The Elf Saint is a NEET, so I Forced Her to Work in Another World, Vol. 16
I opened my eyes to the sounds of a commotion happening outside the windows of my rooms. Just as I was about to peek to check, I heard someone knock.
“Milord?” it was Eris, calling out from the other side of the door. “Milord, are you there?”
The urgency in her voice made me rush to the doorknob. Opening it, the young Braunhauer was catching her breath, after she ran all the way from the Saint’s Chambers to the guest house where I stayed. After I told her to come in, I reminded her, “Milady, you forgot to call me by my name.”
“Oh! I’m sorry,” she quickly brushed my comment aside. “But, no time for that! Come with me!” Eris grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the exit. Nevertheless, since I just woke up, it took me some moments before I fully realized what she was doing.
I asked, “Do I have to go now?” I made it clear to her that I was still in my bed clothes, and if we’re to meet an important dignitary, it’s not the most suitable appearance. Eris agreed to give me time to change to a proper outfit. Well, she did add I should wear a ‘formal’ attire.
“What’s going on?” I put up that question while changing. The young maid sat on my bed, since I won’t allow her to dress me, as was the custom of the nobilities of Chersea. “You seemed to be in a hurry, but I can tell it’s not an emergency.”
“K-Kuro…” there was a hint of awkwardness as Eris tried to call me by my name. “Listen, I know this is hard for you to believe—and even I myself is shocked to learn—but, the ambassador of the Empire of Chersea came by an hour after the long sleep.”
“And?” my eyes immediately fell on a nearby hourglass. I think it’s only a few minutes past the hour after the long sleep. “Don’t tell me they’re declaring war on us again?”
“No!” Eris chuckled. “But, uhm…Kuro, whatever did you do to the emperor to impress him that much?”
“Wh-What do you mean?”
“His ambassador, the Prince Vendette, received a message earlier summoning you to the Imperial capital city of Kersea. Apparently, he made you heir to some dead noble’s estate.”
“Oh?” I was confused whether it was a good event. However, judging from Eris’ reaction, I could surmise that it was auspicious.
“No time to explain; I don’t know much details either! If anything, it’s best that the Prince Vendette would be the one to answer your questions,” Eris grabbed my hand once again, and we left my room.
By the time we arrived at Maddie’s place (which was just a few blocks away from mine), the Imperial envoy, the Prince Vendette, and my fiancée were in the middle of conversation. Compared to when I last saw them together—which was when Maddie was summoning the emperor to the Holy Congress—the meeting today was amicable. The ambassador was cracking jokes, and Lily and Maddie were laughing.
“Ah! The greatest human hero after the Lady Cassandra David graces us with his presence!” the prince rose from his seat the moment we came into his sight. Much to my bewilderment, he suddenly kneeled before me. Of course, I quickly asked him to stand; I’m a commoner, he’s a noble.
“I don’t mind paying respects to you, Lord Kuro,” he reiterated. “May I remind you, the Lady Cassandra David is also a commoner, yet she’s the greatest human hero of our past. And, you see, my admiration for you grew even more when I heard of your exploits and sacrifices just to save and protect us from evil.”
“Uh…huh?” Honestly, I was clueless as to how I should answer him, with my eyes falling on Maddie and Lily, both of them standing behind the Imperial ambassador.
Yep, they avoided my silent call for help. And they’re enjoying this!
“Rest assured, milord,” the prince seemed to have predicted what I was thinking. “Her Holiness had nothing to do with my appearance here. Honestly, it is His Imperial Majesty himself, the wise and brave Jean Durres III, who sent me.”
“What for?” Although I knew his purpose, I still feigned ignorance. I didn’t want to appear so ‘overly’-earnest in this issue about inheritance.
The Prince Vendette then explained to me how I was chosen by the emperor to succeed on some dead noble’s title, along with his fiefs and properties. “The Emperor wishes someone outside the noble houses of Chersea to take over, so as not to give too much power and influence on one house. Besides, since his son was already dead, you’re the next person His Imperial Majesty trusts, after you saved him from being executed for his instigation of the Imperial War and offending Her Holiness.”
“I cannot accept this,” was my ‘automated’ answer. As someone who had been subjected to similar situations before, I think I developed an automatic response to such statements. I mean, I only did what I have to. No one would like to see their love ones die in the most horrible death. Even parents would sacrifice their lives for their children, should they go into a similar ‘life-or-death’ situation.
