“Ohoho! Please take a look, everyone. Come and see the shabby commoner not fit to attend this most prestigious and traditional Royal Magic Academy!”
They were the words of a high-ranking noble daughter.
Luxurious vertical rolls of gold with sharp red eyes that intimidate people. Her name was Sylvia Skyrose, wearing a gorgeous dress as if it was just a part of her body. She was the eldest daughter of the Duke of Skyrose, the House that boasts the greatest power in the kingdom second only to the royal family, and a talented student who stood alone at the top of the Royal Magic Academy.
“Just because you can use rare light magic, does not mean that you should be able to attend this school as a scholarship student!!”
The malicious words of the Duke’s daughter Sylvia Skyrose were echoed by the surrounding noble ladies, but the commoner—Talma did not even look at the crowds.
Yes, Talma, the student with the rare magic, only looked at the Duke’s daughter, Sylvia Skyrose.
The focused, unabashed stare was suspicious to Sylvia.
Until now, Sylvia had never called her out and just observed Talma from a distance, but when she suddenly saw that, she felt an indescribable chill run down her spine.
Sylvia was surrounded by several noble ladies, can she withstand the pressure and continue to behave in a dignified manner and without losing her cool?
Sylvia shook her head and tossed them from her mind. She jabbed her finger at Talma and announced her position as the Duke’s daughter.
“I, Sylvia Skyrose, will speak frankly with you. There is no place for you in this time-honored Royal Magic Academy! You should leave at once!!”
At those words, Talma looked down at her chest and murmured.
With the power of the “Duke of Skyrose”, even if Talma was like a stone, she would leave the school to escape.
Yes, even those focused eyes were distorted with fear and she decided to break her gaze—or at least that’s how it was supposed to go.
Why is Talma looking at Sylvia more intensely with her hands pressed together and her eyes sparkling?!
“Such dignity and pride. Yes, you’re a noblewoman, for sure!” Talma said in a trance, rushing over with a face like she was staring at her beloved. “Lady Sylvia, by any means necessary, please become my Mistress!”1 she cried.
“Mi-Mistress?” Sylvia asked.
“I will do anything for you, my Mistress,” Talma said.
This was the beginning of everything.
This moment was the turning point in the life of the prideful and arrogant Duke’s daughter, Sylvia Skyrose.
Elegant and majestic. The Royal Magic Academy could be said to be the symbol of the society’s elites, having already lost the spirit of its founding purpose, “study the nature of monsters and develop talented people who can overcome threats that ordinary folk cannot compete with.”
They built a “backdoor” just so the highest-ranking aristocrats could become part of this most prestigious school in the kingdom, the Academy was now mired in politics and become a microcosm of the noble’s social circles.
… Something that would shake the world to its foundation, the “Darkness” that brings ruin, is sealed in a shrine near the royal capital and has not been on anyone’s minds for quite some time, and without any other wars in the meanwhile, the kingdom has become complacent in this era of peace.
The daughter of the Duke of Skyrose, of the highest-ranking House next to the royal family, belonged to this prestigious Royal Magic Academy.
The Duke’s daughter Sylvia Skyrose.
A dignified and proud noblewoman, she was the future queen already establishing an absolute position of power within the Royal Magic Academy.
“Good day to you,” the other students say.
It was the day after “making an example” of Talma.
Sylvia’s carriage stops near the school gates, students gather around her, straightening up and greeting her with reverence.
This is an everyday occurrence.
It was common sense in this world that anyone lower than Sylvia should bow down before her.
That’s how it should have been…
“Yes, yes, good day to you, my Mistressss!!”
There was a shadow that rushed towards Sylvia and called out to her as if they were already intimately familiar.
Although she was a very ordinary commoner with her mediocre appearance and presence, she was a girl who was allowed to attend the Royal Magic Academy as a special exception, due to her being able to use rare magic.
Sylvia has always been suspicious of Talma.
She would look at her intensely with suspicious eyes and wouldn’t hesitate to act no matter the situation.
That is why Sylvia had done her best to get rid of her but it did not work with Talma at all–
(No, that’s not it,) Sylvia hurriedly thought to herself. (If it doesn’t work the first time, just repeat it as many times as necessary.)
