The Devil Princess Volume 2 Chapter 4

Episode 4: The Elegant Daily Life of the Saintess
 

“Eur… really, is it okay for me and Vio to not accompany you?”
 
“Yes, Mother. I will do my best.”
 
Of course, I want them to come. (teary-eyed)
 
On the day of departure for the long-awaited territory inspection, just moments before heading out, I was thoroughly checked, and with genuine worry, Mother, Granny, and the servants bid me farewell. I boarded the carriage with a heavy heart.
 
“Well then, Bridget. I’m counting on you.”
 
“Yes, leave it to me, Your Highness!”
 
The promised territory inspection with Father is technically in a land where there is no lord directly managed by the Grand Duchy. Currently, a baron, who is a vassal of Father, governs the regional city.
 
Since it’s such a place, ten members of the escort knight squad are accompanying us. Bridget, whom I affectionately call “Bri-chan,” is the knight who, along with Sara-chan, pledged her sword at the palace. She’s the one who tends to get nosebleeds… sensitive nasal membranes, you know.
 
Bri-chan has this cool, female troupe male-role kind of vibe. …I’m afraid she might start singing and dancing with Sara-chan someday.
 
The concern of Mother and Granny is because, this time, I won’t be taking Vio and the others who have been taking care of me.
 
Initially, those three were exclusively Mother’s attendants, and since I’m Mother’s daughter, they also took care of me as a housemaid. Even though it was a trial period, if I now have my own “attendants,” I need to use them as the daughter of the Grand Duchy.
 
In other words, for this trip, those four are coming with me as companions and caretakers!
 
…Why do I, a demon, feel a stomachache?
 

 
“…………”
 
“…………”
 
Uh-oh, no one is talking.
 
While traveling in the Grand Duchy’s large carriage with those four, I have nothing to say, and probably because they have to deal with a “not particularly friendly superior,” they also remain silent.
 
Well, not exactly…
 
“Ah A forest
 
Fantine, renowned for not reading the atmosphere, is happily looking out the window by herself. Or rather, the other three are doing whatever they like.
 
Fantine frolicking alone, Christina reading a book, Noir is polishing a beautiful pocket watch, and her sister Ninette is grinning while looking at her brand-new sword.
 
Everyone seems to be having fun. So, what about taking care of me?
 
But, as the middle manager, I need to take action to improve the workplace environment.
 
It’s not that I can’t endure the silence.
 
So… who should I talk to?
 
Maybe it’s easier to talk to Ninette, the quiet apprentice guard knight?
 
“Um… Ninette? Do you really like that sword?”
 
…Wait. Don’t get upset if there’s no immediate response.
 
“…Ninette?”
 
“…Huh? Oh, yes. Well, you see, this is an amazing sword. I specially ordered it from a prestigious shop in the capital.”
 
“…Huh?”
 
It seems quite impressive… or rather, I sense “magical power” from the sword. It looks pretty expensive, but I guess you had quite a bit of money.
 
As I was forming that impression, Noir, who was silently observing, gave a suspicious smile and started talking before I could say anything.
 
“Milady, there’s no problem at all. Ninette is your bodyguard knight. All her equipment is for protecting you! It’s necessary to have everything she needs for that.”
 
“Just ask using the name of Milady, and anything will be delivered!”
 
With an even more bombastic statement, Ninette, urged by Noir, shoots me a grin.
 
“As expected of Milady, the princess of the Grand Duchy! Look, Ninette!”
 
“Oh, yeah. Thanks a bunch, Milady. It’s amazing. Thank youuu.”
 
“…………”
 
Ah, no, this won’t do.
 
Using my name… Wait, did she “unilaterally” order things using the name of the Grand Duchy?
 
Ninette’s sword is a magical one, right? I know about it. It’s an artificial magical sword created by mimicking divine swords and magical swords that humans can’t make, right?
 
And getting it from a well-established source means it’s a branded item, right? It’s like a car that only high-ranking individuals, like the leader of the Holy Knight Order, would have, right? What do you think Ninette’s annual salary is?
 
And Noire’s pocket watch, it’s probably the same, right? It’s a fancy silver watch, but didn’t he have a gold one before? How many did he buy?
 
The clocks in this world are not like the mechanical ones in the dreamlike world of light; they use magic circles, just like the magic swords. And they are by no means cheap.
 
Damn… my stomach hurts.
 
I can’t even stomach talking to these two, so reluctantly, I turn to Christina, the maid-in-training who’s reading a book.
 
“Hey, hey, Chris, what are you reading?”
 
“My name is Christina. I’m reading a ‘book.'”
 
“…………”
 
Well, obviously, it’s a book. So, what kind of book are you reading? We’re not at the point of using nicknames yet, it seems… I’ll have to approach her slowly.
 
