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Chapter 18: Short Trip

Translator: Tseirp

 

The next day after Emperor Adorinus Odo Albus claimed that the true identity of the Saint was Rho Steinclaw ─ a girl was called to the Emperor’s office.

 

“─ You called, Your Majesty?”

 

“Yeah, glad you’ve come, Diamond.”

 

The girl known as Diamond was Wendy Triard, a secret agent of the Empire.

Luna’s lifelong nemesis, who recently transferred to Kingdom Saint Academy.

 

Ten years ago, Adorinus saw a young Wendy and realized the natural talent that lay within her.

He immediately made contact with the Triard family, made several contracts there, and took Wendy into the care of the Empire’s secret agency ─ raising her into a skilled intelligence agent.

 

Incidentally, Wendy, in return for her service to the Emperor, has her cursed mother’s enormous medical expenses taken care of by the Empire, and they dispatch a famous doctor every week who would normally take several months to get an appointment to see her.

 

“This time, I finally caught sight of the Saint. Saint Academy Class 1C Rho Steinclaw ─ I hope it’s a familiar face?”

 

“Yes, we are in the same class and seated close to each other, but… so she is the Saint.”

 

“I haven’t found any solid evidence, but based on the surrounding situation and my intuition, I’m pretty sure there’s no doubt about it.”

 

“I see……”

 

Even for Wendy, the concept of Saint = Rho made sense.

 

Rho Steinclaw has a mysterious atmosphere.

There is something aloof about her, or rather, she has a philosophical view… There was something about her that made it hard to believe that she was 15 years old.

 

(And above all, His Majesty’s intuition is often correct.)

 

Since he was so adamant, Rho must be the Saint ─ Wendy thought so from the bottom of her heart.

 

“Now, here’s the real question. The Great Reincarnation Festival will be held in our country in a week. Is it possible to bring Rho here?”

 

“I’m sorry. With our current relationship, I think it would be difficult to invite her to the Empire alone. However… if I involve our classmates close to her, it’s probably possible.”

 

The image that came to Wendy’s mind was the simple-minded Saint who seemed easy to hoodwink.

 

If you want to shoot a general, shoot the horse first.

Rho and Luna have a friendly relationship, and the idea was that if Luna was hooked, Rho would follow.

 

“Hmm, that’s fine. As long as we bring Rho to the Empire, the requirements will be met.”

 

Adorinus nodded with satisfaction and continued the conversation.

 

“At exactly 15 o’clock on the day of the Great Reincarnation Festival, I will cause a ‘small commotion’ in the center of the Imperial capital. Observe carefully how Rho reacts and moves during that time.”

 

“What’s the commotion?”

 

“I won’t reveal the details. Human beings inevitably develop a tolerance for known events ─ you would act unnatural. If you know what the commotion will be now, it will no longer be a commotion, just an event.’’

 

After a beat, he continued.

 

“Needless to say, the Saint and Silver are sharp. If they notice Diamond’s reaction and feel something strange about it, they will probably stop taking any noticeable action. So you stay as you are. Enjoy the festival naturally without knowing anything.”

 

“Understood.”

 

“Then, let me reiterate your command. Diamond, you will invite Rho Steinclaw to the Great Reincarnation Festival, and you will monitor her every move. And if you are convinced that she is the Saint, kill her.’’

 

In Adorinus’s ideal world, there was no need for a dramatic figure called the Saint.

 

“…I understand the command, but I think the task of assassinating the Saint is too much for me.”

 

“No problem. The Saint is extremely weak now, to the point where she needs the protection of an agent. …However, if you decide that it is difficult to carry out the mission, don’t overextend and retreat. She must never know that we are aware of her true identity as the Saint. ─ I will look forward to your success, Diamond.”

 

“Yes!”

 

Just as Wendy was about to leave the office after receiving the Imperial Command, Adorinus opened his mouth and said, “I just remembered”.

 

“Ah, now that I think about it… there’s an ordinary girl with nothing special about her from the Spedio territory. I believe her name is Luna Spedio? Keep an eye on her while you’re at it.’’

 

“Please leave it to me.”

