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While Shion corrects her posture by squirming within the suspended net, Renya shifts his attention with a fleeting glance to the side of his bed.
Although there’s Frau’s bed, which she made because of her powerful wish “Frau has to be there no matter what”, Frau currently isn’t present.
Likely, after she opened the door’s lock for Shion, she probably went outside the room to not become a hindrance for the events afterwards.
In a certain sense it can be seen as Frau’s consideration of “Please enjoy slowly”, but probably it’s something else, Renya thinks.
If it was the “enjoy slowly” and so on, Frau should have told Shion about the existence of the trap at the entrance’s door.
Her not having mentioned it means that she either approved of Shion’s action and decided to leave the further events to fate or she probably found the aspect of not telling her amusing in some way. It’s likely one of those two.
As she was able to prepare for Renya who pondered about such stuff, Shion begins to talk,
“Renya, I think you are strangely dumb in regards to things that don’t interest you.” (Shion)
“What a terrible thing to say out of the blue, but… certainly, I don’t care about stuff that doesn’t interest me.” (Renya)
When Renya readily affirms that, Shion smiles wryly.
“Going by the circumstances, have you even forgotten the name of this country?” (Shion)
“I remember it. It’s Trident Principality.” (Renya)
“Then, the name of the Archduke there?” (Shion)
“Don’t know.” (Renya)
Since that was inconsequential information, Renya replied immediately.
Not knowing something like the name of the country’s leader doesn’t cause particular problems in living one’s life.
Even in the world where Renya been before, the number of people, who can’t answer after being asked for the full name of the prime minister of their own country, should add up to a reasonable amount.
As there’s no particular gain even if you know it, it’s also not like there will be some loss by not knowing it.
The level of importance of that information was no more than that.
“Being the country closest to the Miasma Forest, it’s fine to say that this Trident Principality plays a role similar to that of a wall for the human continent. Because of that its national power is boasting to be second in rank on the human continent. By the way, first rank belongs to the Holy Kingdom ruling the continent’s centre.” (Shion)
Renya wondered whether this will become a study session in geography or world history after listening up to this point, but deciding to let Shion talk about what she wants to say for the time being, he stays silent and urges her on ahead.
“Her Excellency the Archduchess of that Trident Principality is a woman called Lydia. Her full name is Lydia Femme Fatale.” (Shion)
“Mmh? That means…” (Renya)
Due to Renya interjecting by doubting his hearing, Shion nods and puts a hand on her own chest.
“Yes, I’m Shion Femme Fatale. As daughter of Her Excellency the Archduchess of Trident Principality, I’m the first princess. Her Excellency the Archduchess is my mother.” (Shion)
If he said that he wasn’t surprised, it would be a lie, but it wasn’t like it could be said that Renya was extremely surprised either.
He had the expectation she has likely a fairly high social standing, but although he surely didn’t think that it would even go as far as her being the daughter of the country’s leader, as there’s currently Croire, who is the daughter of His Majesty the Emperor even if she’s ranked as 35th, it’s not something at the level of causing an eye-popping astonishment for him either.
As his thinking apparently appeared on his expression, Shion smiles.
“Well, certainly the feeling that it’s a bit late in the game is strong.” (Shion)
“It was obvious from my expression, huh? Excuse me for that. Even so, it turns out to be quite a distinguished position, that, right?” (Renya)
“That’s true. If you limit it to the human continent, it’s distinguished to the extent of there not being that many people who can afford to not bow their head to me. I’m more or less the next Archduchess as first successor, if it becomes reality.” (Shion)
<The Trident Principality won’t last long then, will it? Is what I think ~no> (Frau)
Renya somehow endures not bursting into laughter due to the voice of Frau suddenly resounding in his mind.
She seems to be eavesdropping on the conversation from somewhere through the path between Renya and Frau.
That’s probably your impression after hearing Shion call herself the next Archduchess, but even if I tell you that there are parts which I can agree with, your timing is far too bad, Renya sent a thought of protest.
“If it becomes reality, so it’s about that actually not happening?” (Renya)
Shion gave a nod to Renya who asked to prevent him hearing that as slip of tongue.
“Renya, you are probably thinking this as well, but I’m… not very smart if speaking the unvarnished truth.” (Shion)
As he hesitates to say yes or no, Renya stays silent towards Shion’s remark.
If he relaxed his attention a bit, he would burst into laughter though, especially as there were also Frau’s words from before.
“Honestly spoken, I don’t believe that I will be able to put up with the heavy responsibilities of an Archduchess. I’m confident that I will likely put the country itself in jeopardy.” (Shion)
Stifling the exclamations “Aren’t you an useless kid!? I knew it, though!”, Renya somehow held himself back to reflexively give her a tsukkomi.
Even so, isn’t it an important aspect that the useless child has analysed herself properly as being an useless child? He also thinks.
