|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
※Ciel’s Point of View
When I came to be, my world was made up of something that was unpleasant to me and something that I always wanted to be with.
Thinking about it now, they were my most hated and my most favorite people respectively, but at that time, I didn’t even know of those words.
I learned later on that my most hated person was a man named Duke Rispelgia and my most favorite person was a faintly glowing being that named itself Ainsel.
Ainsel, Ain exposed me to sounds — songs — before I was even aware of myself. There were many kinds of sounds, but none of them felt unpleasant to me. Instead, when I came to be, Ain’s singing already felt natural for me.
And while living in the cell, I also occasionally felt something warm surround me.
Now, I know that that warmth was Ain’s magic power and it was Ain’s barrier protecting me, but at that time, I felt like it was just a natural occurrence and I didn’t realize Ain’s protection.
I know that how I became who I am right now — being able to live as a person capable of many emotions — is because Ain was there for me. If Ain wasn’t there, even if I managed to survive, there’s no doubt that I would have been no different from a doll.
When that man — Duke Rispelgia — comes, Ain doesn’t sing and disables the barrier as well.
That’s why it didn’t take much time for me to recognize that man as something bad that keeps Ain — my warm kindness — away.
After the man arrives, he cuts me with a knife while calling it a meal; but perhaps my senses went numb, because all I could recognize from the pain was a feeling of heat.
When I told Ain about this, Ain was worried that my ability to sense danger may have become strange because I lived my life in such a dangerous place from the day I was born.
Though I can feel it now and, lately, I can differentiate pain from heat, I don’t really think that it’s something to worry about.
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Anyway, before I became 5 years old, I had the tendency to think of Ain as a natural occurrence instead of a person.
When the man came to me when I was five years old, he told me the results of what he was about to do to me was but it’s doubtful that I even understood at that time. All I vaguely understood is that the wound I’m going to have won’t be healed after.
At that time, it seems that the man thought that I’ve become a god, since he was awfully polite with his words and even told me he’s doing a lot of things to make me happy or so — but he was quick to change his attitude in the end, though.
More importantly, the fact that the heartbreaking sound — a voice — that I heard on the incident after that made me realize that the light protecting me also had a will of its own was more meaningful to me.
After that incident, even when I should be hearing Ain’s songs while waiting for the next time that man comes, I didn’t hear it at all and even the barrier protecting me never returned.
I just felt absolute uneasiness; I didn’t know what to do and, at the same time, I realized how dependent I was on Ain.
When the man came, he took me to a different room and told me to read the books there. He then slashed my body in anger and bandaged me up. Still, I didn’t really mind it much since the shock of Ain disappearing was much greater.
After that, from my vague consciousness, I think I was reading books. Considering how I needed to remember letters first, I chose books that had words and pictures to read.
When I began to notice that I can somewhat read them, a man looking slightly older than Duke Rispelgia came and brought something.
It was the first time I’ve ever eaten with my mouth, but it was extremely painful. I just needed to put the food in my mouth, bite and swallow, but I couldn’t quite swallow properly.
I spent a lot of time eating the bread and soup and maybe since I took too long, the man impatiently shoved some blackish thing in my mouth and covered my lips to make sure I won’t spit it out.
Not soon after I swallowed it, my body became weirdly hot. It felt like something inside my body is running wild. Something seems to be flowing around in my body and I felt like if it stops somewhere even a bit, my body might be destroyed from there.
When I tried doing something to it, the flow extended up to my hair. After that, it became a bit more comfortable, so I didn’t really mind it, but it seems this was the time when my hair turned white.
Before I noticed it, I was the only one left alone in the room, so I silently continued reading the books.
Thinking about Ain makes me feel painful for some reason and because I didn’t have any other things to think about, I had no choice but to read.
After reading many books, I now roughly understood what “people” are.
After all, there were also a few books in this room that tell stories about certain people. Then, I realized that Ain might have abandoned me.
