Feel free to point errors or give suggestions.
A few moments later, a large shadow from the distance could be seen through the carriage’s window. A large gray structure spanning a wide portion of the horizon, the city walls of the capital, Aves.
The capital city surrounds the royal Palace Tercel on the northern side. The city and the palace are separated by a wall one-third shorter than the 20-meter city wall, creating two areas. The first area, facing the sea of Formos, is designated for the residents of Aves. The second area is designated for the nobility, the special workshops, and the palace.
As the carriage approached the city walls, the coachman released the falcon perched on top of the carriage. Subsequently, the coachman reduced the carriage’s speed.
Soon after that, a stream named Twins in front of the city wall became visible. The stream serves as a natural moat and a source of fresh water.
When the carriage halted, a rattling sound of chains started clanking. After a heavy thud, the carriage started moving again.
At the side of the pathway, City guards are seen lined at the sides standing at attention. Nevertheless, the carriage moved forward unaffected.
“Erina, have you informed the coachman of our destination?” I asked.
“Yes, we are currently heading towards the manor,” She answered. “But wouldn’t it be better to head directly to the palace, your Highness?”
“Please spare me; stacks of paper might be waiting for me at the palace,” I answered with a sigh.
No, I’ll definitely get desk work after some greetings filled with flattery. I would like to avoid that as much as possible.
“Your Highness, escaping from your responsibilities is unbefitting of royalty,” She said in a stern manner.
“Please tell that to my Father instead,” I answered in protest. “And Erina, I’m not escaping from it, I’m just delaying it. Get it? Delaying, not escaping. I said it twice because it’s important.”
“…” Erina stared at me in silence.
I averted my gaze towards the window in response.
I’m definitely not guilty.
After arriving at the manor, menservants, maidservants, and a few Knights welcomed me. We exchanged a few greetings before I was led to my bed-chamber.
I lay on the bed looking at the ceiling.
“Hmm, so even Ark has insufficient information regarding the banquet,” I muttered.
Ark is one of my menservants in charge of maintaining this manor. He specializes in gathering information and is often tasked to monitor suspected nobles. Due to this, his information network is quite broad. Therefore, Ark not having sufficient information makes the banquet dubious.
Well, he did tell me that, my little sister and second Princess Elaine would be participating. I thought. And the fact that the host is Duke Tervin, my uncle, there is probably something in store for that ‘rushed’ banquet of his.
“Pardon me, your Highness, the meal has been prepared,” Said the maidservant.
“I’ll be ready in a few seconds,” I replied.
I sat up on the bed and glanced at the wooden clock hanging nearby.
28 minutes before noon. I still have some time to rest after the meal.
After checking the time, I went through the door to meet the maidservant waiting at the side. I was then escorted promptly to the dining room.
I ate in a relaxed manner while working my way with the prepared cutlery and engaged in idle chatter with the servants.
Thereafter, I took a bath I asked of the servants to prepare.
“Ah, such bliss,” I muttered as I relaxed in the bath with closed eyes.
Swishing sounds were emitted as I moved my limbs within the water.
I wonder, why is bathing not as prominent as I think it should be? I wondered. Maybe I should start spreading rumors to promote it? Even heroes from the records were said to have taken a bath as often as possible.
In history, there were three known heroes summoned by us humans. Well, at least from the existing records. I thought as I recall history from what I have read.
In this continent, some ruins of old civilization were found, but records of them were scarce. In another ruin, it was hinted that the history of the human race dates more than what we have in our records.
There are probably more than three of them. I’m sure of it. I concluded.
In any case, in the records of all three heroes, it was noted that they frequently took a bath. Knowing that they have advanced knowledge that we did not have, taking a bath frequently should have benefits. Besides, taking bath is relaxing. Such bliss shouldn’t be ignored, right? I thought to myself.
Hmm… How does it go again? Ah yes. First, the Heroes were summoned using a magic circle passed down from our forefathers. It was stated that it was a gift from the human God. I recalled.
