Chapter 02 – The Liz this life
In a small village to the west of the capital, Astoria.
As Liz carries around a basket made from tree barks, its contents was filled with freshly picked wild berries.
Liz, who was raised up in the village with her memories from her past life intact, is now 17 years old. Whoot I am a noble! –Or not, and she was also a commoner this life. She had lost both her father when she was young, and last year her mother to sickness. But is now living peacefully with her grandmother who lives close by.
As she walks back home, a villager had reached out to her.
“Oh my, isn’t it Liz. Is that wild berries in your basket? So many of them, that’s brilliant of you. Where did you find them?”
“The Buna forest behind the assembly hall, by the inner part of it is a thicket.”
“As usual you are dexterous for finding things, ey.”
The villager was nodding repeatedly in admiration.
Liz had good intuition ever since she was born. As if she received an oracle, it pops up unexpectedly.
Just like this morning when she had woken up and is having breakfast, she suddenly thought of it. That within the thickets in the Buna forest, there were plenty of wild berries.
“News from the birds? Or maybe your sixth sense?” Or so her departed mother laughed at unamused.
Ever since she was small she was able to procure fruits and berries from who knows where, or finding the villager’s lost things. And so, the villagers thought of Liz as someone mysterious and strange.
Albeit since she will suddenly run off somewhere or abruptly start to dig in the ground. Not to mention she is an albino with white hair, deep crimson eyes and pure white skin which was unusual.
(When I get back, let’s immediately make some wild berries’ jam)
As she hold onto to the basket with both hands this time, she dashed back home.
Along the way back on top of a small hill is the mansion the fief’s lord, Baron Cavven. Amidst the gate, a marvelous carriage that she had never seen was stopped there.
Liz abruptly stopped.
(Which reminds me the villagers were murmuring about an envoy from the palace coming to greet Emilila-sama from the Cavven’s)
As the next priestess candidate that is.
The villagers were talking about it but Liz was not interested in it.
As she wanted to pass by swiftly, a voice came out from within the gate.
“Hey, you. Can I ask you something?”
It was a young man with jet black hair and eyes in his mid-twenties. A face of elegance and a balanced body build, wearing a white shirt which fits him well. He was never seen before, so he should be one of the envoys.
“How may I help you?”
“I might sound strange but, have you seen a small silver key somewhere? I was looking for it everywhere but I couldn’t find it.”
There was no chance that Liz who had just met him knows about it.
She was astounded, but the young man had expected that while asking. As if a drown man would hold on to anything to try to live. He seems deeply troubled. The key seems to be something very important.
As he looked depressed to the younger Liz, the young man looked so pitifully desperate, and she abruptly replied.
“Very well then, please wait for a moment.”
She can’t very well go back on her words now. As Liz puts down the basket on the ground, she starts to breathe in deeply.
Her ‘intuition’ mostly abruptly tries to tell her something, but she can sometimes see it when she concentrates.
She then slowly closes her eyes.
Voices of birds chirping and trees swaying from the wind can be heard. A breeze blew from somewhere and lifted up her white hair. Small flower petals danced in the winds and grazed her cheek.
(Key… Yellow thread… Is this the guest room? Beneath the bed..)
She slowly opened her eyes as if waking up from a dream. The deep crimson eyes then looked to the young man which pressured him and had moved one step backward.
“Is it a silver key tied with a yellow thread? It looks like it’s beneath the right side of the guest room’s bed in Cavven-sama’s mansion, or so I believe.”
Liz’s words left the young man dumbfounded.
“How? How do you know that? And some more, about the thread as well?”
The young man was speechless.
“Well then, I will take my leave.”
As Liz lightly bowed her head, she then lifted up the basket and headed back home.
The next day, Liz was called out by the young man before to the Cavven’s mansion. Not only that surprised her, she was asked to wait not at a shabby old room but the guests’ room.
She had never stepped into the Cavven’s mansion, and her past life being who she was, being in a noble’s house is somewhat uncomfortable. The incident from her past life felt fresh in her mind and made her felt unpleasant.
It’s best to leave here quick.
Liz who turned stiff while grasping both of her hands in front of gate was greeted by the young man yesterday, Lloyd.
“The key that I was searching for, it really was beneath the bed. How did you know that?”
She repeated her words from yesterday. The young man Lloyd does not look content with her answer but there was no other way Liz would have replied.
Liz who’s planning to run out of the room when there’s a chance was approached by Lloyd who then bent down and glared down on her wonderously.
“It’s mystical. It does not look like magic as well, since… you’re an albino.”
In this world, disregarding its vessel of strength, magic exists in those who are born with black hair and eyes. Hence, it’s able to infer whether one has magic or not.
Albeit Liz who is the exact opposite of black, was white in hair and eyes. One glance and one will know she has no magic powers.
Thus Lloyd spoke, “Have you any idea the king is currently looking for the next priestess candidate?”
Liz nodded in reply.
The priestess protects the kingdom of Asteria with her divine powers. Though she who stays deep within the inner sanctuary does not show her face frequent, the current priestess is of quite an old age.
“Thus the kingdom is in a rush, and we the envoys are dispatched to search for priestess candidates. They will then gather in the palace and the next priestess will be chosen among them.”
She then nodded in reply once more, but did not understand the meaning of the conversation. For the minimum prerequisite to being a priestess is to have magic powers, alas having black hair and eyes.
Liz profits by selling the village’s speciality of dyed products, and she is in a rush to head back home to finish up a delivery deadline. As she felt somewhat irriated, she glared upon the envoy Lloyd.
“Onto the main topic, I would like to bring you to the capital, as a priestess candidate.”
“It’s inevitable that having magic is a prerequisite which you did not fulfill, however, you have a mysterious power. Yeah, you have something in you, I think.”
What absurdity are you speaking of. Liz, an albino, is far off from being a priestess. Even a small child knows that fact. Liz heaved out a sigh.
“Can I go hom-“
“Us envoys are dispatched by the orders of the king. Hence my words and actions are a representative of the kings. Thus, I hope you oblige.”
The envoy Lloyd cheerfully smiled.
What do you want me to oblige in. What kind of holy envoy are you who threatens others, or so Liz thought in her heart, where she suddenly realizes.
“-Then I’m going to become a priestess candidate going to the palace with Emilia-sama as well?”
“No, just you. Lady Emilia in fact does have slight magic powers, but through my observations, she is not up to par. It was regrettable.”
Liz have a very bad feeling about this, a very bad one.
Emilia is of noble status, and being a noble she has a high sense of pride.
And her hunch was right, the very next day, Liz was summoned once again to the Cavven’s mansion, and rather forcefully it was.
She was claimed to have stolen Envoy Lloyd’s key.
Further, Emilia witnessed her act of theft.