Chapter 8:


The Elf Saint is a NEET, so I Forced Her to Work in Another World, Vol. 16


We sailed to the Empire first thing when we woke up. The journey, which would cause us to take a tram from the palatial gardens to the port village, would take at least about a couple of hours to complete. Good thing Maddie’s god-power of healing came in handy, as when my companions got sober, their heads were killing them. So, I cast a healing spell on everyone as we were traveling on the tram that was the personal property of the Human Saint.

Our destination? A port village to the south of the Holy Palatial Gardens named Uirenne.

“T-Thanks, otherworlder,” Seirna muttered as the pain in her head dissipated. Then, once she was healed, the Saint of the Flame went back to maintaining her distance…

Yeah, the Saint of the Flame really hates me. Not that I can blame her for how she feels; we met on bad terms, after all.


In any case, while killing time during the travel, I needed to ask Maddie about their wild celebrations yesterday. For some reason, I had a gut feeling that there’s some weird machinations going on behind my back…

“Well, yes, your hunches are correct,” the Human Saint confirmed. “We did pull some strings to get your efforts recognized. And it was a joint effort; mainly by me and Eris, so if you’re going to get mad, then you better get mad at both of us.”

I only stared at Maddie and Eris, who was sitting in silence in her spot in the tram, next to the Human Saint. While my request to them was not followed, I did not get angry, honestly. Deep inside, I understood that these ladies only wanted what’s best for me, though not necessarily what I knew was best for myself.

“I’m just afraid that…well, besides from the fact that I only did what I have to, there’d be strings attached to the gifts people would give me.”

“I totally get you, Kuro,” Eris entered the conversation. “After all, my father used to deal with such individuals. They’d give him what seemed to be ‘innocent’ gifts, then they’d use those to earn favors from him. That’s why he became cautious.”

Ah, that’s part of human nature,” Maddie pointed out. “But, Kuro, I hope you put more trust in me. I can always peek into the hearts and minds of people, and I can tell who’s sincere from those with ulterior motives. And if I’m not around, Ruro and Natasha can always help you.”

Well, that put my fears at ease, even for it’s a bit. I mean, while Maddie could filter out people whose motives were questionable, she and the other saints would never detect those who’d remember they gave gifts to me in their time of great need and would use that as their ‘card’ to gain favors from the ladies. There’s no problem if their needs were legitimate, but what if it’s something problematic?

“You worry too much,” the Human Saint caressed my face. “Let’s cross the bridge when we get there, okay? After all, we’re no ordinary women, Kuro. We can take care of ourselves when it comes to worse, so feel free to accept whenever someone gives something or honors you.”

I took a deep breath and nodded. Eris and Maddie got up from their beds and embraced me, then I heard the young duchess of Braunhauer say…

“Though, Kuro, if it’s a cute daughter of some noble, can you please refuse her? You already have us.”


The travel from the Human Saint’s residence to the port of the Holy Palatial Gardens was a fast one, owing to the tram service installed years before that connected the palace complex itself to the village of Uirenne that hosted its docks, as well as its newly-formed steam ship navy. I think the biggest problem we encountered was the time it took for Maddie and the other girls to bathe; after all, they stink after their wild party yesterday.

Though waning, the Elf Saint’s god-powers over anything liquid still helped us clean them relatively quick.

The Imperial envoy, the Prince Vendette, was already at the quays when we arrived, and his delegation boarded a naval ship of the Holy Palatial Gardens along with our group. The journey was uneventful, and my lady companions were unusually quiet…maybe they were still coming to terms with what happened yesterday.

Anyway, while Maddie did have a fleet of powerful steamships for her territory’s navy, the Imperials won’t let us cross the Great Sea without their involvement. As such, they sent in their best vessels too, a steamship named Kersea—after their capital city—along with other naval ships of the Empire to carry and escort our party halfway to their land. The Holy Navy then combined with the Imperial Navy to follow us as escort ships.

On the decks of Kersea, the Imperials made sure we’re treated with utmost respect and privilege. A band playing Chersean classical music welcomed us upon boarding, and drinks and food were served as well, though it was light since the seas were a bit rough.

