It wasn’t exactly the first time that Bella had mistaken a stranger for someone that she knew, and both of them were girls anyways, so it was unlikely that the girl would call the guards on her for harassment or something. Bella wondered why this girl was wearing such a thick robe in the current weather, was she playing ‘Assassin’s Creed’ in real life or something?
After being disturbed, the girl immediately turned around, quickly moved a large step backwards and faced Bella, discarding her robes in the process, allowing Bella to finally get a glimpse at her face. The girl’s hair was a pure and lustrous black that reached to her waist and had a pair of dark purple irises from which Bella could feel a strong killing intent.
This killing intent didn’t seem to be directed towards Bella, but more of the girl’s natural response. Amongst Bella’s subordinates, those who had a similar killing intent in their eyes were practically all bloodthirsty butchers who had slain tens of thousands. However, when compared to this girl in front of Bella, those gazes could be considered from the eyes of a lover. It was strange as to how this girl managed to obtain such an intense killing intent, as it was quite evident that she was similar in age to Bella’s substitute, Felia.
As for her beauty, there was nothing that Bella could say apart from that the girl’s looks were definitely on the same level as Kriss and Ariel, one that would be remembered for a lifetime even if you only got a glimpse of her. Different from Kriss’ elegance and Ariel’s mysteriousness, this girl’s airs was that of an icy mountain, even by just being beside the girl Bella was able to feel a strange coldness around her, it was the first time that Bella had encountered a girl who had come with her own air conditioning.
The impression that this girl gave Bella was that of a cold beauty, similar to that of 【Tenebrous Demon God】, Elise, who Bella had encountered a while ago. After turning around, the girl simply stared at Bella, and didn’t seem to have any further actions. Bella decided to take the initiative and start talking, she knew that if you didn’t do so with these icy beauties, the two of them might end up just looking at each other like this until the sun sets.
“Didn’t we plan to meet in the afternoon, why are you here so early? About the love letter that guy asked me to hand to you last time…”
“You…you… might have gotten the wrong person, do we…. Know each…”
“We’ll go talk over there, where there’s less people, I know that it’s a private topic~”
Bella skillfully pulled the girl by her hand to a direction with less people, it wouldn’t exactly do well for the public image of a duchess like her to mistake someone’s identity in front of so many people. All Bella could do now was to pretend that she actually knew the girl, and then apologize to her later once they were in a place with less people.
Enid Noreya didn’t resist, letting the female knight who had suddenly appeared out of nowhere lead her behind a tree near the bridge. This was the first time through several incarnations that she had seen someone who dared to hold her hand, not even during her first life on Earth had anyone been brave enough to get near her, due to the special nature of her job.
“Ok, there’s finally no one around. I’m deeply sorry about what I just did to you, princess of the Kristoff Empire, I mistook you for someone that I knew.”
“Didn’t you just say that you didn’t know me, how do you know that I’m a princess of the Kristoff Empire?”
“That’s a secret of mine, I don’t think we’re close enough for me to tell you. I’ll be off now, goodbye!”
The truth was that Bella had seen a heraldic pin in the shape of a bow on her robe’s right sleeve, one that Bella had only seen on the bow of the Kristoff Empire’s 1st princess, Annie. The heraldic pin as well as the crest of the Olsyvia Academy’s royalty branch, the Euphemia Academy, make it quite simple for Bella to infer that this cold beauty was one of the Kristoff Empire’s princesses, Bella just didn’t know which one she was.
However, Bella didn’t dare to pull something on this girl like how she had teased Kriss and bullied Ariel. Bella was able see what the girl was wearing under her robe, a black set of tight leather garments, something that only the highest tier of assassins would wear, coupled with her lightning reactions when Bella had touched her earlier, it was quite evident what profession this cold beauty was.. The girl’s body was much better than that of Lola’s, possessing the golden ratio just like Kriss and Ariel, made even more tempting by her tight leather clothes that further accentuated her figure. If it wasn’t for the rather scary amount of weapons that the girl was carrying, Bella would have considered staying and teasing her further.
The girl carried a black crossbow on her back as well as four curved blades of excellent quality that looked similar to the ninjatos wielded by the ninjas of ancient Japan. Bella was able to smell a quite strong scent of blood for every single blade, there was blood from so many different races that even Bella couldn’t identify all of them. It was quite terrifying to think about how many living beings had to be slain for the lingering scent of blood to be so intense.
Tied around the girl’s thin legs were multiple daggers and various missiles, and from the sleeves of her tight leather shirt, Bella could very clearly see the tips of what seemed to be projectile shooting devices. Apart from all of her weapons, she carried a rather professional looking eye-blinder on her right shoulder, something that was used by only the most skilled of archers to aid in their aim by blocking out anything excessive, but requiring the user to have the sharpest of senses and great familiarity with their bow to not have the partial lack of vision become a hindrance instead. Bella had not seen another archer in this world so far that used an eye-blinder, not even the 1st princess of the Kristoff Empire, Annie, meaning that this girl’s skill with the bow was definitely above that of Annie’s.
