Chapter 9:


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

***The Dupree Palace, official residence to the lord of the Duchy of Maverny***

Perched atop a man-made hill on the outskirts of the city of Maverny, the Dupree palace was a wonder to anyone who happened to pass its vicinity. Though not as wide and grand as the Holy Palatial Gardens, it was still an imposing symbol of power and wealth. White alabaster pillars held the big glass windows that served as its ‘outer’ walls. Glazed blue tiles interspersed with gold trimmings made up the palace’s roof, supported by stone columns with carved designs of the local flora and fauna.


Surrounding the pleasant place was a wide garden of well-trimmed shrubbery and grasses. Small flower figurines served not only for aesthetics but also as mini-fountains that water the nearby plants. A ring of trees could be seen around the entire perimeter, near the thick stone ramparts meant for its defenses. And a wide cobblestone path dissected the courtyard from the palace itself, up to the very gates of the property. Heading to the middle, the path would part in opposite directions, and end in the same point on the other side, forming a circular road that was marked with a big fountain. A gilded statue of what was supposed to be a ‘romantic rendition’ of the hero, Lady Cassandra David stood in its center as well.

Kuro can’t help but smirk at the sight of his former student’s stone likeness. Even the Demon Saint herself is in awe of that nude statue; she never thought she can be that beautiful and…well, erotic.


Guess the late viscount fantasized about the old hero a lot of times…

In any case, after he was made into an Imperial noble, Kuro surveyed what he inherited. Counting on the help of Ruro, he traveled to the several villages that dotted his duchy, using her teleportation skill at times. His purpose was not only to meet his subjects, but to also know their needs, if there’s any. After that, Kuro met with the leaders of his fief’s central city, Maverny, to check on the state of things, especially the economic and financial matters. On this part, Eris and Salis worked with him to take notes on the concerns of the city’s population, so he could come up with solutions and recommendations for later.

Then, once he was done with the people, Kuro was free to explore his newly-acquired property, the Dupree Palace.

“You sure have a lot of things going on in your hands, huh?” the Lady Hinwe commented as they take a rest. While Eris, Salis, Noir and their other companions went inside the palace to see its condition, Kuro and the Elf Saint opted a break, so there they were…sitting under the shade of one of the trees, eating and drinking some snacks.

Hm? Well, yes…that’s to be expected,” he replied. “Running an army is already a headache, how much more a duchy such as this place?”

“Aren’t you going to hire people to help you? Maintaining this place as well as the entire territory can be a handful.”

“That’s what I’m thinking,” Kuro admitted. “Though, I’d like to keep things trimmed down.”

“You mean?”

“No unnecessary expenses, such as lavish parties, and similar stuff. And a staff with well-defined duties and responsibilities.”

“I see…” the Elf Saint took a deep breath. “You’re pretty much a cheapskate.”

“I’d like to be seen more as a ‘thrifty’ person, than someone who spends his money for stupid things.”

“You’re really a different noble,” the Lady Hinwe chuckled. “No wonder the locals immediately took a liking to you.”

“I’m not a noble, originally,” Kuro countered. “And we’ll see about the locals. It’s only a few days since I took over, and the late viscount ran this duchy well. I’m afraid I got a big pair of shoes to fill.”

“Just don’t overdo it,” she replied. “People can be selfish. They may now be smiling because your legend precedes you. However, if you don’t live up to their expectations, they’ll hate you faster than you can say ‘knife’.”

“Speaking from experience?”

Lady Hinwe only let out a sarcastic grin.

“I can’t say I disagree. Give them thousands of reasons to love you, and they’ll focus on that one thing you did wrong.”

“Maaan…” the Elf Saint downed her glass of wine in one gulp. “You really say the truest of things!”

“Told you I experienced those things before.”

“You speak like you’re some long-lived elf!”

Kuro shook his head, “Nah, though we may look of the same age, my years are just a drop in the sea compared to yours.”

“I’m an elf, of course! One of the longest-lived races. But I want to know, are you telling me that I—a failed and hated saint—is much better than you—a man loved, and probably worshipped, by many?”

“Worship is too much.”

“The emperor has forbidden you to bow to anyone, as long as you are in his realm. Also, he set the example for everyone by bowing to you. Then, you tell me I’m still living a better life compared to yours?”

“I never said that. I only told you I also experienced what you went through.”

“You’re implying it.”

