The Human Saint is Bored, so I was Summoned to Another World Vol. 2
Our group had just finished unloading and unpacking our baggage; thus, we were summoned into the main hall of the Duke’s manor. By this time, the Duke had been sitting at his throne at the other end of the room, flanked by his other two kids. His older daughter, the Human Saint, was seated to his right—which was, by the way, a dignified place in Chersea. The Beastman Saint was offered a seat to his left—a common position for visitors of secondary importance in this world.
So much for being an ‘enemy’ of the Rubinforth household…
The rest of the group, which was led by Her Royal Highness, Lilyhaven Tamriel von Leese, including myself, and we all stood before the esteemed aristocrat.
Everyone was solemn and quiet. If I’m not mistaken with my hunches, this seemed to be the traditional welcome of Chersea’s people towards their respected visitors.
“I see you brought some friends with you, my daughter!” the Duke’s eyes wandered around the hall as if he was examining us carefully. Honestly, I’m quite nervous that he may single me out, so I tried my best to appear as inconspicuous as possible. The Duke then continued with his speech, “Even though our family had been in rough terms with you, I bid you a warm welcome, oh Great White Wolf!”
To this, Saint Ruro of the Wolf stood from her chair and did a curtsy.
Oh, so Her Fluffy Holiness is capable of royal manners as well, huh? Impressive.
She quickly shot a glare in my direction. Well, I better pipe down my thoughts…
The Duke then turned to the royalty before him, “And you’re welcome to my humble abode as well, Your Royal Highness Princess Lilyhaven.”
Lily graciously gave her curtsy to the old aristocrat.
“Of course, I will never forget the other nobles who were with my beloved daughter. Thank you for your hard work and please help yourself! My home shall be your home.”
Everyone else did their curtsies, too. And I, not wishing to stand out, followed suit.
“Alright, now that we had the formalities…” the Saint’s father stood up and raised a glass of wine, “My daughter and I talked earlier. We decided that we’re temporarily restoring your aristocratic rank for the duration of your stay here. I’ve instructed my household to treat you as a noble like you always are.”
At that point, Her Holiness then stood up and also raised her glass of wine, “Everyone! I implore you to take a rest and enjoy your stay here at Fen!”
With that, everyone was jubilant. I couldn’t help but sigh with relief. At least I evaded that old guy’s radar. A few moments in, and the happy commotion eventually died down. Then, little by little, our group dispersed in different directions as they attend to their businesses right after the Human and Beastman Saint went out of the main hall.
Anyway, with everyone gone, I went to do my business while staying here. Those beautiful paintings hanging on the Duke’s hall looked nice; I thought I’d like to see those well this time…
“Why hello again, young man!”
I couldn’t keep myself from jerking when I felt someone tapped my shoulder. However, I was even more shocked when I saw the Duke of Rubinforth himself standing behind me. Though he wore a smile on his face, I could tell that this old guy didn’t want me here. And the two armored guards that flanked him didn’t look that friendly, either.
“M-my a-a-apologies, Y-Your Excellency!” My heartbeats went way too fast; I didn’t like the feeling of this…
“Well, I told my lovely daughter to bring a man when she comes back home.”
My eyes almost popped out from their sockets. What? This is a grave misunderstanding!
“But…” the Duke’s expression twisted into a much more sinister one, “I didn’t expect him to be a commoner. My Maddie must’ve been so kind to you, you think you can fool her!”
“Fool her, Y-your Excellency? I am just a—” I almost blurted out that his daughter just summoned me from another world, but that might cause further trouble, so I shut my mouth just in time.
“You’re a what?” the old man’s face was sarcastic, “An ambassador, perhaps?”
I was bewildered. He knew the tricks we played on him during the seasonal mass.
“Well, aren’t you the one who tricked me before by introducing yourself as an Elven ambassador?”
Oh, shit…he recognized me! I’m so dead right now, Lady Monfort! But yeah, I won’t give up, “Err…w-what are y-you talking about, Your Ex-Excellency?”
“Oh, I remember you from that Seasonal Mass! You even tried to hide by doing a curtsy earlier! Do you think I wouldn’t notice? But too bad for you, you just showed your true background, commoner!” the Duke sarcastically explained, “No fool of a noble gentleman would curtsy before his superior, you know. They are only for the ladies. Off to the dungeon you go!”
I panicked and tried to resist, though I didn’t go hysterical. I wanted to run to the Saints for help, but the guards quickly subdued me, and they put iron chains on both of my wrists. Experiencing this rough treatment, my vision swirled and everything else eventually became dark.
