『It will be fine. Now, please calm your heart.』
The voice was really, really really kind.
Love could even be felt from those words. The person’s atmosphere was gentle with a smile like an angel.
『There is nothing to be worried about.』
Intense terror and anger, a pride that was broken but still smoldering even now. The people who were chained by such negative emotions were gradually showing expression of rapture.
Beautiful silver feathers danced. A halo was shining. The world was overflowing with light. Right now they were receiving the affection of god……
『Yes, believe in your heart.』
Aa, just why did they harbor such loathing toward the change in their motherland’s way of existence.
Just why did they harbor such wicked emotion toward the man who was the cause of that.
They were ashamed of themselves.
There was nothing to be afraid of from change.
Because, look. They could feel the god from this close to themselves.
That’s why, that’s why!
『Believe! In Hajime-kun!』
『『『『Oooh, our holy apostle! Nagumo Hajime-sama is the one we should believe in!』』』』
It was just like Kaori-sama said! They had to believe in Nagumo Hajime-sama!
『There is no wrong in what Hajime-kun do! If Hajime-kun says black, then everything shall be dyed black! Let’s get dyed together! That is the wonderful world that is waiting for us!』
『『『『To be dyed in Hajime-sama! The wonderful world!!』』』』
『Let’s believe in Hajime-kun! Those who believe will be saved!』
『『『『Salvation for those who believe in Hajime-sama!!』』』』
『Rather, to believe is your duty! Are you all listening? It’s your duty!』
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『『『『Yes! We perfectly believe in Hajime-sama!』』』』
『『『『Hajime-sama, banzai!! Banzai!! Banzai!!』』』』
『I love Hajime-kun!』
『『『『Hajime-sama, love!! Love!! Love!!』』』』
Suddenly Orororororo~~~ there was a sound of vomiting.
With that, the people in that place finally recovered their senses that were completely fixed toward the abnormal sight before their eyes and they turned their gazes.
There the Hajime-kun in question was on all fours on the ground while vomiting out rainbow colored sparkly something.
The rainbow colored might be the illusion effect that Yue swiftly applied. She was kneeling beside Hajime while patting his back consolingly.
It couldn’t be helped.
Because, the people who kept reciting love love were all oily middle-aged men.
Shia pointed at the culprit who looked divine only in appearance inside the past replay and spoke with a transparent smile that showed how her brain was in the verge of grinding to a halt.
「Please look there everyone. It’s scary isn’t it? That’s Kaori-san you know?」
「There is no way that sect founder of a horrifying new religion could be my daughter-!!」
Tomoichi papa yelled while averting his gaze in a flash.
This was after they watched the past replay of when the slave liberation declaration was carried out at the palace’s terrace that was for the use of the emperor’s speech.
The scene of Kaori in her “apostle mode” making an entrance divinely and sending her silver feathers fluttering down like a blessing from heaven was truly like a scene from a page of mythology. (※The screening was being done with a barrier in place so the capital citizens couldn’t see it)
It went without saying that Tomoichi danced in wild joy seeing her daughter’s sublime performance. Even Kaoruko was cheering at her daughter’s big moment (?) with blushing face.
Their beloved daughter was seen with respect and adoration of the people all across the imperial capital. Furthermore, Kaori also looked embarrassed as expected in the replay. Her cheeks were blushing red from shame even though she was clad in such dignified aura.
They felt proud, they rejoiced at how cute their daughter was. That was only the natural reaction.
It didn’t matter even if there were many extremely unscrupulous factors behind this scene like the fabrication of god oracle for good or bad, the incitement of the citizens with an exaggerated performance to an extreme degree using the principle of mass psychology, and how the actual implementation of the policy later on was completely delegated to other by taking hostage of the imperial family’s lives, and how all the other people were looking at producer Hajime as though they were looking at an actual demon.
They decided to not ask anything about those.
The past replay still continued to play the unnecessary part (for Kaori) too after the speech ended.
Yes, actually at that time, inside the waiting room that was facing the terrace, there was a part of the empire nobles who were hurling all kinds of curses at Hajime.
The sense of value and the way their country existed since it was founded until now were completely overturned. Naturally many people felt anxious and dissatisfied of losing their vested interests. It was only natural for them to spit out complaints from their patriotic heart when they thought of the future of their homeland.
