Chapter 12:

CHAPTER 10: A VISIT FROM THE ROYALTY

The Human Saint is Bored, so I was Summoned to Another World Vol. 1


Another ‘day’ dawned on me…and yet, here I am, couldn’t get even a wink of sleep.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Well, I can’t help it, it’s because of ‘that’.Bookmark here

In contrast to me, the slave boy, Senshee, was sleeping soundly beside my bed, on the floor. I tried to get him to sleep on the bed while I took the nearby vacant chair since I couldn’t sleep, but he refused, insisting that he rest on where he was right now.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Man, that slave sure takes it easy.Bookmark here

I’m getting nervous, you know. This was the Holy Palatial Gardens, a place where boys were hated. It’s a miracle that the guards on the gate let us pass with minimal questions and explanations earlier, and I had to lie to Jessica for asking a little more food to feed Senshee.Bookmark here

Well, at least, I’m able to have him take a bath since he smelled so bad. I lent him some clothes after that.Bookmark here

Yes, I know. I couldn’t hide this boy forever in my room; not only it could create misunderstandings, but it would also be unfair to Her Holiness who’s paying for my expenses. And here I am having the audacity to bring in another mouth to feed.Bookmark here

So, I plan to talk to her about Senshee.Bookmark here

Well, I tried to approach the Saint before sleeping time. Unfortunately, that conversation with Sir Simon took off some valuable minutes away from me, and so I wasn’t able to see Her Holiness before she retired to sleep. So, I had to leave the matter up till now.Bookmark here

Honestly, I didn’t know how Her Holiness would react to what I just did.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“Good day, Master!”Bookmark here

“Hii!” I almost fell from the bed when Senshee broke into my train of thoughts and cheerfully greeted me. So, he’s finally awake, huh?Bookmark here

“I apologize for startling you, Master.” Senshee bowed and apologized, “This slave accepts the suitable punishment you deemed just.”Bookmark here

Ugh, no. It’s alright.” I answered, showing him a smile so that he won’t be intimidated, “I don’t plan on punishing you, nor do I have any desire to keep you as a slave.”Bookmark here

Senshee fell silent and just stared at me.Bookmark here

No dude, don’t look at me like that. I didn’t save you to serve me; I can take care of myself.Bookmark here

“Look here, Senshee.” I explained to him, “We’re going to talk to the human saint about your situation. But right now, you don’t have to worry much about serving me. I am releasing you from your contract, and even if you push it on me, I’ll still release you.”Bookmark here

“But…what will I do then?”Bookmark here

“Do anything you want to do, just don’t take me in as your Master.”Bookmark here

Senshee only stared at me for his reply. I hope this guy understood that I already freed him.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Anyway, Her Holiness was already awake. I could see some maids going around the Courtyard. Bookmark here

I better hurry and finish this problem I brought to myself.Bookmark here

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Oh, Kuro. Do you need something from me?” the Saint asked the moment she saw me appear at the courtyard of her palace.Bookmark here

“What’s up, Your Holiness?” I greeted her with a casual smile. Keep it cool.Bookmark here

“Well, I’m currently trying to understand this complicated Light-type spell,” she replied without removing her eyes from the book she’s reading. She’s in no mood to read my mind like the usual, “The king of the kingdom of Nerfes will come to have himself healed; after all, a cursed sword caused his wound in battle.”Bookmark here

“Oh?” Now my interest was piqued, “Is there a war going on somewhere, Your Holiness?”Bookmark here

Ah, there’s none.”Bookmark here

“But you said the king of this Nerfes kingdom is wounded in battle?”Bookmark here

“He got injured battling a wild Junki in the mountains north from here in a hunting accident.” Her Holiness explained, still not taking off her eyes from what she’s reading, “By the way, that cursed sword is his. His attendants say that the blade broke and bounced back to him when he tried to hit the Junki.”Bookmark here

“…” Bookmark here

I was dumbfounded. By the way, a Junki was a slow and weak slime-type monster that was a favorite children’s pet here in Chersea. Its body was so fragile that even a youngster could inflict fatal damage to it using only his fists. And to get injured by such a monster, through your sword, in such a manner too…Bookmark here

I wonder if that king is in his right mind?Bookmark here

“So anyway, Kuro.” Her Holiness’ voice brought me back to reality, “Do you need something from me?”Bookmark here

