Exiled Prince Without Skills: Infinite Growth in a Mysterious Dungeon - Chapter 23
- Exiled Prince Without Skills: Infinite Growth in a Mysterious Dungeon
- Chapter 23 - Chain (Side: Sareha)
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Sareha – the person who calls me by that name is no longer in the royal palace.
In the past, my mother would hold me in her lap and call out my name. She also told me about her hometown in the southern desert, but now it’s a distant memory.
Life in the royal palace is hard.
The First Queen faction and the Second Queen faction hate each other, and their children fight each other. As I have a mother who is of low rank as a birth mother, I am not a member of either faction, nor can I join them.
However, not being a member of a faction does not mean that you can escape the conflict. Rather, I am treated by both factions as a stress-relieving toy, an outlet for their stagnant emotions.
Only my silverware on the table is deliberately tarnished with poison. This is not to poison me, but to show that they can kill me at any time.
Now that I’ve gotten used to it, I bring my own spoon and fork. My brothers and sisters look disgusted when they see this, but I can’t help it.
I’m the youngest of the royal siblings, the younger brother of Brother Henry, and I’m twelve years old.
I’ve never talked to him, but I’ve always been aware of my brother, who also isn’t a member of any faction.
I heard that my brother’s mother was the daughter of a small noble family in some region. She was very beautiful, and someone told me that the king saw her at a ball.
My brother had been harassed for a long time, just like me.
A long time ago, on a cold and snowy day, my brother was at the well behind the royal palace. It was so cold that his hands were biting, but he was washing off the ashes from his head and body with the well water.
I knew the moment I saw him that he was being harassed by the other brother. My other brother must have done something with the maids and butlers to prevent him from using the hot water. There was no choice but to use the cold well water.
My brother has gray hair like his mother, and I think they put ashes on him to make fun of it.
My brother never cried in public. If he cried, got angry, or screamed, the other siblings would be very happy and the harassment would increase. He must have learned this from living in the royal palace.
But on that snowy day, my brother was definitely crying. There was no one but my brother in the dimly lit outskirts of the palace. I felt as if my heart was being squeezed.
It was selfish of me, but I began to feel a sense of camaraderie with my brother who was in the same situation. I wanted to talk to him one day and help each other.
But that day never came. It was because my brother had received his territory and left the royal palace. Brother Ace said that he was going to have a territory somewhere in the west and that he would fulfill his royal duties there.
I should have realized it when I saw Brother Ace’s disgusting, thin smile at that time. I knew what was going to happen to my brother.
A little while after my brother left the palace, Brother Ace came to talk to me.
He said he was worried about Henry and wanted to check on him, that he wanted to show him that he was a good brother, and that he was worried about the many demons there.
I was happy. I was glad that there was someone other than me who was worried about his brother. He said that he regretted having harassed him, and there was a faint hope that maybe this would bring him back to the palace.
When I heard that a carriage was on its way, I bowed my head and begged. I bowed and asked him to take me with him.
Brother Ace willingly agreed, and as soon as the preparations were finished, we set off for the west. The carriage ride seemed much longer than it actually was.
When we arrived at my brother’s territory, Brother Ace changed.
He bound my neck with chains, cursed me foully, and beat me. He also threatened to take my mana to summon the undead.
The blood of royalty, my inherent skill is called 「Mana Disposition」. The source of my magical power – my capacity for mana – is much larger than that of normal people.
Brother Ace took my mana and summoned the undeads. Then he started killing monsters and turning them into more undeads, using them to search for my brother.
But my brother was nowhere to be found.
After a while, Brother Ace gave up and headed further west using a carriage. There were many villages of Beastmen in this area, and he set his sights on one of them.
‘I’m going to make undeads out of strong beastmen.’ That’s what he said. He said that he would make them into a fighting force for his faction.
Brother Ace began to raid the village with his undeads. It was as insidious as the harassment at the royal palace.
I asked him to stop, but he only beat me. Eventually, I didn’t say anything and just followed him.
“Hey, Sareha! Come here!”
I was dragged by the chain and stumbled. When he grabbed me in the chest, the mana was sucked out of me by the wand that Brother Ace held.
A pain seemed to rip through my body, and a sound of torment escaped me.
“Today’s quota is 2,000 skeletons. Now squeeze the mana out of your body, you fool.”
Tonight, Brother Ace said that he would take advantage of the darkness and destroy the Beastmen village. He said he would surround the village with skeletons and turn every single one of them into fresh corpses.
Maybe it was because he couldn’t find his brother, Brother Ace was in a bad mood. Because of the increased frequency of violence, my body ached in many places.
The wand shined, and every last bit of my mana was sucked out. Then Brother Ace waved his wand and chanted [Summon Skeleton]. The ground glowed dully, and skeletons crawled out of it.
“…… Ha, hahaha! This is magnificent!”
An army of 2000 skeletons was summoned, and Brother Ace splitted it into two. He instructed one of them to head towards the nearby river.
“A 1000 skeletons would be enough for such a small village!”
Skeletons in uneven formation were waiting for Brother Ace’s order. The skeletons, who seemed to hate all living things, frightened me.
“Now go! Overrun the village!”
The undead army advanced towards the village. I apologized to the beastmen in my heart. But this was self-satisfaction. If I really wanted to stop them, I should have killed myself before he took all my mana.
But I was so scared that I just wanted to stay alive.
“Damn it! Why!”
The village was bright with bonfires burning. There were silver-haired Beastmen everywhere, holding spears and bows. They seemed to be tightly defending and did not come out of the village.
Brother Ace was angry all the time. It seemed that the skeletons were getting more wasted than I thought.
“Hey! Give me more mana!”
“Brother Ace…… I have no mana anymore……”
“Don’t mess with me! What do you think I brought you here for!”
With the words came a kick. I groaned and crouched down, and Brother Ace seemed to lose interest and returned to commanding the skeletons.
As I moved my body to look towards the village, suppressing my aching stomach, I heard the sound of chains scraping on the ground.
A man with a bright red scythe leapt from the watchtower. It’s dark outside the village, so you couldn’t see his face very well. But with each swing of the scythe, the bones of the skeleton burst into pieces and the village cheered.
“…… Who’s that? A Beastmen?”
He was a little shorter than the other beastmen around him.
“Whoever you are…… good luck……”
The man ran with inhuman speed and plunged headfirst into a different group of skeletons. With a single turn of his scythe as he dashed on the ground, the skeletons collapsed as if he was mowing the grass.
“Do your best!”
My stomach hurt when I shout, but my voice came out on its own.
The scythe was wielded again. After seeing that the number of skeletons had been reduced to some extent, the man jumped over the wooden fence and entered the village. He was talking with someone by the bonfire.
—The bonfires were illuminating a Beastmen, an Elf Girl, and the other one, a Human. He had gray hair and a red scythe.
I shouted from the bottom of my stomach, unable to stop the tears flowing all by themselves.
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