Chapter 20:


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


About four months after I inherited the fief of the late Viscount Dupree, and all the projects we planned were proceeding to its completion.

Thanks to the people who helped with my duchy’s finances, our budget—while it was skirting on the ‘just enough’ levels—avoided falling in the ‘red’. Eris’ House of Braunhauer sent money for the construction of the road networks, train tracks and the highway system. For that, I granted their business the right to operate in our territory, and also preferential treatment at the customs of the port of Maverny. The House of von Albert led by the Amaranthine queen, Jessica, also invested funds for our health center and the hospital, and invited their merchants to Maverny. When I asked Her Majesty what she wanted to receive in return, the queen only said,

“Just do what you intend to do, Kuro,” Jessica winked at me. “While you may think you’re receiving our help for free, actually it’s not. We learn and copy your reforms; thus, improving our kingdom as well.”

Well, I guess it’s a good exchange…though I’d like to give her more concessions, if I can.

The Kingdom of Cherwind and the Federal Demon Republic sent personnel from their militaries and schools to train our citizens to matters of modern medicine, first aid, and firefighting tactics. They also provided volunteers to staff our schools and the university at Maverny with teachers. And finally, teams of construction workers from both races took charge of the public projects, assisting our own human builders. As I was also the King of Cherwind and the ‘Special Adviser’ to the Demon Lord President, my duchy received exclusive trade rights and items, compared to the rest of the political entities that existed in Chersea.

Oh yes, I should also mention that the construction materials, tools and equipment are given or lent to us by Cherwind and the Federal Republic.

As for Maddie’s House of Rubinforth, well, she and the House of von Leese through Lily gave our militia proper training, on par with the Holy Palatial Garden’s Paladin Corps, and Nerfes’ military. The Lady Margaret Jean of Malvette also helped us in naval matters, as it was common wisdom in Chersea for kingdoms with shorelines to have ‘naval patrols’ to keep pirates away from the trade lanes.

After all, the ‘Saint’s Peace’ is an era of prosperity never before seen in the history of Chersea before…


The rest of the projects were funded using the money in Maverny’s treasury. As such, even before the completion of most of our undertakings, the lives of the duchy’s citizens improved significantly. So much was the jump of progress that our territory attracted migrants from other lands and countries, and nobles from those places have to enact bans to keep their people from moving out.

The irony of it all is I have to adhere to frugal living, or my budget will suffer.

There were rumors that reached me. Rumors that in the Imperial capital, nobles would secretly laugh and mock my efforts. Like,

“Isn’t that commoner just given one of the best lands in the Empire? Yet, he feeds on scraps just to make his subjects happy?”

“A swine will always return to its mud! No matter how he is honored, he is still what he is: a commoner.”

“Get your most hated daughter to marry that man and have your grandchildren inherit his fief. It’s wasted on him.”

“The saints’ favor rests on him, yet he does nothing! If I were him, I’d make sure my house would be blessed for eternity!”

Not that I’m offended by their short-sightedness, but I wanted to develop my lands properly. See, no one wished to die poor and destitute. Even I would like to live comfortably until I’m old. Now, I ‘nurture’ my territory and its people, not only so they could share in the wealth of the duchy, but also, they’d return part of that wealth into the treasury through taxes. A functioning government and good, accessible public services meant a happy population. A happy population would gladly pay their taxes. A paid tax into the treasury was 50% additional money to my finances. And with good finances, I could provide proper governance and public services…as well as satisfy my own needs.

Simple loop, right?


And, I won’t feel guilty of neglecting my people.

‘Yes, that’s true. Everyone lauds your hard work, and wisdom, Kuro. But, someone is not happy about your decisions,’ Gaius suddenly spoke in my mind.

My eyes immediately fell on the Lady Hinwe, who was busy working on the commissions I gave her. While her face showed no expression, I could tell that Gaius was referring to her.

After all, among my companions in the Dupree palace, the Elf Saint is the only naysayer in everything I do, especially if it’s about the general population.


“!!!” My train of thoughts stopped when I heard Eris call me. Turning around, I saw her standing by the door of the Elf Saint’s private study, with a bunch of papers in hand. “The Beastmen workers sent in a message that the last stretch of the Maverny Expressway is already done, along with the parallel service roads and the train tracks.”

Ooh, nice!” I took the report from her hands. “That’s fast; how many weeks it just took?”

