You are Maria Salzberg, and you are sitting on your bed in your room. It seemed so long since you left this place to seek out your true calling as a priestess to help others in need. You just didn't think you end up back home so soon.
Damn that commoner for dragging you back here. But at least he found the princess, that was something good he's done.
You let out a sigh. Why did he have to look like a wounded puppy when you saved him from the princess's wrath? You just wish everything would just go back to the way it was. You hate complicated things.
What do you do?
>Talk to your big sister.
>Sulk some more.
You decide it would be best to speak to your sister. You may not be on... good terms with her, but she's family.
You head towards Justine's room, hoping that she's up right now. "Sister?" You ask, knocking on her door. "Are you there?"
The door opens and Justine emerges from the room with rustled hair. "Yes, what is it, Maria?"
"Can we talk?" You offer. "About us?"
"What about?" Your older sister asks.
"B-Back then, about what I said before... I apologize." You sigh. Apologies weren't easy when it came to you. Then again, in some cases, it was justified.
"You woke me up just for that?" Justine gives you a flat look.
"N-No. I also want to know if the Princess is okay." You hang your head downwards.
"Lessie'll be fine. She's a strong person." Justine says. "More importantly, though, I'm glad she's okay. I can only hope she doesn't do any more foolish stunts now."
"I hope so as well." You sigh.
"What about Kline?" Justine asks you, causing you to narrow your eyes.
"What about him?" You grumble.
"You did shield him from Lessie's wrath." Justine frowns. "What made you do that?"
>" I-I was only trying to stop her highness!"
>"I didn't want to see him hurt."
You can feel the blood rush to your face as a blush appears on your face. "I-I was merely trying to stop her highness from doing something so foolish!" you sputter.
"I see." Justine nods. "At least you decided to heal him instead of just leaving him there."
"It's my duty!" You spit out. "I can't just leave an injured person to suffer!"
Thoughts of you attacking Herschel for insulting you flashback into your mind. The reasons were different, but the actions were the same. A part of you begins to realize how childish your behavior is.
"Sister, do you think I'm... being abrasive with people?" You ask.
"Honestly? Yes. Yes, you are." Justine nods.
"That wasn't nice..." You meekly say.
"The truth seldom is." Your sister wisely states.
>"...Thanks for the advice."
>"I wish I was born in a different family."
>"How do I change?"
"How do I change?" You ask.
"You can start by not calling people 'commoners' all the time." Justine crosses her arms.
"I...I will try." You say.
"Also, you can start by apologizing to Kline." You sister suggests.
"S-Sister!" You blush angrily.
"Fine, fine. One step at a time, I suppose." Justine shrugs. "Anything else you want to talk about?"
>"What about your engagement?"
>"...I miss you and this place sometimes."
"Nothing, really. Except for the fact about your engagement towards the son of the Vane family." You state. "Are you really going to marry him? You know how our parents hate their pigs."
"Ridel's a good man. It's not his fault his family can't handle their livestock well." Justine frowns. "I just wish they'd put up a better pen for them."
"I miss this place." You muse softly. "Although you all drive me crazy sometimes."
"Likewise," Justine smiles, as she then heads back into her room and closes the door.
You decide to head back to your room and get into your bed, hoping you feel better in the morning.
As the rooster crows, you murmur as you roll on the bed until your body hits the floor. "Ouch!" You groan in pain.
"Maria! Breakfast is ready!" Your mother's voice rings out.
"Ugh..." You rub your head and head towards your dresser.
"MARIA!" Your mother bellows loud enough to split your head open. By the gods, is this what your voice sounds like as you scream at your guildmates?
>"In a minute, please!"
>"I'll be right down!"
"I'M COMING!" You scream back, quickly donning your clothes. You certainly did not want to look like a street walker at night.
You quickly descend down the stairs and head towards the dining room, where everyone is sitting at the table, eating breakfast. The smell of bacon, eggs, and pancakes hit your nose.
"Mother, did you kill one of the Vane pigs?" you ask.
"I wish," She grumbles as she munches on a bacon strip. "Damn little buggers."
"I love these pancakes!" Your father booms as your brothers are flinging scrambled eggs at each other. Just another usual day at the family table.
You sigh and pick at your eggs, annoyed with the smiling face on your plate.
"So, Princess, why did you run away?" Cilus asks the princess, who is giving him a neutral stare.
"Because I have no interest in marrying a man that has no idea about me." Aleste snaps briskly.
"Maybe he's a nice guy and you haven't given him a chance?" Kline, the idiot commoner, speaks.
"Arin was a nice guy before YOU took him from me." Aleste glares at Kline.
>"Now that you've mentioned it, I have seen Kaldan's prince before..."
