Chapter 25: 016. Imperial Prince is Really Toiling Away -1 (Part One)
“Spare her? It’s not as if I was trying to kill her or anything. I just slapped her around a bit and pushed down on her head.”
I rubbed my forehead upon hearing this.
Arghhhh, goddammit. I made the wrong choice, didn’t I? Why did I have to go and choose this clique out of all the others?
I stood up from my spot to leave. It seemed like Heis didn’t seem to care about someone like me from the get-go, judging from how he continued to spin his yarn. “I was so damn aroused by her futile resistance, you know? So, like, I tore up her skirt like this~! But then, f*ck, those stupid student council idiots had to show up and ruin that wonderful opportunity… Eh-whew, what a sad fate my life is. Those assholes, acting as if a girl doing lowly chores around the Academy was someone important and then handing me this punishment and all… Mm, by the way…”
Heis shifted his gaze in a certain direction – at a girl working diligently with a group of villagers at the distance. Specifically, at a girl with silver hair and red eyes – yup, it was none other than Charlotte.
She might’ve been only 16 years old, but her calm demeanor made her seem much more mature than her age.
Heis stared at her in an entranced daze.
Before long, he snickered and called out to her. “Heeey, girlie over there? Why don’t you give me one too?”
He spoke in an arrogant tone and beckoned her with his finger.
Charlotte must’ve heard his voice because she made her way to him. She presented him with a still-warm sweet potato and bowed her head as a greeting. However, Heis didn’t seem to care about things like some sweet potatoes, and simply stared at her intently before stuttering a bit. “Mm, ah, well… Uh, Young m-miss, how old?”
…What the hell? You ain’t even a drunken boomer, you know? I didn’t expect to hear such a lame pick-up line by someone so young and eager.
Charlotte didn’t answer and simply stood there in silence.
Heis seemed to be mindful of the surrounding gazes as he urgently spoke up again, “Hiya~, you’re really pretty, aren’t you? It’s almost to the point where it’s a shame to let you stay as a lowly commoner.”
“How about we talk some more after you finish work? I’ll treat you to a warm cup of tea…”
“Please work hard, sirs.”
Even before Heis could say anything else, she lightly bowed her head and turned around to leave. The Priests began chuckling after he got so wonderfully shot down.
Maybe he got ticked off by their mocking laughter, because he suddenly reached out and grabbed Charlotte’s hand with a heavy scowl on his face. She wordlessly stared at Heis’s hand, and then glanced at me.
Her eyes were actually trembling. Although there weren’t any changes in her expression, I could kind of tell that she felt rather perplexed by this development.
What’s this? You want me to help you?
I scratched my head while thinking.
Oh well… although I wasn’t really a fan of getting involved in headache-inducing matters, she’s from the same monastery as me so I should probably help her out. Also, that Mister Termin*tor Paladin wouldn’t mi…
Even before I could step up, though, Heis’s hand was crushed.
I ended up muttering out a stupid-sounding gasp after witnessing that sight.
A small and frail-looking hand was gradually and oh-so slowly crushing a much larger and thicker hand.
“It hurts! It f*cking hurts!! Arrrrgh!!”
Heis went down on his knees. The surrounding Priests couldn’t understand what was going on and tilted their heads. Obviously, none of them were thinking that such a slender girl was really crushing a much larger hand than hers.
Charlotte let go of Heis and then, rubbed her hand against her clothes – as if she touched something unclean just now.
“Please excuse me.”
She bowed her head again and tried to distance herself. However, Heis quickly held his crushed hand and roared out at her, “Stop right there, you commoner!”
Charlotte’s steps came to a stop.
“Sh*t! How dare you, you lowly commoner… How dare you ignore me? You monster-like b*tch!!”
She glanced at him. Her cold, crimson eyes landed on Heis, and he froze up instantly.
“T-that, uh… what was it again. Y-you aren’t even a man in a drag, so how come… W-well, aren’t you a rather strong girl! Hah, how absurd! Are all lowborns strong like you? I, the eldest son of a Count, Sir Heis deigned to show you a passing interest, so you should’ve taken it as an honour! How dare you insult me this way?! Goddammit!”
