Chapter Eleven: The Five Seconds Before Jumping in With Both Feet
Sarita Khlore, formerly Lina Randall, starting today, will be under Sir Glenn as an apprentice chamberlain to His Imperial Highness the Third Prince.
By the way, it’s been three days since the forehead kiss incident. Whether because it’s been enough time or because I’m not one to get stuck in the past, I’m over it already. Even though I thought I’d still be affected.
However, being over something doesn’t mean I should forget it. If I get caught with my guard down, Gilbert could slap one of THOSE on my hand or forehead again. I’ll be safe from such affronts when Glenn is around, but I’ll take care not to say anything too friendly, so Gilbert doesn’t start thinking I’m warming up to him and take things the wrong way.
Even so, to think they made me not a royal maid but a chamberlain. No matter if I secretly agree that this disguise is pretty effective, to make me into a boy is a bit much.
That’s why I’m now wearing a brown wig tied up behind my head, in addition to a vest and pants. Thanks to my not-so-well-endowed chest and not-so-curvy figure, no adjustments had to be made to make my boy disguise convincing.
“So, Li… Sarita. How was it?”
I had just finished my first mission, and I was being debriefed in Gilbert’s private room.
My first assignment was to observe the people attending a meeting. Trying to carefully inspect people while doing my best to dance around Gilbert’s eye-destroying aura was exhausting.
Moreover, this meeting was attended by not only His Majesty the King but also the Crown Prince Jerik Juno, the Second Prince Joel Dorse, and the head of every ministry in the kingdom to boot. The sheer amount of bigwigs in the room made my tension gauge run to the limit throughout the whole thing. I worried my hand sweat would stick to the sheets of paper I handed out, and I wonder how many times I wiped my palms on my pants.
“Before we proceed, do the names and faces match?”
Sir Glenn, if the person is at arm’s reach, I might be able to tell. But with my myopia, it’s difficult for me to identify people’s faces. In other words, if the question is ‘Do the faces and auras match?’ The answer is NO. I was at the meeting for a very short time, and if that weren’t enough, I also had to perform several chores while I was there. So, sorry, but I don’t have the mental power to memorize everything in an instant. Don’t ask too much.
“Let’s make a diagram of the table and the seats instead. It’ll be easier to match people that way.”
Nice assist there by Lord Gilbert. He probably saw the stress on my face. Sir Glenn produced pen and paper and jotted down a diagram of the meeting. A rectangle in the middle for the table, and circles around it to represent each attendee, with the names written in them.
Going by the positions at the table, I got to writing the aura color on each of the ten circles in turn. Strictly speaking, what I wrote couldn’t be considered a full aura reading because I didn’t have enough time to take more than a quick glance at each person. But for now, just getting the primary and secondary aura colors right should be enough.
Gilbert and Glenn looked at the paper.
“Break it down for us, please.”
Yeah, I guess I forgot to explain what the colors actually mean; what was I thinking?
Red: passionate, active, strong beliefs.
Orange: happy, curious, can’t tell a lie.
Yellow: energetic, mood-maker, can’t take a hit.
Green: gentle, pacifist, indecisive.
Blue: calm, objective, high ideals.
Deep Blue: serious, sincere, stubborn.
Purple: deep faith, strong sensitivity, mysterious.
Other than that, I have also seen white, black, and silver, so gold auras may exist too. And when you look closely, there are a myriad of in-between colors. But if I started talking combinations and arrangements, this meeting would go on longer than I want to stay, so I just briefly explained the basic seven colors to them.
“That’s all. But this is a guideline I have gathered from experience, and you may find some small differences with the actual personality.”
I was very relieved when I saw that, even though several attendees had auras that revealed bad personalities or ulterior motives, there was no one with an aura full of malice. I don’t think I will ever get used to auras like the one I ran into during the paralyzing poison attack incident. Even if I’m never the target of such malice, I won’t be able to keep my cool if one of those so much as enters my field of vision again.
“May I ask a question? What color am I?”
Sir Glenn, do you want to go there? It’s very difficult to say it to your face.
“Blue and green…”
“A calm and gentle pacifist? That’s not exactly the Glenn I know.”
Yes, Gilbert knows Glenn well enough. But please don’t make this harder than it has to be.
“So I can surmise that the colors alone don’t give a full picture. Does the meaning change depending on things like the combination of colors, their intensity, tone, and arrangement?”
Bingo! But please refrain from making any further contributions to the class.
“Sarita, just give it to him straight.”
Gilbert looks completely amused at what’s going to happen next. Please stop trying to use the aura tidbit to get a one-up on Glenn. But since both of you are asking so insistently, don’t make faces or get angry at me if you don’t like the answer.
“One who is given to scheming and wears a gentle, amicable facade to conceal his true intentions.”
“Hahaha! Right on the money!”
“It’s not a question to be asked lightly just out of curiosity, I see.”
That’s why I was trying to give you a hint not to go there.
“So well then, what color are you?”
Sir Glenn asked with a thinly-veiled tone of annoyance.
“You can’t see your own aura, so this is just my guess, but I think I’m a light orange.”
“Nah, it should be one of the other colors, right?”
“I think another color would be more suitable.”
Geez, what image do these two guys have of me?Other than light orange, I don’t have any other suggestions.
Enough already! Change of topic! Something more important, yes. Something that has me thinking since completing my first assignment today.
“Never mind that! Today was the first time I saw members of the royal family other than Lord Gilbert. But here is the thing, I was afraid they were all going to be just as dazzling to my eyes, but they weren’t!”
That is right. His Majesty, the King, was emitting a soft Spring light, like the one you see shining peacefully into a quiet solarium. It was a faint light that, far from blasting my poor retinas, would have been pleasant to gaze at for a while had I not been on assignment, not to mention stressed out of my wits.
In addition, the auras of His Highness the Crown Prince and His Highness the Second Prince were unmistakable from those of ordinary people. Uh-oh, did I just step into lèse-majesté territory here? No, I need to state the facts; they were normal auras.
“I wonder why only Lord Gilbert, the Third Prince, is so dazzling?”
I said as if talking to myself, tilting my head in wonder. I didn’t notice that my wondering aloud had changed the room’s atmosphere completely. A heavy silence befell the room.
Glenn: “Could that mean that His Highness Gilbert the Third Prince is more suitable for the throne than the Crown Prince?”
Such an interpretation took me by surprise. Does the radiant aura represent the dignity and charisma of a true king? I just told you what I saw without any embellishments or interpretations.
For starters, I’m not the kind of person to have strong opinions on who should be king or, in fact, on pretty much any other topic. Or maybe I should say, my interest in the matter is pretty much at rock bottom.
“Sarita probably isn’t aware that our country is currently facing divisions as to who should succeed His Majesty the King.”
Even though Lord Gilbert always speaks in a sure and clear voice, he reprimanded Sir Glenn in a low voice uncharacteristic of him. This must be a pretty dicey situation for Lord Gilbert to do a sudden one-eighty like that. I don’t want to hear too many complicated stories. And this is the kind of thing that just hearing about it means you’re now in the loop, right? I wanted to go about this secret agent stuff with one foot in and one foot out. But it feels like I just stepped into it with both feet.
“Because of the nature of Sarita’s power, I believe she should be aware of the situation.”
Sir Glenn, are you really going through with this even over the misgivings of your Lord? Prince Gilbert is sighing with frustration, but he seems to have given up and won’t stop Glenn anymore. It seems I’m going to have to listen to the whole story. The heavy mood in the room had just gotten heavier.
Translator: Robert F.