From Renya’s standpoint, the person called Shion is far too impulsive and is unable to read her surroundings much. Because she puts too much importance on ideals, she doesn’t perceive reality properly. That was his impression.
Renya doesn’t believe that to be something bad.
It’s fine if she follows up with her surroundings if it’s in the range of being patchable. If that’s close to impossible, it’s also an option to give up and persuade with logic fervently.
Once he considered it like that, he felt like Shion explained her actions adequately so far.
‘In other words, from her point of view the populace of Trident Principality are targets to be protected and existences that can’t be abandoned even if it was impossible or at the borderline of possibility.
Regarding this, there’s also the idea that it’s the responsibility of a stateswoman to choose those to be discarded, but likely Shion didn’t receive education to that extent.
What made her quickly retreat in the elven country was that it was an incident in another country. Since it was about the people of another country being the targets to be protected, not only didn’t she reach out her hand and sword, but moreover it was for the sake of learning that this danger might reach her own country.
Shion changed the evaluation criteria, that’s within herself, in her own way, he thought and also believed that she’s a simple, idiotic child but Renya feels guilty though only slightly.
“Fortunately I have a younger sister who’s quite capable. That girl is smart to a degree that can’t be compared with me. Therefore I decided to relinquish my Archduchess inheritor rights and hand it over to my younger sister.” (Shion)
“Question number one: At the time I went reform those idiots at school, there was a noble with the surname Fatale though?” (Renya)
“That one’s from our branch. I was a bit shocked when I heard that she met you, Renya. It would be fine if she didn’t say anything unnecessary, but I was worried. It saved me troubles that she apparently didn’t mention anything.” (Shion)
“Question number two: Didn’t your little sister-san hate getting such troublesome matter pushed onto her?” (Renya)
“If I leave the decisions of this country to ane-sama, that method might be reliable, I ended up being told. In the first place it seems like my little sister wanted to be my support as advisor after making me the Archduchess, but I think I ended up making some mistake in regards to that matter.” (Shion)
“I see, I understand. So, how’s that related to you having not much time left?”(Renya)
“… A hero summoning ritual was carried out in the Holy Kingdom.” (Shion)
Shion continues to hang her head in shame.
“I think you are aware that Rona and me have recently moved around in regards to various matters, but in addition to the information brought back from the elven country, the reports from the soldiers guarding the Forest Labyrinth, the investigation of the Miasma Forest and so forth, it all points to the demons’ appearances and the activity of the monsters becoming lively recently. And the direct investigation of the demon continent… because of the news of many people who went there, the Holy Kingdom reached a conclusion. Namely, the appearance of a demon king is close or they have already made their appearance.” (Shion)
After the hero summoning, next it’s the advent of a demon king? Renya think with a feeling of astonishment without showing it on his expression.
No matter how he thinks about it, it can’t be regarded as anything but a game story, but from the view point of this world, all of it is reality.
Which reminds me, Renya recalls.
Emil did say that the demon country is currently turbulent in various ways.
Is it because of the appearance of a demon king or why? Although she has absolutely no intention to talk about the real situation going by what I heard from Emil, can’t that be called an educated guess? Renya wonders.
“The thing called hero summoning, is that about summoning someone from a different world like with the Lost?” (Renya)
“Ah, what’s different from a Lost is that the summoned person possesses powers qualifying them as hero.” (Shion)
“The story still doesn’t add up though?” (Renya)
Demon King or Hero are certainly serious matters, I guess, but how does that connect to Shion’s time limit? That aspect still isn’t clear to Renya.
Or rather than not being clear, he has even a feeling that it’s gradually getting more distant from Shion.
“If the next explanation from here on is heard by you, Renya, I have a hunch that I will be terribly made fun of though.” (Shion)
“First, the summoned hero will always be a man. I don’t know the reason, but I think that’s likely because they can be requested to fight with the demon king. This time’s no exception either and it’s seems to be a man again.” (Shion)
That was an argument which even Renya could agree with more or less.
If it’s only a talk about the act of battle, as distinction and not discrimination, that’s suited for men. One can say that’s quite obvious.
“We hope and wish for the summoned hero to fight the demon king in order for this world to be saved, but… umm, how to say it. With the summoned hero being a young man… even if we request that of him, that is…” (Shion)
“You are somewhat evasive.” (Renya)
“E-Even I don’t want to explain such thing with a serious face.” (Shion)
Shion protest while swaying in the suspended net with creaking sounds.
Once Renya tries guessing from her state, Shion seems to be quite embarrassed.
Renya cocks his head in puzzlement wondering where the reason for her being embarrassed about the information related to the hero summoning might be, but as there’s no way for Shion to know about Renya’s pondering, she continues the explanation.
