The Villainess Blooms – 17

Yua and Veena – Part 3

The castle town of Lafalis was a relatively large city that surrounded the central keep.

It has an aesthetic based in white, and clean running water flows through the town dividing it into various sections.

In one of these sections, the three girls walked around the third district of Lafalis Castle town, where all manner of goods and foodstuffs were sold.

Although they are all young children, their dress and adornments mark them as members of the aristocracy.

They aren’t accompanied by a single guard. A very rare sight for the daughters of nobility.

And if you look closely, you can see that one of them is the Princess of Lafalis herself. They inevitably draw a lot of attention.

Veena takes both their hands as she gazes around.

Since it was her idea to take them both outside, it was also her responsibility to protect them. She has to keep her eyes open for any potential problems.

She picked up their pace as she surveyed the crowds.

“Veena-sama, you’re going too fast.”

“Sishter…, I can’t keep up…”

Veena didn’t realize just how exhausted they were already. Apologizing, she comes to a stop.

“But really, it’s amazing to look at. The city we live in is quite urban as well, but it’s nothing compared to here.”

“Yep!”

The residence of the Lilyfall family lies in the city of Galleybert, the western most of the five major cities of the Kingdom of Lafalis.

It’s not a small city, but it pales in comparison to this castle town.

Wiping the sweat from her brow, Yua says “That’s right.” And once again, Veena grasped their hands.

“Well then, Yua, which way should we go? I’m relying on you.”

Once again, she tugged Yua’s hand. She gave a short yelp as they began going quickly through the streets again.

“I-I understand! I’ll show you where to go! So just slow down!”

“B-big sish! Hey!”

And so, the three started going from shop to shop. From the greengrocer to the jeweler, Veena would constantly be bringing things to Yua to ask for her opinion, whilst Leena would orbit the two of them as if making sure they won’t run off without her.

It was hard to tell who the actual older sister was in this situation.

“Ah, would this be good?”

“No no, go for something cuter.”

“Wait for me…!”

They keep running around.

“Yua, what about this? It would really suit you. Leena, what do you tink?”

“…Veena-sama, this is awful.”

“Yeah, thish kind of thing is…”

Going around all the various shops, looking at clothes and goods and laughing all the time. It’s fun. Even if she wouldn’t say it out loud, Yua never gets tired of being around them.

The three girls played innocently like they were normal children.

It was then that it happened.

The sound of an almighty roar echoed through the city, and screams could start being heard.

“!!”

It was the eldest of them, Veena, who reacted first. She reflexively stepped in front of the other two to protect them.

They don’t know where the sound came from, but it had to be nearby.

The next person to move was Leena. She grabbed Yua’s arm and pulled her close, ignoring Yua’s “kya!?”. Her senses had heightened in an instant.

This was not the usual Leena.

Naturally, the last person to react is Yua.

“W-what is going on…” she said, as she looked around nervously. From the other side of the street, she could see people fleeing in panic.

“W-what happened? What do we do?”

To the frightened girl behind her, Veena says.

“Don’t worry. I’ll protect both of you.”

“Eh? Ah… Okay…” Yua nods at her words, but Leena protests.

“Muu… I can fight ashwell!”

“Oh, of course. I’m sorry.”

Seeing those two have a conversation only they could partake in, Yua felt that old familiar feeling of loneliness seeps in again.

“But, I need you to focus on protecting Yua. I’ll be on the attack, you defend. Okay?”

“Okay!”

“Well, then…”

That was all the instruction she needed. The roaring sounded close by again. This time, right in front of them. The true nature of the sound was a fiery explosion.

The blast was so close by that the force could knock down a crowd of people.

“Gah!!”

Yua closed her eyes. It’s an instinctual thing to do when confronted by certain death. People tend not to want to stare death in the face. That is because mortality is at the apex of all human fear.

Even though she was a child, she realized that she was about to die, and so she had closed her eyes.

But.

The pain never came. She wasn’t incinerated by the heat, pierced by shrapnel or blown away by the force of the blast.

All she can feel is slightly hotter air than usual, warming her cheeks.

But that’s all. She can’t feel anything else. Despite being right in front of an explosion, how had nothing happened to her?

Wanting to know the answer, Yua slowly opens her eyes. As she sees the scene in front of her, she’s speechless.

“Jeez, big sish, you didn’t need to do anything. I can at leasht do this much?”

“Sorry about that. I just had to be sure.”

Even though the raging flames of the explosions are still surrounding them, they’re kept at bay by Veena. With only one hand.

In addition to that, a thin barrier had been put up around the three of them. That was Leena’s magic. A protective barrier that was connected to her hand, intended to keep them all safe.

“Really, why did the rebel army have to show up now? We were having so much fun, this is the worst.”

