Fighting For My Freedom In Another World
For some reason the princess had deemed it fit for her to sleep in the same bed as me out of nowhere.
I didn’t dare question it, and she hadn’t said anything, so I had just ended up lying there the whole night, the princess peacefully dozing off right in front of me.
As for me? I hadn’t been able to sleep at all. The princess, she was… considerably attractive. To the point that my heart just wouldn’t quite calm down just that easily whenever she was close enough to me, so seeing her sleep in front of me was a bit… a bit too much for my heart to handle.
In other words, I was a bit tired.
Once the princess had woken up, she had nonchalantly wished me a good morning and given me instructions on where I could get cleaned up and find a new set of clothes, in her words, “before we set out to do that thing I asked for your help with yesterday”.
Which was why I found myself in the castle courtyard what I thought was about an hour and a half later, no longer looking quite as messy as I must have the day before, and dressed in clothes I had actually gotten to choose myself this time instead of just whatever the witch had been wearing when I took over her body.
Even if I had ended up stumped and unable to choose, and ultimately chosen almost the same outfit except cleaner and in different colours, ones I personally was more of a fan of.
I was now awkwardly standing in a corner of the castle courtyard, doing my best not to stand out too much, watching the people that passed while I waited for the princess who had told me she’d be there later.
I hadn’t had time to think about what the castle courtyard looked like when I passed it with the princess the day before, but now that I was able to take a more leisurely look at it, I could confidently say it was quite a sight to behold.
A wide variety of trees, about half of them which clearly would have been impossible sights in my own world, and various other plants I couldn’t even begin to name, and not only because my botanical knowledge was almost zero. Flowers, in every colour imaginable and not.
And yet it all paled in beauty to the girl who I now saw coming walking my way.
At least that was the case yesterday. Today, the princess looked a bit… different.
“What’s up with the outfit?”, I asked once she was close enough.
“It’s for what we’ll be doing. I’d stand out too much dressed like… well, you saw me yesterday. Any other question you’d like answered before we begin?”
“If you’re in a nice enough mood to answer, then I do have two. Actually make that three. What was that whole thing with sleeping next to me yesterday about?”
“Oh, so you noticed… but it’s my room, you know. It’s only natural I’d sleep in it too. And I already told you we don’t really have a lot of rooms to spare, that much was true. There weren’t any free beds in the castle, so I figured you could just sleep in mine. Would you rather have slept on the floor?”
I slept in… the princess’s bed? That wasn’t quite what I had had in mind when asking for a place to sleep. Would explain the size of it though.
“Then that’s settled! Hope you enjoyed it. It’s a pretty comfy bed, if I may say so myself. So, what about your other two questions?”
“Is it just me, or are you speaking incredibly differently now compared to when I first saw you yesterday?”
“Ah, yeah, I guess you’re right. I mean, I figure it’s fine to be a bit more casual if it’s only the two of us. Most people have expectations of me as the royal princess, which means they’d get pretty annoyed and stuff if I wasn’t what they expected. But you only met me for the first time yesterday and aren’t even from this world in the first place, so I doubt you’d actually care if I’m a bit ‘improper’ or whatever. Not the way a whole lot of other people would, at least. So I figure it doesn’t really matter how casual or rough around the edges I sound around you, even if I just met you yesterday.”
“There’s a bunch of other people around this very moment, though.”
The morning courtyard was in fact practically bustling with activity.
“Do you actually think anyone would recognise me at the moment?”
“That brings me to my third question. Seriously, what’s up with that outfit?”
The princess was wearing something which looked… well, absolutely not like something a princess would ever wear. A very baggy grey top which was torn in various places and had various stains and dirt all over it. A pair of short shorts to go along with it, and which were in matchingly poor condition.
Also a small blue hat for some reason, which was the only part of her outfit that didn’t look like it had been handed to a lion to play with and then thrown into a puddle of mud dozens of times. There was a small hole on the side of it, though.
“It’s a disguise. Even if I’m the princess, or maybe because I’m the princess, I’m pretty sure no one would recognise me if I dress like this.”
“Didn’t I recognise you just now?”
“I… I guess you did. How did you do that, actually?”
“Do you seriously need to ask me that?”
“Well, I personally clearly have absolutely no idea. So you don’t have to, but it will help me out a whole lot if you do tell me. Please?”
She pleadingly looked up at me, a sparkle in her eyes, and she inched closer to me as she asked it.
