The next morning, I sent a messenger begging the prince for an audience.
"Lady Felicia Belphere Metrune thanks Prince Hans Lord of Lytis for granting me an audience," I said while performing a curtsey, with my eyes looking at the floor.
In Forlendia and Surfes, women had no rights, except those granted to them as well as the most basic ones. In most cases, women were only expected to be seen, but not heard. Although it wasn't common, there was no law to protect women who speak out of turn in public from being stripped and flogged on the spot. Women were also expected to turn their heads down and never look up in defiance.
Duke Cladis who died 82 years ago was an extremely famous example of this difference in treatment. It was said that he married a daughter of one of his noble vassals after his first wife died. She was said to be very beautiful but because of her very strong character, nobody wanted to marry her. The story went that every time the girl raised her head or refused the duke, she would be stripped naked and put in stocks in the middle of the city for days. Let's not mention what could've happened to a beautiful naked noble girl who incurred her husband the duke's wrath for the entire time she was in stocks unguarded. Her mind broke after a month and she was thrown out in shame when she became pregnant.
While Duke Cladis was one of the most extreme examples, such injustice did happen frequently. It had been better for women since Duke Cladis's time due to new laws that protected noblewomen. It was owing to the fact that noblewomen were all mothers, wives, daughters and sisters of noblemen, but there would still be men with such old values. I couldn't know if this prince in front of me was something like Duke Cladis or more like my father, who had always treated women with respect.
"Metrune? Are you related to Baron Alphonse Lartes Metrune from Mruna?" the enemy prince asked while sitting on his throne of white marble.
Only a prince yet already acting like a king. To be frank though, I was actually expecting someone a lot older. Daddy Soom and Daddy Malor did say the prince was young, but I wasn't expecting him to be THIS young! He couldn't possibly be older than 15.
THIS is the lecherous prince?
"The baron is my father, Your Highness. I am the only daughter of the Metrune household," I said, still curtseying.
Come on, you douchebag. Tell me to stand at ease. My ankles and knees are starting to ache from maintaining this position.
"I wasn't expecting to see his daughter here. Your father is a good man. He delayed my soldiers enough to allow most of the common soldiers to flee. Otherwise, they would have all likely been slaughtered by my men."
"I am grateful that Your Highness would speak so highly of my father. He is indeed a good man and it is my understanding that he is still here?"
Ah no good. I'm starting to wobble on my feet.
"Yes, he's still here. By the way, why are you still doing that?"
"Eh? You mean the curtsey?" I asked in surprise.
"Yes, isn't that uncomfortable?"
"Oh right, must be one of those stuffy Forlendian customs. Carlton, give the lady a chair."
The man beside him, a knight in partial iron plate armour by the name of Carlton brought out a high-backed chair and placed it behind me. I said thanks as I sat on the chair and rubbed my ankles as discreetly as I could.
"So let me guess, you're here to ransom the baron?"
"Yes, as well as the others that Suletrius didn't ransom."
"Good. Do you have the money?"
"I'm afraid Count Suletrius cheated me of my money. I only have 120 gold left on me and this I offer you, Your Highness," I said as I urged Koito to come forward with the chest containing 120 gold. I had Koito open it and show it to the prince.
"My lady, this is nowhere near enough. I thought I made it perfectly clear in my letter to the Duke of Renus that the ransom for soldiers from Mruna is 200 gold?"
"Please have mercy, Your Highness, I have no more money. I brought 300 gold but Count Suletrius took 200 of it. I had to sell my personal jewellery to get another 20 gold. I have nothing left on me except this dress," I pleaded as I let the waterworks flowed.
Tears, a woman's most powerful weapon. Of course it was fake, but he was a man, how would he be able to tell the difference? Just to make it more believable though, I rubbed my eyes with the fingers that was still covered in dried onion juice. Onion ninjas for the win!
"I'm afraid no matter how much you beg me, it's still nowhere near enough. I suppose I can allow you to ransom both the baron and your brother with that amount out of the sheer goodness of my heart, but what about the other hundred soldiers? Are you going to leave them behind like Count Suletrius did?"
"Hundred?" I asked with my eyes red and teary from the onion ninjas, "But only 29 soldiers from Mruna were captured, wasn't it?"