“…Was it in the library? Were there such old-looking books there?”
 
“It was in a private room at the back of the library.”
 
“Uh… but, a private room… my father’s study…?”
 
“I don’t know.”
 
Father’s study is off-limits to everyone except family and high-ranking servants, you know?
 
Hope is now in Fantine’s hands.
 
“Fantine? Having fun?”
 
…I can’t believe the awkward way I’m trying to start a conversation. But, unable to read the subtle atmosphere wafting in the carriage, I inch closer.
 
“Yeah, it’s fun. Let’s look outside together, Miss.”
 
“Uh, yeah.”
 
I can actually have a somewhat coherent conversation with her.
 
I’m not confident about the level of understanding, but maybe if I can truly understand her, we might become friends beyond the master-servant relationship.
 
But, like Fantine, doing childish things like standing on the seat and looking out the window, imitating a normal toddler, is a bit awkward… Wait, what?
 
“Hey, those shoes…?”
 
“Oh, these? Aren’t they beautiful? I found them while exploring the mansion.”
 
“Hmm… but aren’t they someone else’s?”
 
When I say that, Fantine looks puzzled, laughing off the words.
 
“Nah, they’re different. Since I found them, they’re mine.”
 
“…………”
 
Oh, I see.
 
So, that’s the kind of person Fantine is. Well, they’re quite stylish, aren’t they? After all, they’re shoes for my party.
 
Hmm, I see. Understood.
 
I stand up inside the moving carriage, boldly walk over, and kick the carriage door wide open.
 
BANG!
 
“Bridget! Sara! Can one of you let me ride one of the horses?!”
 

 
I’m sorry, Father…
 
Being a middle manager was just too much for me!!
 

 
I definitely won’t bring those guys with me!
 
I will live on my own, strong and resilient!
 
“—[Let there be light]—!!
 
With such stress, a divine spell that caused various abrasions activated properly. The leg of the miner, who had lost it, grew back like a sprout. …Ew, gross.
 
[──Oooooooooohh!!]
 
A commotion leaked from the people gathered at the lord’s mansion who witnessed this scene one week later in the town adjacent to the mine.
 
But… I don’t care about that.
 
I’m more concerned about the fact that new leg already has quite a bit of leg hair growing on it.
 
“…I wonder if hair will start growing too.”
 
In the midst of the commotion, my faint voice leaked out, and for some reason, a few men’s shoulders trembled slightly.
 
“T-thank you, Saint-sama!”
 
“It’s fine.”
 
Oh dear, Miner-san, what are you so scared about? Your expression is just gone because of stress, isn’t it?
 
Oh? Why are Sara-chan and Bri-chan keeping their distance? You’re supposed to be my escorts, so come over here…
 
In this strange atmosphere, the stand-in lord cautiously approaches.
 
“T-Thank you, Princess Eurushia!”
 
“I’m glad I could be of help.”
 
Feeling a bit uneasy, I give a small smile, and the stand-in lord lets out a relieved sigh. Sorry about that, my scalp is kind of shiny with sweat.
 
“Princess, you must be tired. We have a room prepared for you.”
 
“I’m fine. Are there any others injured?”
 
“He’s the last one with serious injuries or missing body parts. There are some with minor injuries, but there’s a healing facility in this town, and the priests of the Kostoru faith are also here. Your Highness, it won’t trouble you much.”
 
“I see…”
 
With that said, I can’t just go, “I’ll use a [Blessing Feast] for stress relief.”
 
Well, normal people can’t use that much magic, and if angels of light start flying around the town, I feel like I won’t be seen as “humans.”
 
“Princess, please stay at my residence. During dinner, perhaps you can share stories about Lord Fort.”
 
“Thank you. I’d be delighted. Well, if there’s time, could I explore the town until then?”
 
Since we’re already out, let me do some sightseeing.
 
“Of course, Your Highness. I’ll arrange for a guide.”
 

 
“Bridget, Sara.”
 
“Yes, Princess!”
 
While the stand-in lord goes to call someone, I summon the two escort knights.
 
Bri-chan is the captain of the escort knights, but I called Sara-chan as well not because I memorized their names as a set of “bowl” and “plate,” but because Sara-chan is apparently the vice-captain. In the end, all the escort knights came.
 
And… calling just one of them makes the other sulky.
 
“I have a favor to ask of you…”
 
When I mention wanting to tour the town, the two visibly panic.
 
“N-No, Princess! It’s dangerous!”
 
“That’s right! Princess, you’re an irreplaceable princess of the Holy Kingdom!”
 
Well, I expected them to show some reluctance.
 
“Is it… not allowed?”
 
So, taking advantage of being a child, I try a bit of “begging,” looking up with teary eyes…
 
“P-Princess, please!”
 