In fact, they wracked their brain to somehow change the situation. They desperately looked if their might be some kind of loophole in this slave liberation agreement.
They were secretly scheming like that but……
Unluckily, Kaori-san noticed them.
She got mad. She even snapped.
And, as the result, the kindhearted Kaori-san didn’t use violence as a mean to stop them, instead she moved to persuade them verbally.
By using her position as apostle for all its worth so that they couldn’t run away.
Everyone isn’t wrong. But, how about you try to change your way of thinking a little bit? She affirmed their way of thinking while also guiding their thought at the same time. She kept repeating that.
At the end, she also preached about Hajime’s good parts to her heart’s content.
And, the situation ended up in such state.
「……Nn. Really, this Kaori, I wondered why she was suddenly gone at that time, but to think she was actually doing something like this.」
「The noble uncles, their eyes were starting to whirl from the middle nano……」
「Well, the preaching was like a surging waves that made you even wonder whether she is actually breathing. There is also that beautiful face of the apostle and the pointlessly divine atmosphere combined together. It won’t be strange that they have brainwashing effect if they aren’t used to that like me.」
「That’s a bad thing to get used to isn’t it, Shizuku……」
Shizuku quietly averted her gaze from Liliana’s gaze that was filled with a mix of sympathy and exasperation.
Tio muttered 「Or rather……」 with her expression slightly twitching.
「For me, the way Kaori locked the door with a smile was simply scary……」
「Ah, that, I also think the same. The way she lock the door with her hand behind her feel strangely practiced……」
Inside the replay, Kaori soundlessly slipped inside the room where the noble uncles who were going to form anti-Hajime faction were gathered.
Also the way she secretly left Hajime and others without anyone noticing even if they were busy having a discussion about their plain going forward, it was a bit like watching a ghost.
But, the creepiest thing was the scene when she locked the door behind her *click* while giving an entrancing cheerful smile toward the noble uncles who were surprised when the apostle-sama suddenly came inside the room.
Everyone there felt something that was even more terrifying than the line of 「Manners maketh man」 of a certain gentleman British spy.
「Hatayama-sensei, that side of Kaori-chan, I think she inherited it from her mother you know.」
Kirino-okaasan seemed like she knew something.
「After all she often did it against other girls who were approaching Tomoichi-kun. Since the past.」
「Are you talking about confineme――I mean, about locked room?」
「Aiko, you aren’t fooling anyone you know?」
Akiko-okaasan made a precise retort.
「That’s not all, there was also her missionary work for Tomoichi-kun.」
「”There won’t be no end to it with just cleaning. That’s why, if I can change their romantic feeling to worship, they will automatically stop approaching him from reverence, but they will still become mercenary――cough, friend who work――cough, I mean help out when we are in need”, she once told me. It was scary, so I still remember every single word of it even now.」
「When she was a university student, she was practically a founder of a new religious sect……」
「The mother and daughter are like two peas in a pod!!」
Aiko also gave an accurate retort. The mother and daughter were like two peas in a pod.
Putting that aside, everyone’s gaze gathered on Kaoruko.
It seemed the person in question was worriedly looking after Tomoichi-san who was kneeling and muttering 「Lies lies……my angel is an angel, so there is no way she can be a sect founder like that. Before I realized it the believes had closed all paths of escape――uh, my head-」 as though he was going to recall some trauma.
Was it just their imagination?
Kaoruko sent a glance at her daughter who was also similarly joining Yue in looking after the collapsed Hajime who was muttering 「I saw something terrifying……」 while fighting with Yue――
As expected from my daughter! How magnificent!
Her gaze seemed like it was praising……
「Fumu. Turning yearning into worship……can I also use such method to the women of Hauria? Though they have been worshipping boss from the start……no, the aspect of changing their feeling to other emotion might still be effective……」
「Oi-, Nea-chan! You mustn’t get such terrifying idea!」
「Hah!? My deepest apologies, mother-in-law! Really, Nea is a very bad child! I shall seriously reflect on myselfff!」
「That innocent and childish that feels like it come out straight from book……Nea-chan, could it be that you actually have something like double personality?」
「If father-in-law wish for it, then Nea will work hard to have triple or quartet even!」
「You don’t need to work hard for that! It feels like the direction of your hard work is wrong okay!?」
The gap of Nea’s disturbing aspect and her honest beautiful girl aspect was also terrifying, but for now Hajime left that side to Sumire and Shuu while addressing the imperial princess Tracy.
