After happily talking with Camellia-san for a while, Lillywood-san, who had finished her work, finally arrived.
"I'm sorry to keep you waiting."
[Ah, no, thank you for your hard work. I'm the one who should apologize for the sudden visit.]
After seeing that Lillywood-san had arrived, Camellia-san gave up her seat to Lillywood-san and stood up, before bowing towards Lillywood-san and I.
[Well then, I will be taking my leave.]
"Yes, thank you."
[Camellia-san, thank you. Thank you for the tea too.]
Somehow, I have a feeling that Lillywood-san trusts Camellia-san a lot. No, I do actually think that Camellia-san is a very talented person.
As far as what I heard earlier, although it was a misunderstanding, the fact that Ein-san, an advocate of the ideology that Maids are Omnipotent, called her an "excellent maid" suggests that the housework she said was her hobby is of a considerable level.
I don't know much about the hierarchy among Lillywood-san's subordinates, but for her to be in charge of cleaning the castle…… Well, even though the person herself claims that it was her hobby, she seemed to have a lot of trust from the people around her.
After seeing Camellia-san off with these thoughts in mind, I began to talk to Lillywood-san about the main topic of my visit.
After leaving the room, Camellia-san went back to the entrance of the castle to go back to cleaning, which she had quit after Kaito's visit. Just as she was about to pick up her cleaning tools and resume her cleaning, she heard footsteps and turned around.
At the end of her gaze was a woman who seemed to be a Spirit walking towards her…… The magic power she was clad in is somewhat good, reaching the level of a Count-rank…… but she's someone Camellia wasn't familiar with.
[……This is World King's castle huh……]
[Hello, are you here for Lillywood-sama]
With a smile on her face, Camellia asked the woman who stepped in front of the entrance and muttered. It was a visit from a High-ranking Demon, presumably a Count-rank, who isn't a follower of the World King. In this case, there aren't many businesses that she could think of.
The first pattern is that she belongs to the other King's camp, and is their messenger. The second pattern is that she came to visit Lillywood, the World King, to join her camp.
And the third one……
[My name is————–. I've come to challenge the World King, Lillywood Yggdrasil!]
When Camellia heard her words, she nodded once in understanding. At the same time, she had guessed that this Spirit had just risen to Count-rank.
A challenge to one of the Six Kings, Lillywood. That in itself is rare, but such a situation had occurred several times in the past. And most of such challengers were people who had just risen to Count-rank.
In the vast Demon Realm, only a genius that appears once in a century could become a Count-level, High-ranking Demon. And of course, even if you have that much talent, it will still take a long time and they will face many walls before they could become a Count-rank. Most of them grew up experiencing many setbacks and failures before they reached the Count-rank.
However, there are times when people like them appear. There are those who reach the Count-rank without major setbacks or failures, and who steadily improve their abilities over the years……
That in itself isn't a bad thing. However, such people often become conceited. Thoughts like "If it's this me, I could go even further and eventually become the Seventh King"…… It could be said that this is inevitable. It is difficult for a person who has just risen to the Count-rank to read the extent of a King's power. Their power levels are just too different……
She could sense a great deal of confidence from the Spirit in front of her. However, since she used the word "challenge", she must have known that Lillywood, one of the Six Kings, was vastly superior to her. However, Camellia could tell that this Spirit was confident that "even if she couldn't compete with her, she could still put up a good fight".
However, unfortunately…… The Six Kings aren't beings that could be easily challenged by someone who doesn't know their place in the world.
[Impertinent it may be…… but from what I've seen, you're not at the level to be able to fight Lillywood-sama.]
[Even if you were to take that out of the question…… Lillywood-sama is a very busy person. She will not make time for someone who doesn't have an appointment.]
There are indeed some people like Kaito, whom Lillywood is currently meeting, who Camellia will act as an intermediary even if they have no appointments, but such people are rare exceptions.
Hearing Camellia's words, the woman crossed her arms and turning her sharp eyes to Camellia, she spoke.
[……I see, so this is what you mean huh. If I want to challenge the World King, "you'll have to defeat me first"……]
[Eh No, I'm not saying that…… but errr, yes, I guess you're right. If you couldn't even defeat me, don't think that you'll be able to fight Lillywood-sama……]
[Fine, I'll take you up on that challenge!]
