They say that morning comes even in this strange place that seems to have a sky when it’s supposed to be underground.
I heard my name being called in my ear, and when I opened my eyes, I saw that the space that had been closed in by the blue dimness had become as bright as day.
I managed to withstand the surprisingly close face of His Highness Nigel, and smiled as if it was nothing at all.
“Good morning. Nigel-sama.”
I was surprised. It was strange that my heart wasn’t racing.
Lately it seems like His Highness has been getting closer to me. Mentally and physically.
His Highness is in a very good mood.
“Did you find something interesting?”
“Yeah. I’ve found all sorts of interesting things…Come on, Luthia. Let me show you something that isn’t in the world today.”
What’s not in the world today?
I feel a tug at His Highness’ words.
He picked me up as if it was natural, and I realized that I’ve just accepted it as if it was a matter of course for me to do so.
What happened to my resolve to walk on my own!?
Is it my weak will, or is His Highness just clever?
“Your Highness, please put me down. I regret it, but please don’t pick me up as a matter of course.”
“Luthia, your resolve is worthy of respect, but there is too much that will consume your strength today. Stay calm in my arms.”
It’s not exactly a tight fit, but I can’t find a chance to get off while being hugged tightly
…I feel very defeated about something, though!
I felt quite frustrated, but also because I felt protected and secure. It made me feel very delicate.
I feel like it’s okay as it is.
As I grow up, there won’t be so many opportunities for him to pick me up. So, as long as His Highness picks me up like it’s natural, that may be okay.
It won’t be for many more years…
You may call me weak-willed, but I don’t care. People are creatures that can adapt easily.
Because I wasn’t always used to being in his arms.
It seems that while I was sleeping, His Highness had looked around this space in various ways. I took a step toward one place without hesitation.
“The place we call the Garden of Beginnings was probably modeled after these ruins.”
“The ruins of the site?”
It seemed surprising and I couldn’t help but ask back.
“Yeah. The ruins. The lowest level of the Royal City Labyrinth…Perhaps this is where the ‘beginning’ is.
“What’s the beginning?”
“Dardinia’s…and the beginning of the Empire.”
From the nuances of His Highness’ words, it must be the Unified Empire.
“…The land of the ancestors of the empire, the blank land, is called ‘Altera,’ isn’t it?”
‘Altera’ or ‘Al Terra.’ In the Imperial language, the word ‘Al’ means a large city or land, and the word ‘Terra’ means ‘nothing.’ (*** This is how it translated, but it makes more sense to me if ‘Terra’ = ‘land’ and ‘Al’ = nothing/blank.’)
The Unified Empire was born in this blank land and eventually abandoned the land of its ancestors and reasserted its reign in the center.
“And the birthplace of the Dardinia’s ancestors… the Dardie royal family, was in Raativ, wasn’t it?”
As a matter of fact, Raativ, which is now the official capital of Elzevert, is the birthplace of the Dardies.
“Ah…If you mean the land of your ancestors, there is no doubt. But that is not what I mean by the beginning. Just as the beginning of Dardinia was the meeting of the Founding King and the Imperial princess, I believe that the proof of the empire’s imperial status…or the source of its origin… is here. Luthia, have you ever read the scriptures?”
My name is taken from the beginning of the scriptures. So I didn’t read it carefully, but I read it enough to the extent that I could understand it.
The first half of the book is the mythical part where the world begins with the Mother Goddess appearing out of the light and descending to the earth, calling water and greenery to the barren land and giving people a fertile land. The second half is more of an educational story that fosters basic human ethics.
“It has been said that the majority of the scriptures are written as a mythology of actual history. Some people in universities have done that kind of research, and some of it has been corroborated…Perhaps the mythology of the scriptures are a metaphor for the history of the establishment of the Unified Empire.”
“The Unified Empire is supposed to be what came about after the clans that were driven from the land of Al Terra, which had been closed off by the ice, moved into the center and eventually unified the world, right?”
