After completing my errands at the guild, I went on a small shopping spree before heading back to the inn.
[Youya, Welcome back!] (Luna)
[As told, we changed the princess’s clothes and washed her body. Be thankful okay, it was hard work.] (Til)
[Thanks, you two. Here’s your reward.] (Youya)
During the short shopping trip earlier, i had bought a bunch of fruits that resembled apples in my previous life. I threw those fruits towards the two girls and the two of them happily caught them.
It must have been really tough since the princess was encased in the cocoon for almost three days, she was unable to change her clothes and since she couldn’t move, various stuff came out, staining her clothes. It wasn’t just a hygiene issue. If the person had woken up in that state it would had been a terrible experience to be seen so Til did a good job. I couldn’t be the one doing it since it’ll be bad if she woke up and saw a male cleaning her up. Although the girl with silver hair was alive, her body was still very weak. After escaping the Starfish Larvae, the blackening process caused by the curse began to slowly fade away. Her blackified skin was slowly reverting to its normal pale white. At this rate it should be about 2 hours before the curse completely disappears The pouch she was carrying also had several water bottles and preserved meals remaining, however after she was caught by the spider she was unable to even consume that. Starvation is one of the reasons why she is currently this fragile. Little by little, I poured the recovery potion into her mouth while Luna and Til were anxiously watching over the girl.
[She’s very pretty.] (Luna)
[Right? Although the two of us are pretty cute ourselves, she is on a different level. Looks like my sister has a new competitor.] (Til)
[Til, you shouldn’t go around calling yourself cute.] (Youya)
[But it’s the truth right? There aren’t many girls that look like me and Luna around you know.] (Til)
I can’t refute her point. Luna and Til are both cute girls in their own rights. Although I think it’s better to be cute than beautiful though. The princess could be the very definition of the word “beautiful”. She is probably around 16 to 18 years old right now. I knew that she would grow up to be a very pretty girl but I didn’t expect her to look this beautiful.
[Luna, Til. This girl is in a precarious situation right now. It’ll be bad to let anyone see her here so we will be waiting here until she wakes up. Since it’s about time for dinner, heres some money. Both of you head over to the bar.. Actually, I’m afraid of leaving the two of you in the bar too. Both of you go get whatever you’ll like from the restaurant in the inn as a reward for your hard work today.] (Youya)
Although I’ll like to have dinner together with them, someone has to be around when the princess wakes up. I have also thought about sending the princes to a hospital. However a situation when the princess of the Laluzulu Kingdom was eaten by the Starfish Larvae in Greenwood is far from normal. There is likely a conspiracy going on behind the scenes. It is unwise to bring the princess to the hospital since we don’t know who might be an enemy. That’s why after we got out of the dungeon, I hid my face with the hat and wrapped the princess in a cloth to hide our identities.
[No can do. If Youya isn’t here then the food won’t taste good.] (Luna)
[Uhn uhn. Anyway since the bar opens late at night, its fine for us to wait here. In the meantime let’s have some snacks!. Jajan!. Here’s some nuts that I picked up in the forest of God Trees! It was a popular snack back in the elve’s village too.] (Til)
[That’s perfect. Til.] (Luna)
[It’s delicious. Til is a reliable person.] (Luna)
Luna and Til began to munch on some dubious-looking nuts. It’s not good if I’m not there huh. They are good children that are wasted on someone like me.
[I understand. Then we’re remain here together until this girl wakes up. Are the two of you tired? You should get some sleep.] (Youya)
[Uhn. I’ll sleep. After eating some nuts I feel sleepy.] (Luna)
[This is our preparation to become night owls!] (Ti)
The two of them got into the bed together and fell asleep. It’s nice that they are getting along well.
While Luna and Til fell asleep, I continued to read a book while sitting next to the sleeping princess, occasionally feeding her a recovery potion. When the body is in a poor condition, feeding too much of a potion may cause it to have an inverse effect, thus it’s much more beneficial to feed it little by little instead.
Just like this, about two hours has passed. Then the princess’s eyelids began to move.
[NOOOO. THE SPIDER. THE SPIDER AHHHHH.] (Princess Lutra)
The princess started to scream uncontrollably, waking up Luna and Til. I grabbed the princess’s shoulders firmly and looked straight into her eyes.
[Calm down. I defeated the Hunting Spider and we’re outside of the dungeon. You are safe now.] (Youya)
[Outside? I was rescued?] (Princess Lutra)
With a half-trusting half dubious look, the princess began to scan her surroundings. After realising that we were inside a building, she heaved a sigh of relief.
[When we were inside the dungeon after being eaten by the Starfish Larvae, we defeated a Hunting Spider and found you inside a cocoon on it’s back. Afterwards we left the dungeon and brought you to this inn in Greenwood.] (Youya)
After realising she was safely within Greenwood, strength left the princess’s body and she collapsed. In a state of shock, I hurriedly grabbed her body to support her.
