I'm a court magician. Recently, I’ve been worrying about the princess staring at me. - Chapter 12
- All Mangas
- I'm a court magician. Recently, I’ve been worrying about the princess staring at me.
- Chapter 12 - The princess is not to be underestimated.
Her Highness stared at me accusingly, but to be honest, I was a bit awestruck by the scenery before me.
The trees swaying gently in the background; the fountain’s soothing ambience; the moon shining directly above us, illuminating our surroundings dense with shimmering vapor; it seemed as if everything existed only to complement the princess’s natural beauty.
But at the end of the day, I was only distracting myself from reality. I needed to say something—anything.
“It’s been a while, huh? What are you doing here in the middle of the night? Staying up late is bad for your skin, right? You should go back and get a good night’s rest.”
“It’s alright. I’m just taking a walk.”
My rapid-fire attempts at guiding her back to her room were shut down effortlessly. I had nothing else to say.
Her Highness’s pout wasn’t a new sight to see, but today, the reason was obvious.
“Why have you been avoiding me?”
A sharp pang of guilt struck my heart as I stared into her tearful eyes… But I can’t make any blunders here. I wanted to give her some sort of assurance, but at the same time I couldn’t let this affect my work.
“Are you sure you’re not misunderstanding something? I’ve been stuck in my office for the past few days, that’s all.”
“Don’t lie to me!”
Her voice echoed throughout the garden.
Realistically, there was probably no one else here at this time of night, but that didn’t stop me from wincing at the volume.
I stared at the princess, who was shaking indignantly. She seems sure of herself… What does she know?
“At first I thought you were just busy in your room. But I saw you.”
“Wait a minute. You saw me?”
Impossible. I invoked invisibility while moving between private locations, and I avoided contact with not just Her Highness, but almost everyone outside of my coworkers. My bases were covered.
“About three days ago, in the morning. You were casting spells from the roof of the annex. I saw it while I was on a morning walk.”
“That’s quite early for a morning walk…”
I was surprised.
I normally do my morning duties before the sun comes up, when the sky is just beginning to brighten. Most people would be asleep at that hour. Yet… the one person that mattered was not.
Well, I suppose there was no easier time to find me.
The biggest drawback of invisibility is that it can’t be used in tandem with other magic. So of course, I had to remove it every morning while sniping at demons from afar.
I could call it an inevitable Achilles heel, but I’m sure there were ways to get around it. Today as well: if I had simply gone home, Her Highness wouldn’t have found me.
Everything was the product of my own negligence.
I’m sure it was also preemptive karma for my next lie.
“Alright, I’ll come clean. Yes, I’ve been using invisibility while moving around for the last few days, but it’s because of my mission.”
“What do you mean?”
Her Highness’s eyes widened in surprise, and she clasped her hands in front of her. I disliked the idea of deceiving her, but I also wanted to protect her.
“I can’t be specific, but trust me when I tell you that everything is for the sake of my mission. Avoiding you wasn’t my decision. Please understand.”
A half-truth. My mission is to protect the royal capital from demons, so I couldn’t afford to learn the princess’s name and have my mana depleted again. I had no way of dispelling the pledge, and I couldn’t reveal it to the princess, so my solution was to avoid contact with her. There was no better alternative.
But avoiding her was ultimately my own decision, so that part was a complete lie. My conscience punished me with another wave of guilt.
Her Highness, who listened in silence, looked down and closed her eyes.
Did she believe me? If that were enough, then maybe I didn’t have to do all this in the first place—
“Seventy percent truth… and thirty percent lies.”
Did I hear her correctly? Her unwavering confidence once again took me by surprise.
Her Highness slowly opened her eyes and gazed at me. Her eyes, normally silver, were a vivid sky blue. That’s… no way.
“Yes. Short-Range Superior Magic—Mind’s Eye. It’s possession magic that lets me see through the minds of people and their essence. Naturally, that includes truth and lies.”
My initial state of shock was wearing down, and I could think more clearly now. The princess had possession magic? Moreover, the ability to see through people… It wouldn’t help much on a battlefield, but in a sense it was probably the most useful ability I’ve seen so far.
“I’m sorry. I can’t believe you could use possession magic… and I’m also sorry for telling you a lie, if only a small one.”
“I don’t mind. Did you perhaps lie out of concern for me?”
“…………I am deeply grateful to you for your kindness.”
She hit it on the nose. I didn’t want to—no, I couldn’t cause her any trouble. As a court magician serving under the royal family, I needed to set my priorities straight.
Her Highness smiled and took a step towards me.
“I forgive your lies, Raize-sama. Rather, I’m sorry that you must be burdened for my sake. And thank you very much.”
“No, it’s part of my role as—”
Cutting me off, Her Highness leaned in and put her finger on my chest, just above my heart.
“Be more careful, okay?”
Although the princess’s mouth was smiling, her eyes were not. The glint in her eye was more menacing than beautiful. And her finger looked like it could go through my wildly beating heart at any moment.
Where was the quiet and bashful princess I knew before?
As I pondered this question, I returned an awkward smile at the girl in front of me.