|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1178 words|
Once Ashella returned to the Holy Tree church, cardinals reported the happenings during her absence.
That said, she was only absent for half a day, so there was barely anything to report.
“It’s good that the situation is calm here. And so? What about the strange noise from the Holy Tree?”
Normally, Ashella would’ve thought of staying a day at Maria’s house, but for the past few days, the World Tree had been giving off strange creaking noises, so as the highest priest of the World Tree Religion that had its temple built at its foot, she couldn’t be absent for too long.
But the cardinal shook his head at her question.
“No change. It didn’t grow any louder or disappear.”
“So the status quo is ongoing, huh? Having said that, the World Tree is also a lifeform. It’s already snapped in half, so if something keeps pressuring it from the inside so much that it’s creaking, the tree might eventually die.”
“T-This was so serious?!”
“I’m just talking about possibilities. A tree that has continued living since the mythical times will not wither so easily.”
“You really gave me a fright…”
That said, an abnormal noise coming from the World Tree hadn’t been recorded until now.
When the God of Destruction periodically did the “Pruning,” a gigantic magic circle would spread in the sky above, so it was easy to recognize it.
But there were no signs of that this time around.
“Temple knights have slipped among Adventurers and are investigating it, but there are no good results.”
“Of course. It is still the oldest and the greatest labyrinth. Ordinary methods would get you nowhere.”
Ashella declared full of confidence. The cardinal could feel a headache coming, thinking that that was exactly the reason why they were having so much trouble now.
“That concludes the details of the kidnapping incident in the pioneer village.”
Priscilla was making a report on the dispatch in Elliot’s private room.
Given the contents, she couldn’t do it in public.
“Got it. Still, Kufar again, huh… He was at the root of the current situation too, right?”
“Yes. I believe it was originally intended as a means to increase allies, however after twists and turns… it reached this outcome.”
“So troublesome. Still, there were people used like this among his comrades, huh? Looks like it’s no longer a situation where we can simply subjugate them all.”
“The three of them are under Lord Lyell’s monitoring now. I do not believe they will cause any more incidents in the future.”
“That’s good. Be it half-demons or Kufar’s comrades, they are still citizens of this kingdom. If we don’t have to kill them, all the better.”
Priscilla sighed in relief, hearing about Elliot’s mild policy.
Even if Elliot was monitoring them, if he, the king, overruled his decision, Lyell would have to oblige.
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That said, Elliot also had a debt of gratitude towards Lyell, so she didn’t think he would’ve demanded strict execution.
But even knowing that, if the two’s opinions collided, the one to mediate it would have to be Priscilla who was at the scene.
And if it had reached that point, her fears would have no end. She got goosebumps just by imagining it.
“Let’s leave them to Lord Lyell. Tell them I won’t interfere.”
“Setting that aside, you’re still talking tensely, huh?”
Priscilla gave off a silly yelp with the sudden change of topic.
The two were originally childhood friends. She was on a different standing compared to the other retainers.
“We’re married now. You should just talk in a more familiar manner.”
“I cannot do that. It is still part of my duty.”
“Come on, you can just drop the honorifics like when we were young.”
“I-I cannot do that!!”
It was common during childhood to disregard standings differences and such as formality.
In fact, she also called Elliot without honorifics when they were alone during the time she became his attendant.
Then she started learning martial arts, and after becoming his official guard, she entirely stopped dropping the honorifics.
For Elliot who was raised as a king ever since he gained awareness, those exchanges with Priscilla where he didn’t feel his status were the few soothing moments he had.
“But you’re my wife now. Come on, use my name.”
“No, I mean…”
“Like in the old days. If you want, you can even call me Elly like you did before becoming my attendant.”
Priscilla turned her face away. Elliot stood up and hugged her shoulders. Priscilla was petrified, being so close she could feel his breath.
“Well, we are no longer kids. We can’t mess around innocently like in the past, but adults can mess around in an adult way too.”
“Y-Your Highness, please don’t joke…”
She was stiffened but spoke in refusal. However, contrary to her words, she started to close her eyes.
But in the corner of her narrowed vision, she perceived someone’s presence.
She reflexively pushed Elliot aside and reached for the sword on her waist. However, the person who entered was neither an assassin nor anyone suspicious. It was instead her own father, Count Raglan.
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“Ah, Your Highness. You have to properly close the door when you do such acts. Even I am troubled about where to look.”
“Count Raglan, that was really tactless. How about you knock at least?”
“My apologies. The door was slightly open, so I ended up peering in.”
“What are you saying after you made your way all the way inside?”
“This concerns the successor of Your Highness, so I had to make sure if the situation was progressing favorably.”
“F-Father, that is going too far…”
Priscilla couldn’t hide the cramp on her face, but Count Raglan just snorted once and looked away.
It seemed like he had enough awareness to realize he entered during an awkward time.
“So, what business do you have?”
“Ah yes. I came to report that the dispatched troops safely rejoined their home units.”
“I see, good work. I’m going to work on something else now, so I’ll be borrowing her for a bit.”
“Of course, please go at it until you can no longer stand.”
Priscilla snapped at the two male’s back and forth.
Guard she may be, she was still a going woman. She wanted him to set a mood for that at least.
However, Count Raglan was already quite advanced in age. He wanted to see the face of his grandson as soon as possible.
This was one reason why he was amusing himself with such discussions when in everything else he was a serious person.
“This was really rude of me. Priscilla, I really do love you.”
“I do not doubt that…”
Elliot’s straightforward words of love made her hang her head with a flushed expression.
Seeing the two, Count Raglan shrugged and excused himself from the room.
He felt that if he stayed for any longer, he would really get kicked by a horse.