Chaos in the Expedition (1)
Iris and I hid in a tree crown.
Below us, two students of the academy were looking around searching for our traces.
I was holding Iris tightly and my hand was covering her mouth.
Normally, Iris would have struggled in this situation, but with the two students below, she could only endure.
Her face and body, though, had turned completely red.
The students looked around for a few minutes. When they finally discovered there was nobody nearby, they shook their heads and departed.
Seeing that, Iris sighed in relief.
One second later, she struggled out of my embrace.
“H-How long are you planning to hold me like that!?”
I shrugged. “I can’t help it. Your body feels nice.”
Iris’s cheeks turned red. “Rogue.” She whispered before turning around to hide her shyness.
I chuckled and walked towards her. “Sorry, sorry. Anyway, it’s better if we leave this place.”
Iris frowned. “Why are we hiding? Can’t you defeat them like last time?”
I smiled wryly. “Girl, I’m strong, but in the current situation, I must save as much energy as possible. I don’t know what kind of danger we will have to face later.”
Yeah, that’s a lie. It was just an excuse to hold Iris’s body.
But hey, she believed it.
“S-Sorry, you protected me and despite it, I…”
I smiled softly and held her hand. “What are you apologizing for? It’s not the first time I protect you, is it?”
Iris blushed when she remembered the past, but after a few seconds, she moved her hand away.
“… Stop it, you know that I…”
I nodded with a bitter smile. “I know, you have a fiancée.”
Iris bit her lips and her expression clouded. “… Sorry.”
I smiled. This is enough for now.
In the current situation, I will have many chances later to make her mine completely.
And if everything works well, she will be an important part of my vengeance against Bryan.
“… I can’t believe this is happening.” Iris muttered.
I nodded with a grave expression. “Neither I can. And things are worse than you think. The crown prince and Bryan are planning to kill many students just to accomplish their objectives.”
“That is so evil. How can they do such a thing?”
I looked at Iris for an instant before chuckling.
Iris frowned. “Why are you laughing?”
“Well, it’s just that you are a bit too naive.”
I nodded. “Greed is the greatest sin of humanity, Iris. And ambition fuels many evils. The thing you are seeing now is just one of the many ugly things humans do for power. For you, killing so many students is something cruel, but for Alan, this is just something necessary for his goal.”
“But does he not fear the consequences?”
“Consequences?” I sneered. “Alan is the crown prince and has ties to one of the strongest families of the empire. Even in the unlikely case where he is discovered and has to carry the entire blame, he will only be exiled at most and his life will be guaranteed. What is there to fear then?”
Iris froze. Then, her face turned bitter.
“Why do people are so obsessed with power? They sacrifice everything, their lives, their friends, their family, their… happiness.” Iris paused for a moment in this part. “Just to get more power and authority.”
“That is just like the world is.” I glanced at Iris and shrugged. “Iris, if you don’t want to be a sacrifice for the ambitions of others, you must stand over them.”
“Stand over them?”
“Yes. If you want to love anyone you want, if you want to kill anyone you want, if you want to get anything you want, you must stand over everybody.”
Iris shivered. For a moment, her mind was turned into a mess. Several dangerous thoughts circled her head.
But immediately, she shook her head with a bitter smile.
“… I don’t have that kind of ability.”
“But I do.” I smiled.
“The ability to stand on the top, to take you with me, so we can stand in the top together. I have that ability.”
“… Prince Claus.”
“Hey Iris, do you want to help me?”
“Help me, Iris. To avenge my mother, to kill the ones that want to separate us, to stand in the top. Come, take my hand.”
Iris looked at my extended hand and her face showed an expression of struggle.
“But, my fiancée…”
“What about him?” I sneered. “If he wants to kill us, we just need to kill him first. You heard what he is planning, don’t you want revenge?”
“Revenge…” The word rubbed Iris’s lips.
For the briefest of the moments, Iris’s hand approached mine.
But in the last second, her rationality won.
“… I don’t know.”
I smiled. This is the Iris I know. Even if she loves me with all her heart, she is someone shackled tightly by the expectations of the people around her. For someone like her, escaping such shackles is not easy.
But now that I have put the seed in her mind, it’s just a matter of time before it sprouts.
I smiled gently and stopped insisting. “Well, you can talk to me if you change of opinion.”
“… Mm.” Iris hummed softly and lowered her head.
The two of us then continued moving through the forest.
“Prince, what is your plan?”
“My plan, huh. For now, we need to search for more people.”
“But, how are we going to find them?”
I smiled. Iris does not know it, but I have been leading her towards our next companion.
In fact, with each step we take, we move a longer distance than it looks. It’s a result of a technique I’m using to compress space and allow us to move faster.
And soon, the location of our next companion was close to us.
In fact, just at this moment–
“An explosion!?” Iris opened her eyes in surprise.
“Let’s go!” I said with a serious expression.
Inwardly, though, I was very calm.
After all, my maid is not so easy to defeat.
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