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Published at 6th of June 2017 09:44:47 AM

Chapter 8

Chapter 8: The hunt for Glinda Dolye ~ Big Sis is too dazzling!


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Even when mom and dad were still alive at the Orlando Kingdom, Glinda had stopped playing with the other kids .

“—Because they steal web content from me . ”

Glinda just coldly replied, continuing to design her website that I could hardly understand anything of .

“Because they stole . ”

Hearing this, I felt as if I had been abandoned by Glinda just like the other kids, and felt so pathetic .

“Am I also a thief?”

When I asked while trembling, Glinda coldly looked at me, and said .

“Yes, a thief . But you are my subscriber, so if you would visit my website, I would give you exclusive content I promised . ”

^^^^^^^^^

Even when mom and dad were still alive at the Orlando Kingdom, Glinda had stopped playing with the other kids .

“—Because they are <different> from me . ”

Glinda just coldly replied, continuing to read a thick old tome that I could hardly make heads or tails out of .

“Because different . ”

Hearing this, I felt as if I had been abandoned by Glinda just like the other kids, and felt so pathetic .

“Am I also <different>?”

When I asked while trembling, Glinda coldly looked at me, and said .

“Yes, different . But you are my little brother, so if you would obediently listen to me, I would play with you . ”

I was as delighted as a little puppy wagging his tail with all my might, nodding: “En!”

“Sigh… . . Ahhhhhh! Now is no time to reminiscence about sad memories of childhood!”

I sat on my bed in my western dress, gripping my head and sighing .

Since the day I bumped into Princess Seira and shed tears, three days had gone by .

Due to shame and embarrassment, I could never look her completely in the face during every lesson .

Helmut who returned home the day before calmly said .

“She hasn’t threatened you; saying that she would reveal your identity immediately if you cannot find the answer, neither has she set a time limit for discovering the solution, right? If that’s the case, you can just take your time to patiently figure a way out . ”

Princess Seira never did set a deadline, and since she had helped me keep my secret to this day, she might just continue to keep mum about it .

But, I had already promised the Queen :”Just leave Princess Seira’s issues to me . ”; And more importantly, Princess Seira seemed to be waiting for her answer, silently applying pressure on me with her icy quiet stare at all times, and scaring me almost into spilling my guts .

“Uwuwu… If the real Glinda were to come to Eren, maybe she would have been very compatible with Princess Seira…”

No, maybe they would have begun their plot to conquer the world together already, so scary .

My mind was filled with illusions of horror, and I was so upset that I could not sit still, running out of my room .

Oh, but if I were to go out to the courtyards, I might bump into the princess again; as for Anneth, she had just said “I need to deliver something to the publishers . ”, and went back home, yet to return .

So lonely .

Cold breeze swirled within my skirt .

As I slowly walked with head overcast…

“Hey! Glinda! How dare you just ignore me! Outrageous!”

A furious-looking Sir Jerome appeared in a huff .

“Huh? When have I ever ignored you?”

For someone with such flamboyant dress-sense, pompous and exaggerated attitude, how could I possibly ignore him?

But Jerome just became angrier .

“Huh? Stop playing the fool! Last night when I called at you at the new diner at the Silver Lamb Street, you just coldly stared at me! Even if there was a woman at my sides, b-but don’t you misunderstand! That was just a normal girlfriend… no, she’s my cousin… no, my elder sister!” (T/N: SKP2017: "way to go, bro . . . (claps)")

“I did not leave the palace at all yesterday, did you mistook someone else for me…”

“I did not mistake anyone else! The face that looked at me is truly yours!”

Jerome pointed at my face and shouted, then his own face began to redden .

“That, maybe because of the moonlight, you looked more enchanting than normal… I have never thought you lovely before, but for some reasons, the same face in the city felt completely different, so, so I was stunned for a moment, thinking that you looked beautiful…” (T/N: SKP2017: "The moon sure is beautiful today . . . ")

I was shocked breathless .

A girl with the same face as mine, but more beautiful, there could only be one in this entire world!

Could it be that Jerome had bumped into…

At this point, Jerome’s uncle, the Chief Minister who saw me as a pain in his sides, strode over in large steps .

“I heard that you have been trying to unearth information about our country, and about our king . You must be a spy from Winstoria Empire!”

“When did that happen?”

“Stop acting as though you know nothing about it! I received reports that, this morning you were at the marketplace, not spending even a single cent and just with sophistry alone, made off with half a dozen eggs, two oranges, a string of sausages, hard bread, squid and roast scallops!”

“I must take my leave!”

I turned and ran when I heard .

“Wait! You trying to escape?!?”

“Glinda! The woman last night is truly only my sister~~~~”

I ignored the shouts that came from behind me .

This morning I had breakfast with the royal family, and then had lessons as normal .

So, there could be no way I could have appeared in the market .

There could be absolutely no doubts about it! Glinda had come to this country! And was very nearby!

I ran back into my room, threw on some craftsman’s apparel that I had prepared just in case, tugged my hair under my cap, and put on those pair of spectacles that I had not worn since I got kidnapped by Helmut . These were glasses that I bought on purpose to hide my face which looked exactly similar to Glinda .

It was no simple feat to enter the castle, with its thick high walls, water-filled moat and guards .

But it was a simple thing to leave it .

I pretended to be a lowly craftsman’s apprentice, leaving the castle to buy some stuff for my master .

