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Chapter 167


 According to Fransisca, there are three pacts with God.
 
 The first is that from now on, they will always worship God. Performing songs and dances for God.
 The second is that all the children of Gorlois will be dedicated to God after their death.
 The third is that the sins of Avalon must not be forgotten forever.
 
 If even one of them is missing, God will be angry and make Avalon appear in the world again. In return for the creation of the sinful space called Avalon, everything in this world will belong to the God of the underworld.
 
 Now, there are more than three commandments in Sagrado. But they are like an "insurance policy" to make sure that none of them are missing.
 The reality, however, is this.
 
「...Then, the reason why Avalon is appearing now is...」
 
 Alexis opens his eyes.
 Fransisca nods, looking down.
 
**a
「...because it is missing. One of the three pacts.」
 
「......」
 
 Alexis folded his arms, deep in thought.
 One of the three pacts was missing.
 
 Avalon's sins will not be forgotten—this is impossible. The fact that Fransisca can tell this story to Alexis now is proof of a strong legacy.
 Song and dance for God—this would have been clear, too. After all, that is what Fransisca, the Princess-Maiden, is for.
 
「...So there are children who were not dedicated to the gods?」
 
 Alexis asked in a whisper.
 Fransisca pursed her lips and nodded.
 
「All this time, generation after generation... we've been dedicated to God. Those who become monsters, those who disappear after being monsterized. There are many kinds of monsters, but the result was terrible. That's why we use the Life Stone to seal the monster king or make the body untouchable by God at the moment of death and offer only the soul. This has been allowed enough, which is why God has not been offended so far. But I think we, too, in our ingenuity, have finally gone too far」
 
 So says Fransisca.
 She must remember what she did since she says she overdid it.
 Before Alexis can ask her about it, she suddenly looks up, looks at Alexis, and asks him.
 
「Alexis-sama, do you know Wilfred?」
 
「...Wilfred?」
 
 Alexis tilted his head.
 He wondered if he had heard of Wilfred or not.
 But he'd heard of it. It's a Sagrado-type name. However, it doesn't ring a bell.
 
 "That's my little brother. Don't you know him?" Fransisca said, nodding her head.
 
「...Little brother? Do you have a little brother? No, wait a minute. I don't think I heard that you have a brother... or maybe not. But I've never seen him, so I thought you didn't have one」
 
 Alexis ponders the information, his memory not entirely clear. Fransisca smiled at him as if she were troubled.
 
**b
「...Yes, that's right. After all, he didn't appear to the public」
 
 Then she sighed.
 
「...Will was... He was born sickly and small, so Father always pitied him. Therefore, he was exempted from all the duties of prayer, public services, and ceremonies that he was required to perform.」
 
 Alexis then became aware of this. The reason why Avalon appeared.
 
「I hardly saw him because he couldn't leave his room. But Father seemed to have put Will behind until he was better. And I did Will's share of the official work and the duties of the Princess-Maiden. Although it was all right because she was pretty...」
 
 Fransisca held her sparkling silver hair over her ears and looked at the scenery in the garden with a somewhat melancholy expression on her face.
 
「...Will has passed away. He was a frail child... But no one expected it, and there was no rush at that time. No one brought the stone, and Will was not in the cold stone but on the warm bed, quiet and still... He was beautiful. His pale face made it look as if he were asleep. And at that moment, I had a bad premonition. Father murmured that it was his fault.」
 
 Her brother, whom no one knew existed, God probably didn't know existed either.
 And as a result, he could not be offered up.
 Unaware of any rituals and official duties, her brother was carried to the royal cemetery by the priests who were his retainers.
 
「I still remember "that time"」
 
 Fransisca gripped the pendant that was still in her hand tightly.
 She looked down at the pale blue light of the pendant and spoke in a muffled voice.
 
「...This is really the proof of a king. If it were true, it would have belonged to Father. But when he was swallowed by Avalon, he put it in my hand. He said, "It's yours." He told me to run...」
 
 
 Suddenly, even in the daytime, Sagrado Castle is shrouded in darkness.
 Only the light from the wall sconces illuminated the throne room.
 The King is sitting on his throne and Fransisca by his side.
 
 『—At last, the day had come. I had been prepared for it since the day Wilfred died. Something terrible is going to happen. You must run before that happens. Before I am transformed into one of God's creatures』
 
**c
 The King said gently as he held the pendant in Fransisca's hand.
 
 『This is my responsibility. So it is you who should have it, not me』
 
 Fransisca received the pendant from the King.
 Then, the King looked into her amethyst eyes as he laid his hand on Fransisca's hand holding the pendant and said.
 
 『I am sorry that I have entrusted you with Sagrado's duties, but I know that there will be many challenges ahead of you. I know I've put you under a lot of strain...』
 
 Fransisca shook her head and said, "Father."
 
 What should I do now? I... a little princess who only knows how to sing and dance, I can do nothing...
 
 The King smiles benignly at the weeping Fransisca.
 
 『From now on, it is your choice. Live and make your choice. So far, we have deprived you of many decisions and freedoms. The future is yours, Fransisca』
 
 Then here it is...
 Before he can finish, the pendant begins to glow from beneath the King's palm. The King has released the power of the pendant.
 
 When the King removes his hand from Fransisca, the light from the pendant forms a circle around Fransisca.
 
 "Now," says the King.
 
 『Go. And live. My princess. The proud princess of Sagrado... whose pride will surely keep you alive』
 
 "Father," cried Fransisca.
 But in the white scenery, she does not know if her voice was heard or not...
 
 The next thing she knew, Fransisca was on her knees in the blackness.
 When Fransisca realized this reality, she sat down in the deserted forest and could do nothing but cower.
 
 The innocent princess of Sagrado, who had never made a single decision of her own and had never known freedom, suddenly found freedom and determination one day.
 
 
 Thinking back on Fransisca's past attitudes and stances, everything made sense to Alexis.
 
 She was strong, stubborn, and dedicated.
 She was unreliable and weak, and submissive.
 But she stood. She chose to stand because of pride and responsibility.
 But in truth, she was like a pet who did not mind living in a small cage.
 
**a
「...you've been through a lot, haven't you?」
 
 Alexis found himself reaching out to hug Fransisca's head and stroke it.
 Fransisca looked surprised for a moment and then immediately fell silent.
 
 Seeing her, Alexis' face relaxed, and he nodded his head, "—Okay."
 
「I'll take care of the rest. I'll take you to Gorlois. In other words, if we somehow talk to the God again, we can handle Avalon, right?」
 
 Fransisca was moved to tears at the sight of Alexis, who had readily accepted Sagrado's offer after being told of Sagrado's situation.
 
「Yes...」
 
 She nodded broadly and then said, "Alexis-sama."
 
「Hmm, what is it?」
 
 Alexis asked back, and Fransisca suddenly hugged Alexis tightly.
 
「I'm so happy to be your wife!」
 
 She said this in a very emotional voice, and Alexis could only rub her hair in embarrassment.

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Edited Kanaa-senpai.
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