At the beginning of the game, the players were all at ease but as they progressed to the middle part of the game, their expressions became cloudy and suspicious. At the end of the game, everyone barely speaks.
「Etho, ano…..Eseria-sama? I got 4 and arrived at the Arrival square, then….」
Kara asked that with a pale face. She can’t say that she’s the first one to finish the game. Eseria can’t help but reply while her face twitches.
「Ye-yeah. Kara-san got first place. Congratulations.」
The game continued quietly and Najek arrived at the arrival square shortly after.
「Ano, Eseria, I’m finished too?」
「….Yes, aniisama is impressive. You managed to get second place.」
Neither Eseria’s praise nor Najek’s response has power. The game continues.
「This….I think I’ve reached the finish line too….」
「Yeah….you’re indeed done too. Good for you, Lisbel-san.」
Eseria is sweating cold sweat while saying that to the teary-eyed maid.
(Wait a minute!! Immediately after the start, her majesty was the leading one. What happened in the second half for the queen to lose turns, get detoured, and was instructed to return a number of times? I’m the only one at the losing end with the queen. This is not funny at all!!)
Eseria screams in her heart and didn’t notice that Cornelia and Miredia already completed the game too.
「Ehto….I think I’m done too. It’s your turn now, Eseria?」
「Yes, yes! I’ll start now!」
Eseria forced herself to continue after realizing the piercing gazes of everyone.
(Calm down, Eseria. It is still okay. The queen is just before me. Unless I get 6, I can still lose. The queen can still win against me. I shouldn’t lose hope.)
She grabbed the korokoro from Cornelia and regained her energy.
「Then, here I go!」
(One! Even if it is not 1, at least don’t show up, 6!!)
And as if answering her prayer, she got 6.
(Oi, what’s this! Game of life’s god, are you skipping work!? Can’t you read the atmosphere??)
In her heart, Eseria is already cursing the game of life god whose existence is still in question. The room became terribly silent.
After that eerie few seconds of silence, everyone turned to Magdalena and apologized.
「A-ano! You’re majesty, I’m terribly sorry for being first!!」
「No, I’m more impolite! After I caught up with the queen, her majesty loses two turns!」
「Aneesama, I’m sorry! It’s because I’m reaching out to you earlier and hit your hand so you got 1 at a critical time!」
However, Magdalena began to laugh happily for some reason while listening to everyone’s desperate apology. Everyone was surprised and asked her why.
「What happened, aneesama?」
「Be-because all of you look desperate!! Especially Miredia, your face looks pathetic.」
Seeing her laugh again after saying that, Eseria was seriously confused.
(Eh? S-she’s not mad?)
Magdalena tried hard to suppress her laughter and spoke.
「You don’t have to be that scared. It is a shame that I didn’t win but I won’t get angry just because I lost in a game. Do you think I’m that narrow-minded?」
Looking around and feeling ashamed, Eseria looks down and sighs in relief.
(Good. The queen is a very reasonable person.)
After being called, the upset Eseria turned her gaze to Magdalena who smiled gently and spoke with her.
「Thank you for bringing this today. Thanks to you, I was able to have fun.」
「Yeah. Though I’m sure if I won, I think I would have been happier.」
Eseria instinctively weeps but Magdalena cheers her up.
「You don’t have to apologize. I indeed had fun. While throwing the korokoro, I can only think of nothing else but what number will I get and every time someone moves her piece, I’m happy and worried at the same time. I’ve never been this excited since I was a child.」
「While playing this, there were a lot of options and I really wish my life also has such options….」
In the end, she said such a self-deprecating line that made everyone else silent. Soon, however, Magdalena continued while smiling brightly.
「Ara….why are you all so serious? I just said that in the spur of the moment. I’m happy with my life and I’m doing the best I can, I have no regret.」
Looking at that dignified smile, Eseria, who had been feeling sorry for her for a while, stood up from her chair. Her emotions were shaken up so she ran to the queen in tears.
「What’s wrong, Eseria?」
「I, I! I love auntie! More than being a queen, I respect you as a wonderful woman!!」
When they saw Eseria hugging Magdalena, Cornelia and Najek’s expressions instantly changed.
「She’s certainly our aunt but keep in mind that she’s also the queen!」
「I don’t mind, Cornelia, Najek.」
「You should start calling me aunt too. Call me aunt when we’re not in public.」
Hearing what Magdalena had said, Cornelia and Najek did not say anything while Meredia turned a carefree gaze towards her elder sister. That moment, Eseria separates from the queen and declares something while crying.
「I! If queen-sama wants me to call you “aunt”, I will always call you aunt from now on! I promise!」
「Thank you. Then, you can call me queen in public but in private, you can call me aunt.」
「Yes, auntie! I promise!」
「Eseria, we have to do something with that face of yours.」
「Thank you, aneesama.」
After seeing the two smiling at each other, Cornelia casually took out her handkerchief and gently wiped Eseria’s face. While watching the sisters, Magdalena whispered to her little sister.
「If I had a gentle and honest daughter like Eseria, my life would have been different. I envy you.」
「Aneesama, that is…」
When Miredia was about to say something unintentionally, Magdalena changed the topic. Whether she’s being sentimental or not, even she herself doesn’t know.
「Ah, speaking of life, Eseria.」
「Yes, aunt-sama, how can I help you?」
「You said that this game’s name is “Easy Win Life”, right? However, there were a lot of instructions that wouldn’t make anyone’s life easy like “you fall into debt, go back three squares”, “you gathered evidence of corruption, the player ahead of you needs to return 5 squares back”, and “If you got odd, you’ll be in a palanquin, if it is even, you have to work”. Shouldn’t you rename it?」
Eseria, who had been told of that straight in the face, considered it seriously.
「…..certainly, you’re right.」
However, no matter how much she thinks of it, she can’t think of another name so she casually asked Magdalena for her opinion.
「Yeah….aunt-sama, do you have any idea for a good name?」
「Then….I’m not sure but how about branches of life or vagrant life.」
When Magdalena was talking while thinking, Eseria suddenly spews out. That stunned everyone else.
「Why are you laughing all of a sudden!?」
「N-no! I-I’m sorry! Ano, I’m not laughing at aunt-sama」
Eseria said that while desperately trying not to laugh. Magdalena couldn’t help but ask her.
「Branches of life and vagrant life, do you find them strange?」
「Eseria! What’s so funny!?」
「You’re being rude to her majesty!」
「No….those names are not strange, they just sound strange….」
「Huh? Branches of life and vagrant life sounds strange?」
「What on earth is wrong with you, Eseria!?」
Cornelia and Najek tried to calm her down but to their dismay, Eseria’s laughter did not subside.
(D-don’t….their pronunciation in Japanese remains in my head. There’s nothing wrong with writing them but when I hear them, I can’t help but laugh!)
Magdalena watches the children and can’t help but feel warmth in her heart.
「Miredia, Eseria is a happy child.」
「Sorry for the noise.」
Seeing her younger sister apologizing, her smile deepens.
「Isn’t it good that it’s lively? From now on, when you came here, please bring Eseria.」
「Of course, I’ll go more frequently too.」
「I’d be happy if you do.」
The sisters smiled at each other with Eseria having no idea that she has become the queen’s favorite.