OP Waifus 68

Extra Part 4: The Liberated Shrine Maiden’s Wish and Her Encounter with the Master

 

This is an extra chapter.

The timeline is after the previous chapter, Chapter 67, and the story is from Iris’ point of view.

What will Iris do when she is released from her role as the Shrine Maiden?

 

 

“Goodbye, Father. Thank you for raising a monster like me until today.  I will go to my beloved. Now that my role as the Shrine Maiden is over, you have no reason to raise me. Please take care of yourself.”

“Wait. No, no, no, wait. Please, wait! Let’s talk about it. Hey, Iris. Iris…!”

Oh, what’s the matter, Father?

He clung to his prized chair and looked like he was about to collapse.

Is there something wrong with my body?

“‘Ha, what are you saying? When did this happen?”

“Didn’t the Captain, Lord Dalus, explain this to you?”

It was the day before yesterday that Iris finished the ceremony at the dungeon with Souma

After that unforgettable moment, Iris returned to the city.

Then the whole town was in an uproar.

This was because, for the first time in decades, the Sea Dragon Kerukatoru appeared in front of everyone.

However, because I was offshore, I could only see a small shadow.

“There are some changes in the festival.”

The Sea Dragon said in a voice that echoed throughout the town.

“Ask the Shrine Maiden for details. She will not be needed after the next festival. The first ritual has been re-enacted.”

That was all.

As expected of a deity. How confusing.

Thanks to this, I had to lead the regular soldiers to the dungeon the next day too, two days in a row. Souma- my soul brother – would have blurted out in a nice voice, “You work too much.” I also want to hang around with my brother instead of doing work. Souma also told me that I could call him big brother.

So, after I got to the far end of the dungeon, I made the regular soldiers wait outside the hall and opened the central door.

“Oh my god, there’s a message from a Sea Dragon here…”

“What?”

Dalus, the Captain of the regular army, shouted. He’s a very lively guy.

If I open the central door fully, anyone even outside the central dome can see a message written by the Sea Dragon Kerukatoru. Even the regular soldiers in the corridors, who were not affected by the pressure, could read the text inscribed by the Sea Dragon if their eyes are good enough.

The Sea Dragon Kerukatoru had written:

“From now on, there will be no need to hold festivals through Shrine Maidens. The blessings are guaranteed for 100 years.

If the Shrine Maiden does not produce any offspring, the Lord of the city shall take over the festival.”

“This… only the Sea Dragon Kerukatoru can do this…”

“You are right, Miss Iris! We need to report this to the Lord immediately!”

With that, Captain Dalus immediately sent his men to run to my Father.

And that brings us to the present.

“The Sea Dragon Kerukatoru clearly wrote that ‘Shrine Maidens are unnecessary for the festival’. In other words, the Irgafa Lord’s family do not need me.”

“Why! I want to know how it happened! ”

The Father raised his eyebrows and shouted.

I don’t have a choice.

If this had convinced you, it would have been quicker.

“Actually, I appealed to the Sea Dragon. That I have found someone I love…”

I told straight to my Father.

“I told him about the recent events between brother and the Marquise too. It’s all because of…”

“What the hell were you doing? Iris!”

Dang, Father slammed the desk.

“Don’t you dare think about that! You have no right! You were only created for the purpose of the ritual? How dare you say unnecessary things!”

“But the Sea Dragon Kerukatoru understood my feelings. That text is proof.”

“Agh! ”

Father looked as if he had to swallow something bitter.

I continued regardless.

“The Sea Dragon directly told the people of the town that the form of the ceremony has changed. You know that, don’t you, Father?  The people of the town must be wondering about it. As the Lord of the town, I think you should tell the people the exact information.”

“That’s for me to decide. I’ll see when the time is right and give them the information they need.”

“But there are already rumors among the people, aren’t there?”

Iris cut off her word and tries to listen carefully with a hand on her ear. Her Father couldn’t help but listen carefully too.

They hear voices outside the window, around the mansion. It was the voice of a bard singing.

{But the Sea Dragon Kerukatoru is merciful and will show the suffering Shrine Maiden a new path.

