Reincarnated Princess Wishes To Avoid Death - Chapter 144
Part 2: The Girl of Guidance
Prologue: Hold Your Name Proudly Close to Your Heart!
A girl was running through the desolate ruins of what was once her home. The imperial capital, once known as the “City Graced by the Moon,” was burnt down due to repeated wars and became a lawless zone. It is now a smoldering shadow of its former self.
Vaguely humanoid dried-out husks littered the streets. These were once people; now they were not even corpses. This crumbling cityscape looked bleaker than when Newmoon was still a shanty town.
So… even the site of a young girl chased by armed men did not elicit any help nor even reaction from the residents.
The girl continued to run… and run… she was running out of breath. Her dull silver-colored hair, which probably hadn’t been washed for a long time, got wet with sweat and stuck to her cheeks. Her cheeks were pale shade that contrasted with the dirt of mud on them.
Her thin shoulders heaved laboriously as she struggled to draw enough breath to supply what few muscles remained on her thin and emaciated frame.
But the girl didn’t stop.
As she looks behind her over her shoulder, she kept her legs moving to escape her pursuers. She ran… and ran alone… and ran running out of breath… and ran despite the pain and fatigue… and ran like a desperate prey… and ran even without strength… and she ran out of pure fear.
Then it happened. Her fatigue and her pain caught up with her; her strength failed her… she couldn’t run anymore. She stumbled, tripped, and fell.
The girl hit the ground hard and the object that she was clutching so desperately was thrown. This object was an old book. During the period of bookburnings, this book was the first victim. And so, there were very few copies of this. Inscribed across its cover was the title, “Grand Epic of Princess Mia, the Wisdom of the Empire”[i] Ignoring her exhaustion, pain, and wounds from stumbling, the girl hastily crawled towards the book to retrieve it.
It was a book written by a person who raised her. The author was like her second mother. She was her foster mother.
The girl remembered the gentle smile of her now deceased foster mother.
“Listen Bel. The book contains the truth. You have to know the truth. The truth about your grandmother and what kind of person she was. No matter how many lies the world may try to cover her with, you alone need to know what really happened…”
This girl, named Bel, remembered that after her younger foster mother tells her this, she would give her an affectionate pat on the head.
Bel remembered the warmth of the person who raised her and gave her unconditional love.
“Run away, my dear. Hold your name proudly close to your heart. Her blood flows through you. You must not die in this place. Go! Run!”
So said her older foster mother. She embraced her. Her smile was as warm as the blood that was streaming down her chest.
Bel remembered the faces of the people that she loved and loved her. Kind, compassionate faces that she will never see again.
“Aunt Tiona… Aunt Chloe… Mr. Ludwig… Uncle Dion…”
Everyone is dead. All these people who had shown her kindness were dead. They died protecting her. However, before they died, they had all spoken the same words – some with regrets, some with a bitter smile. But without fail, they said the same thing.
“If only she was alive… All of these wouldn’t have happened.”
If only that saintly lady who was full of compassion, the Great Wisdom of the Empire, was still alive here with them, then the empire – no, the whole world – would have been able to avoid this terrible fate. Everyone seemed to be in awe and admiration of this person. But Bel doesn’t have any memories of this person. All she could remember was a vague impression of gentleness. This was why all her knowledge about this revered person came from books.
This revered person undoubtedly deserved to be called the Great Wisdom of the Empire among other titles. As a saint, she was a paragon of compassion and benevolence; as a princess, she was the savior of her nation.
At one point, it was forbidden to speak about the Wisdom of the Empire or the imperial family. But even so, when the moon was low and ears were sparse, people would speak of her in whispers and hushed voices. And while speaking about this great person, their face would bloom into admiration and fondness upon the mention of her name.
This filled Bel with pride. The thought that the same blood flowed through her veins was like a shining beacon in her heart.
“So you’ve finally given up, kid?”
A violent voice pulled Bel from her warm memories back into reality. When she looked up, she saw a man dressed in crude leather armor with a menacing smile.
“I’m sorry. We don’t like to do this as well, but the gold coins that are the bounty for your neck are too attractive.”
The man next to him pulled out his sword.
“Would you like to follow us quietly? Oh, just letting you know, if you run away, we’ll kill you. It doesn’t matter since you are wanted dead or alive. You get to choose between my sword or the gallows.”
“I don’t know if we got the right kid. She’s so dirty. Let me check that wanted poster… Hey, kid, what’s your name? You better tell the truth!”
His murderous aura crept out like tendrils trying to entangle Bel. Fear filled her heart and she quivered.
I’m scared… I’m so scared… Mother…
She held her book tightly to her chest.
Help me… Grandmother…
At that moment… she felt like she heard the voices of her loved ones.
“Hold that name proudly… and go! And please survive… live! Tell them… about that person… tell the world…”
She suddenly remembered… what it meant, who she was, and what she had inherited. That the blood coursing within her body was passed down to her by the one who stood as a symbol of hope for her people.
An elation and pride stuck her like a lightning. Her trembling body did not stop, but it changed character. She was no longer frightened nor afraid. She was now filled with fighting spirit of defiance.
Prompted by this passion, she stands up. She looked at the men with a silent intense gaze. Her blue eyes were filled with pure, radiant resolve.
“Rude knaves… stand down!”
Pride straightened her back and her voice steadied. Even though she was small, she stood with her head held high. She was imposing. She was determined to conduct herself with the dignity appropriate of someone who was of the lineage of the Great Wisdom of the Empire. Although incomparable to the gravitas of the Wisdom of the Empire, Bel radiated the same aura. Then she declared aloud the proud name that she bore.
“My name is Miabel, Miabel Luna Tearmoon! The one who inherits the noble blood of the Saint and Great Wisdom of the Empire, Mia Luna Tearmoon!”
Suddenly there was a burst of blinding light. The book she held to her chest flipped open, and words rose from its pages. They floated with a golden glow then they unraveled into golden strands. These golden strands wrapped around Bel’s body.
“… Ah? Huh? Eh?”
Bel stood stunned and shocked. She was lifted into the air. The next moment, she disappeared. The girl, the book, and the golden strands vanished without a trace.
…Thus, the sands of time shift started shifting.
[i] Yes, I used IamKieto’s suggestion for the name of Elise’s Book. It actually can be translated as such, so why not.
T/L: POV will return to Mia in next chapter. See you there.
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