>"Who is Arin?"
>Eat your food.
"I beg your pardon, but who is Arin?" you ask.
"Arin was my true love. We were going to be married." Aleste sighs.
"Yes, a knight in the service of the country was going to be married into royalty. The news would ruin your family's name." Echerson states. "Kline told us about that."
"My parents don't understand romance! I mean, my older brother is dating his maid behind their backs, and my older sister is having an affair with a tailor in the lower city quarters!" Aleste sighs. "Why not me?"
"Maybe we can ask your parents when we reach the castle." Kline offers.
"They'll never listen to me, what makes you think you can convince them?" The princess glares at him.
>"Maybe if we had proof of your siblings trysts?"
>"Kline managed to convince you to come here."
>"Who would listen to a commoner, anyway?"
>"Kline managed to convince you to come here."
To be honest with you princess the royal family does have an idea of romance. And I can promise that they already know about your siblings affairs. The difference there is that your siblings are not marrying them. Royalties first duty is to their country not their heart.
"Your highness, I presume you came here because of Kline telling you he was a messenger of Kaldan, am I correct?" You ask.
"Yes, but I don't see-" She stops as a thoughtful look comes onto her face.
Kline looks at you with a confused expression, as he's wondering why are you helping him now.
"Therefore, I believe I have an idea on how to convince your parents to call off the engagement." You say.
"...Am I still sleeping? Because it sounded like Maria is not being bitchy." Cilus murmurs.
Len reaches over and pinches Cilus, who cries out. "Nope, you ain't sleeping."
"But will it work?" Lamont asks you.
"Of course it will!" Your father laughs. "My little girl is a genius!"
"Father, please!" You protest, blushing. Really, father chooses to praise you, of all times. But you appreciate it.
"So, when are we going?" Echerson says.
"As soon as the princess decides to head back home." Kline sighs.
Oh, dear gods no.
>"Your highness, can we meet with your parents now?"
>"You commoners are not staying in my home another minute!"
>"...Make yourselves at home."
"Your highness, I don't suppose we can go see your parents right about now, do you?" You ask pleadingly.
"Of course..." Aleste murmurs.
"Oh, thank you- I mean, that would be lovely." You manage to restrain yourself from hugging her outright.
The princess then sits up and heads out of the dining room in a hurry. Your guildmates then do the same, following after her. The gods are good to you sometimes.
You rush outside, seeing the princess and the others on their horses. Not wanting to be left out, you quickly mount onto your horse and go along with the now moving party towards the direction of the castle.
This day couldn't get any better.
"And I think we can convince my father to let me marry Arin," Aleste says.
"I don't know, I still think meeting the prince is still a better idea." Kline says, causing the princess to snort at him.
"Why don't YOU marry him if you like him so much?" The princess spits out. It seems she's still mad at him.
"Guys, we're almost at the castle, can we please save it when we get to the castle?" Cilus complains.
>"I agree with Cilus."
>"Shut up, Kline."
>"Please be reasonable, highness."
"I agree with Cilus for once. Can we please bicker once we've reached the town?" You sigh.
"Fine by me." Kline shrugs, shaking his head. "I don't know why I'm the bad guy here."
"Shut it, commoner." You growl.
Passing through the north gate, you dismount your horses and head towards the direction of the castle.
"Sheesh, I thought princesses were nice." Kline sighs as you all head towards the castle gates.
"I am nice. It's YOU I have umbrage with." Aleste frowns, offended by the commoner's offhand remark.
"How many times can I apologize?" Kline groans.
"A thousand times." Aleste crosses her arms and sticks her nose in the air.
"Your highness, don't you think you're acting quite childish?" You ask.
"Of course not. I'm acting like a normal girl would do when a liar steals me away from my happiness." The redhead grumbles.
You then see a glasses-wearing man followed by two royal guards, a smile on his face.
"Welcome back! I see you've found the princess! This is most joyous news!" He shouts.
"Yes, it sure is." Cilus smiles. "And about the reward?"
"Cilus-" You start, but the gentleman interrupts you.
"Ah, your reward. Come, I will take you to the king." He motions all of you to follow him as the gang goes inside the castle, which is far more luxurious than your family's manor. Of course, you've been to Kaldan's castle, which is more equally extravagant.
What do you say?
>"Princess, what is this Arin like?"
>"This reminds me the time of Prince Dillard's birthday party..."
>"I wish I was visiting Kaldan again."
"Your highness, what was Arin like?" You ask.
"He was kind and charming, like every girl's dream. He was a farmer's son when he first came here. As soon as he joined the knights, it was love at first sight. I knew we were destined to be together." She sighs dreamily.
"I see." You say.
