Chapter 5:

CHAPTER 4: BREAKDOWN

The Human Saint is Bored, so I was Summoned to Another World Vol. 3


I think this was the fourth time in a row that these so-called ‘ambassadors’ and their rulers fought over something so trivial.Bookmark here

“Your dirty, uncivilized people crossed into our boundaries without permission! How can we just let it off like that?”Bookmark here

“I told you they’re just trying to get that cow that wandered into your backward territory! We meant no harm, you buffoon!”Bookmark here

‘Dirty’, ‘Uncivilized’, ‘Backward’, ‘Buffoon’.Bookmark here

I’m not sure if those words should be used in diplomatic communications. Goodness, these fellows didn’t even know the meaning of ‘tact’.Bookmark here

Ughhh…Lady Monfort, please lead the gentlemen out. Separate those two!”Bookmark here

The Marquise of Monfort and her paladins quickly moved once again to calm the situation. By now, I’m used to such scenes—it’s the nth time that this happened.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

However, I’m worried about Maddie. Though she may wear makeup, I could still see from her face the stress was taking a toll on her.Bookmark here

Lily was right beside her friend after the ambassadors and their rulers left the room, helping Her Holiness cope up with the situation. Maddie was inconsolable; her head remained smacked on the table before her.Bookmark here

The burdens of being the saint and chief mediator are more than enough for her! Who the fuck put a girl like her in this holy position in the first place?Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Oh? It seemed like Maddie bounced back from her stress. She sat right up and sent Lily away. A pair of envoys were called in, followed by their respective rulers, and presented their case before the Saint.Bookmark here

“Your Holiness! We seek your wisdom and aid to this matter that threatens to disturb—”Bookmark here

“Yeah, yeah. What is it? Hurry!” Maddie interrupted the ambassador, who was speaking with her dismissive attitude.Bookmark here

The envoy was visibly surprised by the gesture but continued to explain, “Y-Your Holiness, if I may proceed. My liege, Duke Amos of Gentulia, owns a pair of Cerberus dogs he cherishes with all of his heart—”Bookmark here

“Cut out the rosy words and get to the point.” Her Holiness scowled, “What’s the problem?”Bookmark here

Ah, eh, uhh…yes!” the ambassador of Duke Amos fumbled, though he brought out his words in the end. “Your Holiness, the Count of Haran, Henri, harmed one of the Cerberus dogs my liege takes care of. And we seek proper compensation for such a barbaric act!”Bookmark here

Maddie then turned to the other envoy, that of the Count of Haran.Bookmark here

The ambassador of the Count of Haran then spoke in his liege’s defense, “Your Holiness, please consider. My lord is just defending himself. The Duke of Gentulia always lets his Cerberus dogs out to avoid cleaning after them! And then, one of them attacked my liege when he passed by. We demand that the Duke give us proper compensation and apology!”Bookmark here

Ugh…that problem reminded me of my neighbors back in my world. They’d want to take a dog in as a pet, and yet, they’re irresponsible enough to let loose that dog every damned morning to ‘do its business’ in another house’s fence.Bookmark here

And yeah, it just so happened that that ‘another house’s fence’ is my house.Bookmark here

I guess the stupidity is the same, no matter where you are.Bookmark here

However, this time, it’s different. This one could lead to a ‘localized war’ between the neighboring lords, and I guess it’s not good to sacrifice your entire population just to solve an idiot’s irresponsibility.Bookmark here

I could tell Maddie was similarly frustrated. I mean, problems like this could—should—be solved by a more ‘local’ overlord, like a king, or a more senior noble they trust.Bookmark here

Yep, these idiots don’t even have to bring this to an international court.Bookmark here

I heard Maddie asked the envoy of the Duke of Gentulia once again, “What is it you demand from the count?”Bookmark here

“We would like for him to desist in making his unreasonable demands and allow my liege’s Cerberus to roam freely.”Bookmark here

That’s a stupid demand, it made little sense!Bookmark here

“And what does your lord want to demand?” Her Holiness turned to the ambassador of the Count of Haran.Bookmark here

