Feelings in a Dream - Chapter 1
“Yeah… It’s probably somewhere around here. Ah, found it!”
After digging through several boxes in the attic, Lizen finally found the medicinal herb. It was the school supplies she needed for her Herbology class, but she forgot about it until late at night. She was at a loss as the neighbourhood herbalists were all closed, but it was at that moment that she thought of the attic.
Although she had already passed, this attic was home to the items once owned by her Aunt Ruella, whom she lived with in the past. Ruella made a name for herself in the kingdom as a genius herbologist, but after developing numerous elixirs, she went crazy at a young age. Lizen, who was Ruella’s only family, had been taking care of Ruella since she entered the Royal College. After Ruella’s death in the year of her coming-of-age, she truly became alone.
“But there are all sorts of things…”
Once she got the herb she was looking for, she noticed a lot of things. After coming of age, she began attending the Royal College, where a handful of elites working for the Royal Palace receive additional education. Now, after taking an incomparably high-quality Herbology class, she could finally understand just how valuable her aunt’s belongings were. There were quite a few rare herbs, and many elixirs that had been aged for hundreds of years.
“…Alright, let’s go.”
Lizen forced herself to close the box, her eyes shining with curiosity. As she moved the box back to its original spot, a notebook fell out. Upon closer inspection of the notebook, she could make out Ruella’s horrible handwriting from before she went crazy.
— Transparent Reagent
Ingredients: 100-year-old moonflowers, Parth’s wing fragments, Torch’s tooth, 500-year-old Cannolatin roots, 200g of Titan’s claw powder, 4 lotus petals from Tarin’s pond, 1L of lava from a dormant volcano
Effect: Makes the human body transparent for 1 hour.
Expected usages: camouflage, stealth, etc.
Limitations: Physical mass is retained and cannot pass through walls or doors.
“Just how on earth did you develop this?”
Initially, she was only going to read his aunt’s handwriting for a while, but the more she looked through the notebook, the more mesmerised she was by the interesting contents. Almost all of them were far more advanced than existing herbology techniques. There were detailed recipes and instructions on how to make reagents that could bring repercussions beyond human comprehension. It wasn’t for no reason that Ruella was nicknamed the greatest herbology genius in the history of the kingdom. In particular, Ruella had worked for the pharmacies of the Royal Institution, and developed elixirs for the purpose of the military and investigation.
“But, how do you get Parth’s wings, and where do you get Titan’s claw powder?”
However, there wasn’t much that could help Lizen now. That’s because most of the herbs needed, required a ridiculously long time to ripen or were from creatures that were nowhere to be found. Some elixirs were even made from 2000-year-old dandelion roots. Lizen, who unknowingly began reading unrealistic recipes that were hard to manufacture, stopped at one particular page.
— Dream Connecting Reagent
Ingredients: 100g of butterfly sleeping flower, 200g of Tilda roots, a handful of Nagda’s mud, 50g of Rata’s claws, a strand of the contractor’s hair
Effect: Allows you to enter the dreams of someone who drank a reagent containing the contractor’s hair. Memories are more vivid than normal dreams.
Expected usages: Able to contact foreign spies without leaving behind evidence.
Limitations: It is a one-time-use reagent, so for a lasting connection, you’d have to continuously drink it. There are concerns of horrible side-effects when used by more than one person.
“Huh? Why are the ingredients to this so easy to gather?”
No one else’s house would have all these ingredients, but they were all in this attic except for Nagda’s mud. For some reason, when Lizen searched through her memories, she recalled seeing Nagda’s mud somewhere in the attic. She searched the attic as if she was possessed and finally found a dirty container of mud.
“I’ve found Nagda’s mud too…”
She gulped. It only connects dreams once? She knew she shouldn’t do it, but her heart raced. Ruella seemed to have developed this for military purposes, but… If you think about it a little more romantically, doesn’t it mean you can see the person you want in your dreams?
Rizen pulled out one strand of her brown hair. All the ingredients were here. Furthermore, since no one knew about this reagent, she could keep it as her own secret even if she tries it out once. If she feeds it to Daniel tomorrow, she will be able to meet Daniel in her dreams.