I heard that the summoning process requires a huge amount of resources. So it is not something that could be frequently done, but maybe Laurel can? I pondered on the possibility.
The problem is that it’s a gamble. Since the summoning process could fail, we might end up wasting resources for nothing. Aside from that, the summoned Hero might not be as desirable as what we might expect.
Well, considering the fact that they have advanced knowledge, maybe that’d be enough help? I questioned.
According to the records, there are cases where that they are not allowed to speak of their ideas due to a magic of sorts that obscures their speech. I recalled.
Maybe telepathy would work? Maybe let them write it instead? Or maybe we are not allowed to cheat our way in development? I thought looking for a possible reason.
Anyway, I’m thankful that the idea of using paper got through. I thought. I wonder how things would have been without paper…
I further submerged my body as I wondered how different things would be without paper.
Going back to the heroes, it’s quite envious. For them to have blessings and be called a hero upon summoning, funded by the church or kingdom and is able to freely cross borders, how easy could their lives get? I thought envious of their freedom.
I also read that they are considerably strong, strong enough to take large beasts on their own. Compared to an average knight, a hero is said to be several times stronger.
The only problem with them is that they sometimes don’t think too much of their actions. I thought as I started blowing bubbles from my mouth.
One of those actions is related to the Lycaons, a race known to regularly hunt humans as tokens. I recalled as I closed my eyes. One time, adventurers were caught alive and were brought to their den. The Hero, upon hearing the news, went to rescue the adventurers. Fortunately, he was successful.
Unfortunately, the Lycaons were angered and assaulted a nearby town. The Hero, who was there, was able to repel the Lycaons, but the number of casualties was nothing to scoff at.
They’re like wild horses. I honestly thought. They need someone to give them a second thought or someone who would rein them.
Regarding their ending as heroes, each of them has their own. The first hero was slain along with his party members except for one who survived since nature called her when they traveled through the forest.
It was more like fate called her. It’s an unpleasant way to survive though.
According to her statement, a woman with silver hair single-handedly slews the party in just a few seconds. Fortunately, the said woman did not try to pursue or capture her. So she was able to return safely and report the details regarding the Hero’s death.
For the second hero, he declared that he would unravel the mystery of the forest of illusions and prove that the large tree at the center was what he calls Yggdrasil. The tree was not recognized as Yggdrasil in future references though. That aside, after the Hero entered the forest of illusion, he never came back.
I wonder how he died in the forest… If only someone could enter that forest and unravel what’s inside…
For the third… If I remember, he just vanished? Along with her party members, he just vanished like thin air. Hmm… Maybe the silver haired woman is related?
As I struggled to think about things related to the Heroes, I started to feel that the temperature of the water started to drop.
I stood up from the bath and approached the maidservant waiting nearby. I sat on a wooden stool and let the maid wash my hair in silence.
“Your Highness’s silver hair is a sight to behold.” The maidservant said.
I stayed quiet as I ignore my maidservants’ compliments.
After the bath, my hair was dried and was subsequently dressed with a light one-piece pouf. The maidservants left after I gave them the order.
“Your Highness, It is I, Erina.” A voice called from the other side of the door.
“You may enter,” I replied.
As Erina closed the doors, I sat down on the bed.
“Erina, I’ll take a nap so wake me up in about 3-4 hours,” I ordered. “Start the preparations for the banquet as well.”
It is currently 12 minutes past one in the afternoon, so 3-4 hours should be fine.
“The necessary instructions have already been addressed,” Erina replied accompanied with a smile. “You may take a nap with ease.”
Yaaawn. Ah, now I remember.
“Erina, you may now take your leave.”
Erina took a bow and left the room quietly.
Ah, Right. There is one more thing about the heroes all have in common. And if I were to describe, it would be like this. ‘Heroes are as dense as Adamantite.’ I thought as I recalled my observation from the records.
The Heroes party member sure leave interesting diaries. I giggled. How do those diaries go again? Hmm… I think it goes like this?