“Thank you for the hard work . It must had been tough at work with Lana’s Day just around the corner, huh?”

The guards chatted with me as they let me passed outside .

Once out of the palace, I picked up my legs and began to run .

Where to look for Glinda?

Let’s just begin at where the crowd would be . Glinda was so glaringly outstanding that even mere passers-by would be deeply impressed by her appearance .

I made my way from my memories of the marathon race, and immediately found a large crowd forming a ring around something .

I tiptoed to try peering in from above their heads .

A clown-themed clockwork toy was being displayed in front of a clock-maker shop . The clown with his hair stuffed on his back hammered on his drums while a dove flew out of the drum with every hit .

This was identical to the toy we had in our home back in the Winstoria Empire, which had been crafted by Glinda when she was just 6 .

I pushed through the crowd to ask the shop owner .

“Who made this toy?”

The shop keeper excitedly replied .

“Yesterday, a beautiful young lady came over to our shop and crafted this object in a second . She said that there were some materials she needed, and would exchange them with this . ”

“Where has she gone to?”

“She asked me the location of the nearest shoemaker, so I directed her to George’s shop nearby . ”

“Thank you!”

I ran over to enquire at the shoe shop…

“Hoho, oh yes, she took a few pieces of top quality leather, and gave me many lovely designs of shoes . She asked me for some pen and paper, and just drew the designs on the spot . How terrific!”

After that, I heard that Glinda went to an antique shop .

Clockmaker, shoe shop, antique shop… Just what did Glinda want?

I followed the map that the shoe maker drew for me, rounding a street corner…

“Ah!”

“Wha! Sorry!”

I clashed heads-on with another who was also walking around the corner, and the objects in her hands fell, flying all over the place .

A large amount of paper flew about, and the two of us quickly tried to pick them all up .

“T-that, it’s alright . ”

The girl I bumped into shyly said in a small voice .

“No, it’s my fault entirely for bumping into you in a hurry . ”

“I am at fault too, for not being careful when rounding the corner . There’s no need to help me pick them all up . ”

“How can I just leave like that?”

What were on these papers? They seemed to be filled with words… A document? Or a diary?

I had actually no intention of sneaking a peak into another’s things, but I took a glance by accident, and lost all colour on my face .

<Helmut grabbed King Cecello tightly in a kissing embrace . > (T/N: SKP2017: "R21+")

“!”

“I-it’s really alright… I can pick them all up on my own . ”

I looked up to check out the other person .

Blushing from head to toe while picking up the pieces was none other than Anneth who had just went home!

That probably meant that, these papers were Anneth’s novel? That ‘thing’ about Helmut being Top and King Cecello being Bottom?

Waaaaaaaah! If they were to be blown away by the wind and seen by other people, all hell might break loose~~~

I picked up the papers all over at three times, no, five times the speed, while Anneth watched with widened eyes .

“T-that . . . ”

At that moment, a piece of paper was picked up by the wind and flew towards the path of a passing horse-drawn carriage .

“Oh no!”

Anneth let out a cry of dismay .

I kicked against the ground, jumping forward with all my might .

“Ah! Danger!”

I heard Anneth’s screams, grabbed the flying piece of paper, and held the rest of the papers close to my chest before hitting the ground and rolling over a few times .

The horse neighed in surprise, and the huge wheels rolled over the stone pavement just beside me .


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“Oh… You, are you alright? Have you gotten hurt?”

Anneth ran over and said in a frantic voice .

“Here . ”

I climbed up and passed her the stack of paper with a full-faced smile .

“These things are important, right? Luckily they haven’t gotten squashed by the carriage . ”

If someone were to see these by accident, she might be arrested for disrespect of both Eren Kingdom and the Winstoria Empire, and might even cause an international incident .

Anneth said with a blushing face .

“Thank you…”

She looked at me with eyes filled with adoration .

“Huh?”

And then tilted her head .

“Looking more carefully, you looked very similar to someone I know . ”

I was so stunned that my heart nearly leapt out of my mouth .

G-glasses? . . . Oh, luckily they were intact on my face .

“Really alike, no matter how you look at it, there has to be some relationship . Have you just arrived from the Winstoria Empire?”

“Haha, I grew up here in Eren . Ho, I am still in a hurry, please excuse me . ”

“Oh!”

Anneth seemed to want to say something more, but I turned and fled immediately .

Uwah! Did I manage to get away? The next time I meet with Anneth I must be careful not to expose myself!

I ran breathlessly to the antique shop .

“That lady? She had been around here until this morning . She said that she wanted to read an ancient tome in this shop, and completed it all within a single night . How terrifying . ”

I heard there that Glinda had prescribed a list of herbal medication for the shop owner who suffered from chronic shoulder aches . The shop owner was very satisfied with the results of the medicine after trying it out, and was thus gratified .

Glinda had been here just until this morning?

After that, I ran to the diner that Jerome said that Glinda had ignored him in, as well as the places in the market where Glinda had bought stuff .

Everyone there remembered Glinda, and I heard that she purchased stuff by wagering with the shop owners with scissors-paper-stone, offering to pay ten times the price for loosing but taking the food for free if she won . Naturally, she won them all, and so left with a large pile of food without spending a single cent, going next to the arts museum and the library .

I was getting closer to Glinda!

