ZAP – Chapter 61: Imperial Princess Airi

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◇Airi Areus Grandflare’s POV◇

—The Imperial Princess Airi of the Grandflare Empire. 

My name is known in the Empire at present, but at the time when I was born, my spot in the right for the throne would have been found faster if you were to count from lowest to highest.

My mother didn’t have that high of a standing. 

I was by no means treated warmly as her child. 

I was educated strictly as an Oracle since childhood, and I was destined to be married off to a prince of a vassal nation -or so I was told by my mother. 

I never really questioned that. 

One day, when my dad was still the crowning prince, there was an incident where he was on the verge of being assassinated in the throne succession dispute. 

It was an assassination scheme where they made it look like they were attacked by a stray dragon in the middle of scouting a foreign country. 

The one who saved him was the mercenary bringing along a child who had escaped from the wars of the Eastern Continent, Seihara Juubei, and future Imperial Sword. 

That mercenary apparently sliced down a dragon with a single sword. 

Dad immediately hired Jubei-sama as his bodyguard. 

The one I met at that time was my childhood friend, Eugy—Eugene Santafield. 

The time we first met, I challenged Eugy and was beaten black and blue. 

Since then, I learned the sword from Eugy’s esteemed father as an irregular disciple. 

We were of the same age, so we ended up becoming friends pretty quickly. 

Eugy is always training in the sword.

I can also use the sword as a result of my education as a royal. 

But the sword training of Eugy was on a different level from what I know. 

One day, I asked.

“Hey, Eugy, why are you training that much?” (Airi)

Eugy answered while doing practice swings. 

“I only have my sword after all.” (Eugene)

“Only this…?” (Airi)

It didn’t click with me. 

“The country I was born in on the Eastern Continent has already fallen and my mother died when I was 0 years old… Also, my Pops always tells me: ‘When I die, the only one who can protect you is yourself’. That’s why I have to become stronger or I won’t survive.” (Eugene)

“I see…” (Airi)

I was dumbstruck.

Eugy was 8 years old at that time. 

I didn’t even imagine he was training the sword with those thoughts. 

“If possible, I would like to get as strong as Pops. I want to get strong enough to protect others aside from myself too though.” (Eugene)

Eugy has made his own father an objective since way back. 

“Then, you will protect me too?” (Airi)

I ended up asking this.

“Yeah, when I get strong.” (Eugene)

“Aren’t you strong enough already?” (Airi)

I can only get a point from Eugy once or twice out of 50 matches. 

I can’t even come close to him.

“That won’t do. I am not strong enough to protect you yet, Airi. I have to train more. I will become strong and protect you.” (Eugene)

“…I-I see.” (Airi)

He is a natural airhead, so he most likely said those words as if nothing, but…I think my heart was stolen at that time. 

That was…my first love.


From there on, father would get targeted by assassins and they would all be shot down by Eugy’s father.

Father was fed up with the assassins and ordered all of his children to attend the military school.

It was out of Father’s consideration. The imperial army is a direct organization of the Emperor, so there’s no need to be worried about getting caught up in the succession dispute. 

The training in the military school was rough, but it was more fun than being educated as an imperial princess.

In the army, there’s no princess, noble, or commoner; the rule is to be treated equally after all.

…Though that’s just the official stance. There were obviously factions created and centered around nobles and royalty.

There weren’t that many people around me, and it was pretty lonely at that time. 

I obviously didn’t complain in front of others though. 

As someone whose position was low in the succession of the throne, there were no few members of the royal family and high nobles that would try to cause trouble to me. 

“Hey there, Airi-dono. There’s no people around you as always. How about making each other’s subordinates duel, and the one who loses obeys the winner?” 

“…Wa?! What are you proposing all of sudden?!” (Airi)

It is the trouble that would often come to me in the military school. 

“Oya oya, to think there would be a coward who wouldn’t accept a duel in the Grandflare Empire.” 

“Kuh…!” (Airi)

This ‘duel’ was most likely not seriously proposed. 

He was simply provoking me while aware I might refuse.


“Then, I will be the one doing the fighting. How many will be on your side?” 

“…Who are you?” 

“Eugene Santafield. The friend of Airi.” (Eugene)

Eugy would step in every time. 

“So a greenhorn that just entered the military school will be fighting all alone?! You are going to regret it!” 

“Now, now, you will be able to understand once you try.” (Eugene)

“I don’t know where you are from, but I will make it so you won’t be able to blab with that conceited tongue of yours anymore. Come to the dueling arena!” 

“W-Wait, Eugy, you can win?” (Airi)

“Yeah, it will be okay.” (Eugene)

Eugy was unfazed.


The one who came to cause trouble to me and the subordinates around him were glaring at me. 

They surrounded us as if to not let us escape. A duel against the upperclassmen of the military school.

There’s only Eugy on this side.

He is facing 5.

I watched over this with my heart pounding in worry. 

“Here we go, you conceited brat!” 

