The Nation’s Destruction due to the Annulment of the Fox-possessed Lady’s Engagement - One-Shot
“Azu, I’m breaking off my engagement with you.”
That was Prince Lean’s declaration at the graduation party.
It was the worst possible timing, given that the wedding had got scheduled for the following day.
“I’ve thought about it for a long time. Why should I marry someone possessed by a fox?”
That wasn’t the only reason.
Prince Lean was accompanied by Viscountess Maiya, who had a dark smile on her face.
In a nation where only humans exist, beings born with fox ears are abhorred and called fox-possessed.
Prince Lean is no exception.
However, despite having shown a long history of hating her as if she killed his parents, the engagement period between Duchess Azu and Prince Lean was surprisingly short.
It lasted about three months, or to be more precise, one hundred and eight days, which oddly enough, was the number of cities in the kingdom.
In order to keep the ugliness of a political marriage to a fox-possessed duchess as small as possible, they decided to announce their engagement just three months before Lean’s graduation from the academy.
During the three months, Azu’s behaviour as a duchess and as the Prince’s fiancée was perfect. She showed her love for Lean, no matter how cold he was.
Even Lean knew that if he put up with Azu’s cursed looks, his future would be secured.
However, having found true love, Prince Lean finally lost his patience with his fox possessed-fiancée and annulled their engagement.
When Lean looked over at the guests’ table, the king looked pale and started trembling.
Lean looked around, feeling uncomfortable, but this was to be expected, as he didn’t mind getting disowned.
But it was not only the king.
All the nobles who sat in the guests of honour seats had the same pale faces.
Even graduate and current students alike had pale faces and were shaking.
Some were even fainting.
Apart from Lean, the only people who weren’t trembling with fear were Naiya and Azu.
“How many days has it been today…?”
“If I knew this would happen, I would have sooner…”
Lean noticed the strangeness around him, but he didn’t know what was happening.
His instincts were telling him something, and he just stared into Azu’s red eyes, who still acted as if normal.
Azu laughed and turned her hand to Lean.
“This bet is mine to win. I feel sorry for Prince Lean, the only one who doesn’t know what’s going on, so let’s give him his memory back.”
A black haze came out of Lean’s head and got sucked into Azu’s head.
It caused Lean to have a raging headache.
He immediately remembered what had happened and almost collapsed, but he managed to stay on his feet.
Six months ago, the Empire, a neighbouring country and a military superpower, attacked the kingdom.
It was clear to everyone that the kingdom could not win, so the royal family resorted to using an abomination.
It was the summoning of an evil god.
The girl that had appeared from the summoning circle, which had sucked the lives out of several people, did not seem much like an evil god, but it was clear from her fox ears that she was a being different from humans.
One of the soldiers had approached her mockingly.
“I don’t think this girl is an evil god. Isn’t she a failure? Anyone could easily kill her if they poked her with a spear… Heh.”
The girl with fox ears pointed her hand at him.
Suddenly, darkness swallowed the soldier, and a humanoid shadow remained where the soldier was once standing.
Everyone got convinced that she was the evil goddess.
The girl lowered her hand in a bored manner and looked toward the king.
“Your wish is the collapse of the neighbouring country. Originally, I would demand the price to be paid immediately, but it would be boring to just receive it normally, so why don’t we make a wager?”
“Anything you want.”
The king bowed his head.
“Offer me one of your princes. How about we bet on whether he will marry me on the date we agree on?”
“With all due respect, such can be decided by a single action of you, Evil Goddess. For example, if we bet whether we’ll get married, there is no way for us to win if you break off the engagement.”
The girl stopped to think for a moment, but then, seemingly convinced by the king’s words, she replied.
“Then I will act like a common duchess, and only the prince can annul the engagement. I will erase the prince’s memory of me, but I will leave the rest of his memories about being royalty and the nobility.
“Then I will choose the one who marries.”
Although he felt indirect pressure from the rules set by the evil god to bet on who she would marry, he still wanted to bet on the one who had the better chance of winning.
The king bet on the one he chose would marry her.
“If you win the bet, I will take nothing as price, but if you lose… Yes, I will destroy the same number of cities as the number of days it took him to annul the engagement.”
“Instead of leaving them? No, I understand. I’m willing to accept your terms.”
“Then we have a deal. Show me what you can do.”
The girl’s body deformed, ceasing to be human and disappeared.
The next day, the royal family got informed that the Empire had collapsed overnight.
In a sense, Lean got offered as a sacrifice.
The engagement was declared null the day before the wedding, one hundred and eight days after it got announced, the same number as all the cities in the Kingdom, including the royal capital.
