「What do you plan……to do with me……? I, I have no intention of returning to becoming a slave once more! K, kill me! After all, such a……Such a……」
As she tried to shout firmly, she lost her vigor and her words started to barely leak out. Miyabi didn’t have the strength of heart that Arachne had.
Anyone would be afraid of dying. Looking at her state now, there is no mistake that her life as a slave was a harsh one. Something like a demon living as a slave in Human society, this was even my first time hearing about it.
Most likely, this girl was probably unable to accumulate any decent life experiences up until now.
Even if it was a lifestyle where she had to eat and kill people as a demon, just the time she spent together with Arachne, it might be one of the few decent times she’s had in her life. Miyabe seemed to have become unable to suppress her emotions as she once again started to sob. ……It looked as if she was a young child that got separated from her parent.
The one that hit Miyabi’s face wasn’t me, but Astarte.
Looking frightened, she drew her body back, but because she was restrained by the Gelatinous Cube, she wasn’t allowed to move about.
「Nothing will start if you do nothing but be frightened! Arachne resisted right up until her life finally came to an end, and did not give up on fighting. Compared to that, what is wrong with you! No matter how much you get frightened and tremble, there is no longer anyone that can save you! In that case, at the very least, whether you live or die, keep your eyes wide open!」
She was mad. She clearly became unable to hold back her feelings of anger. Some primary factor must have caused Astarte’s emotions to explode. Astarte continued her words while succumbing to her passion.
……Normally, this is where I should stop her, but let’s let her continue for a little bit more. This might be a disaster for Miyabi, but Astarte’s past, her identity……a clue for the sake of my complete conquering of her, I might be able to obtain them from here.
「Rodania was it? Were you really captured in Rodania’s temple? Answer me!」
「Hii……U, um, the country to the east that’s at war with this country……The name that Humans call it, I don’t know it……Really, that’s the truth……I want to go back……I want to go back home……」
……She’s probably at her limit. At this rate, Miyabi will break.
「Astarte, that’s far enough.」
After having said that much, it seemed that Astarte remembered the current situation. She stepped back looking ashamed.
「……I’ve had you go through a scary experience, haven’t I. Miyabi. You lost to me, and you no longer have any chances of winning. If you obediently accept it and listen to what I say, then I won’t take your life, and I won’t bring you back to where you were before.」
In truth, something like a place that seemed like Rodania’s temple that she was at before, I wouldn’t know about it unless I’ve gone there before. Therefore, I wouldn’t be able to something like bring her back there from the start. It wasn’t like I was lying to her, but I definitely was deceiving her. Even so, doing it this way would probably be able to make her relieved.
「Uu……But. You are……」
For an instant, Miyabi’s expression greatly wavered. Maybe because she started to relax, both her way of speaking and the way she called me changed. Her aristocratic way of speaking was most likely an act to a certain extent.
Although she probably wants to rely on my, I am the foe that killed Arachne. Within her, Arachne’s existence must have been a big part of her. Even if I were to offer her a deal in exchange for her own safety, those feelings still haven’t been settled. To begin with, whether or not I could be trusted is still uncertain, so it’s understandable. But, if I press her there, I might not have to kill her and make her obey me. In that case, let’s push through.
「……Since this’ll be a bit hot, endure it.」
Using an ember of a torch, I melted only a bit of the Gelatin Cube that restricted her shoulders. The Gelatin Cube isn’t strong to fire to begin with. Just by getting close to fire, it shrank a bit, and its volume slowly decreased. Becoming able to move everything from her chest and above, maybe because she became more at ease, Miyabi exhaled a bit. Putting my hands around Miyabi’s small head, I patted and moved my hands as if comforting a child. Her body tensed up, but maybe because she understood that I wouldn’t do anything more than that, her tension dissolved after a while, and she leaned her head into my chest.
