Chapter 3 - tower

On that day, the people who were huddled together against the wall of the room, shivering, were all women.

The identity of these women were the three princesses of the kingdom of Lentria – my two older sisters, me, and a few maidservants.

We were trapped on the top floor of the south tower, all huddled together helplessly, staring at the door.

The south tower was a stargazing tower, and on nights when I climbed to the top floor, I would even turn off the candelabra lights and open the windows to enjoy the beauty of the stars in the sky.

There, the stained glass windows had star designs embedded on them, and placed in front of them were the neatly arranged altar.

The castle had a chapel, of course, but the tower room was supposed to be a lovely place to get close to the stars, not a space of austerity.

The five-colored light oozing from the stained glass windows gradually became brighter and brighter, signaling the coming of dawn.

On an overhanging shelf by the door, the candles that the maids had tried so hard to light when they first fled still cast a thin, flickering light.

The thick, single-panel door, its handles bolted, floated next to the light.

It was the only thing that separated us from the demons, and would soon be crushed by the demons’ strong arms.

It was obvious that there was a demon on the other side of the door.

The eerie sounds of pushing and leaning had been going on for quite some time, but they finally turned into banging and there were sounds of something physical hitting the door, which were getting more and more intense.

I didn’t know how many of them there were. It could be just one.

But whether there were one or ten, it didn’t matter. Even if there were ten of them, the first one that came in could easily turn all of us into his slaves.

With each creak of the door, the stifled screams and sobs of the maids filled the room.

The princesses did not cry – they were determined to hold on to their pride until the end.

They would not fall into the hands of the demons, not in an unsightly and distraught way.

I made a strong vow to myself, but inwardly my fear was probably no different from that of the other maidens. Having witnessed the transformation of the victims in front of their eyes, the fear that crept upon them was overwhelming, regardless of their status.

The door swung open and the flames of the candelabra shook with the sound of an exceptionally loud physical blow.

My oldest sister (the first princess) whispered in a prepared voice.

“…… It’s coming.”

Her voice was shaky, but her face was perfectly beautiful as always, and her demeanor calm.

She looked deeply into the eyes of her two younger sisters, who were standing close to each other, and smiled as she spoke.

“I’m so glad that the last thing I will see is your lovely faces. From the bottom of my heart, I’m so proud that you are looking back at me in such an honorable manner, as the princess of Lentoria.”

The sobbing of the maids drowned out and only for a moment, so was the unbearable noise on the other side of the door.

She lifted her white fist and held a blade usually used for self-defense in her hand.

Of course, my second sister had one in her hand as well. She had not forgotten to take it when she fled from the bedroom in a panic.

The head maid said with tears in her eyes.

“We will be with you soon. Please allow us to use the same blade.”

My elder sister nodded.
“I hope you can forgive me for not being able to protect you. You have served me well. Thank you so much.”

The princesses were the only ones who brought out their daggers, and so was the first person to use them.

The thin, polished blade was placed against the neck of my elder sister.

There was no hesitation in the blade, and there was already no time for hesitation.

If she didn’t do it before the door was breached, it would all be for nothing.

It had to be done now, at this moment. Now…

“Ethel.”

My second sister, the second princess, with her dagger pressed against her neck, looked at me with a furrowed brow.

I’m not sure what to make of this.

“Why are you hesitating? You were just praised by your sister.”

“I’m sorry. But ……”

“It is not only the eldest princess who is proud. You, the youngest, are undoubtedly worthy of being the princess of Lentoria.”

“Of course. But I want …… find another way to …… “

“Are you going to live like this and become an incubus?” 

“No.”

“Are you willing to become a filthy monster?”

I shook my head desperately. “Before it happens. I’m determined to choose death. It’s the same for me.”

It’s just that I haven’t fought it yet. I’m not even sure I’ve properly assessed the enemy.

Of course, I knew that even if I did, I wouldn’t stand a chance in hell of winning, but…

Notes

N/A

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