Chapter 1. Prologue
“Didn’t those idiots predict anything like that? It’s like that every year….”
Looking at the calendar, it was about two weeks before the national festival of the empire.
Although accommodations are prepared in advance for the national festival day, it was undeniable that it is a little early as it does not matter even if you arrive on the banquet day of the festival.
By the way, the Principality of Karkun, it’s my first time hearing about it……… I quickly asked a question.
“Where is the Principality of Karkun?”
“It’s a maritime nation in the southern part of the continent, and you don’t need to pay attention to them because they’re a bunch of petty people.”
“That’s right Rosiane. You should only see good things. You can’t look at them.”
The country was not even mentioned in the original, so I don’t know why, but the brothers seemed to hate the people of the Principality of Karkun.
“The envoys’ quarters are in Zephyrus Palace, so I suggest you stay away from there for a while. Sister.”
I nodded because I knew there was nothing good in running into them.
I’m already in a situation where it’s better not to go outside because I’m sick, so I vowed once again that I’ll stay here unless I’m with someone, until the National Foundation Festival is over.
* * *
After taking several classes in a row, I was exhausted by dinner time.
Bernique, who had been waiting for the class to end, reached out to me. He smiled brightly as he turned his back to the bright glow of the setting sun.
“Shall we go?”
I smiled and took his hand. While heading to dinner, I felt a strange difference, as I was looking around, I unknowingly asked.
“The security seems to have increased?”
“It’s always like that around this time of the year. This year, it’s a bit stronger, but…”
Somehow, I think I know why. Maybe it’s because Rosiane de Esteria, who had been asleep, woke up.
“Are you scared?”
As I walked silently with my eyes down, Bernique suddenly asked. Am I Scared? I don’t know. I shook my head.
“It’s okay because I have my family.”
I believe in them. I know they’re gonna protect Rosiane no matter what happens, that’s why it’s okay.
I bravely walked ahead, holding his hand.
* * *
It was quite late when I returned to my palace after dinner and tea time. The darkness quickly sank into the room when Melissa put the blanket up to the tip of my chin and turned off the light.
As soon as I buried my exhausted body deep in my bed due to my full schedule since the early hours, I immediately felt sleepy.
Truthfully, I don’t really sleep well, so I slept lightly again today. I used to wake up easily to small noises, so I woke up again today with a dazed mind to the small noise outside the door.
I waited for Erdos while blinking my sleepy eyes, knowing that he sometimes came at dawn and watched me sleep.
A little time passed, and the door opened quietly.
Creak. Creak. The sound of footsteps on the wooden floor was heard.
At that moment, I woke up as if I had been hit by cold water. I realized that something was wrong.
Erdos walks with no signs, and he doesn’t come with a bloody smell.
The sound of footsteps stopped at the bedside. I didn’t know who it was because I was lying facing the window.
As I was wondering if I should run away,
I heard the sound of death throes from behind.
As soon as I turned my head, I saw Erdos with a tired face, a dagger in his hand that was firmly stuck in the neck of a man dressed in black.
The giant man’s body plummeted onto the carpet with a big thump.
“The security is a mess.”
Erdos, who took out a handkerchief and wiped the blood on his hand with a scary face, swept the flowing hair of his head, and looked at me. The slightly shimmering eyes were clearly visible under the dim moonlight.
Erdos’ hand reached out to my head. The bloody hand didn’t even reach me.
“Shh- This is a dream, Rosiane.”
Erdos’ low voice tickled my ears.
At the end of the voice, my eyelids sank heavily as if being sucked into the abyss.
Erdos’ scary expression burned through my blurry vision.
* * *
When I woke up from the bed, the sun rising from the sky was brightly illuminating the room.
I was so busy looking around the room that I couldn’t even think of answering the concerned call. At dawn, the carpet where the assassin fell was clean without a drop of blood.
“Did you have a nightmare?”
It was really a dream? That vivid?
As I was frowning in a strangely bad mood, Leav quickly handed me a glass full of water in front of me.
I drank the whole glass of water straight away. I finally felt myself calming down.
After telling Leav that I’ll go wash up, I shortly returned to the room in a clean appearance.
Leav, who saw me, came straight up to me, looking at my long hair dripping with water, and said.
“Sister, if you don’t dry your hair, you’ll catch a cold again.”
Normally, Melissa who came to the room would dry my hair, but Leav, who had been handed a towel, sat me in front of the mirror and began to wipe my hair gently.
