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“…So that’s how it goes,” I concluded my story on what I just encountered with Kuu-chan and my thoughts regarding that.“
…,” Ein was silent, his eyes were closed, his arms were crossed in front of his chest as his fingers fidgeted. It seemed like he was contemplating.
Is he thinking on how to help Eneida?
I hope he finds something!
With his perfect memory and his insatiable curiosity towards everything, he might have read about something similar somewhere and have a clue…
“Big Sis Lyra.”
He opened his eyes, his expression now all serious as he looked at me.
I was surprised. The difference between the atmosphere he usually had before versus now was quite… a lot, if I must say so myself.
I unconsciously tensed as I paid attention to him.
“We’re here to do a very important mission. We aren’t doing a charity work,” his words and tone were so cold.
My brain froze, but what surprised me even more was his next words.
“Tell me. Why should we care about that girl and help her? Will that help us with our mission?”
“It’s alright if you want to use her to get the prince’s help, but… Realistically speaking, looking for Oriel who’s gone missing for so long in order to solve our current problem is already hard enough. The difficulty level is extreme. We want to rescue big bro Altaire and at the same time, make sure the elven kingdom won’t agree to go to war with the Oni empire. That’s a very tall order, you get it? If we were to add another thing to the plate…”
Ein’s barrage of words caused me to feel uneasy, but I had no words to refute him, for it was the truth.
“Now add helping a girl who’s said to be cursed… when nobody in the royal castle of Cielle could be of help, none of them could figure out why and how. It’s just…,” Ein shrugged.
“…,” I could only hang my head down.
But still, I…
“But now that we know, it’d be cruel to leave that girl like that, right?”
I was surprised hearing his words, I reflexively looked up to my side and saw that Clavis was already there next to me as he said that to Ein.
Ein sighed, “But what can we do?”
“We can try helping her,” Clavis said.
“But promise me it won’t take precedence after our mission… Don’t get distracted,” Ein said very seriously.
“I know, but we might as well try while we are at it,” Clavis insisted.
“Yeah. Remember don’t be too naïve. We are no god. We are no hero. We are no main protagonist in some fiction. We can’t do everything and save everyone,” Ein said.
“But even so, surely there’s something that we can do,” Clavis said.
Everyone went silent after that.
It was my first time seeing this side of Ein.
It surprised me.
He used to be this little brother figure that was often annoying and playful… but I guess he had a mature side to him like this.
Right when I was thinking about this, Ein suddenly looked at me and seemed to figure out what I was thinking about, as he suddenly said, “Don’t get me wrong. I’d be happy if we can help her too, but… Our mission is already hard as it is. I don’t want us to lose track of our objective and thus making it a totally lost cause.”
“Ein is right, Lyr,” Carbuncle suddenly chimed in.
Ein sighed again and said, “Okay, enough with this downer mood. In conclusion, it’s not like we can’t try. But we will only try as long as it doesn’t become detrimental to our mission. Right now, we should try looking for more information about Eneida from the prince, gaining the prince’s trust as well as asking him questions related to our mission. Got it?”
For the time being, that’s all we can do.
Right now, me, Kuu-chan, Ein, and Clavis—all in our disguises were walking up the stairs in the Tower of Exile, with Prince Manasye leading us.
Ein was next to me when he whispered, “I can’t believe the prince actually agreed to help us right away. Isn’t he way too gullible? Or is this a trap?”
I was surprised to hear that. I used to be the skeptical one, but this time it was Ein!
How time has changed us…
Maybe I was too distracted to even ponder about stuff that deeply this moment, or I was just too desperate.
“Well, this shouldn’t be a trap. Manasye looks like he really wants to help Eneida and I don’t think he’d use this as a trap, but at the same time… I also get a feeling that he’s way too gullible? Is he this innocent? But, all of the royal family members that I know are…”
At that time, Princess Phoebe’s face as well as Luca’s flashed in my mind.
Then, King Titus’ face too.
All of them are members of the royal family and all of them are mature beyond their ages, and they shouldn’t be a simple person.
Little Leticia’s face flashed in my mind.
She’s a member of the royal family, but she’s just too innocent and adorable.
