The Dvirish bandits led by Max were getting worse and worse by the overwhelming strength of Kaiser and the others.
“Damn! We’re supposed to be overwhelming them in terms of numbers, so why are we being pushed into a corner!?”
With that painful look on his face, Max was yelling and struggling to take on Viktor’s sword skills.
Just then, Count Strayed appeared in front of everyone with me and Princess Victoria in his grasp.
When Kaiser and Alexel noticed us, they called out our names in surprise.
At the sound of their voices, everyone else noticed them and looked at us one by one.
“Damn it! Princess! I’ll save you now!”
“Cecilia! I’ll help you!”
“Sister Cecilia! Wait for me!! I’ll help you soon!”
“I won’t forgive you for taking Cecilia captive.”
“Princess! Why are you being held captive so quietly? You should resist bravely like when I…”
As they said this to me, they turned to look sharply at the Count Strayed, but Count Strayed didn’t seem to care about their gazes.
He handed Princess Victoria in his arms to a man from the nearby Dvirish bandits, smiled, and stepped forward.
“Strayed—you! Let them both go now!!”
“Emperor Alexel…I can’t do that.”
“Why…Why did you do this?”
“It’s exactly as I said in the letter I sent you beforehand.”
“… If you’ve got a grudge against me, then you can go after me directly! Why did you target those two!?”
“I thought it would be several times more effective in tormenting you rather than going after you directly. And besides, I’m trying to get my darling Princess Victoria.”
“…You still haven’t given up on Victoria?”
“Of course. There’s no way I’m going to give up. Rather than that, I’ll ask you all to drop your swords.”
“If you don’t like it, that’s fine. I will just have to hurt the people you care about.”
With that, Count Strayed grinned and took out a dagger from his pocket and pulled out its sheath.
Then he slapped the face of the drawn sword against my cheek.
The feel of that cold, inorganic blade made my face tighten involuntarily.
Seeing the dagger against my cheek, Ghislan shouted with an impatient look on his face, and everyone else’s faces turned paler and paler.
Then they all looked at each other and nodded, and slowly put the swords they were holding at their feet while turning their gaze to us.
“Kukuku, this seems to be more effective than I imagined.”
I turned my sharp gaze towards the Count Strayed, who removed the dagger from my cheek.
However, he didn’t seem to care about my gaze and spoke to Alexel again, laughing happily.
“Well…Emperor Alexel…you’ve come all the way here, I wonder if you can do what I requested in the letter right now.”
At Count Strayed’s words, Alexel silently frowned.
“…Emperor Alexel, I have not yet been shown that letter or anything like that…What exactly was written in it?”
“If you cannot say so, I will answer for you. In that letter, I have written for you to offer your life, if you want Princess Victoria and your fiancée, Miss Cecilia, to be spared.”
Hearing the contents of the letter, Kaiser looked at Alexel with surprise, as did everyone else.
“Brother! There’s no need to listen to such demands!”
When Princess Victoria heard the contents of the letter again, she appealed to Alexel with a desperate look on her face.
Seeing Princess Victoria, I shouted with her,
“That’s right, Alexel! You don’t need to take your own life! Besides, Count Strayed is obsessed with Princess Victoria, so you don’t have to worry about him taking her life!”
I said that and tried to convince Alexel.
However, everyone looked at me like the same indescribable faces.
“…Cecilia, if you’re right, then maybe Princess Victoria’s life is not a concern, but even so…your life is still not guaranteed, right?”
“…….Ah…But if Princess Victoria’s life is spared, then it’s still not necessary to give in to his demands…”
“Do you think I’m stupid?”
Alexel interrupted me with a very grim face and voice when he heard my words.
“Do you really think I’m going to abandon your life? I would never do that! I care about Victoria, but I care about Cecilia just as much.”
I couldn’t say anything to Alexel, who was staring at me with a serious expression on his face.
“Then for the sake of your sister and her fiancée, I’m going to ask you to commit suicide right here, and right now.”
