Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
This is a story from back when I was still in that damned hellhole. One day, after getting somewhat accustomed to being an adventurer, I encountered a girl with a hat smudged in grime.
“Wow, that looks nice!” She’d said.
Looking over I saw she was about the same height as me. Standing on the outskirts of the kingdom, though not quite in the slums, she eyed the skewers in my hand like a hunter to prey. Truth be told, though we were smack-dab in a venue for rough people, she had thus uncanny air of nobility about her that betrayed her own lower district garbs.
There’s something suspicious about her, I thought at the time. Something inside told me she might attract trouble. As an adventurer back then, I believed in that kind of gut instinct. Following it, I talked to Miriya telepathically.
—Hey, let’s run away.
—Is that okay? She seems to be quite enamored with your skewers, Master.
—Yeah, it is. She’s the kind of person we shouldn’t get involved with.
—Sigh. Well, if you say so, Master.
—Aight. Let’s run on the count of three. Three, two, o—
“One! Not so fast, bucko!”
“Gah!” Just as we were about to bolt for our lives, the mysterious girl spread out her arms, blocking our path. Unfortunately for me, I bumped into her not so well endowed chest, and my nose hurt. “…No cushioning at all…”
“Hm?! What the hell did you just say to me?!”
Sorry, sorry. Sigh… do I really have to get involved with this?
“It’s better to give up, Master. And, please, be careful with your words.”
“Why?” I turned to Miriya, confused.
“Stop it, you dummy Miriya!”
The mysterious girl hurriedly covered her mouth as she tried to say something. What’s going on? It’s piquing my curiosity.
—Tell me, Miriya.
—Understood. This person is Lady Leicia, the first in line for the throne.
“Bwogh?!” I couldn’t help the knee-jerk reaction.
“Idiot, Miriya! Why did you say it?!”
“Because it was my Master’s order.”
Wait a damn second, she’s the first in line for the throne?! Hold on, then why is someone like that back in this corner of town? And how in the world was Miriya acquainted with her? Not only that, how did she know what we were talking about telepathically?
“I have the Eavesdropping skill, so you better watch out, Izuru-san.”
“…Isn’t it cheating to be able to read minds?”
“Of course, that skill doesn’t normally hold that kind of effect. But since Miriya already spilled the beans, I’ll tell you why. It’s because I have royal blood coursing through me.”
Though she said that matter-of-factly, I couldn’t truly connect the dots. Sensing I still didn’t understand, Miriya gave the answer I wanted, “The people of the Kayabana royal family have the innate power to enhance skills. With their influence, even a simple jumping skill can become something akin to levitation magic.”
“That’s seriously busted. Unfair even.”
“Hehehe, it’s not that big of a deal~” She acted bashful.
Well, well, it’s quite something to have someone like her wandering around in a place like this. Setting aside the growth of skills, this person is the first in line for the throne, a genuine princess. It’s not fitting for her to be in such a dirty town.
“Hey, can you really be alone in a place like this?”
“Master, your choice of words.”
“Ah, um, can you truly be here, ma’am?”
“No need to be so cautious. It’s fine. I’ve given up on Miriya, but I’ll force it on you instead. Treat me casually just as if we’re friends!”
“…Princess,” Miriya raised her eyebrows.
“You wouldn’t listen to me, so it can’t be helped. I’ll be friends with your master then!”
“I don’t mind, but…” My voice trailed off.
She’s quite a friendly girl. And to propose being friends, even…! What a sweet sound it has! A friend! Oh, damn, I like this person!
“Miriya, why does this man look like he’s about to cry?” The princess turned to my servant.
“Please refrain from looking into his mind. I really don’t recommend it.”
“Yeah, doing so will just sour my mood, it seems…”
Oh. She’s rude after all.
“A secret exploration of the town?” I scratched my head.
As soon as that exchange from earlier was done, I brought this girl — Leicia — to the inn we stayed at on a monthly basis. The reason was to find out why she had approached me in the first place.
“That’s right. I feel suffocated living in that stuffy royal palace.”
She said so as she took off her coat and hat. What was revealed underneath was raven hair, a rarity in this world, and a barren bust. Yep, even though she dressed lightly, there was nothing there.
Still, despite all my superficial observations, there was an undeniable elegance about her. The fact she was a princess of this kingdom seemed true by the second. Not that I doubted it, though.
“I see… I understand your circumstances, Leicia, but what do you want from us?” I asked. “Oh, and it seems you know Miriya?”
“Well, she used to be a maid in the royal palace! She was a member of the court nobility! But her family’s house crumbled…”
“I see,” I glanced at Miriya out of the corner of my eyes, but she didn’t show a single twitch or change in expression.
I didn’t know much about her past, truth be told. She didn’t try to talk about it, and I never felt the need to pry into it. As long as we had that slave contract, she could never betray me. And as long as that assurance held true, there should be no problem to keep it that way.
“So? What do you want in the end? If it’s skewers, I can give you some. Is there anything else?”
“Well, skewers are the best! Thanks, Izuru.”
“Well, you’re welcome. So, what is it?”
“Um… I have a favor to ask… I won’t offer any reward, though…”
“Yo, at least show a modicum of gratitude for the skewers.”