Is Manasye like her?
Both of them are the younger siblings to the heir to the thrones and aren’t even thinking of competing for the throne, maybe that’s why they can relax…
But even if this is a trap, I think I am willing to gamble on this.
I was too deep in my thought when Ein’s words snapped me out of it and shook me to the core.
“Prince Manasye, are you sure about trusting us right away and befriending us like this? Aren’t you too gullible and trusting?”
Ein actually said it out loud and asked Manasye!!
Manasye stopped his tracks and turned around as we all halted our steps too.
“Hmm… Maybe you can say that. I just don’t have that many friends and those that have the same mindset to me especially when it comes to Eneida’s matter. Maybe I am too happy and feel like it’s fated. Maybe I am too trusting. But my nanny once told me that it’s better for us to trust people rather than doubting,” Manasye wryly smiled.
His nanny’s words are something else!
“Then, what if we’re actually bad people?” Ein asked.
Manasye was stunned, as if it didn’t even occur to his mind that we might be some bad people.
“The royal family of Cielle can deal with that. At most, I’ll get punished, but I’m confident in my royal family’s abilities to deal with things like that,”
“Adding to my nanny’s words… I decided to trust you guys. It’s up to you guys whether you will prove that my trust is correct, that you are trustworthy and are good people. But if you turn out to be untrustworthy, then… Well, that’s on you,” Manasye said.
Actually, we were already deceiving him, and that meant we weren’t that trustworthy, right?
But what else can we do in this situation?
Uncovering our identities truthfully will just instantly make him wary of us and won’t even think of us as friends.
He’d be enemies with us right away.
The little prince seemed so genuine in his words, but from the very beginning, we weren’t just destined to be friends.
It made me feel sad, but again, it was something that we had no control of.
Who asked him to be the prince of the Cielle kingdom?
Even if we could achieve our objective and Cielle kingdom and Riviera were in good cooperation, I’m sure this would leave behind a sore spot between us, that we might not be able to resolve in this lifetime.
Trust, once breached, is hard to recover.
Before long, we reached Eneida’s detention room.
“Eneida, we’re here,” Manasye said as he also unlocked the door to Eneida’s room, where Eneida was.
But, he didn’t unlock the bar door towards Eneida’s room. It seemed like it was the norm to hang out or talk with Eneida like this. Through the bar door.
Eneida also seemed much more relaxed this way.
“Manasye! Oh, Escha and Kuu are also here!” Eneida welcomed us, but then her attention turned to Ein and Clavis.
“These two are…?” She asked.
“They are my friends that might be able to help you too,” I said.
“I am Reynald,” Ein said.
“And I am Ralph,” Clavis said.
“Oooh! Are you two twins?!” Eneida clapped her hands in understanding.
“Y-yes…,” Ein and Clavis strained their muscles in order to smile and say that.
Right. We disguised them as twin brothers!
“Oh, I’m Eneida. Nice to meet you!” Eneida said.
“Right. We’ve heard from our relatives here about you,” Ein said.
Again, we came up with a background story about how we were relatives that had no one else to rely on, that was why we came to work here as soon as we could. Meanwhile the twin brothers worked other stuff.
“Ah, right…,” Eneida’s mood dampened a bit hearing that.
“That’s why… Can you tell us more about yourself?” Ein asked.
“That…,” Eneida hesitated.
“If we don’t know, we won’t be able to help at all. I need to know if things have always been like that or how it was before it happened, and other details,” Ein said.
“I… I’m not exactly happy with my life story, but…,” Eneida stuttered.
“Maybe we can figure out the cause from your story. At least any kind of information will help,” Ein insisted again as he looked straight at Eneida.
Eneida still hesitated although she seemed to be more willing to talk about it.
Perhaps needing one last push, she turned to look at Manasye.
Manasye seemed to understand what Eneida was thinking about, so he only nodded.
Eneida took a deep breath before she released it and said with a preface, “Actually, my life isn’t anything that great, not many eventful things happened to me, so… I think it will bore you, but…”
Then, what I heard next was…
CERTAINLY NOT SOMETHING ORDINARY!!