As the prize in my eyes became closer, my head turned feverish and my chest felt the thumping beats of my heart .  (T/N: SKP2017: "That's what we call love . . . ")

Since I was a child, I had always had to rely on Glinda for every single thing .

Every time when I ran into trouble, I would run crying to Glinda; if there were any joyful or sad happenings, Glinda would be the first one I would report to .

Even though Glinda was so cold, she would always listen to me, giving me support .

In the end, Glinda knew every bit about me, but I knew nothing about Glinda .

Glinda would never tell me anything about what was in her heart .

That’s right, even three years ago – when we turned fourteen, it was also the same .

One day nearing Lana’s day, Glinda sat and played a gentle tune on the piano .

“—Could that possibly be Lana’s Day music? Wow! Who are you going to confess to?”

No matter how I asked and cajoled, Glinda would not reveal who that lovely music was dedicated to, nor would she tell me where she would gift this song to anybody .

It was the same this time .

<I am not Glinda Dolye any more from today onwards . >

She just disappeared after leaving these words .

How could she just do that! This is preposterous! I must definitely scold her bitterly!

I continued to run while panting profusely .

No matter how fiercely I was to scold her, Glinda would simply carelessly reply “I was just going for a trip, what’s the big deal . ”

Then, I would just dump all my frustrations and bitterness I suffered from all this time on her .

Just like before…

Ohhh! I would finally meet with Glinda again! Everything would be restored!

It was just noon when I departed from the castle, but the sky had somehow turned bright red now without my realising it .

I chased after the trail of Glinda, arriving at last at the port .

Huh, why did it end at the port…

I looked at the sailboat that was anchored there with disquiet in my heart .

When I asked about Glinda from the labourer there…

“You’re asking about that lady? She had left on the ship bound for Rubinia, saying that she wanted to get to the Gilian Islands . ”

I felt darkness falling before my eyes and my entire body went cold .

“How can that be! Glinda!”

It was so close that I thought I could see her! I thought that Glinda came to find me because she was actually worried for me… But in the end she just left without a word!

I shouted towards the sea .

“Glinda! Glinda! Come back!”

“The ship has been gone for over an hour . She won’t be able to hear it . ”

The labourer probably thought that I had been ditched by a girl called Glinda, and so said in a consoling voice .

Glinda abandoned me .

My heart was completely empty, but my body somehow felt like it weighed a ton .

By the time I dragged my feet that felt as heavy as lead back to the palace, it was already night-time .

When I was barred by the guards at the entrance to the palace, I just nonchalantly pulled down my cab and took off my spectacles .

The soldiers, upon seeing my long hair on my shoulders, cried in surprise .

“M-Ms Glinda!”

The crossed spears before me immediately parted .

I emptily walked pass them .

That’s right, Chief Minister Gaston seemed to be suspecting me of being a spy… If he heard about this again, he might think I was out spying again… Muah, whatever .

Upon returning to my own room, I had no energy left to even change back into female clothes, but just sat cross-legged on the bed and scratched my head violently .

Would I be stuck in this place forever?

I did not wish to cross-dress any longer .

I did not want to act as Glinda’s replacement any more .

That’s because after all my efforts of waiting for her to come back, she just abandoned me .

Since Glinda came to Eren, she must have heard about the news of Ms Glinda in the palace, and definitely realise that that would be me .

But, she never visited me once, but just left behind a big pile of trails, and left Eren . Even if I were to be exposed as fake in Eren and got sent to prison for being an imposter, she would probably not have bothered either .

Something hot began to rise in my throat, and I had a splitting headache .

I don’t care about Glinda any more! I want nothing more to do with Glinda for the rest of my life!

At that moment, there was a knock on the door .

“… It’s me . May I come in?”

A flat monotonous voice came in, was it Princess Seira?

I got down from the bed and went to open the door to see those emotionless clear eyes observing me .

What did she come here for?

Princess Seira beheld my craftsman’s getup and hair in disarray, but displayed no clue of surprise and just coldly asked .

“… Where did you go to today?”

Had she already known about me leaving the palace?

That un-childlike cool expression reminded me of Glinda, causing temper to rise in me .

“Are you here to check if I have escaped? What business is it of yours wherever I go?”

I was stirred by my own words, and my emotions became more unstable .

Glinda was also like that .

Apparently knowing every single thing about me, but letting me know nothing about herself .

“… it is my business, because I have yet to hear your answer . ”

This tone that felt as if questioning the results of an experiment, along with the disrespectful use of a simple ‘You’, drove heat to the very roots of my ears .

Ever since this princess had discovered that I was not Glinda, she no longer called me ‘Teacher’, but simply addressed me as ‘You’, as if calling something useless .

I became so angry that I could no longer breathe .

This girl was just like Glinda!

“The answer is <Nothing>! You have never wanted anything! To <People like you>, there is no need for anything! You guys have everything, but just wanted to abandon it all and be all alone! You are like that! So is Ophelit!”

So was Glinda!

What these people dreamed off, saw, was the <End of the World> where nothing else lived except themselves!

“Go ahead and expose me as an imposter! After all I am sick and tired of cross-dressing already!”

I shouted in anger, and completely lost control . Princess Seira slightly widened her large amethyst eyes and looked at me defencelessly .

“… . ”

I turned and shut the door, threw the pillow atop the bed, kicked away my shoes, upper coat and pants . Then I took out the dress, corset and pantyhose and threw them onto the bed .

