The Heavily Armoured Noble Girl Monette: How To Break a Curse You Don’t Remember Casting - Chapter 4
Chapter 4: A Good Luck Charm, Water, and a Cute Kitty
They ate not only her dinner, but dessert as well. Monette was sick of them already. What an unruly, noisy meal. In the middle of the meal, Robertson and his fashionable friend who wanted to bite someone came to visit, and when Alexis screamed and jumped up, his chair broke… calling it ‘lively’ would be a severe understatement. What a terrible experience.
… On a side note, Monette had tried her best to urge Robertson’s fashionable friend to bite them.
“Just bite them, Robertson’s fashionable friend! Right there! Go!” she had said.
But sadly Robertson’s fashionable friend had been satisfied with just capturing some bugs flying around. What a gentle spider. It’s enough to make her want to literally shove the fashionable friend in Percival’s face to show him just how much better it is compared to him… especially if some of its poison rubbed off on him while the friend was brushing against his face. After all, Percival had glared at it very viciously…
After that dinner is finished and Monette is able to take a breather, she places a single cup on the table. It is a completely ordinary cup, half-filled with clear water.
“Lady Monette, what is this?”
“I thought that I might investigate whether you’re truly cursed or simply a scummy bastard who’s really unlucky.”
“Monette, I apologize for destroying the chair, but could you phrase things a bit nicer?”
Ignoring Alexis’ pained plea, Monette takes out a piece of paper and a pen.
It’s a piece of parchment cut down to the size of a palm. The pen appears to be specially made as well. Small letters are carved onto its fat body and its tip is pitch black, made from special ingredients. It’s clear just from its appearance that it is not a normal pen. Alexis and Percival stare in its strangeness.
Percival in particular looks rather cautious. After passing his eyes over the parchment and the pen, he turns his gaze back towards Monette. His teal eyes seem to ask Monette what she plans to do with these items.
“I will create a protective charm.”
“A protective charm?”
“This pen’s ink has been mixed with my blood. I will draw a spell on this paper with it.”
Monette puts her pen on the paper. The blood-mixed ink sinks into the parchment. While it is black, it can seem red depending on the lighting. It’s a colour that may seem sinister to some.
As Monette slides the pen across the parchment as she draws, Percival tilts his head to the side distrustfully.
“All I see is a drawing of some ugly creature, but is it some kind of special writing?”
“Amateurs will not comprehend the appeal of this adorable kitty.”
“… Lady Monette, have you perhaps been afflicted with a curse that left you unable to draw?”
“… But Percival, it seems that you have been afflicted with a curse that stole your manners away.”
“Both of you, I’m begging you, don’t fight.”
Alexis stops the two of them right before they begin to fight. In her helmet, Monette clicks her tongue and glares at Percival. Naturally, since she’s glaring in her helmet her gaze doesn’t reach him, but coincidentally he happens to be glaring at her too, his teal eyes looking sharp.
What an infuriating man. If only both of them were cursed… but even as she muses about that, she continues to slide her pen across the parchment.
And so, her drawing of an adorable kitty is completed. If there were a third party here, they would surely praise her for how adorable and lovely it was, for how it looked like it were actually living. Either that, or they would recommend her a good psychiatric hospital.
Anyways, she places this protective charm on top of the cup and takes a deep breath in her helmet.
The House of Idira has long since lost their right to call themselves witches. Currently, she has no living relatives that can use magic.
Thus, Monette learned magic by fumbling her way through the documents that had survived the years. She didn’t know whether she had any talent, but luckily she had plenty of time.
Recalling the days she spent learning magic, she slowly lets out the air in her lungs… then murmurs:
This simple word is naturally a spell that activates magic.
At that moment, the parchment on top of the cup makes a popping noise and burns up, as if it were given an order.
It twisted around as it dissipated, disappearing in an instant. All that was left was the cup, filled with clear water, just like before. The cup held no traces of ash nor smoke – the water wasn’t even rippling.
