Chapter 5:

CHAPTER 4: DAVID VON ALBERT, CROWN PRINCE OF AMARANTH

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


And so, once the accommodations had been arranged, we went back to the royal palace. Upon arriving, we were led to a large room, where Maddie and the others were already conversing with the crown prince and his ministers.Bookmark here

The crown prince of Amaranth, David, was an intimidating man, physically. He stood tall—probably about 6 feet or more, towering over anyone inside the room. The prince carried an unusually long sword on his waist; presumably, it was made so that it could match his physique. His face, though he may be young as Jessica had told us, was a bit worn-out. I don’t know if it’s because of the stress of ruling, or something else, but he’s much younger than he looked.Bookmark here

In contrast to his physical features, Prince David was a gentle character. He spoke gently, though we could still feel the royal dignity in his voice. The prince stood up when he saw us coming, Monfort and I, prompting the others to acknowledge our presence. He even asked us to take a seat, even though his ministers stood behind him.Bookmark here

I think I’m going to like this guy.Bookmark here

Honestly, I found it quite hard to believe that this person was accused of things like abuse of authority, or a sex-crazed maniac, as Eris told us before.Bookmark here

But well, I guess I needed to observe a bit more and keep my guard up. Appearances can deceive, after all…Bookmark here

“Once again, we thank you for coming to our lands, Your Holiness.” the crown prince bowed in respect before Maddie, and his government was quick to follow, “And, on behalf of my house and my people, I would also like to express our apologies for this situation.”Bookmark here

Maddie, meanwhile, never hid her displeasure, “I’m not angry because I was asked to mediate in this. However, Prince David, you and the Duke of Braunhauer shall be answerable to me for the unnecessary escalation of this conflict. Why did no one from Amaranth raise this issue back at the congress?”Bookmark here

Crown Prince David remained silent, but I could tell that he’s shaken by the rebuke.Bookmark here

Jessica was quick to intervene for her brother, “Your Holiness, I’d like to speak for the crown prince if you please.”Bookmark here

“Then speak!”Bookmark here

“His Highness is still learning the ropes of governance.” the kitchen princess explained, “He is a regent of our father nary two seasons ago!”Bookmark here

“Indeed, he is.” Maddie was unflinching, “However, if the prince would just play around and never try to govern, it would be for the good of this entire kingdom to appoint a new heir instead!”Bookmark here

Well, that’s harsh. Coming from no less than the Saint herself, I think Maddie was telling the truth. If the prince would only concern himself with his own good and never his people, eventually, this was bound to happen.Bookmark here

But as for Maddie, she can gently say it, right?Bookmark here

I was looking at the crown prince for a while now, and he never moved from his bow earlier. As intimidating as he was, he also displayed resolute regret for his mistakes.Bookmark here

Makes me wonder…are Eris’ words true?Bookmark here

It’s the reason we’re here, to find out the truth and act accordingly. Hope something came out of it.Bookmark here

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Maddie was not angry for long. She knew it won’t be of use anyway, since our purpose here was to mediate, not to shower reprimands on the parties involved. As soon as she calmed down, she immediately went on questioning the crown prince on the state of Amaranthine affairs.Bookmark here

“So you mean to say, the nobility here are making stories about you abusing their hospitality?”Bookmark here

“Yes, Your Holiness!” the prince was indignant, “I swear by Your Most Exalted Name, on the pain of death to me and my entire household, I implored no one to spend a single coin from their coffers for the upkeep of my retinue. I have my accounting books to prove that!” He quickly motioned for someone to bring the books before the saint to nail his point.Bookmark here

“That won’t be necessary, Your Highness.” Maddie was quick to retract, “I can see your thoughts, as well as your heart, so I could tell if you’re lying to me or not.”Bookmark here

The crown prince had an uncomfortable look on his face. I could somehow understand his reaction; no one in this world or in my world would love to have their inner thoughts seen or read without permission. However, Maddie’s ability was helpful to determine if the person she’s dealing with was just double-crossing her.Bookmark here

We feel safe with her ability around.Bookmark here

“Alright, Your Highness, let’s get to the point. Tell me, what do you know about the problems plaguing your rule if the nobles’ words were false?”Bookmark here

