1.1 The Battle Maiden is a Returnee
A strong gust of wind, coupled with snow, hit her cheeks.
It was a freezing night, both blood and hair clung to her face.
Still, Jill somehow managed to climb the stairs and reached the top of the wall. The other side revealed a bottomless darkness.
The bleeding that continued to spread from her right shoulder was unlikely to stop, no matter how much she pressed it. Even when she tried to use healing magic, it was futile. Something was hampering her magic. But, she had no time to uncover the cause—
—even though magic was her only way to escape.
She would be unlikely to survive if she were to jump from there.
“There she is—! Jill Saber—!”
Regardless, once she heard the enemy’s voice, her body moved on reflex. It might be because she was used fighting in the battlefield for the sake of her beloved. Her beloved—also her first love—from six years ago, when she was ten.
The approaching castle soldiers flinched when Jill kicked the cobblestone and unsheathed her fine sword which hung on her waist.
Stepping forward—swinging—turning to the side—slashing gloriously as if dancing—and finally; winning, Jill attempted to open a path through blood.
However, she was vastly outnumbered.
Slowly but surely, Jill was cornered.
Until yesterday, those soldiers were Jill’s friend; and for Jill, citizens to protect.
Said thought, along with her blood loss, caused her sword to be blown away.
At last, Jill was truly surrounded. The swords and spears of the soldiers were thrust towards her.
“That’s enough, Jill.”
That voice shook Jill’s entire body.
From behind the soldiers, a conspicuous young man with an appearance unfit to stand on the wall appeared. The color of his cloak, which fluttered in the strong, blizzard, wind, was ultramarine blue.
It was the color symbolizing the goddess. Everyone save for the Kratos Kingdom royal family was forbidden from using it.
“Your Majesty Geraldo…”
When his name was called, the prince of this kingdom lightly lifted his glasses. It was said that he wore it to control his magical power.
“You’re a woman who’s supposed to be my queen, and yet you run away without acknowledging your sins—have you no shame? I can’t even begin to imagine how hurt Faelis must have been when she heard this… I sympathize with her.”
“—as usual, it’s always about your sister’s feelings.”
In a battlefield, one mustn’t waste his breath.
Geraldo stared calmly at her, who unintentionally spoken of her dislike.
“It’s only natural, is it not? In this world, nothing is more important than my little sister.”
Shut up, you retarded Siscon—!”
The reason she didn’t just shout so was not because she was afraid of being profane, but because she was horrified.
Well, it didn’t matter if her list of crimes grew even a little more—after all, her execution was already decided.
Even though they were false accusations…—
—no, there was one crime that she admitted doing.
Yes, “This guilty woman can’t comprehend my love for the world’s cutest little sister.”
This blond prince in front of her was Jill’s fiancé. The first time she had left her territory was when she was ten years old. She attended the First Prince’s—Geraldo De Kratos’—fifteenth birthday party in the Capital.
In anticipation of the conflict with the Rave Empire that bordered the Saber’s territory, it would make sense that her family wanted to increase political support. Jill understood that much.
But, Geraldo was a strict, serious, responsible, and respectable person—be it to others, and also himself.
Above all, he had acknowledged Jill’s monstrous magic and told her that it was necessary.
Because of that, she began to have pride in her magic. She never had any trouble in the battlefield due to that.
Even though her teen self was different from ordinary girls; even though she kept being mocked as a cold-hearted, battle-crazy, woman—
—it mattered not, because she was serving a purpose for Prince Geraldo.
Because of her boons in battle, she began being called the ‘Battle Maiden’. When she was sixteen years old, she received love letters from girls rather than boy. ‘It doesn’t matter’—she thought.
Nevertheless, Geraldo’s true identity was that of a pervert, one who sough to act out some kind of twisted love with his little sister.
Geraldo’s beloved little sister, Princess Faelis De Kratos, was a sickly girl who spent most of her life bedridden. She could hardly go outside, and the times she had met Jill could be counted with fingers.
However, it was apparent at first glance, that she was an angelic girl who bewitched everyone.
That everyone included Geraldo. Hearing that his sister’s condition had worsened, Geraldo didn’t hesitate to ditch Jill—even when it was both her birthday party and also their engagement anniversary.
However, if she were to let her dissatisfaction known, everyone would scorn her. Even Geraldo himself would rebuke her severely.
He also sent her to the battlefield without them ever exchanging a proper farewell.
While being comforted by a gentle subordinate, she used to reflect on her narrow-mindedness.
She didn’t think it was normal—it could be said that her fiancé was cheating with his own little sister.
No, strictly speaking, he was cheating with me.
From the beginning, he had used their engagement as a front to hide his forbidden love with his little sister.
To him, Jill was a complete and utter joke.
Besides, her many years’ worth of love too, had finally dried out.
She could only laugh through sadness and frustration.
He’s a good brother who think of his little sister… only that he’s too excessive in doing so.
Jill never imagined Geraldo would be so ruthless.
First, their engagement was broken. It went according to her wish, and he only said sorry.
However, it didn’t end there—
—the very next day, she was detained for some reason. Then, she was thrown into jail. The next day, the trial was over. Finally, her execution was decided, which was today.
By the way, the execution would be tomorrow.
It was a swift and perfect way to protect the honor of both the Prince and his little sister.
It seemed that Jill was charged for attempting to poison Princess Faelis out of jealousy. Princess Faelis tearfully accused Jill herself, probably out of Geraldo’s instructions.
He probably prepared it in anticipation of this happening.
She was impressed by Geraldo’s preparedness. She was also impressed by Faelis. In retrospect, she probably felt contempt towards them. Acting like such a fragile maiden, but then the next second…
…with so many people agreeing so swiftly, no one from her hometown or her subordinates whom were currently on vacation would even have time to oppose. Jill’s execution was final.
No. Are everyone at home and my subordinates even safe?
“How strange. How did you manage to get out of jail? All of your pet dogs should’ve been wiped out, already.”
It was the worst. She was prepared, but it seemed that Geraldo had laid his hand upon her subordinates. Geraldo’s analysis continued to hunt Jill down.
“The Saber Family can’t possibly do it, in other words, it must’ve been the work of an insider…”
“You don’t need to worry about any insider. I simply used my magic to break out.”
“… This is why, people from Saber Family are so…”
Now that she thought about it, how did she fall in love with such a stupid face?
“Had you chosen more wisely, you could’ve received the honor of raising our children… well, maybe this is for the best. It would be intolerable if someone like you were to give birth to children—because they would undoubtedly develop into muscle-headed idiots with stupidly potent magic. Such that I couldn’t even begin to fantasize them as Faelis’ children.”
Even if she was pardoned by Geraldo, such was the future that awaited her.
There was no room for understanding. Her love for him was completely crushed and was replaced with self-loath. She would like to never think about it again.
…Aren’t I naïve, to have looked up to this kind of man…
Stabbing the stone pavement with her sword, Jill desperately stood up—
—I have to survive.
Her experiences in the battlefield taught her that humans will eventually die.
She might die, but at least not before this man. Not by his hand, either.
***T/N: eeeeewwwww, no excuse for you, you incestuous prince!