After a short while, the tent had been prepared.
It was a special tent that I had created for such an occasion, boasting enough space for four to five people to comfortably sit inside.
The fabric was made of earth [Magic Cloth], protecting it from arrows, and it was also soundproof.
It was perfect for holding a secret discussion.
“I will inspect the tent every few minutes.”
Said Isaac Mueller.
“If you harm Her Highness, we will deal with you immediately.
Regardless of how much protection you possess, this Isaac Mueller will show you no mercy.
“I am aware.”
I only wanted to speak to Princess Sophia privately and realign her body’s condition.
It wouldn’t take long, and of course, I didn’t plan on doing anything strange.
Isaac Mueller huffed and walked away.
The Imperial guards seemed to be wary of me and everyone else in the Demon Territory.
I’m not planning on doing anything.
“Thor, come here.”
Rukie beckoned me with her hand.
We moved to the end of the tent and Rukie confirmed that no one else was looking in our direction before removing her mask.
“I trust you.
It’s fine to do anything you wish.”
“I’m unsure of how to convey this, but…… if you so wish, a political marriage would be acceptable.
However, I will not allow you to hurt Mabel.
Mabel is my childhood friend…… and I am hers…..
so, uhm, you see… you see…”
“Please calm down, Rukie-sama.”
“I am a citizen of the Demon Territory.
I answer to Demon Lord Rukie, Chancellor Kelve, and General Reisenga, and my companions are Mabel, Agnis, and the pixies.”
“I-I’m aware of that, but……”
“If the proposal is beneficial to the Demon Territory, I will accept it.
However, before I do so, I want to speak to Princess Sophia and determine her true intentions.”
“I’m aware of that as well, but, before that, I need to confirm something.”
She removed her gloves and held out her ring finger, the [Special Luck Ring] making itself apparent to me.
“You called this a [Special Luck Ring].
It is meant to bring me good fortune if I wear it, correct?”
“No, it hasn’t been completed yet.”
“You said that this was a [Special Luck Ring], didn’t you?”
“… Yes, I said that.”
“So, if I wear this and experience any bad luck, Thor should be held responsible, right?”
“Thor clearly stated that this was a lucky ring despite the fact that it is incomplete.
If it lacks the ability to be a magic item, then Thor himself is responsible for ensuring the happiness of Mabel and myself, right? Otherwise, it cannot be called a [Special Luck Ring].”
“Eh? What? Is that how it is?”
It’s like that.”
“…… Is that so?”
As expected, I hadn’t even considered that.
It was true that I gave Rukie and Mabel the rings, stating that that they were [Special Luck Rings].
However, these are merely prototypes… They possess no magical ability… Therefore, I have to take responsibility… for ensuring the happiness of Rukie and Mabel? Huh?
I’m becoming slightly confused…
“Then, Thor, how will you ensure our happiness?”
Rukie stared straight at me and smiled.
She then replaced her mask and began speaking in a tone befitting the Demon Lord once more.
“I have informed you of what I needed to.
Now, go to Princess Sophia.
She can be an ally to the Demon Territory.
Listen to what she has to say and determine the best solution.”
“I understand, Rukie-sama.”
Rukie pushed me towards the tent.
When I moved the cloth at the entrance, I saw Princess Sophia sitting inside.
She was sitting on a box-shaped stool, looking tired.
“We will speak later.
Please pour your magic power into this [Improved Body Pillow Cover] first.”
I glanced towards the entrance of the tent and made certain that Isaac Mueller wasn’t peeking inside.
I then took out the [Improved Body Pillow Cover] from my [Ultra-Small Simple Warehouse] and presented it to her.
“…… Eh? What is this?”
”It is a tool that facilitates talking secretly.
Please hug it tightly.”
As she was told, Princess Sophia hugged the body pillow cover.
I took out my own and did the same.
When we had poured in a reasonable amount of magic power, I took out two [Body Pillows] and placed the covers on them.
The two body pillows transformed into Princess Sophia and myself.
“It’s not simply an inanimate object.
It is capable of movement as well.
[Sit down and lip-sync].”
Princess Sophia closed her eyes and mumbled something, most likely instructing her body pillow in the same manner I did.
The [Body Pillow] version of Princess Sophia sat down and moved her lips.
This was the ability of the [Improved Body Pillow].
[Improved Body Pillow] (Rarity: ★★★★★★★★★★★★★☆)
(Attributes: Water, Water, Wind)
This is a normal [Body Pillow] that has been imbued with life force through [Pseudo Life Grasp].
Its usage is the same as that of a normal [Body Pillow], but it is much more life-like.
Its pulse and the colour of its blood perfectly mimic those of a living person, causing it to be almost impossible to be distinguished from the original person themselves.
Additionally, the pillow is capable of moving as the person providing it magic power commands it.*
However, these improved capabilities come at the cost of increased magic power consumption.
