Today, I woke up on the stage. It seems like we were unable to return to the Inn. The sun was already high above me, so it looks like I have slept until noon.
「Ah Arena. It sure is rare for you to wake up first……oh」
There was plenty of food surrounding Arena. There were grilled dishes, fruits and many others. Arena seems to be challenging herself on how much she could eat. As for La Veil, she was eating everything around her at a ferocious pace.
「Mu-Mugomogu-mogu（mo, morning master）」
「Ah, good morning, and what’s with all this food?」
「Well… The residents and stalls from around offered us all this. It’s delicious, you know?」
Is, is that so? Well, I don’t really have the appetite to eat something heavy, so I’ll just go for the fruits and the bread for the time being. It was indeed delicious, the white fluffy bread.
「Nn? Ah right, but before that, let’s return to the Inn to wash ourselves. By the way Arena, did your voice changed a bit? It’s like you’re on vibrato」
It looks like she really had fun. Well, it was her first public debut. After La Veil finishes her meal, I stored the rest including the trash to dispose of later. Now then, let’s go.
「Excuse me~. I came to see the king～」
When we arrived, the person we saw on the reception was the same person as yesterday, I was immediately given permission. I was allowed via face pass, but is it really alright if I don’t go through the necessary procedures? I was guided to the same hallway as yesterday. There were no noble people around today. Well, they probably gathered only for the ceremony.
「Have they come?」
「Ah, hai. We have arrived as we have agreed with the king, we are honored to be in your presence?」
「You can stop with the formal speech, you know. You can just treat me as someone like a good neighbor or such…」
It’s good that we don’t have to be that stiff~ it’s for Arena to converse then.
「Hello Mondol Jii-chan!!」
「Ah~Arena!! Come over here, I have sweets prepared for you」
「Oi, wait a minute Jii-san」
Don’t just go baiting Arena like a foolish grandpa spoiling his grandchildren. And La Veil, calm down and stay, you idiot dragon.
「Isn’t there anyone else…?」
「Well there are no other nobles around, so you don’t have to be wary about it. Now then, let us continue. You can call her in」
At Mondol’s command, several people were brought in.
A little girl with distinctive ears and yellow colored hair along with a fluffy tail. Her age is probably about the same as Canaria’s Melchora. She was wearing a chestnut colored ethnic dress, which is probably is a common clothing for them, and she looked very cute.
「This here is…」
「Wait, I will introduce myself」
When Mondol tried to introduce her, she stopped him. She probably hates being treated like a child. She’s probably Royalty.
「You must be the one who was going to help us rebuild our kingdom. I am called Forna Fox Meniant Ladaria, the 3rd princess of the 250th Ruler of Ladaria. 名乗れ」
「…I am known as leader of 『Fairy’s Banquet』Aidle.」
Mu, Eh. Doesn’t she know about handshakes? Is there a difference in culture? No, maybe she is just trying to be domineering? It feels like she’s acting strange though.
「Oh, King Mondal-sama, are you sure that these people really are the ones who defeated the Heroes? I can only see her as nothing but a little girl though?」
「That is a matter of course. You have seen the Heroes that were imprisoned in the dungeon, right?」
「…Ah, that is, indeed」
Although convinced, she was still giving me a look of doubt. When I turn to him, Mondol-san nudges his chin that seems to be telling me that it was troublesome.
「I will do my best on my own. You can assist me if you want」
Is she serious? I turned towards Mondol once more. He showed me a look that tells me she’s really serious. Nn～～this, is this girl really alright?
「What?……Why won’t you respond? This rude person」
「…Ah yes. I’d be glad to help」
After that the little princess went back to where she came from.
「……Sorry about that but please do forgive her. Other than her, all other royalties were killed during the battle against the demons. It was natural for her to hate humans… But well, if you show her what you really are, I think she will also come to open up to you」
「Well……I could also show her my strength. I do have a much better plan to cure that…but」
I know about that kind of look, which is one has when trying to take the entire burden and carry it alone. I think she was just trying to look tough and was keeping herself in. She even wore high heels which she was definitely not used to.
Her image of her from before was definitely a lie. That must have been only a disguise, and I want to know the real her. I will definitely find a look of helpless suffering caused by the entire burden. I will also be honest with her.