She recalls yesterday’s “example”. She scolds her timid heart and says,
“Are you aware of your identity? There is a ‘proper manner’ to speak even among aristocrats, much less a commoner talking to myself, a daughter of the Duchy. You must realize that you are not worth attending the Royal Magic Academy if you are not well-educated and don’t even know the basics!!”
When she thought it was the proper time, Sylvia turned her nose up at her.
She didn’t say anything untrue. It was the “authority” of the Skyrose Duchy to calmly twist the lives of commoners who were rude to them, even if only once.
Matters do not change even if Talma can use rare magic. It’s difficult to kill a user of Light magic (although Sylvia herself would never resort to something so unsavory even in the direst of circumstances), but it’s easy enough to give a punishment fitting the offense.
That’s how it was supposed to be.
But even then.
For some reason, Talma’s cheeks turned red, her eyes shone as if she was impressed.
“Wah…! Amazing, amazing!” Talma cried.
“Wha-What is?” Sylvia sputtered.
“Oh,” Talma said, “forgive me, Mistress. It’ll be fine, I’ll make sure to remember it.”
Even though Sylvia had just unloaded on her, Talma was smiling as if she was mocking Sylvia. There was something wrong with that attitude, but more so than that, the word “remember” stuck in Sylvia’s mind.
(Fufu, fuufufuu,) Sylvia laughed to herself. (That’s right, you understand now. That you don’t belong to the Royal Magic Academy!!)
If Talma took that to heart, the matter would be resolved quickly. With all that said, she would leave the Academy and never return again–
“Right, here you go,” Talma said.
“? What is this???” Sylvia asked.
“It’s a whip,” Talma replied.
It was exactly as she said.
Talma is holding a menacing whip in both hands and presenting it to Sylvia. It’s like she was making an offering to her lord.
“Now, now, Mistress,” Talma said. “Please punish this dingy, rotten commoner with your hands!”
“Wha-Wha-Wha-Why do you think I’ll do such a thing?!” Sylvia sputtered.
“Eh?” Talma asked. “Isn’t it normal for a lowly pig of a woman who misbehaves to be whipped by her mistress until her skin is bruised and swollen? It’s okay, I already know that!”
“Terrifying, terrifying, terrifying, that’s terrifying!” Sylvia cried. “Where did you come up with such an idea?!”
“…? Isn’t that just common sense???” Talma asked.
“That isn’t common sense at all!!” Sylvia cried, she couldn’t help but yell.
Whatever it was that made her so excited, Talma presses the whip into Sylvia’s hands and says,
“Ah, have you never used these tools before? It’s okay, it’s okay. If it’s you, Mistress, you can handle a whip expertly. In the first place, I’ll be overwhelmed just because I’ll have the chance to be lashed by your hands!! Even if you’re a bit unfamiliar, that’s a small matter, and more importantly, don’t you see…!? If you use me as a practice dummy, you’ll become better at handling whips and you’ll be able to punish me skillfully!”
“I don’t like anything about this!” Sylvia yelled. “No, don’t sneak up on me, and don’t push whips on me, either!”
Sylvia runs away with an undignified scream unfitting a noblewoman. Talma chases after her while raising the whip with both hands.
A thief murdered her parents right before her and after “erasing” the culprit with an outburst of light magic, she was taken into the care of an orphanage. (There were no witnesses at the time, and her memory was hazy, hence it was thought to just be losing control of her magic.)
For several years after that, she shut herself off so intensely that she couldn’t even talk, but with the help of many people including the nun who ran the orphanage, she gradually opened up her heart.
After awakening her skill in rare Light element magic, she was transferred to the Royal Magic Academy as a scholarship student and continues to study here in the present.
Incidentally, most of the compensation earned from her participation in Light magic research at the Academy was being donated to the orphanage.
“–And that concludes our background check on this commoner,” Sylvia’s maid said. “If there are any weaknesses to exploit… Miss? Are you alright?”
Sylvia is red-eyed and sniffling from crying, but she wasn’t even aware of it…
(Having your parents killed in front of her, that’s too much…)
It’s been a week since Talma started causing a ruckus with her Mistress.