“Well…uh…you see, Your Holiness…” My mind had been torn apart by whether or not I should bring Senshee to Her Holiness, but in the end, I left him in my room. I told him to lock it from the inside, never to speak if someone knocked, and never let them in for as long as I was gone.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I approve. Just take care of him as he is your property.” she quickly answered.Bookmark here

At least let me speak properly, Your Holiness!Bookmark here

“You’re talking about the slave boy you brought before sleeping time, right?” It was Her Holiness who broke out the topic that I was supposed to tell her, “The Marquise of Monfort already informed me about it.”Bookmark here

“I see…I’m sorry for not informing you immediately.” Well, at least it removed the heavy feeling in my chest.Bookmark here

“It’s fine, it isn’t your fault.” she replied, “Honestly, I am against the idea of my servants having slaves inside my place, but since you’re a guest, I’ll compromise.”Bookmark here

“But Your Holiness, I don’t plan to take him in as a slave.” Now that I have the opportunity, I should bring up the ‘contract’ issue at hand, “In fact, I’m reneging on the slave contract.”Bookmark here

“…” the Saint stared at me. Did I say something wrong?Bookmark here

Hmm…you are one interesting guy.” Her Holiness commented, “Are you sure about your decision?”Bookmark here

“Well, as long as it doesn’t have any harm to me or the boy, I think it’s fine with me.”Bookmark here

“I see…” the Saint seemed to ponder on my answer, “Your slave is a boy, huh?Bookmark here

Hm? Is there anything strange about that, Your Holiness?”Bookmark here

“Nope, there’s none.” But I could tell there’s meaning in Her Holiness’ gaze to me.Bookmark here

Uhh…I think you’re thinking of something else, Your Holiness. And you’re utterly wrong, I don’t swing that way…Bookmark here

“Well, at least it’s nice to hear your reassurance.” Her Holiness quipped and sighed with relief, “Or it’ll be an enormous problem if Lily or the Marquise of Monfort learn about your ‘preferences’.”Bookmark here

Do you seriously think I prefer boys, Your Holiness? That’s stupid.Bookmark here

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Oh, I thought you already knew by now, the people in this land use magic like a common tool for everyday living. Did you need to light a fire to cook? Fire magic. Thirsty? Water magic. The heat was killing you? Wind magic. How about having a problem digging for some stuff? Earth magic. Scared of the dark? Light magic. You wanted it to be dark? Dark magic. Bookmark here

Pretty convenient, eh?Bookmark here

Unfortunately for me, even if I got transported here, I’m still an ordinary, powerless human. Though I read all those books in the Saint’s library—memorizing some dangerous-looking spells from some weird tomes and trying out some of the less suspicious ones—there’s absolutely nothing. Bookmark here

Not even a little spark in my hand.Bookmark here

Anyway, since I settled the matter about Senshee, I tried to look at what Her Holiness was reading. It was a spellbook for casting a ‘healing area’—something that would be an absolute necessity if there’s an entire party of injured people that needed medical attention at a moment’s notice. From what I read, this was an ‘Advanced’ spell.Bookmark here

Something told me she’s about to use such kind of magic to heal that king from Nerfes. Looks like he incurred severe injuries, huh?Bookmark here

And that must be the reason I met Sir Simon. He must accompany the king in Arles…Bookmark here

Ah, anyway, let’s get back to the spell the Saint was studying.Bookmark here

Oh, if I may suggest, the principle of this circle is…” I think I quite understood the idea behind it, so I explained to the Saint the things that she had to do for it to work. It took us quite some time, but in the end…Bookmark here

“Whoa!” Her Holiness’ eyes sparkled with delight as the spell that she was having difficulty in casting earlier was a resounding success.Bookmark here

“See?” I had this little happy feeling inside me I finally solved my problem and did something useful at the moment.Bookmark here

The Saint joyfully laughed at her achievement. However, it was short-lived. She suddenly fell quiet as she began trying her spell, “Uh, Kuro?”Bookmark here

“Is there something wrong, Your Holiness?”Bookmark here

“It’s not exactly wrong but…” there’s a hint of uncertainty in her voice, “Are you sure what you taught me just now came from that book?”Bookmark here