After all, all I did was receive things; I never gave anything back to Ain. It’s natural that Ain would get sick of me. However, from then on, I felt like the world suddenly lost its color.
That’s why when I hear Ain’s trembling voice trying to sing, I ended up immediately asking「Did you come back for me?」while messily shedding tears.
I couldn’t understand Ain’s reply. I thought that maybe I’ve missed hearing it but I remembered Ain’s songs and concluded that maybe our language is different.
Still, it doesn’t matter as long as Ain stays by my side. Thinking so, I slowly reached out to Ain. While being relieved that the light didn’t run away from me, when my fingers touched Ain’s light, I felt the light gently go inside of me.
Then, the color of my world returned.
From then on, I can say that my life was a lot more enjoyable than before.
I teach Ain words, I ask Ain to sing, and together with Ain, even that strange medicine wasn’t painful at all.
Since Ain protected me with sorcery, Ain is much better than me at sorcery and Ain very easily controlled the magic power rampage caused by the medicine.
And then at the time when Ain can properly speak, I finally got to ask Ain’s name.
But I immediately noticed that 「Ainsel」 wasn’t Ain’s real name. See, it looked like Ain thought about it and it also felt like Ain seemed unused to being called so.
I don’t know if Ain can’t say it or if Ain just doesn’t want to say it, but since it didn’t matter to me as long as I’m together with Ain, I didn’t particularly mind.
Most of all, I was so happy to call Ainsel, Ain’s name that I ended up repeating it a lot.
And then, after planning a long time ago on what to say when I finally learn Ain’s name, I conveyed my feelings of gratitude to Ain.
Just words were not enough to describe my gratitude, but it’s much better than saying nothing at all.
However, Ain didn’t quite reply. So as I become uneasy, I reflexively called out to Ain. After noticing me, for some reason Ain told me『I’m not qualified to receive your gratitude.』
If I can’t thank Ain, then who should I even thank? Still, after listening to Ain, I understood that Ain was really affected by the incident where I lost my chastity when I was 5 years old.
Hearing Ain almost crying, I felt like Ain would break down if I left it be. Still, since I don’t know any words to comfort Ain, I borrowed some words from a story I read a while ago and conveyed my feelings.
After all, Ain had no fault in that incident. Even if I was protected at that time, Duke Rispelgia would likely never give up on my chastity and seeing how he’s not a man that would choose his methods; I don’t even know what he’ll try to do next.
For example, he could try to cut my stomach open really deep during mealtime.
If he ever tries to do it during mealtime, we would need to choose to either protect my chastity without eating or to just give up. If we chose the former, I would definitely die, so Ain really didn’t do any wrong.
Still, Ain doesn’t seem to be convinced, so to distract Ain from thinking more negative thoughts, I decided to ask for something. That is, to be given a name.
Perhaps I actually do have a name. But at the very least, I’ve never been called by it.
After pointing out that Ain’s name is probably something Ain came up with; in a troubled tone, Ain replied『Understood』.
The name that Ain gave me was「Cielmer」
I don’t really know what was on Ain’s mind when deciding it, but the fact that Ain thought of it for me was valuable enough for me.
「Cielmer, Cielmer」 As I repeated it in my mind, I was so happy that I couldn’t control my cheeks.
It was the day I turned 10 years old. Duke Rispelgia came to learn of my job.
Considering how I was talking with Ain right before he arrived, I think I was extremely displeased.
Still, seeing that the Job that was granted was Dance Princess as planned made me feel better.
Rather, I think seeing his face gradually turn grim was nice. It made me feel refreshed.
Now if only he throws us out after this, we would be able to run away as Ain planned but Duke Rispelgia didn’t do so and just went somewhere else.
After being left alone, we, or rather I, looked at the paper left on my hands and then I suddenly had a thought.
Perhaps Ain might also have a Job.
So then, I had Ain try it and we learned that Ain is a Song Princess.
Both of us have Princess Jobs. Moreover, both of us are even the so-called disappointments.
In reality, this should be something to feel down about, but being matched with Ain somehow made me feel really happy.
