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Chapter 51


 On the fifth day, the party successfully defeated the boss of the third dungeon and finished exploring the dungeon without any problems.
 It's all well and good, but....
 
......
 
 Fatima has not spoken a word since then. Moreover, if Alexis makes eye contact with her, she turns her head away immediately.
 
Okay, okay, it's my fault. It's my fault!
 
 Alexis wanted to clutch his head.
 
 For the time being, he returned to the fort with the carriage... but Fatima seemed to be in a daze all the time, and he could not hear her voice.
 
You all must be very tired this time. And we should wait to upgrade the armor of the soldiers surrounding Avalon. Therefore, I have decided to give you a week's rest, and you are dismissed.
 
**a
 Even as Alexis said this, Fatima left silently.
 And the remaining person next to Alexis is Fransisca.
 
 “Umm, Alexis-sama,” she said and touched his shoulder with her finger.
 
Fatima seems to be a bit down... umm, you had done it with her in the dungeon, didn't you? Did something happen?
 
No, not much.
 
 Alexis folds his arms.
 At this, Fransisca tilts her head slightly.
 
It's not very common for Fatima to be depressed in such a way that people can see it. If you want, I can talk to her later.
 
 After saying this, Fransisca fidgets, "And then...".
 
Tonight... uh, may I come over to your room?
 
 She looks up at him.
 Alexis smirks when he realizes that this is an invitation for the night.
 
Do you want to do it?
 
Ah... eh, umm...
 
 Fransisca's cheeks are tinged with embarrassment as she twirls her finger together, and she eventually nods her head.
 Alexis then replied with a smile.
 
Well, what should I do? Maybe, if I feel like it?
 
Uuugh...
 
 Fransisca is mortified, but Alexis was always mean to her. In the end, Alexis permits Fransisca when she acts like a dog that has to wait for its master.
 Then when Fransisca hears this, her cheeks flushed.
 
 Still, Fransisca nods, "...I-I understand". And Alexis smiles, "Okay".
 
With that, we are dismissed.
 
Y-Yes. Thank you for your time, Alexis-sama
 
 Fransisca said and left.
 
 
* * *
 
 
 In his room, Alexis took off his armor and left the room wearing only his tunic, trousers, and short boots, and his bandage.
 As Fransisca said, it would be better to speak to Fatima for the time being. And if he thinks about it, he didn't end up giving her the reward he had said he would give her.
 
A kiss, huh? Does that really make Fatima happy?
 
 Well, it's natural for a girl to be kissed by a good-looking guy.
 But, he is not a good-looking guy. He is rather below average.
 
 By the way, Fransisca also said he was happy to be kissed.
 
Maybe Sagrado people have a different sense of aesthetics from the rest of the country.
 
 Alexis concluded so.
 ――So, should he act like a good-looking guy?
 
 **b
* * *
 
 
 A knock sounded in the room and Fatima regretted that she had not checked who it was after she opened the door by accident.
 ――The next moment, however, she frozes.
 
 In front of her stood Alexis, the last person she wanted to see right now, with a weirdly styled haircut, "Hey, how you doin'?"
 He brushed his bangs up after saying that in a pretentious tone.
 
...Pfft!
 
 This is so unexpected that even Fatima burst out laughing.
 
What, what is that? Are you crazy?
 
 Alexis blushed inadvertently as he was pointed out.
 
What's... wrong? I-I just used my brother as a reference...
 
Speaking of your brother, those five princes of Krangal. I've met them before with Her Highness. They seemed to have no shortage of women, and were not at all like you.
 
 Hearing Fatima's opinion while her shoulders are shaking, Alexis is annoyed.
 
You think I'm short of women?
 
 Realizing that it was not a suitable look for him, Alexis scratched and messed up his hair. Then his hair was styled as usual.
 
W-Well, it's okay, everyone is born differently.
 
 Fatima said as if to follow him, but Alexis' mood did not return.
 
So you're saying that it's wrong for me to have a desire to be popular with women, is that it?
 
Ugh... B-But you have a good points too...
 