“Hiya!?”
 
Suddenly, Bri-chan sprays blood from her nose and collapses, and I unintentionally fall backward.
 
“I can’t help it! We’ll accompany you!”
 
As Bri-chan squats, spraying blood, Sara-chan says so with sparkling eyes. Oh, that treatment for nosebleeds is wrong, you know?
 
Anyway, a child’s begging is quite manipulative. But Bri-chan’s mucous membranes are so weak. ……. You didn’t get a nosebleed from a toddler looking up at you, did you? You’re just hot-blooded, aren’t you?
 
But still…
 
“I’d like to go out quietly, so can only one escort accompany me?”
 
“That’s…!”
 
“It’s a safe town… is it not okay?”
 
With a second round of teary eyes, Sara-chan also surrenders.
 
I didn’t insist on going incognito, but if everyone goes, those four might follow. Even though I’ve already given them a break, there’s no need to call them over.
 
…When they’re here, my delicate heart gets worn out.
 
“Well then, I’ll…”
 
“No! Let the captain, me, handle it!”
 
As Sara-chan raises her hand, Bri-chan, who has revived, also chimes in. When I turn to the other escort knights, they all raise their hands too. You guys too, huh?
 
Honestly, why would someone be so scared of a little kid like me… Well, they’re all so devoted to their job.
 
Now, to decide how to proceed, they decided to settle it in a straightforward manner—by starting a brawl to determine the chosen companion.
 
“I’ve decided!!”
 
The winner, Bridget. Sara-chan, you were close… If Bridget hadn’t blinded you with a nosebleed attack at the end, you would have won.
 
But that’s not important. Who do you think will cast healing magic on you, all beaten up like that?
 

 
“…What happened, Princess?”
 
“…Don’t worry about it.”
 
The acting lord who returned was wide-eyed at the sight of the female knights, unharmed but with disheveled hair and clothes.
 
Next to him was a small boy, like a pageboy… oh, right, he was supposed to be the guide. But… huh?
 
“U-um, Lady Saint, long time no see!”
 
This blushing child looking at me… um?
 
Trying to recall something, I glanced at the uncle, who smiled and nodded.
 
“Do you remember him? This child is one of those you protected during that incident.”
 
“Ah.”
 
Of course, I remembered. He was one of the children kidnapped during that second demon summoning incident, tortured, and wanting to die.
 
“If I recall… you’re Noel, right?”
 
“Yes! Thank you so much for that time!”
 
“Yeah…”
 
His once gaunt cheeks now looked healthy, his appearance neat, and he seemed genuinely happy.
 
Noel-kun, I’m glad… he had such beautiful eyes filled with despair back then… (sniffle)
 
Don’t regret what you’ve done. I am positive.
 
Upon hearing his story, I learned that Noel-kun was originally a refugee child who lost his parents. Just like him, children without parents are entrusted to the care of Father’s prosperous retainers. Well done, Father!
 
“I’ve always… wanted to meet the Lady Saint again…”
 
Oh, he’s fidgeting, how cute.
 
At that moment, an odd element intruded into this cute scene.
 
“This child is excellent, Princess. He seems to have aptitude for magic, and even though he’s only seven, we expect him to work under His Excellency the Grand Duke in the future.”
 
Oh, it’s the young lord acting as the head. Also, Noel-kun is two years older than me.
 
“Lady Saint, today I will be your guide!”
 
“Sure. Thank you.”
 
Recently, my heart has been troubled by children’s relationships, so this will be healing…
 
…How can I prevent these sparkling eyes from dimming? (Diabolical)
 
But Noel-kun… you steadfastly refuse to address me as [Lady Saint].
 

 
So, with Noel-kun and Bridget-chan in tow, I headed out into the town.
 
Yeehaw, freedom!
 
Also, I gave pocket money to Sara-chan and the remaining guard knights, instructing them to take turns keeping an eye on those four.
 
Why? Well, of course, I’m worried… about embezzlement incidents.
 
“Isn’t the outfit… a bit strange?”
 
If I wore my usual beautiful dress, people would recognize me as that person, so I had Uncle prepare a simple dress that makes me look like a [merchant’s daughter].
 
There’s no helping the sparkling hair… can I hide it with a hat? And if I can cover my face too, that would be perfect. My intimidating gaze is scary…
 
“Very becoming Prin! Eek, Missy!”
 
Bridget-chan… you almost said [Princess] again, didn’t you?
 
“Beautiful… Lady Saint.”
 
Noel-kun says something cute again. Older ladies are giving us weird looks. Also…
 
“Noel-kun? Please don’t call me [Lady Saint]”
 
“B-but, how should I address you then?”
 
“In that case, just call me by my name.”
 
I don’t want to be called “saint.
 