“No, please don’t serve them alcohol,” I told the chamberlain who entertained us. I didn’t want my companions drunk or with headaches once we reached Maverny.

Ruro and Maddie pouted at my words, while Natasha approved of it, since she didn’t want a repeat of yesterday…at least for a while.

“By the way,” I asked Lily. “I was wondering where the Lady Ursura and Prince Hurion went. If I remember right, they were also drunk yesterday.”

“They left early, before you woke up,” she replied. “They said they got something important to do, but didn’t tell me what it is.”

“I see…” Well, that kind of sucked. I mean, those two weren’t strangers to me, and they helped me a lot of times in the past, too. So, I’d like them to stand beside me when the emperor bestows honors to me. But, I guess it’s something urgent, so I’d understand.


Once we arrived, there was much fanfare the moment we set foot on Maverny’s docks. Crowds of common folk came to welcome us, along with several local officials of the city. Fireworks were lit (though these were just for sounds since Chersea’s eternally-lit skies couldn’t be painted with colorful pyrotechnics), and bands played upbeat music. Maybe the memories of the Imperial War were still fresh in their memories, they were trying to impress us—especially the Human Saint, when word about our arrival spread throughout the Imperial territories.

Accompanying me in the journey were Maddie, Lily, and Eris—who was reassigned to me as my personal maid. Of course, Lady Henristone was with us, as she commanded the Paladin Corps and the naval escorts of the Holy Fleet, and the Prince Vendette with his entourage, as he was the envoy to the Holy Palatial Gardens. However, we were an odd bunch; the Queen of Amaranth, Lady Jessica von Albert, insisted she came along. Adding to our number were the Beastman Saint, Ruro of the Wolf, and the Demon Saint, Natasha Bellingsen.

According to Maddie, “They are to come with us. If the Emperor Jean is scheming something else, then we would know. Besides, I also plan to subtly tell him and the other nobles that the favor of three saints rest on you, Kuro. That way, they will leave you alone…lest they suffer our collective wraths.”

I could tell that the memory of what happened to me before in Cherwind was still in Maddie’s mind. If not for Ruro agreeing to take me to her realm, I might’ve gone the ‘Julius Caesar Ides of March experience’.

‘I concur to your waifu’s observation, Kuro,’ Gaius suddenly spoke in my thoughts. ‘Never underestimate the power of envious men. They can even sell their souls to the devil just to bring you down.’

So yeah, I guess Maddie’s ‘maneuver’ is the right call.

When our ships arrived at the port city of Maverny, we were also surprised by those who came to meet us. The government officials of the Emperor were there, as was the custom. His Imperial Majesty was also with the welcoming party. However, two strange figures stood with the old ruler…

“Welcome to the Empire of Chersea, Lord Kuro of Arles!” the emperor stepped forward to greet me. Following him was the Beastman Queen of the Kingdom of Cherwind, Ursura of Cherwind, and the president of the Federal Demon Republic, Lord Hurion Devras IV.

Err…what are you guys doing here?” was my immediate reaction.

“Well,” Ursura was all-smiles, “I heard that the King of Cherwind has become the heir to the Emperor of Chersea, so I made sure that the people of Cherwind would show their support.”

Then, she pointed towards a contingent of impressively-dressed Beastmen-Human soldiers standing at attention nearby. A few distances away, several military units marched along Maverny’s streets. Leading the parade was a regiment of the Kingdom of Cherwind’s elite unit, the ‘Black Feathers’, as shown by the black feathers strapped to their left arms.

Not only that, upon Queen Ursura’s signal, an air fleet of Falcon and Eagle warriors from the Royal Cherwind Air Force—the ‘Red Feathers’—swooped in ‘V’ formation above us, much to the awe of the onlookers.

The demon lord-president wouldn’t let herself—I mean, himself be bested. The Prince Hurion Devras called Shevaun and whispered something to her, before turning to me. “Yes, I agree with the Lady Ursura. I wanted to see my greatest adviser and teacher recognized for his efforts, so the demon people also showed up.”

Oh? You mean?”

