Chapter 43 – Now That I’ve Seen It, It Was Strange
The application was submitted to the State Affairs Palace where the administrators worked instead of the Princess’ Palace.
The officials who were wandering around like zombies were surprised to see me appear early in the morning.
“What is Your Highness doing here early in the morning?”
‘What am I doing here? I’m here to review the applications that have been submitted!’
By the way, it seems like even in a fantasy world, going to work in the morning is painful.
I bowed politely to the adults who stopped in front of me and smiled.
“Why does everyone look so tired? Because you can’t sleep well?”
“No way! Our energy is overflowing!”
“Who’s the one wandering around without energy? I’ll warn them myself!”
After I started the conversation, they quickly emphasized that they weren’t tired.
‘But I can see that they’re wandering around sluggishly.’
Did I become a tactless department head who pretended to be close to their subordinates?
I waved with an innocent smile.
“I see. Ariel must’ve seen wrong. Everyone keep up the good work!”
I left the bowing officials behind as I bit my lips with mixed feelings.
‘If I catch them walking like a zombie, are they going to receive punishment? I just felt close to them.’
Right now I’ve become a powerful child, but I was also once a person who couldn’t come to my senses unless I drank 3 americano a day in South Korea.
‘Ah, come to think of it, is there any coffee in this world?’
As I walked with those in mind, I suddenly missed americano.
I missed the bitter taste of coffee that opens my eyes just by taking a sip!
‘I must ask them. If there’s none, I can make it.’
If I say a word, there are so many people in the continent that could collect coffee beans, so what am I worried about?
‘Ahh, I suddenly realized that my life has turned around.’
I can’t believe a word can make people do things. Just imagining it made my heart feel full.
I clenched my fist.
‘That’s why I have to repay Tessa and Lucinda.’
They made me happy, so those two should be happy too.
I thought I would start this project and went into the State Affairs Palace with a light step.
“You came early in the morning, Princess.”
“Have you eaten breakfast?”
The officials said to me in a coddling tone.
I answered without pausing.
“I haven’t eaten yet. I was in such a hurry.”
“Oh, dear! You must be very hungry.”
Even then, Madame Fenrir prepared a sandwich and made me bring it as I insisted on going to the State Affairs Palace immediately.
I replied with a shrug.
“I can eat while I work.”
I just said it without thinking, but the officials looked very moved by my words.
“As expected, a genius is different.”
‘Ah! What do those people think? Are they trying to train me?’ As expected, Tessa had to marry sooner and had a legitimate heir to the throne. Otherwise, I couldn’t be free from their grasp.
‘Yes! That’s why reviewing the application today is important! I can’t leave the final 10 candidates to unqualified people or someone who hates Uncle Tessa.’
As I walked a little further, the person in charge of the application rushed in front of me.
“How many applications came?”
“A total of 89 applications have been received.”
“Only that much?”
It was a lot less than I had expected.
I thought it would easily exceed a hundred.
“Did I set the deadline too short? That’s why only a few were submitted?”
When I asked back with a sour face, the person in charge bowed his head.
“Even if it seems a little, you’ll think it’s a lot once you see it. And originally, the Empress candidate shouldn’t exceed 30 candidates.”
“Then it’s much more than the usual?”
It wasn’t a bad thing from my point of view, because I preferred a good-natured woman who can comfort Uncle Tessa’s wounded heart over a daughter of good lineage from a famous family as an aunt.
‘Well, 89 pages are a lot to review.’
“Come this way.”
After I came to a conclusion, I nodded and the person in charge led me to a room.
It was a room guarded heavily by knights.
“The application form is important and we must not lose a single sheet, that’s why we keep it completely guarded.”
It’s a form to select the Empress of this country after all, so we can’t manage it recklessly.
I nodded my head.
There was a large desk in the middle of the spacious room, and a square safe was there.
They even locked it in a safe.
It’s similar to how a university entrance exam is being kept.
“Then, I’ll review it first. Leave the sandwiches here.”
It’s an important document, so I decided to review it by myself.
I settled comfortably in a large chair.
And I immediately realized why the person in charge said it wasn’t easy.
‘Ah, now that I see it, it truly is a lot ‘
There were many contents to be reviewed, and there were no objective criterias, so we had to decide on the criteria to eliminate some.
‘I was born into a blessed family with four sons and one daughter. I grew up with a lot of love from my father and brothers… Huh, who wrote it for them?’
Even though the world has changed, the self-introduction in their resume is similar to my world.
‘Why are there so many people whose hobby is mediating? Is meditation considered a good hobby?’
I wouldn’t notice if it were only one or two people, but seeing that many of the ladies had meditation as their hobby, I had reasonable suspicion that they had the same instructor.
‘Hmm, as I read on, I could see that black one is words and the white one is paper*’
*TL/N: a Korean idiom meaning they couldn’t understand what was written even after reading it.
The portrait was almost the same as well so it was tiring to look at.
It was clear that the unusually large eyes and same face shape was painted by the same artist.
‘I let my guard down because there isn’t photoshop here. I didn’t know that the artist could beautify them as much as they want.’
Anyway, the applications were similar so it was tiring.
I let out a sigh and decided to use the last resort.
That’s why I called my annoying familiar.