「Tracy! How is those uncles doing right now!?」
「Please don’t worry desuwa. They aren’t in the capital. They had been sent back to their own territories.」
According to Tracy, from the start they were nobles that had deep connection with the slave traders. Even from the perspective of the empire people, they were extremely unscrupulous people, a trueborn advocate of discrimination.
And so, it had been predicted that they would try to maneuver after the emperor declared his defeat.
It seemed that from the start there was already a plan to remove them depending on the situation. The lives of the imperial family were hanging on it, so there was no ground for mercy at all if they dared to try anything.
「But, when we casually tried to confirm what they were thinking in the meetings after that, they were so cooperative to a disgusting degree so……」
「I see. Because of that they were only sent back to their territory huh.」
「They are also under monitoring desuwa. After all their behavior was abnormal compared to their usual act. But now I understand why desuwa. So they had actually been dealt with by Kaori-sama.」
「Please don’t say it like that! I was only talking with them!」
「Kaori, something like that wasn’t just a talk, it was what you call a TALK you know?」
Kaori silently averted her gaze from Hajime’s listless gaze.
Ahead of her gaze, she saw her mother whispering 「It’s fine, it’s fine dear. There is nothing to worry about」, and her father muttering 「There is nothing to worry, nothing to fear anymore」.
She didn’t know where to look at anymore! For now, Myuu-chan! Please give a smile to Onee-chan!
Myuu, bad-! Don’t look over there!
While giving a brief glance at such exchange, Yue displayed her pointlessly advanced first wife technique by burning Hajime’s Ororo remain without affecting the carpet at all while shrugging her shoulders in exasperation.
「……Good grief. This is why a genuine yandere is really troublesome. She would go off by herself to create a sect or a faction like this, what a dangerous character.」
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「Yue-san, aren’t you yourself making use, preserving, and propagating things like “Hajime hymn”, or “Hajime poem”, or “Hajime wiki”?」
「……What are you saying Shia, I don’t quite understand you.」
Praise Hajime! Everything was for the sake of Hajime! In that regard, Yue-sama and Kaori-san’s ideology and creed were completely matching.
This was the proof that their relationship with each other was so good they often got into a fight with each other, but the two people in question themselves weren’t aware of it.
「So, my maste――demon king-sama. What will you do after this? Do you want to look at the capital?」
Tracy clapped her hands loudly toward the place that was gradually descending into chaos and changed the topic.
The imperial princess-sama had vented her stress (battle lust) and entered sage mode was a plainly capable woman. The disgraceful behavior she displayed in the throne room was like a lie.
「I guess. Personally I also want to have a look at the scenes like when Hauria captured the imperial family though……」
「Personally speaking I don’t wish to show my pathetic self at that time to everyone though.」
Tracy made a bitter expression. Shia’s face popped out from behind Hajime’s shoulder and asked her.
「By the way, how were you captured miss princess?」
「My, Shia Hauria. You shouldn’t be so formal with how close our relationships are. How about you just call me “beloved honey” casually?」
「There ain’t the slightest casualness in that desu.」
Enough with that just explain it already princess. Being told that, Tracy gave her explanation even while looking a bit lonely. According to her……
It seemed that at that time Tracy was sulking in her room because Liliana was going to become the former crown prince Bias’s belonging. And then a powerful sleeping gas was injected into the room.
「Familial sympathy can be said as something that is almost nonexistent between us the members of the imperial family. We live in a world where the strong devour the weak.」
「Yes. That’s why, although the rule that the throne’s owner has to be decided through duel, we still can’t let our guard down anytime. The power struggle is always is always going on constantly.」
「In other words, what do you mean?」
「Even our own private room has been build solidly against both physical attack and magical attack.」
There Tracy paused and turned a bright smile toward Hajime.
「I never even thought that there would be a hole opened in the wall to pour in sleeping gas. That should be impossible unless one was an extraordinary transmutation master, don’t you think so?」
「Holy cow……those Hauria bastards, they are a terrifying bunch.」
It was a brilliant shift of responsibility that wasn’t accompanied by even the slightest hesitation. Shia’s scornful eyes gleamed fiercely.
