|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3225 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1478 words|
|Editor(s): Alruna Zelenia|
As the Lady of the castle politely greeted them, they quickly scrambled for a quick apology.
「My name is Inglis Eux. We’re sorry for the commotion.」
「I’m Rafinha Wilford! Sorry for being so noisy!!」
「No, it’s okay. Bathtime here is usually much louder than this.」
Cyrene waved off their apology with a gesture of her hand.
She looked just like any other ordinary person, but kinder and prettier.
However, this attitude only just baffled Rafinha.
「What do we do, Glis…? She’s a Highlander but she seems like she’s a good person.」
「Isn’t that good though?」
Even when they asked the lady from the restaurant and the castle keepers, they all had only good things to say about the Highlander.
And they appeared to be true. At least at first glance, she gave off such an impression.
However, who could deny that her smile could just be a disguise used to fool them?
「What’s the matter?」
「「N-, no! It’s nothing…!」」
The two immediately hushed themselves.
「If you’re fine with it, why don’t we chat while soaking in the bath? This is a rare occasion after all.」
The moment Cyrene said so, pitter-patter footsteps were heard from outside the bath.
「We want to enter the bath together!」
「We didn’t sleep just so we could join you!」
Three girls, about four to six years of age, rushed into the room with their clothes still on.
Looking at them, Inglis recalled herself and Rafinha a few years ago. Such cute little children. 1
「Dear me. Rino, Miyumi, Chiko. You girls are still awake?」 2
Cyrene called them by their names.
「Ah, come on, girls! You’re getting your pajamas wet! Come, let’s go back to your beds.」
A middle-aged woman with a fairly fit physique came in chasing after them.
「It’s okay, Mimosa. Everyone, take off your clothes. Why don’t we enter the bath together? Also, don’t trouble Mimosa too much, okay?」
The children were happy and jumping around.
「I’m in, I’m in!」
Again, pitter-patter footsteps were heard exiting the bath.
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「Good gracious… They don’t listen to me at all.」
「I’m sorry for the trouble, Mimosa. You have to work so hard because of me.」
「Never. It’s not hard at all. My son was around their age too when he died… They remind me of him.」
The woman called Mimosa smiled and went after the children to help them take their clothes off.
「Wild little bunch, aren’t they? Usually, the boys join in too, so it is usually even crazier than it is now.」
Cyrene said, with a smile full of affection.
After which, as the trio ran around the bath with their small feet, splashing water at each other, Inglis and Rafinha told of their story.
About how they came from the fortified city of Ymir. How Rafinha was the daughter of the Marquis while Inglis was the daughter of the Commander of the Chivalric Order.
How the two of them were traveling to the Royal Capital to enroll at the Knight School. And how they had used up their traveling funds in the middle of the journey and had to work as mercenaries.
「Ahahaha! You two are too cute! You ran out of money because you ate too much tasty food, really?」
「Well, the food here is delicious after all… Right, Glis?」
「I should be grateful of all that food then since it brought you girls here.」
「We will repay your favor to the best of our ability!」
「I don’t think we can stay for that long but I’m pleased to work with you.」
「Yes, me too.」
A gentle smile greeted them back.
「Excuse me, can I ask something?」
Suddenly, Rafinha cut in.
「What might be it?」
「Are those girls the children the castle is looking after?」
「Yes, they are. These children have no family to take them in. They used to live in the back alleys without food or shelter. I can’t bring myself to just leave them out there like that.」
「Even though you’re a…. Highlander?」
「Maybe it’s because I’m a Highlander, at least that’s what I think」
「What do you mean?」
「There are no children like these girls on the Highland. Children who are cold and hungry. We do not lack in food, with all that we receive from the grounded kingdoms, so everyone has enough for themselves.」
「…Heeh, so it’s like that.」
「I had the opportunity to visit the ground before I became the Consul of this town, and I was surprised to learn the circumstances of the children down here. What we took for granted in our home in the sky, was a luxury down here. This was what I learned in my journey on the ground. Ever since then, I had been asking myself if there was anything I could do for those children… In the end, I volunteered to be a consul so that I may be sent to the ground. All because I wanted to help these children in any way I could… same goes for the sick and the injured.」
「I’m sorry to ask, but aren’t Highlanders who share this same opinion part of the minority?」
Inglis raised a question as well.
「You’re right. But, what’s important is not what the other Highlanders think, it is what I want to do. And I want to see those children smile.」
From within Cyrene’s normally soft eyes, a spark of strong will radiated.
「S-, so admirable! I support this! We’ll do our best to meet your expectations, just ask anything of us!」
Rafinha’s eyes were gleaming as she was holding Cyrene’s hand tightly.
Due to her strong sense of justice, she was susceptible to other people’s goodwill and virtuous mind.
She only saw the person in front of her instead of the bigger picture. That was why she was so supportive of Cyrene.
In short, she was pure. Although, Inglis couldn’t say that aspect of hers was a bad thing but…
Had Cyrene been sent as the Consul of Ymir instead of Nova, would Rafinha still think the same of her?
Since this had happened to Nova, it could only be a matter of time before the same befell Ymir as well.
Cyrene wasn’t the one at fault.
The territory’s lending-owning process was beyond her authority.
She just happened to be sent here after the papers were stamped, with her own ambition and understanding of the situation.
「I’m glad you said that! Thank you very much!」
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Cyrene smiled gently in return. These two seemed to be getting along quite well. 3
「Pardon me, but I have another question to ask….」
This time, Inglis raised her hand. 4
「Yes, please do.」
「I feel like the Mana flow in this town is odd. Is there a reason to it?」
It was a sense of discomfort Inglis had been feeling ever since they set foot in this town. From how she looked at it, it seemed like the people’s mana was pulled out from their feet. Or perhaps sucked out, if that served a better explanation.
Since most people living on the Ground couldn’t perceive mana, nobody seemed to notice this fact.
And, as the amount of mana taken was minuscule, there wasn’t any strong effect on their physical condition.
Fearing it might do something to Rafinha’s body, Inglis wanted to recommend changing towns first when Rafinha brought up the topic of work.
But, since it had come to this, Inglis would rather look for the cause of this phenomenon if she could.
Perhaps there was a strong opponent slumbering at the end of this mystery.
If so, she’d gladly wake it up and defeat it.
When she thought about it, ever since her last fulfilling fights with Eris the Hyrule Menace, Holy Knight Leon, and the beast-Rahal when she was twelve, she hadn’t yet encountered any more tough opponents.
She had waited for three years.
It was time for the next strong opponent to show up already. 5
「I’m sorry, I have no clue.」
Said Cyrene, shaking her head.
「Is that so?」
「I don’t understand but you sure it’s not just you, Glis?」
「Hmm… I don’t think it is…」
I’ll investigate it myself then. Inglis thought
「Umm. I too have something to ask of you two, may I?」
This time, Cyrene was the one to ask the question.
「Yes, ask away!」
「Of course. Anything you want.」
「Okay, then. Umm…Would you two still be willing to help me if you had to fight against humans instead of magic stone beasts?」
With her eyes dead serious, Cyrene’s eyes stared straight at the two.
- Eli- You are still a child too.
- Al- …Awfully japanese sounding names for a story that’s supposed to be set in a more European place :|
- Al- While naked in a bath… sure okay…
- Al- not like we’re in a classroom…
- Eli- I feel like this story is lacking in creativity for some reason. Probably just me