So yeah this took forever… still for some reason I did it, even though it’s now 2AM over here and I probably could have spent my time better in prep for all the things I need to do tomorrow.
This hasn’t been edited either since I’m certainly not staying up even later for such a thing so I’ll leave that for Este, or myself later.
Oh well, whatever, friendship is beautiful and all that. Enjoy this first chapter!
The large room was furnished with an extravagant bed and various other furniture. No matter where you looked, only items of the highest grade could be found here. All of these weren’t simply decorations either, and were all things actually used by the owner of the room. Even the carpet spread under the bed was a product of unimaginable value.
And in that room which could draw the envy of any commoner, sat a very troubled looking girl. Words such as “why”, and “how did this happen” were the only things that came from the girl, quietly mumbling to herself in distress. Her face dyed in despair, dark shadows could be clearly seen around her eyes. The long blonde hair she took pride in lay in severe disarray from the obvious lack of care.
The person on her mind right now was none other than this country’s crown prince. When she had heard that the prince had showed interest in another woman, she went to the school for nobles to see the woman for herself. Bearing an ephemeral image, the woman turned out to be a quiet-looking girl. She had scoffed at the idea that such a girl could draw the interest of the prince, but experienced first hand the impossible sight of the prince calling out to speak with the girl, even showing the girl a smile of his that she herself never had the privilege to see before.
And so she began her harassment of the girl. Without putting up any form of resistance, the girl quietly received the persistent bullying of her and her followers. As a consequence of her high position as a duke’s daughter, the girl seemed doomed to suffer without anyone being able to come to her aid. The prince certainly could have saved her from the situation, but it seemed as if the prince was trying to avoid this duke’s daughter.
However, such a situation could not hope to last forever. The prince had happened upon a scene during her harassment, and what’s more even witnessed the moment she raised her hand against the girl. The prince was as a result enraged by the scene, and furiously condemned her behaviour, thus saying this.
—I will have nothing further to do with you. I will get my father’s approval, and wipe away our engagement.
She despaired. She clung to the prince’s feet, and begged for her forgiveness. Thinking back on it, that was probably the first and final chance of her redemption.
—The target of your apologies should be someone else, no?
With those words, the prince shook her off, and left taking the girl with him.
Those were the events of the previous week. Since then, she had secluded herself inside her room.
The hours were pointlessly wasted away. Even though she felt that she had to do something, she could only sit in despair. For her, the willpower to do anything had long left her body.
Today similarly ended without anything having been accomplished. As the night dragged on, something stirred from a corner of her memory,
—Bonjour~ Gooood morning good evening! It’s been a while hasn’t it, Lilia.
At the sudden voice ringing throughout her head, Lilia threw up her face in surprise. Though she look all around, not a soul could be seen in her surroundings. All there was was her room which had returned to silence.
—Ahaha, where are you looking?
At the sound of the young woman’s voice, Lilia’s memories from two years ago surfaced. It was a voice she was familiar with in the past. And it was this voice that had actually predicted the prince’s wrath.
“Where are you…?”
—I’m both here and not here. I’ve always been by your side! Your very own guardian angel, here to lead you down the path to happiness!
“Did you come to laugh in my face or something?”
—Woah ho ho, someone’s in a bad mood. But, well, it couldn’t be helped yeah? Sorry ’bout that, being all weird and all.
The latter voice seemed to have actual regret mixed in, a downhearted response. At such a drastic shift in attitude, Lilia couldn’t help but allow a small smile to float onto her face as she relaxed her expression. If you were going to get depressed at your own foolishness, then don’t be like that in the first place, Lilia thought as she replied.
“It seems the future has gone down the path you predicted after all. If only I had properly listened to your words back then, I wonder if this situation could have been avoided?”
—It’s pretty useless to think about such things now. You had zero intention of listening to what I had to say back then after all. That’s why it was actually important to go through all this so that you would finally heed my words.
“In the end the price I had to pay to be able to finally trust you was pretty steep…”
Lilia sighed with deep emotion. Perhaps troubled at how to respond, the voice fell silent for a while.
As some time passed in silence, Lilia began to worry if the voice was already gone for good.
—Sorry, I’m not really good at this whole being sensitive and encouraging with my words thing.
Lilia slightly widened her eyes at the sound of that dejected voice. This was originally what I’d brought upon myself, so what is she doing being all considerate now.
—Lilia. I want to help you. That’s why, won’t you please listen to what I have to say, even a little?
Towards the earnest voice, Lilia could only give a wry smile, as she lightly nodded her assent.
“Wasn’t that the original promise? I put my full faith into your words. Though, I wonder if someone like me can really be saved after all? Will I be able to make amends with his highness?”
—Well… Instead of answering such a question, is it okay if I give one more prediction?
Lilia narrowed her eyes slightly in doubt, while urging the voice to go on.
—Well then well then… Ahem. You were depressed for a week. In this following week, you will think about your situation. What you did wrong, what you must do to make things better, and so on. And you will come to a conclusion. That you in fact did nothing wrong. That everyone else was at fault here.
“Wha…! Even for me that’s a little…!”
—Yep. The you who’s calmed down can certainly say that now. Let me continue. You will return to the academy. On your usual route, you will be even more conceited than usual. And the result of that…
The voiced stopped her words at that point. Lilia gulped in anticipation as she waited for the voice to continue.
—You will, let alone the Prince or the King, garner the wrath of the entire country. With that, even being from the duke’s family won’t allow you to get away with a simple “sorry”. Deprived of your peerage, your family will be cast down into the commoner’s realm.
“Is that all?” was what she thought. Certainly the King of this country had the authority to do such a thing, but in reality stripping a duke of his peerage was unheard of. Or that’s how it was supposed to be.
—There, imagine, Lilia. The duke’s family that had known only a noble’s life until then, suddenly cast down into the world of commoners. …Though, it’s probably impossible for you to imagine such a thing huh…
Just as the voice said, for Lilia it was impossible to know about the way commoners lived their lives. Though, what’s for certain is that it’d be impossible to lead the life of luxury which you’ve been living until now. No one in the family would be able to get used to such a life. Perhaps one might even be driven to commit suicide.
With those thoughts, a certain doubt inadvertently began to seep into Lilia. The talk up till now had been about Lilia’s family, so why was there no mention of Lilia herself? As one could more or less guess the answer to that, the voice, somehow bearing both a cheerful and compassionate tone, said thus.
—You don’t need to worry about yourself anymore at that point. After all, you’d already have been executed.
Hearing that, Lilia’s head went pure blank.
—What you had done, well I’ll just keep quiet about that part. There’s no need for you to know.
At the poor, fragile appearance of Lilia as her face fell ashen, the voice took on a warm, gentle tone.
—Well then, Lilia. Here’s the big question. It’s not my intention to just let you die, you know. To make sure you don’t go down the wrong “route”, I’ll be here to advise you along the way. Just, it’s not like I have that much life experience either, so we should probably do our best and think things through together… What do you say, Lilia?
Sparing but a moment’s thought, Lilia immediately came to her conclusion.
“Please…Lend me your strength…”
A weak, faint voice that seemed as if it was disappearing. To that voice from Lilia, came an answer.
—Yep… Leave it to me, Lilia! I’ll be sure to save you!
At the sound of that strong, determined voice, Lilia’s warm tears streamed silently down her face.