「I’ve had you go through a scary experience, haven’t I. I made you remember, some painful things, didn’t I. ……The one that snatched away your important person was me. That was, the result of battle. That’s why, although I fought against that Arachne……against Kagome, and defeated her, it wasn’t like I resented her. Even how we challenged the Assassin’s Guild to a fight, it wasn’t because I resented you.」
Miyabi listened to my words while enduring her desire to start crying. If she were to thrust her fangs into me here, it would be her win, but she was most likely unable to do that. It was because she had no reason to fight other than for revenge, and had no desires other than 「not wanting to die」. Even if she were to kill me here, she had no future, and having been painted over in sorrow, she had already lost any violent emotions of wanting to kill me.
「I am not thinking of killing you, and if there is a way that we can live together, I think that would also be good. But, let’s leave the difficult talk for later. I am sorry for taking away your precious person. At the very least, right now……you can take your time, and cry.」
Several seconds later, after a gap of bewilderment. The Snake Princess Miyabi, raised a loud voice and started to cry out loud.
……Aah, what in the world am I saying. Like this, I might as well be called a match pump. (TL/N: match pump means stirring up trouble to get credit from the solution)
In exchange for Astarte’s whip, right now, I made a smiling face and offered her candy. I dropped my gaze down at my feet. My own face that was reflected on the dark water surface wavered in the waves, and looked as if it were sneering at me.
「Leave the rest to me……From today onward, I will become Kagome’s substitute. Since I will protect you, you will have to listen to what I say……Got it?」
After crying for a bit, Miyabi, still not giving any words, made a small nod. With Miyabi still restrained, I picked up her chin in my fingers, and stole her lips. Miyabi stiffened up her body for an instant, and after several seconds of stiffening up, she entrusted her body to me as if she had given up. Maybe because she was inexperienced, when I put my tongue in, her eyes opened up wide. And after she turned red, she entwined her slender tongue that was split at the tip around mine as if to match its movements.
……When thinking about the life as a slave that she probably had experience, it’s a pitiful story but, I don’t think that this Lamia didn’t have experience with being raped by men. It might simply be that she wasn’t treated gently, or there might not have been any men that stole the Lamia’s lips. It’s just, I strangely felt that her initial response was cute. After making her swallow plenty of saliva, stroking her ears, and touching her hair, I finally separated my lips.
「Ah……Um, what will you do to me……」
Turning red, Miyabi showed a shy expression at this late point in time. It seemed that she was in so much confusion that she even forgot the pain in her arm.
「To come under my protection, means to become my woman. Miyabi, from now on, you are mine. In exchange for protecting your livelihood, I will have you work for me. ……That just now was, well, I guess we can say that it was in place of a contract deposit.」
Astarte, Sara and Diana, the three of them remained on guard while Shiro and I took the Gelatin Cube restraints off from Miyabi. Although Shiro is primarily the one most suited for being on guard against surprise attacks, since she had become more emotionally sympathetic towards Miyabi than me, I honestly couldn’t expect much from her. In that case, since there was Diana as well to play the vigilant role, I thought that I might as well have Shiro get along with her.
「You, you’re called Miyabi? Shiro is called Shiro -desuu. Although we were against each other up until now, since we’ll be under the same Goshujin-sama from now on, let’s get along, okay?」
「Eh, erm……Shiro, um……you see? The same as me……by that, are you also, um, Goshujin-sama……’s, wife……is that what it means?」
「……? Aah, that is lovely -desuu! Although Shiro is Goshujin-sama’s dog, she might also be called his wife. ……But, she’s also Goshujin-sama’s slave. That is the same as everyone else♪ Shiro, before she became Goshujin-sama’s demon, she was a slave in a different terrible place. But, after becoming Goshujin-sama’s dog, his slave, right now, she is very happy, you knowww?」
……I see. Shiro had her comrades snatched away by Legda and the Red Crows and was turned into a slave. She might have seen her own past in Miyabi’s past.
