Katariona Receives a Wonderful Gift From her Best Friend
When I came back to the townhouse, I relaxed and felt my strength drain away.
I ate a lot of snacks and sweets while talking with Chris, so I informed everyone that I didn’t want any supper and went back to my room early. As I went, I gave the roses that the Crown Prince had given me to the townhouse’s steward to display at the entrance.
“I’m so tired!”
Still wearing my dress, I dived onto the bed and collapsed.
“Milady. If you don’t take off your dress, it will get wrinkled.” Marie urged, prompting me to get up from the bed and remove my dress.
I changed into my loungewear and sat down on the sofa, leaning back against the cushions feeling weak.
“Thank you for your hard work today, Miss. I’ll go brew some chamomile tea to help calm you down.”
After having cleaned my dress and hair ornaments with purification magic and putting them into their cases, Marie left my room.
“Good job, Rio. You did your best.”
Leon, who was previously invisible, gave me some words of encouragement, reappearing in the form of a small beast.
“I need to replenish with some fluff!”
Picking Leon up, I fluff his fur. One fluff a day is a must. No, one fluff isn’t enough, but… Oh, healed.
“Go ahead and fluff as much as you want.”
“Thank you for today, Leon.”
Leon tilted his head as he was being fluffed.
“Huh? What’s up?”
“Leon’s presence gave me courage. I also made friends with Chris.”
His tail wagged in response.
“Rio is my family member. I will always be with you.”
With Leon, I feel like I can do anything. I’m not afraid of anything.
Because I was so tired that night, I fell fast asleep after having taken a hot bath.
＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊
The next day, just before afternoon, a messenger from the royal palace visited the townhouse. Apparently, it was something that Chris said would be delivered yesterday. The butler seems to have been informed by Father, and when the messenger came to visit, he came to my room to inform me of the messenger’s arrival.
By the way, since we had come to the capital, my parents went on a date together. My brother seems to have also gone out to pay a visit to a close friend in the royal capital as well. I, on the other hand, had no particular plans, so I was relaxing in my room reading a book.
I hurried down to the entrance, where I found the messenger waiting for me with a package. When he recognized me, he bowed.
“I have come with a gift for Miss Katariona from Her Royal Highness, Princess Christina.”
Saying so, he looked at me with his knees bent, kneeling, and handed me a package.
The package was about the same size as a book.
“Thank you for your hard work. Please give my best regards to Princess Christina.”
“Thank you for the kind words. Now, if you’ll excuse me.”
Before stepping out the door, he gave a friendly smile, and after giving a bow, got onto the carriage. He seemed to be a good-natured messenger. Was he Chris’s servant?
After returning to my room, I sat on the sofa and opened the package. Inside was a sealing stamp used for wax, a bag containing some plant seeds, and a handwritten book with reports on the greenhouse plants.
There was also a letter, so I opened the envelope and saw that it was Chris’s handwriting. There was one sentence written by Chris.
I’m giving you the tools, which will allow you not to be censored, that I mentioned yesterday. As you can see, it’s a sealing stamp, but it’s actually a magic tool. I tried it out, and for some reason, it reaches its destination without being censored. Isn’t that convenient? I didn’t think I’d ever use it, but I’m glad it came in handy.”
“An uncensored sealing stamp? What?”
I wore Flare’s bracelet and appraised it. The results came back as ‘Censored Sealing Stamp’.
“This magic tool uses the magic of ‘recognition transformation’ or ‘cognitive conversion’. It looks like it was made long ago by a skilled magic tool craftsman.”
Leon, who was reading the letter from Chris with me on my lap, explained in more detail. He said that in the days when the country was still in a state of unrest, they used to exchange letters with this sealing stamp to deliver secret documents.
Gods’ eyes are amazing. You can even tell the age of the letter and even the purpose for which it was made…
I looked down at the letter at hand and continued to read.
“I also enclosed the seeds I promised you, along with a record of the plants I grew. I hope they will be useful in your research. From your best friend, Christina.”