She begs to be oppressed every single day! Or, she wants to be slapped with contempt! Or, she wants to be pushed down the stairs! That’s why, come on, hurry up, quickly! Talma is a healthy girl but it may be something of a miracle she’s recovered from all of that.
“I’m certain there’s something I can do to prevent the tragedy of having to kill someone,” Sylvia said. “My status as the duke’s daughter should carry significant weight.”
“But of course it will,” her maid says, nodding firmly and confidently.
As she was impressed by the presence of her mistress before her, she returns to the matter at hand. “As to where we left off… during this investigation, we found a weakness to defeat your enemy, Miss.”
“A weakness?” Sylvia asked.
“Yes,” the maid replied. “This commoner makes large donations to the orphanage that raised her. If we threaten to crush it, she can be kicked out of the Royal Magic Academy–”
It was quiet.
Slowly, yet clearly, the Duke’s daughter Sylvia Skyrose interrupted her maid’s words.
Dignified and proud.
She put on the aura of the “nobility” that most people imagined and said, “This action is unfitting for the nobility.”
“… It’s as you say, Miss. It is my mistake. Please, forgive me,” the maid says, convinced. Unsurprisingly, she lowers her head in shame. “But, if you don’t take advantage of the commoner’s weakness and threaten her, you can’t stop her trying to associate you daily, won’t you?”
“We-Well, that’s… I’ll have to think of some other way!” Sylvia said. “In the first place, I asked for a background check because I wanted to know about her antics, I did not want to search for weaknesses to exploit.”
Other aristocrats would have easily crushed one or two orphanages to further their plans. That was “normal.”
However, Sylvia refused to be swept away by the “normal”. It does not fit with her ideals. Even if that meant putting herself at a disadvantage, her dignity and pride demanded that she should face her adversaries with her own power.
… Aside from that, a threat would be effective, but Sylvia thought it would degrade her pride and that pride was the reason the maids and the other servants of the Duchy were happy to work for her House.
Because she was the Duke’s daughter and she had both the intellectual and magical ability, Sylvia Skyrose rose to the top of the Royal Magic Academy without need for the “backdoor”.
“Mistress…!!” Talma cried.
“Don’t just tackle from out of nowhere because we’re both girls!!” Sylvia yelled.
With the skill and training of a noblewoman, Sylvia avoids Talma’s tackle-hug—and like every other day before today, Talma makes a sharp turn and hugs Sylvia with the help of tracking magic, letting her predict where she’ll dodge to.
“Uhehehee,” Talma giggles with a suspect face, even though she was a mediocre mage that had yet to fully demonstrate the full extent of her power and her rare magic.
Even though Talma was attending the most prestigious magic academy in the continent (though it was half-corrupted by politics), she was in the middle of the pack in spell casting and the lowest in written subjects.
At this most prestigious school, her practical skill was only intermediate and she seemed to have a high aptitude, but that wasn’t the true value of her Light element magic.
Only having rare magic was not enough to be transferred into the Royal Magic Academy as a scholarship student.
The light element was not only rare but also has hidden growth possibility that makes ordinary magic in the dust. (In the old literature, it was said to be constructed with pure mana as opposed to transforming it into “matter” and consuming some of it in the process. It was said that wielders could grow to be stronger than the average magicians, but specifics were unknown).
This was why Syliva did not respect Talma.
There is no justification for a person to attend the Royal Magic Academy when they have a talent but refuses to make it bloom, have no aspirations, and are satisfied with such a strange level of proficiency.
They can’t openly admit the corruption of politics, the damnable “backdoor”, but they shouldn’t allow the talents of such a girl to be wasted.
“Mis-tress,” Talma said. “You’re looking so intense, it looks like you’re about to punish me looking at me with all that contempt!”
“What do you think I want to do to you?” Sylvia asked.
If Sylvia truly despised Talma, if Talma was an enemy, she could do more…
“Ah, I have a candle, do you want to use it?” Talma asked.
“A, candle?” Sylvia asked. “… Hold up a moment. It’s still noon, what am I going to use a candle for?”
“Obviously, so you can drip hot wax on me–” Talma started.
“This is why I’m terrified of your ideas…!!” Sylvia yelled. “How do you even come up with these things…?”
“Isn’t it just common sense?” Talma replied.
