Densetsu No Yuusha No Densetsu - Volume 3 - Chapter 1
Chapter 1: A promise for the future
’’... I say... Do you understand the meaning of forlorn?’’
’’Does it refer to the Ryner Lute who attacks forlorn women that forlorn?’’
’’... Why do you raise that example? ... Ah, forget it. Then, do you understand the meaning of meaningless?’’
’’The reputation of the criminal: the meaningless pervert Ryner Lute has been quite widespread lately.’’
’’It hasn't... Ah, I'm not talking about that...’’ Ryner Lute sighed weakly.
Their location was in forest of the Imperial Nelpha. It was morning.
He had a mop of black hair that was thoroughly mussed by sleep and a lanky body. He was an existence that defied the word motivated. For unknown reasons, he only wore the white armor, special armor and cloak that only the mage knights of the Roland Kingdom were allowed to wear... Even though it was battle uniform, as long as he wore it, it would look like a rolled up blanket...
Those sleepy black eyes were now aimed at the gap between the forest trees where he could vaguely overlook the fortress-like buildings. He watched for a while then he turned back.
Standing behind him was a beautiful girl. An unbelievably beautiful girl who sat on a tree-stump.
The sun-rays filtered through the gaps between the tree leaves and shone upon her blond hair. Her big eyes were a striking cyan. An exceptionally beautiful face. She wore leather armor and around her waist was a sword that was disproportionately bigger than her slender arm.
She was the splendid epitome of beauty.
Although her emotionless face was something to be minded...
But her cold beauty was one of the elements of her attractiveness.
Not only was she a beauty. Her posture was that of a goddess. A beauty goddess. Just by looking at her, everyone would express their gratitude and worship this divine beauty...
But when Ryner looked at her, he would only sigh and have a speechless expression.
’’... I say, are you seriously listening to me?’’
She looked at him with a slightly serious expression, ’’Eh? Your words disappoint me. I feel slightly... hurt by your words. I have always been serious. Why would you ask... [sounds of talking while eating]?’’
’’Don't eat when you're talking!!!!’’
The beauty goddess, Ferris Eris was now busy eating dangos.
Ryner breathed in deeply once again.
’’How serious can you be when you're eating dangos and trying to talk at the same time?’’ Ferris replied in a straight-forward manner, ’’Eh, you doubt the dangos' tr-...’’
’’Nonsense!’’ Ryner shouted with an annoyed expression, ’’Never mind, continue eating your dango and listen to me. Can you see that, is that a fortress?’’
’’Although I feel like it can be easily identified as a fortress just by looking at it, but I can see that there are many Imperial Nelpha soldiers guarding the area. That isn't an illusion I'm seeing, right?’’
’’That means the security over there is strong. And there are many soldiers protecting that place. Although this is understood because the legend says that, that place is a treasure trove for this area's important relics. So the country has ordered to protect that place, right?’’
’’Then, let me ask you this once. Don't you think the both of us infiltrating that place, then stealing the relics inside is a very forlorn and meaningless matter? I've been asking you that since just now... What do you think?’’
Ferris closed her eyes, seeming as if she were deep in thought over Ryner's words. She stuffed the last dango into her mouth and drank her tea after eating it. After finishing her snack, she stood up.
’’Today's dangos were scrumptious. Alright, let's go.’’
’’Ah?! Then what about I said just now?’’
Ferris displayed a slight twitch, ’’What is it? If you wanted that share of dango, there isn't any more, you know?’’
’’I'm not talking about that!’’ At that moment that Ryner yelled, there was a sharp 'whoosh',
Ferris's sword was unsheathed at a rate that even the naked eye could catch and settled at Ryner's neck.
’’Ah...’’ Ryner whimpered.
Ferris said, ’’I didn't pay attention to what you were saying. Since there is a possibility that the Heroes' Relics that we are searching for can be found there, then we must go and search. Didn't you write that in your report? That you can't let the dangerous power of the Heroes' Relics fall into the hands of countries apart from the Roland Kingdom...’’
Ryner half-closed his eyes and continued the seemingly grand proclamation, ’’And if we don't listen to the unreasonable orders of Sion, the dango shop in the Roland Kingdom that you love will be forced to close, right? I have heard this many times.’’
’’Exactly. That excessively tyrannical King has endangered my important dango shop's fate. If I don't protect the peace of the dangos, then who would take up this duty of protecting them?’’
Ryner looked at the enthusiastic Ferris and felt faint again. ’’Ah... About that, I won't ask you about dangos... But even then, charging in without a plan, don't you feel that that's very dangerous?’’
Ferris sheathed her sword and looked at Ryner.
’’Yes. Are you serious about what you said?’’
Saying this kind of stuff...
’’Ah? What do you mean?’’
’’I'm saying, with that standard of security, do you seriously think that it's hard to break through?’’
Ryner took one look at the fortress , then he folded his hands in front of his chest and lapsed into deep thought.
’’...’’ He thought for a while. Then,
’’Ah~ Let me change my views. About that, when I woke up this morning, I had an ominous feeling. Don't we have this kind of feelings often? So this morning when I woke up, I thought 'Ah, I don't feel like going to school today, it's so troublesome,' then when I thought about it, I started to have a stomach ache...’’
’’Eh, so... My condition is not good, you can go alone...’’
In a split second, Ferris's hand shot out at a speed that could not be seen by the human eye towards her waist and unsheathed her sword . 'SLAP!' with that blunt ringing sound, Ryner collapsed to the ground... Ferris checked Ryner, then sheathed her sword again.
’’Eh? What is it, Ryner? Why did you collapse suddenly?’’
’’It was you who hit my head!’’
’’Oh, so after having a stomach ache, you had a headache? You're so busy.’’
Ryner didn't reply, he continued to lie on the ground, grasping his aching head.
’’Ow... My head really hurts. I can't stand it, I think I can't go along with you, why don't you...’’
