Author: Nikss


I stared at him with a chagrined gaze.


He was smirking arrogantly down at me, and it was clear that he wasn’t going to just give in.


He’d been teasing me so much, that I almost laughed at his desperation to get back at me for what I had done to him, not to mention admitting it.


‘You’re sneaky.’


But if I said it out loud, he might get pissed off and stop talking to me forever, and I don’t have the power to use force like Rudrick. So I decided to play to his every whim.


Under the guise of getting his attention, I said in a small voice, “All I have to offer you is money.”


“Money, that’s it, money, everything in the world is solved by money, isn’t it? At least I’m not that cheap…”


“So it’s me, then?”


He sounded dumbfounded by my confident statement.




“You’re a tough guy. I’m a bit of a romantic, so you should just say yes to me, no strings attached.”


“What, what…!”


“Ha… Okay, I know you don’t like it when I try to make out with you like this, but I’ll let you get away with your tricks just once.”


“You’re crazy…!”


As he began to shake his head, I held up my index finger. Then, tapping my lips against his, I said.


“Just a peck?”


Needless to say, he took off running.


‘That’s why you’re supposed to hit on your opponent as you go.’


I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a twinge of disappointment.


Although it’s not easy to say that it was not easy for me to avoid giving in to him, and of course, if I did, he would have fainted, so that would be funny too. 


But it was a pity that I was unable to hear the information.


But I wasn’t in the mood for his latest tantrum, so I thought of other options. Then I lifted my head and looked out the window.


“Should he be there by now?


Having roughly gauged the time, I turned on my heel and finally saw the face of the man I was searching for.




It was Michel Dimitri, the head of the Sixth Division of the Knights of Bouser.


It was the man she knew so well. I remembered exactly what had been said to me the day I’d told Rudrick of my plans to head north when I’d brought up the subject of the demon insects.


— ‘I believe I heard something about my grandpa seeing it.’


That’s what she said, I’m pretty sure. So even before I headed north, I’d been thinking about meeting her.


But I didn’t get to do that right away, as she was assigned to a search party.


I intended to visit her after I had gathered some information from the ducal residence, but things got in the way and I didn’t get to talk to her as I had planned.


But now, the real purges have begun. Most of the major division commanders were in the ducal residence, and that included her.


“Yes, do you remember what I told you before about the demonic insects?”


With that, the situation was explained briefly.


However, I couldn’t get any information from the Duke’s residence, so I wanted to meet with someone who knew about it.


After listening to my explanation, she nodded. But then her brows furrowed in confusion.


“It’s not hard to get you to meet my Grandpa, but there’s a little problem…”




“My grandfather lives on the outskirts of town, so…”


Her words left me scratching my head. She fidgeted for a while but soon told me the truth.


“The forest area is bigger than I thought… and the village where my grandfather lives is within the search area.”


“A search area?”


“Yes. It’s out of the direct line of danger, so there’s less risk, but for now…”


So, in short, it would be hard to find him.


With no one to trust but her, I felt like the sky was falling.


But neither Kassar nor I seemed to have a definitive answer, and I began to grow impatient for even a little information.


Should I try to solve it using people? But I don’t want too many people to know. Should I ask Cecil if she has any information?


‘What am I going to do with this?’


But surprisingly, the problem was easily solved.


“We can go together.”


It was Rudrick.


“We can go together?”


At first, I just went to Rudrick to ask him a favor.


I didn’t get any details from Kassar, but I did get a clue,  ‘I found it in the depths of the forest.’


Unable to venture into the Dark Forest myself, I had no choice but to ask someone to do it for me.


However, Rudrick seemed to have gotten busier by the day, so I didn’t ask him to do this, but I couldn’t help but mention it because of my situation.


But unexpectedly, Rudrick nodded his head in agreement, and I realized that he was thinking of me.


“I’m just casting a wide net just in case, but it’s in the village, and it’s far enough away from the looting zone that there should be little danger.”


“Really? Then why don’t we just go with Lord Kassar…”


“No, but just in case.”


So, are you saying it’s dangerous or not?


I stared at him in confusion, then nodded obediently.


In truth, I was happy to go as long as Rudrick was with me. Even if it’s just two people stuck in an arc, it’s better to have the strongest person by your side.


“Thanks, then.”


We also set a date to move together.


Given that the extermination wasn’t over yet, I thought it would be a while before we could move, but Rudrick set an unexpectedly early date, much to my dismay as I watched from the sidelines.


“Is this okay?”


“It doesn’t matter.”


