༺ Story of the Small Devil ༻
Right now I am crossing through the street of an Empire swirling with cold air on my carriage.
On one side sat Lulu, wearing the clothes I’d recently gifted her, playfully blowing warm air onto my cheeks. And on my other side was Irina who was looking at me anxiously with her clenched fists and prickling ears.
In the midst of this daily occurrence, which I had grown so accustomed to, a sudden call disrupted the familiar atmosphere, taking a different turn than usual.
I grunted, thinking it might be Kania informing me that Serena, who always seemed to miss me, was pining for my attention. However, when I reached for my phone, it was none other than Isolet on the other end.
The memories from a week ago still echoed vividly in my mind, making my heart race as her voice reached my ears.
-Did you remember… the appointment we made back then?
…I didn’t know why but her voice sounded quite tired.
“Huh? I’m not sure”
I replied with a gleam in my eyes, seizing the opportunity to engage in a genuine conversation with her.
“But Sister, you sound exhausted? Are you training?”
-Hua.. then, then…
“Huum, so it’s like that. You used to train tirelessly without fatigue in the past. It seems age is finally catching up with you.”
With that, the harsh sound of breathing on the other end abruptly stopped.
“Well, Sister, you’re not in the best shape right now, are you? I wouldn’t want to get training from a toothless tiger…”
I spoke with a sly grin, hoping to avoid the impending training session.
I wasn’t sure why, but I flinched when Isolet’s voice turned hoarse. It was the same voice she used when she grabbed my neck a week ago.
-Anyway, it looks like we’ll have to postpone the training until tomorrow.
She then answered using the same tone.
-I have been looking forward to today, but it seems like my body won’t cooperate.
I gulped hard after hearing her.
-It’s, it’s because of your antics; my anger has built up too much. If I’m not careful, I might just accidentally kill you. So, I’ll need to cool off before we proceed tomorrow.
“If, if it’s that severe then I don’t need to do it…”
Isolet repeated her words and I earnestly answered her.
-If you don’t come with a valid excuse, I’ll visit your house as your teacher.
Her answer came quickly.
-And at that time… you better be prepared.
She seemed out of breath and her voice trailed off, followed by the abrupt click as my phone’s screen turned off.
The two girls that were leaning beside me then started to stare at me quietly.
[Brother, what have you done to Sister Isolet?
Why did she ask me to send her your picture?!]
Suddenly, I remembered the letter I received from my sister a few days ago.
As expected, it was consistent with the Conquest Progress and the conversation that had just occurred. Except for Lulu, Isolet’s state was the most serious one amongst the sub-heroines.
My expression grew serious as I contemplated the situation. Lulu, who clung to me, spoke softly.
“You can go ahead, Master. Don’t worry; I’ll be right beside you,”
“…You guys heard that? It’s an emergency. Get your spirits on standby”
Then Irina suddenly took out her communication device and busied herself calling someone.
Even with the two girls clinging on my sides, an inexplicable unease coursed through my body, sending shivers down my spine.
The coachman announced as such, indicating that we had reached our destination. I gathered myself and slowly prepared to disembark.
“Frey, will you really be okay going alone?”
Then Irina cautiously asked me.
“Every ice mage in this world has an ugly personality. It’s a well-known fact among mages.”
“…Is that so?”
“Yeah. Try to remember that Archmage of the Hero’s Party member from a thousand years ago.”
I unconsciously tilted my head upon hearing those words.
Because amongst the things mentioned in the prophecy written by my ancestor, there was a significant portion written about the Archmage that Irina was talking about.
“Anyway, just be careful. If you encounter danger, just shout. Ice can never win against fire. I will melt it all.”
“You will really call out right?
“The piece of ice inside your body could be activated temporarily if you meet her, so be careful. If such a thing happens, I’ll handle it for you…”
“I said I will.”
I nodded repeatedly, reassuring Irina. After the carriage completely stopped, I stepped out to turn back and headed to the secret meeting.