For short, I believe I don’t deserve such special treatment.
“No, please sire,” the Prince Vendette pleaded, even going as far as kneeling once again. “We insist that you accept. Everyone in Chersea, Cherwind and the demon lands would love to see you appreciated. Please, do not think of your actions as something trivial; yes, we all do what we need to do in face of adversity, but you’ve already saved three realms! Three entire nations! All of those no one asked you to. How heartless would you be if you disregard those sentiments, and our efforts to at least, be grateful to you!”
“See, milord?” Maddie entered the conversation this time, her lips formed a triumphant smirk. “Stop your false humility and deal with the fact that you’re someone extraordinary. You think you’re being modest, but we have our prides as well! You’re hurting us too, you know, the more you refuse our efforts to appreciate your actions?”
Urk! I-I’m sorry…
I just listened to the envoy, because honestly, everything felt surreal to me. Behind him, Maddie, Lily and Eris watched with their eyes full of admiration; it’s as if they’re my mothers, looking proud as their son was receiving an award during the Recognition Day.
“So…what do you say, milord?” the prince asked. “Will you come with me to Kersea?”
The ambassador laughed, “It seems the news has overwhelmed our hero.” He glanced at Maddie first, then returned to me, “Alright then, Lord Kuro, let’s bring your shock up the notch. I have another letter from His Imperial Majesty that arrived together with the one stating you’re Viscount Maverny’s heir.” The prince handed me a rolled paper, sealed with the signet ring of the Empire.
Opening it, I found that my head was already clouded by the earlier news. What I heard was the Prince Vendette explaining its contents, “If you can’t believe what’s written in there, milord, then let me confirm to you that you are also the designated heir of the House of Durres, should His Imperial Majesty, Jean Durres III, dies.”
At that point, only Maddie was the one who remained calm. Lily and Eris couldn’t believe what they just learned, and they nearly collapsed, had it not for the Human Saint casting a floating spell to assist them.
As for me? One question immediately came up in my mind, “What? I’m going to be the next emperor now?”
***Cherflammen, present day…***
Standing somewhere across the vast sea of swirling sand and shifting dunes, the Seductress was a lonely, dark figure that blended in the black dreariness of that dead world. Her miasma—part of her ethereal body—slowly creeped around the nearby areas, as if searching for something.
While she escaped ‘death’ after receiving a bullet imbued with the Human Saint’s god-power, the Seductress was greatly weakened. The slivers of her existence dissipated and scattered, only to gradually coalesced in the passage of time while Gaius and the spirit of the otherworlder wallowed in their hopeless situation. The human’s regrets were powerful enough to give her a ‘stable’ form, and the former god’s bitterness and fears returned to her the ability to use her miasma once again…even though it was only a fraction of her true abilities. Finally, their despair led to the restoration of her sentience.
Even so, while the Seductress regained her ‘physical’ body and its basic functions, she still had to feed on negativity to be powerful enough to challenge the gods once more. Nevertheless, it’s been long since she last felt the presence of those two other people who were imprisoned with her. The Seductress scoured far and wide throughout what was once the demon realm for them, though they were still yet to be found.
She needs their negative thoughts and moods to mount a comeback.
The Seductress then stopped. Somewhere across that ocean of desert, she stumbled upon the earthly remains of the otherworlder, with its head detached from its body. Remnants of a powerful heavenly magic permeated the surrounding air, and from what she knew, it was obvious that Gaius and the otherworlder did something to prolong the latter’s existence. A smirk formed on the lips of the Seductress; it was her assurance that those two were still alive.
Encouraged by what she learned, the creature from the Void sent her miasma looking for them in every direction from where the body of the otherworlder was buried. Still weak from her previous ‘death’, it was a taxing effort. However, the Seductress would not waste any time; she had to get out of that place as soon as she could.
Another clue. Somewhere in that region she was searching, she found traces of otherworldly magic…this time it was the vestiges of what once was a portal. It could only mean one thing…
They escaped. And someone opened access for them from the ‘other side’ to disappear like that!
Buoyed by this revelation, the creature from the Void never cared wherever she might end up. Chersea, Cherwind or any other realm, what was important was that she gets out of her dark and cold prison and feed from the dark and evil events brought forth by the mortals living in those worlds. As such, the Seductress clung to whatever trace was left of that faded portal. Her miasma took hold of the magic, and—summoning all her strength—powered it.