「Well, even then I stabbed my arm with a dagger and somehow held on my consciousness, but……」
「……You still could stay awake even after inhaling that gas? Are you really a human?」
A retort came from Yue who was smilingly listening to the sinister design of her husband and the Haurias. She could affirm that the effect of the sleeping gas was genuine. Due to an experiment under the pretext of friendly fire(aa, my hand slipped), even a certain hero with cheat level resistance was made to go zzz~ in an instant.
「I can’t accept that praise. It was the best I could do to just maintain my consciousness, I couldn’t even fight properly against the Haurias who stepped inside after that.」
「No, just being able to fight even a little is already abnormal.」
This time it was Shizuku who retorted. It seemed that the other people had also regained their composure during this talk and they listened to the conversation over here.
Tracy shrugged. She said 「Let me show you the way, to the salon where Trek-oniisama who died in madness from taking off the necklace of the covenant was restrained at that time」, then she led them to somewhere.
「It couldn’t even be called a fight. Those Haurias, after they entered inside and saw me still awoke, they immediately stopped approaching and fired blowpipes at me you know? Furthermore the darts they used were laced with a lot of paralyzing drug.」
It felt like I was turned into a hedgehog at that time, Tracy said while looking delighted for some reason. Her tone sounded like she was talking about a lovely memory that she had with her friend.
There was no doubt that the Haurias were also shuddering at that time. They saw the imperial princess whose fighting spirit was still blazing with a rough breathing fuuuh fuuuh even after her body had been stabbed by nearly thirty paralyzing darts.
「Hah. Now that you mentioned it, I remember that Echo team said something. There was an imperial princess who fainted while standing imposingly. They were seriously shaking in their boots that time.」
「Are you Benkei huh?」
Nea-chan sent a gaze that seemed to say 「So it was you that time!」 to Tracy. The other people were also looking at her while sharing the same feeling of great surprise.
「That thorough and rationally cool-headed battle style……fufu, it still made me ecstatic even when I’m recalling it now. Even though I would be able to take at least one person together with me to hell if they just approached me. Aah geez, those Haurias are all just really lovely!」
Soul magic for soul repose flew from the two of them. The raging soul of Tracy whose sage mode was almost dispelled was calmed down with that.
While that was going on, it seemed that Tracy had arrived to the destination.
It seemed to be a salon that was sometimes used for the imperial family for tea party or the like.
And then just when they were about to open the door……they suddenly heard voices.
「Quick, we have to evacuate right away. The group of the demon king-sama is coming……this is just too sudden-」
「Your highness, please hurry! They should be at the front terrace right now, so let’s escape from the capital now while we still can! We will surely be safe if we can escape until the margrave’s territory!」
「Uu, why does things become like this-. Those Haurias are loitering around inside the castle as though they own the place, and even Tracy-oneesama is completely changed like that……」
「This isn’t the time to grumble like that! Or do you want to be made to attend the buffet party tonight!?」
「I’ll die if that happen-, Okaa-sama!」
「Me too! That’s why just focus on running away for now!」
The voices that could be heard came from the corner of the corridor. Those voices belonged to a young girl and someone who seemed to be her mother. There were also the voice of a woman who seemed to be the maid.
There was a desperate urgency that could be felt from their voices. They made it sounded like the palace was under attack even now.
Hajime and others looked at each other.
「Oh, it looks like Ariel and Amandora-sama are inside.」
Tracy said. Then it seemed that the people there heard her saying that. The sound of footsteps moving quickened.
The one who rushed out from the corner was a really adorable girl with silver hair and blue eyes. She looked like she was around seven or eight years old. She was wearing a really frilly dress. Her eyes were big and round. She was really fitting the description of a “princess”.
It seemed that small princess broke into a dash when she heard Tracy’s voice. Although her breathing was a bit rough, she looked at Tracy as though she was clinging to a hope……
The small rabbit ears, and the big rabbit ears.
Their eyes met. Her eyes and the two Haurias. Her already big eyes opened even wider.
She looked like she had seen a despair that must never be seen. Or perhaps like someone who confronted with all the evils of this world.
A beat later.