“Yes. It is supposed to be based on what is written in Rhodrius’s Imperial Chronicles. But I believe it is a mistranslation. It is stated that the Empire went from Al-Terra, which became closed to the ice, to the center and unified the world. Previous historians have interpreted this as a migration of peoples as the beginning of the Little Ice Age turned Al Terra into the glacier-covered barren land it is today, but recent studies show that Al Terra was an icy land long before that. The glaciers never melted.”
“…They came from somewhere, didn’t they?”
“Yes. No one knows where it is, but there are hints.”
“One of the legends of the Empire says that the founder of the Empire was a ‘man from the sky.’”
“A man from the sky…Does the word “sky” refer to the universe?”
“…Yes. I thought you knew.”
“The concept of ‘the universe’ is not something that is in the minds of ordinary people.”
His Highness said with a very serious face.
Huh? Is this really bad? I thought so, but His Highness remained the same. There was no indication that he would denounce me or that he thinks I’m a fake.
No, I’m pretty sure that I’m definitely Arthirea…
“Some of the things you take for granted are not natural. There is knowledge that is strictly sealed away in this world.”
“You don’t need to be frightened. The Princess of the Key has the blood memory, so I hear it’s a normal occurrence.”
Wait. Wait a minute. It’s not. The reason I had the concept of ‘the universe’ is because I have memories of a woman named Maya Izumi from another world inside me.
Suddenly, my blood ran cold.
I knew that my common sense was out of sync with this world’s common sense, so I was trying not to say anything unnecessary, but I feel like I was saying a lot of things because I was getting used to my current environment as the crown princess.
I’m an idiot.
“…What is a blood memory?”
“Memories of a world that was supposed to be lost. It was written in the diary of Princess Lydiane, the second princess of His Majesty King Gladis I, seven generations ago.”
…Wait…Memories of a lost world…? I think that is the case with my memories of Japan.
But I can’t say anything devious.
“I…I don’t remember the old days, so I’m not sure.”
“I didn’t mean to blame you…I just thought I’d tell you someday since you seemed to be concerned about your lack of memory.”
“This is a good time to tell you…It is said that the Imperial Family of the Unified Empire is descended from the Mother Goddess.”
“Yes, I know.”
If the person from the sky was ‘from the universe’…If they thought he was God, then…
“The blood of the empire hides god in the depths of it. Hence, from time to time, a person with different abilities will appear.”
I don’t have any unusual abilities. I just have the memories of a distant past.
“Some people have shaman-like abilities, or some people like me have heads that specialize in academics.”
“Oh…My mother has not a drop of blood from this country, but my father was His Majesty the King. I have half the blood of the empire in my body, and I am a full-blown descendant of the Mother Goddess. Although, much thinner than you.”
“That’s right…Your Highness and I are like cousins, aren’t we?”
Actually, it’s really uncle and niece…
“Oh…Well, that said, but the ‘Princess of the Key’ is really special.”
“I don’t think the Princess of the Key universal cure though, right?”
There’s only so much one human being can do.
Even if I was of a special bloodline, I myself am not that special, nor am I a brilliant genius, nor do I have the power to be called different.
“I understand that…but I can easily prove what I have been arguing with only hypotheses that I couldn’t prove. Given that, it can seem like a universal cure.”
“I just hope I can be of some use to you, Your Highness.”
Honestly, I don’t really feel the importance of being the ‘key.’ So, as long as His Highness is happy with it, then that’s all that matters.
“…You are so humble.”
“It’s not so much that I’m humble. It’s just that I don’t feel like I’m special, even if my blood is special.”
It’s not that I’m going to treat myself poorly. It’s just that I’m my own person, and I can’t be held as sacred as His Highness.
“You’re the only official heir to the imperial legacy in this world.”
“It doesn’t matter to me…Rather, I hope I don’t have to fight other countries for this blood.”
For example, an empire that advocates itself as the successor of the Unified Empire will definitely make accusations.
“That’s right…everyone will want you.”
His Highness brought me to a corner that looked like a blue lake.
It’s not water that was blue. It was the flowers. All over the place, blue flowers were in bloom, ignoring the season. Hydrangeas and nemophyllas, irises and rosephilia, and then roses.