The next thing that I saw when I opened my eyes was darkness. Damp, creepy darkness.
Yep, this was one of those that were the staple of every swords-and-magic fantasy…a castle dungeon. Dark and damp, the only light source for me was coming from that small, square hole with bars near the ceiling of my cell, ostensibly to let out some foul air.
Let’s see…hmm…well, I’m not chained to the wall; that’s a plus. And I’m virtually alone in my cell—if that sort of skeleton not too far from where I was won’t count. The only complaint I had was that this place had no mat. And—
The ceiling was not too high for me once I tried to stand up. I never wanted to rest my back on the walls; not only it was wet, but I also didn’t like the feel of the moss that was growing from it. It’s disgusting! So, well, I just turned my back on the iron bars of my cell. At least, that part was relatively dry compared to the rest of the cell.
Ah, well, I’m not that afraid. Maybe because I knew that Her Holiness and her friends would soon notice my disappearance and would surely look for me. And that asshole of a Duke would have no choice but to let me out…
The very thought of that was giving me some hope that I won’t rot away in here, unlike those poor souls from the real medieval dungeons.
Provided, the Duke will not spin a story that I’m off to some place, or things of the same sort. And hey, there’s Her Fluffy Holiness’ ability to pick up my smell, I guess? I mean, I could still remember how she tracked the Human Saint based on the smell of her blood before, right?
Fuck, I’m overthinking again…I should calm down. Help will arrive soon…
I heard a loud clunking noise, not too far from where I was sitting. I guess, if I’m not mistaken, that’s the sound of a metal door being opened up. And then there came footsteps.
Hell yeah, see? I know they will not forget me here!
My eyes quickly searched for signs of life inside this miserable place. And true enough, soon I made out a pale light coming in my direction. God, I want to jump for joy right now, but I’m afraid I’ll hit my head on the low ceiling if I did just that.
What took you so long guys—
My jubilation was interrupted when I saw unfamiliar faces appear. It was the Duke’s children. The boy was carrying a wand with a pale white light shining on its tip; the girl was following him as if she’s not used to coming to such a place. Well, I couldn’t blame them, it might be their first time.
I watched as they walked around, shining a light on every cell they passed, as if looking for someone. Can it be that they’re looking for me?
“Hmm…Big Sister told us we’ll find him here. I wonder where Papa had thrown him?” I heard the boy say.
“Will it be alright for us? I mean, he’s a commoner!” the girl spoke with a shivering voice, “He could suddenly jump at us and hurt us!”
“Ha! Let him try! I got my sword with me as well as our guards waiting outside! I could always yell for help if that commoner did something bad.”
Hey brats, what are you taking me for? Some kind of criminal?
“Didn’t Papa arrest him because he’s staring lewdly at Big Sister’s breast? That’s what he said!”
Ha? That old lying geezer, did that thing even happen? As far as I remember, I was just looking at those paintings hanging on the wall.
Well, the subject of the painting was indeed the Saint. And well, she was wearing an elegant yet quite revealing dress. Naturally, my eyes would go to her ‘attractive parts’. What? It’s art! There’s no ulterior motive to it!
“You know Papa is very protective of our sister if it comes to men. And that one’s a commoner with no proper education!”
“Don’t worry, Sophie, if he’s interested in big chests, I don’t think he’ll ever notice you.”
“What do you mean by that, asshole?”
Well, I have to admit; I want to slap that boy in the back for defending my honor…
Anyway, I didn’t let them search the entire dungeon. This was because I wanted to get out of here as soon as possible. And with that said, I started banging on the bars of my cell, as well as calling for their attention.
Oh, good lord! This is salvation!
Though my eyes were initially blinded by the outside light, it eventually adjusted and settled down. Indeed, as I earlier expected, I was in the dungeon under the manor. Then, those two brats freed me and brought me to the adjacent room, where they made me sit on a bare wooden chair and table.
We were just staring at each other. They looked at me like I’m some sort of oddity.
Well, this is getting awkward.
“So…” it was the boy who broke the ice, “You’re the commoner called Kuro, right?”
“Indeed, that’s my name.” I nodded.
“Great. Our big sister asked us to free you.” he clapped his hands, “Our father caused you trouble and had you thrown in there.”
“Yep. For some odd reason, your family is a kind of weird and rude in welcoming your guests. You even accuse me of doing perverted things.” I meant that as sarcasm. I couldn’t help it, especially after that rough treatment I received.
