Author: Lioness

Fakes don’t want to be real

~ 43 ~

 

“Sir Aiden?”

 

Golden hair flutters everywhere. His bright red eyes resemble the sun, blazing overhead. Sir Aiden was looking down at her with his startled eyes.

 

He seemed fine as long as he hadn’t been attacked by other magical beasts. If she looks at him closely, he seems to have a better complexion than when he was a private soldier of Silkisia.

 

‘What a relief. He’s in good condition.’

 

Psychke looked at him from afar and bowed her back.

 

“I don’t know if you’ve been well. I’m really sorry about what happened in Silkisia.”

 

“No. It’s not the princess’s fault.”

 

Aide was embarrassed by what she did, so he waved his hand. Still, she continued apologizing and quickly changed the subject.

 

“Why are you here?”

 

“… I came to play. What about you, Sir Aiden?”

 

“… I also came to play.”

 

Even though both of them were dressed far from those people who came to actually enjoy the festival.

 

Aiden looked down at Psychke’s clothes, which were optimized for running, and looked down at an angle.

 

“Do you have companions?”

 

“I am alone.”

 

“I see. May I walk with you for a moment?”

 

“…?”

 

“If you don’t mind, we can talk for a while.”

 

It’s been a while since they’ve seen each other, and since they separated vaguely at the end, he had a lot to say to Psychke. 

 

But she felt that it is more important to search for Dellas first than having a walk with him. Aiden said it was fine after his offer was rejected by her.

 

“How are your injuries?”

 

“They are all right.”

 

Psychke answered, staring intently at the two nomads watching the dancing lion puppets.

 

Aiden stared guiltily at the area around her wounded arm.

 

“I’m sorry to get you involved in something strange.”

 

“No. But Sir Aiden, how are you?”

 

Psychke asked, looking at the nomads standing in front of the place where they made puppies out of balloons.

 

Aiden looked at her and her gaze to where she was looking.

 

“Yes, thanks to the princess, I’m doing very well.”

 

“What did I do-”

 

At that moment, a group of desert nomads passed by them.

 

Psychke quickly glanced at them. An adult man and a woman and two children appear as a family.

 

It may or may not look like the eyes in the portrait…

 

Suddenly, she thought that she would never find the mercenary Dellas in this way.

 

‘What should I do?’

 

Psychke clenched her fists. In the first place, it was unreasonable to try to find someone with a portrait with only the name and eyes.

 

If so, the rest is…

 

“Are you looking for anything?”

 

Aiden, who had been standing still, spoke. But Psychke bit her tongue. They have a rough relationship, but Aiden was feeling that he needs to help Psychke.

 

“I am looking for someone. If you are not busy, can you help me?”

 

“I think I can only help you for two hours… would that be all right?”

 

Saying thank you for his help, Psychke pulled out a portrait.

 

Aiden pulled his body closer to confirm it.

 

Croa roared loudly above her head as if it was about to fall.

 

“This is Dellas, a mercenary from the West. He came here today, and it’s a little hard for me to find here with these alone.”

 

“Dellas?”

 

Dellas, Dellas.

 

Aiden, who was pondering the name of the mercenary in his mouth while looking at the portrait, made a strange expression.

 

“Are you talking about Stella?”

 

“Stella?”

 

If he was asking about the Stella she knew, then maybe the head of the Western Nomads and the owner of the ‘Silent Land’?

 

Aiden nodded his head, indicating that her guess was correct.

 

“No, I’m looking for Dellas.”

 

“I changed it a bit to an anagram. This is the method Stella uses often when she comes up with a pseudonym.”

 

“… Does he work as a mercenary?”

 

“I heard that he sometimes uses a pseudonym when bored.”

 

Psychke looked up at him from a distance, with enough intelligence to tell him to go away from any information guild.

 

Aiden scratched his cheek shyly.

 

“It’s because of our personal friendship. I came here today to see him too. …if it’s not rude, may I ask why you’re looking for him?”

 

“I have something I would like to request. Could you please introduce me to him?”

 

It’s a personal friendship.

 

She doesn’t know if he’d accept the request, but it was an opportunity to ask for his help.

 

With delight, Psychke unknowingly grabbed the hem of his robe.

 

Aiden was startled that he took a deep breath and his body slightly trembled.

 

“Ah, sorry.”

 

“…. No.”

 

Aiden, with his cheeks raised, led her to a bench nearby. The teddy bears who had been sitting on the bench were moved away.

 

One of the girls left, drawing a heart with her hand, perhaps mistaken them as a couple.

 

– Kaaack!

 

Aiden’s face turned red. Croa wept harshly towards the teddy bear as if in a bad mood.

 

‘Do you hate teddy bears?’

 

Psychke, unable to see the heart, stroked the crow sitting on her lap which means that this crow better calm down.

 

“Does Aiden know where he is?”

 

“Yes. He is going to see a puppet show.”