“It’s about which would give a better impression to the hero for currying favours with him and requesting him to save the world, a withered old man, a filthy middle-aged man or a young woman?” (Shion)
“I’m able to understand that somehow. In the first place, in any kind of story it’s a princess who tells the wish to the hero. However, that’s the task of the princess of the country where he was summoned. Isn’t that a story that has no relation to you, Shion, since you ended up falling off the stage of politics?” (Renya)
“Falling off, you say… Renya, you are quite the cruel fellow.” (Shion)
“No matter how much you gloss over facts, they still remain facts.” (Renya)
“Well… fine, it’s certainly true. For example… right, Renya, which one do you prefer, black or blond hair?” (Shion)
Even while thinking that’s yet another quite unrelated question, Renya answers honestly.
“My preferences don’t depend on stuff like hair colour or skin tone though?” (Renya)
“Nuu… let’s change it to a figurative speech. For example, let’s assume the summoned hero likes women with big c-chests.” (Shion)
“Now, the princess, who requests him to help us… in case she had an extremely small chest, don’t you think that the probability for the hero to harbour good will towards the princes becomes low?” (Shion)
Though he thinks the talk has become very common all of a sudden, Renya tries to consider it.
In the first place, at the point time he answers with “Yes, got it” after being requested something like saving the world, that will define him as an idiot, Renya believes, but how about it if the one who asked for that favour would be a princess who matches his own tastes very much?
Won’t it at least raise the success rate more than a middle-aged man, an elder, a macho or an ikemen?
If I consider that, I assume it’s predictable though there will be some other aspects apart from what Shion says, too.
“I can’t believe it to be true by no means, but… related to the hero summoning carried out in that Holy Kingdom, in order to win the favour of the hero…?” (Renya)
“… After selecting one representative princess from each country, they are supposed to meet with the hero. As this is an agreement from time immemorial, each nation is demanded to abide to it.” (Shion)
Wondering whether he didn’t mishear by chance the words said by Shion which are a continuation of Renya’s words, Renya calmly said after leaving plenty of time in-between and confirming that he didn’t make a mistake in his hearing,
“You guys are idiots, aren’t you?” (Renya)
“It’s not like I’m the one who decided it!” (Shion)
Shion shouts with a bright red face to the extent that it can be seen in the semi-darkness.
Even while thinking that a loud voice in the night will likely bother the neighbourhood, Renya considers that it might be an unexpectedly good move.
Even if I try to give it one reason or the other, it’s a part that can become a weak point of anyone as it’s the weakness of falling in love.
In any kind of story the heroine is an essential part for the hero. Besides, the heroine being shackled or tied is something that happens in many fantasy stories.
Moreover I have a hunch that the probability, that there are men who end up thinking “Let’s fight for this world” while misunderstanding something, isn’t that low if they are given a beautiful maiden and are set up as Hero-sama.
While that might be true, Renya is unwilling to honestly say something like “That’s a great move” even under threat.
“In other words that means? Originally your younger sister has been chosen as representative princess, but yielding the inheritance rights to her, you don’t want to have your younger sister take such sacrifice-like duty as she already ended up being forced into the role as successor which she has accepted and which holds a heavy responsibility, is what you say?” (Renya)
“If I were in my original social position, there would be arguments that I should be chosen.” (Shion)
“To make matters worse, if the result might be for the Trident Principality to lose an excellent next Archduchess.” (Renya)
“Rather than that happening, it’s probably better if I went, right? I still haven’t lost the social standing of being the first princess.” (Shion)
“Well… however there’s just one thing. Just because you go to meet the hero, it’s not like it’s particularly decided that you will be devoured by the hero…” (Renya)
“If you don’t match his tastes, won’t you be sent back without you having a sexual relation with him?” Due to Renya asking that, Shion answered,
“Rona investigated it in advance… It seems he has already met with several princesses, but without exception…” (Shion)
The phrase’s ending faded into quietness and couldn’t be heard.
They are probably words she doesn’t want to voice out overly much, Renya avoids pursuing the matter.
“As it’s something prosperous… it’s very enviable. It’s just by the way, but is there any penalty in case only one was chosen after he had sexual relations with all of them?” (Renya)
“There’s no way for that to happen, right? The other party is a hero.” (Shion)
Then I guess the probability for her to be devoured is high because of three reasons, Renya assesses.
First, the reason that no one won’t grab the chance if it’s the woman making the advance.
Renya didn’t know what kind of ritual the hero summoning was, but I think there’s no way for it being a ritual to summon an elderly person like me, he judges.
Since they are wishing for him to fight, the summoning target is likely a young man.
If he is told “Go ahead and do as you like” with beautiful princess gathered from each nation in front of his eyes, he would be an extremely virtuous man if he is able to endure at this point, Renya thought.
Second, the objective of self-protection.
