|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mado||English Source: MadoSpicy TL|
|Editor(s): Crash, Doomchicken|
Amitia Kingdom is a nation with mid-sized territory (more precisely, the size is about the same as all of the neighbors combined excluding the three big and powerful nations which are the Empire, the Federation and the Holy Kingdom) on the western part of the continent. The soil is fertile, and the climate is warm, which makes agriculture and stock farming prosperous. The kingdom boasts a harvest which is several times higher than the domestic consumption rate. They are also proud of being the largest exporter of agricultural products in their region. Therefore, the Amitia Kingdom is an indispensable important financial hub in the western part of the continent.
Once upon a time, aggressive wars with the aim of taking the kingdom’s rich and prosperous land took place, but due to diplomacy and political maneuvering with the neighboring countries, there has been nothing more than brief skirmishes for the past eighty years, and the kingdom never had to experience a full-scale war. Excluding the damage from monster outbreaks, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the kingdom right now is enjoying peace and harmony.
Tonight, at an opera house located in Cheadia, the royal capital of Amitia Kingdom, nobles that were dressed up and wealthy people were gathering together in a masquerade ball meeting.
Originally, the masquerade ball was a meeting for royalty, but the prestige was lowered in accordance with the prolonged peace and harmony. Currently, it has spread to the general public, and is even being held at a theater. Although, the only ones who can participate are people who have enough fortune and social status.
The participants are from various places, from the nobles to the upstart merchants. However, once in a while there are incognito royalty and foreign nobles participating. It’s common for men and women who participate to look into each other’s eyes, attempting to guess the origin of their partner and enjoying themselves while dancing and chatting.
However, that usual atmosphere was easily smashed to pieces. Today, there was a pair, a master and her attendant, who showed nothing but a terrific aura.
Just by standing there, the woman exudes a transcendental presence.
With just a glimpse, she’s a girl who perhaps is in the first half of her teens from how she looks. She wore a costume which definitely needed an absurd amount of effort, time, and money to make. It was a black draped dress with a fitting design from her upper body to the waist, emphasizing her lower back, turning into her thin waist below, and then extending in a flare. Red rose corsages, which could be mistaken as real roses, were arranged everywhere. A red devil mask hid her face, so there was no choice but to imagine what lay behind it. However, her bewitching hair that extended to her waist, the entrancing skin without a single mole, and her pure face which could be imagined from the beautiful line below her cheek…There is no choice but to lament a sigh, a real living work of art she is.
And then the attendant behind her looked to be a woman around 17-18 years old who wore a light blue long torso dress, with dazzling platinum blonde hair and flawless skin. A white mask hid her face from the top of her nose upward, but it could be imagined that her face was also peerless. Therefore, she must surely be a beautiful woman.
Because of how these two women are, they captured the attention of everyone in the hall the moment they entered, but they were way beyond an unobtainable prize. They weren’t just jewelry, or even superb first class goods. These two were on the level of a national treasure. From all appearances, they are a princess and an attendant from a powerful mighty country who participated incognito. Everyone is gazing from a distance surrounding them, altogether whispering and speculating about who they might be, but not a single person yet dared to recklessly greet them.
“…What a surprise, this masquerade ball is more tedious than I thought.”
I thought it was going to be splendid as they would use magic lights, but it turned out there were traditional chandelier lights placed under the dancing pairs, making the entire area dim (well it’s not a problem for my vampire princess eyes though), I feel like the people were dancing ghosts in a haunted house.
Mikoto faintly tilted her head and wondered. As you would expect, currently her seraph wings were hidden.
“I guess these are their standards? Their so-called dance is essentially a public pleasure for men and women after all.”
“It seems so.” Within the thick darkness, untouched by the chandelier’s light, I saw several men and women performing indecent acts without any shame (I won’t clearly tell how it is, but, you know, you should do that sort of thing in a separate room). I’m regretting that I came here hurriedly.
How should I put it, when exactly will my main dance partner, the third prince, come? By any chance, did he not notice me? Since I also don’t know his appearance, but unexpectedly I’m standing out so there’s a possibility that he would notice me, or maybe I wonder if it’s because I’m too plain?
“…Geez, even though I already had dance training for an entire night.”
“Do you want to dance, princess?” Mikoto tilted her head curiously.
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“I don’t mean that sort of thing. I’m a frugal person so I like to have it be useful, I feel like I’m wasting something if I don’t use it.”
“Is that so? At any rate, he’s really rude, isn’t he, to call out and then make you wait.”
“Well, it’s not like there was any specified time to meet or anything… Ah, Mikoto. When that prince arrives late, don’t suddenly start quarreling with him, okay?”
If we abruptly showed him such rudeness, even peaceful talks won’t be peaceful anymore. With me saying so, Mikoto gave a regrettable sigh.
