Side Story 08 – A certain Demon Princess
The large doors opened.
What lay before my eyes was a large room similar to an audience room, and at a place further into it on a platform a step higher than the ground, was a throne.
On the throne sat the one who was likely the ruler of this place; a girl with black hair.
Clad in a black robe, that girl gazed straight at me as I stood by the entrance, and even from a distance, I could clearly feel her gaze.
The moment that our eyes met, the instincts in my body screamed at me to run. Sweat suddenly began to drip, and I could feel myself grow pale. I’m sure that right now I’ve gone beyond pale, into pure white. My arms and legs began to tremble on their own, and as my teeth chattered, I could hear the sounds making as though it were happening to somebody else. And by the time that I noticed all this, I finally understood what this feeling was.
──Fear. No, since I was feeling this because of an absolutely unopposable being, perhaps I should call it terror and awe.
In the face of this weight of presence that exceeded even my father, His Majesty, I could do nothing but atrophy like a powerless rabbit.
This is bad this is bad this is bad… I’ve disrespected an unfathomable person.
Moved by some irresponsible rumour, on top of invading their territory, I went and defeated their gate guard, the No Life King. If somebody went and did that at the Demon King Castle, we definitely wouldn’t forgive them. We’d definitely soak them in a bloodbath, and if the enemy was a country, then we’d even be willing to go to war.
The moment I noticed this, I was hit by an impact like a strike to the head.
That’s right. The situation is already at a point that won’t end with just me. As someone with the blood of the Demon King, the things that I’ve done could very well be taken as the outlook of the entire Demon Race Territory, no, rather, taking it that way would be natural. I regret the rash actions that I’ve taken, but it’s already too late.
This is a being who is powerful enough to make the daughter of the Demon King feel awe; I can’t even imagine what a disaster it would be if this power turned towards our country.
I need to appease their anger here no matter what. To do so, I must not hesitate even if I need to offer myself to them; that is the responsibility of those born with the blood of the Demon King.
I was still frozen at the entrance, but if I stay standing here, I will be in danger of upsetting them. While suppressing my desire to escape, I stepped into the room.
With each step that I took, the pressure that I was thrust in front of continued to grow. While enduring this trial that felt like forcing myself against a river current, with a sense of duty and terror flaring up, I desperately moved my feet forward. Just the walking alone wore down the strength of my body, and of my will.
At a place a short distance from the throne, I stopped moving.
It’s no good… I can’t go on anymore… Thankfully it’s close enough to speak, so I’ll just talk from here.
My actions so far have probably given them a bad impression; my first words will probably be very important.
“Nice to meet “Please excuse my actions!” …you?”
I placed both hands and knees on the ground, and deeply bowed.
It’s a posture of expressing one’s greatest apology that a summoned hero once told us about──the dogeza.
Wha-, oh no! I accidentally cut off their words. This is rude in itself.
Hmph! At this point I have no choice but to rain apologies down upon them.
“Um, “I deeply apologise for my many acts of rudeness! If it’s something I can do, I will do anything! So, please… please have mercy on my countrymen!” ”
Uuu, what terrible luck I have…
“No, you really need to “I beg of you, please punish me alone.” …listen to me.”
Coupled with those cold words was a knife that was thrown, stabbing into the floor before my eyes. In terror, I let out a voiceless scream.
This is bad. I’ve angered somebody that I absolutely couldn’t displease.
“Raise your head, and stand.”
“Just do it.”
Being firmly told that, I sensed that staying in this posture any longer would have the opposite effect, so I snapped upright. I was going to try and explain myself for displeasing them, but before that, she spoke to me first.
“I’m not angry.”
I was trembling with fear about what she would say to me, but what came were words I hadn’t even imagined, so I accidentally made a foolish sound.
“I have no intention of punishing you either.”
She spoke her words blandly, but being told that like a small child being taught, I finally realised that she wasn’t hostile. Because the relief was so great, tears came out. With this, my country won’t be destroyed.
“And also, about the 10th floor boss…”
“R-, Right! Of course I shall carry out my duties with all my heart!”
“You don’t need to do it.”
In order for my country to escape retribution, I had prepared myself for what I thought would be inevitable, but I completely avoided it. No, I mean, it helps to not have to serve her, but now I’m anxious about whether that’s really all right.
