I didn’t know I would be missing Fleon. He was dragged to the big salon once it opened at 4 today. No matter what sort of exchange was going to take place, because many people of high rankings participate in afternoon tea, all the maids and the knights who were taking care of the Palace would be directed towards its location, leaving the Palace mostly empty.
“Do you not have any meetings today, Brother?”
“My brother went in my stead so it’s fine.”
“It sounds like Fleon is your body double.”
“Of course he is.”
Dane smiled widely.
“We are the powerless 6th and 7th Prince. Just one person going is enough.”
Dane parted his lips to take a gulp of the tea. His thick eyelashes curled up before he directed his red eyes towards me. The boy who was accompanying me twisted his lips and bursted into laughter.
“We’re lucky we’re even alive…”
As his eyes crinkled softly, so did my heart take a plunge.
“What’s wrong? Is it wrong for us to be alive?”
Dane placed the teacup he was holding back down before making eye contact with me. He observed me quietly. Rolling his eyes slowly, he began to shift from his straight back as he leaned forward. As if doing that would make him seem bigger.
“… Sorry. It’s too early for you to know about this just yet.”
His face still looked pretty but at the same time, he looked sad.
The sound of the rain hitting the window sounded a lot harsher now than a while ago.
Looking at the falling rain outside the window, he got up from his seat.
“I sometimes wish for you to quickly become an adult but other times wish that you will never grow up.”
Dane’s face that always seemed to have a friendly glow froze over and turned icy. As I shifted my gaze, I noticed his profile. His red pomegranate eyes seemed to shake with intense emotions.
“This is a very cold place.”
He sounded tired like an old man.
He blinked before changing his gaze and pretending to be innocent.
“It’s nothing. Just forget it.”
For a glance, it looked like pain could be seen spread in his eyes. He looked miserable. Let’s recap what this boy’s future is going to be like.
He was the Prince who would one day disappear like dew. A minor role that disappeared faster than it appeared. He had a very small part with no descriptions on his future. If I had not been so busy dealing with my own affairs, I would have been helping out this beautiful brother of mine. The ripples that he made remained for a very long time.
I gave a bright smile.
“I’m going to quickly become an adult. Who knows I might be able to protect you, Dane.”
His gaze turned to me. It’s a good thing that everyone else thought of me as a child who knows nothing about her situation. Since I was at an age where I have yet to learn how to comfort, even if I were to do something immature, it could be tolerated. I placed my fingertips on the crown of his head as I stood up.
“Once I become about this big?”
My cute gesture managed to successfully place a smile on the boy’s face.
“Ashley, only you can make me laugh.”
Even though he was looking as sorrowful as an adult looking at a playground on his way home from work. Still, he looked like a well-drawn manhwa.
“You know, what if we weren’t siblings?”
Indeed, his face is good-looking enough to be displayed in a museum as it is, so I think I can enjoy it all day long.
That’s why I feel sorry for Dane but I had not heard a word he said.
“Yeah? What did you say?”
For whatever reason, his face was contorted into a frown. But no matter what kind of expression he makes, his face looks like a page out of a pictorial. I was lost in my admiration for him.
“At this rate, you’re going to fall.”
“Told you so.”
Dane quickly grabbed my shoulders as he said that. Ah. So that’s what he meant.
“Thanks, Dane. I managed to avoid one of them thanks to you.”
“Huh? Avoid what?”
I was talking about the future.
“Were you talking about how you were going to fall over?”
I am managing to live a happy life with a boy who is half the age of how long I had lived.
I smiled naturally in Dane’s embrace.
But then, for a moment, he looked surprised. Even his surprised expression looked ethereal.
“Ah…, what should I do, Ashley? The back of your dress is torn.”
“… What? You’re joking right?”
I smacked Dane’s hands that were holding me out of the way and quickly felt for my back.
“Oh. Oh my god.”
My fingers locked in on my skin at the area of my hips just before it reached my butt. A tear that had definitely not been there when I left this morning.
“… L-let’s go back!”
I sprang to my feet as I wiped myself down. The diary that I had forgotten about then filled my thoughts.
How could I have forgotten? Did it slip my mind after I wondered about how the Head Maid scolds the maids?
On my way back from the greenhouse, every step I took only intensified my anxiety. No one stopped me and continued to walk with me with their mouths shut as if I had ordered them not to speak.
However, my expectations of seeing a change shattered into fragments like that of broken glass.
“Who the hell did that!”
When I got back to my Palace, as described in the diary contents, I saw the maids from the sewing room being heavily reprimanded.
“How dare you step on the Princess’ dress!”
The reason behind this was because someone stepped on the ‘two-toned dress’ and ruined it.
Even though I ended up wearing a different dress, they were still reprimanded.
Was the future really something I cannot change?
“I shall go now.”
Dane kissed the back of my hand before leaving for the rest for the day.
“Yeah. Stay safe.”
As he retreated two steps back, his sandy hair moved long with him. Dane grinned before pivoting around.
I was staring at his retreating figure before I thought of something and called out for him.
He was doused in the rays of the setting sun. The Dane I was seeing under the sky nearing the end of the day is also very pretty.
If I failed, this might be the last time I was ever going to see him.
“Go ahead, Ashley.”
There were so many things I wanted to say but in the end, I just gave a short address.
“… Come back safely. Don’t get sick.”
Dane looked at me as I said those words hesitantly. He blinked his eyes before bursting into a smile just like how a flower blooms.
“Yeah. I’ll be back.”
His pretty hands shook gently.
When you get back, I might not even be here anymore. I got a little choked up as I watched him. I hope he would not get too shocked when he hears about my death.
