Chapter 1:

CHAPTER 1: A MATTER CONCERNING MARRIAGE

The Human Saint is Bored, so I was Summoned to Another World Vol. 4


Mister Kuro? Mister Kuro?”Bookmark here

I slowly opened my eyes, and what I saw immediately was a maid with auburn hair.Bookmark here

“Eris?”Bookmark here

“Eris would like to apologize, but can Mister Kuro move for a bit?”Bookmark here

“Hm?” I looked around and was surprised that I was sleeping at the library. Back on Earth, it’s a mortal sin to do that, especially if you’re in the middle of reading a book, “Sorry; I didn’t notice I fell asleep.”Bookmark here

The young maid laughed, “It’s fine Mister Kuro.”Bookmark here

And then it came back to me. Isn’t it that Eris is assigned to the Grooming Department? Why is she at the library?Bookmark here

“Are you out cleaning here once again?”Bookmark here

Eris shook her head, “Eris was just reading a book in her spare time.” She put a couple of big books on the table and read.Bookmark here

“I see…” Well, now that I noticed it, the entire library was vast…and empty. I mean, there were a lot of empty tables at which Eris could read. She really chose to read near my space.Bookmark here

What the heck, kid?Bookmark here

Okay, no matter. It’s just a minor issue, anyway. Looking back at Eris, I saw that the titles of the book she was reading were about the histories of the various kingdoms and states around Chersea. And not just the typical, skim-and-read history picture books. She was reading the detailed histories—yep, the types that had small fonts, and zero illustrations…books that would bore to death the average, post-millennial teenager who couldn’t part with their smartphones.Bookmark here

Impressive.Bookmark here

Well, I guess I’m out. I read my share of books for now, and I never wanted to disturb someone so focused on reading such books.Bookmark here

“Eh? Where are you going, Mister Kuro?” I heard Eris called out to me.Bookmark here

Hm? Do you need something from me?”Bookmark here

“Not really…” Eris answered with an anxious face, “Eris was wondering if she disturbed Mister Kuro…”Bookmark here

Well, you just did. But then again, it’s fine because I don’t want to sleep all day, “I’m okay with it. I didn’t intend to snooze the entire time.”Bookmark here

“Oh…” Eris then closed the book she was reading.Bookmark here

“Hold on. I thought you’re reading that?”Bookmark here

Hmm…it’s okay. Eris would only want to read beside Mister Kuro. She’s comfortable whenever Mister Kuro is around. Besides, it’s been a long time since Eris had a talk with her friend…”Bookmark here

Now it’s my turn to feel bad. Indeed, I was so busy with other matters lately that I had little time to have a chat with her. I quickly sat down and took a book she was reading, “On a second thought, I guess I’d like to read again for a while.”Bookmark here

A happy, excited smile appeared across Eris’ face. She returned to her seat and restarted reading the book she held in her hands.Bookmark here

Well, I guess this is good. A slow, quiet life doing what you love besides the people you trust…Bookmark here

Hey, Eris!”Bookmark here

“Mister Kuro?”Bookmark here

“I’ve been wondering for a while…but you read books that are meant for ages way above your own.”Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

“I mean, aren’t you bored reading such books?”Bookmark here

“Why?”Bookmark here

“Well, I just think so? These books are meant for grown-ups, after all. I’m wondering if you understand everything that was written on it.” I said that not to underestimate her, but I’d like to create a reason for her to talk to me. Since she didn’t want me to go, and I’m done reading, for now, I never wanted to be a display, so I’d guess I’ll help her process what she’s reading…Bookmark here

It’s what teachers do, anyway.Bookmark here

“Oh, that. Eris understands some parts. If she cannot, she’d just look from other related articles to know what that certain passage says.”Bookmark here

Ah, right, context clues. Back when I was her age, I also used that technique to comprehend fully what I’m reading. After all, not every word I encountered was taught to me by my mother (who was a former teacher) and my school.Bookmark here