“We ask for proper compensation and an apology. And no, we will not allow such dangerous monsters to roam our lands just for the sake of convenience of one person.”Bookmark here

Yeah, I think their side has reasonable demands.Bookmark here

“Monsters?” the Duke of Gentulia himself roused from his chair indignantly, “You don’t know what you’re talking about! Those majestic creatures are worth more than all of your fief’s assets combined, Count!”Bookmark here

“Well, indeed!” the Count of Haran countered, sidelining his envoy, “But, I don’t care how much is the worth of your horrible monsters! What I do care about is that you’re infringing on my fief!”Bookmark here

Oh, good lord, here we go again.Bookmark here

“Can you even last a war against me? You speak as if you can!”Bookmark here

“What, would you like to see if I could? If yes, throw your gloves at me!”Bookmark here

“Silence!!!”Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

Her Holiness’ voice rang around the four corners of the room where the congress was taking place. Everyone inside was silent, even us, the audience. We surely didn’t expect that a gentle person such as the saint herself would be capable of shouting that loud…Bookmark here

Maddie put all of her frustrations on that scream just now.Bookmark here

The two envoys, along with their feuding lords, stopped at their bickering. The Marquise of Monfort, even without permission from Her Holiness, dashed in with her paladins to separate the two camps. It’s good that Maddie forbade weapons in here; at least, these hotheads would have no means to strike fatally at one another and trigger an irreversible chain of events.Bookmark here

Lily lost no time in calming the Saint. From where I sat, I could tell that Maddie was frustrated, and I guess a few more provocations, and she’d finally break down.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

I guess I need to step up.Bookmark here

----------Bookmark here

Lily called in the other maids waiting outside and asked them to fetch something for her. Meanwhile, at the time they were doing their task, she appeased Maddie.Bookmark here

“Your Holiness, I think it’s time you take a break for a while.” I heard her pleas, “It’s not good for you to continue, please…”Bookmark here

However, Maddie was silent. Her hands were trembling, and her face was red with anger. Sir Simon also stood up, about to come to Her Holiness’ side, when a maid blocked us and asked the crowd to exit the congress venue. Not wishing to create more trouble, Sir Simon obliged, but not until he gave me a tap at my shoulder.Bookmark here

Yep, he’s entrusting Maddie to me.Bookmark here

So, without further ado, I pushed my way towards Maddie and Lily.Bookmark here

“Lily!” I called out to her, “Let Maddie rest for a while.”Bookmark here

“Yes, that’s what I’m trying to do right now.” Lily replied, “But she won’t move.”Bookmark here

Well, I could understand Her Holiness’ reaction. She’s utterly frustrated with herself. For the record, ever since she took over as the mediator from Granny Franceska, she solved only a handful of cases presented before her. Most of the complaints ended up having to separate the opposing parties, for they nearly grabbed each other’s throats.Bookmark here

I quickly gave Maddie a head pat as I rubbed her shoulders.Bookmark here

“There, there. It can’t be helped, Your Holiness.” I consoled her, “Humans are troublesome creatures, and they won’t give in to others’ demands that easy. But you did your best.”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

I could see tears flow from her eyes. Yep, I guess I’m on the right track; Her Holiness was frustrated at the results of the negotiations.Bookmark here

“Hey, can I ask you to take a break for a while? This is getting into you, and it’s not good.” I gently whispered to Maddie.Bookmark here

She replied with a nod.Bookmark here

Finally getting the Saint’s approval, I turned to Lily, “Could you bring her to her bedroom? She needs time off.”Bookmark here

Lily answered with a curt nod and asked the other maids to assist her. We slowly assisted Maddie in standing up, and they escorted her out of the room.Bookmark here

Man, humans are troublesome…Bookmark here

----------
Bookmark here

For several ‘days’ since that incident at the congress, Maddie never appeared to anyone. Not even once. Nor was I summoned for her exercise routine, and she didn’t drop a visit to my room.Bookmark here

