「Prince, I have something to tell you!」
With a bang, the door to his office is opened by a soldier.
But what the soldier saw is a half-naked Princess-maiden and her supposed consort, a priestess, both of them with their faces buried between the soldier's lord's legs on the bed.
The soldier instantly blushed and exclaimed.
Certainly, the rumor that Sagrado's princess and the sixth prince are having an affair is well circulated in the fort. However, this is the first time for him to actually see such a scene. And although he had heard about the princess and the sixth prince, he had never heard about the maid.
Still, in front of the eyes of the soldier, who was stiff, Alexis tucked his thing into his trousers with ease.
Alexis puts his hand on Fransisca's head as her eyes greedily follow the object back into his pants.
「The soldier has something to tell」
This is the first time Fransisca notices the presence of the crowd, and she quickly pulls the sheet over her shoulders, her cheeks flushed.
Alexis called out to Sagrado's maidservant, who was getting out of bed as soon as her clothes were in order.
「Where are you going?」
「Uh...no, I thought I should leave」
Fatima's cheeks burned, but she didn't seem to be able to get rid of it.
It seems that she is trying to be considerate of him before she said anything. It was very typical of Fatima in that respect.
「It doesn't matter. There is nothing to worry about.」
After saying this, Alexis got off the bed and walked toward the soldier.
「So, what's the report?」
「O-Okay. A scouting team had been checking Sagrado's territory, which was exposed by the darkness...」
Fransisca and Fatima listen to the soldier's words simultaneously.
「So, we were wondering if there were any ruins found... maybe located in the old town. But we didn't see any trace of the monster, but instead...」
The report brought by the soldier was not a happy one.
After listening to the whole story, Alexis tells the soldier to "stand back".
「Yes. Excuse me」
Alexis looked after the soldier from the room. By this time, his bulging member had shrunk to a small size.
Instead, he looked back at the girls in bed and said.
「You heard what he said. You wanna go...? ...」
Fatima chokes on her words and turns a worried look toward Fransisca.
「...yes, Alexis-sama. I have to go.」
Fransisca nodded and pursed her lips.
* * *
Fransisca and Fatima are the only two who got into the carriage that Alexis had prepared. Fransisca thought about inviting all the Sagrado people, but Lorenzo was somehow absent from the fortress, and Sara was still busy in the infirmary mixing some mysterious medicine.
As they want to go to the place, which was exposed to darkness, they packed the same equipment as when they went to the dungeon, just in case.
But when Fransisca went to Dorothea to pick up the equipment, her attitude was awkward.
And now, perhaps she was prepared for this because she had heard the soldier's story beforehand, her expression is tense and stiff as she sat down on the back of the wagon.
Soon the carriage crosses a plain, passes through a forest, and comes to an unfamiliar place.
It was the site of what appeared to be a medium-sized town at the end of the forest.
In an open area in the middle of the thick forest, the wrecked stone houses stand side by side, and here and there scorch marks are found.
"It's Asarea town," Fatima said.
「This... this location, for sure. This is Asarea town.」
Alexis nodded at Fatima's words.
For a while, Alexis thinks to himself, the people have been struggling with each other in the midst of their daily lives. Because there is a barricade of barrels and crates, though destroyed, around the area, and there are traces of reddish-black blood and swords still covered with bloodstains lying around.
However, there are no bodies to be seen, and the place is quiet, with no sign of life.
「This situation. I am sure, perhaps...」
Fatima followed Alexis' words.
「...they may have been living for a while in Avalon. Withstanding the threat of monsters...」
「Yes, I suppose so. But in this situation...」
「...they struggled just to be able to continue living in that environment.」
Hearing Fatima's reply, Alexis nodded.
He then turned his attention to Fransisca, who was standing by.
「Are you okay?」
Fransisca nodded her head.
「...Yes. I was prepared... I was prepared...but... But...」
Fransisca bit her lip in frustration.
「...I'm sorry I couldn't help them. I'm sorry...」
Fransisca kneels down and clenches her fists in front of her chest.
「...Alexis-sama. May I at least offer a requiem? Hopefully, they will be at peace after their death. Since they died in Avalon, it may not be possible...」
Alexis nodded her head, "Yes," but he caught on to the phrase "since they died in Avalon".
「There's plenty of time. Then we'll look around for survivors until we're done. It may be hopeless.」
Fatima nodded her head in agreement.
Alexis and Fatima split up and went through each of the broken houses, looking for signs of life. Meanwhile, Fransisca's voice echoed around them.
Her voice is so clear that it is rumored to have been created to praise God. A voice so beautiful that it could soothe anyone's heart and make anyone listen to it, worthy of the fame she once had.
（I see. Fransisca is, in fact, the Princess-maiden of Sagrado.）
Alexis realized this once again.
The Sagradoans are said to be the direct descendants of the ancient mages, and thus seem to have connections with many ancient magical civilizations.
In fact, Alexis does not know much about them.
What he does know is that the Sagrado are the most magically gifted people of the time, and that they are the people of the priesthood.
However, there must be something special about them that other peoples do not have, something that makes them worthy of being called a people of priests and their lord a priest-king or a princess-maiden. Alexis felt that way.
When Alexis and the others had finished their search, Fransisca's song had ended.
Alexis and Fatima met up with each other once near Fransisca.
「How was it there?」
Alexis asked. Fatima shook her head.
「I didn't see anyone.」
「I see. I still wonder why there are no bodies. Even if the monsters ate them up, there might have been one or two left behind...」
「That's difficult to say, Alexis-sama.」
It was Fransisca who said this.
Fransisca, still kneeling with her hands folded in front of her chest, began to speak softly.
「If someone dies in Avalon, there won't even be a piece of the body that existed in this world left behind.」
「What do you mean by that?」
Fransisca answers Alexis' question without hesitation.
「Avalon was originally a "barrier magic" created by Gorlois, the ancient mage, to bring paradise to the earth.」
Alexis asked, and Fransisca nodded.
「Yes, I heard from my father that what he wanted from this abominable magic he created was a world without death.」
「Death? Is that what he wanted for this dungeon that was riddled with so much death?」
Fransisca definitely knows about Avalon.
Alexis gulped as he realized this.
「Hey, Fransisca, can you tell me more about that?」
The words came out quickly.
Fransisca responded with the same cold look she had given him when they first met.
「Are you saying that you will marry me? Are you ready to accept the title of Priest-King?」
At that moment, Alexis realized that this story was out of bounds for the axis of the Sagrado kingdom.
At the same time, he also senses that Fransisca is not absolutely convinced of Alexis's answers, even if she does allow for the gender issue after all.
（Oh, I see...）
It's a matter of course. Fransisca, as a princess, has nothing wrong in putting her country first.
But Alexis was incredibly depressed.
The moment he realized this, he became upset.
「Alex, is something wrong...?」
Fatima called to him worriedly.
「Oh, no. It's nothing.」
Alexis shook his head as he hurriedly tried to make things right.
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