Chapter 5: After the Festival
The parade is gone.
The atmosphere of the city had suddenly changed from being in a daze. Everyone was breathless and prepare for their trip back home.
Petals and confetti from the parade are scattered everywhere, making the area white. Children are happily picking up those pieces.
I step away from the road and follow the crowd to leave the main road.
It looks like a number of stores also opened stalls today.
I happened to pass by one earlier that was selling frankfurters a while ago.
As expected, the crowds from earlier have disappeared and the uncle is now cooking the rest of the meat alone.
“Hello uncle, I came back.”
“Oh, Haruka? Welcome back.”
I didn’t eat anything else during the festival so I was hungry. This delicious smell of meat cooking, mmmm I cannot stop it.”
“Can I have one?”
“Oh, of course, thank you for always buying from my shop. You don’t need to pay.”
“I cannot do this, please let me pay.”
“In the future, I hope you will tell your friends to stop by my shop.”
Indeed, there are people with good hearts in this city.
If a ruthless merchant arrives in this city, the restaurant owner and the butcher shop owner would be crushed in a blink of an eye.
With this selfish concern hidden inside me, I will eventually be spoiled by the uncle’s words. I decided to take my favorite one that is cooking while looking at the row of frankfurters cooking. Let’s get the biggest one.
Suddenly a young man’s voice appears.
“Oh, it looks yummy. Is the shop still open?”
When I casually looked back towards the voice, a young man who seemed to be in his twenties was looking around the shop while smiling. He had a refreshing smile that is well liked by others.
“Can I get one?”
“Yes. That’ll be two hundred coppers.”
He chose the frankfurter that was in the best condition. Aside from those interactions I thought the frankfurter was delicious.
The young man next to me also brought his frankfurter and immediately started eating his. Although he is cheeky, he looks very happy. I feel like this is the first time I saw a young man with such a lively smile. The frankfurter is so delicious. It was good, right?
“This is delicious.”
He suddenly turned to me.
I never thought he would speak to me.
Well, I agree with him so I nodded obediently.
“This kind of occasional rest is the best.”
I was asked to agree again, so I nodded once more.
What is this? This person…
“Did you come to the festival alone?”
“Oh, no. Well.”
“You didn’t stray from your friends. Well, that’s good.”
“I was curious because I saw you walking alone earlier.”
What is this? Is he flirting?
But I don’t have an appearance people flirt with. I knew this fact so I became worried and called out.
“I arrived alone in this city, so it’s still a long way to go for me to make any friends. So I’m alone.”
I don’t have anyone I call a friend here.
“Is that so? You’re young and alone in this kingdom. It must be hard.”
He gave me a good smile while being sympathetic towards my situation.
“By the way.”
The young man looked straight at me while blinking.
“Don’t you think you somehow resemble the Priestess?”
I choked in a very unladylike way.
But, he shouldn’t know this.
Now I heard the lines I didn’t want to hear.
“Sorry, are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m okay.”
I managed to discourage him from patting my back. The frankfurter is still stuck in my throat and it’s painful.
“Ohh? Is Haruka like Ardina? Hey, that’s good Haruka! It’s a once in a lifetime compliment!”
The uncle who heard this line laugh loudly. Yeah, no. Shut up.
“No, not Aldina. The former Priestess. Don’t you think she resembles you?”
“No, I don’t think so. This is the first time I was told this!”
“Well, it’s true. I think you two looks similar.”
“In the first place, I have never seen a former Priestess that looks like me! How do you know the former Priestess?”
This is an important question.
I was hardly outside the Royal Palace during my time here. Certainly, I been outside less than ten times. Were there any opportunities to meet such young people during my rare outing? I don’t think so. I don’t remember it at all.
“No, but I saw her once in a while.”
“Who are you…?”
“I’m a royal servant name Ars.”
At last, I finally remembered.
As expected, this is a bad guy!
To some girls, if they were told “You look like the Priestess”, she might agree. It’s not bad when someone tells you that you resemble the Priestess in this country. Moreover, if it’s the previous Priestess, the people who actually remember her face is even less. That’s why you can say whatever you want.
It looks like at the beginning of the festival, he said that to girls who have a higher level in her appearance and no one was caught, so he lowered his standard and finally stop at me.
This must be it. I solved the mystery.
If it’s true, his flirty smile turns into a suspicious one.
“Well then, I’ll be going back home now.”
“Yeah? It’s still bright, but be careful going home.”
He didn’t ask me to stay. Well, that’s good.
“Uncle, I’ll see you again soon.”
“Oh, it was nice to see you today Haruka.”
I ordered a second frankfurter to go and thought back on the interaction I had.
Still, at the end of the festival, a terrible bomb was dropped.
No way would I be told I look like the previous Priestess by a passing young man. I think I shouldn’t go outside unless I have to. No, but this time it’s just a pure coincidence. I estimate that there must have been ten or more women who were told they resemble the Priestess.
I shouldn’t think too deeply into this.
The next day.
At the diner, everyone’s topic was about Aldina.
Everyone praised Aldina’s beauty.
Well, I guess…
Even though I’m the same gender, I would fall in love with the Priestess too.
Another topic has swept the diner.
It was the story about how I look like the former Priestess.
Apparently, the uncle of the butcher shop told a few of our regulars the story.
Haruka is a Priestess! She changed to work at this humble shop! No, you’ll have to kneel and worship the Priestess every time you come in! There was a lot of loud annoying laughter about my secret plight.
Then let’s do this right.
I am the genuine former Priestess!
Even if I was dying, I would never say this…
Can you believe that Haruka was found by someone other than Noel? Total shockers there because I didn’t see that coming at all.
Are you curious about how the characters look like? Head on over to the character list. A little bit of spoiler alert there but not enough to ruin anything important. If you do want a little hint on what’s to come, the table of content have the chapters name and that’s a minor spoiler.