[I’m glad that I was saved. I’m glad.] (Princess Lutra)
After being in that dungeon for an extended period of time, she began to cry and I continued to hug her in silence. Embracing a girl without her consent is an invasion of privacy, however it is precisely at these sort of timings where she needs to have someone by her side to give her a sense of security. Although I tried to release her, she continued to stay in my arms and I gently patted her back. After she calmed down, we resetted the situation and faced each other. The princess opened her eyes.
[Uncle Youya..] (Princess Lutra)
[I didn’t think that you would remember me. It’s been a while, Princess Lutra.] (Youya)
She was the 6 year old princess that I met while on a quest a decade ago. However, it seems that she still remembered my face vividly.
[After all, Uncle Youya is Lutra’s knight right?] (Princess Lutra)
We hugged each other once more, this time with her face leaning onto my chest. Witnessing such a scene, only one person had a different reaction. Luna’s ears began twitching and she ran towards me, pulling me away from Lutra while clinging onto me like a koala. Then, she said towards Lutra.
[Youya belongs to Luna.] (Luna)
It was her usual childish reaction. Her statement being a threat towards Lutra, with her fluffy fox tail repeatedly slapping the bed.
[It’s nice to see that some things will never change. Back when you came to Laluzulu, Phil had reacted in the exact same way towards me.] (Princess Lutra)
[It seems that I was born under a weird star I guess.] (Youya)
I am often being hugged by girls like this. Speaking of it, Phil did show this sort of childish reactions similar to Luna back when we first met Lutra. Seems that the two of them were both jealous of Lutra.
[Princess Lutra, Why were you in that sort of situation? Honestly, right now I am unsure of how I am supposed to think about you.] (Youya)
Lutra began to recall, placing her hands on her chin.
[If it’s Uncle Youya then it should be fine. To make it simple, I was set up by my elder brother. For the succession of the Laluzulu Kingdom, when there are multiple candidates, the successor is chosen in a tournament and since we are a kingdom of knights. Gender doesn’t matter and I am a participant. He probably wanted to get rid of me.] (Princess Lutra)
I have heard about that story before.
The kingdom of knights Laluzulu. Although it can’t be be noticed in Greenwood, it’s name could easily be proven fact.
[I had to visit Rumberg for an event and decided to drop by Greenwood on my way home. Since it was the Magic egg season, I decided to try my luck while raising my level in the dungeon here and was recommended by the knights to head to the Forest of God Trees to raise my level. It was then when the Starfish Larvae appeared. When I was hiding behind a God Tree, the knight, Emil thrust me into its path in tears, apologising as I was eaten by the Starfish Larvae.] (Princess Lutra)
The capable looking Princess Lutra began to mumble. It seems that rather than hatred and anger, she felt more sympathy towards the knight Emil.
[Based on his reaction, that knight was probably being blackmailed by your siblings.] (Youya)
[I agree. My mother was a mere commoner so among all the candidates, I have the weakest standing. If my siblings decided to use their power, not just that knight but many other knights will have no choice but to obey them. I was surprised by the Starfish Larvae’s stomach. It was complete dark and I couldn’t see anything, and tried to move around to find the exit. That was when I was captured by a monster and tried my best to escape, however I found myself being poisoned and unable to move. Eventually I lost consciousness and when I came to, I found myself here.] (Princess Lutra)
I was surprised by her explanation. So was Luna and Til. Even though she was caught off guard by the labyrinth, she was still capable of calmly searching the labyrinth for an exit without losing her cool. Being capable of moving around without any light source and surviving attacks from monsters and traps for an entire day in completely darkness, that isn’t possible without strength and a mind made of steel.
[The main problem has yet to come.] (Youya)
[That’s right. Since the knight was most likely being blackmailed with something, if I return to the castle then just like before my life will be targeted. Until I can solve the problem, everyone in the castle is my enemy.] (Princess Lutra)
I would like to help Lutra, however her situation is currently not something I can solve. There is nothing else I can do.
[At this rate, my siblings will be notified of my death for sure. The current situation is a definite chance for me. Above all, I hope that my siblings will think that they accomplished their mission so that I can make full use of this chance.] (Princess Lutra)
[This situation is a chance.. That is an impressive amount courage you have there.] (Youya)
Princess Lutra’s knight is going to report that she was eaten by the Starfish Larvae. Since she was most likely dead, there isn’t any reason for them to investigate her death.
[Because of how I was eaten, there will be almost no doubt that I am currently dead. However I won’t be able to return to the castle until the right time. Fortunately, the tournament between the princes and princesses has already been confirmed to take place on the third week of the water moon. Until then, I’ll like to remain dead and return to the castle just before the tournament.] (Princess Lutra)
[That is a good decision. There is nothing safer than being dead right now. Is it still possible for you to enter the tournament once the battle has already been decided?] (Youya)
Her decision making was decisive and her courage is second to none. This wouldn’t be possible for a princess if she was merely pampered throughout her life. It seems that she has been through a lot in the castle.
[Uncle Youya, I have a request to ask of you. Could you let me join your party until the battle for succession takes place? I have to become stronger before the battle starts. It can’t be done on my own. It is possible only if I rely on my reliable Uncle Youya.] (Princess Lutra)
Her words were definitely the truth. Although she was capable enough to aim for the exit inside the labyrinth, she wasn’t able to exit on her own. It is still impossible for ordinary adventurers.
