Anne-Sophia von Palletia. Princess of the Kingdom of Palletia. 17 years old. During her childhood, her eccentric behaviour stood out. When it was found out that she could not use magic, she was branded incompetent. However, in the last few years, Anne-Sophia's reputation had shifted.
Having abandoned the right to inherit the throne at such a young age, coupled with being sent away to a remote villa, no one ever paid attention to or expected anything of her. However, when Anne-Sophia re-emerged with her talents, the world came to know and dislike her strange skills.
When she was consulted on the development of a sewage system site, she built magical tools to help with its construction. Furthermore, she assisted with the construction of new outer city roads and annihilated hordes of attacking monsters in the blink of an eye.
If one thought she was an incompetent weirdo, this was the real her. It was rumoured that the king had actually sent Anne-Sophia away to a remote royal villa to hide her talents. Because of this, there wasn’t many who could try and form connections with her.
Even so, what could be the true reason the king sent Anne-Sophia away? The Knights of the Royal Guard, the maid staff – those that were close to her – would probably answer:
“She’s just a nuisance.”
And so, even today, an eccentric Anne-Sophia is on the run.
＊ ＊ ＊
“For today, Euphie, please look at this!”
In an open corner of the royal villa, I raised my voice and showed off to Euphie what I held in my hands. After looking at what was in my hands, Euphie gave me a puzzled stare. I expected that reaction.
"Is that... the handle of a sword? It's kind of oddly shaped, though."
"Yeah. I'm aware that it's a long sword commonly used by knights."
“Why is it just the handle?”
Indeed, in my hand is a hilt without its blade. At the butt of the hilt is a cavity inlaid with a spirit stone.
It could only be described as the hilt of a sword. Nothing more or less than that. It is, without a doubt, the hilt of a sword!
“It’s okay! This is my oldest and, dare I say, the most useful magical tool!”
"I'm afraid this is a lot to take in……"
Fufufu, don't look so afraid, Euphie. This is just the beginning. For Euphie's sake, I showed her my most docile invention.
"Euphie can use a sword, right?"
“Yes, I use rapiers though.”
“A rapier, huh? Do you might if you show me the one you normally use later?”
“I don’t mind, but… um, just what is that hilt?”
“It’s a magic tool of course. Want to see?”
I handed over the hilt of the sword to Euphie. Euphie holds the hilt and studies it curiously. She weighs it in her hand, looking over it. Euphie’s attention then shifts to the base of the hilt where the spirit stone was inlaid.
“This is… a spirit stone, correct? Since this is a magical tool, can it be used by passing magical energy through it?”
“Want to try it out?”
“… Alright then.”
Upon accepting the offer, Euphie charges her magical energy into the hilt of the sword.
As if in response to Euphie’s magical energy, light spilled outwards and took form as the sword’s blade. The flickering light grew stronger and stronger, until it became a “Blade of Light”.
“It’s a ‘Magic Sword’ that creates a blade with magical energy. Compared to a normal sword this sword’s weight is only made of the hilt’s weight, but the user can further adjust the blade’s weight to their liking if necessary! Would my lady like to have one for protection!?”
“Why are you acting like a merchant—no, never mind that, this is… amazing, isn’t it? Is it as good as a common long sword? The weight really feels like it’s just the weight of the hilt. Can this actually cut?”
“Of course! However, when it comes to engaging in a duel, the spirit stone that forms the blade get overloaded easily so I wouldn’t recommend it. Ah, but if it’s up against magic, it’ll be alright. It’s a by-product of magic, so It’s amazingly useful for cutting through magic that does not have any kind of mass.”
Looking impressed, Euphie swings the sword to make sure it was comfortable to use. It's just a sword that looks and feels like a sword made of light, Euphie thought. It was weak in sword duels, but the risk was low, and the price was moderate. It’s also one of the few inventions that Anne-Sophia’s father couldn’t help but praise.
The magic tool’s name is “Mana Blade”. As a matter of fact, it is currently carried by a small group of trustworthy royal attendants as a weapon of self-defence. As one only needs to carry the hilt, it was easy to hide if one attached a holder to their thigh.
"How strong is it?"