“Well, we will not apologize for it. You don’t know your proper place, commoner.”
Now I’m getting super pissed. So what if I’m a commoner? You nobles are just arrogant, entitled assholes!
“So, can I go back to my room where my things are?” I asked, not wanting to create further trouble. I just wanted this whole affair to end soon and go back to the palatial gardens.
“Hmm…not yet. We’ve got to talk.” the boy reiterated.
I didn’t like the way this conversation was heading, “What do you want from me?”
“I’m ordering you to fight for our big sister.”
I thought I’m hearing things; I leaned for a bit and asked, “Excuse me?”
“I said, I’m ordering you to fight for our sister. Are you perhaps, deaf?”
“I certainly am not.” My dignity was offended by this young asshole, so naturally, I’ll defend myself, “And you can’t order me to do something for you; I’m not your slave.”
The boy was visibly taken aback by my words. I guess it must’ve been his first time that someone said ‘NO’ to him that way. The girl was quiet while watching me beside him.
“Then, what must I do to gain your cooperation?”
“Your cooperation. Do you need money?”
“You know, before you ask me to do something for you, maybe you ought to explain why you’re asking me such favors?”
The brat suddenly became silent. From the looks of it, they seemed to have some problems with something. Though the boy might not want to tell me those, I won’t give in unless he told me what he’s trying to get me involved with.
It’s for my safety, you know…
“Our big sister…”
“So, this is about the Saint?”
The girl was the one who nodded.
“She’s getting married.” the boy dropped.
“Yep. She’s getting married to someone else!”
Huh? What the heck?
I guess that’s the biggest surprise I have ever had in my life since coming here.
“The Human Saint is getting married?” I asked, in shock.
“Yes. Our too-happy-of-a-father decided to call for a Tri-Skill Tournament to celebrate Her Holiness’ return to our household.” the boy explained, “And whoever is the winner will be given our sister’s hand in marriage.”
What the actual fuck am I hearing? Did Her Holiness agree to this?
Well, it’s not my problem. It’s their family’s private affair, so I guess I shouldn’t stick my head into this. But hey, why is this boy asking me to fight for her?
“That’s why I’m ordering you to fight for her!”
“Ha? Where did that come from?” I was surprised by the boy’s statement, “You’re asking me, a commoner, to fight for your sister and marry her?”
“I think you’re misunderstanding something, Mister Kuro.”
“So, what did I misunderstand?”
“We did not ask you to marry our big sister.” the girl was the one who spoke this time, and I could feel the pressure she’s exerting on me just from her voice alone, “My brother here is only ordering you to fight for her so that when you win, my father won’t allow the marriage to happen. Thus, she remains our big sister!”
“So, are we getting a yes, or a no?” the girl asked with a heavy, pressuring gaze.
“Nope. Not happening.” I replied, shaking my head and waving my hands to reinforce my answer, “Hey, what happens with you and your big sister, as well as your father, is your family’s problem. I don’t think I should involve myself, since I’m an outsider here. Throw me again in the dungeon if you like, but I doubt there won’t be a change in my decision.”
The two brats stared at each other silently. Then, as if in agreement, they both nodded. I heard the boy whispered to his sister, “I guess I should use my trump card.”
Hoh? And what can this ‘trump card’ be? Order his guards to beat me up into submission? Come at me then, you bastards!
The boy and the girl both stood up. I could see the steeled resolution in their eyes, as they glared at me. They held hands and, gritting their teeth, the brats then bowed and asked in a loud voice, “Please, Mister Kuro! Help us! We beg you!”
“!!!” I couldn’t say anything in return.
“Please!” the girl desperately pleaded; she even went as far as kneeling.
“Err…I…n-no…” God, I’m having difficulty in refusing such a request…
They remained in their humble position, even though I already refused them. Their guards were also unnerved by the sight, and one of them was trying to straighten them up.
After all, no noble should bow their head before a commoner…
The girl suddenly bawled like a spoiled toddler. Her cries pierced my ears, and it’s downright annoying.
“Come on, dude, you’re so heartless!” a guard was trying to appeal to my conscience, “They are only kids, and you make them bow to you! You even made our cute duchess cry! Do you even call yourself a man!?”
Err…why do you make me appear like I’m the one abusing them? Isn’t it they are the ones who did something bad on me? I took a deep breath before deciding. I let the girl cry for a few more moments before asking, “Damn it, so what do you want me to do?”
“S-so, you’ll f-finally l-l-listen to us?” the girl asked in between her sobs.
