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Interlude: Ciel and the Awakening

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Author: Himezaki Shiu Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library

※Ciel’s Perspective

When I came to existence, my world was composed of something unpleasant and something I always wanted to be near. Looking back now, those two things were the people I hated the most and the one I loved the most, respectively, though I didn’t have the words for it at the time. I later discovered that the person I despised was a man named Duke Rispelgia, while the one I adored was a faintly glowing entity that called itself Ainsel. Ainsel, or Ain, exposed me to sounds and music before I even had self-awareness. There were many types of sounds, but none of them felt disagreeable to me. Instead, Ain’s singing already felt like something natural to me from the moment I came into existence.

During my time living in the cell, I would sometimes feel a comforting warmth enveloping me. At the time, I didn’t realize it was the magic power of Ain creating a protective barrier around me. I simply thought it was a natural occurrence. Looking back now, I understand that my ability to experience a range of emotions and live as a person is all thanks to Ain’s presence. Without Ain, even if I had managed to survive, I would have been no more than a lifeless doll.

Whenever Duke Rispelgia would come, Ain would stop singing and take down the barrier. This made it easy for me to associate Duke Rispelgia with something unpleasant that took away the warmth that Ain provided. Whenever he arrived, he would cut me with a knife and call it a meal. I felt heat instead of pain, and my senses may have dulled as a result of living in such dangerous conditions since birth. When I shared this with Ain, they expressed concern about my ability to sense danger, but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about since I can differentiate between heat and pain now.

Before I turned 5, I didn’t see Ain as a person, but rather as a natural part of my existence. When the man came to me at the age of 5, he spoke of the consequences of what he was about to do, but I didn’t fully comprehend what he meant. All I knew was that the wound he inflicted on me wouldn’t heal.

At the time, the man seemed to believe that I had become a deity, as he spoke to me with excessive politeness and even claimed to be doing things to make me happy. But his demeanor changed quickly.

More importantly, the heartbreaking sound that I heard afterward made me realize that the light protecting me had a will of its own. This realization was more significant to me.

Following the incident, I no longer heard Ain’s songs while waiting for the man’s arrival, and the protective barrier never returned. Instead, I felt an overwhelming sense of unease, and I realized just 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. In a fit of anger, he cut my body, but the shock of Ain’s disappearance was still greater than the pain.

From my hazy consciousness, I believe I spent my time reading books. Since I needed to learn the letters first, I selected books with pictures and words. As I began to understand them better, a man slightly older than Duke Rispelgia arrived and brought something.

Eating with my mouth was a completely new experience for me, but it was excruciatingly painful. All I had to do was put the food in my mouth, chew and swallow, but I couldn’t seem to swallow properly. It took me a long time to finish the bread and soup, and perhaps because I was taking too long, the man became impatient and forcefully shoved some blackish substance into my mouth. He covered my lips to ensure that I wouldn’t spit it out.

Shortly after swallowing the blackish substance, my body began to feel unnaturally warm. It was as if something inside me was running rampant, flowing through my body. I feared that if it stopped somewhere, even for a moment, it would result in my destruction. As I attempted to control the flow, it extended all the way up to my hair. Eventually, the discomfort subsided, but by then my hair had turned white.

Before I realized it, I was alone in the room, so I continued to read the books in silence. The thought of Ain caused me great pain, and with nothing else to occupy my mind, I had no choice but to keep reading.

Having read numerous books, I had finally gained a rough understanding of what “people” were. Some of the books in the room told stories about specific individuals, and this helped me to realize that Ain might have abandoned me. I had only ever received things from Ain, never giving anything in return, so it was natural that Ain would grow tired of me. Nevertheless, the world suddenly seemed colorless to me from that point on.

Therefore, when I heard Ain’s quivering voice trying to sing, I immediately asked, “Did you come back for me?” while tears streamed down my face. I couldn’t understand Ain’s response. I thought that maybe I missed hearing it, but I remembered Ain’s songs and realized that our languages may be different. Nonetheless, it didn’t matter as long as Ain remained by my side. With that thought, I slowly reached out to Ain. As I felt relieved that the light hadn’t abandoned me, I touched Ain’s light with my fingertips and felt the light gently enter inside me. Then, the colors of my world returned.


After that, my life became much more enjoyable. I taught Ain words, asked Ain to sing, and even the strange medicine wasn’t painful anymore when I was with Ain. Since Ain was skilled in sorcery and protected me with it, controlling the magic power rampage caused by the medicine was effortless for Ain.

And when Ain could finally speak, I asked for Ain’s name, but it became clear that “Ainsel” wasn’t their real name. It seemed like Ain had to think about it and didn’t seem accustomed to being called that. I didn’t know if Ain couldn’t say their real name or simply didn’t want to, but it didn’t matter to me as long as we were together. In fact, I was so happy to have a name to call Ain that I repeated it often.

After planning for a long time on what to say when I finally learned Ain’s name, I expressed my gratitude to Ain. Although words were not enough to fully convey my gratitude, it was better than saying nothing at all.

