this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!
“Linden knew, right?”
I still remembered Linden’s ambiguous behaviour at the start of the journey.
‘How do you know that person?’
‘Since he’s someone who’s a close acquaintance of His Majesty the Emperor.’
Although Linden wouldn’t have known that Lecht was the Demon King, he at least knew that he was the Grand Duke of Arvis. There was no doubt about that.
However, the reason he didn’t say anything to me must have been because Lecht had forbidden him from mentioning it.
Now that I think about it, there were a lot of strange points that I had naturally brushed off when I was unaware of the situation.
“Why did you hide it?”
The shock of learning that Lecht is the Demon King still lingers. I was still scared at the thought of what he was going to do to the Empire.
However, there was still one more emotion that was larger than that, stabbing at my heart. Was it the feeling of betrayal? Or was it sorrow?
“Because I wasn’t sure about you at first.”
He answered me flatly.
“There was no way for me to know how you’d react later.”
Although it was a stiff tone that had no emotion in it, I could tell that it was true from the look in his eyes.
“So what you weren’t sure about, is it being sure that I’m the saintess?”
“I’m sure it’s you.”
So it was that.
“The less people that know that I’m the Grand Duke of Arvis, the easier it is to maintain confidentiality, so I normally don’t talk about it.”
“Hmm. Well he’s a case that found out by himself.”
“Come to think of it, it’d be weird for you to ignore the prince when you didn’t know him.”
“…Is that so.”
Now that I think about it, it was pathetic of me to believe the weak basis of, ‘it’s because he’s one of the emperor’s people’. Even Linden would have been suspicious.
“So you didn’t know how I’d react later?”
“When I asked you where your home was and where you lived, you still avoided my question.”
There was clearly an opportunity for him to bring it up.
‘A place with a good view of the galaxy, and lots of animals.’
That was clearly an answer that avoided saying the whole truth.
“Wasn’t that something you should’ve told me at least then?”
He lowered his gaze as I reproached him with the little resentment that I had bottled up. After looking at my feet for a while, he finally raised his eyes again.
“I was afraid that you’d avoid me.”
Although this too, was said flatly, perhaps because of the look in his eye, my shoulders that had been tense soon relaxed.
“When people normally find out that I’m the Grand Duke of Arvis, they usually fall into one of two groups. Those who think they can get something out of me, and who are interested in scheming.”
“And those that flee in fear or avoidance.”
That was understandable.
He was renowned for being trusted and favoured by the emperor as the descendant of the empire’s founder, but nothing was known about himself. There were rumours that he was eccentric, and that the whole family would be ruined if they wronged him.
The land that was under the Grand Duchy was as large as the capital, and his army was strong enough for it to be acknowledged even by the emperor, so even the Mage’s Tower didn’t dare to provoke him recklessly.
When faced with such overwhelming power, it was obvious what people’s reaction would be. Lecht, who had lived as the Grand Duke for 100 years, must have seen it many times.
“So you thought that I’d be like that too.”
He probably thought I’d choose the latter since it didn’t look like I wanted to get anything from him.
“I didn’t mean to deceive you.”
“When you hid it for a month and had the chance to bring it up, you just beat around the bush, but you weren’t trying to deceive me?”
“…I was going to tell you when you woke up.”
“Shouldn’t you have told me before you brought me here?”
He couldn’t find an answer to rebut my logic. No matter how you thought about it, it was clearly him at fault.
I was so shocked that I fainted at the news. It was even my first time fainting since being born.
Still not being able to fathom this poking feeling in my heart, I took half a step back.
That was when he began to open his mouth to speak again.
“If I had told you, would you have followed me here?”
It was now my turn to be at a loss for words at his logic. He was right.
I would have fled as soon as I knew that he was the Grand Duke of Arvis.
No matter if I was the saintess or whatever, with the Demon King right in front of me, I would’ve run away without even looking back. The reason why the novel had become an ‘anticlimax’ and why I wanted to flee the country was right in front of me, so of course I would’ve escaped.
“If you, who was even burdened by the position of saintess, knew about me… then you wouldn’t have even been able to fall asleep on my back.”
That was too true. I wouldn’t have even been up there in the first place. Lecht was piercing right through the truth.
“Still, deceiving is deceiving.”
However, in the end, he still deceived me.
“You’ve even taken away my chance to choose whether or not I want to run away or follow after you.”
I could see Lecht’s fingertips flinching at my point. Although his expression hadn’t changed at all, it felt like I could read his thoughts.
