Demonas - Chapter 17
Apricot Tarts (3)
In her last life, Teran’s intentions were ignored and she was engaged to him by the Emperor, Rapadin II, who acted on his own accord.
Perhaps that was the reason why he formally treated Altair as a fiancee only whenever he was needed to do so.
Moreover, Altair had failed to protect Priscilla during battle. This pushed their relationship past the point of destruction.
Yet, this time around, Crown Prince Teran was talking of showing mercy. This was an unimaginable sight for Altair…
“From my point of view, it appears that she still has a long way to go…”
Arsene commented lightly with his legs crossed as a smile slowly spread across his face.
“That’s just how it is. No matter how talented and skilled you are, in the eyes of the teacher, you will never be skilled enough. Well, that’s fine… Though she’s still too young to start talking about marriage.”
Just as Altair had thought that the subject of marriage had passed and the atmosphere started to calm down, Arsene added with a shrug of his shoulders.
“Plus, that look. Regardless of how much I push for it, if she shows disdain for it then there’ll be nothing I can do.”
“What happens if she doesn’t dislike it?”
Although Arsene’s expression seemed impassive, a small smile played on his lips.
‘Now they’re trying to make fun of me? Is that how it is?’
Dropping lumps of sugar, one after another, into what little tea there was left in the cup, she denied flatly.
“It’s not like that.”
“Ho. So there’s a possibility of you becoming my wife?”
Altair, who had been sipping from the cup, choked.
She quickly placed the cup down as she coughed repeatedly.
“No. Why would such a thing happen?”
He shrugged once more before speaking softly.
“Well… There’s no need to get so worked up. You’re making me think dichotomously. There are already people who either think of me favourably or negatively.
As Altair’s face hardened further and she was about to rebuttal, he stood up from his seat.
“…Enough joking around. Count, I will have to take my leave now. There’s no need to personally send me off. So, do have a good time with your student.”
Following behind him, Arsene looked back at Altair and said.
“Let’s go to the drill hall.”
As she followed behind him, she could not help but wear a puzzled expression the whole time.
‘I have no idea what the hell you are up to.’
If there were a political advantage to be gained from Altair being linked with the Crown Prince, then this must have been Teran La Cresche’s way to achieve it.
This, she could understand. After all, she had once served him as a loyal soldier.
Yet, the memories she held of hating each other after the conflict over Ahin’s past brought up such intense feelings in her. She had never thought of the Crown Prince, Teran, himself bringing up the topic of marriage.
….To think they had expressed their opinions in front of the Crown Prince. All these events must have happened as a result of her alternated actions through the apricot tarts.
Her fingers reached up to massage her temples as she quickened her steps.
The Demon (1)
Arsene, for the first time, fought for strength over Altair as their swords met each other. Glancing sideways at the trembling white longsword that she tightly gripped the hilt of, he commented.
“Now this is the right sword for you to use.”
“This was a present my father had gifted me two days ago. Its name is ‘Animus’. He had directly commissioned the Magic Society for the sword to be engraved with not only enhancement spells, but also with the highest level of spells.”
“Also, the decoration on this hilt was also crafted by the best craftsman. The magic stone in the middle of it was too engraved with a spell that periodically polishes the blade. My father acted very considerately to make it so that I would be comfortable when handling this sword.”
“Look at this beautiful snow-white sword. It had been specifically requested by my father to best suit my appearance…”
Before she could finish, Arsene struck down Altair’s sword with an immense force.
‘N-Not enough… strength…’
Arsene immediately followed up with a large barrage of strikes upon noticing her shock.
Even though she was using as much energy as possible to strengthen her muscles when using the sword, her body still shook from the impact of his strikes.
Retreating backwards to regain her composure, Arsene pushed forward, slightly staggering with his sword at his side.
As the distance between them closed, a golden aura started to surround his body.
Upon noticing such a sight, Altair was speechless. His figure reminded her of a grim reaper wielding a huge scythe.
No, why did she feel the need to brag about such a thing?
Altair straightened the sword before suddenly, an urgent message sounded throughout the hall that changed the whole room’s mood.
“My Lord, the emergence of evil has been detected by the system!”
Arsene paused. His eyebrows rose in confusion as he asked.
“Where is it?”
“It’s been simultaneously reported at three locations near Lake Larak.”
“What are they?”
“One of which I’ve never seen before. Asides from that, there are two intermediate and two lower classed ones. A total of five.”
“…Princess. Our class will have to be cut short today.”
Before Altair could say another word, Arsene quickly grabbed hold of his sword and left the field without a moment’s hesitation.
Sharon, the deputy commander of the knights, quickly added urgently to Altair.
“Whenever intermediate class creatures appear, it’s a rule of thumb to immediately head out to dissipate such dangers. You can either train more or take a rest, but please do stay put in the mansion until the alarm has been sounded.”