The Prince Hurion nodded, and directed our eyes towards a regiment of the ‘Jägers’ marching to our spots. Following them, were the members of the Orcish Knights and the Goblin Legion, led by their capable commanders, the Lady Baraquiel of the Orcs, and Lord Tenguri of the Goblins. Then, the last of the line, ordinary soldiers from the united demon army paraded along the cobblestone streets of Maverny, accompanied by the large undead dragon, Rosita, and her pilot. The black and gold-trimmed uniforms of the Federal Demon military was a sight to behold, even for me, who was supposed to be used to such scenes.

It was a surreal sight—demons marching and flying across a human city, yet the citizens of Maverny showed no fear. In fact, their children cheered their former adversaries on, to which, some of the soldiers showed their appreciation by waving back.

“I invited them to come here, Sire,” His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor Jean Durres, finally explained. “After all, everyone—from every common human, beastfolk and demon, up to the greatest for each people—wanted to see their greatest hero return after six years of forgotten disappearance. We owe our lives to you, lord.”

“I only did what I have to, Your Imperial Majesty,” I replied my usual answer, bowing to show my respect to the old monarch. However…

“Lord Kuro,” he seized my shoulders and straightened me. “Please, in my land, I implore you never to bow at anyone. Not even to the emperor.”

“Your Majesty, what is—”

At that point, the Emperor Jean—as well as the rest of the entourage—kneeled before me. The huge crowd also followed the emperor’s gesture, along with the military units from all the three races present. I think it was an entire minute that they bowed in silence. And honestly, my mind blanked out; the revered saints, esteemed rulers of men, beastfolk and demons, and the common people…everyone was in unison expressing their gratitude on what I did.

‘Not bad, eh?’ I heard Gaius’ comment.

‘You’re really enjoying the spotlight, huh?’

‘I’d like to say yes, but no. This time, it’s for you, Kuro. You deserve it.’

Thanks, Gaius. And guys…thank you for appreciating me…


After that grand welcome at the docks, the emperor invited us to the Maverny Cathedral, where a delegation of the Human Saint’s arch-templars, monks, and the Grand Mother Templar Superior herself waited. The Empire never held back in their efforts to impress the delegations from the Holy Palatial Gardens, Cherwind, and the Federal Demon Republic. Rows of the Imperial Legionnaires, donned in their shiny, well-oiled armors stood in attention with their swords at their sides and their bolt-heater rifles held straight before them. They flanked the halls that led to the main aisle, at the middle of the temple. Members of the Imperial nobility and several prominent commoners were also inside, ostensibly cheering for me. Every pillar of the cathedral was gilded, and they even took the time to import flowers to rain on us as I walked towards the podium, escorted by the Imperial envoy.

The immediate impression on me is that, the Imperials are trying to rival the opulence of the exhibits at the Palatial Grounds, which is still ongoing as of the moment.

“And to think, several days ago, this place is as gloomy as a cemetery,” I heard the remarks of the Prince Vendette.

All this time, I didn’t know exactly what was going on. I was just going with the flow, though honestly, these events never sank into my mind. If there’s anything I could describe my perspective, it’s as if I’m watching a movie unfold before my eyes.

The next moment my consciousness returned, I was already on the aisle at the middle of the cathedral, and the emperor stood before me, with Maddie, Ruro and Natasha standing behind him. On his hand was an ornate sword with a golden blade. A purple mantle was placed on my back, secured by a golden cord tied on a brooch to my chest’s left side, and someone also pinned a sword scabbard to my belt.

I look more like a knight in his knighthood ceremony, than a noble.

“Lord Kuro of Arles,” the emperor uttered as he passed the ceremonial weapon to me. “We, the most august and just ruler of the Empire, Jean of the House of Durres, hereby accords the honor to you as the protector and savior of our people, our culture and our nation. From now on, and by the grace and blessings of our most holy saints, you shall be known as His Grace the Lord Kuro of Arles, Eternal God-King of Cherwind, Adviser to the Prince of the House of the Usarveds, the Rock and Salvation of Chersea, Paladin General, Duke of Maverny and Heir to the Duchy of Durres!”

Wow…I’m not aware I acquired lots of titles…and even more so, those cringy-ass ones!