“As far as I remember, they started the construction just three weeks ago,” the duchess revealed. “And you know what? Even the hospital building in Maverny is already finished!”

I fell silent. Honestly, I didn’t expect the Beastmen workers could work this fast, even back when I was in Cherwind.

Nevertheless, Eris revealed their secret, “Beastmen strength, demon magic, and Her Holiness the Lady Ruro’s powers. Such a convenient combination of abilities. The only matter left is the staff themselves; I think it would still take some time for them to be fully trained.”

“It’s fine.” Actually, I’m more than happy now that the infrastructures we wanted done were already completed. I cannot ask for more blessings, can I?

“Well, this won’t be possible if you’re not around,” the young maid smiled. “I’m really glad I met you, Kuro.”

“Thank you, my cute lady!”

Eris face suddenly blushed terribly. She was so surprised by my compliment that she stumbled towards the door, while saying, “Y-Y-Y-You s-sh-should v-visit y-your projects s-sometime, milord!” With a quick bow and wave, she left the study.


You’re a real lady-killer, you know that?” was the Lady Hinwe’s comments the moment we’re alone.

“I don’t intend to,” I replied. “Besides, from where I come from, it’s common to have single partners for life. That’s why I’m quite surprised that Chersea allows more than one lover for marriage.”

“So, your old world is just like ours, the elves,” the Elf Saint smirked. “Heh, good thing I’m not interested in romances. I just want a cute waifu on a pillow, or a figma.

Ah, you mean a dakimakura?” I chuckled. “Yeah, it’s something I want too, when I was still a ‘weeb’. But then, I live with my family before, so I can’t have one…or they’ll throw me suspicious glances.”

“For me? I don’t care about others’ opinions! My love for 2D is pure and divine!”

“Heh, spoken like a true otaku. In any case, I’m not interested in forming a romantic relationship with an elvish recluse.”

“Asshole,” she stuck her tongue out to me.

We both laughed, having used to trading insults regularly. Nevertheless, when we settled down, the Lady Hinwe asked again, “What’s up with these signs and mangas you’re making me do lately? For your ‘bed pleasure’, Kuro?”

“What if it is? Why do you care?”

“Of course, I care. These are my drawings! They’re like my children; the last thing I wanted for these is to end up drenched in…”

“Drenched in what? Why did you suddenly trail off?”

“Do I really have to say that? You can tell, right? From the world where these books are produced,”

“I’ll pretend I don’t know what you say.”

“Fuck you!”

I flashed her a sarcastic grin, and also a middle finger.

“Okay, I know you and I have read lots of hentai manga before to know what I saying!” the Elf Saint reiterated. “So, shut the fuck up, Kuro!”

“You’re the one who started it!”

“You won’t even deny it!”

“Why would I? It’s the truth!”

“You don’t even follow the rules of manga and anime!

“Why would I? I live in real life, not in some Japanese cartoons.”

Fuck you! Anime is different from cartoons!” the Lady Hinwe was already fuming mad; she slammed her table, and I was worried the ink bottle might overturn and mess up her hard work.

So, to appease the angry saint, I stood up and gave her a figma of an orange jacket-wearing ninja (it was actually an imitation, made of dried slime material, courtesy of a talented Beastfolk craftsman Gaius recommended to me), as well as a pouch filled with gold coins for her salary. Then, I told her, “My apologies for getting you mad, Your Lazy Holiness! But, nice work as always!”

The Elf Saint stopped on her tantrums and went silent. She took the figma, examined it carefully, then returned the figure in its box. The holy lady took a deep breath and—with certain suppression—squealed her heart in delight.

That’s how fast her mood changes, as if she is just changing clothes.

And then, her face quickly turned serious, as if nothing happened just seconds ago. She said to me, “Heh, I know you’re just complimenting me because you need my ‘talent’, but yeah, thanks! I love the figma.

Ah, the usual self-depreciating dialogues of a person with low self-esteem.

Well, if only the Lady Hinwe could see my thoughts now, she’d tell I’m sincere. I mean, her artworks were damn good—no, I think it’s great! Given her time (which was really long) to practice her skills, it’s no doubt she could master drawing anime-style by now.


“W-What?” I was surprised to find her staring at me, as if peering into my soul.

“You sure about this?” she pointed at the figma and the gold.

“I thought you like it?”

“I do, but…is my work really worth it?”

Huh? Where did all the spunk earlier go?”

