"Oi, we’re nearly there! Not long now!"
I raised my face after I heard a crewmember yelled.
I could see the land that he pointed to. Unparalleled red soil stretched as far as the eye could see. Beyond that stood a port town.
However, it was not the original port town we originally headed for in South-East of Flamme. It was the South-West port town.
Klaus was barely drifting between the bounds of life and death. Thanks to Wolf's help, he was stable for now, but that itself could change at any moment.
No matter how good Wolf was, there’s only so much one can do on a ship. Water, cloth and medicine had already ran out.
The situation was hopeless. But no one was down. I was running around, helping out with all I could. Even those who were injured, even the girl who was crying a while ago, everyone was determined.
Why is that? I wondered.
If I asked the question out loud, everyone would probably say the same thing.
Because she’s not giving up.
"It’s not long now, Klaus."
Holding Klaus' hand, Mary whispered.
I didn’t think she was aware that she was calling him "Klaus" instead of "Brother". In turn, the surrounding people felt uneasy; doubts began to surface that they were not actually related.
Mary who came from a good household and Klaus the expert swordsman. Their true relationship was probably that of a rich girl and her escort.
However, none of us cared enough to point this out at the moment.
In prayer, everyone's gazes landed on Mary.
That line of sight stayed still in unison.
On Mary's opposite side, the light of dawn was rising from the fleeting horizon. The scattered ray emphasised Mary’s small silhouette.
The knitted strands of her hair undid themselves as a gust of wind blew through the ship. Shades of brown fell from the tips, probably due to handling the hot water from before, revealing it’s original lustre.
Glistening platinum blonde hair danced in the sunlight.
A small cry reached my ears: A goddess.
The voice was only one person, but everyone else unanimously thought of the same thing.
Mary’s hair was rough. Sweat coated her forehead, neck and face. Her hands and clothes were dirtied by mud and blood and her condition was far from pristine.
But even so, the figure in front of me was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
This made the air around her heavier. No one spoke to her after that, not even when we reached the port town.
The morning crowd was bustling within the harbour.
Small rowing boats scattered sporadically, but no sailing ships in sight. This wasn’t a trading port like Brow, but rather a fishing town. The harbour depth wasn’t suitable for larger ships to dock. I think our ship just barely made it.
With an unfamiliar ship approaching, the people started to grab their weapons.
One of our crew raised a white flag to show that we meant no harm. Once the ship had docked, a man approached us.
About 40 men glared our way, readying their swords in hand.
"If you value your life, you will leave immediately."
"Please let us pass! We’re injured!"
"Not happening. Who would let a suspicious ship just pass through like that?"
"We have the entry permit!… Though it’s for Brow instead of here. We’ve been attacked by pirates, please help us!"
The man looked straight at the sailor as if to tell him to stop with the begging.
"Even more reason to get out of here! What if the pirates followed you all? Who will take responsibility for that?!"
The man had a point.
Anyone would probably have done the same. When it came to family and friends, those would obviously take top priority. For the sake of their loved ones, they would do anything to protect them. I think what they were doing was cruel, but I also understood their feelings.
But giving up here was simply not an option.
And there was not much time left either.
"Ah… All the pirates are dead."
When I was pondering on what to do, a voice of a young woman sounded right beside me. Wasn’t her name Flora?
"We were lucky that some knights boarded our ship and fought them off. Their ship burned too, so you don’t have to worry about them coming after us."
Flora suddenly decided that there was nothing to fear.
I couldn’t hide my own surprise given the situation that she was in just a few hours before.
"So, please, will you let us in?"
Her now pale fingers grabbed the edge of the fence and her voice trembled. She was looking worse every minute and cold sweat started to cover her neck.
The men and their swords must be very intimidating to her. Though considering that her life was nearly taken by one, this was to be expected.
But she didn’t waver her gaze.
Even though she was crying just a little while ago. Even though she couldn’t do anything except being scared and trembling in a corner. I wonder where this child had found her courage.
"Can you prove what you just said?"
Unfortunately, her pleas didn’t reach the man.
I can’t. Of course she couldn’t say that. Flora remained silent.
"Hurry up and go back home, lil'Miss."
The man rejected the weak girl's plea and laughed it off as a joke.
Flora took a deep, long breath.
A conflicting thought flashed across my mind whether to stop her, but it was too late.
"T-There's no way in hell I’m leaving!"
Flora shouted atop of her lungs.
"I-I am the eldest daughter of Baron Graz! Flora von Graz!"
With her chest stretched wide, she spoke with as much integrity as she could muster.
Her feet was shaking and her waist was drooping down, but she magnificently portrayed a prideful noble.
"Don’t think that you will be forgiven after refusing me!"
"Heh. And here I thought you were some rich brat. Who would’ve thought that you’re a noble."
