Prologue: Game, Conspiracy, and White Snow
A new year greeted the Greisis Kingdom.
The kingdom’s climate was relatively mild compared to the neighboring countries and the four seasons that made up a year were evenly divided across the year. It wasn’t too hot like the southern continent or too cold like the land to the north. This mild climate characterized the nation, which had grown into a great power.
However, as of recently, this nation grew too large and began to show signs of decline. The tyranny of the aristocrats and high-ranking officials were rotting the nation from the inside. As if as a result of this, there was a change in the mild climate. Drought, floods, frequent pest damage, and famine raged through each region. Yet, the aristocrats, in their tyranny, raised taxes, causing the citizens to live their daily lives in a constant state of anxiety.
The nation’s decay and its natural disasters—if it was just one of them, the citizens might have been able to endure. They could only say that their luck was bad.
As it was however, a portion considered it all a man-made disaster. That all of this could have been avoided if the king had properly ruled the government.
The citizens spat out those words of hatred. If the king and the royal family had tightly gripped the reins on the aristocrats and properly governed the country, they wouldn’t have to live such troubled lives. Nevertheless, most citizens hadn’t left the country yet because they knew an even harder life would be waiting for them in other countries. To other countries, refugees were just a form of cheap labor. Starting from zero would require tremendous effort and perseverance.
Their inability and lack of drive to do anything continued to fester each day. It became a daily habit for them to gather at bars after work with depressed faces and grumble complaints.
“It’s all right!”
But, a child said to a man. The son of the bar owner was helping out in the bar and showed a bright expression, opposite of the male customer.
“What, boy? Don’t go butting into the adults’ conversation.”
With a wooden cup of cheap ale in hand, the regular customer looked down at the child with an annoyed expression. Normally, a child would immediately run away, but the bar owner’s son grinned. To him, interacting with drunk and irritated customers was an everyday occurrence.
“We have the Prince of Light with us, so it’s fine!”
“Prince of Light?”
The man had heard of this name.
It was a game of make-believe played by children. Boys would take a stick in their hand and pretend to be heroes or knights. Girls would wrap their body in a curtain and pretend to be princesses or fairies. It was a game that every child knew.
Recently, the game of pretending to be the Prince of Light was growing popular among the children. The gist of the story was that the Prince of Light defeats the villain with his two retainers and reforms the world, which made the cast of the game the Prince of Light and two other children. Sometimes, a villain or a princess would be added to the cast. At the prince’s call, those who played the servants would push down the villain. In the end, the one playing the prince would announce, “Case closed.”
By the way, the origin of this game of make-believe was a play titled “The Prince of Light’s Journey to Reform the World” that was presented by a traveling troupe in town the other day. The very next day, the game spread among all the children, and it didn’t seem like it would fade from popularity any time soon.
The man knew of these details because he had a daughter roughly the same age as the son of the bar owner. Every day, his daughter would tell and replay the story for him. But, a game was only a game.
“Humph, what child’s play…”
“The Prince of Light exists!”
The boy felt ridiculed, dropped his amiable smile, and raised his voice.
“I even met him—”
“Hey! What are you doing to the customer!?”
Before the son could finish his sentence, a fist came down on his head. The tray in the boy’s hand dropped to the floor with a crash, but because there was nothing on it, there was no damage.
“Hurry up and go to the kitchen and help your dad!”
“But Mom, the Prince of Light does exist!”
His mother’s anger made him swallow back his words. He picked up the tray and headed to the kitchen with heavy footsteps.
“I’m sorry, sir.”
“…No need to get that upset over something a child said.”
There was such anger and intensity in the shapely proprietress’ voice that the irritation and drunkenness of the male customer were calmed down in an instant. As if they were being scolded by their own mother, no one in the bar could go against the proprietress. However, as of recently, her body wasn’t in the best condition so she hadn’t been able to tend the bar. But, it appeared that her complexion was fine today.
“That reminds me, how’s your body?”
“Fine. I got my hands on some medicine for my chronic disease. Sorry for making you worry.”
The proprietress showed a bright smile.
“Ah, I heard that the gang of bandits by the highway had been suppressed.”
Possibly because of the deterioration of the public order, a group of bandits had begun to target peddlers and travelers along the highway. As such, the number of peddlers coming and going had drastically decreased. Those who did, had to hire guards to escort them, further increasing the price of the goods they were selling, to the point where the townsfolk couldn’t afford them. Because of that, the proprietress couldn’t obtain the medicine she needed and her condition deteriorated.
“I heard there were some deaths among the peddlers, too… I’m glad the bandits were suppressed. Still, it’s quite rare for a local lord to work for his people.”
The man recalled his local lord with a distant look. Compared to the skin and bones appearance of folk like him, the local lord moved around with a bloated body. They thought it would have been faster for the man to roll around than walk.
“If we’re talking about ‘strange,’ I heard an official notice about taxes being lowered this year.”
The one who interrupted the proprietress’ and customer’s conversation was a young man eating at the counter seat. He was also a regular at this establishment.
It was unthinkable that the greedy local lord would lower taxes to aid the citizens.
“Really. Furthermore, it said that those who cannot afford them would be taken into account. When I heard this, I thought that this was the start of the apocalypse. Oh yeah, there have also been rumors that unusual visitors recently visited the local lord’s manor. But, it was after that event that the official notice came out…”
The young man tilted his head as he ordered some alcohol. The owner immediately prepared it, but when he brought it over, it included some snacks.
“Enjoy. My treat.”
For some reason, the store owner was happy. The proprietress also beamed.
But the man didn’t notice this and swished his drink.
The son of the owner had been carrying an order to another customer nearby when he whispered this.
“All of this is thanks to the Prince of Light. Why would Dad and Mom hide it…”
It was a dark room. The only light source was the lamp placed in the middle of a table in the center of the room, and it illuminated the hands of those few gathered around it.
“The preparations are completed.”
A man’s voice echoed. Those long-awaited words caused the listeners to become excited, which created a relaxed atmosphere.
“Everyone, please calm down. Only the preparations have been done.”
A languid voice echoed through the room. Those words increased the tension in the room.
Then, let us begin… In the name of Saint Fellis.”
“In the name of Saint Fellis!”
The rest of the people in the room echoed after the man.
There was a single person standing in the untouched snowy field.
This person was wearing the characteristic robe of magicians as they stared at the pure white snow.
This person hated snow. Its color made them recall a memory they didn’t want to recall. They also hated the long, straight, snow-white hair of theirs.
A gust of wind made their hair dance in the air alongside the snow.
“…I wish it would go away.”
While their tone was full of rejection, there was a hint of longing in their voice. The whisper was soon swallowed by the snow.
Sorry to keep you waiting.
This is the start of the 3rd volume of “The Reincarnated Prince” series: The Magus of White Rainbow
I hope that you enjoy this volume like the previous one.
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Please refrain from spoiling anything in the reviews and comments.
I will be fixing any misspellings or missing words when I have time, so please lightly ignore them.
Well then, please enjoy!