97.1 Thank You
“I see, both His Majesty the King and His Highness Claude have been imprisoned within the castle dungeon.”
While walking on the road towards the royal castle, I asked Klaus about the current state of the royal capital.
“We immediately thought of rescuing them, but… there demons also reside the castle. As such, rescuing them proved to be difficult.”
When I nodded, Klaus continued.
“However, hearing the story of the saint, it seems that thanks to you, the demons in the royal capital have been wiped out. We can now rescue the king and the prince.”
In truth, Klaus must had been dying to save the king and the prince. He must have wanted to act even if it were to cost him his life.
Klaus was that kind of person, after all.
Thanks to Douglas, the demons were successfully annihilated.
For a dragon to suddenly come to the kingdom just to slay the demons… everyone must had been confused.
Therefore, there was no way for Klaus and the others to know that the demons had been defeated for sure.
Klaus was a serious person.
He must had felt more regretful about the situation than anyone else, and be overwhelmed with despair.
“Eliane? You seem gloomy, are you alright?”
Nigel was concerned for me.
“N, no, I’m alright… but, when I think of meeting Claude once again, I’m a bit hesitant…”
“He’s the one who banished you, after all. When I meet him, I’ll surely utter one or two complaints.”
I had been prepared for it.
If I were to rescue that kingdom, meeting Claude would be inevitable.
…When that happened, what should I say to him?
“Gahaha! Eliane, what are you worried about?”
Douglas cheerfully clapped my back.
“It may have not have been the case when you were in this kingdom, but now that you’re in a higher position than Claude, you should act like it. You’re his benefactor, after all.”
“…Is that so?”
Given Claude’s personality, believe that he would change was hard.
However, when I looked at Douglas’ face, I regained some courage.
“If he says anything terrible to you, I’ll crush him. He’ll wish he had went to hell, instead.”
“Indeed, Eliane, you aren’t alone.”
Douglas and Nigel encouraged me.
…That was right.
There was no longer any need for me to endure everything alone.
After all, I had such reliable companions!
When I thought about that, I felt my heart, which had been getting heavier, become a little lighter.
Eventually, after following Klaus, we set foot in the royal castle.
I visited the castle for the first time in a while.
However, I didn’t have time to bask in nostalgia.
Guided by Klaus, we went straight to where the dungeon was.
We descended the stairs and reached the basement.
Strangely, the first person I met was Claude.
The name naturally spilled from my mouth.
When I saw Claude, the things he had done to me ran around my head like a magic lantern.
Up until that point in time, various things had happened.
The annulment of our engagement… my banishment…
Afterwards, I met Nigel, the prince of the neighboring kingdom, and got engaged with him. Furthermore, even though I was technically no longer a saint, I saved the spirit village…
As overwhelming as they were, those were some enjoyable days.
On the other side of the prison’s bars was Claude. He looked ragged.
Honestly, I had never seen him like that.
Perhaps, he hadn’t been allowed to eat. He was much thinner than before.
Still, it was kind of ironic that even when he looked like that, I could tell that he was Claude at my first glance.
When I was still staring at him.
“For what purpose did you come… Is it because you want to laugh at me?”
Claude laughed in defeat.
“Ara, the fact that you can still say that proves that you’re fine.”
“…As usual, your words are lacking in praise.”
However, I felt that he had changed…
…Well, rather than changing, he probably just lacked the energy to be uncouth.
“Eliane, if you don’t want to talk with him, you don’t have to. Let me take over—”
“—No, there is no problem. Leave Claude to me.”
Nigel said while staring at Claude.
It was easy to run—but I wanted to face Claude head-on.
Feeling my resolve, the others didn’t try to interrupt us.
…I was actually quite surprised.
Even after meeting Claude, I was not filled with resentment.
Was it because he was already powerless?
It seemed that I still had some good in me.
“…It doesn’t seem that I’m welcome, here? Shall I just go home, then? I don’t care about you anymore.”
I spout out a little mischief.
I was curious to see how Claude would react.
Claude wasn’t one to bow to others.
“I’m the prince of this kingdom, how dare you talk to me like that!” Was the kind of response I expected from him.
However, Claude’s following words were unexpected.
***T/N: I forgot to bring up how weird it is for Eliane to focus on ‘OMFG WHAT IF CLAUDE DISS ME’ when she’s about to help Verclaim…
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