“You can adjust the strength too. The shape and strength can be changed to your preferences. However, because it uses spirit stones, it will not work if you do not replace the spirit stone when it is overburdened or damaged. Furthermore, the more you use the sword, the more magic you use. Even now the durability of the blade is being tested. Yet, father was more pleased with the shield version of the Mana Sword, the ‘Mana Shield’. It’s frustrating.”
I’ll admit it’s certainly useful but, for me, I want people to experience the glory of the Mana Blade! As of now, only my father and Illya have Mana Shields as I was worried it would be hotly contested by others.
Father had given me one for my own protection, but I gave it to Illya as a present.
My father had also asked if I could make an armour variant, but it was impossible as it would be too difficult to control. Swords and shields don’t require much range of motion after all. When it came to the range of motion for armour, it demanded too much magic power.
… No wait, hold on? Instead of a full armour piece, I could put together mana shields to make up- nah, that won’t work. It’ll cost more energy and it’s not guaranteed to cover up the entire body.
“Just because it is weak against common physical attacks doesn’t mean it’s not useful for regular use. Rather, it’s not that it is ineffective against it. It’s just that the spirit stone degrades more rapidly.”
“How much physical force is considered dangerous?”
“It’d probably break if I tried to hold off a human sized rock falling on me.”
“Did you try it?”
I looked away. Ahem.I coughed, then turned back to Euphie. I wouldn’t have brought it up if it never happened, you know?
“There is a magic technique that could make magical blades just like the Mana Blade, right? The mana Blade is just a copy of it.”
“There aren’t many who can use it though. I think it’s primarily used by those who intend to join the Royal Knights. But I’ve been told it’s better to just use magic normally…”
“It’s only effective in an enclosed space or a place that is similar. That’s why this equipment is for people who have magical energy but can’t use magic itself.”
Rather, it’s mainly for me. I made it because I wanted to use it. I longed to wield something like a sword made of light.
It’s not like I don’t work out, but I’m still just a girl. Furthermore, as an example of how one of my inventions were used, it was unexpectedly given to a lady attendant for self-defence.
"You can also use non-aspected spirit stones that are typical used for fuel."
Non-aspected spirit stones were only charged with magical energy so there were questions on how to utilize them specifically. It can be crushed and scattered into the air so crushing non-aspected spirit stones were common for ceremonies and festivals.
And for things like medicine? It is used as an ingredient for potions that can restore magical energy, but apparently it tastes like death. It seems there couldn't be anything done to control the taste due to it.
When I had suggested if making a pill would be possible, they referred me to some pharmaceutical researchers to work with. The goal was that the pill needed to be something that one can swallow and digest, so we have talked about wrapping the crushed spirit stone in a thin membrane and have one try to swallow it. They seemed like good people, but we have not been able to meet since I was told that they had shut themselves off.
“What would happen if I fashioned an elemental spirit stone into a blade?”
“A troublesome death,” I said.
“A troublesome death.” I repeated. It really would be a pain in the ass.
“When I tried making one from fire the handle ignited, and I got burned. If you try to solidify water, it wouldn’t keep its shape, so when I tried to turn it into ice the handle froze and I got frostbitten. And when I tried wind, it was too difficult to control and maintain. Earth? That’s no different than a normal sword…!”
I’ve thought about it as well – an Elemental Sword! But for someone like me who cannot use magic, using an elemental spirit stone to form a blade was impossible.
“But Euphie can do it, right? Rather than rely on an elemental spirit stone, you could use your own magical energy.”
“Yeah, so I thought that I should make Euphie a custom one.”
“Just for me?”
"Isn't it useful for sword users? I think it could handle a surprise attack better than just casting defensive magic at the spur of the moment."
"I see... In that case, I'll request for one."
Putting her chin in her hand, Euphie looked troubled as she muttered a suggestion to me. My eyes widened, amazed at Euphie's suggestion, then I burst out laughing like a madwoman.
"You're the best, Euphie! I knew I wasn't wrong to ask for you!"
"I was just asking… is it possible?"
“It’s not my style to say it’s impossible before I even try!”
I flashed her a toothy grin. Now, it’s time for some fun, trial, error and more fun!
