The Misunderstanding of the Heavily Armored Noble Girl and Witch Slaying
Looking back and forth between each of us to assure our readiness, Alexis’s gaze eventually fell on Percival.
The two of them probably confirmed their resolve to each other long ago as he was sharing Alexis’s serious expression. Alexis bowed his head and called Percival’s name in an attempt to voice an apology, but Percival obstructed him from saying any more.
“No, I have already abandoned my title as a knight and the name of my house.”
“From the moment I followed you out of the royal palace, I was prepared to take responsibility and face expulsion.”
That’s why Percival was speaking with a bitter smile.
In this case, he was also losing everything he had. He continued to doubt a single rumor that everyone else steadfastly held to be true about the prince’s unfaithfulness and claimed it was all the effect of a witch’s curse. Then he ignored the warnings from his surroundings and left the castle along with Alexis.
Because he did not mind throwing away the title of a knight before the king whom he had sworn to protect, it is unavoidable that Percival’s actions as a knight would be seen as a betrayal towards his country.
Although it is natural that his title of knight would be deprived, his name is removed from his familial line as well for the sake of appearances…….
He had already thought about everything that could happen and followed Alexis out of the palace anyway even though he knew doing so would throw him on a bed of nails. So when Percival says so, Alexis’s expression relaxed and he returned words of thanks instead of an apology.
Ordo looked strangely amused as he watched the interaction between the two of them. The way his mouth arced up and his eyes narrowed, isn’t this him clearly saying he is planning something no good?
“There are two witches, one childish prince, and an unemployed……. There will be a lot of work to be done.”
“Of course. What would you call yourself now that you are no longer a knight?”
As the sudden realization brought low Percival’s previous determination, and Ordo began laughing at the funny face Percival was making. “I could always use another miscellaneous clerk,” he called out between fits of laughter.
To be honest though, being a witch is not a real job and Alexis’s position as a prince could be called into question right now, so the three of us are not in too much of a different position from Percival now that he is no longer a knight and has been expelled from his house. Whether the person in question is conscious of this while Ordo continues to kick him while he is down could not be said as the only thing apparent about him right now was the sad expression on his face.
I stared at Percival for a moment before turning my gaze to my armor clad chest.
His repugnant expression was supposed to make me feel good, but somehow I am not happy at all right now. The girl inside my heart is not doing any sort of dance. Instead, there is this large, dark swirl running rampant in my chest smothering any type of jubilance and causing my eyebrows to scrunch up instead.
While trying to push away this unpleasant feeling, I turned my gaze to Ordo who I decided was having too much fun.
“Sir Ordo, Percival is not unemployed.”
“…..Miss Monette, I meant no offense. Please forgive me.”
“I will not pursue it. However, if the enemy were to use witches like us, then Percival would become our strongest trump card.”
My remarks, as if I were trying to defend Percival, were foreign to me, and I did not understand why I was voicing them. Still, I proceeded to talk.
If there was ever a chink in his armor, then I would poke it thoroughly, but even when Ordo had managed to find such a gap, my mood refused to turn sunny. On the contrary, my stomach was stagnating.
Is this also due to a witch’s whim? If so, isn’t this far too inconvenient? While thinking such things, I turned my gaze back to Percival.
I can’t say anything for certain, but the vibrant blue color of his eyes look strange to me.
“Percival, when I used magic in the royal palace, everyone fell down, but you remained standing. Can you understand why?”
“……..That’s right. Certainly at that time, I was standing. Everyone else was groaning in pain, but I did not feel anything. Why is that? Even though I did not have Concetta with me, why…….”
“There is only one reason.”
Hearing my words, Percival moved his eyes around the carriage as if something in here would give him the answer. Was he remembering what I had once told him, or was he ruminating the things he had done so far? Either way, his blue eyes started to slowly shake.
Having reached the same conclusion I had, his eyes opened wide and his breath got caught in his throat. Accordingly, he opened his mouth and gave me an almost inaudible answer.
“No way, it’s because of my love.”
“It’s because Percival is a witch slayer……. Huh? What did you say right now?”
“Nothing! No, nothing please go on talking. Because I’m a witch slayer……….wait, I’m a witch slayer?”
Percival’s eyes went round and released a strange cough after I gave him the answer. For a moment there he was saying something, but he was mumbling and I could not hear what he was saying. Well, he himself was saying that it was nothing, so there is no need for me to press for any more information.
More importantly, there was the matter of him being a witch slayer to discuss.
As a matter of fact, not only Percival but Alexis as well had frozen, and even Ordo was giving Percival a surprised look while mumbling the words, “witch slayer……”
But Gina was not surprised. She was stroking Concetta who had jumped back to her lap with a somewhat tender yet expressive look in her eyes. Seeing her reaction, I realized that she probably knew since long ago.