__ Day of _____ Month, Year ____. Attempt number XXX.
Today I have attempted what I have heard from those lustful Nobles. I tried cooking for the Hero while only wearing a piece of cloth called an apron. The Hero was extremely flustered and was completely red. I thought it was going well and have prepared my heart for what’s coming tonight. But in the end, he just gave me something to wear instead. I could not figure out why this happened. Probably, if I did the same for any other man I would definitely be brought to some sort of alley or bed-chamber and then who knows what. In the end, I could only try to heal my broken resolve.’
“At ‘least’ one of a similar diary would ‘always’ be found from one of the female party members of the summoned heroes,” I said laughing happily
“But really, those diaries are troublesome because of similar entries. It’s a good thing that only those with a high level of authority are able to access it,” I said considering the contents of those entries. “Giving access to those entries would definitely break a child’s innocence hahaha.”
“Just imagine that other party member did, and the other one too. Then the other one was so bold she went naked. Ah! Ah! There’s that one too! Then they- Uwaaaaaaah. T-those are truly shameless actions. Ahaha,” I kept muttering.
After a few minutes.
“Well, time to sleep,” I muttered with the tip of my ears tinged in red.
Later in the afternoon, I slowly rose from the bed while stretching my body after being woken up by Erina. Again I glanced at the wooden clock and checked the time. It was 13 minutes past five.
“Is everything in place?” I asked Erina.
“The carriage is currently waiting outside, your Highness,” Erina answered. “The dress has also been prepared.”
“Did you place the dress in the wardrobe?” I asked as started to approach the wardrobe. “And please, call the servants.”
After Erina clapped, the maidservants started entering the room. I ignored the scenery as I pried open the doors of the wardrobe.
After that, I stood there astonished for a few seconds.
Contrary to what used to be a wardrobe filled with numerous clothes, it was empty. No, it was not empty, but there is one dress left inside.
I slowly moved my gaze to Erina.
“Erina,” I asked suspiciously.
“Is there any matter your Highness?” Erina Replied with a smile.
“Where did the other clothes in the wardrobe went to?”
“Ara, I have no idea of what your Highness is asking me,” Erina replied with an unfaltering smile.
This can’t be… I thought in despair.
I shifted my sights towards the maidservants inside the room, but they only responded with a smile similar to Erina.
No! This can’t be! I have been betrayed! This is a conspiracy!
“There is no other option your Highness,” Erina said with a bright smile plastered over her face.
I slumped to the floor and resigned myself to my harsh fate.
Such is a cruel world. I thought as looked up to the ceiling with the hope in my eyes succumbing to the dark abyss.
While my hair is being arranged from behind, I asked Erina the thing that was bothering me for quite a time now.
“Hey Erina, I wonder why is there a magic tool attached to the ribbon of the dress,” I said with resigned eyes.
“It is a decoration, your Highness,” She replied playfully.
“What a grand decoration, for several layers of spells to be embedded into it,” I sarcastically said.
“Decoration, your Highness,” She emphasized.
“…” At this time, I have nothing more to say.
A few moments passed and I was now riding the carriage moving towards the palace garden. I sat there staring outside like a princess waiting for a Hero or a Knight in shining armor to take her away in this moonlit evening.
Please save me…
Despite my silent pleading calls, not even a fly came to rescue the princess in distress.
After alighting from the carriage, what greeted my sight was Knights in ceremonial clothing lined side by side. A long majestic red carpet on the ground with intricate lamp lights on the sides. Round tables covered in white tablecloth with decorated chairs surrounding it. Guests clothed with jewelry, silk, and high-grade leather littered the garden.
There was not a single thing that could be indicated with the word ‘rushed’.
As for me, I stood there trying to figure out what was going on. Then, I looked at my dress.
Wait, could it be that… No, no, no. But could it really be?
“Gahahaha!” A man laughed heartily. “Amelia, you have arrived just in time for the start of the ceremony!”
At that moment, I felt like something broke.
I-is this, my marriage ceremony?