Katariona’s First Encounter with her former Arch-Enemy
The person about to enter Sandorion is Charlotte, the daughter of Baron Campbell.
Charlotte, with her lovely face, brown eyes, and flaxen hair, is the very person who framed me in my previous life, the very one who kicked me out of my position as the Crown Prince’s fiancée.
I won’t ever forget that look on her face I saw from behind the execution table. Hiding behind the Crown Prince, her lovely face was distorted into this hideous visage, and on her lips hung a mocking smile…
Looking at Charlotte, I appraised her with Flare’s bracelet, which can appraise magical attributes even from a distance. The result was “non-attribute ( ∞ )”.
I guess she’s non-attribute after all, but what is ( ∞ )?
“Is something the matter?”
“Are you feeling ill? You look pale.”
Marie and Leon looked at me anxiously as I suddenly halted.
“Just now … the person who went into Sandorion… is Charlotte.”
“What did you say!?”
After that encounter, I didn’t enter Sandorion and instead returned to the townhouse.
Leon and Marie told me that I looked as if I was about to collapse. So, Marie found a carriage on the opposite side of the street across from Sandorion and rushed to bring it back.
“Now, young lady. Please have some herbal tea. It will help calm you down.”
“……Thank you, Marie. I’m sorry to worry you. Thank you, too, Leon.”
Taking a sip of the herbal tea, I felt a little relieved.
“No need to thank us. We love Rio, and Rio is important to us. It’s the least we could do.”
I stroked Leon, who was snuggling up next to me. The fluffiness was soothing.
“But still, that’s the girl who framed, milady, right? It’s no big deal. The young lady is 10x(10 times) prettier.”
I chuckled, thinking Marie’s insistence was funny. Speaking of which, if the head butler hadn’t renounced his title, Marie, as a countess, would be superior to Charlotte in rank. Plus, Marie, who looks very similar to her father with their neat faces, is much more beautiful.
“The young lady finally laughed,” Marie cheered, jumping up and down. The gesture she made was so cute.
“Rio……, I know this is a painful topic for you, but please tell us and talk to us about it. Till now, you’ve only told us the name of the little girl who framed you.”
“You’ll feel much better if you let out the painful things you’ve been holding onto.”
My mood has settled down, and I feel calmer. I’ll tell them.
“This will be a long story. Marie, please sit down and listen.”
Nodding, Marie sat down on the sofa facing me.
The story goes all the way back in my previous life to my time at the Magic Academy.
I was 13 when I entered the Magic Academy. The Magic Academy is a four-year system opened to everyone, whether you are a commoner, nobility, or royalty. I commuted to the Magic Academy from our townhouse in the Royal Capital.
The townhouse was near the Academy, so my brother and I used to walk to the academy everyday.
In the academy, I always hung out with Chris and a few other pleasant young ladies. Chris and I had been in the same class together for four-years, the S-class.
The S-class was a so-called elite class that gathered people like me who could use special magic like “light magic” and people like Chris who could use magic with more than one attribute.
Thinking about it now, Charlotte had “non-attribute”, so she would’ve been in the B-class. The B-class was a class for people with weak magic or those with no attribute.
The magic academy focuses on ability, so the system is such that if your magic power increases during the course of the year, or if a magical attribute appears, you are transferred to a different class.
Since I was in a different class, I didn’t know much about Charlotte. However, it seems that she was often harassed by higher-ranked noblewomen for not having any magical attributes.
It was His Royal Highness the Crown Prince who shielded Charlotte from the harassment. My older brother, who was close to the Crown Prince, also acted alongside him. This is a story that my brother told me, but one day, he happened to come across Charlotte crying under the shade of a tree in the courtyard.
When asked about the situation, she replied that she was harassed by several noblewomen and had been crying under the shade of the tree in secret.
From then on, every time Charlotte was harassed, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince would give a stern lecture to the girls who harassed her. Naturally, the distance between the Crown Prince and Charlotte grew closer, and the two began to work together.