“Your Holiness, I believe that this conflict stemmed from a matter of finances.” the prince explained, as he opened the books that, I believed, contained the lists of transactions the royal treasury of Amaranth dealt with, “As you can see, most of the nobles rebelling against the king have outstanding debts in our treasury. And since they seldom pay, the interest keeps on rising to where they couldn’t return the borrowed money anymore.”Bookmark here

“Hmm…” Maddie, together with Lily, was trying to understand the list, “This is indeed a serious matter. If your nobility would just keep on borrowing and never paying, soon your kingdom would fall into debt as well.”Bookmark here

“Have you tried raising taxes?” Lily asked.Bookmark here

“We’ve done that, to a certain limit.” it was Jessica who said that, “Any more of it would anger our people, and it would cause chaos and instability.”Bookmark here

“How about taxing the guilds? They make more of the money than the common folk and the nobility combined.”Bookmark here

“We could, and would, never raise taxes imposed on the guilds to cover for the budget deficit caused by the nobility.” the kitchen princess further explained, “Not only it is unfair to them; it is detrimental to the state of our kingdom in the long run.”Bookmark here

True enough. If the Crown would raise taxes at the guilds’ expense to make up for the lost revenue, it could lead to terrible results. For one, guilds were mostly concerned with making money, thus they control the economy. If they realized they had to pay more than they could gain, the most logical choice was to leave this place for a more profitable kingdom.Bookmark here

Fewer guilds will mean less work and goods for the people, and the economy will collapse.Bookmark here

Another was that, once the guilds learned they were being taxed to cover for the excesses of the nobility, I don’t think they would take it lightly. After all, it’s not their fault those fools were blatantly spoiled. Add the fact that they had ‘private armies’, they could trigger dramatic shifts in the economy and politics.Bookmark here

The same goes for the common folk. Though they may be silent for now, once their sentiments reached the boiling point, this monarchy won’t last on its throne for long.Bookmark here

Yep, I’m thinking of the French Bourbon king Louis XVI and his family…Bookmark here

Third, putting the responsibility on covering for the deficit on someone else would only encourage these nobles to borrow recklessly. After all, they won’t suffer the consequence of their actions, and so they’d think it’s fine to indulge, and waste resources.Bookmark here

Taking the options available to the Amaranthine king will lead to the ruin of their dynasty—and possibly the entire country as well. Unless…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

I noticed that everyone inside the room was completely silent and their eyes plastered on me.Bookmark here

Err…is something wrong, Your Holiness?” I asked Maddie.Bookmark here

Uh, I could hear your thoughts well.” she answered, “So I was wondering if you could share your insights on this matter.”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

“Your Holiness!” the crown prince interjected, “While I don’t mean to belittle your companion, I am having my second thoughts about him. For one, we don’t even know him. And second, from his clothes, I could tell that he’s of commoner background.”Bookmark here

“Your Highness, this man is Kuro, a friend of mine and Lily, as well as a loyal advisor.” Maddie introduced, with an air of pride in her voice, “He may look simple and unassuming, but his mind is exceptional. It’s the reason I brought him along with us. I believe you should hear what he has to say about this matter.”Bookmark here

“Indeed, my brother!” it was Jessica who supported me this time, “He’s the one I’m telling you about! Remember that time when Her Holiness hosted a tourney and a commoner joined it? He was that man!”Bookmark here

Oh? You mean to say that he is the Fist of the North Lands?” a minister aired his thoughts, “That brave man who socked the accursed face of the Imperial Prince?”Bookmark here

“Ah yes, he is!” Jessica proudly answered, as if she’s the one who owned the ridiculous title.Bookmark here

A murmur erupted among the ministers, obviously talking about my identity. I never liked that moniker, but I guess it’s helpful if they’d listen to what I had to say.Bookmark here

“Sir Kuro, is it?” the crown prince asked me. His tone had an improvement compared to how it was before.Bookmark here

“Y-Yes, Your Highness.”Bookmark here

“Can you read and write?”Bookmark here

“Yes, Sire.”Bookmark here

“Alright.” Though I could tell that the prince was reluctant, he relented anyway. He asked his treasury minister to show me the financial records, “Sir Kuro, as you can read in those books, the debts of the nobility have reached staggering proportions. Their unwillingness to settle this, as well as the need to pay it, is the ultimate cause of this conflict.”Bookmark here

