Claudia was taken by Harold. The moment I heard this I jumped up from my seat.
“Rose, can you take me there!?”
“– yeah, no problem.”
“All right, I’m counting on you! I’m sorry, Princess Lakshu, I have to excuse myself. We’ll continue this later.”
I ran out of the room without waiting for her reply.
From behind me, I could hear, “Please, wait, I’ll come with,” “Princess Lakshu, you can’t go out dressed like that!” I heard this but didn’t have time to wait.
Rose said Claudia was forcibly taken by Harold. Her position is equal to that of the lowest ranked person in this castle. Why would Harold take her?
I have to help her before the worst happens.
“Prince Harold’s room is this way, Yuzuki onii-san!”
As Rose screamed out directions, I quickly chased after her through the seemingly endless halls of the castle.
“Was there a reason for her being taken?”
“I don’t know. I wasn’t there when it happened, but a guard remained behind to ask how much she would cost.”
“– W-What is that supposed to mean!?”
Slavery is allowed in this country. Slaves are often traded from person to person not just from slave traders. So if someone wanted to buy another person’s slave, they’d first have to ask the price.
But they’re supposed to ask if the slave is available for purchase and make an offer after.
Why would he ask for a price after taking Claudia?
Well, considering the fact that he is a prince, this may not be unusual —
On the way towards Harold’s room, we ran into Sylphy.
“Sylphy, I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to talk –”
“I know, I’m coming with you!”
Sylphy joined us as we ran towards Harold’s room. We arrived at his door which had a guard on either side.
“Oh, Rose-sama? Why are you so out of breath?”
“We have an urgent matter to discuss with Prince Harold.”
After hearing her words, the guards looked at each other before the younger one nodded and turned back to Rose.
“I’m sorry, His Highness Prince Harold is currently busy and nobody is permitted to enter.”
“I said it’s urgent!”
“I’m very sorry but I can’t allow you to enter–”
“–was a girl with silverish hair brought here? She’s my friend.”
I couldn’t watch from the side anymore and interjected.
Once I did, the guards’ attitude completely changed. They were politely conversing with the daughter of an earl but now are dealing with a rude stranger.
“You…you’re the clothier that came to make a dress for Princess Lakshu.”
“Yes. The girl that Prince Harold took is my friend.”
“…I see. I understand the situation.”
“–but I still can’t allow you to enter.”
I thought there may be a sliver of hope, but the guards refused a little more forcibly this time.
“You called this girl your friend but she’s actually a slave, right? Prince Harold plans on buying her from you. If you wish to negotiate the price for her, please, return at a later time.”
“No, I’m not going to sell Claudia.”
“…are you serious? You would be insane to refuse the request of Prince Harold. It would be best for you to just return to your room.”
…it’s useless. There’s nothing I can say that would get them to let me in. If I try to push it any further, it may make things worse for me and Claudia. In this world, what matters most is the power and position you hold. A person like me can’t do anything to oppose a prince.
But — what’s stuck in my mind is the image of Claudia diligently working away to give shape to my design.
If I lose Claudia, I can never reach my dream.
“Rose, Sylphy, please, go back to your rooms.”
I decided to fight against the accepted norms of this world.
I opened my status window but Goddess Medea’s Blessing was still on cooldown, but my abilities had increased after my fight with Alumis.
I opened my item box and my eyes locked onto the hilt of my sword. I waited for them to leave, but…Rose remained by my side.
“…Rose, what are you doing? I told you to go back to your room.”
What I’m about to do will be considered an act of treason. That’s why I need Rose to leave before I do anything.
But Rose was grabbing onto my sleeve.
“I’m not leaving. I will stay by your side, Yuzuki onii-san.”
Rose cut my words off when she placed her finger over my mouth.
“It’s okay because I’m a yandere.”
Does she mean that even if she leaves, if anything happens to me, her yandere obsession with me will cause her to cause trouble anyway? I don’t know, but…I don’t have time to waste asking her.
As I was thinking about what to do, Sylphy appeared on my other side.
“Do you know what I’m planning, Sylphy?”
“Yes, but, after all, I’m your personal receptionist.”
I don’t want them involved in this.
But I know it would be useless to try talking them out of this. Or at the very least, I don’t have time to talk them out of it.
“…I won’t be held responsible if you regret this later.”
“I’d only regret it if I did nothing to save Claudia.”
“She’s right. I’d regret it if I weren’t here and you got hurt, Yuzuki-kun.”
They were prepared for whatever the outcome may be. I nodded to each of them and turned towards the guards.
“…I’m sorry, but, I have to get in there.”
“Y-You three, what are you doing!? This is His Highness Prince Harold’s room.”
“I know that. I’m asking you to please step aside.”
This is their last chance. If they refuse, I’ll have to force my way through.
I reached out towards the sword in my item box.
A scream echoed out from within Harold’s room.
“That was Prince Harold!”
The guards turned around to face the door. At this moment, I took advantage to rush forward towards the small gap between them.
Rose grabbed onto my arm but I must’ve been able to just escape her grasp…. No, my Feminist skill is still rank S so she let me go.
Either way, I made it between the guards and grabbed onto the door handle.
“W-What are you –!?”
The two guards immediately noticed —
“Yuzuki onii-san –!”
“– I won’t let you!”
I could hear Rose and Sylphy say this behind me and then I could hear the sounds of a scuffle. They must’ve stopped the guards. I thanked them both and kicked in the door to Prince Harold’s room.
