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Chapter 416 – 16 Year Old Inglis and the Highland on Distance Sea (25)

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Author: Hayaken Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2418 characters
Translator: Mab English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 949 words
Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad

“Pardon for the intrusion!”

Leading the way, Rafinha bounded up the gangplank and onto the ship. But there wasn’t any response. Not vocally, at least.

Just as she stepped onto the ship, sentries positioned themselves, one on each side. Their long guns were equipped with spear-like blades beneath the barrels—bayonets, if Inglis recalled correctly.

They crossed their weapons in an X shape, blocking Rafinha’s path. Yet, they remained silent.

Completely concealed in full-body armor, these soldiers belonged to Highland, led by Vilma. They were likely assigned here for surveillance and security.

“E-, excuse me…! Sorry, can we go through?!”

Even in response to Rafinha’s plea, the two soldiers remained silent, steadfastly blocking her way.

“Is that a no…?! Then please, can you tell us if the people who were brought here by force are still aboard…?”

Rafinha tried altering her question, but was met with the same resolute silence.

“Is it true that the girl Miss Vilma escorted earlier is the princess of Venefique…!?”
“What are your intentions towards her…!?”

To these inquiries, the two soldiers still gave no answer.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if you answered at least something…!? Hey, hey, hey!”

Yet, there was no response.

It wouldn’t be surprising if they shooed her away after all this ruckus, but their complete silence and stillness could perhaps be seen as gentlemanly in its own way.

“Hey, Glis, what should we do…!?”

Forcibly breaking through was possible, but considering the potential consequences, it wasn’t desirable.

They were here on behalf of Special Envoy Theodore, representing the nation of Charalia. If they caused any trouble, it could provoke a diplomatic issue between Illuminas and Charalia, and it would reflect poorly on Special Envoy Theodore.

Moreover, Eris was currently undergoing treatment in the Sarcophagus of Greyfriar. In a sense, she could be considered a hostage.

Their position was undoubtedly precarious.

Now, what to do? That was the question at hand.

“Those people have already been transferred. As for the young lady escorted by the Highland knight, she is indeed the Princess of Venefique. Her name is Princess Meltina. She was identified as having potential to become a Hyrule Menace, so she was taken for that purpose. Quite an honor, isn’t it?”

The one who finally responded was Über, the representative of the Æthelstan Firm, who had greeted Vilma earlier. Perhaps having heard the commotion, he appeared in the corridor of the ship blocked by the soldiers.

His mild, well-modulated voice answered all the questions Rafinha and the others had asked.

“You… you’re the one from before…”
“Well. These soldiers have unwavering loyalty; they don’t know fear or fatigue, but they aren’t very adaptable to situations like these. So, allow me to answer in their place. I haven’t properly thanked you for assisting the ship… Were my answers sufficient?”
“Th-, thank you…”

Despite expressing gratitude, suspicion still tinged Rafinha’s face.

Given that the Æthelstan Firm, led by Über, was transporting people to Highland much like a human trafficker would, such suspicion was only natural. From Inglis’ perspective, it was prudent not to get too close to him.

“But then, where have they taken her?! The princess asked us to help them, and I’m sure she’s a good person…! To sell off someone as kind as her, that’s just terrible! Why would you do such a thing…?”
“Now, now, please calm down. I have no intention of causing trouble for those who have helped us, and if possible, we hope to continue our good relationship in the future.”
“If that’s what you think, then answer my question!”
“Of course. However, standing here isn’t the best place for a discussion. Would you care to come inside for some tea and sweets? Everyone, please treat our guests with hospitality.”

At Über’s invitation, the two soldiers stepped aside. It seemed they were prepared to at least listen to the owner of the ship to some extent. Once inside the ship, the girls were led to a room resembling a reception area, where they were served tea.

The tea had a pleasant aroma and tasted exquisite, with a refined flavor. The cookies that accompanied the tea were equally delicious.

“This is delicious, isn’t it, Rani?”
“Yes… it’s delicious…”

Even as she said this, Rafinha’s expression remained tense, almost a scowl. The usual radiant smile she wore when enjoying something tasty was nowhere to be seen. Given the circumstances, it was understandable.

“Pardon me, but I’ve never heard of the Æthelstan Firm in Charalia. Where do you primarily conduct your business?”
“We mainly do business in Venefique and its southeastern allied nations. We don’t often venture to Charalia, so it’s understandable that you haven’t heard of us.”

Even to the small, six-year-old Inglis, Über responded with utmost politeness.

“You handle a lot of business from the country of Venefique, so expanding to Charalia might jeopardize your current operations… Is that right? Considering the deteriorating relations between Venefique and Charalia, making a wrong move could lead to accusations of collusion.”

“Hmm…? Why do you think that?”

“A simple merchant would never abduct a princess and hand her over to Highland. Such an action would make you a major criminal, leading to the downfall of your entire trading company. So, I thought perhaps there was internal strife in Venefique, and upon the defeat of her party, the princess was to be entrusted to the Æthelstan Firm. If you were trusted with such a task by the imperial court, you must hold the position of a purveyor to the court.”

If he held such a position, it would indeed be risky to conduct business in Charalia, which was standing in opposition to Venefique. It would be safer to maintain his loyalty to Venefique.


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