Soon I saw a cafe that was not so big and not so little, but just right in size.
I didn’t see anyone inside, so they probably rented the whole cafe. It seemed like no matter how small the nation was, a princess was still a princess.
With such thoughts, I opened the door and entered the cafe where I found Aishi sitting, sipping her tea.
She was sitting in her seat with a slightly guarded expression. When our eyes met, a silence filled over the cafe.
“Come and sit.”
Aishi finally spoke in a low voice, breaking the silence.
I replied and made my way toward her.
I frowned when I noticed that the floor rapidly froze starting from where she was seated.
‘Now, what is this…’
It seemed like I had to figure out her intention no matter what.
It would be hard for ordinary people.
However, for me I had the system’s ‘mind reading’ skill.
The icy patterns began to spread across the floor from her direction. Aishi’s eyes sparkled with anticipation as she watched him closely.
‘Did he stumble? Will he fall?”
Frey, who was often described as a scoundrel and a fool, continued to maintain his blank expression, but it was becoming apparent that he was about to fall victim to her prank.
Frey, who was walking toward her, was slowly getting closer. Then, right as the ice covered the ground right in front of him…
Frey suddenly stopped in place.
Because of it, Aishi, who was sipping her tea with her usual cold expression while trying to conceal her anticipation, unconsciously lets out a dejected voice.
Once again, silence engulfed the room.
‘As expected, I…”
Aishi began to mutter to herself in the midst of the silence, still maintaining her cold expression.
‘…Can’t make it work.’
When she was young, Aishi was quite famous as her kingdom’s trouble maker.
Considering her position as the youngest of the many royal descendants, it was somewhat only natural for her to do so.
“Brother~! Let’s play~!”
“Aishi, let’s play later, okay? Right now I…”
“You already feel tired? You are such a weak Brother.”
Also Aishi’s brothers and sisters thought that she was a very cute child.
As the last in line and with very little possibility of vying for the throne, she was seen as a cute and mischievous little sister.
“This child… she seems to be able to control her Devil transformation.”
“After a hundred years… A true Half-Devil has finally appeared.”
One day, her parents had suspicions because she continuously didn’t transform into a Devil. As such, they called an Archmage for input. The Archmage declared that she was ‘True Hal-Devil’. And this declaration changed her life completely.
For the royal family of Aishi’s kingdom, hiding their true identity was the utmost priority.
With Aishi’s newfound ability to control the transformation, it only made sense for her to become the heir to the throne.
“Bro, Brother? Are you not going to play with me today?”
“Are you tired already? Brother you are so weak…”
Because of it, her siblings instantly turned hostile. They didn’t give in to her playfulness anymore.
“Aishi, you are now the Crown Princess who will lead the kingdom in the future.”
“So, you need to fix your attitude.”
This stung her deeply, as her parents’ words were not words of comfort, but rather, stern advice.
“You can’t cry, Princess. Since ancient times a royal…”
“No! I hate everything!”
At that time she was only a child. She had always been showered with love, making it impossible for her to endure such a situation.
“Being the Crown Princess, the royal lessons, this power too. I hate everything! I just… wanted to have fun and play pranks…!”
Hence, she could only loathe the power that took away all the sincere attention and love from the people she cared about most.
“Aishi is… terminally ill?”
“There is no other choice. We can only adjust the succession rank.”
One day, during an examination, it was discovered that she had an innate ‘Frozen Heart Curse’ and as a result, her succession rank fell to the very bottom once again.
“Leave it in the front.”
As the time went by, her heart grew colder, so she could only close her heart to everyone.
– You hate everyone, right? Take my hand and I will give you the power to repay all of them.
With her heart closed, Aishi stayed locked in her room.
One day, she frantically resisted the frightening voice that started whispering inside her head.
– Aiya. Don’t be like that
“I, I don’t want to!”
At times, she would succumb to the voice and explode with anger.