“There is no way this is common sense!” Sylvia yelled. “Such an irreverent person like you isn’t allowed to attend the Royal Magic Academy after all…!”
“Waah…” Talma swooned. “That was such a lovely display of emotion just now, Mistress.”
“Why are you happy about this…?!” Sylvia yelled.
Putting aside her being an aristocrat, Sylvia doesn’t feel that bad about this personally… probably.
And then, that day came.
It was a weekday without anything going on.
There were no warning signs anywhere.
Ruin suddenly came.
At the shrine on the outskirts of the royal capital, the seal was blown apart, the Darkness and all the other threats trapped inside spewed forth.
Thousands of years ago, the King of Carnage was the ruler of the monsters and covered the continent with freshly spilled blood and death, the Demon King would devour the souls of everyone regardless of if they were soldiers, mages, or civilians.
In those days when magical technology was far inferior to the present, the kingdom managed to seal the threat of the “Darkness” with the help of the Saint, who had completely learned the nature and weaknesses of the Demon King. Although it was never confirmed—had the management of technology been deteriorating with each successive generation or was it a small breach that couldn’t be noticed from the outside?
The cause was unknown but the results were the same.
The seal was broken. Threats that could only be sealed by the wizards of the past with magical skills far superior to the wizards of today, began to dominate the continent.
The result was, perhaps they had taken things for granted.
The Darkness that erupted from the outskirts of the royal capital easily withstood the attacks of the witches who were the pride of the kingdom, the magical tactics of the sages who had an incredible knowledge of the monsters, and even the highest tier of defense magics deployed around the royal capital.
Perhaps because they knew it would happen, most of the higher-ranking aristocrats have fled the city and abandoned the many commoners who would die to the impending threat if they didn’t receive any help.
The evacuees who fled from the approaching Darkness have avoided casualties but it’s only a matter of time. The commoners, who cannot use much magic and are not blessed with excellent mages, cannot match the speed of the Darkness’s corruption and will eventually be overwhelmed and perish.
Only the talented mages and the privileged classes who control them could survive. It may be possible to escape by flying towards the sky with magic that exceeds the spread of the Darkness, but eventually, the continent itself may be erased, so that would only doom them to gradual decay and extinction.
Still, they would survive for the time being.
Hence, the privileged classes have already fled. The same was true for the head of the Skyrose Duchy and his wife—but their eldest daughter, Sylvia Skyrose, did not follow them.
Sylvia forced back the maids who were trying to follow her and continued back to the royal capital.
She would be lying if she said she had no regrets.
Even now, she’s overwhelmed by the desire to escape, and her eyes couldn’t help but tremble.
However, the Darkness was reaching “the end of the line”. Maybe it would swallow up the entire royal capital and serve as a forward base to reach those trying to escape the destruction it wrought.
“There should be nobles here,” Sylvia said.
So far, she’s enjoyed the benefits of her position as the Duke’s daughter. As she was so blessed, that’s why she had a responsibility to fulfill.
If you were an aristocrat, you should fulfill your responsibilities as well as advance your interests.
… But in reality, the vast majority of people have thrown away their responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean she can follow suit.
She couldn’t blame them. Because it is the weak ones who blame others, who are swallowed up by the Darkness and perish.
She may just be acting foolishly and lose but Sylvia’s soul still screams.
That is not who she is.
She can’t allow herself to flee from here.
She was born as the Duke’s daughter.
Hence, she will stick to the life that she should live.
“At the very least.”
Regardless of it being a building or the ground, it’s swallowed up by the approaching Darkness. How much time does Sylvia Skyrose have to cast a spell to serve as a bulwark? Can she really save these people’s lives?
It’s easy to give up and that’s why the Duke’s daughter Sylvia Skyrose is confronting the Darkness because she can’t stand the idea of giving up.
She should be noble.
She doesn’t want to fall into the trap of just pursuing her interests and escaping her responsibilities.
“I will save as much as I can,” Sylvia said.
Dobaahn!! A familiar shadow tackles Sylvia from behind.
Even though she wheezed from the sudden impact, she could tell who that girl was without seeing her, that voice was too familiar to Sylvia.
“Ms. Talma?!” Sylvia cried.
