Those Who Do Not Have
Chiharu and Norfe were talking leisurely.
“Maybe you should rest a little.”
“No. I’m fine, since we’re sitting down here while talking anyway. But aren’t you uncomfortable, sitting there on the floor?”
“Well, I’m leaning against the sofa. Besides, back in my country, you take your shoes off and sit on the floor a lot of the time.”
It wasn’t so much a conversation with Norfe, as Chiharu telling him interesting stories. Talking to someone else like this made her realize just how eventful her life had been since coming to this world.
While she hadn’t had the highest opinion of Norfe, he listened quietly, and without any rude comments. So not only was he a handsome young man, though not as handsome as Edwy, he was also a good listener.
“It will be morning soon, so I don’t think I’ll be able to tell you about Gromble.”
They were attacked by a bear, went to a hot spring, had been spied on, though that was a secret, and then they finally arrived at the capital. Just talking about this had made a lot of time pass by.
“I don’t know how long we will be here, but won’t you tell me about the rest of your travels one day?”
“Yes, there is still so much to tell.”
Norfe smiled a little sadly. He probably had an idea about what would happen next. However, he also had to admit that Chiharu knew more about that.
“Hey, it doesn’t have to be while we’re here, you know?”
“You mean… But I don’t know how I could ever go and face you. No, in the first place…”
He could not continue after that. Norfe stared at the ground and became silent.
He eventually did accept Chiharu’s suggestion to sleep a little, and he was then chased off to the bed. Perhaps he was too tired to resist at that point. Once Chiharu saw that he was asleep, she moved back to the sofa that faced the iron bars.
“Surprisingly, he just does what he’s told. Norfe. He’ll generally listen to what you say if pushed. In other words, his uncle must have taken advantage of his nature while raising him.”
After some time had passed, there was a creak, and the hallway door opened quietly. She had a feeling that the night was already over. Several people walked in. Chiharu leaned back into the sofa and crossed her legs.
“Hey, Lord Adol, is it? Is it fun being in control of a whole country?”
“Fun? There was no one else to do it, and so I was forced to. It is nothing but trouble.”
He said with a sigh and a shrug of his shoulders. She had not met Lord Adol since the unveiling.
“In that case, why don’t you trade places with the prince? Isn’t he an adult at eighteen?”
“Indeed. But Norfe seems to have misunderstood something. He took the king hostage and said that he will take the throne now.”
“Huh, that’s weird. Considering he would be king without doing anything. As long as his uncle stops clinging to the role of regent.”
She thought she heard a faint noise coming from the bedroom, but she ignored it. She had already told him to not come out.
“He is still not ready to be king. I was thinking about allowing him to grow a little more first.”
“And what have you done to help him grow?”
Chiharu asked relentlessly. However, Lord Adol did not reply. He just signalled to the soldiers who accompanied him.
Five of the soldiers thrust their spears through the bars and towards Chiharu’s face.
“Now, Norfe. You’re here, aren’t you? If you don’t come out, this lady might get hurt.”
“Don’t come out! If they wanted to hurt me, they wouldn’t have locked me up in the first place.”
“The situation has changed. Besides, hurting you a little won’t matter. We can still get magic stones as long as you don’t die. Norfe, are you going to let that happen?”
The bedroom door opened loudly. Chiharu shut her eyes in frustration. She should have been more severe when telling him.
“Uncle! Stop this! It has nothing to do with the Saintess!”
Norfe moved between Chiharu and the spears and gestured for her to go into the bedroom.
However, the spears moved to both sides of her, and she was unable to get away.
“If you wanted the throne so much, you could have talked to me and my father! It’s not as if you are completely inept at goverening. And we royals are administrators of the people. There is no reason why a direct descendant must inherit the throne.”
“You may say that, but there is no reason anywhere to disinherit a prince who is not at fault. I cannot become king as long as you are alive.”
“I do not understand it! Why do you wish to be king so much!”
“You will never understand, as you only had to wait for it to happen to you.”
Lord Adol whispered quietly. But Chiharu could see it. Lord Adol’s body was filled with miasma.
She didn’t know why. However, since he knew about this cave, he might have been affected by the miasma little by little. As he grew angry and more selfish, the desire to become king must have grown inside of him.
Chiharu glanced over to the cave.
“It’s no use, Saintess. I’ve heard reports of how you are liked by the monsters. They say that you calmed them in the dwarf lands. I didn’t believe it at first, but just as a precaution, I had the monster cave blocked off.”
Chiharu knew that it had been closed yesterday.
“Prince Norfe will die in the battle while we try to save the king. That’s what the official story will be.”
“The Saintess will be useful. Leave her.”
Norfe’s shouts were in vain, and Lord Adol left them.
One of the five soldiers put down his spear and took out the cell keys.
“Hey! Are you seriously going to kill the prince of your own country?”
The soldier recoiled a little at these words, but it was clear that he still meant harm.
“I see. I have no choice then…”
Chiharu muttered as she sat down on the sofa.
“This was the one thing I didn’t want to do. But if it will save a life.”
Norfe called to her. Chiharu said quietly,
“Now, all of you. Gather around the spear wielders.”
Immediately after, the shadows in the room started to move. The soldiers were surprised and looked up.
“Now, go and play.”
The gazers that had been stuck to the ceiling started to come down.
After being hit by the gazes, the soldiers ran away. Of course, this included the soldier with the key.
“Ah, damn it! The door would have been opened if I waited a little longer!”
Chiharu had sounded very confident, but she had actually been scared. And so she had given the order to the gazers too early.
“I’m just useless when it counts! Damn it!”
As Chiharu berated herself, the small gazer floated down to her.
“Huh? That door opens up?”
There was a creak, and the door that led to the king’s room started to open.