Ferris interrupted, ’’Yes. Your head really hurts, right? Don't worry, next time I guarantee that there wouldn't be any more pain. To be more accurate, I should say that the satisfying feeling of soaring through the air should be what will be waiting for you next time. Yes, only by cutting off the head will the feeling of soaring through the air be most pleasant.’’
’’...You... Aren't you a little too sadistic?’’
Ferris nodded her head, ’’Don't you know that reality is cruel? Now...’’
’’Ahhhhhh, wait a moment! Don't say 'reality' while you're reaching for your sword! I understand! Alright, my stomachache is cured and I suddenly have the urge to charge towards that fortress, I see that work is the best...’’
Ferris suddenly revealed a warm smile although her eyes were void of emotion staring at Ryner,
’’Yes, I know you're very dedicated to your job. But there's no need for you to be so courageous;after all your head still hurts right? Calm down, I'll help you to relieve that pain...’’
Ryner walked out of the forest with a troubled expression. Ferris kept her sword once again.
’’If you'd just done this in the beginning, it would have been fine.’’
’’I say, can't you be more gentle? Because of the work piled upon me lately, I'm almost collapsing from exhaustion.’’
’’Eh? Then why do I remember you having afternoon naps every day?’’
’’That's my job... Ah, I was joking, it was a joke, I understand it already, so there's no need to kill me!?’’
’’Yes, this is quite troublesome. This is also my job;killing Ryner once every day is my target.’’
’’...I envy your ability to be carefree...’’
As the two of them talked, they walked towards the fortress that was heavily guarded by the Imperial Nelpha soldiers.
At this moment...
Location: in the distant kingdom from Imperial Nelpha, Roland Kingdom.
The cold morning air allowed people to feel the vitality of the plants, the lifelessness of the rocks. He visited this place that seemed almost as if it were a scene from a dream. He had a strong, noble presence, long silver hair. His golden eyes shone strongly and he had a good appearance.
He was the most famous person in the Roland Kingdom...
Although he was a son of a concubine of the previous king, but in the previous war against the Estabul Kingdom, there was a massive promotion in the upper part of the army that was carried out in one fell swoop...
Then blaming the tyrannical predecessor, he was the Hero King who used his graceful hands to raise the revolution. Under the imminent situation of war, he successfully negotiated with the imperial Nelpha. Furthermore, although he was a nineteen-year-old king, with impressive abilities, charisma, agreeable looks and political means, he was able to gain the overwhelming support from the whole nation.
In the city, those who knew him well spoke of him in this way:
He was a perfect, flawless king. He had no troubles, he would never falter in his decisions, and everything he did would naturally be successful. Roland had always desired this king. He was the ideal king.
In the city, the nobles who hated him would say this:
Does that man truly have no weaknesses? Even if we kill his companions, he would still smile and accept it. He is a heartless and tearless, cold king.
Outside the city, those who did not know him would say this:
That king is truly perfect. He is like a divine existence that exists beyond our grasp. He is not human. He will never be like us who have troubles over boring every day matters. As long as that king exists, this country will continue to prosper and be peaceful.
Because he is the Hero King.
That is not wrong.
’’...I'm sorry, I was too late...’’
He couldn't make any mistakes. He couldn't have any troubles. Those unwavering, determined golden eyes could not turn away from the direction he was heading. Even if it was his trusted aide... Fiole was cruelly murdered by the nobles that opposed the King...
Furthermore, he could not stop smiling. Because he had a pair of unwavering eyes. He couldn't let himself feel pain, anger or regret over such petty matters.
Now his eyes...
They were scrunched up with pain.
Looking at the tomb stone...
’’... I'm really... sorry, I came too late, Fiole. But after your were killed, I had to call on Nelpha, I was dealing with paperwork and could not free myself from it... If I say this, you'll lecture me on keeping healthy because if I continue working, my health will deteriorate, right?’’
Saying this, he smiled weakly.
He was standing in the cemetery.
It was not a graveyard that was meaninglessly decorated by the nobles. This was a normal grave dug by the commoners. Only the noble patriotic soldiers who had died while waging war were buried here.
This was not a place where a King should visit.
A commoners' graveyard...
But this country's King placed his hand on the tomb stone that had the name 'Fiole Folkal' engraved on it and knelt down before it.
’’Do you still remember what I told you once? I said... I felt that the people should be equal. I told you that I was going to create a place where there would be no difference in people's status, where everyone would be equal to each other, a country where there would be no war... I actually told you that, I was so arrogant...’’
Sion hit the ground angrily.
’’Even now, I'm unable to control the nobles of this country! For the sake of escaping from the nobles' attention, I even couldn't come for your memorial and your funeral. I could only sneakily slip out to come visit this place. I killed you... It was because I did not have enough power that I caused you to die... I Just because I am the king, I can't even stand on the same side as you!’’ Saying this, he violently punched the ground again.
’’Sion, you should get rid of this bad habit. If you continue like this, your hand will be hurt.’’
Suddenly, a strong hand grabbed his arm. Sion looked up;standing by his side was a muscular man.
Flaming red hair and a pair of crimson eyes.
The man, who was around twenty years old, was currently the only person in Roland who called Sion by the name.
Major general Claugh Klom.
When Sion was in the army as a Marshal, he was Sion's subordinate. Now, he was in charge of organizing the security for Sion who was the king. Even though he was just a major general, he was also first in Roland in terms of popularity and strength.
Claugh seemed a little unhappy.
’’Even though what you said might be right, but what you did just now was wrong. Look at that bleeding fist, Fiole would certainly be angry if he saw that.’’
Sion looked at his fist and closed his eyes.
’’...Probably.’’ As he whispered that, Claugh spoke.
’’Ah ah ah this is so troublesome. Look at that, that depressed tone really makes people feel melancholy. At this moment, I'm feeling troubled because I met some difficulties so that's why I'm frowning. After seeing your face, I feel even more low-spirited.’’
