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.
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.