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Completed ― The Saint Desired a “Gentle and Gentle Husband Who Would Spoil Me.” His Majesty the King Ran for the Position

Chapter 1: Saint, I’m Looking for a Husband

Stacey Rithberth had had enough.

“Dear Stacey…you’re twenty now, and as a Countess of Rithberth, it’s time you considered getting married.”

“…. Huh.”

Stacey directs her gaze at the man on the sofa in front of her, who is smiling at her with an eerie smirk.

He’s a frail, lanky man with glistening eyes. Stacey is surprised to learn that this man, whose love of money and power pervades every aspect of his being, is her father.

(What a whitewash. Because I’ve become someone great, you suddenly flip your hand.)

Stacey sat on the couch, crossed her legs, and glared coldly at her catty father. 

Stacey, who had spent more than half of her life in the countryside and the rest as a church priestess, had no desire to go back to mortal society and be a noble lady at all.

“…That’s quite a transformation. You got my mother pregnant while she was working as a servant and then banished her to the countryside because she was interfering with your marriage. When I was born, you never came to see me, and when you took me in after she died, you treated me like an ugly b*tch and kicked me out. How dare you say such a thing?”

Her father’s face turned pale as she expressed her long-held resentment toward him.

But then he remembered that the cocky girl in front of him was now the church’s most powerful “saint,” and he instantly dropped his anger and smiled.

“I sincerely apologize. That’s why I wished you a happy marriage…”

“Moron.”

“W-What?”

“I’m sorry, I’m just being truthful.”

She didn’t do it by chance. She deliberately said it.

Stacey’s “Saint” status allows her to make such a significant remark to this man, who is the head of the count’s family and her father.

“… So? Are you saying that the girl you threw out has been recognized as a saint, and that you are now deceiving her, encouraging her to marry, and using her as a pawn?”

“N-No, that’s not the case…”

“I didn’t come here to hear that. I enjoy working at the Star Goddess Church and have no plans to go back and marry.”

“But, Stacy. A number of noblemen have already expressed interest in marrying you…”

(…Now that you mention it. I’ve noticed a recent increase in the number of letters arriving at the church…)

Stacey believes her father asked around, “Who’s going to get my daughter?” before agreeing with Stacey.

(I’d like to use magic on my father, who is smiling and sweating in front of me, but I’ve sworn to the Goddess that I’ll use my natural talent for the good of the world, so I can’t, which is a shame. Besides, I’m sure many of the noblemen were hesitant to propose marriage because their parents had ordered them to…)

Stacey looks nothing like her mother, who was a fragile beauty, with her quirky, almost black and gray hair and auburn eyes. She was gifted with magic, though, and since becoming the saint of the Church of the Star Goddess, she has refined her magical abilities and gained credibility through her skills and achievements.

But it seems that men in the Kingdom of Craifu prefer women who are meek, quiet, and less assertive, and few of them would accept a woman like Stacey, who is rude and full of herself.

(If that’s the case, I’d like to destroy this story to make the noblemen’s lives easier…)

All you have to do is end this sooner rather than later and bring this father down, but that will not be enough to convince the noblemen to give up. Stacey’s character isn’t great, but she’s still valuable as the daughter of a count and the Saint.

(I wanted to be free, so I worked hard…)

Stacey raises her head and slumps her shoulders.

“…Okay, fine. I can’t say no to the nobles if you’ve been asked.”

“So, then…!”

“But. I will set the conditions for the man who will become my husband.”

She stopped her father from getting carried away and continued, which caused the other party’s face to turn red.

“No, that’s not right!”

“Why not? Rather, you should be concerned if you disregard my wishes and marry me off to a man of your choosing. What’s the point of a goddess’s daughter returning to her father’s service and marrying someone she doesn’t love? Even you, as a person of little faith, recognize this, don’t you?”

In the Kingdom of Craifu, the Star Goddess religion worships the Star Goddess of love and fertility.

The Star Goddess bestowed mystical powers on women who were previously ruled by men. “Use this power to protect the weak.” Every woman is born with magical abilities.

The most powerful of them are dubbed “daughters of the goddess,” and their mission as priestesses is to support the kingdom. They were required to follow in the goddess’s footsteps and remain celibate and pure for the duration of their tenure.

However, the Star Goddess values pregnancy and childbirth as well. “If my daughters want to marry for love and have children, they can do so.” Because the world is usually dominated by men, perhaps the religion of the star goddess was very friendly to women.

Yes. Women are treated very well by the Star Goddess. especially to her daughters

She doesn’t show mercy to those who disrespect her daughters who are married or raising children away from them. 

If Stacey, who has risen to the rank of Saint solely on her own merits, suffers misfortune in her new home, the Star Goddess Church will undoubtedly punish her husband’s family and her father for arranging such a marriage.

Even her father was worried about retaliation from the church and nodded in alarm.

“O-Of course, yes. Of course, Stacey, I’ll do whatever you want! What kind of nobleman are you looking for?”

(… All right, I got what I wanted.)

Stacey didn’t hide her grin as she looked at her sweating father.

[Saint Stacey of the Star Goddess Church desires a husband who meets all of the following conditions .

・Must spoil Stacey

・Exceptionally gentle

・Must be devoted to her and never cheat on her

・Stacey is not permitted to do any housework

・Height of at least 38 Tor

・Like’s cat

・Must be wealthy (with an annual income of at least 200 000 kururu).

・Muscular and capable of crushing a brick with one hand]

(Yes, perfect!) 

Stacey was pleased with herself.

Stacey had been urged by her father to fill out a marriage application the day before. When her father read it, he was despairing, but Stacey smiled and said, “If you don’t like it, that’s fine.” He quickly shook his head.

The majority of Stacey’s conditions for a husband were for her personal interests.

Stacey wants someone who cares about her more than anyone else and loves her without cheating on her or turning a blind eye.

Stacey also adores small animals, particularly cats, and has always desired one. So she wants to live in a house with cats.

And she’d rather have a man with a strong body than one who is thin and wiry like her father. 

(A knight would be physically fit and well-paid.)

…So much for Stacey’s personal taste; the rest is just icing on the cake.

Stacey’s goal here was to drive away all suitors by making outrageous conditions.

The average adult male height in the Kingdom of Craifu is around 35 tor, so 38 tor is quite tall.

And few knights, no matter how well compensated, can only earn up to 200,000 crowns per year, especially those as old as Stacey, who can only earn 100,000 kururu.

Anyone capable of destroying a brick block with one hand is quite rare.

As a result, each of these conditions “might” apply to some people. However, few to none can complete all of them..

That’s why she put these conditions in place because she knows there aren’t any, and a normal person would think, “This woman is insane,” and they’d withdraw their marriage proposals.

This way, the suitors would have no choice but to withdraw their proposals and Stacey would be treated like a selfish freak, so it wouldn’t hurt. 

