Arifureta - Chapter 267
Arifureta After II Koone-Tan
Such grand crying voice of a girl was echoing. It was a splendid sobbing, to the degree it made one wondered whether the dryness of the desert might be moistened because of it. The glamorous blonde hair twin tail of the girl was wilting limply as though to express the girl's emotion.
「Your highness! It's no good even if you are crying! In this dangerous time you are sneaking into a luggage of all things, just what are you thinking! This is not a problem that can be seen as merely a prank!」
The one who was saying that to scold her highness――Moana's little sister whose name was princess Koone de Shelt Synclea, was the leader of Synclea Kingdom's soldier force――Donar Sord.
He had a really serious and strict look with short grey hair on his head. His age was around the early half of his forty. In front of his tall body that was nearly two meter and large frame that was like a bear, Koone whose height might be around 130 centimeter was like a mere speck.
The countless scars that could be seen on Donar's face and arms were making the dominating aura and pressure enveloping him to become even more fiendish, so objectively looking at him addressing Koone who was sobbing in front of him, it only looked like a man-eating bear was going to prey at a pitiful girl.
But, perhaps it should be said as expected from a princess. Even while shedding tears like a waterfall, Koone spoke her own excuse at the man-eating bear――or rather, at the soldier chief Donar.
「Because-, because Onee-chan is-」
「That is no excuse! Every time, every time, I don't know how you slip through our watch, but I wish your highness will think about the time and situation! In the first place your highness is――」
「Bieeeeeeeeeeeeh. I'm sorryyyyyyy-」
「Nuuh, please don't interrupt my remonstration! Every single time your highness is always deceiving people by crying like that! Your highness is not really reflecting on yourself!」
「Uwaaaaaaaaaahn, I'm reflectinggggg-」
「Good grief! Please promise me that your highness won't do anything like this anymore!」
「Ueeeeeeeeeeeeehn. I'll consider it after careful ponderingggggg-」
「Your highness!? What's with that doubtful reply!?」
Soldier chief Donar was heating up even more. The crying voice was also powering up even further.
At the surrounding there were the soldiers encircling them with hardened defense. Every single one of them were vigilantly watching the surrounding with a stern gaze, but sometimes they were sending glances at the exchange between their chief and the young princess as though wanting to say 「This again」 or 「Our vigilance is dampened here......」.
「Do, Donar? Isn't it fine already with that much? Look, Koone-tan is also feeling really sorry already. Okay?」
Flustered. The one who was calling out in such state at soldier chief Donar who was continuing his preaching was Moana who somehow recovered by using new miasma stone that the soldier group was carrying.
Moana was acting timid without any dignity as queen that could be felt from her. Soldier chief Donar's eye glint flew toward such Moana with a really piercing force.
Moana unconsciously screamed 「Hii!?」 and trembled.
「Your majesty-. What do you mean by ’’okay?’’ just now! Is your highness really aware of the graveness of this matter!? In the first place, it's because your majesty is always pampering her highness no matter how much time passes that this kind of situation even occur!」
「I, I'm not really pampering or anything......」
「In that case, please at least stop calling her highness with ’’Koone-tan’’! Just how many times do I need to ask that until your majesty can understand!」
「Uu......bu, but still. Donar. Koone-ta――Koone coming along without anyone knowing about it is also the blunder of all of you......」
Moana faced away and rebutted with pouted lips. Her way of talking was queenly, but it sounded sulky. Pulsing vein emerged on Donar's forehead in respond to that.
「......Indeed. No matter what kind of circumstance there was, it was my blunder to fail to notice her majesty's action. I will humbly accept any punishment no matter what it is.」
「Eh? Ah, no, something like punishment is too exaggerating――」
「Even so-! That is that, this is this! This matter is concerning the safety of her highness's safety! It's a common knowledge that her highness is a mischievous tomboy! She secretly turned my lunch to be extremely spicy, she whispered many untrue things to my wife, because of that my wife won't listen to me anymore, she willfully put cute decoration on my sword, if this is only something like those then I can just laugh it off! But, for her to secretly come along into a battlefield! This lack of sense of danger cannot be overlooked! Only my words are not enough, how about your majesty also reprimand her highness as her elder sister!」
「Ah, yes. I'm sorry......」
Before anyone knew it, the queen-sama sat on seiza posture beside the sobbing Koone while getting preached on.