"But when my father declared I was to wed the prince of Kaldan, I ran away and decided to live a new life with Arin. I was so happy living with him under the guise of my nickname. It was paradise, until he came and stole it away." She glares daggers at Kline's head.
"Um, funny thing about that... The prince of Kaldan, I mean." you say.
"What is it?" The princess asks you.
Before you can say anything further, the steward interrupts as he claps his hands. "All right, we are nearing the chamber room. I must ask you to mind your manners with the king and queen. Do you have any questions before we enter?"
>"Will the princes and princesses be inside?"
>"What's your name?"
"What's your name, good sir?" you ask.
"Lionel, miss. So sorry that I never gave you all my name. I was just worried about the princess's safety." The steward bows deeply. "Are you all ready?"
"Yes, sir." Cilus nods.
"Good. Let us go in." The group then enters the throne room, where the king and queen are sitting with their children standing near them. You kneel in front of the royalty along with the rest as Aleste walks up towards her father.
"My dear," The king opens his arms towards the redhead and hugs her warmly. "I've missed you terribly."
"I apologize, father." Aleste says.
"You gave us quite a fright, young lady." The queen says sternly.
"I apologize, mother." Aleste hangs her head.
Then the king turns to you all. "Thank you, adventurers for bringing my daughter home to me. At last, the alliance between Frendan and Kaldan will be complete!"
>"I have something to say, your majesty."
>"That it will, your highness.
"May I say something, your majesty?" You timidly ask.
"Speak, my dear." The king looks at you curiously.
"I am sorry to say that... Kaldan's prince is already married." You let out a shaky sigh.
The royal court is in a total uproar from your single statement.
"How is that possible?!"
"Who was the vixen that tempted such a noble man!?"
"Silence!" The king booms loudly. He then turns his gaze to you. "Please explain."
"Well, the king of Kaldan was going to marry his son to your daughter, but then he changed his mind once he realized that the country of Hiran had far more to offer him. Plus, the prince has a crush on Hiran's princess." You say.
If Aleste was happy, she was sure showing it as a small smile starts to grow on her face.
"Damnation..." The king clenches his fists and groans. "I can't believe we were too late."
"Don't worry, father. I'll find a way to ally ourselves with Kaldan somehow." A red-headed man places his hand onto the king's shoulder.
"Yes, yes, Adian. I know." He sighs.
"Father, does that mean you'll forget about that marriage proposal?" Aleste says excitedly.
"You already know the answer, my daughter." King Frendan sighs. Aleste then gives him a hug and rushes over towards you and hugs you as well. "Thank you so much!"
>"Y-You're welcome, your highness..."
>"I am honored, but shouldn't you apologize to someone?"
"Y-You're welcome, princess, but, um, shouldn't you go give your thanks to Kline?" You point to the commoner who is simply gazing at you, gobsmacked.
"...Yes. Sir Kline, please forgive my previous behavior towards you. Although you were in the wrong, I was in it as well. Please accept my apologizes." Aleste bows towards him.
"Er, of course, princess." Kline nods.
"Well, you all still deserve a reward for bringing my daughter home." The king sits back down. "Name it, and I will give it to you. Within reason, of course. I don't want any more surprises today." The king sighs as the redhead named Adian and another red-headed woman, whose name was Emilia, if you recalled correctly, turn their heads away in... embarrassment?
You suppose the rumor about them having an affair was true, after all.
"In all honesty, your majesty, we have so many things in our minds, but there's one thing we can all agree on." You say. "We want Arin as Princess Aleste's bodyguard."
Aleste's eyes shine brightly as she hears your words.
"Are you sure about this?" The king asks.
"I am sure." You nod firmly.
"Your request is granted. Aleste will have the boy as her new bodyguard." The king claps his hands.
You let out a sigh. You've screwed yourself out of your money, but at least you made a girl happy. That's a win in your book.
Suddenly, you feel arms wrap around you. What is with all the hugs today?
"Thank you, Sir Cilus!" Aleste tearfully says.
"You're welcome, your highness." you say.
"Great, no gold this time." Echerson mutters low enough for you to hear.
"As a token for your appreciation, I would like to invite you all for the royal banquet tonight." The king states, looking at your party. "And of course, there will be food plenty for all."
"You are a generous man, your majesty." You say.
"Thank you. Now, my men will show you to your chambers and they will give you your banquet clothes." The king snaps his fingers as the royal servants began to lead your party out of the throne room and towards the guest rooms.
By the gods, you've done it. Wait until you tell Herschel you've shook hands with a king!
Nothing could ruin- No, you were not going to think that!
>To be continued.
Thanks for playing, and I will see you next time on Friday, if my internet doesn't kill itself first.