Translator: Kurehashi Aiko Editor: Queenie
「I’m starting to think I understand why Juri-kun is so fond of you.」
「…… Did that boy said anything like that?」
「That’s right. He said that you are amazing, Leticiela-sama and that he likes you very much.」
The Governess’ eyes open wide and her face turns bright red. I cocked my head a little bit seeing that, almost saying aloud how incredibly cute that reaction was.
「No, it’s nothing. It’s nothing, really. I’m sorry for boring you with such a gloomy story. My apologies.」
The Governess said, and after that she quickly finished her tea and got back on the carriage and went back to her mansion.
Later that evening the Princess contacted me while I was combing my hair, after I finished my meal and decided to have a bath and go to sleep shortly after.
The magic stone that served me for communication started to glow brightly right next to the night-stand mirror where I had left it earlier.
「“My thoughts are always with you, wherever you are.”」
Immediately after I whispered those words, the light emanating from the magic stone got stronger, forming a humanoid shape. That shape took on the appearance of the Princess and was now standing right before me. Unlike my shabby nightgown, the Princess was dressed in a pretty night-robe as she smiled at me with her pretty lips.
「Nice to see you again, Filmina.」
「The pleasure is all mine, Princess. Please pardon my appearance.」
「Please don’t worry about it. In fact, it brings me joy to see that you wish to stay in contact with me so often. So? How is the investigation coming along?」
I stood up from my chair only to sit right back at it again. Hearing that question, I bit my lip in frustration. I don’t want to report to her that I basically have nothing to report. The intricacies of the magic language spoken by that man were too much for me to comprehend, and the Princess must have realized that from my silence, for her expression turned sad instantly.
「Seeing you like that is more than enough of a confirmation for me… That guy, once you get back, he’d best prepare himself for an earful from me!」
It was most certainly a joke and I knew that deep down inside the Princess was also worried about us and wanted that man to return to normal as soon as possible. Hearing her firm and confident voice, I was starting to feel encouraged as well. It was good to know that I wasn’t alone in all of this. That made a smile bloom on my lips.
「Actually, Princess, I was recently able to talk to the adult Edi.」
The Princess’s eyebrows moved up in surprise. Her scarlet eyes narrowed in suspicion.
「… What do you mean?」
「When child Edi is sleeping or unconscious, I can apparently come into contact with the adult Edi for a brief moment. He said that it was all thanks to the strong feelings that were calling out of him.」
I should have reported that to the Princess right away, but because I was so overwhelmed by everything that was happening up until now, I had simply forgot to do it. And although it was still a far stretch from solving this strange case, it was a huge step forward that I was now able to talk with that man, even if it was just for a moment.
After a brief moment of silence, the Princess finally speaks up.
「 –––– I see. That being said, what do YOU think about it, Widnichol?」
Hearing the unexpected name from the Princess’s mouth, I can see that she turns her head to the side. From there I could hear the voice of Widnichol, a young mage who was currently practicing his craft under that man. He then came into the field of view of the crystal.
When the man in question came into the view, I immediately recognized who it was. No wonder that voice just now sounded so familiar.
「Good evening, Filmina-san.」
「Oh my, if it isn’t Widnichol-sama?」
It was indeed him, Widnichol Aide. An apprentice of the Hero who helped to save the world, wearing clothes of mixed white and black colors. His face was full of kindness and his blue eyes were filled with much warmth.
Once we exchange polite greetings, the Princess came back into the view and continued speaking from where she left off.
「I called him because I thought that this whole mess might be too much for only one person to handle. I know that the situation is urgent, but he has yet to decide on the replacement for you, and since it is impossible for us to leak the state of Agedilus to anyone, Widnichol here is the one who possesses the most knowledge about this case. Also…… Ah!」
The figure of the Princess disappeared suddenly with a cute shriek, replaced by yet another person. This time around my eyes opened even wider seeing who it was, as I completely didn’t expect I would see that person here.
「It’s not just him. I’m here as well, don’t forget that.」
「Your Highness Klanven!?」
Seeing Klanven in person, my voice rose up a little bit more than it was necessary, I think. His thin, long platinum hair was now trimmed short, and there was a gentle light in his dark blue eyes.
Seeing him smiling like that actually reminded me that he may look innocent and harmless on the outside, but in reality he is anything but.
–––– Klanven is the Princess’s uncle and the current High Priest at the Temple in the capital city.
We haven’t seen one another since the Festival, and honestly speaking I would prefer for us to not get involved with one another in the future, but there he was, standing in the light of the communication crystal.
「It’s been a while since I last saw you. How are you holding up?」
「Y-yes. I’m managing somehow……」
Seeing me reflexively answering the question with a smile, Klanven closed his eyes and shook his head in disappointment.
「Stop lying. Are you trying to make not getting enough sleep a habit, or something? You do know that you have dark bags under your eyes, right?」
「That one was a lie just now, just so you know.」
As always, he was toying with people with such an ease that it was actually terrifying. Seeing him smile in satisfaction I glared at him in the nastiest way I possibly could, regretting that you couldn’t actually kill people with looks like that. Of course, he didn’t seem to care about that in the slightest.
But as always, he was correct. Worrying about that man, but also wanting to speak to him again, I was cutting my sleeping hours dangerously low, and it was starting to have an effect on my skin. I was also yawning a lot more. I was sure if this was to continue, it would finally start to take a toll on both my mental and physical health. But it was not a laughing matter, no matter how one might look at it.
As I keep silently staring at Klanven, the magic stones were shifted again and I could once more see the Princess and Widnichol.
「Uncle, please stop teasing Filmina so much. Now is neither the time nor the place for that.」
「Oh please, don’t say that! We haven’t seen one another in such a long time! I was just messing with her a little bit.」
The two of them started to argue quite feverishly after that, readjusting the magic stones there and back again. Luckily for me, Widnichol must have noticed that I was getting quite a bit annoyed with this, as he somehow managed to make both of them settle down after a moment.
He then let out a small sigh and turned back to me and smiled reassuringly at me. Regaining her composure, the Princess opened her mouth to speak again.
「Since the magic that managed to affect Agedilus was strong enough to overcome even someone like him, I do believe we can safely assume it was some kind of extremely powerful dark magic, maybe even a curse. We still know too little about the ruins, but I think it is possible that some kind of evil entity – maybe a demon – lurks inside of them and powers the magic around that place. But both Uncle and Widnichol thinks that this is actually not the case here, right?」
To the Princess’s words Klanven’s smile deepens and Widnichol looks as though he was about to have a huge headache.
There was something in the Princess’s words that resonated with my memories of my last conversation with that man. The word “curse”. The man once told me that curses are strong magic spells rooted in dark arts, further fueled by the negative feelings and emotions. It was also possible to cast a curse thanks to a contract with demons, but on his first day of investigating that mana he managed to establish that fortunately no such thing took place in here. Yet.
However, I was still wondering whether or not I should disclose that information. I know that the Princess would probably like to keep the possibility of the curse a secret, just in case, but I also understood that it was hard for the people of the Temple to acknowledge something so vile and against the wishes of the Goddess.