 

In that way, our Saint came to be under watch.

 

 

Having solved the land tax problem imposed on the Spedio territory, Luna lived a calm life at Saint Academy for a while.

 

She became good friends with Wendy, the transfer student, because they were seated next to each other.

 

The ‘Villainous Heiress’ and the ‘Main Heroine’ have opposing attributes, but…

They took the same classes, chatted during recess, and ate together at lunchtime.

As they spent each day like that, they became friends.

 

Time passed peacefully and happily ─ Today, as Saint Academy celebrates its long holiday, the four of them, Luna, Rho, Sarco, and Wendy, came to the Albus Empire for a two-day one-night ‘short trip’.

 

“Wow, so this is the Albus Empire! (It’s amazing! It’s much more developed than when I was here 300 years ago!)”

 

Luna’s eyes sparkled like a small child’s.

 

“Huh… I’ve heard the rumors, but it’s much livelier than the Kingdom.”

 

Rho looked around the city with admiration,

 

“Oh, there’s a new magic tool store over there… I’ll have to check it out later.”

 

Sarco, whose parents run a trading company, frequently traveled to the Empire and was diligently taking notes.

 

“Everyone, my mansion is this way. It’s very crowded, so please follow me so you don’t get separated.”

 

Wendy walked down the busy main street with familiarity.

 

The reason for this short trip was an invitation from her.

 

[Actually, I’m planning to go back to my parents’ house in the Empire during the next holiday… If you’d like, would you all come and stay at my house? It’s when the Great Reincarnation Festival is being held in the Imperial Capital, so I’m sure it’ll be fun, right? ]

 

One day, after school, Wendy called out to Luna, Ro, and Sarco and said that.

 

(Staying at a friend’s house and going to a festival together…)

 

Even though it was an invitation from her nemesis…

The event of sleeping over with friends and attending a festival was too appealing to Luna, who had no youth experiences 300 years ago.

 

“I might want to go…!”

 

“The next holiday huh. Yeah, I think I’ll have some free time, so I think I’ll go too.”

 

If the master were to participate, naturally the maid Rho would also follow.

 

“It’s a great opportunity so I’ll be coming too!”

 

Sarco, who doesn’t have many friends, also decided to tag along with them.

 

That was how Luna, Rho, Sarco, and Wendy were currently on a short trip to the Empire together.

 

“Anyway, it’s really lively. Everyone seems to be having a lot of fun.”

 

As Luna walked down the main street, she expressed her thoughts ─ and Wendy agreed with her.

 

“The Empire is enjoying high economic growth and everyone is getting wealthier, so the atmosphere of the whole city is really bright.’’

 

In fact, the speed at which the Albus Empire was developing was something to behold.

 

The Kingdom of Elgia and the Albus Empire had similar populations, land areas, and economic scales, and competed against each other for…

 

Ten years ago, since the 33rd Emperor Adorinus Odo Albus ascended the throne, the relationship between the two had drastically changed.

 

Under the leadership of Adorinus, the Empire mass-produced magic tools using magic stones, utilized the excellent labor force of beastmen, approved radical structural reforms such as the introduction of transparent personnel evaluation system, the company achieved remarkable growth.

On the other hand, the Kingdom’s free development remains hampered by the old-fashioned class system and the monopoly of vested interests by the greater nobles…

 

As a result, a huge economic disparity has arisen between the two countries.

 

“Nevertheless, unlike the Kingdom, there are a lot of ‘beast people’.”

 

“Now that you mention it… there are definitely a lot of them.”

 

As Rho and Sarco commented, wolves, bears, rabbits, people with beast characteristics could be seen all over the city.

 

Beastmen are a race of people with mixed human and beast blood.

They have the characteristics of both humans and beasts, and their physical abilities, magical powers, and lifespan far exceed those of humans.

However, because of their ancestry and different looks, they are often discriminated against all over the world and called ‘Unclean people’…

 

In the Albus Empire, that world’s common practice does not apply at all.

 

“Imperial society is a thorough ‘meritocracy’, and only the ability of the individual is evaluated, without making any distinction between humans and beastmen. That’s why talented beastmen come here from all over the world. I’m sure it’s a comfortable place to live.’’