“But Mister Kuro, Eris is wondering, why do we have to study history?”Bookmark here

“Oh?”Bookmark here

“Well, don’t get Eris wrong; she loves history. It’s just that, whenever she is questioned by her other friends, she doesn’t have a proper explanation to say. They always tell her to move on with the past and look unto the future.”Bookmark here

Haha…right. Sometimes that does indeed happen.” I recalled the moments where my own classmates were amazed by my concentration while reading a thick history book that was collecting dust in our school’s library. They would often ask me why I was still reading about events that were already done…Bookmark here

Heh. Fuckers. They don’t even know how history affects every one of us.Bookmark here

“You see, we have a saying in our world that ‘history is bound to repeat itself’.” I explained, “It meant that, no matter how long had passed, what happened before could happen again. We can always learn from those events, so we know how to proceed in our next steps.”Bookmark here

“Oh…”Bookmark here

Ah…well, humans have the same motivations even though a lot of seasons passed them. You know, ambition, power, the desire for glory, or simple pleasure. It’s how history was shaped and being shaped. We record these stories to highlight our achievements, but then, it becomes a cautionary tale of our folly.”Bookmark here

Eris fell silent while she pondered on what I said. I guess with her young mind, it’s quite hard to understand my words. But maybe she’ll remember it someday…Bookmark here

Hm…Eris really loves to talk with Mister Kuro. She learns a lot from him.”Bookmark here

Ah, thanks! I hope you’re fine with my explanation?”Bookmark here

“Yes!” the young maid nodded happily, “History is more than recalling the events of the past. It’s rather a lesson left for us by those who came before us so that we would avoid their mistakes and improve on our society. Isn’t that right, Mister Kuro?”Bookmark here

“I’d say…” Honestly, I’m dumbfounded when she said, “I’m impressed you can process my information into something you could explain yourself. Eris, I think you’ll be an excellent student.”Bookmark here

“A ‘student’? You mean those who follow the master swordsmen, Mister Kuro?”Bookmark here

“Nope, it’s something that we call an apprentice in my wor—I mean, my country.” I laughed at the comparison, “It’s a step away from being a full scholar.Bookmark here

“Really, Mister Kuro? Do you really mean that?” there were sparkles in Eris’ eyes. I could tell she became excited when she heard my words. Well, being a scholar in this world was a big thing, apparently.Bookmark here

“Yeah.” Impressed at her display of intelligence, I gave her a head pat.Bookmark here

“Then, Eris will do her best!” the young maid proudly declared.Bookmark here

----------Bookmark here

Whew! At least I learned something new about the people around me, like Eris…Bookmark here

There had been a lot of events happening around lately, and before I knew it, another season had already passed. The weather had considerably gotten warmer—and I mean, way, way hotter—so that everyone at the Holy Palatial Gardens was forced to wear loose and light clothing.Bookmark here

Maybe that’s why I also fell asleep at the library earlier. It’s so hot that my body went into its ‘siesta’ mode. Anyway, I need to focus on what I plan to do for now, or I won’t be able to do anything at all.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“Are you doing your laundry now, Mister Kuro?” a maid asked me the moment I appeared at the laundry house.Bookmark here

“Ah yes, I’m looking around if there’s still space for me to wash my clothes.”Bookmark here

“Well, I guess that stall over there is still available…” she pointed me to the stall at the other end of the laundry house. The laundry house was a separate building from the rest of the palatial gardens and was partly hidden among the thick vegetation. Inside were several stalls designed for the servants in charge of the laundry to have their privacy. A sink was built in each division so that they won’t have to haul the heavy tub-loads of clothes to soak it in water.Bookmark here

It’s a decent place, unlike the facilities for washing clothes (mostly in the streams and rivers) of medieval Earth.Bookmark here

“Alright, thanks!” I hurried to the place she showed and prepared my used clothes and soap before entering. It was a busy time for doing laundry, and so the place was bustling with the servants from the laundry department. Fortunately, this stall was still available, or I’d have to wait for another ‘long sleep’ before I could wash my clothes.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“Err…”Bookmark here

