The Pathetic Prince
While he may have been the calmest one there, that didn’t mean it would result in something that she would like.
Chiharu didn’t see herself as being some special person. She was called a Saintess and did work that only a Saintess could do, but that was simply just her job.
However, she was under their castle. A lone, young woman behind bars. And yet the first question he asked her was not,
“How did you come to be captured?”
Instead, it was,
“Why are there monsters inland? Ask them this.”
And so she could not help but be disappointed. Chiharu folded her arms and sighed.
“Well, what merit is there for me if I do that?”
Alan repeated without taking his eyes off of the monsters. Chiharu explained it to him politely.
“This homeland that you care about so much is the one that imprisoned me. I don’t want to be here. I’m the one who is under harsh circumstances. Why do you think I would want to lift a finger to help people who don’t care about me at all?”
“I don’t mind talking to them. But it will have to be after you let me out of here.”
Was she taking out her frustration on them? Chiharu thought about it a little. She felt close to the monsters, and was not frightened at all by them. If anything, they had helped her more than the humans. She glanced at the small gazer in the corner. It was floating above the iron bars so that it wouldn’t be seen.
And she knew that the people of this world would not change easily, as they had seen monsters as things to be destroyed for many years.
And so Chiharu decided that she would not have any expectations for these two. As long as she waited here quietly, Maki and the others would come and rescue her.
“Yes, Alan. What the girl says is correct.”
Norfe said as he turned his back on the monsters and began inspecting the lock.
“We’ll have to bring a locksmith to break this. It’s simple, but very durably made.”
“Do you know where there might be a spare key?”
“Well, my uncle is the prime minister. He manages the whole castle.”
Norfe shook his head at Alan. It would likely be very difficult to acquire. Norfe looked at Chiharu as she sat on the sofa. While Chiharu felt a little uncomfortable, she looked straight back at him.
Though he had looked at her condescendingly when they were at the Midland castle, that had changed when they met by the lake. He no longer seemed to despise her. He looked like he was genuinely worried for her, while also struggling with something else. However, it did not last for too long.
“Orange girl, no, Saintess Chiharu. Give me your hand. I know that I have no right to say that after what we said in Midland, but will you let me hold your hand?”
Alan seemed a little shocked. But he stood next to Norfe a moment later.
Take his hand? What was this about? Norfe and Alan knelt down on one knee in front of the iron bars and then stretched out their arms towards Chiharu. Was this like one of those knight’s vows? Chiharu wondered with disappointment. It was likely a situation that a lot of girls dreamed of, and yet there was an air of disappointment around her.
Well, perhaps it was because it was Norfe.
Still, Chiharu got up from the sofa and approached the iron bars. And after a moment of hesitation, offered Norfe her right hand. Norfe accepted it with both hands and pressed it against his forehead.
Woah. If Maki-chan were here, she would be pointing and bursting with laughter. Chiharu thought, but accepted this quietly.
In spite of the situation, Chiharu did not feel a shred of excitement. Also, while weak, she felt the presence of miasma from Norfe. Perhaps it was because he came to this room, or perhaps he had already had it. She could not tell. However, it dispersed the moment that Chiharu touched him.
“Saintess Chiharu, I apologize for the insolence directed towards you up until now. You are just a girl. An ordinary girl you could find anywhere. The kind who sells oranges.”
Even when apologizing, he is rude. Chiharu was honestly annoyed enough that her mouth twitched. But he was still apologizing, so it could not be helped. And then Norfe looked up with expectation in his eyes. What? Chiharu tilted her head to the side, but then replied quickly.
“I forgive you.”
Though, I don’t want to! But I am an adult! Norfe looked relieved as he let go of her hand. So it had been the correct answer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a knight’s vow or anything. Next, was the attendant.
“I, well, I am Prince Norfe’s attendant, and did nothing to advise him against those actions. I apologize about having abandoned my duty. And so I too ask for forgiveness.”
“I forgive you.”
This person called Alan was also filled with miasma. They both stood up with refreshed expressions. Then Norfe clutched the iron bars and said,
“I wish that I could unlock this and set you free immediately, but it would be difficult now. But I promise to do something, so will you just wait a little while longer?”
This. This was it. Had he said this from the beginning, Chiharu would have had no reason to complain. Well, while it was a little late, she would still give him a passing grade. Chiharu decided to talk to him properly.
“It seems like there is a cave here. And if you continue down it, there is a dungeon. And the monsters who were in there quietly…were awoken.”
“A cave? I didn’t know that. And they kept digging?”
Norfe was very surprised.
“The monsters have no perception of time, and so I don’t know when it was. But I assume that there is someone close to you who knows.”
“My uncle… Thank you, Chiharu.”
“Well, we’ll be leaving now. Please don’t worry too much.”
And so without doing anything, the two disappeared behind the hidden door.
“Well, I doubt that I can count on them. A foolish prince and his foolish attendant. I have no choice but to wait for Maki-chan and spend time with the monsters. I know that she will come for me.”
Chiharu muttered. Then she went to the bedroom that you couldn’t see from the iron bars. And she dove into the bed and fell asleep. It had been awful being carried while unable to move. When she next awoke, the hallways window had opened, and her breakfast was pushed through.
“They are probably going to give me three meals a day, so I can count the days like that. I should eat and rest and regain my strength for now.”
She told herself this as she ate her breakfast, returned a few monsters to magic stones, ate lunch and then rested, and then had dinner. It was after the day had passed that the door to the hallway creaked open.
Chiharu was tense. While she doubted anything would happen, she hated talking to Lord Adol. However, it wasn’t Adol who came, but Norfe. His hands were tied behind his back and he was gagged.
“Your Highness, I’m sorry. You too, Saintess.”
It was the person who had brought her in yesterday. And just like that, the cell was unlocked and Norfe was pushed in. At the same time, the man pretended to squat as he dropped something. But then the door was locked again.
Chiharu picked the object up. It was a small knife. He probably wanted her to cut the ropes with it.
Still, to return like this in just one day. This was a pathetic and unreliable prince indeed.