“I deeply apologize for causing worry.” Deeply, I bowed.
After my return, I asked for forgiveness for the worry I caused. Fortunately, Kanna explained the situation during the last five days she visited me, which made things easier. Nevertheless, I asked for an escort to lead me to the grave site for the Dwarfs who passed away.
Arriving at the grave site, I was welcomed by a flight of stairs carved into a cliff. Beneath the flight of stairs, are rectangular depressions engraved with a name and a phrase, ‘May this body return its blessing to the earth’.
Climbing midway, I arrived at five newly engraved graves.
As I stood before the graves, I spoke. “I should’ve at least known their names while they were still alive...”
Solemnly, I knelt down and grasped my hands in a prayer. “I, Amelia Laurel, a Princess and a Chief, recognize thine efforts to Laurel and to the Tribe. May your life serve as a light to shine the path to those of the living, and may your soul rest in an endless dream until the day of recall. With this, I give my blessing, hoping to guide your souls back to the earth’s embrace. May you rest in peace.”
For the next three days, As an apology, Garfin and Sylvar showed me their planned process on how they wished to build the Horn Relic from Amalthea’s horn flakes. Due to the recent death of the Dwarfs, they stopped producing their craft as a sign of respect, hoping that refraining from borrowing the Earth’s power, they can give time for the souls to reach their destination.
Understanding the situation, I accepted their terms and received books detailing the processes they wished to use. Unfortunately, the books were written in the language of the Dwarfs and Elves. Taking the opportunity, I started studying the Dwarfs language under Kanna’s direction. I’ve set aside learning the Elven language in the meantime due to my interest gearing towards Mana Forging rather than Spirit Enchantment.
I have to find a way to see, or at least feel the spirits before I delve into spirit enchantment. I thought.
For another reason, the Tribe requested me to bring along two more Enarfs aside from Kanna.
[Would you bring them?] Sylvar asked in favor. [Unfortunately, the Enarfs are the least suspicious among us when mixed with the humans.]
“The reason?” I asked. “Aside from Kanna who’ll have to teach me for quite some time, I don’t see the reason to bring along two more Enarfs.”
[Amelia,] He said. [We can’t always rely on you for everything we wished to know about the humans. We too know how to divide the effort between us chiefs, so please consider the offer.]
“Ah,” Realizing their intent, I nodded. “I get it now. I’ll accept the offer.”
“It’s fine to order them around, right?”
[Of course, I’ll leave the decisions to you,] He smiled. [But they are ordered to return to the Tribe once a month.]
“That won’t be a problem.”
I’ve also decided to leave the egg behind for Rick and Fae to take care of under the supervision of an Enarf.
“Are you sure?” Kanna asked. “It’s yours, you know?”
“Yes,” I answered. “I’m not that selfish anyway. Besides, having to take care of an egg, a newborn wyvern even, will only hinder our movements. Aside from that, we can’t always look after it at all times, so it’s best to leave it behind for Rick and Fae.”
“Then why not bring them along instead?”
“Impossible.” I shook my head in denial. “It’s too dangerous to bring Rick and Fae. Other than that, separating them from their mother at this age won’t be beneficial at the very least.”
“Well, it’s yours anyway,” She smiled.
Under my command as a Chief and owner of the egg, Kanna asked for a fellow Enarf to guide Rick and Fae in her stead. We've also informed Camille of my decision, although bothered, she reluctantly agreed after Kanna narrated my story back when I was taking care of Birby.
While I was coached by Kanna on language lessons, I taught Fae the basics of magic. I’ve also left her pointers on how she should study magic step by step. On the other hand, I trained along with Rick on my free time.
After I spent my days leisurely, I went back to Aves along with Argent, Grandfather’s stash in tow. After I returned to the palace, Father and Mother held a private celebration for my safe return. Not wanting to spoil the mood, I postponed telling them the truth regarding Grandmother.
After the celebration, I roamed the palace, savoring the scent of my home. “Nothing feels better than home...” I muttered. “Now that I’m here, I should roam the city!”
And so I willfully roamed Aves along with Kanna and the two Enarfs, introducing them to my hometown. We went to the harbor, visited the orphanage under my name, visited the adventurer’s guild, tasted our local specialties, and a lot more that I enjoyed doing. The only problem that occurred during the tour was that Kanna was too attached to the children from the orphanage.