Bowing her head, she made her way out. Before long, a large number of knights passed.
Using the equipment, food, and horses they quickly gathered, they left with a handful of people staying behind in the mansion.
Left behind in the dust, Altair sank onto the ground.
“…Come to think of it, had evil appeared around the same time in the past? In the past, I was about to leave the mansion with my father when the alarm had sounded and we were forced to stay inside. Since it wasn’t an event that brought about many casualties, she had eventually forgotten it completely.”
Furthermore, it was an intermediate demon.
Now, life is peaceful. So, of course, an intermediate class demon was treated as being very dangerous. Though this did not mean that Arsene had overreacted upon hearing the alarm.
However, during the long war, she had grown accustomed to many high-class demons flocking after her.
Hence an invasion of such a magnitude just seemed plain ridiculous to her.
‘I had hoped he didn’t have to go out to resolve the issue.’
Her hatred for Arsene ran deep, she could not help but stare at the ground in shock upon the realisation that their fight had been paused.
She rose from where she sat, a sarcastic smile spread across her face as she swung the sword a few times before suddenly stopping.
‘Hold on… What if I were to use this as an opportunity…’
If Ahin were to learn how to better control his demon through the means of subduing another demon and forcing it into ‘submission’… Maybe, Just maybe he will be able to learn how not to attack any humans, to not attack any non-evil entities… the negative events he would have to go through would definitely be reduced in impact…
Even within the well-guarded mansion, there was still a possibility of him coming in contact with demons that managed to slip past. Moreover, most of the guards, including Arsene, had left to get rid of the threat.
Now would be the best time and environment for her to train Ahin.
Such an excellent opportunity would not come again. Thinking so, Altair quickly moved to the annexe.
As soon as she burst through the doors, something flew past her head.
What? Catching the flying object, it was then she realised it was a white shirt.
“Why are you throwing such a thing…”
“Hey, if your opponent were to be a demon, would you just open the door without knocking?”
“Oh. So you’ve finally admitted it? That you’re a demon…”
Altair, who had been mocking Ahin, paused as she took in what he was wearing.
In front of her was a blushing Ahin who tightly clasped a thin towel between his hands. A sliver of his wet and clean skin could be seen through the gaps of the cover.
His dark hair still wet as it covered his thin, pale back.
Hurriedly, she brought her gaze back up, hoping he had not realised she had stared. His coral-red eyes captivated hers under the afternoon sunlight.
He must have just taken a shower.
Even so, he looked pretty. Like a snow-white deer running through Gehen’s snowfields…
Altair, whose mind could not stop thinking up illusions of him, was soon flushed with embarrassment.
“…Call me a demon one more time and I’ll toss you away.”
Ahin purred threateningly as the towel he held shifted, exposing more of his skin.
To stop herself from experiencing more shame, she shoved the white shirt in front of her. Blocking her vision as she held it out towards him.
“Wait, at least let me explain what’s going on.”
“No, get out of the room. Don’t you get this situation you’re in?”
“It’s very urgent…”
“I’ve told you to get out.”
After that outburst from Ahin, Altair quickly stepped back and closed the door.
She slowly slid down into a squatting position. Her face buried deep into her arms. Even her ears have turned red…
‘Altair Chernobog. Why didn’t you just leave after throwing the shirt back?’
Until now she had been living like a normal human with a normal thought process. To think even towards a child she had…
In despair, Altair murmured.
“A demon must’ve taken hold of my mind…”
“…You don’t really think that everything in this world can be explained without demons, do you?”
Ahin peeked through the small crack exposed by slightly opening the door. He looked down, with a pitiful expression, at Altair who was still in a crouching position. This time, he was wearing a new outfit.
Raising her head at the voice, she met his eyes. Almost instinctively, she quickly looked downwards, trying to rid her mind of her thoughts.
“So, what’s the point of you coming here? If there isn’t a good explanation then-“
Averting her eyes from his narrowing gaze, she quickly replied.
“Ahin. I don’t have much time to persuade you, so why don’t you just quickly come out of the mansion with me first? Don’t worry, your safety is guaranteed.”
Leaning against the doorpost with arms crossed, he proceeded to cross his legs as well before saying.
“I was wondering what you were talking about, but… You do know I’m unable to get out of here, right?”
“This is an opportunity that will not appear again. Your father has just left the residence, leaving it almost empty with only a couple of knights and servants.”
His eyes widened as he blinked a few times.
“…I’ll explain it to you on our way out. I’ve told you, we don’t have much time.”
“What the hell are you talking about-“
Altair’s face had a large grin with crescent-shaped eyes as she grabbed his wrist and pulled him to start brisk walking.
“Ahin. Now’s the time for you to show that you’re the superior top-class demon.”