Tensei Saki de Suterareta no de, Mofumofu Tachi to Oryouri Shimasu ~Okazari Ouhi wa my Pace ni Saikyou Desu~
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9. I thought you were the demon king
“You…What the hell was that?”
Enervated, Sumia sat down on the ground opposite the crumbling wall of light. She’d lost her confidence when I defeated the light magic in which she’d taken so much pride. So I thought, but it seemed that was not the case at all.
Some of Sumia’s chestnut hair had been cut to chin length by the attack, and the hairs were glittering in the moonlight as they fell gently to the ground. It seemed like the blade of water had been way too close to her neck.
…That wasn’t good. I’d made a mistake. It had been dangerous.
Sumia’s face was pale and her body trembling as she smiled in disbelief.
The pseudo-water cutter that I’d just used had been adjusted to prevent it from hitting Sumia when fired. But because this had been my first time using it in combat, it seemed that my aim had not been great.
My aim had been off, and the stream seemed to have flowed way too close to Sumia’s neck. That would have been a bloody disaster. You could say that it was a terrifying situation like a jaunt across a minefield.1
Compared to Japan, this world’s public order was quite bad, so I wouldn’t hesitate to defend myself if need be. But as a former corporate slave who’d lived peacefully, I wanted to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
I so wanted to prevent any R-18G2 scenes from unfolding. I definitely would’ve had nightmares about it otherwise. I’m sure I will have nightmares anyway.
As I’d thought, offensive magic was dangerous. I would have to be careful when using it. As I made a mental note of the lesson, I surveyed my surroundings. Fortunately, it seemed that the water cutter hadn’t hit the ruins.
That was a true peril.
These ruins were thousands of years old. If they had been on Earth, they would have been acknowledged by UNESCO as a world heritage site and would have been invaluable. I’m really glad that I hadn’t accidentally damaged them.
“I’m glad it was only hair…”
“I’m glad it was only hair…”
Leticia’s words made Sumia tremble. Sumia thought this information was undoubtedly a threat. It meant that whenever Leticia wanted to, she could easily decapitate Sumia. That’s why she held back and only nicked Sumia’s hair; it was to show the overwhelming power difference between them.
Sumia, who was such a strong user of light magic that she was regarded as the second coming of the holy saint, had absolute confidence in her magic. However, that woman—Leticia—destroyed her light magic with ease and even smiled at her.
It couldn’t have been more humiliating for Sumia than that.
Feelings of anger, frustration, and inexorable fear disturbed Sumia to her core.
Her lips moved on their own.
“How! How are you so confident!”
It was like a dam had been broken, and everything had flooded out in front of Leticia.
“It’s weird, isn’t it! Not just now! How can you be so confident after I took your fiancé! After being dumped and made fun of in front of so many people! How can you—”
Sumia clenched her teeth.
She had stolen Leticia’s fiancé, the Crown Prince, and obtained the title of the Crown Princess, which was the highest title she could attain in this country. She’d had an unequivocal victory as the woman who defeated the beautiful Lady Leticia.
She was the winner, and Leticia was the loser. Or that’s what she had believed.
“Then how, how could you?”
It was as if Sumia was now the loser. As if she had been mistaken or something. She couldn’t help feeling that way as remorse and unhappiness filled her heart.
“…How? Don’t you feel miserable at all from having your fiancé stolen?”
Sumia moaned out loud.
I pondered her words for a bit before deciding to answer.
“I did feel frustrated and remorseful at what you did to me, but I didn’t feel miserable.”
“…What do you mean? Your fiancé got snatched from you in front of everyone.”
Sumia was in a state of disbelief.
“You mean because he’s the Crown Prince?”
I made a clear assertion.
“He’s a man, who despite already having me as his fiancée, was still easily deceived and fell in love with you. And he selfishly broke off our engagement without any consideration of the consequences. I can’t respect him at all as a man or as a human being, so I don’t feel miserable at being dumped by someone like His Highness.”
Of course, I had been upset for a second when the engagement was cancelled so abruptly.…
Thinking about it calmly, Fritz was a no-good human being, let alone an adequate crown prince. No matter who his political marriage partner was, just thinking about his disposition and manners would turn that person off.
“I’m not going to forgive either you or Fritz for what you did to me. But in a way, I’m grateful to you. Thanks to you, I’m free from His Highness.”
I was genuinely sorry for causing trouble for my father and the people around me with my engagement annulment. However, I personally felt relieved when I was no longer Fritz’s fiancée.
Before this, I had always been respectful towards Fritz as the Crown Prince. I even had a slight affection and compassion for him…
But from the bad treatment that I had received on the day I regained my memories, his true nature became clear to me and anything I may have felt for him was no more.