Hmm? Well, I tried to put in some new ideas based on what I understood, but yep, it’s the same as on the book.”Bookmark here

“Uh…” Her Holiness then told me, “I think this magic circle that you came up with is much more effective than the one that is written. Look! The area is larger, and once you’re inside, it felt light yet you can immediately feel the effects.” She even stepped into the healing area to prove her point.Bookmark here

“Oh, uh…cool!” was all I could say. I got no idea that I came up with something new. Bookmark here

Is this something amazing?Bookmark here

“With this, I can cast a bunch of healing spells without exhausting my mana.” she turned to me, “How d’you know all of this?”Bookmark here

Well, I’ve been reading about Chersea’s magic for the past few ‘days’. To cast a magic spell here, you’d have to know the proper magic circle to activate it. And every magic circle was composed of lines. Those lines themselves had a meaning to it, so a minor change—like for example, an accidental extra line—could lead to a drastically different spell, or spell strength, or spell area-of-effect, or spell mana drain.Bookmark here

With Her Holiness, I noticed that the healing spell she was studying was full of extra lines that could be removed so that its range and power would increase. Those lines were there to prevent that type of magic to drain the user of mana. However, it reduced its effectivity, requiring the caster to chant it repeatedly to accomplish something.Bookmark here

With the unnecessary lines removed, theoretically, the spell increased in range and power. But now, I’m concerned about the mana drain so I thought of adding much smaller ‘mana-drain lines’ that would help in keeping the magic from sapping large mana amounts from her. Bookmark here

Well, it’s only my theory, but I never thought it would work.Bookmark here

“I see…so that’s how you solved that.” Her Holiness read my mind once again; she needed to stop that nasty habit of hers, “For someone who doesn’t have any magical affiliation, you’re something Kuro. I know granting you access to that library was the correct decision!”Bookmark here

“Your Holiness!” I was about to thank her when the Marquise of Monfort arrived, “The King of Nerfes humbly wishes for your audience and is waiting for you at the palace courtyard.”Bookmark here

Ah, it’s time for me to go, Kuro. I wish to talk to you later if you have the time, about the slave boy you brought over and other matters about the magic circles.” the Saint smiled and thanked me for helping her.Bookmark here

“Okie. See you later then, Your Holiness!”Bookmark here

For some strange reason, Her Holiness is in an utterly good mood this time…Bookmark here

She even smiled at me so sweetly I never saw it from her before. In all honesty, it made my heart skip a beat; she looked so beautiful at that moment.Bookmark here

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The Kingdom of Nerfes was a moderately sized human kingdom to the north of Chersea. According to the history books, it was the bastion of human defenses against the armies of the demon lord during ancient times. Since then, it formed a close relationship with the Holy Palatial Gardens, more particularly the Saints from the past.Bookmark here

“May I present to Your Holiness, the king of the Kingdom of Nerfes, James Walter Reed II.”Bookmark here

The colorful banners of the king and his accompanying vassals were displayed, and trumpets were sounded the moment his entourage appeared. Palace guards lined up along the path leading to the dais where the Saint, flanked by the Head Maid and the Captain of the Paladin Corps, waited.Bookmark here

“A grand reception, huh?” Senshee commented as we watched from the window of my room, “It reminds me of the welcome my former master is being accorded to back in the Duke of Savoy’s court.”Bookmark here

“It looks like the ‘review of the guard’ by visiting heads of state back on Earth.” I casually said, “Pretty impressive.”Bookmark here

“Earth? Is that the country where you came from, Master?”Bookmark here

I was surprised for a moment that I let my lips loose once again, so I spun a lie to avoid telling Senshee the truth, “It is. And please stop calling me ‘Master’, Senshee. Just refer to me as ‘Kuro’, alright?”Bookmark here

Senshee said nothing after that. He’s fascinated watching the colorful parade of the royals from Nerfes.Bookmark here

The royal party then came into our view. It was mostly composed of soldiers, probably the king of Nerfes’ guards. The monarch could be spotted easily; he’s the one wearing that shiny gilded armor and purple cape.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Hmm…the king of Nerfes wasn’t what I expected. When the Saint described him earlier, I thought of him as a foolish young guy or a bumbling old man. Bookmark here

However, this king looks like someone else…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

