Translator: apinklover Editor: apinklover
Originally I was going to show up at the royal parade during the Founding Celebration but I was a fugitive on the run then… Cough.
Anyway, I was trying to calm myself down behind the curtain with all the fancy clothes and makeup on.
This palace isn’t used that often so I haven’t been here but looking outside the terrace on the topmost floor, you could see the square directly.
And I’m right behind the terrace curtain. Gosh, all the noise coming from outside is making me even more nervous!
“It’s just a few hand waves, is it that hard?”
Claude gave me a disappointed look, seemingly because he couldn’t understand my nervousness. Seeing him smirk like that actually makes me want to do this now!
As the servant lifted the curtains, Claude went ahead onto the terrace.
The enthusiastic shouting from the crowd filled the entire square. Whoo-hoo, look at those reactions. People don’t get to see the royals with their own eyes too much, like at the Founding Celebration.
On top of that, Claude looked even more badass today. How does his cape flutter so elegantly? It didn’t when I tried it on earlier. His shoulders were even sagging from the heavy cloth the cape was made of.
Oh gosh, it’s my turn! I eventually had to move forward because of the urge from behind.
I—I should smile, right? Claude’s solemn and stern look didn’t suit me well anyway and it would be really awkward to see the two of us not even recognizing each other.
“What are you doing?”
I was… umm… playing singleplayer freeze tag! I mean… my feet just refused to move for a second! You might be used to this stuff but I’m obviously not, you know!
“You look like an infant who hasn’t even learned to walk yet.”
Hahaha, how encouraging, dad.
Claude clicked his tongue at me who still couldn’t step into the terrace. He then offered me his hand.
“Hold my hand.”
Why—why does that remind me of the debutante? He used to say that to me a lot back then… Are you sure you lost your memories?
Sob… Could it be that memory and innate characteristics are apart… That’s kind of depressing, isn’t it…?
I pouted at his hand but ended up holding his hand anyway.
As I stepped outside, the massive crowd in the square filled my eyes.
Claude whispered as I unknowingly made a stiff face. Whoops, must smile! I awkwardly waved my hand with a somewhat unnatural smile on my face.
At the exact moment, the crowd blasted a deafening cheer.
“Look over here, your highness!! Please!!”
“Long live Obelia!!”
“Long live the King! Long live Princess Athanasia!”
I was speechless at the unexpectedly enthusiastic reaction. Wh—what? Why are they so hyped up? I was discombobulated by the greeting.
“Maybe it’s thanks to the Video Stone?”
As I stepped back with the crowd still cheering on, Lili and Felix burst out laughing.
I froze at the phrase ‘Video Stone.’
“There are countless people who fell in love with your highness after watching your debutante Video Stone. Not just in Obelia but people in other countries as well.”
“And there’s this rumor going on saying your highness is the successor to Claude to carry on the Great Mage title. That’s also driving the popularity insane.”
Frick! There’s too much that’s known now!
I was dumbstruck for a second as I heard the unthinkable.
Gasp, I just remembered! The Video Stones were shown in other countries too! I made a long face after the public appearance, thinking of Claude who left earlier because of a conference with his subjects.
“Speaking of which, how many of those Video Stones did they even make? I mean—when did they even make such a thing?”
But Lili and Felix avoided answering my first question then went on to answer my second one.
“We don’t know. His majesty made some in advance, apparently.”
Wh—what? When did you make that? Is the debutante video of me constantly stepping on Claude’s foot as I danced?
I came to a halt after I heard more of what Felix had to say.
“There are other versions, would you care to watch?”
Uh—other…? What do you mean other? Do you mean there are other Video Stones of me somewhere else?
“…There are other videos of me?”
“Absolutely, your highness. You can check them out—”
“No, I’m not interested.”
I’m being hella serious! I don’t want to see them!
Claude, you ruthless human! This has to be some sort of a public shaming plot by engraving my most embarrassing moments into the people!