She would then say to her father, “I’m afraid no one has come along who fits the bill,” before returning to Star Goddess Church.

It’s a brilliant plan.

And, just as Stacey had hoped, the courtship letters appeared to have stopped after her father finally offered those conditions in tears.

(I guess I’ll be back at church soon! I’m being forced to stay at the Count’s house for a while, but I just want to get out of here and back to the church. As a saint, I have a lot of work to do.)

…Or so she assumed.

“You have a suitor, Stacey.”

Stacey, who had been filing her nails, frowned when her father told her, who appeared haggard for some reason.

(Hmph. No one can possibly meet these insane conditions. That means it’s someone who is exempt from my conditions.)

“So? Who would be such a unique individual?”

“…King.”

“What?”

“It’s His Majesty the King…”

Stacey is taken aback when her father says something she did not expect to hear.

“Huh?!”

Stacey dropped the file and made a funny noise.

Chapter 2: Priestess Going on an Expedition

Stacey Rithberth had lived with her mother in a small house in the countryside of the Kingdom of Craifu for as long as she could remember.

In the middle of nowhere, the house was small and old, but it was warm and welcoming. Stacey was adored by the old squires and maids, and her delicate and frail mother always held her gently in her arms.

Stacey grew up in a carefree environment surrounded by her loving mother, kind servants, and the generous and friendly people of the nearby villages, with no fancy clothes or sumptuous meals. She was one of the most gifted magical girls in the village, and she frequently told her mother that she aspired to be a priestess in the future.

But when Stacey was 12, her mother became ill and died.

Stacey spent her days weeping at her mother’s grave, but one day a group of people claiming to be from the Count of Rithberth came to the house.

Stacey was the Count of Rithberth’s daughter, and when her mother died, the Earl offered to take her in as his daughter.

Stacey was taken to the count’s mansion in the royal capital, separated from the people she loved. She was introduced to the Count and Countess Rithberth, who she had never met before.

When the Count, who claimed to be Stacey’s father, saw her face, he exclaimed, “I don’t want this ugly thing!”

Stacey, who had been told by servants and villagers that she was beautiful, was astounded to discover that she had inherited none of her mother’s beauty.

The Count then stopped paying attention to Stacey. Instead, Stacey’s adoptive mother, the Countess, took care of her.

She hated Stacey’s mother with all her heart for playing her husband.

Yet, despite her contempt for Stacey, she provided Stacey with food, clothing, and shelter.

Though much poorer than her half-siblings, Stacey was still able to survive thanks to her adoptive mother.

Her adoptive mother told her one day, “Since you have such high magical powers, you should work for the church.” Despite her complicated situation, the Star Goddess Church welcomed Stacey and taught her how to live as a priestess.

Stacey regards herself as brash, arrogant, and annoying. To follow her own selfish desires, she studied in the church and became a priestess to fight demons.

(You are at the mercy of others if you lack power.)

But with power, strength, and prestige, Stacey could defy those around her and live freely.

So Stacey uses her innate magic and finally becomes a priestess, living her life the way she wants.

She goes on dangerous missions where she uses her light magic to fight demons and her healing magic to help people who have been hurt.

(It’s all for my sake.)

Hence the teaching of the Star Goddess, “Save the weak”. So no one has anything to complain about.

For the past year, she had become well-known within the church.

One day, church leaders asked her to go with the king on his mission to kill the demonic dragon.

King Lute Adam Rammels is the current ruler of the Craifu Kingdom.

He was originally the second prince, and his elder brother, the previous king, was a great prince who was admired by all. However, three years ago, his elder brother was in a horse accident and was unable to move the lower half of his body, so he abdicated the throne at a young age.

King Lute had been a knight since he was a child, and despite his royal status, he was primarily a military man.

Even after he was crowned, he went out to exterminate demons, but this time the dragon was so powerful that even Lute, the strongest knight, was unsure if he would be able to return home safely.

So Stacey was appointed as the Star Goddess Church’s representative to accompany him on the mission to slay the demonic dragon by the high priestess. Stacey’s amazing skills and calm personality made her the perfect person to go on this difficult journey with him.

Stacey, of course, was delighted to accept the assignment. As a result, she accompanied the king on his journey, accompanied by a group of young priestesses.

At the time, Stacey thought King Lute was “a little unreliable as a king.”

The previous king, Aloysius, was a sharp and quick-witted man, but Lute, who had received little imperial education, was not good at deep thought and was better at moving his body than his head. As a result, even in meetings, he did not express himself as openly as his brother, instead relying on those around him to ask, “What are the ministers’ thoughts?”

He was well-liked by the knights, but some nobles are said to have mocked him as “the muscle brain king.”

So Stacey had the impression that the king was a great man, but not at all reliable, a muscle brain.

But after the trip, she realized.

First and foremost, Lute was unquestionably a “muscle brain.”

“These must be the priestesses of the Star Goddess Church.”

A burly young man met Stacey and the others when they went to greet him.

His reddish-brown hair was a little fluffy and auburn at the ends, and he had deep blue eyes with a soft light in them. His voice is deep but not raspy enough to frighten the listener.

Stacey and her friends were surprised to see his hand extended to them as they bowed, but when they extended their hands to him, he happily shook them.

“Thank you for coming along with us on our quest to defeat the Demonic Dragon! We’ll need your magical abilities to assist us. We will make sure that you all return safely to the church.”

Stacey never expected the king to say these words.

When Stacey thanked him on behalf of everyone, he smiled and said, “That’s what a knight should do”.

And so it was that, as they made their way to the dragon’s lair, Stacey realized something.

Lute is not a muscle-brain king.

Yes, he certainly wasn’t very good at making decisions on his own. That’s why he relied on those around him and never forgot to thank them. Perhaps that’s why, even in camp, he was surrounded by knights and servants who adored him.

Stacey developed an interest in Lute after hearing his story from the guards.

(His Majesty is well aware of his lack of political acumen. That is why he is so dependent on people’s honesty. And he sees people’s true nature with pinpoint accuracy.)

Lute is quick to rely on others, but his selection of “reliant individuals” is brilliant: he instantly knows who to listen to and whom to seek advice from.

If someone has a sinister thought, he is naturally asked, “What does that mean?” and “isn’t that a strange thing to say?”, so anyone attempting to manipulate the king is defeated squarely in the face.

He doesn’t think about it too much; it’s just a kind of wild intuition, but Stacey assumes that’s his talent as well. And because of his honest and considerate nature, ministers and bureaucrats want to help the inexperienced king, and they do everything they can to protect him from anyone who tries to harm him.

(I shouldn’t be so biased…)

Stacey is thinking about this while sitting by the river after assisting in fetching water for the camp.

From now on, she should see Lute’s personality with her own eyes, not through rumors.

“…Oh, Priestess.”

“Huh?”

