Revenge of the Soul Eater Volume 2 Chapter 3 part 4

“By the way, Sora-san.”

“What is it?”

“Did Hazard… the prince say anything about him?”

“He asked me to give Kurausora to him when we started talking,” I replied.

Upon hearing my response, Claudia furrowed her brow with a complex expression.

“I thought so… um, please don’t think poorly of him. He can be a bit rude and impulsive at times, and he has his weaknesses, but aside from that, he is a good person. He has always had a fondness for dragons and used to say as a habit that he would become the strongest dragon knight. So, when he saw an Indigo Wyvern, I believe he couldn’t resist his desire to have it.”

After expressing her thoughts, Claudia seemed to realize that it was pointless to continue discussing that description and quickly resumed the conversation.

“He won’t use his power to force you to yield, so don’t worry.”

“HooHoo, really?”

Certainly, I couldn’t perceive any malicious intent of “I can get whatever I want!” when I saw him avoiding Duke Dragnote and Astrid due to the canceled engagement. If he had that kind of character, he would have been able to greet the duke and Astrid without worrying about the broken engagement.

“Yes, that’s right! If he allows himself to be influenced by Lord Corquia and the others, I’ll give him a good lesson! Although it may not seem like it, I was much better with the sword than His Highness. I was also better at handling dragons!”

Apparently, Claudia used to be quite the tomboy.

As I contemplated that, the duke’s daughter spoke somewhat dejectedly.

“That’s why I think His Highness didn’t really like me. He prefers a gentle girl. I made an effort to grow my hair and improve my way of speaking, but after all, it’s not easy to change what’s on the inside…”

After saying that, Claudia lifted her head.

She shook her head from left to right as if in a hurry, causing her long blonde hair to sway along with her movements.

“Ah, I’m sorry, this is not a topic related to Sora-san.”

“No, no, I was relieved to learn about His Highness Hazardrd’s personality. To be honest, I was worried about what to do if the royal family tried to take Kurausora away. In that case, I would have to ask Claudia-sama to teach a lesson to the greedy prince.”

“Ah… Y-Yes, leave it to me!”

After a brief moment of hesitation, Claudia understood my intentions and her expression brightened. Seeing Claudia like that, I couldn’t help but feel relieved.

Just like her older sister Astrid, despite being the daughter of the duke, Claudia didn’t have a sense of superiority. I don’t know if it’s due to her gratitude for the Jiraiya Oaks or if it’s simply her innate nature. Regardless, her behavior towards me so far has been kind and treating me as an equal. I have a soft spot for people like that because those types of humans are usually hostile towards me.

That’s probably why individuals like Astrid and Claudia receive unconditional favor.

If I could, I would like to release the curse that afflicts the girl standing before me.

My eyes clearly perceive Claudia’s anomaly. Her soul is extremely diminished. It resembles what I witnessed when I devoured Iria’s soul the other day.

At first, I wondered if there might be someone with a similar ability to mine in Claudia’s vicinity. However, it seems that no such person exists within the duke’s family. In fact, it would be impossible to devour Claudia’s soul, considering she is under constant protection from family members and vassals.

Furthermore, Claudia’s condition was peculiar in that her soul was being consumed in isolation.

If a soul is lost for any reason, it typically recovers over time. This has been proven with Miroslav and Luna Maria on numerous occasions. Regardless of how many times I devoured their souls, they eventually recovered.

However, Claudia’s soul hasn’t shown signs of recovery since yesterday. In fact, it appears to be even weaker.

Her soul continuously diminishes without being devoured by anyone.

The reason was the lack of a vessel that could contain Claudia’s soul. It’s easy to understand if you imagine a bowl with a hole at the bottom.

If the amount that spills out is greater than the recovery, the contents of the bowl will decrease.

This curse afflicting Claudia functions in this manner. All the physical and mental abnormalities are merely consequences of soul depletion. That’s why symptoms reappear immediately after temporary recovery through miracles and elixirs.

At this rate, Claudia’s soul will reach rock bottom. To fully heal her, the hole at the bottom of the vessel must be sealed.