“!!!” I immediately closed the stall door when I saw someone had already occupied it, “Sorry! I thought it was empty!”Bookmark here

The door then opened, and a maid came—no, it’s not a common servant of the Saint; it’s the kitchen bitch—I mean, the kitchen head maid, Jessica. Contrary to what I expected from her, she had a calm expression on her face, though her cheeks were red.Bookmark here

“D-Did you see it?” she asked.Bookmark here

“W-What?”Bookmark here

“I-I’m washing my u-u-underclothes.”Bookmark here

“W-Well, for someone who’s trying to hide it, you revealed it to me.”Bookmark here

Jessica closed her eyes and slapped her forehead, “Ugh! I’m really stupid…”Bookmark here

Well, I think you are.Bookmark here

“A-Anyway…ugh, at least I didn’t tell you I washed the blood off from it.”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“I said something stupid again, no?”Bookmark here

I nodded. She slapped her forehead once again. Are you doing a stand-up joke, or just plain clumsy?Bookmark here

“Anyway…I think I’m disturbing you, so I’ll just go away.” I told her, “Sorry!”Bookmark here

“Uhh…”Bookmark here

“Y-Yes? You need something else from me?”Bookmark here

“W-Well…I-I’m just like this…ugh…because it hurts…” Now that I noticed it, she’s kind of pale. And she was trying her best to stand up straight even though it’s clear that she’s in pain.Bookmark here

“You alright?” Though the kitchen head maid’s a bitch to me, it’s not like I’m someone heartless. I could feel pity towards devils and bitches, see?Bookmark here

Ugh…well, every time I’m having the bloods, this happens,” Jessica replied. Maybe ‘bloods’ was the Chersean term for menstruation? But I think she’s got dysmenorrhea.Bookmark here

I helped the kitchen head maid sit down for a bit, “Tell me, you got a pain in your belly?”Bookmark here

Jessica nodded, “Also, my thighs and hips are aching…goodness, this is unbearable!” She let out an exhausted sigh, “At this rate, I won’t be able to cook for Her Holiness!”Bookmark here

“Well, don’t.” I told her, “I’ll just tell her what happened to you. But if you’d like for that pain to disappear, take a rest. Don’t drink coffee and wine for now, and avoid salty foods.”Bookmark here

Ha? But those are—”Bookmark here

“It’s up to you if you won’t take my advice. I’m just trying to help you.”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Well, that shut her up for a while. Seeing that she fell silent, I continued, “While resting, apply a hot compress on your belly, and if possible, have someone massage your abdomen and lower back, got it?”Bookmark here

Jessica’s in pain enough to keep her from arguing with me. She just nodded. I called a maid over to us and told her to bring the kitchen head maid to her room.Bookmark here

“I’ll…pay…you back…later for your help, K-Kuro!” she said to me as she was being led away.Bookmark here

Nah, I’m just trying to be of use!” I shouted back to her.Bookmark here

----------
Bookmark here

Of course, for someone who owned a few varieties of clothes in his wardrobe, I got no other choice but to ‘recycle’ my shirt (the one I’m wearing underneath my coat when I was summoned; Maddie fixed it for me before) because it’s more comfortable than the Chersean clothing Lily gave me. Even my iconic ‘business coat’ had to be shed off, since it could be unbearably hot. Heck, if this was my home, I’d go topless like I always do back on Earth during summer.Bookmark here

On second thought, I guess I have to put it off from my head. The ladies can take me for a degenerate once again.Bookmark here

Oh? But I’d like to see that; thanks for the treat in advance.”Bookmark here

“…” Well, for so many times she had done that, I didn’t get jumpy as before, when Maddie surprised me with her sudden appearances nowadays. There she was, once again, standing by the door of my room, blocking my way inside.Bookmark here

