Kiara’s Social Status
Kiara addressed Fran after she finished rummaging through her closet.
“First, we head towards Schwartzkatze! We gotta tell everyone that us black catkin can evolve.”
“Everyone in the village has already been informed while you were asleep,” said Guendalfa.
“Excellent! I’m sure those that are interested in evolving have already started recruiting party members to hunt evil beings. I shall join them at once.”
“Schwartzkatze?” Fran tilted her head.
“It’s a village of black catkin,” explained Guendalfa. “After being freed from slavery, many black catkin either lost their homes or couldn’t make the journey back to their hometowns. The village was built as a place where they could recover their livelihoods in a safe environment.”
“Yeah, you should come with me and show your face around,” said Kiara to Fran. “Everyone will probably love you.”
With that, Kiara headed towards the door but was stopped by the maid who grabbed her by the arm.
“I won’t let you go,” she said. “You’ve been bedridden for almost twenty days. You need to rest for at least another week.”
“Ugh. Dammit Mia! Let me go!”
Kiara tugged on her arm but it would not budge no matter how much she struggled. She even grabbed the edge of the doorway to help pull herself through but all that did was make the doorway bend and creak.
Holy shit! That maid is strong! Aren’t Kiara’s stats supposed to be massive since she gets double the normal stat growth from that blessing she had? Goddamn dude, that maid hasn’t moved an inch! Wait that maid’s already evolved!?
“These royal maids really do live up to their reputations,” said Guendalfa.
“Definitely. Royal maids are the cream of the crop, hand picked to serve the royal family and guests of honor. They are selected from an early age and trained extensively in etiquette, housekeeping, hospitality, and even combat. I’d get totally slaughtered if I tried picking a fight with any one of them.”
Having given up on struggling against Mia, Kiara turned to Fran.
“Oh, so by the way, I heard that you came here by boat from the other country. How was the weather on your journey?”
An awkward silence followed. Kiara gave her arm a quick tug but the maid still gripped it tightly.
She tried to distract the maid with small talk! How embarrassing!
“…So what did you come here for?” asked Kiara sheepishly.
“Came here to meet Kiara. And one more person.”
“Wait Fran. I don’t think you should mention the god-tier blacksmith. The Beast Lord said that all info on him was supposed to be classified…”
“I know.” She replied telepathically. “Won’t say more.”
“I see,” said Kiara. “Well I wish I could help you more since you’re a black catkin like me, but I don’t think I can. I might live in a fancy room like this but I have no influence outside of that doorway.”
“Nonsense,” said Mia. “There is almost no one who would oppose your will, Lady Kiara.”
“Hmph. Anyone that listens to an old crank like me should throw themselves in jail.”
“I’m sure they would if you asked them to.”
Wow. Mia seems pretty relaxed for a royal maid. She isn’t as uptight as the other maids we’ve met.
“But seriously,” Mia continued, “You cannot call yourself unimportant after providing many of the country’s most important individuals with your teachings. The Beast Lord, the Princess, the generals, the royal maids, the castle guards. Many of us spent our entire childhood under your care, and we would come running to your bedside if you called.”
“Damn I messed up,” said Kiara. “I shouldn’t have trained you so hard when you were younger if I knew you were going to get strong enough to stop me at this point!”
“Too bad. You’ll have to be more careful next time.”
“Give it up. You’re not in top shape right now. The adrenaline rush you are having is keeping you from noticing that fact.”
“You don’t have to exert yourself right this minute. The evil beings aren’t going to vanish anytime soon. Have someone at the top lay out the groundwork for you. I was not kidding when I said that half the castle would come running if you called.”
“Fine.” The tension in Kiara vanished. “Mia, go and get me someone decently competent from the castle.”
“As you wish.”
Mia let go of Kiara, took out a piece of paper, wrote down a small message, and handed it off to a maid waiting outside the door.
Kiara straightened out her clothing.
“Fran, I know I said this before, but I’m very grateful that you came here to see me. You are truly a light in my life. I would like to do something for you to express my thanks. As you can see, I have a fair bit of unofficial power in this castle.”
“No need. Didn’t do for thanks.”
“Hah! Good answer. But I’m not asking out of any sense of obligation. I just want to do something for you. It really can be anything, ya know? For example, I don’t mind permanently removing somebody you consider an eyesore.”
“No thanks. Would do that myself.”
“Really? No, you’re right. It’s more fun to do it by yourself.”
Dias was right. Fran and Kiara do get along in weird ways. Both are female black catkin warriors that could casually talk about assassinating someone they didn’t like.
Fran and Kiara continued to chat about some rather concerning topics, stopping only after they were interrupted by a knock outside the door.
“Excuse me. Did you call for me, Madam Kiara?”
“Yeah, come in.”
An old man entered the room. He had silvery gray hair and was wearing an embroidered vestment robe. He spoke cheerfully.
“Madam Kiara, I have come to answer your call.”
“There you are. I was wanting to introduce you to someone.”
“Oh?” he turned to Fran. “You must be the Black Lightning Princess.”
“What? You already know of her?”
“Of course. I think you were the only person in the country that didn’t.”
The man bowed elegantly to Fran.
“Greetings, my lady. Forgive me for not introducing myself earlier. My name is Raymond, and I hold the position of Prime Minister of this country.”
Holy shit! I knew he looked important, but he’s actually the Prime Minister!? Kiara really knows how to throw her weight around.
“C ranked adventurer, Fran. Sometimes called Black Lightning Princess.”
“Stop it with the excessive bowing already,” said Kiara. “You made it to Prime Minister, so if you keep on lowering your head people will stop respecting your position. Hold your head up high and keep your eyes looking forward. ”
“That was simply due to the grace of the current beast lord. At heart, I am simply a humble public servant.” He turned back to Fran. “I was previously informed of your circumstances by His Majesty and was told to accommodate your needs during your stay. I will also get that letter of recommendation to that person written as you requested. Is there anything else you require of me?”
Fran spoke to me telepathically.
“Nothin’ from me. You?”
“Just one. Want to visit black catkin village.”
“Sounds good to me. Go for it.”
Fran told Raymond her request.
“Understood,” he said. “Truth be told, I was actually going to ask you to visit Schwartzkatze. Your request is most timely. I have a map already prepared for you.”