She and the Contract 1
“Aah, I’m bored…”
One day when both Father and Mother went out.
Although we reconciled, Father hasn’t yet given me permission to go out, so as usual I was imprisoned in the mansion.
By the way, both went to a certain ducal territory in the outskirts. They said they’ll greet Brother while at it, but I think such consideration is unnecessary towards that Brother.
Having been banned from going out at first I’d obediently secluded myself in my room as ordered, but in the blink of an eye I grew bored and eventually ended up trying to escape many times.
Every time I was brought back, as of now the success rate is 0.
If I descended by rope a maid was waiting for me below, if I tried straightforwardly leaving through the entrance, a butler would block my path with impeccable timing.
It wasn’t only the guards that Father had watch me, it seems everybody in the house worked to make sure I don’t leave.
I felt hopeless that it went this far.
However, by being locked up stress accumulated.
As a result, to relieve it, as I told Father, I decided to spend every day doing nothing but embroidery, as becoming of a noble lady.
After cooking, handicrafts are generally my strong point. In my previous life each year I knit a sweater, I also liked lacework.
The finer the pattern, the less idle I will be, firing myself up so, I grasped the needle.
I wholeheartedly devoted myself to embroidering.
But, I would like to be forgiven for spilling resentful complaints about Father in spare time.
I’ll omit them as they aren’t something to be heard, but despite complaining I continued working with great vigor.
I think it must’ve been an eerie spectacle when seen from the side.
The embroidery that by venting my discontent mostly turned into an embodiment of my resentment towards Father, was safely finished a few days ago.
The thing I made was a bed cover, but the result itself could be called my best masterpiece.
Even if I say so myself, the crest of the ducal house embroidered with gold thread is the best part, at my brief statements maids uniformly sighed in admiration. Even that Father became speechless seeing the result.
“You truly are… Your various abilities are wasted on you…”
One word too many.
Despite Father’s lamentation, I said with my sweetest smile “I made it for Father” and gave it to him.
Although he was delighted, what would he think if he knew it’s full of pent-up resentment towards him. It’s a light revenge. He should gladly receive it.
Like that I finished the large-scale work, and not having anything to do I’ve spent my days in boredom.
If I’m so free, I thought it’d be good to practice magic.
But, I show no signs of being able to use it yet.
I got information from Ms. Delris so I was enthusiastic and tried to practice hard, but I’m as hopeless as ever.
Certainly, it feels like I can understand magical power better than before.
But, there’s still a long way to go.
I don’t feel like stopping, but I felt let down as I hoped for a dramatic change. I thought I should practice a little whenever I have free time.
My gloominess is accumulating. Now that it’s come to this, I want to go out for a change pace, but as I mentioned before, every escape path is blocked.
But with a rare opportunity of Father or Mother not being here, if I were to go out, it’s only now.
I thought so, but――――.
“Sure must be boring”
Suddenly hearing a voice from behind I jumped in surprise. Because it was so sudden, I unconsciously let out a voice unbefitting of a noble lady.
I turned my head at the familiar voice, and there Cain carefreely crouched in the bay window.
As usual, he wore a full-body dark brown attire. But today, he wasn’t covered by the hood, his curly black hair and slender features were well-visible.
“Yo, Princess. Have you been well?”
Saying so, Cain raised one hand. I ran up to him, happy he was completely healthy.
“Cain! Is your condition already fine?”
Hearing this, Cain shrugged his shoulders.
“I wasn’t really injured. Now that I’ve recovered, it’s easy to sneak into the duke’s house”
He laughed, boastful of his easy victory. I couldn’t hide my surprise at such Cain.
“Eh? What about guards? I think there’s a sufficient number of them”
“The way us and they use our judgement is different. They can’t catch me”
I reluctantly applauded Cain who revealed that full of confidence.
I’m truly envious. I want that skill.
Although I’m impressed, why he’s here is on my mind.
I thought he’d already escaped the country. I asked him in a soft voice.