“Your face, and your hair. No matter how differently you dress those would stand out pretty much anywhere.“
“My face… Ah, right, I have one of those. Knew there was something I forgot. I can’t really tell people apart by their faces very well, so it kind of just slipped my mind.”
She scratched the back of her head while explaining.
“Well, I’ll just need to deal with the face problem later, but I can probably do something about the hair pretty easily. But for now… it looks like we have some more immediate issues to deal with.”
The princess slipped behind my back before I could fully grasp what was going on. Since I was over a whole head taller than her, and she was of smaller stature in general, hiding behind me was enough to fully obscure her from the sight of anyone.
For some reason two very important-looking people came up to me. Picture a Victorian gentleman, then picture another one but slightly taller than the first, and make the first one a tiny bit overweight, and you’d basically have the right idea.
“Princess? May we have your attention for a moment?”
“Sorry, but the princess doesn’t seem to be around at the moment.”
While it seemed doubtful they hadn’t seen her hide behind my back, I figured I could at least try to play along, considering the princess clearly wanted me to.
“But… we’re talking to you right now, princess. You are clearly here. Are you unwell? Is there anything we can assist you with?”
I thought they had seen the princess behind my back at first, but judging by what they were saying… they thought I was the princess? What incredibly derailed leaps of logic could ever lead anyone to that conclusion? The two of us didn’t even look remotely alike. For one thing, she was much prettier.
“Please, don’t be afraid, princess. If there is anything bothering you, we would be happy to help. If it would help with arrangements for the ceremony…”
“I am afraid you seem to have gotten the wrong person. It’s an understandable mistake, but I’m not her. I saw her walking through the castle before though. Maybe you’ll have better luck if you take another look inside?”
“That princess always seems to be wherever we’re not… We thank you for your assistance, young lady who looks remarkably like the princess,”
Muffled laughter echoed from behind my back once the two gentlemen were well out of sight and earshot.
“I can’t believe they’d fall for something that stupid. Guess I know what I should do next time I don’t want to deal with all that stuff. And see, it works! They didn’t have the slightest clue about who I am, even if I’m sure they’ve must at least have seen me at a distance before I hid behind you.”
“I’m still not sure I can believe that actually worked. What was that just now all about anyway? There’s absolutely no way someone would think I look like you.”
“Remember how I told you about illusion magic yesterday? That’s actually the kind of magic I’m best at, so I used some to make you look like me. It was really funny to see them think you were me while I was standing right here behind you, neither of them suspecting a thing.”
So to everyone else around, I had actually looked like the princess. Kind of felt a bit contradictory right after the whole spiel about how she had a reputation to maintain… surely she hadn’t set this whole thing up just for this one situation to happen? Seemed kind of overkill to disguise yourself just for that.
“Aren’t those people I talked with going to end up wasting a whole lot of time now? And what if they needed to talk about something important? And you didn’t seriously disguise yourself just for that… right?”
“I mean, that was kind of the point, I’d rather have them not find me… Anyway, let’s get going. And I think I know what they wanted from me, and I highly doubt it can’t wait. If anything it’s probably for the better if it does wait for a week or two or three or a month or two. I’m hoping I’ll be in a better position to handle it then. You know, time to prepare and all that jazz. But now, we have a very important mission to accomplish!”
A very important mission I supposedly was an integral part of yet didn’t know a thing about.
“So, what’s this mission about, princess?”
“I don’t actually know that much myself. It’s a request from my father, and there’s some criminals or something hiding out in… somewhere. Somewhere in some general area that I guess we’ll just have to look through ourselves.”
“So, we’re supposed to do… what? Arrest them?”
“Infiltrate them, apparently. My dad claims they have bigger things planned, and that they could be pretty dangerous. Which is where you come in, actually. If you’d actually hurry up and learn to use your powers before too long, you’d easily be almost as strong as our whole military. In other words, sending you there and making you train a bunch on the way is much better for the royal budget compared to sending in our normal forces.”
“But if it’s that dangerous, why are you, the princess, tagging along?”
“To keep an eye on you.”
For some reason the princess made sure to stare really intently at me and winked while she said it.
Perhaps it was supposed to signify how carefully she was keeping an eye on me, but she was bad enough at it that it felt more like she was trying to flirt with me.
But there was no way someone like a princess, of all people, would ever be flirting with me.
There wasn’t, right?
A new doubt was starting to take shape somewhere at the back of my mind, but I brushed it aside for now.