Chapter 19 – That girl, Natalie
As soon as the chief priest’s announcement was over, he exited the hall and all the candidates who were looking uneasy started talking together.
“What, what did he mean? It isn’t a flower that would bloom? You may be harmed or eaten?”
“Is it like an insectivore? ……Is this even a plant in the first place? No way that a ferocious beast would come out from the flowers, right?”
“Impossible. The buds and leaves are so small. But, I’m not sure about Liz’s large sprout.”
They turned their heads softly to Liz, their gaze rested on the rustling buds behind her. They snapped their heads away and fled at once.
‘Stop it. I don’t think it’s going to happen, I guess.……’
But of course, she was also doubtful.
Keefa went towards Liz in the long corridor. She was carrying the heavy sprout in the bucket alone.
“I got it.” he said, trying to snatch away the bucket from her hands.
“No, it’s all right—I can carry it myself.”
“You’re kidding. It must be heavy.”
“No, I’m fine.”
She shouldn’t let the Crown Prince get involved and carry it. When they were on their way to the hall earlier, she was convinced by his words, “It’s the first step of my compensation.”
Due to this, Liz is now known as “the one who made the Crown Prince carry their sprout.” Well, she was originally at first certified as an “odd person”, but now it’s even worse.
His face clouded over as he persisted. “I’m sorry about earlier, I didn’t mean to discredit your reputation. I was going to give back the sacred sprout to you or the priest before we entered the hall, but…I got a bit distracted…”
Liz was silent, she didn’t know what to say albeit she knew what he meant. She didn’t look at Keefa, worried that her emotions would reflect on her face.
“I’ve told the priests and the chief priest that I had, by my own will, asked to carry your sprout.” As expected, the priests were surprised. However, it seemed quite difficult for the priests to believe it and Keefa himself knew enough that they would.
It must have been laborious for him to explain, he probably tried various of ways to clear it up in the hall. Whether or not he has succeeded in convincing them.
Liz looked up the ceiling.
Somehow, something seems amiss.
Eugene’s reincarnator is unexpectedly a good person. Though no matter how a good man he is, he is no longer Eugene. It doesn’t really matter, but she couldn’t push the thought away. For she had always had her mind in their last life—.
When she was thinking of a way going around in a dignified manner without answering him, the bucket in her hands was taken away by Keefa, “Nobody is around.” he said.
They walk in silence. There were so many things she wanted to say when she at first misunderstood, but now that they have solved their misunderstandings, she doesn’t know what to say. It was the same for Keefa, who was also silently walking down the hallway.
“Here is good, thank you.” she said. She received the bucket near Liz’s room.
Keefa was supposed to say something, but he didn’t know how to put it into words, “Well, good night.” he told her.
“Good night.” Liz unconsciously smiled, she used to be greeted by him every night in their previous life. Their eyes met again, she didn’t know what to do so she turned away from him and didn’t dare look back.
Keefa watched Liz walk until she was out of his sight.
Liz with a trembling hand, covered her mouth and reminded herself that she is no longer Cecil in her previous life.
* * * * *
“Ah!” As Liz turned to the corner of the corridor, she was about to enter her room and then she met the secretive girl who had just come out of one of the farthest of the rooms. That room was certainly Grace’s, the daughter of Duke Igner, who Keefa introduced.
They must get along quite well.
She had been going in and out of Grace’s room. However—
The girl pursed her lips at the sight of Liz, “You better be careful of that, the priest said that you might be eaten.”
“—are you worried?” Liz asked.
“That’s not it! Don’t be mistaken!”
Of course Liz knew, she just wanted to say it.
The girl smiled with curiosity like a cheshire cat,
“But what would you do if it does attempt to eat you? Why won’t you just stop and go home? You don’t think that you, a commoner and an albino, would be chosen as the next holy saint in the midst of daughters of powerful nobility and famous magicians? I believe it’s better for you to give up now before you fail in the next selection.” She wanted Liz to deviate her candidacy of being a saint.
Liz looked at the girl and the girl seemed surprised, her momentum broke and she began to fiddle, her black eyes looking sideways,”What, what?!”
“Nothing. I’m only looking.” Liz slowly said looking at the girl, “No one knows what will bloom, and one may possibly be eaten just as the priest says. But we don’t know who the victim will be, whether it be mine or someone else’s.”
Of course, those were somewhat empty words from her mouth but the girl turned pale in an instant.
Suddenly, the leaves of Liz’s sprout at her feet rustled but there was no wind, the leaves were making sounds as if they were responding to Liz’s words. Liz was surprised, but she held nothing but fear for the girl then it became stiff and motionless.
She said that she was a lady of a Baron’s house. What was her name?
While Liz was in her thoughts, the girl was glaring at her, her face drawn, “I told you! Don’t let strange things bloom!”
“I will try and do my best.” Liz said nodding her head, the girl bit her lips with regret.
Liz called out to her.
“What do you want?”
“What is your name?”
“—Natalie!” the girl shouted her name heartily, dutifully answering her. But before she was about to enter her room, Liz called out to her again.
“What now?!” Natalie, who was annoyed, looked straight to Liz’s red eyes which emitted a quiet light. Liz thought of what Natalie said earlier ‘give up your place as a candidate and go home’, must it be someone else’s idea? Her gaze shifted to the door of Grace’s room, at the far end of the corridor, the room where Natalie just came out of.
Natalie’s hand on her doorknob trembled, her face stiffened, she turned away and closed the door in front of Liz.
Liz frowned. Her elegant behaviour, luxurious dress, graceful smile. A lady with qualities and similar to that has no good memories in her past life nor in her present.
She lifted up the heavy bucket, entering her room and placed it on the floor by the window. The plant’s leaves, for sure, were rustling earlier but now it isn’t.
Was it just a coincidence?
Liz took a bath and brushed her teeth before going to bed. Suddenly she remembered something, “Oh no.”
What’s Natalie’s family name?