The knight who had always stood by Dane continued to stare at me instead of following Dane. I wondered what was the meaning behind his long gaze. He was a man who was silent and cold unless he was up to his silly antics. I don’t know why I did, but I did not avoid him since he looked like he had something to say.
He slowly approached the topic.
“I shall be following the 7th Prince on his trip tomorrow.”
“Is that so?”
“Before I go, I’ll make a round in Terena’s Palace. Probably tomorrow morning.”
“I don’t think there will be anything dangerous but if you want to, you can.”
There was a moment of awkward silence and all this while his piercing gaze on me remained unwavering. Sir Ray then spoke with much difficulty.
“The Prince may seem to have a nasty personality but he likes you very much, Your Highness.”
… Which Prince?
But the Sir seemed to have finished what he wanted to say and strolled away so I could not ask.
一The 7th Day of the Month of Habermia
For as long as I can remember the past 6 years, the little girl I encountered whenever I looked in the mirror was unfamiliar to me. The hair that resembled the colour of wheat and the eyes shone brilliantly purple as it reflected light looked awkward. This face that I was the least used to was unfamiliar.
Still, it was getting better the more I looked. My long hair that reached my hips, my scarred face. The girl in the book. As the familiar fear washed over me, I became a child. The way to live a new life may be to forget about the past one.
“… That’s only if I’m still alive.”
I slapped my cheeks with the palms of my hand. I opened the trash can in my heart then threw all my useless thoughts away.
“… Today’s the 4th day.”
Last night, I discovered a surprising change.
The sewing maids were severely reprimanded because of the two-tone dress. The tear that appeared in the dress I changed to. Thinking that the contents of the diary will continue to happen even if I changed the situation, I had been disappointed.
‘As the days go by, the more I feel the weight of my approaching death.’
I discovered the change in the last page of the diary.
I had reopened the diary only to strengthen my resolve but something strange happened.
I hurriedly brought out the parchment with the notes I had written the day before yesterday and compared it to the current contents of the diary. After comparing the two, I finally found the reason for my strange feeling.
“… No way!”
A new sentence appeared on the page that ended with Castor’s question. It changed to what answer I would give in the future. My eyes widened.
“… The ending changed?”
The hair on my arms stood up. It felt as if a feather was tickling my back softly.
[Year 821, the 10th day of the month of Habermia.
After a long while, I took a walk to the pond with Hannah.
The nanny seemed to worry that I might fall into the pond again, but whatever. I wasn’t a 10 year old anymore and I wasn’t still the fool who wanted to take a closer look at the carp. It seemed like my nanny still saw me as a child sometimes.
I ate flaker soup again this morning. They said I couldn’t take a walk if I didn’t drink the soup. Ew. As I forced myself to eat it, I thought my nose was going to be paralysed. Why does such terribly tasting grass exist?
After I had eaten it all up, I went to take a walk. But it was interrupted by Tess who came running from afar.
Tess, without even catching her breath, cried that we were in big trouble. The 1st Prince was here. I was puzzled, wondering what she was on about. There was no reason why the 1st Prince would come and find me, right? He was a very busy person…
But the Prince really did appear and asked me.
“I am Castor Dje Kaltanias. Do you know me?”
I nodded my head. For some reason, he wasn’t even looking at me properly. It looked as if his teeth was going to eat me up.
The Prince, who was beautiful, handsome and pretty all at the same time, asked me 3 questions.
“What does the Empire mean to you?”
“What do you think of the Emperor?”
“What do I mean to you?”
After asking me all the 3 questions, he gave me a pretty smile.
Then, he killed me.]
[Year 821, the 10th day of the month of Habermia.
The extremely beautiful, handsome and good-looking Crown Prince asked me 3 questions.
What does the Empire mean to you? 
一The Empire is the place I was born in and I will sacrifice my life for this Empire till the day I die. Since I am the daughter of the Imperial Family, I will give back to this Empire by marrying whomever you have chosen for me, Your Highness.
At the end of my answer, I was a little out of breath so I took a small breath.
What do you think of the Emperor?
What do I mean to you?
After all the questions were over. The Prince smiled beautifully.
Then, he killed me.]
The contents of the diary changed?
“It really changed.”
I read it a dozen more times in joy to find out it was true.
I expressed my happiness without a sound. Also, I jumped around my bed until feathers started bursting out of my pillows. I wanted to run out of my room and scream. Finally, finally!
As my joy died down, a new question entered my mind.
What was it that caused it to change?
“Surely the answer must lie in the numerous things I did to change the future.”
In a short span of time, I thought of all the actions I had carried out.
‘The laundry place’, ‘The 4th Prince’, ‘The Old Stele’ and ‘The Forbidden Forest’. There is a high probability that the answer lies in the things I had done that went completely against the contents of the book. I decided on one of the 4 events.
“The 4th Prince.”
If I managed to meet Amor in the Forbidden Forest, then I will be able to determine whether or not three out of the four events listed were the answer.
‘I have 3 days left.’
This was a plan worth investing in.
“Novels and movies involving changing the future always started small.”
Although this may only be a small change, the impact on the future is anything but. This was the butterfly effect. Even if the events change only slightly, the effects can build up. I believe that when small snowflakes gather, they are able to make an entire roof collapse.
“Great. This is it.”
Just like how the title, director and the main character will appear before any movie is screened, the show that was about to begin now has a proper introduction and a title. My eyelids closed as I began formulating my plans.
My eyes snapped open. It’s time for a reversal.
: The author used ‘tea time’ which I find strange term to use as it sounds a little childish so I’m replacing it with ‘afternoon tea’
: The author used ‘If I had not had three noses’ which does not mean anything in english so I used the meaning of the idiom/saying
: GIRL STOP SIMPING SWEET HOME ALABAMA
: The formatting here is not a mistake. I excluded the speech quotations because the author didn’t include it this time round.