Well, I doubt she will, after that ‘seduction’ episode.Bookmark here

The Holy Congress was put to a halt. The human kings and their delegations were left waiting for the next developments on the condition of the Saint, and while they were genuinely concerned, some were getting bored and irritated.Bookmark here

After all, they couldn’t leave the Holy Palatial Gardens and go back to their respective lands until Her Holiness declared so.Bookmark here

I didn’t know what were the measures Maddie and her servants put in place if this event happens, but things were about to go haywire. Rival nobles were quick to stir up fights and arguments, and their guard retinues would often add to the chaos by backing their lord (which was normal, given the situation). The palace paladins were forced to go double on duty to enforce the peace and separate the troublesome fellows for a while.Bookmark here

Yep, Maddie’s presence is needed here, as soon as possible.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

But yes, I guess Her Holiness badly needed a break. After all, she’s too young to burden herself with the problems of the adults. At her age, she should just think about her favorite ‘K-pop’ band, or concern herself with handsome boys that she’d come across on her social media account.Bookmark here

Well, of course, if Maddie’s on Earth, that is.Bookmark here

Anyway, I tried coming over to Her Holiness’ room to check on her, but the maid assigned at her door told me she didn’t want any visitors as of the moment—no one could enter her chamber, save for a few ‘necessities’.Bookmark here

Of course, I wouldn’t force my way in. But honestly, Maddie’s been worrying about me. Here I think she might’ve relapsed to her depression once again, or she’d binge-eat and cannot take care of herself just like before.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Seriously, I felt useless—as a friend and her fiancée. I couldn’t even help Maddie when she’s at her waterloo. And Lily’s no help either; she just kept on saying that her friend’s all fine and okay in her usual cold, steely voice.Bookmark here

That’s not reassuring.Bookmark here

And so, I guess I’d try to check once again.Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

I was surprised to see Lily on my way to the Saint’s room. Likewise, it seemed like she was also startled to meet me there as well. However, just as she was the head maid, Lily quickly recovered her composure and gave me a polite bow before asking me…Bookmark here

“I believe I forbid any visits to Her Holiness, Mister Kuro?”Bookmark here

Uhm…Lily…” I tried to keep up the conversation. There were a lot of things in my mind that needed to be answered, “How’s Maddie?”Bookmark here

Lily replied with her usual answer, “Her Holiness is all fine as of this moment. There’s no need for you to be troubled. Now if you’ll please refrain yourself from seeing her…”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Well, even though I had my doubts over Lily’s words, I guess there won’t be any progress if I pry much further. Think of it as if you’re trying to open a secure money safe with just a crowbar. It’s virtually impossible! The persistent feeling that she’s only making light of a serious problem remained, though.Bookmark here

I guess I’m unnecessary. I’m an outsider in this matter, anyway.Bookmark here

However, I also felt that this was the right time to tell Lily something I should’ve said before. “Uh…Lily?”Bookmark here

“Is there anything else you need, Mister Kuro?”Bookmark here

Well, I did not know how Cherseans express their most sincere apology, so I devised one using the best knowledge that I knew.Bookmark here

“!!!” I bowed low—almost kowtowing—before Lily, with hands clasped as if I’m in a prayer…Bookmark here

“Lily, whatever I did to upset you, please.” I tried to let out the bottled-up feelings in my chest, “I apologize. I know you’re angry at me for a long time now, but if possible, I don’t want our friendship to end.”Bookmark here

Lily remained silent, perhaps taken aback by my sudden gesture. However, I never moved in my position, not even daring to raise my head. Here’s to me hoping that she’d take pity and see the sincerity in my actions, and forgive me for whatever sin I did to her.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Well, it’s awkward now that a relatively long time had already elapsed without me getting any response from her. But I’m determined to fix everything, right here and now!Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“Kuro…”,Bookmark here

“!!!” I quickly raised my head the moment I heard another familiar voice. Much to my surprise, Maddie was standing before me instead of Lily.Bookmark here

