──Greg regained consciousness the day after the duel.
When he opened his eyes within the medical office, he saw Julian and the others gathering around.
“Greg! Hey, wake up!”
While Brad was calling out to him, Greg could presume what the result of the duel was, judging by how he was in the medical office.
“Sorry, everyone. We lost because of me.”
Jilk smiled in response to what Greg said.
“We were the ones who left it to you. If you lost, then it’s everyone’s defeat. Besides, we also misjudged his strength.”
The craftsman who claimed to have had experience with armor was also to blame. He was a con artist, but the five weren’t aware of it.
Julian spoke to the depressed Greg.
“Don’t feel down. There’s always next time.”
“It’s fine if you call me Julian. Greg, we’ll challenge Baltfault again. We’d like it if you could lend a hand as well.”
Greg sat up and made a slight smile.
“As if I can be the only one withdrawing when everyone else is so eager. I’ll help you again and again, Julian!”
Chris took off his glasses and wiped his tears.
He devoted himself to being the cool character.
Greg looked around.
“Is Marie not here?”
Brad shrugged his shoulders.
“Yeah, it seems that she’s busy with a bunch of things. She spoke with Kyle about something. Furthermore──”
Brad, remembering what Marie had asked of him, checked something with Greg.
“Greg, among the sky pirates from earlier, there was the leader that Baltfault defeated, right?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
“Did you see Baltfault taking a necklace from the armor that the sky pirate leader was using?”
Greg recalled that Leon took something out from a sky pirate’s armor.
“I don’t know if it was a necklace, but Baltfault was saying something. It seemed that the opponent stressed out about something being taken. What about it?”
“Well, Marie asked me about it. When I told her that the opponents belonged to Winged Shark, she made a very serious face. It seemed that she was very invested in the topic.”
Greg put his hand over his chin.
“A necklace? Marie had shown me a ‘bracelet’ beforehand. She also had a pretty serious expression at that time. Perhaps the two might be connected.”
“It seems that she found it in the royal capital’s dungeon. It’s probable that there’s a relationship.”
Julian worried about Marie.
“I hope that she doesn’t do anything rash, but they seem like important objects for some reason.”
Julian noticed Jilk’s serious face and called out to him.
“I recall Marie going to the temple recently. She’s hiding something from us. Then again, perhaps I’m overthinking it.”
Since the five couldn’t figure out an answer, the topic ended there, and they then got excited discussing about what present they should give to Marie next time.
My father and his legal wife, Zola, were inside the newly built residence.
Zola, with a cocky attitude, was accompanied by a distinguished priest from a temple. The priest was a woman wearing round glasses.
She seemed to be on close terms with Zola.
“You scoundrel! Return the temple’s treasure!”
I was suddenly summoned and labeled as a thief.
“Huh? The temple’s treasure?”
While pondering about what she was saying, I had just come back from working in the fields, my shoes dripping with mud.
The priest saw the attitude I was taking and said “What’s that smell?” She definitely seemed like a woman raised in the city.
I judged that personality-wise, she was the same as Zola.
The priest cleared her throat.
“Viscount Baltfault, you’ve suppressed a group of sky pirates before, right?”
Armed temple knights had been placed outside the residence, causing my mother and father to be very wary.
My sisters, the second and third daughters of the household, didn’t leave the house.
My brother had gone to a different field and wasn’t at this location.
“I subdued them. What about it?”
The priest’s face turned red as she shouted.
“Those sky pirates had taken a treasure from the temple! They must have had it! It’s a necklace etched with the temple’s crest! I have testimony that the sky pirates possessed it, and that you took it!”
Should I have kept silent about it?
Well, there were more pressing matters to deal with right now.
“So why are you acting like I’m a thief? I have a right to own whatever treasure I obtain from the sky pirates. That’s the kingdom’s law.”
What I said seemed unfair, but I did have the legal right. I wasn’t the one in the wrong.
The priest was enraged in response to my objection.
“Since the temple’s emblem was engraved on it, that should tell you to return it to the temple!”