「……Well, it’s a bit odd for me to say whether I’m a good master or not. But, Miyabi, as long as you swear your loyalty to me, I will protect you. This, is the contract.」
Wife, I was honestly surprised by that word. Did demons also have pledges of being spouses? Since my first contact with them was the Succubus Astarte, I didn’t have any worries about that to begin with……
「You can call me Eliott, or even Goshujin-sama. Well, anything is fine as long as I know you mean me. If you have a question, I’ll listen to it. After this, we’ll inform the remaining bunch of the Assassin’s Guild about the switching of chiefs, and then you need to medically treat your wounds in some place that you can calm down.」
When I mentioned the medical treatment, Miyabi made a somewhat happy face. ……When I think about things from the response I got from Diana, the terrible treatment against the members of the Assassin’s Guild, the cause of it was probably Miyabi and Arachne emulating the treatment they received at Rodania’s temple. Those girls didn’t get decent care from Humans either.
「Um, that is……Say, My Lord (waga kimi)」
My Lord is an exaggerated way of speaking. However, if Miyabi sees me as that sort of existence to her, then I’m grateful and it’s convenient for me as well.
「What is it?」
「Um……My Lord, are you Human? Or, are you a demon the same as me?」
She asked that sounding a bit worried. I thought why would she be worried about that, but it couldn’t be helped if she didn’t have a decent impression of Humans.
「I am half Human, and the remaining half is demon. Though, since I was raised in Human society, living as a Human is part of my nature, see.」
Taking off the half removed mask, I showed my horns. Seeing the part of me that wasn’t Human……the part that was most likely could be seen as proof of being an ally to Miyabi, she smiled looking delighted.
「My Lord Eliott. ……About Kagome, if I were to say that I have no bitterness about it, then it would be a lie. Even so, I lost, then I was pardoned by you and am now alive. That is why I, Miyabi, as your slave……as one of your wives, have decided to nestle close to you from now on. Surely, My Lord will rescue the people of the Demon World that are restrained in the Human’s society, and is surely the one chosen to become the king of demons. From now on, I shall be within your care……」
Having regained her freedom, the words of the Snake Princess’s oath resounded in the underground waterways. Like this, the Assassin’s Guild capitulated. The late night attack was a short time incident where not even one hour had passed since its commencement.
「……Heeh……. So something like that happened.」
The emotions loaded into those words were half admiration and half exasperation.
「No, um……. I couldn’t help it, okay? I just couldn’t bring myself to kill her, and I was able to strengthen my fighting power by having her join us.」
I wonder why my voice somewhat sounded like I was making excuses.
「Although you aren’t lying……Eliott. You, you’ve really become quite good at coaxing women, haven’t you?」
Covering fire that didn’t provide covering at all flew from behind me, and my position became worse yet again.
「Even though I came to deliver some long-awaited good news, why did it turn out like this……」
Close to half a day since the underground waterway fight. The fast horse to report the expeditionary force’s victory to Abram arrived before the evening bell rang. Because they thought that it was a hopeless situation for the past two days, Abram was covered in great joy. That day, the people overflowed onto the main street through the night, and Count Abram, who was a thrifty person, did something rare and treated the people to alcohol and food.
Falling two days behind the news, the expeditionary force led by the Temple Knight Olivia made its triumphant return. Together with Sara who I made join up with them the day before, Olivia participated in the parade at the plaza.
During that time, it wasn’t like weren’t doing anything. While the Assassin’s Guild wasn’t informed about my existence in detail, I had them start an organizational reconstruction with Diana as the new chief. We started to pull out the thread that connected to the Lanvelt House from the documents that Arachne left behind and from the information on the flow of money that we got from the treasurer leader. The Lanvelt House hasn’t moved as of now, but they’ll make contact someday, and we need to make it so that they don’t find any clues to our taking over.
The Adventurers of Abram were surprised by the fact that Sara, the Magician of the Adventurer team that should have been annihilated ＜The Red Crows＞, was alive and that she was promoted to the Abram imperial court as Olivia’s close aide, and it had turned into a huge topic. However, many knew that Sara was a newcomer to the Red Crows, and it was fortunate that she was treated as an 「Adventurer with strong luck」 and didn’t have many suspicions sent her way.