“Your Holi—”Bookmark here

“Maddie.”Bookmark here

“Maddie, have you seen the kitchen head ma—”Bookmark here

“I did. That advice you gave her helped her through her bloods.”Bookmark here

Well, as long as it did the job, then I guess it’s all fine.Bookmark here

“I already healed her belly pains.” Maddie then asked me, “Tell me Kuro, are you also a doctor?”Bookmark here

“Huh? I’m not! I told you I’m a teacher!”Bookmark here

“Then why do you know of things that only a doctor should know?”Bookmark here

“Isn’t it a part of my job?”Bookmark here

“So a teacher is someone that is way above a doctor, then? At least in your world?”Bookmark here

“No!” I laughed at the very thought of it, “Teachers and doctors in my world are on the same level of importance, see? Doctors focus on the human body, while we teachers focus on human learning.”Bookmark here

Oh, interesting…” she pondered on my words.Bookmark here

But I guess I needed to tell Maddie that she had to let me in my room, “Okay, I think I need to fold my clothes. Could you move away from the doorway?”Bookmark here

“You need to remove that shirt of yours first.” Maddie went back to her teasing. She had the gentlest of smiles on her face, yet her demands showed her true intent otherwise, “Let me see those muscles you’ve been hiding from me.”Bookmark here

“I’m sorry, but I think you’re in for a disappointment.” I retorted. True enough, I’m not that of an ‘active’ person, though I do joggings from time to time. I may seem to be slim and fit, but well, I guess my body had a high percentage of fats than muscles.Bookmark here

“I don’t think that matters to me, the girl who loves you.” Maddie was quick to counter my thoughts, “I’d choose your fats over someone’s muscles to protect me anytime.”Bookmark here

I was left speechless by that. Honestly, it made my heart flutter, and hearing those words felt like I was in the clouds. For the first time in my life, there’s a girl who could appreciate me for who I am. Yeah, I knew she’s like that to me before, but this was the first time that it finally sank unto me.Bookmark here

Man, I really love you, Maddie.Bookmark here

“I love you as well, Kuro.” her smile was way too beautiful not to behold, “But, I cannot let you in your room just yet.”Bookmark here

Eh? Why?”Bookmark here

“Well…” the Saint avoided my eyes, “Some things…happened.”Bookmark here

That’s a suspicious move, Maddie, “Are you stealing my clothes again?”Bookmark here

“What?” Maddie was indignant, “Of course, I’m not!”Bookmark here

“Then why are you barring me from entering my room?” I sarcastically asked, amused at her angry expression, “I have to do my laundry before I go to sleep. My shirt has to be dry when I wake up later.”Bookmark here

Uhmm…err…w-would you…uh…like to sleep together?”Bookmark here

“Eh?” I was surprised by her suggestion. Well, now that she mentioned it, I noticed that Maddie’s wearing her ‘sleeping attire’. While it’s not your typical ‘sensual’ sleeping dress, it felt like her charms increased when I saw her in those clothes.Bookmark here

“What can I say? Your fiancée is beautiful.” she proudly declared. Well, I agree. I guess there’s no greater honor than having someone as lovely as Maddie falling head-over-heels for a guy like me. Though she may have had her flaws from time to time, it’s all part of her charms. And I’m being drawn unto her the more I get to know her personality…Bookmark here

What did I even do to deserve this?Bookmark here

“Ah, there you go, belittling yourself again!” I heard her say, “Heh, let me tell you that since you caught my heart, then you’re definitely not someone who’s ‘low’. I’m not a naïve woman, see?”Bookmark here

Haha…thanks!”Bookmark here

Oh, I almost forgot about my laundry!Bookmark here

“Can I come with you when you do your laundry?”Bookmark here

“What for?”Bookmark here

“Nothing. I just feel like it.”Bookmark here

“Well, I guess you may come. So, can I go inside now?”Bookmark here

“No!” my fiancée quickly put herself between me and the doorway once again.Bookmark here

Err…why are you blocking me? I’ll just get my used clothes inside!” I grabbed the doorknob, intending to force my way in.Bookmark here