“Yes, yes. Just tell me what do I have to do?”
“Really, really, really.”
“Really, really, really, really?”
“Really times 100 million.” I quickly countered; I want no more explanations, “Now tell me, what do I have to do so we can get this stupid business over with.”
“Ah, right! Just like what our big sister says, crying always works like a charm!” the girl quickly stopped crying and went back to her usual, business-like manner.
What are you teaching your siblings, Your Holiness?
“Anyway, Mister Kuro, first things first. My name is Sophia Ashley Rubinforth, and this is my brother, William Alexander Rubinforth. We’re the younger siblings of Her Holiness Madelaine Ann Rubinforth, though of a different mother. A pleasure to make your acquaintance!”
“…” I took their handshakes. They may have somewhat accepted me, but I still had a question ringing from the back of my head…
Oh, good lord, what did I just get into?
Back on Earth, when I was still a teacher, I’m interested in the history of Europe, even though I teach language in school. And I found that I’m utterly fascinated by that part of the European history that was often shrouded with ideas of chivalry, warfare, and, of course, politics—the Middle Ages.
One popular pastime during that period was called the tournament. If I may put it in my own words, it’s like a training-sport event being held by important personalities of the time and attracted knights who were more than eager to display their martial prowess and knowledge of chivalry to everyone. You know, the most common image of that event was jousting, which was mostly done with two knights trying to unhorse their opponent with lances. (1)
And well, honestly, when I heard this ‘Tri-Skill Tournament’, I couldn’t help but draw a parallel between that event and this one. I mean, if I looked into it, Chersea was like a Middle Age Europe in another world. Knights, paladins, and landed nobility still existed here, as well as traditional views on royalty and power.
“Mister Kuro, the Tri-Skill Tournament’ is a tournament of martial prowess, strategic thinking, and charms originally meant to groom a noble for his responsibilities to our kingdom.” Duchess Sophia explained, “Basically, it’s a contest of combat duels, battlefield simulation, and social interaction.”
“You should know how to fight like a knight, command like a general, and charm like a true gentleman.” Duke William added, “It is an important tradition in Nerfes since we take pride in our armies here. With the long passing of seasons, the original purpose of the tournament changed; many high-ranked nobles in our kingdom used this event to find the ‘perfect’ marriage partner for their daughters.”
“So, for short, you’re asking me—a commoner with no knowledge about those things—to do exactly those things?”
“Huh? Did the Marquise say wrong?”
My suspicions suddenly heightened the moment I heard the word ‘Marquise’, “What did she say?”
“The Marquise of Monfort had told us you possess good generalship traits, Mister Kuro. She says you displayed those during the time you protected our sister from being killed by bandits.”
“Your Marquise is mistaken. All I did is defend a carriage and burn an entire forest tract. If that’s your generalship, then it’s better if you just let your sister marry.”
“Hmm…could it be that the Marquise is mistaken?” Sophia never shied away from airing her doubts.
But William insisted, “I don’t know…but it’s the ‘Golden Sword of Heaven’ who’s recommending him.”
Golden Sword of Heaven? That’s the Marquise’s nickname here? It reeked of chunnibyou!
“Ah anyway, Mister Kuro, don’t worry too much. It’s the Marquise who told us about you, and in case you don’t know, she’s one of the three ‘Swords of Heaven’ that are esteemed for their skill in battle. I don’t think someone like her would commit a mistake on someone like you.”
I…I’ll just give no comments for a while…
“If it’s money you’re worried about, then we’ll be glad to sponsor you!”
“Wait—why do we need money here?”
“Well, as we said before, the Tri-Skill Tournament has three challenges: Combat, Command, and Grace. Combat is simple; you’ll just have to beat your opponents to submission.”
“Taking into consideration your commoner background, I don’t think you’ll win in this part.” Sophia commented with a straight face, “I mean, one look at you, and I can already see that you don’t have a sword-arm.”
“And knowing that fact, you’d still let me take part?”
“Do we have any choice?”
“Anyway, after the combat part is the command phase. This is where the money would come in; we’ll hire the best mercenary company available. As for you, you’ll supplement their skills with strategy. The goal is to defeat the enemy by annihilation.”
Well, I couldn’t say I’m not interested in that kind of contest. You see, whenever I’m relaxing back on Earth, I used to play real-time strategy games and would often try to reenact some famous battles in our history.
I think it will be a new experience to command actual people in a battle—even if it is simulated.
“As for the third challenge…” William took an eyeful of me, “I guess we’ll be in charge of hammering you some manners befitting an aristocrat.”
