The Knight Serves the Little Princess – Part 02

“What are you staring at?” Kazuya asked.



Victorique exhaled sharply. “Cain and Abel.” She wearily pointed at the painting with the tip of her pipe.

Two burly, half-naked young men stood glaring at each other. The larger youth, his dark eyes burning with intense hatred, seemed to be approaching the slender one, his long hair flowing in the breeze.

“Cain and Abel?” Kazuya said, tidying up the sweets.

“The oldest brothers in human history, according to the Bible. They were the children born to Adam and Eve, who were expelled from paradise. The elder brother, consumed by jealousy, murdered his younger brother, marking the first instance of murder in human history.”

“I see. So this painting depicts that. I had no idea.”

“History repeats itself,” Victorique said with a touch of gloom. “Like the crashing and retreating of waves at sea. We may be mere players attempting to reenact the tragedy of Cain and Abel, a tale that has unfolded countless times in this world. And on an unprecedented scale, it seems. Perhaps Cain symbolizes the New World, while Abel represents the Old World. This could be just a fragment of an ongoing conflict or the final battle, but we cannot be certain.”


“We find ourselves in a vast world nearing its end. We are nothing more than bystanders tossed about by the whims of history, trapped in the twilight of the gods. I can almost hear the blaring of the trumpet that signals the end.”

“What’s up with you? What in the world happened?”

Kazuya rose to his feet, his face grave. He swiftly removed his armor, arranging it neatly, and knelt down on one knee beside Victorique, like a young knight serving a small princess.

“There’s something off with you today.”

“It’s nothing.”

Victorique pulled her gaze away from the ceiling and gave Kazuya a tired look.

Kazuya peered into her eyes. A faint trace of unease shimmered in their icy, emotionless depths.

As Victorique parted her glossy lips, a sardonic smile tugged at one corner of her mouth. “I wanted to spend time with you like this forever.”

“Yeah.” Kazuya tilted his head slightly. “Me too.”

A faint smile touched Victorique’s lips. “That’s good to hear. However, our fates are uncertain, even tomorrow. I am but a captive wolf. The fragments of chaos that have gathered today are telling me that the storm draws near. The children of the nobility studying in this academy suddenly being called back to their homes. The wealthy parent and child who traveled from the city to this village. And my elder brother who checked on me with inexplicable concern. Soon…”

Victorique closed her mouth. Then, imitating Kazuya, she tilted her head in the same direction.

Her golden hair swayed gently. Entranced, Kazuya reached out to touch a strand of her glimmering locks.

He expected to get hit by the sharp edge of a book, but nothing happened. Victorique regarded Kazuya as if she were observing something mysterious, her emerald eyes fully open, as if she were meeting him for the first time.

After blinking a couple of times, Victorique averted her gaze, losing interest. Since she wasn’t telling her off, Kazuya fondly held onto her beautiful strand of golden hair.


“What is it, pumpkin-head?”

“I have a name, and it’s Kujou. About that painting…”

Kazuya slowly let go of Victorique’s hair and pointed to one of the religious paintings adorning the ceiling.

There stood a towering man with black horns. Resembling a demon, his hair and cloak were as black as darkness, and from the waist down, he possessed the robust torso of a horse. In the sky above him, a young man with red wings was drawing back his bowstring. The arrow pierced the eye of the half-human, half-beast, causing him to recoil and scream in pain.

“He looks just like your father,” Kazuya remarked as she studied the painting.

“What? Oh, you’re right,” Victorique said with a voice filled with wonder and an unusual innocence.

Moments later, she nodded and turned her gaze to Kazuya. “It indeed resembles him. If we assume that the horse-man is my father, Marquis Albert de Blois, then the young boy with red wings shooting from above could be none other than him.”


“The magician Brian Roscoe. My mother Cordelia’s companion, a red-haired male wolf.”

Kazuya agreed. Brian Roscoe, the man who rescued Cordelia from the clutches of Marquis de Blois and had been by her side ever since. Born from a Gray Wolf who fled into the city, he harbored deep hatred for Victorique, offspring of a Gray Wolf and a Sauville aristocrat.

