Hey there, chapter 3 of volume 2 is here! And I have an announcement, from now on, I’ll post the normal chapters here on the website, and the chapters that come after the manga will be posted on my Patreon Page, that way, I won’t mess up the order of the chapters on NU and the like, and it will allow me to garner more support for this translation and to work more on it.
Here is the link to the Patreon page with those chapters from the fourth volume, I haven’t updated the ‘rewards’ text yet, I’ll take care of that later in the week https://www.patreon.com/defiring
For the Almadianos readers, don’t worry, you will have your chapter, too, as always.
Anyway, here is today’s regular chapter, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Volume 2 – Chapter 3
That night, Kyle was considering things while lying down on a bed in the guest room that had been prepared for him in the royal palace.
After the conversation with the princess, the whole group had come together to discuss the situation, but since they could not come up with any real reason to resolutely accept or to adamantly refuse the princess’ request, the final conclusion was they were going to leave the decision to the leader, Kyle.
【”That being said… Can we actually refuse?”】
To begin with, refusing a personal request from the princess was not really an option.
Princess Milena said that she would not mind it, but from the perspective of the people surrounding her, that would make it seem like the group betrayed the princess’ expectations and trust.
Jirgus was going to be one of the most important forces during the “Great invasion” due to its geographical location and its national power. Kyle absolutely did not want to lose this country’s trust.
And if he could do a meritorious deed for the country, then that wouldn’t hurt either.
Moreover, meeting with the head of Calan would also be a significant matter for Kyle.
Calan had many greatly skilled dawrven blacksmiths, and the armors and weapons made through their craftsmanship had been of great use in the very last battle of Kyle’s previous life.
Kyle currently had a lot of precious metals, including mithril, but those metals were of no use by themselves.
The only ones who could process those kinds of metals and make them into weapons and armors were the dwarves of Calan. Considering all that, then perhaps this request was a good opportunity.
【”Even so, I don’t really feel like doing it… but that’s not a good enough reason to refuse, is it?”】
If a problem were to occur, it would be the Garugan empire taking action.
Kyle knew for a fact that the empire was not involved in the assassination attempt on the princess.
However, it was highly likely that they were going to make use of this opportunity to meddle with Calan.
The issue was that Kyle had no intention to antagonize the empire, which was the most powerful human nation. Rather, he wanted to build a relation with them going forward.
【”If the empire really does get involved… they’re going to be difficult to deal with.”】
Kyle let out a long sigh.
What was occupying his mind above all was the fact that, right now, in his heart, he wanted to keep his involvement with the princess to a minimum.
There was no helping what he had done, and he had done it to protect the princess’ live, but even so, he had still killed her father.
Whenever he talked to her, he was at a loss as to how to face her.
【”…Lately, all I’ve been doing is worrying.”】
『You’re using your head, that’s a good thing.』
While Kyle was groaning with his face buried in his pillow, a voice came out of the sword that was placed beside his bed. It was Sildonia.
Sildonia’s phantomatic incarnation as a young girl was sleeping in a separate room that had been prepared for her. She could not create a phantom of herself at too far of a distance, but since she was in the very same building right now, it was no problem.
『I’m just guessing right now, but there is a possibility that the empire’s meddling is not the only problem that’s happening in Calan. 』
【”What do you mean?”】
『Ten days have passed since the death of the king, and yet the head of Calan hasn’t come to visit the royal capital, don’t you think that’s strange? After all, Calan is attached to Jirgus.』
【”That… that’s certainly weird.”】
The kingdom’s subjects such as feudal lords and the like, including those who did not live in the royal capital, had come from all over the country and gathered in Marad in order to offer their condolences regarding the king’s death.
The treatment of a vassal state was almost the same as that of a local one. It was extremely abnormal for their head to not come to the royal capital at a time like this.
『The fact that the princess did not explain anything about that is proof enough that something abnormal happened in Calan, and perhaps she’s expecting us, or rather, you, to investigate that situation or even to resolve it. She might be testing you.』
Delivering the letter was likely the least she wanted him to do, but perhaps her main goal was to see whether he would adapt to the situation and do more than he was asked to do.
【”Is she trying to see whether she can use me from here on out…?”】
『That’s can’t be helped, giving many implications and nuances to one matter is an important ability for those who stand at the top. You should think of that as something that is to be expected. Even so, it’s likely that, right now, what that princess wants the most is a capable subordinate or comrade that she can trust.』
Added Sildonia after hearing a little bit of what seemed like dissatisfaction behind Kyle’s words.
