Princess Venezuela faced Lakshman with a blushing smile on her face and said “Like I said, be my boyfriend and marry me!”
Lakshman, who had gone into shock, was speechless. At first, he believed it to be a dream, but he had just heard the Decisive Player advice. So he was forced to rule out the possibility of this being a dream. Even so, he could not believe the princess was openly confessing to him after threatening him.
“U-U-Um… W-W-What? Huh? B-B-B-Boyfriend? M-M-Marriage? What? Ah…!”
He was at a total loss for words and his brain was not functioning properly. Hearing her sudden demand, he felt lost. Only moments ago, the princess had threatened him she will label him a bad person that the world will hate. Now he found it highly disbelieving at the sudden words of the princess.
She smiled and said “Calm down. Breathe slowly and easily to relax.”
“R-Right…” Lakshman said and he performed the deep intake and smooth release of his breathing. Once he finally calmed down, the shock of her words hit him anew and he exclaimed “EEEEEHH?!”
She shook her head and said “You need to learn to relax.”
“B-B-B-B-But princess…! What’s the meaning of this? Boyfriend? Marriage? What?!” he asked in a desperate voice.
“It’s just as you heard, Lakshman. I want you to be my boyfriend and then, later in life, marry me,” she said before smiling sweetly at him.
He widened his eyes and asked “You’re not serious?!”
She nodded at him and said “I am. Even since I was just a kid, I’ve always admired the bravery and the might of the Phoenix Titan. I’ve read many stories of his past adventurers and achievements along with the numerous battles he waged to save the world. I loved him since then and you finally came, Phoenix Titan.”
“Uh… I don’t mean to be a dream smasher, but princess… those were in the past. Those are the legends of the past Phoenix Titans that can before me. I haven’t done anything to make a legend of myself just yet.”
“Of course, but that’s simple because of how young you are. Even so, that idea with the calendar system was approved by father and he will be making it public in a few days’ time.”
“Seriously? I haven’t heard anything about it.”
“That is because you were very busy with your studies that you did not pay any attention to the news. Rumours have started to spread about the yearly calendar system you implemented. Additionally, I believe you have been thinking of some other ideas as well. Am I correct in saying that?”
“W-Well… I can’t say that’s not true, but those ideas were just things that I’ve been thinking about on the side,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders.
Since the knowledge of the calendar, he had been thinking of various other things. One thing he noticed was how the official ranks of the people with their magic and weapon skills. On his Adventurer Card, he had become a B-Ranked Adventurer after three years of constantly entering labyrinths in Rodfox region.
So he wanted a way for the natural forces to identify what rank a person is instead of them telling the people. The person could be deceiving which could lead to great problems. So he began working on a Magic Formula to work out a way to identify the ranks easily.
“It’s still only theory, but never mind that now,” he said and he returned to the main topic.
“Yes?” she asked him curiously.
“Why are you confessing to me right now? Aren’t you aware that I already have four others whom I dearly care for? Are you perhaps trying to monopolise me and push them away from me?”
Venezuela looked startled by his words and quickly shook her head. In a reassuring voice, she said “No, no, no! I have no such ulterior motives whatsoever!”
Then she moved closer to him while speaking softly.
“Can’t you feel it in my eyes? My power? My words? My wisdom? Or do I look like an ever day person to you?”
“Every day person? That’s funny, but seriously! I’ve learnt that woman are good at hiding their feelings when they want to, unlike the boys. We tend to be straightforward and direct which is why we are mostly referred to as thorns while the girls are the smiting images of flowers.”
She chuckled, but she seriously looked at him intently and said “I speak the truth. I do wish to be with you and I will not take you away from the girls whom you care so deeply! I have no such illogical designs.”
At that moment, a voice from behind them said “Yes! You certainly don’t have such bad ideas, princess Venezuela!”
Lakshman stiffened when he recognised whom that voice belonged to. Then he turned around and saw, to his surprise, the girls whom he loved greatly; Ondine, Tetra, Emilia and Cantia. He could see Ondine and Tetra with suspicious looks on their faces while Emilia looked agitated and Cantia looking curious as always.
“Ondine, Tetra, Emilia and Cantia! W-What brings you here so early in the morning?” he asked hastily.
As the girls walked closer to him, Tetra said “Don’t you remember, Lucky? We agreed to train together during the four day break from school. Remember?”
“Ah… Oh… Oh yeah! I did say that, didn’t I…? Haha,” Lakshman said and he laughed feebly.
“Yes, you did, but I never expected to find the surprise of seeing you and the princess being so intimate,” Tetra said suspiciously as she eyed him and Venezuela.
Lakshman instantly recognised the rising problem and quickly said “No way! I didn’t do anything! Seriously! The princess wanted to talk to me in the today and wanted to train with me which I seemed to have forgotten that I would be training with you girls as well. I never expected the princess to confess to me like this…!”
