“Saintess! Please look over here!”
“Thank you for being born, Saintess!”
“Milky white¹ Saintess! If you’re not here, I can’t live on!”
The streets of the capital were filled with the loud cheers.
Unlike the sidewalks crowded with people, only a few carriages leisurely passed through the wide-open road.
And, at the center of those carriages.
The person in the especially large and colorfully white carriage was the main character amidst all these cheers.
The esteemed daughter of the Brietta Duchy, and the one and only saintess of the empire.
She was once upon a time called a villainess, but no one called her that any longer.
Roella slowly stuck her head out the carriage window.
Her lovely pink hair fluttered in the wind, and like the bright daytime sky, her blue eyes were dazzling in the sun.
At the sight of Roella, the people screamed out.
“Ahhhh! I made eye contact with the Saintess.”
“No way! She looked into my eyes though!”
“I love you, Saintess!”
Every time she waved her hand, the crowd heated up even more.
And, one more thing.
Outside the feverish excitement of the crowd, there was something else burning within.
‘Just what kind of situation is this!!’
It was Roella’s innermost thoughts.
She smiled and waved like it’s nothing, but in fact, that’s not the case at all.
‘It’s supposed to be a small event, so I thought it’s just going to be a lowkey banquet.
But a carriage parade’
This wasn’t even Ev*rland², the heck.
The unexpected situation almost made her head spin.
If it weren’t for her excellent acting skills, she’d have already been on the cover of the newspapers by now with the headline title ‘Ducal Princess Brietta! A jaw-dropping sight in front of a huge crowd!’
But then, while she was feeling so conflicted like this, she heard the restrained laughter at her side.
Slowly lowering her hand, Roella turned to the side with a smile on her lips.
Aren’t you laughing too obviously.”
When Roella said this, Crown Prince Hildeon froze in place.
Then, as if his laughter had never materialized in the first place, his mouth returned to a straight line.
“I didn’t laugh.”
As he averted his dark green eyes, he nodded softly and soon admitted his guilt.
I just thought this was cute.”
“…What is this”
Instead of answering, the crown prince handed over the piece of paper that he was holding in his hand.
When she took it from him, Roella tilted her head to the side, confused.
‘What is this.’
On the piece of paper, there was a portrait resembling a crushed steamed bun.
With its pink hair and blue eyes, the subject of the portrait was strangely familiar looking.
As she stared at it, Roella’s face gradually became paler and paler.
‘Pink hair Blue eyes’
Huh, is this what she thinks this is.
“Is this supposed to be me!”
Seeing Roella’s astonishment, the crown prince nodded.
It’s popular in the empire these days.
I heard that if you have a painting of the Saintess displayed in your house, you’ll be given good fortune.”
Excuse you, she’s not some kind of amulet.
In a shamanistic manner that those other people wouldn’t have recognized, Roella slapped the paper onto her own forehead.
‘Well, I mean, shouldn’t you at least draw me well.’
Roella stared at the piece of paper again, crying and eating mustard seeds.³
This portrait that’s supposed to look like her absolutely did not resemble her at all.
Let alone good fortune, this kind of amulet’s just going to bring bad luck to the house.
—It’s kinda like dough that got punched, but it looks just like you, nyaa~
At the sound of this unprompted opinion, Roella’s eyes grew wide.
And her gaze then went straight to the lounging cat on the carriage seat.
“Jelly, what did’ja say just now”
—I said you look like dough that got punched, nya.
You know that divine beasts can’t lie by nature, nyaa~
Hey! You think being cute is everything”
—It is, nya.
Roella slapped a hand at the back of her neck because of her surging blood pressure.
But as she did so, she also made eye contact with the crown prince, who was secretly pocketing the portrait.
“No, wait, why are you taking that, Your Highness.”
“…It’s cute, so I want to have it.
Is it not allowed”
Roella shook her head firmly.
And Hildeon obediently handed the portrait back to Roella.
When his pleading gaze lingered on her, Roella had to shake her head firmly again as if she could be shaken at any moment.
Yeah, no matter how she looked at it, this isn’t gonna work.
Her exhaustion soon rushed in.
It was tiring enough because she was roped into a carriage parade that she was thrusted into all of a sudden, then here, she also discovered that her portrait was being used as an amulet.
She just wanted to go home, wash up and go to sleep.
However, at that moment.
〈 Hidden Mission : Respond happily towards the cheers of the Empire’s people who love the Saintess so much, please!
—Your hands aren’t moving.
Please wave your hands at them!
Penalty in case of failure : Reputation decrease 〉
An opaque window appeared in front of Roella.
In a situation like this, another person would have fainted, Roella was calm.
It’s not as if she’s been through this just once or twice.
She glared at the system message with resentment, but soon let out a sigh of resignation.
I’ll do the mission.’
However, the empty smile that she had donned upon her features wasn’t going to fool anyone.
She smiled like a woman gone mad then stuck her head out the window again.
As she waved, the portrait she took from Hildeon was still in one hand.
Those who saw this cheered even louder.
“The Saintess has taken a portrait!”
“Oh my goodness, she’s truly so kind.”
“Saintess, we love youuuu!! Please accept my painting, too!”
Paper airplanes flew in from all sides.
They were all folded portraits of Roella while looking like a crushed steamed bun.
“T-Thank you! Hiic.”
It was just like a surprise event at an idol concert.
At the sight of this, Roella finally couldn’t endure the urge to weep.
¹ ‘milky white’ – pertains to a person’s pale complexion (korea values this kind of skin tone), but this phrase is something that’s normally chanted towards idols in korea as a compliment to them
² ‘everland’ – korea’s largest theme park
³ ‘crying while eating mustard seeds’ – it’s when someone is forced to do something he or she would rather not do, but pretends to enjoy it anyway
t/n: hello! it’s only chapter 1 but i’m already in looove with this novel