That’s possible, but…
“Yes, Mister Kuro, you have questions?”
“You know, if you got the money, you could hire someone to stand in my place.” I suggested, “Don’t you think you’re risking way too much for someone whose skills are unproven, like me?”
“We could do that…” Sophia told me in a matter-of-fact way, “However, it is the Marquise who asked us to help you while helping us as well. You see, you won’t even be out of that dungeon if it wasn’t for us.”
I fell silent. That really hit me hard.
“You must’ve thought that it was our sister who asked our father to let you out?” William apparently read my thought pattern regarding the circumstances of my release, “You’re gravely mistaken, Mister Kuro.”
“Hey, our sister asked us to help him as well, you know!”
“Ah yes, okay, I’ll make it ‘half-mistaken’ then.”
“I don’t understand.” I told them my honest thoughts and feelings, “What are you guys talking about?”
“Okay, listen up, Mister Kuro.” Sophia explained, “Our father had intended to lock you up in that dungeon to rot forever. He’s always for ‘setting a limit to the relations between nobility and commoners’.”
That’s kind of stupid. But hey, what can I do? It’s their culture here…
“And also, he doesn’t like you for having the audacity to come near our sister—as well as the other ladies, even if they have big breasts.”
Hey, come on, it’s not like I’m the one at fault here. You guys cure your ancestor’s curse before directing your anger towards me. And besides, do I look like I’m some old pervert to you?
Oh, silly me, I always forget that my face is suspicious, even back when I’m in my old world.
“It’s only us stood on his way. Big sister and the dog saint—and even the princess, too, got mad when they learned about your treatment, but in the end, all that they could do is protest.”
I didn’t get it. Aren’t these kids younger than the Saint? Do they mean to say they have more authority than their big sister, who’s also the Human Saint?
“In this house, we have more authority than our sister. Our hierarchy goes like, our father at the top, then we’re next, and then our sister last. Isn’t it natural that we Rubinforths are fiercely protective of our holy family member? After all, if we let her be, she might get swept away by the people who have ulterior motives.”
They had a point. Although Her Holiness was conceited, I won’t deny that she’s a kind soul as well. She would never turn a blind eye to anyone who needed her help; the downside of such an attitude was that she’s prone to selfish individuals acting as if they had a legitimate need.
“So that’s why, I think we have the right to ask for your cooperation in this matter, and I also think that you don’t have the option to refuse. After all, you won’t be seeing the outside light again if we didn’t support our sister!”
That’s fucking blackmail, you know that, kid?
Anyway, I needed to clarify some things first, “Did Her Holiness agree to this? Because if yes, then I think our efforts would be all in vain.”
“Nope, she doesn’t want it either,” William interjected.
Sophia followed through with his statement, “And that’s also why we’re objecting to this Tri-Skill Tournament! We know that our big sister is at her time which is ripe for marriage; however, our father just quickly decides on things without giving it much thought!”
“Imagine if the winner of the tournament is a jerk or a womanizer! I don’t think I would like to see my holy sister be defiled by a sinful man!”
I had to agree with what they said. Man, now that I consider it, marrying during the Middle Ages sure sucks for young noblewomen…
“So again, will you help us, Mister Kuro?” William and Sophia repeated their plea for help.
Honestly, they were almost about to convince me. But yeah, truth be told, I didn’t want to rush on my answer. You see, I’m not a real general, nor an aristocrat, so I had no clue about the conduct of war. Yet, these two kids were trying their best to put their faith in me, and the Marquise of Monfort as well…
Wait, that paladin put me in this situation. I’ll give her a mouthful of sermon later!
I took a deep breath.
“Okay, I’ll help.” I answered, “Though, I’d do it because I also don’t agree with the Duke’s methods, understand?”
“Coincidentally, Mister Kuro, even if we’re our father’s children, we agree with you.”
“Nice.” I took my hand and offered them a handshake, which they accepted. Well, for the first time, I saw the Rubinforth children smiled with relief. I think that made me feel good.
Time to kick some old aristocratic ass.
Author's Note: (1) A tournament is a medieval pastime of the nobility and royalty during the Middle Ages Europe. It's mostly associated with jousting--which was originally a side event in a tourney's 'highest form'. Other 'games' include a combat to death between two camps of knights (up to 40 each side), that would end only at sunset.
During the late Middle Ages, jousting became the main event, and the others 'games' were gradually phased out.
Oh yeah, the modern word 'tournament' actually had its origins from this event.