What are my good points? Can you be more specific? Come on, say it. Tell me. Come on. Come on!
 
 Fatima backs away.
 He's certainly not a popular guy with the ladies, she thinks.
 
 ――But still...
 
...I think the good thing about you is that you are kind.
 
 Fatima told him this.
 
Even now, you came to make me laugh, to cheer me up when I was down, didn't you?
 
 Fatima smiled absentmindedly.
 
Well, I feel a little better after laughing. Thank you.
 
Oh... yeah
 
 When she thanked him, Alexis could only nod with mixed feelings.
 
Really, I didn't mean to make her laugh!
 
 Without knowing Alexis' intention, Fatima became completely distracted and spoke.
 
You see, I was so embarrassed that you saw me... and I thought I would never be able to recover. But you showed me your embarrassment too, and you want to tell me that we are a good match, don't you? Sure, maybe we're even a match now.
 
 Fatima giggles.
 Alexis is depressed, wondering if he's that embarrassing.
 Anyway, he vowed to himself to stop acting like a good-looking guy forever.
 
Because that part of you, is what make me...
 
 Fatima almost opens her mouth, then shakes her head.
 
...no, I shouldn't have told you that. Anyway, thank you, Alex.
 
 Alexis felt a bit uncomfortable with the sadness on her face at that moment, but he said.
 
Well, I'm glad you're feeling better...
 
 Alexis replied with a distant look in his eyes along with the pain in his heart.
 Fatima's mood seemed to be better, and as she turned to leave with a broken heart, Alexis remembered the main topic.
 
 "Oh yeah," he says, turning around.
 He was thinking about finishing the subject before Fatima's wound spread any further.
 
Hmm, what?
 
 Fatima, who thought she was just going to walk away, looks at Alexis curiously.
 Alexis walks toward Fatima, grabs her hand, and pulls her close. Then he quickly presses his lips to hers.
 
...!
 
 Fatima's cheeks instantly turn red.
 
Hmm...
 
 Fatima covered her mouth with her hand as soon as her mouth is separated from Alexis'.
 At that moment, the sleeve of her still-unchanged conjuror's robe is pulled open, exposing the clear traces of the rope.
 
**c
W-What are you...!
 
 Fatima's reaction, which was probably a bit upset, came as a surprise to Alexis.
 
What do you mean, didn't I promise you a reward?
 
Ah, that's... I asked you to pretend you didn't hear that...
 
 Fatima speaks slowly, but then Alexis interrupts.
 
You're bruised. I'm sorry, I overdid it. If you don't feel comfortable, I can go to Sara's and get you some medicine.
 
I-I don't need that
 
 Fatima hastily hides her hands behind her back.
 "Why?" Alexis looks doubtful, but Fatima still reiterates with her cheeks flushing red.
 
T-This is... fine...
 
 Fatima sighs as she says this, and Alexis can't help but become increasingly suspicious.
 
No, but...
 
No, it's okay.
 
 When she was rejected to that extent, Alexis couldn't say anything more strongly.
 
O-Okay. Well, I'm done here. See you later.
 
 Alexis said this and left this time.
 
Alex...
 
 Fatima puts her hand gently on her chest, looking at the closed door.
 She turns her eyes toward her heart pounding in her chest, and sees her wrist with the traces of the rope removed from the sleeve of her robe.
 
I offered to give myself in place of the princess, but...
 
 Fatima knew. She was aware.
 That the feeling was anticipation. A joy.
 She felt shallow and disgusted at herself for using it as an excuse to beg God's forgiveness, but she could not control her trembling body when she remembered the series of actions with Alexis.
 
A-Alex...
 
 Before she knew it, she was gasping for air.
 Fatima sits down on the ground and reaches for the tingling spot.
 
 Her fingertips, which had slipped to her panties, felt hot and muddy, and made a cooing sound.
 
W-What a bad thing I've done...
 
 Even though she thinks so, Fatima can't stop herself from this act.
 
I can't blame Her Highness either. I'm not a priest too...
 
 Fatima was lost in the act of comforting herself afterwards, thinking like that.
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