The Devil Princess Volume 1 Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Turning Three

“Eurushia… do you remember me?”
Today is my third birthday. The man stares straight at me, the uneasy flicker in his eyes reflecting me as he murmurs this.
Of course I remember him. There’s no way I could forget him.
More than just my [father], there’s no way I could forget such a handsome ‘beauty’ of a man!
But since he only visits once or twice a year, it’s understandable that a young daughter would forget her father’s face… I can well imagine that feeling.
But rest assured, Father! Ever since that incident with holy magic made me realise that I’m a Demon, I’ve been acting more ‘human’, so I’ll certainly do my best as your daughter!
Oh dear… even at three years old, my baby tongue still hasn’t improved. But as I slowly crawl closer, trying my best to call him that, I see my father’s face fill with shock and joy at the same time.
“Eurushia…you’re calling me ‘Father’?”
Huh? Didn’t I call him that before? Oh, right, I didn’t. After being called ‘Father’ for the first time, Father’s hand trembles hesitantly as he reaches out to touch me.
Really, Father? Aren’t you too scared of your three-year-old daughter? I may resemble a freakish inhuman being, but don’t worry, I’m fully aware of that fact. But if you find me so terrifying, even my Demon heart is wounded!
But I must not falter here! As a weak Demon trying to blend into human society, the protection of a fine gentleman like Father would be ideal. This is the moment of truth!
I swear this has nothing to do with liking ‘Handsome Daddy’!!!
Since today is my special birthday, Father will have to get used to “me”.

“Eurushia, happy third birthday.”
“Young Miss Eur, happy birthday.”
“Thank you!”
At the party, Mother gave me a silver comb. Can Demons safely use such things? But now that I think about it, I use silver utensils every day.
And from the three maids who pooled their wages, they gave me a book called [Magic for Children Three Years and Older]… Aren’t books still expensive in this world? You shouldn’t overdo it. But as a three-year-old young lady, I can’t be bothered with such commonplace thoughts, so I smile happily and the three of them clap their hands happily in return.
Even my nurse, Miss Torfi, came back from work with a really lovely painting for my room. Her four year old son and my milk sibling(?) Tony also turned up, but one look at me and the poor boy fainted. Yes… he won’t be coming back next year.
And Father, looking rather tired, perhaps from the carriage ride over, gave me more lilies than I could hold, along with mountains of the Royal Capital’s famous baked sweets! There was also a stuffed bear bigger than me and a deformed rabbit Nui puppet.
Sweets… oh, sweets…
My taste disorder still hasn’t improved. Even Min’s sweets only taste right sometimes, while the chef’s cooking leaves the sweets lacking in flavour.
Lately, either I’ve gotten used to it or the chef’s gotten used to my taste, because there’s been a definite improvement, but at first even the soup was just like warm salt water…
I have no idea if they were made in a ‘famous’ place, but sweets from an unknown person were so sweet and chewy that they felt like smooth asphalt. Not that I’ve ever eaten asphalt.
But if I don’t enjoy them, everyone makes sad faces, so I choked back tears of pain and finished them off.

When the birthday party is over, busy dad always rushes off, but this time I try to stop him by jostling him to get to know me.
Neither hugging nor caressing, he hesitates, so I trot up close to him on the sofa and touch his knee with my hand.
“What’s wrong, Eurushia?”
When he meets my gaze, my father’s eyes flicker slightly. …Maybe subtlety isn’t enough.
“Oh, um…”
Father’s eyes widen and he makes an ambiguous whimpering noise before looking around in despair. But Mother looks on warmly with a faint smile, nodding her approval, which strengthens Father’s resolve as he takes me in a firm hug and places me on his seated knee.
Did this really require such mental preparation…? Yet somehow sitting on his knee feels special beyond words.
In a ladylike rather than a daughterly way.
Sitting on my father’s knee broke the awkward silence that neither of us seemed able to break.
Unconsciously, I’m simply enraptured by this handsome gentleman’s strong knee and thick manly chest, while Father is completely at a loss as to how to deal with his inhuman-looking daughter.
But not to worry, Father! Awakened as his human daughter, I have a little plan.
Yes, I will become a cat! Cats rub against things. As one originally, I’ll be fine! I swear I’m not just acting out of feline instinct!
When I nuzzle my father’s chest, he shudders slightly.
But I ignore it and continue my nuzzling until Father tentatively begins to stroke my hair with awkward delicacy.
No father, that’s not enough! Mother strokes me much more affectionately! Rubbing against his big hand encourages him to stroke me harder, so I continue to cuddle.
Hmm? Father smells somehow nice. Just like with ‘him’ from the Demon realm,
I can feel this slightly sweet intoxication, which makes me nuzzle even more, until Father unexpectedly speaks.
“Were you… lonely?”
This self-directed tone makes me look up questioningly.
Father’s piercing gaze meets my eyes with anguished sincerity, making my face burn with that dizzying sweet scent, and I bury my face against his chest, unsettled by the eye contact.
“Hehe… Eurushia is such a little cuddle girl. Then I’ll spoil you rotten.”
Suddenly animated compared to his earlier discomfort, Father’s large hand shifts from my hair to mischievously tickle my neck and ears.
I squirm from the tickling and embarrassment as Father clasps me triumphantly.
What is that feeling? It’s like when “he” playfully nips me… could I be… being trained?
With an inexplicable mewl, I escape his clutches by burying my face against my father’s broad chest. Sweet murmurs in my ear.
“Hahaha, Eurushia is just like a kitten.”