“Wh – what was that!?”
“That was magic. Very well then Prince Alexis, please drink this.”
“… I’m sorry Monette, I may be a little scared after all.”
“Milord, if you drink water that has a drawing of that cursed creature in it, you’ll lose the ability to draw.”
“It was an adorable kitty! Fine, then I’ll drink it first. Just watch.”
Monette takes the cup in her hand and drinks it with no hesitation. Naturally, it has no taste or smell. It’s just water. She doesn’t feel strange after swallowing it either. After all, Monette had gone herself to draw it from a well just beforehand.
She drinks a mouthful to prove that, then returns the cup to the table.
“See,” she says, shrugging.
… Though her armour did nothing but move with a grinding sound so she’s not sure whether they could tell that she was shrugging.
“It’s not harmful, it’s 100% authentic water.”
“… Very well then, I’ll drink it first.”
Is he the Prince’s food taster or something? Percival reaches out to the cup.
“Go on, feel free,” she urges, even as she thinks that they’re being terribly suspicious.
Percival holds the water in his mouth with a terribly serious expression, as if he’s testing whether there’s any strange tastes. Finally, he swallows the water with a gulp.
“… It’s true, it’s just water.”
“That’s what I’ve been saying. Go on, here you go, it’s your turn, Prince Alexis.”
“Y – yeah…”
Alexis takes the cup in his hand. Perhaps seeing Monette and Alexis drinking from it alleviated his worries.
He then takes a sip from the water just like the other two did… then moans and begins violently coughing.
“Urgh, ugh, what is this!?”
“Milord, what’s the matter!?”
“It’s so bitter, I’m impressed you two could drink this…”
Alexis looks rather pained as he drinks tea and talks. He can probably still taste it on his tongue.
His pain and disgust is clear to see on his face. He takes a sip of his tea after saying a word, then takes another sip after saying a word, and so on… it seems like it was incredibly bitter.
Percival, who had just drunk the same water and deemed it ‘just water’, finds this strange.
“Bitter? But when I drank it, it was just water.”
“Water? That? … Ergh, no good, I can still taste it. Monette, do you have anything with a strong taste? Like wine or cheese – preferably high-quality aged wine and cheese on a cracker,” requests Alexis even at a time like this.
“What do you think you’re doing, kicking back and relaxing!?” Monette retorts bluntly.
She picks up a box she had prepared beforehand.
It’s a cute jewelry case adorned with beautiful stones. In it lies carefully wrapped chocolate.
Seeing its contents, Alexis gives his thanks and takes one, throwing it in his mouth. At the taste, he finally lets out a sigh of relief. It must’ve been pretty bad.
Percival is gazing at the cup quizzically as he gingerly drinks the water. He cocks his head to the side in confusion.
Monette shrugs her shoulders, making a grinding sound.
Sure enough or maybe not, as expected, Alexis is cursed.
There’s another fun idiom in this chapter.
Literally, it would more or less be “It’s enough to make me want to make Percival drink medicine made from the dirt underneath the fashionable spider’s nails… especially if that dirt was poisonous as well.”
In Japanese, the phrase爪の垢を煎じて飲むbasically means to learn from your betters. So since the literal meaning of the phrase includes drinking medicine made from the dirt under the better’s nails, it’s a play on that idea by saying that she hopes that he’s poisoned by this dirt.
I couldn’t really think of an equivalent idiom, so I just went with an expansive ‘shoving in his face’ as she is kind of trying to flaunt how much better the spider is to him.
I kinda fudged things near the end when Monette mentions “kicking back and relaxing”. What Monette actually mentions is him trying to enjoy 食後のひととき, a Japanese concept referring to a quiet moment you have after a meal. I could’ve probably shoved that in there, albeit by making Monette sound a little strange, but as this sentence was a funny bit I didn’t want to ruin the humour by ruining the flow.