“I’ve had enough! Booohooo! I’ve really had enough!”

Wearing just a pair of shorts, I cried non-stop .

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

When I finally realised the severity of the situation, it was already deep in the night .

After shouting loudly to the maids that “I am not eating!”, I had fallen asleep atop of the embroidered western gown .

Now, I sat cross-legged on the bed with both hands holding on my head .

“Uwwaaaaaaaah! What have I said! She is only a child of 9!”

Being abandoned my Glinda was such a severe blow to me that I had completely forgotten about that fact .


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When I thought about how the tiny hand that had covered my lips was so small, so fragile and soft…

“Fool! I am such a fool! The worst kind of knave!”

I could not help but began to knock my own head .

To say such horrible things to a child of such small cheeks and soft hands, I was truly no better than a rat! Rubbish child bully! I should just go disappear into a ditch! Even if Glinda and Princess Seira were alike, they were still different people .

To be glared so fiercely at by a transvestite and then angry scolded, she must be really frightened .

If it was Glinda, she might repay me three times in kind, but Princess Seira was probably more defenceless… it m-might even leave a psychological scar…

When I thought back to my mad shouts earlier, and her fragile, lost eyes, I could almost feel knives slicing in my chest . Waaaah~~~~ I was just bullying children~~~~

As I imagined the scene of Princess Seira hiding into a corner, covering her face with both eyes and crying sadly, I was further filled with a sense of guilt .

“Go- go apologise already!”

Now! Immediately! Not one more second of delay!

I was still overwrought, and never considered whether it might be better to wait until later or tomorrow to apologise, as my mind was filled with the images of Princess Seira weeping alone .

Right, let’s go to her room, even if it’s just to peek from the door outside .

If Princess Seira had already slept, I would just leave her a message .

I placed a note saying “Really sorry for yesterday”, and placed it into an envelope, then quickly buttoned up in a lacy female night gown and combed my hair . Just in case I bumped into someone, I could at least say that I lost my way in the dark while sleepwalking .  (T/N: SKP2017: "Nightcrawler's guide, pg 27: how to disguise yourself as a cross-dressing pervert")

Alright, preparations complete .

Relying on the candlelight in the halls, I shuffled forward in the corridor .

The castle at night was a little scary, but pangs of guilt overcame fear, so I could not care any more about that .

Ho, this must be Princess Seira’s bedroom .

I gripped the handle and slowly twisted it .

Luckily my current identity was female, or I might even be taken to be a night-crawling lolicon… but wait, Princess Seira knew I was male!

No, I was not here to night-crawl, but to apologise and seek forgiveness . I had absolutely no dishonourable intent towards 9 year old girls .  (T/N: SKP2017: "Of cos not, that's what all pedos say . ")

I profusely explained myself in my heart as I gently opened the door .

In an instant, I was taken breathless .

“!”

In the bedroom with pulled-open curtains, moonlight flooded in from the balcony outside .

The floor that had been furnished with soft carpeting was illuminated like a lake of silver, while the patterns on the glass window cast shadows like a thick forest, glittering all over with tiny sparkle .

The scene within the room was one that was directly ripped out of the fairy tales .

At the centre of this lonely world laid a pile of white object .

That was Princess Seira .

Her body was wrapped in a blanket, back towards me, motionless .

“Your Highness…”

Even though I called her, she did not reply .

I swallowed and moved into the room .

Something small stuck between my feet and the surface of the ground .

Picking it up, I found that it was a crystal bead . So the sparkling glitter I saw was this? But, why were these beads all over the place? They couldn’t have fallen from the ceiling chandelier, right?

I felt increasingly uncomfortable, and so went around to the front to steal a glance at her face, thus discovered that the girl who had been clad completely in white and wrapped in a thin blanket was, in fact, weeping in silence .

Her sad eyes were downcast, lips tightened, and tears as round as the crystal beads on the floor were rolling down her cheek .

This doll-like appearance was quieter and calmer than the scenes I had imagined, but the impact of it was a hundred times more tragic and lonely .

“S-sorry!”

I fell to the ground and lowered my head in apology .

“Truly, really sorry! Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!”

I apologise continuously .

“As an adult, how could I have said such outrageous things to you! You are not wrong, the fault is with me, all due to my own foolishness! Really, truly sorry!”

Princess Seira continued to cry non-stop .

She pouted, and tears continued to fall from her eyes .

Ohhhh! … Did this child always hide and cry alone? All this time?

And I had thoughtless hurt her . At this time, I was utterly filled with regret, apologising profusely with “Sorry”, “You can hit me”, “If you would just laugh, I would do anything”, “I would even be your slave”, “Please, I beg of you, stop crying” .

But no matter what I said, the princess did not react .

Like her heart had been snatched away, tears just ran liberally from her eyes .

Perhaps after hearing my words, Princess Seira’s spirit had flown off to another world, and I was only left with an empty shell… When I considered this, my heart shattered .

What must I do?

I had no idea that I had caused such deep wounds in her .

As I felt shocked, the blanket wrapped about her body slipped and fell to the ground .

Princess Seira remained motionless, and as I helped to pick up her blanket, I suddenly noticed an open book at her side .

A thick, large book written in ancient language .

That was the book which Princess Seira often carried around close to her chest .

The page which the book had opened to had not only words, but illustrations as well . It was the picture of the back of a sage playing a flute in a black cape blown by the wind… This was apparently a replication of the artists’ impression of Ophelit as represented in excavations of the ancient ruins .