A man named Fort lived in the sacred Taliteld Kingdom.
He excelled in both martial and intellectual pursuits, and everyone around him had great expectations for Fort’s future, but he never actively used his talents.
Fort had an older sister and brother. Despite their contrasting personalities, the close-knit siblings were well respected.
The strong-willed yet compassionate older sister, beloved by all, was the pride of the young brothers and continued to influence them even after she married abroad.
Fort deeply respected his gallant, delicate older brother, whose martial prowess surpassed even Fort’s own charming scores with his bravery and benevolence.
Likewise, sister and brother adored and boasted of their clever, outstanding younger brother.
But Fort’s excellence became his own curse.
Their family boasted the greatest influence in the Holy Kingdom, but only one could inherit its rule. Believing his respected older brother to be the most worthy successor, Fort studied extensively to further his wisdom, determined to support his brother’s eventual succession.
However… this led others to see Fort himself as the rightful heir.
While denying such ambitions himself, and realising that their minds could not be changed, Fort approached his father, ready to renounce all family ties.
But who would intervene but Fort’s brother, who was more aware of Fort’s efforts than anyone else, hated to lose his talent and, above all, held Fort’s character in higher esteem than any family member.
He even considered giving Fort the right of succession if he so wished. Recognising such merit and popularity in his brother, and knowing that this was never Fort’s own wish.
I want my brother to be free. But I also want him by my side, using his hard-earned gifts to help me.
Tormented by these conflicting impulses, and fully expecting Fort’s resentment, the brother set in motion a plan he knew Fort would oppose.
In one sense, the plan was justified.
To arrange a marriage between Fort and a distantly related daughter of a family with no male heirs.
By marrying into them and inheriting their name, though no longer so close, Fort could stay close. His efforts would not be in vain, while providing the support his brother and father wanted, which would have been impossible if he had simply dropped his name.
Perfectly reasonable and prudent by most standards. An ideal solution for all concerned, but in reality fraught with complications.
The distant relative was a daughter of somewhat scandalous repute. Her association made the elder brother uneasy about imposing her on his brother.
Moreover, Fort harboured a warm mutual affection for another. A beautiful, kind girl, the daughter of Fort’s old nurse.
Unobjectionably, Fort had retained his status to marry her. Once adopted by a noble family, he could take her with him.
But her lowly house couldn’t possibly marry him once he’d been sent away as someone else’s bridegroom. So when she vowed to leave everything behind with Fort, he did not hesitate to accompany her, spurning his name in the process.
Awakening to the love that blossomed between them, the brother continued to torture himself. But the talks with the noble daughter had already gone too far, with entangled obligations, to be stopped.
Would his brother come to resent him? The girl who cared for Fort would surely grieve as well. But fearing that Fort’s gifts and devotion would be buried, the elder bound him more closely to his kin.