“Uh…uhm…err…” I guess my cute fiancée finally lost the topics she could put up to delay me. She’s basically panicking about what to talk about.Bookmark here

I wonder what’s the fuss?Bookmark here

Seeing the opportunity, I pushed her gently on the door and trapped her in between my arms so she could not move. Maddie had an embarrassed expression on her face, but she kept her defiance.Bookmark here

“Oh? S-So you’re f-f-finally taking the lead, K-Kuro?”Bookmark here

“Well, you don’t know how long I’ve been holding myself back, Your Lovely Holiness.” I drew my lips nearer to hers as I hold her other hand, “Do you think I’m someone who had no hidden desires?”Bookmark here

“K-Kuro…please be gentle with me…” Her perfect form shivered lightly, and she closed her eyes in anticipation of what I’m going to do. Maddie looked so cute and fragile right now…Bookmark here

Good lord, my fiancée is so adorable I want to gobble her up!Bookmark here

But—Bookmark here

“!!!” I quickly grabbed the doorknob and went in.Bookmark here

----------
Bookmark here

What?”Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

Lily and I stared at one another’s face the moment I could enter my room. She was in the middle of arranging the bed…well, someone else’s bed.Bookmark here

“Whose bed is that?” I was bewildered.Bookmark here

“Well, Her Holiness ordered this.”Bookmark here

Hoh? Why?” I guess I’m not one to complain since I’m only a guest here, but still…how about my privacy?Bookmark here

“Don’t worry about that, Kuro.” it was Maddie, “I just decided to make a room for me and Lily in here; we will not interfere with your private life.”Bookmark here

Uh…I think Maddie misunderstood it. I mean, she may be my fiancée, but I believe I’d like to have a private moment with myself from time to time.Bookmark here

“N-No worries!” the Saint desperately defended her actions, “W-We j-just want to k-keep you co-company!”Bookmark here

“Her Holiness desires to be with you ALL the time.” Lily dropped.Bookmark here

“Hey, don’t act as if you have nothing to do with this, Lily!” Maddie countered her head maid, “Aren’t you the one who suggested that we go to Kuro’s room?”Bookmark here

“I suggested that, but I tried stopping you, didn’t I?”Bookmark here

“You did. However, you don’t want me to get ahead of you! I never asked you to come with me.”Bookmark here

“Of course! Don’t keep him all to yourself!”Bookmark here

Well, though they may sound like fighting, I believe that these two were just playing…like cats. Only the cats were tigers…with sharp teeth and unsheathed claws.Bookmark here

I guess I need to step in now.Bookmark here

“Hold on! You didn’t ask me if I’ll allow this.”Bookmark here

“Never!” they both told me at the same time.Bookmark here

“If we want your permission, that’ll never come!” Lily complained.Bookmark here

“Precisely. Kuro’s a human yet he acts like an elf.” Maddie added, “He’s a prude!”Bookmark here

The two girls nodded, agreeing with one another. Well, at least they had their common ground. But what did they mean I acted like an elf? I’m 100% human!Bookmark here

“Aren’t you always thinking and talking about being faithful to the one person you love?”Bookmark here

“I do. What makes you think I’m an elf with that?”Bookmark here

“Well, I guess you don’t know just yet…” Lily explained, “But here in Chersea, it’s pretty common among the nobility and the rich commoners to marry at least three people.”Bookmark here

“What?” I was surprised by the revelation; I certainly overlooked that. Does this mean NTR is a common thing around here?Bookmark here

“I don’t know what you mean by that NTR, Kuro, but a powerful noble or commoner could take in several wives, or husbands, up to five in some places to manage his/her household.” Maddie elaborated, “As you know, maintaining a family is a pretty heavy responsibility, so those who can afford it, could do it.”Bookmark here

“You mean a marriage of convenience?”Bookmark here

“I don’t understand about that, but isn’t your world the same? Don’t you have difficulties in raising and maintaining a family with only one partner?”Bookmark here