Instead of applause, what I heard initially were gasps, slowly followed by cheers and claps. I looked at the Prince Vendette for any explanation, though he was surprised as well. It was the emperor himself who told me,

“Everyone knew I would pass the viscount’s property to you, Lord Kuro, and appoint you as the heir to my house,” the old man smiled. “However, I decided to personally honor you by elevating your rank as a duke of the empire. After all, I won’t stand here if your wisdom didn’t convince Her Holiness to spare my life before. For that, I am eternally grateful.”

Err…uhm…you’re w-welcome, Sire?”

The emperor gave me a pat on the back, then guided me to face the citizens of the Empire, the Beastmen, and Demons who were there to witness this moment. The rain of flower petals intensified, as well as the cheers and applause of the people. As if she was carried away by the jubilant emotions of everyone else, Ruro caused a gentle breeze to blow inside the cathedral, making the petal confetti dance with each of its sway.

Then everyone chanted, “Kuro! Kuro! Kuro!” It was a hair-raising moment, as the chants spread like waves thundering across the halls of the Maverny Cathedral and to the outside, to the streets of the port city where the rest of the population waited. The armies also joined in the celebration by firing their guns in unison, and the ships anchored at the docks blew their horns.

With a bow to express my gratitude, I officially became a noble of the Empire of Chersea.


Being a ‘duke’ of the Empire gave someone privileges not enjoyed by the nobles of lower rank in their peerage.

See, the Empire was actually an elective monarchy. The crown prince was only a ‘placeholder’ title, meant to rule in the name of the emperor should he died, became incapacitated, or in the middle of campaigns abroad. Their tradition dictated that within two long sleeps once the current ruler passed, an Imperial election would be held to elect the real successor, who would assign a crown prince of his own preference. When the Gregorian calendar was introduced, however, the rules were changed so that the ‘imperial election’ would be held a week after the emperor died.

I’m just wondering where the heck did they get the idea of calling a temporary successor a ‘crown prince’.


Now, a duke of the Empire was one of the ‘electors’. And so, that was one of the privileges: you get to choose your ruler, thus, giving the dukes considerable leverage on Imperial politics.

Second, a duke was entitled to about 70% of his fiefs’ income, with the rest going to the crown (20%), and the services to the state (10%). No wonder why many duchies of the Empire were so powerful, the Emperor himself was afraid to pass the estate of the Viscount Maverny to the other Imperial ducal houses.

Third, an Imperial duke was the literal ruler of his fiefs. Like, yeah, it might seem the obvious, but in most Chersean duchies, they were subservient to a higher authority, the king, except the Savoian duke—the only independent duchy in Chersea. Here, because of the vast expanse of the Empire, the dukes were left to their own devices. Sure, there were laws coded, but these mostly apply to inheritance, succession and ruling rights of the nobility and Imperial royalty.

As for the administration of local governance, the dukes’ words are law.

If I wanted to grant a title to a person because I wanted to, I could do it, as long as the title won’t exceed my own rank. The system of ducal government under the Empire was too independent, it was a surprise for me that their country lasted for this long. The Imperial government would only act if a duke deviated from the authority of the emperor (such as encouraging dissent and rebellion), but apart from that exception, it’s a free-for-all affair.

There were others listed in the book given to me by one of the secretaries of the emperor, but these were the ones that made an impression to me.

The now-elevated Duchy of Maverny was a region of the Empire nestling on its northern coasts, and its most valuable asset was the port city itself. However, aside from the lucrative port, there were also several villages that dotted the duchy, populated mostly by traders handling routes from Maverny to Cherwind, and Cherwind to Maverny. A sizable migrant population from Cherwind’s outer villages (beyond the Outer Walls), some other human kingdoms around Chersea and elves could be found scattered the entire territory.

Looking through the ledgers and other records of those estates, I immediately got an idea why the emperor gave me the viscount’s lands.

My hunch was that, he needed someone he trusted in managing the Duchy of Maverny. The Viscount, though he was so focused on his research he forgot to marry, administered the land well, leading to its relative prosperity. And to give it to the ‘rival’ ducal houses would not only increase their power, but also risked mismanaging the fiefs.