With his bulging muscles showing even under the armor, lots of scars on his arms and face, a dominating height above any other in his entourage, an intimidating expression on his face, and a red bandana tied on his head, I’ve only thought of one man…Bookmark here

RAMBO!Bookmark here

Yeah, I suddenly remembered that Vietnam War action movie hero that I watched on Earth. The king of Nerfes reminded me of that gun-toting, testosterone-filled guy from the shows where Americans always win against the common farmers who defeated them in real life. So anyway, I couldn’t imagine a person like him doing a clumsy thing such as breaking his cursed sword on a weak-ass monster like a Junki.Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

“Kyaaa!”Bookmark here

Everyone’s screams filled the air. Bookmark here

Well, nothing serious happened. It’s just that the king tripped and fell flat on his face. As it was supposed to be, he should be uninjured; however, there’s a random stone placed conveniently in the middle of the path where the monarch was walking and hit his face on that. He was still fine; though, I guess…until he hit his head on a conveniently placed tree branch above him. Bookmark here

Where did those things come from, anyway?Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Everyone relaxed when the King regained his composure and resumed walking towards Her Holiness. Blood was trickling from his head, though. I guess I had an idea where those awful scars came from…No wonder why the Junki can damage him.Bookmark here

“Your Highness!” I saw another figure from behind the king breaking ranks and approach him, “Please use this handkerchief to wipe the blood off your face.”Bookmark here

“Kyaaa…”Bookmark here

I heard another scream, this time, it’s from the maids who were watching the spectacle. Well, technically, they’re not screaming; they’re swooning. After all, that young man who came near the king of Nerfes got good looks.Bookmark here

It’s Sir Simon.Bookmark here

“Thanks, brother.” the King said as he wiped his face. Sir Simon then returned to his former spot behind his monarch. The servants and paladin guards were all ecstatic. Bookmark here

What? I thought you guys hate guys? Is this the famous ‘Handsome: Lover/Ugly: Rapist’ analogy? That’s just freaking unfair!Bookmark here

The Saint, in her dignified, holy costume and flanked by the Head Maid and the Captain of the Paladin Corps, greeted her visitors, “I bid you welcome in the Holy Palatial Gardens, king of Nerfes. If it is healing that you seek, then may I invite you inside?”Bookmark here

To that, King Rambo replied, “Thank you for your audience, Your Holiness—” The monarch politely bowed before the Saint, but he went all the way down the floor for some unknown reason, smacking his face for another time.Bookmark here

This king is a klutz, huh?Bookmark here

After helping him, Lily gestured for the entourage to follow her inside the Holy Chambers palace. And with that, I went back to reading.Bookmark here

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My silent time was interrupted when Senshee woke me up. I had fallen asleep with the book covering my head.Bookmark here

“Master, a soldier was asking for you outside your room,” he told me while pointing at the wide-open door. A member of the Paladin Corps stood at attention by the doorframe, and she paid respects upon seeing me awake.Bookmark here

“Her Holiness is calling for you, Mister Kuro.” she explained, “I’m here to fetch you.”Bookmark here

“Oh?” I’m still half-asleep, but I dragged myself up, “What for?”Bookmark here

“I don’t know.” the guard shrugged, “She says that we hurry.”Bookmark here

“Okay. Come with me, Senshee!” I said nothing more. Deep inside, though, I was already wondering why she called for me. Bookmark here

Perhaps Her Holiness wishes to continue the magic spell talk we left hanging earlier?Bookmark here

The guard led us out of the guest house where I’m staying and into the Holy Chambers. Senshee and I just silently followed her. It took us quite a while before we reached our destination…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

If I’m not mistaken, this was one of the reception rooms of the Saint’s palace. The royal guards of the king of Nerfes stood by the doors; seeing the female Palatial guard approach them, they quickly stepped aside and let us inside without questions.Bookmark here

Ah, Kuro!” the Saint smiled when she saw me. Then her attention turned to the one following close behind me, “And you must be Senshee?”Bookmark here

Senshee did a curtsy before Her Holiness. I also followed him, not wishing to appear arrogant or something. But, Senshee, curtsy is for girls, you know?Bookmark here

Her Holiness laughed silently; perhaps she’s reading my thoughts again?Bookmark here

“So this is the man who taught you a new principle in healing magic, Your Holiness?” it was the king of Nerfes, who was eyeing me from head to toe.Bookmark here

