The Case of the Prince’s Curse and the Inn 1
We took a few hours of rest to eat breakfast and lunch before the carriage began to shake again, and we managed to make it to the next town before the sun went down. Looking at the situation out through the window, you could see a dense crowd of people jumbled about.
On the way, there were many small incidents that we had to deal with such as more fashionable moths coming in, fashionable frogs crawling in, the horses falling in love at first sight and toppling the carriage over as they chased down their loves—nothing unexpected at least.
While thinking about such things, the carriage lurched forward before coming to a complete stop. The driver called into the carriage letting us know that we had arrived before opening the door for us.
Percival and Alexis grabbed some information about the city while paying for the fare while I stretched out my aching limbs. I’m not sure if that noise is the sound of my armor scratching against itself or the scream of my body having finally gotten off of the carriage after a long time.
Then, while continuing to give my body the movement it so desperately craved, I made sure to caress the nose of the horse that had brought us this far. I felt that the horses eyes shined a little speaking to me about its new lot on life with love. It was a way of life unsuited to me.
“First we will find some accommodations, have dinner, and we will head back out tomorrow morning with a new carriage…”
With a map of the city in one hand, Percival started going over the plans for the day.
Listening to it, Monette felt her mood start to brighten up. The word “inn” that escaped her lips sound like a sweet melody to her as it echoed inside her helmet.¹
She had been looking forward to this all day. It will be the best inn in the city. Unlike the narrow carriage, she could stretch out her limbs on top of the bed. There will be male and female bedrooms, so the deceitful Percival’s annoying illness would not bother her. And most importantly, she could remove her armor. To this, especially, Monette felt a smile break out underneath her helmet.
“Then let’s quickly go to the inn! I will be taking the best room!”
Practically pushing the two men forward, Alexis had no room to complain, and Percival only knitted his brows as he took a peek into his wallet.
How does it feel?
At the counter of the inn they chose, Percival seemed a little reluctant.
“Two rooms please. Make one of them your best room.”
I beg you.
On the other hand, Monette felt better than ever, and her mood only got better when she interrupted Percival with the words, “On the top floor!”
This is a three story inn. Besides the counter and dining room, there is nothing on the first floor, so the top floor might not mean anything with this inn. But there is a principle here that she would not compromise on. And she would be lying if she said that watching the crease in Percival’s eyebrows deepen didn’t bring her some delight.
Monette then pulled out a menu for room service out off of the counter, and she began to flip through it. This was of course to show off. On the first day of their trip, she was made to sleep in a carriage, and she was forced to have Percival give her a lap pillow. It’s about time these two learn what happens when they bring along a witch.
“…On the top floor?”
“Yes. The best room on the top floor. With room service as well.”
“Alright. Just to let you know, the top floor of this building is slightly tilted, so be careful.”
“As long as it’s not on the roof.”
To all the grief Percival had given her the past two days, she would return it all at once. She picked out some midnight snacks immediately and asked the lady at the counter to have them delivered to her later.
In this case, she noticed all the people near the reception counter staring at her. The sight of someone in full body armor ordering such things would be unusual. Plus, this town is only a day away from the capitol. Surely the story of, “a pathetic armor girl who was thrown away by the prince after being called ugly” had reached this place. She didn’t really mind them staring, but with their gazes fixed on her for too long, she starts to get a bad feeling and a cold sweat begins to break out.
Even though I am covered in iron, I still get the feeling that they’re looking at me and something ugly is being reflected in their sight. What is that something? I do not know. It’s because I don’t understand that I became like this.
“…Monette, is there something wrong? Are you alright?”
When Alexis called out to her, Monette came back to herself. His deep, teardrop-like eyes were staring into her…well, they were trying to, but because of the iron helm, they were slightly off. From here, she could see Alexis’s eyes, but he could not see hers. No matter how much he looked, iron and magic would block his view.
As she thought so, Monette felt a wave of relief wash over her, and she took a look around her at the surrounding people. She heard someone whisper, “armor girl,” but nobody could see her. Yes, she just kept telling herself that.
“Monette, if you don’t mind, could you prepare one of your curse avoidance spells?”
“Are you going to avoid your curse?”
“Yes, I will be staying in my room the whole time.”
I have also read more adult books. The Alexis is showing a strong front, but his eyes are clearly looking for an escape route. I do not even have to imagine why. Just as I am exposed to gazes and rumors as the so-called “Armored Girl,” he is exposed to disdain as the “Prince of Infidelity.” Him staying in his room the whole time would most certainly be the correct choice.
Thinking so, I took out a pen and a piece of parchment from my pouch and started to draw a cute kitty-cat.² This time I drew a cute hachiware kitty-cat that was sticking it’s tongue out. How adorable.
“Please make do with this. It will only last you through the night, so do your best until the effect expires.”
“Thank you Monette, but did you have to go to all that bother to draw up some poor animal have its head split open?”
“It’s a cute kitty-cat!”
