The Cocoon Blooms
A cocoon of pure white light had formed, and in the distance, there were numerous other white pillars of light stretching into the sky. The emotions of the hunters who watched on were mixed.
Confusion, fear, anger, surprise – and above all, admiration.
It was only natural for the hunters to be in awe of the abilities that were far beyond their level.
It was amazing. Far too amazing.
The knight captain had been defeated without Veena even raising a finger. She had power equal to an entire squad of knights… No, exceeding that.
The hunters had a lot of pride in the S-rank who had decided to settle in their town.
“Astounding, so that’s the power that she used to defeat the dragon!”
“If it’s like this, we don’t ever need nobles to defend our town!”
“This is a blessing from heaven. Heaven has sent our town such a mighty warrior.”
But, some voices rose in dissent.
“Hey, wait, don’t the knights only ever go after criminals?”
“That’s right. Shouldn’t we hand her over to protect the peace of the town?”
“Ahh… We certainly owe her our gratitude after she saved us from the dragon, but we have to think about what’s best for the city. If we defend a criminal, won’t the government view our entire town as another Hell slum?”
Their argument isn’t wrong. Of course, they don’t want to sell out their saviour. But, if they had to balance their fondness of Veena and their wish to see Takrath be safe and peaceful, the latter will always win out.
Even so, some people disagreed.
“Are you really going to betray the person who saved all our lives? If she hadn’t been there, everyone in Takrath would be digesting in a dragon’s belly right now.”
“Yeah, that’s right! I don’t want to see Takrath turn into another Hell, but we have to hear her out first.”
Once again, another solid argument. But there are still people unhappy with it.
It was then that someone picked up on the real heart of the story.
“That’s right. What about Yua? Is she going to get caught up in all this as well?”
“Yua… Wait a minute. Didn’t that knight say something like ‘Princess Yua’ just before?”
It was Gremlin who had picked up on that crucial piece of information, and she began to understand the full picture.
But, having been born and raised in such a remote region of the country, the other hunters don’t know much about what happens in the capital.
“That’s what she said, but what does that mean?”
“Princess Yua… Could that child be someone important?”
“Yes”, Gremlin said, and then spoke the truth.
“That child is the third daughter of the Royal Family of the Kingdom of Lafalis. In other words, a Princess.”
After a moment of stunned silence, everyone exploded into voice all at once.
“A princess…? Don’t be ridiculous!
“…What are you trying to say? That Veena is a criminal who kidnapped a princess!?”
Since she doesn’t know all the details yet, Gremlin replies with a “No,” but that doesn’t stop her from conjecturing.
“I don’t think that’s the case. If she had been forcibly kidnapped against her will, that wouldn’t explain why she’s so healthy and cheery every day. I don’t know all the details, but to me they seem to be happy together.”
Gremlin approached the cocoon of light that enveloped Veena and the brown-skinned knight as she made her thoughts known.
“Well, of course, I’ll get all the information out of them as soon as I have the opportunity.”
The white cocoon unfolded from the top and began to bloom like a budding flower.
And from it emerged Veena who had cast the magic, and the female knight who despite her heavy breathing looks like someone had taken very good care of her skin.
What happened in there? As she wonders that, Gremlin noticed that all the male hunters had gulped after seeing how lustrous the female knight looked after emerging from the cocoon.
Whilst silently cursing the noisy men behind her, she considered the mysterious sight before her.
The blooming cocoon had spread like petals on the ground and had begun to melt as if they were snowflakes on a summer day.
She couldn’t take her eyes off this beautiful sight for a while.
It was the same for everyone else once they saw the girl who stood at the centre of that beauty, adjusting her bluish black hair with a smile on her face.
Why did this even need to be its own chapter