The origin of the magic life-form Sildonia was the “Magic king” from Zares, an ancient kingdom which had fallen to ruins a thousand years in the past.
Among Kyle’s entourage, Sildonia was the one whose mentality was the closest to that of the princess, and that allowed her to understand Milena’s feelings and position.
【”I didn’t really take it the wrong way, rather, I’m thankful that she gave me the option to accept or refuse the request after explaining to me the relation between Calan and the Garugan empire.”】
As he said so, Kyle stood up and went towards the room’s door.
『Where are you going?』
【”To the rest room, in the meantime, you should hurry and go to sleep.”】
As a guest, Kyle had a maid who was assigned to him and who was standing outside of his room in order to assist him in case of need and for night watch. When Kyle came out of the room, she took care of guiding him towards the rest room.
It was already close to midnight. However, the palace’s pathways were always kept bright, even at this time. There was big windowpane which overlooked the courtyard, during the day and reflected the image of the courtyard’s splendid garden from the outside, which was probably a sight to behold for the passersby.
As Kyle silently looked through that windowpane on his way back, several people came walking from the opposite direction. When Kyle realized that that was the princess, her maid, and a knight escorting them, he immediately stepped towards the side of the pathway to make way for her, and then bowed his head.
Since it was this late, Kyle merely offered a simple greeting and immediately started leaving, but princess Milena called out to him from behind.
【”Excuse me, I know it’s a crazy thing to ask this late at night, but… Would you be willing to go outside with me for a little recreation?”】
That voice sounded somewhat lonely and sad.
Since declining the invitation of the future queen would have been a no go, Kyle followed her lead until they both arrived at the palace’s courtyard.
Although it was called a “courtyard”, this was the courtyard of the royal palace. It was as big as a park.
【”This is my favorite place.”】
Said the princess, who was standing at a spot in the back of the courtyard, while looking at her surroundings.
This place was slightly elevated compared to its surroundings, and it was encircled by flowers that were maintained by the hands of the palace’s gardeners. During the daytime, the place was high enough to overlook the whole garden, which was so splendid that it could be called a green piece of art.
But, through the use of a magic item that contained a ‘Light’ spell, the multiple colors of the flowers were still visible even in the dark of night, giving the garden a peculiar beauty, different from that of the daytime.
This was the seventh month of the year. It was right in the middle of summer, but when it was this late at night, the weather was cool and comfortable. There was a quiet breeze coming and going and slightly moving the princess’ long hair.
【”But lately, I haven’t had a single moment of respite.”】
The princess sighed lightly. Looking at the profile of her face, there was still traces of a shadow, just like earlier in the day.
The truth was likely that she was worn out. In a short period of daytime, she had lost both her father and her brother, and, from here on out, she was going to have to carry the weight of the country of Jirgus over her shoulders.
That mental pressure was likely unbearable, even for the young princess who was full of wisdom.
Kyle, who was standing nearby, couldn’t bring himself to speak back to the princess.
He was not qualified to comfort her. Because he was without a doubt the one who had put her in her current situation.
Of course, if it wasn’t for Kyle, she would not be alive by now, but he could not use that as an excuse since he was using the situation for his own benefit.
As she wondered how she was supposed to take that silence, the princess showed a smile that contained a little bit of self-derision.
【”You must think that I am a cold-hearted woman. Even though I just lost my relatives, I am not even grieving.”】
【”Of course, I do feel sad. It’s just that, in some way, it all seems like it’s somebody else’s problem. I have no time to spare, especially not for mourning… I wonder how much my father would lament if he saw me today….?”】
【”…… His majesty was a great man who thought of the well-being of the country more than anyone else. If he saw you today, doing nothing but working for the sake of Jirgus without letting yourself be crippled by his own death, I am sure he would be pleased, don’t you think so?”】
As he said so, Kyle felt like his mouth was about to betray his feelings, but that did not show on his face at all, he looked completely earnest.
Putting on an act of this level was well in Kyle’s capabilities.
Not realizing what was going in Kyle’s mind, the princess offered her thanks.
【”Thank you very much… Sorry, I had already figured you would say that, maybe I just wanted someone to say it to me out loud.”】
As she became more at ease, princess Milena’s voice lightened up a little.
【”Are you dissatisfied by your current position?”】
Kyle knew that he was in no position to ask that question, and that even if the princess answered yes, nothing could be done about her situation anyway.
However, Kyle could not help himself from asking that question, because he noticed that there was a cloud above the princess’ unique radiance which had never dimmed in the slightest in the past, even on the day when her life was being targeted.