 

Wendy said and explained the inner workings of the Empire.

 

In the Albus Empire, the Emperor is the law and the only absolute order.

If Adorinus says that beastmen are good, that is the country’s policy and those who disobey will be mercilessly executed.

 

“A society without discrimination against beastmen… the Empire is a very nice place! (I’m sure Zell would be happy if he saw this scenery…)”

 

Luna recalled a certain beastman swordsman who was in the Saint’s party.

 

“Well… for better or for worse, we live in a society where ‘meritocracy’ has gone too far, so I sometimes feel a bit suffocated.”

 

Wendy scratched her cheek and smiled bitterly.

 

While they were talking, they arrived at their destination.

 

“─We’ve arrived. This is my mansion.”

 

Wendy’s family home was a huge mansion located in a prime location in the Imperial capital.

 

“Wow, it’s so big!”

 

“Oh, this is a nice and tasteful mansion.”

 

While Rho and Sarco praised her, Luna was trembling little by little.

 

“B-by any chance… is Wendy-san’s family high-ranking aristocrats…?”

 

“Eh, it’s hard to say it personally, but… we have the status of a Marquis.”

 

“Marquis!? O-ooh… I see… A Marquis, huh… a Marquis…”

 

Luna was trying her best to remain calm, but no matter how you looked at it, she wasn’t acting normal.

 

(Damn, that’s great, Marquis… I’m jealous…)

 

She clenched her teeth in frustration.

 

Luna’s Spedio family is an Earl from the frontier, and Wendy’s Triard family is a central Marquis, and the difference between the two is greater than a simple rank.

Above all, the fact that she is the daughter of a Marquis is extremely important.

A Marquis, not a ‘Duke’ but a ‘Marquis’ ─ the second from the top, the highest rank one can hope to achieve.

 

She was perfect, literally everything about her was just perfect.

 

Wendy was the perfect main heroine.

 

(But… I won’t give up! If I change my way of thinking, this short trip is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime chance’! If I find a lot of Wendy’s weakness here and lower her main heroine level… I can actually win in the end…!)

 

Instead of winning by increasing her villainous heiress level, she’d win by lowering her enemy’s main heroine level.

 

It was no longer a tactic used by a villainous heiress but a ‘cowardly mob enemy A’…

 

The Saint, who was in a state of agitation, didn’t seem to notice.

 

(Fufufufufu, are you ready? My nemesis, Wendy Triard! From now on, I will poke at your weaknesses and strip you of your ‘main heroine’ title!)

 

Luna, who had lowered herself from the Saint to mob enemy A, visited the Triard family’s mansion with an evil smile on her face.

 

The moment she opened the large doors and entered the entrance hall,

 

“““─Welcome home, Wendy-sama.”””

 

The servants who were waiting bowed their heads in perfect order.

 

“Mm, I’m home.”

 

Wendy replied kindly and politely,

 

“Everyone, this way, follow me.”

 

She went up the front stairs to the second floor, went straight down the long hallway, and stopped in front of a certain room.

 

“Um… could I just have a moment?”

 

For some reason, she had a serious expression on her face and said that apologetically.

 

“Yes, it’s ok.”

 

“I don’t mind.”

 

“Please don’t worry.”

 

“……Thanks girls……”

 

After expressing her gratitude, Wendy knocked on the door in front of her and opened it.

 

“─Mom, my friends came.”

 

Ahead of her was a large bed, on which Wendy’s mother ─ Taylor Triard was lying on her back.

A large purple bruise covered Taylor’s face, and her eyes had a dull gray light as she just stared blankly into space.

 

“T-this is…”

 

“…It’s a curse, isn’t it? It’s also quite powerful.”

“What on earth happened…?”

 

While Luna, Rho, and Sarco’s eyes flickered in shock, Wendy hesitantly began to explain.

 

“A long time ago, when we went on a picnic, we were attacked by a ferocious demonic beast. Mother protected me… and this is how it turned out. At first, she was able to walk and talk, but then it got worse and worse, and lately, she stays unresponsive for a long time.’’