Like the daughter of a Sea Dragon who gave up her dragon status and lived for love

He told her to give up her position as the Shrine Maiden and live with her beloved.

The words engraved on the wall…

I’ll tell you those amazing words in my song…}

“Where did the information leak from?”

“Rumor has it that copies of the words carved by the Sea Dragon are circulating in the bars.”

This is the reason why my brother was complaining that I was working too much.

In the middle of the night, I made a copy of the text left by the Sea Dragon and scattered it all over the city before dawn. Especially in the bars. Oh yeah, I also scattered it to the Adventurer’s Guild, so it might have become a rumor heard by citizens too.

That’s good.

Oh, the regular captain is trying to get rid of the bard. He’s very angry, isn’t he? He said “I’ll never forgive you for spreading such nonsense!” and continued his chase.

“The Sea Dragon allowed me to carry out my feelings for my beloved. We also re-enacted the first ritual’. As proof, he gave me this.”

Once again, I continued to explain to Father.

As I spoke, I found myself touching the scaled collar that was around my neck.

I felt a shiver run down my spine. I feel a connection with my brother.

Courage was springing from the depths of my heart.

“Who is it? Iris!”

“Do we need a name other than ‘The One the Sea Dragon Approved Of’?”

“I’m your Father.”

“If you really were my Father, why would Neuel Hoffimier try to kidnap me? It was you, Father who taught us this proverb: ‘Never miss an opportunity because of emotions.’”

This is the critical point.

I looked straight at my Father from the front.

Ever since I was a little girl, Father refused to look at me.

He is like Neuel Hoffimier, who called me a “scaly monster” and treated me only as a tool for the festival.

But now, he’s very frightened.

Is he afraid of me, or is he afraid of the Sea Dragon who is behind me?

“If you insist, we can make a [Contract], Father. In exchange for me telling you about him, you will not do anything to hurt him. And will not divulge any information about him to anyone else without my permission.”

I said it slowly to make sure that every word is correct.

My small body started trembling.

I wonder why I am so tiny.

If I were as big as Rita and Aine, I wouldn’t be scared of being alone.

“The one that I love is the one that the Sea Dragon Kerukatoru approved. If you harm him, I will punish you in the name of the Sea Dragon, Kerukatoru!”

“Is that how you talk to your Father?”

Iris took out her [Medallion of the Contracts].

Father complied, though reluctantly…

“I will tell you who my ‘beloved’ is. And you will not do anything to harm him. You will not divulge any information regarding this matter to anyone else without my permission. Is that correct?”

“Okay. … [Contract].”

“[Contract].”

With a cling sound, our medallions clashed against one another’s.

I secretly breathed a sigh of relief.

I had a meeting with Souma – brother – about the process so far.

My brother told me that he would accept me without question.

However, my brother’s house is next door. Even if I change my appearance and moved there, the Lord would definitely notice me some time.

If he found out that I am his slave, then my brother will be in trouble.

Besides, I don’t have the same fighting skills as the other slaves.

If I don’t do something about it, I’ll become a liability. Then, I will fail as a slave.

So, I decided that I would remain at the Lord’s house to support my brother in his life.

When the Lord’s family no longer needs the Shrine Maiden, I will enter my brother’s life once again.

That’s the best I could do to repay the favor.

Of course, I had already decided to maintain the connection with my brother.

“The one I love is the adventurer who saved me from being kidnapped.”

So that, I could face my Father with confidence.

“He also accompanied me to the ritual of the festival, and the Sea Dragon, Kerukatoru, recognized him.  Then we re-enacted the first ritual. Therefore, the Sea Dragon no longer needs to perform the ritual in the future.”

“What the…?!”

“In other words, my beloved has been recognized by the Sea Dragon. You know what would happen if you messed with him, right?”

“You loved an adventurer and he responded to you, and the Sea Dragon acknowledged it?!”

“Yes, in front of the Sea Dragon Kerukatoru, he and I proved our love.”

“What?!”

“He went straight to the depth of my heart.”

“!!!!????“

“He gently embraced me as I wept over the pain of my past memories. I could feel him entering into the deepest part of me. It was hard, but in the end, I was able to accept him.