But the thing that drew my attention was not the legendary genius, but the small blurry picture of the back of a young girl standing besides Ophelit…

The little girl stretched out her right hand towards the black figure, as if to grasp the black cape Ophelit was wearing…

Oh, I see now .

So that was it .

Many things clicked in my brain, and my heart was pierced with a tight pain… I could not help but hugged Princess Seria tightly .

That icy slim body did not struggle .

How powerless, how lonely, were you as you pined for the fulfilment of this dream .

I used the gentlest and kindest voice I could muster and told her .

“I know the <thing you desire> . ”

 

 

Goddess of Love Lana’s Day .

In the afternoon of Lana’s Day .

The Queen Mother received many gifts and smiled joyfully .

The twin princesses presented her with a rose-shaped coral ring, Prince Ryuuju gave her a thimble of emerald; but the thing that surprised everyone was that even Prince Shin gave her a brooch made of clay with a piece of amber in its centre . Its shape is that of a Margaret, and its edges had been painted white . Previously I had noticed Prince Shin silently crafting it during the lessons, so this was actually the present he had in mind for Her Majesty .

“Ara, is this hand-made by Shin? It’s great! So cute! Thank you so much!”

The Queen put on the brooch on the spot, hugged Prince Shin and rubbed Her cheeks against his, causing His Highness to blush happily .

Naturally, His Majesty King Cecello had gifted the person He loved the most with jewellery, as evidenced by the silver necklace with a gemstone as blue as His Majesty’s eyes which had been sparkling around Her Majesty’s slim neck since this morning .

Every present had been a pleasant laughter-inducing surprise to Her Majesty, but the one that absolutely touched the Queen today had to be Princess Seira’s gift to Her .

That afternoon, before the gathered and sitting King Cecello, Her Majesty and all the other princes and princesses, Princess Seira dedicated her violin performance to the Queen .

It was a personal composition of Princess Seira herself which was totally unlike her usual sad and lonely note, but one that was teeming with gladness and warmth .

Before the performance began, I had informed the Queen and all present .

“In the Winstoria Empire, people compose and dedicate songs to their beloved, so today, Her Highness Princess Seira would also like to perform a song that she had composed herself to her most beloved Queen Mother . ”

Her Majesty’s eyes widened greatly as She heard those words .

Princess Seira seemed somewhat nervous as she held her violin and bow, glancing uneasily at me .

Her expression only relaxed a little when I smiled and lifted the tambourine in my hand to show her, but then it tightened again as she began the performance .

As soothing and pleasing as always, but much, much warmer – such notes poured forth .

The Queen had a shocked expression on Her face, and became moved almost to tears as She listened spellbound to the sweet melody .

I was also completely affected by Princess Seira’s awesome composition, shaking my tambourine in concerto with the violin music .

The one who suggested for Princess Seira to compose music for the Queen as Lana’s Day present was naturally I .

-- I know the <thing you desire> .

When I spoke these words that night, the Princess Seira in my chest reacted for the first time .

Like a bullied little girl, she said softly in a lost and insecure little voice .

“… I do not … have anything I desire, because… I have everything… So… I can only abandon… everything… go look for the <End of the World> alone… That’s my wish… So your answer’s correct…”

The knife that wounded Princess Seria so deeply also pierced my own heart . Those words that I had used on her had been really too much, and I wanted now to beat myself into a bloody pulp .

“No, I answered wrong . ”

I said in a completely decisive voice .

The thing that Princess Seira desired, was not to become Ophelit .

Why did Princess Seira only have interest in <Glinda>?

Why did she look at me so intently?

Why did she keep holding onto Ophelit’s book, and read it in front of me?

When I fell into her bathtub, she had lightly tugged on my hand…

-- Isn’t Teacher… here to see me?

Why did she look so hopefully at me then?

Princess Seira was still hoping right now .

Hoping and waiting for the unmatched genius Glinda Dolye .

“I had been completely wrong about you . You must have been really frightened, really lonely, right?”

Because she had been gifted extraordinary intelligence, she was far beyond common people .

With her all-comprehending powers of perception, she could see through the cold calculating side to His Majesty who so loved His children . When she saw those things that a 9 year old child should never be allowed to see, just how horrified and lonely would she had felt .

If I was just like my Father the King… When she considered such things, fear must had frozen her all over .

Princess Seira had loved the legends and heroes in them, because she could see that those characters were out of the ordinary just like she was .

“Your wish was for someone who can hold the hand that you reached out with . Someone who can understand your loneliness, someone like yourself… a <soulmate>… you have been waiting for someone like that . ”

I released my hands and looked at her eyes .


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Princess Seira continued to weep as she watched me with a fragile expression .

I wrapped my hands around her tiny hands and slowly closed around them .

“I will be your companion . ”

I said with a fervour that was as warm as the insides of my throat .

Princess Seira gave a little jump .

“I am no genius, neither can I <see the right way> of everything, but I will be your companion no matter what time it is! I will listen to whatever you want to say! Help you whenever you need someone! So, just say whatever you wish to say, do anything that you want to do!”

The tiny fingers felt a little more forceful as they held onto my fingers .

The face covered in tears looked up, and Princess Seira asked timidly .

“… anything that I want to do?”