Pupu appeared with a distinctive purr.
[What is it again!]
Its abundant, sky-blue fur fluttered like clouds.
“You stole my chocolate again!”
I abruptly screamed and grabbed it by the tail.
Pupu’s wings kept flapping and its breath was rough. Its wings roughly scatter light powder which seems like a moth.
[W-what are you talking about! How could a proud and honorable familiar like me steal!]
However, it denied the accusation fiercely with all of its heart. I narrowed my eyes and said,
“Wipe the chocolate off your mouth first and talk.”
This damn cat. I shouldn’t have said chocolate is good for the body.
Pupu, who darted its tongue in and out, looked at my fierce eyes. Then it shivered and shouted,
[This isn’t chocolate! It’s clearly my lip line!]
“Sigh, you’ve truly gotten better at talking.”
The problem isn’t about the cat’s lip line.
But there were too many papers piled up in front of me to examine one by one.
I told Pupu abruptly.
“Who would get along well with my uncle here?”
This time, Pupu looked at me with a blatant pathetic expression on its face.
[Why are you asking me that?]
“Isn’t my Pupu a proud and honorable familiar?”
To be exact, Pupu is the only one who can meet all the people here right?
As I grew up, I was able to show or hide Pupu at my approval.
It was possible for Pupu to do so because it could show up secretly like a fog in their minds.
‘Should I ask Pupu to meet the 89 candidates and let me know?’
Why didn’t I think of it before?
Since they’re important Empress candidates, let’s meet all of them!
‘It’ll be hard for Pupu to do it alone, so if I ask Langrisser for help…….’
Before I finished my words, Pupu grumbled with its front paws scratching its snout.
[You tend to treat me as some kind of a magic box.]
What is it saying?
[I can hear everything even if you only think about it.]
Pupu seemed hurt and it grumbled to me.
I smiled awkwardly.
“No, Pupu. I didn’t think of you like a magic box.
[It’s too late.]
When I tried to hold Pupu, it flew to the ceiling and avoided my hand in anger. Then it flapped its wings and said,
[I’ll make the wind so why don’t you just pick the 10 papers that fly the farthest?]
“Shouldn’t we pick 10 papers which didn’t fly away? It’ll be heavier if they wrote more.”
[You’re stupid. People who are confident won’t write that much.]
That’s plausible but I didn’t think so. Didn’t people who weren’t confident in themselves usually answered ‘Professor, I’m sorry I was born.’ in their answer sheet when they didn’t know the answer?
I shook my head.
“No, no way! There’s no way! I can’t choose my aunt that way!”
[Tsk, you weren’t tricked.]
Were you trying to trick me!?
I glared at the impudent Pupu. Then what Pupu said pissed me off.
[Why are you making such a fuss when it’s going to be this person or that person anyway?!]
“How could it be only this or that person! This is a very important decision!!”
How can I not make a fuss when my uncle’s happiness is at stake?
I thought about it seriously, and when I put on a stern expression, it was speechless for a while and asked me back.
[Why does it matter anyway when the Emperor’s opinion wasn’t even considered? That’s why there is no difference when you pick this or that person!]
The words shocked me.
As I trudged out of the room, I saw Alexander leaning against the wall and looked at me.
I extended my arms to Alexander.
Alexander, who saw that I was purposely acting childish, knew that I was feeling down. So he quickly held me.
I must’ve been quite heavy but his face didn’t show any signs of that.
Alexander asked and he patted me gently.
“Should we take a walk? Does your head hurt?”
“Yes, I have a lot to think about.”
Perhaps he thought I was stressed seeing those piles of papers, so Alexander leisurely walked with me to the garden of the State Affairs Palace.
The garden was much smaller than the one attached to my palace, but it helped me calm down.
Alexander asked me in a considerate tone.
“Is it difficult to review the applications? Do you need my help?”
“It’s not like that. I already skimmed through it lightly.”
“I- Is that so?”
We can read the documents if we learned how to read the letters right? But the problem right now wasn’t the application form. I pouted my lips.
“I just realized something. My uncle completely misunderstood me, I think I need to change my purpose and way of achieving it.”
“So what did he misunderstand?”
As I rubbed my cheek against Alexander’s shoulder, my feelings became gloomier.
I let out a sigh.
“It would be great if my uncle experienced love.”
Alexander was astonished at what I said. I knitted my brows and faced him.
Did I say something wrong?
There were suddenly a lot of wrinkles in his face. Then Alexander asked me,
“How old are you, Princess?”
“Ariel is six years old.”
“A six-year-old said something about love… I know kids these days are fast but…”
I don’t think kids these days are fast, isn’t it just me?
“I wanted my uncle to experience love and be happy. I don’t want him to marry a girl randomly.”
“But we couldn’t pick an Empress just based on our feelings right?”
“Yes, even then…”
I put on a gloomy expression on my face.
“My uncle doesn’t know what love is. It would be great if my uncle knew that feeling. My purpose is not simply to get him married.”
Hearing my murmur, Alexander’s expression became dark.
Alexander, who seemed to be pondering for a moment, asked me back.
“Is the feeling of love between a man and a woman that great?”
When I heard the question, I froze.
‘Alexander, no way, you’re……’
He must have been single since birth!