“Claudia, are you oka–!?”
The scene inside the room left me speechless.
An extravagant room suitable for the prince of a country. In the centre of the room, Harold stood dyed in the golden light of the setting sun. He was stunned, staring down at something on the bed.
I followed his gaze to the bed. The sheets were dyed red and a pool of viscous, crimson liquid was forming atop it. The source…was a bloody, motionless Claudia.
I threw Harold to the ground and climbed onto the bed.
I cradled Claudia’s lifeless body in my arms.
There was a deep gash across her throat.
“Claudia, stay with me, Claudia!”
Claudia’s eyes opened slightly but she was staring off into space almost as if she couldn’t see me.
She reached her hand out towards my face…but it fell limp at her side.
I can’t help but think about the first time I lost Claudia. Tears started to form at the corners of my eyes, but I quickly wiped them away. I need to focus.
A magic circle formed beneath me and Claudia as I began to cast Resurrection.
It will take two minutes to cast.
It’s a short time to bring someone back to life, but it’s an eternity when you’re holding the lifeless body of the one you love in your arms. Memories of my time spent with Claudia ran through my mind….
Claudia standing before me as a slave. All the times she pretended to act sweet and innocent when she was really a perverted girl.
We began working together on clothing and I was able to make perverted clothing for her.
Later, in different stores and other places in public, she allowed me to do perverted things to her — actually, all of my memories with her involve something perverted.
No, well, she may be dead, but I know I can bring her back. I’m sure Claudia would hate me for thinking about these things at a time like this, but…. No, she should hate me for doing that.
I calmed down and continued channeling the magic.
“…come back to me, Claudia.”
As I let out a prayer, the Resurrection spell activated.
A brilliant light being emitted from the magic circle quickly enveloped Claudia’s body.
Soon, the blood covering the bed began to disappear and the wound on her neck slowly stitched itself back together.
Claudia’s eyes gradually opened.
“Welcome back, Claudia!”
I gently stroked Claudia’s cheeks. She gave me a smile that tickled my heart. I finally felt a sense of a relief.
But then the anger I felt towards Harold began to overtake me.
“Why did you do this, Prince Harold!?”
The fact that he took Claudia for himself angers me enough, but that is something that may be considered common practice in this world.
But why would he kill her? I glared down at Harold, barely able to hold in my rage when Claudia grabbed my arm.
“Master, it’s a misunderstanding.”
“Yes. I did this to myself.”
Claudia cut her own throat? What does she mean?
“Umm, well…Prince Harold was trying to force himself on me, but…my body belongs only to you, Master.”
“Yes. I killed myself before he could do anything.”
“O-Oh…that’s what you mean….”
I’ve heard the story about how a noblewoman would kill herself before any bandits or thieves could have the chance to do anything to her. And Claudia actually did it.
But…even if that were to happen to her, I’d still want her to be alive. I can’t imagine anything worse than having her die without any way to bring her back.
I guess, in this case, she knew that I could bring her back after she killed herself. Then, rather than being humiliated like that, it’s better that she did kill herself. But there are still times when I won’t be able to revive her and I don’t want her to resort to doing so….
I was trying to decide which was the right decision when I realized I was thinking about it all wrong.
“Claudia, I should’ve been here sooner.”
I bowed my head deeply to her. I’m sorry I forced her to make such a painful choice.
“It’s fine…but now you understand how it feels.”
I wasn’t sure what she meant.
“It hurts when I see you hurt yourself in front of me. So, please, stop doing that.”
I’ve killed myself in front of her multiple times, but I’ve never been there for the aftermath. When I revive, everything is cleaned up and I don’t have to see the bloody scene. I don’t have any room to criticize her.
“But…I knew you’d come for me.”
“Of course. You’re my partner, Claudia.”
“Ehehe~, I’m happy to hear that. Hey…Master, I was so scared when Harold was trying to do that. I feel so disgusted thinking about it, so…I want you to overwrite that feeling.”
While lying in a king sized bed, Claudia was looking up at me with moist eyes. Her clothes were also dishevelled which just added to her cuteness.
With such a sight before me, I couldn’t —
“– What are you planning on doing in my room!?”
Oh, right, Harold’s still here.
Claudia looked uneasy.
‘Don’t worry. I’ll handle this.”
“But he’s the prince of this country….”
“It doesn’t matter. Even if I turn this entire country into my enemy, I’ll never leave your side.”
I stroked Claudia’s head before getting off the bed and facing Prince Harold.
“As you heard, I’m taking Claudia with me.”
I don’t want to fight him, but I made it clear that there was no room for compromise.
“…because I’m such a generous person, I’ll assume you just misunderstood the situation. Claudia is a slave which I took as my own. I will pay you whatever you want for her. Now that the misunderstanding has been cleared up, leave us.”
“I knew all of that before coming here.”
Whatever my personal beliefs may be, Claudia is a slave, and slavery is an accepted practice in this world. So I don’t hate people that buy and sell slaves.
But, I don’t treat Claudia as a slave.
In fact —
“Claudia is very important to me. Even if I turn you and the rest of the royal family into my enemy, I will never hand her over to you.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. Then, in the name of the second prince, I sentence you to death! Guards, there are two criminals in here!”
Harold yelled out towards the door.
Rose and Sylphy were the ones that entered first followed by King Walt.