“That’s right, anything that you want to do . ”

“… There’s no such thing . ”

“The crystals on the floor, are those for Lana’s Day present?”

Princess Seira’s face which had been downcast all this while looked up at me in surprise, and then immediately lowered again .

“… E-every year… Everyone would… give presents to Queen Mother… But… I am different… So, no need…”

Her voice went dead half-way into the sentence, drowned out by sobs .

I visualised Princess Seira weeping as she broke apart the jewellery prepared for her Queen Mother, and was tremendously hurt myself inside .

“Sorry, it is all because my words had hurt you . Can it be repaired just in time for Lana’s Day?”

“… No, Lord Father, Elder Brother, Sarasa and Orie… and even Shin… would be giving presents to Queen Mother… So I don’t have to…”

Even though I apologised with all my might, Princess Seira continued to shake her head in grief .

It was obvious how lonely and anguished Princess Seira had felt all along .

Sigh, then what should I do?

I wrecked my brains and tried my hardest to figure out a way .

What must I do to lead this childish little Princess back from the darkness of her gift? What could I do to restore her confidence?

Maybe if I praised her in the things she was the best in…

Got it!

“Then, just give the Queen the thing that only you can give . In my country, the thing we give to our most beloved is not precious stones, but music . Aren’t you the best at playing the violin? Why not just compose a song for Her Majesty, and play it for Her?”

Princess Seira was dumbfounded when she heard that .

“I would also help . How about it?”

I asked again before she shakily nodded .

Then, the two of us composed the music until day break . Even though that was what I said, in actual fact, all I did was offer my comments after listening to Princess Seira’s hums .

After which, Her Highness began to diligently rehearse the composed song .

Princess Seira halted a few times during the practices and lowered her head in hesitation, so I decided to participate in the performance as well and told her, “Let me support you with my tambourine . ”

The result was this sunny-warm music played by Princess Seira for her Queen Mother now .

I stood behind her, shaking my tambourine at her beats .

It would be alright, I’m here, your companion is here .

So, you can just do all that you need to do to convey your love to your most beloved .

My last-minute emergency practice paid-off, as the rings of my tambourine harmoniously fell in line with the dancing notes of Princess Seira’s melody .

Prince Ryuuju, the twin princesses and even Prince Shin listened in delightful rapture .

Princess Suzuna who lied on her Queen Mother’s chest opened her eyes and laughed cheerfully as if to make joyful music into the mix .

King Cecello had his arm around the shoulders of Her Majesty, and watched us with an extremely gentle expression .

The Queen’s eyes shimmered with teary light like the children, and then bloomed into a blushing smile .

See, Princess Seira’s intention had been clearly conveyed .

<I love Queen Mother very much . >

Such a pure, vital and joyful thing .

I suddenly realised as I shook the tambourine, the music of which Her Majesty had said only children could bring out completely .

Glinda and Princess Seira might both be geniuses, but they were not completely beyond human comprehension .

Throughout my seventeen years of living together with Glinda, I had in fact come to learn of many things .

When she was feeling down, she would pick on some mundane stuff around the house, such as peeling the tough fibre off long beans or dismantling a knot in a chain .

She would never look at me fully in the eye if she was feeling really hurt .

When she was happy, her nose would quiver ever so slightly .

Even if Glinda was an extremely intelligent, highly unpredictable, completely mysterious person and a troublesome elder sister, I could still figure many things about her .

Joyful melody filled the atmosphere with warmth, lifting up smiles on the faces of everyone . Even Princess Suzuna wiggled in happiness .

As the performance came to a close, King Cecello helped take the baby princess from the arms of Her Majesty .

The Queen ran towards Princess Seira and hugged her tightly .

“Thank you, Seira, this is such a beautiful gift .   It is a really happy day today!”

She said in a teary voice .

Princess Seira seemed highly flustered, and tugged on Her Majesty’s clothes in a flush .

“T-Thank you for making such delicious breakfast for us every morning… I… I love Queen Mother very much . ”

Her shaky and unsteady words somehow touched me greatly .

“I love Seira very much too . ”

Princess Seira’s lips gradually bloomed into a glowing smile .

“Oh! We love Queen Mother very much too!”

“Yes! Love Mother the most!”

Princesses Sarasa and Orie, embraced Her Majesty with Princess Sarasa; Prince Shin seemed to be expressing his love for his Mother by silently tugging at Her skirt .

“Your Highness Prince Ryuuju, won’t you go as well?”

“…Humph . I’m already an adult . So that won’t be important, Glinda… Besides, I-I have something I’d like to give…” (T/N: SKP2017: "what, you actually want to confess your love to a girl before your own mom and dad AND little sisters? Give the kid a beer!")

“Oh c’mon, what is Your Highness talking about? You’re still a child too . So don’t be shy, just go . ”

I gave Prince Ryuuju a little shove with both hands from behind .

“Wha!”

Prince Ryuuju gave a little surprised shout and got pushed running towards the huddled group, knocking into the twin princesses .

“Ara! Big Bro Ryuuju is always so frenzied!”

“That’s right! Just like a little kid!”

“What! It is not I who…”

Her Majesty the Queen watched over the children, and said happily .

“Ryuuju, Seira, Sarasa and Orie, Shin and Suzuna, I love each and every one of you . ”

His Majesty who was carrying Princess Suzuna somehow appeared at my side without my notice .