What's this chaos......? Kouki did nothing except staring at the sight before his eyes dumbfounded.
「It's always like this, so don't let it bother you. The chief is an existence that is like a father already for both her majesty and her highness.」
A calm voice addressed the astonished Kouki. When Kouki turned his gaze at the voice's direction, he saw there a soldier with swept back hair of burnt brown color looking to be in his early thirty.
「I am the vice chief of the soldier force, Othar. Kouki-dono, that is your name correct?」
Among the many muscular soldiers, Othar who was relatively small statured was actually the number 2. Kouki was feeling a bit surprised of that while he nodded at Othar's question.
Othar who was emitting ’’gentle’’ atmosphere peacefully from his whole body was smiling with even more calmness and peacefulness after receiving Kouki's confirmation.
「The chief along with Spenser-sama has been watching over the two of them as though they were his own children since they were small. The king and queen of the previous generation......the father and mother of Moana-sama and Koone-sama has passed on to the great nature five years ago, which caused the chief to be even more so like that. He is also the sword instructor for Moana-sama, so the chief isn't really holding back when treating the two of them.」
According to Othar, the parents of Moana and Koone seemed to die at the large scale battle against the <Dark Being>that happened five years ago.
At that time, the one who led the <Dark Being>was the current <Dark King>, so their strength was tremendous, all the royal family with the exception of Koone had to fight. It was the best they could do to make the enemy retreated even after they all staked their life.
Although Moana, Spenser, and Donar were seriously wounded, but they barely survived. And since then, in order to support Moana and Koone, Spenser and Donar got close to the two royalty as substitute parent. From the start the two men also received deep trust from the previous generation king, and they were also close to the two princesses as bodyguard and instructor. For Moana and Koone, the two men were just like family.
「......So that's how it is. In that case, it cannot be helped even if Moana-sama is pampering her little sister.」
Her only remaining relative. It was only natural that Moana was pampering her little sister Koone then, Kouki thought with understanding look. Her attaching ’’-tan’’ too, yep, surely that also couldn't be helped, Kouki thought.
And then, it seemed Koone whose family passed on in the period of time when it was unclear whether she had awareness to her surrounding or not seemed to like acting mischievously, she also came along to the battlefield because she was worried for her big sister. Surely it was only natural for her to be like that if one saw it as her being lonely and feeling scared of losing her big sister.
「No, Moana-sama's ’’idiot big sister’’ act was already like that since Koone-sama was born.」
「Koone-sama's tomboyish manner too, she was like that since before the previous generation king passed on to the nature.」
「Whether it's in the palace or in the capital, since the two of them were little they were talked with numerous title and nickname like, 『Siscon princess』 『Elusive phantom princess』 『Dual personality queen』『The always grinningly crawling princess Koone-tan』 『Stop it, Haumu will snap you know queen』 『I beg you, please don't be a nuisance to our work, princess』 『Or rather, please stop the princess, queen』 『Stop it, please stop decorating my weapon Koone-sama』 『GYAAAAAAHH, QUEEN!?』, and so on.」
「No, those aren't title or nickname, those were just complaints aren't they!? Or rather, the last one is just a scream isn't it!?」
If it was said with indirect expression, then it seemed the royalty sisters were really close and intimate to their vassal and people. Absolutely no one was saying that they were problem children.
Othar gently smiled at Kouki's tsukkomi. It also somehow felt like Othar was saying 「There is nothing else to do but laughing right?」. This gentleness of Othar that was like Buddha might be something polished for the sake of the queen &princess duo.