It was the roses that stuck with me. Because blue roses don’t exist in nature.
Genetically engineered blue roses…
Looking closely, I could see that the blue of the hydrangeas, nemophyllas, and irises were also slightly different from the colors I knew.
In the light, the blue of the flowers took on a color that was neither azure nor blue.
“…Is this the blue of Dardinia?”
“That’s right.…all artificially made. It’s the only one of its kind in the entire continent, right here in the Royal Palace.”
“…The rosephilia I saw downtown came in a variety of colors, like white and yellow…But I didn’t see any blue.”
“Blue rosephilia only exist in the royal palace of Dardinia. They cannot be grown outside of this royal palace. It was one of the last things brought to us by the imperial princess, and it is a flower that represents the imperial family of the Empire.”
“…Isn’t it on the royal coat of arms and on the coat of arms of Elzevert?”
The dragon on the Elzevert crest is wearing a crown of rosephilia flowers.
His Highness lowered me down into the blue.
Then he knelt down before me.
He called me by name.
A name with no honorific title or anything else.
There is no one else to call me by my name but His Highness anymore.
His Highness pulls out the sword he was wearing and places it in my hand.
I knew what to do without being told.
I drew the guardian mark of the goddess with the tip of his sword above His Highness’ head, and placed the blade on his shoulder.
His Highness’s lips began to spin old, old words.
A voice, pleasant to the ears, says an oath in a language I don’t know.
Even though It’s a language I don’t know…I feel like I know it.
It was like singing…Somewhat feverishly, the sound of his voice enters my ears and fills my body with something.
“…pardon me.” (*** The word used is ‘許します’ or ‘yurushimasu’ which can mean multiple things. But I think it’s basically just an ending of an oath. Most common meaning is ‘forgive me’ but that didn’t make sense. ‘Acknowledge’ or ‘permit’ or ‘pardon’ or ‘approve’ made a little more sense.)
The moment I received the oath, a wind that blew in from somewhere sent the flowers flying.
As the blue flower fragments danced around, I offered the sword to His Highness.
His Highness took the sword silently and returned it to its scabbard.
“…I am the guardian who protects all knowledge.”
I tilt my head, unsure of what that means.
“And now I am king of Dardinia.”
I looked up into his eyes and nodded.
The oath was the king’s pledge to his country.
Dardinia is mine and I am Dardinia.
“Being the King of Dardinia means being the one who protects you. I want you to remember that, no matter what happens in the future.
His Highness took the bow of a knight and extended his hand to me.
When I put my own hand in his, His Highness just picked me up.
“…Your Highness…No, Your Majesty. I’m sure His Majesty the King should not be so casual in picking up the queen.”
“It is a problem.”
“I hate it when people think I’m a child.”
“Let them think what they want…I know best that you are not a child.”
For some reason, I laughed at the smug-looking Nigel-sama. Nigel-sama laughed too.
When we returned to ground, we each changed into our formal attire and once again we repeated the ceremony of oath under the watchful eyes of the clergy.
Thanks to the fact that it was the second time, the ceremony ended in an orderly fashion without any tension.
As soon as Nigel-sama’s oath was completed, bells across the country were rung and colorful flower fragments flew across the sky.
The sound of the bells playing Sagriza echoed throughout the royal capital. A parade is carried out on the road to the royal palace with an open wagon.
The crown shines brilliantly on His Royal Majesty Nigel’s head.
Hurray to His Majesty the King. In response to the voice of Her Majesty the Queen, I waved with a smile.
“…Luthia, what is that?”
His Highness Nigel tilts his head at the scrunchie on my wrist.
“……It’s a secret.”
Although I am a queen, I have never been asked to take an oath.
I have never been and never will be asked to take an oath—That’s because I am the embodiment of Dardinia itself.
However, in my heart I would like to make an oath as an individual, as Arthirea Luciane, or as a member of the royal family of this country.
This is a testament to that.
It’s an important testament that I will never forget.
T/N: <333. I think the concept of the blood memory was pretty cool. It makes it feel more like Luthia belonged in this world all along.
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