Eh? Where’s Lily?”Bookmark here

Hm? Lily?” Maddie looked around warily as if she’s hiding from someone, “I haven’t seen her around, and it’d be better if we don’t meet each other for now.”Bookmark here

Huh? Did you guys fight?”Bookmark here

“Fight?” Her Holiness shook her head, “No, it’s not like that. But I feel that Lily’s getting more worked up lately, and she’s being way too restrictive towards me. So, when I found an opportunity, I escaped my room.”Bookmark here

Escaped? Why do I feel like things were getting complicated? Ah, fuck that! I had to check on my fiancée.Bookmark here

“I-I’m fine now!” Maddie was flustered, perhaps she’s reading my mind once again, “A-anyway, give me your hand!”Bookmark here

Huh? Why?”Bookmark here

“Actions first, questions later!” Her Holiness didn’t even let me prepare myself. Maddie wasted no time in grabbing my hand; she then uttered the teleport spell.Bookmark here

My vision quickly became blurred and eventually went white.Bookmark here

----------
Bookmark here

Ah…yes, so that’s the experience of ‘Teleport’. When Maddie first used that spell on me, I wasn’t able to focus on its effects since I was trying to hurry towards Lily, back when I mistook she was about to jump from the roof before. But now that everything’s relaxed, I could tell that using teleport was something that one should take time to get used to.Bookmark here

I mean, it seemed cool at a glance. However, you’d feel woozy and dizzy if you’re not that well-acquainted with its effects.Bookmark here

It took me quite some time before I could get hold of myself. Fortunately, I didn’t throw up, or it’ll be embarrassing for Maddie.Bookmark here

“You alright?” I heard her ask me.Bookmark here

I silently nodded.Bookmark here

“Whew!” Maddie then chuckled, “I almost got caught!”Bookmark here

Hm? Got caught? By whom?”Bookmark here

“Lily.”Bookmark here

“Lily?” I was surprised about that, “Why? Did you do something wrong with her?”Bookmark here

Hmm…not really.” Maddie had a mischievous smile on her, “As I’ve said before, she’s getting restrictive towards me lately. She kept on forbidding things around me, like eating too much, or staying up late to read books.”Bookmark here

“Isn’t that right? I mean, those are good things to do.”Bookmark here

“Well, of course, it is.” Maddie pouted, “But what ticked me off is that Lily forbid me to see you.”Bookmark here

Ha? Why?”Bookmark here

“Well, I know that she’s annoyed at you.” Her Holiness dropped that nonchalantly, “But other than that, I can think of nothing else.”Bookmark here

Err…do you know the reason?”Bookmark here

Uhm…well, I do…but, I doubt I should tell it to you…”Bookmark here

“Please!”Bookmark here

Whoa! Calm down, Mister!” Maddie laughed, “I think Lily’s the best person to tell her problems to you, so you guys can talk it out.”Bookmark here

Ah…yes, indeed she is. But she won’t talk to me.Bookmark here

“I’m working on it.” Her Holiness told me, “So please bear with her for a while. Lily’s heart is as fragile as mine, just like other girls. But I’m sure she doesn’t want to hate you; I mean, she’s like that because—” Maddie quickly stopped her mouth from speaking by covering it.Bookmark here

“Because…?”Bookmark here

The Saint shook her head furiously, and won’t tell me anything about that. She just ended her talk with, “Just wait for Lily to talk to you.”Bookmark here

Well, I guess that did it. It lifted the heavy feeling in my chest, even if it’s just for a little.Bookmark here

----------
Bookmark here

Silence ruled between us after that…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

When Maddie teleported me, I didn’t expect that we’d eventually appear some place outside the Holy Palatial Gardens. I didn’t know where this was; all that I could say was that this place where we arrived was beautiful and relaxing.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Maddie and I just stared at the wide, grassy plain in front of us, occasionally interrupted by a few trees. The azure sky met with the green horizon far from where we stood, and the gentle blow of the wind made me forget my worries for a while.Bookmark here