“Previously, I tend to hold off giving my Lana’s Day present until at night, but today I had a premonition and decided to give it immediately in the morning . Looks like that has been a good call . After Seira’s gift, there’s no way for my gift to appear any comparable . ”

 King Cecello seemed to whisper conspiratorially to me in a low voice .

“Ms Glinda, you are the only one with the capability of helping Seira compose a music of this form, and perform it with this calibre . ”

“It’s just a coincidence . ”

“Even if that’s the case, I must still thank you as a father . Ms Glinda, I invited you here specifically for the sake of Seira, because that child has scarcely anyone who can understand her, or communicate with her as an equal . Ms Glinda Dolye has been invited to be the private tutor of Eldest Princess Seira . ”

Princess Seira’s private tutor…

It was such an incomparably honoured praise in my ears .

His Majesty continued in a friendly and warm voice .

“Lady Glinda does not require the use of Ophelit’s all-conquering silver flute, but relied on the tambourine usable even by small children to open the locked heart of Seira . From this day forth, please continue to assist that child with the help of the tambourine . ”

“Certainly . ”

I said with bravado .

But I also wondered how things could have turned out if the one who came to Eren Kingdom was the real Glinda .

Perhaps both she and Princess Seira could establish a certain level of understanding with each other .

Since, in hindsight, I realised that back then Glinda could had just been sulking when she said “They are all different from me” as she read her tales of heroes and legends alone .

A feeling of longing continued to linger in my chest…

His Majesty then put on a somewhat funny disappointed face, saying .

“Also please advise Seira, so that she would no longer be afraid of me . ”

“I believe Her Highness Princess Seira loved Your Majesty very much as well . ”

That’s right, for I was in a similar situation . Even though Glinda vanished all on her own and left me with a heap of problems, I still loved this member of my family deeply from within .

King Cecello smiled lightly, and replied .

“I know . ”

Then, he laid gentle eyes on the Queen being hugged tightly by her children, as well as the children who surrounded their beloved Mother .

“Isn’t my family great?”

The severe cold blue eyes of a leader seemed to have melted away that instant .

-- Seira is very similar to me .

This was the hint given me by King Cecello .

The lonely King Cecello who played his violin in solitude in an ancient castle was changed by his encounter with a foreign young lady, as the two grew to understand each other .

Therefore, change would gradually come too, for Princess Seira as well as the world around her .

For, just the King Cecello who changed the entire kingdom for the sake of his beloved, Princess Seira too, would one day encounter someone special to her that she valued above all others .

I pray too, that Glinda would remember me in the moments when she felt lonely, and then come back as though nothing had happened .

Then, I would first unleash my fury on her, before hugging her tightly, saying “Welcome home . ”

Princess Seira who was quivering in embarrassment in the bosom of Her Majesty turned to look at me, her face completely red, but shone me a shy smile .

It was a child-like smile as simple as wild flowers blooming in the fields, but seeing that smile, I could almost feel as if Glinda was smiling at me, and so returned a smile of my own .

^^^^^^^^^^

That night, while alone in my own room, I heard people knocking at my door .

“It’s me, may I enter?”

“Princess Seira? Hmm, sure, please enter . ”

The door lightly opened, and the princess worriedly peeked in . Her expression had become far richer like a normal child’s .

When the two of us were alone together, she would often display such somewhat embarrassed expressions, maybe because she had no idea what to say or how to behave before me .

Princess Seira looked down on the floor and swayed side to side for a while, before putting forth both her hands to the front and bowing towards me with a blushing face .

“Thanks so much for all the help you gave me . I have never played together with my brothers and sisters before, so I am really glad; I being able to give a gift that made Queen Mother so happy, i-it’s also because of you… Truly, thank you very much . ”

“All I did was to provide a little assistance . Right, I too have a gift for you . ”

“?”

I opened a small box I had delivered from the craftsmen, and a silver bracelet of crystal beads had been laden within . An amethyst in the designs of a flower had also been crafted according to my request and attached on it .

I gently lifted Princess Seira’s right hand and wound the bracelet around her hand twice, making her eyes grow wide .

“This is…”

“This is my Lana’s Day present to you . ”

“Eee…”

“Even though I say that, actually the crystal beads have been collected from your own room, and amethyst is not really something expensive… But, this is the evidence that I am your companion . ”

The stunned Princess Seira who had been looking at the bracelet looked up in shock when she heard those words .

I looked at her with a gentle gaze, feeling that this was probably the sacred emotions felt by the knights swearing loyalty to their princesses in the legends .

-- Private tutor of Eldest Princess Seira .

That title ordained by His Majesty, sparkled like gold in my heart .

Princess Seira placed her hand which was wearing the bracelet on her chest and said

“Teacher . ”

A smile floated onto her cherry coloured lips .

“Would you please call me just <Seira> from today?”

“Huh?”

“It should be alright when there is just the two of us . ”

“Emm . Alright . ”

She just called me <Teacher>! Ever since she had discovered that I was an imposter, she had been just using <You> to address me, but now, she was calling me <Teacher>!

Princess Seira’s mood rose as she looked happily at me whose heartbeat began to speed up .

“I still have much to learn from Teacher, so please teach me as you wish from now on as well . ”

“Mmm, I too have much to learn from you as well, Seira . ”

“T-That… Also…”

Princess Seira became more fidgety .

She shyly looked down at her two feet, then looked up at me, and abashedly asked .

