|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 5545 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2676 words|
|Editor(s): Silva, nnomyer|
The carriage that Mira was riding gradually slowed down, until it finally stopped in front of the massive gate that leads to the capital.
When looking down from the plateau, one could only see the walls as a circle that surrounded the capital. However, if one saw the walls up close, it would convey an overpowering feeling that splendidly denoted the Arkite Kingdom’s focus on their national defenses.
Mira leaned out of the window of the carriage. 「It really is huge」 she said as she looked up at the walls. The difference in size between the walls from now and 30 years ago had made her excited.
How much has the capital changed?
As Mira shook off the various thoughts going through her mind, she decided that she would enjoy the new changes in the world.
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The gate where the Express Carriage had stopped at was not the front gate of the Arkite Kingdom. It was actually a special gate that acted as a passage for carriages that led straight to the imperial castle.
When Garret exchanged some words with the gatekeeper, the big gate opened while letting out a solid and dull sound.
When the gatekeeper raised his hand, he had sent a signal. The bell located at the top of the gate rang out high in the sky. Then a bell tolled in response to it from a distance away. It told of the arrival of the Express Carriage far and wide.
There were 5 intersections in total that crossed the carriage pathway. Each time, a military escort would come out and begin to stop traffic with a black and yellow stick. The Express Carriage was a special vehicle used for the country’s important missions and therefore, it had to be treated with suitable dignity.
「I say, this is a surprising reception.」
While leaning out of the window of the carriage, Mira despondently muttered at just how big a deal this was. She saw the military escorts lining up in regular intervals on either side of the intersections.
The carriage slowly started to move, then gradually picking up speed. It reached its maximum speed in a few seconds and the scenery of the town rapidly receded to the rear.
The residents of the town had eyes full of curiosity from seeing the Express Carriage running at full speed. When their eyesights caught the appearance of Garret serving as the coachmen, they guessed that this was an important matter. However, at the same, they caught a glimpse of a girl covered in ribbons from the window and were captivated. All their interest in that instant was taken away by that fleeting figure.
As the scenery outside the window slowly overflowed with liveliness, Mira stared at one especially large building.
It was one of the Five Pillar Facilities, the Craftsmen Workshop Department. Seeing this grand building, reminiscent of an old German structure, Mira decided to schedule a sightseeing tour around the capital.
While being jolted in the carriage, the speed of scenery changing outside the window had slowly decreased. They stopped gently near the castle gate in front of the imperial castle.
「Did we finally arrive?」
Mira who had been keeping still stretched in order to loosen her stiff body. She stealthily dropped the empty bottle of 『Appure』 that she had finished drinking near her feet.
「Thank you for bearing with me, Miss Mira.」
Garret opened the cabin’s door and bowed, then extended his hand as to escort Mira out.
「But this is unnecessary.」 While saying so, Mira gently brushes Garret’s hands away before leaping off to the ground. The Imperial castle she looked up at was not different from the one in her memory. Half assured and half disappointed, Mira lowered her gaze. An instant later, she turned speechless.
The cause for that was waiting in the back of the slowly-opening gate, a far grander welcome than the one at the carriage road.
On both sides of the passage from the castle gate to the Imperial castle were knights standing in a line with raised swords before their eyes. Their swords remained steady and lined up behind them were knights holding spears in their hands. Further behind them, soldiers lined up in regular intervals were holding banners.
「This is quite over the top… isn’t it.」
「This just shows how much King Solomon rejoices at your visit, Miss Mira.」
「Speaking of Lord Danbulf, he is a hero of this country. This much is natural when welcoming his apprentice.」
「Hmm-mm, such is life.」
「That is certainly so. Then Miss Mira, let us go.」
When the two moved away from the carriage, the castle attendants brought the Express Carriage to the stables.
As Garret escorted Mira across the gate, the sound of a drumbeat shook her eardrums intensely. The group of knights slanted their swords and protruded their shields with the country’s coat of arms engraved on them. From between them, the knights in the second row raised their spears diagonally creating an arch leading from the castle gate and inside the castle.
「This too is quite…mm.」
「It actually feels good for me」
Being able to escort Mira in the middle of such a grand welcoming ceremony made Galet smile happily.