I don’t know such a place existed in this world.Bookmark here

“Haaa…” I heard Maddie stretched out. It’s been a while since I saw her this happy; I mean, her face was bright once again, compared to what she looked before.Bookmark here

“I like this place,” I commented.Bookmark here

“So do I.” Her Holiness replied, “This is where I always go whenever I feel I should let out some steam. In case you don’t know, this plain is in the kingdom of Amaranth, several leagues away from the Holy Palatial Gardens.”Bookmark here

“I see…” I nodded, “Well, I guess it’s fine. Just don’t forget to finish your duties when you finally rested.”Bookmark here

Oh, come on!” she laughed playfully, “What’s wrong with taking a break for a while? Didn’t you tell me that before?”Bookmark here

“Well, nothing wrong with it.” I shrugged, “Unless you piss off the wrong person…”Bookmark here

Maddie then fell silent and her face went deathly pale. Annoying the hell out of Lily wasn’t a joke, and this playful girl beside me knew that fact more than I.Bookmark here

Haha…w-well, I’ll go back once I get my rest.” she stubbornly declared.Bookmark here

“Of course.” I strictly replied, “And besides, I don’t think you can go around wearing those types of clothes. I mean, aren’t you cold with that?”Bookmark here

“!!!” Maddie’s face turned red when she realized that she only had her undergarments on.Bookmark here

Laughing quietly, I gave her my coat to wear and cover herself.Bookmark here

“P-pervert.” Maddie said, “You took time when you could’ve just given me your coat immediately.”Bookmark here

“Of course.” I jokingly replied, “When someone as beautiful as you looked like that, I guess I can’t keep a complete hold on my sanity. I’d take an eyeful, at least; I’m a healthy man after all.”Bookmark here

Maddie had no retort for that one. She just sat beside me, completely quiet and sheepish. I guess she didn’t read my mind to know that I was joking with that, huh?Bookmark here

“Well, half-joking, Kuro. I only let you off because I trust you.”Bookmark here

Yep. My bad, she is reading my mind the entire time…Bookmark here

Fortunately, this place had no people passing through, or it’d be a problem if they saw their Saint all in her ‘almost-naked’ glory.Bookmark here

“Honestly, I don’t feel like going back to the palatial gardens for the meantime…” Maddie suddenly popped up a conversation.Bookmark here

“Eh?” I was surprised to hear that coming from her. By well, from the sounds of it, I guess Maddie’s all exhausted and stressed by the daily demands of her responsibilities as a saint. Maybe I should just let her be for a while…Bookmark here

But yeah, definitely we had to return; she had no other clothes with her.Bookmark here

“Yes, I know. But can we just stay here for a little more?” she pleaded.Bookmark here

“No probs. Take all the time you need.”Bookmark here

She quickly sat down and brought out a canvas from somewhere, as well as her usual art materials. The Saint then motioned me to sit beside her; maybe inviting me to watch her as she drew her artwork? I guess I’d oblige.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Well, it’s not like I could force her to go back. I mean, she just went through some difficult moments before—that heartbreak with Sir Simon, the tournament and her family, and that congress thing. Of course, with all of that happening in just a short period, it wasn’t surprising that Maddie’s all feeling burned out and exhausted.Bookmark here

I would go insane if I’m in her place.Bookmark here

Good thing Maddie’s mental condition was formidable. She may stumble and struggle, but definitely, she’s holding out well.Bookmark here

A little time for a break wouldn’t hurt…Bookmark here

We were once again silent for quite a while. I could just hear the wind blew gently through us, interrupted from time to time by the sound of her brushstrokes against the cloth canvas, and it felt pleasant.Bookmark here

Ah, Kuro…” it was Maddie who eventually spoke up.Bookmark here

“Y-Yep? You are done with your work?”Bookmark here

“Well…” Maddie had an embarrassed, yet lovely expression on her face, “Uhm…you see, I…uh…Bookmark here