“First, could I ask… What is the name of Teacher?”

“My name?”

“… Is it not alright?”

She asked worriedly .

“No . Then I would just tell you alone, please don’t tell anyone else though . ”

I had no idea it could be so bashful to tell someone else my own name .

“My name is Sherlock Dolye, everyone just call me <Sher -chan> . ”

Seira seemed as if she had obtained something of immeasurable worth, focusing all her attention on my name .

“This… is the secret between me and Teacher . ”

“Mmm . ”

I nodded as her face turned red again .

“T-then, I would be taking my leave . ”

Princess Seira turned and left in a hurry .

Maybe realising the immaturity in that action, she calmly turned and said at the doorway .

“Goodbye . ”

Bowing low…

“Teacher… Sherlock . ”

She shyly gave me a little smile, and closed the door lightly with her little hand .

For a long while after, my heart hammered non-stop .

Princess Seira recognized me as <Teacher>! Not <Teacher Glinda>, but <Teacher Sherlock>! I was so delighted that I could fly into the sky!

For this little girl so much alike to Glinda, how would she turn out?

I wish I could do something for Seira that I did not manage to do for Glinda .

Right, I still had to prepare for tomorrow morning’s class .

Even though there would be no way for me to actually teach Seira about the books she could read, I could at least teach her some customs and culture of the Winstoria Empire, and about how commoners lived there .

Such things would also be useful to know for the heir-to-the-throne Prince Ryuuju .

Let’s use the twin princesses’ favourite topics as a lead-in to it then .

Extra-curriculum activities should also be interesting, and I should pay more attention to Prince Shin too .

I was completely energized, and so began to organize the desk-full of study material .

“Huh?”

I discovered a piece of paper stuck between the drawers of the desk .

When did this fall out? Maybe it was when I was setting some test papers .

Picking it up, I became so shocked that I could not hold the paper steadily .

“!”

Ba-thump, Ba-thump, my heart would not stop hammering .

In a very familiar handwriting was just a single line of words .

“I don’t have athletes’ foot, nor am I little red beans, they are lemons . ” (T/N: SKP2017: "We understand, Glinda . . . ")

Glinda!

My temperature rose and my brain went feverish .

Glinda had been in this room? When was that? Definitely before she boarded that boat for Rubinia, so this piece of paper had been here for a few days already . Wah! Why hadn’t I noticed it earlier!

That Glinda . If you were going to leave a note, why didn’t you just come and talk with me directly? As expected, I still could not understand Glinda’s thought process .

While I continued to be flustered by the discovery, another knock sounded at the door .

Who could that be? And why at this time!

“Coming . ”

I roughly pulled open the door, and found His Highness Prince Ryuuju frowning, lips tightened and standing at the door with an unpleasant-looking face .

Why was the prince here? Was there something I could do for him? I was worrying when Prince Ryuuju’s face turned as red as a tomato .

“D-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-don’t misunderstand! I only came because I wanted to thank you for your care last time! As the future king, I must certainly know the basics of courtesy! A-a-a-a-a-a-a-and that’s to say, because of that, just take it!” (T/N: SKP2017: "B-baka")

He took out a small box tied by a ribbon .

 Huh? Was that a Lana’s Day gift?

I had heard from Anneth that it was common to give gifts as thanks to females that had taken care of you, but taking one look at this box wrapped with ribbon along with the blushing red expression of Prince Ryuuju, you would know it was a love-confession no matter how you looked at it…

Huh? What? You’re kidding, right? Could… could he have fallen for me?

I was struck by lightning .

Could this be his first love?

W-w-w-w-w-w-wait a second! Calm down! I-i-i-i-i-i-i-I’m maaaaaaaleee~~~~ (T/N: SKP2017: "So?")

Ahhhhh! But His Highness looked so serious, just like back when I was first in love… Uwwwaaaaahhh! If I were to discover that the target of my first love was a man, there’s no way I could take it! If things were to be exposed, emotional scars would be left on his heart! Too cruel!

I was still shocked and worried by the severity of the situation, when another voice came .

“Hey! Glinda!”

Sir Jerome from the knights company walked over with a grim face .

I’m busy right now!

My heart screamed at him, but of course he could not have heard it .

Jerome acted as if he had not seen the prince, and just kept glaring at me as he approached slowly .

Was he still angry about Glinda giving him the snub that day? Or was he going to challenge me now to some other weird competition? But I was busy right now wrecking my brain over my student’s first love affairs!

At this moment, Jerome grabbed my wrist .

Click .  (T/N: SKP2017: "Busted!")

My right wrist was wrapped in a golden bracelet decorated with a red ruby .

What was that?

“This is my heart! You should understand what day it is today, right!”

“Huuuuuuuuuuuh?”

This guy as well?

“Impudence! The one who should be giving Glinda her gift first should be a prince like me!”

His Highness jumped in anger below Jerome and shouted .

“Love is beyond royalty . ”

“Wha… . What love!”

Didn’t he hate my guts? How did this suddenly turn into a love discussion? Because Glinda had been cold towards him? Was he some masochist? Even if this was the case, there’s no way I could be happy to be confessed to by some man! (T/N: SKP2017: "Face it, you enjoy the attention . ")

The prince trembled in anger .

Jerome stared straight at me with burning hot passion .

It was the most popular day of my entire life, but I was just drowning in cold sweat and confusion .



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