“Your Highness, if I may ask, I believe you said earlier that their debts have interests?”Bookmark here

“Indeed.”Bookmark here

“How much is it?”Bookmark here

Hmm…for every 1000 gold, we add 200 gold coins for every season that it was unpaid.”Bookmark here

Whoa…that’s a huge 20% interest per season!” I quickly fished out an example, “So let’s say this Count Tremeraire borrowed 4000 gold; at the end of the season, he’ll be paying 800 gold additional?”Bookmark here

“Correct.”Bookmark here

“So if there are three short, yet consecutive seasons, he’ll be paying an additional 2400 gold? For 6400 gold coins in total?”Bookmark here

Uh, you’re mistaken, Sir Kuro. He’ll be paying 6912 gold coins.”Bookmark here

I could not keep myself from blurting out, “That’s way too high!”Bookmark here

The crown prince and his ministers were shocked by what I just did, so I quickly retorted and continued.Bookmark here

“My apologies for the sudden outburst, Your Highness.”Bookmark here

“No worries. Please continue.”Bookmark here

“Anyway, it’s hard to pay, indeed! How do they even get to pay it by installment?”Bookmark here

Uh…what?”Bookmark here

“What?” I was genuinely confused. Everyone in the room had this bewildered expression on their faces, “No one among you knows what an installment is?”Bookmark here

They all shook their heads.Bookmark here

“So you mean to say, the nobles are paying their debts in its entirety this whole time?”Bookmark here

The crown prince nodded.Bookmark here

“No wonder they’d rebel! Not only is your interest rate so punishing to them, but your payment conditions would also cripple the lords as well!”Bookmark here

“That’s how we do things here, Sir Kuro!”Bookmark here

“Better change it, Your Highness, or face a revolution!”Bookmark here

“What?” the prince’s soldiers and supporters were quick to draw their swords. Good thing Lily and the Marquise of Monfort were quick to convince them to stand down.Bookmark here

“I apologize for my careless remarks, Your Highness.” I relented, having realized the errors of my words, “However, your financial policies would surely lead this kingdom to ruin.”Bookmark here

I could feel I offended the crown prince, “What do you suggest we do then?” his voice was sarcastic.Bookmark here

“Well, I recommend three things. First, make your interest rates lower. For example, for every 1000 gold, add only 50 gold coins. That’s a tolerable 5% interest rate. It is smaller, but that way, the debt would be much easier to pay. Second, try implementing an ‘installment’ payment. Basically, it’s just paying the debt by parts until the entire money was returned. Of course, you may apply the 5% interest rate to that.”Bookmark here

“But, as you’ve said, our revenues would be much lower!”Bookmark here

“It is. However, consider this, Your Highness. If you implement the installment basis, combined with the 5% interest rate, your income would be significantly lower per season, but in a steady trickle. It also would make the nobles—or anyone who’d borrow—more capable of paying their debts, thus lowering the risk of discontent against your rule.”Bookmark here

Hm…you seem to have a point.” the crown prince and the treasury minister agreed, “But what about your third suggestion?”Bookmark here

Ah, for the third one, I recommend you require the nobility and the guilds to have a copy of their financial records set aside for the government. Then, at every end of the season, you may send someone to compute the price of their debt payment according to the revenue of their enterprises. It can also apply to taxes.”Bookmark here

“Well, sounds good. But let me ask if the fief income is low, it means the debt payment and tax is low as well?”Bookmark here

“Yes, Your Highness. However, just like my two suggestions from before, a revenue-generating scheme like that would significantly lower discontent in your government. It’s like this, if you have a debt to me—let’s say, 500 gold, and you only have 100 gold coin income per work done. What would you think is best for your finances?”Bookmark here

“What’s the catch?”Bookmark here

“Well, I require you to pay me 10 gold for every 100 gold coins, payable once. Or you pay me with a 10% interest.”Bookmark here

“Aren’t those the same amount? Both are impossible to do!”Bookmark here

“But let’s say, for the second option—that is, installment, I only require you to pay me 50 gold coins per season plus the interest?”Bookmark here

Hmm…that’d be 55 coins per season to be subtracted from my pockets! Well, I’d say, I think I’d prefer the installment one.”Bookmark here