Upon hearing this, Sion furrowed his brow and asked seriously, ’’Difficulties? What is wrong?’’
’’Hey, hey, are you worried about me? Do you really want to work yourself to exhaustion? You always work hard for others that you might even die of hard work one day.’’
Sion shrugged. ’’Actually I... don't have anything to do right now. Talking about that, this is my first time hearing you say that you actually feel low-spirited. This sounds like a serious problem.’’
When he heard this, Claugh appeared to be a little displeased, ’’What do you think I am? I'm a human too, you know. Of course I'll feel depressed at times.’’
Sion smiled. This smile was different from his smile from just now;it was a slightly more cheerful smile.
’’Let's stop with the jokes. What are you troubled about?’’
He stood up from his position in front of Fiole's grave.
Claugh nodded. ’’No, that... Actually, I had a dream.’’
’’Yes, a dream. It is a very big dream. But it seems that I may be unable to fulfill it.’’
’’Oh,’’ Sion nodded. ’’What kind of dream is it?’’
Claugh revealed a strange expression, ’’My dream is to possess all the women in this world.’’
’’Huh?’’ Sion couldn't help himself and expressed his incredulous response.
’’Why are you talking about that with a serious face...’’
But Claugh interrupted Sion. ’’Fine, fine, I understand. I know I'm being nonsensical, but what I wanted to say actually wasn't about this.’’
Even though Sion had not sorted out what had just happened, Claugh continued. ’’An ideal dream is almost impossible to accomplish, so that's why it's called the ideal dream, right? Is there anything wrong in saying this?’’
When Sion heard this, his expression changed.
He already knew what Claugh wanted to say...
’’Then are you trying to say that you are special? Does it mean that you can create your ideal world easily because you are the king? If it is the famous Hero King, who is different from me, then does it mean that he can easily possess all the women in this world?’’
Sion shook his head.
Claugh nodded, satisfied. ’’Isn't that so? Accomplishing our dreams is a difficult task. Even the kids know this. Of course Fiole knew this. He is not the kind of person to complain about you not accomplishing your ideal dream when he himself is in Heaven. Isn't that right?’’
’’... You're right.’’
’’Then you can relax a little. Right? Fiole,’’ Claugh wasn't facing the grave when he said this, but he said this to the empty air.
Of course, he received no answer, for Fiole was already dead.
But Claugh turned back to Sion, smiling and said, ’’There, even Fiole agreed with me.’’
Sion looked into Claugh's warm eyes and said, ’’Yes. Thank you, Claugh.’’
Claugh appeared to be annoyed at that.
’’The feeling of a man thanking another man is disgusting.’’
Sion laughed wryly, then he suddenly revealed a mischievous expression, ’’That's a really cruel blow! Actually, I have started feeling for you... since a long time ago... I love...’’
’’Ah, nonsense! Please don't say something so disgusting... Ah, jokes aside...’’
’’Yeah, it's about time.’’ Saying this, Sion tilted his head back to look at the sky Claugh was looking at just now. Sion spoke, as if he were talking to someone, ’’... today, I'm going to meet with your younger sister for the first time. To tell the truth, I don't know what side of me I should show when I'm meeting with her...’’
’’Don't worry, Fiole. Even if your sister hates Sion, I will hug her tenderly...’’
’’You... Do you know that the other party is only fourteen years old? I wouldn't let you do anything to her! If you dare to do anything to her, I'll kill you!’’
’’Did you hear that, Fiole? This arrogant king actually said that he wanted to rob me of my freedom to have a relationship...’’
At this moment, a strong wind blew a twig into Claugh's face.
Claugh dodged the twig deftly.
Sion was shocked.
The two of them fell silent, staring blankly at...
Sion spoke, his voice carrying a hint of amusement, ’’See.’’
Claugh smiled wryly and shrugged his shoulder. ’’Yeah, I know. You're exasperating. I have removed Fiole's younger sister from my plan to possess all the women in this world. So don't be angry.’’
The two men continued their conversation as they retired from the graveyard.
They headed towards the place where Ferris's younger sister was waiting for them...
When Sion was still serving the army he came to know of Claugh's subordinate, Calne Kaiwel. Calne had offered some information regarding Fiole's younger sister Eslina Folkal.
As Sion strolled on the small path in the courtyard, a beam of light landed on the sheaf of documents in his hands.
She was fourteen years old this year.
When she was eight, her parents died in the war that was waged during his predecessor's reign. She and Fiole had been sent to an orphanage to survive on their own. When Fiole started working for Sion, she was able to move out from the orphanage using Fiole's income. She even started going to school... She had never gone to school before, so her results then had much to be desired from...
But she worked hard so that she would be able to lessen the burden her sibling had. With her hard work and natural talent for academics, her results improved rapidly, so much that she could jump grades.
At least, that was what was written in her file, along with some comments from Calne:
Besides her impressive results, her ability to handle and manage matters were on par with Fiole Folkal...
From the remarks given by people surrounding her, aside from the jealous comments from some people, she was known as 'an admirable girl who looked out for her brother'.
I have a similar impression of her. But I feel that she is stronger than what we first thought of her. When we conveyed news of her deceased sibling's death, she didn't cry. She didn't even appear to be visibly moved, but she calmly accepted everything...
When he read this, Sion stopped looking at the file. Instead, he passed it to Claugh, who was standing by his side and continued to walk on in silence.
When Claugh finished reading the document, he said, ’’She seems to be a good girl. She really is Fiole's little sister.’’
’’Yeah... she's too much of a good person. To say... that she accepted everything calmly...’’ Sion said, as if he was about to vomit.
Her only brother had been killed, but she still accepted this calmly?
This... was impossible. Something this foolish was impossible... Sion thought.
’’She's only fourteen years old?’’
She had worked hard for the sake of her brother, so that he would not need to bear the burden of their expenses all by himself, so that he could rest earlier.
Sion felt empathetic because Fiole had the same experience.
