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Episode 4: The Sisters’ Paths / First Kiss
Having finished eating dinner in her room, Liese dabbed at her mouth with a napkin.
“Nn, how graceful…” Luca thought. Were she to do the same thing, there’s no doubt that she’d just be wiping with her sleeve.
“Hm? Do I have sauce on me?” Liese asked, having noticed Luca’s gaze.
“No, no. I was just thinking about how pretty you are, that’s all.”
When Luca smiled, Liese looked downwards.
Liese’s cheeks were tinged in a slightly feverish red.
She may have been embarrassed about Luca staring at her.
Luca placed the eating utensils on top of the plate. Once she returned them to the mess hall and washed them, her work for the day would be finished with.
“Alright, let’s get down to business.” Liese said.
“Business? You mean my pay?”
“……oi,” Liese showed an exasperated smile. “I’m talking about the future. About our goal.”
“Ah. In that case, bring me some of the Raal Empire’s law books.”
“Yeah, the world I’m aiming for can’t be reached in just a single step. That’s why I was thinking that the laws need to be changed bit by bit. There’ll be chaos if we don’t do it gradually.”
“I see. I don’t particularly mind changing the laws if need be. Besides, the tyranny of the Empire…… right now it’s my tyranny. It’s not particularly complicated. How exactly do you plan on changing them, though?”
“I’ll set love as the core of the law.”
Liese tilted her head.
“Yeah. I’ll create laws based on a foundation of love. It’s messed-up that nobody’s done that before now.”
As it was currently, the world’s laws only existed in order to benefit a single subset of the population. Though there were laws which claimed to promote freedom and equality, they had no actual power.
“I don’t quite understand what you’re trying to say.”
“I’ll write up a draft while looking at Raal’s current laws. And then comes eliminating the world’s deficiencies, in order to make absolutely sure that everyone has access to all of life’s necessities.”
“Very well. I’m sure that you’ll be able to pull it off. Luca.”
Liese showed a faint smile.
“Nnn, she’s so beautiful. I could never look like that when I smiled,” Luca thought to herself.
“And regarding global domination itself, up until now I’ve only ever waged war for the sake of destruction. I’ve even spread out our war potential for that very purpose.”
“Then we should just take down the weakest places first.”
“Yes, I agree. That’s why the Odin is currently headed for the Poton Republic as we speak. It’s the country that seems like it would fall the easiest.”
“You mean that southern country that borders the ocean?”
It was also a member of the United Nations.
“Poton’s likely been able to hold out for as long as it has due to the UN’s backing and mercenaries. And since those mercenaries are rather troublesome, I’ll be heading there myself.”
“Yeah, I think that’s a good idea.”
Morale was sure to rise if Liese went there. And it’d be sure to rise even further if she was to defeat their most troublesome opponent.
If Liese was there, if the Weisselillie was there, they wouldn’t lose to anyone. That’s the image that her allies had of her.
“So after Poton falls, how about I annex it as a territory of the Raal Empire and install a governor to manage it?”
“Yeah. Make the entire world part of the Raal Empire. Because the world should be governed under a single set of laws.”
That was Luca’s conviction. That the world should be united.
And the final step would be to abolish the system known as the “empire” itself. Though it may be necessary at the moment, the world that Luca was aiming for had no need for a centralized power.
“I see. I hadn’t thought of it before, but it might not be bad to have a united world. And there’d be no more war.”
“That’s what I’m saying.”
“Hm. Well Luca, the world will be yours so just do with it as you see fit. I’ll just focus on conquering it. Tomorrow I’ll likely be joining up with the Poton invasion force and heading out into battle, so rest for today.”
“Alright. Thanks, Liese.”
“It’s fine. If it’s for your sake, I have no problem with handing over a world or two.”
“Fufu,” Liese laughed.
Luca laughed in the same manner.
Was the pounding in their hearts because they were dreaming of a new world?
“She’s so adorable……”
While taking her second shower of the day, Lieselotte pressed her hands and face against the wall.
“She smiles like an angel……”
Her cheeks softened when she thought of Luca’s smiling face.
“And that maid outfit…… it truly does suit her…… aah, I’m so glad I had her become a maid……”
Lieselotte already thought that the Luca of ten years ago was cute. But now that she was of age, her cuteness had increased enough to make someone lose their mind. At least that’s how Lieselotte saw it.
In other words, Lieselotte was the one who was about to lose her mind.
“But I am worried about how thin she is…”
By which she meant that she was concerned with Luca’s growth. She didn’t mean anything strange by this.
But as long as Luca remained on the Odin, she’d have no worries concerning food. And just through the passage of time, she’d naturally return to a healthy weight.
