The Unlucky Prince
Alexis Radoll is the First Prince of this country who lived a blessed, easy life anyone would envy up until one year ago. With his dark brown eyes, tall height, and limber hands and legs, he was handsome enough that any woman would let out a soft breath in desire at the sight of him. He was also talented as royalty – he aggressively threw himself into his studies of subjects he needed to know in order to ascend the throne.
He was earnest, hardworking, and easy to get along with. He would treat people equally in good faith while remaining as dignified as you would expect royalty to be. He was an ideal prince – loved by the people, held dear by his retainers. Everyone dreamed of him ascending the throne and talked about how the future of the kingdom was secure.
… Up until one year ago.
Now, for some reason or another, his stable life had made a 180 and was filled with bad luck. No, “filled with bad luck” is putting it too lightly. “Rife with bad luck” would be more like it. After all, it’s just that horrible.
Running a mysterious fever or getting mysterious injuries became an everyday occurrence. When he tries to sleep, something or someone always gets in the way and he ends up unable to rest. It’s taking Alexis everything he has just to get through each day – no matter how talented he is, it’s natural that his concentration would waver and he would start making mistakes.
To make things worse, terrible rumors began to spread – about how he’s using the country’s funds for his personal use, how he’s taking bribes to unfairly promote his subordinates, and so on. The people and his retainers began to flip their view of him. Even though they’re ridiculous rumors with no shred of truth to them, everyone unanimously believes them for some reason.
Eventually, people started saying he got some random woman pregnant and has a bastard child – and even that he was keeping his fiancee’s mouth shut about this through violence.
Why, the rumors grew so out of proportion it’s as if they managed to escape the atmosphere and call over their friends from Planet Bad Luck.
If it had just been one or two things, Monette would’ve probably just said “Serves you right.” But hearing this much made even Monette do nothing but knit her brows in her helmet.
“You have no leads on where these rumors may be coming from?”
“Yes, not one.”
“That story about a bastard child – could it be because you frequented the red-light district or had some kind of thoughtless love affair in the past?”
“I’ve never done anything like that, absolutely not even once. If you were talking about how I can make women fall for me just by making eye contact it would be a different story, but I have no experience with everything you mentioned.”
“I see, you’re pure then,” shoots Monette, sugar-coating the fact that he’s a virgin, “Do you have any other ideas then?”
“So then…” someone cut in.
Monette turned her attention towards the new voice. It’s the man who came in with Alexis. He’s taller than Alexis and is sturdily built. He’s blond-haired and has a severe expression. His sharp green eyes give him an intimidating air. From his casual-looking clothing and sword at his hip, he’s probably Alexis’ bodyguard.
“Who are you?” Monette asks him bluntly after staring at him for a bit.
It can’t be helped if she’s a teensy tiny bit rude. They’re the ones that forced themselves in her home – she has no responsibility to be nice to them. Really, they’re all being rather ill-mannered with each other.
“Percival. Percival Galette. I work as the prince’s bodyguard.”
“Mr. Percival. I see. Very well, continue.”
“The way you talk really gets on my nerves.”
“Oh, I’m so very sorry. I’m just a little irritated because I’m being forced to welcome some ill-mannered visitors without any advance notice.”
“Says the lump of iron.”
Percival glares intently at Monette. Monette glares right back.
Of course, Monette’s face is hidden by her helmet, and her helmet is made so even if she can see others, they can’t see her eyes. Glaring is quite literally useless. She’s a lump of iron, just like he says.
After the sturdy man and the lump of iron glared at each other for a while, Alexis, reaching the end of his patience, sighs and tries to stop them.
“Haven’t you had enough…?”
Then his chair collapses.
It collapsed rather dramatically, making a very loud noise as it crashed down.
“Milord, are you alright?!”
Panicked, the two of them run up to Alexis, who’s sitting on the ground on top of the collapsed chair. He waves them away, saying that he’s okay… the very next moment, tea spills over his head. His teacup had been knocked over when the table had tilted thanks to the shock of his chair falling to pieces.
What a beautiful sequence of events.
“Ooh, combo attack,” murmurs Monette in spite of herself.
“Well, one problem’s been dealt with.”
“More importantly, could you fix the bathroom? Hot water stopped coming out of the taps after Prince Alexis used it.”
“Don’t worry, it’ll fix itself once we leave.”
“Get out, you pair of pests!”
Ignoring Monette’s angry yells, Percival and Alexis started talking to each other. At their reaction, Monette doesn’t really feel like yelling at them anymore.
“Maybe you’re cursed?” Monette says half-ironically, unable to resist taking one last jab.
She then decides to get the conversation back on topic… but instead, her eyes widen in her helmet. Alexis and Percival are staring at her. Though she’s wearing iron armor, it doesn’t feel good to be the center of attention. Sweat beads on her forehead. Dark brown eyes and green eyes. Her heart constricts in pain at their direct gaze – it’s like they’re seeing right through the armor.
“W – What is it?” Monette asks, voice trembling. But since her voice echoes in the armor and can’t be heard well, they probably won’t notice.
“Lady Monette, you just said that Prince Alexis was cursed, did you not?”
“Y – yes, I did. What of it?”
“Who do you think cursed him?”
“Well, I hadn’t thought that far,” says Monette.
Alexis rose forcefully with a clatter, and with that force, takes her hand – to be precise, her armored gauntlet – in his. Monette’s next words – “I don’t know,” – are swallowed down at Alexis’ actions.
He’s strong… maybe. She unfortunately can’t really tell through the armor. But his serious expression has strength in it.
“Monette, so you really did hold a grudge!”
“I’m so sorry about what I did back then. I’ll do anything to make it up to you. So please…”
“Please break this curse!” pleads Alexis, his voice almost a scream.
Monette tilts her head to the side, her armor making a grinding noise.
Alexis Radoll has this to say.
I hurt Monette in the past. I hear that she’s cooped up in the old castle, researching the House of Idira’s ancient magic. I’m sure that she still holds a grudge against me and cast this curse on me when she saw her chance! That’s what put me in this sorry state!
Percival Galette has this to say.
Unfortunately I didn’t witness their first meeting myself, but I can’t deny that milord’s words were cruel. That’s why I’m sure that Lady Monette cast a curse on Prince Alexis because she held a grudge against him. I’m the only retainer milord has left after his reputation fell to tatters. We need to stop Monette before things get any worse!
Monette Idira has this to say.
You’re completely off the mark so please hurry up and go home.
Naturally they wouldn’t be able to carry on a decent conversation in a situation like this. “You cursed me!” – “No I didn’t.” – “Please forgive me.” – “Please don’t break the chair,”… the conversation continued in this fashion, and before anyone knew it, the sun had set.
Monette let out a heavy sigh when she was forced to split half of her weekly food supplies with the two of them for their dinner.