「Aren’t you too cute?」
「You understand about it」
「Hearing an Old-man praise master makes it look dangerous」
Aren’t you just overthinking it? But well, there is no other way than to do this for us to get along……yosh…
When Forna returned to her room, she greeted Meru, the sheep beastman butler who has been serving her.
「Welcome back Princess. Were you tired from wearing high heels? Please come here, you can change from those now」
She politely followed, and changed from the high heels to comfortable sandals. She sat at a table and ate the cookies that were prepared for her. The moment she started eating sweets, Meru place a cup of tea for her, and when she finished eating, she put the remaining sweets aside, then then took a sip of the tea that was giving of a sweet scent.
「nom…nom…gulp… fuu~… Meru, thanks」
「I am honored to be of service, princess」
Forna didn’t have even a slight trace of the air she had before. This is how she truly is. But because she has to shoulder the burden of all of the beastmen, she needs to show that farce to make it harder for people to look down on her.
「……A moment ago. I’ve met the person called Aidle. She was very cute. She also doesn’t have the same feel or scent as a Human」
「Is that so…still, do you think they can be trusted?」
「I don’t know……I am still scared of Humans… but, they were the ones who defeated the Heroes. They are not bad people……isn’t that right?」
「……That is probably so」
To the two of them, no, for all beastmen, the Heroes were a symbol of fear. Even though it was only by chance that a Demon Lord was born in their nation, they didn’t hesitate to destroy their country and even turn them all into slaves. On this continent, when the rule of the demon lord ended, Forna spent several years trapped in this castle in despair.
However, one recent day, she heard news that the Heroes were defeated by an adventurer party. Forna immediately asked Mondol about what happened and to verify the truth of their capture. Forna then went to confirm the face of the two Heroes and she saw the despair on their faces.
And then those adventurers even said that they would help with the rebuilding of the beastman kingdom. Of course she thought that it was impossible, but hearing how strong they were from King Mondol, Forna judged that they might really have enough power to do so. If the country could be rebuilt, then she wanted to grab hold of that opportunity.
「I……I wanted to build a place where everyone can smile again…」
「……I also want of that. I think everyone else has the same feeling as you」
Meru then handed a handkerchief to Forna who started to weep.
That night, Forna who was sleeping on the canopy bed, noticed that something was approaching her, so she woke up.
But nobody replied. When Forna restlessly scanned the dark room, she noticed a small glowing figure on her bed cover. It was a little girl with a pink hair and dress.
When Forna was 4 years old, her father have told her once. A long, long time ago, there were fairies roaming the world, and they always acted as bridges that connected all the races. She heard that they were tiny winged people with lovely figures and were loved by everyone.
The existence that was known in myths was right now in front of Forna. The Fairy flew in a pitter-patter before her. When she made a small platform with both her hands, the fairy landed there.
「Good evening, Forna-chan」
「Fue!? Go, good evening!!」
「Loud, can you speak a little lower」
「Ah, ahhh, hai」
Forna, who was too excited and nervous was being calmed down by the fairy in a friendly manner. Though it seems like she got a bit too excited for a moment, she was able to calm down and talk properly.
「Oh, Your name, may I…」
「You know already. We have already met today… don’t you remember this hair color? 」
Forna thought back about today’s happenings as the fairy had said, and then she started thinking about who had the same pink hair. Pink… She then finally realized who it was.
「Don’t tell me… that adventurer from before?」
「Correct. That’s right……and once more, nice to meet you. I am Aidle the leader of 『Fairy’s Banquet』」
「……Why is a fairy trying to be Human?」
「Well there are various circumstances in regards to that…」
Aidle then talked to her about their travels, and the situation they were in, their feelings for the beastmen country, the feelings for how the beastmen became slaves, and many more. Forna was listening carefully, and didn’t miss even a single word.
「Oh, and I was thinking that if I’m able to build the country of beastman next to ours then we would probably become good neighbors」
There was more information that Aidle confirmed with Testania. That if they manage to rebuild the country of beastmen, then they would definitely abide by the covenant and the fairies could live alongside with them. And at the same time, Testania told Aidle that the world tree’s barrier would only last for at least two years. If they won’t be able to solve the mystery of the world tree in that time then they will be left exposed, and that’s why they agreed to live together with the beastmen.