“Of course, we do! But back there, we consider those as part of familial responsibilities.”Bookmark here

“Your world is pretty weird.”Bookmark here

I thought we agree regarding each other’s world. Nevertheless, since this was an unfamiliar land with distinct sets of values and customs, I guess I needed to remember that from now on, eh?Bookmark here

Haaa…five people as your marriage partners. What about jealousy and stuff like that?” I asked that because it’s the first thing that came into my mind. As a teacher, it’s not a secret that we often had to deal with children hailing from dysfunctional families torn apart by infidelity. They really were a handful; though I understood where they’re coming from.Bookmark here

“Well, it happens in some households.” the Saint replied, “But mostly, one wouldn’t get wives or husbands who’d fight for power and influence over the Head of the House, so it’s pretty harmonious. For example, I have three blood-mothers and was on good terms with them before they left this mortal realm. My mother is the last one left with Papa before she died, too.”Bookmark here

“I’m sorry you remembered that.”Bookmark here

“No worries. It’s been a while; I was thinking of paying their graves a visit sometime. Going back to our topic, I believe it’s on the values of your people that you frown upon such kind of arrangement, Kuro.”Bookmark here

“Yep. Also, if that case happens, the Head of the House had the right to send away the erring partner if he or she so desires.” Lily added.Bookmark here

Uhh…isn’t that unfair to the one who was dismissed?” I wondered if the Chersean family traditions and customs resembled a corporation more than what I knew and grew up with back on Earth. But then again, this is Chersea; it’s really a different world, after all.Bookmark here

“Personally, I believe it’s the erring partner’s fault if that happens.” Maddie answered, “You see, unlike in your world, our families here have ranks accorded to the partners of the Head of the House. For example, the chief wife or husband is called the Matriarch (woman) or Patriarch (man). Basically, they are in-charged with the well-being of the entire household.”Bookmark here

“More like, they are the counterpart of the Head of the House.” Lily interjected, “His/Her connection to the others.”Bookmark here

“Yep. Next below them, are the Mistresses/Masters. These people are usually responsible for the family finances in coordination with the Matriarch/Patriarch. Every budget consideration goes through them, and so a wise head would always assign the most financially literate person to that rank.”Bookmark here

More like a company treasurer, if you ask me.Bookmark here

“The last one on the hierarchy are the Ladies and Gents. Their duties to the household include caring for the children and defending their home in case of outside attacks.”Bookmark here

Isn’t that a security guard’s job? Chersea’s family traditions and customs were the definitions of Earth’s private companies. It’s interesting, but I did have an idea why these two were telling these things to me…Bookmark here

“Well, if you’re thinking why we’re here and talking about those…” Maddie suddenly kneeled before me, followed by Lily, “Kuro, may I ask you to take my friend and blood-sister Lily as your wife as well? As I know that you’re a great man and a good person, so I don’t think there’s any individual I could entrust her safety other than to you.”Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

“Sorry for pushing this unto you, but you’re Lily’s only hope.”Bookmark here

“But why did you guys even create that stupid ‘competition’ over me?”Bookmark here

Oh, that? Well, we’re competing to see who gets the first rank of being your wife!”Bookmark here

I think my mind got overloaded. Everything happened so fast that I couldn’t say anything.Bookmark here

----------
Bookmark here

***The city of Kersea, the capital city of the Empire of Chersea***Bookmark here

Amid the great hall of the Imperial Palace’s Golden Throne Room, the Traveler stood before the Emperor, seated on his lofty throne and surrounded by his ministers and aides. The disastrous Battle of Hagena Castle had already reached the monarch’s ears, and he didn’t like such news.Bookmark here

“I see that your mission against the northern kingdoms failed.” the emperor flashed a letter with the Human Saint’s seal attached to it, “So, it just confirms the content of this letter; she’s summoning me back to the Holy Palatial Gardens to explain myself for the fiasco at Hagena.”Bookmark here