“Why?”Bookmark here

“Because it’s easier?”Bookmark here

“Precisely!”Bookmark here

“Oh!” Looks like there was enlightenment in the prince’s eyes, “That sounds promising! Are you following this, Gerard?”Bookmark here

The finance minister was also nodding in delight.Bookmark here

“Great! Then let’s implement that as soon as possible!”Bookmark here

“Hold on, Kuro!” it was Maddie who called my attention once the crown prince became engrossed in the ‘installment’ payment scheme, “I’m concerned about the financial records in your third suggestion. See, how are we going to determine if the records are true and correct?”Bookmark here

“For that, I have several interconnected recommendations.” I took a piece of paper and showed it before them, “We need to require the guilds and the nobility to issue receipts.”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

“A receipt is just a piece of paper that contains the number of goods purchased, or the services provided. Also included are the price of those, and some general information on who availed it, like the name and address of the customer. From there, you could determine the revenue of the guild or enterprise, and see if it matches the record books they provide you.”Bookmark here

“Well, if they’ll be the ones to issue those receipts as well as provide the records, they can still deceive us, right?”Bookmark here

“Of course. That’s why a receipt should be done in three copies. One copy is for the customer, another is for the guild or enterprise, and the last one is for the government. The contents should be exactly the same, as well as with the financial books.”Bookmark here

“Oh…”Bookmark here

“And speaking of financial books, we should require at least two copies—one for the guild or enterprise, and one for the government. I highly recommend we provide the business owners a uniform copy, and that is the only one they’d issue. Make sure that the receipts would be impossible to forge.”Bookmark here

“We got magic for that.”Bookmark here

“Right. And also, require the customer to sign all three copies to ensure the truthfulness and correctness of the document.”Bookmark here

“Sounds plausible.” It was Lily who raised another concern, “But I’m worried about the amount of paper it requires.”Bookmark here

“Yes!” Jessica backed her up, “For the design alone, if for one receipt there’d be three copies, I’m sure the artisan who’d produce it would require at least two assistants to keep up with the demand.”Bookmark here

“For that, we should use a printer.”Bookmark here

“H-Hold on…” Maddie’s hand was on her head, “This is getting complicated.”Bookmark here

Err…I’m sorry. It’s all I could suggest.”Bookmark here

“A printer? You mean those we used to make books?”Bookmark here

“Exactly. We could produce standard receipt designs by reconfiguring the printers available. Just put spaces where the customer’s name, his address, the goods he purchased or services availed, and the corresponding price, appear. Oh, and don’t forget the spot where he could sign the document.”Bookmark here

Uhh…I’m sorry Kuro. I know your suggestions are great, but…” Maddie was trying her best to keep up with me, “…what about the paper itself? Won’t we need a lot of paper for that to work?”Bookmark here

“For that, we should implore the guilds to standardize paper production. Don’t let one company monopolize the trade and require them to put out a quota for it.”Bookmark here

“Well…that could work, I guess?”Bookmark here

“Also, try to build a machine that manufactures paper with minimal supervision. I know Chersea isn’t like my wor—I mean, my country. This land has yet to industrialize, so such a machine could take time. But, consider it.”Bookmark here

Oh, that reminds me, Kuro…” Jessica put up yet another concern, “How about our people? Aren’t they the customers? If you’re suggesting that they sign the ‘receipt’, how can they do it? Most of our population can’t read nor write!”Bookmark here

Hm…you’re right. I almost forgot about that.” Well, Chersea was a medieval-level society. Most of its population was illiterate. I don’t know the exact percentage, but based on my interactions with the commoners (in Arles) and the nobility, I’d say that all the common folk and a lot of nobility (mostly the lower nobles) were illiterate. In fact, those who could read and write were from the Holy Palatial Gardens.Bookmark here

I turned to Maddie. Actually, I had a solution in mind, though it would take time to see the results. However, for that to happen, I needed her utmost support.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

The Saint nodded, which was her way of showing her approval. It seemed she understood what I had in mind.Bookmark here

“Well, for illiteracy, I propose two solutions; one immediate, and one for the long term. The immediate one is, we require the guilds, and the enterprises owned by the nobility to explain the ‘receipt system’ to the peasantry. This one is not the permanent answer to the illiteracy problem; it would only pave the way for the second recommendation, which I hope would destroy illiteracy.”Bookmark here