“Oh…? Does that mean you anticipated that she would fall in love with you…?” Tetra asked shrewdly.
“What?! No! Of course not!” he said instantly. Then he turned to look at Emilia and Cantia as he said “Please believe me. I have no reason to hide things from you!”
Emilia and Cantia looked at each other. Then they came to a decision and they nodded their heads in unison.
“I believe in Lucky. I don’t believe he would do anything that will leave us out,” Emilia said to Ondine and Tetra.
“Yeah! I’m agreeing with Emilia here! You two need to calm down and think this through!” Cantia said and she looked irritably at the two other girls.
Ondine raised an eyebrow and asked “Oh…? Are you picking a fight with me, Cantia?”
Cantia shrugged her shoulders and said “You call yourself to be strength, yet you totally ignore how desperately he is trying to make us believe in him. Isn’t that enough to see master’s love for us or are you blind to it?”
Ondine looked surprised at her words and she made a sad expression on her face. Tetra came to her rescue and said “Seriously… Can’t you take the hint that I was joking all this time?”
When the girls shrugged their shoulders, Cantia looked back and said “Well… I can’t say I’m surprised there’s somebody else who loves master, however… make sure to follow our lead, princess.”
Venezuela was surprised by the firmness in Tetra’s voice. Then she smiled cheekily and hugged Lakshman’s other arm much to the surprise of the girls.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t need advice of a consort!” she said to them with a smiling face.
“What?! Consort? Just for the records, we’ve lived together for more than three years!”
“Oh really? Well then, I loved him ever since my childhood!”
“That was the Phoenix Titans of the past!”
“He’s a Phoenix Titan as well and will also create legends like the past lives.”
“Yes he will, but please let go! We are also his lovers!”
“No can do! I will never let him go!”
Lakshman was being pulled this way and that way. He somehow became the object of a game between the five girls. Knowing this, he got very annoyed until he finally lost his patience.
“Stop it! All of you!” he said loudly and startled the girls into stopping. He looked at both of them and said “Stop using me as some sort of tug-o-rock game! Seriously! I might lose an arm one day!”
“W-W-We’re truly sorry! We got carried away by our feelings!” Ondine apologised deeply and the other girls followed.
Lakshman tested his arms and was satisfied that he was safe. Then he looked at the princess curiously. Even though she had confessed to him and told him the reason, he still found a hole in the way she confessed to him. It was almost as if she was hiding something from them which he noted from how she threatened him a few minutes ago.
Deciding the voice his doubts, he asked “Princess, why did you confess to me after waiting three long weeks? I think you should’ve had plenty of reason to believe I am the Phoenix Titan if you overheard me and Felix talking about the calendar plans and stuff.”
The princess looked surprised for a moment as she went silent. Then she turned her head away to avoid making eye contact. He had seen this so often he immediately understood there was something wrong.
“Did something happen to make you wait so long?” Emilia asked which surprised Lakshman because he was going to ask that very same question.
Venezuela looked at Emilia and said “I’m sorry I did not speak about this sooner, but I had to be sure. For all I know, you could have fooled Felix by using a high level Illusion Magic Spell on yourself to appear as the Phoenix Titan.”
Lakshman appeared to be surprised as he said “Ah. I suppose that is possible.”
“I couldn’t take the chance of being outright wrong so I waited three whole weeks to make sure. During that time, I researched your family using my political connections and asking people around. That was when I finally remembered the boy from three years ago with blond hair and a red crown shaped eyes.”
He was surprised, but he also knew that might have been the case. The princess, like everyone else, only recognised him by his Phoenix Titan transformation and forgot how he looked normally. He did find it strange that she did not piece it together when he told her his name when his name was rarely used name.
“Anyway. I waited three weeks because that’s the amount of time my father granted me.”
“Your father? Why? Does he know that I’m the Phoenix Titan?” he asked while looking surprised.
She shook her head and said “No. That time was for a different reason completely.”
“Different reason? What is that reason, princess?” Cantia asked curiously.
Venezuela looked down at her hands and sighed. Then she looked at them and said “The fact is, my father has prepared for me to marry the prince of Mardana Kingdom.”
There was a moment of silence as they digested this. Then Emilia asked “M-Marry the prince of Mardana Kingdom?”
Venezuela nodded her head at her and said “That’s right. Due to the trouble with the demon army three years ago, our kingdom took a lot of help from the Mardana Kingdom. As such, we owe their kingdom a lot of debt. Because of this, my father believed it was the right decision to marry me off to the prince as a show of appreciation.”
“I see… A political marriage…” Ondine said with distaste.
“What’s wrong, Ondine?” Lakshman asked her when he noticed something strange from the way she said those words.
