SETP Vol. 1 Short Story
Web Version Short Story – Window Trickery
“Remove the window lock.”
It all started from these words.
In my room, the maid Ratifah looked at the pale darkness-colored window, equipped with a lock, and sighed.
“Ehm…Your Highness…might I inquire the reason…?”
“Isn’t it obvious…? I just…feel like removing it.”
I couldn’t come up with a proper reason, so I said the first one which came to mind, with a tone lower than the usual.
“That’s!! 100%!! A lie, right!?!”
“Whaaatt!?! No, no it isn’t!! It happens sometimes, you know. You have never inexplicably felt like removing a lock!?”
I tried pushing through with brute force, but that was too apparent. Ratifah did not look like she would ever accept my pleas.
On the contrary, her momentum only increased.
“…Your Highness, at this point, it is best if you honestly speak your mind. Just this one time, I will only inform the head maid secretly!”
“Hey wait a moment you…not only do you have no intention of letting me get away with it, you’re actively trying to get me punished!”
Ever since the head maid, Feli von Yugstine, caught me red-handed one time, I could not trust my window’s lock anymore.
Always betraying me when it mattered the most. I started completely despising the “human lock” in my room, the shitty maid (Ratifah) now standing in front of me.
“If only there was no lock…if only there was no lock, I would have definitely managed to escape that time…!!!”
“Wasn’t there the option to simply do as you were told…?”
This guy is hopeless— the maid’s sigh, strong enough to shake my eardrums, seemed to express such feelings.
“I-I don’t want to be scolded by the head maid, so I will be taking my— ”
If Feli learned that Ratifah was actually an accomplice of my great escape, she would surely drill Ratifah about the reasons why she did it. Ratifah was trying to leave my room, claiming that she had no part in it, but—
“Wait, wait. We’ve come this far, we’re in it together at this point.”
I firmly caught Ratifah’s slender arm.
“N-no!! Maybe you don’t know, Your Highness, but despite her looks, the head maid is incredibly strict!!”
“I don’t know, and I don’t care.”
“You monster!! Brute!! Demon!! ”
“…I’m a demon….!?”
The words Ratifah threw at me so naturally enraged me beyond description.
“That time I was only caught because YOU didn’t let me go!!!!”
“T-that is one thing, this is different!!!”
Ratifah probably felt guilty about it, as she looked away from me.
“Anyway, the lock is going. And you’re going to help. It’s decided.”
“I didn’t say ye— ”
“If you help me, I’ll forget everything about that time.”
As soon as I said it…
Ratifah’s body shuddered, ever so slightly.
“But if you don’t help, I’m going to bring it up forever, every single day.”
“Your methods are so underhanded…!”
I was well aware, so I pressed her for an answer.
“Time to choose! Take off the lock or be tormented forever and ever!”
Ratifah, with an expression of pain and torment, reflected for a few seconds.
“J-just this time…!!”
In the end, she surrendered.
And at the same time, I realized I had won.
I had gained the means to escape the head maid’s fiendish grasp next time. The means to ensure long, peaceful sleep.
At the time, however, I did not know yet…
That even after this countermeasure, betrayal awaited once more—