However, Ain did not reply, which made me feel uneasy. I reflexively called out to Ain, and for some reason, Ain responded by saying, 「I’m not qualified to receive your gratitude.」 This left me confused as to who else I should thank. Still, after listening to Ain, I realized that Ain was deeply affected by the incident when I lost my chastity at the age of 5.

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Upon hearing Ain’s almost crying voice, I felt like Ain would break down if I left it unattended. However, since I didn’t know any words to comfort Ain, I borrowed some words from a story I had read earlier and conveyed my feelings. It wasn’t Ain’s fault for what happened when I was 5 years old. Even if Ain had protected me at that time, Duke Rispelgia would likely never have given up on my chastity, and seeing how he was not a man who would choose his methods, I didn’t even know what he would try to do next.

For example, he could try to cut my stomach open during mealtime. If he ever attempted that, we would have to choose between protecting my chastity without eating or giving up. If we chose the former, I would definitely die, so Ain hadn’t done anything wrong.

To alleviate Ain’s negative thoughts, I asked for something to distract Ain’s attention- a name for myself. Although I might have a name, I’ve never been addressed by it. After pointing out that Ain’s name is probably something they came up with; Ain replied in a troubled tone, 『Understood』.

Ain bestowed upon me the name “Cielmer”. I wasn’t sure what Ain’s thought process was in choosing that name, but the fact that Ain chose it for me was precious. As I repeated the name “Cielmer” in my head, I couldn’t help but feel overjoyed, my cheeks stretched into a smile that I couldn’t contain.


On the day of my 10th birthday, Duke Rispelgia came to learn of my Job. I remember feeling very upset since I was having a conversation with Ain right before he arrived. However, when I saw that I had been given the job of Dance Princess as planned, it made me feel a little better.

I have to admit, I found it satisfying to watch Duke Rispelgia’s expression darken. It was refreshing, in a way. Although I hoped that he would throw us out as Ain had planned so that we could make our escape, Duke Rispelgia left for somewhere else without doing so.

Left alone, I looked at the paper on my hands and a sudden thought struck me. It occurred to me that Ain might also have a Job. Without delay, I asked Ain to try it and we found out that Ain was a Song Princess.

We both have Jobs as Princesses, and what’s more, we’re both considered “disappointments” in our respective roles. Normally, that would be a cause for sadness, but being paired with Ain somehow made me feel extremely happy.

A few days after learning our jobs, we were cuffed and thrown into a wagon. It appeared that we were being sold off, but the sight of the sky, so blue and vast, captured my attention more than the reality of being sold. I was taken aback by the beauty of it. Although I wanted to share this moment with Ain, I was well aware of our current situation and knew that we needed to focus on escaping.

As we pondered on how to escape this unexpected situation, Ain came up with a proposal that sounded oddly familiar. It seemed like we were going to repeat history.

I realized that since I was the only one who knew about Ain’s Song Princess job, we could use it to our advantage without raising suspicion. Even if Ain sang in the wagon, no one would suspect that we were planning something. Of course, gathering monsters would put our lives at risk, but since it was part of our original plan to fight them, I agreed to Ain’s proposal.


As Ain sang inside the covered wagon, her beautiful voice filled the air. It was a stark contrast to my own voice, which made me listen in ecstasy. I wondered if it was because of the Song Princess’ power. Even before Ain received the Song Princess, her singing had always made me happy.

Meanwhile, I overheard a conversation outside the wagon that made me almost furrow my brows in irritation. Allowing individuals who discuss such matters to listen to Ain’s songs somehow bothered me greatly.

As per our plan, monsters have been gathering and the escorts have been defeating them continuously for a while now, but the wagon still continues on safely. However, as Ain predicted, unless a slightly stronger monster comes near, we won’t be able to make our escape. After being rocked by the wagon for some time, I’ve lost count of how many times this has happened, the wagon comes to a halt once again.

I was unsure if it was another monster, but the situation appeared to be somewhat different from before. Ain took a peek outside and spotted a giant one-eyed monster. The people around us were divided into those trying to escape and those who had given up on escaping. Just from its appearance, the monster looked quite formidable, and based on what was happening now, it appeared to be incredibly strong. With just a single swing from the club in its hand, people were being crushed to death.

I was staring in shock at the scene unfolding before me when suddenly, a wave of nausea hit me. I felt something unpleasant rising up from the pit of my stomach and a sour taste filled my mouth. Ain must have closed her eyes because I couldn’t see anything through her eyes, and my heart was pounding so hard that it felt like it might burst.

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At this moment, I realized my mistake.

While I was locked up in the book room, I read stories about heroes from the past defeating powerful enemies. Maybe it’s because the Hero Job is unique, but in my mind, I thought of Ain as a being similar to the heroes in the books. Someone who could bravely fight their enemies no matter what. But now, seeing Ain trembling, she seems more like a princess who has fallen ill after witnessing a person’s death for the first time.

