Chapter 38 – Settlement
I now finally understand how Ruthe was so kind and understanding in Rune Knight Concerto, how she withstood the constant whining of Els, or the bullying of Altirea, or how she never gave up on getting along… How she could be so nice, to the point she didn’t even feel human.
That’s because she wasn’t. She was the artificial life created by Altirea, one who was made to be her ideal self. It’s no wonder that she was so caring to everyone… And it’s also no surprise that she loved Altirea even after everything, for she was her creator, and she had always been in Ruthe’s heart.
And it can’t be helped that the dolls couldn’t find Ruthe no matter how much they searched, for Ruthe hasn’t even been born in this world, nor will she be born, as I have no intention of falling to the same trick that priest Asksu played on the original Altirea.
If it wasn’t for Asksu, maybe Altirea would have never have had to go through all those tragedies… But now, he is on a deep sleep, so things should hopefully take a turn for the better now. With this, I may be really close to achieving my initial goal of avoiding future misfortunes.
But well, let’s first take care of the problems that came to me as soon as I woke up, for I was now faced with an absurd claim… That I was a heroine who saved the princess and protected the palace from rebels.
… Apparently this kind of grandiose achievement was granted to me due to Weiss’, Kajero’s and the Earl’s intervention while I slept. They told me that the conversation went more or less like this…
(That woman that Alty helped seems to be the third princess of this country.) Weiss commented.
(That’s quite useful. We should build a solid position here in preparation for the future.
(We already have quite a few of this country’s weaknesses on our hands by now, after all. With not only this favor, but also with the fact that Zudah tried killing Alty when he was supposed to be under their care. The debt they have with us is definitely something we should take full advantage of.) Kajero replied.
(Wonderful. I’ll do my best to give a wonderful surprise to the princess once she wakes up.) The Earl said.
And because of their interference, I couldn’t enjoy the founding festival at all, for I had to not only meet up with all sorts of local nobles who wanted to ‘give their thanks’, including the king and the third princess, but also to participate in several parties and parades that were filled with people I had never heard of.
… Not to mention how I had to reject countless proposals from men of this country… Marriable age in this kingdom being this low is surely a real annoyance.
It was actually pretty hard to do those rejections, as the proposals all came from either royalty or from eldest sons of prestigious families, but there was no way around it, so, for the sake of my own sanity and peace, I rejected them all.
I also didn’t have to deal with any other assassination attempt, as Kajero seems to have caught High Priest Rofen… Though I was surprised to hear that Phillka had actually been kidnapped and that they intended to use him as a sacrifice. Seems like the priest had made quite the big plot going on, as even the Alchemist Association ended up getting involved with it… It’ll probably take a while longer until we get the whole picture of his plans.
But then, one night, while I was relaxing in my room for the first time in a while since the start of that tumultuous founding festival, Kajero asked me a question, “Young lady, do you know of someone named Asklasua? He was involved with priest Rofen, so I wanted to try investigating more about him, but we haven’t been able to find any clues on his whereabouts.”
I do think I heard that name at some point, but… Who was it again?
“You two are way too out of it!” Weiss suddenly exclaimed, “How could you have possibly forgotten the face of that rotten sage?! Stupid Kajero!
“Asklasua is our nemesis! Did you seriously forget about him when you became a spirit? That’s just pitiful.
“As for you, Alty, you don’t seem to have noticed it, so I’ll just tell you. The disgusting creep that tried to deceive you in your dreams, priest Asksu, that was him. Asksu is one of the many pseudonyms often used by that rotten sage.”
“Wait, Weiss… The Sage? You mean… The one from that old tale…?” I asked.
“Ah, yeah, that bastard that downgraded us to mere spirits.
“The legends may paint him as a saint, but it’s all a lie that he himself spread many centuries back. He sure is good at making up myths that glorify him.
“But since you don’t know about it, should the great me tell you about the truth behind that ridiculous tale?
“You listen too, Kajero, as it might help you remember… Remember the times when we were gods.” Weiss said something quite unexpected just now…
But that was just the start. As he then explained to us the true identity of their spirits, what happened in their past, what their connection with Sage Asklasua was… And how that all tied back to this particular myth.