He has seen a lot of my embarrassing moments (in my brain image) from the time I was born and me indulging in sad feelings I have no choice but to be with him.”

I also touched the collar that the Sea Dragon had decorated for her.

It’s like one of my organs. When I flick my fingers over it, I feel as if my brother is hugging me, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I held my cheeks as they heat up.

“So, I am leaving the house. You will be better off without a monster like me. There is no longer any need for a Shrine Maiden, so I will leave the house to you and your branch family. Goodbye, Father!”

“Wait! For God’s sake, wait! Please!”

I saw it for the first time.

Father was bowing his head to me.

“This house is in turmoil because of Neuel. If you were to disappear as well, the authority of the Irgafa Lord would be destroyed! The regular soldiers and the people in the house will be in an uproar. And how am I supposed to explain…?”

“I was only born to fulfill my role the Shrine Maiden. Since the mission is no longer necessary, there is no need for me to be here. That’s what you have told you many times before, isn’t it?

All I want is to wear normal clothes and live by the side of the one I love. If I am not allowed to do that, I will have no choice but to abandon the Irgafa Lord!”

“Give me some time at least.”

I just replied with a long sigh.

“Until we get a replacement for Neuel from the branch and he settles into this house. No, just until your sister returns from the Academy. Stay in this house, please.”

“Do you intend to imprison me like past Shrine Maidens?”

“No! The Sea Dragon has already approved of you and that adventurer! And if the Shrine Maiden is no longer needed, then there is no need to imprison you. Anyways it was in the past that I imprisoned you! I’m not going to keep you locked up when I no longer need you! I have no intention of disobeying the will of the Sea Dragon!”

“So, will you grant me my freedom?”

I can’t believe it. Father is going to accept my proposal.

… Oh, right, my brother did mention it, didn’t he?

He said, “The biggest fear of a black employer is to be consulted by a powerful third party and to be forced to let their employee have an easier time.”

That’s exactly what happened.

As expected of my master.

“Will you allow me the freedom to walk around outside in clothes so plain that you won’t recognize me as your daughter?”

“What about an… escort?”

“I will hire a maid of my choice. She is a skilled adventurer.”

“… You’ve already got everything in place.”

“The Festival of the Sea Dragon has taken a different form, Father.”

Father had a look of disappointment on his face after hearing me.

“I will do as you wish, …the no-longer-needed Shrine Maiden, Iris Hoffimier.”

It is as if I am carrying a huge burden.

That’s probably true.

The message from the Sea Dragon said that if the Shrine Maiden does not leave any offspring, the Lord should take over the festival.

From now on, the Lord will have the same responsibility as the Shrine Maiden.

“…Can I at least know his name?”

“It’s Souma Nagi.”

The words flowed out naturally.

“He’s is a ‘cheat-chara’ and the ‘Soul Brother’ of Iris, Father.”

 

“Thank you for your help.”

An hour later, an elf in a maid’s outfit came to me.

She had beautiful cherry-red hair and was wearing a leather collar. She seems to be a soft and gentle person.

Her name is Rafilia Grace.

She is a slave companion of mine, who was given to me by Souma as a liaison and escort.

“I’m Rafilia Grace, and I’m going to be working in this house from today. I will work hard as your maid.”

“What are you saying, Ms. Rafilia.”

This is my own room, so don’t be shy.

“Lady Rafilia and I are equals. We are both my brother’s slaves.”

“Yes. But I’ll be paid by the Irgafa family, so I’ll keep my manners as a maid.”

Then Rafilia laughed.

I laughed, too.

It’s strange. I feel so much more relaxed when I’m with my brother’s slaves.

It was as if I am a child of my age.

“I volunteered for this role. I have to do the work, accumulate the rewards, and then the Master will free me from slavery!”

“Is that so?”

I thought that the slaves of my brother were with him because they liked him.

“But, I’m sure you like my brother, don’t you?”

“Yes. So, for whatever reason, I’m going to have him sign a ‘Master-Slave Contract’ with me again!”

…Okay?

I wonder why. That’s a lot of work, isn’t it?

Why is Rafilia closing her eyes and why is her body trembling?