My brother admonished the Crown Prince saying, “Isn’t this a bad idea considering that you already have a fiancée (meaning me)?” However, the Crown Prince refused to listen replying, “It is the duty of the royal family to help the weak.” At that time, I was in a different grade than them, and thus I didn’t have any dealings or activities with the Crown Prince in the Academy. So, it didn’t bother me.
On the weekends, I would go to the royal palace and receive my princess education and then have tea with the Crown Prince. Even though I was his fiancée, that was the extent of our contact. Above all, I enjoyed playing with Chris more than anything. However, I loved the way his blue eyes would sparkle every time he spoke of the future.
As time went on, the Crown Prince’s friends came to love Charlotte’s endearing nature that stirred up their desire to protect her.
And when she turned 15, Charlotte finally had a magical attribute. It was “light magic,” the same as mine. It was said that it shined golden when judged using a magic judgment ball. According to my older brother who witnessed Charlotte’s magical judgment, in comparison to mine, Charlotte’s golden glow was a lot smaller.
On her 15th birthday, Charlotte claimed that the God of Light had personally appeared to her and granted her magic. It is not often that a god grants magic in person. And so, people began to think that Charlotte was special.
Not surprisingly, Charlotte was transferred to the S-class and remained in the same class as me for two years starting from her third year. Little did I know that this would be one of the very first stages along my path to decapitation.
Having said that much, Leon opened his mouth in a sullen tone as he made a bitter face.
“The gods only grant magic to people with beautiful souls, like Rio, or people who are favored by the gods, like Marie. The soul of that little girl Charlotte is cloudy. However stupid Flare may be, she would never give magic to someone with a soul like that.”
He just called Flare an idiot…. I think Flare’s a cute god, though?
“You mean, Charlotte lied?”
“It’s a lie, more or less. However, I’m not sure how she got her hands on light magic.”
If Flare didn’t give it to her personally, how did she get her hands on light magic?
“Charlotte’s light magic wasn’t…… very powerful; however, it was certainly the light attribute. “
“Isn’t it only capable of producing enough light similar to that of a candlelight?”
Marie, who had been listening in silence, opened her mouth. The smile on her face has turned black. She’s quietly simmering with anger, isn’t she?
“Are you thirsty? I will go prepare some fruit water, so please wait for a moment.”
Marie stood up and quickly left the room. Now that I think about it, I am quite thirsty after speaking for so long. And, I had already finished drinking all the herbal tea she had prepared for me earlier.
“Rio. Is it painful for you to speak about your past life?”
Leon asked, putting his hand on my knee. You’re trying to take care of my feelings, huh. That gesture is so cute, though. I pat Leon’s hands, which are currently paws. Ahh. So soothing.
“So, you’re worried about me. Thank you. However, I’m alright. I want to tell Leon and Marie about it.”
“Umu. If it gets painful, it’s okay to cry. I promise to do my best to comfort you when that happens.”
Full-on comforting? You mean, I can fluff here and fluff there and fluff everywhere? Wouldn’t that be the ultimate comfort and healing?
While I was giggling as I fantasized about it, Marie came back into the room with a pitcher of fruit water, two glasses and a shallow dish for Leon.
“Miss, did something good happen to you? You look happy.”
“Leon said he’d do his best to comfort me.”
Marie and Leon glanced at each other as Marie filled the glasses with fruit water.
“……I understand. Marie can also join as we comfort Rio.”
“I’m so happy. Thank you very much. Thank you, Leon-sama.”
So, does that mean I can fluff Leon, while Marie hugs me?
“Sounds like fun.”
“Yes. I’m looking forward to it.”
“……I see. Good for you.”
After quenching my thirst with fruit water, I began to resume the story.
TL Note: It’s a little late, but I’d like to give a shoutout to bella3995 bstep for becoming a patreon member. Also, in case you got lost, basically, from what I understood, Marie also wants to join in the fluffing, so Leon tacitly understands her eye signal and agrees. And for further clarification, Marie still calls Leon as Leon-sama, but Rio doesn’t. Sorry if I forgot to add that in the earlier chapters. And, up next, we’ll get to uncover more of Rio’s past.