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The next couple of days at the palace flew by for Makoto. He followed a basic routine i.e. taking naps, wandering around his room, using the bathroom when he was allowed to and eating decent food during designated mealtimes. The servant who delivered his food was always the same and Makoto consistantly tried to engage in conversation with him. However, the grey-haired boy would excuse himself and leave as quickly as he came. Makoto felt bad; he looked to be as young as Makoto, but of a smaller build closer to Nagisa's. Speaking of Nagisa, Makoto pined for his family and friends more than ever. The prince seemed to be busier nowadays so no one really interacted with Makoto as much as he would've liked.

One day, possibly a Sunday or a Tuesday, the servant came by to deliver Makoto's lunch. Makoto smiled warmly at him before clearing his throat.

"Um, if I'm allowed to ask," he hesitated momentarily, "Servant-san, what has the prince been up to lately?"

The servant made a flustered noise, causing Makoto to chuckle slightly before he looked at Makoto. His eyes were a gentle blue and his voice was similarly gentle.

"You can call me Nitori, and I apologize but I'm not allowed to disclose any information to, um, prisoners," he said. Makoto deflated, disappointed before the servant thought for a moment.

"I-If you're feeling any sort of discomfort o-or anything like that, I suppose that I can bring it to the attention of the prince," Nitori said after a moment's contemplation, "I-I'm certain that he'd listen if it concerns y-you."

Makoto's eyes instantaneously light up. Even Nitori feels a smile pull at his lips at the joy radiating off the other boy.

"Thank you so much, Nitori-san!" Makoto chirps as the servant leaves his room.


Later in the evening, when Makoto expected Nitori to deliver his food to him, instead the prince came in, carrying a platter containing the regular dinner Makoto would be served.

"Your highness," Makoto said, a questioning tone prevalent in his voice.

"I told you, call me Haru," the prince coolly replied before he served Makoto his food. He continued, "and Aiichirou-kun told me that you wanted to see me?"

Nitori Aiichiro, Makoto thought. Maybe I'll talk to him more next time.

"Ah, well, you see, I uh, I've just been. Um," Makoto stuttered, forgetting how to speak for a moment before recollecting himself and saying, "I've just been bored lately. Sorry about that."

Haru considered this for a moment before giving a curt nod. "Soon enough, you'll be given free roam of the palace. The only reason you're here is because my father insists that I keep you here for at least two years."

"Two years?!"

"Calm down, I changed it. I bargained with him to shorten it to a month, in exchange for something."

Makoto, still slightly bemused, asked, "If you don't mind me asking, what's the something?"

Haru paused. "You'll know later on."

And like that, he left, leaving Makoto alone again. Makoto frowned and picked at the food, emotionlessly eating it afterwards. Later, Nitori came by to collect the tray.

"Did his highness visit you?"

Makoto nodded before saying, "If you don't mind me asking, Nitori-kun, is the prince always, uh, mysterious?"

Nitori smiled a little and reassuringly replied, "You'll get used to it eventually."