The transformation persists for 45 minutes.
*Limited to simple actions such as walking or sitting.
Resistance to physical destruction: ★★★★★
Lifespan: 5 years
Notes: Can be washed even when in human form.
“This is…… me.
The one beside me is also indistinguishable from Thor……”
I placed my finger to my lips and the [Improved Body Pillow] mimicked my action.
At the same time, Princess Sophia and her body pillow both nodded.
The [Improved Body Pillow] was improved through [Pseudo Life Grasp], imbuing it with life force.
Thanks to this, it could move as though it were living.
However, it could only execute simple movements.
The two pillows were talking to each other while sitting.
This way, whenever someone looked inside the tent, it would seem as though we were speaking.
“A-amazing, Thor Canaan.”
Princess Sophia stared at the two pillows sitting on the chairs and pretending to speak to each other in astonishment.
“With this, it is possible to create a decoy of yourself to prevent being assassinated.
It can also be used to feign an ambush.
This item is…… ridiculously versatile……”
“We’ll discuss this later.
First, let us move to a place where we can be at ease.”
With that, I removed the cloth covering the chair.
A small door, just big enough to fit in the chair, was revealed.
This was a stool-shaped [Simple Warehouse] that I created.
The space inside was furnished with chairs, a table, and a tea set.
This tent was made with the purpose of holding secret meetings.
On the surface, the dummy [Improved Body Pillows] would appear as though they were speaking to each other.
However, in reality, the actual participants would be speaking about matters they don’t want others to overhear in the [Simple Warehouse].
That was the concept behind this project.
I wondered if I should expose the [Simple Warehouse] to Princess Sophia, but after contemplating the matter for a moment, I realized that the pixies used it to transport the [Footbath] and hot water before.
Therefore, I spoke to Rukie and requested her permission.
I believed that Princess Sophia could be trusted.
“Would you trust me, Your Highness.”
Sophia nodded in approval.
If that was the case, I guess it was safe to show her around.
I asked Princess Sophia to follow me.
Then, I pulled Princess Sophia in from the inside before closing the door.
Now, the voices inside shouldn’t be heard outside.
Prince Sophia’s eyes sparkled as she entered the [Simple Warehouse].
I too would be surprised if I found out there was such a space inside this little box.
“My sister Liana told me that the Demon Territory harboured an alchemist who repaired her magic sword.
She tried to recruit him, but Her Majesty the Demon Lord rejected her.”
Princess Sophia looked at me with a serious expression.
“I was told that you were that alchemist, Thor Canaan.
Are you also the one who invented the [Footbath].”
“Yes, I did.”
“Then, let me thank you once again.”
Princess Sophia then kneeled down in front of me and bowed deeply, leaving me dumbstruck.
“I thank you for healing my body with the [Footbath].
Thank you, Thor Canaan.”
“N-no, I practise alchemy because I enjoy it.”
“Just because you enjoy it?”
“In the Empire, alchemists have a very lowly status, correct?”
“However, the Demon Territory provided me with a job as an alchemist.
The residents are all happy to use the items I create, and I am happy making new items.
The one that Your Highness used was one of them.”
“That is the case with the [Footbath] as well?”
On that note, please use it right away.”
I pulled out the [Footbath] from under the table.
I let Princess Sophia sit down and place her feet in it.
Then, I imbued it with magic power, causing the hot water inside to vibrate.
Princess Sophia let out a relieved sigh.
“…… Nghhhh… Ah.
It feels amazing… the tension in my body is loosening.”
“If you use it regularly, Your Highness’ body will feel much better.”
“However, that is difficult as I have no intention of providing this item to the Empire.”
I don’t feel like offering it to them.
If the Empire’s troops improve their circulation of magic power, they would go on a rampage and might even attack the Demon Territory.
“In the Empire, I was deemed weak and unwanted.”
“Just like me…….”
“So I understand why Your Highness is sparing no effort to fulfill your role as a princess.”
“The reason why I wanted to assist Your Highness was that…… with all due respect, my circumstances are similar to yours.
However, I was blessed to have everyone in the Demon Territory to support me.
I wondered if Your Highness had anyone like that.”
“Someone who would support me?”
Princess Sophia fell silent.
I lit a fire in the furnace in the [Simple Warehouse] and began to heat the inside of the warehouse.
For a while, Princess Sophia and I were silent.
Only the crackling of firewood and the water vibrating in the [Footbath] could be heard.
“Thor Canaan, you care deeply about the people of the Demon Territory.”
When the warehouse had become warm, Princess Sophia murmured,
“I am somewhat envious of you.”
“I really want Your Highness to come to the Demon Territory as well.”
“That is impossible.
The upper echelons of the Empire will cause trouble for the Demon Territory under the pretense that they kidnapped a princess.