The man looked at Flora as if appraising her worth.
Flora moved away and broke their line of sight. Looking at her face, she was extremely embarrassed. After declaring her family name like that, she probably believed it would help her, even a little.
But reality was a little different.
"And? So what if you’re a noble from another country?"
"… My grandmother knows Marquis Eger-"
"Wow. That’s awesome! So what?"
After cutting her off, the man snorted.
"If it’s a noble from Flamme then it would be a pain if we ignore their request. But you, you’re just some noble we’ve never even heard of before! Do you think your great family holds any power over here?"
"… I… I'm…"
Tears formed in the corners of her eyes, but they refused to come out.
She tumbled on her words though her eyes didn’t give up. Flora was frantically trying to recover the situation.
You’ve done well. I wanted to embrace her thin shoulders and gently stroke her head. Who would’ve thought that I could feel this way towards this young girl I didn’t care about at all just a few hours before. I guess life is one big mystery.
"Who would know some corner town Marquis or some little Baron! Lives are at stake here. If you wanna talk, at least get me a royalty! Then we’ll call for doctors or anything you want!"
His nose flared up as he made fun of Flora.
"You better not go back on those words."
A dignified voice called out.
Her voice wasn’t all that loud, but it was well heard. As the people’s eyes looked for the origin of that voice, a girl slowly stood up and stepped forward.
The man was shaken as she looked straight into his eyes. He swallowed back his words and stumbled a step backwards.
The girl… Mary… didn’t glare at the man. On the contrary, I couldn’t feel any hatred nor malice coming from her figure at all. Her voice remained dignified and her expression, calm.
That being said, she was only a small girl and there was a man about to snap at her.
"You said if there was a royalty, we can ask for anything. Was I mistaken?"
"…I said that! So what if I did?!"
The man snapped back as if being ashamed that he was being pressured by a small girl.
Mary returned a beautiful smile.
"I’ll take you up on your offer."
That smile was so intimidating it wasn’t something a girl thirteen or fourteen could muster.
It was weirdly beautiful that it could well drive a grown man insane.
I never thought she was just a pretty girl, but this was too unexpected. Just who the hell is she?
Although there were clues that were scattered around her, my head couldn’t piece them together.
No one uttered a word amidst the confusion as Mary fired a question in return.
"Would you happen to know of Nabel's royalties?"
Mary asked while carrying a heavy-looking tub with both hands.
"That’s… yes, of course."
The man choked on his reply.
The royal family… most people usually wouldn’t notice the royalties of other countries, but Nabel was an exception. It was famous. Even a small fishing town's residents would have heard of them.
Everyone in Nabel's royal family were beautiful and dignified.
They eventually became the people's ideals. Various stories and songs were made up to praise them.
"Do you know about the first princess?"
"Of course. She’s said to be the country's future. The goddess of a great country to come."
It was then that Mary broke her stoic expression for the first time.
With a troubled expression, I wonder about that, out came a tiny voice. But those cute moments only lasted a few seconds.
What’s she like? Mary urged the man to continue.
"If I remember correctly, she had pale skin."
Her skin was as white as fresh snow.
"And blue eyes."
Her eyes were bright blue as if mocking the clear sky.
"Her hair's blonde like the colour of the sun."
At the end of those words, Mary raised the tub over her head.
Hot water violently washed down with powerful force.
The man, overwhelmed by her actions, was at a loss for words at the figure in front of him.
With the rising sun towards the Eastern sky, the tub fell from Mary's hands and resonated across the harbour. I stared dizzily at her sudden change in appearance.
The damp platinum blonde hair shone brighter than the morning sun.
Her wet skin paled as white as fresh snow.
Behind the hand that was brushing her hair away from her face, strong blue eyes gazed upon the people in front of her.
To the crewmembers who were entranced by her original hair colour, and even me who already knew her real appearance, were all in awe to the magnificent beauty in front of us.
Her elegance took our breaths away as we were left speechless.
"I am Rosemary von Wervard, the first princess of the Kingdom of Nabel."
As you promised, could you please call for a doctor?
No one was able to reply.
It took nearly a minute for everyone else to come back to their senses.
"Do-Do you have any proof that you’re a Princess?!"
The man shouted as if trying to break the atmosphere.
But Mary calmly replied, I do not.
The man breathed heavily. It was clear as day that he had shaken up.
"If I’m the real thing, would you be the one to take responsibility? That you killed Rosemary von Wervard, would you be able to carry such heavy a sin?"
With words alone, the man was cornered.
There was no one left who dared to refuse.
TN: Another chapter, on time. On time I say! Feel free to join my Discord server here:
This WordPress theme adds double space the stuff and because I’m not on a plan, I can’t edit the CSS. I won’t bother fixing it any more. What do you think?