「Now then, I think it will be the time soon for the relief squad to link up with Spenser-sama and others.」
Othar looked up to the sky and confirmed the passage of time from the inclination of the sun. After the soldier group joined up with Moana and Kouki, a part of the soldier group headed toward the rescue of Spenser and others without stopping.
If they were taking it slow too much and Spenser and others caught up to them, Spenser would shout at them 「What are you all doing so sluggishly! Bring her majesty to the capital right away!」, Othar explained with a wry smile.
Seeing from Moana's state, it seemed that the effect of the miasma on her had mostly gone already, she looked like she had recovered enough, so under the protection of the soldier group, they should return to the safety zone that was the capital quickly even if it was just Moana.
'And so because of that', with an atmosphere that seemed to be saying that, Othar was,
「Kouki-done, if it's not a bother for you, can I ask you to please call out to the chief?」
Asking Kouki to deal with it, while she was smiling peacefully.
Kouki realized. This person, from the start he was approaching him in order to entrust the mediation of this chaos situation to him. He was a person with calm personality, but he was also a type of person that would really forcefully push a matter to other if it was a matter that could be pushed away to other.
When Kouki glanced at the direction of Moana and co, the preaching was still continuing. Perhaps lured by the crying of Koone, even Moana was getting teary eyed. It seemed she was really enduring the preaching of the soldier chief who was like father to her.
Kouki sighed deeply while replying 「I'm going」, and then he timidly called out to the chief.
「Excuse me, it looks like Moana-sama has recovered already, how about we depart soon?」
A sharp glint flew toward Kouki. Kouki reflexively twitched. For some reason he was reminded of Shuuzou (Shizuku's grandfather) at the time when he was training at Yaegashi dojo.
'By any chance, a preaching would also come at him......?' Kouki prepared himself for such possibility.
「Ooh, isn't this hero-dono. How rude of me to not even greet you satisfactorily. Once again, I am the soldier chief Donar Sord. A thousand thanks for your help toward Moana-sama and my comrades in arms.」
Donar's right fist hit *don-* on his chest and directed a gaze of gratitude without any falsehood in it toward Kouki. Perhaps he was originally a gentle person if he wasn't getting heated up to the royalty sisters.
「I am Amanogawa Kouki. Please call me Kouki. If it's word of thanks then I have received enough, so please enough with that. Rather than that, how about we depart soon? Although she has recovered, but it's better if Moana-sama can quickly take a rest, and surely it's also better for the little sister to quickly return to the capital too.」
「Indeed. I had showed you something unsightly. It's my bad habit of getting too passionate when her majesty and her highness are concerned.」
Donar scratched his head awkwardly while saying that. His brief glance toward Moana and Koone was filled with deep affection. Certainly, rather than something that a vassal directed to his lord, that gaze was something like what a father would direct toward his daughter.
「Onee-chan, is that person the hero-sama? Amazing! To come stopping Donar in the middle of his preaching while meeting him for the first time, he is really a hero! Koone really think that he is a hero!」
The tears pulled back instantly and Koone-tan said her definition of hero with a wide smile. It seemed she was saying that a hero was a person who was able to stop the soldier chief's preaching. Or rather than that, what happened with the loud bawling just now......
At her side, Moana was saying 「As expected from Koone-tan. What your eyes are focusing at is different from other people. Onee-chan is really in admiration!」, praising with a tension like an idiot parent who swinging from joy to nervousness from watching the announcement of their child's result in a tournament.
Donar let loose a sharp glint, but perhaps judging that the preaching was over, Koone approached Kouki with light footsteps *tototon* while her twin tail was shaking due to the wind blowing from somewhere.
And then, she looked up with a fixed stare at Kouki with eyes that were jade colored just like her big sister and――smiled widely.
「Nice to meet you! I'm something like a princess, Koone de Shelt Synclavia! Thank you very much for saving Onee-chan and others!」
Saying that, Koone tapped her right hand on her right chest.
It seemed that it was a gesture like bowing one's head or a salute.