“There’s no way this mere serf would disregard the princess’ feelings and do such an impudent act in the absence of Lord Tengai. –In the first place, I believe that I’ve already been together with princess for hundreds of years right?”
Nah, to say ‘hundreds of years’…isn’t it actually closer to three to four years at most?
“Well, since it is your instructions, I shall bear that in mind and hesitate for a moment before punishing that insolent fellow…”
No, you must absolutely hesitate!
It’s not good. Even seeing that Mikoto here is the most sane one out of the bunch, she still has that fighting mindset.
“…By the way.” Mikoto takes a glimpse of my face –or more accurately, my mask. “Princess, do you like that mask that much? In the castle town, there was a person with a very similar mask in the ramen shop, did you hear anything about that?”
“I-I wonder who that is…?”
“Who knows? Well it’s probably an unfounded rumor.”
Did my secret get exposed?
Then, I sensed the small steps of a blond haired girl who wore a pink dress and was similar in height to me, coming before me. She held both sides of her tiered skirt with her hands tenderly, and performed a curtsy different from my fake one (the greeting performed by putting one foot behind you and bending the other foot).
“Good evening lady, what a nice dress that is.”
“Good evening, same goes for you. Your attire is also very sweet. It’s very well matched.” For the time being, I replied to her with a similar greeting, and added more words in a formal tone.
Then, she stared fixedly at my face (her face was hidden because of her mask, but her pupils are blue), and asked me with a curious appearance.
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“By the way, there’s something on my mind. I don’t think a lovely lady such as yourself matches well with this scary mask, does it have some special meaning?”
Mikoto in the back also nodded and said “I agree”. …Ugh, my mask doesn’t have a good reputation, even though it was a rare gacha item.
“Talking about meaning …Actually, I’m having a rendezvous here with somebody today ,and I had to use something that could be easily recognized.”
Since I am the princess of a demon country, with this sort of mask it should be easy to recognize. That was the plan I came up with and is why I chose it.
“Oh my! Did bro…err, that person tell you such an outrageous thing?!”
“Ah, not at all. This was my own decision. The other party told me the place and time, but didn’t specify the attire or the sign, so I thought about using this to make it easy for him to know. At any rate, my apologies for being such a country bumpkin.”
“That’s not true at all. I was just simply thinking it was a bit strange. Nonetheless, the other party is rude, isn’t he? Inviting you one-sidedly without specifying the crucial information.”
My mouth relaxed, with the girl complaining in my place.
“Yes he is, therefore I was considering if I should leave my seat soon.”
“Is that so…” she said while keeping her head inclined, “Umm, in that case, would it be acceptable for you to talk with me in a separate room?”
“Huh?” I said while reflexively looking back at the girl’s eyes.
“Actually I was brought by my big brother, but there is no one here who is close to my age so it’s a bit boring. Because of that I spontaneously greeted you, but your story has piqued my interest all of sudden. I absolutely want to hear your story more, pretty please?” She appealed with an embarrassed gesture, but her eyes were unreasonably glittering.
…Ugh, I’m bad at this. It’s like a natural thing for someone who can’t read the atmosphere to take up my pace. It could just be my imagination, but I feel I’ve been in this situation before…
“W-well, if it’s just a bit…” Before I noticed it, I was already giving her a nod. Oh no, what am I doing?
“I’m so happy! Um, it’s impolite but I wonder, what might your age be? As for me, I’m twelve years old.”
“Err, I’m more or less thirteen years old.”
Since that’s the setting!
“Oh my, then I was one year under you. ―Um, is it okay for me to call you big sister?” The girl asked nervously.
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So dreadfully cute… what is this living thing?
“Su-sure, if you wish.” I couldn’t go against her.
“Then, big sister, there’s a seperate room that is rented out in that direction, please come. Feel free to bring your attendant too.”
“…Is this okay?” Mikoto asked for confirmation in a low voice, then I replied to her in half despair.
“It’s okay. It’s the stupid prince’s fault for coming late anyway. I will come back later after loitering around there.”
‘I understand,’ Mikoto nodded. I was literally pulled by the girl’s hand, and she brought me to a room at the far back of the row of private rooms on the second floor.
Then the girl lightly knocked on the room’s door and said, “Big brother, this is Angelica. I brought the guest.”
‘Aah, come in!’
A young man’s voice invited us to enter the room.
Mikoto and I took two to three steps back due to our precautionary instincts.
The girl turned in our direction and took off her mask and revealed her cute face. She had a fluffy atmosphere. Then, once again she made a very deep greeting.
“I am deeply sorry for deceiving you with my form, big sister. I’ll greet you once again. My name is Angelica Iris Amitia, the Amitia Kingdom’s fourth princess. The younger sister of my foolish brother born from the same mother, Acyl Claude Amitia, the third prince of the Amitia Kingdom.”
Before the girl who said that and smiled cheerfully, Mikoto and I reflexively looked at each other, and wondered how we should respond.