It looked like he staggered.
Putting his hand to his forehead, Ryuuki looked away almost as though praying, so Shuurei reached out thinking that perhaps he wasn't feeling well. However since Shuurei herself was unsteady on her feet, she almost fell after becoming dizzy.
--And before she knew it, she was pulled into Ryuuki's tight embrace.
R: Shuurei...... Shuurei
Ryuuki continued repeating her name hoarsely.
R: ......You kept your promise......
Shuurei kept her word to see him and not the emperor
For all that he was the emperor, he knew he was being childish and that it couldn't be helped if she didn't keep to that promise. He thought that but... he was afraid of realising that.
He wanted to see her, but at the same time didn't. And at the same time, he couldn't stand not seeing her. And after hugging her once while she slept, he couldn't bring himself to leave.
......And, as always, Shuurei stole his heart as easily as plucking a flower.
S: ......Actually, to tell the truth, I wasn't sure... After all, the more I'm away from you, the more you seem like a good Emperor. But...
During the audience, it seemed like he was desperately trying to keep an Emperor's face on. In which case his desperately trying to keep the Emperor's mask from falling off was very much like her nervousness in keeping the tsubaki from falling off.
The Emperor didn't have any leeway, he was doing as much as he possibly could. And she couldn't help worrying that he somehow seemed liked he wanted to cry.
R: It's okay. ......That doesn't matter.
Ryuuki held her tighter.
Even though she had her doubts, what he was most happy about, was that she still called him by his name and smiled so openly.
Shuurei couldn't help smiling as well at the sight of his smile.
R: ......By the way, Shuurei
S: I know already. You're going to say I smell of alcohol, right?
R: Yeah. Quite a lot.
S: ......Try being a bit more circumspect in how you speak.
If it weren't Shuurei, no doubt a person would have shoved him away and run off--she was of that age.
R: Yeah but...
Ryuuki, with his cheek still to Shuurei's hair and sniffed. It was amazing that the smell hadn't been wiped out by the wind outside. And he couldn't help wondering "this wouldn't be..." when he'd carried her.
R: (......This smell...... it wouldn't be chienhakushuu, would it......)
It's not the sort of drink to be brought out in a drinking match. It was so strong that there couldn't be a match. But--
R: (Any way you look at it, this smell...... not to mention the others......)
Anger swelled in Shuurei as Ryuuki continued to sniff. It was humiliating.
S: My apologies for reeking of alcohol! Quit sniffing like that!
R: Yeah, but they're all superb top class alcohols... On the contrary, for someone who loves alcohol, it's like perfume. But Sr. Sec. Kan's drinking much better alcohol than I am...... Mrf, I haven't drunk this one yet.
Shuurei shivered as he murmured behind her ear.
But even though she wanted to move away, the alcohol in her made her unable to do so.
R: ...I'm surprised you could drink all this
S: I needed to show my mettle a little..... while it's sad, that's all I have right now.
Ryuuki smiled, but didn't say anything.
S: But, surprisingly, it seems I can handle drinking a fair amount
R: I don't think it's all that surprising. After all, Shouka's quite strong too.
S: Eh? Really? He doesn't drink much at home.
R: He can drink quite a lot. But supposedly Shoukun was much stronger, so it has to be blood.
Shuurei slumped. To think that she was the exact opposite of Eigetsu-kun...
S: *sigh* ......it really seems that I haven't much of a girl's cuteness to me. Not that it really matters...
Ryuuki pulled his upper body away slightly, and almost nose-to-nose to one another, he looked at Shuurei. Tucking back a stray lock of hair, he tilted her chin up, exposing her face to the moonlight. With both arms trapped in his embrace, Shuurei was unable to move, and looked at Ryuuki.
His pale features were as always but, he really was--
S: ...I thought this during the audience, but you seem rather exhausted.
R: Things are quite busy during New Year's
S: Well, there's that too, but...... I wonder if that's the cause. It seems like you've become 20% more a great man. How do you put it...? Ah, that's right! Sort of like you've developed a bit of shadow.
After having received word that Shuurei would be coming back, he ended up dwelling on various things and was unable to sleep well.
Ryuuki lowered his lashes, and brushed away the hair at Shuurei's neck.
R: In your case, never mind 20%, you're beautiful.
S: Huh?! Ah, you mean then. That's what you call putting clothes on a horse. Not to mention there's no doubt the tsubaki stood out. If you look at me now, there's no question I'm completely average. After all, my face hasn't changed in the least.
Still too much to go... >.<