For his sister's sake, he had worked hard. He had put an unusual amount of effort into his work.
But, what about myself... What have I done for him?
In city of Roland where Sion himself stayed, there were seven courtyards.
Three courtyards had a pond that was large enough for a boat to sail in. No matter what season it was, there would always be flora blooming in amazing structures. It was unnecessarily large and required expensive maintenance...
At that time, Sion and Fiole had walked in this courtyard.
They were planning that one day, after the nobles of Roland were under their control, they would seal off one of the courtyards. This way, they would be able to save a large amount of money and this money could be diverted to other areas that needed these funds...
At that time, the temperature was warmer, the flora that were blooming then were different than those blooming now. A season was not chilly, full of warm and bright coloured flowers.
Fiole looked at those colourful flowers. ’’But from my personal perspective, I feel that this courtyard should not be demolished.’’
Sion heard this, ’’Eh? But this is the largest courtyard in the city. If we demolish this place, then it would be more effective in reducing the money we have to spend.’’
’’That is true... However, without a courtyard in this city, the city will lose some of its majestic bearing.’’
’’Hey, what you are saying is something a noble would say, Fiole.’’
’’Is it? ... Perhaps. But this courtyard is much prettier than the others... if it's here, Lord Astal, don't you feel that you can put aside your work and allow your mind and body to have some rest? Lord Astal always doesn't pay heed to his health and works too hard! If you don't eat well or sleep well...’’
Upon seeing that Fiole was starting to start up his usual lecture, Sion hurriedly said, ’’Ah, fine, I understand. But I have to admit that this place is very beautiful.’’
’’Yes, it is...’’
As he spoke, Fiole's expression softened, ’’...I'm thinking of showing my sister this place...’’ He said.
Then Sion... ’’Eh? Then let her come and have a look.’’
’’No, it's not that simple. Lord Astal always works and doesn't rest, so I can't rest as well. I don't have the time to bring my younger sister to this place.’’ Fiole said.
’’Is it my fault?’’
But Fiole shook his head, ’’Ha ha, I was joking. I'm planning to bring her here after some time. I'm also thinking of introducing her to Lord Astal... However, just after a period of time, when this country has truly become Lord Astal's possession... in that not-too-far-off future... When this country does not have any estrangement, when anyone can live his or her lives happily... Only then, I will probably have some time to bring her here.’’
Sion replied, ’’... Yes. For the sake of that day, we have to work hard.’’
’’Yes. But I don't think this future is too far away. Because you have become this country's king...’’ Fiole answered, happily looking at the big blooms in the courtyard.
What was he thinking at that time?
Did he think that the day that heralded a blessed future would come?
The future that anyone would be able to live their lives happily?
That future... it never came...
When they reached the courtyard, there were two people waiting for them.
One was a man, Calne Kaiwel.
He had soft, slightly wavy blond hair and lovely blue eyes that gave him a delicate appearance. Like Claugh, he had bet upon his life to work for Sion since the revolutionary period and was now one of Sion's trusted ministers.
Calne waved when he caught sight of Sion and Claugh, running over to them.
’’Really, you're so slow! We waited for a long time! It must be Claugh-Senpai who was delaying Lord Sion.’’
Claugh retorted, ’’Ah? Why would you think this way? Maybe it was Sion's fault.’’
Calne shrugged, ’’That's impossible!’’ he said, certain of himself. ’’Because Lord Sion is not someone who would be late. And senpai, you have no sense of urgency, you always have a slow reaction. It was the same with last time, because you were late for your date, you forced me to apologize to the woman on your behalf, isn't that so?’’
Claugh seemed slightly unhappy, ’’Ah. You still begrudge me for that even though it happened a long time ago?’’
’’Ah? A long time ago? Didn't it just happen a week ago?’’
’’What? In your eyes, a week is a short period of time?’’
’’If it's anyone else, I'm sure they will say that a week is a short period of time!’’
Claugh laughed coldly, ’’Ah, is that so. Well, in this week that is 'a short period of time towards everyone else', you already have had an affair with the wives of three different people and broke up with them. So I felt that a week is a long period of time. I see, so it was my mistake.’’
’’Ah? W-w-why would you know something like that? Ah, Lord Sion, there absolutely nothing like this happening, there is a complex reason for this...’’
Sion watched as Calne hurriedly tried to explain himself, wryly smiling as he said, ’’Calne is amazing. I heard that before we went to Imperial Nelpha to visit, you were having a relationship with Lord Pearl's wife...’’
Claugh said in response, ’’That was the distant past. Ever since then, the number has risen to twelve women.’’
’’Ahhhh, why would senpai know that!?’’
’’T-twelve? I-isn't that a bit too much? You'll have to be careful. What would happen if one day someone decides to betray you?’’
Claugh laughed, ’’No, in the end he was dumped by all of them, so it doesn't matter, right?’’
’’Wu...’’ Calne complained, ’’Wuuu... they all said that they had new lovers, so they didn't need me anymore... Or it was either that their husbands almost found out about us, so let's break up... Ahh, why does god have to give me these trials? I haven't done anything bad...’’ Sion and Claugh replied together, ’’Because what you're doing is adultery.’’
’’Wu...’’ Calne moaned.
Claugh continued, ’’You're really troublesome. It's about time you give up on that interest that you have in old women. If you carelessly lay your hands on other people's woman, the consequences will be dire.’’
’’I don't want to be lectured by you. Senpai, didn't you have an affair with a married woman once?’’
’’Idi~ot, that was because the woman kept the fact that she was married hidden from me.’’ As Sion listened to their conversation, he revealed a somewhat agonized expression that carried a trace of an amused smile.
’’Anyway, if the two of you could reduce the number of affairs of having, it would be good. Both of you are my important ministers, if you don't watch out for your behavior, my reputation would be directly affected.’’
’’You're saying that? You actually said that? But I'm in the process of having a relationship. Don't put me on par with my unreliable senpai!’’
