Reincarnated Princess Wishes To Avoid Death - Chapter 284
Premonition of Turmoil (Roughness)
“Hmm, I guess this will work.”
“Yes, you look wonderful, milady.”
Mia changed into her riding clothes in a tent set up for that purpose. She wore a white blouse, a brown shirt, short pants, and shin-high boots. She put her hat on her head with a little style. For a moment, she gave off an air of horsey spirit, but her next words put an end to it.
“…Hmm, it’s kind of tight around the middle.”
She rubbed her stomach. It moved just a little bit.
“I guess I shouldn’t have eaten so much at the stands…”
Not one, not two, not even three, but SIX skewers were on the table next to her. Six skewers that used to hold cupcakes but now have nothing on them. She had eaten so much of the tasty food that Kuolan might just go on strike and refuse to carry what was now a human-shaped anvil on its back.
She used her hand to cover a yawn.
“I’m also starting to feel a little sleepy. I’m not up for this. They smelled so good, though. Hmph, it wasn’t my fault. Those pastries didn’t play by the rules.”
Someone knocked on the door flap while she was making excuses to no one in particular.
“Excuse me? Princess Mia?”
“My, Chloe. Please come in.”
At Mia’s call, Chloe walked into the tent, where she was met by a small army of male and female students.
“And Tiona? And who could you all be?”
The group, which was led by Chloe and Tiona, was made up of Mia’s supporters. They had come together again to cheer for her. Mia smiled wryly when she saw Tiona holding a skewer of cupcakes. This was the most obvious sign that the mood was a little different than before.
Well, things sure have changed. I guess we can’t be in campaign mode all the time.
Yes, they were there to show their support for her, but this day was also meant to be fun and exciting. Obviously, they had been doing the second thing a lot more.
When Mia looked at Tiona’s hand, she quickly tried to hide it behind her back.
“Er, well, this is… I just—”
Mia smiled and held up one of her own skewers, which no longer had a cupcake on it.
“Aren’t they hard to resist? When you see them, you immediately reach for your coin purse.”
They laughed awkwardly, like kids who got caught in the middle of a prank.
“Do your best, Your Highness. We all want the best for you.”
“Thank you, Tiona, and everyone else as well. I’ll try my best.”
Mia gave a small bow to her fans. After all, they had come here to cheer her on, and that was something that should be acknowledged.
Of course, I’m not worried about the support here…
Last time, her opponent had been Rafina. Things were different this time. No matter how powerful and influential her father and house were, Ruby’s status was still lower than Mia’s.
As a princess and a fellow member of the student council, Sapphias was almost certain to back her. Even though they sometimes fight, Esmeralda would probably also side with her. Bel had even gotten Citrina to cheer for her.
Huh… Wait a minute. Is it just me, or do I feel like I have a lot going for me in this tournament? I have the support of three of the Four Houses.
She also had the support of Rafina, who was a saint, as well as Sion and Abel. Even Malong of the Equestrian Kingdom was cheering for her. Her influence may have spread across the whole continent.
Mia was doing great!
I’d beat her in the voting booth! If there were polls where I could beat her, I would…
She smiled. It was a hollow empty smile, as empty as her “victory.”
I won the popularity contest. Go me.
Her short attempt to escape her impending reality only brought more attention to it. She sighed in a sad way.
If only this were the vote for the student council…
Popularity didn’t matter at all this time. The thing that was being tested was her riding skill and, perhaps more importantly, how fast her horse could go.
Was that red horse’s name Skyred Hare? I don’t think Kuolan can do much to fight against that…
She was almost ready to give up when Chloe told her what to do.
“So, as I was saying, Princess Mia, we looked at the course and…”
She lifted her glasses, which made them flash, and looked Mia in the eye.
“I think this tournament is going to be…rough.”
Mia cocked her head, confused. Chloe nodded.
“Very rough. We looked at the course earlier and found that a lot of it is still muddy from the rain.”
Today, there were no clouds and the weather was perfect for the tournament, but it rained all day yesterday. It wouldn’t be strange to see mud and puddles.
“Rough, bumpy, and muddy, huh…”
Mia said something with her lips pursed.
That sounds like it will make riding hard…
She might have had a chance if the ground had been the same as when she practised. Now that there is a new obstacle, one wrong move could cause the rider to fall and hurt himself.
So much for me being able to win. I didn’t have much of a chance anyway. Even so, I can still forfeit.
She thought, “Maybe I should just do that.” But she was getting more and more pessimistic about her chances of winning, Chloe smiled at her.
“Yes, you’re right, and that will make things very interesting.”
“Eh? What are you saying?”
“To put it simply, the speed of the horse won’t be the only thing that matters anymore. Now, it’s more important how well you can handle your horse. There’s room for strategy. Luck also plays a role.”
Mia was competing in the speedriding event for women, in which there were only two other riders. The recent craze among girls to ride horses hadn’t quite turned the academy into a herd of cavalières. After all, interest has always grown much faster than skill.
In fact, Malong’s younger sister had planned to join them in the race, but…
Malong had said, “Ha ha ha, that’s going to make for one hell of an unfair race. Those two can’t beat you. They have a duel going on with stakes and everything, so why don’t we just let them have their moment in the sun? ‘The second person to cross the finish line wins’ just doesn’t sound as good.”
On his advice, she entered the men’s division instead. This set up a one-on-one match between Mia and Ruby, and most people thought Ruby would win.
It wasn’t the riders themselves who were the problem, but their horses.
Skyred Hare, which Ruby had brought to the race, was one of the most famous horses on the continent, and most of the people there agreed that it was the best.
“The horses from Saint-Noel are very good, but they can’t beat that horse, right?”
“Those Redmoons are so bad at having fun. I mean, really. Why would you bring that kind of horse to a school contest?”
Such rumours didn’t stop Chloe from being hopeful.
She gave Mia a fist-shake of encouragement and told her, “It’s slim, but there’s still a chance! You just might win!”
Mia looked at her for a moment and then let out a sigh.
There is a chance, but it’s very slim…
Happy New Year everyone!
Here’s to another year of Mia’s antics!
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