A round of silence, as Kuro and the Lady Hinwe the clouds pass by their spot. With their friends still busy inside the palace, it was pretty quiet and slow. Meanor, who was always with her mistress, was sent by the Elf Saint to the city to buy something to eat. The saints went to Kersea to talk with the emperor, leaving members from the Paladin Corps, Royal Army of Cherwind and the Federal Army of Demon Republic to guard the duke and his property.

“!!!” Without a warning, Kuro passed a paper bag to the elf, who was surprised at the gesture. She inadvertently asked, “What’s this?”

“Instead of asking me, you can open it so you’ll know what’s inside.”

“Well, one answer is faster, but you choose to bitch around,” the Lady Hinwe quipped. Nevertheless, she took out the contents; a set of papers, bound in a book, as well as pencils, erasers, quills and ink pots appeared on her lap.

“Your maid told me you’re interested in ‘manga’, so I thought I should teach you on how to do it.”

The elf then remembered the conversation she had with the Beastmen children in the exhibits. It was Kuro who taught them about drawing, and creating ‘manga’, so with him offering it, she knew she’s in good hands. However, the Lady Hinwe was still confused, “What for?”

“Well, if you’re going to stay with me—”

“The Lady Rubinforth asked you to take care of me,” she interrupted.

“All the same,” Kuro brushed her comment aside. “If we’re going to be together for a while, then I’ll have to ask for your help.”

“Help? I suck at drawing! I mean, I do know some basics, but compared to those ‘manga’ masters in your world, I’m a nobody!”

“That’s why I’ll teach you how to,” he reiterated. “And before you reject me, I really need your skills, Your Holiness. See, I can draw, yes. And also, the Lady Rubinforth too! But, I’ll be busy running a huge fief, and the Human Saint’s art style isn’t what I wanted for this realm.”

“What are you…”

“Lady Meanor said you wanted to draw anime-style, which is—coincidentally—the art I want to appear to all the signages I’ll make throughout the duchy. And, I’m not asking you to do it for free; of course, I’ll pay you, Your Holiness. Just name your price, and I’ll make sure you are compensated well.”

The Elf Saint never hid her bewilderment at Kuro’s offer. After all, she was the saint; realms bow in reverence to her, and everyone trembled in her presence…though she’s hated nowadays. For this human to offer something akin to a ‘work’ is just…

“I’ll throw in some beautiful figmas for you, since you love those.”

…yes, this human’s work offer is superb.


***A few hours later, at one of the rooms inside the Dupree palace…***



“What happened to the ‘elves don’t ask help from others’, milady?

The Elf Saint stared at her servant, for it was a random question she asked while they prepared for the long sleep. “Well, technically,” the Lady Hinwe paused for a bit to think of the words she needed to say. “It was me who was asked to help, not the other way around.”

“Still, milady…just for a figma…

“Not a bad exchange, eh?” the Lady Hinwe puffed her chest. “I’ll draw stuff, and Kuro will pay me money and figmas. I prefer this life over the one I had before in Cherwoods.”

“And pray do tell, milady, where would the Lord Kuro get those dolls? Haven’t we searched for figmas all over Cherwoods, and the other realms? We even asked the dwarves if they are making those things!”

“Well, it’s Kuro’s problem,” was the Elf Saint’s answer. “In the first place, it was him who offered such compensation. You know the guy; he won’t promise something he can’t do.”

“You put too much faith in him.”

“He did the impossible before. We all know his story,” the saint then pulled out a long paper from her clothes, and showed it to Meanor. “What do you think?”

“This is?”

“The list of characters I wanted to have a figma. I’ll give it to Kuro after the long sleep.”

The elf maid could only shake her head. Deep inside, she was afraid of the human’s capability of keeping to his word. Not that she’s still suspicious of him, but Meanor dreaded the time when the Lord Kuro would tell her mistress he couldn’t find a figma maker, and she would fall deeper into depression and disappointment. Nevertheless, she told her mistress, “While I don’t approve of your decision, Your Holiness, my love and faithfulness will remain. As such, I will always support you…including this one.”

Yay! That’s why I love you as well, Mea!” the Lady Hinwe threw her arms around her servant and held her tight. “You’re really my faithful friend!”

Meanor, for her part, was thankful that Her Holiness couldn’t peek into her mind as of the moment. She couldn’t help but to remember what the Lord Kuro had told her before, about his plan to help her mistress ‘regain’ her old self.

And that includes making her do the things she loves, like drawing…