“But Miss Monette, you said that there were no witch slayers anymore…..”
“Yes, I thought that all the witch slayers had been wiped out, but that was just an assumption I made after reading one book, and that book was a mystery novel. Gina, were all the witch slayers wiped out?”
“Yes, that’s right. But unlike witches, the traits of a witch slayer do not flow through a person’s bloodline. That’s why witches can always stamp down on witch slayers, but they can never be rid of them permanently.”
At Gina’s words, I once again remembered where I had gotten all my information from.
The book I read did not talk about how witch slayers came about. What was written in it was about the incident that led to the event known as the ‘witch hunts’ and the long struggle from then on and how witches were cruelly hunted.
It had also written quite extensively about a few of the famous witches, and while the material was truly fascinating, it was conspicuous to say the least. It was a book made purely for entertainment. That was the one book on the subject I had read.
And it was written in that book that the witch’s ‘witch slayer hunt’ had stopped at the end of the book. That’s why I misunderstood and thought that all the witch slayers had been eradicated in the end.
If all the family members were killed, then there would be nobody to pass on the witch slayer bloodline, was what I thought.
It is not merely a fact of, ‘the last witch slayer was killed’ but a matter of ‘this was the last witch slayer we found and killed before growing bored and stopping.’ Witch slayers were born after that it is just that there were no witches who cared enough to hunt them down.
Because I had thought that there were no more witch slayers, the fact that Percival was a witch slayer went completely unnoticed by me. But now that I think of it, were there not several times that Percival had resisted a spell?
I should have noticed it sooner. As my mind and heart fell with regret at my own inexperience, Percival was mumbling to himself finally starting to grasp his own status.
“I am a witch slayer…..Is that why the curse did not affect me……?”
“A witch slayer is immune to all magic. Whatever witches come in the future, their magic will be unable to do anything to Percival…..”
I only realized what I was saying as I said it, and my voice trailed off before I could finish.
There is no doubt at this point that Percival is a witch slayer. Witch’s magic will not work on him. There is no witch who can curse him: past, present, or future.
Even Gina, a witch who has inherited the blood from the long line of the Avalkin witch line shrugged her shoulders and said, “It is impossible for me.”
No witch can curse a witch slayer.
Even when everything is over, I cannot curse Percival.
“…….What do you mean, ‘you can curse me when everything is done’? You cannot curse a witch slayer.”
“I have been deceived. Percival is a liar.”
*Hmph!* With a huff, I turned my head away and hugged a cushion to my chest. Then I told him from overtop the cushion, “Witch slayers are the mortal enemies of witches,” before throwing myself back into the comfy seat’s cushiony embrace. Percival hurriedly called my name.
“Miss Monette, I didn’t know!”
“Whether it was known or not, it is a fact that I cannot curse you. Percival is a liar.”
“Then you do not have to curse me directly. When everything is over, please hit me with a brick.”
“No. I would become a criminal.”
Tearlessly, I buried my helmet into the cushion. The muddy mist inside my chest has dissipated, and in its place a whirlpool has begun to swirl. Listening to Percival’s voice, that vortex unnecessarily accelerates.
That’s why I stuffed my helmet into the cushion telling him that I would hear no appeal. In the end, Percival kept talking, saying, “Then just beat me with something like a brick,” offering a mysterious compromise.
Alexis was wearing a bitter smile with a sense of frustration that our interaction had destroyed the air of tension and the determination he had just finally built up. Suddenly, he turned his gaze onto me.
“Well, if Percival is a witch slayer, then perhaps the Lady of the Lake……!”
It was Gina who stopped Alexis from finishing whatever it is he was about to say. Of course, she did this with her signature Gina bread attack.
“Fui, Fuina, wha…….”
“Oh, it’s nothing. Concetta, please eat up.”
Gina allowed Concetta to jump from her lap and eat up the hanging bread effectively sealing Alexis’s mouth. As a result, Alexis resigned himself to his fate and held Concetta close to him.
He did not try and say anything more partly because he could feel the pressure coming off of Gina and partially because every time he tried to talk, the bread in his mouth vibrated slightly and Concetta meowed at him. Sandwiched between a witch and a familiar, Alexis closed his eyes without asking for any assistance.
Inside the carriage, Monette had her helmet buried into the cushion repeatedly saying, “Liar,” and “Exaggerating,” while Percival sat there looking confused trying to think what he was supposed to do in this situation. Alexis had transformed into Concetta’s plate while Gina’s graceful smile carried an intimidating feeling that would not allow any unnecessary remarks……..
Watching all of this go on while the country was soon to be in turmoil, Ordo laughed to himself saying, “I picked up something good.”