After half a day had passed with not a single break nor a single meal, a town could finally be seen over at the distance with lights sparkling all around it. It looked so much cleaner than the town of Iana, for sure which is as expected since the town of Iana has been broken and incapacitated for I don’t know how long.
“It seems like we saved half a day at full speed,” Raeliana smiled as I glared at her.
“Yeah, saved half a day while also sacrificing all my kidneys and stomach,” I rebuked to which she let out a soft giggle. The entire journey on the way was not the best for me who easily gets carsick at high speeds especially when you add the bumpiness of the carriage which was truly unlike the carriages Aurora had simply because of the suspensions.
I should really bring suspensions into this kingdom to make my lives easier, my back and butt really hurt from sitting at the front which was all wood—I really wished I didn’t pick the front seat, though the front was indeed cooler than inside the carriage which was like hell.
“We’ll soon arrive at the town of Yuka, milady. Do you wish to head to the bank first or sleep at some inn until the morning?” Raeliana looked at me and asked as she slowed the horses a bit since we were nearing the gates.
“I think it’s better if we sleep at an inn first, it shouldn’t cost that much right?” I answered while looking at the bright night skies which were filled with beautiful sparkling stars.
“An inn should at most cost fifteen silver coins per night that already includes the meal, it shouldn’t be that expensive,” Raeliana answered. Fifteen silver coins are normally little for me who used to spend twenty or so gold coins even as Ayumi Ai but the situation I am in right now makes it look large. It was like I had suddenly become a commoner.
I couldn’t help but chuckle at myself as I continued to look at the night skies with my head resting on my arm, from the memories I had as Ayumi Windsor, even a single gold coin was like a single silver coin yet here I am now thinking of fifteen silver coins as if it was twenty gold coins.
“To think that I would be struggling this much, I should really have been patient and brought some clothes and a little bit of money with me,” I smiled wryly.
“Well, you don’t have to worry about your clothes, milady. From what I heard, Sheena should be coming to the town to bring some of your stuff with you since the mistress had an intuition something like this would happen, especially when it comes to you,” Raeliana said before all of a sudden, my back started sweating heavily as I turned towards her with both my eyes wide open.
“Wa… wait, you mean that Sheena?!” I screamed in horror before she released a super loud laugh.
I could feel Ayumi Windsor inside of me tremble from the name Sheena, and it becomes worse when you look at her memories. Sheena is pretty much her personal maid but the reason why she is so afraid of her is simply because of how worrisome of a creature she was… just thinking about it makes me shiver a lot.
“You really are afraid of Sheena,” she laughed.
“Who isn’t afraid of her?! No matter where you would hide, she would somehow manage to find me as if her eyes were see-through! Not to mention, even for the smallest bump, she would panic and do a full-body inspection on me!” I shouted before her laughter became even louder causing me to pout unconsciously as I turned my attention back to the night sky.
It felt a bit embarrassing to act like that—though I wonder if I should call myself Ayumi Windsor from now on since I feel like all her memories have been slowly merging themselves with mine each passing moment. All these people and experiences I never had before are really overwhelming me. I could tell who someone out of instincts, there was no need to look over at my memories.
‘What if I actually spent my life as Ayumi Windsor within that few moments when the Goddess brought me back to this world…’ I thought but it was too illogical though I still can’t find a proper answer other than her entire soul is merging with mine which would also be insane, but it would be logical in a sense.
“Milady, we are about to enter the town. Do you have your identification with you?” Raeliana asked which snapped me back to reality.
“I do have the family badge with me, that should be enough for identification, right?” I revealed the necklace with a green feather and replied before she nodded.
I have to admit though, the badge looks way too beautiful despite its simplicity. It looked like a simple metallic feather that was painted in green but there was this odd feeling to it that made it look more beautiful.
After some time, both of our carriages soon reached the gates where we were asked for identification by the guards but as soon as they saw the Windsor family badge on my neck, they immediately allowed us to pass without any hesitation. As expected of a ducal family indeed.
“Ah! The fresh smell of barbeque!” I spoke unconsciously, turning my attention towards a nearby stall that was making fresh-looking barbeque. The stall reminded me of Flora who would always run towards any stall that sold boar or meat, that was how much of a meat lover she was.
The intense nostalgia flowing through me made me a bit sad inside, but I could only endure it, in a sense, this could be called my training. I understood that with time, Flora and the others will be strong people who can help one another, people who would be able to survive the upcoming continental war… I understood that if I were to come back to them now, I would only end up spoiling them and hindering their growth progress.
‘You will never become strong this way, Ayumi…’ I told myself inside as we soon stopped by an inn that was bustling with energy. Loud voices of joy echoed from the inside, alcohol could be smell from afar which caused Raeliana to smile wryly.
“Do you want to move to another inn instead?” she asked.
“What’s the difference between this inn and another inn, won’t they all be the same?” I answered before her wry smile grew as I hopped off from the carriage, stretching my arms and legs a bit which were a bit stiff from sitting down in such a rough spot.
It’s been a little while since I’ve seen people freely play around, I didn’t want to disturb them as such I looked at Raeliana and asked, “Do you have some sort of jacket or hood to cover myself? I don’t want to disturb their party time by popping inside as a noble.”
“We do have a few hoods inside the carriage Lia is using but I don’t know if they will fit you milady… especially since you are a bit shorter than all of us,” she answered.
“Are you insulting your master right now?” I pouted before shrugging off her words, “Just bring me the shortest hood, Tanya, and I should be the same height. If you have her hood there then that would be much better but otherwise, just bring me something to use.”