“Kuro,” the Lady Hinwe was serious. “Look, I may be a lazy ass, but, I still keep my pride as an elf and as a person. Compared to you—who’s even ready to live on the streets just to help his subjects, I’m just here, sitting and drawing to my heart’s content.”

Ah, don’t worry about it,” I reassured her. “First, I don’t want asking for free shit from people, Your Lazy Holiness. Second, I’m the lord of this land, so I have to work doubly hard than my staff to ensure everything’s fine. And third, I love your drawings.”

“Isn’t this too much?”

“No,” I shook my head. “You’re talented, and I think my payment for you is worth it.”

“I know it’s a joke.”

“Yeah, your life is a joke, but your talent isn’t.”

“Come on! I’m being serious here!” the Lady Hinwe stomped her foot, and slammed her table once again.

“I’m helpful, see?” I puffed my chest out. “You love beating yourself? I’ll help you beat yourself even more. Likewise, if you stand for yourself, I’ll get your back.”

“You’re really an asshole, Kuro. A little encouragement will help me, you know?”

“Well, I’m encouraging you, but you keep on dismissing my words as ‘jokes’, or ‘consolations’,” triumphant, I smirked. “And since you won’t believe me, I’ll just do the opposite; since you love discouraging yourself.”

The Lady Hinwe fell quiet once more. Then, she slowly moved her eyes to meet mine, and sheepishly asked, “Err…is it really, uhm…good?”

“Your art? Yes. I don’t know who told you they’re shit, but fuck them. They don’t even know what art is.”

The Elf Saint then smiled. Well, it’s the first time I saw her smile that pretty, so I averted my eyes. I don’t want any stupid desires surfacing within me. I’m just hoping she didn’t see me blush…


The holy lady had a smug expression on her face. Yep, she did see me blush.

“I can explain.” This is awkward.

“No need,” the Lady Hinwe laughed. “You’re really a lady-killer, Kuro.”


The cosplay event at the Holy Palatial Gardens’ exhibit grounds was scheduled for three days, beginning by Friday. The mangas I had the Lady Hinwe written were for her own booth, which we allotted for her in the event. Our goal to impress everyone with her works remained the same, and I planned the cosplay festival to ‘showcase’ her as its main event.

Honestly, I’m nervous; 50/50 it might not go our way. But I’m hoping for the best…after all, Maddie, Ruro, Natasha and even Seirna—along with some of our friends—are working hard to make this event successful. Then we can finally end the mess I did at Cherwoods.


By Wednesday, three days before the start of the festival, I rarely went home to check on the logistics for the event. Since we’re expecting a lot of visitors (we did advertise our cosplay festival well), I had to make sure everything was going on smoothly. The stage that was to serve as a ‘catwalk’ for the cosplayers were thoroughly examined for any possible faults; the magic lights tested, and even the magicians who were to serve as the ‘effects’ team were practiced and ordered to rest. I also discussed the security with the Lady Henristone, including the flow of foot traffic, so as not to create ‘bottlenecks’ once the festival began.

And then, the big day arrived…

Well, contrary to what we expected, the crowd that came to the Holy Palatial Gardens exceeded our predicted numbers. Children, teenagers, and even some young adults came in their favorite characters’ costumes, many were from the classic stories of Chersean, Cherwindian, and Demon literatures. There were also characters from the Lady Hinwe’s manga, though it was understandably fewer than the character classics. But what caught my eyes were the cosplays of the saints…


From one of the buildings overlooking the palatial exhibit grounds, the four saints watched. The cosplayers of the saints caught their eyes as well, and Seirna went ballistic.

“This is sacrilege!” she bellowed. “Look at that child! She’s impersonating me!”

“Chill down, Lady Seirna!” Natasha told her. “It’s not like they’re doing something disrespectful in our costume.”

“They’re disrespecting us by copying our images!” the Saint of the Flame reiterated. “I won’t stand for this!”

Just as she stood up to confront the children cosplayers, Ruro blocked her. “Hold up,” the wolf saint pulled her back. “Let the kids enjoy. If you let them see how angry and offended you are, you’re going to scar them for life!”

“That’s not how they treat us!”

Maddie countered, “Milady, I don’t think those kids meant to disrespect us, though. Actually, if you just peek into their hearts, they want to honor us in that way!”

“Lies! I know the humans, beastmen, and especially the demons, are angry at me!” Seirna reiterated.