It was an arduous process. The more she failed, the more desperate she got. Nevertheless, it was a worthy endeavor, she thought, for if she remained in this dead world, she’s only as good as any puny mortal…perhaps even weaker than them!
Without regard for herself, the Seductress repeatedly cast her miasma on the traces, with each attempt increasing in power. Cold sweat formed on her forehead; she could feel her form going unstable as her energies were wasted from the failed tries. But she won’t give up! She had to feed, or she’d vanish.
With her loud scream tearing through the eerie silence of Cherflammen, the Seductress cast her last attempt. She put everything in that try, and if she failed, then everything was over.
However, much to her relief, a crack formed from the faded portal. The Seductress could see the light on the other side, and she felt the oozing negative energies flowing through the gap. Though it was too small for her body to fit, the Creature from the Void used the last of her miasma to keep it open…after all, with a steady supply of negativity, her weakness won’t linger around for too long.
“Oh! No, no, milord!” the Prince Vendette was quick to correct me. “You must’ve misunderstood. What His Imperial Majesty means is that, you’re going to be his heir regarding his house, as his son is already dead, and has no prospect of having another child with his age. As for the matters of our empire, however, I believe he has already designated another person to be the temporary emperor once he died and we haven’t elected his successor yet. That’s the purpose of the crown prince in our country, really.”
“Ah! Thank goodness,” I let out an exhilarated sigh. As far as I was concerned, I’d always prefer a life of privacy, compared to a life full of dangers and unwanted attention. Besides, I believe the emperor was a wise man; a veteran of old wars, court intrigues and political maneuvers, he knew that an ‘outsider’ like me ascending the Imperial throne would create an extremely problematic issue with his nobles. The Holy Palatial Gardens—until the last few years—was antagonistic towards the Empire of Chersea. While nominally ‘neutral’, in practical geo-politics, the Human Saint sided with the northern kingdoms, which was made obvious by the events of the Imperial War, and the subsequent Great Rising of the Undead. Having a ruler with connections to the Empire’s former enemies would be viewed as a slap to the faces of the nobility, and it won’t bode well for the Saint’s Peace Maddie worked so hard to achieve.
I’ve read a lot of historical accounts to know that shit’s going to happen once His Imperial Majesty did give me the right to ascend the Imperial Throne upon his death…even as a ‘placeholder’.
Honestly, I was also apprehensive about the inheritance I was to receive from the Empire. Like, dude, is the dead man living alone? No relatives that can take over his assets?
“Milord, the Viscount of Maverny is a lonely man,” the Prince Vendette cleared up to me when I asked him. “He is so focused on his research about the cracking lights’ potential, he never married.”
A classic case of too much dedication to his craft.
“And, my apologies, Lord Kuro, but I think you’re not aware that in our customs and traditions, inheritance always passes on to the children of the deceased.”
“Your Highness, your laws provide no provisions if those children are non-existent?”
The Imperial envoy sighed, “Unfortunately, yes. I’d say, our previous rulers overlooked this possibility since we’re used to having descendants; remember that—unlike the elves—we can marry up to five partners in this land. Relatives are out of the question, though there are rare cases they inherit the fiefs, but that’s only if the patriarch/matriarch gave it to them by expressing it on their wills. The viscount has distant relatives in other noble houses in and out of the empire. Nevertheless, the emperor is careful not to upset the balance of power between the nobility of the empire, so as not one house would be dominant among others, hence it also factored in his decision to give those properties to you.”
Well, that’s fair, I guess… “But Maddie—I mean, the Lady Madelaine—can also heal an old womb, right?” I raised that possibility.
This time, it was Maddie who answered, “Milord, I think you’re misunderstanding my abilities. The god-powers of healing are meant for something unnatural, such as sicknesses, wounds from accidents or battles, or limbs cut-off because of some adverse situation. And even so, it is still limited to only those whose lives should end some other time; for people who are to die at that very moment, they will still die, no matter how much mana I poured on my healing spells. As for fixing something that is expected to deteriorate over time, like aging, the heavens decreed it, and they can’t always possibly go against something they already put in place.”