It slowly started festering inside her.
“You say… the ship carrying the royal family is missing?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
What truly allowed her to regain her freedom and life was the ‘Slave Market Liberation’ incident that happened a few months ago.
She felt a sense of freedom when she finally left the solitary room she had been staying in for so long and headed for the Sunrise Empire.
She also felt alive when she met her locked brothers and sisters and rescued them.
And most importantly, the ‘Frozen Heart Curse’ binding her could be temporarily removed, allowing her frozen heart to gradually thaw. Her old personality began to resurface.
“Princess, please restrain yourself.”
However, What came back wasn’t only her personality.
“You are the one who will lead this kingdom in the future, right? We can only tolerate so much.”
“Tolerate? Until now…?”
“Who would fall for your silly prank, Princess? Please, get a hold of yourself.”
Believing that her curse had vanished, the kingdom restored her position as the throne’s successor, her duties, and the responsibilities of a future Queen.
By successfully carrying out the rescue, she regained the love of her siblings and the people around her to some extent.
However, this incident caused the royal authority to weaken to the extent that she even had to be cautious around her subordinates.
“If you pull another prank, I will quit being your attendant.”
“Eu, euh… Sorry.”
Even the attendant that she pulled her prank on looked at her with cold eyes.
Of course the pranks she could come up with, being raised in a sheltered environment, were of a rather low standard. Nobody was fooled.
The attendant thought that she was a little pitiful. However, they had grown tired of dealing with pranks that no one else would even entertain.
As such, those actions were not something that even an attendant could endure.
So when Frey, her last hope, didn’t fall to her prank, her head drooped and she started groaning.
“This…This isn’t what I wanted…”
Tears streamed down her face without her realizing.
“I only… wanted to play… and…”
She was pressed under the weight of power and responsibility that she didn’t desire, both now and in the future.
“I only want to be loved…”
While crying sadly, she began to repeat the words she used to say in the past when she was locked in her room.
Then, at that moment, she heard a sinister voice.
– Are you sad?
“Shut, shut up…”
– So you are.
Somehow even though the curse in her heart had disappeared, the voice kept on haunting her. And today the voice was even softer and sweeter.
– Grab my hand.
– If you also can’t take it anymore then entrust your hand to me.
Her eyes unconsciously started welling up.
– Let’s have some fun just like you used to.
The tragedy that had befallen the Cloud Kingdom, back when she had innocently fallen for that voice, was now repeating itself in the Empire.
And just then…
Frey watched Aishi with a blank look and took a step closer to her before stumbling heavily on the icy ground.
As a result, Frey tumbled in a comical manner. He attempted to rise, only to fall over himself again.
Aishi looked blankly at Frey.
“What, what are you doing right now?!”
With a mortified expression, she looked at the grumbling Frey and questioned him disbelievingly.
“Are you falling for my prank right now?”
And it was then that an answer came.
“Can’t you see?”
Aishi looked at Frey while holding back her tears.
She unconsciously laughed.
“Such a dummy~♡ You fell for that kind of prank~”
“Stupid~ Dummy~ Silly~♡”
The tears that had welled inside her eyes…
‘He is even more amusing than I thought.’
Were now quietly drying, imperceptible to anyone else.
‘Well, he did something to me the last time too. Also, he was originally a bad person… Then, today I will play to my heart’s content…”
She quietly muttered to herself with a devilish laugh.
‘…I need to take back the curse.’
‘After all, since I learned how to transfer it recently, I have been thinking of passing the curse to a prisoner on death row… Well I do feel like I need to do it as soon as possible.’
When she saw Frey’s tearful face, she tried to hide the shivers she felt over her body.
‘…As I thought, there is a strange feeling.’
She could never have known that once the curse had been passed on once, she could never take it back.
You can rate/review this series here.
Advanced chapters available on genesistls.com
Illustrаtiоns on our discоrd – discord.gg/genesistls