 

Ten years ago ─ Wendy and Taylor went on a picnic in the grassland near the Imperial capital, where they were attacked by a ‘mysterious demonic beast of unknown identity’.

 

[M-mom…]

 

[Wendy, just run away!]

 

[B-but…]

 

[It’s okay, go quickly…! ]

 

[…]

 

Wendy ran away when she heard her mother’s yell, something she had never heard before.

She ran away, leaving her mother behind.

 

Of course, her choice was correct.

She was only five years old at the time and didn’t have the power to defeat the demonic beast.

 

Shortly thereafter, the Imperial guard under the direct command of the Emperor arrived and quickly subjugated the demon beast.

However, by that time, Taylor was already so seriously injured that it was a wonder she was still alive.

Although she managed to survive thanks to the intensive treatment she received at the Imperial Hospital, she fell under an evil curse… that continues to this day.

 

Wendy was traumatized by that incident, and even now she often wakes up in her dreams.

What she did was definitely the right thing to do.

But still… Wendy regrets her decision at that time to run away and leave her mother behind, and continues to blame herself.

 

“When she’s doing well, I sometimes get a little response… but today doesn’t seem to be a very good day. ─ Sorry, this was a bit of a heavy topic. I was wondering if my mother would be happy if she saw my friends… I’m sorry for causing a gloomy atmosphere on what was supposed to be a fun festival.”

 

Wendy looked sad and bowed her head deeply.

 

“Hey, you don’t have to…!”

 

“Yeah, there’s no need for you to apologize or anything.”

 

As Rho and Sarco spoke kind words…

 

“…Higu, ugeh… (…Good girl, Wendy-san, even though she’s my enemy, she’s a really good girl…)”

 

Luna shed huge tears and was heartbroken by the main heroine’s situation.

 

(…It’s no good, I can’t win…)

 

She felt for the main heroine’s situation.

She felt sorry for her and wanted to help her.

 

Luna experienced ‘defeat’ in the aspect of immersion.

 

(…I’m…a small fry…)

 

Just a few minutes ago, she thought she was going to achieve a spiritual victory for the first time by finding Wendy’s weaknesses, but she now realized how hopelessly shallow it was.

 

Amidst the heavy atmosphere, Sarco lets out an “Ah” sound.

 

“I came up with a good idea! How about asking Luna to make a potion for you!”

 

“Luna make a potion…?”

 

Wendy muttered and tilted her head curiously.

 

“Yeah, this kid is a genius at making potions! If you drink that supreme product, the curse of the demonic beast will disappear in an instant!”

 

Those around her reacted skeptically to Sarco’s proposal.

 

“Well, I’ve heard that some high-tier potions can nullify curses…”

 

“Are Luna-san’s potions really that amazing…?”

 

Sarco proudly answered Rho and Wendy’s questions.

 

“Luna’s potion-making skills are definitely top-notch! The eldest child of the Layton family, Sarles Co. Layton, can vouch for it!”

 

“Wow… it must be pretty amazing for Sarco to praise her this much.”

 

“Top-notch… (The research report I received from His Majesty didn’t mention anything like that. However, the head of the Layton family… has that ‘mysterious power’. Maybe, maybe…)

 

Sarco pressed further on Luna’s ability.

 

“Besides, I’m not the only one who vouches for Luna’s skills, right? Dr. Jural, the medical studies teacher at Kingdom Saint Academy, has also given her the highest rank, ‘S rating’!”

 

Upon hearing those words, Wendy’s eyes widened.

 

“J-Jural, our homeroom teacher… Jural Serpent, the authority in the pharmaceutical world!?”

 

“Yeah, that super scary-looking teacher!”

 

Wendy considered seriously this time.

 

(Her potion-making skills have been approved by the heiress of the Layton family and given an S rating by the authority of the Pharmaceutical Society…)

 

Just by those reviews, Luna’s ability was top-notch ─ she could open a pharmacy anytime and anywhere.

 

“Wendy, do you have any potion ingredients in this mansion?”

 

“Um… I think we still have some ingredients left over for a medium-tier potion…”

 

“That’s enough. Bring them here right now. Master (Luna) will show off her skills!”