[……Haahhh…… Errr, yes. Well then, if I win, please give up on challenging Lillywood-sama and leave.]
Tilting her head and wondering why the situation had come to this conclusion, she still led the Spirit woman to the training grounds behind the castle, hoping that she would convince her to leave.
Camellia chose a training area that would be relatively uncrowded, and when they got there, there were no other people in the training area and it seemed to be ready for use.
When they reached the center of the training area and faced each other, Camellia slightly bowed.
[Starting things once again, my name is Camellia.]
[Yeah, it might be a short time, but I guess I'll be in your care……]
[H- Huhh…… Well then, I'm ready when you are.]
The Spirit woman seemed to regard Camellia as someone beneath her, speaking to her with a somewhat pompous tone. Perhaps, because she didn't have the aura and the appearance of a powerful person, she ignored Camellia's introduction of her name and didn't even realize that she was an executive.
Thereupon, when Camellia told her that she could begin when she wants, the woman let out a fearless smile and summoned a huge tree behind her.
[……"Spear-branched Tree" huh.]
[That's right! I'm the Spirit of the Spear-branched Tree…… and my strikes are something you should avoid at all costs!]
As the name suggests, the Spear-branched Tree is a tree whose branches grow long and sharp like a spear, and its branches are quite hard and can be used for weapons.
When the woman held up one hand, the branches of the summoned tree were shot out in large numbers and rushed towards Camellia. It was a scene that could be described as a rain of spears.
However, even though the woman is conceited, she doesn't have the hobby of tormenting the weak. She had no intention of injuring Camellia in this fight.
Shooting branches, which would definitely be avoided by Camellia, but would surprise her in the process, she was thinking of having her understand her capabilities and then convey her challenge to Lillywood. Yes, she already imagined herself fighting Lillywood in her mind…… but of course, it was all just in her fantasy……
[……Errr, is that all]
Hearing Camellia's voice, the woman couldn't help but dumbfoundedly exclaim. It didn't matter to her that Camellia was unharmed, for she hadn't intended to hit her from the start. The problem was that the branches of her Spear-branched Tree were neatly arranged in a row next to the standing Camellia.
It's not that she couldn't see her movements. She still had the capabilities of a Count-rank, and was able to follow the course of her attacks with her eyes. And exactly because her eyes could follow her…… that she couldn't believe what she had just seen.
That's why, she unleashed another attack. This time, she didn't take it easy and went all out…… The branches that she shot out were so tremendous that it could be called a torrential rain of spears. However, rather than Camellia who was at the receiving end of those spears, it was the attacking woman who looked more astonished instead.
Standing before the rain of spears, Camellia easily grabbed the sharp branches crashing towards her, and placing them beside her, she then grabbed the next one at an incredible speed. As a result, there wasn't even a single hole on the training ground's floor and only branches were piling up next to Camellia.
After such a scene continued without any change, the woman stopped attacking. She realized that no matter how much more she continued to attack, she wouldn't even be able to injure Camellia……
[……Are you done Well then, I'll start attacking you now.]
Seeing what Camellia had done, the woman looked surprised, but when she heard Camellia's next words, she immediately took a defensive stance. Spirits are basically a race that had a special characteristic of being better at defense than offense. The woman was no exception to this, and her specialty was counter-attacking from defense rather than attacking.
She was confident. That no matter how her opponent attacks, she would be able to defend it…… but immediately after, she felt her instincts screaming danger in her ears. With a sense of unease in her heart, as if she had made a fatal oversight, the conversation she had just had came to her mind.
————-My name is Camellia.
(……Camellia…… Came…… llia…… Ahh…… Ahhhh……)
It occurred to her. The haze within her thoughts that had been clouded by her conceit cleared up, and she realized who the being in front of her was, whom she had thought to be a lackey under the service of the World King.
Thereupon, she felt herself turning pale…… She has lived for a good many years. That's why she had heard the stories about Camellia.
Camellia, the Grass Flower Princess, one of the Seven Princesses, the World King's Executive Subordinates…… and World King's strongest subordinate. While most of the Spirits among the Seven Princesses have excellent defensive abilities, her name has been known for her "offensive ability".
