Chapter 51. Ball (2)

Third Princess Arelia’s maids were very hectic due to their mistress' sudden and impulsive decision to enroll in the magic school. They had to prepare for her birthday ball and the school's entrance at the same time. Yet, it was the princess's willfulness that made things the toughest for the maids.

"No! I’m going to wear it!"

The magic school had its own distinctive school uniforms, but Arelia being the princess, did not have to wear them. Nevertheless, she insisted on wearing it.

To her, the uniform felt like a novelty evoking a feeling of rebelliousness, even if a little, against the suffocating imperial family. The princess, who wished to feel a moment of freedom, couldn't give it up.

"Princess, I beg your pardon but do you need to interact with those lower than you? It’s still not too late to cancel your admission now—”

"I said I don’t want to!"

The maids were flustered at the sight of Arelia yelling on the bed with a tearful face. Even not too long ago, she was still calm and polite. But all of a sudden, she had become stubborn and acted like a spoiled child. Heretofore, they were worried that something seemed to be suppressing her, but now they were worried that she was being too carefree.

Knock, knock!

A rap sounded as the maids sighed inwardly, watching Arelia staging her own sit-in on the bed. The princess quickly tidied her disheveled clothes from romping around on the bed.

"You may allow them to enter," she instructed.

The maids were perplexed by her sudden change in attitude. But seeing her revert to her former noble demeanour, they were relieved.

Having received the princess's permission, the man at the door entered.

Arelia rose from her seat and greeted lightly, "Welcome. General William."

William was a figure that could not be looked down upon even if Arelia were a princess. He responded by nodding lightly.

"Thank you for your hospitality despite the sudden visit, Imperial Princess Arelia."

William was able to surmise the happenings just then upon seeing the magic school uniform hanging across the bed, not in the closet, and the disheveled bed.

"Do you want to go to school normally, Your Imperial Highness?"

For the princess, 'normal' was more difficult to attain as compared to anyone.

The maids stood calmly at William's words. But unlike their calm faces, they broke into cold sweat on the inside. They were worried in case there might be rumors spreading that Princess Arelia was fooling around.

"And if that’s true?" Arelia smiled gently.

William was a close aide of the emperor and also a member of the Butterfly Tribe. The maids’ worries were unnecessary as the general hardly interacted with the gossip-loving nobles. Above all, as long as the monarch was the most capable of providing benefits for the Butterfly Tribe, he wouldn’t have such a loose tongue to spread the scandals of the imperial family.

"I will help you. Since you have done me a favor, this much is not that difficult."

William couldn't resist the magical curiosity from the first time he saw Arelia. The princess was an anti-magician with overwhelming magical resistance. He was looking forward to what would happen if she learned magic.

One regret was that the one teaching her magic was not the general himself, but the magic school. However, it was inevitable. In a few months, he would have to alternate with General Orphina of the Dragon Tribe, and head for the Demon Territory.

He couldn’t take Arelia to a place where even skilled knights would have to put their lives on the line. But she couldn’t stop learning magic whenever he was gone, so he needed someone to teach her. Therefore, William's choice was the magic school in the capital.

There were many brilliant magicians who led the imperial magicians, and there were also their descendants, making it easy for Arelia to learn magic and have her magical changes recorded.

Arelia was delighted by William's words. "Do you mean that?"

"Yes. That much isn’t difficult. If we place magic on you that interferes with perceptions to prevent others from realizing that you are the princess, you'll be able to live normally to a certain degree."

Anti-magicians prevented magic that affected themselves, not the kind that affected others.

Arelia shook her head. “That's not enough.”'

“Then?” William queried.

Arelia put a white, half-mask on her face and smiled like some mischievous person she knew. "I need a new identity."

It wasn't difficult for William to create a new identity in secret, but he hesitated for a moment.

Identity was like a shield. For the sake of Arelia's safety, it was bad to conceal her identity. Arelia knew that too. However, her status would prevent anyone from approaching and keep them from staying.

William nodded after hesitating. "Okay."

"General!" The longest-serving maid among Arelia’s entourage couldn’t restrain herself. It couldn’t happen. As a maid with the most concern for the princess as compared to anyone else, she couldn't tolerate it.

William glanced briefly at the maid who called out to him and then looked at the princess again. He was asking what Arelia would do.

Arelia nodded. "I'll take care of it."

William nodded at Arelia's will. "Then I will persuade His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor."

"Thank you."

"Instead, I'll have my brother's child be your escort while you are at the magic school."

William thought of Yuria who was admitted to the magic school this time. Although she was a rather reckless child, he thought that the two girls could become good friends. It would be good for observing Arelia’s unique constitution of anti-magic too.

"Your brother's child?"

