Chapter 20:

20: Armored Riverstone Spiders? Hey wait-

I was Born the Unloved Twin

If I was the hero to my own story this would be the moment that I would gain powers of my own. Something would unlock, a magical weapon activates, the force inside and around me awakening. My 'protagonist' worthy potential would unlock and start from this point where I save the day I would level up to unimaginable heights.Bookmark here

Hahahaha! I'm too funny it's depressing. Bookmark here

Ha! It sure would be nice to be a hero. But nope, this is the body of a normal child. A healthy one but a pretty normal one regardless. No magical enhancements here! Hey Lilyanne, if you could turn on your female lead powers a bit, just enough to get us out of this, that would be great. Bookmark here

Seriously I can take like what 2 or 3 of these things with my tree branch. But that's a waste of time and energy. There's no way I would be able to defeat more than a couple of these things. There's a shitty thing about these creatures, when they die they turn to literal rocks. Just straight up stone.Bookmark here

No squish, just annoyingly hard rocks. Bookmark here

Rosalia has lived a charmed life. She was well-traveled, well educated and well-read. She has no f****** idea what these things are!Bookmark here

It's like fighting against a brick wall, though the bricks are moving around everywhere. Bookmark here

All I know is what I see now, they're moving rocks with pincers. There's no point in killing them, especially if they swarm. I throw away the tree branch for another one with much fuller leaves still attached.Bookmark here

Yes, you guessed right. I'm going to sweep them. Bookmark here

Off you go little guys, don't come over here. Sheesh honestly they're not so bad. If you just sweep them away they scuttle along on their path. We just happened to get caught up in that path, like a giant migration route. Maybe it's a spring thing for these creatures, are they local?Bookmark here

We're not in any danger since I discovered the secret of sweeping. Take that rock crabs, I am well versed in the art of sweeping. Trained and practiced for many years as a commoner who does house chores! Put your legs into it, find the right angles and use momentum to conserve energy!Bookmark here

You rock crabs are nothing compared to fall leaves or worse....shoveling snow. Bookmark here

Despite having the situation rather under control, Lilyanne is up there crying like a cat stuck in the tree. If the cat was a screaming toddler that is. Is she even breathing through all that crying?Bookmark here

"Waaaah hellllp! wwwwwwah heeeeeelp! booo hoooo"Bookmark here

"Lilyanne you're fine"Bookmark here

"Waaah Rosa! Pwease! Waaaah waah heeeeeelp!"Bookmark here

"Lily please stop crying."Bookmark here

"Bweee waaaaaah waaaaahhhhhh!!!"Bookmark here

"Look down at me Lily, it's really ok. Look! I'm sweeping them away, look a nice crab free circle!"Bookmark here

While the pincers and hard spiked shells look concerning to sensitive baby soft flesh, we can make a path pretty easily. Just sweep and avoid the strays. Shake off the bush broom once in awhile. That was thankfully an underwhelming battle.Bookmark here

"Are you alright!?"Bookmark here

Oh shit, this cannot be happening. Bookmark here

"Hic hewps pwease waaaah!"Bookmark here

"Get away from her!"Bookmark here

I feel like smacking my head into the tree because a simple facepalm isn't enough.Bookmark here

A child not all that bigger than me appears at the edge of the clearing. He rushes in with a toy sword like a little fool, his fluffy coat fluttering uselessly behind him....oh gee, how gallant.Bookmark here

Whoopee. We are saved. By...that.Bookmark here

And the stupid prince come to the rescue of the crying princess still. Some things really can't be changed, what a shame.Bookmark here

I think I messed up the setting pretty well though. Migrating hoard of rock crabs doesn't sound quite as romantic as a field of flowers. Bookmark here

Still I'm sure this will be a very fond memory for them in the future, it's very dramatic. Well I tried.Bookmark here

"Beasts I'll get you! Take that and that."Bookmark here

Oh very heroic, his wooden sword is just as effective as my tree branch. Actually, never mind, I think I'd have better luck with the branch, it's much longer.Bookmark here