Bella was having trouble classifying this beauty as either an assassin or an archer, her variety of equipment gave off the impression that she was completely able to preform both roles. After thinking about it more, Bella decided to view the girl as someone similar to the professional killers back on Earth, her sheer amount of killing intent playing a big role in Bella’s decision.
“Why are you following me, princess-sama? I’ve already admitted my mistake, are you trying to…”
“Who’s following you, that’s just you thinking too much about it! This just happens to be the path that I’m taking as well!”
“But we don’t even know each other! There might be some unnecessary misunderstandings caused if you follow me like this…”
“Enid Noreya, 4th princess of the Kristoff Empire. Alright, now we know each other!”
“This can’t be considered knowing each other, you don’t even know my name…”
“That’s not what you said to me back at the bridge! What, abandoning me after you’ve used me…”
“Uhm, I’m supposed be going on a date! If I bring a girl with me…”
“I’ve already said that I wasn’t following you, I just happen to be travelling in the same direction as you for now. Anyways, you don’t seem like you’re heading for a date at all! Normally, targets… I mean girls who go on dates have that special smile on their faces, and…”
Noreya followed behind Bella all the way back to the Zasia bridge, pretending not to hear all of Bella’s apologies and promises of monetary gifts, all the while claiming that she wasn’t following Bella at all. The reason behind it was rather embarrassing for Noreya, she possessed a natural handicap of being directionally impaired despite being a top-tier assassin for so many lifetimes and after killing countless demon kings. There were many times when she would get lost on the way to the demon king’s lair, and only found her way there after the demon king had killed all of the other heroes in her party, after which Noreya would kill the demon king in a few exchanges.
After this happened a ‘few’ times, the people began to believe that Noreya was secretly colluding with the demon kings to kill her companions, this misunderstanding grew to the point where Noreya could no longer explain it, eventually being forced into completely ‘blackening’… Of course, right now Bella didn’t know what this beauty who was excessively equipped in high-tier killers’ equipment was directionally impaired. Noreya had ended up at the Zasia bridge earlier… because she couldn’t find her way to the Euphemia Academy’s new student sign in…
Bella had heard Annie speak of this 4th princess before, Enid Noreya wasn’t the original name of the Kristoff Empire’s 4th princess. When Noreya was six years old, the Kristoff Empire’s emperor was hosting a new years banquet for all the empire’s people of high status and had encountered an assassination attempt by the demon races. Even though the assassin was killed before he could reach the emperor, he detonated the vial of corrosive poison in his hand.
Noreya was unfortunately sprayed with the poison, getting completely disfigured and only managed to survive due to the complete effort of the royal family’s private doctors. Originally Noreya wouldn’t have been sprayed by the poison, but she had just happened to be embraced in the hands of her father the emperor. During his danger, the emperor didn’t hesitate to use the little girl on his lap as a body shield, using her to block the poison that was headed for him originally.
After that, Noreya had never gone to visit her father again, denying all contact with her other relatives as well. One day when Noreya was ten years old, she suddenly changed her name out of the blue to the one that she was currently using. Perhaps it was because of his guilt for what he had done, the emperor didn’t punish Noreya for abandoning the royal family’s surname and still recognized her as the empire’s 4th princess, but due to him wanting to preserve his face as emperor, he couldn’t bring himself down to personally apologize to Noreya, causing the two of them to still be unable to fix their relationship.
However, after seeing Noreya in person, Bella felt as if she was never disfigured in the first place. If such beauty was caused by being disfigured, why would anyone still spend money at beauty salons anymore, it would be much cheaper to just buy a vial of poison and spray it on own face. As for Noreya’s ceaseless following of her, Bella knew that she couldn’t do anything and decided to just let Noreya do what she wanted, after all, being followed by such a cold beauty wasn’t a bad thing! Bella’s only worry was how to explain the situation to Ariel later.
Back at the Zasia bridge, the academy’s couples continued to throw around their affection to the public, not paying much attention to the arrival of Bella and Noreya, who had put on the heavy hooded robe that she had been wearing previously. This time, Bella didn’t dare to waste any more time and headed straight for the flower bed that was just a bit off to the side of the bridge.
Compared to the people coming and going over the bridge, the flower bed located beside the river didn’t have many people around it. There were many places for the nobles and royalty to go in the academy, such a simple and undecorated flower bed didn’t enter their eyes, some of them would even consider it shameful if they brought their date to such a place.
The flowers here were those that grew in the wild, not those delicate and elegant flowers selectively planted by the wealthy, it wasn’t exactly hard to understand why most people didn’t come here. Ariel probably chose this place to meet up because it was quiet and didn’t have much traffic. As Bella approached the flower bed, Bella saw the back of a girl who was facing away from her, and no one else, this should be Ariel…right!?
