After finishing the cleaning up after the meal and getting in the carriage,
I was immediately embraced by Kyle and laid across his lap.
On top of that, Chris throws a thin blanket over me.
I wonder if this means it’s time to sleep. Though I think it’s only just become night.
“Sofia should rest as much as possible.
You’ve become sleepy since you’re full, haven’t you?”
“Will I sleep like this? What will Kyle do?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll switch with Chris and sleep along the way.”
“I will take over in the middle of the night. So, Princess, just go to sleep quietly as you are.
If I let the Princess sleep while sitting, she’ll roll around.
Then we’d all become worried and wouldn’t be able to sleep at all.”
“. . .I might roll around. . .”
The road hasn’t been paved since we passed the capital city.
Sometimes, when the wheel catches in a hollow, there’s a big jolt.
I’ve been held around the waist to keep my head from hitting until now.
“That’s the idea. I’ll wake you up if anything happens.
You can sleep peacefully.”
“Got it. Good night.”
Although the carriage continued to shake, since I was on Kyle’s lap,
I didn’t feel the jolting too much.
I was full, and Kyle’s arms were warm, so I quickly became sleepy.
. . .When I woke up, I was on Chris’ lap.
I hadn’t noticed at all when he took over from Kyle.
It was almost dawn, and it was getting a little light outside the carriage.
Despite Chris saying he wouldn’t grow much,
There’s quite a size difference as he can easily lift me up.
Chris seemed to be sleeping with me in his arms, his eyes closed.
His slightly long eyelashes cast a shadow on his cheek, and his well-proportioned face looked like a piece of art.
Seeing Chris asleep is a rare sight, so as I gaze at him intently,
Perhaps I looked at him for too long, as he ended up waking up.
“. . .Ah, you’re awake.”
“Yeah, it’s hard to sleep, isn’t it? Should I just sit in the chair normally?”
“It’s still fine. We’ll just continue to ride the carriage if we wake up.
Get some more sleep. If you continue with this kind of lifestyle for a few days, you’ll become tired.
It’ll be bad if Princess collapses. Rest when you can.”
“. . .You’re right. I’ll rest a little more.”
Certainly, it would be troublesome if I became tired and unusable.
There are four Barrier Maiden towers.
But, of those, three are merely to draw up magic and serve as the foundation of the barrier.
Unless activated from the tower at the very back, none of the other towers will move.
Without harnessing the magical formula at the final tower and activating it, nothing will happen.
A master was in the last tower.
Even if one became a witch, it doesn’t necessarily mean they could use magic.
Most of the girls who came to the witch’s house were orphans.
They were tested for magic power in the church, and if they had it, they were taken in.
It was rare for commoners to have magic power, so they were protected by the country.
It was a good place not only in terms of a place to live but also in that meals were guaranteed.
During the era of continuous warfare, there were limited places where one could have meals every day, even if not satisfying.
Only girls who have not yet become women can become witches.
This is because they transform their reproductive functions as women into the power to generate magical energy.
That’s why witches do not marry. They do not have children. No, they cannot have children.
But compared to dying of starvation, it shouldn’t have been something to worry about.
I entered the witch’s house when I was ten.
Okaa-sama had passed away early, and I was left alone after Otou-sama died in battle.
I was a noble, and even though my parents had died,
I could have been taken in by another noble family.
But, inheriting Otou-sama’s will who fought for the country,
And to help my childhood friend, the first prince, I chose to go to the witch’s house myself.
Born into the Count’s family, and resembling Otou-sama, who was a vice captain of the Order,
I had an unusually high amount of magical power for a lady.
Even before becoming a witch, I had more magical power than the common girls who became witches.
After undergoing the ceremony to become a witch, I became the witch with more magical power than anyone else,
And I received guidance in magic to be able to succeed the master and conduct the witch’s ceremony.
The war intensified, and the king’s decision to implement the Barrier Maiden was
During the third winter since I had entered the witch’s house.
By spring, when I entered the tower on the border with Ahrens in Millecker territory,
I had turned thirteen.
Ah, I can see the tower ahead as the carriage moves forward.
I feel a nostalgic presence. Even though there should be no one there anymore.
I heard that the deceased witches were buried near the tower.
I wonder if I feel nostalgic because of that, or because I can sense the remnants of the master’s magical formula.
The sun rises, the surroundings brighten, and light pours into the carriage.
Kyle, sitting on the opposite side, is sleeping with his arms crossed,
And Chris also appears to be sleeping with his eyes closed.
I can’t sleep even with my eyes closed, and while listening to the sound of Chris’ heartbeat in his warm arms,
I felt restless, as if I was being pulled into a different era.