beginning of the war as described in history books.
C.37: The Heroic Epic a Maiden Wanted
The estate’s entranceway.
Bogan and Selene were kneeling to welcome Kreschenta.
Since the princess is visiting, both of them are dressed in simplified dress uniform for military nobles.
Riding pants with a cloth vest――quilted armor with a cloak.
Krische and Bery are wearing skirts so they are not kneeling, instead they bowed deeply at the waist and lowered their heads.
“Oh, please raise your heads.
This is an anonymous visit.”“……yes, your highness.”
Right after an anonymous visit from Gildanstein, here is another one from Kreschenta.
He had just been warned to stay away from politics, this situation is making Bogan’s stomach hurt.
Why has she come here?
Bery had also seemed confused when she told him about this yesterday.
“I do not have any friends around my age……so I would like to get along with Krische-sama.
Right, Krische-sama?”“Yes, er, your highness?”
Kreschenta nodded in satisfaction but Selene glared at Krische.
Krische’s explanation had been vague, as was Bery’s.
Their explanation that the princess had taken a liking to Krische and will be coming over to play as a friend did not make sense.
Bery had seemed troubled and asked Selene and Bogan to wait and see for a while, but in the end, they still do not know Kreschenta’s true intentions.
No matter how you looked at her, Krische is not the type of person to easily make ‘friends’.
In fact, she is hopelessly bad at it.
It is quite hard to believe that when the princess just happened to talk to Krische, Krische not only did not anger her, but even became friends.
There is also the question of why Kreschenta showed up here instead of summoning Krische to the palace.
Selene looked closely at Kreschenta’s face.
A pretty――fairy-like, adorable face.
The princess’ beauty is famous in high society and she is just as beautiful as rumoured.
Her young, but perfect features looked somewhat similar to Krische.
“The matching dresses with Krische-sama was beautiful, but you also look wonderful, dignified in dress uniform.”
“It is an honour, your highness.”
“I have heard about your and Krische’s contributions.
If there is a chance, I would like to hear more about it.”
“It would be my delight.
If you would like to, we could talk about it with Krische now.”
Kreschenta looked like she was enjoying something as Selene replied with a smile.
“I have a promise with Krische-sama.
Sorry, but not today.”
“Please forgive me for my impertinence, your highness.”
“It is fine, I was happy to hear it……could you guide me to the room?”
Bery bowed her head.After watching the four of them go, including Nora silently following behind, Selene sighed.
“……I don’t get it.
Why did the princess come?”
There was no response, she turned to Bogan but he seemed lost in thought.
“……no, I just had a stupid thought.
Well, as Bery said, let’s wait and see.
Bery is a smart girl.”
I just hope Krische does not do something stupid.”
In the end, that is Selene’s main concern.
Once they were in Krische’s room, Kreschenta and Krische sat on diagonally opposite sofas as Bery brewed tea for them.
Kreschenta stared at her, then at Krische adding plenty of milk to her own tea.
Krische noticed her gaze and also added the same amount of milk to Kreschenta’s tea.
Krische adds a large amount of milk to her tea to lower it to a more suitable temperature, but it is quite a lot more than what most people would add.
Bery looked at Kreschenta in concern.
Kreschenta looked embarrassed, but also seemed quite happy.
She happily took a sip.
――their preferences are the same too.
Bery went to stand at her position as a servant as she discovered that similarity and watched them from an appropriate distance.
Kreschenta’s servant, Nora, also stood there without saying a word.
For a while, Kreschenta asked Krische various things about her past.
About how Krische was taken in by the village and raised by Grace and Gorka.
How they were killed by bandits and how Krische was forced to leave the village because she killed those bandits.
How her grandfather left her in the care of his acquaintance and she was adopted.
Krische owes a lot to Bery, Selene and Bogan and she has not been able to repay that debt at all.
She wants to return that debt as much as she can and likes her life in the estate.
That is why she cannot join Kreschenta.
Krische’s explanation was dispassionate.
She did not show her usual dependency on Bery, she did not even glance at Bery.
Krische was expressionless and she spoke matter-of-factly, but it looked to Bery like she is on guard.
After Kreschenta was done with her questions, she stared at her tea for a while, thinking.
“……my visit is also to confirm something, since my uncle seems to have visited the day before yesterday.
He might have spoken badly of me.
The margrave looked a little troubled.”
And without commenting on Krische’s story, she started talking about something else.This is the main topic.
Bery mentally braced herself as she replied.
“……is that so?”“Yes, I could see it.