It was the worst possible result in the bet.
“There was a tendency in the kingdom to dislike the fox-possessed, but did I reject her even more because I remember somewhere within that she was an evil god…?”
Lean felt a weight on his arm and recalled that he had a lover next to him.
Only Naiya, the Viscountess, leaning close to him, did not seem to feel any fear.
His love for the eerily smiling women instantly disappeared.
He felt a similar fear for the woman as he did for the evil god.
In the first place, although only Lean got deprived of his memory, the details of the bet weren’t kept only amongst the royal family but shared with nobles and commoners.
Lean was also aware of the bet before his memory got erased.
Everyone must have realized it would have been foolish to plan a last-minute love affair, even if it was from the beginning.
“Naiya, who the h**l are you?”
“I’m just a viscountess, but my family were imperial spies.”
Lean was horrified by Naiya’s loyalty to the Empire.
“Are you going to destroy the Kingdom just to avenge the Empire? What about your own life?”
Instead of answering, Naiya burst into giggles.
He was afraid of that which he didn’t understand, even if the other party wasn’t human.
Lean pushed Naiya away and ran to Azu.
Naiya was still giggling even though she had fallen.
He fell to the ground crying in front of Azu and begged for forgiveness.
In any case, he wanted to at least save himself.
“We still have half a day left! Can’t you just let half the royal capital away!?”
The dignity of a prince was nowhere to be found.
Even the Empire, a military superpower, did not last a day.
There was no way for the Kingdom to defeat the evil god.
“Only the nobility, no, just royalty! Just help us a little…”
Tears streamed down his cheeks, and he stopped caring what people around him might think of him. He only wished with all his heart.
Evil Goddess Azu was taken aback by the prince’s humanity, fascinated by his pitiful appearance.
“Lean, my beloved betrothed…! There is nothing lovelier than a foolish human. Hahahaha.”
Called by his name, Leaned freaked out but remained on the ground.
“If you insist so much, I’ll leave one of you alive, while I will kill the rest. You can decide who to leave behind, Lean.”
The kindness the evil god showed suddenly made the people around him, who had been fussing, ranting and worrying about what would happen, react.
—All at once, they surrounded Lean.
“You, you want to be the king, right?”
“You’ll definitely choose your mother, no?”
“Lean, we’re friends, aren’t we?”
[TLN: They use ‘俺’, ‘私’, and more, which is hard to show in English.]
Annoyed, Azu hovered her hand over the swarm of humans, and darkness wrapped around each of them, pulling them away from Lean as if to peel them away from him.
With the sound of her heels, Azu approached Lean.
“Who will you choose, Lean?”
Curses started flying from those around him who were immobilized and unable to move.
“It’s your fault, and you are the only one trying to escape.”
“You are disgusting! —Die with me!”
“I won’t forgive you now, nor will I forgive you in h**l.”
Azu turned her bright smile to the people around him.
“I like humans. They are stupid, selfish, and lovely.
As soon as Azu held up her hand, people were swallowed by darkness, one by one.
The cries of despair orchestrated the area as if to remind them they were at a graduation party.
“I love humans. However, I love Lean the most as he is foolish enough to give enough for the sake of his own interest. Let’s not continue with sad things such as the annulled engagement. Let’s have a round.”
Lean shakingly agreed.
For the time being, only one person was guaranteed survival.
He did not know how much h**l he would have to live through.
“That’s a good reply. Now then, it’s not convenient for you to take a turn with my with a human body, so let’s give you a fix.”
Dozens of black tentacles wrapped around Lean’s body, cutting into his flesh and crushing his bones.
After a while, only a lump of flesh the size of a crystal ball remained.
Its pulse showed that it was still alive, but no one will be able to recognize it as a former human being.
“You look very cute now, don’t you? Now, let’s… head home.”
Grabbing the lump of meat, Azu gave orders to the patch of darkness under her command with a finger and then disappeared.
It didn’t take long for an unidentifiable black thing to sweep across the nation and destroy the Kingdom.
In a world where kingdoms have disappeared from the map, following the Empire, evil gods are still summoned from time to time.
Amongst them, Evil Goddess Azu was valued as a relatively good evil god who thinks first about spending time with her beloved husband and doesn’t demand an overbearing price.
Those who have dabbled with the abominations and Azu will say,
“The figure of the evil god lovingly sticking a lump of meat is horrifying, but it somewhat resembled a maiden in love, and I felt a sense of fragility.”
It was said that the Evil Goddess Azy lived with her beloved Lean for a long time, forever, and ever, and ever.