“I apologize deeply, Your Imperial Majesty.” he replied, with all humility and dignity, “It’s been unfortunate, but I admit my incompetency.”Bookmark here

“Tell me what happened.”Bookmark here

“Because of the unforeseen circumstances, I let myself be blinded by the chance to capture the Iron Princess, Your Imperial Majesty. I willingly threw men and resources to get my hands on her, and as a result, I was outwitted.”Bookmark here

Hmm…can’t say you were wrong though.” the emperor pondered on the information, “I’d gladly sacrifice an entire legion if that would end up restraining that Nerfes princess. What caused you to fail when you had her by the neck, then?”Bookmark here

“It’s the Fist of the North Lands.”Bookmark here

“What?” the emperor stood from his seat, “Did I just hear you say that?”Bookmark here

“Yes, Your Imperial Majesty.” the Traveler explained, keeping his cool even though he’s getting drops of cold sweat on his forehead, “I think I may be wrong in my first impression, but the man known as the Fist of the North Lands is someone of formidable mind. He, along with a few of Sekhtem’s cavalry militia, repeatedly repelled attempts by your soldiers to overwhelm them, even though we outnumber them, and the Iron Princess is gravely injured.”Bookmark here

“That can’t be true! For a commoner, the rumors about that boy are surely exaggerated!”Bookmark here

“Your Imperial Majesty, I plead to you we also prioritize capturing or killing this man known as the Fist of the—”Bookmark here

“Didn’t you try to kill him before?” the emperor was visibly upset and mad, “What makes you think we can kill him now?”Bookmark here

“Well, we can’t. It’s because Maddie talked to the High King of the Gods to have that boy resurrected.”Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

The letter from the Human Saint suddenly glowed and then burned suddenly. From the ashes came a form that then coalesced into the speaker herself. Everyone’s attention was focused on her and she never stood before the emperor. Instead, she teleported behind him and perched on the backrest of the golden throne.Bookmark here

“It’s Her Holiness the Saint of the Flame!” With that cue, all of them quickly prostrated themselves before Seirna, and she only had a sardonic grin on her face for her greeting as she watched them kowtow before her.Bookmark here

“My dear Jean, emperor of Chersea, I don’t think you could kill that man known as the Fist of the North Lands. He has the backing of Maddie, the Human Saint, after all. Your agent here, the former Prince Umberto, failed in his work, thus making it harder for you to realize your ambitions to rule this land.”Bookmark here

“W-What does th-that mean, Your Holiness? A-Aren’t you on our s-side? Why did he fail?”Bookmark here

Ah-ah! Correction, my dear Jean. YOU are on my side. I would never have helped you gain your throne from your uncle if I would get nothing from you in return.” Seirna playfully floated in the air, while she would occasionally shoot out little embers from her fingers, “The more your forces would fail, the stronger your enemies would become. You failed in capturing the Human Saint before. You failed in reining in the Iron Princess. And certainly, you failed in killing off the Fist of the North Lands.”Bookmark here

“I get that the Human Saint and the Iron Princess need to be separated, but why that commoner boy?”Bookmark here

The playful smile on Seirna’s face quickly disappeared. She flew towards the kneeling emperor and grabbed him by his cheeks, “Do you want me to further elaborate, you useless man? Well, here’s the thing. If your empty head would try to see, the Human Saint is the ‘beacon of hope’ that would unite Chersea’s northern kingdoms in the time of distress. The Iron Princess is the ‘general of the legends’ that would lead the fight against your armies, and the Fist of the North Lands…well, he’s the ‘military genius’ that would destroy your hope of ever winning a battle against your enemies.”Bookmark here

“Y-Your Holiness, b-but what should we do?”Bookmark here

“Of course, there’s no such thing as an absolute victory.” Seirna finally let him go, “There’s still a sliver of hope for you to overturn the odds against the northern barbarians. But listen up, for if you fail this, I would be forced to move my hand.”Bookmark here

The Traveler was also interested in the conversation, so he leaned in to listen.Bookmark here