The fluffy towel quickly got wet and drooped. The hand that tickled the scalp was very delicate.
“It’s always a beautiful color.”
Before I knew it, Leav, who dried all the water and began brushing, murmured to himself.
“Leav’s hair color is pretty, too.”
Looking over the mirror at Leav and saying so, he smiled lightly.
The sound of hair flowing gently down his fingers tickled my ears.
“Please say that it’s cool.”
Haha. When I laughed out loud, Leav opened his eyes wide and even stopped brushing. When I looked at him curiously, his mouth, which had hesitated for a while, opened.
“Sister, did you know this is your first time laughing out loud?”
“Is that so?”
Tilting my head, I recalled the past few months.
Well, come to think of it, even though I laughed, it was only in awkward or embarrassing situations, it was the first time I laughed out loud because it was so cute.
“It’s nice to see.”
The corners of Leav’s eyes gently curved like a crescent moon. The cold impression he had when he was expressionless changed in an instant.
This time I looked at him with my eyes wide open.
“Leav too, it’s the first time you’ve smiled like this.”
There were many sad smiles and friendly smiles, but he never smiled like his age.
As soon as I finished my words, Leav, who had a straight face, turned red in his ears and avoided his gaze.
I ended up laughing really loud when I saw him swallowing his saliva in embarrassment.
Even though he called me “Sister,” in a sullen voice, but eventually he also began to giggle.
After a while, the calm Leav skillfully braided my hair together and said:
“Come to think of it, today’s class was canceled because something came up with Timofey.”
“Yes, something happened at the tower.”
I had no schedule today except for magic class. While I was thinking about what to do, I suddenly remembered the promise I made before the banquet.
It just so happens that the weather is very nice, so I think it’s a good idea. I looked at Leav with a slight smile.
“Leav, shall we go on a picnic in the garden? You said you wanted to eat the sandwich I made last time.”
“Yes, I think that’s a great idea.”
Leav nodded vigorously without a second of hesitation.
“Then, let’s call Bernique.”
Leav’s head stopped for a moment.
“The three of us were supposed to go on a picnic.”
Looking at me smiling and talking, Leav closed his mouth for a moment then shook his head and firmly said.
“Brother is in the middle of his swordsmanship class, so a picnic would be too hard.”
“Then that’s even better. We have time to make sandwiches, so Bernique will be hungry by then. We should get going. Let’s go, Leav.”
I got up from my seat and grabbed Leav’s hand and dragged it. Somehow, Leav’s following footsteps seemed very heavy.
Arriving in the kitchen, I immediately started making egg sandwiches. As I cut onions for the filling, I could feel Leav squirming behind me.
“What’s wrong, Leav?”
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Um….. Then can you cut this croissant in half?”
It was a simple task to cut something that was already baked. Leav nodded his head with a grim look and held a bread knife in his hand.
Fortunately, perhaps because of his experience in holding a sword, his cutting skills were quite good, so the croissants were cut in a good shape.
I dipped the chopped onions in cold water and started cutting pickles, but before I knew it, Leav, who cut all the bread, stared at me and said out loud.
“Sister seems to be experienced in using knives.”
I almost cut my finger because I felt my heart pounding and dropping.
“… It’s because I read a cookbook.”
Surprised, Leav pulled my finger even though it was okay, and checked carefully before letting go. After that, everything happened in a flash.
Between the slices of bread that Leav had cut, were the eggs filled with onions and pickles, rolled up in a parchment paper, tied up with a ribbon, and stacked one by one in a picnic basket.
After putting in the juice that was prepared, the preparations for the picnic were finished.
“Then, shall we go?”
Leav, who stole the picnic basket, took the lead and we quickly arrived at the training hall.
With good timing, it seems that the class had just finished, and Bernique, who was lying on his back on the floor, felt our presence, he looked up and when he saw us, he jumped up and approached us.
Seeing Bernique approaching with a bright expression, Leav clicked his tongue lightly.
And he did not forged to add that. Of course, Bernique didn’t even listen.
“What brings you here?”
“Do you want to go on a picnic?”
“Picnic? Sure, okay.”
Bernique who gladly accepted, led us into the shade. The maids quickly laid down the mats.
The ground was covered with soft grass, so it didn’t feel uncomfortable to sit down.
When I opened the picnic basket Leav had brought and showed it, Bernique’s eyes opened wide.
“No, No way—.”
Bernique’s cheeks were flushed with joy.
“I made it with Leav.”