“In exchange, there’s a favour I’d like to ask.”
“W-, Whatever you would like!”
S-, So it really wouldn’t end so easily. It seems that she wants to make me do something in exchange.
No, certainly, having the matter end with just me is still a cheap price to pay. The cause of all this was because of my rash and blind conduct, so no matter what kind of humiliation or pain, I have to make peace with it.
Now then, what is it? What do you wish of me!?
“I want you to be my friend.”
Aah, ‘friend’? ────wai-, friend!?
S-, She wants to become friends with me? What on earth is she thinking about?
I am not proud, but in the 16 years since I’ve been born, I have never had a single friend. Even if she tells me that she wants to be friends, I don’t know what to do. It isn’t my fault; being born as the Demon Princess meant that from the beginning there was no change of building up a relationship of equals. It is definitely not because of my appearance or my demeanour. That is what I would like to believe.
Oh, no good. Either way, I have no choice but to accept their request. Honestly speaking, I would feel far more relieved had they told me to become their subordinate, or had they whipped me, but…
“U-, Understood! Please allow me to humbly become your friend.”
“We’re friends, so you don’t need the keigo.”
“Unders… Got it.”
We moved to Anri’s residential area on the 31st floor, and I received a warm welcome.
She told me that she was a human at the same time that she introduced herself, but honestly speaking, unbelievable. It’s unbelievable, but her adventurer card says that she belongs to the human race as well, so I have no choice but to believe. The person herself said that she received the skills from the Evil God, and since the feeling of terror softened once she moved her gaze away, I could confirm that the skill was the cause. Apparently apart from her gaze, she also has an aura that brings about fear, but that one is only at the level of giving you chills, so there apparently isn’t a problem.
We ended up being able to speak to each other normally as long as our eyes didn’t meet, but at any rate, this is my first friend, so I wasn’t sure about how close or distant we were supposed to be.
However, even I know that being dunked in the bath by a friend you’ve only just made is not normal.
And well, I was worried about how I was smelling since I was all dirtied with blood and sweat from searching the dungeon, but being told that so frankly really pierced my heart. But it’s also the truth that I was thankful. I wouldn’t have thought that I’d get to have a bath in a dungeon.
The baths that I’m used to are tubs that you filled with hot water, about a size you can wrap your arms around, but when I saw that the bath here was shockingly half of the room, and was always filled with water even without going out of your way to fill it up, I ended up dumbfounded.
I took off my armour, and then took off my dress and got nude, before sinking into the bathtub.
I reflexively leaked a sigh. The feeling of the warmth of the water sinking into my body couldn’t be topped. Because various things happened, it seemed that more weariness had built up than I’d expected, and my consciousness accidentally dimmed.
The sound of a knock brought me back from my nap, and I raised my almost submerged face in a fluster. Whoa, whoa. I almost drowned. I don’t know how long I was out of it, but from the pruning of my fingers, it seems that it wasn’t short.
“Please excuse me.”
Together with those words, a beautiful blonde girl entered the bathroom. The knock from before was probably her. The girl wearing the strange black outfit is named Tena, and was introduced as Anri’s follower.
“I’ll leave your change of clothes here, if that’s all right.”
“Yeah, thank you.”
It seems that she brought me a change of clothes. The dress I was wearing up until now was quite dirtied, so I was actually wondering what I’d do. I hadn’t really minded up until I got into the bath, but now that I’m all clean, wearing dirtied clothes again would feel bad, so I’m feeling that I should just accept it and be thankful.
“I can wash the clothing you were wearing but, will you be all right with that?”
“Yeah, thanks. Can I ask you to do that for me?”
I feel bad having her do everything from beginning to end for me, but I’ve never done anything like laundry before, so I had no choice but to rely on her.
Tena picked up the dress and armour that I’d been wearing, and left the bathroom.
I accidentally fell asleep while in the bath, so having not properly cleaned myself yet, I began washing myself from the hair down.
After that, I relaxed in the bath some more, before finally decided to get out with regret.
Using the towel that had been placed besides my change of clothes without me noticing, I wiped down my body, and after drying myself, I put on the clothing…
Wai-, I’m supposed to wear this clothing covered in frills!?
The truth is, Leonora-sama was frilly all throughout the girls’ talk.