Dionna, hang in there! (6)
Once he realized what the men were going to do, the man began to twist around and resist crazily.
[Hey, hold him tighter.]
He tried to scream for help despite his blocked mouth, but he couldn’t deal with a group of more than ten men.
The silver blade reached his finger.
The sound that arose was so soft and clean that it was eerie.
A blood-curdling scream erupted from his throat.
Aristine’s face turned pale as she watched the mirrored surface.
Red blood flowed endless from his cleanly severed finger.
The man shook off the men holding him down and grabbed his own blood-stained hair. His green eyes were dyed with despair. The man’s face trembled like a wave.
Because the mirrored surface reflecting him began to shake.
* * *
The waves gradually increased before settling down.
The now calm water surface only reflected Aristine’s face, as if it had never shown anything.
Aristine stared at her reflection in the water, then she looked up. She began walking again as if nothing had happened.
“Oh, are you done, Your Highness?”
“Please lie down here.”
The court ladies greeted Aristine with a smile.
As Aristine lay on the bed and closed her eyes, she could feel a set of hands gently loosening her muscles.
The man’s name was Ritlen.
He was the very same man that Aristine had seen at the welcome banquet.
[Please accept me, Your Highness]
[Alright, then you are mine now.]
[You will become the best blacksmith in this country, no, on this continent.]
The scene she saw with her Monarch’s Sight before flashed through her mind. In that scene, the man’s right hand was missing a thumb.
His hand could not handle a hammer, a vice, tongs or even a chisel. His life as a blacksmith was over.
Despite that, her future self was convinced that he would become the best blacksmith.
‘He was fine when I saw him last time at the welcome banquet.’
Ritlen ate with his right hand and had no issues whatsoever. Naturally, his thumb was in perfect condition.
‘I thought he met with an accident but apparently not.’
There were many dangerous areas in blacksmithing so she thought he might have accidentally hurt himself while working.
‘…the magnolia had bloomed.’
In the scene she just watched, there was visible magnolia behind the fighting men.
‘And it was almost withered too.’
There were only a few petals left on the tree.
‘So the season is spring. Is it this year? Or is it the next or even after?’
The man’s face and hair were not that different from when she saw him at the banquet. However, it was so distorted that she could not be sure. And in adults, facial changes sometimes happen slowly.
‘I planned to get the blacksmith as soon as possible, so there is a high chance it will happen this year.’
The time when her future self gets in contact with Ritlen should not be past this year. And the spring of this year was happening right now.
‘Is it a vision of a past that’s already happened or of a future that hasn’t happened yet?’
If it was in the past, there was nothing she could do but if it was in the near future—.
‘I can stop it.’
If he had a connection to the Princess, even if it was a weak one, people would think twice before carelessly harassing him.
‘Is that really the right thing to do?’
Doubt welled up in her chest.
The hand that was giving her back a refreshing massage stopped.
“Your Highness, please turn around.”
Aristine turned and laid on her back as the court ladies asked, then a warm, lavender-scented pouch was placed over her eyes.
However, even the lavender scent couldn’t calm Aristine down.
‘If I were to help Ritlen and it results in a worse future…’
From a young age, Aristine had seen countless situations through her Monarch’s Sight. But because she was imprisoned, she had never taken action to change the future she had already seen.
Actually, no, there was just one future she had changed.
A future where she told her father, the emperor, that she possessed the Monarch’s Sight.
After seeing how that future unfolded, Aristine decided to conceal her powers no matter what. However, that happened more than 10 years ago. When Aristine was still very young.
Back then, Aristine didn’t think as much as she was doing now. She knew that many things could change because of her decision and made that decision hoping for that change but—.
‘I didn’t know the result would be completely different from what I expected.’
Aristine smiled bitterly.
Now she knew.
‘So will I just stay still?’
The court ladies’ soft hands were rubbing her arm and legs. Aristine could feel her limbs, fingers and toes getting fully dealt with.
If Aristine did nothing, Ritlen would not be able to feel this kind of sensation.
‘Helping Ritlen could make things go in a direction I never expected, which could lead to a worse result.’
She wasn’t denying that.
Nor was she conceited enough to think that her choices were perfect so she would only get good results.
‘But Ritlen’s hand will be fine.’
Hammers, vices, tongs, chisels…he will be able to handle them just fine. He could pick flowers with his fingertips, feel the wind between his fingers and hold his child easily.
That alone made it worth it.
Even if the future goes in a bad direction.
‘I just need to set it right again then.’
Of course, she knew that was not as simple as it sounds.
‘Let’s give it a try.’
At the very least, she wanted to be someone who took responsibility for their own actions.
Now that she was done worrying, she was in a much better mood. Her whole body was melting under the touch of the court ladies, the subtle lavender scent in the air was a refreshing touch.
After massaging and even stretching Aristine’s body, the court ladies beamed and helped Aristine up.
“Hoho, Your Highness is really flexible.”
“I know, right? Very flexible.”
“That’s really good.”
“Have a wonderful night.”
Aristine carelessly responded to the support(?) from the court ladies and left the room.
“I know it is not up to Her Highness, but I hope they can hold back a little for the sake of the bed.”
“Oh my, you should tell that to His Highness Tarkan!”
“But do you think he can hold back after seeing Her Highness?”
Even as Aristine was walking away, she could hear the court ladies chattering away.
‘They are quite the energetic bunch.’
Aristine thought in admiration as she walked down the hallway leading to the bedroom.
The weather was nice all day and the night was even warm. The remnants of the spring sun were still dyeing the corridor in its hue.
‘Where did my future-self see Ritlen to know his potential?’
There had to be a reason she was so convinced that a man who couldn’t even lift a hammer would become the best blacksmith.
She couldn’t see any factors related to that from the description of Ritlen she had gotten from the court ladies.
As was shown in the Monarch’s Sight, Ritlen was a cornered stone in the Catallaman blacksmith forge. The fact that he was called the forge’s shame was enough to tell you that his skill wasn’t great.
As proof of that, there was not a single sword with Ritlen’s name among the many famous swords from the Catallaman forge.
‘Does he awaken his talent after he loses his thumb?’
It was quite common for geniuses to be people who fell into an abyss of despair and overcame that despair, reaching a whole new level.
What if that opportunity disappears because she helped him?
‘But blacksmithing talent doesn’t exactly bloom all at once, right?’
Of course, creativity was important, that world had to be supported by skill and ability.
He didn’t have the ability now that his limbs were intact so would his skill really improve after losing his right thumb?
‘…Let’s trust myself. Afterall, that is the key employee I have chosen for the future!’
Aristine clenched her fists.
Maybe she was making a mistake.
‘But I should at least try first.’
She had never made a mistake before.
Because she wasn’t even given the chance to make mistakes or succeed.
Even if she failed, it would be a new experience of freedom for her.
‘Freedom to fail.’
With that thought in mind, Aristine pushed open the bedroom door.
**Note: the next part will be a bit short.