Lady Noir offered additional reasons…

“There are many possible other causes, Sir,” Noir told me as she and Shevaun helped me organize the record books. “The most obvious and practical is that, His Imperial Majesty wants a personal relationship with the Holy Palatial Gardens, which would surely strengthen his house against any attempt by his fellow nobles from taking over. Another is that, with you around, peace and stability for his empire is ensured. After all, some may foolishly fight against a single saint; however, it is different when they have to factor in three saints, and an additional one, if you count Lady Seirna.”

“Well, the Viscount also did his best to uplift these lands,” I showed them one of the ledgers. “Perhaps the poor guy was so focused on his research and his fiefs that he neglected other matters, like his personal life. But I have to give it to him; the lives of his subjects improved, and the overall condition of the entire region is better compared to the rest of the empire.”

“True, Sir. Maybe the emperor saw that your wisdom matched the late viscount’s competence, hence you’re the first one in his mind,” the Usarved princess reiterated. “Though, as a noble myself, you have to be careful; now that everyone knows you and your supporters, they’d do their best to have you on their side. Even manipulate you.”

“Indeed…that’s what I’m scared about. My refusal to accept rewards is not just simple humility; it’s also my way of cutting strings attached to those ‘gifts’. See? Many of these ‘enterprising nobles’ saw me as a sure ‘way’ to gain access and favors from Maddie, Ruro, and Natasha, similar to those eunuchs of ancient China I’ve been talking about.”

“No worries, Sir. It’s the reason we’re here; feel free to accept the gifts you deserve.”

“You got a republic to attend to, you know?”

The demon lord-president laughed, “The Lady Ursura and I have already talked about it; in case you’ll need it, we got a regiment of our respective country’s militaries ready to fight for you. And I’m sure the Lady Madelaine has her own ways to help you, not to mention…hmm…


“The Queen of Amaranth…”

“Queen Jessica?”

Noir nodded. “She’s been proudly telling everyone last time that you’ll be her king soon, thus the entire forces of the Kingdom of Amaranth—its financial powers and military prowess—would be at your disposal.”

“…” I was so awestruck I could say anything to those. And, on a second thought, isn’t that kind of dangerous? A noble with too much power vested in him would be a target of envy of others. I might end up with the ‘Julius Caesar Ides of March Experience’ soon.

“I know that look, Sir,” the Usarved princess chuckled. “Again, you just do you. The intelligence agencies of the Kingdom of Cherwind, the Federal Demon Republic, the Holy Palatial Gardens, and Amaranth are working together to protect you. Not to mention, the saints are also cooperating now…especially that accursed saint.”


“Yes, Sir. I mean, in all my life as a demon and a scholar, this is the first time I’ve seen and read such level of cooperation between my people and the other races. Then, the saints are also in amicable terms,” by this time, Noir was speaking to herself. “Gosh, when I think about it, you’re achieving what even the Lady Cassandra David—Her Holiness Natasha—couldn’t do; that is, unite the realms of this world!”

“I think the elves and dwarves hated me,” I pointed out.

Noir shook her head. “I beg to differ Sir. While the elves of Cherwoods might hate you, and the dwarves of Equality never paid attention to your deeds, their people who came to know you have different opinions. Proof of that is the stadtholder of the League of the Valley Cities, the half-dwarf Prince Giuseppe Uhrian and his brethren. And we also got the Elf Saint, the Lady Hinwe, putting her trust in you.”

“Wow…you even know about Sir Uhrian…”

“The Federal Republic’s intelligence agency is efficient,” the Usarved Princess winked at me. “After all, we modeled it after the one you guys have in Cherwind—which was founded by the Devil of the Grey Parka, Sir Loin of Steak. As such, you can always rely on us to protect you, and Her Holiness the Elf Saint.”

Ah, right…the Lady Hinwe,” I muttered under my breath. While the Usarved princess had a high opinion of our relationship, truth was, we kind of hated each other’s guts…though lately we had friendly chats.

Oh, before I forgot Sir!”


Noir was quick to plant a kiss on my cheek. “That’s my thanks for fighting for the benefit of my people. We won’t be friends with the humans and beastfolk if it’s not for your efforts. And, uhm, once we’re done with everything, can I ask you to a date?”

I could feel my cheeks get warm, “Uh…s-sure!”