The Heavily Armoured Noble Girl Monette: How To Break a Curse You Don’t Remember Casting - Chapter 33
Witches First (+Bonus)
The carriage we got into this time was the widest and the most luxurious one yet. It easily had the fluffiest cushions and brand new blankets. It seems that both the horses and the coachmen can run without rest. The sight of it all was enough to make me leak a sigh of admiration out of my helmet although Gina seemed to not be as impressed simply saying, “I suppose it will do.”
Once the four of us got in, the horse-drawn carriage almost immediately got on its way. Even though the horses were running, there was almost no shaking, and even when they increased their speed, virtually no vibrations came through. It’s not just special in how it looks but in how it is made as well.
Meanwhile, Concetta was still sleeping in Alexis’s arms.
Every time Alexis’s arms went numb he tried to set him down, but Concetta would open his eyes and give out a little purr in response. Alexis’s resolve would then shake, and he would wait until Concetta lied back down before trying it again….his groans growing louder after every defeat.
After repeating this game several times, Alexis resolutely held Concetta in his arms having surrendered completely.
“Alexis, shall we switch?”
“No, he is sleeping comfortably, so let’s leave him be.”
Alexis returned my small smile with his own bitter one while lightly rocking Concetta…..and so I drew out a piece of parchment from my pouch. *Shaa Shaa* I drew up a portrait of Concetta based off of how he looked sleeping in Alexis’s arms.
Concetta’s appearance sleeping like a baby was beautiful, so I drew up a picture that could only be described as adorable. I was very confident in the finished product.
“Monette please, my mind needs preparation if you suddenly show me some hideous monster vomiting out dissolution liquid all over the place.”
Impolite! I gave Percival a cold glare before eventually turning my eyes to Gina.
As a fellow witch, Gina will surely understand the splendor of this picture! I looked up to her, eyes filled with hope and expectation. Gina looked carefully at the charm held in my hands…….
“I thought about getting you a spellbook.”
and she started to appraise my magic.
A small, supple hand began to stroke my helmet. Was her intention to praise me through physical means? Her hand worked its way down and touched the side of my helmet.
“Gina, the picture?”
“But it’s a bit risky that you have to use blood.”
“What do you think about my drawing?”
“Let’s find a more efficient way for you to craft your magic. Even if you use blood, you should be able to reduce the amount after awhile.”
“The cute kitty-cat.”
“I’ll show you a few tricks later, so let’s enjoy some sweets for now.”
Gina held out a cupcake to me. My eyes narrowed at the sugary confection in her hand, but I ended up receiving it. Maybe it was Percival trembling while trying to hold in his laughter or maybe it was Alexis hogging the lovely Concetta, but the entire carriage was white.
I frowned inside my helmet. Even though I was able to draw it so well, nevertheless I ate the cupcake Gina gave me without saying another word.
Then I passed my cute little spell over to Alexis. At the moment, he was relaxing just fine without anything bothering him. Well, so long as nobody put sand on his hind feet.¹
“Monette, what’s this?”
“It’s so that your arms don’t get numb. It’s not a concrete spell, so the effect will be short though. Would you like me to draw up some more?”
“Oh, thanks, but I am okay. My arms can endure.”
“……It’s a monster spitting up dissolution liquid anyway.”
“No it’s not!”
While I was burning up with anger, Alexis chimed in with some follow-up laughter and a wry smile.
On the contrary, instead of backing me up, Alexis told me that I did not have to force myself to draw up spells for him. My eyes went round in my helmet, and it was like a fog had been lifted.
He has become uncomfortable with using a spell drawn in blood ink, or maybe now that Gina is here, he feels like he doesn’t need the help from a beginner witch………..the more I think about it, the more obvious it becomes that I have been used.
Alexis took my accusations and returned a bitter laugh before suddenly saying, “Thank you.” His tone of voice was far too gentle and different from the atmosphere we had going until now. I unintentionally ended up scratching my helmet because of how uncomfortable I started to feel.
The unpleasant sound of iron scraping against iron reverberated in my helmet creating a particularly unpleasant noise which ended up morphing together with Alexis’s words and getting lodged in my ears.
After exchanging brief conversation for awhile, the sun eventually began to fall, and a familiar voice yelled out signaling we were at the border. When I looked out the window earlier, I could tell that we were traveling much faster than before. The scenery seemed to be running past us twice as fast as it was before.
I wonder if it is impossible to fully appreciate the scenery when it is going by so fast, but I suppose that is the price for fast travel.
In this situation where everything was going better than perfectly, Gina was the only one who looked genuinely confused about something, staring curiously at Percival.
“Percival, how long will you be traveling with us?”
“Yes, if you keep following us for too long, you won’t be able to make to the city today.”
“…What are you talking about?”
Gina asked her question, and all it did was confuse Percival.
It was a funny sight watching both of them tilt their heads in the same way and at the same time, but neither Alexis nor I really knew what to say, so we both just watched them in silence.