“And that is?”Bookmark here

“Education. I propose we set up schools to educate the young people, as well as those older folks who were interested to learn. It would certainly take time, but the more literate—that is, they can read and write—your people are, the more they can help in developing your kingdom.”Bookmark here

The sound of that last sentence made pleasant music to the crown prince’s ears. Anyone could see the smiles on his face reached either side of his head. His ministers were talking amongst themselves, maybe because of my proposals. Some were nodding in support; some were obvious in their disagreement.Bookmark here

Anyway, to make my recommendations work efficiently, Amaranth has to educate its masses…Bookmark here

Though of course, it’s not without negative consequences like revolutions because of the proliferation of liberal ideas, or radical philosophies (ahem, communism). But if a government was for the people, they’d survive any tumult even if it’s a king who’s sitting on the throne of power.Bookmark here

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The meeting with the crown prince was put on hold so that we could eat our dinner. Since Maddie was their guest, the royal family prepared the best food they could get. She was given the most prominent seat at the table; the crown prince and Jessica occupied her flanks as the lesser dignitaries and ministers were assigned various seating positions regarding their importance.Bookmark here

As Lily was Maddie’s personal maid, she took the responsibility of making sure the Saint’s food was as safe as possible. Well, with Maddie’s powers, I don’t think having a cupbearer was necessary. But who knows? What’s important to me was that I’m not at that table full of VIPs.Bookmark here

Yep, I’m simply not up to it. I’m just a commoner.Bookmark here

Ah! Why is the good gentleman eating at the side table?” I heard the prince say, “Please, it would be honorable for us if you join partaking our feast!”Bookmark here

Well, I hope it goes well for that person who got the wrong seat.Bookmark here

“Kuro…” I noticed Lily was already standing behind me.Bookmark here

Hm? Anything wrong?”Bookmark here

“His Highness, the Crown Prince, is calling for you. Can’t you hear him?”Bookmark here

Ha? I thought it’s someone else.”Bookmark here

“Nope. It’s you.”Bookmark here

And so, without delay, I quickly changed seats. Now, all eyes were looking at me, and it did not feel great. I could feel daggers being thrown in my direction, and maybe, some nobles had already murdered me for a million times in their heads.Bookmark here

Once again, I turned to Maddie, who was proudly smiling, and even winked playfully at me. I didn’t know what she’s thinking, but I didn’t want to embarrass her. I’ll just sit here and eat my food as fast as possible.Bookmark here

“Even his table manners are admirable! It’s as if he’s a person of nobility! Is Her Holiness sure that he is a commoner?” I heard the crown prince praised me one more time, “I think a man of grace and wisdom like him would be a boon for my court.”Bookmark here

Good lord, just let me eat in peace dude.Bookmark here

“I told you, his mind is exceptional,” Maddie added.Bookmark here

Your Holiness, please don’t fan the fire.Bookmark here

While I proposed those ideas, those only came from my world and were technically the brainchild of other people. I felt bad for taking those and making it my own; I’d rather give it freely.Bookmark here

“Your Holiness’ eyes are indeed admirable to see such a talented person. If it’s not asking for too much, I’d like to grant Sir Kuro at least a title of baron.”Bookmark here

KOF! KOF! KOF!Bookmark here

I think it’s not only me who choked on his food. Everyone else in the dining room had the same reaction, and murmurs and whispers flew around. I knew that the rank of ‘baron’ was one of the lowest peerage titles, even so, all that I did was to give suggestions. It’s not like the situation in Amaranth already improved drastically when I offered what I had in mind. We’ve about to see the efficacy of my recommendations just yet.Bookmark here

Isn’t that too much? I mean, not to embarrass Maddie, but I don’t think I’ll accept such honor right away.Bookmark here

“Your Highness, I implore you not to be reckless with your decisions.” the Saint finally spoke, “If you think you could entice Kuro to your court, then you’re gravely mistaken. I won’t hand him to you, nor the Iron Princess would.”Bookmark here

The smiles on Maddie and Lily’s faces belie the fact that they’re getting agitated. If I’m the crown prince, I’d better back off now, before the entire kingdom was obliterated.Bookmark here

And heck, why are they fighting over me, anyway? Is this sort of a terrible harem story?Bookmark here

“Oh…haha!” there’s an awkward laugh coming from the crown prince as he quickly retreated, “I sincerely apologize for my brash actions, Your Holiness.”Bookmark here