I comprehend that, but I don’t know how to accomplish it.

All I can do is consume souls. I cannot provide healing.

—No, wait a moment. Is it necessary to heal her right now? Of course, eventually, a complete healing will be required, but our priority should be to prevent further deterioration of the symptoms.

If we cannot stop the leakage, then we must pour in more souls than what is lost.

As a soul devourer, I believe I can contribute souls.

Admittedly, I have never attempted this before. It has never even crossed my mind.

Therefore, even if it is possible, I am uncertain if it will work with Claudia.

Injecting a substantial number of souls could potentially rupture the vessel. Additionally, we would have to press our lips together to pour in the souls, so it seems unlikely… No, I suppose not. If I were to suggest that, Duke Dragnote would likely dismiss the idea.

As a last resort, I could sneak into Claudia’s room at night and perform the procedure while she sleeps… but doing so would resemble a “midnight visit.”

Well, I can consider it as a final option. In the meantime, I will investigate the curse devouring Claudia. If we can remove the curse, Claudia’s soul should recover without requiring a nocturnal visit.

There will undoubtedly be questions if the curse that even the duke couldn’t eliminate is suddenly eradicated shortly after my arrival in the royal capital. However, we won’t know until we try.

Lost in contemplation, I returned to the mansion with Claudia. A concerned maid greeted us. Claudia deliberately chose not to bring a companion to avoid unnecessary excitement about Kurausora.

Yes, she’s a well-behaved girl. While pondering my plan to save Claudia, I entered the duke’s mansion.

The first person I suspected of cursing Claudia was Marquis Corquia from the imperial faction.

The curse had not targeted Pascal, the mansion’s ruler, or Astrid, the vice-captain of the dragon knights, which makes Claudia’s situation noteworthy as the duke’s daughter alone.

Furthermore, her importance lies in preventing her engagement with Prince Hazard.

I heard that the wedding preparations between the prince and Princess Sakuya of Adastera are already well underway, despite Claudia’s engagement being recently dissolved. It appears Princess Sakuya will arrive in the royal capital within two months, with plans moving swiftly.

It’s a rapid progression following the broken engagement. I’m uncertain which country orchestrated it, but it suggests that preparations have been in motion for some time.

In other words, they foresaw Claudia becoming unsuitable for the marriage. Such circumstances raise suspicion in themselves.

However, both Duke Dragnote and Astrid have surely considered what I’m thinking and thoroughly investigated Marquis Corquia and the nobles close to him. Yet, they failed to gather substantial information.

This suggests that external searches have their limitations. Hence–

“I believe we should investigate internally.”

When I visited Astrid’s room and proposed this idea, the young vice-captain of the dragon knights contemplated, placing her hand on her chin.

From that position, Astrid spoke.

“After last night’s audience, your name and achievements as the ‘Indigo Dragon Knight’ became known throughout the court. Undoubtedly, Marquis Corquia desires to win you over to his side. At the very least, he wants to prevent you from becoming an ally of the Dragnotes. I’m certain he will make contact sooner or later.”

“Yes. At the banquet last night, he mentioned that preparations would soon be made. If we reinterpret his words, it implies he wishes to have me under his influence.”

Well, apart from fighting, I can’t envision myself defeating Marquis Corquia, who was born into nobility. In that sense, “investigating internally” may seem obvious, but we have an advantage.

He still believes that nobody has discovered the nature of the curse. The user of the soul-draining curse cannot be pure and innocent; once I get close enough, the foul odor will become apparent. Hence, infiltrating Marquis Corquia’s residence should prove fruitful.

However, since I haven’t discussed souls with Astrid, I cannot elaborate on the significance of this plan.

As expected, Astrid expressed reservations about responding to Marquis Corquia’s invitation. It’s not that she expects positive results even if I were to be influenced—it’s that she worries about me.

“Since the founding of Canaria, the Corquia family has been renowned. The current head, in particular, is known for his talent and has attracted many nobles from our faction. He possesses great persuasiveness and adapts his methods to the situation, employing both sweet words and whips. If he deems assimilation impossible, he will exert every effort to crush his opponents—I’m genuinely concerned.”

