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Chapter 125 – Princess Karua’s Friends

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Author: SS Samurai Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: rm31439 English Source: Re:Library

It was midnight on the day Alim and Mika had returned home.
The princess of the Mephilad kingdom, Karua Mephilad, had spent time with friends for once, and, basking in the afterglow, was unable to fall asleep,

“Heh-heh, today was also a joyful day, wasn’t it? Alim, and Mika, too.”

Karua never had any friends. No, it’s possible she once had, but they somehow only felt like superficial associates to her. That was probably because she was a princess. Everyone always flattered her and tried to please her awkwardly.

Until now, the only ones who spent time playing with her, just for the sake of it, had been the minister’s and archbishop’s daughters, Lilo and Myuri, who she adored like older sisters.
But since they were also 4 and 5 years older, she couldn’t deny it felt more like they did it “to do her a favor”.

Then Alim appeared. A friend who was close to her in age. While eating meals, Alim sat right next to her, they played together in her room, and they slept together in the same bed. A friend like that.

Alim and Karua had gotten acquainted, when this country’s traditional event had been held, about three weeks ago, and she had a meal together with the champions of the battle tournament.

That shared meal at the time, had been the first one Karua ever joined. Lilo and Myuri always wanted her to be less tense at social gatherings, but she never seemed able to attend them.
But finally, she had been able to participate, which led to Alim and her getting to know each other.

From the start, it was a request from her father, the king of this country, even though she didn’t know any of the other people at the shared meal… Karua seemed to be crushed by her nervousness and anxiety.

Still, what might this be? Could the winner of the A-Rank section be a girl similar to her? At first, she was so surprised, she honestly thought her eyes might pop out.
Moreover, Lilo and the others were already acquainted with the girl.

The girl, Alim, then was nice enough to have a conversation with her before the meal. They sat next to each other, and, while Alim was fussed over by Lilo and Myuri, they had a pleasant chat.

Her father also approved of her getting along well with Alim. If anything, he even went as far, as to allow Alim to come to play. Furthermore, he asked Alim to be her friend.

Why would her father trust Alim so much?

As for that, the reason was a story Karua’s older brother, Ruin, who had come back from Pipi village, had told them. They found a small girl, who lost her memory, in the middle of the forest, and that very same girl later saved Lilo and the others.
That small girl with amnesia was Alim.

First, she was saved by Ruin and the others, and then she saved them in turn.

Furthermore, she was like a legendary alchemist, crafting Great Potions from mere healing herbs, using only simple tools.

Indeed, Karua agreed, something like that naturally would make her father place his trust in Alim.

Later… someone called Faust, an adventurer who won in the S-Rank section and who had an extremely bad reputation, was put on the wanted list in a joint effort by the knight commander, the SS-Rank adventurer, Bacchus, and the adventurer who won in the B-Rank section, Lahand… Faust had a vulgar manner of speaking, but they successfully managed to drive him out.

Karua honestly despised the man. When she later heard, he had died, she was truly surprised, but…

To return to the topic, the shared meal made her very happy. She ate together with Alim, who sat next to her.
It differed a lot from the formal meals with noble girls. As if she was eating with her older brothers, Tuhl and Ruin… It was a feeling of safety, similar to when she was having a meal with her family.

While she was holding that thought, an S-Rank magic beast showed up in the middle of the meal, breaking through the castle’s roof and bursting into the room.
According to the knight commander, it was probably summoned by the man called Faust.

That bird monster caused panic, merely by shooting out electrical currents, and Alim put her life on the line when she stood in front of Karua to protect her and couldn’t dodge consequently.

As for Karua, she probably wouldn’t forget this event for the rest of her life.

Only, Alim’s beautiful face had been burned and charred. Her face back then… she didn’t want to recall how it had looked.
Though Alim apparently wanted to know how her face looked at that time, Karua strongly believed, not knowing would be better.

Alim valiantly brought down the bird monster without any difficulty; even now, that scene had been burned not just into Karua’s, but into everyone’s eyes.

Since she was mad at her own, clumsy self, Karua made a wrong assumption. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say, she saw the biggest fault in herself.
At first, Karua was angry at Alim, when she thought Alim threw the sword at her. However, she was wrong. Alim had thrown it to save Karua from the approaching magic hand and to ward off Faust.