’’Ah? I can't ignore what you said. Sion, I don't want you to put me on par with this pervert who only has an interest for relationships with other people's wives.’’
’’Pervert? Who is the pervert? Even if it is senpai who said that, it is unforgivable!’’
’’Ah? You're the pervert. Who said I was unreliable? Come on then, do you want me to give you a good lesson on how to respect your senpais?’’
’’You're so rude! Even if you don't teach me, I'm still using honorifics for my senpais!’’
’’Your honorifics don't portray your respect!’’
As the two quarreled, they settled into their offensive positions.
When Sion saw this, he couldn't help but laugh. He knew that these two weren't really thinking of fighting. Although normally they did quarrel over such petty matters... but today was different. Today...
The both of them were doing this so that when Sion met Fiole's younger sister, he would not continue to be downhearted. Sion smiled gently when he watched them pretend to fight whilst throwing sneaky glances in his direction.
’’Alright, you don't have to worry anymore. But forget it. Let's go.’’
When Claugh and Calne saw Sion walking out, they were momentarily shocked. Then they hurried to catch up with Sion, whispering,
’’It's all because of your lousy acting skills that we were discovered!’’
’’It's senpai's fault! My acting skills were very realistic! I even added in the lines that I felt when confessing to other people's wives!’’
They might have had planned to talk about this quietly... but Sion still heard everything, so their acting skills weren't really that good... Pretending that he had not heard the whispered conversation behind him, Sion headed forward.
A girl was looking in their direction.
She had a vaguely familiar face, beautiful shoulder-length amber hair, a slender body, a body that gave the impression that it was weak but actually it was contrary to that, and clear blue eyes. These eyes squinted when she saw Sion approaching...
When Sion walked in front of her, she bowed her head deeply.
’’I am Fiole Folkal's younger sister, Eslina Folkal.’’
Calne urgently walked to Eslina's side.
’’Ah, so it's like that. Lord Sion, this is the girl.’’
When Claugh heard her self-introduction, he was a little unsatisfied,
’’What kind of self-introduction is that?’’
’’Ah, senpai, don't fuss over this kind of petty stuff!’’
Eslina looked at the two of them and smiled. Then she turned her head back to look at Sion.
She wore a pristine white dress. She had no decorations or make-up. Fiole's income was a modest sum of money, but Fiole who was considerate enough to think of his sister sent all the money to Eslina, so she couldn't be poor...
It was just that she was a girl who did not like luxury. From this point, Sion could understand her attitude. This young girl couldn't be lacking interest in make-up or clothes... It was just that she did wanted to lessen the burden on her brother's shoulders, so she worked hard every day.
She did not care about anything else...
All for her brother...
This gesture made her seem even more glorious...
It was a huge contrast against the noble women surrounding Sion;they only knew how to use money to disguise their worthlessness.
But the young girl almost seemed as if she did not require any decoration, like Fiole, that appearance would unquestionably be beautiful in the future.
But Sion frowned.
He thought... that she still needed Fiole's protection...
The one who killed him...
Was himself who was powerless...
Sion opened his mouth slowly...
’’...Your brother always took care of me...’’
In that moment, her expression changed. Smiling brightly, ’’I'm humbled by that. I'm sure Onii-san will cry into tears of happiness if he knew that His Majesty praised him so.’’ She said with a smile.
She seemed really happy. Her brother was dead, but she was happy...
It's my fault, for causing her brother to die...
But Eslina kept looking at Sion. ’’Please don't reveal that kind of expression. Onii-san... will be sad.’’
Sion was surprised by this sudden sentence. It was as if she could look into Sion's heart with that pair of pure eyes.
’’...Onii-san was always happy that he was able to serve His Majesty and meet His Majesty. Onii-san wrote me several letters, telling me that he was happy. Even if it was only a letter, I felt happy too. So, please don't reveal that kind of expression. I will feel sad too. I think Onii-san died, satisfied with his life. He was able to see His Majesty's dreams, so he was able to die peacefully... So I also want to serve His Majesty. I want to help out with the dream that Onii-san saw.’’ She said.
He had died peacefully, satisfied, so it was not saddening for her.
She said this.
She said this wearing a smile.
But he knew that she was lying.
She could not possibly not be sad...
Sion closed his eyes... ’’Calne. Did you tell her the reason for Fiole's death?’’
’’...Ah? ...Oh, that...’’
Looking at Calne's stuttering expression, he shouted.
’’Yes!? Ah, that... I said it was an unfortunate accident...’’
’’...Is that so...’’
Sion replied softly, then he breathed deeply.
’’Fiole's death was not purely by accident.’’
In that split second, Eslina noticeably tensed.
Calne tried to interrupt,
’’No, that, Lord Sion!?’’
But Sion ignored him and continued. ’’Fiole... was killed by the nobles as a warning for me... that I did not have enough power, so I was unable to control the nobles, so Fiole was killed. Even so, do you still want to continue working for me?’’
’’...’’ Eslina did not reply.
Sion removed a letter from his possession and passed it to Eslina.
It was a letter that Fiole had written for his younger sister before he had died...
It was a letter that was covered with Fiole's blood.
The letter was written like this.
Eslina, thank you for writing to me every time. I'm sorry I can't reply to your letters all the time.
But, Eslina you are healthy, so Onii-san is relieved.
Your academic results seem to be very good, you are very hard working. I feel very encouraged when I read the letters you've written to me.
I am very lucky to have an excellent superior. Lord Astal... His Majesty is a great person. He treats commoners like us equally. The most important thing is that he really means well for this country. It is good that this lordly person is our country's monarch.
As a citizen who is able to live in the country this lord is ruling, I feel very proud. If it is possible, I would like to let Eslinda see Lord Astal...
Ah, that's right. Lord Astal says he is giving me a break for the weekends so that I can return to see you.
See? Isn't he a kind person?