"Yes, but they left behind 112 Forlendian officers as well."
"That's the whole total of the lower ranked officers that were captured at Harrow's Pass!"
"Yes, he only ransomed the nobles and the prince."
I'm gonna kill that bastard.
"But he brought 5400 gold, shouldn't it be more than enough for everyone?"
"I don't know anything about 5400 gold. I only received 4900 gold. Out of that, 1800 gold was the prince's ransom."
I'm gonna kill that bastard, beat him to pulp in my automated smithy and then I'm going to stab that bastard's face with a blunt knife.
"H-how much in total?"
"Because the young lady of Metrune household herself came to beg me, I'm willing to reduce it to 400 gold."
"But that's more than triple what I have now!"
"I'm sorry, my lady, not my problem. Unless you're fine with taking only the baron and your brother with you, you have to pay me 400 gold coins to release them all."
I felt the colour drain from my face as I contemplated the amount. I could in theory, go back to Mruna and bring enough money, but it would take two weeks to return to Lytis. Who knew what could happen within that time? Besides, unless I sold all the noble heirlooms, I still wouldn’t have enough.
"I have some trade goods in my cargo hold. I can give you a monopoly on lolipop candies and alcohol-"
"I don't deal in trade goods, only gold. I know nothing of commodity prices or futures and I can't be bothered to learn it. I am a warrior. My place is on the battlefield of swords, not the battlefield of tongues."
"Uuuu... I shall return again." There was no other choice but to admit defeat this time.
"Don't take too long. I'm quite tired of having to feed more than a hundred enemy soldiers. You will probably see a familiar head at the end of a pike on the castle wall if you wait too long."
What can I say to such a threat? How can I maintain a superior position when I have nothing to back it up with? Should I threaten him with a localized war if he did that? With what army? My single ship? The mercenaries with my small amount of gold compared to his 4900 gold?
"I beg my leave, Your Highness."
"Carlton, please escort the lady and her men to her carriage."
The knight Carlton bowed and led us out to the castle courtyard where my carriage was waiting. We rode out of the castle feeling depressed of our failure to ransom the others. As the carriage neared South Market, I told the driver to stop and walked out of the carriage.
"Koito, take the gold back to the ship. I entrust you with its care. I'll go back to the ship myself later."
"But princess, where are you going by yourself? Also, my name is Keito."
"Just going on a walk. Don't worry, I know my way around."
"Alek, get down from the carriage and escort the princess!"
I looked at Alek, one of Koito's henchmen, as he got down from the open seat behind the carriage and I said, "Fine, but don't get in my way."
"Princess, please give me another brandy!" one of the restaurant's patrons called from his seat.
"Big brother Meul, stop calling me 'princess'! I've told you my name is Felicia," I said as I delivered him another mug of brandy.
"Hahaha, why not? I can't believe I've had a princess sitting on my lap for five meals."
"Jeez, you're making it sound so vulgar, big brother Meul!" I countered, to which he replied with a boisterous laugh befitting his size.
Just then two more familiar faces entered the restaurant and I immediately went to greet them.
"Welcome back Daddy Malor and Daddy Soom! I've been waiting for you!"
"Felicia? How come you're here? I came here for dinner last night and they told me you quit the job," Daddy Soom said as he and Daddy Malor sat at the usual table.
"Something came up, and now I'm here again! What would you like to eat?"
"The usual, Felicia," Daddy Soom said that was echoed by Daddy Malor.
"Alright. Roast Lamb set and Roast Beef set coming right up!"
"I must say, Felicia, I wasn't expecting you to come back. I already had Nira find someone to replace you and Lili," Nara said when I passed her the order.
"I see them. Those two, right?" I asked while pointing at the two newbies, "They look awkward to me."
"You were the same!" Nara said as she delivered a karate chop on my head, causing me make a sound of 'aiya!'
"Jeez, stop hitting my head. What would you do if my brain breaks? Where's the pe-Sul anyway?"
"Sul is resting. She overworked herself with fulfilling song requests last night."
"Princess!" big brother Meul called.
"Big brother Meul, not so loud! Do you want another brandy?" I said once I was standing next to him.
"Oh no, not brandy, Kute and I was talking and we were wondering if you'd like to join us for a game of Rebellion."