She heard a soft voice and turned to see the king in plain clothes. He was wiping his sweat with a towel around his neck, implying that he was training with his men.

When Stacey handed him a towel that had been cooled with water she had collected, he smiled and said, “Thank you, you’re very thoughtful.”

(…Well, up close, he’s quite handsome.)

So far, she’s only seen him from afar.

“I’m going to wash my feet if you don’t mind.”

He sat down next to Stacey and dipped his feet in the water on the river’s downstream side so she could see his face.

Stacey is a priestess who is expected to be pure, but love is not forbidden by the star goddess. That is why the priestesses in the church talked about love, and Stacey enjoyed looking at beautiful men.

muscular bodies and manly faces that were also sweet.

As Luke moves through the social ladder, he is bound to win the hearts of all the ladies.

(Although I never heard of His Majesty the King having a fiancée…?)

The previous king had a queen, but at the age of twenty-two, Lute had no queen, not even a fiancée. With his good looks and smile, he could easily have one or two fiancées.

Chapter 3: Priestess Talking to the King

Lute, who was washing his feet, turned to face her, as if he had noticed Stacey staring at him. She couldn’t help but be taken aback when she looked into his bright, deep blue eyes.

“You appear to be staring at my face. Is there mud on it? I thought I wiped it clean…”

“No, your majesty is fine; you’re just so attractive that I couldn’t help but admire you.”

Stacey stated truthfully.

Of course, there is no specific meaning. As a nobleman would say, “You are a lovely young lady.” She was only complimenting the king on his appearance

And yet…

“…What?”

“What?”

“…Do you think I’m attractive?”

Lute looks surprised and asks Stacey.

(Ara? If you’re not attractive, all the men in the world have no more face than potatoes, right?)

Stacey was the one who was taken aback, so she couldn’t help but stare at Lute’s expression.

“Well, of course. I think his majesty is the most attractive man I’ve ever seen.”

“…”

“… Oh, um, your majesty. Sorry, I didn’t mean to say something unusual…”

“…No, it’s not unusual. It’s only… That’s the first time a woman has said that to me.”

Lute turned away and stopped Stacey with a big hand. His hair had been lifted by the wind, and you could see his ears were slightly red.

“You are, uh… Countess Rithberth, aren’t you?”

“Ah, yes. But I grew up in the countryside until I was 12 years old, and then I spent the majority of my life in the church, so I’ve had very little education as a noblewoman…”

“No, I’m not blaming you; I’m just… I see. That’s why.”

Stacey wasn’t sure, but something clicked in Lute’s head, and he smiled up at her.

“Countess Rithberth… No, may I address you as such?”

“W-Well, um… I’m afraid not, but I’d be delighted if you could just call me Stacey.”

The surprised remark seemed to please Lute more and more.

He smiled and stepped out of the water.

“If you don’t mind, why don’t we talk like this more often? With Miss Stacey, I think we can have a good conversation.”

“Wouldn’t it be a crime of disrespect?”

“No, I’m not going to let that happen.”

Lute said firmly.

So Stacey started talking to Lute in between journeys.

They discussed topics such as church life and Stacey’s favorite things. And Lute seemed pleased to hear them, and Stacey was content just to see the handsome man’s smile.

But even Stacey knew her place.

(I am a priestess, and His Majesty is the king of Craifu.)

Stacey joins him on his journey as a priestess and the king’s chattering companion. He’s cool and nice to her, but not enough to turn it into a romance.

As they approached the dragon’s lair, she volunteered to cast a powerful protective spell on Lute.

Demonic dragons are stronger than regular dragons. They not only have poisonous breath and fangs, but their blood also contains poison.

It is Lute’s responsibility to sever the dragon’s head. She cannot allow even a drop of poisonous blood to fall on the king in this manner.

Lute, cloaked in pale light, looks at Stacey with serious eyes as she casts a protection spell with her staff.

“Best wishes, Your Majesty.”

Lute nodded firmly as Stacey smiled at him.

So, under the protection spell of the other priestess, Lute took up the fight against the dragon, accompanied by his knights. When the jet-black dragon breathes its poisonous breath on Lute, the protection magic reacts, draining Stacey’s magic.

Because the person in the lead is more vulnerable to the dragon’s attacks, the burden falls more heavily on the person who casts protective spells on him. That’s why Stacey, the most powerful priestess, was put in charge of protecting the king.

As the battle dragged on, Stacey and the others’ strength and magic were depleted. Some of the priestesses fell and were replaced halfway through, but Stacey had to hold on until the end to protect Lute, who was constantly surrounded by a toxic mist.

(Hang in there, Your Majesty…!)

Her head throbbed, and she was helped by another priestess, but she was still pumping magic into it when Lute finally severed the dragon’s head. A large amount of blood spurted out, and the priestesses clenched their teeth to keep the poisonous blood away from the knights.

Lute and the others rush back, and the squires strip them of their armor. The priestesses must use protective magic to protect the knights’ skin until they have changed out of their bloodied gear.

Then Lute finished dressing, wiped his hair clean, and said, “It’s all right now”.

―Stacey fainted.

Thanks to the protective magic of Stacey and the other priestesses, they were able to return to the capital without missing any of the members of the dragon slaying party, including the king.

Stacey and the others who had exhausted their magical power dozed off for a while, but even they were aware of their limitations. They couldn’t get out of bed for a few days, but they were all able to return to work after a good night’s sleep and a good meal.

Stacey and the others were given promotions and rewards for killing the demonic dragon.

Stacey, the leader of the priestesses who protected King Lute, was among them and was given the title “Saint.”

Stacey received the high priestess’s silver ring, the mark of the saint, and rose to the highest ranks of the Star Goddess Church in the Kingdom of Craifu.

Even if saints do not become high priestesses, there are many men who want to be their husbands if the saints wish to return to mortal society. Families of saints were looked up to, and saints from common families were often taken in by nobles.

…So her father, the Count, who had half-forgotten about Stacey, rushed to see her and turned his palm back. He then proposed a political marriage.

And Lute, the king, has unexpectedly run as Stacey’s husband.

Chapter 4: The Saint, Reunited With the King

“Miss Stacey, it’s been a long time.”

“Your Majesty, it’s been a long time.”

King Lute arrived at the Count’s house at the appointed time and date. The king’s marriage proposal has attracted a large number of attendants and guards, and not only her father, but also the countess and her half-siblings, are preoccupied with the situation.

Stacey felt sorry for the Countess, who fed her despite her dislike for her, or her half-siblings, who treated her like a tumor but were never mean to her.

Lute smiled as he was led into the drawing room, which had been thoroughly cleaned for the day.

Stacey passed out right after the dragon was killed and went back to the church. Since then, she and the king have only talked through letters.

Lute, whom she hadn’t seen in nearly a year, had grown even more fearless. But his gentle smile remained, and Stacey managed to return his smile, albeit nervously.