“Yes, milady but let’s park these carriages first, Lia has gone ahead towards the coach house. Do you want to hop back in or are you going to follow us on foot?” she asked.
“I’d rather walk on foot instead; the coach house shouldn’t be that far, right?” I replied.
“Then be sure to follow on the sides, you need to be in a spot where I can see you a hundred percent…” she said as I nodded before the two of us soon started moving towards a carriage house which was not far from here. The carriage house looked ordinary, but it was more than enough to fit our carriages, though the fee was not the kindest. It was four silver coins per night and carriage which equaled to eight silver coins per night for us.
Each minute, I could feel ourselves dashing our way towards the hole called ‘bankruptcy’ since I didn’t have any silver coins and only gold coins, Raeliana and Lia paid for the fees which made me even more guilty as the money was from their own pockets. I feel ashamed as a duke’s daughter.
“Here’s the hood, milady,” Raeliana said as she handed me a brown, inconspicuous hood from the carriage. The hood looked to be a little larger than me which made me hesitate a bit but after putting it on, the hood felt pretty comfy.
The hood was clearly made of some high-quality leather, not to mention, because it was larger than me, there was more space for me to move around which made it even more comfortable to wear though looking at the glass on our carriage, my white hair with a faint mix of brown was still clear as day.
“There’s nothing we can do about your hair, milady. This is why I think you wouldn’t need a hood anyway since no other person has such a unique and beautiful hair color like yours… any merchant or noble who has been into the capital once and visited the ducal house would already know who you are—not to mention, your eyes and hair is something only nobles would have,” she smiled wryly.
Indeed, my hair wasn’t the only obvious sign but my pupils as well which were like crystal gold. Let alone the kingdom, even the kingdom where Mana and the others are located wouldn’t have someone with eyes like my new body has.
“Well, as long as you hide behind us, there should hardly be any problem at all. My lady,” Lia who just finished putting the horses to rest said, she wore a similar hood which made her feel more mysterious. Her sword was still in plain sight though, but it was in a leather sheath instead of the usual white and green sheath of the Windsor family.
“Are you thinking of me as someone who can’t protect herself?!” I looked at her a bit annoyed as both of them nodded at the same time which made me pout in anger as I stomped my way out of the couch house before turning around as I glared at them, “I’ll have you know; I can fight you know!”
“Yeah, sure~” Raeliana replied as I continued stomping my way towards the inn as the two caught up immediately. After a short while, the three of us soon reached the inn where we entered inside under the heavy, curious gazes of the people who all went silent upon our entrance.
Their eyes looked at us as if they were inspecting us before all of them went back to partying as we walked towards the counter where a beautiful receptionist stood waiting as Raeliana placed sixty silver coins while saying, “Tri-bed rooms, are there any available?”
“Second floor, Room 17-A” the receptionist took the silver coins and handed us a key to which Raeliana nodded as she led us upstairs. I was a little confused over why she picked triple bedroom, but I decided to stay silent for now until we reach our room which didn’t take long as we reached the door which had the sign “17-A”.
Unlocking the door, we were soon greeted by three different beds with the room filled with furniture. It wasn’t decorated well but for its price, it was kind of a bargain. The beds looked clean, and the sofas were not dusty. It looked well maintained.
“Lia, check the bath and toilet,” Raeliana said before Lia nodded as she walked towards a door, opening it as a full-fledged bath could be seen though it may be wooden, it is still a bath nonetheless! I haven’t taken a single dip in water for days now, the excitement inside of me was boiling.
After a few moments, Lia soon came back with a nod as Raeliana closed the door with a sigh of relief, laying herself down on the bed as I sat on the sofa with confusion, “What were the two of you checking for and also why did you pick a tri-bed room instead of three rooms?”
“Well, there are a few reasons why we picked a tri-bed room mainly to save costs and to allow us to immediately take action whenever we sense danger near milady. As for the checks, we were checking for tools that could be used for spying here. It’s a normal procedure that we do,” Raeliana answered.
I see… that indeed makes sense, there are a few magic tools that could be used for spying as far as I know. They were tools that Aurora introduced to me in case of when I was to go into a spy mission or an assassination mission which were apparently normal occurrences within the Queenshelm clan.
“Right, do we have towels? I want to take a quick bath since I smell pretty bad right now…” I looked at them and asked.
“Let me get the towels, do you need help in taking a bath, milady?” Raeliana asked before I shook my head as she opened the cabinet and took out a pink towel, inspecting it for a few moments with the use of mana before handing it to me as she asked one more time, “Are you sure you don’t need any help on taking a bath?”
“I can take a bath myself…” I said but she looked a bit afraid.
“According to Tanya, you apparently made the bath explode many times… I don’t feel safe having you bathe by yourself, my lady…” Lia suddenly intervened to which Raeliana nodded.
“I said I can do it myself!” I grabbed the towel and stomped my way into the bath, shutting the door close as I looked around before a sudden confusion rose inside my head. The bath looked a bit different from the usual bath I took on the other kingdom.
How do I say this… it looked way too bloated with buttons, levers, and switches? There was no other way to distinguish between them other than their colors. I felt a headache from looking at the buttons, inspecting them closely one by one. There were all kinds of colors, from green to red.
“How do I heat this up… I guess red should mean hot water right…?” I mumbled while looking at the red button before touching the button but not pressing it yet as the door immediately slammed open with Raeliana rushing towards me.
“Milady, that’s the wrong procedure!” she screamed but it was too late as I pressed the button before water exploded from the bath as I looked at it with both eyes wide open… I now understood why Ayumi Windsor always made the bath explode.