It’s not like that! I’m in awe of you calling me by my name! “
 
You’re stubborn, Noel.
 
“No way! It’s too disrespectful! At least address you as [Princess Eur] with all my heart!”
 
Bridget-chan… you…
 
“Bridget.”
 
“Yes!”
 
“You two, I hereby prohibit the use of [Princess] addressing in this situation.”
 
“What!?”
 
Amazed!? I told you it’s incognito!
 
“Until we finish exploring the town, if you call me ‘[Princess],’ stay ten steps away from me. Got it?”
 
“……Yes.”
 
I give orders when needed, too, you know? It’s just that some people, like Sara-chan, are happy when I give strong orders… But I don’t like that. So…
 
“Indeed… Please call me ‘Lucia.'”
 
Still not working, Noel-kun.
 
I get it, you’re grateful because I saved your life, but since I don’t have many normal friends, I was kind of hoping for a bit more. Well, can’t be helped.
 
Smiling at him, I perform a theatrical gesture, lifting the hem of my skirt.
 
“I… I mean, I’m Lucia, the daughter of a merchant. Just your friend Lucia who lives in the town, not some noble girl. So, it’s strange if you don’t call me by name.”
 
…Right? Is it still not working? I accompany that pleading smile with a little more pressure.
 
Uh-oh, this won’t do. My smile is about to twitch. More than that, it’s embarrassing, and my ears are turning hot. …Bri-chan, please stop that nosebleed.
 
With a smile and silent gaze, I managed to make Noel-kun, who had been frozen, open his mouth, trembling.
 
“…Lu, Lucia?”
 
“Yes!”
 
Yes! I finally did it. From that loose, mascot-like nickname, I got a cute nickname that sounds like a princess!
 
“Okay, let’s go.”
 
“Yes, Lu… Lucia.”
 
“Yes, Princess!”
 
Bri-chan, therefore, follows ten steps behind me and Noel-kun.
 

 
The first place Noel-kun took me to was the large square in the center of the town. It’s the intersection of two main streets running north-south and east-west, with stylish shops and such.
 
“Lucia, is there something you want to see?”
 
“What kind of things are there?”
 
“Well… Oh, how about trying the specialty sweet potato fritters? They’re sweet and delicious.”
 
…Wait, is this starting to feel like a date?
 
But I find food a bit difficult… Did my expression give away that thought? Noel-kun’s face suddenly darkens.
 
“…Sorry, you don’t eat sweet potatoes, right?”
 
“O-Oh, no! I love sweet potatoes! I really like them!”
 
“Really? Then I’ll buy a lot!”
 
“I don’t need that much!”
 
Aaaaah! Noel-kun, brightening up at my words, rushes out like a puppy without even hearing the rest.
 
“I bought them!”
 
“Oh, thanks.”
 
Sweet potato fritters are fist-sized fried food made by mashing sweet potatoes, rolling them into balls, and sprinkling something sugary on them. …And you got ten of these? Seriously?
 
Well, no help for it. As a last resort, I eat about a third of the greasy sweet thing, and the rest…
 
“My stomach is full… Noel-kun, want some?”
 
“!”
 
I offer the remaining eight to Noel-kun, pretending to be a small eater. He freezes like a statue.
 
Oh, wait, eating something I started is a no-go, right? Boys unexpectedly have some cleanliness issues.
 
Handing over the remaining eight and my half-eaten one to Bri-chan, who was behind us, the food miraculously disappeared into her stomach.
 
“Noel-kun, what’s wrong?”
 
“N-No… Nothing…”
 
What’s wrong? For some reason, Noel-kun is giving Bri-chan a resentful look.
 
Ah, I see. One wasn’t enough for him. I didn’t expect him to eat them all on the spot, either.
 
Slightly downcast, Noel-kun seems a bit disappointed. What should I do? Let’s try changing the topic subtly.
 
“Oh, right, Noel-kun, I heard you can use magic?”
 
This topic has nothing to do with the town’s guide, though.
 
“Magic?”
 
For a moment, he looks dubious, but Noel-kun agrees to talk.
 
“The magic types detected in the examination were fire, water, wind, earth, and…”
 
“So many…?”
 
I was only light, after all…
 
“Also… [†§†]…”
 
“Huh?”
 
When Noel-kun utters some [word], a small light sparkles and gently fades away.
 
“All types of attributes!?”
 
Not me, but Bridget, who was watching from a distance, exclaimed in astonishment. That was quite audible. But, really, it’s amazing. The acting lord’s son is not just competent!
 
Noel, despite being a little embarrassed by our surprise, shakes his head slightly, denying it.
 
“No, I didn’t have an aptitude for divine magic. But for some reason, words came to my mind… and that gave me [Light]. This power…”
 
Noel kneels in front of me, taking my hand and placing it on his forehead.
 