I couldn’t help hugging Chris’s letter. I squeezed it tightly together with Leon, who was reading the letter with me…
“Thank you, Chris.”
Thank you for being my best friend in this life, just like you were in my previous life. Leon peeked out from the gap and smiled, narrowing his eyes.
“You’ve made a good friend.”
Let’s write a reply to Chris. I’ll write back using the sealing stamp right away!
＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊
There was one more letter from the royal palace. Since I had only picked up Chris’s package and went back to my room as quickly as possible, I didn’t pay attention to the other letter that the messenger had given to the butler.
The other letter the messenger had given to the butler read, “His Royal Highness, Prince Richard is coming to visit tomorrow.”
I froze at the words Father uttered at dinner.
“Oh, dear! We must hurry to prepare for his arrival.”
Mother hurriedly inquired, “Do you have any of the finest tea leaves?” She began to discuss with the butler. “What kind of sweets should we prepare?”
“He said it was only a short visit, so there was no need to bother.”
“But even so, he is royalty. We must give him our best hospitality, however modest it may be!”
What kind of reception is “modest, but great”? You must be wondering. Mother is very good at that kind of thing. Her leadership as a Marchioness has earned her a reputation among the nobility.
But I didn’t expect him to come so soon, even though I had warned him to inform me.
“His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince, seems to have taken a liking to Rio. Surely, this isn’t an engagement proposal?”
“No, I don’t think so. If it was an offer of engagement, the royal family would have formally approached me.”
If it was, I would definitely try to escape. I’m not sure if he could sense my nervousness or not, but Father eased his expression.
“It’s okay, Rio. I’m not going to simply accept it even if that were the case.”
Mother smiled gently and put her hand on top of mine. I could feel the warmth of her hands. It was the warmth of a loving mother.
“I heard from Sieg that when the Crown Prince spoke to you at the tea party, your face turned pale.”
My brother, who is staying at his friend’s house today, is not at home at the moment. Apparently, he told my parents about what happened at the tea party. I guess he noticed that I was behaving strangely.
Was I pale at that time? Was that why Chris took me out? I looked at Leon and found him nodding his head.
“I don’t know why, but you don’t seem to like the Crown Prince, do you?”
“Well, you see. Father, Mother. There is something I eventually want to tell you. Can you please wait for me until then?”
The fact that the Crown Prince sent me roses and went out of his way to meet me suggests that he may be considering me as a potential fiancé.
Is it possible that even if I change my magical attributes, I won’t be able to change the course of events from my previous life? If that’s the case, I feel that it was time for me to stop keeping my family in the dark about my previous life.
“Of course. When Rio wants to talk about it, feel free to do so. We will wait until then.”
“Rio, you’re our most precious treasure. And so is Zeke.”
They really are such a kind family. When I got a little teary, Leon wiped away my tears.
I have to protect them! I have to protect my precious family…
When I returned to my room, I told Leon and Marie what I had decided.
“Leon. Marie. I’ll tell my family one of these days. I’ll tell them that I’ve traveled back in time. About what will happen in the future.”
“That should be good. Rio is a part of my family, and I will protect you at all costs. However, some things can only be solved by humans that the gods cannot interfere with.”
Marie drops to her knees and squeezes my hand.
“I told you before that I would help you at that time. Even if the Masters don’t believe you, I will support you until they are convinced.”
“Thank you. Thank you, Leon and Marie.”
I was relieved that they both agreed.
“Come on, Milady. Let’s get ready for bed in preparation for tomorrow.”
“Right. Tomorrow we’ll be on the battlefield again!”
“You’re not going to fight the Crown Prince kid, are you?”
I let out a sigh and put my hands on my hips.
“Leon. When a noblewoman goes out in public, it’s like going into battle. You must engage in many tactical maneuvers to win the battle!”
“Dressed for battle, of course. The dresses are war attire. Let’s get into the spirit tomorrow!” Marie rolled up her sleeves.
“Is that how it is?” Leon was scratching his head. “Humans do some incomprehensible things.”
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