＊ ＊ ＊
Euphilia was stuck in the Royal Villa with too much spare time. The day after she was shown the Mana Blade, Anne-Sophia had shut herself in her workshop.
To keep the entire thing a surprise, Euphilia was prohibited from entering the workshop. She wondered if there was any meaning to being Anne-Sophia's assistant, but as it was her request being worked on, she kept her mouth shut.
There were no training sessions to become a queen, no etiquette lessons, and no classes from the academy. There was nothing that motivated her. Euphilia felt lonely and empty, as if there was a gaping hole in chest.
“… Princess Anise, are you still not done?”
Illya is taking of her, so it’s unlikely she’s forgetting to eat and sleep though, Euphilia thought. As she realised, Euphilia didn’t know what to do when she was left alone.
Euphilia wondered if today would be yet another meaningless day. Suddenly, she heard noisy footsteps coming from outside the room.
“Euphie! Sorry for making you wait, I’ve done it!”
There were dark circles under Anne-Sophia’s eyes and her hair, although it was maintained, was rather unkempt. However, her usual smile never changed. Euphilia unconsciously breathed a sigh of relief.
In Anne-Sophia’s hand was a sword in the shape of a common rapier. Though unlike a common rapier, at the rapier’s knuckle guard there inlaid 6 spirit stones.
“The blade is a magical conductor infused with spirit stones. Putting the stones all together drastically improves their magic conductivity! I haven’t tried it so I cannot confirm, but it should be possible to assign an element to the blade! Also, it can be used as a magical medium just like a wand! A miraculous spell blade that functions both as a magic sword and a magic staff!”
The proud Anne-Sophia rapidly went on and on. Euphilia’s breath was taken away, looking at the prototype made from the suggestion that she had casually suggested.
For an item to be called a magic staff, the mage must inlay a spirit stone of the element that they are proficient in. Staves are common equipment used by mages, as they help to assist a mage when using magic.
Some staves take on the form of weapons for self-defence but there was no precedent that used swords, until now.
Anne-Sophia had looked at her Mana Blade and thought, could a sword also be a staff?
“But please be careful, as it is not a finished product yet. Make sure you wear a protective glove, and practice as much safety precautions as possible.”
"Are we trying it out now?"
"Of course! Let's go to the square!"
Riding high on excitement, Anne-Sophia took Euphilia’s hand and pulled her forward. Squeezing the hand that connected her to Anne-Sophia, a distressed Euphilia started to run in tow.
It was a clear sky. The only people in the open square were Anne-Sophia and Euphilia. Euphilia took the sword given to her by Anne-Sophia and held it up.
“… Come to think of it, does Princess Anise also do blacksmithing?”
“Nah. I designed and constructed the parts of the hilt, but I outsourced the sword. I’m acquainted with a blacksmith that can keep a secret. I usually only the hilt, so he gets pretty angry at me but this time he was really excited about the order.”
"So that's why you were out."
“Next time Euphie, I’ll take you with me. I don’t want you to think I’m cruel because I didn’t bring you with me—he just doesn’t like nobles.”
“… I see”
Euphilia understood that there were commoners who disliked the nobility. In the past, the nobility had conducted themselves forcefully and were unreasonably mistreating the commoners, prompting the feelings of resentment and jealousy to grow.
There are many wealthy nobles in aristocracy. It’s expected that feelings of envy felt towards people in such fortunate positions are developed into ill will. It is for this reason that, for my people, I will become someone that everyone will praise, was what Euphilia had thought—then she immediately shook her head from side to side.
She was not the next queen anymore. She is simply Euphilia. Euphilia ran her fingers along the sword built just for her gently, just like a caress, as she passed her magical energy through.
First, she must be comfortable with holding it in her hands – passing magical energy should be natural to her. If one passes magical energy through to the spirit stone, it will shine as if it was trembling with joy.
I wonder if it’d work as a magic staff, Euphilia thought.
Only one way to find out. Euphilia shifts her gaze over to Anne-Sophia.
“I’m going to do some magic. Please allow me space.”
"Got it. Hitting that target over there would be good."