And that makes two, two dead rock crabs out of what, several thousand? Lilyanne must absolutely be swooning up there in her cloth diapers. Bookmark here

"Waaaaaahhhhh! Sumbody hewp us!!! Bwaaaaaahhhhh."Bookmark here

"Lilyanne stop crying right now! You're fine, we're fine!"Bookmark here

That's when the baby stupid prince finally notices me. Ridiculous considering how I'm literally standing a few feet in front of him. Bookmark here

Hey, it's a metaphor for our relationship! Ahhaha I amuse myself too much. Bookmark here

"Two of them? You, get away from there, it's dangerous! "Bookmark here

"Uh huh, sure it is."Bookmark here

I make an exaggerated display of my previous sweeping to get my point across. Might as well make a bigger clearing for Lilyanne, geez what a crybaby. And they call me the loud one?Bookmark here

"The riverrock spiders! That speed! How are you defeating so many of them like that?!"Bookmark here

Is he pulling my leg or is baby stupid prince really that stupid? You know what nevermind, I overestimated him, my bad. Bookmark here

I ignore him in favor of coaxing Lilyanne down.Bookmark here

"Lily look I got rid of so many! It's super safe now!"Bookmark here

"Hic reawy?"Bookmark here

"Yes really! look I can sweep them away with one hand! Stay with me and you'll be super safe."Bookmark here

"But... scawy"Bookmark here

"It's not too scary with me right? You do trust your big sister right?"Bookmark here

"Mmm! Rosa!"Bookmark here

"Good, here come on down. I got you, you won't fall."Bookmark here

She's a surprisingly good climber though she needs a little more help coming down. It's always scarier coming down so I climb up halfway to support her. The dull sound of rock thumping is still going on behind me, the stupid prince still must be there.Bookmark here

"Ack! ow ow ow!"Bookmark here

And one of them got him in the hand! Good job crabby! Oh he's handicapped, another one pinches him by the ankle. They're beginning to swarm since he keeps attacking them. This is absolutely great!Bookmark here

"Rosa! Savey him."Bookmark here

Aww do I have to? I know it would probably be wise to make a good impression on the stupid prince but it's just so amusing. It's not like he did anything as I lay dying in my own cooling blood. This is nothing!Bookmark here

Oh alright fine, I'll go save your dammed stupid boyfriend, stop making those cow eyes at me.Bookmark here

"Don't fight them, they'll turn aggressive if you kill too many!"Bookmark here

I learned that the hard way but after throwing away their companions rock corpses into the distance they scattered in the flow of traffic. Bookmark here

"Sweep them away with your sword. I'm coming."Bookmark here

The pinched up baby prince tries following my instructions but he's not very coordinated with the numerous crabs pinched on him. I wish I had a camera.Bookmark here

They're mostly on his clothes, it looks much worse than it really is. The one that got him on the finger though, ow ow okay even I feel a little bad at that. Well time to speed up the sweeping, I'm almost there to save him. Bookmark here

Wow I never thought there come a day I would be saving the stupid prince. His huge body builder muscles weren't for show and paired with his stern training he was an immovable wall. The stupid prince was a muscle head but he was a strong one, I'll give him that. Bookmark here

Right now though he's just a spoiled 3 years old child with a stupid hat, a stupid wooden sword and a lot of crabs clinging onto him. I'll treasure this moment and remember it always. This is already a great improvement to our own first meeting!Bookmark here

Lilyanne clings to me the whole time as I sweep a path. I grab the flailing prince by the back of his shirt and drag him behind me as I continue to sweep us out of the crabs' way. Bookmark here

When we're far away enough I take a quick breather. Time to free him of some of those crabs, my bush broom is the perfect tool for various things. Bookmark here

Oh, this part I will enjoy.Bookmark here

Turning around ready to smack those crabs and the wonderfully attached stupid prince, however I am greeted with a tender sight out of an anime. Lilyanne carefully holding on to the crab on his finger, trying to wiggle it out if it's painful hold. The boy wincing in a mix of pain and gratefulness.Bookmark here