The Countess had hurriedly made a fashionable dress for Stacey, with a softly billowing skirt. It was a little uncomfortable for Stacey, who usually wore simple dresses in the countryside and simple priestess robes in church.

While the majority of the king’s entourage waited outside, a young knight dressed as a knight and a middle-aged man dressed as a bureaucrat followed Lute to the parlor and stood behind him.

A square cloth package was carried by the knight. It could be a gift or something.

“It is a pleasure to welcome you, Your Majesty .”

Stacey thanks him, and Lute extends a large hand.

“No, thank you for your hospitality, and… I also want to thank you for allowing me to speak with you, despite the fact that I sent you that letter out of the blue.”

“I don’t mind. It’s just…”

“Oh.”

Lute, who had been wearing a nervous expression, relaxed his cheeks slightly.

“I’ve come today to propose to Miss Stacey Rithberth.”

“…Well, Your Majesty, I’m honored to hear you say so, but…”

“I understand what you mean, so…”

Stacey winced as the bureaucrat handed Lute a piece of paper with the application form his father had prepared on it.

(As expected, you’re referring to those unreasonable requirements…?)

Half of them were Stacey’s type, while the other half were just a joke.

(I had no idea anyone would agree with me on that and I had no idea it would be His Majesty the King.)

“… I mean…”

“I am still a king. My annual income is well over 200,000 kururu.”

“I-Is that right…?”

“I’m also tall—If I had a wife, I would have no other lovers and would only love one. I swear to the Star Goddess I will never betray her.”

“… Yes.”

“Of course, I’m not going to leave you to do the housework—and I adore cats. I have five in my castle.”

“Really?!”

When she raised her voice, Lute looked up from the paper and smiled.

“You are welcome to come and see the cats whenever you want.”

“U-Um, thank you.”

“And finally—Samuel.”

“Yes, your majesty.”

Lute called for the knight and accepted the package he was carrying. Stacey had assumed it was a gift, but what emerged was…

“…Your Majesty?”

“As you can see, it’s a brick block.”

“B-Brick…”

“I’m going to crush it with one hand now.”

Lute stood up and grabbed a brick block with his large right hand, nodding vigorously at Stacey, who could only repeat the same words.

Immediately, a large cloth was spread on the floor, apparently brought by the knights and the bureaucrat, and Lute stood in the center of it.

(…Brick block, Brick block, Huh?!)

“Y-Your majesty! You don’t have to go that far…!”

“Don’t worry, Miss Stacey; I’ve practiced a lot.”

“I didn’t mean that! It was more of a, you know, prank…”

“… Hmph!”

Even though Stacey was pleading with him, Lute’s hand was jerked into a tight grip on the brick block he was holding, and the arm of his expensive suit bulged to its full height.

―Crack!

The brick block is crushed in an instant, and the brick fragments splatter onto the cloth.

Stacey was dumbfounded as the knight and bureaucrat began to clean up the mess, while Lute clasped and unclasped his right hand in satisfaction.

“Well, it looks like the practice paid off.”

“…Oh my god! Are you hurt?! I’ll take care of you right away!”

“Well, you don’t have to use your magic for something as trivial as this.”

Lute smiled and extended his hand to show her his palm. His white gloves are covered in sand brick fragments, but he appears to be unharmed.

(… Thank goodness! If His Majesty’s right hand had been rendered ineffective as a result of that silly condition, then…!)

Stacey wobbled, but Lute flew in and hugged her around the waist, supporting her.

…The hand that had just shattered a brick block in an instant and decapitated a demonic dragon with a great sword a year ago was full of tenderness―it’s the same hand that had shaken her hand when they first met.

“I’m sorry, it must be too stimulating for a lady…”

“Y-Yes, no! It was originally my idea. Thank you kindly. I’ll get up right now.”

“Really? I’m glad to hear that.”

Lute gave a reassuring smile and led Stacey to the sofa.

“…So, I meet all the conditions you have set out.”

“…Yes, that seems to be the case. But, um… Why did Your Majesty request that he marry me?”

Aside from the fact that meeting the ridiculous recruitment requirements was a miracle, Stacey had no idea how Lute felt about her.

“I am the Count’s daughter, but I am illegitimate and have not received a proper education as a noble lady. By marrying you, I will become queen of the Craifu kingdom. I don’t think I’m up to the queen’s task.”

“You don’t?”

“Yes. Even His Majesty will be wronged if a selfish and greedy woman like me becomes queen.”

Stacey was convinced she was right, but Lute slowly turned his head.

“It seems you are underestimating yourself…”

Lute spoke up again after a brief pause.

“Miss Stacey―What do you think the Queen’s most important job is?”

“To procreate with His Majesty the King and give birth to a worthy heir?”

“Huh…! W-Well, that’s one thing.”

Stacey was certain she had given him the perfect answer, but judging by Lute’s clearly upset expression, it wasn’t the answer he desired.

“Well… going to dominate the social world?”

“Yeah, well, that’s also important.”

Lute acknowledged Stacey’s answer, but was still unable to come up with the right response.

(Hmm… What else could it be if not procreation or socialization?)

Lute cleared his throat and sat back down as Stacey was perplexed by the answer.

“…When push comes to shove, succession and society can be left to others. But that is not what I desire for my Queen.”

“What exactly is it?”

“… It may seem silly, but I want to be able to discuss anything with the queen.”

Lute’s voice was tense as he spoke.

“I’ve met a few potential queens. Many of them are the daughters of prominent aristocrats, and I’ve met foreign princesses as well.”

(… I knew there were a lot of candidates.)

Stacey is convinced, but Lute’s face isn’t as bright as he says it.

“Now that I have inherited the throne from my brother, I need a queen—but, I’ve spent half my life as a knight, and I’m not well-versed in societal norms. Perhaps that’s why I’ve had trouble making friends with the ladies.”

Chapter 5: Saint, Knowing the King’s Circumstances

According to Lute,

He received an unprecedented number of marriage proposals three years before ascending to the throne. The nobles who ignored Lute when he was just the king’s muscle-brain brother have all proposed their daughters to be queen.

Lute knew he’d have to marry a queen one day. So he was initially enthusiastic about meeting the ladies.

… But none of them worked out.

“Anyway, I can’t hold a conversation with them.”

Lute sipped his tea and sighed.

“Whenever I bring up a topic, the ladies simply smile and remain silent. I wanted to learn more about them, so I asked them about their favorite sweets, flowers, and hobbies, but they simply said, “I don’t have anything to tell Your Majesty.”

“I see…”

(Oh…that reminds me, being modest and reserved is considered a virtue for aristocratic ladies.)

It is still acceptable if both parties have the same rank in terms of houses, but in many cases, the wife has a slightly lower status than the husband.

In such cases, the ladies are taught to “value their husbands’ opinions more than their own.”

