The Troublesome Royal Brother and the Prince who Turned the World Over 2
Why have things become like this?
What should I do?
While clinging to Percival with an unspeakable appearance, I was bawling my eyes out–gasping for breath inbetween the moans and sobs.
The words that followed were strained, but even then I could hear Percival softly say to me, “I see.”
One hand of his continued to rub the back of my armor while the other was gently holding my exposed hand. His fingers wrapped around mine tighter than those iron fingers ever had before. It might be because he had already seen everything underneath these bandages during the treatment that I didn’t mind.
I had a pink manicure on my fingertips underneath that iron armor. By now, he has already figured out my closest guarded secret that I have not told anyone, the fact that I like to try and look pretty, even though this iron armor covers it all up.
As a matter of course, I like not wearing this armor.
Alexis called me ugly, but I could never figure out why I was so. Since I did not know, I had no choice but to cover up my entire body.
The word ‘ugly’ is not just limited to one’s face. Your face, body, skin, hair, voice, or even hand shape could all be seen as ‘ugly.’ Even the way you move might make you look disgusting to others.
That’s why I had to cover every inch of my being although I was never able to figure out how to disguise the way my body moves.
I even covered up my dream.
My dream……it is not too different from Emilia wanting to be a ‘sparkling princess.’
I have always wanted to wear beautiful things like cute clothes. It was a wish that any young girl would have.
But what would look good overtop a suit of iron armor? Nothing.
Or at least nothing I could think of. Thinking so, I endured the thoughts of envy I felt towards others. Inside the old castle, I have a room I can never show anyone as it is decorated with a large number of cute and pretty accessories. Occasionally, I would allow myself to buy a gorgeous color of nail polish and decorate my fingertips, staring at the end result for hours.
And while I was doing this, Emilia was paving the road towards her dream of being a ‘sparkling princess’…..
With all that in mind, gloom continued to spill from my heart, right alongside my overflowing tears.
I complained about incoherent things while swallowing down all my grudges and regrets in a hoarse voice, all the while clinging to Percival as I continued to cry my eyes out.
Time rolled on, and after 15 minutes passes, I had regained my calm. Inbetween the hiccups, I slowly pulled myself off of Percival’s body while still slightly shaking inside my helmet and armor. Percival’s hand which was still rubbing the back of my armor slowly left me although it looked like it was still poised to hug me again in case I crumbled down again.
I vaguely gazed at it until eventually my gaze sunk down below so that the only thing I could see was the inside of my helmet. The back of my nose hurts.
Then taking a deep breath in order to calm my still trembling throat, I took a big sniff of air through my nose and turned my helmet away.
“……W-Well, Percival’s sleeping habit is really annoying, isn’t it?”
I gave him a complaint with my now hoarse voice.
Of course I was trying to hide my embarrassment. This is the story, I am obviously embarrassed that I cried in his arms. That’s why I had to take the initiative and shift the blame onto him.
Although, I’m pretty sure Percival knew exactly what was going on in my heart, and that was why he just shrugged his shoulders.
He gave me a gentle, bitter smile to show that he wouldn’t say anything about it, but it only made me feel even more uncomfortable.
“That’s right. It would be a problem if you were to cling to any other witch.”
“……..Even for me it’d be a big problem. Well, if someone were to see me, they would only see a guy who gets excited by suits of armor.”
“That’s a huge problem!”
That should be avoided as much as possible! At Percival’s words, my still moist eyes blinked a couple times while my cheeks burst into a blush.
Is it a problem that someone gets excited by a suit of armor……..? No, it most certainly is a big problem.
I took a few steps away from Percival as those thoughts started swirling in my head.
“L-let’s go back soon. I’m sure Alexis will eventually start to get worried about us.”
“I suppose so. Over there will surely be finished by now.”
Was there something that Alexis was doing over there? I looked at Percival curiously, but the man in question just sighed a little and shrugged his shoulders again.
On the contrary, he just straight up and headed for the door while saying, “Let’s go.” Apparently he did not want to go into details which made me create a scraping noise when I tilted my helmet, but I quickly followed after him.
“All the gloomy talk should be over by now. So, let’s talk about the fun stuff while I eat my rice.”
This was Ordo’s remark as dinner was prepared for us.
His eyes and curled up smile showed just how excited he was for the following talk, but that only made me and everyone else who had to listen to him feel tired.
A map was sitting on the center of the table. The royal palace sat in the center of the map marked in red along with a few knife marks.