“Well, if you understand, Your Highness, then it’s accepted.”Bookmark here

“However, as the regent to Our Majesty the King, I think it would be improper for us to receive Sir Kuro’s wisdom without giving him compensation.”Bookmark here

“P-Please, Your Highness…” I decided it was now the right time to intervene; this was about me anyway, “I’m only content with helping Her Holiness bring peace to this kingdom.”Bookmark here

“So he says, Prince David.” Maddie’s voice and manner of speech were now oozing with annoyance, “Kuro already stated that his reward would be mine to determine; let’s leave it at that.”Bookmark here

“Well, our royal house would insist!” the crown prince, however, went on the offensive once again, “If a noble title wouldn’t be accepted by Sir Kuro, I’d offer the hand of my fair sister, Princess Jessica, to be his wife, or concubine, or whatever he desires of her!”Bookmark here

“What?” Jessica blurted out, standing in protest.Bookmark here

The entire dining hall was in an uproar. It was the royal princess who was just offered in marriage to a commoner—totally unprecedented in Earth and Chersea’s history.Bookmark here

The nobles and ministers were clearly upset, and they kept on whispering and murmuring. The guards had their swords at the ready in case of a riot broke out. Realizing the situation was about to go haywire, the crown prince then stood up and gave the thunderous order…Bookmark here

“Silence!”Bookmark here

At once, the noise immediately died down.Bookmark here

“My dear subjects, I know you’re clearly in disagreement with what I just did. And it’s also way too sudden! But, allow me to tell you I carefully weighed in my options. While it is indeed unthinkable for anyone of royal upbringing to be wed to a commoner, it is worth the risk! You have heard how the admirable Sir Kuro offered sound suggestions using his wisdom to our long-time problems now, and he will be a benefit to our kingdom in the coming seasons.”Bookmark here

Everyone in the room never dared say anything. The passionate speech of the prince had them all hooked.Bookmark here

“My dear subjects! My children! Think not of our kingdom’s venerable traditions for a while and look at the long-term good for having such a formidable mind to guide us through these trying moments!”Bookmark here

I think you’re overestimating me, Your Highness. My brain is just normal. Back in my work, my co-teachers even see me as a fool.Bookmark here

Anyway, the murmurs went on for a while. But in the end, someone shouted, “Anyone who loves our king and land supports our prince! Hurrah for the von Albert House! Hurrah for the Saint! Hurrah for Sir Kuro!”Bookmark here

“Glory to the king! Glory to Amaranth! Long live Her Holiness!”Bookmark here

The deafening cheers went on three more times. The nobles even pounded on their tables and made noises by hitting their glasses with forks or spoons. It only stopped when the prince sat down.Bookmark here

I was bewildered by the flow of events. My eyes were plastered on Maddie; I bet that, in her mind, she already cursed the crown prince the cruelest death…Bookmark here

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Maddie didn’t hide her displeasure at what happened at the dining table. But, out of respect for the crown prince and other nobles present, she refrained from lashing out.Bookmark here

Which is quite admirable of her, in fact.Bookmark here

However, it’s a different story when we returned to the Red Diamond Palace. Because she’s pissed-off already, Lily decided to cut the talk with the crown prince and retreat to the guest residence to let Her Holiness cool down.Bookmark here

“I don’t like that guy!” Her Holiness couldn’t help but scream her frustration, “He thinks he could go around and impose his will whenever he pleases!”Bookmark here

“Can’t help it, Maddie.” Lily gave her a cup of mint tea, “At least we now know the true problem. It’s not about the finances, but more on the imposing personality of the crown prince.”Bookmark here

“Indeed…” Maddie was massaging her head. I’m getting worried about her; she might get stressed-out like before at the Holy Congress.Bookmark here

I remained silent for the entire time. I’m the one who caused this, and so I guess I’d avoid giving problems to Maddie for a while.Bookmark here

“So, Kuro…” Maddie then turned to me, “…what do you think?”Bookmark here

“H-Hah?”Bookmark here

“Don’t ‘hah’ me. I’m talking about the offer of the crown prince.” Her Holiness explained, “He’s basically telling you to become a part of his court, by essentially marrying you into his royal house.”Bookmark here