I tried looking at the canvas she’s working on, but Her Holiness quickly hid it. She was red.Bookmark here

Ah…never mind…” Maddie quickly drew back.Bookmark here

“What?” there was a sarcastic tone in my voice, “You’re drawing me nude again?”Bookmark here

Maddie’s jolt was clear; my hunch was right. Well, after all that happened before, I shouldn’t be surprised. Knowing the subject of her art was enough for me. Maddie’s paintings were a treat for one’s eyes, but I didn’t think I’d like the idea of staring at my nakedness, anyway. It’s extremely awkward…Bookmark here

Man…Her Holiness has that one-of-a-kind imagination.Bookmark here

Hmph! Don’t make a mistake; I’m only like this to the man I love.”Bookmark here

Haha…of course.” I guess being an object of your lover’s erotic fantasies wasn’t that bad. For someone who had been single for his entire life up to now, having someone who liked you unconditionally was pleasant but was unsettling in its own way…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

…especially if that person always undresses you in her mind.Bookmark here

Still, what was she doing with those ‘naked’ portraits of me? Didn’t she have nightmares with those around?Bookmark here

“Y-You’re wrong!”Bookmark here

“Wrong? Why?”Bookmark here

“I never had nightmares with you, Kuro! I…I always dream of you around. You know…uhm…” Maddie’s red up to her ears, and it’s cute to watch her squirm uncomfortably as she struggled to say what she has in mind, “You see, I…I-I l-love to think…th-that, we’re both…lying in…one bed. And then, we…k-k-ki-kiss…kissweholdeachotheraswestarttoundressandyoufondlemybre—Bookmark here

Hold on, I guess I had to cut this talk because it’s heading in a weird direction. I could see a lot of steam coming out from Maddie’s head as she spurted out weird situations in a rapid, ‘machine-gun-like’, manner.Bookmark here

And boy, hearing those lewd words from her ‘holy’ mouth felt like a dream. But well, honestly, I find it amusing, as well as relatable. I mean, I never thought I could control myself from doing those things with Maddie as well, if I was in my younger teenage years.Bookmark here

“And those…are the things I dream of doing with you, Kuro!” Maddie said in-between her breaths. It’s difficult to tell everything in one sitting using the ‘machine-gun’ method. She was panting terribly, but I felt that there’s something erotic about the way she did it.Bookmark here

Haha…that’s quite bold of you.” Good lord, I hated to admit it, but hearing her do that was getting me ‘in the mood’. I needed to put a stop to this, “Aren’t you mistaking daydreams from dreams?”Bookmark here

“Of course not!” Maddie countered, “If anything…”Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

The Saint set aside her canvas and with all of her might; she pushed me down, throwing her weight on my body as we fell down on the soft grass.Bookmark here

“…if you like it, how about we make my dreams a reality?”Bookmark here

I could hear my heart beat wildly as I watched Maddie bit her lips in a rather lewd way. She slowly caressed my face, with her fingers tracing my form erotically. To add to my woes, the soft sensation of her breasts pressing against mine was just…heavenly!Bookmark here

K-Kuro…y-your self-control!Bookmark here

My mind was going blank; her face was so beautiful at the moment, and she smelled so sweet and nice that I already found my hands about to touch her…Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

Huh? What happened?” Her Holiness was bewildered when I deliberately forced my hand and pulled it away from her.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry…” I guess my face was also red in embarrassment. But yes, I believe this was for the best, at least for now, “I think we should wait until we get married. I don’t want to destroy the trust your father and siblings gave me.”Bookmark here

Maddie was quiet. She was also flustered, and when she realized what we’re about to do, she immediately got off from me and sat back on her spot, “Y-You’re right!”Bookmark here

“I’m sorry…”Bookmark here

“No! Don’t be!” the Saint laughed nervously, “I also let my urges get ahead of me! Haha…Bookmark here

Well, at least I’d like to respect Maddie. Though I had my desires, I’d want to put the best of the person I love before my urges and needs.Bookmark here