What the girl was wearing ticked Bella off a bit, as it was a thick hooded robe in the same style a Noreya’s. What damn black-hearted merchant was going around selling this kind of clothing, couldn’t they at least have designed it so that there was a place for the hair to hang out? The easiest way to identify beauties in alternate worlds is by their hair colour, without being able to see the girl’s hair colour, Bella was afraid that she might get the wrong person again. If she did again, then it would be the second time that she done so within an hour… Bella decided to look a bit longer before making a move.
The girl seemed to be enjoying the wildflowers and was carrying a notebook in her hands, Bella was able to see Ariel’s name printed on the notebook with magical ink and only then was Bella confident enough to approach the girl and greet her. Bella’s train of thought was that she knew Ariel was a magic user and her name was also on the notebook, it would be quite strange if this girl WASN’T Ariel.
Noreya didn’t follow Bella this time, standing still and looking cautiously around, she was able to detect quite a few strands of silk around the hooded girl. The silk was almost impossible to see as they had completely blended in with their surroundings and if it wasn’t for Noreya’s inhuman senses, they would have fooled her.
“Oi Ariel, today because of you so much affection was forced down my throat that I think I have diabetes now…”
“Nee-san, you… do you know the owner of this book? Can… can you let go of first…”
Bella looked petrified as she looked into the face of the girl that she had embraced from behind, this girl… was still not Ariel. In the second that Bella made contact with the girl, she discovered that this girl’s hair was orange, a hair colour quite rare, even in this alternate world of magic and swords. Even though there were some magic dyes that could change the colour of one’s hair, but Bella had yet to hear of any alchemist that could create such beautiful orange eyes that the girl possessed, meaning that this girl wasn’t just Ariel in disguise.
Bella was still lost in the shock of having gotten the wrong person again and didn’t realize that she had almost been attacked by those nearly invisible silk strands. If it wasn’t for Noreya watching closely behind them, the orange-haired beauty would most likely have hurt Bella in self-defence when the latter had suddenly hugged her from behind.
“Bella, I left my magic notebook here, did you see it…you… what are you doing?”
The late coming Ariel walked down from the bridge, she had been waiting here at the flower bed for quite a while without Bella showing up, Ariel was afraid that Bella had gotten lost on the way here and had gone to go look for her. Before she left, she placed the magic notebook that she carried around with her to tell Bella that she was already here, if Bella was to show up before she had returned. At that time, Bella just happened to be with Noreya behind the tree, out of Ariel’s sight, causing all of the misunderstandings that happened after.
“Ariel, I can explain! I was just…”
“Where did you come from girl, you sure have guts to steal my friend… Damn it, I was supposed to be first…”
Ariel disappeared for a split second, reappearing beside Bella and the orange haired girl, throwing a translucent ball of spatial energy. This was a type of spatial magic that Ariel was familiar with, she had controlled its power so that it would only push someone aside and lacked the ability to do any actual damage.
As soon as the ball of energy made contact with the girl, she exploded into a bunch of wood and dust, scaring Bella who was still holding the girl in her arms, as she thought that Ariel had blown the girl up with her magic.
“A dummy? You are…”
Ariel turned to look at the orange haired beauty who had moved to a place not far from her, the anger on her face quickly turning into calmness. Ariel realized that she was too impulsive earlier and hadn’t sensed the girl’s strangeness. However, this wasn’t enough for Ariel to handover Bella to this girl who they knew nothing about.
Ariel hadn’t realized it yet, but right now she really looked like one of those girls who had just gotten their boyfriends stolen from them. Probably the biggest reason why Ariel was so agitated was that the orange haired girl’s beauty happened to be on the same level as hers, if it was just a little bit less, perhaps Ariel wouldn’t have been so sensitive.
“Noreya, are you just going to watch quietly and let it happen…and not do…”
“Wasn’t I the first, that magician girl… er, the two of them seem to be on the same power level, there shouldn’t be much of a problem.”
It wasn’t that Noreya didn’t want to help Bella, but that the other two girls weren’t people that she had complete confidence in beating in a head-on fight, so she chose to step back and watch for now.
“Ariel, and schoolmate-san, this was all my fight, so can you two stop fighting with each other? I’ll treat you all to lunch later if that’s not enough we could get some dinner too…”
Bella saw that if she didn’t interfere, the scene in front of her might become one from a certain anime involving a love triangle and white albums, so she could only intervene herself and act as a mediator for the two. Seeing that Bella, the original ‘perpetrator’ of this mess, finally came out and accepted her responsibility, the two beauties stopped their fighting. Bella hadn’t realized it yet, but her intervention had successfully stopped what would have been a full out fight between two Saviours.
“Bella, you’re going to have a lot of explaining to do! I was waiting for so long… you… Really are…”
“Bella… I’m the Manasville Empire’s 6th princess, Elaine, you don’t have to be so distant from me as to call me schoolmate.”
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