“Well, sucks to be you then,” Ruro snickered.

“Milady,” I decided to intervene. “I think the Human Saint is right. That kid is cosplaying you because she appreciated your efforts; after all, your good deeds were also printed in those materials you distributed. After all, cosplaying is not meant for a character one hates, I can assure you of that.” I mean, come on. With the amount of money one would shell out to create the best possible rendition of the character that person liked, it’s stupid to invest it in someone they abhorred.

Seirna glanced at Maddie, one of the masterminds of the campaign to promote my ‘heroism’ before. The Human Saint averted her eyes; she was embarrassed by what she had done. Nevertheless, though she may be snappy at times, I could tell the Lady Seirna was a bit grateful for what her colleague did.

“Otherworlder,” the Saint of the Flame cleared her throat to call my attention; her voice was calmer this time. “I’d appreciate it if you stop with your pandering thoughts of me…though, yes, I appreciate your opinions.”

I’m not pandering to anyone, Your Holiness, I’m just telling the truth based from my experience.


“So, you won’t get angry at the kids now?” Ruro teased her.

“W-Well, I-I see that beastman girl cosplaying me is…err…c-cute. I guess I’ll take that as a compliment, y-yes…”


“What?” was Seirna’s question when she noticed all of us staring at her.

It was Natasha who dropped our thoughts, “For someone who acts so villainous, it sure is refreshing to see your girly side, Seirna. Although, yes, you creep me out.”

With her face terribly blushing, the Saint of the Flame then brought out her sword. “Alright, I’ll make everyone here to a zombie.”

We rushed to stop her, though I guess there’s no cause to worry; from her expressions alone, I think the Lady Seirna Stephanie was enjoying her time…


When I made sure the saints were already loving the festival, I excused myself and went to the other saint, who was supposed to be at the booth we made especially for her. However, instead of finding the Elf Saint in her seat signing her mangas for the long line of her fans—humans, beastmen, demon and elves—it was the Lady Meanor who did everything in the name of her mistress.

Milady, is it true that Her Holiness the Elf Saint wrote this book?” a young elf asked, his eyes were full of excitement.

“Yes, young one!” the holy servant replied with a smile.

“Can you tell her it’s beautiful?” he said to her.

“Yes, she’d love to hear that!”

Good work, Lady Meanor!

However, I couldn’t be distracted. I intended for the Lady Hinwe herself to appear, signing the books she made and answering her ‘fans’ questions. So, I asked a paladin assigned to guard the place, “Where’s Her Holiness the Elf Saint?”

“Milord,” the paladin answered, “She said she’d just go to the lavatory; she hasn’t returned since.”


I was about to go, when I felt someone tugged my long sleeves. I turned and saw Meanor; she may be silent, but her expression was pleading for help.

“Her Holiness got dizzy,” she explained. “Perhaps, her shyness is acting up again.”

Right. Ever since she isolated herself, the Lady Hinwe had been a handful. Easily embarrassed, low self-esteem and an introverted prick, just like me back in my college days. “So,” I asked the servant. “Need any help from me?”

“The line of her adoring subjects—”

“You mean, fans?”

“Is that what it’s called?”

I nodded.

“Well, you see the line of her fans? This is just the first column. I heard from the paladin guards that there are at least five more outside the grounds.”

“Oh shit…”

“Honestly, milord…it’s getting tiresome,” Meanor admitted. “Uhm…can I…well, you know, ask for help from you?”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Help me sign these books?”

Err…isn’t that Her Holiness’ job?” I asked. But then, I realized, many of the Cherseans didn’t know about the concept of autographs just yet, so I guess I could use my own ‘fame’ to help the elf servant finish her ‘stand-in’ work. So, I took a book from a fan and asked what she wanted me to put in there…

Uhm, who are you?” the beastman girl asked me, with a bit of disappointment in her eyes.

Oh yes, I forgot to introduce myself. In a world like Chersea, where modern media conveniences like the television, internet and computers were non-existent, it’s hard for everyone to get a picture of who you were. So, I told her, “Do you know the Commoner General?”

The girl nodded. “He’s also our eternal god-king, Kuro of Arles.”

“Well, I am that man.”

The girl—as well as the nearby fans—looked at me with disinterest, and then laughed. One of them said, “Surely, mister, you’re good at playing jokes! The Commoner General is more handsome than you!”

That hurt…at least.