「Really you, good grief.」
A carefree expression began to be revealed on Mira’s face. She had a favorable impression about Garret’s personality. She praised Solomon for finding a good subordinate like this.
The two encouraged by the pleasant melody played by a drum and fife orchestra moved forward until they passed the arch and entered the castle. Two palace guards stood by the entrance. They bowed and said, 「We will guide you to the throne room.」 Because Mira did not like standing out that much, she was relieved that it would become a little quieter now.
When the palace guards opened the door the throne room, an elegant scent of flowers drifted out. Lying on the floor inside were carpets, starting from the closest one there were black, blue, green, red, and white carpets at equal intervals.
There were five people inside the throne room. And the person standing out the most was the boy who sat on the throne that rose several steps above.
He had golden eyes and green hair which nearly reached his eyes, on top of his head he had a crown decorated with countless jewels. At first glance, he looked out-of-place, but his figure on top of the throne wearing a luxurious outfit was surprisingly natural and showcased his thirty years of experience ruling a country.
A seemingly mischievous expression was worn on his face as he stared at Mira. This boy was the king of the Arkite Kingdom and a friend of Danbulf, he was King Solomon himself.
There was no difference in Mira’s memory. His appearance was the same as the last time she had seen him although his clothes seemed somewhat more gorgeous than previously.
In front of King Solomon, standing on a step lower was a knight who had an aura of strength and a hooded magician in a black robe. The magician laid his eyes on Mira smiled with a soft expression. On the other hand, the knight, seeing that hero Danbulf’s disciple was a mere little girl, only sighed with great disappointment.
Garret took a step forward and kneeled.
「I have brought the Elder Danbulf’s disciple, Miss Mira.」
He reported and saluted.
「Good work. You may stand back.」
Standing with a stately dignified air next to the throne, the name of the man who spoke was Suleyman. He was an elf with a handsome face and blonde hair.
Garret moved to the side with an 「Excuse me.”」
「Nice to meet you Lady Mira. I am Suleyman, King Solomon’s aide.」
「I am Mira.」
Mira shifted her gaze to Suleyman and answered briefly. On the side, Garret panicked greatly at Mira’s unchanged attitude in the presence of the king.
However, completely unaware of Galet’s feelings, Mira crossed her arms, put a hand on her chin and used 【Examine】 on Solomon.
However, no information floated into Mira’s view when she gazed at Solomon. When she shifted her gaze to Suleyman instead, she could confirm his full name and status.
(What does this mean……?)
「To start with, I would like to confirm whether you truly are Lord Danbulf’s disciple, do you mind?」
While Mira was lost in thoughts wondering about the difference between the two, she was brought to reality by Suleyman’s voice
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「Ah, I do not mind.」
When Mira pulled out the Tower Master Key from the item box and stepped up to hand Suleyman the item with a 「Here it is」, the knight suddenly leaped forward, unsheathed his sword and aimed the point of the sword at Mira along with a shout;
「Not a step further! Enough of your disrespectful behavior, girl!」
He was Reynard, the head of the Arkite Kingdom Imperial Knight Guards. Just before the audience with King Solomon, he was told not to mind it even if the other party did not know some etiquette. Therefore, he endured it when she did not kneel or when she did not use respectful language. However, he was unable to tolerate it anymore when she approached the king without permission.
Mira did not know this, but there was a certain distance up to where one could approach the king. The distance was decided by rank. For guests, the regulations were that they must not step any further than the black section of the carpet excluding special cases.
「What, I would not be able to pass it along if I do not approach.」
「You should hand it to the palace guard who waited next to you!」
Solomon and Danbulf used to stand shoulder to shoulder, and from Mira’s perspective, she only came to meet a friend. Since all she had in her head was talking with him for a little, she failed to realize the importance an audience had.
(What a pain.)
Mira spoke the same way she used to back then, but seeing the knight’s angry expression she realized the situation was completely different. Mira did not have the slightest clue as to how one would conduct themselves on such official occasions. Troubled, she pinched the tip of the sword with her finger and presented the tower key to the knight.
「Is that so? I am sorry. Well, you’re already here, pass this for me.」
「Girl… just how rude can you be… Stand back!」
The enraged knight pulled the sword in his hand with strength. Despite all that, the sword which the girl was pinching did not move an inch. Reynard had a shocked expression on his face.