“Let’s have a good duel, senpai.” (Eugene)

A swordsman a size bigger than Eugy swung widely. 

Eugy, who is still small…and had a calm attitude, slowly took a stance with his wooden sword.

The result was…

A duel of speed happened…and Eugy won without even being touched once by the blades of his enemies. 


The man from the royal family that came to cause me trouble was pale white. 

Even if jokingly, he did promise that ‘the loser would obey the winner’ after all. 

Witnesses are required to be present in a duel, so he was regretting that arrangement. 

“Then, that means you will be obeying me from here on.” (Airi)

I tried to act tough with everything I had and said this to the man. 

“……G-Got it, I will keep my promise.” 

That’s how one faction joined my side. 

I don’t know how many times this happened. 

However, the person himself who achieved this would just resume his practice swings as if he didn’t even have any interest in those victories. 

“Hey, Eugy, why are you still training after winning the duels?” (Airi)

“Hmm, I just thought I didn’t really do that well in that duel before.” (Eugene)

Even though he won a complete victory, he was like this. 

The tip of the sword slicing through the wind and playing a beautiful sound was invisible to my eye. 

(He swings his sword like he is really having fun.) (Airi)

He hasn’t changed at all since the time we first met when we were 5 years old. 

“What are you going to do by training that much?” (Airi)

It is the question I have asked him countless times. 

I know well what Eugy will answer with. 

However, I am simply asking because I want to hear it from Eugy’s mouth. 

“I have to protect you after all.” (Eugene)

“~~~~~~Hn!” (Airi)

This pretentious man! 

I desperately try to endure a grin. 

A princess must not show an unseemly face. 

I grabbed the hand of my childhood friend who was swinging the sword the whole time and pulled him.

“Come on. For how long will you be swinging, Eugy? Let’s return to the dorms already.” (Airi)

“The duel arena is spacious and it works nicely to train the Twin Heavenly Resonance techniques though.” (Eugene)

“The duel arena is not a place for training. The teacher got angry at you before for doing that, right? There’s a dojo at your home.” (Airi)

“Pops would immediately challenge me to a duel at home and would get in my way.” (Eugene)

“…That person is pretty childish, huh.” (Airi)

Eugy’s father is a sword loving weirdo that goes even beyond that of Eugy. 

But Eugy is aiming for that father of his. 

My father eventually became the Emperor, and the environment around me as well as the eyes changed greatly, but the attitude of Eugy didn’t change. 

He was always by my side. 

If anything happened, he would swing his sword for my sake. 

…I was always happy about that. 


—The Selection Exam 2 years ago. 

I have not forgotten that day ever. 

My childhood friend Eugy became a defective swordsman with only white mana…and zero attack power

The man who loved the sword that much.

“…Hey, Eugy, let’s go back, okay?” (Airi)

“…………Aah…yeah.” (Eugene)

Eugy looked as if his soul had left him after the Selection Exam. 

Staring off into empty space. 

I have been with Eugy since we were 5 years old, but this is the first time I see him like this. 

(I-I have to do something! I have to.) (Airi)

That’s what I thought. 

I have been saved by him the whole time after all. 

Now it is my turn to save him.

I immediately went to my father who had become the Emperor. 

Father already knew about Eugy’s results in the Selection Exam.

“And, what will you do, Airi?” 

That’s the first thing Father asked me. 

I planned on marrying Eugy once the results of the Selection Exam came out. 

I had promised that to Eugy. 

We even had the permission of Father.

My father is the Emperor, and Eugy’s father is the Imperial Sword. 

In the military school, we were 1st and 2nd place. 

Father must have had a lot of expectations from us. 

“I accept your engagement. Eugene is the son of that guy. I have known him since long ago, and he is a capable man. However…you will be slightly handicapped in the race to succeed the throne.” 

Father bluntly stated the facts. 

The Grandflare Empire holds the military officers in high esteem. 

People like Eugy who only have white mana have a hard time getting promoted in the army. 

“Now that you have become an adult, you are duty bound for betrothal. There’s already dozens of petitions for people who want to be wed to you. From in and out of the imperial capital. If you don’t choose Eugene, you can choose whichever one from within those.” 

He gave me a stack of papers. 

There were sons of high nobles from the Empire, and even princes of the Blue Waters Federation. 

I had no interest in any of them.

“Father, what will happen if I get engaged to Eugy?” (Airi)

“Right… You have the 7 Color talent, so you will be assigned to be a lieutenant of the Black Iron Knights. After that, you are pretty much guaranteed to become a captain. Eugene can only use healing magic and barrier magic, so he would be a templar. He will most likely go to a vassal nation in a remote region, and will spend 3 to 5 years in military service.” 

“No way…! Can’t you at least put him in the same platoon as me…?” (Airi)

“Due to the influence of the past Emperors, the standing of healing magic in the Empire is low. The Empire can produce Elixirs as they please after all. The barriermancers also have no use aside from keeping in check the seal of the Great Demonic Beast. We haven’t been invaded by other nations for more than a century… It would be possible to forcefully change his post with my authority as the Emperor though.” 

