Transmutation Master Aria Is Doing Her Best Today ~a Happy Second Life for a Transmutation Master Who Had Her Results Stolen by Her Sister~ – Chapter 23
Chapter 23: Crazy smile
We moved to another room and headed towards the room where the visitor was waiting.
There was no conversation along the way.
Did the atmosphere become gloomy because I fell silent?
I don’t think that’s the only reason.
Right after the attack, the prince of that country came to visit.
Can we really say that it was a coincidence?
The same thought crossed the minds of others besides me, so it was time for each of us to gather our thoughts.
When we arrived in front of the room, Yuren-kun said to me,
“I will mostly lead the conversation. It will probably be smoother that way.”
“I’ll leave it to you. I might get emotional.”
After confirming my intentions, I nodded slightly after thinking for a while.
If it was His Highness Laurus, I think I should be the one to speak, but it is hard to imagine if he really came to see me.
No, I didn’t want to think about it.
So I ran away, taking advantage of Yuren-kun’s kindness and consideration.
Yuren-kun opened the door.
In the room, there was a long table and several chairs around it.
He was seated in a seat.
As soon as we entered, our eyes met with his calm smile that I had seen many times before.
Even his princely demeanor now gave me a shiver.
“I’m sorry for keeping you waiting.”
“No, don’t worry. We came by suddenly, after all. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Prince Yuren.”
“Yes, it has been a while, Prince Laurus.”
Yuren-kun and Prince Laurus exchange greetings with each other.
The two of them are both princes and seem to have known each other for a while.
“It’s been a while for you too, Aria. You seem to be doing well.”
“Yes, um…it’s been a while, Prince Laurus.”
My body reacts with a start at his words.
Prince Laurus is composed and doesn’t seem particularly different from usual.
But the memories of the daytime attack and that day flicker through my mind.
“I heard that you’ve already started a new job after leaving the palace. And you’ve already made some achievements, right? Your talent is remarkable.”
Is he talking about the wheat incident earlier when he mentions “achievements”?
How does Laurus-sama know about it when it’s still mostly unknown?
I can’t organize my thoughts properly due to the confusion caused by this sudden reunion.
Although I’m being praised verbally, I don’t feel happy at all.
His smile is just scary.
Yuren interrupts his words.
Laurus-sama’s gaze turns from me to Yuren.
“What brings you here today? Since we both have limited time, could you please make it brief?”
“Ah, yes. Let’s handle that first.”
Thanks to Yuren, the conversation got derailed.
I feel relieved, but Laurus-sama’s gaze returns to me again.
“Well, actually, I have a request regarding her.”
“Her? Do you mean Aria, the court Transmutation Master?”
“Yes. To be frank, I’d like you to return her to us.”
“What do you mean?”
“It means exactly what it says. We want her to be reinstated as a courtier.”
“What do you mean? You voluntarily removed her from the court. Are you just pretending like that never happened now?”
“I’ll admit that’s true. But I was opposed to it from the beginning. She’s an excellent talent. However, it seems that many people didn’t understand that, and only realized it after she was gone. Thanks to that, the current palace is in chaos.”
Prince Laurus showed a troubled expression as he said that.
Why does he seem to be acting so much?
Well, he’s probably acting.
Even if he thought I was a talented person, it didn’t mean he actually needed me.
I’ve known that a long time ago.
“I would like her to come back. I’ll handle the persuasion.”
“I appreciate your words, but she is already a valuable talent in our country. We respect her will, but we cannot comply with your convenience.”
“Well then, I want to hear her opinion. Aria, do you not have any intention of coming back?”
Laurus-sama whispers to me and looks at me with kind eyes.
Do I have the intention of going back?
The answer has been there from the beginning.
But I’m scared to answer it.
Scared and wanting to cling onto Yuren-kun, who responds to my gaze with his usual expression without saying anything.
I can’t hear his voice.
But… you can do what you want.
That’s what it felt like he was telling me.
“I’m sorry, Your Highness. I would like to stay in this land.”
So I gathered my courage and answered.
I clearly and boldly gave the answer I had already decided on.
“I see. If you’ve made your decision, then there’s nothing we can do about it. I’ll give up on bringing you back.”
Prince Laurus withdrew so easily that it was anticlimactic.
It was unexpected.
At times like this, he would usually use his eloquent words to manipulate and persuade me.
“On the other hand, may I make one request?”
“A, a request…?”
I have a bad feeling about this.
“Yes, it’s something only you can do.”
That’s the same line he used back then.
Because it’s something only you can do.
Saying that, he made a request to me…
“I want you to make this.”
I don’t need a closer look.
He asked me to make a potion of poison, and it’s even more potent than the one I made before.
I turned pale.
“W-What will it be used for?”
“I can’t tell you, but don’t worry. It’ll be for my own good.”
He showed a refreshing smile.
Surely, or rather definitely, he’s not lying.
He always thinks about his own interests.
“I’ll be troubled if you refuse. Then… I’ll have to do what I have to do.”
I felt a chilling fear.
He knows the consequences of my foolishness… the crime that was exploited.
It sounded like he was threatening to expose it.
He is a prince, and I am just an official.
With one word from him, I could become a mere criminal.
He also has risks.
But he would still do it if it benefited him.
He would sacrifice even his own family for his own gain.
That’s the kind of man he is.