“Is that so… Too beautiful is no good.
It looks so beautiful and livable.”
“It’s the same with the world where people live.
A little dirt is needed.”
“A little dirt, huh. . .I wonder if I can become like my grandfather.”
“Like His Majesty?”
“Yes. I know that my grandfather overlooked some of the nobles’ misconduct.
It was necessary to make this country strong and prosperous.”
“That must have been necessary at the time.
After the war, without flavor, nobles couldn’t have endured.”
“I understand that mere beauty is not enough.
Sometimes it’s necessary to accept sacrifices.”
I hadn’t thought that deeply, yet those words slipped out.
I thought I would be dismissed for overthinking, but
Both of them became serious as if something hit home.
“I said something strange. . .I thought I’d be laughed at.”
“No, I won’t laugh.
I want to know why the Princess thought so.”
“Somehow, it’s difficult to protect peace without making sacrifices, right?
This country has gone to war many times, sacrificing many things.
I guess it won’t be protected by beauty alone from now on.”
“The history of this country is almost like a war history.
It’s a grain-producing region, so it’s been targeted by surrounding countries.
It’s rare that it’s been peaceful lately.
But I didn’t think the Princess thought that way.”
Is it because of the way I was raised?
I feel kept away from things that make people feel malicious.
Surrounded by gentle things, protected with great care.
But I think I shouldn’t look away from that to become a queen.
“The history of this country, only the surface history is written.
The backside, the sacrifices, are treated as if they never happened.
Why don’t they write everything? I think it’s necessary.”
I read all the books in the palace library,
I knew that the history of this country had all its shameful parts erased.
I don’t know who ordered it.
Only the beautiful parts of history remained.
“Speaking of which, that’s true.
In the Margrave’s mansion, there were many documents from the Chernia era.
Among them was the history of Eugenis, once an enemy country.
Tyrnia tried to take this country every time there was a food shortage.
Many things must have been sacrificed to protect this country, yet
It was not written in the history books in the royal library.”
“Is that so?
. . .I also think that the country can’t be protected with beauty alone, but
I didn’t know the history books were falsified.”
I see, Kyle’s Margrave territory was originally another country.
Even if the history books left in this country are corrected,
You can’t correct the history of Eugenis as seen from other countries.
“For example, the Barrier Maidens. . .”
The words that came out of Kyle’s mouth made me think time had gone back.
“When the Margrave was under Chernia, Eugenis had many wars.
Tyrnia and Kokodia targeted it, almost invading it.
At that time, several barriers were created on the border between Eugenis and other countries.
They were barriers cast by maidens who were called witches, using themselves as magic stones.
. . .Even if their magic power ran out, they burned their lives to keep the barriers.
They were trapped in towers one by one, defending the country with barriers until they died.
Those sacrificed witches were called ‘Barrier Maidens.'”
“Wait a minute. Witches, you mean female magicians?”
“That’s right. But it’s quite different from the magicians now.
They are entrusted to a place called the witch’s house and raised as a witch.
A witch lives her life as a witch, never marrying or having children.
They live to protect the country, and have even dedicated their lives to it.
Yet, there was not a single word about the witches written in the history books of this country.”
“I didn’t know there was such a thing as witches.
In the era when there were no magical stones, it was like human sacrifice. . .
I understand that sacrifices are necessary to protect the country, but it really makes me sick.”
“At that time, it seems that the nobles and commoners thought so too.
The royal family was too heartless, even for the sake of protecting the country.
That’s probably why. They were erased from the history books.
They must have thought it looked too bad.”
It’s not that the royal family was heartless.
It’s not that the King wanted it that way.
Even so, the country was so weak that it couldn’t be protected otherwise.
I feel like screaming, but I hold it down by embracing my shoulders with both hands.
. . .There’s no way they would understand.
. . .Even if I talk about the sadness of that era, there’s nothing that can be done about it now.
“. . .What’s the matter, Princess?
Did you get scared listening to the story?”
“. . .No. I’m fine.”
“You look pale. Don’t push yourself.”
I’m lifted up by Kyle, held sideways on his lap.
Kyle’s hand that touched my cheek felt hot.
“You’re cold. Were you chilly?”
“I brought a blanket for the Princess. Here, cover yourself.”
With Kyle’s arms and the blanket, my body temperature slowly begins to rise.
Slowly, as if remembering my present self, the sounds around me return.
I’m different from what I was then. I’m. . . no longer a witch.
. . .It’s okay, my feelings just got pulled back a little.
As I drink the warm tea handed to me, my feelings begin to calm down.
“. . .How come you know so much, Kyle?”