“Knight… investiture ceremony?” I asked while tilting my head.

I had already done that five years ago.
It was a ceremony to choose the knight who will be with you for the rest of your life, and it was normally held at the beginning of your final year at the Royal Academy.


As the third prince, I didn’t want to cause trouble for those around me, so I decided early to coincide with my older brothers’ knight investiture ceremony.
My brother’s happiness was my first priority above anything else, so I didn’t care who the knight was, and decided on the one who was recommended by the others without thinking.

At that time, Marie also complained a lot, completely forgetting that she was a maid.

Most people didn’t want anything to do with me, and yet, for some reason, everyone who did get involved with me complained a lot.


Still, to think Marie had forgotten about such a thing, did she perhaps finally lose her mind? That was what I thought, but then I remembered the time she looked at me being executed.
Just a few moments ago, all sorts of fluids were flowing unceasingly from every hole in her face.
That made me feel I should probably act nicer to her, just a little bit, a very little bit.

I think saying that she had lost her mind was too harsh, so I tried saying it more kindly and gently.


“Hey, are you out of your mind?”

“Excuse me?! You’re the one who’s out of your mind, Your Highness! Hurry! Get up! Get changeeed!”

“What… Did you just say I’m out of my mind?”


What in the world.

Inside my head, a plubear turned over.

I didn’t expect a mere maid would return the words that I said back at me.

Speaking of which, plubear is a white bear with a blue nose that only inhabits this country.


Paying no heed to me who winced in shock, Marie pattered out of the room in a hurry.

Furrowing my brows, I froze for a moment.
And then, I reluctantly stood up with a small sigh.

I removed the cord that had been hanging the guardian stone from my neck and placed the scattered pieces of stone on the table.
Later when Marie came back, I would try to get her to put them together into some kind of small sack.
Even if it had become like this, it was still a memento of my grandmother.

Marie had always been a busy maid from long ago.
I had known her for a long time and we were well acquainted with each other.


(Knight investiture ceremony? How is that possible? I’m an evil prince that was burned to death.
What’s going on here…?)


I knew that something was off.

I couldn’t believe that Marie, who had been crying so hard with snot, would treat me in such a rough manner after seeing me burned to death.
Even if she was trying to be considerate and tried to act like usual, she wouldn’t say such a crazy thing.


While wondering what had happened, I casually turned my gaze outside the window.

The sky was deeply and piercingly blue.
The clouds surrounding the shining sun just like a map seemed to depict a new world in the sky.

This country had a lot of rainfall throughout the year.
That said, the beauty of the clear sky was exceptional.

Come to think of it, I think the sky was also like this on the day of the knight investiture ceremony five years ago.
On that morning, I remembered seeing the gardener fall off the ladder.


(That’s right, I think he was trying to decorate the trees in the garden with blue ribbons, the symbol of this country, for my older brother’s knight investiture ceremony…)


For the events of the first prince and also my older brother, Seth, everyone in the country was all uniformly, very much looking forward to them.
Rather, I looked forward to it more than anyone else.

When I turned my gaze to the garden spread out downstairs, the gardener was trying to decorate the trees with royal blue ribbons, as if it was a mirror image of the morning from five years ago.
As I gazed down at the scene, the gardener fell off the ladder, just as I had seen him do five years ago.

“Ah!” I exclaimed and reflexively stretched out my hand, even though I knew I couldn’t reach him.
And then I froze.


(No, wait a second.
Sometimes an accident like this is just a coincidence…)


Right after I thought about that.

A black cat wandered in from somewhere and stepped on the gardener’s back, who was lying face down, and left.

I froze even more.
I always had an exceptionally good memory, and once I’ve seen something, I rarely forget it.


For a while, I remain frozen, and think.


From a distance, I could hear Marie’s voice full of despair yelling “Hurry uuuup, Your Highneeeess!”

Thinking about it carefully, I remembered that I might have seen Marie’s fall that I had seen earlier, too.
No, I had seen Marie fall down so many times that I wasn’t sure of my memory.

If that’s the case, I thought, I looked around the room.

The book I was in the middle of reading on the table.
The brand of tea utensils that Marie left behind in a hurry.
The ceremonial outfit prepared for me.
The shape of the jug next to the bed.
The type of nightwear I was wearing.

And then, I gradually understood.
The more I looked at it, this is…


“No… way.
This is the same as five years ago…?”


And so, —I, the third prince of the Pluvia Kingdom, Nagi Lucian Pluvia, had returned to the world from five years ago.

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