“Hey Cain, why are you in such a place? Don’t you have to go and fulfill your father’s last wish?”
I’m aware he was trying to fulfill his father’s last wish despite being afflicted with the curse, but I don’t know why he’s here. I don’t think he’s here to kill time.
Cain cheerfully laughed at the doubtful me.
“Well, that’s right. Can’t I give brief greetings to my benefactor? And while I’m at it, the medicine witch thought of asking me to check the situation”
“Ms. Delris!? I see, I couldn’t go there lately…”
I was enthusiastic about going there again with my new work, and yet I couldn’t due to Father’s ban.
Understanding that, my eyebrows dropped. Cain lightly laughed that there’s no need to worry.
“Its okay. That grandma naturally knows Princess can’t leave the mansion. Ah, from what I’ve seen grandma is not a simple medicine seller, right? Don’t mind too much”
“Is that so? Then that’s good… Hey, what’s with this princess since a while ago?”
I was relieved to hear she already knew about my circumstances.
I didn’t want her to think I’m a rude woman, so I appreciate she already knows my situation.
However, now that I’m relieved, his remark from a while ago came to my mind.
I tried pointing it out as a test, but he seemed unconcerned.
“Nn? Princess is princess, right? You’re a ducal house’s only daughter, and there’s a talk about you marrying this country’s Crown Prince soon… I don’t think it’s wrong?”
“Ah, so you’ve heard”
Regardless of introducing myself as ‘Lidi’, he seems to have settled on the nickname ‘Princess’. Well, whatever.
But, while I’m not prejudiced, I wonder if the people in his line of work don’t have the tendency to dislike people with high status. I was a little bothered by that.
“I was told when I said I want to meet you. But it’s only minimum information… Err, my bad”
Perhaps because he saw my doubtful attitude Cain thought I was angry at him learning my identity on his own, and lowered his head. It’s a perfect misunderstanding, so I denied that it’s not the case.
“It’s different. Cain, I only thought you may find me being the daughter of a ducal house unpleasant”
When I said so, Cain nodded in agreement.
“Well, that’s, you know. There certainly are bad people with high status. But, Princess is different. Princess is my benefactor…. Hey, Princess didn’t want to marry the Crown Prince, right? Is it still like that?”
He must’ve heard the details of me coming to Ms. Delris’s shop.
To Cain who asked worriedly, I tried to explain that it’s fine already.
But, I solidified hearing the words he said ahead of that.
“Hey. If so, I’ll kidnap Princess. We’ll run away together. It’s the thanks for saving my life. This much is nothing”
For a moment I couldn’t understand what Cain said, before I noticed he asked again. When I understood the meaning of his words, astonishment overwhelmed me.
With a serious look, he seriously suggested unsettling measures.
“Of course, there’ll be pursuers, but shaking them off won’t be a problem. I’ll only have to kill them if they become too much hindrance…. Yup. It’s okay, there’s no problem. It’s my duty to get Princess to safety”
“… Err, Mr. Cain?”
Didn’t some rather terrifying words get mixed in?
Like kidnapping, or killing pursuers.
Remembering he was an assassin, I unconsciously pressed on my temple.
No, he’s saying it with good intentions. I mustn’t deny him.
“No, look here, sorry, but I have no intention of running away”
Having been told so, Cain made a blank face.
Cute… It’s cute, but I wonder if there’s a way to manage that mouth that spouts dangerous words.
“Is that so? But, Princess wanted to run away from the Crown Prince, right?”
Cain looked at me with an expression that said he doesn’t understand.
Certainly, until I met Freed, I’d thought so. However.
Suddenly, the appearance of Freed looking at me sorrowfully crossed my mind.
I felt a prickling pain in my heart.
Not knowing what that was about, I told Cain about my decision.
“… It’s really okay. I myself agreed”
“Even if you didn’t come to an agreement with someone like the Crown Prince, if it’s Princess there must be countless marriage candidates, isn’t that right?”
