Happy Halloween everybody!
Armored Girl and the Sparkling Princess 1
Ordo was the only person who looked surprised at my sudden declaration.
Alexis’s eyes narrowed palpably, and the heartache was clear on Percival’s face. I guess they had already guessed the correct answer as well. No, when Alexis first escaped from the palace and declared, ‘even if it was all the effect of a witch’s curse,’ I’m sure he had already arrived at the truth.
Gina was the only one not affected by the reveal, continuing to elegantly sip on her glass of wine, but she most likely thought it was best not to say anything in this situation.
“Emilia Idira……..she is also a witch?”
“……..Yes, but I’m not sure she is even aware of the fact.”
The Idira family has witch blood in our veins, but we tossed aside our identities as witches long ago.
Parents stopped passing their magic down to their children, and the spellbooks containing knowledge and history were abandoned in the old castle.
With nobody to teach anything, there is no source of knowledge. There was no opportunity for Emilia tp ever learn how to use magic.
“Would it still be possible to use magic?”
Ordo’s question was a reasonable one, and the answer was yes.
The way I use magic is by using my art to channel my expression and form a spell through that. There are many ways to use magic though, so it is possible that I might unintentionally cast something through other means when my emotions are unstable.
Even if you are able to use magic, it is not like you would be able to master it though. As I told him this, I looked up to Gina to confirm who gave me a definitive nod. It was impossible.
Saying, ‘I can use magic,’ and ‘I have mastered magic’ are two completely different things.
“There is a possibility that you might get caught up in your own magic if used unknowingly.”
“Indeed. Strong magic can sometimes affect other witches, so if you unconsciously use a strong spell, the odds of the spell affecting the witch who cast it as well is quite high.”
Gina’s words caused me to murmur Emilia’s name inside my helmet.
Even without the knowledge of magic, I knew that I had the qualities to perform it. But I never imagined that it might have the power to affect another witch. But Gina is my senior witch from the long line of Avalkin family witches. There is no reason to doubt her.
While stroking Concetta on her knee,
“It was my mistake. I thought that Alexis was the only one to be cursed, so I was careless.”
Gina made as if she were talking to herself. Someone besides Alexis…..I do not have to ask who she is talking about to understand.
It was a scar I myself felt the moment we fled from the royal palace. I properly buried the pain, but the hurt I felt during that scene was real. A sharp, almost numb pain when Emilia called my name as we left.
However, right now I regret nothing, so there is nothing else for me than to look forward.
“It was definitely Emilia that cursed Alexis, and Emilia probably…..”
In the end, it was too difficult for me to put it into words, but Ordo ignored that fact and called to me.
“Monette, I understand the feelings of thinking about your sister, but please continue.”
“That’s surprising. Ordo, you know about Monette’s feelings for her sister?”
“Once, I said it on a formal basis. Honestly, I have nothing like positive feelings for my family, but I thought if I said that, I could understand the current situation a little quicker.”
“It seems that’s the situation, Monette.”
In this lighthearted conversation between Gina and Ordo, I couldn’t help but smile underneath my helmet. Alexis and Percival were smiling as well off to the side although theirs were a tad more bitter, and I could hear Alexis grumble to himself, “That’s just the type of person Uncle is.”
My complexion was a little pale, but it seems that their jokes have brought me to a more temperate manner. Gina looking down at Concetta resting on her lap, asking him if he wanted some bread really helped me to relax even more.
Now that some of the tension in the air had been released, Alexis took the opportunity to call my name. When my line of sight turned to where he was sitting, I saw his deep brown eyes staring right at me.
“Monette, may I be direct?”
“I have a lot of questions for you, but right now, I must ask you to please tell my uncle everything.”
Alexis shrugged his shoulders afterwards as if it couldn’t be helped that his uncle took priority, but I still nodded my head.
When I think about where his head is at right now, then I can imagine all kinds of questions he would want to ask. But that is the very reason he is putting those questions to the side so he can hear things from the beginning.
Still, if his desperate struggle to give a smirk and a small laugh were not obvious enough, then his knuckles turning bone white from clutching the cushions so tightly would clue you in to how he was feeling at the moment. If he did not do this, I am sure that his heart would break.
Understanding that, I shrugged my own shoulders as well,
“I suppose we should get on with it. If things go too late, then some people will end up getting sleeping and progress will slow down,”
and I told my own joke. When Percival heard me, he burst into a coughing fit as if something had gotten stuck in his throat, but when I told them I was of course talking about Concetta, I made sure to stick my tongue out at him from underneath my helmet.
Percival’s bright blue blues eyes curled up for a moment, but after collecting himself, he turned his face away and said, “Of course I knew that.” Alexis and I both had the same wry smiles as we watched him try to play it off.
However, those wry smiles of ours were a little unnatural, and as we started exchanging words and jokes, things started to get a little warmer. It was a pleasant fight.
As if we knew things were going to be rocky from now on, at least right now the three of us could insult each other just as he had done on our journey. Lamenting this fact, I took a small breath as Alexis once again called my name.
“Monette, tell me if you understand. What did Emilia want by cursing me? I…….was I being resented for what I did by her as well?”
Alexis was clearly trying to hold back the pain in his voice. But it was useless.
Although it was a substitute engagement made after the older sister Monette’s engagement was broken off, Alexis still cherished Emilia. She was to be his future who would stand by his side leading the country together. It would be impossible for him to not be saddened by this fact.
Although the process leading up to the engagement was complicated, the two of them were well-suited for each other, and I had heard the citizenry pass an endless number of rumors about it through the wind.
To find out that all that happiness was a lie would naturally bring despair to Alexis’s expression. Far from being a good fiancée, to find out that she hated him so much as to manifest into a curse, how could that not hurt?
Anyway, even the engagement with Emilia…..
I shook my helmet once towards Alexis whose eyes had continued to grow more downcast. Alexis was cursed by Emilia. However, that is……
“Alexis was certainly cursed by Emilia, but it wasn’t due to any kind of grudge.”
“…..There was no grudge?”
“Cursing Alexis was never the goal in the first place. The curse was for another purpose, and it was cast a long time ago……”
Saying this much, I took in a deep breathe.
I can see that everyone’s eyes are focused in on me. I want to quickly give them an answer, but even now the truth of the matter is acting as an iron ball rolling around in the pit of my stomach…….Everyone’s gazes combined together, and the heavy atmosphere stabbed into me like sharp knives. Despite that, I have the contradictory feeling as if there were nothing there, and everything: this room, this suit of armor, my heart were completely empty.
Still, I slowly forced open my mouth, and a completely miserable voice escaped my lips.
Alexis’s bad luck, the rumors……….no, everything that has happened was caused by one strong wish.
“I want to become a sparkling princess.”
Muttering the words that I had heard so many times, the memory so far in the past resurfaced in my mind. Glittering memories of Emilia and I resting our heads on Mother’s knees as if it were a pillow and competing to see who could spin up the most story-like fantasy.
But now, the “who did it, to whom, from when, and how the curse came to be,’ were all coming together.