Kouki was thinking that he had to ask about that gesture and other things related to that later on while for the time being her,
「What do you mean something like a princess!?」
Was both sisters were feeling some kind of reluctance in being a royalty? Kouki was thinking of such thing while spontaneously making a tsukkomi.
Midway, Kouki and others managed to link up with Spenser and others who were catching up with a momentum that was leaving behind the rescue squad while screaming 「YOUR MAJESTYYYYY-」.
The angry yell 「Why is her highness is here!?」 from Spenser and the crying voice 「Bieeeeeenn, my Onee-chan love was overflowing desuuuuuu!」 from Koone, the lukewarm gaze of Kouki toward the queen who couldn't maintain her dignified way of talking in front of her little sister, the queen whose gaze was wandering around from receiving that gaze, and the wordless pleading 「Don't shave off our tension here~」 from the soldiers, all those were entangled complicatedly and they all kept traveling in the middle of such chaos for a few hours.
Finally that came into view.
A chalk white palace was towering high right in the middle of a large oasis. Several spires were lining up symmetrically to left and right, and at the middle was a building in the shape of a quadrangular pyramid with a conspicuously large size.
Bridges made of stone were stretching to four directions from the chalk white palace that was glittering from the reflection of sunlight, and countless buildings with similar chalk white color were lining up at the outer part of the oasis.
And then, further at the outer edge of the city at that outer part was surrounded by a river around ten meter wide in donut shape. The river wasn't flowing anywhere, it was like a cycle of a flowing pool.
It seemed inside the city there was also canals that looked like stitches across the city, regardless of the city's location that was in the middle of desert, several small ships could be seen coming and going there.
――A city of water in the middle of desert.
That was the front line metropolis――Synclea's kingdom's royal capital.
Words of praise were unconsciously leaked out from the mouth of Kouki who was staring at the capital from above a slightly elevated sand hill. From the story of a front line capital that lost the nature, Kouki held the image that the capital would be like a fortress with a rugged and devastated air.
「Fufu, isn't that right? ――Cough, don't you think so?」
「Err, Moana-sama. I don't mind even if you talk normally you know?」
「I don't really understand what is Kouki talking about.」
Moana slowly averted her sight away from Kouki's kind gaze. It seemed saying that 'I'm completely accustomed with manly way of talking~' was actually an overly optimistic evaluation toward her own readiness.
Moana was resuming walking in order to enter the capital while starting to talk a bit faster to varnish over the matter.
「Kouki. About that oasis you see, it's not just beautiful, actually it also has a barrier to not let the <Dark Being>get near.」
「Barrier, is it?」
Moana made a smug face once more as though to say 'How's that, amazing right?'.
「Yes. Actually, Kouki. The royalty of Synclea kingdom has a special power. Different from the normal blessing power that can be used by anyone as long as they have the correct prayer or vow, there is a blessing art that can only be used by those with the bloodline of the royalty――the heaven's blessing art. There is one heaven's blessing art per person of the royal family. Each one is a characteristically special and powerful art.」
「Yes yes yes-! Koone is able to use nyoki nyoki art!」 (TN: Nyoki nyoki seem to mean 'shooting up one after another' in Japan......?)
Koone was making a smug face that was exactly like her big sister while twisting and wriggling her body around. The heaven's blessing art that was upwardly compatible from the normal blessing art――a nyoki nyoki art. In the end, that was......
「Koone-tan! That's so cute, Koone-tan! The formal name is pretty much <Regeneration>but, from now on let's change it to <Nyoki Nyoki Art>――」
「Nothing at all――cough-, it's nothing.」
According to Moana who returned to her senses after getting hit by Donar's sharp eye glint, Koone's heaven's blessing art <Regeneration>seemed to be an art that could make a place that had lost blessing power to be filled with blessing power once more. The target that was hit by this <divine protection>would have their latent power invigorated temporarily and got strengthened.