"Rebellion?" I tried to confirm, because I have never seen women playing Rebellion before, I was wondering if it would be a cultural faux pas.
"Yes, you know the rules, don't you?" Mr. Kute said as another man sat on a vacant chair.
So it was going to be a 4-person game?
"Can I really play? But I don't have money..." I lied about the money, I didn't intend on losing even a copper in a card game.
"Then how about a kiss to the winner if you lose, princess?" Meul suggested.
"Hmm, a kiss? But if I win and you kiss me, I’ll still lose, big brother Meul."
Mr. Kute laughed alongside Meul. "Of course we're not so shameless as to try such a dastardly trick on a princess, Felicia. How does one silver for a kiss sound?"
"So if you bet 3 silvers, I'm betting 3 kisses?"
"Correct," Mr. Kute confirmed.
"Okay then!" I readily agreed.
"Stay, Alek!" I told my escort who had up until now been sitting quietly at the corner of the restaurant watching me work as a barmaid.
"Oooh! The princess's bodyguard is glaring at me, I'm so scaaaared!" Meul joked.
"Umm, can I sit here?" I pointed at the chair the other man was sitting, "I'd like to be able to see the door, if you don't mind."
"I see. So that you can see if someone's coming in, isn't it? That's fine, I won't pry. Here," he got up and offered the seat for me, "The sun's glare is too bright for my eyes anyway."
I thanked him for the seat. As I sat, he helped push the chair under me before going to the other side of the table. Just like others, he sat a little distance from the table, probably to make it easier to cheat or to keep their cards secret.
I was about to ask if I could borrow a deck when Nira came and handed me a stack of new playing cards, still in its leather packaging. Apparently she bought it yesterday and planned on giving it to me as a souvenir to remind me of my time here. It would've been a good souvenir, since Rebellion was exclusively a River Country pastime. We don't play it in Forlendia and therefore, the deck of playing cards isn't sold anywhere in Renus and Mruna.
Receiving it with thanks, I sorted out the deck, making secret of my choice of the four additional cards. I already had a plan for winning the game. I might not have played it myself, but I had been around and even sat on some of their laps whenever they played. Already, I had mentally pictured my path of winning.
The first game I lost to Meul's Assassination.
"Alright princess, give big bro a nice kiss," Meul said as he closed his eyes.
"Umm, is that fine, big bro Meul?"
"Yes, of course. Why wouldn't it be fine?" he said with eyes still closed.
"Okay!" I said as I kissed his cheek.
He opened his eyes and said, "That's not fair!"
"Still a kiss," I gave him a wink.
He laughed in good humour. Despite accepting it as his oversight, he told me that next time it would be on the lips. It seemed like he really believed there would be a 'next time' How arrogant! Meanwhile, that other guy, who was called Ordric, mixed the cards and set it on the table.
I took two cards from the stack right in front of me, yielding two soldier cards. I rubbed the lower corner of both cards' back with my long nails while I waited for the others to pick their cards. Once it was my turn, I took a card from the stack in front of Mr. Kute, who was sitting to my right, which meant he was also the person whose turn was before me.
A queen! Not what I expected, but not bad.
When it came to my turn again, I chose to take a card from Mr. Kute's hand. I received another soldier. So I had three soldier cards, which would be utterly useless unless I chose to get a Rebellion win, which required four soldiers and two archers.
This move is called Sabotage. Just like the name of the move, it's used if you think the person before you has received some beneficial card or if one player wants to slow the progress of the player before him. This move can't be done twice in a row though, or else one person would never have enough cards to get a chance at winning.
On my next turn, I chose to take a card from Meul's stack. Just as I pulled the card from his stack and placed it into my hand, I noticed that he gave my face a short gaze before he proceeded to take a card from Mr. Ordric's stack. I got a queen, by the way.
The game went on until I got a full set for Assassination, including a Campaign card. Thinking that Meul was somehow cheating, I decided to challenge Mr. Ordric, the man sitting in front of me instead. To my shock, he dropped a hand consisting of 1 general, 2 soldiers, 2 archers and 1 cavalry instead. It was a Coup!
Coup always defeats Assassination. Eventhough I was the one who called a campaign, he could still defend with a counter. Damn it!