“It’s the [Light] you gave me…”
 
“Noel…”
 
We’re in a large square.
 
I stand Noel up for now, and, exposed to the lukewarm glances around, I pull him along to move into an alley.
 
Why did Noel get such a misunderstanding?
 
Well, maybe, after being saved by my divine magic and having an admiration for the [Holy Maiden], he developed some kind of chuunibyou-like condition, pouring his feelings into the “light,” and as a result, he caught the favor of the light spirits.
 
I can’t make the surroundings dark just by being here, so the light spirits are probably of a calm nature… They run away if I get serious, though, and that’s why the surroundings get dark.
 
But, seriously, how much does this kid love the Holy Maiden…
 

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

 
“…Hm?”
 
“Lucia? What’s wrong?”
 
As we entered the alley and the surroundings became unobservable, I felt a strange presence. This time it’s not my fault.
 
“A bit… there’s a strange presence.”
 
“Presence…?”
 
Noel looks puzzled at my words. It’s subtle, so maybe he doesn’t understand.
 
I sense the presence of a [Beast], similar to what I felt in the royal-owned forest. But, why in the middle of the town?
 
“Sorry… I don’t really understand.”
 
“If that’s the case, it might be my imagination. Maybe I’m a bit tired…”
 
I just had some sweet potatoes.
 
However, not only Noel but also Bridget, who was watching from a distance, hurries over in a panic to my words.
 
“Wait… I didn’t notice, I’m sorry.”
 
“Princess, do you want to return to the mansion?”
 
No need for formalities now, Bridget…
 
“No. I’ll rest on that bench over there. Bridget, can you buy drinks for everyone?”
 
“Uh… yes, of course.”
 
For a moment, Bridget looks at Noel and notices his worried expression, then she agrees to go buy them.
 
Well, I wouldn’t let a guard like Bridget go.
 
“…………”
 
They’re approaching. Beasts seeking prey.
 
Is the prey Noel or me… or maybe any child will do?
 
Now that we’re only children, it’s definitely heading towards us.
 
Well then, come.
 
Pests that disturb my feeding ground.
 


 
“─Princess!?”
 
At the scream from the alley, Bridget throws away the drinks she had and starts running.
 
Even though it’s called an alley, it’s a quiet residential area with high walls surrounding gardens, and as Bridget rushes through, she finds the fallen figure of Noel.
 
“What happened?! Where’s the princess!?”
 
Whether he was attacked by someone or not, Bridget forcefully shakes Noel, who is crouched in pain, to bring him back to his senses. It’s not an appropriate action for dealing with a child in pain, but Noel, who has regained his composure, starts struggling to get up without complaining.
 
“Lucia… the Holy Maiden was abducted!”
 
“What!? Where did they go? Who’s the assailant?”
 
“That way! The assailant is a man and a woman who seem like commoners. But their movements were not normal!”
 
Eurushia was kidnapped. Bridget confirms Noel’s report and nods, gritting her teeth at her foolishness for leaving her post as a guard and leaving only a child behind. She places her hand on the hilt of her sword with determination.
 
“Noel, you head to the acting lord’s residence immediately! Explain the situation—”
 
“Bridget-sama! Please take me with you! I can use beginner magic!”
 
Interrupting the instructions, Noel shouts, and Bridget glares at him instinctively.
 
While they were caught up in the situation, time kept ticking away. Moreover, even though there were two opponents, their strength remained unknown, and there was no room to take a wounded child along. But—
 
“Please!!”
 
Noel clenched her teeth, her whole body faintly glowing as she stood up, and Bridget watched in amazement as the wounds on her body began to heal.
 
“You… understood. I won’t protect you. Our goal is the safety and recovery of the princess. Are you willing to risk your life?”
 
“Of course!”
 
“Then let’s go! Don’t fall behind!”
 
“Yes!”
 
Without looking at each other, they ran towards the direction where Eurushia had been taken.
 
Bridget’s cold demeanor towards Noel wasn’t due to disdain. It was just a difference in priorities. Even in this short time, understanding that Noel’s feelings towards Eurushia were aligned in the same direction, Bridget was confident that Noel would prioritize Eurushia over everything else.
 
Noel felt the same way. She understood Bridget’s determination to sacrifice everything, including herself, for the sake of saving Eurushia.
 
Even if she fell, there was a strong resolve that the other would undoubtedly rescue Eurushia.
 
“There they are!”
 
“Yes!”
 
Who were the kidnappers? Even if they were dressed as commoners, it didn’t mean they were one.
 
Did a noble family with ill intentions towards the Grand Duchy make a move? Were there spies from another country or those related to religion?
 
Eurushia was innocent.
 