「The heaven's blessing art of an honorable ancestor of the long past is dwelling inside the oasis if Synclea kingdom in exchange of his life.」
「Is it something like, the <Dark Being>is unable to touch this water?」
「Yes. More accurately, they are unable to touch, but when they touch, even the miasma inside their body will be absorbed and dispersed. This place is right in the middle of a desert without any blessing power. Those bunches won't be able to fight if even the miasma they are retaining is stolen. Therefore, this oasis is the greatest barrier.」
Kouki harbored awe toward the royalty of that time who discarded his life in order to leave behind an art that possessed such tremendous effect for the later generation. Just how much resolve and wish that person filled into this he wondered.
Kouki was shivering slightly when he suddenly noticed something and asked.
「You said something about in exchange of life, the heaven's blessing art's effect will increase by doing that?」
「......Correct. Different from a blessing art, using heaven's blessing art is difficult. The user will be assailed by intense exhaustion after using it once. Their life will be lost if they overuse it. In everything, there is nothing that can be done ’’freely’’ you know.」
Moana said that jokingly, but Kouki could do nothing except returning a vague smile.
He caught sight of Koone who was staring fixedly at her big sister from below Moana. Both sisters possessed beautiful jade eyes and chocolate colored skin. Despite so, only the color of their hair was different. Moana's hair was pure white. Rather than saying that her hair was white colored from the beginning, it was like the hair originally had color that currently had faded away......
There was no one with white hair color even amidst the soldiers around them. It was obvious that hair color wasn't a characteristic of this country's people.
Different from Koone, he was told that Moana participated in the battle five years ago. It was a fierce battle where all members of royalty were lost with the exception of these sisters. It wasn't difficult to imagine how Moana must have risked her life.
Five years ago she should be in the middle of her teens. She lost her family at such young age, she herself fought by straining her life, and protected her country and little sister through――
An indescribable feeling grew violent inside Kouki.
The young voice calling at him surprised Kouki. His looking down face was naturally heading toward the direction of the voice's owner.
Koone who was staring fixedly at Kouki without him noticing was making a bright smile.
「Onee-chan is amazing right? Koone think she is amazing!」
It was a praise without even a shred of shadow in it. And then, it was respect and love toward her big sister. Koone puffed up her chest as though and showed a really smug face as though it was something about herself. Kouki smiled to such Koone.
「Yes, Moana-sama is amazing.」
「That's right, that's right. In addition she is a beauty right? Koone think she is a beauty!」
「E, err, yes. That's, I think she is a really beautiful person you know?」
Beside Koone who was puffing up her chest while going 'That's right, that's right', Moana was blushing. Rather than because Kouki was praising her, she was blushing because the litter sister who was praising her was irresistibly cute! Like that. Her breathing was getting rougher and her gaze was focused still on Koone.
「Err, Koone-sama? Don't call me hero, I hope you can call me Kouki......」
「I'm sorry. I cannot call hero-sama as brother-in-law-sama!」
「No one is saying anything about that though!?」
「If you want Koone to recognize you, then I have to ask you to show me your sincerity, desu, hero-sama!」
「That's why, please stop talking with the premise that I am aiming at Moana-sama!」
「If you toy with Onee-chan, I intend to splash extremely spicy spice at your ’’pii-’’! Koone has no mercy to Onee-sama's enemy!」
「A girl must not say ’’pii-’’! Or rather, what terrifying thing you are saying there!」
Kouki's tsukkomi was in the peak condition. While he was at it, the eyes of Moana and the surrounding soldiers were opened wide. Donar and Spenser were looking around with angry gaze that said 「Who is the one who taught word like ’’pii-’’ at her highness huh!?」.
Koone-tan――in public she was a princess who was given the recognition of 『the chaos bringer』『chaos in three seconds after appearance』『when found don't get involved and contact the soldier force right away!』 as the common sense.
Even though the capital was already right before their sight, inside the atmosphere that was turned into chaos, Koone-tan who was directing an unshakable (?) gaze toward Kouki was,
「Flaky hero-sama. I won't forgive you if Onee-chan is hurt. Koone absolutely won't forgive you if that happen!」
She declared such thing with a bit of expectation and a large anxiety residing inside those eyes that were scattering smile everywhere.