“Well, if it’s Thor Caanan…”
Princess Sophia laughed.
She seemed to consider it a joke, but I was serious.
“However, it is because you are such a person that I wished to be your fiancée.”
Princess Sophia gazed at the rippling water.
“The owls who visited my room told me many things about their ‘benefactor-sama’…… about ‘Thor Canaan-sama’.
They also told me that you sent the [Footbath] to me with great determination.
It put me at ease.”
“That’s because Your Highness believed in me.”
“If you had not believed in me first, you would not have sent those owls to me, would you?””
Princess Sophia laughed, her bare, white feet shaking as she chuckled.
“It was also because the tone of the owls was so kind and warm when they spoke of you.
I thought it to be much warmer and more comforting than my own light magic.
I was confident that such a person would understand my feelings, that it would be fine for me to propose an engagement.”
“So it was like that…”
Princess Sophia sure was amazing.
She trusted me, a total stranger, the owl, Soleil, and the others.
That is how she arrived at the answer of ‘engagement’.
“If that is the case, I am willing to be Your Highness’ fiancée.”
“I am the one who healed your body.
It is not good practise for an alchemist to simply cure his patients and disregard following up afterwards.
Those are actions of a third-rate alchemist.
I wish to be responsible for creating an environment in which Her Highness can continue to use the [Footbath] properly.”
Or rather, we were currently developing an enhanced version of the [Footbath] that is in actuality a bathtub with the effect of the [Footbath].
This would cause the level of recovery to increase immensely.
Princess Sophia’s condition should stabilize quickly in that case.
“Besides, there are still three years before Your Highness returns to the capital.
Your Highness may find something else you wish to do or someplace you want to go.
You can then break off the engagement, and I will support you as an alchemist.”
“I am as good as dead in the Empire anyway.
You can do as you please with my name, I don’t mind.”
I had no intention of returning to the Empire.
“As long as you are a ‘good neighbor’ to the Demon Territory, I will assist you.”
“Thank you very much.”
“I am in no rush.
I am confident that you will come up with some pleasant ideas in due time.”
“Yes, I am sure.”
“First of all, let us quickly establish a trading post.
Your Highness should come in the name of inspection.
I will make the [Footbath] available at that time.
Is there anything else your highness would like to do?”
“Ah, yes…… Umm.”
Princess Sophia pinched the hem of her skirt.
“I am skilled at washing and drying clothes, but it takes a long time for them to dry.”
“If I only possess…… a single pair of underwear, I will need to wash them every day.
If possible, I would like an extra pair.”
I had only sent Princess Sophia a single pair of underwear.
There was no way she could allow her maid to wash those.
So, Princess Sophia would have to wash them herself every day…… That would be a lot of work, wouldn’t it?
“I hang them up to dry at night before I go to sleep.
So, while she sleeps, I…”
“You don’t have to say anything further.
I apologize for sending you transparent underwear.”
The light-attribute [Magic Cloth] turns transparent when magic power is imbued into it, so it can’t be helped.
Now that I think about it, sending transparent underwear to a woman was not a good idea…
Princess Sophia was puzzled.
“The underwear was necessary.”
“No, but the transparent underwear…”
“I did feel uncomfortable at first, but once I became used to it, it felt pleasant.”
Princess Sophia said that without a hint of shyness.
The royal family had maids to help them change their clothes, so they were not afraid to expose some skin…..
Is this how all princesses act?
“…… I’ll deliver additional underwear later.”
Princess Sophia laughed.
I was glad to hear that.
She seemed to be fine again.
Anyway, let’s talk with Rukie and the others about the engagement and come to a conclusion regarding the matter.
If it was an excuse for Princess Sophia to remain on the Demon Territory’s side, I don’t mind becoming engaged to her.
If she loses her status as a princess because of that, then we can have her come to the Demon Territory.
If Princess Sophia, now a civilian, comes to the Demon Territory, it wouldn’t be considered kidnapping a princess.
She seemed to be ready for it, and I believe Rukie and the others will accept Sophia.
She would be like me.
The [Footbath] finally finished.
She looked at me as if she remembered something.
“I knew that Thor Canaan was a wonderful person.”
“You told me before, didn’t you? You said that if I’m dissatisfied with the [Footbath], I can unleash light-attribute attack magic on you.”
Said Princess Sophia.
“When the owls told me about it, I realized that there are such courageous people in the world.”
“The thing is, actually…”
I should tell her about the [UV-Cut Parasol].
Princess Sophia, who commands light attribute magic, might be able to help me.
Just as I was about to ask about that…
“Thor! It’s an emergency!”
Suddenly, I heard Rukie’s voice from outside.
“Monsters are here! I’ve never seen anything like them.
It may be a variant like Gargarossa.
Come out, quickly!”
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