I was feeling a bit hungry too. It was a small luxury that I could afford now that I had some extra money. Leicia approached me, seeming a bit hesitant, and looked up at me with upturned eyes.
“Well… It’s a consultation I wanted to have with you, Miriya’s master.”
“And I refuse,” I shook my head.
“But I haven’t said anything yet!”
“I mean, you’re definitely bringing trouble to the table. I absolutely don’t want to deal with a consultation from a princess. Especially without any reward.”
“Please, just consider it!”
While I adamantly opposed the very idea of it, Miriya bowed her head to me as she almost never did.
“Master, please listen to her. She’s my benefactor.”
“Sigh…If you say so, fine,” I conceded.
“Really?! Yes! I love you, Miriya!” The princess jumped for joy.
“Yes, yes. Troublesome as always, princess.”
The raven-haired royal clung onto Miriya, skipping up and down in delight. I could see a hint of happiness in Miriya as well… It was truly a heartwarming scene. Ah, if only this world wasn’t the cesspool it is.
“Okay, so what do you want? I know it may not look like it, but I’m quite the busy man, you know?” I crossed my arms.
“Princess, he’s lying. Master has a three-day weekend and works as an adventurer.”
“Oi, you! I spend my days off dedicating time to self-improvement! Exercise, studying about this world, pursuing sweets… It’s tough, y’know?!”
“W-well, it doesn’t seem like you’re spending your time idly, I guess…”
Of course. I never know when I might run out of money, so I even research wild weeds and their market prices. And besides, my pursuit of sweets is for Miriya’s sake, so she should be grateful instead.
Perhaps Leicia read my inner thoughts because she didn’t pursue it further and continued with the conversation as if nothing had transpired.
“Izuru, what I want to ask you is to rescue me,” the princess finally said.
Where does she want me to rescue her from? This inn? Hmm, are we talking about something philosophical? Still, although I couldn’t understand it at all, Miriya seemed to catch the drift.
“Princess, could it be—”
“Yes, tonight I will be kidnapped.”
“…By the Empire?” Miriya hazard a guess.
“Correct. As expected of you,” she nodded.
Upon hearing the confirmation, Miriya’s face contorted as if she’d eaten a stinkbug. Meanwhile, I looked between the two, confused out of my mind.
“Hey, explain it to me in a way I can understand,” I interrupted the two.
“Sorry, sorry. Well, you know I’m a princess, right?”
She said so herself. And apparently, she isn’t wrong.
“That’s why I’m often targeted. It’s all because of my bloodline. So, this time, the envoy from the Empire — with whom I have a history — is planning to kidnap me.”
“Huh? Just like that?!”
“The Empire wants our bloodline so bad, they wouldn’t hesitate to scream bloody war over it,” the princess spat. “And there’s a meeting going on to extend the ceasefire agreement both our fiefdoms agreed to. It’s perfect for a declaration of war,” Miriya added.
“Some ceasefire, that is…”
“But it won’t be that easy. The kingdom is trying to surpass the Empire in power. If they wish to strike, now is the time. I’m still quite young after all.”
I didn’t know the circumstances between the two countries… But how does that lead to her asking me for help? I’m just a random adventurer, y’know?
“What I want is for you to rescue me after I’ve been taken by the Empire. Take me back and bring me here, to this kingdom.”
“Wait, so you want me to do that while you’re in their territory?”
“Yes. By doing so, we will disgrace them, and obtain a justifiable reason to attack and finally bring down the Empire.”
“…And isn’t that quite dangerous for me?”
“Ah, and the Empire is known for being impregnable. Good luck!” She winked. She bloody winked.
“…” Is there not a ‘Refuse’ option anywhere?
“By the way, I can make this a formal request from the royal family. Although it’s just my own judgment for now, would you prefer to get involved in the kingdom’s troubles, or live quietly as a mysterious knight?”
“Hey, Miriya, I blame you,” I pointed a finger.
“I-I never expected it to be such a scheme… I’m sorry…”
I still couldn’t understand why a princess would come to rely on me, but I had no choice other than to accept her request. At worst, I might even be written off as related to the Empire and executed or something…
“…Fine, but on one condition,” I raised my index.
“What is it?”
I pointed at Miriya in an attempt to resist.
“Take care of her back at the royal palace. Treat her with proper respect. If a single strand of her hair is disheveled, I will be the one to bring the kingdom to shambles.”
“What?! Master, what are you—”
“Understood. It will increase the danger, is that truly okay?”
“Yes. She’ll be in my way. In fact, it’s more convenient for such a covert operation to happen solo.”
“Wha, get in the way…?!” Being called a hindrance, Miriya trembled.
It couldn’t be helped. My Transparency skill is quite incomplete… And I couldn’t have anything happen to her. This is different from fighting monsters.
“And if you can’t provide any rewards from the royal family, Leicia, I’ll make personal demands to you.”
“Hehehe, you’re quite something, aren’t you? You’re to my liking.”
“I’ll tell you about the rewards after everything is said and done. —What, I won’t ask for anything ridiculous,” I sighed.
“Alright. Then tonight, I will become a captive princess in my royal bedroom tonight. I’ll be waiting for you, mister knight ♡”
This has really turned into a troublesome situation… That damned witch of a goddess didn’t lower my luck or anything, did she?
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