【”I am not dissatisfied about becoming the queen… I was born to become the queen of Jirgus, to live as the queen, and to die as the queen. I cannot live any other way.”】
【”That sounds like a restrained life.”】
【”It might look that way from other people’s perspective, but I am not unhappy about living that way. What I’m worried about it is whether I am good enough to hold such a position.”】
From Kyle’s perspective, no one was more suitable than princess Milena to become the queen, however, it seemed like succeeding to the throne so abruptly was making the princess feel some serious doubts.
Kyle could not possibly understand the pressure that came with succeeding to the throne. Therefore, he decided to borrow someone else’s words.
【”…. Putting 10 people at a disadvantage for the benefits of 100 people. Abandoning 100 villages in order to save 1000 towns from starvation. Sending 1000 soldiers to their death in order to lead 10.000 troops to victory. A ruler needs to have the resolve to make these decisions without any hesitation.”】
The princess was surprised by Kyle’s words.
【”….Are you the one who thought of that, sir Kyle?”】
【”No, I borrowed those words from the greatest leader that I know. He said that those who stand above should never waver.”】
During the ‘great invasion’, Kyle came across many people from various ruling classes, such as nobles and royals. And, during the chaos, most of them were worthless.
The words he borrowed were from the only person that he respected among them.
Even Kyle himself was someone who would help those he could help in battle, but would sometimes make a more heartless choice when it came to those he couldn’t help.
Being able to save everyone was nothing but an empty dream. Kyle was well aware of that.
【”That is certainly true, I cannot let myself waver. Because if I waver, the country itself will follow suit.”】
【”But, lady Milena, I hope you will not forget about the people who will be on the short end, I’d like you to reduce their numbers as much as you can, even if it’s by a single person… My apologies, I said too much.”】
Kyle bowed deeply. He had clearly said too much for a man in his position.
However, princess Milena spoke in a delighted manner.
【”There is nothing to apologize about. Your words are more than welcome, thank you.”】
Kyle thought that, far from helping the princess through this difficult time, he had ended up putting more pressure and expectations on her, but the princess seemed delighted, as if a load had been taken off her mind.
Afterwards, the princess seemingly returned to her normal condition and chatted about two or three other things with Kyle, this time in a brighter mood. Then, the conversation centered on the request she had made at noon.
【”Although I will have to get married eventually, I have no intention to do it now. I am sorry for his highness Maizer, but I do not need to be connected to the empire at the moment.”】
The princess had to be as cautious with her own marriage as with everything else that mattered to the country.
【”It’s certainly important to consider the matter carefully.”】
【”Yes, the queen does not have the right to divorce. The only case where a queen can leave her husband is when he dies. In other words, I can only get married once, so I must choose the other party carefully. Marriage is a trump card, I do not want to use it to be linked to the empire, it’s not worth it.”】
【”You’re saying this like it doesn’t concern you at all, but it’s a matter that will affect you through your whole life.”】
【”Well, I personally cannot understand how one can long for marriage and the like… No, rather, it’s more accurate to say that I haven’t considered the question.”】
She appeared to completely consider her own marriage as a political tool.
【”If I ever come to seek love or something like that, I don’t mind getting a lover.”】
【”Wait, what do you mean?”】
【”Well, he would have to be…. For exemple, the type of person who would appear gallantly if my life is in danger, but at the same time, he would also be enigmatic and have secrets… I’d be kind of interested in someone like that.”】
As she said that, princess Milena turned her body around towards Kyle and then drew slightly closer to him, who had not come in front of her at all so far.
They were now standing so close next to each other that a passerby would wonder if they were feeling each other’s breaths. However, it was past midnight, even the servants had left the courtyard.
Looking so closely at this beautiful face that was famous even in the neighboring countries, Kyle’s heartbeat quickened and his whole body stiffened.
Upon seeing that reaction, the princess lightly smiled.
【”I’m just joking. But I really am interested in you, sir Kyle, and I have no doubt that we would get along. Because I feel something from you that I’ve never perceived from anyone else that I’ve ever met.”】
“I’m actually quite the good judge of character” added the princess with a laugh, before widening the distance between her and Kyle.
【”Thank you for accompanying me today. Now then, I wish you a good night.”】
After a bowing her head lightly, princess Milena turned her back on Kyle and started walking towards the palace.
【”… Did I just get played?”】
As he looked at the retreating back of the princess while wondering if she had just made fun of him to improve her own mood, a cramped smile formed on Kyle’s face.
When the princess returned to the palace, she was received by her maids who had been waiting for her. The youngest among them, Ninos, spoke to her.