From Stacey’s perspective, it seems ridiculous that they can’t even say what they want, but the truth is that many men enjoy their wives being this way.

As a result, when ladies are asked about themselves at an arranged marriage meeting, they say, “It is absurd for me to comment on such a noble man as you.” And there are a certain number of men who like such modest women.

But Lute was unlike the male aristocracy in many ways.

Lute, who had spent the majority of his life in the Order, preferred casual conversation, whether he was a man or a woman.

“And the couples I see in the Order… Wives patting their husbands on the back, and couples laughing at each other. That’s why, if I ever got married… I wanted to be in a relationship where my wife and I could laugh cheerfully together like that.”

(I see… Then it’s no wonder you don’t get along with the ladies…)

Stacey gave a small nod, knowing exactly how Lute was feeling.

“So the arranged marriage failed… Did you tell the ladies about your feelings?”

“Oh, I thought I couldn’t clear up the misunderstanding, so about two years ago I told them, ‘I want to hear your opinion,’ and ‘I want to be able to talk to the queen about anything’. But still, everyone is reserved, saying it’s a terrible thing… Eventually, one of the ladies started crying because she thought I was being mean to her… Later, her father scolded me, saying, ‘You could have said something else if you wanted to refuse. I explained that I didn’t mean it that way…”

“It’s difficult to change an idea once it’s become ingrained in you…”

If Lute was being reckless with the ladies, he would have told them how he felt. If they still didn’t accept him, then I guess we’ll just have to give up the idea that there was no chance for us. It seems that there are some misunderstandings.

Lute, who had been in a depressed mood up to that point, looked up.

“But… I met you a year ago.”

“…”

“Do you remember when we sat by the river and talked at the start of our expedition?”

“Of course… I remember.”

Because of this event, Stacey changed her mind about Lute, who she had previously dismissed as “the muscle brain king.”

“When we first met, you told me I was attractive.”

“Y-Yes, I did; I’m sorry; I could have said something else.”

“No, I’m… I was happy. For hearing you tell me how you truly feel… for letting me know.”

Lute’s lips purse, as if he’s overjoyed to hear that; a year ago, when he removed his mask as king, he addressed himself as “I.”

“And you honestly answered all of my questions. It was, after all, the first time. I could discuss what I liked and disliked, exchange ideas, and laugh out loud at the most amusing topics. Even with my own gender, I’ve rarely had a good belly laugh since becoming King. You just hit me square in the face.”

“I was happy,” Lute says bitingly.

“That’s why I wanted you to be my queen; with you, I could smile all the time, take off the mask I wear as king, and smile with my true face. I thought you could create such a place and time for me.”

(That’s so straightforward…)

Even Stacey is embarrassed to be told so bluntly.

Stacey casually covers her cheeks with her hair and opens her mouth.

“W-Well, uh, I’m honored to hear that, but I’m a saint at this point. I couldn’t marry anyone.”

“Yes, that’s why I was shocked; even a priestess, the goddess’s daughter, can marry, but the church will never let you go… My first love ended; I was about to give up and take a sensible girl for my queen… Until…”

“W-Was I your first love?”

“Y-Yes… Maybe I’ve tasted love before, but you’re the first time I’ve ever clearly thought, “I want to go out with this woman,” yeah.”

Lute averts his gaze slightly, as if speaking to himself, before returning his gaze to Stacey’s.

“But I heard you were looking for a husband—When I read the description… I honestly believed Miss Stacey Rithberth desired to marry me.”

“Huh?! That’s…”

But she came to a complete halt.

The recruitment form she sent out: half of it is genuine hope, the other half is a silly prank she didn’t think about.

However, as she considers it, she realizes that the majority of the conditions match Lute’s.

(Did I make the recruitment conditions with His Majesty in mind subconsciously…?!)

Lute leans forward a little more briskly as he notices Stacey’s face flush with embarrassment.

“Y-You did, didn’t you? — No, it does not have to be. But—if you, a Saint, want to return and marry, I will not hesitate. That’s why I ordered a large quantity of brick blocks right away and have been practicing crushing them with one hand.”

“…”

Stacey, on the other hand, has a cold sweat running down her back as Lute says confidently.

(Now it’s difficult to say! In fact, I have no intention of marrying, and I wrote a ruthless application form to discourage suitors!)

Lute appears to have prepared himself enthusiastically to be the right man for the job, whereas Stacey had no idea she would catch the king and was content to return to the church and live the life of a saint in comfort.

Chapter 6: Saint, Confessing

Lute noticed that Stacey was acting strangely.

Her face was happy at first, but then it froze, and she said timidly, “What if…?”

“Are you, by any chance, referring to…”

“U-Um… Actually, Your Majesty, I…”

“…So you’ve noticed… I’m actually about half a tor short of 38…”

(No, that isn’t it.)

She wanted to say everything she could.

But before Stacey could say anything, Lute nodded and apologized.

“I measured my height enthusiastically, but no matter how many times I measured it, it never reached 38 tor…”

“I-Is that so…?

“Yes… I’m not sure if you’d accept a man under the height of 38 tor…?”

Lute looks up, his fearless good looks are gone, and he looks as depressed as an abandoned puppy.

The truth is that if Stacey truly wanted to avoid marriage, she could have answered here: “Yes, you’re too short,” but…

“Your Majesty, I must apologize.”

“What for? I see…, less than 39 tor is insufficient…”

“E-Enough with the height… The truth is, I wanted to avoid getting married at my father’s command.”

It was difficult to deceive Lute, who had been so open with her, and Stacey was nervous about telling him what had happened.

Lute looks surprised as Stacey speaks the truth. But he was the only one surprised, as the knight, Samuel, and the bureaucrat standing behind him nodded and said, “I suppose so.”

“…So Miss Stacey dared to impose ridiculous conditions to prevent marriage…”

“Yes. I didn’t expect anyone to meet those requirements, and I certainly didn’t expect to be asked for marriage.”

Lute seemed sad when he mentioned his height, so she decided not to bring it up again.

Lute appeared to be down, but then he looked up.

“That’s right? So you’re not getting married because you don’t like me, but because you want to serve the church as a Saint?

“Without a doubt! His Majesty is a good-looking, no, a wonderful person!”

“All right!”

“Just.”

“…just?”

Stacey gave a bitter smile to Lute, who had decided to pose.

“I still don’t think I’m qualified to be queen. I’m… I’m too preoccupied with my own self-interested. “

“Is that so? But didn’t slay a dragon with us last year?”

“Yes, I did… It’s all for myself.”

Stacey despised her father.

When she was living with her mother, she once asked, “Don’t I have a father?”. Her mother smiled sadly and said, “Your father is gone.”

The servants informed Stacey that she disliked being in the Count’s arms.