Kazuya recalled the instinctive fear that gripped him when they faced each at the academy’s clock tower. The chilling breath emitted by a beast.

But Kazuya feared and hated Marquis Albert de Blois more. He shuddered when he confronted the man in Beelzebub’s Skull. And once again when he met him for the second time at Saubreme’s Phantom theater.

The man seemed obsessed with power and something else, something noxious.

Gazing at the religious painting, Kazuya asked, “What do you mean? If that is Marquis de Blois, why is that young man Brian Roscoe?”

“Seriously? The boy with the red wings is clearly aiming at the horse-man’s eye.”

“Ah!” Kazuya’s gaze flitted towards Victorique.

Now that he thought about it, Marquis de Blois wore a monocle over his right eye that made his already cold and terrifying face appear even more inhuman. His green eye, enlarged by the lens, seemed to loom closer, gleaming with an exceedingly eerie glow.

How and when did Marquis Blois end up wearing a monocle?

“That’s right.” Victorique nodded. “It was Brian Roscoe, the red-haired male wolf, who crushed my father’s eye. It’s a tale from long ago, though.”

“I see! But how? How did he manage to do it?”

Victorique snorted. “I don’t really know. During that time, I was locked away in the uppermost room of Castle de Blois, completely unaware of the events unfolding outside. I could only surmise from the behavior of the maids who brought me books, snacks, and dresses, and from the fragments of their brief conversations.”

“But even then, you were able to deduce and know what was happening outside.” Kazuya hugged his knees. “Because you’re Victorique.”

“That I am,” Victorique affirmed with a voice as raspy an elderly woman’s.

The world outside was blanketed in snow, bathed in the dim light of the setting sun. The conservatory, on the other hand, was a stark contrast. Tropical trees and flowers were in full bloom, and the air was filled with the sweet fragrance of ripe fruit.

A foreign bird with a colorful beak and feathers slowly fluttered past above them.

Like children abandoned in a small paradise, oblivious to the impending doom of the world, Victorique and Kazuya snuggled closer, their voices hushed as they continued their conversation.

Winter of fifteen years ago…

Castle de Blois stood deep in the forest, partly hidden among the trees. It had been the ancestral home of the Marquis’ family for centuries. The large stone castle bore weathered walls that had faded to a color that resembled natural cliffs.

On that particular night, snow was falling endlessly. It was so cold that the breaths of those who worked inside the castle turned white.

The young maid, recently employed by the lord after being cast out by her own family, had been instructed to keep the fire going and boil water since evening. One by one brawny men came to take the water to the eerie stone tower standing next to the castle, a slender structure standing proudly against the snowy night sky.

Hymns sounded in the distance. It was likely the Marquis’s family singing. The thin voice of a woman and the bright voice of a young man merged together. The Marquess and her son, praised for his exceptional beauty, were singing in front of the piano.

Tonight was Christmas, after all.

“Oh, Christmas?! That means, on that night… Oh, sorry. Don’t look at me like that. I’m sorry for interrupting your story.”


The two were talking in a corner of the conservatory located on the top floor of the library tower.

“B-But I just… I apologize,” Kazuya said, looking dejected.

“Also, peel this.”

Victorique handed him a fruit of peculiar shape and color that she had been holding in one hand when she emerged from deep in the conservatory.

“Huh, peel this?” Kazuya asked, perplexed, as he reluctantly took it. “You’re not planning to eat it, are you? It might upset your stomach.”

“Fortunately, I have a taste-tester. Ah, what a relief.”

“No, you don’t.”

“I do.”

“Y-You don’t…”

“Kujou.” Victorique narrowed her green eyes slowly.

A breeze blew. It was a warm and somewhat sweet-smelling wind, a stark contrast to the winter landscape outside, that seemed to drift in from some distant tropical region through magic.

“I do.”

“…You’re right. You do.” Kazuya nodded in resignation.

Victorique blew on her pipe, looking satisfied. Her long golden hair trembled like a puppy wagging its tail.

And so, they resumed their conversation.

Above them, a large tropical bird spread its wings and took flight.

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