It was after that, Alim and Karua became friends.

Today, Karua’s cycle of close friends had increased again. Her name was Mika.

It was good they became fast friends, but Karua was a bit jealous of Alim’s and Mika’s relationship.
Even though they didn’t notice.

In addition to that, Alim had given Karua an ornament; a masterful thing she had created for Karua with her production knowledge.
That ornament was Karua’s treasure. When she was wearing it, she felt like she was protected by Alim. Because of that, Karua wore it every day, even while she slept.

Come to think of it, Karua remembered something. Alim said they’d moved house to a place near the castle. It might be a good idea, to go there incognito and pay them a visit.

Thus, she thought by herself and grinned, when suddenly there was a knock on the door.

Who might this be, it should have been the middle of the night.

“Princess, open the door. The thing is, I left something behind by accident, you know.”
No doubt, this was Alim’s voice. She left something… behind?

Huh, “princess”? How strange. Alim called her just by name. Ever since they’d met for the first time, the two of them decided to address each other that way.
It was too suspicious. Perchance, might Faust still be alive…?

She could imagine something like that. Since there was only little risk, Karua gave decided to try something.

“Who might be out there?”
“It’s me, you know, Alim.”
“Is that so? But don’t you usually refer to yourself as ‘your bestie Alim’? Did you decide to change it, Lady Alim?”1 
“Uh!? Yes, that’s it. Ha-ha… I felt, like, changing it up a bit.”
“Oh, really…”

Putting her mind to good use, Karua utilized the conversation to play for time, while she sent the knight commander a message.
…Evidently, this wasn’t Alim. She wanted to gain a bit more time and it might be a good idea, to call the minister, too. That way, they should also have appropriate strength.

“Oh, yes, Lady Alim, the sweets you made for us yesterday… they were very delicious, weren’t they? What were they called again… erm… I don’t seem to recall. T-those sweet and chilly things that were brought out back then…”

Then suddenly, the tone of voice of the person standing on the other side of the door changed.

“Oh, yeah~? You’re quite cheeky despite being merely 13 years old, trying to trick me, aren’t you~? Just as you’d expect from the princess of a country, no~?”

…As she had thought. Karua was about to shout loudly for someone. But something was wrong with her voice, and she couldn’t make a sound.
Could that person have used some kind of magic?

“Really, I didn’t want to resort to this kind of violence… I was planning to nimbly abduct you, while you were sleeping, but… I guess there’s no other way, is there?”

Yet, an enchantment had been cast on this room. I someone without permission were to try to force the door open, the knight unit would be notified and rush to Karua’s side.

Not only that, now also the knight commander would join them. Supposing the knight commander were an adventurer, his strength would equal SS-Rank. He should be able to catch that person.
Besides, she could send out an artificial golem from a partition of her room to buy time until the knights finally arrived…

“Wait~, this door, it looks like there are several traps, right? But, you know, that’s only if I were to enter through the door~!”2 

Huh?

A man, looking like some strange jester, appeared in front of her eyes, and continued.

“Well then, shall we go~? Dear. Prin. Cess.”

Karua’s consciousness faded away.

__________
_______
____

“Princess Karua, what is going on?!”

The knight commander of this country had been contacted by the princess and had rushed there in a hurry. He used a key, that he held for emergencies, to open the door to her room.
There, as he slammed the door open, he found the princess.

“Oh, I am very sorry. Just now, I panicked when a huge bug got in the room by accident.”
“Is, Is that so? It’s good that it was nothing. It’s already late at night, isn’t it? Please go to sleep.”
“Yes. My apologies for bothering you. Good night.”
“A good night to you as well.”

The knight commander let out a breath in relief and left the room.

Only, he didn’t know.
That this hadn’t been the princess.

At the same time, despite it being the middle of the night, two small girls stood in front of the castle gates in a state of panic.



 

Footnotes:

  1. In Japanese, she asks Alim, if he no longer uses “ore/俺” to refer to himself (a very rough manner to refer to oneself, used almost only by men). Alim (and the imposter) uses “boku/僕” in dialogue (a more polite manner to refer to oneself, also mainly used by men), though he does use “ore” for his internal narration.
  2. I not sure here. He might also say, he’ll enter through a gap in the door without opening it.
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