19.1 The Imprisoned Princess
『—the Scales of Judgment.
Long ago, in the world when magic hadn’t yet been divided into different attributes, this magic instrument was created. It was an era when everyone could equally use magic.
The purpose was to guarantee fair judgment in a duel, in short, to determine the winner and the loser.
As to how to use it, the combatants would each spill a droplet of their blood on the scales’ plates. At that moment, the bloods’ owners were already linked with the scales.
If one was unable to continue the fight, his plate would lower—that meant he had lost. The loser would be cursed to death if he didn’t comply with the winner’s conditions. 』
—currently four days into house arrest.
She was still residing in that distasteful room covered in pink. Sharina lowered her hips, using her right foot as a foundation. Both her hands were stretched out to read the textbook.
If she was asked what she was doing—…well, it was lower body training coupled with reviewing for history class.
『In the past, it was commonly used in duels between warlords, and also duels to ascertain the rightful heir to the throne.
However, gradually, a King of that era began to abuse said magical instrument to punish nobles who criticized his way of governing severely. By the end of the day, a tyrant was born. The fear of politics grew. The country became oppressive.
Finally, the twentieth-generation King used the scales to recover the throne from dictatorship. Thereafter, the scales were sealed away in the treasury without ever seeing the light of the day again. After all, this was a tool that shouldn’t be used without tacit understanding, because afterwards, severe consequences might await. 』
—her right foot was done. The next step was to extend her left foot forward, then slowly lower her hips. By repeating this, her lower body—from waist to thighs—would be trained, and she would be able to launch the most powerful kick ever.
If there ever came a day where she was bestowed an opportunity to land a kick on that Narcissist, she would take full advantage of said opportunity.
『It can be concluded that most ancient magical instruments deviate from modern day’s morals, and are also highly dangerous due to their absoluteness—』
She was anxious due to not attending classes, as such, she repeatedly read the only textbook in her current possession.
When she tiredly turned her gaze to the window, the sky was dyed in orange. The sun was setting.
It was the same sky she had previously saw with Riol when they went to a café in the Royal Capital together.
Remembering that time, Sharina narrowed her eyes in nostalgia.
“…how’s your condition, Cat?”
However, in the next moment, her pleasant recollection was shattered to pieces. Sharina frowned.
From right outside the window, the voice she least wanted to hear the most in the world came.
This room should be far above the ground—but it wasn’t a problem for someone with advanced wind magic.
The window which reflected the beautiful sunset sky until a while ago was now occupied by the back of the man who would eventually rule this kingdom…
“I heard your appetite still hasn’t returned… Fuun, I honestly am glad that you’re truly worried about me… but, by staying like this, aren’t you only making me worry more?”
The First Prince of the kingdom, who floated while turning his back on her, said some baseless things.
“Sshh, keep quiet. No one is supposed to know that I’m here.”
If you were to fall to your death from this height, everyone would deem it as an accident—or at least it would prolong the investigation… which means there’s still a possibility that I would be discovered. That’s far from a perfect crime.
“Ah, don’t try to lean out of the window, okay? Right now, I’m taking advantage of the loophole in my sworn oath. We aren’t seeing each other face to face right now.”
—no good! He’s distancing himself from the window! Now we are left with a distance as big as the room between us—
—no, it’s still good! If I run, I can cover that distance and deliver a flying kick!
“Hey, hey, don’t pout… after all, I’ve especially come here today just to ease your anxiety.”
Sharina jumped quietly on spot—
—this is just a foot exercise. I’m definitely not preparing for a flying kick or anything—not at all…
“The duel against that Black Rat, I can assure you that I won’t be defeated by any chance. Other than the overwhelming difference in ability, there is also another reason.”
But it was a double, outward, open window. She didn’t even lock them. In the unlikely event there was a witness when she executed the flying kick, she would be in deep water.
B-but, they probably won’t see it coming, right?
As such, I can probably excuse myself by saying ‘when I did a flying kick out the window as part of my daily exercises, there happened to be someone there, how am I supposed to know…’
Indeed. It would end up being an unfortunate accident. She wouldn’t be punished for anything.
“The Black Rat… is lying.”
After a little thought, Sharina, who had made a resolute decision, started running.
“It’s because you’re pure, that’s how you fell victim so easily to that Black Rat’s lies… He made it sounds like he’s actually strong. But the duel will put an end to that lie of his, that’s why, don’t worry so much about me…”
Pittari—Sharina’s feet halted.
“Don’t worry, Cat. Every kind of deception will be ruled out in the duel. That sneaky Black Rat’s lies will be exposed to all under the sun. I promise to make him taste utter defeat.”
Riol was lying and was otherwise just making up fronts—those were more baseless, cruel, statements.
Sharina, who halted to ponder over how such a stupid, groundless, misunderstanding could sprout, stopped the leg she had raised for a certain purpose…
“I guess this is it… I bide you farewell, My Cat. Sweet dreams.”
The noisy bastard seemed satisfied after saying all that and quickly rose in altitude. Exactly like a fly.
“Eh, ah, wait, eh?”
She missed the opportunity to give him a flying kick, again. All because she had hesitated a little.
With her irritation reaching a new height, Sharina stomped her raised foot.
—five days into house arrest.
“I see that you are still meeting with His Highness. It seems that there are still some clever tricks left up your sleeve! How much do you want to stomp on His Highness’ oath!? You even did things to yourself that would leave him otherwise no choice but to see you! Such selfishness! It’s unthinkable what kind of person you’ll develop into in the future…!”
“Yes, I want to discuss that, too. I wish for you to advise His Highness properly so he doesn’t break his own sworn oath again.”
“Kuh! Already thinking that you’re high and mighty, huh…?!”
That evening, the one who delivered dinner wasn’t the maid, but Edward instead.
Sharina didn’t know what kind of negotiation happened in the kitchen, but she also doubted he came there for the purpose of telling her to mind her health.
“Let me tell you this—His Highness won’t come tonight.”
“His Highness is busy, so don’t bother him anymore!”
…but how did he know of the Prince’s visit when the bastard himself said it was supposed to be a secret?
…never mind. She could already picture that Narcissist muttering to no one in particular, “Speaking of which, last night, my cat was… oops, that’s supposed to be a secret.” Or something like that. The fact that she could easily guess his behavior and speaking pattern nauseated her to no end.
“Goodness gracious! God knows how His Highness could fall to this conniving woman’s lies!”
Edward wouldn’t stop glaring at her, and while at it, he also slammed his hand against the dinner trolley.
It seemed that in front of Sharina, the supposed Princess-to-be, that servant couldn’t mask his contempt—or even bother to.
“If you think you can assume the role of a Princess just fine, then you’re sorely mistaken—! If you want to live in peace, be a concubine—! No, I don’t even know why I despised that idea so much—!”
His oppressiveness was becoming more and more unbearable, Sharina wished he would excuse himself soon.
“You’re correct. I don’t want to be a princess or a concubine.”
“Ha—! That lying mouth of yours is truly impressive—! I can easily see through your pretense—! Deep down, you’re laughing—!”
***T/N: The best case scenario would be the scales already determining which one is the winner after they’ve just spilled a drop of their blood on the plates, due to the sheer UNFAIRNESS of it. And… our airhead heroine is somewhat quickwitted when it came to murder attempt(s) and concealing evidences–!? As I imagine anyone would, after their encounter with Leonarcishit.
Oh yes Mr. guard, leaping and flying kick-ing out of the window of the highest floor is part of my daily exercise regime, too. Mhm.