What kind of irrational argument was that?
What was common sense to her was absurdity to me.
I thought about driving her away, but I was currently unarmed. In contrast, the other side had many armed knights and I could see an airship in the distance.
Luxon communicated with me.
[Master, unfortunately, you might have to give in.]
I waited for Luxon to explain.
[It’s easy to cut your way through this place. However, there’s a fatal problem with that in terms of the peaceful life you like. Based on what you said before about your objectives, you’ll have the fewest problems if you hand it over.]
The religious organization of the temple also possessed military strength, but it seemed that they had gathered quite a lot of people here.
As Luxon said, they had more than enough war potential to take on a baron household.
They had quite the fighting spirit.
I listened to Luxon’s explanation while ignoring the boisterous priest.
[It is not a good idea to take an aggressive position against the might of the temple. They’re the organization who wields the authority to recognize Olivia as a saint, right?]
Religion was quite the annoying thing, wasn’t it? Indeed, it wasn’t a profitable plan to go against them.
I had also thought about preparing a counterfeit of the necklace, but──
[They’ll see through any replica.]
I held back the urge to click my tongue and glared at Zola. Her triumphant smile infuriated me.
“I’ll go ahead and get it, so stay put.”
Thereupon, the priest spoke to me.
“I’ve heard that Viscounts hoard quite a lot. Preferably, you should donate your fortunes to the temple.”
Zola agreed with the arrogant priest.
“She’s right. Nobles cannot disobey the temple.”
However, Luxon spoke.
[That you can refuse. It seems that the matter of the donation is unrelated to the organization. I assume that she made that demand herself.]
It seemed that Luxon managed to get drones to sneak into the temple’s airship and gather information.
They seemed to have gathered because of the temple’s treasure that I had. According to their reports, a diabolical knight was concealing the treasure of the temple. It was also stated that a fight may be possible and warned then to exercise extreme caution.
That meant they were scared of me, someone who repelled a principality’s army by himself.
Furthermore──diabolical? Who was the heinous one here?
“I’ll think about it.”
When I said that, the two exchanged glances with a grin and whispered to each other. They were probably discussing their share of the assets, but I never said that I would hand them over to anyone.
I thought about it, and since I didn’t really want to hand them over, I wouldn’t.
Whatever floats their boat, though.
Luxon and I took the necklace and brought it to the two──not. I brought it to an official of the temple who was at the harbor.
A general in his forties was at the harbor.
Perhaps having heard the rumors about me and my rapid promotions, he was awfully tense.
“Are you in charge here?”
“Yes. I lead this fleet. Viscount Baltfault, if possible, I’d like to avoid any rough behavior. Could you please return the treasure of the temple?”
They could have just said that from the beginning.
When I showed him the necklace, the general’s eyes went wide and soon called for an appraiser. The appraiser confirmed that it was the right necklace and violently shook his head.
“T, there is no doubt. It’s just like the legend had said!”
The general trembled when hearing that.
“T, this is the lost treasure!”
If was such an important item, then they should properly safekeep it at the temple.
I spoke to the general.
“Leaving that aside, take back all of the people you’ve brought to the residence. I’m in a bit of a pickle since I was told to take out more treasure in addition to the one you came here for.”
The general was surprised at what I said.
“T, that is inexcusable! We only came here for the necklace. I’ll soon get everyone to leave.”
It seemed that they didn’t intend on fighting.
Luxon sure is convenient. Things ended without any needless battles.
Anyways, since the treasure was now in the temple’s hands, I suppose it would do good to quickly go into the dungeon and retrieve the bracelet.
The general, having received the necklace, was relieved.
“It seems you’re different from what the rumors say.”
“I heard that you were outrageously arrogant. I suppose the saint being angry at you is reasonable, but you’re calmer than what the rumors suggest.”
──What did he say just now?
“Wait a minute. Saint?”
The general leaked some information due to his relief, causing the surrounding people to facepalm.
I pressed the general.
“Are you saying that──you found the saint?”