…You ain’t even a little kid, so what gives? I’m aware that you’re a boy going through puberty, but that way of talking isn’t cool even if you’re scared, dude.
The other Priests also slowly shook their heads on the side. A series of laughter soon followed after, and Heis’s complexion reddened even further.
I saw how he chose not to blindly rush forward and guessed that he was indeed scared by Charlotte and her strength that easily crushed his hand. With this, I didn’t have to step forward anymore.
If Mister Eldest Son of a Count decided to get smart at a later date, I should just call up that uptight Paladin and say a few things to him. I mean, the Holy Emperor’s grandson was lending his support to someone, so which son of a count would dare to raise his fist at the person in question?
Charlotte must’ve known this too, and that was probably why she didn’t bother to confront Heis here. If she did, then the matter would have blown out of proportions later.
Yup, I should get back to work now.
I raised my shovel after thinking of this. Meanwhile, Charlotte ignored Heis and began walking away once more.
The latter anxiously bit his lower lip and shouted out again, “Hey, you! Both your mother and father are lowborns, aren’t they?”
It was then that her steps came to a sudden halt, her fists tightly clenched. Her glare had gotten so much sharper now.
I ignored what was happening between those two and scanned my surroundings.
I really needed to get back to work, but somehow couldn’t see a nice enough spot to dig.
“Ahaha! That’s right! You’re just a lowborn, and that’s why you will never amount to anything! Hah! I guess that’s why you lowborns stick around this accursed Land of the Dead Spirits.”
Charlotte quietly squeezed her eyes shut. She seemed to have calmed herself down because she ignored Heis again.
That was a wise decision on her part. You avoided sh*t not because you were scared of it, but because it was dirty.
But this action of hers only served to trigger Heis even further. “I can already tell, they won’t live for long before getting killed off by the undead! Ahaha! I hear that half of those who die in the Land of the Dead Spirits turn into zombies. With just one word from me, and the gravekeeper of your village, plus the resident Priests, will all shut their mouths up. And you’ll become an orphan, all alone in this cold and harsh land!”
…Wowsers, he sure has a grating voice, doesn’t he?
Something he said also reminded me of the memories from my past life too. I slung the shovel on my shoulder and rubbed my neck.
“Why don’t you come here and flirt with me instead? I’ll hire you as my personal maidservant. With how your lowly life is right now, I can certainly improve it, at least by…”
Heis reached out and grabbed her arm again.
With her physical strength, he wouldn’t be able to stop her no matter how hard he tried. She knew that very well. Charlotte could have simply ignored him and walked away but this time, she chose to look back at Heis and say something.
“I’m already an orphan.”
Charlotte’s curt and cold reply caused his expression to harden.
Besides all that, I really gotta start digging out a burial pit for my job, but, mm… Ah, that’s a pretty good spot. Over there should do, right?
I slammed down on Heis’s foot with my shovel. His leather boot got crushed.
Both Charlotte and Heis froze where they stood. The latter dazedly looked down at his toes before raising his head back up again to look straight in my face. He seemed rather dumbfounded at the moment.
What’s this? It didn’t hurt?
I hit you at that spot so that you’d feel some pain, but I guess it wasn’t as effective as I hoped.
But that won’t do! I mean, I stomped on you to hurt you…
I raised my shovel again and slammed it back down.
Heis’s complexion was increasingly getting paler by the second. As a matter of fact, cold sweat began trickling down his face now.
Ohh! Finally, some reaction!
Time to say something appropriate then.
“Oopsie. My mistake.”
I covered the mouth portion of the beak mask with one hand, and with the other, ruthlessly cranked the handle of the shovel currently crushing the sucker’s toes.
Just as he screamed loudly and reflexively stood upright, I swung my shovel and smacked him dead in the face. Mister Priest staggered unsteadily on his feet before falling rather lamely into the pit next to him.
“Oops, my hands seemed to have slipped a bit. Are you alright there, buddy?”
“Uwaaahk?! W-what is the meaning of…!”
“Don’t get in the way of my work and just quietly lie down there, will ya. If you’re going to act like a corpse, why don’t you do a proper job?”
I fixed my mask back in place and began shoveling dirt on top of Heis or whatever his name was.