Perhaps Ain’s empathy is why she is affected by the death of strangers. Even though she has no connection to them, her kind heart can’t help but feel their pain. However, despite her resilience in standing up again after witnessing such violence, there is no need for her to push herself beyond her limits. It is my turn to repay her kindness. After all, Ain is not suited for battle and lacks power.

『Ain, protect me, okay?』

After uttering those words, I regain control of my body. It may sound weak to rely on Ain’s protection, especially after I was so confident in myself. However, with Ain by my side, I am certain that I can overcome any challenge.

As I stepped out of the wagon, I saw that there were no more survivors around and the giant monster had already started to destroy the other wagons. Suddenly, the giant’s single eye turned towards me, perhaps because I was the only one still moving. The sheer size of the monster was intimidating, easily three times my own height. I knew that attempting to fight it would be suicidal. I had never fought before, and, to make matters worse, I had never even had any proper exercise.

Despite my lack of experience and physical strength, I feel emboldened knowing that Ain is protecting me with her barrier. Even if I were to receive a glancing blow from the giant’s attacks, I’m confident that Ain’s barrier could withstand it. I know I need to do my part, so I’ll try to contribute however I can.

However, even after I braced myself and unleashed my full-powered sorcery, it only managed to burn the giant’s skin. I couldn’t help but feel that something was off. After all, my Job was that of a Dance Princess, and even during this fight, my movements didn’t feel any different from my usual dance performances. The only difference was that there was now an audience, and I was incorporating sorcery into my routine.

As I was struggling with what to do, Ain suggested that we should run away. While I agreed with her, her words made me realize the source of my discomfort. Even though I was dancing, Ain wasn’t singing at all. As a Song Princess, Ain’s power affects anything that can “hear her voice,” but since I was the only one who could hear her right now, it meant that her power wasn’t being fully utilized. Most of all, dancing without Ain’s songs felt incredibly unsatisfying to me.

As if realizing the same thing about the Song Princess, Ain’s singing voice suddenly resounds in my head. It’s an intense and unusual song for her. Although I don’t understand the meaning, it boosts my spirits.

From then on, I dance to the tune of Ain’s song, repeating the steps I’ve done a thousand times before. It feels like just another ordinary day of dancing, but somehow it’s more satisfying than ever. It’s like everything is falling perfectly into place. Is this what they mean by the phrase “feeling the cogs meshing perfectly”?

And by the time the song ended, everything ended as well.

It might sound conceited, but as soon as Ain started singing, I felt like the battle was already won. Maybe it wasn’t just the Song Princess’ boosting effect, but also because we had fulfilled the conditions for the Dance Princess to fight at her fullest potential.

Ain thought that it was still too risky, but I disagreed. After all, I had been dancing to Ain’s songs for as long as I could remember, and it felt like second nature to me.

After battling a monster for the first time, I was eager to take a rest. However, Ain cautioned that other monsters might be attracted to the smell of blood, so we needed to be cautious. Even though I could have used sorcery to quickly dispose of the giant’s body, Ain stopped me from doing so. Apparently, there was magic power gathering around the giant’s heart, and Ain wanted to investigate it further. While I couldn’t sense anything myself, I trusted Ain’s superior detection abilities and didn’t mind waiting for her to complete her examination.

We retrieved a knife and some supplies from the wreckage of the wagon and used the knife to pierce the giant’s chest. Inside, I discovered an orb that was too heavy to hold with one hand. When I picked it up, I sensed that it was a concentrated mass of magical power.

It took me a moment to realize that it was a magic stone. Although I had forgotten about it, I knew that magic stones were essential components in both sorcery and magic.

Although I knew about magic stones as information, seeing one in real life was a moving experience. I complimented Ain for remembering that magic stones are taken from monsters, but I couldn’t help but wonder why Ain seemed to have mixed feelings about it. Not wanting to pry into Ain’s emotions, I decided to focus on dealing with the giant for the time being. In these times, sorcery proved to be incredibly useful, and as I continued to use it, I couldn’t help but notice something important.

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「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 asked Ain for confirmation, but it seemed to be an embarrassing mistake for her. Although Ain quickly answered as if she was trying to cover it up, her voice suddenly shrank in the latter part. While I did think it was unusual for Ain to make such a basic mistake, more importantly, her meek response stirred something inside me.

Perhaps due to seeing Ain’s vulnerable side before fighting the giant, I feel an intense urge to protect her and shield her from any harm or embarrassment. But at the same time, there’s a strange desire within me to see Ain in this state of vulnerability forever.

What is this feeling? I wonder! I can’t see Ain’s face, but I’m sure that if she had a body, her face would be flushed red. Could this be the feeling of finding something cute or adorable? Somehow, that seems to be the perfect description for it.

Although Ain is feeling troubled, I find her being troubled makes her cuter and more adorable, and I feel like a bad girl for thinking that way. However, I do not want to make Ain sad or see her truly anxious. I just want to trouble her enough so 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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