──A while later, in the bedroom──
“The measurements have been taken.”
“Thank you very much, Agnis Frazad.
Sophia bowed her head toward Agnis, who had finished taking her measurements.
She was still in her underwear.
Her eyes were large and her hair glossy, while her skin was as smooth as porcelain.
Her white skin was a little pale with some sweat trickling down, likely due to her just having used the [Footbath].
Even the way she wiped her sweat seemed elegant, and Agnis couldn’t help but admire her.
‘She’s such a beautiful woman.’
“I guess he prefers a cheerful person like Agnis Frazad.”
Princess Sophia murmured.
Then she turned towards Agnis.
“I envy you.”
“You envy Agnis, Princess Sophia?
“If you are the daughter of General Reisenga, you must be strong as well, right?”
“I have never participated in an actual battle, but I am confident in both my flame ability and my athletic ability…”
Agnis possessed a powerful flame ability.
With the [Health Promotion Pendant], she could even suppress her father, General Reisenga.
With that power, she is definitely one of the stronger individuals in the Demon Territory.
“However, that isn’t based on Agnis’ natural power.”
“Even so, I long to be a woman like Agnis-sama, who can fight alongside and with the one she holds dear…”
Princess Sophia interrupted Agnis.
“I…… feel better, but my physical condition is still quite lacking.
I will be bedridden once I cast light magic.
I cannot accompany Thor Canaan-sama in gathering materials or defeating monsters.”
Furthermore, light magic could not be used to gather materials, as it would erase the monster’s existence.
Thinking that, Princess Sophia smiled gently.
“Therefore, I am envious of you, Agnis Frazad.”
“Is Your Highness seeking to marry Thor-sama?”
“Yes, because that is a decision that I, Sofia Dolgaria, have made myself for the first time in my life.”
Sofia placed her hand on her chest, which was clothed in translucent underwear.
“As you are aware, I was sickly.
In the Empire, such a person is despised and demeaned.
Even the daughters of the Emperor are the same, and such a person possesses no rights.
Had I remained in the Imperial capital, I would have eventually been pressured into a political marriage with someone from another nation or an accomplished nobleman.”
“…… So it is like that.”
For Agnis, that seemed like a foreign world.
Agnis’s father, General Reisenga, doted on Agnis greatly.
If an official of the Demon Territory sought a political marriage with Agnis, the Demon Castle would literally burst into flames.
Furthermore, the Demon Territory adopted a policy of “the right person for the right job”, which was set forth by Demon Lord Rukie.
There were things that any person could do, no matter how sickly or weak he or she may be.
The right job would be found for this person, which would allow them to demonstrate their abilities.
That was the motto of the Demon Territory.
Since the population was small in number, they were unable to waste any resources.
Therefore, political marriages that ignored the will and ability of the person in question were not practiced.
‘…… Is there such a surplus of people in the Empire?’
Agnis thought that it was a waste to use a talented person like Princess Sophia as a political tool, ignoring her will.
That was unacceptable in the Demon Territory.
“I understand your feelings, Your Highness.”
Princess Sophia smiled while grasping Agnis’ hand.
“You don’t have to worry about me.
Thanks to Thor Canaan-sama, I am able to choose my own path.
Therefore, I have decided to expend both my body and my life for this path.”
“And that is by means of your engagement with Thor Canaan-sama?”
“It’s strange, isn’t it? Now that I have recovered, I have more paths available to me, and yet I immediately decided how I would spend my life.”
Sophia closed her eyes and murmured.
“However, I want to help him, be there for him, and be with him from the bottom of my heart.
This body that was healed by him is clearly stating that it wants to be there for him.
If the Empire will not allow it, I am willing to abandon my country.”
It’s funny, is it not?
Agnis shook her head.
‘Even Imperial princesses feel as Agnis does.’
Agnis was also suffering due to her constitution until a while ago.
However, Agnis was blessed with a father who doted on her and her best friend, Mabel, who was still extremely supportive despite the two becoming slightly estranged.
Thanks to them, she was able to meet Thor.
Agnis, who had been cured, was now able to travel anywhere.
That was why she was here in the town of Nosa with Thor.
Now that she was free, she could do anything.
Now that she could do anything, she chose not to conceal her feelings from the one she loved.
Agnis felt that he would understand Princess Sophia’s feelings, as she was similar to herself.
“Agnis is also similar to Your Highness.”
“Agnis is able to be here like this thanks to Thor-sama.”
“You as well?
“I can’t tell you the details without Her Majesty’s permission, but…”
Agnis looked towards Thor.
“He made it possible for me to safely walk in the outside world.
He is the one who makes…… everyone happy like that, so Agnis is loyal to him…….”
“I see that Agnis Frazad was also healed by Thor Canaan-sama.”
“S-something like that.”
“And you adore Thor Canaan-sama as much as I do.”
Sophia stared straight at Agnis.
Agnis’ heart began to beat faster.
Agnis stared back while suppressing that sensation.
Agnis felt that she couldn’t concede here.
“I’m not going to lose to anyone in regards to that…”
Then, Agnis Frazad, I would like to be your friend.”