What does she mean for Percival to return to town?
“Gina, what’s the matter?”
“Um, isn’t Percival a guide for this country?”
After he thought about it for a moment after hearing Gina’s explanation, Percival muttered a soft, “Ah,” after he realized what she meant.
“So last night, you told me to go pick those medicinal herbs. You thought it was the fee for me guiding them.”
“….Was I wrong?”
“You are wrong. I am the bodyguard for Prince Alexis.”
When Percival answered her, I nodded as well so that Gina would be certain. Apparently, she misunderstood something.
I laughed lightly without thinking at the fact that a genuine witch could make such a mistake, but I quickly reeled myself in and apologized for being rude. Still, “So Percival crossed the border along with Monette,” Gina once again clarified the situation in order to correct her misunderstanding.
I gazed at Gina and nodded my head one more time which led her hands to start caressing my helmet once again. “I see.” Her smart, beautiful smile really was something to behold.
“I have misunderstood. My apologies.”
Gina herself started laughing about the whole the whole situation which made everyone else grow a wry smile on their faces. Of course, I was laughing right along with her.
However, it is reasonable that Gina would misunderstand.
If a prince of a country were to visit another country, a welcome would be normally required. Naturally a guide from the government would accompany him.
Sometimes a chosen knight would serve as an escort, a young lady with suitable status would lead him around to deepen their friendship, and sometimes the royal family themselves would come out to view the countryside with them.
No matter how unpopular he is in his home country, Alexis is still a prince. For Gina, the thought that Alexis passed the border with Monette–a witch of his country–and asked Percival to act as a guide…..it’s a natural mistake to make.
However, something seemed to be plaguing Gina’s mind as she muttered, “I misunderstood,” under her breath. For some reason, I don’t think she was referring to just now either…….but it’s none of my business, so I forced my eyes away and looked out the window.
I could see the border hut back in the distance. I was surprised that we had already come so far, and Percival ended up having the same thoughts as I.
“It’s a really fast carriage, isn’t it?”
“Yes, you probably won’t find a better carriage than this if you looked through the whole country. Thanks to that, we will make it back much sooner than planned.”
“Plan? I feel like this trip never had a schedule in the first place.”
“……I at least have one thing planned.”
“Is that so. What is that?”
“I will return home without dying.”
I shrugged my shoulders at such a Percival.
Is that not an incomprehensible plan? Rather it’s not a plan at all. It is a desire.
But I do not mind not pointing that out to him because I see a bit of hesitation in his eyes as he looks back at the border hut. Looking over, I saw that Alexis also had a shadow cast over his face while solemnly looking out the window.
Even though we were returning home, the two’s trepidation was obvious.
When I saw it, I was about to say something…..
But once again I swallowed the words, this time because Gina had shoved another loaf of bread in Alexis’s mouth.
“Don’t make such an awkward face! C’mon and eat!”
“Fiina, I’m alhedy hull!”
“Don’t talk with your mouth full! Percival, come over here and eat some as well.”
“Oh no……I am…..”
“Eat in silence! Come over here Monette; I have some delicious sweets. Let’s eat them together.”
“The disparity in treatment is amazing.”
Even though I recognize the injustice, it doesn’t mean I complain about it while taking a seat next to Gina.
She handed over to me a delicious looking cookie. It was coated in sugar and adorned with fruits which made it look especially appealing.
It was crisp, warm taste that made me smile. Meanwhile Alexis was sharing half his bread with Concetta who should have been sleeping , while Percival had started nibbling on the bread forcibly handed over to him.
“Monette, do you know what the one thing in the whole wide world that a witch cannot beat?”
“What I cannot beat…is it a witch slayer?”
Witches can have threaten a royal family and get a country behind them, but witch slayers can penetrate their whims and threaten a witch’s freedom. With their magic, a witch is able to obtain power far stronger than a normal human being, so a witch slayer that can bypass that magic could be put on the same level as other witches who are also immune to a witch’s magic……
But although I was sure my answer was right, Gina gave me a soft smile and shook her head. Apparently it was something else. I didn’t know what else it could be, but before I could figure it out, Gina started gently stroking the cheek of my helmet.
“What a witch cannot beat, it’s deliciousness.”
“Well, deliciousness gives a sense of happiness to the person who ate it, and the effect is on a whole other scale compared to our magic.”
Laughing with a large grin on her face, Gina held up a piece of cookie to the mouth area of my helmet.
I wonder is this is what people call one of those ‘Ahh’ moments. Unfortunately my mouth is invisible by the mechanisms of my helmet and magic, so I had to hold her hand and direct the cookie in accordingly.
This tasted differently from the one before as the fruit was a little drier. I wonder how well it would go with some black tea.
“I bought quite a few, so be sure to eat a lot.”