When she was instructed, Euphie began refining her magical energy. In the practice of magic, one must offer the spirits a clear image of what they want to do. One’s magic will only take form if their prayers, wishes, or desires reaches the spirit.
As she felt a familiar tinge resonating in her heart, Euphilia readied and extends the sword outwards and utters—
The moment the word left her mouth and the image was clear in her mind, a fireball emerged and soared from the top of her sword.
The fireball hits the target, scorching it as a result of the impact. Upon seeing her fireball hitting its mark, Euphilia let out a sigh - breathing out the remaining strength from her nervous body.
"How was it?"
"It went smoothly. I could feel the spirits in the spirit stone, so it was easily to convey the magic I wanted to use."
“Didn’t you need to use the incantation?”
“You can skip the incatation if you’ve used a spell enough. I’ve heard of skilled mages not even needing the spell’s name if it’s of their elemental affinity.”
“Hmm… Well, since demons can use magic just by making sounds, I guess that’s just how it is.”
“No, that’s not entirely true. You can skip the incantation, but it has been proven that incantation can strengthen the image and increase the power and accuracy of the spell.
“I see. I can’t really relate, but I understand the concept.”
Mhm mhm. Anne-Sophia enthusiastically folded her arms and nodded her head.
As she directed a weary smile at Anne-Sophia, who she knew was a fan of magic, Euphilia decided to test the sword’s function as a magical sword next.
As usual, a Mana Blade was formed with magical energy. However, the sword in Euphilia’s hand will have a magical element bestowed upon the blade.
Is inlaying water… really okay? Isn’t it difficult to use it without ice?
Fire and wind were more likely to injure Euphilia, and as she was told earth was out of the question, she decided to try using water.
To attune herself with the water spirit, she needed to clear her mind. She must respond to the water spirit stone inlaid in the sword’s handle and resonate with it.
The image manifests around the hilt and covers the blade as it takes form. Just like magic, the image is important. She closed her eyes and begins an incantation to bolster the image.
“Blade. Form… ‘Waterblade’.”
When she opened her eyes, the blade before her was traced with water, managing to maintain the shape of the original blade.
She swung the sword once, then twice. It didn’t seem to lose its shape, although it did add some weight. Euphilia couldn’t help but squeal with excitement.
“This is… how do I put it? Fascinating.”
“I couldn’t get the water to do anything, like maintaining that shape, except to drip… Euphie is amazing!”
"Ah, Princess Anise! It's dangerous to jump onto someone so suddenly!"
Startled by Anne-Sophia’s sudden leap, Euphilia immediately diverted the sword away so that she could catch her.
Anne-Sophia, who seemed to be in such a good mood that she was squirming as she tightly squeezed Euphilia, suddenly goes quiet and stopped moving.
“… Princess Anise?”
Euphilia’s went wide as she shook the shoulder of a collapsed Anne-Sophie, wondering what had went wrong. She immediately let go of her sword and supported Annie-Sophie, upon hearing that she was asleep.
That was a surprise, Euphilia thought. Due to their awkward position, Euphilia sat down to use her lap as a pillow for Anne-Sophia’s head to rest upon.
"… Did you overexert yourself, or are you that simple-minded? You're just like a big child," she sighed.
Despite being older than me, she actually seemed far younger.
However, Anne-Sophia’s personality was the exact embodiment of the various names she was given. The sword was easily complete. Euphilia didn't know if there'd be any demand for it other than her, but one would think that there'd be a demand from the Royal Knights.
“… I don’t think I’ve even done a lap pillow for Prince Algard.”
Euphilia laughed, having once thrown away her humanity and life away in training to become a Queen.
Despite calling myself the next Queen, I could not deepen my relationship with Algard, she thought. One would call it a catastrophic failure.
However, it’s because of that failure I am who I am now. My failure will not disappear, but this feeling of happiness I have in my hands is embarrassingly warm.
"I'm a little jealous of you, Princess Anise."
Her finger combed through Anne-Sohpia’s still dishevelled hair. Should I have Anise take a bath when she wakes up? Euphilia wondered. For now, Euphilia calmly spent the time watching Anne-Sophia’s sleeping face.
T/N: November 7th update. Now with illustrations from the LN and properly edited thanks to Candy-sama.