After marrying into that distant house, Fort sired two daughters as a matter of obligation. At first he considered adoption, but his new wife, a former childhood companion, adamantly refused.
However loveless their union, Fort strove to cherish his wife and twin girls. But the older woman was iron-willed, and the proud daughters echoed their mother’s disdain for their father, disregarding him entirely on the basis of her words alone.
In the midst of this domestic life, doubts crept into Fort’s mind. Do I really love my wife and daughters?
While outsiders envied his beautiful wife and daughters, the apple of society’s eye, there was always something hollow about the clan’s smug pride. To feel no real affection from them, only display, never seemed sincere enough to Fort.
He understood why his brother had forced it on him.
Working for older brother and father brought Fort true joy. Their approval allowed Fort’s talents to flourish, and in that sense it was deeply fulfilling.
But in return for these blessings, the unseen burdens on Fort’s heart swelled in equal measure, and his face grew greyer with each passing day.
To see such anguish consume the beloved brother he himself had condemned to this fate gnawed at the Elder, who told Fort there was a place where he might find peace.
More sceptical than convinced, and only going because his brother said so, Fort travelled to a small house nestled in the land he had married into.
There he was met by the daughter of Fort’s old nurse, the only one who had loved him dearly all this time.
The Taliteld Kingdom rarely practised polygamy, but Fort’s status could have openly claimed her as a second wife. But fearing she might suffer the ruthless reprisals of his official wife, Fort resisted the wild urges that arose once they were reunited in person.
But seeing her again, he could not control his overflowing love for her, and they came to know each other’s love so deeply that God sent an adorable “angel” between them.

Their beloved daughter, miraculously brought back to life after being stillborn, grew up so healthy that it was hard to believe that she was stillborn.
But when he saw her cherubic innocence, Fort hesitated.
Did someone like him deserve to come into contact with such flawless purity? A man who shirked his duties to sneak away to see another woman… was he a fit father for this angelic creature?
With such grim doubts swirling in his mind, stifled in equal parts by adoration and guilt, Fort withdrew from his daughter’s side and threw himself into further work.
On the tiny angel’s second birthday – their first meeting in nearly a year – her blossoming beauty and radiance shook Fort to the core. The mere infant he had last seen… in just a single year… turning only two, she seemed an ethereal sprite…
Is she really a human being? …… Is she really an “angel” sent by God? an emissary of divinity…?
Doubting even the nature of his own flesh and blood, Fort distanced himself from his uncanny little daughter to an even greater extent than before.
Still, when he closed his eyes, he could see his beloved mistress, with her beloved child by her side, was waiting for him. The thought of her forgetting him in such a long absence, and casting the same cold glances that his wife and older daughters constantly threw his way, filled Fort with enough dread to tear his pounding heart apart.
On his daughter’s third birthday, another chilling year later, the toddler’s awkward attempts to call Fort [“Father”] caught him completely off-guard, given their distance. Time can erase so much at that age… or so he told himself.
But not knowing how to interact after such a long separation, she clung affectionately to Father like a kitten begging to be petted, her innocent charm making Fort realise how foolish he had been.
She was lonely. The longing for her absent father’s company brought sadness to the poor girl, Fort realised, no longer able to resist the overwhelming love for his child.
Why had a vague uneasiness about her irregular beauty made him so neglectful of his beloved daughter? By what right had he imposed such darkness on his innocent, lovely little girl?
In his heart, Fort swore a solemn oath to the heavens –
He would love them both to the end of his days, even if it meant making enemies of the whole world…


I will not give my daughter to anyone!

A girl called Selina attended a magical academy.
Now twenty years old, she had long resented being called a [“Girl”], the childish insult giving way to a serious wish that everyone would just stop. but she gave up correcting it because, as teachers and staff who had known her as a student universally insisted on addressing Selina as if she were still an underclassman.
She should just hurry up and marry someone, just so she could have an excuse to quit… Unfortunately, there was still a severe shortage of attractive candidates.
The Royal Capital Academy of magic, the administration desk – that was Selina’s official job.
Having graduated from the Academy a few years earlier, specialising in Summoning magic and happily immersing herself in the research of magical arrays, Selina had idly lingered until she finally graduated, only to receive rejection letters from all her potential employers due to the recent ‘Demon Summoning Incident’.
Moreover, as a commoner with no connections to magic jobs, the kindly Summoning Professor who sympathised with her had arranged her current position after recognising the precision of her drawn magic arrays, but her innately friendly nature had unfortunately relegated her to administration.
But Selina didn’t particularly mind her current job.
Her desire to study magical circle arrays was satisfied by assisting the Professor in her spare time, and her expertise made Selina quite popular at reception, earning her occasional bonuses.
Perhaps her pleasant demeanour had even attracted suitors from respectable families. She’d turned down the last offer when she’d realised the gentleman was over forty, but even if she found a suitable partner, Selina wanted to keep doing this job for a while.
As a die-hard fan of all things ‘cute’, Selina enjoyed watching the students of the Academy, and lived for the monthly day of the Magical Power Examination, when she could see even more adorable little ones.
“Cuteness is justice” and “cuteness is truth”

  • words accidentally linked by a highly tuned magical experiment. Though the language was incomprehensible, Selina intuitively grasped its meaning in her soul and embraced the message like gospel.
    Well… that’s neither here nor there.