She was of low birth but graceful and lovely, and she succumbed to the Count’s womanizing ways. She was devastated when she discovered she was pregnant. “Are you going to kill the Count’s child?” she was threatened with power. When the Count decided to marry, he sent her mother away to the countryside.

Then, after her mother’s death, he took Stacey by force and spat out, “You’re ugly.”

So, Stacey trained diligently at the church where she was placed by her adoptive mother.

You will be granted power if you become a wise and good priestess.

And then she’ll use her power to crush his father, who once held power over her and her mother.

Once she reached sainthood, the world seemed different.

She crushed those in positions of power while putting on a brave face. She mocks those who seek forgiveness and says, “Are you going to defy the saint’s judgment?” and twists them down.

Being respected feels good.

It’s nice to be wanted.

Crushing the big guys is a shivering pleasure.

“I am the daughter of a star goddess who enjoys wielding her power over others. Civil war would undoubtedly erupt if such a woman became queen. It would only sully your reign.”

Stacey said this without cracking a smile. It was the first time she displayed her dark side.

The church’s priestess referred to Stacey as “Saint,” and the senior priestess and high priestess lauded her as “a great Saint who had won the favor of the Star Goddess.”

But Stacey is completely black on the inside. She’ll most likely end up in Hell, where those who defy her will be exiled, rather than Heaven, where the Star Goddess resides.

(… His Majesty, who was raised as an innocent knight, will now regard me as ugly and filthy…)

With that in mind, Stacey raises her head, wincing slightly as Lute looks directly at her.

“U-Um, Your Majesty…?”

“You’re beautiful,”

“…Eh?”

“No, I didn’t mean to embarrass you. But, your face was so beautiful when you were just telling me how you felt that I couldn’t help but admire it. I apologize.”

“Y-Yes…?”

She didn’t expect him to say that, and Lute sat back down, crossing his powerful legs.

“Yeah, about what you said… I don’t see anything wrong with it.”

“… You’re lying, aren’t you?”

“I’m not lying… I was wondering what was bothering you because you seemed so preoccupied, and I think you’re a wonderful woman.”

Stacey bit her lower lip as he nodded.

“… What makes me so special? I am a saint and a witch, a vicious woman whose power tramples the weak!”

“Huh? Then let me ask you a question. You’re in power now, and that’s why you’re looking back at your father, isn’t it?”

“That’s right. I had a lot of fun bothering my father with those crazy recruitment requirements.”

“And that’s because the count oppressed your mother and your childhood self?”

“…well, that’s right.”

He piled on one word after another as she carefully answered Lute’s questions.

“Speaking of which, you recently exposed Viscount Conning. I believe he was a devout believer who was also an active member of the church.”

“That’s right. When I found out that the money came from black money and that he was selling the girls of the land into slavery, I trampled him down.”

“I see. So you don’t like men who are powerful, high, and mighty.”

“It bothers me. He reminds me of my father.”

“So you despise me because I am powerful?”

“Eh? No, I don’t despise you…”

“And how about Lord Mullenhout? He serves as Foreign Secretary. He’s an extremely powerful man.”

“W-Well… He and Your Majesty haven’t done anything wrong, have they? Ah…”

Lute smiles as Stacey blinks in surprise.

“After all, you are a wonderful Saint… You use the strength you’ve gained to defeat those with evil intentions.

Stacey had no response to Lute.

Stacey enjoys wielding power over others. But she never attacks the helpless or the innocent.

She only overpowers those who abuse power over the weak, such as her father and Viscount Conning.

Chapter 7: Saint, Accept

“…I-It’s not such a big deal. Because… You know, bullying an innocent person is a crime. But if they’re the bad guy, I have the freedom to do whatever I want with a good name…”

“Yes—That is why you are right to use your saintly authority to punish the evildoers in the Kingdom of Craifu.”

“So, as an ally of justice, I am not to be treated as such! — a good person helps others out of compassion, not self-interest.”

“However, your efforts have saved many lives. In their eyes, you are without a doubt a woman of justice. You assist the weak while annihilating the great evil. And you do it with the power you worked so hard to gain… I believe you should be proud of yourself.”

“…”

“… Miss Stacey. I’m the king who’s lacking.”

She looks up and sees Lute’s bitter smile.

“I lack my brother’s talent and ability to lead, as well as the charm to gain the trust of the people. I only use the sword to fight for my brother’s throne. So, when the throne was bestowed upon me following my brother’s accident, I tried to flee several times.”

“Is that so…?”

“It’s a sad story, isn’t it?” Others, however, assisted me. They supported, taught, and guided me. That is why I remain king.”

Lute exhaled deeply and smiled softly.

“That’s why I’m interested in you. I want you to work hard against all odds to gain confidence and power, and to properly wield that power. I need you by my side because you have power that I lack.”

“… Isn’t that enough for a Saint in the King’s inner circle?”

“…back to the point. I’d be happy if you were there, but I’d rather spend my days laughing with you. I’d like us to be able to encourage and support one another. That’s the kind of relationship I’d like to have with you.”

Lute’s words were extremely powerful.

Stacey felt a shiver run down her spine.

She had lost her mother, been taken from the place she loved, been in a place she didn’t recognize, been verbally abused by strangers, and she had been powerless to stop it.

She worked hard after joining the church and was gradually accepted by everyone. But deep down, she was still screaming that she was lonely.

Lute’s words seeped into the part of her heart that could never be satisfied by these things alone, no matter how hard she tried to overcome the evils and bask in the euphoria, no matter how many glorious titles she won.

(I… wanted to be relied on—I wanted to be wanted.)

Not just as a saint. Stacey wanted people to see and accept her for who she was.

“… If I marry you, I will no longer be a saint.”

“Yes. You would have to rejoin society. I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do, so if you don’t want to do it…, simply say no.”

“… If I become queen, will I behave the same way I did before?”

“Please do so. Everyone will be looking forward to seeing the former Saint be Queen in action”.

“I can’t dance, I can’t embroider, and my handwriting isn’t particularly attractive.”

“In fact, I’m not very good at this sort of thing either. Let’s work together.”

“… Fufufu, do you want to embroider with me?”

“Yes, it will be enjoyable with you… But. I’m sure I’ll break a few needles in the process.”

“Fufufu…”

“Hahaha…”

They both burst out laughing at the same time as a result of Lute’s words.

A queen who is so arrogant that she is willing to cut her opponents to pieces and a king who is embroidering next to her.

Marriage can be a lot of fun.

“… I wonder what the future holds for Craifu’s kingdom by then…”

I’m not sure. But I will do everything in my power to ensure that many of our citizens can live the rest of their lives smiling. Of course, in collaboration with the Star Goddess Church, to make the Kingdom of Craifu a place where children will be grateful to be born.”

“I’ve decided… Please allow me to assist you.”

Stacey smiled, and Lute’s eyes widened.