She took a deep breath, gathered the ingredients she needed and left the attic. She had prayed every night, hoping that she’d appear in Daniel’s dreams. Just once, Aunt, just once, I’ll use your elixir in private. There’s absolutely no chance it’ll work out with Daniel anyway, so let me hold his hand for once, even if it’s in a dream. That night, Lizen made a colourless, odourless reagent that was as clear as water and packed it in her bag.
“Daniel! Good job! Daniel!”
Lizen gulped as she held a bottle of water in her hands while Ashé was jumping and cheering for Daniel. Daniel was in the middle of a sparring session with his blonde hair fluttering in the air. The third prince of the Kingdom of Ametan, Daniel Latanis Ametan III, was the longtime crush of Lizen. Lizen’s best friend, Ashé Sainakara Ametan, was Daniel’s younger sister of the same age. Lizen became close to the princess while attending Royal College and fell in love with her older brother, Daniel.
“Ahh! No! One more stab! Ah ah!”
Daniel and Ashé were pretty close siblings, so conveniently, Lizen could stick to Ashé’s side whenever she went to find Daniel. However, it was clear that Lizen would never be able to confess to Daniel in her lifetime. This is because the majority of princes and princesses who aren’t in the line of succession, have arranged marriages for diplomatic reasons. Daniel had already mentioned his engagement to the Imperial Princess, and Ashé was also getting married to one of the princes of Hanstim, a desert country. No matter how close you are as friends, the Royal Family is still the Royal Family.
“Ugh, I lost. I guess it’s still too much to win against Kaiden.”
Daniel’s opponent was Kaiden, who didn’t look tired at all compared to Daniel who was gasping for air. Seeing Kaiden with his short, dark hair help Daniel up, Lizen found the act rather cheeky. There wasn’t a need to win in such a manner! Contrary to Daniel, who was always kind and friendly, Kaiden was blunt and difficult to get along with.
Additionally, Kaiden and Lizen have been rivals since they were in Royal High School. They went back-and-forth between first and second place in school. Both of them wanted to work in the Bureau of Investigation, catching the attention of teachers and students alike. Lizen even heard that bets were going around to see who would become the Chief of the Bureau of Investigation. Now that college graduation is around the corner, it’s time to start writing applications to decide which bureau to enter, so both Kaiden and Lizen’s nerves were on high alert. Senior officers in the Bureau of Investigation are promoted quickly, Lizen didn’t want to lose to her longtime rival, Kaiden.
“Lizen, he’s becoming more and more like a monster. You’ll have to work hard to be the Chief of the Bureau of Investigation.”
Daniel snickered and approached Ashé and Lizen. While Ashé wiped Daniel’s sweat, Lizen grabbed a bottle of water and drank nervously. Naturally, I have to tell him in a natural way… That was when she reached out her hand as stiff as a machine and held out a bottle of water.
“Ah, Kaiden! What are you doing? Come here. You’ve got to greet the audience.”
Daniel called for his unsociable friend, Kaiden. Kaiden sheathed his sword and approached in a reluctant manner.
“D-Daniel, aren’t you thirsty? Would you like to drink this?”
“Ah. Thank you, Lizen.”
Daniel took the bottle from Lizen and opened the lid. Lizen’s heart was racing. Now, she can meet Daniel in her dreams tonight. At least she can hold his hand and say ‘I like you’ in her dream. Perhaps his subconscious could even tell her what he thinks of her. It’d be great if you could at least say I was pretty or smart… Lizen gulped when at the same moment, Daniel casually said.
“Kaiden, you drink first.”
Lizen’s eyes widened at the unexpected development. Daniel handed the bottle over to his friend, Kaiden who was standing awkwardly. Before Lizen could do anything due to her embarrassment, Kaiden had already drank the water from the bottle Daniel handed to him. He refilled the bottle at the water dispenser before handing it back to Daniel.
“What’s wrong with you two? Is it because you’re rivals?”
Lizen, whose face had already turned white, couldn’t bring herself to laugh at Daniel’s joke. Kaiden pretended he had listened and answered brutely.
“She’s your rival.”
Ashé replied as if she was having so much fun.
“Aren’t you both after the Chief position of the Bureau of Investigation?”
“We aren’t exactly rivals as our electives are different.”
“Ehh, that’s because of the gender difference, so it’s inevitable. The rest of the criteria is the same, while the marks distribution is much higher.”