Although Camellia's only means of attack is "a straight punch with her right hand", her punch shatters everything. Her attacks are said to shatter the land of the Demon Realm if one doesn't have any measures against it, and even when one has counter-measures prepared, the destructive power of her punch that shoots out from her tremendous step that shakes the earth is beyond description.
Someone said. Her strike was like the wrath of the earth…… and because of it, other than Grass Flower Princess……
She was also known as "Earth's Mighty Fist"……
After a small murmur, Camellia took a step forward, and as if it was somebody else's business, the Spirit woman muttered.
(……Ahh…… ———–I'm dead.)
The next thing she saw was a tremendous step and a fist that easily shattered her all-out defense…… and just as Camellia's fist was about to strike the woman's face———— it stopped.
Of course, it wasn't that the woman had done something. Camellia had just stopped her attack midway.
As if she lost the feeling on her legs, the Spirit woman sat down on the ground. Sweat gushing out from her body, her expression is tainted with fear. It's no wonder, for she's powerful enough to be recognized as a Count-rank.
Therefore, she knew. If Camellia hadn't stopped, her body would have been wiped out without a trace. At the same time, she understood that there was a hopeless gap in power between Camellia and herself.
Giving the woman a reassuring smile, Camellia spoke.
[……Errr, I'll have you know that Lillywood-sama is a person with power that is incomparable to mine. Thus, if you couldn't even beat me, I can't accept your challenge to Lillywood-sama. My apologies, but will you give up this time]
[I'm glad you understand. Well then…… Unnn]
Camellia was about to bring an end to this matter, but soon after, she heard the sound of applause and she turned towards the sound with the Spirit woman. Thereupon, she saw someone clapping at the entrance of the training center.
She is a woman with a height of high 160s cm, a slim and toned figure, a kimono and a large sword of almost 2m in size, with her bluish-black hair in a ponytail and a cherry blossom branch acting as a hairpin.
[That was splendid, Camellia-sama!]
[……"Blossom-san" Why are you here]
Just like Camellia, she is one of the Seven Princesses, and is a Spirit of a Cherry Blossom tree, something that Lillywood created after hearing about it from the Hero, Hikari…… "Cherry Blossom Princess, Blossom".
[I came here to do some training, but I happened to see what happened and watched the whole thing. As expected of Camellia-sama!]
[E- Errr, what's with that…… as expected]
[The way you sternly admonish and guide your arrogant opponent…… Ahh, how nostalgic. I remembered the time when you severely beat me up when I grew impudent and taught me how high the skies are! As I thought, Camellia-sama is a capable leader!!!]
[……N- No, I only did that because Lillie-sama told me to……]
Blossom was the latest member of the Seven Princesses, and at the same time, except for the specially recruited Iris, she would have been the newest among the Six Kings' executives. She was a super genius who had risen to peak Count-rank in less than 700 years.
She was taught the basics of battle by the leader of the Seven Princesses, Magic Flower Princess Lillie, but there was a time when she grew imprudent because of her talent.
Since Camellia had beaten her at that time, she had respected Camellia very much. Well, regarding that matter, Lillie, who had sensed that Blossom was becoming arrogant, instructed Camellia, whose strength could be easily seen from her immense attack power, to teach her the reality, and Camellia was just following Lillie's orders……
As Camellia smiled wryly with an indescribable expression on her face, Blossom turned to the Spirit woman seated next to Camellia and spoke to her.
[Even so, you have good luck. It may have been a coincidence, you received "the honor of meeting and receiving guidance from Camellia-sama" after all!]
[ [ ……Eh ] ]
The woman and Camellia both tilted their heads at Blossom's words, but Blossom didn't seem to mind their confusion and continued to speak with her arms crossed.
[The words Camellia-sama had told you earlier, "If you couldn't even beat me, I can't accept your challenge to Lillywood-sama" could also mean that "if you beat her, she will deem you worthy of challenging Lillywood-sama".]
[……Errr, w- well, I guess so. That is if you can beat me though…….]
[Furthermore, remember what Camellia-sama said! She said that she will not accept your challenge to Lillywood-sama "this time", but she will allow you to "challenge Camellia-sama as many times as you like"!!!]
[Hoeehhh Wait, B- Blossom-san What are you……]
[That's not all! Camellia-sama's benevolence is deeper than the greatest oceans, and if you so wish, Camellia-sama "will personally train you"!!!]