“It was a great pleasure for me to sign a Master-Slave contract with Master. I’ll never forget that feeling. A pleasant vibration came up from deep within me. …My mind went blank. …I was convinced. I was born to be a master’s slave…”

When I saw Rafilia talking enraptured, I felt … somewhat thrilled.

It’s amazing. Is this what it means to be a mature woman?

Rafilia, her breasts are large, her skin is pure white, and she is very beautiful. In order to be loved by my brother, will I also have to be as big as her?

“I’m sorry Rafilia. … You have to be with me as my maid.”

“As long as you want to be with Master all the time, you will remain a child.”

Tsk, tsk, tsk, Rafilia shook her finger.

“The harder it is to see someone, the stronger your feelings become.”

“You’re mature, aren’t you?”

“This is commonly referred to as ‘neglect play’!”

“Aren’t you too mature?”

I don’t understand what she wants to say.

When I see Rafilia wiggling around, I feel like I shouldn’t.

“So, Lady Iris, are you hiding the fact that you are Master’s slave?”

“Yes. The Sea Dragon Kerukatoru decorated the collar.”

“That’s nice. I’m jealous.”

“Yes. I am also grateful to the Sea Dragon Kerukatoru. Thanks to this, I won’t cause trouble to my brother.”

“That’s right.”

“The daughter of the Lord who is respected by everyone is actually a slave. She is beautiful, but her body and soul belong to her Master. In her mind, she fantasizes about spending every moment of the day with her Master and feels overjoyed. I think that’s a very nice situation.” (Rafilia)

“I don’t do anything like that!”

I enjoy fantasies, though! I also sent a lot of naughty fantasies to my big brother.

However, Rafilia, a fellow slave, mumbled in a small voice “Master. Love you, love you, love you.” She seemed to be thinking about big brother, as if he is always next to her, even though they are far apart.

Is this what it means to be an adult?

If I think about it, elves live longer than humans. This means that Rafilia must have a lot of life experience that I can’t even imagine.

…I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from her.

“Let’s get back on track, shall we?”

“Yes.”

We both become serious.

This place will now become a base to help brother.

So, I need to get a grip.

“I will continue to serve as your maid, guard you, and communicate with Master.”

Rafilia held out her hand to me.

I grasped her hand tightly.

“I have promised Father to stay here until the family situation is settled.”

Of course, if my brother is going to leave Irgafa, I will follow him without question.

“Now that I can go out freely, I will ask Rafilia to guard me at that time. Other than that, I’ll be in charge of providing information about the town and quests so that my brother can live in peace.”

If I could move the budget of City Lord’s, then it would be wonderful.

But outside of festival-related matters, I don’t have that much authority.

Well, I’m also supposed to help the Lord family with their work as it is, so I’m going to gradually move things to my brother’s advantage.

“So, about that request from the Master, …, what happened with ‘her’?”

Rafilia’s tone became serious.

“I’ve made a slight tweak to the prison guard rotation time, creating a 15-minute gap.”

I replied because this is a very important topic.

“Then Master will move in that timeframe.”

“She will be sent to the prison of the Magic Research City the day after tomorrow. We have until then to make contact.”

“Yes. I’ll tell Master about this later.”

“Later” … is a nice word.

I am now free to leave the mansion.

I felt as if my eyes were opened. This is the first time I’ve felt this way.

Being a Shrine Maiden has been hard on me.

But if I wasn’t the Shrine Maiden, I wouldn’t have been able to meet my brother…

For that, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Sea Dragon.

“… Then I have a favor to ask you, Rafilia.”

Now, from now on, as a normal girl…

“As a senior slave, could you please tell me what brother likes?”

I opened the closet.

I don’t have that many clothes. I have a few dresses for ceremonies and going out, and the rest is just loungewear.

Going out is basically like a stealth mission for me, so I can’t wear a dress. It would be too conspicuous.

Here, I should ask Rafilia, who is my senior, to pick out an outfit that would not be rude to wear in front of my brother – preferably something that he would call “cute”.

“…No. It’s in the wrong order. Iris.”

But Rafilia shook her head.

With a stern look on her face, she looked at me.

Don’t tell me … I … am making some kind of terrible mistake…?

