The Reincarnated Princess’s Dialogue.
I was staring at the words on the faded paper rather than reading them. I sighed.
Whatever Michael discussed with Lady Irene that day was unknown to me.
I was curious whether or not he spoke to her on the topic his powers, but I couldn’t straight out ask. I’d be in trouble if he turned the situation around and asked how I knew, and I didn’t think I had the confidence to pass it off. Besides, ever since the meeting, I haven’t run into him anywhere, so I didn’t even have the chance to ask.
Any details about the Michael before his body was taken over by the Dark Lord was miniscule, even in the game.
That was why I had absolutely no idea what he thought, or how he’ll try to act.
Another sigh slipped out.
I was furious at myself for being so useless.
It was comparable to me using a strategy guide up until now, and knowing beforehand where the traps awaited me made it easy to avoid them as I lived my life. But this was where it diverged.
Knowledge pertaining only to the game was useless.
But even if I’ve lost my metaphorical compass, I must learn how to keep moving.
I jumped when a voice suddenly spoke to me. At the same time, a hand reached out from behind and grabbed the book lying open in my lap.
I twisted around with the intent of taking it back, only to freeze.
“If you have no intention of reading, don’t bother.”
Light blue eyes pinned me down, scrutinizing me with displeasure. The tone of voice without a slice of warmth was cutting.
Shivering as sweat dripped down my back, I silently whispered to myself, You screwed up.
The man sat up from the largish couch. Still irritated, he closed the book with a rough move. I wanted to tell him not to handle such a historically valuable book with so poorly, but it wasn’t something I could say when I was spacing out with that valuable book not a moment ago.
I got off the end of the couch I had been sitting on and stood on the floor.
I took a deep breath, and tightened my stomach. I controlled my expression, straightened my posture, and bowed my head.
“I am sorry, father.”
Father looked at me, and the frown between his brows deepened.
“For what?” he asked sharply.
Though his young daughter made a laudable effort to apologize, the air around him did not soften in the slightest. I was disgusted with myself for spacing out even knowing he was that sort of person.
This was my fourth time visiting my father’s chambers. There were no friendly exchanges, but the time spent only in silent book reading was peaceful, and perhaps a little listless. It was an excuse for an act of folly that served me no good.
At a loss for words to respond, I chewed on my lip.
Father looked at me coldly, chin propped in a hand, the elbow resting on a raised knee.
“What do you apologize for? Let’s hear it,” he asked once more.
My voice shook from nervousness.
I scolded myself for almost looking down in shame, and tucked in my chin.
“Not having the desire to read, even though I had the book open.”
I answered honestly, like a fool.
I haven’t made any progress.
But what else could I do? If one had neither the head nor the guts to use trickery, all that was left was defiance.
“Though presented with an opportunity to peruse through a precious, valuable book, I was preoccupied and halfhearted.”
With another muttered apology, I bowed my head again.
Father sighed with an annoyed look.
“If you honestly think apologizing will grant you pardon, you are gravely mistaken.”
His words were harsh, but he expression appeared somewhat mollified.
The book he kept out of my reach he now handed over like he was forcing it on me. I was amazed he gave it back so easily, but I returned to my senses and tightly hugged the book close with both hands.
Father grabbed the wine bottle on the table and poured all that remained into his glass. I watched him gulp it down like he didn’t even taste it, and he pointedly ordered me to sit.
There was enough space for one person at the end, so I sat on the side. I brought a hand to my fast beating heart and softly exhaled.
I tried to open the book, this time resolved to concentrate so that I wouldn’t get kicked out. However, I noticed the stare pointed at me from the side, and my hand froze.
I wanted to ignore the look, but I didn’t have the nerves needed for something like that. Timidly, I looked in that direction.
“What preoccupied you?”
“You had worries? Tell me.”
He said the words, but I didn’t immediately understand. My eyes popped open, and I stared at my father.
I had a feeling he asked me to share my troubles, but…was I hearing things? It was just my imagination, wasn’t it? No way that would ever happen, right?
“My troubles, uh…are not, important enough to trouble you for advice, father.”
“Who offered advice? I only said I’d hear it.”
Even though I was irritated, I was also relieved.
That arrogance belonged to father, no doubt about it. Great. For a moment there, I thought I’d slipped into parallel universe.
Only, it may be good to have peace of mind, but what should I say?
I couldn’t afford to speak of Michael’s powers. Wasn’t there any safer topic?
After a short while, I said, “I was troubled with my own lack of ability to apply my skills.”
“Ability to apply your skills?”
“Yes, father. I am weak at handling the unexpected. I am only accustomed to approaching situations that are predictable to a certain degree with plan in mind, and my ability of adapting to the unforeseen is lacking.”
My father neither agreed nor disagreed.
His stare pressured me to continue.
“I am full of shortcomings. I am weak at quick thinking, and I lack decisiveness. When situations beyond what I expect occur, I am just thrown into jumbled mess, and I can’t do a thing. This will not do.”
For example, even if the future begins to progress in a completely different direction from the game, I can’t afford to come to a stop and waver.
Not knowing was not an excuse. Not understanding did not make it justifiable.
My hands, resting on top of the book lying on my knees, clasped painfully. I watched as my nails bit into my skin.
“I wish to become capable of dealing with any of situation.”
After a moment of quiet, father said in a low voice, “I see.”
When my eyes swung around to him, I was struck speechless to find his handsome face closer than I expected it.
He scrutinized me from point-blank range, and sighed solemnly.
“So my daughter is a big fool.”
It took a few seconds before father’s words reached my brain. A throbbing vein popped up on my forehead, and my voice was low as I squeaked, “Excuse me?”
What did he just say?
After being half-forced to voice my worries, what did this ass just say?
A look of rage appeared on my face and I glared at him. Father watched and puzzledly inclined his head to the side.
Every little thing is beautiful with you!! I almost swore at him incomprehensibly.
“Father. Just now…what did you…?”
“I said, my daughter is a big fool.”
Father repeated everything slowly, as if he was talking to a young child.
You’re very skilled at getting on someone’s nerves, aren’t you? You shit father.
“She wishes to be capable of dealing with anything, she said?” he spat, not hiding his disgust. “Who in the world does she think she is, this young girl alive a mere ten years?”
A princess?! I wanted to retort, among other things.
But in reality, I could only chew on my lips, my face flushed red with anger and embarrassment.
I was pissed off. Mad enough to spit nails, but I couldn’t talk back.
Because it was an unshakeable truth that I was a powerless and ignorant brat.