Simply born into the royal bloodline, becoming the princess of the Grand Duchy, possessing powerful sacred magic, and being loved by those around her for her exceptional beauty—just for these reasons, Eurushia had many enemies. So far, no one had directly targeted the princess of the Grand Duchy.
 
Who was the enemy this time? Even though they were carrying a child and running, Bridget, who was trained, still couldn’t catch up.
 
However, they weren’t that skilled. Bridget and Noel could follow their trail because they didn’t erase their footprints, leaving traces behind. They hadn’t gone far yet. Still, if they continued at this pace, Noel’s stamina would give out first.
 
“……”
 
Noel was aware of it himself. The look of urgency on his face was more than just fatigue.
 
As these thoughts gradually began to agitate the minds of the two,
 
DUN…… DUN!!!!
 
a heavy vibration echoed through the ground, making both Bridget and Noel unintentionally step on their foot and stumble.
 
What happened? With an ominous feeling, Bridget and Noel nodded at each other and ran, turning into an alley. The scene they witnessed when they looked was chaotic.
 

 
“Oh, Bridget, Noel~”
 
As if encountering an acquaintance during a casual stroll, the two were stunned but mustered the strength to run towards Eurushia, waving cheerfully.
 
“Princess!? What’s going on!?”
 
“Lucia!? Are you okay!?”
 
How is she okay? What about the kidnapper?
 
The male kidnapper, now in a dazed state, still sitting on the ground and staring at the wall, completely ignored by Eurushia as she walked calmly towards them. Bridget, noticing this, instinctively stepped forward to shield Eurushia.
 
With Bridget pointing her sword at the man behind her, Noel finally embraced Eurushia, who had just regained her composure.
 
“Noel?”
 
“Eurushia… I’m glad…”
 
Noel, holding her in a near-tearful embrace, Eurushia couldn’t bring herself to push him away. Instead, she looked at Brigitte with eyes wide, as if seeking help.
 
“How are you, Princess!? Are you injured!?”
 
“No, not at all?”
 
While facing the enemy, Eurushia somehow managed to respond to Brigitte’s question over her shoulder.
 
“I apologize, Your Highness. It’s my fault. I will accept the punishment later. But for now, let’s prioritize dealing with the enemy. What about the other woman?”
 
“Oh… um… I managed to handle her with sacred magic. Oh, right. The kidnapper is not [human], so feel free to deal with him without any hesitation.”
 
“Oh, okay.”
 
The tension that was present just moments ago seemed to have vanished into thin air.
 
At first, serving the admired [Princess] was a joy, and being close to her made the lovable and cute aspects of her endearing. Bridget, who had impulsively dedicated her sword to the young master, never thought it would be challenging to maintain the will to fight in such a situation.
 
However, all the knight escorts cherished Eurushia’s “laxity.”
 
If she had a personality as extraordinary as her appearance, one might not even be able to gaze directly at her goddess-like beauty.
 
For now, Bridget decided not to notice the human-shaped stains on the wall where the master [somehow] took care of the situation.
 
[“Grr…”]
 
The kidnapper, realizing he had finally been caught by the enemies, emitted a beast-like growl. Bridget, too, rallied herself, gripping her sword firmly.
 
“Lucia… step back.”
 
Noel also released Eurushia from the prolonged embrace, brandishing his knife to shield her.
 
Eurushia had described the man as [not human]. To prove those words, the man’s eyes were bloodshot, his black claws extended, and fangs bared.
 
“Haah!!”
 
Without hesitation, Bridget leaped forward, swinging her sword horizontally. The clash between Bridget’s sword and the man’s black claws produced a harsh sound and sparks.
 
The man jumped left and right like a beast, attempting to target Eurushia again. Bridget deflected his claws once again, creating distance between them. However, Bridget, not wearing knight’s armor but her usual attire, winced as her shoulder was shallowly cut, slightly contorting her face.
 
In terms of skill, Bridget was superior. However, the difference in equipment proved to be a handicap.
 
“…Lucia, it’s okay. I’ll protect you, no matter what.”
 
With Eurushia directly targeted, Noel also spoke words to encourage her, gripping the handle of his knife tightly. However, his hand was trembling ever so slightly.
 
In such a state, using magic effectively would be challenging. Seeing Bridget at a disadvantage, Eurushia quietly exhaled and gently opened her cherry-colored lips.
 
“…… [Let there be light] …… “
 
At that moment, an immense light overflowed from Eurushia, showering Bridget and Noel with its radiance.
 
“──!?”
 
Holy magic. And not just ordinary magic.
 
A [blessing] to repel evil forces.
 
An invisible defensive armor, [fortress].
 
A [barrier] to protect against magic.
 
An enchantment to imbue weapons with holy attributes, [sacred sword].
 