A few days after learning our jobs, we were cuffed and thrown into a wagon.
It seems that we were sold, but my first time seeing the sky — so blue, bright and most of all, so vast — surprised me much, much more than the reality of being sold.
If possible, I would have wanted to convey this emotion to Ain. Still, I do understand our current situation.
Right now, we need to concentrate on nothing but escaping.
However, while wondering how we can escape in this unexpected situation, Ain had a proposal.
It seems like we’re going to repeat history.
Certainly, since I’m the only one that knows Ain is a Song Princess, even if Ain sings in the wagon, nobody would think that we’re planning something.
Since we are going to gather monsters, our life might also be at risk. Still, since fighting monsters was a part of the plan in the first place, I accepted Ain’s proposal.
Inside the covered wagon, Ain is singing. Even though Ain is using my body, she’s singing with a beautiful voice that doesn’t sound like mine at all, so I ended up listening in ecstasy. Is this because the Song Princess’ power is doing something? Still, even before Ain received the Song Princess, Ain’s songs have always made me happy.
Outside the wagon, I can hear an unfolding conversation that almost caused me to knit my brows. Letting people that talk about things like that listen to Ain’s songs is somehow awfully irritating to me.
As planned, monsters are gathering and the escorts defeated them continuously for a while now, but the wagon still continues on safely.
As Ain said, if a slightly stronger monster doesn’t come near, it doesn’t seem like we will be able to run away.
After being rocked by the wagon for a while again, I’m not sure how many times this makes it but, the wagon halts once again.
I wondered if it was another monster again, but the situation seems somewhat different from before.
As Ain peeked outside, there is a giant one-eyed monster there and the people around us are divided into people trying to escape and people that has given up escaping.
Just from how it looks, it seemed pretty strong and seeing what’s happening now, it looks like it truly is strong.
Just from a single swing from the club in its hand, the people are crushed to death.
I was dazedly looking at what’s happening but suddenly, something is wrong with my body.
After an unpleasant feeling of something from the pit of my stomach seemingly climbing my throat, something sour came out of my mouth.
Likely because Ain closed her eyes, I couldn’t see anything; and my heart was beating so fast that it felt like it would break.
At this moment, I realized my mistake.
When I was confined in the book room, I read some stories about past heroes defeating great and powerful enemies — it might be because the Hero Job is special — so in my mind, I thought of Ain who was protecting me as a being that was the same as the heroes in the books that resolutely fights their enemies.
However, seeing Ain trembling right now, she is rather more like the princess that got ill after seeing a person die for the first time.
Maybe it’s because Ain is kind that she feels something even if the people dying are unrelated to her.
Still, even though Ain standing back up again without any complaints may be strong, there’s no need for her to push herself this far. No, this is exactly the time where I need to return Ain the favor.
In the first place, Ain is practically powerless in battle.
『Ain, protect me, okay?』
After saying so, I take back control of the body. It might seem lame to ask Ain to protect me after being so confident in myself, but it’s because if Ain is there to protect me, I’m sure that I can do anything.
Exiting the wagon, there are already no more moving people left and the giant has started destroying the other wagons.
The giant turns its large eye towards my way, possibly because I’m the only moving target left.
Just looking at its height, it seems to be three times my size. Normally, fighting against it would probably just kill me. After all, I’ve never fought before and, most importantly, I’ve never even had any proper exercise before.
However, Ain is protecting me. Even if a just graze from the attacks might severely injure me, I’m sure that Ain’s barrier would likely be able to endure it.
For now, I’ll try to see how much I can do.
But after bracing myself and striking it with my sorcery, my full powered strike only burned its skin.
For some reason, I feel like something’s out of place. My job is the Dance Princess. Even during this fight, what I’m doing doesn’t feel any different from how I usually dance. There’s just an audience now and I’m just mixing in some sorcery with it.
Just when I was troubled with what to do, Ain asked me if we should run away.