“Yes…I understand.” I heard her say. Perhaps she’s reading my thoughts again. Though I could sense the regret in her voice, I could also feel the respect and love in her eyes as Maddie looked at me, “But Kuro, since we have to wait until marriage, can I ask something from you instead?”Bookmark here

Oh? What is it?” I smirked while watching her get all shy and squirmy once again.Bookmark here

“…pat…” I heard her mutter.Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

“…he…” she leaned her head towards me.Bookmark here

“Would you want a head-pat?” I asked, quite amused.Bookmark here

Maddie silently nodded, all red in embarrassment, “Is…it okay?”Bookmark here

“Why not?” with my other free arm, I moved to grant her request. However, her hand quickly caught mine and stopped me from doing what I intend to do.Bookmark here

“No, not yet.”Bookmark here

Huh?” I’m a bit confused.Bookmark here

“Not yet. At least, not for now.” Maddie explained, “I want your head pat now; it puts me at ease. But, well, I can’t do it at this moment.”Bookmark here

“Oh, alright…?” Well, I didn’t know what she meant by that, but I guess I’d just oblige.Bookmark here

“But Kuro…will you give me one once I finish from the Holy Congress?”Bookmark here

“Well, of course, I will!” I answered. If Maddie wants to, I’ll give her head pats all day, for as long as she wanted it.Bookmark here

----------
Bookmark here

Eventually, no matter how much we wanted to stay, all good things must end.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Reluctantly, I closed my eyes to avoid getting all woozy and dizzy once again after we teleport. And then I heard Maddie utter her teleport spell.Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

The next thing we knew, we’re back at the Holy Palatial Gardens, inside my room.Bookmark here

Ah, thanks for your time, Kuro.” Maddie smiled gently.Bookmark here

“Yes, it’s my pleasure, Your Holiness!” I bowed before my fiancée. The Saint gently squeezed my hand, and I reciprocated it by caressing her face. After making sure that she’s all fine, I led Maddie towards the door.Bookmark here

And then, just as when she was about to go…Bookmark here

Ah, Kuro!”Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

“Can we go back there sometime?”Bookmark here

I smiled at her and nodded. I admire this girl, and it’s hard to say ‘no’ to such a pure-hearted request. Maybe I’d also bring her a gift once we visit that place again. Yeah, so that’s why I need to find a job!Bookmark here

“Wow, you sure took your sweet time.”Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

My heart froze when I heard that cold, steely, and sarcastic voice from somewhere. Turning around, I saw Lily standing behind me, leaning her back on the walls of my room. Maddie was shocked and unable to move as well.Bookmark here

“L-Lily!? What are you doing in here?” Her Holiness blurted out.Bookmark here

“Well, I’ve been here for quite some time now.” the head maid revealed, “It’s just that, you’re both so engrossed flirting with each other that you didn’t notice me.”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“Anyway…” Lily turned to her friend, “…I did forbid you to come and see Mister Kuro, Your Holiness. I was wondering what are you doing here?”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Maddie was left speechless by the suddenness of the situation. So, I answered for her, “Come on Lily, what’s wrong with Maddie taking a break for a while? You also saw her breakdown at the congress, right?”Bookmark here

“Well, of course, Her Holiness did nothing wrong with the break.” Lily countered, “But you see, she couldn’t afford to flirt around when all the kings of this land are waiting for her to come by. And you’re tolerating her irresponsible attitude, Mister Kuro!”Bookmark here

Huh? I’m just saying that she needs a break!” I explained, taking great care not to escalate the tension between me and the head maid, “Nothing else happened between us.”Bookmark here

“Well, it should.” Lily replied, “We don’t want further distractions that can cause further problems, Mister Kuro. I hope you’re mature enough to understand that.”Bookmark here

“Of course—”Bookmark here

“Kuro’s got nothing to do with this!” Maddie finally spoke up, not bothering to hide her anger, “Are you accusing him of seducing me?”Bookmark here