Fatigue reduction and gradual healing of stamina, [vitality].
 
Healing all kinds of injuries, [regeneration].
 
Raising luck and enhancing all abilities, [blessing].
 
Along with various other advanced support magics beyond comprehension, not only Bridget and Noel but even the enemy man, were gazed upon with astonished eyes by Eurushia, who had received all these magical effects. Eurushia, playing with her fingers as if embarrassed, smiled shyly.
 
“It should be a little easier now…?”
 
It was more than just a little.
 
Instead of being awed by the strength of the [Saint] who cast such a multitude of magics with a single syllable spell, the excessive protectiveness made one feel more bewildered than grateful.
 
It was as if…
 
In the final battle against the Demon King, the [Hero] blessed by the Saint—something like that.
 
A stunned silence enveloped everyone… amidst it,
 
[“Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!”]
 
The man, as if frightened by something, emitted a beast-like scream, and his body began to distort.
 
The man’s figure was turning into [something other than human].
 
If one were to compare, it might resemble an upright carnivorous animal. Bridget, upon seeing his form, opened her mouth as if recalling something.
 
“Don’t tell me… a half-beast!?”
 
Unlike the subrace [beastmen], Lycanthropes were a kind of [monster].
 
In common knowledge, they might be likened to [werewolves] that change with the moon. However, like werewolves, Lycanthropes needed the night to transform, and they wouldn’t change during the day.
 
But even as the man’s body changed, blood sprayed from his entire body, and he seemed to be collapsing. Probably realizing he couldn’t win in this state, he likely transformed by sacrificing his life.
 
Bridget gasped at his determination, and the man, now transformed into a beast, directed his sparkling yellow eyes at Bridget.
 
“─!”
 
At that moment, with an almost scorching force, the man who leaped out attacked Bridget.
 
Bridget, enhanced by a substantial amount of support magic, responded to it. The holy attribute sword cut through the beast’s claws, digging into the man’s side. However…
 
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaargh!”
 
Despite the severe injury, the man screamed, slipping through Bridget’s side, ignoring the wound in his abdomen, and attacked Eurcia, who was behind her.
 
“Not gonna let you!”
 
Noel stood in his way, wielding a knife to shield Eurcia.
 
However, no matter how much support magic Noel received, he was still just a seven-year-old child. At this rate, his body would be torn apart in exchange for protecting Eurcia.
 
“Noel!”
 
A voice from behind Noel reached him.
 
Whether it was a miracle or not, the man turned into a beast for a moment, looked behind Noel, and stiffened as if frightened.
 
Evil fears the truly pure…
 
Remembering that, Noel was invigorated by the light of blessings he received all over his body. The voice of the girl awakened the true power within Noel.
 
“─ [†§†] ──!”
 
It wasn’t a magic incantation.
 
It was a phrase in the spirit language that only higher spirits could use.
 
The power to evoke [light], accessible only to the chosen ones.
 
A dazzling light emanated from Noel’s entire body. Light extended from the blade of Noel’s knife, slashing through the stiffened man in a single strike.
 

 
” ” ” ………… ” ” “
 
Bridget and Noel stared in disbelief at the scene.
 
What happened to Noel? And who was this man who attacked Eurcia?
 
The enemy was defeated. The target was rescued. But there was too much that the two couldn’t comprehend.
 
As they were about to share what they were feeling at the moment, a voice of a girl reached their ears.
 
“Thank you, both of you.”
 
Seeing Eurcia’s radiant smile that seemed to dispel all doubts and troubles, both Bridget and Noel were momentarily left in shock.
 
“Now, let’s get back to exploring the town.”
 
“…Huh!? Lucia!?”
 
“Princess! To be safe, we should—”
 
“Shh.”
 
Eurushia, in a charming manner, places her index finger on her lips, smiling as she gracefully twirls around, lifting the hem of her skirt.
 
“Today’s events will be our little secret. After all, Daddy would scold me if he found out… right?”
 
That smile is ……
 
For the two who risked their lives to protect her, it was an invaluable reward.
 

 
And so, the troublesome [Holy Maiden and her party] began their journey back two days later.
 
“Holy Maiden… Lucia…”
 
Watching the gradually shrinking carriage, Noel thinks.
 
He thinks about himself, who had once hoped for death, having lost his comrades and despaired while living in agony. But Lucia, the beautiful and kind Holy Maiden, berated him with harsh words, comforted him with eyes full of affection, and saved him.
 
Her purity and beauty, along with everything about her, touched his heart deeply, and Noel held feelings for Eurushia that bordered on worship.
 
Even after two years had passed, those feelings did not fade; in fact, they had transformed into even stronger emotions. Now, Noel was granted the opportunity to meet her again.
 
Upon their reunion, she had become even more beautiful, her purity shining through her very existence. She had become a presence too revered to approach casually.
 