“Choosing clothes is a foolish thing to do. The first thing to choose is your underwear!”

“What? !”

“As a slave, you must be prepared to surrender everything to your Master. Also, you may have to take off your underwear in public. If you wear shabby underwear at that time, you will bring shame to Master!”

“What?  My brother would never make me take off my underwear in public…”

He won’t …, but didn’t he?

When I was attacked in the dungeon by the Order of Divine, Rafilia took off her underwear in front of me without hesitation and fed it to the slime.

He did order such a thing.

Rafilia, my senior has such determination.

“… Ms. Rafilia Grace … how amazing …”

She’s brave, a master archer, a slime wielder, and she’s got boobs…well, that’s not important.

I can’t believe that such a person would be willing to help me.

“May I call you Teacher…?”

I couldn’t help but murmur.

“Please, Miss Rafilia. Please guide me so that I can work for brother!”

“I’m so embarrassed.”

Rafilia held her cheeks with a bright red face.

I have always been interested in learning various things like the legends of the Sea Dragon, schemes, accounting, and business administration. I’m sure there is something I can learn from her as well.

“I understand! I, Rafilia Grace will be responsible for guiding you, Iris Hoffimier to become a slave worthy of Master!”

“Yes, please!”

“The first thing to do is to start with the underwear. …I borrowed some of Aine’s ‘treasures’ just in case something like this happened. It’s a all-in-one size, so I will give it to you….”

I’m thrilled.

It’s as if a new world is opening up in front of my very eyes.

I listened intently to Rafilia’s explanation with shining eyes.

 

And…

“I’m here to play! Big brother… no, Master!”

I went to my brother’s house.

Brother was reading a book in the living room. Aine had just prepared lunch, and Cecil and Rita were helping her.

I tried to help her too, but she said, “It’s okay. Don’t worry. You go talk to Na-kun.” I don’t want to be treated as a guest, but I’ll do as you say. I have some things to tell my brother.

“Sorry to bother you, big brother.”

I bow to my brother, who was sitting in a chair.

I was able to say it without getting stuck.

The moment I saw my brother, my heart started to pound so I was worried if I could say it right. I’m relieved. I held my chest and sighed. I could feel my face turning red.

… Did he notice?

“Welcome, Iris.”

He offered me a chair next to him, so I sat down.

My brother’s black sword and leather armor were on the wall in the living room. I’ve heard that he doesn’t have any quests planned for today, why?

“I’m glad to hear you’ve gotten permission from the Lord.”

“Yes. So, I have something to report…”

We have a lot to talk about.

Let’s start with some information about ‘her’. ‘She’s’ being transferred to the Magic Research City. Arrangements have been made for us to meet her. You can also visit …

I have so much to say, I can’t think straight.

Shall I tell him about my Father? About how I got his permission?

I also have to tell him that Aine’s ‘treasure’ is very soothing.

Then…

“Food’s ready.”

“Please eat up, Iris.”

“You can sit on your sister Rita’s lap if you want.”

But first, let’s have some food.

Cecil, Rita, Aine and me. And of course, my brother was with us as well.

Come to think of it, it is the first time I have ever sat around a table with someone I like.

It’s strange, isn’t it? Being with my brother, I have experienced so many of my firsts.

“So, what’s the Lord’s reaction? And do you think you can get along with Rafilia?”

For some reason, I turned bright red at my brother’s words.

I hope that I can be with Souma Nagi forever.

I want to be able to express my feelings properly and at any time…

“Yes. Rafilia has become my teacher.”

“Yes!”

Rafilia and I look at each other and laugh.

From now on, Rafilia will teach me many things, and I will learn a lot about my brother, and try my best to be useful – and one day, I will be able to… with my brother.

But that’s still a long way off.

Now, I have kind friends, and my beloved brother – my Master.

That’s enough for me.

Thank you very much. Sea Dragon Kerukatoru.

Today, I pray to the guardian deity who is supposedly migrating through the distant seas – my distant ancestor.

I’d like to thank you for making me yours, Souma.

I hope this kind of day will last forever.

 

That was all Iris could hope for when she was next to her brother.

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