「Reynard, bring it.」
The voice of the boy rang out briefly.
「But Your Majesty. This girl is too disrespectful!」
「I told you from the start, have I not? This is within predictions. Or do you intend to keep me waiting further?」
Reynard visibly withered under Solomon’s gaze. Although Mira was the one in the wrong, she felt bad for him. However, when she thought back to his attitude when he snatched the tower key, she dismissed that.
When Mira released the pinched tip of the sword, Reynard glared at the slender white arm that peeked out the robe. He concluded that a dubious art had been used and his precaution towards Mira thickened further.
Meanwhile, seeing that the situation has calmed down, Garret secretly heaved a sigh of relief.
While Mira returned to her original position, Solomon received the tower key from Reynard and confirmed that it was certainly the key to the Tower of Summoning.
「Certainly, there is no doubt this is Danbulf’s belonging. There is no room for doubt if this was passed from a master to disciple.」
Solomon said so and passed it to the guard who delivered it to Mira.
Once Mira received the tower key, she puts it away in the item box. She looked away from Reynard who was still glaring at her.
「Now that we have confirmed it, let us change locations. Disciple of Danbulf, I would like to hear the story of your master who had been absent for thirty years, do you mind?」
「Mhm, I do not mind.」
Mira answered the timely offer promptly.
「Well then, my office should be good. We will be able to talk more calmly there. Everyone else can go join the banquet now.」
When Solomon said this, Reynard took a step forward again. At the same time, a wry smile appeared on Mira’s face.
「Your Majesty. Even if she is Danbulf’s disciple, it is still dangerous to leave you two alone when we know nothing of her true character. Please, I would like you to let me accompany you!」
Reynard glanced at Mira’s face while he proposed to Solomon with a deep bow.
(The situation isn’t progressing, huh.)
While Mira was aware that she was an unknown existence to him, she was still appalled by Reynard’s fanatic loyalty and could only shake her head dismay.
「Reynard, are you suggesting that I am inferior to such a young girl?」
Solomon became clad in a powerful aura when he spoke to Reynard. Despite his young appearance, King Solomon had governed the country for thirty years, and that was not without reason. This was a world where the fate of the country was decided not just by politics, but mostly by martial prowess. As someone who continued to rule one of the countries in this world, Solomon’s strength was well-known by everyone.
「No, not at all! It is just that this girl uses some suspicious arts, we should be prepared in case of an emergency.」
Mira did not have any idea as to the suspicious art Reynard hinted at. It was no wonder, Reynard was only mistaking it for an art. He had the superior physique and selfishly concluded that he could not be defeated by a delicate girl in strength. The reason for Mira’s strength was the buffs from all the equipment she was wearing, but she herself did not know what he was talking about, so she could not refute it.
「Your name is Mira, isn’t it? Do you have the intention to hurt me?」
「Why would I do something like that? I only came to talk to you.」
Hearing Mira’s answer, Solomon smiled seeming to be having a little fun.
「So she says. There are many things I wish to speak to her about as well. Will you not heed my order, Reynard?」
「However, in the unlikely event that something were to happen to Your Majesty, I…….」
Reynard clenched his fist tightly. However, the magician who had been keeping silent until now interrupted the back and forth exchange.
「Then how about this. Reynard and I shall stand guard in front of the office. If anything happens we only have to rush in. Lady Mira aside, not even Lord Danbulf would be able to do anything to King Solomon before we intrude. How about it?」
「Ngh, nhhh…I guess.」
「Then let us do that. I actually wanted to join the banquet too, but because Reynard is like that, I guess I have no choice but to keep Reynard company. The two of us should be enough, don’t you think?」
The magician who suggested this placed his hand on Reynard’s shoulder while smiling.
「That’s a good idea, Joachim. Sorry for troubling you. Let us try to hold another banquet in the near future.」
Solomon nodded strongly and took a breath before standing up.
「No, no, not at all, I do not deserve this. I will have Reynard treat me.」
Reynard could not say anything but grimace.
「Then, shall we go?」
When Solomon said this, the three began walking down the corridor leading to the office.