Argan-sama, what are the margrave’s intentions?”
There is no way the princess, Kreschenta made the effort to visit them simply because of her stated reason of not letting Krische wander around the castle.
She had come to investigate the reason for the royal prince, Gildanstein’s visit.
She had visited to see Bogan’s reaction.
“……he is not a person that often talks about politics.
“The master is a true soldier that fights for the country, a person that disciplines and decides for himself.
He always maintains a distance from politics.”
“A true soldier――those are nice words.”
Despite what she said, Kreschenta looked dissatisfied.Pouting a little, she turned to Krische.
“If onee-sama is going to stay with the margrave, I would have liked for him to be on my side.”
“Krische knows nothing about that.”
“You know that the palace is split into two factions right? It is not good to always be on the backfoot.”
“Kreschenta wants to become king?”
Kreschenta put a hand to her brow when Krische asked that with a puzzled look.
“That way is safer.
I am the same as onee-sama, I was in danger of being killed from the time I was born.
As a cursed child.”
“Same as Krische?”
“……if not, I would be enjoying a fun life with onee-sama right now.
Onee-sama, as a baby, you did not cry right?”
Krische thought a little and nodded.
They gave Krische food, so Krische was satisfied.”“We think like that because we are different from normal people.
Normally, babies just cry.”
Kreschenta’s gaze turned to Nora.
“I was able to cry and survive because Nora taught me how to, but it was still quite dangerous.
“There is nothing for you to apologise for.
Thanks to you, I was not killed and am able to meet onee-sama now.”
Nora silently ducked her head, tightly gripping her own skirt.
“A baby that does not cry will bring calamity upon the royal family――or so the legends say.
Something must have happened in the past.
Because of that, onee-sama was confined in the tower with Nora in charge of you……apparently our okaa-sama (T/N: Mother) begged for your life.”
In contrast, Kreschenta is calm.She is only slightly past the age of ten――too composed for her age.
“Otou-sama hesitated and postponed the decision by confining onee-sama in the tower――after okaa-sama got pregnant with me, he decided to dispose of you.
Since there is going to be another child, he probably wanted to pretend you never existed.”
Krische always thought it was because Krische spoke to Nora-san.”
“Fufu, that is not it.
But it seems like Nora has always regretted it……after all, she abandoned onee-sama in the forest as a young child.”
Kreschenta looked at Nora.
Nora trembled and looked down, hiding her face.
A bead of sweat crawled down her cheek.
“……please forgive me, I, I, I……I could not, do anything else, at the time.”
Krische watched her then glanced at Bery.Bery was looking at Nora with a sad expression.
“I like Nora, but if onee-sama is angry then I am willing to hand Nora over.
Do you want her?”
Kreschenta’s voice was flat, cold.
Hand Nora over, meaning Krische can do anything she wants to Nora.
But Krische was not interested.
“Nn…… Krische is not particularly angry.
Nora-san petted Krische’s head a lot too.”
“It is true Krische got very hungry and almost died, but Krische was taken in by the village anyway……ah, this is fate.”
Kreschenta tiled her head.
Krische smiled and held up a finger.
“Krische was abandoned by Nora-san and taken in by the village, then went to the Christand’s estate and is doted on by Bery and Selene.
Krische is very satisfied with the current situation, so Krische is not angry.
Krishe might also be living in the palace if Krische could pretend like Kreschenta.
But if Krische did that, then Krische would not have such a fun life with Bery and Selene, so Krische is satisfied with the current situation.
Bery smiled happily at those words, but Kreschenta pouted.
“Hmmm, so that is how it is for onee-sama?”
“Yes…… Kreschenta is not having fun at all?”
“Yes, not at all.
Even if I am the princess, the fact that I was once called a cursed child does not change……I can never relax, I have to be careful of poison in my meals everyday and pretend to be stupid enough to not raise suspicions――onee-sama may be enjoying a carefree life, but it is different for me.”
Kreschenta puffed out her cheeks.
Kreschenta is quite good at talking and showing expression.
Krische has done her best to improve in that aspect, but Kreschenta must have worked even harder.
Krische could understand that, she stood up, moved to sit beside Kreschenta and patted her head.
“Wh, what are you doing……?”
“Patting your head.”
“Th, that is not what I mean……”
Kreschenta blushed, looking at Bery and Nora, but did not say any more and let Krische have her way.
“Kreschenta wants to relax? That is why Kreschenta wants to become king?”
“……is there any other reason?”
“No, just checking.