“Ahaha, that way of treating Freed as ‘someone like’ might be fresh”
His funny way of saying that made me laugh. It’s a kind proposal, but I don’t think of searching for another partner anymore.
I’ll marry Freed. I think that’s okay.
Relaxedly I sat down in front of Cain. It’s in poor manners, but whatever.
And, I looked the bewildered him in the eyes.
I slightly smiled and thanked him for his goodwill.
“Father said ‘there’s nobody else who’d receive you’ though. But, thanks. I’m truly happy about your feelings when you said you’d take me along, Cain”
He completely understood various disadvantages and still said he’d take me along.
After looking in his eyes I understood Cain is serious, so I was grateful for his feelings. But Cain made a noticeably disappointed face.
“I see. If Princess says so it can’t be helped… But, then what should I do”
“What do you mean?”
I asked Cain who was awkwardly frowning.
Mmhm mmhm, Cain pondered with his arms folded, and eventually raised his face.
“I cannot leave here like this. I will return the favor. That’s the rule of my clan. Especially as Princess saved my life. As expected, I can’t pretend nothing happened”
“It really is fine”
When I spoke my true feelings, Cain shook his head.
“It may be bad for the other person, but it’s an issue of the family principles… Hey, isn’t there anything you want me to do? It’s fine if it’s something small. I’ll agree to that”
“Something I want done…”
Being implored I tilted my head.
Cain seems to want to do something no matter what. But, something I want done… right?
“Did you think of anything?”
As I thought of one thing, Cain looked at me with sparkling eyes.
He splendidly bit into it.
Seeing his red eye look just like a doggy waiting for a reward, I once again smiled.
While stifling the laughter, I pointed at outside of the window.
His eyes naturally followed after my finger.
“Then, I want to go outside. I’m already sick of being locked up. Can you help me go outside without anybody seeing us?”
Cain was able to enter my room without being seen by the guards.
As he talked about running away with me, he might be able to leave with me without being found out.
Having heard my wish, Cain readily accepted.
“What. Are you okay with that. Very well, it’s not repaying the favor though… Ah, that’s right, then here’s something special. I’ll show Princess, who’s my benefactor, my trump card”
“Hiyuma’s secret art. Look, hold onto me”
Secret art? Didn’t this man just say something unexpected…?
I tried asking about what he meant, but before that, with Cain’s urging, I had to choice but to grasp the hem of his clothes.
Cain joined his hands together with relaxed movements.
His joined hands seemed to resemble symbols from my previous life a little.
… Nine symbols?1
Thinking no way I stared at Cain’s hands, when Cain uttered a word.
Together with his chant, his left eye glowed brilliant red for an instant.
When I looked up at Cain thinking what’s that, I felt I could see a small scarlet magic formation in the eye that should have lost sight.
The next moment I was outside. Above was the sky with few clouds. I was surprised by the soft sensation of grass rather than the carpet.
In panic I restlessly looked all around, and I understood we’re in a familiar place. It’s outside the mansion.
It’s right below my room.
Astonished, I looked up, and sure enough, I could see my room’s bay window.
Not understanding what in the world happened, I was stunned.
Without noticing I was dumbfounded, Cain happily puffed up his chest.
“Look, we’re there. It’s outside. I confirmed earlier, but there are no guards here. How was it? Isn’t Hiyuma’s secret art amazing?”
“Well, it doesn’t mean I can only cover this much distance, okay? I can ignore walls, so it’s fairly useful”
Cain continued explaining his technique somewhat proudly, but I didn’t care about that.
While gnawing on my finger I desperately tried to sort out the current scene in my mind.
Cain made signs and his eye shone.
It can only be expressed in one way.
After thinking carefully and reaching the conclusion, I suddenly raised my head and seriously spoke.
“… Yup, it’s a ninja”
This time it’s Cain who looked flabbergasted at me saying something stupid with a serious face.