“Don’t come to Maddie to explain yourself. Proceed with your plan to destabilize the kingdom of Amaranth. Make sure no one lives among the nobility and royalty strong enough to challenge your rule. Confiscate their properties if necessary. Make those fools as poor as a sewage rat. I think those are the things that you need to do. Do you understand?”Bookmark here

“Y-Yes, Your Holiness…”Bookmark here

“Good.” Seirna then took her place on the Imperial throne, “And, one last thing before we get this thing going, Jean. I want you to place Prince Umberto as the commander of the invading legions.”Bookmark here

“Hah?” not only the emperor but his ministers, including the prince himself, were all surprised.Bookmark here

“It’s a simple demand, or you won’t have my blessing. Good luck on dealing with Maddie’s powers decimating your armies with her plagues if that’s the case.”Bookmark here

“I-I’ll do it, Y-Your Holiness!” the emperor hurriedly stood up, took his sword, and gave it to the Traveler as a symbolic gesture, “Prince Umberto of Amaranth, I hereby proclaim you as the commander of our glorious Imperial Legions invading northern Chersea.”Bookmark here

With all the awkwardness aside, the former spymaster-turned-army commander Prince Umberto graciously accepted the sword and bowed before the emperor, “My life is yours, Your Imperial Majesty.Bookmark here

“Alright! I guess that settles it.” the Flame Saint clapped her hands once everything was over, “And with that, we do our divine mission of our Lord, Gaius, bestowed on us. Congratulations on your promotion, former Prince Umberto.”Bookmark here

The now-imperial general Prince Umberto neither displayed an annoyed nor a smiling face. He just kept his usual indifference, even as Seirna of the Flame was clearly amusing herself.Bookmark here

Aww…don’t be like that, Your Former Highness.” she laughed, “Aren’t you happy that you’ll finally get to have your revenge against that Saint that caused your family its ruin?”Bookmark here

“…” the Prince remained silent.Bookmark here

“Hahaha!!!” Seirna then floated playfully back to the air, “I really love it when you humans are unnerved by things going around you. I can feel and taste your fears and apprehensions…but no matter! Soon, Chersea will see it’s golden age—and Maddie does not deserve any of it!”Bookmark here

----------
Bookmark here

**Kuro**Bookmark here

Well, the conversation I had with Maddie and Lily remained in my mind for quite some time. It’s not that I didn’t like the head maid at all, but I’m someone from a different world and culture. I believe I’m pretty indecisive for these things, but then again, it’s not like I’m desperate for a girl…moreover, multiple girls.Bookmark here

Would it even work out? I mean, for them, it might be since they’ve been living their lives in this place. But I doubt I could remain impartial for long. You know, I’m a teacher. And even though they required us to show no bias towards our students, the fact was that we’re still human. We had some cases where our favor rested on one child.Bookmark here

The same as to a family with multiple partners. I’m not some shut-in who gets reincarnated into another world possessing magical powers that he nurtured as he grows and ends up marrying his teacher, his childhood friend, and his cousin.Bookmark here

I’m not a Rudeus; my name is simply Kuro. And I desire a simple family life if I land myself a good girl…Bookmark here

…which turned out to be Maddie. She’s really a great lover, though she’s not without her flaws.Bookmark here

Of course, as someone who’s truly concerned for her friend, Maddie’s actions were pretty much understandable. However, I’m having doubts about myself. Not only with my values, but I’m also concerned whether I could keep Her Holiness happy…much more her friend.Bookmark here

Two different people coming from two distinct family cultures.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Haa…all this thinking had made my head spin. I don’t know, perhaps it was further exacerbated by the hot weather.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Oh, now that I remembered it, wasn’t this a new season? Perhaps Maddie and Lily were all busy with preparations for the upcoming Seasonal Mass and another Holy Congress, that the marriage thing was the last thing on their minds right now.Bookmark here

Anyway, I should just cross the bridge when we get there.Bookmark here

Bookmarked
You can resume reading from this paragraph.