Chapter 70 – The Boy’s Request

After thinking for a while, Ann decided that it would be best for her to pretend that she never saw the child at all.

She was also scared that the child was a ghost that only she could see—classic plot of a game and novel, right? And she was in it.

Or in any case, getting involved with such an odd boy wouldn’t do her any good…

But just as she was about to avert her eyes from the boy, the boy suddenly lifted his head and their eyes met.

Crap, crap…

Before Ann could look aside, the boy’s yellow eyes turned into puppy eyes that seemed to say, “Help me, Onee-chan, please, pretty pweaaaase?”

The bad news was, it was exactly the type of an expression that Ann was weak to.

“Ugh…,” Ann touched her forehead with her hand and sighed before she reached out to the boy.

“First, stand up and tell me why you were crawling like that?”

The boy took Ann’s hand and stood up, then he tidied up his clothes.

“Arlea-sama…,” Faye called out to Ann with a low voice as she looked at the boy with questioning look.

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Ann just turned at Faye with a look that seemed to say, ‘I’ll handle this,’ though the mini Ann inside her heart screamed, ‘Thank goodness the boy isn’t just my imagination or a ghost that only I can see! But still, Faye, you should have noticed it earlier, that’d save me lots of worries!’

Ann then turned to the boy and—with the pretense of helping him tidy his clothes—prompted the information window to pop out.

~SAVING THE KINGDOM, SNATCHING THE BEAUTY~

CHARACTER INFORMATION

Name: Norrad von Rubennhelsch

Race: Human

Gender: Male

Age: 12

Birthday: 26/02

Magic: Fire, Earth, Wind

Occupation: Son of an earl

Aah, long time no see, information window.

Ann felt nostalgic looking at the semi-transparent box that popped out of the boy’s chest. It had been quite some time since she last saw the information window, and with this, it was reaffirmed that she was indeed in a game world.

Rubennhelsch family… An earl family… But I don’t know anything about them. They’re not one of the main characters that are elaborated in length in the game. They must be side characters… But then again, I’ve met with many side characters that didn’t even appear in the game… Yes, as expected, even if this is a world based off the game, this is still my ‘real world’ now. There are no such things as ‘main characters’ and ‘side characters’.

Ann thought to herself.

“Uhm… Onee-chan, can you help me?” The boy timidly asked with his soft voice.

Ugh, the voice of an angel?! Faye’s voice is more angelic than him, but his voice is still good to listen to, for a bratty boy his age…

“First… What’s your name and what do you want me to help you with?” Ann asked.

“Oh, I apologize for my bad manners… I’m Norrad… von Rubennhelsch. I lost my precious pendant, so I…,” Norrad’s eyes were so teary. It seemed like he’d bawl at any moment.

“C-calm down,” Ann didn’t want Norrad to suddenly cry because it’d seem like she bullied him… It’d be trouble.

Her image was already bad, but if you were to add a new scandal, it’d be worse, then.

“Anyway, Norrad. Nice to meet you. My name is Arlea. I will try to help you look for your pendant, so can you tell me where you lost the pendant and how does it look like?” Ann said as she patted Norrad’s tosca short hair gently.

Norrad nodded and said, “Uhm, I noticed just now… That’s why I quickly crouched to look for it around here. But it seems… I dropped it elsewhere…”

Tears almost fell from Norrad’s eyes.

“Uhm, where have you been so far? Are you sure you didn’t leave it at home?”

Norrad shook his head, “No, I’m sure I wore it to the party. I have been throughout almost the whole venue…”

S***, it’d be hard to locate, then. Why did he have to roam around the whole venue anyway? But maybe because he was very energetic, that’s how he lost the pendant in the first place…

“Please help me look for it… It’s a pendant given to my sister by our late grandmother… I asked her to lend it to me for this party, so I can’t lose it…”

Ugh, the pressure just added up!

It’s not his own pendant, but his sister’s… I don’t know what kind of a person his sister is, but even if she were to get angry or cry over it, both aren’t good!

It’s a memento from their late grandmother, after all…

 

“Alright, don’t cry first. You can only cry when everything is over,” Ann said with a very serious expression… Though she borrowed the quote from one of her favorite game series…

“When it’s over?”

“Meaning, when we have tried everything and still haven’t found it. But we haven’t, right? So, don’t cry, be calm, and look for it. I’ll help,” Ann said.

“I will help too!” Faye chimed in. Norrad looked at Faye, only noticing that she was there at that moment.

“Chirp!” Birdie bounced up and down on Ann’s shoulder.

“See? We will help you, so don’t lose hope.”

“Alright,” Norrad finally stopped having teary eyes and nodded firmly.

“Good. Now then…,” Ann gazed at her surrounding in thought.

The fastest way would be to ask for other people to help or to announce it, but that’d cause a ruckus. Maybe that was why the boy chose to look for it all alone, until he found me…

Besides, announcing it will alert the boy’s family who might punish him or get angry at him, or disappointed at him…

Not good.

His sister might be distraught because of the lost pendant too.

Alright, let’s try to find it by ourselves.

 

“Can you tell me what kind of pendant is it?” Ann asked Norrad.

“Yeah. The pendant has the shape of a tear, it’s azure in color. It’s really pretty… Oh, it’s attached to chains. The chains are silver and small… Engraved on the back of it is the name of my grandmother, Azura.”

