Wednesday, April 3, 2024 @

Side Story - Side Princess

Side Story - Side Princess

 ──I met "him" on the day Brave-sama arrived in the royal capital.

 On that day, without telling anyone accompanying me, I quietly sneaked out of the castle. While I had often left with a servant, going alone to the town was a completely new experience for me.

 It was only natural.

 I am Aina Arcus.

 A member of the family that rules the Arcus Kingdom.

 In terms of position, I am a princess.

 Since childhood, I have received strict education from the king. Not just me, but my brothers, sisters, and even the king himself have followed this path. We were taught not only academics but also martial arts, to ensure that we could always make the right decisions as leaders and rulers of the people.

 Regarding that, I didn't have any major complaints. We, the royal family, understood that we could only live thanks to the support of the people, and it was our duty as royals to learn many things for their sake.

 In those daily moments, I also thought that someday I would work hard alongside my father and my other siblings as a member of the ruling class to create a better country.

 When was it that signs of the Demon King's resurrection were observed?

 Slowly, but surely, the number of monster appearances began to increase. It may have seemed like a small change over the course of a month or two, but when examined over the span of years, the number steadily grew.

 Already, there have been reports of sudden Monster Rampages (Stampedes), and there is information that some small villages in remote areas far from the weakly defended royal capital have been destroyed.

 By unraveling past documents, it has been discovered that as the Demon King's resurrection approaches, there is an increase in monsters and subsequent Monster Rampages (Stampedes).

 At this point, the talk of the "Demon King's revival" was just a "possibility".

 Before receiving the news of the "Brave's birth" from Fonia Church.

 The "Demon King" and the "Brave," who is the one to defeat it, seem to appear in this world like the two sides of a coin. It's unclear who comes first, but once one appears, the other will definitely show up in this world.

 Eventually, a delegation sent by Fonia Church found a young person with the "Stigma"── the Brave. There was no longer any doubt about the revival of the Demon King.

 When the news of the Brave's discovery spread, I was informed by the king.

 It's a common fairy tale.

 The Brave who saved the world eventually married a princess and lived happily ever after.

 The story ends in this way.

 The king ordered me to become the "princess" from the story.

 I don't think my father is saying anything terrible. It is common in the world of nobles to form connections and strengthen relationships with influential people. This applies to the royal family who rules over these nobles as well.

 Usually, it is the royal family who invites others from outside to join them, but it can also happen the other way around.

 The best example of this is Brave. By creating a strong bond between Brave and the royal family, it helps in governing the kingdom. It may not be a story of love and romance like in fairy tales, but love and romance alone cannot govern a country.

 Moreover, even though romance might not be involved, Brave is someone who can save the world. There is nothing more honorable than that.

 Of course, this is not something that will happen immediately. However, eventually, it will become a possibility.

 I accepted the king's words without strong resistance.

 This is also my duty as a member of the royal bloodline, and as the princess, I am not allowed to freely engage in romantic relationships. I have been aware of this due to the education I have received.

 But deep down in my heart, things were different.

 I never had any freedom since I was young.

 Every day was filled with tasks to be completed at a predetermined time. Although I knew it was expected as a member of the royal family, deep inside, I couldn't help but feel suffocated by such a life.

 My world was confined within the walls of the castle, and I knew nothing about the outside world. Even though I had knowledge about it, I had hardly seen anything firsthand.

 Sometimes, I would venture out to the town with my servants, but it was always limited to specific places. I never got to see the true lives of the ordinary people who supported us.

 And then, there is the story of my connection with Brave.

 When the future, which had been vaguely decided for me, started taking shape, my desire for 'freedom' that I had suppressed for so long finally burst forth.

 Of course, I knew that my actions were not acceptable. I was aware of the trouble I would cause to many. I understood that my life was not solely my own, without anyone having to tell me.

 All the things that have supported my life so far have been provided by the taxes paid by the people. As someone who consumes these taxes, I have a responsibility as a member of the royal family. It's a natural consequence.

 However, even just once, I wanted to see what I wanted to see, gain what I wanted to gain, and know what I wanted to know. I desired such "freedom".

 The day Brave-sama came to the castle and I managed to escape was truly a coincidence. The preparations were being made to welcome him. Everyone was busy and focused, giving me the perfect chance to escape unnoticed.

 I had prepared the necessary preparations and escape route in advance. It was just a matter of following them at the right time.

 And so, for the first time in my life, even if it was only for a short time, I obtained the "freedom" of being released from all barriers.

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