【”I see you have worked hard. How was his reaction?”】
Among the princess’ personal maids, Ninos was Milena’s favorite.
Although she was still only 11 years old, she was quick-witted, very knowledgeable, and she was also a ‘mage’ who could even use advanced magic. She was a so called child prodigy.
She was a quiet person, her judgments were always calm and cool-headed, and she was of assistance to the princess in various ways.
【”Oh? Whatever do you mean?”】
【”I thought you intended to practice in order to learn how to lead men by the nose?”】
【”If anyone were to hear that, it would make me seem like an unbelievably wicked woman.”】
Although the princess let out a small laugh, she did not deny Ninos’ words.
As the princess had said to Kyle, she was going to have to get married eventually. As a queen, giving birth to children or a child was both her duty and part of her job.
Of course, if her husband could be someone that she liked, that would be best, but it was better not to expect too much.
Moreover, although he was going to be the prince consort, she had no intention to let her future husband meddle with her own affairs.
However, that did not mean she wanted to build an unhappy family. What kind of partner did she want for herself? As long as it was someone she could control, then it did not matter.
For that purpose, the princess had casually gathered information about leading men by the nose from wealthy, experienced noble ladies during dinner parties and tea parties, but the techniques she had learned about would be worthless if she did not try to put them into practice.
Up to now, she could not let herself get close to any specific man due to the king’s presence. And if she had tried those techniques on the officials and staff of the royal palace, that could have turned into a problem in the future.
However, now that she had become the country’s most influential person, there were some problems that she could crush if she wanted. For the time being, the one who caught her eyes as a practice target was Kyle, who who did not have any political ties at all.
【”I had heard that showing some weakness would be effective, and it certainly worked wonders. Well, that’s probably because sir Kyle is gentle at his core, but still, his reaction afterwards was pretty good…”】
As the princess said so, there was no trace of the shadow that Kyle had perceived on her face. Physical tiredness aside, her mental tiredness had vanished completely.
【”However, I felt a psychological wall, like something was pulling him back.”】
【”That’s only natural, isn’t it? There is no one in all of Jirgus who can approach you in a relaxed manner, lady Milena.”】
【”It wasn’t only about our difference in status, I felt like there was something else… Well, understanding a man’s heart or whatever was just a secondary thing. Putting that aside, this conversation allowed me to take a step forward in understanding some parts of his personality. This time’s request will make for a good test, too…. But in the end, I still want him to completely belong to my side no matter what.”】
【”I disagree. We still don’t know what is that man’s true nature.”】
Ninos clearly showed her opposition.
That group certainly was outstandingly powerful. They were only five but they were a match for a whole squad of royal knights.
However, they did not seem to be fixated on gaining political power, yet their financial assets were so enormous that even a a big aristocrat would pale in comparison, and their origins were still unknown.
On the other hand, Kyle was obsessed with his prestige and was very keen on raising his fame.
At any rate, their conduct did not make sense, and Ninos could not figure what was their real purpose. For her, Kyle was an incomprehensible being.
The fact that she could not comprehend him meant that she could not read his actions. Ninos did not want to let a walking and talking source of anxiety like him approach the princess.
But the princess had already expected some opposition, so she was not dissatisfied by Ninos’ attitude.
Those who did not doubt her management of the country at all and who could abandon their own selves in order to follow her orders were necessary, but those who could clearly express their conflicting opinions to their master were also important.
On that point, Kyle was similar. Few were the times when anyone gave her an advice as upfrontly as Kyle did, which made the princess appreciate that all the more.
【”I’m well aware that he’s hiding some things. But, even knowing that, he’s still worth it.”】
【”You seem to appreciate him quite a lot, but why are you so convinced that he’s worth it? “】
【”Well, if I have to say… it’s just an intuition, I guess?”】
Ninos was astonished by the princess’ words.
That was because she had never heard a word such as “intuition” come from her mouth.
After laughing out of satisfaction from seeing such an expression on the maid’s usually expressionless face, princess Milena started walking towards her bedroom in order to go get some sleep, this time for real.
In the early morning of the next day, Kyle and his group informed one of the princess’ attendants that they had accepted the princess’ request, and after receiving a letter, a notice that contained information for them, and a proof of their identity, they left the palace.
Translator’s note: If you’d like to read past the manga, please check out what I wrote above this chapter, or just check out my Patreon page directly to see what I’m talking about https://www.patreon.com/defiring
Anyway, thanks for reading this, don’t know about you but I’m liking the story more and more, the princess seems kind of different from the way she was portrayed in the manga, but I quite like it actually, same for Kyle.