Impolite! I wanted to appeal, but Alexis was already being guided by the hotel staff and left with a bitter smile. You could tell just by looking at him that he was anxious, and when he looked back and said, “I will spend the whole time in my room, so please do some shopping for me,” he looked quite pitiful.
Surely, if I was accompanied by constant misfortune I would not like to go shopping either. To such a thought, all I can do is shrug my shoulders and wave to Percival as I made my way out of the inn to buy some more parchment and ink. I decided to ignore Percival muttering, “clione?” when he saw my spell this time.
Along with the parchment and ink, I take a look at the carriages lining the street. Although I don’t have the courage to browse through stores while wearing a full body suit of armor, I can still get an idea about what they sell by taking a look at the wagons they have. In the end, I bought myself some pink nail polish and returned to the inn when the sun had begun to set and the street lights were lit.
I took a meal in the dining room of the hotel.
Apparently there were some seasonal travelers going through town as the dining room was quite crowded. The quiet whispers of the local villagers could barely be heard amongst the backdrop of drunken laughter and merriment. It was my first time eating in a place like this……I don’t usually eat with other people in the first place actually. I was pretty anxious at first, but I started to feel better after a little bit.
After finishing my meal, I thought about returning to my room early in preparation for tomorrow…… but I decided to go to Percival and Alexis’s room instead. Of course it was to see in what ways Alexis’s bad luck had tortured him.
“…You shouldn’t just visit a man’s room like this Miss Monette. Do you want to follow us there to laugh at the Prince’s bad luck?”
“That’s 90 percent of the reason, but I also want to adjust the spell I gave him.”
To enhance the curse avoidance effect—if I say something like that, then Alexis and Percival have no choice but to let me inside. They’ll listen to just about whatever I say if it means that they will get a good night’s sleep.
Understanding that whatever I want would be better than the curse, Alexis let out a small breath and nodded to let me come. He was clearly fatigued, and there was a small abrasion on his forehead. The curse avoidance that I gave him seems to have worn off faster than expected. I wonder if he fell off a chair or something.
“Well without Monette’s spell things would have been much worse. All right. Have your fun, Monette.”
“I am already accustomed to the bad luck of an inn.”
So laugh hard, is what he’s saying right? Alexis walked back towards his room. His back still looked anxious, and Percival was left staring after him. I think the saying goes you add and divide by two.³ If that were to happen, I am worried about what Percival would do with all his pent up energy.
“Because the Prince says it’s okay, you can come in, but if you are only here to enjoy his misfortune, return to your room. In addition…”
“I know, don’t poke the curse. I will make a spell that will block the curse throughout the night.”
“It’s a deal then. …..If you make a mistake though,”
“If I make a mistake?”
“I might end up sleepy again.”
“What an unprecedented threat.”
I waved off Percival’s threats and his piercing gaze with a wave of my hand and walked with a *patapata* into the room…….although with my armor on it would have been more of a *gatchan gatchan*. But on the inside, I was not so dismissive. My only true relief was that Percival couldn’t see the scared look I had underneath my helmet.
Anything else besides the Other Percival. What will happen if I’m sleeping? ……Underneath that tilted roof, “Miss Monette’s hands are beautiful,” he’d do something like use my pink nail polish on my armor.
This must be what they call a monster. ……Thinking so, I followed behind Alexis.
“I know what Monette is expecting, but something won’t happen any time soon.”
“Yes. When I go to bed, the floor will give out while I sleep, a cat burglar will break into my room, or some strange woman will come banging on my door. Right Percival?”
“That is so. There were a few times that I thought we were safe, and then several things happened at once.”
Two people walked and talked, and I just nodded my head while walking behind them.
Although the curse itself is continuous, there seems to be an inconsistency in the events that happen. From minor things to bump and bruises to events like poisonous moths and lizards, the only rule is that Alexis doesn’t die or even maimed. It is a relatively subtle and obscure curse from a witch.
Thinking that way, Monette’s helmet creaked as she tilted her head to the side, but she quickly put her thoughts to the back of her mind because they had reached their destination.
Unlike her best room of the inn on the top floor, this one had a simple and uninteresting door. It also apparently only has two narrow beds inside as well.
“Since we will be leaving early tomorrow, please try to keep the bad luck moderate.”
“I know. And I will be ready at an appropriate time.”
As Monette purposely told them that room service would be coming for her, Alexis shrugged his shoulders as he unlocked the door with the room key and took hold of the door knob.
The door made a small creak as it slowly opened, and……
…..several cream pies flew out into his face along with the sound of bellowing laughter.
1. It’s a little late to be pointing this out, but this story really does switch between 1st and 3rd person in some of the strangest places
2. Hachiware means there is a split in an animal’s coloration. It kind of looks like they’re wearing a mask.
3. This is a tricky one. I did some research, and I believe what this saying essentially means is that they’re fine together. Percival and Alexis need each other, and if they were to separate form one another, they would both not be able to get by.