So I will be visiting you during the weekends. It's been a long time since I last saw you. In the past, whenever I returned home, Mother would make her best cheese. Eslinda, like Mother, has a talent in culinary, so you'll definitely make a good bride.
If the groom were to be Lord Astal...
Ah, this is not the kind of things that a lowly-commoner like me should say~
Well, that's all for now. I hope to see you during the weekends.
The weekend that would never arrive.
The time that they would never spend together.
Eslina's hand trembled continuously as she held the blood-splattered letter.
Tears rolled out from those strong-willed eyes.
Fiole had looked forward to seeing his little sister.
Fiole had looked forward to seeing the changing country.
Fiole had looked forward to seeing his younger sister's happiness at living in this country.
But the letter that carried that small piece of happiness and hope was stained with blood.
He was cruelly murdered, Fiole's blood.
Eslina tried to control her sobs, but she couldn't stop her tears. She hugged the letter to her chest, gritting her teeth but still failed in stopping her tears.
Sion looked at her, ’’I was unable to protect Fiole... No, he was murdered and that was my fault. It was not because of any accident. Even so, are you still able to work for me?’’
She took a deep breath to calm herself down. Holding the letter to her chest, she used her other hand to wipe her tears away.
After that, she said, ’’...I...like Onii-san very much. When our parents died, they left the two of us two survive alone, depending on each other. I was eight when our parents died... But brother, even though he was eleven, has always protected me... He has always, always protected me... Brother and I are quite different from one another. He is good at everything he does, but I can't even do anything to help him out... But I will work hard so that one day I will be able to help him... but... I never thought... that he would pass...pass away so early...’’
She whimpered slightly and her tears threatened to flow again. But she shut her eyes and suppressed those tears, taking a deep breath, ’’But I... still think that Onii-san was happy. He was able to meet His Majesty. He was always talking about His Majesty. So I wish to help His Majesty, who has made Onii-san happy. Because I don't want to make Onii-san angry...’’
She smiled slightly while saying this. ’’I think Onii-san would affirm that me working for His Majesty is not wrong! I want to inherit Onii-san's position. So please allow me to stay by His Majesty's side...’’
But Sion did not reply.
Was this really happening? Did Fiole really wish for Eslina to stay by my side? Wouldn't the nobles reach out for Eslina? At that time, will I be able to protect her?
At this moment, Calne spoke,
’’Her... About Eslina's abilities, even though she is starting now, but she is on par with Fiole's standards. I have already seen her a few times, so I guarantee that she is an outstanding child. Isn't this... acceptable?’’
No, it was not like that. Sion thought. The problem was not about her abilities.
Compared to that, he was frightened that what had happened to Fiole would happen to her...
Then, Claugh said, ’’Nothing like that will ever happen again.’’
’’Is it like that, then? She can stay at my place, I'll take care of her.’’ The moment Claugh said this, Calne hurriedly said, ’’Wait, wait a moment! Lord Sion, please dissuade him! Senpai has no age preferences for his women, he is those kind who will do anything to them!’’
’’What do you mean?!’’
’’It's like what I said!’’
’’What! Ahh, but I'm not like you who targets the older audience!’’
’’What!? You dare to say that in Eslina's presence! Wouldn't you make her doubt my character!’’
Watching the two of them squabble, Eslina said, ’’Re...really... Ha ha ha, are the two of them always like that?’’
She laughed freely, without a trace of distress in her smile.
’’I finally understand why Brother liked this place...’’
Saying this, she looked at her surroundings. Sion turned his gaze to their surroundings too. He had not accompanied Fiole to come admire these colourful flowers, but this place was still filled with many blooming flowers, they were certainly beautiful.
As if she could look into Sion's heart, she smiled.
’’What Onii-san liked was not these flowers. The gentle... too gentle king that cared about people like us, cheerful companions...so please let me work here. No, even if you disagree, I will work hard so that I will be able to work here. Don't look at my outward appearance. To tell the truth, I'm very hardworking.’’
Sion smiled wryly when he heard that, ’’Yes... The fact that Calne has affairs with other people's wives has to be remedied. If a cute girl like Eslina is by his side, he'll probably understand what is so attracting about these younger girls...’’
’’Ah!? Even Lord Sion agrees with Claugh!? Why did it end up like this!’’
Eslina laughed again. ’’Ah, that means... I can stay here? That's great!’’
Sion lowered his eyes.
She should be a strong child.
Her vengefulness towards the nobles who killed Fiole...
Her hate and suspicions towards Sion who had easily allowed the nobles to kill Fiole... all of them were suppressed...
Strong, vigorously living...
I can't do that... He thought.
I'm unable to smile like her.
His mother's face rose in his mind's eye. His mother's appearance as she died, belittled and treated like an inconsequential ant. When his mother died, could he have shown an expression like Eslina's...?
He thought about this...
At this moment, a voice spoke from behind them.
It was a cold voice, almost lifeless, a devil's voice...
’’Your Majesty, you've over stepped your boundaries. Eslina Folkal. Someone like you can't stay by His Majesty's side.’’ The voice said.
Sion turned around. A man had been standing behind them, unnoticed by everyone.
He had a pretty face, dark hair and was about the same height as Claugh. He was the opposite of Claugh though, he was very slim. Moreover, even thought he was a stunning beauty, this was not the feature that attracted people's eyes.
It was his cold green eyes that were the most splendid feature...
Those pair of sharp, icy eyes that seemed as if they overlooked everything, emanating a dark atmosphere...
He said that Sion's over-bearing attitude would be needed... Not only in the Roland Kingdom, but as the King of Roland Kingdom who would rule the whole of the Menoris Continent, so he had been taken in by Sion as a talented advisor.
He said that all the darkness, dirty matters that would be committed on this cruel path to forceful ruling would be carried by him...
His powers were above the average. He handle matters of helping Sion, handling Fiole's workload, or the dirty matters that were not entrusted to Fiole and completed them so perfectly that it made one annoyed...
Good or bad, he would always pick the most effective method.