Shia and Nea tilted their head cutely――
A scream burst through the palace. The scream was so intense that even Hajime and others jerked in surprise.
But right after that, the eyes of the small and adorable princess rolled back. The white of her eyes was completely showing.
And then, she toppled backward.
「No, we are the one who get scared here though!?」
There wasn’t even any time for anyone to agree with Shia’s words.
「Ariel! What in the world are――NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO――!?」
After the princess it was a beautiful lady who clearly looked like a high class nobility from a single glance. She also let out an otherworldly scream and her eyes rolled back. Then, she collapsed.
「Please wait! It’s dangerous to move ahead liek――aAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!?」
Even the miss maid who chased after them also had her eyes rolled back and fell back with a thud.
A total silence filled the area.
The parents stiffened. Not only them, even Hajime and others also stiffened from the too sudden development. As for Myuu, she was completely frightened.
Because, it was really incredible. Their expression.
If they had to make an example to describe the incredibleness of it, it would be, yes, like that.
Their expression was like the face of the victims who were discovered after witnessing that person crawling out from a certain cursed video.
The faces of the pretty little girl and beautiful woman were completely twisted in the rictus of terror. Those faces looked even more gruesome due to how beautiful they should be originally.
「This is my youngest little sister Ariel, and her mother, and that is their exclusive maid. I mentioned before this how there is “almost no familial emotion” between us, but she is one of the few exceptions. This girl is really looking up to me.」
They were really thankful right now for Tracy’s extremely composed voice.
After all it was just like Shia said just now, this situation made everyone here wanted to say 「We are the one who are scared here. They suddenly showed horror from out of nowhere like this」.
「By the way, they were also present at the party that time. Perhaps it was because they saw the heads of their acquaintances and big brother getting lopped off? Since then both mother and daughter wouldn’t come out from their room at all but……they are noisy people aren’t they?」
No, the problem wasn’t that. Of course they were traumatized from that. Hajime and others nodded in understanding.
Their gazes naturally moved to the trigger of the trauma.
Yes, to the rabbit ears of Shia and Nea.
The gazes from the parents, were painful……
「Please look at this everyone. Scary isn’t it? My family is the cause of this you know?」
Shia ran with the joke material with a bit of playfulness in her tone.
But, her shrug and her smiling unruffled face immediately changed into a twitching face.
「Oi! What’s going on outside there! You’re noisy!」
「Wait a second Onii-sama! Didn’t you hear the screams!? It’s dangerous, so don’t open the door!」
The salon’s door opened. A handsome man with silver hair who seemed to be in his early twenty showed up. Behind him was a beautiful girl with blonde hair and blue eyes who seemed to be in her early teen. Their eyes met with Shia. Then their gaze slo~wly moved up. They saw the rabbit ears. Immediately,
They screamed plus white eyes & fainting. Also, the one who screamed like a girl was the young man, while the one who screamed like a middle aged man was the beautiful girl.
「This is my little brother Handler and my little sister Myara.」
Now that Bias and Trek had died, this little brother was the oldest imperial prince. He was an ambitious little brother who declared that he would defeat Tracy and regained the strong empire like in the past. The little sister was a sly girl who was always racking her brain to get a portion of the reward without putting any effort of her own.
While the group was receiving such explanation,
「Ariel-sama! Amandora-sama! The horse carriage is prepaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!?」
「Handler-sama!? Just what in the world are――HIIIIIIIIIIH!?」
「A, a, a, HAURIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!?」
Some maids, servants, and soldiers heard the screams and came here one after another They too screamed and their eyes rolled back.
The corridor was being filled with hysterics people increasingly as time passed……
It seemed that the servants who could function properly were only Tracy’s personal team. Surely the personal servants of other imperial family members were always desperate in order to avoid having contact with the ambassadors of Hauria, no doubt about it. They were like spaceship crews who were running away from the aliens infiltrating their ship.
The scream and terror were spreading inside the palace like falling domino. Naturally it became a huge commotion.
There was no more need to replay the scene of the imperial family’s capture. They were already full just from seeing this situation of princes and princesses fainting with the white of their eyes showing.
「Looks like the scar that is remaining in the palace is deeper than I thought……」
「It’s an honor-」
「Nea-chan, I think that’s not a praise nano.」
Hajime and others immediately left the scene while having such conversation.
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