One day, at the invitation of her kindly old summoning mentor, who cited urgent staffing problems, Selina visited a provincial branch of the Academy to work their exam reception.
There, an elegant woman appeared, accompanied by a maid and the most adorable toddler, whom Selina at first mistook for an exquisite doll.
In fact, she assumed at first that the woman was carrying an ornamental toy, custom-made at the amused behest of some nobleman, such was the child’s extravagant beauty.
The wealthy sometimes kept children as pets, flaunting them like trinkets – perhaps these two belonged to that eccentric breed, Selina thought dejectedly.
But the moment their eyes met, the baby’s gaze stopped Selina’s heart with stunning force.
A doll…? Impossible. With sculpted features that achieved sheer perfection beyond any artificial substitute, no such mythical [flawless human replica] could ever exist.
To dress this celestially beautiful girl in the mundane clothes of a commoner would be an affront to the divine and a blasphemy to Selina’s faith.
She saw raw holy radiance in this child’s golden eyes.
Only by squinting at her only ordinary feature, slightly drooping eyes on the verge of tearful collapse, did Selina grasp this girl’s humanity.
Probably of high nobility, judging by her aptitude for both summoning and sacred magic, she would surely be attending the Royal Academy in a few years rather than this rural branch.
Unable to contain her excitement, Selina secretly confirmed her name and decided to ask the professor for an introduction.

Sudden loud echoes startled Selina from her daydreaming reverie.
The constant contemplation of this sublime vision often left administrative work behind, forcing Selina to work overtime every few days to catch up.
By the time she noticed, only Selina was left, the fluorescent magic lights now the only illumination in the darkened school building.
Of course, professors and researchers might be working late, but no one ever visited the front office at this hour.
The only possibility was a security guard, Selina remembered reflexively from several past patrol encounters when she was alone. As the sharp footsteps approached, a beautiful woman in a sophisticated yet simple black dress appeared, her high heels clicking.
“Oh my, you’re still working here?”
“V-Vice Principal?!” Selina blurted out in shock.
At being addressed as such, the statuesque woman leisurely returned the flustered girl’s gaze with an elegantly unnerving smile, reminiscent of a bird of prey.
Despite her title, the Vice Headmistress retained a youthful appearance, seemingly mid-twenties at most. Even though she knew she was slightly older, only in her late twenties, Selina believed.
Intense scarlet hair and seductive crimson lips radiated a sizzling aura. Her piercing aquamarine eyes blazed with a light that made onlookers avert their eyes. Rather sharp facial features gave her a feminine charisma that imbued even austerity with mysterious beauty.
Unfortunately… not to Selina’s cute-idolising taste.
“Don’t let me keep you from your work…in fact, may I ask a small favour?”
“Y-Yes…? What can I do for you?”
Selina didn’t have the nerve to refuse any request, not even one that involved burning the midnight oil.
However, she did wonder – this honorary rotating executive position, elected by the Board of Directors, meant that the Vice-Headmistress herself might only appear a few times a year, making her solitary late-night visit to the campus puzzling indeed.
Unable to conceal her bewildered expression, Serena was met with a smile from the Vice Principal, as if trying to lighten the mood.
“It’s not that complicated. For the past few years… It would be great if you could show me the roster of students who passed the magical aptitude test?”
Why would she want to see such a thing? A fleeting question crossed Serena’s mind, but it seemed like her thoughts were being read, as the Vice Principal explained in a friendly tone.
“I wanted to know how many kids who might serve the country in the future have passed the magical aptitude test.”
“I’ll get them right away!”
More than the apparent rationale, hints of… something… veiled beneath her smile made Selina hand over the oft-perused registers without argument.
“Thank you, dear. If you could wait a moment…”
Instead of reading, she flicked through certain sections, her eyes briefly freezing on a particular page before promptly handing the records back.
“That’s enough, no need to bother. It’s not proper for a young lady to be out alone so late. For future reference – if work piles up, come early the next morning.”
“Yes, ma’am! Please excuse me!”
At the perfectly reasonable criticism, Selina snapped into rigid attention, like a chastised soldier, as the deputy headmistress walked away with a thin smile, the lantern flame flickering down the corridor and fading into darkness.
Holding the petrified form long after the footsteps had completely disappeared, Selina collapsed heavily into her chair with an exhausted utterance.
“…going home.”