As the daughter of the Grand Duke, a princess of the Holy Kingdom, she was intelligent, beautiful, serene, and always composed—a true Holy Maiden, as the people would say.
 
But that wasn’t the full truth.
 
He realized that she also was just a girl.
 
More than being praised as a Holy Maiden, she rejoiced in being addressed by her name like an ordinary girl. She ate simple food that she should not have even considered, enjoying it with a curious expression.
 
While her appearance dazzled with beauty, her slightly sleepy gaze and leisurely way of speaking revealed a relaxed and carefree personality.
 
Just remembering the disparity between the evaluations surrounding her and the reality of the simple, down-to-earth girl brought a soft smile to Noel’s face.
 
When she was abducted, the fear of losing her overwhelmed him, casting darkness over his vision, and his heart felt constricted.
 
When I reunited with her, I realized my true feelings, ones I had considered admiration.
 
I want to protect her… [Lucia].
 
With my whole life… forever.
 
I finally understood that my [light] was the power given by the gods for that purpose.
 
I need strength.
 
So that I can protect her…
 
So that Lucia is not taken away by anyone.
 

 
In the legends of the Holy Kingdom, it is written like this:
 
when a great evil appears in the world, chosen by the spirits of light, they will save the world…
 

 
“I will move forward… Lucia.”
 
On that day, the boy took a step forward to become an adult.
 
To stand by the side of the only [saint].
 
Eventually, he would be called the [hero] of the Holy Kingdom.
 


 
“Oh… one of the servants is dead.”
 
In the dark room, the woman who had just risen from her 〝bed〟 noticed that one of the black stones was cracked while having her hair combed by a maid without turning on the light.
 
“Since when?”
 
“When we woke up, it was already like this, probably during the day.”
 
“Annoying… replenish it again.”
 
“Understood.”
 
With their actions restricted, they used beings of the 〝darkness〟 as servants who could move during the day.
 
However, there were few who would work for them for money, and betrayal was possible. Therefore, they used mental control through magic, using stones called [magic stones] taken from magical creatures for that control.
 
Creatures with magic stones in their bodies were [magical creatures], and in areas with high magic concentration, animals that lived there produced magic stones and turned into aggressive magical creatures.
 
Many regions where humans lived had thin magic, and even in those regions, races that had changed without turning into magical creatures were called demi-human races, like elves. Among them, those closer to the darkness were called [demon races].
 
But who were these women who used those close to the darkness as servants?
 

 
“Camilla, once again, you moved the servants without permission.”
 
On the moonlit terrace, the silver-haired girl approached the woman who was enjoying the scent of tea, using reproachful words.
 
“Absolutely not. To say such things to our ‘Mother’… Mylene-san.”
 
“Then, how about carrying yourself with some dignity, Countess Auber?”
 
A woman in her late twenties, with unbound black hair, spoke disdainfully, and Mylene retorted in a similar manner.
 
Countess Auber, Camilla. Auber Count’s daughter, Mylene.
 
Mother and daughter… but there was no resemblance in their appearances.
 
“It’s fine. I want a cute child too. Yes, a young one with blonde hair.”
 
“That’s probably why you ended up leaving that country, isn’t it?”
 
The mother and daughter glared at each other. Amidst the swirling hostility, with butlers and maids paling, a third voice interrupted like a wedge.
 
“Stop it. What’s the use of infighting?”
 
” ” ” ………… ” ” “
 
The middle-aged man who appeared received no response from Camilla and Mylene. Mylene, without a word, joined Camilla at the same table.
 
Count Auber. His wife and only daughter.
 
Known for their daughter’s frailty, they rarely left their territory and didn’t interact much with other nobles.
 
But those who know their faces, especially among the older generation of nobles or those living in the Auber territory, might think:
 
Who are they? ──And.
 
Count Auber ran his hand through his gray hair, sighed at the attitudes of the two, and took a seat at the same table.
 
“Mylene, can’t you find a better daughter?”
 
“Dealing with high-ranking nobles can be troublesome, you know?”
 
“Even so, I want a better child… I’m tired of lower-ranking nobles.”
 
“Still, don’t act on your own, Camilla. You’re not very smart.”
 
“Mylene!”
 
“Stop it.”
 
With a frown at the renewed argument between the two, Count Auber, glaring, spoke.
 
“I’ll say it again. For our purpose, we need those with noble blood. By obtaining that, we can gain even more power.”
 
“Yes.”
 
“We understand.”
 
“If that’s the case, you know what to do. Show those ‘people’ who set a trap for us a thing or two.”
 

 
Hearing those words, each of them began to move. Mylene, standing away from her family, muttered as if spitting out her words.
 
“…Even though ‘You’ abandoned us.”


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