Perhaps it was Livia──or so I thought. However, the name that came out of the general’s mouth was too shocking. It was improbable. Impossible.
“I believe you’re acquaintances with her, but──she is ‘Marie Fou Lafuan’. She showed up in the royal capital’s temple with the similarly lost bracelet.”
How had she obtained the bracelet? I could still accept it if it was just that she had it. That wouldn’t have been a problem as long as it fell into Livia’s hands.
However──however, it was impossible that she would be labeled as a saint.
She was someone who reincarnated here.
I couldn’t tolerate how she skillfully ensnared the five guys, but I could understand how it happened. However, I could not allow her to name herself as a saint.
If she had knowledge about the game──and if she cleared the game, then she had to have known that her actions were absolutely forbidden.
After all, what would be necessary in the end was not the power of the saint, but the power of Livia herself.
“Marie is the saint?”
“Indeed. She’s a sacred user of healing magic, and her abilities already exceed that of the priests. The cane’s response to Marie──”
A nearby personnel then cautioned the blabbermouthed general.
The general realized that he had said too much.
“E, excuse me. Now then, with this, we will withdraw. The priest will take these people and carry them back.”
I stood still, watching them leave, until they were no longer in sight.
Then, Luxon soon contacted me.
“Marie became the saint. That tramp, I definitely won’t forgive her.”
Anjie and Livia were at the duke household’s domain.
They went to a horseback riding facility near the residence.
Anjie watched Livia, who was frightened to be on a horse.
“See, it’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“It’s high up here. It’s higher than I thought!”
“I wouldn’t really call an elevation of that degree as being high.”
It was winter break.
Anjie, who had invited Livia to the residence, taught her how to ride a horse.
“Second year students will have practical tests like these as well, not just academic tests. You should get accustomed to this.”
Livia, who was trembling, had no problems in terms of her academic abilities. However, she had problems in areas other than that.
Since Livia had asked about what she should do, Anjie decided to guide her.
The two actually wondered whether to go to Leon’s household, but Leon held them back since he was busy with launching the factory and other such things.
“Look, your posture is worsening.”
As she was instructing the frightened Livia, snow began to fall.
(It’s quite early this year.)
Anjie yearned for the hot spring in Leon’s territory.
Then, Leon’s face came to mind. At the same time, she remembered the clamor from before the ceremony.
(His own father and mother were trying to win Leon over as well──but Clarice and Deirdre are scheming something. Wouldn’t it be better for him to find a partner soon? Leaving out relatives, who would become Leon’s bride? Now that he’s a viscount, would it still be difficult to find someone who matches with him?)
Leon’s options for marriage had widened.
When he was still a baron, he would have had to marry a girl from a fellow baron household, but now he could marry a viscount girl.
However, as a viscount, girls from baron households below and earl households above were also viable candidates.
There were also margraves, but at any rate, his options had expanded.
As expected, he still couldn’t match up with a duke household, but it was now possible that he could marry an earl family’s daughter.
At the same time, there would also be many girls who would try to approach him. A third of all the students had seen the active role Leon had taken back then.
Even if they hadn’t seen the fight, anybody who thought for a bit would realize who it was that defeated the Black Knight.
In addition to Leon’s role in the battle with the principality, there was also the matter of his status as a viscount. He was in the lower fourth rank. He possessed a giant airship named Partner and a unit of armor named Arroganz that defeated the Black Knight. She wondered what a nearby girl who had seen him, or any girl who had caught wind of the rumors, would think.
Anjie was troubled.
(What could Clarice and Deirdre be after? Certainly, they would be able a match for him in marriage. However, handing Leon over to them is──)
Anjie, who felt strangely uncertain, shook her head.
Upon which, Livia, who seemed ready to cry, asked Anjie for help.
“Anjie. I think I’m getting a leg cramp.”
“C, could it be that you don’t get much exercise?”
After coming to the academy, Livia, who was normally the indoors type, didn’t have many chances to move her body anymore like she had when she helped around her household.
Due to that, her endurance had diminished.
“How inconvenient. At this rate, it’ll be hard to conquer the dungeon before graduating.”