I had to walk around to his side of the table and give him a quick kiss on the lips instead. You're asking how I could so easily give him my first kiss? No, that's not my first kiss. My first kiss was with Lili in Chapter 6, remember?
The third time I lost to Meul's Coup. I was doing my best, looking at all three of their faces and wondering what cards they hand on hand. But just as I was about call out "Invasion!", brother Meul said he wanted to take a card from my hand. He looked at my face as he moved his fingers above each of the cards slowly. At first I thought he was looking at my face for a change of expression, so I made the best poker face I could.
Then I realized that he wasn't actually looking at my face, he was looking behind me! Someone behind me was telling him what cards I had! Big brother Meul, your methods are old and outdated! Regardless of how much I looked down on his outdated cheating method, though, I couldn't do anything when he took my general and launched his own Invasion on me, which was no longer an Invasion hand as I was missing a general card.
You're asking what would happen if Invasion met Invasion? In that case it would be a tie. Both players would keep their bets but wouldn't be able to rejoin the game until the other two finished as well. So in this case, since I lost my general card, my Invasion wasn't complete. So I had to kiss Meul on the lips. Well actually he kissed me on the lips, even took his time too.
In the fourth game I won by launching an Invasion before Mr. Ordric was ready. I won 5 silver coins since Mr. Kute raised the bet during the 6th round. Everyone including me followed suit, as the only alternative was to bail and lose the bet.
I lost the fifth game to Mr. Kute's Invasion. I lost all my previously won silver. Damn you people! Why is everyone targetting me? Don't you want to win money? What's the point of winning kisses?
Just before we started the sixth game, I declared, "Sorry everyone, I'm going to have to make this my last game. I have to go back to work. Need to earn money."
"Why would you need to work? Don't you already have money as a princess?" Meul asked.
"Yes, but all my gold is at home. Unfortunately I can't go home until I've ransomed my father, brother and soldiers. But I can't ransom them since I don't have enough money. So I'm kind of stuck working here."
I tried to make my best sad face and even managed to push my tear ducts to produce some tears. Girls are scary.
"Then how about we start the bet with 2 gold?" Meul asked.
"Eh?" Seriously, I was surprised. Why would he suddenly offer gold when we've been betting using silver?
"Don't 'eh' me! I really like you, Felicia, if you're not a princess, I would've asked you to marry me."
"Oi, you bastard! Keep that to yourself!"
"How dare you confess to our beloved Felicia!"
"You want to eat steel, boy?"
"I'm gonna punch your face, Meul!"
Meanwhile, my bodyguard Alek had already taken out his standard issue throwing knife and pressed it against Meul's neck.
"Hey hey, guys, calm down! Nothing's wrong with confessing! You guys could've done that too, who's stopping you?"
Everything suddenly became quiet as we allowed the wind to blow.
"Felicia, I love you!"
"Felicia, I want to make you my little sister!"
"Forget little sister! Become my wife!"
"How about becoming my daughter, Felicia?"
"I don't care that you're a princess. Let's elope to the countryside!"
"Felicia, would you marry me?"
To this sudden harassment, Alek suddenly took a chair and wielded it like a weapon. He held the legs with both hands and pointed the seat part at anyone who got within two feet of me. This suddenly felt tiring as everyone seemed to crowd around our table. I had to ask them to let my view of the door remain unblocked.
Seriously, you all fell in love me? You think I've never been a guy? You idiots are being so plainly obvious. You just want to get in my panties!
"So what will I have to bet for this 2 gold coins?" I asked as I rubbed my temple.
"The right to touch you should be of equal value, I think?"
"Touch me where?"
The noise then started again.
"Worthless excuse of a human being!"
"Your death won't be easy, Meul!"
"Start watching your back, bastard!"
Would the peanut gallery please shut the hell up? All this noise is giving me a headache. Maybe I should just kill everyone here and empty their pockets of all valuables. Patience, have patience, Felicia. You're better than this.
"How can the right to touch everywhere on a princess's body be worth 2 gold? Shouldn't it be higher?" I asked.
I'm not actually a princess. Since this misunderstanding is already in full swing though, let's just go with the flow. It's not my fault. So I'm going to milk this for all it's worth.
"But Felicia, I love you. Whether you're a princess or not doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you're a princess or a commoner, your worth is the same in my eyes."
"Cheap!" Again, the noise returned.
