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Literature / Two As One Princesses

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As long as I can hear you sing, Ain, I'm happy!

Written by Himezaki Shiu (姫崎しう), the novel follows the adventures of a Japanese boy who was killed when the bus he was riding in experienced a car-accident and he was thrown forward out the windshield. The boy's soul wound up inside an infant girl who had her own soul, as a result of some unknown magical experiment performed on behalf of Duke Respelgia, who most likely is the girl's own biological father. After five years of horrific experiments indistinguishable from torture, with the infant-then toddler chained to a stone bed in a cell, the child's virgin hymen blood is taken for yet another unstated ritual. After the ritual presumably fails, the next five years are spent with the girl being forced to live in a library, studying books on sorcery day and night, her only solace being Ainsel, the former boy whose soul was bound to her. At age 10, the girl later named Cielmer is dragged before an appraiser and her Job is magically revealed as the "disappointing" [Dancing Princess] while Ain's Job was secretly found to be [Song Princess] which is even more reviled in the country where the story takes place. Not happy with this result, the duke has Ciel sold into slavery. The slave merchant and his guards all boast about how bad they expect Ciel's fate to be, even taking bets on how long she'll survive it. The escorts and merchants get their comeuppance when the carriage being used for transport comes under attack by a stampede of monsters Ain summoned with Magic Music, which Ciel then defeats once there are no witnesses. Now the only goal the two have is to find a way to legally flee the country and then live the rest of their lives quietly. This soon proves to be anything but a simple task.


Two As One Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: In volume 2, we learn that Ciel's treatment back in volume 1 is considered relatively benevolent, even though she was repeatedly cut open, had strange medicines poured into her blood, in lieu of food, with the cuts being magically healed shut, from infancy to age 5, and from age 5 to 10, was forced to consume a very dangerous drug to boost her mana capacity.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Even up to volume 3, the most benevolent thing attributed to the nobility is that they treat their children like property. Any and all public works or benevolent conditions in their territories is merely a facade covering for some kind of nastiness.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The reason "disappointing" jobs are frowned upon is their lack of obvious combat utility. [Song Princess] is the top of the list for feared and hated jobs because of an incident where one of them was so horribly persecuted that she summoned a monster stampede to deal with her assailants, destroying the city she lived in and dying in the process.
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  • Circular Reasoning: The reason the [Song Princess] job is hated is because one of them called in a monster stampede on the city she lives in, dying in the process. This would be a reasonable reaction except for the fact that she called in the stampede because the townsfolk were trying to lynch her for no other reason than because of her job in the first place.
  • Crapsack World: The world is full of dangerous monsters, and if the numbers aren't routinely culled, they swarm populated cities, leading to disaster. Combat specific jobs are treasured, while jobs with more mundane or of entertainment value are scorned. Fantastic Racism rules the world, with countries being segregated by race, with the exception of Central, which is technically not a country, but is instead a giant trade hub. For the finishing touch, the aristocracy is so heinous, they can do unspeakable experiments on their own children with nobody so much as able to rebuke them.
  • Demonization: Discussed. As part of their studies into sorcery, Cielmer and Ainsel get the feeling that the public's hatred for "disappointing" jobs is artificially generated.
  • Downer Beginning: The vast majority of Volume 1 involves seeing the infant who would later be named Cielmer chained to a stone bed and being put through things Mengele would be proud of.
  • Fantastic Racism: On two fronts. The country of Ecstone, where the story takes place, is human supremacist, which explains the lack of non-humans, and people with "Disappointing" Jobs are tormented by everyone else, to the point of insanity.
  • Humans Are Bastards: The vast majority of people Ciel and Ain meet are, at best, extremely dismissive of her, and at worst try to exploit her at every opportunity, and when she won't play along, attack her, and when she fights back, and wins, they swear vengeance, to the point they would happily destroy themselves to take her down with them. It says something when one of the most positive interactions she has with adults is when she has a meeting with the boss of the royal capital's criminal syndicate, after she fought off a kidnapping attempt thanks to a "kindly" couple who tried to sell her to them, after she rescued the couple from monsters.
  • Moral Myopia: The people who try to exploit Ciel, for the most part, see absolutely nothing wrong with attacking a 10-year-old child for their own benefit, but when she beats them at their own game and by their own rules, suddenly she's the evil one who needs to be stopped.
  • Mugging the Monster: From the first time Ciel sets foot in the Hunter's (Adventurer's) Guild, people see this cute 10-year-old and think it's a grand idea to try and push her around, taking her stuff, and besmirching her character. Every. Single. Time. she beats them by their own rules and makes them pay the penalty they themselves demanded of her. Even though word does get around to leave the cute silver-haired, blue-eyed girl alone, nobody believes it.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Volume 2 ends with Ciel having to leave the town of Sannois because a gang of thugs posing as hunters tries to frame her causing a monster stampede yelling she's a song princess. Volume 3 involves an incompetent Guild Master in the royal capital letting his reverse discrimination blind him the the fact that a monster stampede is brewing thanks to his negligence and to the grievous harm to his organization done by one of his subordinates outing Ciel's job, and when he fails to brow-beat her, just keeps digging himself deeper until he guarantees Central will send an investigation unit, at which point he tries to bury the evidence by sending assassins at Ciel, with a local noble's backing.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: What's good for Ciel is at worst tolerable, what's bad for Ciel is bad. Ciel has the dubious honor of being right since Humans Are Bastards is in play to its fullest.
  • Ungrateful Townsfolk: After a full 10-months with a spotless hunter's guild record, Cielmer is nearly lynched by the townsfolk of Sannois as a result of false accusations coming from a gang of well-known thugs, bullies, and other miscreants, and had the miscreants had any proof at all of their claims regaring Ciel's job, the townsfolk would have carried out the lynching, even though she rescued them from a monster stampede just moments before and had hard evidence that the miscreants were actually responsible.
    • When Cielmer informs the royal capital branch that a monster stampede is imminent from the local forest, the guild master and noble family sponsoring the Knight Captain of the guard send an assassin after Ciel to try and hide the proof of their incompetence and neglect.
    • When Cielmer is sent back to the royal capital with desperately needed supplies provided by a nearby town's hunter's guild, rather than acknowledge that Ciel completed the quest, having fought her way through an active monster stampede with many, many dangerous monsters even the best hunters on site can't deal with, the sub-guild-master goes full tilt Drunk On Power and orders Ciel be captured, sending multiple B-rank hunters at her, heavily armed. She beats all of them up to within an inch of their lives and then flees the city, going Screw This, I'm Outta Here, country, heading to Central to out him.