Once known as the City of Shining Light, the beautiful aesthetic of the Canal Kingdom’s capital Elarc had lost its color due to the long-lasting civil war.
Standing on the highest floor of Fibris Castle in the middle of that city, in the altar room even higher than the throne room, was the Third Princess Celis.
Dressed in robes that covered her eyes, her appearance brought to mind a priestess rather than a member of royalty.
As she was offering a prayer towards the altar, Celis turned around after sensing a presence behind her.
The blonde hair that could be seen from the space in between her robes swayed as her golden eyes gazed at that presence.
「So it’s you, Reina… I was wondering who it was.」
「Fufu, you must be joking. You must have already noticed me.」
「Not at all. There’s a limit to my intuition. Surely you’ve realized that already?」
The person named Reina silently smiled as her wavy hair flowed.
While she didn’t say anything, it could be assumed that she was confirming Celis’ suspicion.
「So what are you doing in a place like this?」
Celis made a wry smile in response to those words.
The only thing to do at an altar was to pray, and considering that Reina had already seen that Celis was praying, it made the question seem all the more mean-spirited.
「I was offering my prayers. Praying that this war would soon come to an end…」
「Ending the war would be quite simple. All you have to do is run into the enemy lines on your own. I’m sure your sister would take no time in coming to take your head.」
As Celis got caught up in her words, Reina shrugged her shoulders.
「You have taken to the sword because you know that is not the right option, yes? That is exactly why I am lending you my strength for now. Please do not forget that.」
It was not as if Reina had faithfully pledged her loyalty to Celis. Reina was helping her out out of nothing but pure whim.
But thanks to that Reina, Celis has been able to fight back against her sister’s forces.
The legendary Maid Knight that would not back down even against an entire nation’s army, Reina.
Her ability was not far off from the rumors.
「So, what are you doing here? It’s not as if praying is going to make the God of Light send down a sword from the sky or something.」
「Yes, I know that. But it helps calm me down.」
For those who see the Third Princess Celis as their leader, just knowing that the rightful heir to the throne was where she belonged was enough to make them feel safe. At the very least, it has a positive effect on the troops’ morale.
「I know that, but…」
Seeing Celis stumbling for words, Reina sighed.
「You certainly were born with a troublesome power. What are you feeling this time?」
In response to Reina, Celis began speaking with a hesitant, but clear voice.
「…A strong sense of peace of mind, but at the same time unease. It’s like I’m close to solving something, but at the same time something terrible is going to happen… 」
Upon remembering that sensation, Celis’ body trembled.
Reina moved her eyes from Celis to the altar of the God of Light behind her.
It was an altar that revered the God of Light Raidolg, but as long as Raidolg wasn’t there, there’d be no way for any communication to take place.
But regardless, Celis had no choice but to pray.
Knowing that what she felt would only make others think she’s gone crazy, Celis had to keep it to herself.
「Peace of mind… That must be the letter you sent to your acquaintance in St. Altlis Kingdom. As for the unease, there are numerous things I could imagine it might be.」
Celis made a small nod to Reina’s words.
Reina is the only one that knows about Celis’ hidden power.
And the one that told Celis about it when she wasn’t able to do anything but tremble with anxiety was none other than Reina.
After having Reina calmly analyze her anxiety, Celis felt like a fool after realizing what was happening.
「…That’s right. This situation is already consumed by the feelings of unease.」
「That’s exactly right.」
Celis made a small smile to Reina’s nod, and then looked around her surroundings.
「There’s no need to worry. No one has come here. There aren’t any people nearby, either.」
Celis made a relieved face after hearing that, and then put her hands to the robe that was over her head.
Rustling could be heard as she uncovered her head, upon which black cat ears popped up.
Those were without a doubt a trait characteristic of the beastmen. However both her parents the king and the queen were humans.
The bloodline of her ancestors, in other words the royal family, had numerous cases where it had mixed with beastmen. The mother of the former king, who disappeared before she became queen, was of the beastman race, and it was surmised that those traits showed up in Celis as well.
However, Celis’ relationship with her own mother, the queen, was not very healthy. After all, even though it was only for a short time, there was suspicion towards infidelity when Celis was born with beastman traits. She had a hard time seeing her daughter in a good light because of that.
Perhaps because of the beastman traits, Celis had a slightly unique ability.
It was something that could be referred to as Super Intuition.
While nothing definitive would be grasped, she had the ability to suddenly sense when something would happen.
Thoughts like 「it’s dangerous if I stay here」, or 「it’d be better if I went in this direction」 would spur her into avoiding danger, and upon finally confronting the true cause behind the anxiety she would often encounter, she came upon a giant conspiracy.
After learning of this, she assumed that this power was given to her by the God of Light Raidolg and she headed down the path of becoming a priestess.
But upon meeting the priests, she found that no one felt the same things she did.
She then understood that the intuition she felt was different from others.
This strange power was not something she could easily discuss with others. Just what was it?
The one to explain all of this to the troubled Celis was Reina, who one day showed up in front of her.
「…Super Intuition. A hidden power of the beastmen. Because of this power I have, the country has been split into two. However…」
「You made your actions believing it was the right decision, right?」
Reina patted Celis on her back, who was tightly embracing her.
「…Yes. Even now, I don’t believe I’ve done anything wrong.」
「Then that should be fine. You are doing the right thing as the leader of your country. I will acknowledge that as well.」
Reina spoke while scratching Celis’ black cat ears.
After chuckling as those ears twitched as to avoid her hands, Reina threw a knife behind her wordlessly.
Embodied with the power of water, the knife stuck the black shadow that was approaching from behind onto the wall.
Celis separated from Reina in surprise to that sound. Facing what was plastered to the wall as it struggled about, Celis let out a small cry.
「It’s an Alva. It was a fool to think it could get past an opening of mine…」
Reina drew out her sword with a smile on her face and cut off the Alva’s right arm without hesitation.
「Ah, I see. That’s enough. You may die now.」
Reina nodded as if understanding something, and then slashed vertically down the Alva’s body.
WIthout even the time to let out another cry, the Alva dispersed into a cloud of black.
Letting out a sigh, Reina sheathed her sword.
「D-Did you defeat it…?」
「Yes. An Alva that cannot communicate in an intelligible manner does not deserve to live.」
「B-But I can’t believe an Alva made its way here…」
That’s right. The enemies of the Third Princess of the Canal Kingdom’s camp were not only the First Princess.
The Alva are the enemy well, having begun activity around the same time the civil war started.
「Well, to be frank, they seem to be underestimating us. If you were to be killed, this war would end. I mean, I suppose the same result would happen if I were to be killed as well.」
「Does that mean that… my sister has joined hands with the Alva?」
「Who knows. You’d have to ask either the Alva or your sister to find that out.」
As Reina responded, Reina scanned for more enemies down below.
After confirming that there were still more of them lurking about, she let out a small sigh.
「Goodness. Just what is everyone thinking…」
Those murmured words failed to reach the ears of Celis.
They simply faded away inside the solemn altar room.