Right…it’s like when Maddie tried healing me when I lay dying on the field after winning the second phase of the Tri-Skill Tournament. I was meant to die at that moment…
“Lord Kuro, I believe the Imperial envoy has answered all your concerns,” Maddie continued, “so without further obstacles, I implore you to accept some generosity from those people who appreciate your efforts.”
Maddie, it’s not ‘some generosity’; it’s way too much even for what I did! However, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to indulge myself even for just a little…
“As long as you understand…” the Human Saint commented.
You’re reading my thoughts again?
“Of course,” she replied with a smile.
“So,” the Prince Vendette re-entered our conversation, “I take your silence as an affirmative answer to my question, Lord Kuro?”
“Y-Yes, Your Highness…”
The Imperial ambassador clapped his hands and blurted out, “Great! I’ll send a message to the empire right away, telling them of your impending visit!”
Since my room was just next to that of the Lord Kuro, I was disturbed from my sleep when something happened on his side. Looking around, Mea was missing, probably doing her maid duties somewhere in the Human Saint’s extensive residence.
Well, after those loud knocks, it was quiet. Perhaps Kuro and his visitor were talking in low voices; as for me, I’d stay in this soft, fluffy bed.
I guess I’m going to love here. Chersea is the same as Cherwoods, though the density of the forests here are lesser than in my place, so it’s considerably brighter. And, with Kuro as my host, he’s stuck into taking care of me. Haha!
I’ll just think of what to do next once he dies. Ah…why do humans quick to age and die?
Not wishing to get up, I tried to return to sleep. Meanor would wake me later, anyway, so I’d make use of my remaining time to doze off. The beds of the Holy Palatial Gardens were too good for me to leave.
However, once I closed my eyes, my servant entered. “Milady, I brought breakfast!” was her greeting, and indeed, she was pushing a silver-plated cart full of plates, cups and food. “I’m happy that Her Holiness the Human Saint’s maids are kind and accommodating; they even shared the dishes meant for the Lady Madelaine.”
“You didn’t cook this?” I asked while Meanor brought a small breakfast table, and set it up on my bed.
My servant shook her head. “I got too distracted I forgot to cook, milady,” she explained, with a playful chuckle to hide her embarrassment.
“Eh? Mea’s making mistakes, huh?” I grinned as a took a quick bite on one of the breads. “That’s a first!”
“My apologies, milady!” Meanor continued, “It’s just that, you wouldn’t believe what I just learned about the Lord Kuro.”
“Hm? What about that meddlesome human?”
“An envoy from another human country came earlier, and brought some news that he was chosen by some big guy to be an heir.”
“Wow. Big deal,” was my reaction. To emphasize my disinterest, my voice was also in monotone. “Best scenario, I’ll have someone to mooch off for a long while, till—maybe—the Lord Kuro dies. Human lives are short after all.”
“Milady, you really plan to remain here?”
“The Lord Kuro was given the responsibility by the Human Saint to take care of me, so tough luck.”
Meanor was about to say something else. But then, she was interrupted when someone knocked at the door. When my servant opened it, lo and behold, the subject of our talk stood at the doorway.
“Hey!” Kuro waved at me.
“‘Sup, yo!” I replied.
My servant bowed and stepped aside to welcome him. Taking it as permission to enter, the human let himself in and took the nearest empty chair. “How’s your room, milady?” he asked to break the ice.
“I love the bed.”
“Figures. It’s one of the best.”
“So, I heard you’re given some inheritance?”
Kuro nodded, “Apparently, the emperor of the Empire of Chersea chose me to be given the inheritance of some dead noble in his country, instead of passing it to his nobles or seizing it himself. Also, he designated me as his own house’s heir, because he lost his son during the Great Rising of the Undead, and he trusts no one else but me…I guess?”
“Sounds great!” I tried to make my voice sound happy and interested; but yes, I’ve experienced a lot of things in my long life I find such matters mundane.
Silence. I was aware the Lord Kuro wanted to tell me something, though for some reason, he’s having difficulty in expressing himself. Likewise, I won’t ask him stuff; I didn’t like to get involved in some trouble.
I prefer to be left alone in my bed, reading manga and light novels online.
“Milady,” the Lord Kuro finally spoke, after taking a deep breath. “While I’m glad you’re enjoying your stay here, I made it clear to the Lady Rubinforth I won’t be a freeloader in her residence.”
Oh dear…I don’t like the sound of this.