Count Strayed grinned and said this, and Alexel stared at the him, biting his lip.
“Now, now, could you hurry up, please? I’m not a person with a lot of patience. Besides…the more time passes, the more your precious one’s body will be damaged, right?”
With that said, Count Strade scooped my hair and…he suddenly had sliced strands of my silver hair in his hand. I gasped, and at the same time, a disturbing presence drifted from all around me.
I looked around fearfully at the presence and found that everyone was staring at the Count Strayed with a very terrifying look on their faces.
No, no, no! He only cut a little part of my hair, but he didn’t actually hurt me! So don’t look at me as if you could kill someone!
Seeing everyone’s scary expressions, I was more terrified in a different way than the shock of having my hair cut off.
And as expected of Count Strayed, too, was somewhat flinching at the sight of everyone.
“Come on, come on! Quickly, or you’ll see blood this time!”
With those words, the atmosphere of the place instantly thickened.
Then, absent-mindedly, Alexel picked up the sword at his feet and placed it around his neck.
Seeing Alexel like that, Princess Victoria and I shouted at the same time with a surprised look on our faces.
“Hey, don’t be stupid! Aren’t you an Emperor!? You can’t throw away your life for this!”
“That’s right, brother! Please reconsider!”
Me and Princess Victoria tried desperately to convince him, but Alexel still wouldn’t put his hand down.
“Cecilia, Victoria…I’m sorry, it was my fault.”
“Hey, don’t say that!”
“Brother, I don’t like this! Please don’t die!”
Finally, Princess Victoria couldn’t hold back anymore, and tears fell from her eyes, but we, who were being held captive, couldn’t do anything more about it.
In the meantime, Count Strayed moved away from us to watch Alexel’s death closer.
Then, in this tense situation, I noticed that for some reason, Rabi smiled a little bit.
Just as I was pondering this, I suddenly heard a loud rustling sound behind me, and at the same time, I heard a grunt from the man who was holding me back.
Then that man collapsed, unconscious.
I turned around, confused by such a sudden turn of events, only to find a man in a bandit outfit standing there, smiling at me.
“Missus! I’m here to help!”
“Oh…Missus…. Are you a Rabi’s henchman?”
“That’s right, Missus!”
“No, don’t call me Missus…”
I was about to retort in dismay when a man fell in from next to me.
I looked to the side in surprise and saw that the man who had caught Princess Victoria had also fallen to the ground and passed out.
“Leader! Missus and the Princess, we were able to save them!”
“Well done, boys! Continue to evacuate the two of them to safety!”
Princess Victoria was stunned, not knowing what was going on, but Rabi’s henchman who had rescued her grabbed Princess Victoria’s arm and tried to take her out.
“What? Huh? What the hell is going on here!?”
“I don’t want to be a surprise you right now, but for now, you can’t stay here, you’ll get in the way of these guys, so follow me!”
And so the henchman man ran off, rushing with bewildered Princess Victoria.
“Come on, Missus! Let’s get going, too!”
“That’s why I’m saying that Missus is…”
“Don’t think that I can let you go quietly!”
With an angry voice, Count Strayed, with a grim expression, chased Princess Victoria and tried run past me.
“I won’t let you get away!”
At the same time as I shouted that, my body moved as quickly as possible, and as much as I could muster up the strength, I kneed Count Strayed right in the stomach.
Combined with the momentum of running, the damage was more than I thought, and Count Strayed groaned in pain as he fell to his knees on the ground, holding his stomach and crouching down.
“As expected of Missus! She’s so cool!”
The henchman who rescued me clapped his hands and praised me, but honestly, I wasn’t at all happy to be praised for this.
But then I realized where I was and slowly looked around.
Max and the Dvirish bandits looked at me with a shocked face, and Kaiser, Alexel, and Prince Alfeld all put their hands on their foreheads and sighed, looking up at the sky.