So worn out……it was awkward looking at this map that had clearly gone through so much use, and I could definitely say that any type of, “So much fun!” feeling did not come up when looking at it.
Everyone picked up their silver plated tableware with a tired expression. As expected of a royal residence, all the dishes were delicious, but I would never give the satisfaction of me saying so to this laughing old man.
“Uncle, talking about fun…..I really don’t want to ask, but I’ll do it anyway. What are we discussing at this moment?”
“That should be obvious. It is how we shall proceed from this point forward. To be specific, how are we going to put me on the throne.”
“As I thought.”
“But before that, there is something I need to check with you.”
Altogether different from the amusing and loud tone he had been using until now, Ordo suddenly started speaking in a low voice while seriously staring at Alexis.
The tension in the room quickly changed along with him, and everyone stopped eating to turn their eyes towards him. Eyes of the same color with deep brown hair, the color and faces they bore were so similar, yet the atmosphere surrounding them was completely different.
The two of them stared at each other, sizing the other up, and Ordo slightly sharpened his gaze.
“Alexis, do you wish to sit on the throne?”
Ordo’s voice not only lacked any depth of the cheer he had shown seconds before, but it also gave off a sense of intimidation and possibly even a hint of hostility.
Depending on Alexis’s answer, it was clear that things could take a dangerous turn, and the people around us could suddenly become our enemies. The silver knife held in Ordo’s hand looked strangely sharper when I was hit with that hostility. It is just a kitchen knife, yet it looks like a deadly weapon when held by Ordo.
In response to Ordo’s question, Alexis stared back to reply……..that was
an answer that seemed like it was given little thought and answered with no hesitation.
“Wonderful, but you seem so sure of yourself.”
“From my father, I have learned that it is a king’s duty to lead and protect the people, but right now I don’t think I want to them.”
There was no intonation or biting emotion in Alexis’s voice; it was almost disturbingly settled.
It was clear that he had made up his mind before Ordo had brought up his question. Was this a decision he had suddenly come to during the incident at the royal palace, or was this something gradually brought about while listening to the people’s words while affected by the curse?
In any case, Alexis was clearly stating he wanted nothing to do with the succession of the throne.
I did not know what to say to him, so I remained silent and gazed at him. There was no anxiety or worry in his appearance, and he was scooping up a bit of his soup with the gracefulness you would expect from a prince.
“In the first place, my succession to the throne should already have been revoked, so I have already lost my rights to become the king. ……..but”
“I have no desire to be led by Rodel.”
Alexis’s tone of voice was as usual, yet it felt somewhat chilly as well.
Whether he was actually able of sounding like this….. During our journey, he had always sounded calm–although at times he sounded miserable and others kind.
That’s why when I heard him, my eyes locked squarely on him, and a slight pain was born in my heart when I noticed a few slight differences in his demeanor.
It was because of a witch.
This witch’s curse has changed him.
If I had realized about Emilia earlier, no, in the first place, if I had not locked myself away in the old castle and talked to Emilia about the magic of the Idira family, she may have figured it out herself…….
I am a witch, but I am an inexperienced witch.
As I am thinking about these things too late to do anything about, it suddenly dawned on me that Alexis was looking at me.
His deep brown eyes were slightly round. I could not understand the meaning of that gaze being poured on me, so I ended up lowering my eyesight a bit feeling like I had just gotten myself in trouble.
“Monette, you should not feel responsible.”
“……..that is, but it’s all due to the Idira family.”
“This incident certainly had a witch involved. But, the country is also at fault for being so easily swayed and going with the flow.”
There is a coldness in Alexis’s eyes as he tells me this, but there is also something similar to determination in there as well.
Ordo, who saw this fighting spirit, lit up again, and his enjoyable smile returned once again.
“In other words, the king is replaced by his driven brother……the fact that a witch is involved is just a minor detail.”
“……….yes, I suppose it is better than Rodel.”
“Alexis, I just thought you looked cute for the first time ever. I’m thinking about hugging you, but would you mind of I kissed you on the cheek as well?”
Ordo spread his arms wide with an even wider smile and told Alexis, “Come,” to which Alexis responded with an ice cold look……..before picking up a loaf of bread and shredding it to pieces.
He was completely ignored.
Or maybe Ordo wasn’t ignored and the loaf of bread was serving as a substitute for Ordo. That’s it. I can almost hear the bread’s ear-splitting screams.
However, Alexis’s expression after taking a deep breath was a mix of determination and hostility–an expression that I thought to greatly resemble Ordo’s.