The Deputy Headmistress of the Royal Capital Academy of magic – her name was Albertine.
Her position merited constant movement with a small retinue and no direct contact with the commoners, but Albertine had ordered all guards and attendants to hide in the school gardens awaiting her return.
With hidden eyes potentially everywhere, it was also unwise to move conspicuously. Equally suspicious behaviour could easily have resulted in the scribe’s disappearance the following morning.
Albertine trusted no one outside her inner circle.
Exhaling his name softly as he walked down the empty corridor, a slender man, probably in his early mid-twenties, emerged from the shadows and bowed silently to Albertine in excessive reverence.
“The children are all asleep, then?”
“Yes, Madam. The young misses were rather lonely with you and Master away, but they have just retired together.”
“I see…”
With the slightest unspoken breath rather than actual utterance, her motionless lips read [So they’re not here].
Respectfully dropping her eyes at the slightest slip that hinted at deeply strained emotion, Zumana wordlessly conveyed a devotion that pierced even Albertine’s practised composure.
“Follow me”
“At your will.”
Without glancing back at the bowing servant who followed in ritual habit,
Albertine’s echoing heels continued to target the thin sliver of light at the end of the corridor that pierced a closed door.
“Professor Gaspar, are you free?”
She tapped gently but firmly for attention, and shortly the portal opened to reveal an elderly gentleman.
“Why Albertine! What an unexpected pleasure, come in!”
Despite the lateness of the hour, her former star pupil and current superior was greeted as warmly as an old friend.
“Excuse the mess, please make yourself at home.”
“Thank you for having me. So, Professor, a new thesis?”
Recalling the eternal tinkerer’s nickname, Albertine encountered his perpetually messy office just as she had as a student, and grinned as she saw unfamiliar magical arrangements amidst the familiar organised chaos.
“Ah yes, it was only last year that we discovered a child of enormous magical ability while assisting with a rural power test. We hope to complete a sufficiently durable summoning circle before her enrolment.”
“Is that so…which one was that?”
“Let me think… Ah yes, yours I believe!”
I see.”
Albertine’s eyes narrowed at the memory of the registry she’d scrutinised earlier.
“Please sit down. I’ll prepare some tea…”
“That’s quite all right, Professor, no need to trouble yourself. However, regarding this particular research into the Summoning Circle, may I enquire as to its progress?”
“Almost finished, actually. Once this transcription formula supporting higher capacities is integrated, the efficiency should improve considerably. But with increased output, potential compulsion decreases – therein lies the rub, as they say!”
Albertine had commissioned the eminent academic to create a custom summoning array for her.
Rather than randomly summoning creatures, spirits or fey, this innovative magic circle allowed users to deliberately summon specific entities based on visualised archetypes.
To Gaspar’s mind, this was a fascinating prospect. Even the same person summoning a fire spirit on separate occasions rarely encountered repeat incarnations, with the power varying greatly depending on the accumulated life experience of the vessel summoned.
Exceptionally talented mages with a natural affinity for spirits could theoretically cultivate a lasting symbiosis, with the initially weaker creature maturing in wisdom and skill after a prolonged bond, but such enduring relationships remained relatively rare, forcing casters to start over with unfamiliar partners and limiting sustainable levels of summoning.
“If sufficiently developed… dare I ask what purpose my lady intends for such dangerous magic?”
A slight charge pierced the air as Gaspar’s gaze bored into Albertine, who smiled calmly back at him.
“I too enjoy magical advances. And given the lingering stigma of summoning since those terrible affairs, helping to restore its reputation while supporting my overburdened husband could prove most welcome… wouldn’t you agree?”
“But of course! Splendid thinking, as expected of you, Lady Albertine. Consider me duly impressed.”

His distinguished pupil’s predictable textbook justification elicited an approving grin in kind, and from the prepared research materials Gaspar produced an experimental prototype array.
“Please take great care when testing this.”
“You have my utmost gratitude, Professor. Indeed…”
Claiming the coveted prize, Albertine’s subtle relaxation broke her rigid, noble mien slightly around the eyes and mouth as she exhaled softly.
“Well then, until we meet again – I assure you, your efforts today will not go unrewarded.”

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