I look away for just one moment to make a path and they're already having their first date moment behind my back. We're just missing some pink flower blossoms falling from above. How typical. Bookmark here

Well might as well sit back and watch, I've done my part. Also, I'm feeling awkward here, how gross.Bookmark here

"Ow ow ow"Bookmark here

"I gwot it!"Bookmark here

"Ugh wheeew, thank you."Bookmark here

"R yuu ok?"Bookmark here

No he's not okay, he's very clearly crying, hehe. Not as much as Lilyanne does but she's a natural water fountain. He's not bleeding at least but that finger may need a stint and a bandage.Bookmark here

"....yes. I'll be kay. Were you hurt?"Bookmark here

"No but it was scawy. U fight so many."Bookmark here

"...Thank you, I hope you're okay. Ack but-"Bookmark here

He turns to me and the spell is suddenly broken. It's as if they just noticed I was here the whole time, you know the one cleaning up the crabs. It's expected to be the third wheel with this pair but how annoying. They just met! Bookmark here

"Thank you for saving me from the armored spider hoard! Your technique was really great!"Bookmark here

"Spider hoard? Is that what those things were?"Bookmark here

"Yes! We're not to go near the river at this time of year when they cross! I heard a really bad screaming monster sound and ran to see what was wrong."Bookmark here

"Are you sure they're not crabs? But yeah that's Lilyanne' crying alright."Bookmark here

"What are crabs?"Bookmark here

"Um, tank you for comin. I'm sowy u got hurt."Bookmark here

Oh god is he blushing? What is with this pink atmosphere?! They're literal babies! Ok ok ok that's enough of that, time to ruin the mood.Bookmark here

"You jumped in and tried smashing a bunch of pinching rocks! That's just dumb! Here, I'll hold your sword. You shouldn't move your finger or hand for awhile. Try to keep it held up."Bookmark here

"Er thank you, like this?"Bookmark here

"Right just like that, until you get back to the healers." Bookmark here

"Yes my home is this way."Bookmark here

He makes to lead for once and I let him. I'm not supposed to know this area yet. It's smarter to play dumb.Bookmark here

"Are you from around here? Since you know about the crabs you called armored spiders?"Bookmark here

"Not really. My family owns a place here but I really live further away."Bookmark here

"Us too! we live far away!"Bookmark here

"I see, Lilyanne was it?"Bookmark here

"Yay! I'm Liwiann! An dis is my Rosa!"Bookmark here

"My name is Rosalia and this is my baby sister Lilyanne. We're from the south and visiting with our family."Bookmark here

"I see. Pleased to meet you Rosalia, Lilyanne. I am Erik Heinrich of the Northern Territories."Bookmark here

Sure whatever, I already know that. To me though you'll always be 'stupid prince'. Don't think I missed that blushing at my sister, already at this age. You're really going to have to work to become brother in law in this life. And I mean reeeeeeaaaallllly work. Bookmark here

I still absolutely hate you after all!Bookmark here

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Bonus afterward short:Bookmark here

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"And these will get them off faster?"Bookmark here

"Yes absolutely! Go for it."Bookmark here

When we arrived back to the residence a crew of frantic servants were looking for Lilyanne and I. The commotion got even worse when we were discovered with the little prince covered head to toe in as they called, armored river rock spiders.Bookmark here

What's wrong with just crabs?Bookmark here

"Your majesty!"Bookmark here

"Oh dear what is this?!" You're absolutely covered in those vile monsters"Bookmark here

"Get the cleavers, those darn hell spiders. I just hate this time of year."Bookmark here

"Please wait."Bookmark here

This is bothering me too much, I have to confirm it for myself.Bookmark here

"Pardon my intrusion but I know a much better way to remove these creatures."Bookmark here

"Little miss?"Bookmark here

"Rosalia. Rosalia Therese Ventrella. Yes down south at home we have a similar creature though they don't hoard at any season. We must prepare a pot of boiling water to treat this!"Bookmark here