"You think that's smooth, you bastard?"
"Felicia is worth double that!"
"Felicia, if you become my daughter, I'll give you ten times more. I'll give you anything you want afterwards too!"
I rubbed my head as I patted Alek's shoulder. "Make them quiet, please. You have permission to be violent."
"A’ight, yer scurvy degs! ‘oo werns ter be beat’n up fierst!" Alek said with a voice that sounded very fired up.
There were some arguments, but everyone more or less quieted down. Despite everything they said, they were mostly just merchants and city workers who wanted a normal and peaceful life. Tangling with the bodyguard of a fake princess (lol) would be bad for their health.
"Let's go with 5 gold. Winner gets to touch and be touched," Mr. Ordric said as he held a pouch by its bottom and let out 12 gold. He pushed the shiny 5 gold to the center of the table.
"Who the hell does this foreigner think-"
I raised my hand to stop the peanut gallery before it started again.
"The whole night."
"I'm still a virgin."
"We can stop before we reach that point."
"How can I trust you?"
"You can't. But if I do go farther than that, I'll reimburse you well."
"I... don't know about this..."
"In fact, let's just forgo all hassle and decide on a one night stand." Mr. Ordric pushed another 5 gold.
"I'm not going to lose!" Meul suddenly declared as he poured 10 gold on the table too.
Is this fine, big brother Meul? You're just a quarry worker, aren't you?
Mr. Kute suddenly took out his money pouch too and was about to pour it on the table when Meul said, "Kute, bail out!"
"Like hell! This is Felicia's virginity we're talking about!" Mr. Kute said as he also pushed 10 gold coins to the center of the table before he told Mr. Ordric to 'deal'.
Wait! Guys, I haven't even said yes yet! Was this planned? Were you all plotting to get my virginity today, you bastard pedobears?!
Before I could protest though, the cards were dealt and placed in four stacks in front of us. I looked at my first two cards and realized I got two soldiers. Okay, a normal spread so far, I thought as I placed both cards face down on the table. This movement wasn't lost on the other three players, but it was probably not all that strange to them.
On my next turn, my eyes were slightly blinded by the noon glare that came in through the wide open door and shined on the waxed back of the cards. I picked the card on Meul's stack and placed it face down on top and slightly to the left of the face down cards my side of the table. All three of them looked at me curiously, but didn't say anything.
On my next turn, I took another card from Meul's stack. Then again, I placed it face down on top and slightly to the left of the face down cards. Mr. Ordric and Mr. Kute glared at me for some reason.
Meul on the other hand, asked directly, "Felicia, don't you want to look at what card you have?"
"Oh that's fine. I don't have any confidence in winning on my own. So I'm praying that my ancestors will help me."
"Yes, but praying to the ancestors doesn't actually do anything," Mr. Kute argued.
"It's okay, I trust them with my life!" I said while showing great faith. They stopped arguing with me. I could see Mr. Ordric was trying to hold his laugh. That's good, keep on thinking I'm an innocent little girl.
On the fourth turn, I picked a card from my own stack, after the top was taken by Mr. Kute. Again, I put the card face down on the table. I could see Mr. Ordric making a small grin.
Should I start worrying about Mr. Ordric? Is he close to winning?
On the fifth turn, Mr. Ordric made a pained face when Mr. Kute took one of his cards. Mr. Kute reshuffled his hand before he continued the game. I chose to pick a card from his hand. The moment I took a card, the same card stolen from Mr. Ordric, Mr. Kute's eyes almost let out a tear. I knew without even looking that this was a Campaign card. So I had Sabotaged both Mr. Kute and Mr. Ordric in one move.
I tried to not make my pleasure known. Again, I placed it face down on the table. I now had six cards on the table.
On the sixth round, I realized that there was no particular card that I wanted. The only card that I actually needed was in Mr. Ordric's hand and unless Mr. Kute Sabotaged him in the next round, I couldn't possibly get it. So I took one card from Meul's stack without actually thinking about it. This time I looked at it briefly, finding a useless queen card. I put it face down on the table anyway.
It was this time that Mr. Ordric raised the stake. "Let's go double." He took out another pouch and placed another 10 gold coins on the table.
"Oi, you bastard! I don't have that much money!" Meul scolded.