“Yes. He’s pretty intelligent; I’m telling you, he’s the one who fixed that magic circle for me!” Her Holiness added. Hearing her praising me made my heart jump for joy.Bookmark here

“I see. He looks plain, though.” I could sense an air of hostility from the king of Nerfes. This King Rambo…what do you mean by ‘plain’? If you’d ask me, you look like a guy who’s so jacked-up on steroids!Bookmark here

I heard the Saint chuckle.Bookmark here

“Don’t be like that brother.” it was Sir Simon who spoke, “This man is honorable. He was even called the ‘Hero of Arles’!”Bookmark here

“Hmph!” King Rambo replied to him with a look of defiance. It seemed like this steroid boy didn’t believe Sir Simon’s words.Bookmark here

Ah, Kuro and Senshee, so we meet again!” Sir Simon greeted us, “I’d like to give my thanks to you as the person who was used by Her Holiness to heal my brother, the king.”Bookmark here

Nah, I just helped Her Holiness a little. The entire credit should go to her.”Bookmark here

However, Sir Simon bowed before me, “Please don’t be so modest and accept this token of gratitude from the bottom of our hearts.” He commanded one of their soldiers to give me a pouch. I could feel the heavy metals clinking inside. Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

Bewildered, I turned to the Saint; but she’s busy looking at something else.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

No, make that ‘someone’ else. I tried tracing where her eyes were pasted, and that intense, dreamy expression was the first that I saw from her since I was summoned.Bookmark here

Ah, by the way, Mister Kuro.” Sir Simon graciously asked for my attention, “Let me introduce you to my brother, the King of Nerfes, James Walter Reed II.”Bookmark here

Nah, sorry dude, I prefer to call him ‘King Rambo’. It’s way much better than calling him ‘steroid boy’, right?Bookmark here

I heard Her Holiness laughed softly once again. And King Rambo glared at me as if he wanted to gut my stomach.Bookmark here

I have done nothing to you, Rambo. Please don’t stare at me too much.Bookmark here

“Nice to meet you.” King Rambo stood up and offered his hand for a shake. Bookmark here

“Thank you, Your Highness!” Of course, I’d oblige; I didn’t want to appear disrespectful. After all, Her Holiness and Sir Simon had been kind to me.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

But yeah, I think the steroid-packed king of Nerfes wanted to kill me. I could tell from how he shook my hand. It’s as if he’d pull it off from my body. I turned to Her Holiness for help.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Nope, she’s still in a dream-like trance. So, I instead looked for Sir Simon for help.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

He also had the same expression. And he was looking at…Bookmark here

Her Holiness?Bookmark here

Oho…now I understand. Those meaningful looks being exchanged between the Second Prince of Nerfes and Her Holiness contained something for sure…Bookmark here

However, it’s not my right to know about it, so I’ll just leave them be.Bookmark here

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Twenty gold coins. To be honest, I’m having second thoughts about accepting the generosity of the monarch of Nerfes. However, Sir Simon convinced me that refusing it would make them feel bad…Bookmark here

But come on man, you already spent money to save me before!Bookmark here

However, in the end, I accepted it. I’m having goosebumps counting it. Though I may not know the actual value of the money that I had in my hand, I’m getting the vibes that this was an enormous amount of money. Well, I wonder how much was this if converted to U.S. Dollar back on Earth…Bookmark here

“Master Kuro!” it was Senshee; he’s excited, “With that amount, you can buy a small house in Arles!”Bookmark here

Hmm…now that he mentioned it, Eris told me before that a small property in Arles is worth 15 gold. But no, I didn’t want to buy a property in a place where I ran into trouble. Senshee’s former master seemed to be a regular there, anyway.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

On another matter, there’s something else that was bothering me…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“You know guys…” I spoke, “Isn’t it a bit cramped in here? I mean, my room is too big for you guys to be sitting beside me all the time.”Bookmark here

I was talking to the maid Eris, who sat to my left, and Senshee, who sat to my right.Bookmark here

“Eris is fine with this.” she replied to me, “Eris was exhausted after bringing your food, and she feels relaxed when she’s with Mister Kuro.”Bookmark here

“I am my master’s slave, so it’s natural to be beside him all the time,” Senshee answered.Bookmark here