"Yes, that kid is called a genius even in my village. Being a student at the same school, you won't have to worry about safety while there."

Arelia was dissatisfied with William. She thought she might finally be free, so she was unhappy about having a tail attached to her. On the other hand, the maids were delighted. It was clear that someone even the Butterfly Tribe called a genius would have considerable magic skills. There would be no need to worry about their mistress’s safety while she attended school.

"Is it perhaps, a man? He isn’t sticking around 24 hours a day, right?" Arelia asked with a sullen face.

William smiled in response and said, “She is a girl, and I will only ask her to be an escort in the magic school.”

Arelia thought that this was at least better.

"However, she grew up only in the village, so her court etiquette is lacking. Please take into consideration that during the first few meetings, she may be unintentionally discourteous." While he was over-reaching the goodwill, William looked at Arelia with eyes asking if she couldn’t even do that much.

Arelia had cold sweat as she accidentally almost crossed the line. If her words were misinterpreted, it could be interpreted as a sarcastic remark that William had hidden intentions to gain power through political maneuvering by attaching his niece to her. The imperial family was a place where one glance or a word could behead someone. Although she was a princess, her opponent was a general who held a strong military power.

"I didn't mean to get rid of your niece. I apologize," she said.

William laughed. "I know. Your Imperial Highness must be worried about scandals. I understand."

Generally speaking, it didn’t matter if it were an ordinary knight but if the attached escort were a relative of those in power, and in that a man, it could have caused a scandal.

"I will try to arrange a meeting later, so please meet her.” William then put forth the main reason for seeking out Arelia.

"What does Your Imperial Highness think of having your birthday ball at the magic school this time?”

-o-

"This is the direction of the dormitory, so where are you going?" Flam, who came out of the auditorium together, grabbed me.

The only thing left to do after being assigned a dormitory was to apply for classes to take.

"I thought it would be less crowded to apply for classes now."

There was no fixed number of people per class, so there was no need to go early. But if you didn't want to be swarmed by people rushing over after dropping off their luggage at the dormitory, it’d be better to hurry. Of course, I was not allowed to move into the dormitory so I would be commuting.

"Oh! That's a good idea."

Flam also followed me to sign up for classes.

"Has your luggage arrived?"

The reason everyone was going to the dormitory first was that if the delivered luggage were piled up at the entrance and blocked it, the owners would be penalized. Penalty points were a system unique to dormitories that reflected poor behavior or not adhering to dormitory rules, which was said to be part of the training evaluation.

I couldn't get into the dormitory, so of course, there was no way I would have points deducted. I didn't know if I should be happy or sad about this. Although free from troublesome rules, I couldn't help but be nervous since I didn’t know when the prime minister might show up. I had planned to leave the boarding house under the pretext of entering the dormitory.

Well, I've decided to think positively now. The surveillance, which always felt unpleasant, was no longer there. They say it’s darkest under the lamp. But most of all, the meals were delicious!

"My luggage? It hasn't been long so I have it with me."

Flam showed the bag he was wearing sideways. There were some clothes and writing tools.

"It's a space-expansion bag?"

There was magic on it similar to the space expansion bag I got from the information agency. That bag was much larger in terms of space expansion ratio.

"Oh, how did you know?"

Flam was surprised by my casual remark.

"That—"

I was going to say, "I can see the magic”, but checked myself in time. It was good to make myself look like I was just interested in magic.

"It looks like the bag is bulging less compared to the number of contents inside."

Fortunately, my fast reaction allowed me to come up with an excuse.

Flam replied with a slightly perplexed look, "Could you keep it a secret that I have a space-expansion bag? If it is known that I have something this valuable, wouldn't there be someone who might be after it?"

That magic is not even hard compared to making a pocket space, but you are saying it’s valuable? Come to think of it, I thought I had heard its value when I received it instead of cash from the information agency. How much was it again?

"Okay, sure."

As I nodded, Flam grabbed my hand and thanked me.

"Thank you, I'll treat you to lunch today."

"Let go of my hand," I said with a smile.

What good would even come out of having contact with a man, and not a beautiful girl? This was even more so, considering my luck these days.

"Haha, there's no need to refuse."

What do you mean there's no need to refuse? No way!

As I slapped his hands away with a look of having seen something dirty, Flam also became flustered as he realized the implications of what he had said.

"No! I like women!"

We decided to take a step back. It didn’t really matter if he liked men, but if the person he liked was me, then it was different.

"I mean there's no need to refuse having lunch!"

Oh, it's about lunch. It sounded like a refusal to let go of my hand. But why do you have to make it confusing by saying it at the wrong time?

"Then let's apply quickly and go eat."

"Phew, I'm glad you understand," Flam said while sweating.

Actually, I was just joking, but he was more fun to make fun of than I thought.

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