Chapter 13

 

While I was seriously troubled, Melissa continued speaking.

 

“Yes, sparkling, beautiful, shining jewels! Or something rare and exotic!”

 

“Hmm….”

 

How on earth am I supposed to get my hands on rare and exotic jewels? 

 

Besides, Melissa seemed to be misunderstanding something. What use would Bernique have for jewelry?

 

I decided to ask the question again.

 

“Are there any good birthday gifts for Bernique?”

 

“Oh, you meant presents for Prince Bernique. Hmmm… Hmm………..”

 

Melissa was deeply troubled. I looked at Randy, Amanda, and Jean who were next to her.

 

“What do you think?”

 

“A gift from His Imperial Highness…?”

 

“I think ordinary weapons would be good.

 

“He also likes to draw.”

 

“Oh! How about this?”

 

After snapping her hands together, Melissa approached me and whispered in my ear as if we were talking about something that was forbidden. 

 

“Yeah, that’s a pretty good idea.”

 

But it would have taken a lot of time to prepare it. We had to start right away, today.

 

I asked Melissa to prepare the materials for the gift because I had a magic class today. The money would be taken care of by Erdos.

 

***

 

To be frank, Timofey was not a very good teacher. He was the best in the empire just in terms of ability value as a wizard, but his ability value as a teacher was much lower.

 

“Haha, mana exists in your body, you’ll feel whooshing and booming.”

 

The problem was that he was too much of a genius. How on earth did Erdos learn from such a master? Were geniuses different after all…?

 

“What exactly is that whooshing and booming feeling?”

 

“Hmm, is it like getting struck by lightning………?”

 

Unlike me, who still didn’t understand what Mana was in his explanation, Leav seemed to understand perfectly as we were taking class together.

 

As I was staring at Leav, who was listening to Timofey’s talk, suddenly turned to me and our eyes met.

 

“Sister?”

 

I replied, scratching my head as Leav asked me with his head tilted.

 

 

“I don’t quite understand…”

 

“Um, so… we have blood flowing through our bodies, right? Mana is the same. Even ordinary people have mana flowing in their bodies. The main point is how much of it you can keep in your body. But be careful not to get it tangled.”

 

“That’s great, Leav.”

 

I clapped and Leav’s ears turned red. As the best mind in Esteria, Leav’s explanation was easy to understand.

 

I asked as I looked at Timofey.

 

“So to speak, what we need to do is to keep the mana well organized at the source, right?”

 

“Haha, that’s absolutely correct.”

 

It was actually easy to say but was very difficult to do. What was the reason for the death in the Esteria royal family? Because they didn’t learn how to handle mana before the age of twelve.

 

“It’s difficult….”

 

“The process usually takes more than five years, so you don’t have to worry too much about the delay.”

 

After five years, I will be fourteen. By that time, I probably would be dead already.

 

“Can’t you do it a little faster?”

 

My question brought a benevolent smile to Timofey’s face.

 

“The Esteria royal family learns how to operate mana within the average age of ten. Since His Majesty was able to handle magic power when he was only five years old, I’m sure that Your Highness, who has inherited that blood, will be able to handle it soon.”

 

If I was the real Rosiane, I probably could have done it faster, but for a 25 years old ordinary person like me, I doubt it.

 

“Haha, mediation is one way to feel the mana. If you do it from time to time, you’ll find out soon.”

 

And so Leav and I followed Timofey’s words and went into meditation. We just sat still with our eyes closed, but I fell asleep before I could feel the mana.

 

I just woke up not long ago but I didn’t know why I was so sleepy. This body slept exceptionally a lot, and it tormented me with tiredness and sleepiness whether I sleep or not.

 

“I need to meditate….I need to meditate….”

 

Poof, something suddenly touched my head. It smelled sweet.

 

Is it a new pillow? I rubbed my head against it and the pillow shivered very much.

 

What is it? Why is it moving so much? Does it move? The pillow?

 

I woke up to something strange and saw Timofey’s smiling face sitting on the sofa opposite me.

 

So, what is this…? When I quickly opened my eyes, I saw Leav, who had a red face that looked like it was about to burst, was shaking with his eyes closed. (*she probably fell asleep on his lap…*)

 

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

 

When I looked surprised, Leav shook his head and said it was okay. I didn’t know how long I had dozed off, but a lot of time had gone by, and before I knew it, the allotted class time had passed.

 

“Let’s end today’s class here.”

 

Timofey bowed gracefully and left the room. I needed to read some magic books, too. Timofey didn’t help me much in learning basic knowledge. I decided to go to the library. After borrowing the books, I would make Bernique’s present.

 

“Um… What are you going to do now?”

 

At my sudden question, Leav’s gaze turned to me. His red hair glistened brightly in the sunlight that shone through the glass.

 

“I haven’t decided on anything in particular.”

 

“Then why don’t you come with me to the library?”

 

“The library?”

 

“Yes. I’m going to borrow some books about magic.”

 

“There are many books in the Imperial Library, if you go alone, you might get lost. I’ll go with you.”

 

Leav smiled happily.

 

Oh, come to think of it, the Imperial Central Library was… It was also the first meeting place between Nanuk and the female protagonist in the first episode of the ‘Prince’ series.

 

 

“This way.”

 

The library was quiet with countless bookshelves that were stretched in myriad ways, which led to a high ceiling. Books here, books there. Books were everywhere.