I scratched my cheek as he spoke so casually.


‘I think it’s because of what happened last time…’


He’s been strangely considerate of me since last time, maybe because he thinks I’ve been feeling down ever since the party.


Yes, I was depressed for a moment, but I shook it off quickly…


“Rudrick, I…”




Looking straight back at him, I paused for a moment. Then he smirked.


“It’s nothing.”


It’s weird to say ‘it’s fine’ now when I’ve been acting like I don’t care, and it’s embarrassing for me to say it’s nothing.


Most of all, I felt a pit in my stomach because I knew he cared.


Without thinking, I grabbed the collar of his shirt and released it, and then, catching his questioning gaze, I shook my head hastily.






“Princess, it’s been a long time!”


“How are you?”


Lord Leona and Lord Ethan looked even more withered than before.


They had been so full of life during the last few days of Kassar’s teasing, but now they appeared as if beaten to death.


Seeing this, Kassar, who had been clucking his tongue just like me, said, “What’s that?”


“You seem to be very comfortable playing around with those faces, don’t you?”


“That’s how you look when you are inept. If it were me, I’d be fine.”


“Then switch with me, Princess, and let me escort you, please!”


Yet somehow she had the strength to resist Kassar’s protests, and soon she was clinging desperately to me. In truth, in my heart I wanted to keep her by my side too, but…


“If that’s what you want to do, then improve your skills. Since you always look like that, His Excellency himself appointed me, eh?”


“You bastard…!”


Although disdainful, she couldn’t argue with his words, as Rudrick had given the order directly.


She bit her lip and stiffened, unable to argue back, but then her strength wore off, and she shook her head, speaking in a sarcastic tone.


“Uh, yeah. It would be nice to be escorted by your favorite princess. Eh?! I’ll get to kiss the princess and suck some honey!”


“What, what, What nonsense are you talking about?!”


“Nonsense. It’s all been rumored that you’re flirting with the princess, and this is your moment?”


“This, you stupid bi..! Do you want to die?!”


“Ugh! Please kill me, and help clean up my mess, so I can rest in peace for a day!”


I smiled warmly as I watched the two of them bicker for a while.


Yeah, this is it. I wondered why I’ve been so depressed lately, but I guess it’s because I don’t have people like that to share jokes with.


While I was smiling at them for a long time. Lord Ethan, who was also looking at them and wearing a bored expression, suddenly asked.


“By the way, do you have any business outside of town?”


“What? Yes. Lord Michel’s grandfather lives there, and I was wondering if I could ask him something…”


“Oh, that thing you asked about the other day…”


Surprisingly, he nodded, as if remembering that I’d asked him about the fiends. I looked at him and scratched my cheek sheepishly.


“You didn’t have to come out here, though, and I’m sorry if I seem to have added to your workload.”


“No, it’s actually a break for us, and if it weren’t for you, we’d be spending the night in the woods, stuck for days on end….”


“That must be hard, ah, have you ever seen a demon insect…”


I asked, just in case, but Sir Ethan shook his head. I smiled, hiding my disappointment.


Frankly, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to this, but it was still too early to give up. 


We’re on our way to finding another clue, and maybe this time around something useful.


Soon enough, we arrived at our destination.


Accompanied by Kassar, I was escorted down the street. Ahead was a plain, ramshackle-looking house.


At the door was Lord Michel, who had already arrived, and she knocked on the door as I approached.


An old man appeared shortly afterward.


“Michel, it’s been a long time… Ah, have you come?”


Her grandfather wasn’t surprised because she had sent a message in advance. But I couldn’t help but feel nervous, and he ushered us inside with a stiff gesture.


We sat down on a modest but neatly arranged sofa, her grandfather setting a teacup in front of us and fidgeting as he stood beside the table.


“Make yourself comfortable.”


When I said it, he finally sat down across from me.


He was still fidgeting and glancing back and forth, so I decided I should just ask him what I needed to know quickly, so I didn’t waste any time getting straight to the point.


“You said you were… looking for… a fiend?”


I blurted out, “Yes. Have you ever seen one?”


“Eh… I’ve seen them in my youth, but…”


He scratched his head.


“That’s odd, it’s not a well-known creature, you usually hear about it somewhere and people don’t even know it exists, but these days people have been visiting…” 




A sudden, unsettling premonition. I pressed down on my heaving chest and asked urgently.


“You mean, has anyone else come to see you besides me?”


“What? Yes. Well…”


The unthinkable soon followed.


“There was this blond guy who came to visit.”


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