「The Queen was…?」
「Yes, that is so. That’s why Forna, I want you to believe in us. I want us to be friends. And I will definitely help with the revival of the beastmen」
「……do you really want to be my friend?」
「Yes, I do so」
Forna was just an 8 year old child. But with her position, she wouldn’t be able to easily make friends on the same age as her. Moreover, everyone else was taken away from her, leaving behind nothing but pain, loneliness and despair, and all she could do was try her best and survive in a world surrounded by adults despite her age.
Forna have always wanted for someone she could rely on.
「I’m really glad…Thank you, Aidle」
「It’s alright Forna. I also wanted to do so, well leaving that for now…I actually have a surprise for you,can you open the window?」
Bringing Aidle with her, she approached the window and opened it from one side.
There was a huge dragon right in the sky in front of her. Then Aidle said 「It’s fine, she’s a friend」then she made Forna float with fairy magic while guiding her by holding on to her waist, and then carried her towards the dragon’s head.
「Good evening Forna. Welcome to our night sky tour」
The one before her was Arena in 『Special Arena-chan Mode』who have been waiting on standby since earlier. She then held her hand and stabilized her position.
「Because this one is also a Fairy, you can rest easy, Forna」
「Is, Is it really ok?」
「Yes, by the way I am Arena, a friend of Aidle. I also wanted to be friends with you, but is it ok?」
「Ah, hai, of cours!!」
Forna, who answered shyly with red cheeks, was charmed by the smile of an adult woman. Aidle was also smiling while riding on Forna’s shoulders.
「Well then Forna, be sure to hold firmly on Arena. La Veil, Let’s Go!!!」
The dragon who was floating steadily there, flapped its wings and started to fly. Forna, who got scared of the sudden rise in altitude, closed her eyes tightly. However, soon she noticed, that there were neither wind resistance nor shock from the ascent.
「It’s ok now Forna. Because of my Magic, it will be safe」
After hearing what Aidle said, Forna fixed her posture and returned to a stable form. She then slowly opened her eyes,
The Full Moon was in full view above the clouds. Forna was able to stare directly at the moon with nothing in the sky blocking her sight. She was awed by the majestic sight, so she gazed for a while.
「Hey, don’t you want to look below?」
Looking at the direction that Aidle pointed out, she could see the moonlight beaming over the beautiful lights emanating from the buildings of the royal capital. Forna stared at it as if to burn the image of such a fantastic sight into her brain. To her, what was happening now was really like a dream.
「Amazing…Really amazing, it looks like a fairy tale!!」
「I am delighted that you are greatly pleased, Forna」
「Un, Aidle too, thank you!!」
Aidle was finally able to see her smile more appropriately to her age, and was really happy about it.
「……Forna. Fairies like people who show their best smile, a cheerful smile like the sun. We are a race that loves that more than anything. And of course, I also love your smile」
「I also like it, Forna~♪」
「…so continue to smile」
Forna realized that she hasn’t really smiled from the bottom of her heart for years. From that time, there was nothing she could do but stay confined in that room unable to do anything about it. And thinking like that wasn’t really too bad for her at that time, it just can’t be helped. She even thought that she has already forgotten how to smile.
「Forna. If you are smiling, then the future can be bright. I think that Forna can be everyone’s sun」
「…But, but, I’m not really that reliable. I am not as smart or talented as my elder sisters. I am just a plain beastman despite being royalty…」
「Don’t you think that something like that isn’t really necessary?」
Aidle comes forward and flies in front of Forna’s face. A smile was visible on her face.
「You see Forna, even if you are be strong, smart or good at communicating with people, if you are always showing a an anxious face, then everyone will also become anxious. But despite all that, if you are showing a bright smiling face to the people around, won’t everyone start working hard for you? That is what Forna has to learn first. You can just leave all the other things to those who are experts」
That’s right, you can just dump all those tedious works to someone else. No one is able to live alone. Even the king won’t be able to manage a country on his own.
「Forna, you don’t have to hold back anymore. From now on, you won’t be alone」
「…Un…Hic, hic, Nn…!!」
Tears flowed from her eyes like a broken dam. She felt as if something heavy was lifted away from her. She was relieved from the bottom of her heart, and was wrapped by a comforting warmth.
「Forna’s Smile, Cute」
On the day, everyone went on a dragon tour until late in the night.
And Forna made a wish.
（This…I hope all of this isn’t just a dream……）
「Forna’s tail, so fluffy～」
「Ah, eh, hue, Aidle that tickles…nu~」
『Master, can I also change into something like that?」
（Everyone is so cute～♪）