“Why not just have a look…?”
“Oh look over there! What a cute cricket. It must be looking for its mom.”
No, I didn’t hear anything. Nothing about Video Stones.
I scurried back to the Emerald Palace, trying my best to deny reality.
* * *
While I was walking toward the palace, I heard a loud yell from somewhere. I turned my head at the deafening noise.
Umm… Why are they so surprised to see me?
There were four people all in the same outfit in my diagonal direction, which I immediately recognized as the Royal Mages’ robes.
Dang, I haven’t seen that uniform in a while. I used to see that almost every day when Lucas had been around. Sob, I feel a bit touched now.
I was stuck in the touching imagination until they yelled all at once which stunned me.
“Finally, it’s the Fairy Princess!!!!”
[Critical hit – ‘Fairy Princess!’ You took 500 damage!]
[Your mental strength took 60% damage!]
[Your eardrums have ruptured!]
Ring ring ring!
I was met with a massive shock as the forbidden word hit my eardrums! Ugh, it’s like someone slapped the back of my head countless times!
“I want to see her close-up too!”
“Me too, me too!”
But that wasn’t the end.
They started to run towards me screaming like a rabid group of zombies.
What the heck? As I backed off in intimidation, Felix stepped in front of me.
“Back off. You shall not come closer without her highness’ permission.”
Whoa. Felix looked so dependable with him blocking their way right in front of me.
Ah yes, the knight of blood! Properly nicknamed indeed. I’m sorry for underestimating your courage back then, Felix oppa!
[TL notes: if you didn’t know, ‘oppa’ is Korean for a favorable/amicable male elder; spoken by females.]
“I—I’m sorry… It’s our first time meeting her so close in person…”
“Right. I used to clean her Video Stone every day really meticulously…”
“Looking at her face in the Stone every night without even being able to sleep…”
“Working our butts off replicating about fifty Video Stones… Without even getting overtime pay… blah blah blah…”
Oh, I think I understand why they’re acting so enthusiastically now that they mentioned the Video Stones. It was them whom Claude ordered the Stones to be made!
B—but who are they? I’ve never seen them in my life but they were looking at me as if they’d been friends with me for a decade.
On top of that, they seemed genuinely downhearted when Felix blocked their way.
Cough. The Mages of the Black Tower… They’re a lot more different than what I imagined them to be.
“It’s okay, Felix. Let them.”
Even though they were complete strangers, I let them approach me in curiosity. I wanted to talk to them since I’ve never met other Mages of the Tower aside from Lucas.
I did see some of them passing by me muttering to themselves so I didn’t really get to interact with them.
They also didn’t seem to care about me. So it was a fresh experience for me to get their attention.
“Oh, nice to meet you too. So you’re the ones who made the Video Stones.”
As I told them that, their faces immediately lit up with a red hue. Ugh, they’re like moles poking their heads out of their holes.
“I—I’m the one who worked really hard to make the most Stones!”
“I made the Special Stones for other countries!”
“I’m in charge of the preservation charm! You could say I’m the one who kept the Stones in their mint condition without a dent!
“And I directed these lazy butts working overtime without proper pay!”
Uhh, this is too enthusiastic…
“But your highness!”
Mage 1 suddenly asked me a question with starry eyes.
“Can you really teleport multiple times a day?”
“Right! I’ve heard that her highness can use chained spells no sweat too!”
“There are some Mages who say they saw you use spells inside the palace!”
“We can’t even spark a fire if we’re not close to the Tower!”
I zoned out listening to their relentless bombardment of questions then asked them of something I found peculiar.
“Oh, is it hard to use magic within the palace?”
They started to spew out replies as if they were waiting for the question.
“Of course, there’s a spell restriction!”
“So we can’t use our spells except for designated locations!”
“If you can risk your own life using the charms, then you can—but the spellcaster’s going to be at least handicapped from the side effects if they somehow manage to survive!”
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