It was then that I had a realisation of what exactly this feeling that was weighing down on my heart was. It wasn’t a feeling of betrayal or sorrow; it was anxiety.
‘Because I have no intention of letting you go.’
I couldn’t understand what those words meant.
‘Your job is to do whatever your heart desires. It’s up to me to follow you.’
I constantly wondered if what he said was true.
‘Let alone her body, even the traces left of her can’t be found?’
The unidentified man’s words kept ringing in my ears.
<And in that way, he destroyed the very empire he had built with his own hands.>
The future of the novel that hadn’t yet unfolded kept coming into mind.
“I didn’t mean to force you.”
I didn’t know if I could take his words that he had softly whispered to heart.
“Then let me go.”
So defensive words popped out of my mouth instinctively.
His expression changed greatly this time. His eyes widened and his shoulders also stiffened. His calm breathing which could be heard before suddenly stopped.
After the end of a long silence, his lips finally parted again.
In any case, this answer was within my expectations. However, I spoke curtly upon hearing that answer.
“So you didn’t mean to force me. Then shouldn’t you let me go if I want to leave?”
Hiding it from the beginning for fear of me avoiding him was a completely different story to doing so to prevent me from running away. That was not only taking away my chance to choose to run away, but also my freedom to run away.
His silence had caused me to roll into the den of demons, and aside from it being scary, it also wasn’t pleasant to have the faith I put into someone being betrayed.
Frankly, despite having nowhere else to go, I was stubbornly sticking to my feeling of betrayal and sadness.
“Let me go.”
“I said no.”
“Why does Lecht get to decide where I’m going? I’m the one that’s leaving though?”
Why do I feel so hurt about this?
“Then are you going to use your power and authority to block me from leaving? Then how can I possibly trust you at this point?!”
My ugly way of speaking started to become harsher.
I wonder why that was the case. There’s no reason for me to get this angry. So what was making me so emotional?
“Also, what did he mean by as long as it’s a saintess, it doesn’t matter? Just what else are you hiding from me?!”
Oh, I see. So that’s what I’m so upset about.
It wasn’t that I was scared because he was the Demon King, nor was it because I felt betrayed over the fact that he deceived me.
No, maybe I had felt like that in the beginning. But that wasn’t the case now.
The reason why the tip of my nose kept feeling stuffy and the feeling of wanting to cry keeps welling up from within.
‘But… this isn’t what our Demon King has been waiting for though?’
‘Ahh, so as long as it’s a saintess, it doesn’t matter?’
It was the fact that Lecht was waiting for a saintess. And it was the fact that I wasn’t the one he was waiting for.
‘The saintess this time seems to be gentler than the last one, huh?’
He was probably talking about the previous saintess. The saintess whose life Frody had said was completely ruined.
So, it wasn’t me who was meant to receive all of Lecht’s kindness, but it was that saintess.
“Let me go.”
Feeling like I was about to cry, I closed my eyes and shouted.
“I hate men who lie!”
My shrill voice filled the spacious restaurant. In the silence that followed, the only sound that could be heard was my panting for breath.
Along with his expression of surprise from earlier, Lecht was looking at me with another expression as well. He looked extremely flustered… no, as if he had received a great shock.
Today was a day where I had witnessed a variety of emotions on his face. Normally, it would have been fascinating, but I wasn’t particularly happy about that right now.
He stretched out his hand toward me, calling me quietly. However, I stepped back reflexively and moved away from him.
At that moment, his eyes shook, like the flame of a candle in front of the wind.
He called out for me once again, clenching his fist which had stopped awkwardly midair. There was a sense of embarrassment in his voice, but I, who had felt overwhelmed with emotions already, wasn’t in the right mindset to consider his feelings as well.
Since I was busy protecting my wounded heart. I was busy hiding it since I felt as if my pride and innermost thoughts had been revealed.
Another step backwards of mine made his legs flinch. It was a movement that seemed to stop him from approaching me any further.
“I’m leaving. Don’t stop me.”
I mumbled as I hastily wiped away the tears that had started to drip down my cheeks at some point. It was stubbornness to stick to feelings of resentment and pain.
“If you stop me, I’ll hate you for the rest of my life!”
After that, I left the restaurant as if I were fleeing.
Kelber rushed after me with a whine, but Lecht, however, didn’t go after me.
* * *
pls do not share this anywhere or the transmigration gods will transport u into boku no pico !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
“Lecht… must be very angry, right?”
It had been a whole day since I yelled emotionally at Lecht.