(I’m not a saintly saint or a compassionate person. But I can use my abilities to assist you in constructing the kingdom you envision. I can kick anyone who gets in the way of your dreams.)

“…Will you spoil me and treat me nicely by then?”

Stacey

“…Y-Yes. I swear I’ll be the husband you’ve always wanted.”

The young king made a vow.

***

Lute, the 18th king of the Kingdom of Craifu, welcomed his bride-to-be in the spring of his 23rd year.

She was the proud saint of the Star Goddess Church and the daughter of the Count of Rithberth, but she had written a letter of disownment to her father.

She was raised as a lady with the help of a well-known duke, and 18 months after she was engaged to the king, she stopped being a saint so she could marry the king.

Some of the ladies were envious of the queen, who was at best honest and at worst brash, and said, “She is unfit to be a queen.” However, the queen responded, “However, His Majesty appears to like women like me. Isn’t that what he said to you all?” They could only shake their heads and turn red.

Even after she ceased to be a saint, the Queen maintained contact with the church and, in an emergency, led the priestess to the demon’s lair. The queen was so happy as she blasted the demons with her flashy magic that the priestess started an unofficial fan club for her.

The Queen did not meddle in the King’s politics, but she was quick to detect and thwart any attempt to undermine or spy on her husband’s enemies. “A hundred million years too soon to mess with my King!” was her catchphrase.

King Lute was still not very good at governing the country, but many people admired him for his friendly demeanor and courtesy to all, and it is said that his knights increased in number and his bureaucrats became more united than under previous kings.

The king and queen were dubbed “the muscle brain king” and “the raging bull Saint,” respectively, but they were loved and respected by the people, and all princes and princesses born to them grew up to be great royalty who cared about their country.

They always made time to spend alone time together, no matter how busy they were.

Their happy laughter could be heard from the room where even Samuel, the knight, and the children were not permitted to enter..

Chapter 8: Knight Who Counsels the Lord in Love

Lute Adam Rammels was in hot water.

“… No, that’s not the case. As I previously stated, I want to be able to converse with the queen on equal terms. That’s why, as a potential queen, I’d like to get to know you better.”

“I apologize, Your Majesty. I’m not going to pollute your ears by talking about myself…”

“Of course not. How can we understand each other if we don’t communicate? For instance, what kind of flowers do you like? I’ll hand them over to you.”

“No, no. I’m afraid I can’t bother your Majesty.”

“…”

(…This pattern again…)

“Well done, Your Majesty.”

“Sigh… As usual, I’m very tired.”

Samuel, a knight of the royal guard, gave a wry smile when Lute returned to his room after his arranged date with a lady.

“It’s not easy to find a woman who matches His Majesty’s preferences…”

“…Is it really that difficult to accept what I’m offering everyone…?”

The king, who was stretched out on the sofa, always appeared calm in front of everyone, but now that only Samuel, whom he knew well, was present, he lazily turned over and asked.

“I mean, what kind of ladylike upbringing do the aristocratic houses provide? Aren’t women allowed to tell their husbands what their favorite food is or what flowers they like?”

“This wouldn’t be so bad in a normal noble house, but since His Majesty is the King, the ladies must be extra cautious.”

“What is it?”

“Well, it’s true that men prefer a well-groomed and quiet woman. I would also like to have a petite, pretty, and quiet wife one day.”

“On that point, you and I disagree.”

Lute muttered as he slumped on the couch and sighed loudly.

Lute was born as the second child of the previous king. Since his brother, four years older than him, had already become the Crown Prince, Lute left his family early to live with the Order.

Lute loved his fellow knights, who treated him like a knight rather than a precious second prince, and his superiors, who were ruthless in their discipline.

As a result, he had a slightly different sensibility than the princes and noblemen.

Lute preferred talkative women with a lively laugh, whereas Samuel preferred quiet women. When his superior, whom he held in high esteem, got married, his wife always brought him his lunch box. The sight of the two of them eating lunch together and talking animatedly was a dream for Lute.

(When I get married, I want my relationship to be like my boss’s and his wife’s. We can laugh, walk, and talk with each other. That’s the kind of wife I was looking for.)

When he was 20 years old, his great ruler brother, the king, was involved in a horse accident. When his brother’s horse suddenly bolted towards the cliff, Lute, who was with him, spurred his horse and ordered him to jump off.

This caused his brother to lose his balance and become paralyzed, but if he hadn’t jumped out of that, his brother would have died on his horse.

His brother has become frail and unable to participate in politics. The doctors also predicted that producing heirs would be difficult.

So the throne was bestowed upon Lute, the healthy one. “I’m sorry, Lute,” his brother said as he sat in his chair, a pained expression on his face. Lute supported his brother, promised to protect the country, and was awarded the throne.

Because Lute was inept at politics, he decided to rely on others. Fortunately, the castle had excellent ministers and bureaucrats, and his knightly friends assisted him, so Lute was able to manage his affairs as king.

However, a problem arose.

Marriage.

“Because Aloysius-sama has no children,” the prime minister says, “His Majesty must produce an heir.” There is a royal bloodline to be found, but having a son by the Queen is preferable.

Lute was determined to carry out his responsibilities as king, and he was looking for a partner who would support the kingdom and live with him for the rest of his life, but…

“In this case, I guess I’ll have to set my opinion aside and go with the lady everyone suggests as my queen…”

“That’s a possibility, but Your Majesty isn’t particularly gifted at keeping quiet, so I’m sure you’ll make the Queen cry.”

“I suppose…”

Samuel is correct.

Lute believes he is capable of saying, “You’re really not my type, but I’m married to you, so I’ll love you dearly.” He could only imagine a future in which everyone was unhappy.

Thus, while killing demons and playing politics, King Lute was arranging blind dates with prospective queens’, only to break up with them in an awkward atmosphere when the conversation didn’t get off the ground.

But when he was twenty-two years old, the mission to slay the evil dragon took place.

That’s where Lute met the woman of his dreams.

“Samuel. Why can’t “she” marry?”

“That is because she is the goddess’s beloved daughter.”

Lute, who had been slumped at his desk, groaned sadly as Samuel said what you’d find on the first page of a theology textbook.

“I understand… But that’s fine. The Star Goddess has so many daughters, even if I get one…”

“No, you can’t. You’ll make enemies with the Star Goddess Church if you take her away against her will. After all, the opposing party is now a Saint who towers over everyone…”

“I know…”

Lute exhaled a deep sigh.

Stacey Rithberth, daughter of the Count of Rithberth and a priestess of the Star Goddess Church, is the name of the woman he is currently thinking about.

At the recent camp for the campaign to defeat the demonic dragon, Lute spoke with Stacey. And so he experienced his first love at the age of twenty-something.

Samuel thought his ears had rotted when he first heard this. But the prince was serious: he had fallen in love with the priestess, the star goddess’s daughter.