This was the path he chose.
And because of this, Froaude's relationship with Claugh and Calne were not good...
Now, Claugh was glaring at him, ’’Where did you appear from?’’
Froaude turned his icy eyes to Claugh, ’’... You ask where... I came here by walking normally on that path.’’
’’I didn't mean that! Where did you appear, who allowed you to eavesdrop on our conversation? You even masked your presence so that you could get near us.’’
Froaude's presence was completely masked. So much so that even Sion and Claugh who was more sensitive than Sion could not detect it.
But Froaude shrugged, ’’Don't be so harsh, Major General Klom. I didn't even think of masking my presence... I just feel that this girl seemed rather familiar, so I walked over. This girl is the deceased Fiole Folkal's younger sister, Miss Eslina Folkal, am I right?’’
Claugh replied, ’’So what about that?’’
But Froaude unexpectedly raised up his hand that was adorned with a black ring.
That hand was raised in Eslina's direction...
Narrowing his eyes, he said, ’’Then... I'm going to kill her now.’’
In a split second, Calne and Claugh settled into their battle positions.
The mood in the courtyard changed in a moment and became tense...
But Froaude tilted his head, ’’Ah, why are the two of you emanating an killing intent? Major General Klom, have I said anything strange?’’
’’You've always spoken strange things, you gloomy bastard. I wouldn't let you kill Eslina.’’
But Froaude looked at Claugh for a little longer... then he smiled, ’’You're saying you're supposed to protect Eslina Folkal?’’
’’That's odd, wasn't your duty to protect Lord Astal? Then why do you protect Eslina? What about you, Calne? Don't tell me you think that you plan to raise the person who may one day decide to kill His Majesty because of revenge, Eslina Folkal?’’
At that moment, Eslina said, ’’How can that be... I...’’
Calne interrupted her, ’’Eslina wouldn't do something like that!’’ he shouted at Froaude.
But Froaude only aimed those cold eyes at Eslina... ’’Is that so?’’
Eslina trembled. Looking at those bottomless eyes... Just by doing so, Eslina had reached her limit.
’’I, I... wouldn't do anything that would make Onii-san sad.’’
Froaude's mouth lifted into a very slight smile, ’’Is that so. If you have no misconceptions, I'll even help you with your revenge. Killing the ignorant nobles of this country is a very important job. If you really wish to avenge your brother, you're welcome to find me. You're still young and beautiful. If you would use that body, you can easily become the fall of the nobles...’’
Claugh interrupted, ’’If you continue speaking about this, I'll kill you.’’
Calne added, ’’Eslina wouldn't do something like that!’’
Hearing this, Froaude said, ’’Really? Then I have to report that Miss Folkal loves her esteemed brother...’’
At this moment, Sion opened his mouth. ’’That's enough, Froaude.’’
His voice was not very loud, but he used an oppressive tone. ’’I wouldn't let Eslina do those kind of things. I would not forgive anyone who forced her into doing them. And...’’
Sion looked at Eslina with empty eyes, ’’Fiole would never allow it. Don't be sad and troubled, Eslina.’’
When Eslina heard this, she breathed a sigh of relief. Seeing this, Sion nodded voicelessly. Then he turned back to Froaude and glared at him fiercely.
Seeing this, Froaude said, ’’This is... Have I made you unhappy?’’
’’Yes.’’ Sion nodded his head.
Hearing this, Froaude replied, ’’I apologize.’’ And bowed his head, a slight smile appearing on his face.
’’Oh yes, about that case I raised last time...’’
As if nothing had happened, he immediately raised another issue.
Froaude had been raising this issue lately. It was regarding... invading Imperial Nelpha, the neighboring country.
That was, to launch an invasion.
Sion shook his head.
’’Didn't I veto this issue already? I don't have any intentions to start a war with Nelpha as of now.’’
Claugh, Calne and Eslina couldn't help but gasp in surprise...
Claugh said, ’’What!? Sion, what is this about? Don't tell me Froaude suggested to start a war with Nelpha?’’
Calne added, ’’You're joking, right? We just ended the war with Nelpha... A, A while before, didn't we pay a visit to Nelpha and agree to establish a good friendship with them?’’
Eslina seemed to be speechless.
The peace that they had finally attained.
Everyone here... No, in all of the Roland Kingdom that had experienced a long term war, there was no one who didn't know the fear war brought.
Everyone had experienced the grief that the unneeded war brought...
But Froaude said, ’’It isn't a strange matter. It is exactly because we have managed to establish these good relations with Nelpha that gives us the best opportunities to carry out an invasion. Nelpha would not think that Roland would attack them now. So if we attack now, the battle will undoubtedly be in our favour.’’
This time, Claugh glared at Froaude with hatred in his eyes, ’’You bastard... do you still want to... bleed more...’’
But Froaude ignored Claugh's glare and continued calmly. ’’Major General Klom, do you know the country Stohl?’’
’’Ah? Of course I know of it. It's in the north of the Menoris Continent, it's the biggest land country.’’
Froaude nodded his head. ’’That country and our country are in the north and south respectively, so they are unable to reach here... But their territory is five times larger than ours. Even their national power, military power... Our country is unable to compare with it. There are other countries that are even bigger than Roland. Ah, yes, then do you know of a country called Gastark?’’
’’No, I don't. What are you trying to say?’’
’’Gastark was originally a small, aspiring country. Lord Klom, lately it has been expanding its power at a rapid rate and it has already conquered two countries... Now, it's waging war with Stohl... I'm afraid what Lord Froaude means to say is... after today, maybe the Menoris Continent will be welcoming a period of war that has never been seen before...’’ Eslina said this calmly. Claugh and Calne looked at Eslinda with surprised expression...
Froaude nodded his head. ’’My lady is quite clever. One day, the enemy country will attack Roland. And this will be a country that is much more powerful than Estabul... If we think about it, wouldn't our country have to work harder now in order to prepare for then?’’