He hadn’t come to look for me, nor had I left this room. My meal had been brought up by Solte, and Kelber had remained by my side.
I hadn’t been able to sleep that evening since I was so resentful and angry. However, after a day, an apologetic feeling began to ooze its way into me.
“Should I apologise…?”
It was certainly wrong for him to deceive me and bring me here without consulting me first. However, I didn’t think I had needed to shout so loudly.
Kelber, who was lying on the bed, raised his head at my sigh.
As I hugged Kelber, the soft feel of his fur relieved my mood, albeit only slightly.
However, although Kelber’s warmth gave me a sense of peace, my mind was still complicated since it hadn’t solved the underlying issue.
‘I could’ve said it in a nicer way, so Lecht must have been flustered since I suddenly got angry at him.’
In any case, this mouth of mine was the source of trouble. Anyone who had a temper vented on them out of the blue would get upset. Lecht was no exception to that.
Just as I was sighing, stroking Kelber’s back in my arms, I heard a knock at the door.
“You can come in.”
I thought it was Solte who was going to bring me warmed milk, so I spoke to the door. However, Solte didn’t open the door.
‘Did you not hear me?’
Or were you having a hard time opening the door since you were carrying so much stuff?
I got up from my seat and opened the door instead. However, I was surprised by the figure standing on the other side of the door.
The figure of the person standing in the dark hallway was too large for it to be Solte. Above all, those gold eyes that glowed softly were unique to just one person.
“L-Lecht, what brings you here…”
My heart was pounding in surprise.
He stood at a distance and said nothing. Those two eyes of his that resembled evening stars in the fathomless night sky just stared at me.
He was just as expressionless as always, but I could tell he was agonising over something, perhaps because of the dark shadow that was cast over his face. It was obvious that he had a lot of things to say, but didn’t know what or how to say it.
“Did you drink?”
I couldn’t smell it at first, but as I stood facing him for a longer period of time, the smell of alcohol quietly crossed through the door frame.
He spoke with a face that didn’t seem like it only had a bit at all.
He parted his lips, as if he was about to say something, then closed them tightly once again, so I eventually spoke up first.
“Can I ask you about just one thing?”
“Ask as much as you want.”
“Why won’t you let me leave?”
I should’ve asked my questions like this in the first place instead of just getting angry like I did before. Although I had an emotional outburst since my mind was complicated from the overload of information it had to receive at once, I still should have rationally asked for the reason to figure out the situation.
“I ended up raising my voice since I got too emotional. I’m sorry for saying such harsh words.”
Although the accident had already occurred, I still wanted to correct the situation now.”
“But since it’s Lecht, there must be a reason why you’re doing this to me, right?”
The Lecht who I had witnessed so far has been a very rational person. Although he sometimes illogically ignored Linden, upon learning that he was the Grand Duke of Arvis, it was still according to his character. And despite being unusually discriminatory against Linden, the way he treated Tanma and Kelber showed how reasonable he was.
At the restaurant that day, my judgement was clouded for a while from the realisation that Lecht was the Demon King, as well as the words Frody had said, but…
“I want to hear about that reason.”
I should’ve asked calmly like this.
Lecht’s gaze fell to the floor at my question.
Was it a reason that was difficult to say? But I still wanted to hear it.
As I waited patiently, he finally opened his mouth after thinking about it for a long time.
“Do you have some time right now? I have something I want to show you.”
His voice was relaxed, perhaps because he was drunk.
Although it was a bit of a sudden question, it was probably because what he wanted to show me was related to my question.
“Yes, please show me.”
I nodded my head without hesitating and followed after him.
ANGST AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CHAPTER HAGLODSJSSD hope yawl enjoyed that HAHAHAHA
some things abt this chapter:
although ara got super emotional in that fight WE STAN A COMMUNICATIVE QUEEN !! i think it’s v clear that she’s the type that needs to cool down after an argument and that’s when she rlly reflects over it ! also love that she’s very quick to apologise (guilty of not being able to apologise easily here ghsdljsjfss) and i like that she is also v considerate of how lecht feels and also reassures him as well !!
i think it’s great that she understands, even from earlier on when she didn’t know that lecht was grand duke arvis, that relationships are a give and take and that she’s also willing to give and not only receive.
another note is GAH DAMN KELBER IS SO CUTE I LOVE HIM I WANT A DOG SO BAD HAGHSDFKFSDJ kelber’s got 3x the personality too with his three heads HGLSDKFSJD
also we are finally going to find out the lore behind why lecht has been waiting for ara (hopefully !!!)