“Kanna,” Smiling, I asked on the way back to the palace. “How is it? My hometown.”
“Filled with cats.” She replied.
Hearing her reply, I chuckled. “Well, that’s true.” Then I observed the surroundings.
In almost every corner, there were Lynxes working with humans. It was a harmonious scene of two different races working together. Lynxes carried barrels supported by a human child. Human children played games with Lynxes.
“It’s like the Tribe,” Kanna added.
“Yes,” I replied, looking at the scene with warm eyes. “I hope this continues.”
It wouldn’t be long before the fires of war start to affect Laurel. I thought. I’m guessing there are already refugees near the dukedom...
Shaking my head, I thought. I should check the camps myself on the way to Academia.
A day after, I presented Grandfather’s stash to Father and Mother along with Argent, informing the three of them of the truth behind everything. Inside the said stash was the diary of Grandfather, proving that he sought to find Grandmother’s whereabouts through Talya. I’ve also presented Grandmother’s ring to Father and Mother which made their mood turn sour. Although I have never met my Grandmother, I felt how important she is to my parents just from seeing them grieve.
After giving Mother and Father some time alone, Argent and I discussed the effects of the recent war and the move we should take.
“Well, that’s not a laughing matter.” Argent smiled wryly.
“Haha.” I laughed weakly. “It sure is...”
“Anyway, let’s talk about the racial war.”
“It’d be better to do so.” I smiled. “So? Where do we start?”
“Since Niveria has fallen, and Brent became a border kingdom, they’re requesting for weapons or ores.”
“Indeed.” He replied. “In any case, I’ve just received word that Brent’s 1st prince wished to have a dialogue with Laurel.”
“… And since I’m going to pass by the Dukedom, you want me to go instead?”
“Haah...” Placing my hand over my forehead, I exhaled a sigh. “Argent,”
“What is it?”
“Sometimes, I think your skull is so thick that some things haven’t gone through your head.”
“Why?” Puzzled, he asked. “There’s nothing weird about it, right?”
For the second time, I sighed. “You want me to meet the person who used to be my engagement partner? Do you even know ho- Haah… Never mind. I’ll do it...”
“Why? Aren’t you close enough to be friends?”
“Yes, we are, but that’s the surface.”
I have to deal with that man again…
“Honestly… When would he give up?” I unconsciously muttered
“...” Seemingly like he finally realized, Argent stayed silent. “Do you want me to go instead?”
“You blockhead, you just realized it now? Haah… I’ll do it.” Gathering the courage, I said. “I just hope he understands this time. Besides, he should be engaged to the princess of Niveria right now.”
“It’s their second prince who’s engaged to Niveria’s princess.”
“… Maybe I should just punch him this time?”
“Please don’t. you’ll just make unnecessary rumors. Besides, why do have to act like a brute?”
“If acting like a brute would make him stay away, then why not?”
“Why are so against him anyway? Don’t you want to be a queen?”
“Argent,” I answered, unsmiling. “Right now, I don’t have any intention of becoming a queen.”
“Then why don’t you tell him that you’re not willing to be engaged?”
Exhausted, I replied. “Do really think I haven’t said that?”
“That’s what I want to know!” I shouted. “I know he’s a good person, but things are different now! Haah… Anyway, let’s end it here. We’re going nowhere.”
“We sure are.”
I’ll just think about it some other time...
Once I was done discussing the plans with Argent, I went back to the manor at night. After I was properly received by my servants, I proceeded to my room, satisfied with my meal.
During that night, I ordered every servant to refrain from visiting my room.
Tapping the crystal on my necklace, an object appeared before me, leisurely floating, containing a poor figure of a Fairy inside. Placing my palm underneath the cage, it gently landed.
“Say,” I started. “Will you teach me how to cast magic chant-less?”
Bearing the eyes of the dead, she shook her head in response. [No…]
“Don’t you want a chance to be free?”
Slowly lifting her head, she looked me in the eye. [Free?]
“I could if you tell me.” I smiled.
[W-will… You promise?]
Quickly, I answered. “Yes, I promise to consider it.”
[…] For a moment, she stayed silent. [Then…]
And so the Fairy was tricked for the first time in her life.
Feel free to point out errors or give opinions.