Krische did not really understand why Kreschenta needs Krische…… Kreschenta wants Krische’s help so that Kreschenta can relax?”
In exchange, Kreschenta will also make it so that onee-sama can relax.”
Kreschenta spoke as if that was obvious.
Krische calmly listened to her and smiled.
She stroked Kreschenta’s cheek.
“Krische might be able to relax more by killing Kreschenta right now.”
And placed her hand on Kreschenta’s neck.Krische was still smiling as she calmly said that.
“Krische is a lot stronger when it comes to fighting, but Kreschenta is better at talking and seems to have studied a lot, so Kreschenta could harass Krische a lot.”
The words, the meaning behind them.
There was no pretense, only innocent murderous intent.
Her eyes were cold, as if watching a butterfly caught in her hand.
They were lit only by a cold purple light.
The princess’ eyes were the same――an inhuman purple looking back at Krische.
She knows that if Krische wants to, Krische could easily do it.
If Krische really wanted to kill her, she can only die.
Resigned, she watched, she observed the person who held her life.
“……will you kill me?”
Gains and losses――if their interests do not match, that is the end.
Though she came because there was a good chance of success, Kreschenta had also considered this outcome beforehand but still came.
After a long silence, Krische spoke with a troubled expression.
“Kreschenta seems like Kreschenta will do that if left alone, so Krische thought about it a little.
But killing the princess will also cause problems for Krische, so it is very troublesome.”
A twisted conversation――Bery and Nora gulped as they listened.
“So Krische had an idea.”
Krische clasped Kreschenta’s cheeks between her hands and said.
“Kreschenta can just come to the estate too.”
“Wai, K, Krische-sama……!”
Bery spoke up hastily, but Krische just glanced at her and tilted her head before looking back into Kreschenta’s eyes and continuing.
“That way, Kreschenta does not have to worry about meals because Krische and Bery will be making the meals.
Kreschenta does not need to think that Kreschenta is weird.
Krische and Bery both sees it as a trait.”
Krische stroked Kreschenta’s cheeks and traced her lips――
“――Krische will pat Kreschenta’s head.
Krische will hug Kreschenta and sleep together……Kreschenta just needs to do the same for Krische.
That way, both Krische and Kreschenta are satisfied.”
“Kreschenta said Kreschenta wants to be understood and that Kreschenta understands Krische.
Krische was taught that a relationship where both try to understand each other and fulfill each other’s wishes, is a very happy and wonderful relationship…… Krische also believes that.”
Krische’s hands slid down as she spoke.
From Kreschenta’s cheeks to her jaw, then coming to rest around Kreschenta’s neck again.
Her fingers traced the soft flesh there and toyed with it.
Their faces were so close their noses were almost touching, but,
“Krische is also uneasy while Kreschenta still feels unpleasant.
Krische thinks it might be better to kill Kreschenta instead.”
Her purple eyes were cold and inhuman.
“……but if Kreschenta no longer feels unpleasant then both Krische and Kreschenta can relax right? That way Krische can let Kreschenta relax and Kreschenta can do the same right?”
Kreschenta looked stunned, staring at Krische.She savoured the feeling of the hands around her throat, then pouted again and glared at Krische.
“I thought this yesterday…..but onee-sama is a little stupid.
You are aware that I am the princess?”
“Krische is not stupid.
Krische just does not know anything about the palace and just thought about things simply……you don’t like Krische’s idea?”
“……I do not dislike it.”
Kreschenta drew closer and got onto Krische’s lap.In that position, she hugged Krische and smiled.
It is not that bad an idea.
Onee-sama is telling me to enter the same birdcage right? As long as the birdcage is a nice place where both onee-sama and I can relax it is fine……that way, we can work together to protect that birdcage.”
“It is just a metaphor.
Onee-sama really has poor conversation skills.”
Kreschenta giggled as Krische blushed.
“We are the birds.
The birdcage can be the palace or the estate.
If I dote on the same birds in the same birdcage that onee-sama dotes on, then onee-sama will also be kind to me and protect me……and if anyone tries to do something to our birdcage, we can protect it together――right?”“Yes, something like that.
Kreschenta can just use some reason like studying to come to the estate.
It is very simple right?”
Kreschenta nodded and rubbed her cheeks with Krische’s, seeming to be enjoying herself.
The theory is very simple.
There is any number of problems, but there is a good chance of success.
If that is onee-sama’s intention, then I will also do my best for onee-sama.”“Good girl.”
Krische patted Kreschenta’s head.