 

“Let’s see…”

 

I was deeply troubled by the large bookshelf. There were more than a few hundred kinds of magic books alone, and I didn’t know which ones to choose.

 

I should have asked Timofey. Perhaps seeing my troubled expression, Leav asked. 

 

“Is there a problem, sister?”

 

“Yes, there are so many, I don’t know what to get.”

 

I picked a nearby book, ‘Understanding and History of Magic’, and tried to explore the interior, but Leav’s hand sank onto my hand as I was taking the book out and shoved it right back in.

 

“This is a complicated book.”

 

As he said this, he took out a book that was a little higher up in the column. It was a book about a finger’s length thick, with a light-colored leather cover and the title “What is Mana?” embroidered in gold thread.

 

“This book will be easier for you to understand, sister.”

 

I took the book. I staggered for a moment under the heavy weight of the book, and Leav supported me with one hand while he took the book from me with the other.

 

“Thank you, Leav.”

 

Shyly, Leav poke the floor with the tip of his shoe. The soft carpet absorbed all the noise and fortunately nothing leaked out.

 

“You’re welcome. I’m glad I could be of help to my sister.”

 

The corner of Leav’s eyes curved up nicely. I suddenly remembered and asked him,

 

“Did you read this book before, by any chance?”

 

It was hard to tell from the title alone what it was about and how easy it was to read. 

 

“Yes. I’ve read most of the magic books since the day I took the magic class.”

 

For a moment, I thought I had misheard him and looked at him blankly.

 

He’d read most of several hundred books? I knew he was a fast reader, but wasn’t the main character’s buff too much?

 

“Is there a problem, sister?”

 

“No, not at all. Anyway, thank you.”

 

Come to think of it, he was a reading fanatic. He sometimes skipped his sword fighting class just to read books.

 

Essentially, Esteria’s impulses were so deep because of her martial prowess that she couldn’t help but move her body, but because of this, Leav was called a “different breed”. He liked books more than sword fighting.

 

Anyway, I was grateful for that. A small smile appeared on his face, and he continued to speak while opening the book that was clutched in his side. 

 

“When it comes to magic, no one can  keep up with the Cheheten Magic Empire. If you choose the book from the Magic Empire, there will be less chance of failure.”

 

“How do you know if the book is from the Magic Empire?”

 

“Because this ivory leather cover is applied to all books published in Cheheten.”

 

That was interesting. I swept the soft leather cover with my hand.

 

Apart from that, I also started to worry a little. How would I bring it to my room? It was so heavy. ….

 

“Shall we go then?”

 

“What? Where?”

 

When I asked back, Leav hugged the book and said,

 

“To sister’s room. It will be hard for you to do it by yourself.”

 

 

That was true, but I didn’t want my brother, who was a year younger than me, to have to do it.

 

“It’s okay. It’s my book. Leav go do whatever you want to do now.”

 

I laughed like an older sister and reached for the book, but Leav said decisively, “This is what I want to do.”

 

Then he led the way out of the library. I quickly followed him.

 

“Leav, shall I hold it for you now?”

 

After about five minutes of walking, I turned to Leav and offered to hold the book, but he shook his head.

 

“But, where are we going?”

 

I wondered, as it was a different way from the one we had just taken.

 

“If you go this way, you will find the Inner Palace.”

 

It was amazing how he knew the way so well even when it was such a big place.

 

I didn’t really know what was in the palace, even though I’ve already lived here for about six months.

 

At most, I went back and forth between my room and the parlor, so I made up my mind to explore Hegatheon Palace in the near future.

 

Just then, I heard a strange sound coming from somewhere.

 

“Do you hear that?”

 

“It’s probably from the training field up ahead.”

 

Leav was right, as we exited the garden, an outdoor sword training field appeared.

 

There, Bernique was training with his sword.

 

Sweat ran along his jawline as he swung his sword under the blazing sun. Even though he was practicing with a wooden sword, the sound of the sword whooshing in the air was quite loud, and his gaze met mine precisely as I opened my eyes widely and stared at him.

 

His clear eyes, which were full of seriousness under the light, instantly changed, and he lowered his sword and rushed straight to me.

 

He approached, wiping sweat from his face with the towel the attendant gave him.

 

“Rosie!”

 

Despite Bernique’s happy voice, Leav gently pulled me towards him with a frown on his face.

 

“You smell. Don’t come too close to sister.”

 

“Oh…I smell?”

 

I shook my head at Bernique, who looked concerned.

 

“No, no.”

 

“Ah, I’m glad.”

 

He came up to me with a sigh of relief and smiled, “What brings you here?”

 

“Sister just came from the library. Keep doing what you were doing.” Leav said before I could answer.

 

“Leav, didn’t you have a sword fighting class today? You said you would be late, you’re not planning to miss the class, are you?” Bernique asked.

 

Leav quickly turned away. Bernique seemed to have hit the nail on the head.

 

I wanted to hurry back to the palace because it was awkward to stand between two people who fought every time they met. I tugged at the book that was tucked under Leav’s arm.

 

“I’m going to the palace.”

 

“Are you leaving already…?” Bernique asked.

 

“I’ll walk you to your room, sister.” Leav said.

 

Bernique looked at me as if he was disappointed, and Leav, whose hand was still holding the book, turned his gaze quietly to me.

 

“Oh, Rosie!”

 

At that moment, with a yell, Esteria’s wildest being, the second prince Eryte, suddenly appeared through the bushes of the garden.

 

****