“Well, honestly, I don’t think I would accept that. You can read into my mind; those suggestions I told them are just normal systems from the world I came from. It’d leave a bad taste if I claimed it as my own.”Bookmark here

“What if those ideas came from you and not someone else’s?”Bookmark here

There was a weird, anxious atmosphere that suddenly sprang up when Maddie asked that question. She and her maid were both staring at me, as if worried about my answer.Bookmark here

“Your Holiness—”Bookmark here

“It’s Maddie.”Bookmark here

I was surprised by her stingy tone, “M-Maddie, once again, try peering into my thoughts. Never in my mind did I consider going to someone else’s court.”Bookmark here

Maddie blushed terribly, “O-Of course. You’re mine, and mine alone.”Bookmark here

“Ahem.” Lily did that as if purposefully telling us never to leave her out.Bookmark here

“Well, of course, you’re Lily’s as well.”Bookmark here

I think we’re going off-topic, “I’m sure the kitchen head maid doesn’t like the idea either. I mean, just look at her dejected expression earlier! I don’t think it would work for both of us.”Bookmark here

“Riiiiiiiggggghhhhttttt…” Maddie’s tone was unsure, “She may be, for now. However, there’s no way of telling it in the future!”Bookmark here

Come on, Your Holiness, do you see every girl around as your rival? I’m not even a dashing prince on a pure white horse!Bookmark here

“Of course! There’s no telling it when those girls would see your charms! It’s not a matter of ‘if’, it’s a matter of ‘when’!”Bookmark here

“Please be assured, Your Holiness, I’ll always be faithful to you, and to Lily.” I also brought the head maid into the statement so that she won’t feel left out. But we really have to sort out our relationships after this.Bookmark here

“Great!” there’s a big change of mood in Maddie after I said that.Bookmark here

“S-Shall we sleep then, Kuro?” Lily asked.Bookmark here

Ah, right! See you later then, Lily, Maddie!”Bookmark here

“Hold it! Where are you going?”Bookmark here

Uh…sleeping?”Bookmark here

“W-W-Who t-t-t-t-told yo-you to sleep s-s-s-so-someplace else?”Bookmark here

“You mean I’ll be sleeping with you guys?”Bookmark here

“I-I-I-It’s just s-s-s-s-sleeping! N-N-Nothing else!”Bookmark here

“Well, your stammering tells me you guys have something planned.” I quickly made my way out of the room, “Anyway, Your Highness Princess Lilyhaven, Your Holiness Duchess Madelaine, I decided to do a training session with the Marquise of Monfort! With that, I’ll take my leave for now!”Bookmark here

I hurried off once I closed the door.Bookmark here

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***Back inside the room with Maddie and Lily…***Bookmark here

Ah! He escaped again, Maddie.”Bookmark here

“True, Lily. So true.”Bookmark here

“I wonder if Kuro’s going to make a move on us. Does he even see us as women?”Bookmark here

Fufufufufu…Well, he’s still desperately clinging on to his morals and values from his world.” there was a nasty smirk forming on Maddie’s face, “But I could tell in Kuro’s heart that he’s about a third of distance away from falling to our charms.”Bookmark here

“Spoken like a seductress! You know, you sound like a demon lord with your words.”Bookmark here

“Well, I can be a demoness if it means I’ll get what—or who, I want.”Bookmark here

“Please bring me along as well.”Bookmark here

“Of course. But I’ll always be Kuro’s first.”Bookmark here

“Are you sure about that? Looks like we got a few more rivals in the game.”Bookmark here

“Who? Princess von Albert?”Bookmark here

“Well, yes. But aside from her…”Bookmark here

“Ruro?”Bookmark here

“That too. How about the Marquise of Monfort?”Bookmark here

Maddie sighed, “I guess we really need to be more aggressive, eh?”Bookmark here

“True. Nerfes’ women never back down from the challenge before them.” Lily concurred, “And Kuro’s heart is a real battleground for us.”Bookmark here

“In that case, that otherworlder would finally taste the might of the women of Nerfes!” Maddie then brought out a pair of drinking glasses, “Lily, out with the celebratory wine!”Bookmark here

“Of course, Your Holiness! Fufufufufu!!!Bookmark here

At that very moment, Kuro did not know why he suddenly felt an extreme chill while he’s training with the Marquise of Monfort.Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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