The Second Princess
“Seize this man at once!” Almosso ordered the three men behind me.
One readied his spear to stab me. I grabbed the tip of it—crack—and broke it. I turned to punch the other men with normal-powered strikes. The soldiers received the blows and flew against the wall, losing consciousness.
“Wha—someone! Is there nobody here?!” Almosso let out a scream of despair towards the door.
He was clearly at his wits end. But apparently that had some sort of effect, as I heard a mass of footsteps approaching the room. Another three people, huh?
“This man is an intruder—no, an assassin! Kill him immediately!”
The soldiers received his orders and came rushing over to attack me. Since they were merely following that bastard’s orders, I held back my strength a tiny bit and only made them collapse on the floor, not bothering us anymore. After that, the same thing happened twice, but the end result was the same as before.
“Well, seems like you’re freshly out of reinforcements. Now it’s your turn.”
Almosso suddenly pulled out an item that resembled a wand, and pointed it towards me. That very moment, a flame came spewing in my direction, enveloping my entire body. Hot… It was really friggin’ hot, but not to a degree that could seriously inflict any damage on me. And that was all, since the flame disappeared shortly after. Thanks to that, my clothes were mostly burned, but there were no wounds or the like on my body (or hair) whatsoever.
“Wha—m-magic doesn’t work on you?!”
“My heat resistance is probably also 777 times the normal value? Well, not like I give a damn about that right now.” I glared at Almosso.
Taking one step forward, I gave him a strong hook right to the face. He spun through the air, collapsed onto the floor, and stopped moving. He was still breathing, so I could leave him alone like that.
“Now then, what to do now?”
After thinking a bit, I checked my surroundings, spotting a single soldier who was struggling to get up. He was trying to crawl away, clearly.
“Eeek! D-don’t kill me!”
“…If you give an honest answer to what I’m about to ask, I might consider it.”
Trying to clear up the misunderstanding sounded like a pain, so I just went with the flow. After that little battle—if you could even call it that—the room was in complete disorder, but I managed to fish out a pen and threw it at the soldier.
“Write down what I’m about to say.”
“W-why… And where…”
“Sigh… Hold on a second.”
I picked up a rope that was probably meant as a measure to tie me up (the handcuffs were broken beyond repair) and went to tie up Almosso with it. Continuing after that, I ripped apart his clothes, completely exposing his upper body.
“Write it on there. ‘I am the reason for the lack of copper coins. I melted the copper coins and sold off the copper,’ alright?”
“Hurry up and do it—or I’ll kill you!”
After I threatened him a bit, the soldier did as he was told and wrote exactly what I told him to. Once that was done, I carried Almosso on my back and went to attack the enemy’s hideout. Five people were present at that time, and while they didn’t grasp what was happening at first, seeing me carrying Almosso like that, they must have understood the situation fairly quickly. They grabbed their weapons and assaulted me. Naturally, there wasn’t anything those small fry could do against me, so they all ended up collapsed on the ground. I tied them up as well, making sure none of them could escape.
Taking Almosso, as well as the other five accomplices, with me, I went to a wide open area in the dead center of the town, giving them something similar to a crucifixion. For my final touch, I tried drawing the crest of Princess Helene with the pen I took with me, but…
“Ahh! This is way too friggin’ complicated!”
The crest seemed to have a long history behind it; it was way too difficult to draw on the spur of the moment. Hence, I quickly wiped away my pathetic attempt and instead wrote ‘777.’ And while I was busy with my preparations, the masses gathered.
“‘I am the reason for the lack of copper coins’…? He did what?!”
“No, I’m sure he did! The cost for recasting went up like crazy ever since he gained control over it. He’s an insatiable miser.”
“But melting the money… That’s like, death penalty level, right?”
“People like him only have their minds on ways to earn more money, not the consequences of their actions.”
And so on, commented the people who gathered to see them. Eventually, more and more onlookers joined, and it became quite the ruckus. As I focussed my ears on it, I could hear that many of them were dissatisfied with the way things were from the very beginning.
“I know that guy! He’s the one who went to exchange all his silver coins for copper coins!”
“I did the same with that guy! Since the fee was pretty cheap, I said yes, but…”
Additionally, I heard these voices. Seems like they actually believe that Almosso was the mastermind behind this, huh?
The next day, I was called to the government office again. What greeted me was a woman wearing armor that made her seem to be of an even higher rank than a knight. With her were several other knights, and one of them called out to me.
“You are in the presence of Her Highness Iris Tericia Mercury, lower your—”
“It is fine.”
The girl called Iris stretched out her hand and silenced the knight.
“I see no need to overuse my authority here. Rather, I would like to hear your story.”
“Umm… I want to know one thing. Are you Princess Helene’s…?”
“Her little sister, Iris.”
“Ah, I thought so!” I already had my assumptions the moment I saw her.
Her family name was the same, and she looked almost exactly like her. Princess Helene was more graceful, while Iris had a strong sense of dignity about her. Although they were the exact opposite, their brows, mouths, and everything about their looks already led me to believe that they were sisters.
“Ah, I’m Yuuki Kakeru.”
“Kakeru, is it. I have a lot of things to ask, but first up would be that.” Princess Iris pointed at my waist.
It was the place where I kept Princess Helene’s folding fan.
“Ah, this? I got this from Princess Helene.”
I took it out, and showed it to Princess Iris, who accepted, and carefully inspected it.
“That really is a belonging of my older sister, and I can see that you truly received this from her.”
“Eh, you can tell just by looking?”
“In order to preserve the royal family’s crest even if it isn’t in our possession anymore, we have to use special magic. If you were to have stolen this fan, then this magic would have worn off after half a day.”
“Ohh, so that’s why.”
“Apologies—since there was a chance that you were an impostor, I had to verify this before anything else.”
“Umm, well, it’s actually a bit different.”
“What did you say?” Princess Iris narrowed her eyebrows.
I began to explain everything—about how I saved Princess Helene, how I had received her folding fan, how I caught wind of this corruption going on, and how I acted as her messenger in order to solve that.
“I see, that explains a lot. That solves yet another mystery. I always had my doubts about why my older sister hadn’t informed me of any of this.”
“I’m sorry.” I apologized on a whim.
“Worry not, you did the right thing. And also… Fufu.” Iris gave a faint laugh.
Ever since I met her, she always had this stiff, strained expression, but this was the first smile she’d shown. That smile was unbelievably beautiful, and I was entranced by her.
“It is true that you used this without permission, but it wasn’t for your own desires. You just proved that my older sister has a good eye for people.”
“Is something wrong?”
“Well, incidents like these keep happening more and more as of late. Melting coins to sell the raw materials—we’ve been hunting these people for a while now. Depending on the circumstances, they would receive the death penalty immediately, but it never stops.”
“Do you not have any other ways to deal with them?”
“Of course we do. We could lower the ratio of copper. However, that would make people doubt our national power and influence our prestige and dignity.”
“I see, sounds pretty difficult.”
This suddenly turned into a really troublesome problem. And it wasn’t a problem I could solve with my 777-fold strength.
Guess I’ll squash them again if I find a group.
Assuming that was the only solution, I was about to put the fan back into my pocket. But, that very second, a light suddenly flickered inside my head. I might have found something.
“What is it?”
“I might have… found a way to deal with this…”
“Hoh? Then, please, let me hear it.”
Princess Iris’ face really didn’t look too expectant, to be honest. But, if what I’m thinking of works, I can turn that into an expression of joy instead. With that hope in mind, I began explaining my idea.