“…You’re lying, aren’t you? You can’t possibly be grateful to me for stealing your fiancé…”
Sumia’s voice denying my words lacked force. Maybe she vaguely understood how I felt. She more than likely didn’t have any feelings for Fritz in the first place.
From the way she clung to him to the way she sweet talked him to capture his heart. All these schemes were to acquire the title of Crown Princess. Someone like that should have been able to understand Fritz’s thoughtlessness and foolishness well enough.
…Now that I thought about it again, Sumia would probably have very tough days ahead of her. One could say that Fritz loved her, but he only really loved the false persona that she had put on. As long as she continued acting, he wouldn’t lose interest, but this truly wasn’t love at all.
Moreover, the title of Crown Princess might be dazzling, but it was a position with many restrictions, just like the light and its shadow. If it were me, I would have ignored them and done whatever I wanted, but crafty four-eyes and his family would never allow something like that. The only route left for Sumia was to sit beside Fritz, who she didn’t love, as a puppet princess.
Sumia might be well aware that such a fate awaited her. When I saw the tearful look on her face, I couldn’t help but think so.
“It seems like someone is approaching, Milady.”
Lucian whispered in my ear.
Taking in that warning, I indirectly surveyed my surroundings. There was a figure there with glasses shining in the moonlight. It was the crafty four-eyes Ileus.
“Oh, how do you do? Why are you here at such a late hour, I wonder?”
“…I just came to bring that woman—Sumia—back.”
Ileus pushed up his glasses to hide his facial expression and averted his face.
“What happened today was because of our negligence in supervising Sumia, but it’s also your fault for getting lured by such a suspicious letter.”
“Oh, you don’t say. I think it’d be better if you supervise Sumia a bit more strictly. Otherwise, letting you have my engagement cancellation would have been for nothing, right?”
I replied sarcastically because Ileus had never been one to acknowledge his faults. As it was him, I was sure he was able to guess what had transpired here between Sumia and me, just by looking.
…Not even apologizing to me despite guessing what happened: Crafty four-eyes was so nasty. It made one want to smash his glasses and curse quietly at him in one’s mind.
As an aristocrat and for the sake of self-protection, his behaviour was correct, but it did make me angry.
It would be okay if I just smashed his glasses, right?
“I have got a gift for you, Ileus. Though it might be a bit troublesome.”
“…Do I have the right to refuse? After all, It’s not something good, right?”
“Correct. You’re smart. I’ll give you this report as a reward.”
Looking displeased, Ileus pressed open the paper he received from Lucian. It was a copy of Sumia’s background investigation report. Ileus’s face soured as if he had swallowed a bug as he quickly skimmed the documents.
“…What do you want? Is it for us not to cause you or the Duke of Gramwell any more trouble and to tighten our hold on Sumia, so she doesn’t do as she pleases?”
“I’m glad that you’re quick on the uptake. In addition, you must keep a close eye on Sumia and His Highness Fritz so as not to harm either me, my household, or the national interest, okay?”
“…I can’t promise you anything, but I’ll be sure to take it to my father.”
“I’m counting on you then.”
I smiled sweetly in a threatening way.
That should have been a good enough warning for Ileus’s household, and Duchy of Ilegar. Just like the royal family, they owed me for my exilement. With this, my family shouldn’t suffer any losses even if Sumia became the Crown Princess instead of me.
“…Come to think of it, Ileus, I was curious about something, may I ask?”
“What is it?”
“I’m curious as to why you willingly cooperated in disguising Sumia as a Baron’s daughter and helped with the plan to have her get close to His Highness. This plan just happened to work because Prince Fritz was more of a simpleton than expected, but originally, even if the success rate was good, the risk was way too high, right? So, I’m curious why you cooperated in such a risky plan.”
It was strange.
Ileus might have a bad personality, but he was smart and excelled in planning. Honestly, it was surprising that he was working behind the scenes to bring Sumia and Fritz together. It might have been on the instructions of his household, the Dukedom of Ilegar, but if Ileus hadn’t participated, they could have gone with a plan that didn’t need his cooperation.
“…No reason. There’s nothing strange about it, is there? My father, the head of the family, asked me to do it. There just wasn’t any reason for me to refuse.”
It was a somewhat crisp answer, and he didn’t seem to want to talk about it any longer. He must have had his reasons, and it was natural that he didn’t want to reveal them to a political rival like me, so I decided to stop pressing.
“Is that so? I understand. Pardon me for asking such a strange thing.”
As I said that I was about to bid the awkward-looking Ileus a goodbye—
“The sound of hoofs?”
I could faintly hear the sound of hoofs approaching us from a distance. The sound grew louder and louder, and finally, its owner’s form appeared.
“The Demon King?!”
Ileus cried out.
Straddling a majestic black horse while looking down at us with glinting sharp eyes, like a demon’s, was—
“Leticia, are you okay?!”
—not a Demon King, but my father.
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