Stacey had a lively personality for a noblewoman, and she and Lute would exchange a few words and jokes and laugh during their camp breaks.

She was also a good priestess, and the poisoned blood that was all over Lute’s body after he cut off the dragon’s head was kept away by her magic.

Lute was able to return home without being poisoned as a result of this.

She is a strong-willed, intelligent priestess. And according to his research, Stacey’s stoicism in carrying out her duties at Star Goddess Church, as well as her ability to punish the wicked, have earned her the support of the priestesses, particularly the High Priestess.

So Lute has fallen in love with the goddess’s daughter, a woman who must keep her celibacy and purity as long as she is a priestess.

“Well, if a priestess and saint return to the mortal realm, they can still marry and have children. But only if they’re willing.”

“Yes…that’s right. But, Miss Stacey appears to be leading an active life in the church, and I’m sure she doesn’t want to be returned.”

“…”

Samuel turns to face Lute, who has his head in his hands.

(Forcing her is against religious principles… and I doubt His Majesty will do so.)

Taking a returned priestess as your wife requires a great deal of resolve.

The goddess has a soft spot in her heart for her daughters but no mercy for men who make her cry. If a former priestess is married but unhappy, the high-priestess does not hesitate to excommunicate her husband.

Not to mention she’s the Saint. The high-priestess will crush Lute to the ground, even if he’s the king.

“…Well, you have no choice but to end your relationship with your lovely first love and marry another woman.”

“I suppose so.”

Samuel thinks to himself as he pats the king on the back and sends him off to dinner.

He wishes Lute a happy marriage.

He’s been through so much that he deserves to have some time alone with the Queen.

(…I’ll do what I can, Your Majesty.)

The knight said it only in his heart.

Chapter 9: The King Is Ready To Get Married

Then one day, a turning point came.

“… Whoa, seriously…”

Samuel dashes off to the king’s chambers.

“Please excuse my interruption, Your Majesty.”

“Please come in. Is there a problem?”

“Yes, Your Majesty, Miss Stacey is looking for a husband!”

“…”

As Samuel rushed into the office, Lute greeted him with a calm look.

But Samuel recognizes that this is not calm, but rather a pause in thought after hearing something unexpected.

“… Ha?”

“Countess Stacey Rithberth is still looking for a husband!”

“… What the… Seriously?!”

“Here are the details of the conditions for Miss Stacey’s husband.”

“Conditions for Husband Recruitment.”

Lute took the papers Samuel was holding and flipped through them quickly. Then he carefully read each item once more.

“…”

“…”

“… Hey, Samuel.”

“What is it?”

“Can I… be conceited?”

Lute looked up from the paper and couldn’t help his voice from breaking.

Stacey had the following requirements for a husband.

・Must spoil Stacey

・Exceptionally gentle

・Must be faithful and never cheat on her.

・Stacey is not allowed to do any housework at all.

・Height must be at least 38 Tor

・Like’s cat

・Must be rich (with an annual income of at least 200 000 kururu).

・Muscular and able to smash a brick block with one hand]

“I only care about Miss Stacey, and I’m sure I can spoil her until she’s mellow and tender…”

“H-Huh…”

“Hey, don’t make stupid noises. And then… because she’ll be queen, she won’t have to do the housework, and I’m tall and already have several cats.”

“Your Majesty likes small animals, doesn’t he?”

“Because they’re adorable. And I have a lot of money. And―Samuel!”

“I had a feeling you’d say “that,” so I brought you one.”

“Great!”

Lute stands up with a joyful expression on his face and accepts a brick block that Samuel has plucked out of thin air. They are a good size and are frequently used in gardens.

“Let’s do it!”

“Wait a second. I’ll lay down a sheet.”

“You’re very clever; that’s what I’m talking about.”

Lute grabs the brick block with his dominant right hand after Samuel has laid the sheet and…

Hmph!”

“…”

“…Whoa-ohh!”

“It cracked.”

With a strange bang, the brick block cracked. It made the fine jacket Lute was wearing turn reddish brown.

“Fuu… I couldn’t crush it all at once. And just because something cracks doesn’t mean it shatters. This will take some practice.”

“Yes—I am confident that Your Majesty will be able to do so one day.”

Samuel nodded, signaling the servants waiting outside the door to sweep the sheets. He appeared to realize that it was better to let the king do his thing rather than rush in.

“These conditions… It’s almost as if they’re describing me. Miss Stacey’s trying to appeal to me by listing these conditions? She’s ready to return to mortal society…does she like me enough to want to come back?”

“Well, I suppose so…”

Samuel cleared his throat after observing the good king fidget with a deadpan expression.

“So, His Majesty plans to marry Miss Stacey?”

“Yes!”

“And what if she says no? Will you use your power to make her queen?”

“No! I want to court her in the most peaceful way possible, and I want Miss Stacey to be happy that we’re engaged.”

“…I understand…”

Samuel’s eyes had been deadpan until that point, but he smiled slightly.

No matter how close Samuel was to the king, he would have been willing to chastise Lute if he tried to force a relationship with the saint.

“Alright! I’ll practice my brick-crushing and get in shape before proposing to Miss Stacey! Is that all right?”

“Hmm… I’m sure the ministers who want their daughters to be queens will object, but it’s best for the queen to be the woman his majesty desires. And because she is a former saint, she is powerful enough that the nobles will not exploit her. As long as your majesty is kind to Miss Stacey, we can have a good relationship with the Star Goddess Church, so it’s probably a good thing.”

Frankly speaking, it’s much better than having a traditional noble lady as a queen.

Miss Stacey appears to be strong-willed and bold in a good way, so if she’s willing to accept it, she’d make a formidable queen.

“Because Your Majesty is so direct, I will do my best to cooperate with you. I will do everything in my power to persuade the ministers.”

“Samuel…! I’m fortunate to have you as a subordinate!”

“R-Right. Would you like me to take your height just to be sure?”

“Huh? Yeah, I’m wondering how many tor I am. About 39 tor maybe?”

“…Not nearly enough, your Majesty.”

“…”

“…”

“…Samuel…Oh no…I’m too short…”

“Well, Miss Stacey most likely specified 38 tor as the height standard, so I’m sure she’ll forgive you if you’re a little short.”

“Well… I’m wondering if drinking milk will help me grow taller.”

“That’s what they say… but at your age, it’s impossible…”

“…”

In regards to his “short stature”, Samuel told him, “If she says no, we give up,” so Lute decided he couldn’t help himself.

After much practice, Lute finally managed to crush a brick block with a single blow, and they nervously prepared for the courtship as they made their way to the Count of Rithberth’s estate.

The castle servants waited with bated breath to see if His Majesty’s courtship would be successful.

A few hours later, the King returned to the castle with Stacey Rithberth on his shoulders and a broad smile on his face, and everyone welcomed them with thunderous applause.

~END~

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