I looked over at the two men and gave them a wry smile as Gina began pulling out more of the sweets she had procured for us, and I shrugged my shoulder at them before turning back around and talking with Gina about all the food.
The border was getting further and further away, and the food was disappearing into our mouths just as fast. Even so, the food Gina purchased is delicious, and she has more than enough to last us the trip.
Meanwhile, three people watched the two ladies pack away the food in complete silence. Even Concetta, who had been comfortably resting in Alexis’s arms until now, could not look away from the sight. The image of a plump stomach in the girls’ future popped into their minds, and in a panic, the three of them each shook their heads to scratch out those dangerous thoughts.
Armored Girl Monette ∼ An extra story that didn’t fit earlier∼
“It might be better to change the way we call Alexis.”
I suddenly put out a suggestion while the carriage was smoothly rolling along–although poisonous moths continue to enter in regularly, we were expecting that to happen, so that fact does not affect on whether or not the journey was going smoothly.
Percival who heard me suddenly lifted his head and looked at me completely confused. Alexis was sitting next to him leaning against the wall having not moved too much in quite awhile. His shoulders do move subtly along with his breathing, so we can assume he is sleeping.
“How to call him?”
“Alexis is carrying his own circumstances where it might be good if we dropped the Prince and started calling him by a pseudonym.”
Currently, the surrounding evaluation of Prince Alexis is so low that it has become impossible for it to go any lower.
Some people are even indignant over the belief that Alexis’ previous popularity was the result of his trickery, and there is no way to say that these people won’t end up making a move. “A courageous citizen finally put down the tyrannical prince.” It’s not something to be praised from a normal standpoint, but the culprit would still be revered. There is no story more popular than a normal person overthrowing the bad guy.
Percival thought about what I said for awhile before nodding his head with a murmur.
“Indeed. Things could get unpleasant if the Prince is found in this area.”
“In other words, we use a pseudonym to avoid his bad reputation, and he will become a whole new person with a nickname.”
Because the witch’s curse is involved, problems could arise just from the knowledge that he is out with the general public.
He could be accused of coming here to play around even though he is actually looking for a way to break the curse, but if we come out with a completely fake name, the ruse could be discovered. Something like that could further exacerbate the rumors.
That’s why it’s best to come up with a nickname.
The people in the area will get caught up in our way of addressing him, and they will be fooled. “It looks like Alexis, but those people are calling him in such a way, so he is a different person?”
Nevertheless, it will leave open the option upon discovery for the excuse, “This is the way I am addressed by certain people when I am traveling together with them,” and he will be forgiven for the deceit.
It is not the truth, but it’s not a lie either. This is the ideal.
But when it came time to decide Alexis’s nickname…….I was coming up short.
Is Alec a good one? If we call him ‘Alec’, the surroundings might misunderstand our relationship as siblings, and in case of an emergency, it would be easy to abandon ‘Alec.’
It is common enough name that if it is heard, it would not be particularly noteworthy, and if we were to get into any trouble with another person, we should be able to avoid a confrontation by chalking it up to some ‘bad luck’ and apologizing.
And so I tried to propose my nickname of ‘Alec’, but before I could, Percival – who had been thinking with his head held down until now – unexpectedly raised his head and said, “I have an idea.” With that….
This was it.
“The distance was closed in an instant!”
“Ah, but when I say it out loud, it sounds rude of me.”
“No, but ‘Akkun’ might be surprisingly good. Maybe.”
“Do you think so?”
I nodded deeply to appeal to Percival who seemed to be taken aback by my seriousness.
But it could seriously work out. In what world would a prince be called ‘Akkun’ by his subordinate or a wicked witch? Anyone listening in would feel uncomfortable in a moment, and most people would think, “That Prince Alexis is nothing like Akkun. Surely Akkun just bares a resemblance to Akkun.”
The more I talked about it, the more confident Percival became in his own suggestion.
It was around that time that the sleeping Alexis stirred and picked himself up with a small groan.
His deep brown eyes slowly opened themselves up and idly looked around at his surroundings.
“……sorry……I guess I fell asleep. …..Did you two need me for something?”
“No, it’s alright. You look tired, so feel free to get some more rest, Akkun.”
“Then, for a bit longer……Wait, what Percival?”
“No bad luck has occurred recently, so I will wake you up when it is time to switch shifts. Akkun.”
Why are they suddenly calling me akkun? After having just awoken, Alexis was completely unaware of the changes happening around him–although it would be normally impossible for an ordinary person to arrive at our conclusion even with all the background information–Alexis was left with a large question mark hanging over his head.
When Percival and I both told him, “Good night, Akkun,” and pushed the subject to the side, Alexis’s eyes soon started to slowly close along with all his doubts and confusion. Alexis’s soft breath eventually mixed in with the simple sound of the wheels rolling on soil once again.
“…..This is not it.”
“…..This is not it.”
Such a small conversation was exchanged one night inside the carriage.
1. A small saying that just means his legs are asleep.