“Aah, but I do wish that her chest would grow a little more……”
Something strange was mixed in there after all.
When Lieselotte exited the shower, Luca was fast asleep.
“In my bed…… she just naturally……”
She was quite surprised.
Though Lieselotte did tell Luca to rest after she’d taken care of the dishes, she wasn’t expecting her to do so in her bed.
And glancing over at the table, the plate and utensils had just been left as-is.
“She must be exhausted.”
So as to not wake Luca up, Lieselotte gently sat down onto the bed.
And when she saw her sleeping face, her heart began to race.
Suddenly struck with the urge to embrace her, she reached out her hand.
But before that hand would touch Luca, it froze in midair.
Lieselotte was unsure as to whether or not it was okay to touch her. It was true that Luca had accepted her, and that they’d be walking the same path from now on.
To Lieselotte, that fact made her so happy that she could just die.
“If giving you the world means that you’ll remain at my side, I’ll give you as many worlds as you want.” She truly thought that.
My hands are stained with blood– from what has already been shed, and what will be in the future.
Luca hadn’t lost her purity. It’s just that she wasn’t letting it show on the surface. If that weren’t true, she wouldn’t be dreaming of creating a pure world where everyone would be able to live together in happiness.
The beautiful Luca, and the tainted me.
I can’t touch her after all.
Lieselotte drew back her hand and continued to watch Luca’s sleeping face.
There shouldn’t be a problem if it’s just looking.
Yes, that’s what she told herself.
But those closed eyes, that sleeping breath, her chest rising and falling, her slightly messy hair,
and those lips that looked ever so soft.
Without thinking, Lieselotte drew her face towards hers.
She really wasn’t thinking.
Lightly, she pressed her lips against Luca’s
and closed her eyes, as if indulging in the sensation.
Finally realizing what she’d just done, Lieselotte practically jumped away from the bed.
But her legs got tangled together and she fell on her behind.
What…… in the world……
……did I just do?
She didn’t know. She had no idea why she did what she just did.
But she did understand how awful her actions were.
It was something that shouldn’t be done. It was something that should absolutely never be done.
It wasn’t normal to do such things.
This was an issue that preceded concerns of being “clean” or “dirty.” Even if their relationship was that of perfect equals, it still wasn’t something that should be done.
Luca got up while rubbing her eyes.
“I- I’m sorry as well……”
Those words instantly came from her mouth.
There was none of the dignity of the Imperial Regent, nor the power of the Demon King. They were simply the words of a human being.
“Eh?” Luca tilted her head. “If it’s about waking me up, that’s totally fine. I’m the one who went and fell asleep…… why are you sitting on the floor?”
“Uh, this carpet,” Lieselotte stroked the carpeting. “It’s expensive so it has a nice texture to it.”
“Is that right. Expensive stuff really is something else, huh.”
Luca stretched her back.
“Yes. In regards to my position, I do receive certain perks.”
Liese stood up without looking at Luca’s face.
She couldn’t properly face Luca. Whether it was because of the guilt or perhaps some other feeling, she didn’t really know.
“Hmm. Then I’ll take these dishes back now.”
“Yes, you do that. See you tomorrow.”
Lieselotte continued to stare at the carpeting.
She could tell from the sound and presence that Luca got down from the bed. And then she passed by Lieselotte to take the dishes.
“Ah,” Luca said as if remembering something. “Liese, your bed is really comfortable. And it’s filled with your scent.”
With those words, Liese’s face became extremely hot and she started feeling dizzy.
“Oh, really? That’s nice.”
all she could say was that odd sentence.
Luca left Liese’s room and heaved a sigh.
She held the dishes in her left hand.
she touched her right index finger to her lips.
Luca was granted a room for two people.
It was a simple room, only containing a bunk bed, a small table and a closet. As it wasn’t intended for an officer’s use, it didn’t have a shower.
But that was enough. Back in the aerial battleship Arianrhod, their room was split between four people.
“I’m back, Marie.”
She called out to Marie, who was lying on the bunk bed. But there was no response.
She was probably still angry.
Leaving the pudding that she got from the mess hall on the table, Luca took off her maid outfit and hung it up in the closet.
Then, wearing only her underwear, she picked the pudding back up and climbed the bunk bed’s ladder.
“Marie. I’m back!”
Marie rolled over to face the wall.
“C’mon, don’t be so mad.”
Luca called out to her in a beckoning voice, but Marie gave no response.
“Oh yeah, they’re going to buy the Masquerades. It’s fine if they pay us in the Raal Empire’s currency, right?”