"Then quit, nobody's forcing you to play," Mr Kute said as he took out another 10 gold coins.
If big brother Meul quit though, he would lose his 10 gold coins by default.
"Damn it! Malor, I need a loan!"
"Big brother Meul, you don't have to continue, you know? It's not worth it," I persuaded as gently as I could. To tell the truth, even I was starting to be afraid of his future. He was only a quarry worker after all.
"Felicia..." Meul said as he placed his hands on my lower arms, which weren’t covered by the barmaid's dress.
Hey hey, who said you're allowed to touch me?
"I love you, I really do. Don't say you're not worth it. It is I who am not worthy of you. That's why I have to do this, because it's the only way I can be with you, even if it's only for one night," he said with a face full of sadness.
Wait, did that actually make my heart skip a beat? Is this the River Country's version of a pickup line?
"Can you actually pay it back, though? That's the real issue," Daddy Malor asked when he stood inside the circle made by the peanut gallery.
"I can. I have money at a safe place. I just don't carry it around like these two idiots!"
Next to Daddy Malor was Daddy Soom. Daddy Soom looked at my face down cards and my face with a critical eye and whispered into my ears, "Don't bully them too much, Felicia."
I made a shocked face with my mouth looking like ('0') when he said that. Could it be possible that he already knew? Was I too obvious?
"So with this, it's three nights, Felicia," Mr. Ordric stated.
"Eh, hold on a minute. Why three nights? If it's doubled, shouldn't it be two nights?"
"You won't have your virginity on our second night."
"True, that," Mr. Kute agreed.
God damn these perverts.
"Why don't you just go ahead and get a full month already, you perverts?" I said with hint of anger.
Apparently they didn't notice my scathing comment as Mr. Ordric's eyes flashed in delight and took off an iron key with a fancy symbol from around his neck and placed it on the table. He pushed it forward, placing it next to the stack of gold coins on the table.
"What the heck is that?" I asked.
"This, my dear princess, is the key to the chest that holds the banner of Ordric's Band."
The wind blows again in this wind-less restaurant.
"I'm sorry, I must've lost sense of what you just said. Can you repeat that?" I asked.
It sounded something like a band? Is he offering to transfer something like a singing troupe to me? Is he some kind of talent agent?
"I own a mercenary company consisting of 200 longbowmen and 80 armoured footmen. Whoever owns this key, owns the chest that contains the banner. Whoever owns the banner owns my mercenary company. So if you somehow win, you get everything, though since we're still contracted to Prince Hans, we won't be able to work for you until two summers later."
A mercenary company? My own mercenary company?
"A question, please," Mr. Kute interrupted, "How much is this worth?"
"Considering that the amount necessary to hire my company for two weeks is at least 200 gold. I'd say the key is worth at least that much."
"I can't match that!" Mr. Kute punches the table.
"Then quit! It's that simple."
On the other side, big brother Meul's face went pale. His eyes darted between looking at the generous amount of shiny gold coins on the table and the loan slip in his hand.
Without noticing it himself, he started to cry like a little boy, despite looking like a heavyweight wrestler.
I lightly touched the back of his right hand. When he looked at me, I gestured him to come to me. And like a bear he pounced on me with a face covered in tears. He knelt on the floor, his arms hugging my waist as he cried against my budding chest.
Oh well, it's the least I can do for him after he lost 20 gold coins.
"Felicia... me too..." Mr. Kute said as he made a sad face, or tried to make a sad face.
That is the face of lust, Mr. Kute. You can try making a sad face, but I don't think that's working. Please don't go into the theatre business, Mr. Kute.
Regardless, I gestured for him to come. 20 gold coins is a lot of money, even by the standard of River Country's extremely inflated economy. So I thought it would be fine to let him have a little service. That was, until I slapped his hand away.
"No groping allowed, Mr. Kute," I said noticing his attempt to fondle my butt.
"But he gets to bury his face in your breasts!"
I looked at Meul's face crying against my chest. "This is different."
"Then excuse me!" Mr. Kute also buried his face into my chest with his arms wrapped around my torso just under my chest line.
I smacked the back of his head when he tried to rub his face on my right chest, but otherwise just let him stay there as he wanted. It wasn't like I had any breasts to be offended with anyway. When others that made up the circle took a step closer, I said plainly and with a calm voice, "Other people who try to sneak a hug will be slaughtered."