“Will I be crushed?”

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

“Not in a direct confrontation. He excels in spreading rumors to create scandals, pressuring vassal houses associated with the opponent, and threatening merchants to sever any business contracts they have. He goes to great lengths, just shy of breaking the law, making it challenging to withstand his tactics.”

Astrid sighed deeply but swiftly regained her composure.

“These methods apply even when dealing with high-ranking nobles. For someone like you, Sora-dono, who lacks titles, he would undoubtedly employ even more ruthless means. Naturally, I cannot allow you to—ah.”

Astrid paused and covered her mouth, expressing frustration.

While wondering what was happening, she bowed as if apologizing.

“I apologize. The way I spoke made it sound as though you have joined the Dragnote faction. Despite your intention to help Clau and your lack of interest in Canaria’s political conflicts.”

“…..Y-Yes… well, that’s correct… Hm? Was it that obvious?”

Astrid smiled as she touched her face.

“Your attitude towards the nobles at the banquet made it clear. Frankly, I expected you to request a return to Ishka today. By staying in this mansion, whether you like it or not, you will be perceived as part of the Dragnote faction.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle at her astute deduction. In truth, if it weren’t for Claudia, I would have already returned to Ishka.

However, Claudia isn’t the sole individual in the Dragnote family who piques my interest. Her elder sister, too, intrigues me. And being part of a duke’s household provides certain conveniences.

If they find themselves in a predicament, I wouldn’t mind lending a helping hand once or twice. So I decided to confide in Astrid.

“Indeed, I have no interest in court politics, and I have no intention of becoming a vassal of the Dragnote family. Nevertheless, I appreciate the advantages of this invitation and the warm welcome extended by everyone in the mansion. If I can be of assistance, I will do what I can.”

Then, Astrid smiled brightly, her surprise quickly transforming into a cheerful expression. Soon after, she lowered her head respectfully.

“Likewise, I am incredibly grateful to Sora-dono and Suzume-dono for providing the detoxification method. Judging from my sister’s smile, a simple invitation hardly seems enough. If there is anything we can do to assist you in the future, please do not hesitate to reach out. The Dragnote family will never forget this favor.”

Afterwards, I discussed future plans with Astrid, but just then, there was a knock on the door.

Astrid called for the person outside to enter, and in response, two individuals came in. As I caught sight of them, my eyes widened in surprise. It was an unexpected pairing.

“With your permission, nee-sama, Sora-san. Please come in, Suzume-chan.”

“Y-Yes… w-with your… permission…”

Claudia entered, dragging Suzume along with her. Suzume was wearing the black one-piece dress that Seal had bought for her, and she had donned a wide-brimmed hat to conceal her horns.

“What’s with the hat?” I asked.

Suzume had ditched her usual flat hat in favor of a wide-brimmed one, similar to what noble ladies wear when going out. It could make her look fashionable if worn normally, or she could hide her face by pulling it down deeper, making it suitable for covert activities.

—Indeed, it was a hat reminiscent of a certain tomboy princess sneaking out of the mansion.

True to form, the tomboy princess made a declaration, proudly puffing out her chest.

“I thought it would look great on Suzume-san, so I gave it to her! How does it look?”

“It suits you very well, Suzume-san.”

“T-Thank you… so much…”

Astrid spoke gently, and Suzume responded with a soft whisper, seemingly nervous.

Coming straight from the forest, Suzume was still unfamiliar with human society, and it appeared to be the case this time as well. Had she known for certain that the other person was Duke Dragnote’s daughter, she probably would have been more than just nervous. In fact, both Suzume and Seal had been quite tense during their conversation. On the other hand, Luna Maria spoke with familiarity.

While contemplating this, I noticed Claudia gazing at me. Was it just my imagination? I also felt a gaze coming from her older sister—Ah, I still haven’t given my opinion on the hat.

“Yes, Suzume, it looks great,” I remarked.

“T-Thank you very much!”

Suzume’s face lit up, and indeed, she looked incredibly cute.


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