Princess Sophia held out her hand towards Agnis.
“As someone who was healed by Thor Canaan, I feel kinship with you.
Of course, I will not cause you any trouble.”
Agnis hesitated slightly before taking Princess Sophia’s hand.
It was strange.
She felt as if she could get along with her despite her position.
Agnis Frazad will be your friend, Princess-sama.”
Princess Sophia nodded.
“If it isn’t a bother, please teach me various things.
Of course, I won’t probe into any secrets of the Demon Territory, so please don’t worry.”
“Then, what would you like to know?”
“The means to make my beloved happy.”
“… Agnis would like to know that herself.”
“I am lacking in knowledge as a…… woman.”
Sophia folded her arms and her shoulders slumped.
“I have been living in a detached palace in the Imperial capital for so long that I don’t know how to properly socialise with men.
There were no books in the library of the Imperial palace detailing the means to please the man of your dreams.
Therefore, would you please help me?”
“I have heard rumors stating that I should do as my heart and body suggest….
but I don’t want to do anything that can be considered rude.”
She had misunderstood her.
It seems that the reason Sophia was in her underwear earlier was not to seduce Thor.
‘Perhaps this person has a…… strange perception of love?’
Agnis suddenly became concerned.
If she left Princess Sophia alone, she might do something terrible to Thor.
‘Agnis isn’t one to be talking, as she was seen dancing around naked, but Agnis is still concerned’ .
This wasn’t good.
She was dangerous in a manner hard to describe in words.
“Princess-sama… I think it would be better if we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves.”
“Princess-sama’s condition is only just improving.
It would be better if you didn’t exert yourself.”
“No, I am willing to do whatever is necessary to be accepted by Thor Canaan-sama as his fiancée.
Please, I would appreciate any advice.”
It’s as if…… I’ve been reborn.”
Princess Sophia’s eyes lit up and she laughed.
To Agnis, she looked like a child who had just stepped outside for the first time.
“I, Sophia Dolgaria, will expend my life for the sake of my beloved Thor Canaan-sama and all those I hold dear.
Please treat me well, Agnis Frazad.”
“Y-yes, I will be in your care as well.”
Sophia then quickly donned her dress.
She recorded her impressions of the [Footbath] on a piece of parchment that she had left by her bed.
Agnis snuck a peek and found that it was very detailed, describing even the part of the body from which the flow of magic power would change.
Moreover, it was also illustrated.
It seemed that Princess Sophia possessed artistic talent as well.
‘…… How can I help her?’
This person sought to become Thor’s fiancée.
In other words, she was Agnis’ rival, but she did not induce a displeasing feeling.
Furthermore, she seemed somewhat similar to Thor.
The way she did as she pleased and the way her ideas differed from others were similar to him.
This meant that Princess Sophia may do something outrageous like Thor.
‘Of course, I am sure that the Empire will tie her down politically, but I wonder about her romantic side.’
‘…… if she does “as her heart and body suggest”…’
Agnis’ face flushed crimson .
She covered the [Health Promotion Pendent] that lit up.
‘Thor’s body is in danger.
I must not leave Thor alone with this person.’
‘A-and anyway, Agnis is Thor’s bodyguard, so she must always remain by his side!’
As she gazed at Princess Sophia, who continued to record her impressions of the [Footbath] with great vigour, Agnis steeled herself to do so.
──Thor’s point of view──
“I am extremely sorry about the previous situation, Thor Canaan-sama.”
Princess Sophia returned to the living room, having finished using the [Footbath] without further issue.
Agnis was with her, the two seeming a little closer.
I wonder what happened while they were taking measurements.
Regardless, it’s great that they are becoming friendlier with one another.
“I apologise for showing you something unsightly.”
“No, it wasn’t unsightly at all.”
“Is that so?”
“I also received your impression of the [Footbath].”
It seemed there was a good reason for using the [Footbath] in her underwear.
The [Footbath] was a great means to improve the body’s circulation, and it seemed that the thinner the clothes, the more easily one could discern the flow of magic power.
I should be present when she uses the [Footbath] in the Demon Territory.
“So, regarding the magic circle.”
“The one that you found in the dormant monster’s dwelling, right?”
“I replicated the magic circle on this parchment here.
Please examine it.”
I placed two pieces of parchment in front of Princess Sophia.
On one parchment was the copy I transcribed in the cave, and the other bore a cleaner copy I replicated later on.
“Do you know anything regarding this, Princess Sophia?”
Princess Sophia stared at the two sheets of parchment.
“I have seen a similar pattern in the archives of the detached palace.”
She replied in a nervous tone.
“They are not exactly alike, however there is a striking similarity.
It was in a book regarding magic.
However…… was this really present in the dormant monster’s dwelling?”
“Yes, it was quite faded, but there is no doubt about it.”
“What is this magic circle?”
“It was used in magic rituals that are no longer practiced.”
Said Princess Sophia.
That was all I needed to hear to know what this magic circle’s purpose was.
“A magic ritual that isn’t performed now.
Don’t tell me──”
“Yes, you are correct.
This is a magic circle used for summoning magic.”