"Hot water you say?"Bookmark here

"Yes hot water! Salted would make it even hotter. It wil come off easier then them turning to rocks."Bookmark here

I have no idea what I'm saying, it's just a hunch. But the servants set off when stupid prince Erik gives the ok. My own accompanying staff, however, are weary of me but ready.Bookmark here

"Is there anything else young Miss? "Bookmark here

"Some seating and a table to wait outside. Small clippers or shears, clean ones. Some lemon or citrus if you can find it. Extra salt and pepper. Hmm and some butter."Bookmark here

"Of course Miss Rosalia." Bookmark here

I'm sure they're already catching on to my plan, they're very well trained to my whims. Should I have asked to bread too? They make great dipping with the butter. Bookmark here

"What are those other things for?"Bookmark here

"Oh well the butter is to help ease the pinching, makes it slippery."Bookmark here

"Ah I see."Bookmark here

When the hot salted water is boiling the servants are quick and ready with a change of clothes for the stupid crabby prince. What article of outer clothing that can be removed already has. But for some more sensitive areas, I instruct him to drip the dangling creatures into the boiling water. Since I can't boil him alive it's with the help of some manservants.Bookmark here

"Amazing! It works, they drop right off!"Bookmark here

I sure hope it works, lunch is depending on it. Bookmark here

"Of course it works, go ahead and get them all into the pot. No need to dip the clothes. Yes just lower those little buggers in."Bookmark here

Prince Erik and his servants are amazed at the technique to clean up their armored spider infestations. I'm glad they let go but the real questions to be answered is, will they cook?Bookmark here

"Alright, that's that."Bookmark here

"Wait, don't dump them out yet, they must be boiled for another few minutes."Bookmark here

"Why is that Rosalie?"Bookmark here

Don't worry about it stupid prince, geez you sure are talkative when you're young. Bookmark here

"To be sure!"Bookmark here

"Well if you say so."Bookmark here

Soon enough a delicious fragrance is emitting from the pot of armored"spiders". I understand that this is a landlocked region but does no one here know what a damn crab is?Bookmark here

My personal servants work just as quickly with a table set up as if for outdoor tea. Everything I've asked for is here and more. Plates and utensils have been prepared, there's even a breadbasket. I knew my staff would understand.Bookmark here

"What is all this!?"Bookmark here

"R we ewting now Rosa?"Bookmark here

"That's right Lily, it's time to eat!"Bookmark here

"Yay! Wunchy!"Bookmark here

"But those are the riverstone spiders! The-they're turning so red!"Bookmark here

Great observation oh brilliant prince. But it's not only him who's panicking at the sight of cooked crabs. Hasn't anyone seen seafood here? What a waste, all those crabs uneaten for all this time. Bookmark here

Since my hands are small and delicate I have the servants crack and break the crabs open. While I don't mind getting my hands dirty and eating from the shells it's too messy for Lillyanne. I don't trust her not to injured herself so I have them scoop the meat out for her.Bookmark here

A little lemon, salt and pepper and it's done. Good enough for me! I think Lilyanne would prefer hers with butter but I like mine simple and more refreshing. Both are tasty though. I would prefer a spicier crabbed boil with onion, herbs and other things but this is also nice. It's old fashioned. Bookmark here

"Sp-sp-spider meat!!!"Bookmark here

"No, they're called crabs. They're a kind of shellfish"Bookmark here

"An dey sooo yummy!"Bookmark here

"That's right Liilyanne! You love them don't you?"Bookmark here

"Mmm!!!"Bookmark here

The smell of freshly cooked crab wafts through the air, even the most shell shocked onlookers can't help but gulp at the delicious aroma. I pick up the shell and legs of a more whole looking crab and make to take an exaggerated biteBookmark here

"Well then, how about you give it a try Erik?"Bookmark here

The stupid prince passes out right there and then!Bookmark here

Ahh, it's been a good day.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.