“N-No…” I could tell that the head maid was taken aback, “I never said that…it’s just that—” There’s a horrified look on Lily’s face, and she was trying to avoid my eyes.Bookmark here

Don’t tell me…she suspected me of such things!Bookmark here

Maddie was indignant, however, “I was the one who came to him and asked him to go with me!”Bookmark here

“Your Holiness, for your good, I recommend that we have this man—”Bookmark here

“I won’t allow it!” the Saint was resolute, “Kuro’s been a big help to me, so I can’t bear the thought of banishing him!”Bookmark here

Banish? Isn’t that way too harsh for me? I mean, I’m useless and all, but couldn’t they be a little gentler for an otherworlder like me?Bookmark here

“And what about our help and devotion to you?” Lily finally snapped, “Don’t you know that your tantrums have caused us problems for a while now? You have the responsibilities that you put up with yourself, and yet, you can’t even finish what you started!”Bookmark here

“Do you even know what I feel?” Her Holiness screamed at the top of her lungs, at that moment, I thought she turned into a normal, angry teenager.Bookmark here

However, Lily wouldn’t be pushed around, so she countered, “Of course I don’t! I’m not you; the holy, well-liked you!”Bookmark here

Maddie fell silent with that. Just by looking at her, I guess she realized something horrible after what the head maid told her.Bookmark here

“For goodness’ sake, Maddie, grow up!”Bookmark here

Uh…please calm down—” I guess it’s time for me to diffuse the situation.Bookmark here

“No, I won’t calm down!” Lily continued in her rants; I’m unnerved by her seething anger. It’s like, the maid before us wasn’t the head maid anymore, “You’ve been a headache for us now, Madelaine Ann Rubinforth! We’ve been devoted to you for a long time now, working hard, and suffering badly; trying our best to be of service to you! And yet, your favor rests with this stranger—a nobody—from another world? Where’s the justice in that?”Bookmark here

That… hurts to hear. It felt like my heart’s being slowly squeezed out of my chest.Bookmark here

“Stop it, Lilyhaven Tamriel von Leese!” Maddie’s equally enraged by now, “You speak as if you’re one to talk, and yet, these that you’re saying is because you’re utterly jealous that I was engaged to him! Do you think I can’t read your thoughts as well?”Bookmark here

What?Bookmark here

Now it was Lily’s turn to fall silent…and me as well.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

The head maid’s face was red. After what Maddie said, I didn’t know if it’s still because of anger, or something else. But her eyes were getting wet from the tears that were about to fall. Her body was shivering, and her fists were clenched.Bookmark here

Uh…head maid…I’m sorry—” I tried to console her, but Lily slapped my hand away.Bookmark here

“No.” the head maid’s voice was shaking, and her body was shivering as well. However, what’s notable was that her tone towards me changed to a mellow one, “M-Mister Kuro, please don’t apologize…”Bookmark here

I could say nothing else. I wanted to at least give her a pat on the back.Bookmark here

Maddie’s got a horrible look on her face as well, and yet she stopped herself from saying anything else. Perhaps she realized her mistake when she blurted out her friend’s secret. Her angry expression vanished altogether, and it’s as if she wanted to rush to her friend’s side and hug her tight.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Well, I could understand Her Holiness’ actions. It’s a ‘spur of the moment’ anger.Bookmark here

“H-Head maid…”Bookmark here

Lily drew a bittersweet smile on her lips as her eyes cried, “Ah! Don’t worry about it. I…I accomplished nothing good in my life, anyway.”Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

It’s heartbreaking to hear those words from the aloof, and reliable, head maid of the Holy Palatial Gardens. No, I believed, what’s even more painful was that she’s our friend, and for her to say that statement…Bookmark here

Damn…I failed as a good friend to Lily.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

The head maid never waited for us to say anything. She just brought out her usual ‘maidservant smile’, bowed politely before Her Holiness, and retreated outside the room like nothing happened—all of those with tears falling uncontrollably from her eyes.Bookmark here

We could not sleep during that time…Bookmark here

Bookmarked
You can resume reading from this paragraph.