I do agree with that, but upon hearing Ain’s voice, I realized what was really causing my discomfort. Even though I’m dancing, Ain isn’t singing at all.
After all, Ain’s Song Princess affects anything that can “hear her voice”; and since I’m the only one that can hear Ain’s voice right now, that is exactly what it means.
Most of all, dancing without Ain’s songs somewhat feel really unsatisfying to me.
And maybe Ain also realized the fact about the Song Princess, because her singing voice immediately begins to resound in my head.
It was an extremely intense song, unusual for Ain. As usual, I don’t understand what it means but I feel my spirits rising.
From then on, I just danced to the tune of the song. I just repeated what I had done for a thousand times and just danced as I did every day.
Still, today was a lot more satisfying than all the other times I danced to Ain’s song. Is this what feeling the cogs meshing perfectly refers to?
And by the time the song ended, everything ended as well.
It’s a bit arrogant if I say so myself, but from the time Ain started singing, I felt like there was no more contest.
Probably it wasn’t just from the Song Princess’ strengthening effect, but also because we’ve cleared the requirements for the Dance Princess to fight in full strength.
Ain said that it was still too much, but I don’t really think so. After all, from as long as I could barely even remember, I was already dancing to the sound of Ain’s songs.
I wanted to take a rest after fighting a monster for the first time. But since according to Ain, other monsters might get attracted to the smell of blood, I need to hang on for just a bit more.
Though I say that, I just needed to burn and bury the giant, so using sorcery would end it immediately.
But just when I was about to burn it, Ain stopped me.
It seems like there is magic power accumulating around the giant’s heart, so Ain wants to check something about it. I don’t really feel anything, but my detection ability is no match for Ain’s, so I don’t mind if there is something Ain wants to search for.
From the wagon’s wreckage, we brought a knife and some things that might be necessary from now on, and then ran the knife through the giant’s chest. Then from the inside, I see an orb that seems hard to carry with one hand. And when I held it, I realized as well that it’s a lump of magic power.
As I wondered what it was, I realized that it’s a magic stone. I completely forgot about it, but it should be something that’s also used when doing sorcery or magic.
I know it as information, but seeing the real thing is really moving.
I praised Ain for remembering that magic stones are taken from monsters. But I wonder why Ain seems to show somewhat mixed feelings about it?
It seems to be bad to dig into it, so I decided to deal with the giant for now.
In these times, sorcery is really useful. At the same time, I ended up noticing something.
「Say, Ain. Is it possible that instead of using a knife, we could have just used sorcery to take out the magic stone?」
『Ah…… B-But, still, we might need to use the knife in the future……
No, um…… I’m really sorry that my hasty decision made us waste effort to find it.』
I just asked for confirmation but it seems that it was an embarrassing mistake for Ain.
Even though Ain answered quickly like she was trying to cover it up; in the latter part, her voice suddenly shrank just as fast.
While I did think that it was unusual for Ain to make this kind of basic mistake, more importantly, seeing Ain’s meek response right now roused something inside me.
It may be because I saw the fragile part of Ain before fighting the giant as well, but I feel the urge to protect the embarrassed, somewhat shrinking Ain.
At the same time, I want to keep seeing Ain being embarrassed forever.
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What it this feeling, this feeling I wonder!?
I don’t know how Ain would look, but I’m certain that if she had a body, her face would be beet red.
What could it be, what could it be?
Is this perhaps the feeling when seeing something cute? Is this the feeling of seeing something adorable?
Somehow, it feels like that certainly fits.
Even though Ain is feeling troubled, I’m thinking that Ain being troubled makes her cuter, that it makes her more adorable. I’m a bad girl.
Still, I don’t want to make Ain sad.
I don’t really want to see her being truly anxious. I just want to trouble Ain just enough that she won’t feel uncomfortable.
Naughty girl, naughty girl.
I absolutely can’t let Ain know of this feeling of mine.
That’s why I immediately changed the topic. I feel bad for Ain, but the feeling that I gained something precious made me a bit happy.
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