Claugh said, ’’So what you mean is that we invade Nelpha based on these reasons?’’
Calne followed, ’’But must we invade Nelpha? The other country, Runa, is also our ally. If Nelpha, Runa and Roland combine their powers, even if it's a large kingdom attacking...’’
But Froaude shook his head. ’’That's impossible. Regardless of whether it is Stohl or Gastark, both of them are completely military based countries. They wouldn't use such a simple alliance to attack us. Moreover, you think of those naïve and weak nobles in Nelpha as your comrades? Can they fight? They are like those nobles who are not conscious to crisis and plotted to assassinate this country's king...’’
At this, Claugh and Calne were unable to retort. What Froaude had said was true. Even if they combined forces with the nobles of Nelpha, they would be unable to defend against a strong invading country.
’’Even if it's like that, this still can't be done. Froaude, you should know this, as well.’’
’’But there's no more time.’’
’’Who will have the power to invade Nelpha? On the surface, Roland kingdom has become a big country after joining up with Estabul. But in reality, this is a weak country that cannot even control Estabul. Can a country that has internal problems attack other countries?’’
Claugh and Calne made noises of agreement.
Froaude acknowledged, ’’So it's like that. As expected of Lord Astal. You really understand the situation this country is in. So that means that I have to raise the issue we discussed a while ago.’’
Hearing this... Sion's face contorted and muttered, ’’Darn. I see. Your intention was this...’’
’’Yes. My intention was to talk about that. If possible, I'd like everyone to leave before we continue...’’
Sion said, ’’... I'm sorry, could all of you please leave?’’
’’Wait, Sion! Why don't you explain to me...’’
But he interrupted Claugh, ’’Claugh!’’ Sion raised his voice.
Claugh could only stop... He glared at Froaude for a moment and held his tongue.
’’... Che. Fine, I understand. Your secret meetings again. But you'll have to explain everything to us later!’’
Sion smiled, ’’Yes, I was thinking of that.’’
’’Then we'll return to the city. Eslina will stay at Calne's place for the moment, is that fine?’’
’’Let's go, Calne, Eslina.’’
Saying that, Claugh walked out with an unhappy expression. Seeing this, Calne said, ’’Ah, w-wait up! Lord Sion, we'll retire now.’’
Eslina looked at Sion worriedly. Sion waved a hand to tell her that she did not need to worry. She bowed her head and chased after Calne.
Sion watched them leaving until he could no longer see them...
’’So what now?’’
He looked at Froaude with an exhausted expression.
Froaude smiled coldly.
Continuing with their conversation. ’’Like what I just told Lord Astal, our country is in an unfavourable position. We are not in a position to attack Nelpha. We must quickly secure the Estabul kingdom under our rule.’’
’’Yes, that's right. What about the movements of the Estabul royalists?’’
’’There have been no problems with them. According to Lord Astal's orders, the king of Estabul and the nobles who had power have been given special status and appropriate noble names by Roland. Then they were given guarantees on their lives. They quickly succumbed to us. Because they don't need to fight in the war, they can be a foolish noble in Roland, so there is no problem.’’
’’The problem lies with the nobles who think for their country. These nobles think that the Estabul kingdom still should be under the ruling of the royals and has become part of Roland without any war. The accumulated hatred at being suppressed by those failing nobles is almost bursting out from them... These people are trusted by the people of Estabul. Even if we dismiss their army, they will have a certain degree of power.’’
Sion clasped his elbow, ’’Ideal revolutionists...is it. Nobles who think well of the country. I hope that such powerful people will become our companions...’’
But Froaude stared at him, ’’But like what I said. We don't have any time. So I raised the issue of killing the nobles of Estabul...’’
Sion's face darkened. ’’This... can't be carried out.’’
Froaude revealed a demonic smile, ’’That's right. His Majesty has a kind heart and is a generous king. Even if Estabul's nobles cause any trouble, we can't kill them mercilessly... But what if those nobles who think for the benefit of Estabul gather together to plot a revolution? At this moment, even if His Majesty kills them all, there won't be any unhappiness from anyone.’’
’’It's simple. As long as we get someone who has a relation to Roland to be the conspirator and allow him to stir up the revolutions. Only this way will those naïve Estabul nobles gather together... Then the news will be leaked and we can easily exterminate the revolutionary power in Estabul.’’
It was an unbelievable plan.
Tricking those people who only wished for the best of their country, giving them hope and finally accusing them of treason and killing them. Froaude's plan would indeed be effective. If they used this plan, all of those dangerous people would be killed. If those who had no intention to rebel heard of this failed revolution, they would start to move to prove their loyalty. If it were like that, they would be able to wipe out all signs of resistance...
But even if they did this...
Sion turned exasperated, ’’... Even if we did this... These immoral methods would conform all of Estabul...’’
Froaude interrupted Sion, ’’That is to be expected, Your Majesty. Your Majesty can't have come up with this kind of merciless act. I was only telling you that this kind of situation could happen...’’
Just as he said that, a man ran to Sion quickly. Upon seeing Sion, he said, ’’Your Majesty, there's trouble! The nobles of Estabul have gathered together and they are r-rebelling!’’
Sion immediately looked at Froaude.
Froaude assumed a nonchalant expression. ’’That's coincidental. If it's like that, then the time you have to make a decision draws near. Would you resolve this in a fair and square manner or would you become a real king... no matter what your choice is, I will always be loyal to you...’’
’’... Who is the main conspirator?’’
Froaude smiled slightly, ’’Coincidentally, it's someone I know...’’
Sion's heart groaned.
If the nobles of Estabul were to die now, then it would be beneficial for them. For Roland's citizens, no, for Estabul's people as well, they had to start the invasion of other countries as soon as possible...
Even if it is like this, I still...
Sion raised his head, carrying a determined expression, he commanded Froaude.
After which, Froaude said, ’’As you wish, Your Majesty...’’ smiling as he bowed.