If he understands that the other parties are princesses with high social standing, one can also say that being passionate with them will connect to protecting himself.
The princesses, who were sent there, are children of other people, too.
Their parents are even the kings of each nation who sent them.
If a person, who was on intimate terms with their own child, asked for their support for some reason, it should be something quite difficult to refuse.
If he ignored the princesses’ own will and relied on force, it would likely result in him being ousted by the parents’ side instead, but in the case of a hero there’s no reason for him to be condemned as he only has an affair with them after having them presented with a “Here you go.”
Third, the possibility of him simply being a lustful man.
This doesn’t even require any explanation.
He will likely devour what was prepared for him.
“I intended to understand it in my mind, but I haven’t managed to sort my feelings… there’s nothing in particular for me to lose to the point of being told that it’s adultery after exposing that I’m no virgin anymore because of that. If that’s the case, before that happens, with you… I ended up thinking, but I didn’t consider your feelings, Renya. Sorry. I’m stupid after all.” (Shion)
“No, well, being chosen as your partner in such situation is something that makes me happy, but… just because you are pressed by the circumstances, it’s a bit, you know, after all, I think. So, when will you go to meet that hero then?” (Renya)
“Given that it seems various things have to be prepared, I have to depart to the Holy City of the Holy Kingdom tomorrow.” (Shion)
<Frau, it’s as you’ve heard, but I want to delay Shion’s departure. Isn’t there some good drug or such for that?>
<A pill with non-lethal poison with a delayed effect is below the pillow of Frau’s bed ~no.>
<… Just for reference, why have you prepared such a thing?>
<It’s a secret ~nano.>
Renya thrusts his hand below the pillow of Frau’s bed which is right next to him.
Certainly there was a single, small earthenware bottle stored there.
Out of kindness a paper with an instruction how to use the poison has been attached on the bottle.
“Renya? That is?” (Shion)
“Mmh? Well… just a little something.” (Renya)
Once he views it in the magic light, the instruction, written with careful handwriting, states following:
<A condition of slight fewer and nausea with a single pill. Fever attacks all over, nausea and stomach ache with two pills. High fever, hallucinations, nausea and stomach ache with three pills. Slightly dangerous high fever, cramps all over the body, hallucinations, nausea and stomach ache with four pills. The effects last for around three days.>
“I see…” (Renya)
Opening the lid of the bottle, he spills its contents on top of his palm.
Without hesitation Renya left four of the small, pitch black pills on top of his palm and returned the bottle under Frau’s pillow.
“Renya, please remove the net. I will return to my own room. … I’m very sorry about tonight. In truth…” (Shion)
Without realizing what Renya is doing, Shion says such things.
Grasping the pills with his left hand, Renya got up from the bed, walked to the entrance and pressed a hidden button installed in the wall.
Responding to that, the rope, which suspended the net from the ceiling, extends slowly and lowers the net slowly to the ground.
Once the net has reached the floor, it isn’t that difficult to get out from within.
Shion, who came out after enlarging the net’s hole, tries to leave Renya’s room just like that but is stopped by Renya holding out his hand.
Shion calls his name without understanding the meaning of his behaviour.
Without answering, Renya stuffs all the pills, he held in his left hand, into his mouth, grabs Shion’s left hand with his right hand and hugs the hip of Shion, who leaned no him due to apparently staggering, with his left arm.
Renya’s height is higher.
Shion, who looked at him with upturned eyes, doesn’t understand what the hell’s going on while being hugged by Renya and simply stares motionlessly at Renya’s face approaching her own.
Once Renya separates his right hand from Shion’s left hand, he puts his right arm around Shion’s back as well.
It’s so that she can’t run away.
It’s also called, being captured.
In order to not give the surprised Shion time to think, Renya placed his lips on hers.
Moreover, once he sends two pills into Shion’s mouth with a quick mouth-to-mouth feeding, he preserves that state until Shion swallows them down.
While unable to comprehend what is happening, Shion made a small sound with her throat and ended up swallowing the pills received from Renya.
After confirming that, Renya gulps down the pills remaining within his own mouth.
Furthermore, after spending time to savour Shion’s lips to his heart’s content since it was a rare chance, he slowly separated his lips from hers.
“Renya… what the heck…?” (Shion)
Shion asks with a somewhat drowsy expression while in a posture of being hugged by Renya.
While thinking the effect of the poison still hasn’t appeared, Renya holds up the body of Shion, which ended up having lost all its strength, in his arms and carries her.
Reflecting that it might have been unpleasant to receive a deep kiss all of a sudden for a first-timer maiden, Renya quietly whispered into Shion’s ear,
“Sleep for a while since I will keep you company as well.” (Renya)
Due to Shion gazing at Renya while having a flushed face without understanding the meaning of what she was told, Renya showed her a broad grin.