. Clothes.
“Your Highness. It seems this one wishes to wear clothes as well. Hahaha. I shall gladly make a set each out of the same fabric as Your Highness’s for the cat.”
Huh? The man spoke instead of Sugar Prince. I looked at the man. As our eyes met, the man winked at me. I let go of the tape measurer and praised him by placing my paws on his calf. This man, he was a man who knew how to do business. I decided that I would call this man “Wave-dre” from this moment on.
“Wearing the same clothes as His Highness, it will be very cute.”
“Oh my. How lovely.”
The clothes would be for me, but the maids were even more pleased with it. They squealed with their hands on their cheeks. This guy really didn’t know how to decrease his popularity.
I went to the cloth spread at Sugar Prince’s feet and pushed my head underneath it. I slipped inside and turned my body so that only my head poked out and judged if the fabric complemented my fur. The maids clapped their hands together and complimented me, saying how well it fitted me. I looked up at Sugar Prince. As our eyes met, Sugar Prince complimented me with a voice full of laughter.
“It suits you well.”
I already had the feeling of wearing new clothes and held my chin up. With an elegant air, I spun once in place to show it off. In the middle, the fabric almost came off, but Julia grabbed it for me, so thankfully there wasn’t an unfortunate accident.
After picking out all the clothes and once Uncle Wave-dre left, I was held tightly in Sugar Prince’s arms.
Nowadays, his skill and tact for being held had expanded, so I didn’t wait for Sugar Prince to hold me and instead directly jumped onto him. Then, Sugar Prince would skillfully catch me securely in his arms.
Held in Sugar Prince’s arms, I shoved my nose against his hand and neck and inhaled his scent. He had washed his hands, so the scent had become very faint, but it was undoubtedly soaked with that scent. It was the scent that he always had after he visited the Emperor. The scent of an elder and medicine mixed together.
I myself didn’t dislike the smell of elders because of my grandparents, but the scent of medicine was unnecessarily unpleasant. The Sugar Prince who had noticed I didn’t like the smell always washed his hands before he came, but nothing could be done about the faintly lingering scent. I was uneasy with Sugar Prince being in an environment with this unpleasant smell for hours on end. But it was something that couldn’t be helped. If he was the Emperor, wasn’t he the father of our Sugar Prince, who was the Crown Prince? Since he was his son, it was only natural to visit him while sick. My Sugar Prince probably had that same feeling as well.
I tilted my head and stared at Sugar Prince’s face. To be exact, his lips.
He hadn’t kissed the Emperor before he came, right? No way, he was all grown up and probably didn’t do stuff like that. Yes. That was probably the case. The extremely shy guy probably couldn’t do that kind of thing even if it was his dad.
Sugar Prince’s lips were smooth, without a bit of dry skin. It was only natural, since the maids tended to him day and night. Since his complexion was good, his lips were a pretty color, and because the shape of his mouth was straight, the shape of his lips were pretty too.
This guy had no part of him that was ugly. The Crown Prince was good-looking, tall, and even kind. He was literally my mom’s friend’s son. But this guy also had his weaknesses, so the universe was not completely unfair. He was so perfect, yet he was so shy… So it was a relief that I was by his side.
Yes. He was such a shy guy. Surely he didn’t throw his lips around however he liked. It was probably a special kiss for me, because I was a cat no matter how you saw it.
Ack. My eyes met directly with Sugar Prince’s. I turned my gaze hurriedly from Sugar Prince’s lips. My chest was uselessly thumping from seeing those golden eyes furtively smile. Surely he hadn’t figured out I was staring at his lips? Yes. How could he know what I was looking at? Not your lips, I was looking at your face. Lips are on your face, so a face is a face. Of course. Of course.
I licked my front paws with and feigned ignorance. I definitely wasn’t caught off guard or embarrassed, just because he might misunderstand.
Ah, but why had he suddenly made clothes? Even so, he had a ton of clothes already. By any chance, was there a party or something? That’d be nice. So I could look around at the party. If I wore matching clothes with my Sugar Prince to the party, everyone would definitely only look at us. A bunch of pretty young ladies will come to that kind of party, right? They will all crowd around me and want to touch me and fret. Then, right before they touch me, I’ll barely avoid them and their hearts will all melt. Because in the end, I’m not an easy man.
“Your Highness. Baron Valoire requests your presence in the study.”
A servant came in and spoke to Sugar Prince. Sugar Prince nodded and began walking towards the door. I thought he was taking a break from work today, but he was heading off to work again. The sun was going to set soon, but my Sugar Prince was sincere to a fault. It couldn’t be helped. His title was Crown Prince, so if there was work, he had to do it, especially now that the Emperor was in critical condition.
I used the arms holding me as stepping stones and climbed up to Sugar Prince’s shoulder. Climbing up his clothes with my sharp claws was not easy, especially if I was not to leave wounds on Sugar Prince’s skin. With unsurpassed claw skills, I arrived on Sugar Prince’s shoulder. Since Sugar Prince’s shoulders were so wide, if I positioned myself properly, there was no concern about falling off.
Sugar Prince, who had been standing still until I was in a secure position, began walking again. I sat atop Sugar Prince’s shoulder and haughtily lifted my chin and received the greetings of the humans. Every time a human’s eyes opened roundly, my chest puffed out more.
It was nice to walk at Sugar Prince’s side, but sitting atop Sugar Prince’s shoulder like this, I felt like I was on cloud nine. Everything below looked distant, like I was perched on a tree, and every time Sugar Prince took a step, the swaying was exactly like I was on a theme park ride. Adding to that, the humans who had always looked down to me were looking up at me with wide round eyes. In its own way, this was the best feeling.
With a very light heart, I looked at Sugar Prince’s face directly next to me.
Sitting on his shoulder, there was no need to look up or down at each other and our eyes met directly. I purred in my throat and bumped my head against Sugar Prince’s. And I rubbed a lot. After rubbing several times, and smelling, Sugar Prince’s head had a bunch of my scent on it. Perhaps Sugar Prince had been tickled. I felt him chuckle in his throat. Looking at his gently smiling golden eyes, I bumped my head against his again.
Phew. So I was in Texas and Virginia visiting colleges…stayed with the corps of cadets, and it was surprisingly cool? All the peeps were nice, and their uniforms looked ultra-mega sharp! (You can now tell I’m a sucker for military uniforms and suits… *drools guiltily over Hugo Boss’s Nazi uniforms*) Anyways, I’m shit at drawing, so I’m not done…but here’s a sneak-peek at my crappy attempt at drawing SP *sweats*