Translator: Kurehashi Aiko Editor: Queenie
Witch’s Tears In the Blue Sea
With the Flower Festival over, summer was drawing even closer. With the summer season approaching, people started to wear lighter clothing, as well as various hats and hoods. While leaning through the wagon’s window, I can see a lot of people dressed like that, even though the season is not quite here yet.
Yes, the big festival. Even though the Flower Festival and the events that accompanied it happened not so long ago, for me it all felt like a dream. It was really strange for it to feel like a distant memory…… considering everything that happened.
I can honestly say that in my whole life, Filmina Von Lancent’s life, this year’s festival was the most thrilling and busy one, albeit not for pleasant reasons. In fact, I was so busy while it lasted that I hardly ever had time to take a break. A lot of things have happened, both pleasant and unpleasant, and coming back to some of them is still enough to give me a huge headache.
Not to mention having to deal with Klanven, especially the way in which I was forced to participate in the festival’s event from the balcony of the Great Temple, surrounded by the Heroes who once save this world from the Demon Lord. My husband was one of said Heroes as well. Of course, since it was such an important event, even I had to dress appropriately, put on make-up, do my hair and all of the other things I’d rather not do if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. That sense of helplessness knowing that it was something which you couldn’t avoid no matter how hard you tried…… For me it was a terrible experience. One that I would not like to take part in ever again.
Usually, I would hide my face under the parasol, but since I couldn’t quite do that I had no choice but to suffer through everyone staring at me. Fortunately enough, the audience’s attention was focused mostly on the Princess and the Heroes, leaving me alone. Which was a good thing, because too much-unwanted attention could impact my daily life quite negatively.
“Life is full of surprises. You can never know what is going to happen to you”, the Princess told me something like that during a private tea party that was held shortly after the festival has ended. I just listened to her world with reservations, while that man didn’t even bother to pretend that he was listening, which in turn earned him quite a scolding.
So until all the festivities surrounding the festival finally subsided and the world went back to its normal rhythm, I was forced to endure those kind of parties and ceremonies, much to my disapproval. And before I even realized it, summer was already here. It was the season where you could wear less restrictive clothes, but the fact that it was going to get hotter and hotter was also a slight let down. While I was thinking about all things summer related, the carriage finally came to a stop. When the door was opened before me I got out of the carriage and stepped firmly on the ground.
What stood right before my eyes was a huge white castle, the center of this very country. We came here on Princess’s invitation, which came sometime earlier via a magical orb used for communication.
If I was to evaluate my relationship with the Princess, I would say that our relations were good. Ever since my wedding ceremony we’ve been occasionally talking to one another and slowly learning about the other party more and more. “What would you like to do about it?” I was still impressed that the man asked me for my opinion after we received the Princess’s invitation. I was slightly concerned about that man’s health after the recent events, but even if he was putting a front to make me feel better, it was making me kind of happy.
Hence we were here now, invited by the Princess for yet another tea party. She was known for organizing things like that pretty often, and this time she insisted that this man must come together with me, since she rarely ever saw him attending parties like that. We had to go out of our way a bit to be able to attend, but the exquisite palace tea and their sweets were well worth it in my opinion.
We show the invitation from the Princess to the guard and are greeted by a maid who leads us through the long corridors. Of course this was the palace, so the only people living here were members of the royal family, but considering the recent activity of extremists of various kinds, not even the government officials and relatives of the royalty could enter the castle as they pleased and go wherever they wanted inside of it. Hence all the security and methods of prevention against uninvited visitors who would mean to do harm to the Princess.
「We were invited here just for the tea, right……?」
I whisper while carrying a basket in my hands, being careful for no one being able to hear it.
The contents of the basket were actually a token of our appreciation for all the times the Princess invited me to her parties, or treated us to some rare sweets or let us borrow a book from the royal library without all of the formalities. But this time around she invited us without any special reason, or at least she didn’t specify it. I wonder what that was all about?
As I wondered about that, I hear the quiet sound of a bell coming from the other side of the door we were supposed to go through. It was the way in which the servants would announce that the various guests have arrived. Having obtained permission to enter, the maid opened the door for us and I gave a slight bow while raising up the hem of my skirt upon entering the room.
「Princess, it is an honor to be invited before you once again. Filmina Von Lancent, at your call.」
After raising my face up, I opened my eyes in astonishment.
My dear husband, Agedilus Von Lancent, this country’s court magician, was sitting on the sofa at the back of the reception room, and the person accompanying him was none other than Princess Clementine. Seeing them like that, I just stood there, not knowing what to do.
Turning towards me and noticing my arrival, the Princess smiled at me gracefully. She showed me to the sofa and told me to make myself comfortable. Even though she was acting all natural, I felt as though I have interrupted them in some way.
「Ah, Filmina. I see you have brought some tea and sweets as well for today’s party.」
「Y-yes, that’s right! I thought it might be a token of my gratitude towards the Princess! It’s nothing much, but please accept it!」
The tea leaves were no problem, since that man was an excellent herbalist and helped me pick the right kind of leaves. The sweets were more of a problem, since I wasn’t all that good with baking them myself and I needed to go the pastry shop in town and buy something that would be suitable for someone like the Princess. But still, I’m guessing it won’t be anything that will be able to beat the palace’s chefs. Nevertheless, the Princess happily accepts my gift.
「Thank you very much. We’ll be sure to treat ourselves with them later. For now, let’s get the main topic out of the way.」
Hearing the words “main topic” I tilted my head slightly. I knew it, so it wasn’t just a simple invitation to a tea party. While looking at the Princess’s mysterious smile I wondered what could this main topic actually be? In response the Princess points towards something that was laying on top of the table. It was a document of some sorts.
「Pamphlet of the Nibbiellata Isle……?」
I read the title of the document carefully. I then direct my head towards the Princess, and she smiles at me.
「Isn’t Nibbiellata Isle that famous and luxurious tourist destination?」
The Princess said nothing to that, instead taking a sip of her tea that was placed on the table as well. Judging from the fact that there was no steam coming from the drink, it must have been already cold.
「Yes. Precisely that Nibbiellata Isle!」
I see, but sadly I still don’t understand what does this have to do with anything? The Isle was located south of the capital and was a luxurious and famous vacation resort for the people of the country. The Isle was very autonomous from the rest of the country, since the only way in which you could get to it was by the boat that goes from the mainland. It was known to be a paradise on earth, with clear skies, crystal-clear water and warm, white sand. This is the Nibbiellata Isle.
I have always wanted to visit those Isle at least once, but seeing how busy that man was all the time, I grew accustomed to the thought that it would be pretty much impossible. So why was a pamphlet like that laying before us now?
Seeing as I was utterly confused by this whole situation, the Princess laughed again and then proceeded to explain.
「I’m sorry for bringing that up so suddenly, but why don’t you go to the Nibbiellata Isle, Filmina, Agedilus?」
…… Hmm? I wanted to ask the Princess what exactly did she meant by that, but from her gaze alone I could see that she meant exactly what she said. And while I couldn’t exactly see the face of that man sitting right beside me, I was sure that he must have been as confused as I was. I gazed at him and he was indeed confused, however he was doing a perfect job with not letting his confusion to be visible on his face or from his gestures. He must have been livid with anger right now, but if there was such a thing as halos in this world, one would surely float right above his head right now.
「It’s only natural that you feel confused right about now. But how about it? Why don’t you just accept the offer?」
「I understand that, Princess. However, if you would be so kind as to explain why you proposed us something like this so suddenly……」