Krische has learnt that this is how you treat children.
Kreschenta looked extremely happy and smiled as she ran a hand through Krische’s hair, then narrowed her eyes.
“But I will need some time to prepare.
As the princess――as someone fighting for the throne, it is not that simple to visit a margrave.”
“That, well……Krische also understands that.”
“The palace society is a little complicated and really troublesome, so I will deal with that first.”
“What is Kreschenta going to do?”
Kreschenta looked at Krische, then Bery.
“Please do not worry about that.
Just some preparations to build a sturdy birdcage.”
“……a sturdy birdcage?”
“I will explain when it is done, so rest assured.
More importantly……onee-sama, can I sleep in this position?”
“Fufu, Kreschenta really is a child.”
Krische said the words that are usually said to her and poked Kreschenta’s cheeks when she puffed them out, forcing the air out.Puhyuu, Kreschenta blushed at the dumb sound she made.
“I……I wanted to try sleeping peacefully, just for once.
I have never been able to relax and sleep.
Whenever I sleep, I have to worry about being killed.”
Bery saw Kreschenta’s expression and lowered her eyes.
She is the same as Krische.
Their eyes are extremely inhuman――but also sometimes reflective, like glass.
They are aware that they are different from others, but still do their best to fit in and act as desired, simply seeking peace of mind and happiness.
But this ‘small Krische’ is not even allowed simple sleep.
Bery felt an indescribable emotion well up as she took the blanket from the bed and wrapped both of them in it.
“Sleeping like that would not be good for your body.”
Kreschenta looked confused for a moment, then her expression relaxed.
“Argan-sama is a kind person.”
I can see why onee-sama took a liking to you――she said with those inhuman, purple eyes.
The next day, they left the capital and returned the way they came.
Kreschenta told Bery to stay quiet and only told Bogan on the way out that she wants to come over to the Christand’s estate to play.Bery hesitated a little on how she should explain things, but Bogan told her not to say anything if the princess had forbidden her, so she kept it to herself.
And as if nothing had happened, they returned to the estate.Their journey was the same as before and they returned to their normal lives upon arriving at the estate
But a few days later, Bogan received a report that the king has passed away.
The messenger said that it was not due to illness, it was clearly poison.
And also that the princess has gone missing.
Bery felt a chill run down her spine when she heard about it, but she did not let it show.But another few days later――on a rainy night, Bery heard a knock, opened the door and froze when she saw the girl standing there.
“……it has been half a month, Argan-sama.”
Her hair peeked out from her rain-soaked cloak.
That hair shone an elegant gold with a tinge of red.
The face peeking out from the cloak is young and similar to Krische’s――a beautiful fairy that beguiles people.
“The king had been assassinated, the princess fearing her political enemy, the royal prince, sought safety with the loyal subject, margrave Christand whom I got to know at the dinner party.
After I confront the royal prince with Christand――with onee-sama and win, I obtain the crown and peace……”
Glistening drops of water dripped off her wet hair as she removed her hood.In the dark of night, she looked phantasmal, she did not feel real.
“……don’t you think that is a good script? Onee-sama does not need to leave the Christands that she likes, I get to live with onee-sama and the masses will praise me and the Christands.”
Her sweet, cold voice was quiet, but clear despite the sound of rain.
“……I have studied quite a lot.
In every age, the key to a stable rule is the support of the masses.
The masses are usually docile, but it is always the stories that move them.
I wrote this script based on a widespread and familiar story……isn’t it nice?”
――isn’t this the heroic epic that everyone wants?
Kreschenta smiled bewitchingly.
――Alberan year 457The great civil war known as the War for the Alberan Crown began not long after the Kingdom defended the invasion from the Elsren Holy Empire.
The gravely ill king Shelbarza was assassinated.
The first princess, Kreschenta feared her political rival, the royal prince Gildanstein and sought safety with the hero of that time, Christand.Gildanstein was infuriated, he claimed that it is all the princess’ plot and asserted his right to the throne.
He demanded that Christand hand over the princess.
But before Gildanstein could be crowned, the nobles against him, those of the princess faction claimed that Gildanstain’s faction had assassinated the king and they sided with Christand.
The princess faction was advantageous at that time and had no reason to assassinate the king, they loudly proclaimed Gildanstein to be an usurper of the throne.
The confrontation grew more intense and could not longer be resolved through politics or words――
――The War for the Alberan Crown broke out, splitting the Kingdom into two.
This is the beginning of the war as described in history books.
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