“!!!” Everyone nearly jumped when we heard someone slam the table. Then, from the corner of my eyes, I saw the Lady Meanor stood up, and said,

“I do not mean to get angry at you kids, but please do not disrespect the Lord Kuro of Arles!”

At that point, even the paladins—meant to guard the Lady Hinwe’s booth—joined in explaining the truth. “Sorry little ones, but he really is the Lord Kuro of Arles. He may not be someone you expected, but this man is really kind…and he sacrificed a lot for us.”

Hearing those words gave me mixed feelings. Part of me wanted to thank them for standing up for me, another wanted to shrink from embarrassment, and another still wanted to tell everyone that, ‘I’m just doing my job’. But I guess, this was good; less talk and explaining to do, the fewer mistakes I commit.

The children, realizing their mistakes, apologized. “We’re sorry Your Majesty…”

“Nah,” I smiled at them. “It’s fine guys! It’s always fine for me to commit mistakes, as long as you learn from it. But next time, even if it’s someone ‘small’ or ‘unpopular’, still give them respect, okay?”

And with that, the awkward tension that hung around the booth dissipated. However, there’s another problem that surfaced…

Uh, Lady Meanor?”

“Yes, milord?

“Can I ask for your help in signing these books?” I pleaded, since the moment other learned I was the hero ‘Kuro of Arles’, they all flocked to me instead of the Lady Meanor.

Ah, I will, soon, milord! Let me just take a break…my hands are getting tired already, see?” she smiled as she flashed her ‘exhausted’ hands to my face. “For something that’s not even my responsibility, I’m getting worked up.” The elf muttered those words, but I still heard it.

So, I guess, for a little while, I’ll be dealing with the Lady Hinwe’s adoring fans…


The program for the first day was in its peak when I finished with the autographs. I could hear the upbeat music being played at the exhibit area, and the occasional shouts and swoons of the crowd watching their characters ‘come to life’ on the cosplay catwalk. As for the Lady Meanor, she did come back, but only to sign a few more before the fans’ queue line went empty. My hands were painful, so I healed it with the god-powers. For standing for too long, my back and feet were aching, so I sat on one of the empty benches nearby.

Then, suddenly…


I nearly jumped from where I was sitting when I felt something cold to my face. Looking around, I saw the Lady Meanor with a cold drink in both of her hands, one of which she offered to me. Naturally, as I was a bit pissed when she abandoned me, I took it as a peace offering from her.

“By the way, milord…I got a confession to make.”


“I know the Lady Hinwe won’t return to the booth. And I know where she went.”

“You little…”

“Well, milord, there’s no one else to blame but yourself, you know?” she told me. “You keep pushing her, forcing her, helping her…that in the end…”

“In the end…what?

Meanor sighed, “…in the end, she says she won’t fail you.”


“My mistress,” the servant began. “Everyone loves her when they get something from her. But then, they abused Her Holiness; and when she tried to correct it by teaching them how to do some things themselves, they got angry and lost faith in her.”

“Typical mortals,” I quipped.

“Indeed. Nevertheless, milord, you didn’t give up on her. When she was down, you—even if you become an asshole—did your best to support and encourage her. And now, I can see that she’s enjoying herself for the first time in a very long while. See? She left the autograph signing for me because she wanted to appear as best as she can in her cosplay, so she went to some private room inside the Holy Palatial Gardens to prepare for her grand appearance later.”

I looked at a nearby hourglass. “But that’s still two hours away! She’s that excited?”

“That, and you know us ladies,” the Lady Meanor winked. “Every girl out there who’s in-love would like to appear at their best for their crush, you know?”


“I-I mean…I mean, uhm, you know…her crush,” the servant laughed, though I could hear the hint of awkwardness from that. “Her characters! She admires her characters a lot!”

“Right…” Seriously, I got a guess. But, I didn’t want to assume things, so I’d just play it off, like the usual. I mean, the Lady Meanor might be mistaken, so I’d play safe.

‘Ooh, that’s good, Kuro!’ I heard Gaius’ voice again. ‘You can get the Elf Saint to kiss you, and you acquire her powers!’

That’s the last thing I would do, Gaius. I’m not using anyone for my benefit.

“Any case, milord,” the elf servant stood up, and did a curtsy. “I’ll have you know that while I faithfully serve my mistress, I have no qualms serving you as well. Thank you for everything you did for us so far…”