“I see. Alright, let’s try looking at another place where you might have lost it,” Ann said, “Can you show me where? Pick a place that’s less crowded first.”

“I think… Here?” Norrad pointed at another direction where it was less crowded, so the three of them quietly slipped away there.

Norrad crouched down again, Birdie flew around, Faye tried to look at her eye level, while Ann tried to quietly ask the maid that was working around there.

But all of them came up with nothing.

Norrad got teary-eyed again.

“What do I do…”

“Uhm, don’t give up just yet. We can try looking at other areas… Well, other people might notice this problem if we were to look at the crowded areas, but there’s a chance the pendant is there. Are you willing to bear the consequences? I’ll help you,” Ann said.

“Un, yes… It’s my fault after all, and if it can help finding the precious water pendant, I’d be alright,” Norrad said with determination in his eyes.

“Good, then…,” Ann was thinking of where to look for, but then Norrad’s words finally sank in her brain.

“Wait, water pendant?” Ann turned around and looked at Norrad, asking for a confirmation.

“Yes… Didn’t I tell you?” Norrad asked with his innocent look.

“No… You should’ve told me earlier! It’d help tremendously with our search,” Ann said as she heaved a sigh of relief.

“How so?” Norrad tilted his head in confusion.

“Well… Just stay quiet and trust me, alright? Give me some time,” Ann said as she closed her eyes.

Then, she exerted her magical power to focus on detecting the water-based stuff that was in the whole venue.

Wine in bottles, water fountain, juices in bottles, water in bottles, water in glasses… Fruits… Vegetables…

There were just too many items containing water that she had to fully focus on finding the water pendant.

“Uhm…,” Norrad was unsure on what was happening, but he was fidgeting because Ann didn’t seem to be doing anything.

“Ssssh, leave Arlea-sama alone. Believe in her,” Faye tapped on Norrad’s shoulder and gestured him to not disturb her mistress.

“A-alright…,” Norrad could only say that after looking at Faye’s serious face.

Not this, not that either…

Huh… This…

What is this?

This contains… water… magic?

Yes, this has water magic.

And its shape is…

!!

Finally finding what she was looking for, Ann opened her eyes in an instant and pointed to a direction.

“This way!” She quickly went off towards the location where she sensed the water magic that she suspected of being the pendant Norrad was looking for.

“Ah, wait, Onee-chan, how did you…?” Norrad wondered how Ann could be so sure, but he didn’t have the time to ask or think. He could only follow Ann.

Ann tried to slip through the other nobles, not minding whether they glanced at her or not. Nobody dared to greet her first anyway, which saved her the trouble of having to be polite and return the greetings.

This was the first time Ann was glad that this villainess body of hers didn’t have any acquaintances willing to greet her here in where the nobles loyal to the new royal family gathered.

She was quick to slip away through the crowd that might be there in the way, and finally, she reached the location where she detected the suspected pendant.

Ann looked down and…

Aha! I found you!

She nimbly crouched down and picked up a pendant of azure color and tear-like shape. She flipped it and found the writing ‘Azura’ on the back of the pendant.

Yes, I’m very sure this is it… Unless it’s somehow a fake? Nah, no way, right?

“Onee-chan, wait!” Norrad said as he caught up with Ann, and…

“Norrad, is this the pendant you’re looking for?” Ann turned around and showed him the pendant.

“This!!” Norrad’s eyes sparkled in an instant and that was when Ann knew she was right. She gave the pendant to Norrad, who took it gratefully and clasped it in his hands, just like the precious item it was.

“Onee-chan, you’re amazing! This is exactly the pendant I was looking for! Thank you, thank you so much!” Norrad bowed energetically to Ann.

“Hey, stop it, you’re being too excessive,” Ann quickly stopped Norrad as it’d attract others’ attention.

“Thank you so much!” Norrad finally stopped bowing and said with a very grateful expression.

“Don’t mention it… Want me to help you wear it tightly, so you won’t lose it again?” Ann asked.

There was a broken chain nearby, so it must have worn down due to old age. She could just put the hook to another sturdier chain.

“Yes, please!” Norrad happily gave the pendant back to Ann, who quickly put it on Norrad’s neck and made sure that she had put it well.

“Done,” Ann said as she let go of her hands.

Norrad grabbed the pendant and looked at it gently before he put it back and turned around to look at Ann.

Then, he grabbed both of her hands and swung it.

“Onee-chan, once again, thank you so much for helping me! You’re so kind! Can we be friends?”

Ann was touched by the boy’s innocent request and was about to agree to it when…

“Norrad?”

A girl’s voice could be heard.

Ann, Faye, and Norrad turned to look at the direction where the voice came from, and there was a girl with the same yellow eyes as Norrad, though her hair was more of a sky blue.

She locked eyes with Ann for a moment before she quickly grabbed Norrad’s hand and pulled him to her side as she said, “Come over here, Norrad!”

Then, she glared at Ann with wary eyes.

It was then that Ann knew.

This girl knew who she was, and the girl thought she tried to do something bad to Norrad?!

Look at her eyes!

If look could kill, she’d be dead already!

The girl’s glare was enough to burn some holes through Ann!

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Could she still talk her way out of this, or would a problem arise?

— New chapter is coming soon —
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