“Ah, you called me by my name for the first time,” Talma said. “But you can just drop the formalities. Don’t call me ‘Miss.’ You should treat me more roughly…!!”
“Why are you here?!”
Her heart is pounding.
Sylvia couldn’t help but be confused.
Because Sylvia is the Duke’s daughter because so many people are trying to buy time to escape their responsibilities.
But, Talma is different, isn’t she?
She’s just a commoner who can use a rare magical element.
Hence, she has no responsibility. In such a case, it should have been fine for her to run away.
“Did you feel the need to face this threat just because you can use rare magic?” Sylvia asked. “The commoners have no such obligation. That’s why you should at least try to survive–”
“Hmm? Are you not understanding this, Mistress???” Talma screamed as she takes a step forward and puts her face right up to Slyvia. “I’m just acting for your sake. I swear I won’t lose my Mistress in a place like this!”
“That’s why regardless of it being my responsibility or not, it doesn’t matter,” Talma said. “I’ll do it because I want to. No more, no less!”
So that’s why.
Instead of the usual suspect smile, there was a gentle smile on Talma’s face as she looked at Sylvia head-on.
“Give me your orders, Mistress,” Talma said. “To put it short, I can do anything if you ask it of me!!”
“… What kind of person are you?” Sylvia asked. “You’re a very strange girl, aren’t you?”
“Really?” Talma asked. “Isn’t this normal?”
“You’re absolutely unusual,” Sylvia said, snapping at Talma even if she was amazed she had returned. It felt as if the burden weighing down on her heart had left her, she was revitalized.
She realized that she was empowered by the focused eyes of Talma, the ones she thought were suspect until now.
For some reason, Sylvia needs this ridiculous girl by her side.
“Talma,” Sylvia said. “This threat left by the mages of the past, destroy it here and now!”
“Got it, will do!!” Talma said.
Sylvia knew it was impossible.
But maybe, with Talma, it just may not be.
It only took one shot.
The growth potential of the rare Light element magic was terrifying, it blew away all the creeping Darkness.
Or maybe the Light was just a natural counter to the Darkness, but that sort of output was unthinkable in the average mage Talma.
Even at school, her spell casting was at an intermediate level, not even close to this level. The light that time had such enormous power that even the Duke’s daughter Sylvia Skyrose, the one who reigned alone at the top of the school, could not even begin to compete.
“Give me your orders, Mistress. To put it short, I can do anything if you ask it of me!!” Sylvia remembered her saying, but was Talma really able to produce that much power by Sylvia’s command? Sylvia lightly shook her head, believing it was impossible.
“There is no way, that can’t be true, can it….?” Sylvia muttered.
“Hmm?” Talma hummed. “Is something wrong, Mistress?”
“Nothing…” Sylvia said. “No, actually, please answer me one thing. What was that power that defeated the Darkness? Did you ever conceal your true power?”
“No way, that’s not true,” Talma said.
“Then what was it?” Sylvia asked.
“Because it was for my Mistress,” Talma replied. “She’s dignified and proud. My Mistress, who is so perfect, ordered me to do it. Even if it’s reality or fate, I will break through such limitations.”
“Yet again, you’re going on about that…” Sylvia muttered.
“Huh? Don’t you believe me?” Talma asked. “You’re terrible, Mistress. I answered you seriously.”
“Where is the serious part there?” Sylvia asked. “If you’re correct, it’s as if the magical output has increased thanks to your emotions.”
“Hahaha…!” Talma laughed. “Mistress, isn’t love the strongest force?”
“Wha-Wha do you mean, ‘love’, that’s…!” Sylvia stammered. “Don’t make a fool of me!”
She turned away to hide her burning cheeks. Talma said, “I’m not joking.”, Sylvia ignored her and tried to forcibly change the subject.
“Because we’re about to be called to formal audiences, don’t fool around as usual, okay?” Sylvia said. “You can’t be joking around when we’ve got kings and the heads of states gathered around us.”
“Should we really care about those who fled for their lives?”
“Do you really have to be so disrespectful?!” Sylvia yelled. “Do you not understand the situation?!”
“Huah…!!” Talma yelped. “If you order me so strongly, I’ve got no choice but to obey!”
