SETP Vol. 3 Chapter 26
Chapter 26 – Kind of Embarrassing
“Magic that turns back time and ruins the empire is interested in…hmm…”
I looked at the door close behind Elena’s party, then whispered to myself.
This request I received from the merchant Dvorg Tsarrich became more complex the more time passed, I realized.
But even if I thought about it—
“…I still don’t know about the ruins, but there’s no way magic like that exists.”
For me, that was all there was to it.
I proceeded to imitate Elena and drink my soup and noodles, then said those words in a cold tone.
Which would be more troublesome, this or the Curia? So I started pondering…eventually concluding that both would surely be a pain to deal with, so it was pointless to think about.
“I’m impressed that you can eat something that heavy in the morning, Your Highness.”
“It’s actually pretty light, and delicious too.”
Feli, sitting down next to me, looked at me with incredulous eyes, so I pushed the bowl in her direction, inviting her to have some. Feli, however, shook her head in reply.
Thinking that she didn’t have to act so repulsed and try some instead, I filled my mouth with more noodles.
“To think that you were talking to someone, Your Highness…”
“She was kind of similar to Ratifah, in a way.”
Maybe because they were both pretty assertive…I thought.
After I said that, Feli looked convinced.
I wasn’t exactly horrible at talking with people. I just had little interest in other people, which was a fatal flaw when talking to others.
So any conversation wouldn’t last long. Or rather, it was very difficult for me to feel like using the communication tool called “conversation”.
I talked with Elena for several minutes.
After that, I waited for the inn’s “grandma” for a few more minutes.
Then I waited for my breakfast. Some more minutes passed.
Thus I was now chewing my soup noodles while talking to Feli, who came down to see what was taking me so long.
“Yes, what is it?”
“Feli, if you could turn back time…would you?”
I just asked on a whim.
There was no other reason.
“It’s a difficult question…”
Feli frowned slightly.
“If it was possible to go back…I’d probably wish I could.”
“But if it really happened, all the time spent until now would disappear…good things and bad things too. In that case, I’d probably end up regretting it. So I think I would choose the ‘present’.”
So she said, with a blooming smile.
The process was different, but the answer she reached was the same as mine. An answer very much like the loyal vassal of the Diestburg kingdom — Feli von Yugstine.
I thought Feli had said her piece, but it turned out she had more to say. With a knowing smile, she continued.
“Going back in time would also mean rewinding all your growth, Your Highness. If that happened, I wouldn’t sleep well at night.”
“…growth, huh? I don’t think I have done anything but physical growth though…”
My mental growth had stopped a long time ago.
I was sure of that, so I showed my usual self-deprecating smile, but Feli had a gentle smile on her lips. Her gaze and smile felt so very warm that it made it a little awkward to look at her.
“Is that really so, I wonder.”
Feli’s tone was filled with genuine wonder.
“If it really was as you say, Your Highness, I doubt we would be here now.”
If you were the same as before.
Feli so concluded, then looked straight at me.
True, natural feelings, without any impurity. So I couldn’t answer her if not seriously.
“I doubt you would have formed a connection with the young woman you talked to either. Because you have grown, however, a connection was formed and you could hold a conversation.”
Something like this wouldn’t have happened before.
I could easily picture myself wrapped in my blankets, sleeping till the afternoon, so I did not need to think to understand it.
“That makes me happier than anything else. So even if I had the ability to turn back time, I would not wish to use it.”
Before I realized it, my bowl was emptied of noodles, so my iron chopsticks poked at empty air. I was moving my hands to hide the embarrassment, probably. Feli’s utterly serious answer made me somewhat regret asking such a question so casually.
After such a curt reply, I took the bowl in my hands and brought it to my lips.
“By the way, have you decided on today’s schedule?”
So asked Feli as I was carefully sipping the hot soup.
Honestly, I wanted to laze around in my room. But I was well aware that Feli wouldn’t ever allow that. So that was not an option in the first place.
What should I do?
I silently considered the question while finishing the soup, and recalled an exchange I had with Elena.
One of the topics we talked about were ancient relics.
It would be a lie to say I wasn’t interested.
“Let’s see, now…”
Entering the “Forest of Downfall” out of sheer curiosity was surely not a good course of action, and Feli wouldn’t approve either.
In that case…
“I want to go on a preliminary inspection today.”
“Yes, to the ‘Forest of Downfall’. Not actually inside it, but I just want to see what kind of place it is.”
I already covered a point I was sure she would mention. Feli looked suspicious for a second, so if I said I wanted to go into the forest, she would have surely protested.
“May I ask the reason why?”
“It’s pretty obvious…because I have time to spare. If I said I planned to relax in my room, you’d scold me, right?”
“So by process of elimination, that’s the conclusion I reached.”
There’s nothing else to do anyway, I added.
I might have been able to trick Ratifah, but the infamous head maid wouldn’t fall so easily. Thus my first move was one of surrender.
Feli did not even chuckle.
“So as soon as Ratifah gets up, let’s go on a walk.”
“Should we call him too, then?”
Feli meant the boy that accompanied us, of course.
“No, no need. We’re not going into the forest anyway.”
I put down the bowl on the table with a dull sound.
“Okay, guess I’ll go back to the room for now.”
About 30 minutes had passed since I left it.
I had planned to have a quick breakfast but used up more time than expected. So I thought as I stood up, and Feli followed behind me.
“Ah, by the way.”
I turned over my shoulder and addressed Feli, as if I suddenly remembered something.
“Be careful how you address me, okay.”
Maybe it slipped her mind during the night.
Or maybe a habit for many years couldn’t be replaced so easily.
Realizing her blunder, Feli turned quiet, an apologetic expression on her face.
I did remind her to call me like that myself but still found it kind of awkward.