Chapter 22: Flabby
I gazed straight at Saria despite the awkward feeling.
My face turning into a shade of crimson in shame. I, myself, knew the extent of my uselessness. I am tutored by an archmage without any need to pay. Aside from that, I'm also being fed to the extent that my arms are getting flabby. While my tummy had been earning a new layer of fat and padding.
Saria also offered me home despite knowing that I'm a merely fallen princess. Not even treating me as an outsider. I'm not a stone that I couldn't feel Saria's kindness and goodwill. Though I'm not the real Victoria, my one year of stay in her care made me remember the warmth of having a family.
It has been a long time since I've experienced such a tingling feeling. So, if I can help Saria, why shouldn't I, right?
"Don't tell me you're going to let that charcoaled gingerbread fight for you." Saria took a deep breath before guffawing louder. One hand holding her stomach, the other pointing at me. She almost rolled over the thick carpets.
And yes, I tried my hands on golem magic. It’s one of the rare magic that worked for me aside from the spirit magic, chore magic, and the [Wind Arrow]. But hell, it’s not all rainbow and sunshine. The only golem that came out of my magic training was a roasted black gingerbread-like golem. And damn, it was like the size of a cookie. She had a good reason to laugh like crazy.
For the elemental magic, after a bunch of explanations from Saria, I still can't get my head into it. Thus, I gave up. Saria herself said that I got no talent for it. At least, for now.
For spirit magic, I’m learning by instinct. I've read the absurd history of Spirit Mages. It is hard to believe. Records show that a full-fledged spirit mage can call a rain of fire. Commanding the sea waves, causing tornadoes, and making the earth tremble was possible. Or even calling an army from heaven or the earth which seemed like a madman's tattletales. The absurdity was on a whole new level. Hell, it’s like an advent of a final boss.
Another thing was - I don't have any clue how to use it aside from playing with [Spirit Eye] like a light bulb.
I glared at Saria, feeling a bit lost. Well, she's indeed right though. I sucked at using basic magic spells. My [Wind Arrow] spell had been my safe haven. Of course, I don’t plan to tell anything about my [Appraisal] skill. And don’t let me start with the [Scent Tracking], I don’t want to have a new title called ‘Sniffing Witch.’
Gritting my teeth, I swallowed my shame head-on. "I'm not joking."
I almost clawed my face after it came out like I was doubting myself.
"You are not joking?" It took at least two more minutes of laughs to make her tired. "My cute niece. You really know how to make me happy But, pfft, excuse me. Let's end it here."
She stood up from her seat, reaching her hand to my head. Then, she ruffled it hard until it was a mess. It's one of her hobbies - ruffling my hair. That's why I gave up arranging and tidying it up since it's just going to be messy sooner or later.
"I know you want to help. But don't worry about anything." Saria stood straight, her voice was laced with confidence. "I'm powerful enough!"
Instead of feeling comfortable, it made me more concerned for her.
That's why I'm worrying! Trusting your strength is not bad. But over-relying on it is! After one year of being with Saria, I knew that she was going to force a large fight. That’s one thing I don’t want to happen especially after learning about the assassin's guild.
Considering that the Empire and the Union were the sources of these troubles. Directly fighting against the prime minister's side would only result in bigger trouble.
Things won’t only get murkier, the ending would also surely not end well. I'm sure that those two powerful nations will deal with her first. It looks like she still does not understand how the Empire and the Union works. Does she even read those thick political documents from her library?
"Saria I'm serious," I uttered with a firm tone. Not letting go of her eyes.
The smile on her face slowly receding, ebbing like the tides. She's not finding this funny anymore. Well, that’s my goal after all.
I met her deep emerald eyes which appeared like the abyss. Not letting go of her sight, hoping to prove my sincerity and sobriety.
"You're still on this." Saria frowned, putting her hands on her glabella. She ogled me, watching like I was some problem child. "Can you really help me?"
"I can prove it!" I raised my voice enough to show my confidence.