 

A puppet show.

 

If she had followed the fox at the entrance, she would have met Stella.

 

‘But I may not recognize him either.’

 

Without knowing the shape of his face, it was no for sure that she would recognize him just with eyes.

 

“I can’t get in during the performance… I have about an hour left.”

 

Aiden took out his pocket watch and murmured.

 

When he said he had an hour to spare, Psychke looked around leisurely.

 

Children holding balloons in one hand and living dolls in the other, walking and even running happily.

 

Adults looked at such children with joy.

 

Fresh flowers blooming between the roads and butterflies flying over them…

 

“I am glad that you are doing well.”

 

Psychke turned her head at the gentle voice she heard from him.

 

“You look a lot better than when you were in Silkisia.”

(TN: That’s because she’s under Verndia’s care *insert blesses emoji*)

 

Aiden smiled softly at her.

 

“I was worried because there were rumors of a discord.”

 

“Ah, that.”

 

Rumors spread like a snowball in the alleyways and fountains. She then concluded that those rumors increased when she went for a walk.

 

Again, bad news spreads faster than good news.

 

“It must be a false rumor. I know. The Duke said that it was because of the princess that he took my convenience.”

 

“The duke?”

 

The one who went mad when he heard the story of Hillace?

 

Psychke’s eyes widened.

 

“Yes. It is thanks to the duke that we are able to walk around like this. Instead, I was told not to approach the princess.”

 

As if in trouble, Aiden smiled at me.

 

“…The Duke also tested me, so I’m sure he’ll take this much.”

 

‘Test?’

 

She thought about what it meant, but nothing came to her mind. So, she thought it would be something between the two of them. Anyway, she was glad that he was doing well. But again, she was still concerned.

 

“You don’t have to look at it that way.”

 

Aiden smiled sweetly, as if trying to relieve her guilt.

 

“As I said before, it’s not the princess’s fault.”

 

“… You said you came to Silkisia to see me, didn’t you?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Aiden nodded softly.

 

“You never appear in any social circles, and you never accepted my invitation to see you even though I’ve personally asked you to meet me a few times.”

 

“I’m sorry for… being shy….” 

 

“It’s my fault for asking so much. I was thinking about what to do, so I applied for enlisted soldiers.”

 

A light wind blew.

 

Aiden looked at the silver hair that was scattered across her cheeks, and then softly touched her lips.

 

“Is the promise to go to the temple still valid?”

 

“Yeah, but can I go ahead and ask what you’re trying to do?”

 

“… Princess…”

 

After waiting for a long time, Aiden raised his voice with difficulty.

 

“Do you remember your childhood?”

 

“My childhood?”

 

“Before you were adopted by Silkisia.”

 

Memories before her adoption…

 

Only memories that cannot be recognized, such as dungeons, darkness, hunger, and fear, remained in these fragments. She shook her head, not wanting to reflect on the wounds buried deep inside.

 

“I see. Then, do you know about the Leas case?”

 

“Yes, I know that.”

 

“I think the princess is the victim of that incident.”

 

“A victim?”

 

She forgot the conversation she had with Verndia about that incident. Hence, she wondered what this for

 

‘By the way, the Duke also said that at first glance of me.’

 

That she is the victim of the Leas case.

 

That’s when she wanted to find out more about what the hell it was.

 

“Ahhhhhhhh!”

 

A shrill scream echoed from behind. Psychke and Aiden looked back at the same time.

 

Black smoke rose from the central tent where a delightful puppet show should be taking place.

 

One side was abnormally swollen, as if something was about to pop out.

 

***

 

Near the tent was chaos.

 

“Ian! Where are you? Ian!”

 

Parents who called their children so desperately that they are crying loudly,

 

“Aacck! Mom!”

 

The dust that covered the kid from his head down to her toes was yelling in cries. The crying child bumped into a man and fell. The man who had been hugging his child only looked back at him with guilt but did not help.

 

Thump, Thump.

 

The ground shook.

 

One side of the tent seemed to inflate strangely, and a huge hand popped out with a booming, ripping sound. Soon after, a giant fox doll appeared from the inside of the tent. It was the doll she saw at the entrance.

 

Surprised, Psychke took a breath.

 

[If you go out during the puppet show… there is no way you can.]

 

The fox doll reached out to the fallen child. The black shadows on the floor gradually grew bigger.

 

“This.”

 

Aiden threw his body and saved the child. His golden hair swayed precariously as it was only brushed against his side and huge hands.

 

[Quickly… Come in…]

 

Aiden disappeared, offering to take the child to a safe place.

 

Tuk, Tuk, Tuk.

 

Again, a huge shadow fell.

 

Psychke lifted her head at the sound of the seams bursting from above. And she doubted her own eyes.

 

“…!”

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Lioness

Comments (1)

  1. Every time Psyche gets a little background information- black magic happens. Just execute the black magician killing people