Ondine looked at him and said “I don’t get it, Lucky. People should marry those that you wish to be with forever, not because of obligation or duty. I understand the reason behind the king’s actions, but it’s unfair the princess does not get to choose her own path. She’s not a puppet or a doll to be used as they liked.”
Venezuela nodded at her and said “That maybe the case, but I have a duty to perform as the princess of Floria Kingdom. My mother tried to convince father, but it was no use. It seemed the other party are also interested to see their princess and me getting married.”
Lakshman nodded in understanding and said “I see…” Then he looked sad as he said “So that’s why you said you loved me and me to marry you. You’re doing it because you’re using my, the Phoenix Titan, as an excuse to reject the marriage.”
Lakshman sighed with a small chuckle. He thought he was a fool to believe that all girls would be like Ondine, Tetra, Emilia and Cantia. They loved him because of the things he had done for them which did not involve obligation.
Ondine was his Slave Spirit, Emilia was his Human Slave, Tetra was his Contracted Spirit and Cantia was destined to be with him. Even though they are all obligations, he had never once treated them as nuisance or play things. The girls loved him honestly and they cared for each other dearly.
Venezuela widened her eyes in shock at those sad words. To their surprise, she grabbed his face and pulled him close to her until they were only centimetres away. Lakshman blinked in surprise at suddenly finding himself up close to Venezuela’s face.
“Please believe me, Lakshman. My feelings for you are as honest as the words I speak. I have no reason to lie to you nor hide the truth from the person I love. You are right in saying I do love the legendary Phoenix Titan, but I’ve loved you ever since you saved me three years ago.”
He widened his eyes in surprise and he slowly said “Wait… You don’t mean…”
She nodded and said “That’s right. The night of the banquet, you knocked down those rowdy noblemen with nothing, but your finger. You did it because they were mistreating the ladies whom you love so dearly. That’s when my love for you strengthened as I recalled the history of the past Phoenix Titans. I knew you were different, but the same Phoenix Titan whom I loved.”
Lakshman became embarrassed by her words and he made a stiff smile. He was actually not happy with what he did that night three years ago.
“I… I’m sorry about that time. I got really angry about how they were treating Ondine, Tetra and Emilia so I manhandled them.”
On the spur of the moment and in the heat of his anger, he knocked those noblemen out with nothing, but his strength and that was going easy on them. If he had truly wanted to hurt them, he could have easily buried them into the ground with each blow.
“I think that was the correct choice you made. Those noblemen got what they deserved.”
The princess was understanding and caring even if she has that nasty side to her. She is certainly haughty because of her upraising and can want to do things her way, even by force. Lakshman did not mind them at all and liked them because those were her qualities as a woman.
He realised the smell coming from her was really good. He was aware of the scent of Ondine, Tetra, Emilia and Cantia which he had smelled due to being constantly on the receiving end of their hugs. They were nice, but the smell wafted from the princess was pleasant and nice.
Just then, Ondine cleared her throat a little louder than usual. It surprised Lakshman and Venezuela to their surroundings and she let go of him.
“Please keep your romantic behaviour elsewhere when we aren’t around…” Ondine said with her clenched fists.
“S-Sorry…!” Lakshman and Venezuela said in unison.
Emilia sighed and asked “What will you do next, princess?”
“Father has asked to bring my boyfriend to see him tomorrow. It seems he wishes to see him and the prince of Mardana Kingdom together at the same time,” Venezuela informed them.
“It looks like your father is being cautious since he might’ve thought you lied when you said you had a lover,” Cantia said and Venezuela nodded at her.
“I thought so as well. So I kept the information regarding Lakshman being the Phoenix Titan a secret and will introduce him as my love interest. It seems Lakshman wanted to hide his true identity as well for some reason.”
“Yeah… There are other matters that makes me want to hide it. So I’m glad I’ll be introduced as Lakshman Chand instead of the Phoenix Titan,” he told them.
Lakshman was referring to the Demon Slayer Sacred Spirit that lay sealed beneath the academy grounds. Sevedant, the Death Titan and the ghost, Spectra, had urged him to keep silent about it until the time was right. He has not seen the Death Titan in all this time so he guessed the guy was busily doing his job in finding the Demon Dragon Kind, Razzel’s whereabouts.
“Anyway! Please look after me from now on since we all madly in love with this dashing handsome man!” Venezuela said before winking at them.
“Yes, but I’m first! So let go of master already!” Ondine said and she walked over to her.
“No!” Venezuela said indignantly and the girls resumed their pulling of his arms.
“Please let go of me! I’m not a tug-o-rock to play with!” Lakshman said and he broke free from the girls.
Finally free, he began running towards the arena to begin his morning training which was already delayed.
“What?! Come back!” the girls shouted and they ran after him.
As he ran, he tiredly thought “Dear god… Please give me a break!”