“Yep, yep!”

Veena said so, and Leena nods in agreement. Although she didn’t understand completely, Yua thought the same thing from the bottom of her heart, their feelings reached her from the conviction in their voice.

“Underestimating us three just because we’re young. Ah, what an eyesore! You’ve made a bad choice attacking the Lilyfall family…”

The next feeling was that of anger. As Veena waved a hand to extinguish the flames altogether, they could see a man standing nearby who must have cast it.

“That’s… That’s impossible!”

The man mutters as if he can’t believe his eyes. It only makes sense. Magic should be impossible for such young children. Just like Yua, who can’t use any. That would be how things normally are. But, in spite of that…

Veena adjusts her hair with a flick of her hand and addresses the trembling man.

“There seems to be a traitor, just as mother had said. Someone leaked our plans today. A castle servant? Or maybe…”

In an instant, Veena appeared in front of the man.

“Someone bigger?”

After passing the unconscious man over to the knights who had rushed to the scene, they quietly slipped away and went back to shopping.

Of course, they couldn’t just pretend nothing had happened, and Yua pestered Veena and Leena with questions.

“Um, what is the rebel army?”

“Um, well…”

Leena is lost for words. Because she doesn’t know what to say, she looks to Veena for help. But Veena’s answers as if it’s just a trifle.

“They’re just traitors.”

“…Traitors?”

Yua knots her brows. She hadn’t heard of anything like this before.

“Why? Are they not happy with the country?”

“Well, that’s probably it.”

Another flippant answer. She just doesn’t seem interested at all.

“…If that’s how it is.”

As a member of the royal family, Yua felt in part responsible. But Veena just laughs it off.

“That kind of thing is only natural. Even I have my complaints. Everyone has something they’re unhappy about, but we still have to live together.”

Saying that Veena picked up a disgusting looking stuffed animal (a pig with eyes sown all over its body) and tried to bring it to the counter.

“Uuu, sishter is doing it again…” Leena said as she tried to pull her back. Yua found herself doing the same thing.

Veena doesn’t notice the two desperately trying to stop her until she’s already done paying.

“? Both of you, what’s wrong?”

“No, it’s nothing.”

“…Mm.”

“…?”

Veena puts the doll away and pats Yua’s head.

“Yua, you don’t have to feel responsible for the selfish whining of the ‘rebel army’.”

“…Okay. Then, if you say so…”

Yua nods, and Veena smiles with a “Then it’s settled!” As she said it, Leena barrels into Veena demanding a head rub with an “Unfair, me too! Me too!”, and the force of it makes Veena’s hand leave Yua’s head, eliciting a quiet regretful “Ah..”.

“Jeez, Leena, you really are spoiled.”

“Ehehe…”

Veena gives up and strokes both their heads.

(This is nice.)

Is what Yua thought.

That night. Yua was scolded by her father for leaving the castle without permission or escort and withdrew to her room to talk to Ku-chan alone.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. Jeez, father’s an idiot. Don’t you agree, Ku-chan?”

Ku-chan didn’t answer.

“…I hate father! Ha… Ahh, if anything, he should be getting angry at those two!”

Yua turned over and thought about those sisters.

“…But, those two… no one got angry at them. Actually, they ended up being praised… How did that happen…”

Yua pouted as she complained. But, of course, Veena didn’t escape her own father’s anger. It is no wonder he was angry. She had taken a princess outside the castle without permission and gotten caught up in an attack. Moreover, that lecturing went on far longer than Yua’s did. Yua would only find out about that later, though.

“Ha… The rebel army, huh…?”

She hugged Kuu-chan.

“It’s a little scary…”

Remembering how she thought she was going to die earlier in the day, she trembled. Even though I was saved because Veena was there If I had been alone… When she thought about it, she shook even more. It was then that she heard her mother call her name, with almost perfect timing.

“Yua? Are you awake?”

“Yes, I’m awake.”

“I’m coming in then.”

“…Okay.”

The door opened, and Yua’s mother wearing night clothes came walking in.

“Yua, you sure had a difficult day today, right?”

As her mother sat on the bed, Yua’s body shook slightly.

“You’re not hurt anywhere, are you?”

“…No. Because Veena-sama saved us.”

“I see, thank goodness.”

Her mother smiled gently and put her hand on Yua’s head. This is nice.

“Now, Yua, please take it easy and have a pleasant dream. I’ll talk to your father for you.”

Yes, Yua nodded.

“Good night, Yua, my precious daughter.”

Her mother planted a single kiss on her forehead and left the room. Thanks to her mother’s words, the fear of death that was gripping her had ebbed away and she could go to sleep with peace of mind.

Several months later, Yua would experience the worst day of her life, one that she would never forget.

 


 

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