 

“O-okay…!”

 

Wendy nodded and trotted out of the room.

 

The story progressed at a rapid pace, leaving the person involved lagging behind.

 

(…If I really think about it, this might be a ‘nice assist’…)

 

Luna wanted to cure the curse placed on their friend’s mother.

However, it would be too suspicious to raise her hand and say, “Here, here! I can heal her!”

 

In that sense, she was very grateful for Sarco’s support.

 

(Besides, this is definitely a ‘one-in-a-lifetime chance’!)

 

Recover her honor, clean her name.

To differentiate herself from her shallow self, she had to create the ‘best elixir’ to show off her good side to her lifelong rival!

 

Luna’s motivation was burning hot.

 

About three minutes later, Wendy returned to the room.

The basket she brought with her was filled with medicinal herbs, pure water, and test tubes ─ the materials needed to make the potion.

 

“Luna-san, I brought them.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

Luna took a shallow breath and gripped the test tube tightly.

 

“Then I’ll get started.”

 

She rolled up her sleeves and started making the potion.

 

First, pour pure water into a test tube and add medicinal herbs to it.

After twirling it two or three times to let the medicinal ingredients seep out, she poured in more of her magical power than usual ─ and it was complete.

 

“Okay, done!”

 

“““……Eh?”””

 

Voices of confusion rang out from those around her.

 

“A-as expected of Luna! You can make a medium-tier potion in less than a minute… what a divine feat!”

 

Sarco gave a generous compliment.

 

“Erm… I think it usually takes more time to create a medium-tier potion…?”

 

Rho tilted her head curiously.

 

“Is that… really safe?”

 

Wendy looked very worried.

 

(S-shit…)

 

Luna had no idea how difficult and time-consuming it was to make potions.

 

However, that was also expected of her.

 

From her point of view, potions had no lower, middle, or higher tier.

All she had to do was mix her magical power with some water and it became an elixir.

 

“Ah, ahaha…! My potions are characterized by being ‘quick, cheap, and delicious’…!”

 

Luna laughed and pretended.

 

“More importantly, Wendy, the freshness of the potion is the key, so please give this to your mother as soon as possible!”

 

She handed the elixir to Wendy and forcefully steered the conversation.

 

Wendy and the others all let out gasps of admiration when they saw the potion swirling in the test tube.

 

“Wow, amazing clarity…!”

 

Rho’s eyes were wide.

 

“That’s right, this! This purity is exactly what Luna’s handmade potion is!”

 

Sarco nodded with satisfaction,

 

“……Beautiful……”

 

Wendy murmured in surprise.

 

(Maybe it’s true… no, it’s impossible, there’s no way that can happen. No matter how good the quality is, the materials used are of medium quality. The basics of magic is equivalent exchange, so fundamentally a higher-tier potion can’t be made.)

 

The greater the hope, the greater the despair as well.

She told herself, ‘It’s impossible’, so as not to have too high expectations.

 

But even so… her heart was naturally pounding due to the extraordinary holy vibrations she felt from the potion in her hand.

 

“Mom, it’s a potion. My friend made it for us.”

 

Wendy tilted the test tube and slowly poured it into Taylor’s mouth.

 

But ─ nothing happened.

 

(…See, I knew it)

 

Wendy bit her lower lip and turned around.

 

“Thank you, Luna. But ─”

 

The next moment she smiled sadly,

 

“─Gishaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

 

An evil-looking snake emerged from Taylor’s body.

 

“Wh-what is that…!?”

 

“It must be the curse placed on your mother!”

 

“No way… I can’t believe it’s such a powerful curse that it materializes…”

 

The curse placed on Taylor was far more powerful than expected.

 

However, the Saint’s potion was literally ‘non-standard’.

 

“L-look at that…!”

 

As Sarco pointed, two arms emitting divine light rose from behind Taylor.

 

Hands full of compassion.

 

“Gi, gigi, giiiiiiiiiiiiiii…!?”

 

They gently embraced the violently raging curse snake… crushing it like a vice.

 

“““……Eh?”””

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Did… Did she actually bottle an angel?

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