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Sweet Cookies, Mia, and the Young Bandit

Following the request of Imperial Princess Mia, a table and chairs were quickly set up in a field close to the party’s carriages. On the table lay a variety of cookies Mia had brought from Sunkland, and the teacups were filled with black tea. Mia expressed her delight at being able to enjoy warm tea in such a remote place with a contented sigh.

No matter where she was, Mia could happily have as much tea and tasty pastries as she wanted. Was there a greater joy than this? She was sure there wasn’t.

It’s easy to forget, but Mia was indeed a princess of the powerful Tearmoon Empire. Whether she was riding a horse with a cheerful “hupty-doo” or enjoying the pleasure of eating delicious bread, Mia was a high-class woman with the right to luxury. That’s why she could have a tea party like this in the middle of their journey. Experiencing this great joy (great for Mia, that is), Mia couldn’t help but feel passionate.

Sitting at the table with Mia were Malong, Rafina, Abel, Bel, and Citrina when a young bandit, still bound, confronted Mia with a glare.

“What are your intentions with this?” the bandit asked.

Mia smiled and said, “Could someone untie her?”

A nearby guard exclaimed, “I don’t think—”

“Don’t worry at all! You won’t run away, will you?” Mia reassured.

The young bandit gave a mocking grin and replied, “You’re as naive as the rumors say. To think that the Great Wisdom of the Empire would talk about untying me.”

“Perhaps I should make it clear. It’d be wise for you to watch your actions. I’m not sure, but that man over there, Dion, is a bit of a threat. You may be good with a horse, but no matter where you run, Dion will follow and take your head in an instant!”

The bandit, after looking at Dion, gulped. She then cleared her throat and said, “Of course. I have no intentions of resisting. Our people are proud warriors of integrity, even when captured. We would never behave rudely. That’s why I won’t compromise. I won’t reveal my own name, let alone the names of my comrades.”

Her expression was clear as she spoke these words.

Mia thought, “Just as I suspected, I can really get along with her!”

“I’m sure you grasp the situation now. Just to be safe, Dion will stay close, ensuring there won’t be any issues.”

Dion, positioned behind Mia, shook his head in frustration.

“Alright then,” Mia continued, “shall we kick off this tea party?”

The young bandit turned her face at those words. “I won’t accept favors from someone connected to the Equestrian Kingdom.”

“Oh? I wouldn’t say I’m ‘connected’ to the Equestris. Isn’t that right, Ludwig?”

“Exactly. At least, there are no direct ties between the Empire and the Equestrian Kingdom. We aren’t allies in military or trade matters,” Ludwig explained. Mia nodded approvingly before addressing the bandit.

“Malong is just a senior from the Equestrian Club. There’s no link between the Equestrian Kingdom and me as a princess of the Tearmoon Empire. You’d be mistaken to think so.”

“Is that so? But… Do you not plan to say something like, ‘If you want these tasty treats, spill some information’?”

The young bandit eyed Mia’s cookies and ground her teeth in frustration. Mia burst into laughter. “Why would I say that? Go ahead. Before any serious discussions, let’s enjoy some tasty cookies together.”

“Really? But…” She was staring at Mia, but it seemed like even that detail had slipped her mind.

Mia nodded again with a grin. “Certainly! These cookies are super sweet and delicious!”

“Sweet? Super sweet…?” mumbled the bandit.

Mia slid the tray of sweets towards her, secretly reveling in her triumph!

Ah, she’s so simple!

Indeed—Mia had it all figured out. Grudges about food were intense, but so were food debts! The boon of food when battling hunger was not easily forgotten. It became challenging to refuse a request from such a benefactor.

In Mia’s case, if she were challenged with, “If you want these, spill your secrets now!” she might resist a bit. However, if she were told, “Here, eat these. They’re tasty, right? By the way, since I treated you to this feast, could you share a few secrets with me?” Mia… would willingly offer up her secrets on a silver platter! That’s why food wasn’t for threatening; it was for creating debts.

Therefore, Mia wasn’t seeking her cookies for immediate gain. At the moment, she just wanted to enjoy them together. If they got along… the rest would easily fall into Mia’s lap! Mia believed that after sharing tea and cookies with someone, extracting a few secrets would be a breeze. However, it was Mia’s somewhat simplistic view of reality that led her to such a conclusion.

Well, we all understand that in reality, the world wasn’t that straightforward. It wasn’t, but…

“So, um… How should I address you?”

In response to Mia’s question, the young bandit crunched and munched on her cookie. Then…

“Aima,” she mumbled before promptly adding, “Ka Aima… That’s my name. You can call me Aima. Now that I owe you… at the very least, I’ll disclose that.”

Observing the somewhat glum expression on Aima’s face as she uttered those words, Mia nodded in triumph.

Ah ha! She’s truly. So. Simple!

Exactly. The world wasn’t that simple, but it seemed like this bandit was.

Just three things. Firstly, the has been edited. So check it out before this chapter.

Secondly, this is my last chapter. I did announce few weeks ago that I would be stepping down from translating Tearmoon Empire. So this is the last chapter from me. There will be a new translator who is now taking over, and will start from next week.

Thirdly, thank you for all the support. To the stalkers who don’t say much, but just upvoted. And most especially to those who commented and liked my chapters along the way. the HellHound, Tacos, Pierre, GrayMao, Hatsune Miku, Duc Anh Dao, VirtualScreamer, Chopped Up Liver, Pierre André Turner, and the other commenters; special shoutout to you people. Your comments actually kept me going through the difficult times in my life. I always thought, I should translate at least one chapter to make those people happy. I have read every single one of your comment even though sometimes I don’t upvote or reply.

500+ chapters! It was a long ride.

Until we meet again. Probably on my next project, or not…

Blessings,

~Mermaid Fish