Come on, Senshee! I’m telling you you’re already free! Besides, you’re a boy, this will make a big misunderstanding!Bookmark here

“Well, I don’t feel fine about this.” I broke free from their grasp and stood up, “Senshee, you’re a free man now, so don’t cling unto me like that. If you have nothing else to do, eat your food in silence. And Eris, please mind yourself a little more; you’re a girl and I’m a boy, for god’s sake!”Bookmark here

“My apologies, Master.”Bookmark here

“Eris is sorry, Mister Kuro.”Bookmark here

“As long as you guys understand…” I patted their heads, “Well then, you may go around and do as you like. I’ll just do something with the money I received.”Bookmark here

“Yes, Master.” Senshee stepped aside and began chomping down on the food Eris brought into my room.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Eris kept me accompanied, “Are you going to do a budget, Mister Kuro?”Bookmark here

“I do.” I was surprised by how sharp her observation skills were.Bookmark here

“Want some help?”Bookmark here

“Nope, thanks! I think I’m fine.” I politely refused her offer.Bookmark here

“Mister Kuro is really intelligent as Eris have heard, huh?” she commented as she watched me count, “She also learned that Mister Kuro did some alterations to the healing area’s magic circle and made it much efficient and effective.”Bookmark here

Oh, that?” I explained to her what I just did. How I tweaked a few lines to increase effectivity and efficiency, and Eris listened to me with glowing eyes of curiosity. Well, I’m not confident that I could elaborate on Eris well, but I think she understood me in the end.Bookmark here

“That’s odd,” she said after my explanation. Bookmark here

Hm? What is?”Bookmark here

“Her Holiness said that the king of Nerfes would have to stay here for a few days for his wound to be cured. Usually, curses like his would require five castings of the healing spell to be healed, and it is the most severe case. And if Mister Kuro increased its efficiency and effectivity, it should take at least one casting or the most is four castings for it to work.”Bookmark here

Hmm…you may be right.” I realized what Eris was insinuating, but well, I think it’s Her Holiness’ evaluation that bears weight in here, “Anyway, I guess we shouldn’t look into it too much. So yeah, I’ll be budgeting the money I received from Sir Simon then.”Bookmark here

“Eh?” the young maid became interested once again, “Did Mister Kuro say Simon? The second prince of Nerfes?”Bookmark here

“Yes, he’s the one who gave these coins to me.” I answered, “Didn’t you see him when they arrive?”Bookmark here

“Eris is busy fixing Her Holiness’ bedsheets, so she didn’t see them come.”Bookmark here

“Oh…”Bookmark here

“So that’s how it is!” Eris clapped her hands; it seemed she had finally understood something, “Although Eris is not supposed to know this Her Holiness has been in love with Prince Simon for a long time now.”Bookmark here

Ahh…so that’s what is behind those meaningful stares being exchanged between them.Bookmark here

“Of course, it’s a secret. But almost every servant in the Holy Palatial Gardens knew of it.”Bookmark here

Haha…talk about having an ‘open secret’.Bookmark here

“However, there’s a problem with their relationship.”Bookmark here

“Which is?”Bookmark here

“Her Holiness tries her best to keep her feelings at bay.” Eris shook her head, “She’s so dutiful in her responsibilities as a saint that she wants to avoid getting too close to the royal families of the human kingdoms, or tragic consequences could follow.”Bookmark here

True. Having a powerful being allied with your country would attract the jealousy and anger of the others. Ahh…politics doing its usual stuff, I guess.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Even so, when I thought about it, Her Holiness was a human girl—being a saint and her duties set aside. Of course, it wasn’t strange that she’d want someone who’d make her heart flutter.Bookmark here

Damn, that’s one pretty fucked up situation.Bookmark here

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A little while after I finished doing my budget and some other matters, I decided to breathe in some fresh air, so I got up and went around the palatial grounds to take stuff out of my head.Bookmark here

It’s pretty quiet around this time since it’s supposed to be ‘night’—the time in which the residents of the Holy Palatial Gardens were sleeping. I encountered a few patrolling guards along the way, but aside from them, I had my tranquil ‘evening’ walk.Bookmark here

I knew I’ve said this before, but then again, I couldn’t help but wonder how big this place was. Compared to my old home, this was an entirely different world…Bookmark here