“Then…!” (Airi)

“He won’t be seen positively by his peers. Even if that may not be the case for you, Airi, do you think Eugene would wish for that?” 

“T-That’s…” (Airi)

I couldn’t say anything back.

I would borrow the authority of Father, forcefully change the post of Eugene to make it the same as mine, and he would be treated as a decoration of mine. Would Eugy wish for that? 

After thinking about it, I…in the end, didn’t ask for anything from Father. 

(I will become the Emperor and change the Empire!) (Airi)

I didn’t have the ambition of uniting the continent with armed might like Father to begin with, so my objective was to aim for a peaceful but strong Empire. 

I have now changed that objective to reforming the Empire into one where even people like Eugene who specialize in healing magic and barrier magic can still shine. 

Fortunately, my Ability is said to be a talent that only appears once every century: the 7 Colors.

I am sure I wouldn’t lose to my brothers and sisters. 

Father had a bloodstained throne succession dispute, so he gave us an opportunity for fairness. 

“I will make the one who contributes to the Empire the most into the next Emperor. However, the ones who try to harm the others will have their right for the throne immediately revoked” -is the rule he stated.

That’s why there weren’t that many fights between siblings, and they were competing on who contributed the most for the Empire. 

It went well at first.

I climbed to Knight Lieutenant, Captain, Colonel, and all the way to General of the Heaven Knights. 

I thought the 1st place for the throne succession was at sight.

But it hasn’t been going well lately. 

The reason is plain and clear. 

My childhood friend Eugy…has obtained renown to the point he doesn’t need my help anymore. 

He dropped the head of a Divine Beast in the Trial of the Gods at the Zenith Tower. 

He even drove off that legendary Demon Lord, Erinyes. 

There’s been constant whisperings in the Empire, questioning when the son of the Imperial Sword-sama will be returning. 

At the time when Eugy had left for the Lykeion Magic Academy, they were the same people that spread whispers of ‘Even if he is the son of the Imperial Sword-sama, with no Ability…’.

I am most likely already a being of the past for Eugy. 

He even has a new girlfriend in the Lykeion Magic Academy. 

Even though I met him after a long time, he was always distant. 

It is true that I was the one who told him that we should put distance between each other. 

It can’t be helped. 

But I wanted to talk to him no matter what. 

That’s why, even if it was a bit forceful, I called him with the order of a princess. 

He will most likely show up soon.

It was a sudden call, so he most likely won’t be able to come immediately. 

But he is a dutiful man, so there shouldn’t be the choice of ‘not coming’.

(What should I…talk about with Eugy?) (Airi)

I continued waiting for him to come with bated breath. 

◇Eugene’s POV◇

(Crap…! I am late.)

It was a sudden call, but I hurried to the place where Airi was waiting for me. 

The reason I am late is because, on my way there, I met the Imperial Court Mage that I accompanied in the Great Demonic Beast investigation. 

The plan for the resealing of the Great Demonic Beast has apparently changed greatly.

“A lot of things were made clear thanks to the information that the Imperial Sword-sama brought! We are beginning to see hope thanks to this… But where did he get that much information about the Great Demonic Beast riddled in mysteries…?” 

The Imperial Court Mage tilted his head.

It must have been information from my mother (an angel).

The operation will apparently be taking place the day after tomorrow. 

They will be short in barriermancers and healers at that time, so he asked me to please participate too.

Time passed as we spoke about this. 

I arrived at a high class restaurant that’s located at a corner of the main street in the capital. 

(This is nostalgic…) (Eugene)

This restaurant is a high class establishment that’s often used by royalty and high nobles. 

The memory of me and Airi having our birthdays celebrated here in our childhood flashed in my mind. 

The training in the military school got tougher, so we couldn’t come anymore though.

When I told the gatekeeper at the entrance my name, a waiter inside the establishment took over.

I was guided by him to a table located on the 2nd floor. 

The inside of the restaurant isn’t that packed. 

They probably purposely don’t let it turn into a full house. 

I soon found Airi. 

Airi is sitting with a bright red dress. 

She is sitting at a table deep inside the restaurant and her head is hanging down as if she were troubled by something. 

I slowly approached her table. 

“Imperial Princess Airi, the guest you have been waiting for has arrived.” 

The waiter spoke to her and she immediately raised her head.

“………Eugy.” (Airi)

“Eh?” (Eugene)

I didn’t know what to say… 

I couldn’t say anything towards that face…that I haven’t seen before…a frail expression as if she were on the verge of tears. 

■Comment Response: 

>Eugene’s father was completely whipped, so I now understand why he didn’t marry anyone else.

-I don’t know about him being whipped, but she was apparently watching from the Divine Realm, so he didn’t marry again. 

>The identity of the Prime Minister-chan…blonde hair is within the peculiar traits of imperial nobles, so…she is royalty? 


■Author’s Comment: 

I am scared of this time’s comments…

I don’t know how the reader-samas will take this one.

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