“Conquering a dungeon? U, um, wouldn’t it be bad to conquer the royal capital’s dungeon since it would disappear if you do that?”
Anjie explained while getting Livia down from the horse.
“Even though I said conquer, I meant getting to the thirtieth underground floor. You’ll be judged as a fully fledged adult if you make it there. On the other hand, if you don’t reach that point, you’ll always be seen as half a person. You could also hire escorts. However, it would be difficult to travel there and back without having any physical strength.”
Conquering the dungeon was necessary unless there was a special reason. It was also a requirement for graduating the academy.
Livia dropped her shoulders upon hearing that.
“I, I’ll do my best.”
Anjie chuckled while hugging Livia, whose legs were shaking.
“You’re trembling, aren’t you? All things considered, you’re pretty genial, Livia.”
“Anjie, don’t hug me that tightly.”
Maids and guards were watching over the two as they interacted.
The temple had a room for noble visitors.
Marie put her arms behind the back of a sofa and looked over at a low table with her legs crossed.
“Hehe, I finally got it.”
Marie, who had obtained the necklace, immediately put it around her neck.
A bracelet, the “Holy Bracelet”, glittered around her left wrist.
The “Holy Necklace” decorated her neck.
Furthermore, standing nearby was the “Saint’s Cane”.
Marie displayed a definite reaction to them.
“I took away the protagonist’s position, but there’s no problem with me being the saint in the first place. I mean, healing magic is my strong point. I worked hard to learn it.”
Her efforts to learn healing magic were fueled by the cruelty of her viscount household. Whenever Marie slipped away from the hands of her brutal parents and her heartless siblings, she would temper her healing magic.
Being a person who reincarnated, she used her knowledge as a player of that otome game to learn it.
Marie’s knowledge definitely came from the game.
“In the cutscenes, things were okay as long as the saint prayed──so if anything happens, I can deal with them instead. So please let me have this, Olivia, since nothing good has ever happened to me up until now.”
For someone who reincarnated here──Marie’s knowledge mostly came from cutscenes and CGs. In addition, she had some information from a walkthrough online, though it was incomplete.
After all, she gave up midway when the game became difficult.
The one who cleared it was her “older brother” from her previous life.
“Even so, it was hard. It was extremely risky to retrieve the bracelet, and furthermore, I had a hard time persuading the people in the temple.”
There was also one other factor.
“There was also that mob who defeated the sky pirates. There were some people who confirmed that he had the necklace. Could it be that the boy knows something?”
In the first place, Marie wasn’t familiar with the Baltfault family name.
It did not appear in the game.
“It’s also unnatural that he helped Anjelica. Besides that, there’s his strong armor. Wait, maybe he’s the same as me? Is that why he’s been getting in my way? I definitely won’t forgive him!”
Enraged, Marie pondered about how she could get revenge.
“However──I’m in a better position now. Though he similarly reincarnated here and has been rising through the ranks, I’m now in a position to become the queen in the future. I’ll make Julian the crown prince again and become the queen no matter what! The city of my dreams, a grand and luxurious life awaits me!”
Leon and Marie were very similar.
However, their goals were different.
Leon aimed for a modest life at the countryside while Marie wanted an extravagant life at the royal capital.
“I’ll have beautiful men serving me and live almost every day lavishly. I had a rough time in my previous life as well, so I should be allowed to do this much. The protagonist suits that mob. Huh? In that case, isn’t it fine to leave them alone as it is? No, I can’t. My anger isn’t settling.”
Marie recalled her previous life.
“My previous life really was painful. I worked in a night-time entertainment establishment, and though I got some popularity, I got mixed up with worthless men──ah, I wonder why such misfortune had befallen upon me.”
She had experience with working in the night-time entertainment industry.
In her previous life, she had polished her skills in ensnaring good-for-nothing men.
Marie’s ensnaring of the five boys was more than just her appearance, but also largely due to her previous life experience.
Marie got up and smiled.
“I’ll definitely find happiness in this world!”