Furthermore, Prince Leon stood there with a bitter smile on his face, and Ghislan looked at me with a sincerely dumbfounded expression. Viktor looked at me with respect, and Nina and Lady Lateia took each other’s hands and looked at me happily with their cheeks raised. Princess Victoria was rolling her eyes.
I couldn’t help but put a tsukkomi in my heart.
And so, with the loss of the hostage, Princess Victoria and I, there was no way that the Dvirish bandits could have been a match to Kaiser and the others, and in the blink of an eye, they were all captured.
“Cecilia!! Are you all right!?”
I looked at Kaiser, who approached me with a worried look on his face, and smiled to reassure him.
Seeing me like that, Kaiser let out a breath of relief.
I felt sorry that I had really worried him.
“Then, approaching me was Alexel, accompanied by Princess Victoria, who was completely depressed.”
“Cecilia…I heard about the situation from Vicotria…I’m sorry.”
“Alexel, Princess Victoria…”
“Emperor Alexel, I will pursue this matter a lot more when we return to the castle.”
“No, it’s fine. It’s true that this whole problem came from our side.”
“No, that’s not the case! Alexel and Princess Victoria are both victims! The bad guys are the Dvirish Thieves who tempted Count Strayed and Princess Victoria!”
“But, Cecilia, you are the biggest victim in all this, aren’t you? What Princess Victoria has done to you, and this abduction, and…that beautiful hair of yours has been cut off—it’s absolutely unacceptable!”
“No, please forgive them!”
When I said it crisply, Kaiser let out a protest, wrinkling his brow, and Alexel and Princess Victoria looked at me with surprised expressions.
Everyone who had been watching us from afar was equally surprised.
“Kaiser, think about it. Are you ever okay when you see someone you love being friendly with another person all the time?”
“To be honest I still don’t know what that feeling is like, but if I had been in the same situation as Princess Victoria, I might have done the same thing to the other person.”
…Well, Cecilia in the game did…
While appealing to Kaiser with a pained expression, I remembered the numerous harassments that Cecilia had done to Nina in the game.
“And even this hair is fine as long as it’s neatly trimmed. Plus, hair grows back in the first place.”
“What even are you!? I have no idea why you’re so nice to me, who has harassed you so much!”
“Because…I don’t hate really Princess Victoria. In fact, I like her, you know?”
I smiled at Princess Victoria with my honest feelings, and she froze with her eyes wide open.
And before I knew it, her face turned bright red.
“…Hah, as expected of Cecilia. I’m understand that the issue with Princess Victoria will be dropped…I’ll just do what Cecilia wants.”
“Kaiser! Thank you!!”
“…Are you sure about this, Prince Kaiser?”
“Yes, it’s the request of my love, after all.”
“…Well, I’m sorry. I’ll repay this thanks in another form at some point.”
Alexel thanked Kaiser for his decision with a serious expression.
“Well, now that dawn has arrived, it’s time for us to go back to the castle.”
And just when we started to walk to the gate to leave…
“…If you don’t want to be mine, then nobody else can have you!”
Suddenly, Count Strayed, who was lying on the ground, got up and stared at Princess Victoria with gleaming eyes, grabbed the dagger he was holding with both hands, and rushed towards her.
At the same time as I shouted, I strongly pushed Princess Victoria out of the way!
In the next moment, I felt a deep stinging pain in my side, the feeling of something deeply piercing me, and an intense pain that was instantly transmitted to my brain.
The pain was so intense that I couldn’t stand, and fell forward.
Then Kaiser caught me…
“Cecilia!! Please stay strong!!!”
“Kai…ser…Vic-Victoria…is the Princess…safe…?”
“Yes, She’s fine! But…just try not to talk right now!”
Relieved to hear that Princess Victoria was safe, I leaned on Kaiser helplessly, and finally couldn’t keep my eyes open.
…Well, after all, I wasn’t able to escape from the doom ending…maybe…maybe…again…a reset…I wonder…
That’s what I was thinking about as my consciousness was fading away.
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