“And as your guardian here in Chersea, I’ll take you with me. Don’t worry about our security, as the Lady Henristone will be sending a contingent of paladins to protect us, and the Empire also agreed to send soldiers. The Lady Rubinforth has already gave her permission; we’ll leave tomorrow, after the last hour of the long sleep.”
***In some hidden room inside the Holy Palatial Gardens…***
While not necessarily a secret, the Demon Saint, Natasha Bellingsen, made sure that no one followed her…at least, not Kuro. After the two paladins guarding the door greeted her, she let herself in, inadvertently drawing the focus of the ten other figures seated on the big round table in the middle of the room.
“So, I guess we are now complete? Count the King Simon out for now; he returned to Nerfes to check on things,” one of the figures, the Human Saint Madelaine Ann Rubinforth, asked. The rest nodded in agreement, as her head maid, Lilyhaven Tamriel von Leese, gave the Demon Saint a chair to sit on.
Once everyone had settled down, Maddie passed everyone’s attention to the Braunhauer duchess and Kuro’s personal maid, Eris Braunhauer.
“Ahem,” the young servant cleared her throat before continuing. “First, I thank you all for coming.”
“Indeed,” the chancellor of Calabria, Sir Dane Bellingstein, laughed. “And I’m grateful I’m not the only man in this group!” His eyes fell to the person next to him, the demon lord-president, Prince Hurion Devras.
“Lord Chancellor,” Natasha was compelled to correct him. “Unfortunately, the ‘Prince’ Hurion is actually a ‘Princess’, the alter-ego of the Lady Noir of House Usarved in disguise. So yes, you’re the only man in this group.”
“Shucks…I didn’t know the Lord Kuro prefers old balding men as well—”
“Lord Chancellor, one more word and I’ll mince and dice your flesh,” the Beastman Saint, Ruro of the Wolf, was all-smiles, yet her expression didn’t match her words.
“I’m joking! It’s just a joke, Your Holiness!”
“We know,” the Saint of the Flame, Seirna Stephanie, finally spoke. “Still, I’ll be joining the Beastman Saint if you don’t shut up. I was forced to come here, and my time is being wasted by your senseless chatter.”
“The Lord Chancellor is just making the mood light, as it should be,” Natasha countered. “Besides, what’s with the tense and heavy atmosphere?”
“And can’t we go back to the topic?” the Queen of Cherwind, Ursura of the Beastmen, never hid her impatience. She even flipped her arms wide as she said, “We’re this far from the reason we’re here, see?”
Maddie then intervened on Eris’ behalf, “Well then, I believe the Duchess of Braunhauer has something to say to all of us?”
So, the entire room stopped their banter and focused their attention on the young maid. In turn, Eris continued where she left off, “I’d like to commend our efforts in making our respective peoples remember the deeds and sacrifices of my master and the love of my life, the Lord Kuro of Arles. As proof of our hard work, His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor Jean Durres III, not only gave titles and fiefs to our dear friend and hero, he also designated him as his house’s heir.”
“Ooh!” there was a chorus of impressed whistles and claps across the room.
However, the Prince Hurion added, “The demons will always revere him! Sir Greg—I-I mean, erm…the Lord Greg Santos deserves more than what he usually takes!”
“Part of his charms,” Ursura pointed out. “And one of the things why I’m also pissed at him. Like, come on Kuro! Don’t make us feel too much indebted to you; you don’t even try to take our virginities even if we throw ourselves to you!”
There was another chorus of laughter, though Seirna was quick to deny, “Look, I admit I got some debts to pay to the otherworlder since the guy made my job much easier when he dispatched the Seductress, but let me be clear that I’m not some desperate woman running after a dense man!”
“Pfft! So says the daddy-con!” Natasha countered.
“O-Oi!” the Saint of the Flame’s face blushed terribly, and she retreated from the spotlight. Nevertheless, with everyone in high spirits, their exchange wasn’t noticed, save for a few who didn’t pay much attention to them, anyway.
The Queen of Amaranth, Jessica von Albert, then declared, “Since we’re successful in our efforts to remember the Lord Kuro, the foods are on me!” She and the paladin captain, Sylvia Henristone, went to an adjacent room and brought in several carts of food made by the Amaranthine Queen herself and alcoholic drinks. The ladies (and that one old man with them) celebrated Kuro’s success, all the while the subject of their celebration didn’t know about their revelry.