Saria watched me, putting a hand on her chin, sighing, bored. She then returned to her seat. "Fine, give me your best shot. I'll entertain your poor magic skill. But if it's not up to my standard, don't bring this up again. But don’t bring that gingerbread again or else I’ll die of laughter."
"I'm not talking about magic." I raised my voice, adding a bit of confidence. Then, my tune turned a little meek. “And not about the gingerbread either.”
"Then what are you talking about." Saria's relaxed brows sharpened, frowning after hearing my words. "Don't tell me that you are going to show yourself and the public and declare that you're not dead?"
I was stunned by her assumptions. How did she even reach those conclusions?
"I-I'll help you with political maneuvering and devising plans." I took a deep breath. My palms feel moist as if I'm facing some big shot. "I will be very helpful."
"Politics? What do you know? Your memory is gone. Do you even know what politics is?" She strode forward, skittering around me, two fingers on her chin. She poked my head as if she was trying to find something. "Did you hit your head again?"
"I did not!"
Saria eyed me, falling deeper into her thoughts. It's visible that Saria was starting to get worried about me. Even so, I decided to push through.
"I know that it's quite hard to believe my claims. So how about you test me?" Yes, this is the only sure way to show her.
"Interesting, then how will you prove it to me?" Saria was offering me the benefit of the doubt. I must make use of this chance.
I thought for a moment and decided to solve one of her dilemmas in real-time.
"What if I solve one of the problems that you're currently facing. I know that the kingdom and my sister are in trouble right now. And as her current guardian, I know she will ask you for a lot of help. But you're not well versed in such things. You're only there to protect them. Am I right?"
A sharp glint flashed on those emerald-colored gems. "How can you be so sure that I don't much about politics?"
Here comes Saria's hardheadedness. She doesn't like losing at anything at all. Simply put, she’s a sore loser.
I kept my eyes focused on those emerald gems. I lifted a finger as if I am making a point. "You don't like troublesome things."
She nodded as if it was a given.
I flipped out the second finger, "You suck at hiding your expressions. So how can you say you are good at politics?"
The moment I said the second one, Saria sucked a cold breath as if she was hurt. Not even hiding her true feelings. The sight made me sigh. She's too pure and easy to read. How can you deal with two-faced nobles and bitchy snakes? As for me, I met a lot due to the line of my work in my previous world that I could even tell if they’re spotted or not.
Alas, I raised the third and last finger. "For the last reason, you are a hermit. You'd rather do your experiments than fight against aging nobles."
"From your sighs and naggings, I at least can tell that the royal family is in danger. They're losing their ground and you, Saria, along with the Lord Knight are the only ones keeping it together." I added a little emphasis on my last words enough to establish a good point.
"Oh, let me guess another thing. You are already planning to just kill everyone in the other factions to deal with this all."
She looked at me, shocked.
I hit the right nail. This lady brute!
"I know you can do this. Even so, I suggest that you don't."
I took a deep breath and continued. "The Empire and the Union are the cause of this. They're the puppeteers behind the shadow. The Kingdom of Carmandy had become their battleground. Everything is not as easy as it seems on the surface. The moment you move, they’re also going to move."
Saria's eyes lit up as if she had finally understood something. Soon, dark clouds filled her face. “So it was them.”
Saria turned silent. A sign that she accepted it as fact. She closed her eyes for a moment, crossing her arms, diving into her sea of thoughts.
I'm quite nervous and excited. It's been a long time since I had done proper work. The workaholic in me is making a big comeback.
Also, I don't like being fattened like a lazy pig. I need to do work. I pinched my belly and found it a bit flabby.
Saria blinked, opening her eyes, casting a gaze towards me. She looked at me like I was a weird thing, curiosity hiding in those gems-like pupils.
Then, she smiled, spacing out. "Hmnn. I never thought you had such talent. Though it can't prove all your skills. I'm enticed to bet on you."
The archmage strode forward, putting her dainty hands on my shoulder. "So, can I ask for your help?"
Thus, opening a new path for me in this otherworld. I never thought that the skills I honed in my old company will be useful here.
My eyes glimmered, puffing up my chest. "Yes! You can count on me!"