[Princess Lutra. Personally I want to help, but I’m sure you understand the risks involved for us if we invite you to the party. What about you? What can you offer for us that can convince us to help you.] (Youya)
It may seem harsh, but this is expected of an adventurer. If I was alone, I wouldn’t hesitate to offer my help. However, there is also Luna and Til. I can’t be selfish enough to drag them into this mess on my own selfishness. This is also for Princess Lutra’s sake. You can’t expect someone whom you just reunited with after a decade to help you in a complicated battle against an entire kingdom since you won’t know how much the person has changed in that time.
[I am capable enough to offer my strength to the party. I have the exclusive class that is only available to the royals as well as my swordsmanship that was honed in the capital through tutoring by the knights in the castle. To raise my levels I have also entered countless dungeons with the knights, I am confident in both my mental strength,critical thinking as well as physical capabilities. A Crusader that is capable of being both a healer and a shield for the party. Isn’t that the class that is most suitable for your party right now?] (Princess Lutra)
The Holy Knight class Crusader. It was another exclusive class that is only available to NPCs during an event in the game era, to the royal family of the Laluzulu Kingdom. In other words, it was the occupation of the founder of Laluzulu Kingdom, Princess Lutra’s ancestor. Crusaders had their attack power reduced in exchange for the ability to cast recovery magic. Currently, I was serving both as the party’s tank and the melee damage dealer. If we had a dedicated tank in the party, I would be able to focus on offense and our hunts would also become much easier. Our problem of being unable to defend ourselves against ranged and magic attacks will also solved. Furthermore, Crusaders were capable of using the recovery magic Heal. They were all important problems in our party that we lacked.
[Sounds enticing however it isn’t a must for our healer to be a crusader. It is also possible for us to find a monk to cover up my healing needs. Our party’s shortcomings can indeed be covered up by having you in our party, but I do not see how that is worth the risk of turning the entire Laluzulu Kingdom into our enemies. Finding a simple monk would also suffice.] (Youya)
[When I gain the right to succeed the throne, a reward will also be prepared for you. Not only that, I will appoint you as a special knight of the Laluzulu kingdom, with the appropriate emblem to indicate so.] (Princess Lutra)
An official emblem of knighthood. There isn’t any adventurer who doesn’t understand what that signifies. It is the act of being bestowed a rare sword of which only five exists in the world.
[You sure about that? I will not elect to stay in the castle even if I am designated to be a sworn knight.] (Youya)
[Of course it is. In the first place, you said it yourself ten years ago. That you would be my personal knight even if you are far away, you will definitely come to my rescue, just like what happened today. If that wasn’t the case, then a miracle wouldn’t had happen just like today. I beg you, you are the only knight that I have.] (Princess Lutra)
She stared directly into my eyes, remembering not just my face but also the promise we made back then. I’ve always been weak to strong women. I had to honor my promises.
[If you bring up my promise just like this, there is no way that I can refuse can I? Fine, we’ll accept you into our party, however I won’t be treating you as Princess Lutra, but rather a fellow adventurer Lutra. Be warned that I’m a harsh teacher.] (Youya)
[I wouldn’t expect anything less from the “weakest undefeated knight” that won the tournament with an inadequate status, defeating countless swordsmen just from your own skill. The world isn’t kind enough to people that they won’t have to suffer. Especially because of my circumstances, I have to become stronger.] (Princess Lutra)
Those were two traumas that I wanted to leave behind, just leave it behind please!
In the long history of adventurers, ten years ago there was a party that cleared impossible quests one after another, a party made of the strongest in their respective classes. However, because of that I was somehow given two nicknames and that was one of them. As expected of a world entirely driven by a chuunibyou naming sense. Luna who was behind me had eyes that were shining brightly while repeatedly muttering “Weakest undefeatable swordsman”.
Ugh, I can feel my mental wound opening up. It hurts
[Anyways, please take care of us from now on. We will be in each others’ care Princess.. No. Adventurer Lutra.] (Youya)
[Thank you, likewise please look after me from now on as just Lutra.] (Lutra)
We firmly shook hands. I was beginning to give up looking for another party member at greenwood, however it is a blessing that we managed to obtain another friend into our party like this. Furthermore, it was another Exclusive class “Crusader”. As usual my luck is growing right after meeting Luna. A reunion with Phil, meeting Til and now having a Crusader who is Lutra joining my party.
Is this really just a coincidence? I have a feeling that somehow there was an otherworldly power working behind the scenes.
[Now then, since the difficult things have been settled and the princess is awake now. Let’s go out and have a feast! The princess will be coming along with us!] (Til)
[Uhn. Seconded. Luna is hungry too.] (Luna)
Luna and Til gave out a cheerful voice, blowing away the tense and heavy atmosphere. They are right though. There’s no point worrying about something that is out of our control. For now let’s celebrate the welcome of a new member.