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novem arc

 Intermission: The Emperor Who Couldn't Run Away Novem Arc

"Oh pitiful Lyle-sama... tricked by that Miranda."

"... Oy, stop it. Don't get any closer. Someone save me!"

Lyle's office.

The day after Lyle had been fooled by Miranda.

The room behind the office you could call his private room had been firmly locked up.

Saying he didn't want to go to the inner palace anymore, when night came, Lyle tried to spend it in his office. Then came Novem.

"It will be fine. I will never try to deceive you, Lyle-sama. I merely came to tell you fair and square that I've finished with my preparations!"

"A girl shouldn't be saying such things! I, even after all that's happened, I still have dreams of women! Please believe me. My fantasies... please let me see the dreams I dream! I want to stay deceived! I don't want to know the truth! The truth... it all does naught but hurt the hearts of man!"

Lured to the inner palace by Miranda, she went and had his way with him.

And today he had lamented, "This isn't how I wanted it to be!" But Novem smiled as she shook her head to the side.

"Lyle-sama, I'm sure you already understand. And once you know, there is no turning back. Now come to the inner palace with me. If it's dreams you desire, I'll show you as many as you want on the bed."

As Novem snapped her fingers, the Valkyries flooded in.

"Y-you all!? Why are you cooperating with Novem? I thought you were hostile to her!"

Representing the Valkyries, one unit stepped forward. From the pink ribbon fastening her hair, he could tell it was Unit Seventy One.

"... The enemy of an enemy is a friend. If it will free our master from that scrap heap called Monica, then we will become that which goes bump in the night."

As Lyle was driven to the far wall, he tried to call for allies.

"Kuh! There's no helping it. I can only rely on... Moni..."

"Even if you call her, Monica isn't coming. I already entrusted it to Baldoir and some Valkyries to apprehend her."

Novem had first dealt with the troublesome Monica. Lyle was cornered.

"W-wait I just want to..."

Lyle tried to get away by any means, but subdued by Valkyries and lifted up, he began his move towards the Inner Palace.

Novem smiled.

"In the time it takes for us to reach my mansion, I'll hear out everything you want to say. It's alright. I've already prepared the food and the bath."

(I-I have to run. I have to get away!)

Even lifted up by the Valkyries, Lyle squirmed. The wire that bound him seemed to be custom-made, and it didn't tear so easily.

"I'm tired today..."

"And so you'll be resting in my mansion. Don't worry. You just have to lay down, and I'll do the rest."

"As a man, I can't just..."

"Oh, in that case, do your best."

Nothing he said would liberate him. Fully understanding that, Lyle stopped resisting and fell limp. Along the way, they passed by Baldoir who confirmed his state.

Lyle looked at Baldoir, begging for salvation.

"Oy, Baldoir!"

"Lyle-sama, I'll get your office back in order for you."

Lyle watched Baldoir's back as he left the area.

(Kuh! That man pursues the interests of the empire more than my interests as an individual. He isn't wrong. He isn't wrong, but... if this is how it's going to be, I'll use the authority of the empire to find him a new partner.)

As he thought that, Lyle arrived at a place under strict security.

On the other side of the gate guarded by two Valkyrie units lay Lyle's inner palace. No, the inner palace prepared for the emperor.

A small town lay inside the castle.

It was surely a bizarre sight.

"Making something like this... that's why I was opposed!"

There, Novem made it clear.

"It was a necessary measure. In essence, it's your fault for not laying a hand no matter how much time passed. You understand the worry of those around, do you not?"

"Kuh! I can't refute that!"

Form the eyes of those around, he only associated with Maksim and Damien, a biased sample, and as jokes didn't get through to Baldoir, Lyle had ended up relying on Monica.

The wimp part of him still persisted. At the point he turned to Monica, those around already experienced quite a sense of panic.

Lyle had noticed how restless Baldoir had become.

(But just getting right to it without any preparations is no good, right!? So it's my bad for trying to at least get the knowledge alone!? It's my fault!?)

As he entered the inner palace, Lyle looked around. There, he saw a single building with a sheet draped over it.

(Huh? That's strange? I got a report saying the inner palace was completed, but are they still constructing something?)

Perhaps it really wasn't completed, or they had decided to construct something new, Lyle Thought as he arrived at the most splendid estate of the inner palace.

As the official empress, Novem's mansion was constructed especially large. There was an order in place, and the splendor of the mansions had a ranking to them as well.

But even the smallest mansion, from Lyle's point of view, was plenty big enough.

"... It's needlessly large."

There, the Valkyries released Lyle and lowered him onto the floor. Novem turned to him.

"Well then. Lyle-sama. Would you like a meal? Or a bath? Or perhaps..."

Her face flushed, Novem wouldn't put the rest to mouth. And yet Lyle folded his arms and gave a normal reply.

"I'm quite famished, so a meal would be nice. Rather, you said you already prepared it, and I doubt it will taste the same once it's gone cold."

Novem made a dubious face; the surrounding Valkyries shook as they contained their laughter.

"T-then come into my mansion. The preparations are in order."

"A mansion in a castle, rather a whole town? This definitely feels strange. I heard there are stalls and shops running in the plaza."

Lyle looked over the inner palace once more. Novem's mansion alone was built on a higher point than the others, so he could look over it in its entirety.

Novem smiled as she answered.

"Normally, the women who enter here... the empress and mistresses don't go out without reason. The stalls are geared towards attendants and maids. The shops are the same. Well, with a small town here, the children will be able to learn quite a bit, I thought."

Hearing of children, Lyle imagined the sights of his own children running around. Thinking of that, it was an amazing environment.

(... No, do we really need it? They could just go outside like a normal person. Why did we have to build something like this?)

"Limited to women, there are places songs and the like are performed as well. Just a little while ago, one of Eva's acquaintances was performing a song and a play... they came in from Zayin, so it was a performance of the Holy Knight and the Holy Maiden, though."

Lyle could tell Novem's atmosphere had changed a bit, as he was urged to enter the mansion in haste. And what awaited was...

"What's this?"

"I prepared some food to give you strength. I made over half of it myself."

Of the various dishes lining the large table, they were all to build stamina, a majority of them quite thick.

The taste looked thick too. Just looking at them was enough for Lyle's hunger to feel sated. Of all else, thinking of what was to come, there were definitely some expectations placed on him.

"... T-thank you for the meal."

"Yes, dig in."

Before Novem's smile, there was no way he could decline, so Lyle dived into the food. In his head, the face of the Fifth Generation head of his House floated up. The Fifth made a knowing face.

[Good luck.]

He seemed to say.

(Fifth... harems really are nothing but trouble. If this was how it was going to be, I'd have preferred being an adventurer.)

Second Generation Head (;・∀・): "Boys are those that always dream. That's why, that's why... harems must by fluffy, with the sweet taste of candy, or it's no good!"

Third Generation Head ( ゜∀゜): "Harem stories are no good if they can't give dreams to the good girls and boys! I'm worried that Lyle may dry up lol."