Chapter 15 – The Red Rose Ball
“You won’t believe it! Ms. Leticia is so very kind, and she even praises me for doing completely ordinary things. ‘You are brilliant, Ms. Noelle.’”
It was during my break at work.
I was telling Luke about my superior who I looked up to.
“The moment I first saw her, I thought, ‘She is amazing! I want to be like her!’ And I was right to think that. As she turned out to be so wonderful and kind.”
It had been her appearance that first drew me in, but I liked her even more now that I’ve gotten to know her.
Now that was a capable, adult woman.
As someone who could not impress anyone in the countryside, my work as a Royal Magician was probably barely even tolerable.
And yet she always had a kind word for me.
What a wonderful person.
Luke sighed as he heard me relate all of this passionately.
“Hmm? What is it? You seem a little tired?”
“No, I was just wondering why you went in this diagonally upwards direction, instead of someone who is the closest to you…”
“Closest? Diagonally upwards?”
Luke let out another deep sigh.
I watched him from the side and recalled the words my mother had told me yesterday.
I had been so happy about how comfortable my new job was compared to the previous one, and said,
‘My work is going so well! I get to train a lot with magic, which is very fun.’
‘I am certainly glad to hear you say that. But don’t forget what is even more important! You have to marry that very promising young man! That’s right, weren’t you studying potions at the academy? Perhaps you should consider making a love potion! Yes, that is the perfect plan!’
Came the foolish reply.
Both the brewing and serving of love potions were criminal acts.
Really. Mother did not understand anything at all.
While I shrugged my shoulders with exasperation, Luke suddenly opened his mouth.
“By the way, did you know that the royal palace is holding a ball next week? It’s called the Red Rose Ball.”
“Of course, I know about it. It’s quite famous.”
Yes, I knew about the ball.
Surely, anyone who was born in this kingdom had heard of it.
“The ball has a long history, and the tradition has lasted for over a hundred years. Many crown princes have met their future brides at that ball. And so every little girl dreams of attending it.”
“Huh, now that is a surprise. I never took you for one of those girls, Noelle.”
“How rude. I was once a dreamer, just like everyone else.”
“I thought you wanted to be a Great Magician, not a princess.”
“Ah, of course. That was my biggest ambition. I suppose being a princess would have been my second choice.”
As we were very poor, my mother never bought me any toys.
But I had many memories of borrowing romance novels from a friend and reading them avidly.
Back then, I was always the one who didn’t have any of the things that other kids had, and it often made me feel quite lonely.
However, it was through this that my mother was able to save up some money. And she used all of these savings towards my wish to ‘Go to the Magic Academy.’”
And so my feelings of gratitude were thousands of times stronger than any loneliness I felt.
As my mother was born and raised in the countryside, she still firmly believed I had to get married, which sometimes troubled me a little.
“Ah, that’s right. So the Red Rose Ball is held in the royal palace.”
I was reminded of what a place I had come to.
The greatest ball in the kingdom, that I had once dreamed of attending, was going to happen in front of my very eyes.
That being said, this was an important event that could affect who would be the future queen of the country, and so only a small group of people could attend.
Houses that were considered suitable for the crown prince…the highest ranking nobles and princesses of neighboring countries. You would surely have to be among such people in order to enter.
It was this exclusivity that made it more alluring to young girls.
Well, as a mere commoner myself, I would never have anything to do with such an elegant place.
As I thought about how amazing it would be, Luke suddenly said,
“So, as my buddy, you’ll be attending it with me.”
I could not understand his words.
After being frozen for nearly a minute I croaked.