Well, this is another world.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Haa…I missed that place.Bookmark here

Oh, it’s Kuro!”Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

I was surprised to hear a familiar voice some distance away from me. I turned around and saw Her Holiness standing beside a magnificent fountain, with a small paintbrush and something that looked like a canvas.Bookmark here

“Your Holiness!” my voice couldn’t hide my surprise, “I thought you’re sleeping now!”Bookmark here

The Saint laughed softly, “Well, I should be. But be quiet, please, or I’ll get a scolding from Lily.”Bookmark here

Err…sure.” I went over to see what she’s been doing, “I didn’t know you’re a painter of sorts.”Bookmark here

“I am trained to do art before I became a Saint.” she explained as she began her first strokes, “It’s part of the aristocratic education that I received from my house.”Bookmark here

“I see…” I nodded in agreement. Looking around her ‘study’ canvasses, it seemed like her training wasn’t just for a show. I mean, she painted some nice portraits of people…Bookmark here

Is this King Rambo?Bookmark here

“It is. I’m planning to give these paintings to them as a gift while they are here.” Her Holiness proudly explained. Of course, it’s normal; I mean, for something that you did wholeheartedly, it wouldn’t be strange if you’re proud of it.Bookmark here

“I like the combination of colors that you put in this one.” I commented, admiring the piece that she did, “And the subtle play of the light and shadow improves King Rambo’s appearance I didn’t recognize him at first!”Bookmark here

“I can’t blame you! Nowadays, he’s so grim and serious, a far cry from his weak, crybaby younger self.” the Saint laughed, “By the way, his name is James.”Bookmark here

“Sorry about it, Your Holiness!”Bookmark here

Ah, don’t mention it. That muscle-head is protective if it comes to me, but I still can’t tolerate the way he treats other men, especially when they are around me.”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Hmm…if I follow the logic of various anime and manga that I’ve read, it sounds like something romantic is going on with that King Rambo and the Saint…Bookmark here

A-ahem…” My train of thoughts dissipated when Her Holiness cleared her throat; I also noticed her slightly blushing.Bookmark here

Perhaps I shouldn’t think of matters that do not concern me.Bookmark here

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Anyway, I guess I should continue on my way?Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

I got up from where I was sitting and was about to take my leave when Her Holiness grabbed my shirt.Bookmark here

“You’re going now?”Bookmark here

“Well, if I may take leave, Your Holiness?” I replied, “I wouldn’t want to disturb you while you’re painting…”Bookmark here

“I do not mind your presence.”Bookmark here

“Oh…”Bookmark here

“Really.” Her Holiness continued as she slapped her brush against the canvas with vigor, “I wanted to hear your feedback on this work I’m doing, if you have time to accompany me. Those comments you gave to me earlier tell me you have an eye for this kind of stuff.”Bookmark here

It’s my turn to laugh, “Haha! More like an eye, I’d say I taught art before, in my old work.”Bookmark here

“I see…” Her Holiness looked at me with admiration.Bookmark here

“Yep. And I could tell, that work you’re currently doing is for someone close to you.”Bookmark here

“…” the Saint fell silent, and her face was red. She asked, “W-What made you say that?”Bookmark here

“Well, it is written all over your face, that amount of seriousness and focus you’re giving off is different.” I explained, “Besides, you even asked me to stay so that I can immediately give feedback to your work as it progresses. These prove how important to you that painting is…”Bookmark here

And frankly, I can tell it’ll be the portrait of Sir Simon. I mean, aside from the information I learned from Eris, one look at those shapes, and it’s him.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Oh crap, I shouldn’t have thought of that—Bookmark here

“I-I-I-I’m j-j-just making s-s-s-sure it’ll b-be a g-good artwork o-of mine.” Her Holiness was already panicking. Fortunately, her mind was in total disarray, she forgot to read my entire mind.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, Your Holiness.” I tapped on her shoulder, “If it’s you, I know it’d be good.”Bookmark here

“It is?” Her Holiness sheepishly asked, kind of different from her usual conceited self.Bookmark here

“Yep, you’re the Saint, the greatest in all of Chersea!”Bookmark here

Hah! I indeed am! Just watch me!” Well, she tried to sound confident, but I could tell that Her Holiness was just bringing up a brave front.Bookmark here

Haaaa…love makes people stupid…Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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