── Summoning magic.
Magic that summons humans or monsters from a distant place.
The larger the scale, the greater the possibility of summoning an object from another world.
The heroes from another world were also summoned by means of summoning magic.
“So this is a magic circle used in summoning magic.”
“I don’t know if this is the magic circle used to summon heroes or not.
That magic ritual should be known only to the emperors, the crown prince, and their close confidants.
There was nothing describing the ritual used to summon heroes in the archives of the detached palace.”
“Are you implying that it is a similar type of magic?”
Furthermore, the ritual to summon heroes is no longer practiced.”
Princess Sophia sighed.
“The effects are gone.
Even if one performs the ritual, you can no longer summon them.”
“Do you know why by any chance?”
“The official records of the emperor’s family say as such.”
“Then this could be a magic circle to summon a monster…”
I looked at Agnis.
Agnis was staring at the magic circle on the parchment with a serious expression on her face.
The fact that this was a magic circle to summon a monster meant that someone had performed such a ritual near the border.
That’s how the giant centipedes were summoned.
Gargarossa, the beast we fought before, may have been summoned through the same means.
“…… So, someone is summoning monsters near the Demon Territory?”
“I wonder what the purpose is.”
Agnis and I nodded at each other.
“I don’t know.
However, if it was just a rampaging monster, I don’t believe it to be possible that it was someone’s familiar.”
“The giant centipedes also attacked Imperial soldiers.”
They also attacked the Imperial soldiers that examined the cave.
There was no one controlling that giant centipede.
“Someone may have been conducting a magic experiment.”
Princess Sophia said.
“We aren’t aware of the purpose, but we cannot let it continue.”
“I am going to ask Her Majesty the Demon Lord to investigate it.”
“I will also ask Isaac to examine this side of the border to determine whether there are any similar magic circles or monsters.”
“Her Majesty the Demon Lord and the Chancellor will likely do the same.”
“Please inform them that we would like to share information with them if possible.
Of course, I will provide our findings as well.”
I will inform Her Majesty and the Chancellor.”
“We cannot allow any harm to come to our people.”
Princess Sophia and I looked at each other and nodded.
Agnis nodded in the same manner.
“I would like to confirm something.
Are you sure that the Empire is the only nation aware of the method to use summoning magic?”
In the past, monsters were used as familiars and were used to train the heroes.”
“There’s no summoning magic in the Demon Territory either.”
Agnis supplemented Princess Sophia’s words.
Demons had monsters that worked for them.
However, there was no need for summoning magic.
Demons and subhumans possessed strong magic power.
That is why they could overwhelm humans with only offensive magic.
At least, until the heroes arrived.
At that time, humans were weak.
That is why they developed summoning magic, summoned monsters as familiars, and eventually summoned heroes from other worlds.
In other words, this summoning magic was specific to the Empire.
“I intend on sending a letter to my sister.”
Princess Sophia stated after thinking for a while.
“My sister Liana is called the ‘Princess of the Holy Sword’.
She may possess knowledge relating to summoning magic.”
“But, Your Highness, isn’t that dangerous?”
The Emperor’s family was related to the secret of the summoning magic.
It is possible that the person that drew the magic circle may see the letter she sent to Princess Liana.
“Of course, I will not directly inform her of the magic circle.”
However, Princess Sophia was smiling calmly.
“I will only inform them that I was attacked by a monster and that it was a new species.
After seeing her reaction, I will decide whether or not to inquire about summoning magic.”
“Then, I can rest assured.”
“We are very grateful for your assistance.”
Agnis and I bowed to Princess Sophia.
The plan was settled.
I would ask Rukie to deal with the Demon Territory.
The Chancellor was probably intending on sending someone to investigate the magic circle.
As for the Imperial side, we had to leave it to Princess Sophia and Commander Isaac.
“The missing Imperial soldiers might know about this magic circle.”
Princess Sophia said.
“One of those missing is Isaac’s second-in-command.
She is also close to Zagran, the Minister of Military Affairs, so she may know something I don’t.
Isaac and his men are searching for her now, and I am confident that they will discover some clues.”
“Please let me know if you find anything.”
Princess Sophia stood up and took my hand.
“I, Sophia Dolgaria, desire peace for both the Demon Territory and the border areas of the Empire.
Also, for the first time in my life, I intend to use my body and my life for the sake of what I have chosen.”
“Thank you, Your Imperial Highness Princess Sophia.”
I knew I could trust Princess Sophia.
She would be able to supervise the border area on the Imperial side.
“Once this case is settled, preparations will begin for the trading post in the border area.”
I said, trying to change the mood.
“We’ve received permission from Her Majesty the Demon Lord to create a resting area there for Your Highness Princess Sophia.
You would be able to access it anytime to use the [Footbath].”
“Well, that sounds lovely.”
Princess Sophia clapped her hands.
“I hope you will join us then, Agnis.”
“I would be very grateful if you could guide me in many things that I don’t know, Agnis Frazad.”
It seems that Agnis and Princess Sophia truly got along well with each other.
Let’s ask about it later.
That was how the day’s meeting ended.
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