Those who tried to get close backed away immediately.
"So everything on the table or one month of personal midnight service from me, is for the winner of this game?"
"That's right. I can't wait to sleep with a princess," Mr. Ordric made a grin.
"I'm not actually a princess, you know?"
"Doesn't matter even if that's true. You're just my type."
Sigh. It seems like the River Country is full of people with too much money and no brain.
"Quickly pick up a card. I'm telling you, princess, I'll likely win with my next card, so it's best to just get it over with."
I sighed again.
Guess he hasn't realized it yet. For a high stakes gambler he's sure lacking perceptiveness. Oh well, his loss. Taking a card from my stack, I slowly showed him how hopeless and bleak his future was. I opened my cards slowly, one by one, going teasingly slower, thus allowing me to savour the change in this lolicon pervert's facial expression.
First card is Queen, let's throw this away. Then came Campaign. Archer. Archer. Soldier. Soldier. Soldier. And my last card, Soldier.
Now, what does that make?
"REBELLION!" everyone watching shouted together in disbelief.
"Is this a good hand, Mr. Ordric?" I asked while making the sweetest smile I could when in my heart, I was jumping in joy.
Seriously guys, your cheating methods are elementary.
Now you're wondering how I was able to get one of the rarest win in the game? Let me give you a hint: the sun's glare. I purposely sat at the seat that would bring a lot of sunlight on the table, at just the right angle so that only I could see it clearly.
I've been marking the cards with my fingernails since the first game. Don't believe me? Read back to the very first time I started playing, I mentioned it once back then. For soldiers, I marked the back of the cards on one of its corners. For archers, on the side of its width. For campaign cards, on the side of its length. For any other cards, I marked it on the center of the card. It was hard to see the markings when it was in someone's hand. However, when it was on top of a stack, the markings shone like lasers.
From the start, I'd been aiming for a Rebellion win. The reason I'd been playing for five games without caring about getting a win was because I was spending all that time marking cards. That one win was actually accidental, either I was lucky or they allowed me to win. I had to make the 6th game my last because if I had continued, they would probably wonder why I'd still play even when I knew I couldn't win. So if they didn't take my bait to raise the stakes, it really would be just a mediocre last game there. Despite all that, I wasn't expecting this much win. (lol)
At this moment, Mr. Ordric had fallen face down, flat on the table. He didn't faint, but you could tell that his soul was coming out from his head out of shock from the complete loss. Around him, both big brother Meul and Mr. Kute was making faces at the man who had lost a whole lot more than them.
"How does it feel to become poor, huh?" big brother Meul teased while making faces.
"You lost everything, man. Alms for the poor! Alms for the poor!" Mr. Kute acted like a beggar who was holding up his cup begging for alms.
Mr. Ordric suddenly got up and punched both of them in the face. The punch must've been very strong because they both fainted on the floor with just one punch each. Then Mr. Ordric looked at me with sharp eyes, causing me to pull back the hand that was about to grab all that gold on the table.
"Do I get a hug too?"
"Ah? Hmmm, sure, why not?"
He suddenly made three quick steps to my side and pulled me up into his embrace. I didn't notice it earlier as I was planning my strategy for winning the game, but Mr. Ordric was actually very big, even bigger than big brother Meul. While he hugged me tightly, I suddenly shuddered at the thought that I could've lost the game to this giant.
Imagining myself on his bed with this giant just above me... the thought is really TERRIFYING!!!!
It was only years later that I found out that he was cast out of his tribe because he was the smallest among them. It seemed like the average height of his tribesmen were 10 feet and they lived beyond the mountains of Surfes. Their food consisted mostly of dire bears, large snakes and crocodiles. A tribe of giants? So scary!
Hi everyone, it's Ai-chan again. You've probably wondered why I gave a description of the card game in part 1. It was for this, the card game of doom. Again, I'd like to inform that active editing for the webnovel's volume 1 has ended and the only things being fixed are the more glaring grammatical errors. The LN has better grammar (because it has a dedicated editor) as well as better description on the card game of doom.
Thanks for reading. Your comments are always appreciated. Assuming you hate the chapter and wants to bash me, please, at least be polite.