“…So, Jeanne. You can use magic as well?”
“If it is the holy magic of God.”
She replied as if it should be the most obvious thing.
The Jeanne d’Arc that I had heard of from that other world did not use real magic. But perhaps heroes that are summoned to other worlds are given special powers.
Either that, or she learned it after coming here.
I asked her about it out of curiosity, but she put a finger to her small lips and said,
“It is a secret.”
There was not much to do in that case, but I still wanted to know.
But she would not say.
“Demon King, a good woman has many secrets. If you must know, send me a ring as a gift. As there are no secrets between man and wife.”
Sending someone a ring to learn a secret would be an easy thing. However, she was suggesting marriage. I had no intention of doing that, and so I lightly rejected the proposal. But I also thanked her.
“Thank you, Jeanne.”
As it had seemingly come from nowhere, she seemed surprised.
“It is just that your smile always invigorates me. And you have done well ever since you started to work for me. Traveling to the dwarf lands and then fighting. Always at the frontlines and being both a sword and shield for me. That is what I wanted to thank you for.”
I bowed slightly and she smiled.
“That hardly deserves your notice. I exist to serve you, Demon King. It was God who commanded me to be your sword and your shield.”
“I see. Then perhaps I should be thanking god.”
But then she continued.
“There would be something terribly surreal to see a Demon King offering a prayer to God.”
She said what I was thinking.
“Yes, it really would be.”
I laughed. And she laughed.
She was a girl that had died too early.
The last half of her life had been constant war, and then she was betrayed and killed.
It was because of this that there was a shadow of sadness in her eyes. But when she laughed, she could have been any other girl.
–No, that was rude.
I doubted there were many who had her beauty.
Perhaps the fact that such a talented Hero had come to work for me was enough reason to be thankful to god.
And so that night, before going to bed, I thanked god for the first time.
While I was a realist, it was not as if I didn’t believe in a god at all.
I didn’t believe in materialism.
I wanted to have the generosity to be able to at least give thanks to god when something good happened.
I had met with great companions. I prayed for them and for the hero, Gottlieb, to rest well in the next life, and then I fell asleep.
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