Vol. 1 Chapter 22 – HSP

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The Sound of the *Outer Moat Being Filled

 

* Filling the outer moat: removing the obstacles in the way of one’s objective

 

Greed-sama protected me from Alfred-sama. But who’s going to protect me from Greed-sama?

The answer is – none. There is none!

So is my chastity in danger again? I must survive this on my own!

I struggled. I twisted my body. However, as expected of the Hero, he was not bothered. We are bound tightly together!

This is dangerous! I don’t care if Alfred-sama is here now! Please come back!

That’s what I thought when a knocking sound was heard.

But I’m saved! was what I thought when what reached my ears was—

“Aria, I’m coming in. How are you?”

It was the voice of my colleague, lady-in-waiting B. And as soon as she said those words, the doors opened before I had the chance to respond. What is the significance of a knock?! I have no time to use tsukkomi at this sudden event.

“I came to see your situation because the princess was concerned about your condi . . . tion . . .”

The lady-in-waiting B Belinda Arsworth [1], who is a daughter of a baron, entered as she spoke and froze when she saw us. While I was breaking out in a cold sweat, I could not help but think that bad things are occurring one after another.

Belinda is one year younger than I. A beautiful woman with fluffy pink hair and pale aquamarine eyes, she was hurriedly engaged to the eldest son of an influential viscount family the other day and decided to resign after marriage, but she is a cheeky person who loudly squealed at the Hero in the hall.

Without noticing my discomfiture . . .

“Congratulations, Aria! How wonderful it is to be wooed by the Hero! Of course, it is fine for you to do it, right? Invite me to your wedding, okay?”

And so forth. Too late, she has already given me her blessing like a friend would.

Argh, I’ll say that my relationship with her is good.

However—she’s talkative. That was the small, irritating flaw that spoiled her character. Moreover, she has a tendency of not listening to other people’s story. It may be because of the flowers growing in her head.

While we are still pressed close together, Belinda’s gaze moved from me to the Hero, who is holding me in his embrace. If I wasn’t restrained by the Hero’s hug, I would have grabbed Belinda’s shoulder and shake her, and work out the details to her.

“I’m sorry for interrupting. Ohohoho. Since the nuisance will disappear, please take your time.”

The strangely smiling Belinda retreated backwards while looking at us with a I-know-how-it-is look. And contrary to when she came in, she quietly, quietly closed the door as she went out of the room.

While saying, “Well then, please excuse me.”

The door closed slowly with a little sound. Right after that, I heard the sound of her footsteps running on the corridor.  

I’m doomed. For sure, this story will be well-known in the castle at once. The Hero and I, hugging each other in a room, just the two of us——

I have a very bad feeling.

Belinda . . . The bed is still tidy, so I want to firmly emphasize that there is no evidence of using it. At least.

And Hero-sama, how long are you going to hug me?!

“Greed-sama, please let go of me!”

I struggled. At this rate, I will be carried to the bed…… if that really happens, it is very troubling!

However, while the Hero did not do anything to my resistance and just kept me firmly restrained, he ignored the fact that I am resisting him and said.

“Once I deal with the remaining demons, I will return to Elusion at once. When that time comes—I want to come home with you.”

I didn’t know what to say for a moment. It’s because I don’t have a line to counteract the current situation.

Greed-sama continued when I became confused and stopped resisting.

“Since Rufus and Princess Louise will likely decide to marry, you are coming along with her too. The Princess will feel reassured if she has an acquaintance in an unfamiliar country.”

“P-Please wait!”

Going to Elusion . . . That . . . Is Greed-sama under the impression that I accepted his proposal?!

I have no intention of accepting it, mind you!

I felt a sense of danger. If I will be swept away as it is, would the engagement become gradually established in this way?

……No, it’s not just my imagination!

I felt that the outer moat was being filled! I can hear the sounds of it being filled in my brain!

We need to sit down for this and talk about this properly. Before it’s too late!

“Uhm, Greed-sama, I still haven’t replied to you yet—”

“And this is an amulet. Please put this on.”

“You’re going to ignore this?!”

Completely ignoring me retorting, the Hero slipped a gold bracelet he got from out of nowhere in my left wrist. While restraining me with one hand, his other hand moved deftly with a click.

……Huh?!

I looked down on my wrist, dumbfounded. At the same time, Greed-sama took his hand off me, took a silver bracelet from his waist pocket and put it on his left hand. I didn’t notice that, since I was staring at the glittering well-made bracelet on my left wrist. It was a bracelet with a motif of the goddess Refelia’s flower called Reelis flower. The pattern of a number of overlapping petals and leavers are splendidly carved. It surely came from the hands of a renowned artisan.

The inside of the bracelet was engraved with letters. It was Greed-sama’s and my name, with words of blessing. I realized what this bracelet is and my enlightened mind blanked out. Even words of tsukkomi did not come to mind.

Slowly raising my head, I saw the silver bracelet shining brightly on Greed-sama’s left wrist. His bracelet has the motif of Moonlight flower that symbolizes that god of darkness, Atillard. The workmanship of the engraved small four-petal flowers arranged in a row was also splendid. Perhaps inside the silver bracelet, Greed-sama’s and my name and the words of blessing are engraved. Because of that tradition.

Bracelets that symbolize the couple of gods, Refelia, the goddess of light, and Atillard, the god of darkness. A pair of bracelets.

——Bracelets that are worn as a proof that a man and a woman will exchange a vow in the future.

……Why is it in my arms?

 

——While I was watching the bracelet in stupefaction in my own room.

In the princess’s room, a conversation between Princess Louise and Belinda is taking place.

“Princess, this is serious! The Hero is in Aria’s room and he is hugging her in front of the bed!”

“Eh?! Is it not a mistake? And where is my big brother? With the two of them alone, I thought he went to her room while saying that he is concerned about Aria’s reputation . . .”

“I did not see Prince Alfred. As usual, I may have missed him when we passed by each other. But I am certain that the two of them are embracing each other in Aria’s room! For sure, she is receiving his courtship!”

“Is it true? Since Aria should have backed away from Greed-sama’s confession, I did not think that it will be easy for him to make Aria receive……”

“But I couldn’t think of any reason for them to hug each other!”

“……You do have a point.”

“Right?! From now on, everyone will be busy with Princess and Rufus-sama’s and Aria and the Hero’s engagements!”

“That’s right. It will be encouraging for me to go to Elusion if I will be accompanied by Aria. . . Are they really hugging?”

“By the name of the goddess, what I said is true.”

——It seems that the outer moat of an unknown place is filled.

 

  1. Original text: ベリンダ・アースワーズ. This is my own interpretation of Belinda’s name.

 

 

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