“Oneechan,” Marie said, “do you plan on staying on the Odin?”
“Yeah, that’s the plan. I’ve got a job, and I also want to take over the world.”
Luca said it like it was some kind of joke.
“‘Take over the world?’ That sounds so stupid.”
“But don’t you think I could make the world better if I conquered it?”
“So that’s why you’re going to become the Demon King’s maid?”
Marie rolled over to face Luca.
“Marie doesn’t want that,” Marie said, glaring at Luca. “Marie hates the United Nations the most in the entire world, but the Raal Empire is easily right after them.”
All the citizens of Pastia shared that sentiment. The United Nations who crushed Pastia, and the Holy Raal Empire that abandoned it, it would be strange not to hate both of them.
Not even Luca was fond of them. But the current Holy Raal Empire was different from the one from seven years ago.
Now that Lieselotte Falkenmeyer was the Imperial Regent, there’s no way that it would remain the same.
“Hey Oneechan, Marie doesn’t want anything like ‘the world.'”
“But I do want it.”
Conquer the world and then change it. That’s what Luca decided to do.
In order to change it into a pure world where Marie could live happily.
“The one who obtains it will be the Demon King, not Oneechan.”
“Let’s leave those minor details alone for now and have some pudding.”
Luca showed Marie the pudding that she’d been hiding in her left hand.
With her eyes sparkling, Marie got right up.
“Come here if you want it.”
Luca descended the bunk bed’s ladder and Marie followed after her.
She then opened the pudding’s lid and scooped out a spoonful.
“Alright, say ‘aah.'”
“……Marie isn’t a little kid.”
“So you don’t want any?”
When Luca said that, Marie opened her mouth.
And when the pudding was fed to her, she smiled happily.
After she’d been fed half of the pudding container in this manner, Marie took the spoon from Luca.
“Now you say ‘aah’ too, Oneechan.”
When Luca obediently opened her mouth, Marie fed her the pudding.
“It’s so good~”
Luca closed her eyes and relished in its flavor.
When they were younger, before they became rats, this is what they’d eat every day.
Luca had her share, and Marie had her share, and their friend Claude also had a share as well.
Aah, now tears are coming out.
“Sorry, Marie. Why didn’t I take two of them……”
They didn’t need to split their food anymore. As Liese’s maid, Luca was allowed to eat as much of the mess hall’s food as she wanted, including dessert.
Even back on the Arianrhod, they each got their own portions. So she should have been used to not needing to share.
“Just one is fine,” Marie tilted her head to the side. “Marie likes sharing with Oneechan. Happy things, and sad things, and yummy things, and even things that don’t taste good, Marie wants to split them all with you.”
Elated at her little sister’s words, Luca hugged her.
“Hey Oneechan, Marie wants to go back to Pastia.”
“……even if we go back there, there’s no place left for us.”
Luca let go of Marie.
“Then we can just make one, it’s fine as long as we’re are together. Even if it’s kind of rough, Marie can bear with it as long as it’s with Oneechan, you know?”
“That’s not it, Marie. The idea of ‘bearing with it’ is wrong in itself. Why should we have to bear with it? Why? It’s the world itself that’s twisted, isn’t it? If it’s Liese, if it’s Lieselotte Falkenmeyer, she can change that world.”
“But even so, Marie still wants to go back to Pastia with Oneechan.”
Marie looked right at Luca.
Her eyes were so clear that Luca actually doubted herself for a moment.
She faintly shook her head.
I’m not wrong. It’s the world that’s wrong.
“Marie, our Pastia doesn’t exist anymore.”
It was destroyed seven years ago.
“But there are people who are fighting to bring it back.”
Her voice was clear and her expression was filled with resolution. She was like a Queen.
And this gave Luca a horrible premonition..
“Wait. Wait, Marie.”
Luca placed her right hand on her forehead.
Marie was hiding something from her. Luca knew that. And while she did plan to talk to her about this matter, she didn’t think that the secret was anything too big.
“Hey Marie, you wouldn’t happen to be doing anything like involving yourself with an antigovernment militia, would you? Those guys, they’re seen as terrorists to the outside world, you know? If we joined up with them and word got out, we’d end up murdered by the United Nations.”
Even now, the remnants of the fallen Pastian Army longed for the past and dreamed of overthrowing the current government. They even occasionally committed terrorist acts to this end.
“Don’t worry,” Marie said with a faint smile. “Marie isn’t involved with them.”
“Can I trust you on that? You’re not lying to me, right?”
“Nope. Marie wouldn’t lie to you, Oneechan. Now or ever.”
Hearing those words, the relieved Luca placed a hand to her chest.
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