Needless to say, it was Camellia who was most surprised to hear Blossom's vigorous words. Taking a side glance at such a Camellia, the Spirit woman who heard Blossom's words had a look of mixed astonishment and excitement on her face.
[……E- Even though I had been that rude……]
[Camellia-sama has a heart as grand and as wide as an endless prairie. You should just devote yourself to thanking her great benevolence.]
[……U- Ummm, why are you talking about such a thing……]
Looking at the woman who was shaking as if she was overcome with emotions, Camellia was about to perplexedly ask them why they were talking about such a thing…… but before she could finish speaking, with tears in her eyes, the Spirit woman bowed her head to Camellia.
[Thank you very much! Also, please accept my apologies for all my rudeness!]
[Ahhh! E- Errr, you don't have to worry about that but, ummm……]
[In order not to be ashamed to receive the benevolence you have bestowed upon me, I will first train myself once again from the start! And then, after I have become a person who isn't ashamed to receive Camellia-sama's guidance, only then will I come visit again!!!]
[N- No, that's not it, ummm, errr…… P- Please do your best.]
The woman's enthusiasm and her sparkling eyes pushed Camellia to nod. After looking at that woman thanking Camellia several times and leaving the training area, Blossom spoke.
[……She has quite the promising future. I'm sure she will do well as Camellia-sama's subordinate when the time comes.]
[……N- No, ummm, Blossom-san In the first place, why did the conversation lead to that……]
[I know it was impertinent of me to do such a thing, but it seemed that she didn't quite understand Camellia-sama's intentions, so I explained to her for you instead.]
When Camellia tilted her head and responded to the words Blossom said filled with her satisfaction, Blossom clenched her fists and said.
[The only Duke-rank Demon in the Demon Realm, Ein-sama, had told me. "A true maid speaks with her back"! The moment I saw Camellia-sama's great back as you stood in front of that woman, I understood everything!!!]
[Aeeeehhhhh! N- No, ummm, in the first place, I'm not a ma……]
[A first-class back really is very eloquent! Looking at your back, I've come to learn one more thing!!!]
Blossom, the Cherry Blossom Princess, a genius who has risen to become an executive subordinate of the Six Kings at a young age…… was a rather "assumptive type". Yes, when someone who held the role of Hero back then told her that "she looked like a samurai", she began calling herself a samurai…… When she happens to find out from a book about the other world that samurais use "I (sessha) to refer to themselves", she started referring to herself like that too. She's the type of person who, once she gets her mind set on something, goes straight for it. Although she belongs to a different camp, it could be said that her personality is somewhat similar to Vier.
[Even so, Camellia-sama really is wonderful. Not only are you a powerful warrior, you're also a first-class maid…… I, who can only do battle, couldn't help but be dazzled by your greatness.]
[……N- No, like I said, I'm not a mai……]
[Should I try doing things other than fighting from now on too It might be a good idea to have Camellia-sama teach me how to be a maid!!! Of course, I will have to become a super top-notch samurai first!!!]
[……Ahh, yes. I guess so…… Please do your best.]
[Thank you very much! Also, Camellia-sama, since we have met like this, could I train with you just like back then!!!]
[Haaaeeehh Ummm, errr, I still have to clean the entranceway…… No, I understand.]
When she saw Blossom talking enthusiastically, Camellia nodded with a somewhat resigned expression on her face. The World King's Strongest Subordinate, the Grass Flower Princess who was known as Earth's Mighty Fist, Camellia…… Her personality, being such a pushover, might be her greatest weakness.
Cherry Blossom Princess, Blossom
She is the spirit of a Cherry Blossom tree and a self-proclaimed samurai. Although she has a tendency to assume things, she is basically a good girl with a straightforward personality. However, she is a troublesome opponent for Camellia, a pushover who gets easily swept away by the flow.
She is a super-genius who rose to peak Count-rank in less than 700 years, and knowledgeable Alice says that if there was a Demon that could rise to peak Count-rank faster than her, they would be a bug of this world.
If Lilia had been born as a Demon, she might have reached peak Count-rank faster than Blossom, but later on, a Demon with a bug-level talent called Eulpecula was born. Alice-chan could only hold her head upon knowledge of her existence.-