As for the matter about me, upon consulting with various places, it was decided that I would be concealed from the public. Accompanied by the knight under Olivia, Gaspar, it only turned into an unofficial meeting with Count Abram. However, making that public was something that I didn’t desire, and even from Olivia, after making a discussion saying that 「she didn’t want her friend to get wrapped up in political strife」 it turned into me secretly receiving a reward. The fact that Olivia was targeted by an assassin had already become known by Count Abram, and the one that made the decision that it would be dangerous for me who has no military power to get wrapped up in it was also this person. He was a person of advanced age that had more white parts in his hair and mustache, had a body quite thin in proportion to his height, had already surpassed 50, and was already reaching 60, but only his insight was terrifyingly sharp. He gave me words of gratitude when he was told that I rescued Olivia from danger and that I was her friend, and I felt that there were no lies in those words of his. Even so, since it seemed like he would see through my own underground face if we continued our idle talk for too long, I honestly didn’t have a feeling of being alive. However, having obtained the right to do business in Abram and a guarantee to rent a shop in the commercial district of the new urban area, as a person with no backing, this was truly something I was grateful for.
And then, the two day festival celebrating the expeditionary force’s return ended, and the usual days of Abram arrived. Spring marked its end, and summer was about to arrive. In the watergate town, welcoming the season that would be overflowing with energy, the people looked to be a bit festive.
On a night when the festivities were over, when things finally calmed down, the time that I met with Olivia in the building close to the castle was exactly 5 days since that underground waterway battle. If counting from the fight at the mining village dungeon, it’s been about two weeks. Even if it seems unexpectedly short, the time not being able to meet with each other is something that feels long. With me and Sara, and Olivia who stealthily came through an underground passage (they told me that the building that was given to Sara was a house created as an escape destination at the end of a so-called hidden passage way), the three of us formally celebrated our reunion. Then, once I talked about what had happened up until now, it ended up into the situation of being driven into a corner from earlier.
「That……Miyabi was it? That girl, how is she?」
With a bit of an evasive impression, Olivia asked that. Just like when we first met, while still wearing her glasses meant for office work, she looked over the lens and lightly glared at me. The things called glasses were tools used by scholars and Humans of the Church and possibly even a portion of merchants would use to read written letters, and if it was someone that did writing jobs, they would occasionally use them. Using lens processed from polished crystals or a transparent stone that a portion of blacksmiths produce called glass, it corrects eyesight. In short, because she studied too much and because she did paperwork until late at night, Olivia had bad eyesight. That being said, since she’s only listening to my story right now, there’s no need for her to be wearing them but……do they have some sort of magic mechanism to them?
「Eliott, you don’t know why she’s glaring at you, do you?」
Being told that so definitively by Sara, I had no words to reply with.
「……Un, I understand. Eliott, ever since the past, you’ve been thickheaded in that sort of thing. Even though you’re so assertive at the times when you make a move yourself, why are you so……」
Sounding exasperated, and sounding like she had given up, Olivia shrugged her shoulders.
「Erm, let’s see. Eliott. I, haven’t been able to see you for several days, had lonely feelings, came back, finished up the hectic days, introduced you to Otou-sama, and finally made some time, you know~……But, that’s only what I thought. ……I was made to listen about your new girl, you know?」
「O, Olivie? Are you somewhat mad!?」
「I’m……not mad, but. Eliott, I understand that you crossed over a dangerous bridge again for my sake. But……Um. I think that it would be fine if you cared for me a bit though……」
Olivie, so you were burned with jealousy and became a bit peeved.
「Ahahahahah, I see, so it was about that. I’m sorry. Olivie. I’ve made you feel lonely, haven’t I.」
「It’s fi~ne. I’ll have Sara listen to my grumbles from now on after all……」
「Even I have various things that I want to say about Eliott though~」
Two women and one of me, isn’t this quite a disadvantageous situation.
「But, since I’ll be leaving the complaints for later……Right now, let me be spoiled by you.」
Olivie, she’s become stronger compared to before. Probably, although her stiffness has vanished, it’s kind of like she’s become flexible, or kind of like she’s become determined. That was a change that occurred from the fact that Sara and I have become able to be close to her. If I was able to give strength to Olivie, then that makes me happy.
「Olivie, Sara. Um……I was thinking that the mood wouldn’t be there if it was so sudden, so I was holding back, but. ……Shall we do it?」