“… Haah,” Sylvia sighed.
They were at the royal castle, in the corridor leading to the audience hall, and the Duke’s daughter Sylvia Skyrose was meticulously trying to prevent future problems.
Talma and Sylvia were granted an audience and reward from the King for defeating and sealing back the Darkness, thus saving a gigantic amount of human lives. (Initially, it was only Talma invited but she cried, “I couldn’t have defeated the Darkness without my Mistress!” and insisted that she wouldn’t go unless Sylvia was also coming with).
Sylvia forced Talma to change into a pure white audience as she attempted to wear her everyday clothes to an audience with the King… “It’s a gift, yahoo!” Talma cried before Sylvia unexpectedly had to take time to calm her back down.
On a related note, Sylvia was dressed in a jet-black dress to make a pair… to which Talma told her, “Please step on me!!” It was difficult to get here for all the arguments, but somehow, they were able to come to the audience in time.
–The audience itself was problem-free, and though they had made history, the King sitting on the throne only gave them the stock phrases.
Talma seemed to stand quietly until the King said, “Talma, let’s reward this achievement. Do you have any wishes?” and she perked up.
“By wish, you mean I can get whatever I want?” Talma asked.
As she was sitting beside her, Sylvia goes wide-eyed, but the King just nods and says, “But of course.”, likely because she was the hero who defeated the Darkness and prevented the world’s ruin.
“In that case, yes. I have just one wish,” Talma said.
At that moment, Sylvia had a bad feeling.
Although Talma was praised by the world as the return of the Saint for defeating the Darkness and saving so many people, her essence was not pure enough to be holy.
She didn’t have the time to stop her.
Immediately after that, in an audience with the kingdom’s highest powers, Talma stood up and proudly shouted:
“I want to belong to my Mistress!!!!”
There was only silence.
While everyone was stunned, only Talma stood satisfied with her eyes shining.
Eventually, the King frowned like he was troubled and asked, “And who is your Mistress?”
“She is Lady Sylvia Skyrose,” Talma replied.
“I see…” the King said.
It was inevitable that even the King couldn’t refuse her, as Talma was being praised as the return of the Saint and was rapidly gaining popularity as the rare magic-user who defeated the Darkness.
He replied as if to oblige her, “We-Well then, shall we make you Sylvia Skyrose’s maid? If you’re her servant, she will be your Mistress in an official capacity.”
“Seriously?!” Talma cried. “I did it, I did it!”
“Ah, I’m relieved to see you so happy. I see, I see,” the King said. “… I don’t really understand the children this generation.”
You can’t go against a royal decree.
Hence, Sylvia had no choice but to scream internally as she sat next to Talma, who was bouncing and expressing her joy with her whole body.
(Why is this happening….?!)
The news spread quickly that Talma, now called the return of the Saint, began serving as the maid the Duke’s daughter Sylvia Skyrose, who herself was called the finest rose of the aristocracy.
There were various whispered speculations and rumors as it was known that the two of them faced the Darkness—the story was so touching that most people were brought to tears—but the truth, unsurprisingly, remained unknown.
At the royal Magic Academy, Talma was now in a maid outfit but as energetic as ever.
“Here, a collar,” Talma said.
“Why are you giving me a collar?” Sylvia asked.
“To prove that I belong to you Mistress, of course,” Talma replied. “Here, here, put it on my neck with your own two hands, Mistress!”!”
“Where did you ever get the idea of putting a collar on a human being?!” Sylvia yelled.
“Isn’t it a classic?” Talma asked.
“By what standards?!” Sylvia yelled. “Stop, don’t press this collar on me!”
“Mistress!!! I love you…!”
“Love, ugh,” Sylvia groaned. “Try to be more normal about this! That way even I–”
“Ah, of course, there’s a rope to connect to the collar, and I’ve also got dog ears and a tail, so you can take me on a walk any time,” Talma said.
“Please listen to me for a moment!!” Sylvia cried.
It’s a scandal to make a master-slave relationship, but it’s odd because Sylvia feels okay with it.
… Though she wouldn’t tell Talma that as she’ll definitely run with it.
- Original word was “Onee-sama” but the context makes it clear she wants to be the “sub” to Sylvia’s “dom”.