Translator: Mythos IX
Editor: Darkdhaos, Skythewood, Storm Loki
“What did you just say?”
A hoarse female voice said.
Oswald Coulthard who was asked, lowered his head and used the same tone to reply.
“Your Majesty Charlotte, just as I reported… … Princess Elizabeth Victoria, who was heading here from Saint Edward Independent Academy, had an accident, and is currently missing.”
The queen’s face grew paler and paler, which contrasted with her crimson robe and golden crown,
Her wrinkled face, due to her illness, looked like an elderly fifty year old. While the scepter in her hand felt like her walking stick.
Her voice was trembling.
“It can't be... what about the imperial guards…”
“This is also very unfortunate, but it seems that all of them died in the line of duty.”
“For the six imperial guards to be attacked at the borders and the princess missing… … Was it really a simple accident?”
The queen probed with a squeezed voice.
However, Oswald's expression did not change even a little. A smile was stuck on his face like a mask.
“It is so. This was just an unfortunate accident. As a means of toughening their training, I dispatched the standard unit to bring back the bodies of the imperial guards… … It’s a shame, but it is only a matter of time before we find Princess Elizabeth’s body.”
The butler beside the queen shouted.
However, he quieten down when the two knights fully equipped with a sword in their hands beside Oswald tightened their guard.
“Pardon me if I sounded rude, but what I have reported is the truth.”
Oswald used a calm tone to reply.
The queen was trembling.
“Ughhh, why did things became like this?”
Her breathing was thin and irregular. A wheezing sound, like cold air passing through the door, came from inside her throat.
The butler quickly went to support the queen.
“This is bad! Doctor! Doctor!”
The doctors were probably on standby just outside the audience room. The door opened immediately and seven people dressed in white entered.
As the queen was receiving treatment, her eyes were dull and she murmured.
“Cough… Margaret, you crazy fool… Are you trying to ruin the country with war?... …”
Oswald replied to her after a moment of silent.
“Ah? If we are talking about the aims of war, there’s only one. The reason why nations go to war is due to the benefits they can gain. A nation is a place where people gather. For them to survive, it’s about economic activity. In other words, the aim of war is to gain wealth, Your Majesty.”
“... ...Wretch… … Devil! Are my citizens going to die for the sake of money!?”
“The lifespan of human is about hundred years. In that case, there’s not much loss even if they die earlier. To be able to make their own country prosperous, isn’t it a prestige and honour for patriots?”
“Sophistry! Do you want wealth that badly?... … A noble title, high military position at such a young age… … You should be satisfied… … but… … why do you, still want money?”
“Your words flatter this humble servant. I am truly blessed to serve in such an honorable capacity.”
“Then… … Why?”
“It’s impossible for you, a born royal, to understand… … I have indeed obtained status and wealth… … Even so, there is still the desire for more, that’s how humans are.”
Oswald intentionally said this in a roundabout way.
The queen clutched her chest.
“Damn you! Ugh!?...”
“Your Majesty! Please refrain from speaking anymore!”
As if she was depleting her vitality, she shook off the doctors, shouting “A greedy person like you will receive divine punishment! May you burn in hell after death!”
“Is that so? I believe that my desires are as common as the stones along the streets… … It will be an honour if God noticed them.”
Oswald replied as if he was praying.
The queen squeezed her chest, eyes rolled back, foaming.
The doctors were desperately shouting “Your Majesty!”
Oswald bowed and left the audience room.
Coming out of the room, Oswald led the two knights and exited Queen’s tower. In a corridor that was lined with stone pillars, the middle was laid with red carpet.
A black-haired girl clad in a silk dress appeared from the back of a stone pillar.
She was Margaret.
“Ara, you came back so fast. Is the talk with my Aunt over?”
“To be graced by Your Highness Margaret’s presence, this humble servant is about to faint due to this great honour.”
“Is that so, that will be troublesome. Tell me the things I want to know before fainting, Oswald.”
“Esteemed princess, this area is not suitable for such talk. How about the balcony over there?”
The balcony was facing the courtyard.
It was afternoon right now, the warm rays of mid-April were shining on it.
There was also a breeze.
There were table and chairs.
The princess crossed her legs.
The white thighs which were hidden by the dress were exposed. Oswald was standing beside her, hands behind his back while surveying the area.
The knights in heavy armor were guarding at the door while the maid made tea.
Margaret began the conversation.
Oswald bowed and said,
“... … The audience with Her Majesty… … As this humble servant was ill-prepared, I have disgraced myself.”
“Ara, did something went wrong?”
“I had no other choice but to provoke her… … It was my miscalculation for the Commander of Applewood to lose princess Elizabeth. Originally, I wanted to present her body and end it.”
“True, it’s just like her to probe, how troublesome.”
“Liz, is she still safe?”
“She was saved by a boy and escaped towards the mountains.”
“Ahh, she will come to the capital, I’m looking forward to it. The present should be Applewood’s pie then. If it’s around this time, the pie won’t spoil that easily.”
“... … Here? But many soldiers here have the same idea as this humble servant, there are even some who knew about the assassination of princess Elizabeth mixed among them.”
“It’s fine. If she does not come, I will be the queen, right? I will start a war then.”
“Will she appear alone just to stop the war from happening?”
“Yeah, Liz is like that, a good person, isn’t she? I’ll make a tart for her. Liz doesn’t like strawberry as it is sweet and sour at the same time. Hehehe.”
“Is that so?”
“I’m looking forward to it. Ah, can’t it happen faster? I will be waiting for you with a strawberry tart.”
“How kind of you.”
Oswald had more terrifying actions.
Searching the mountains and villages nearby to find the body and trample the Queen’s spirit.
If Elizabeth returned, Oswald’s tactic would be crazier. He thought of sending soldiers to Applewood and watch over the main road, though he would need to change his image of Elizabeth being just a clever girl. Margaret tilted her cup and said,
“That reminds me, I heard that the imperial guards prepared a decoy.”
“Yes, the royal carriage which was protected by the imperial guards’ subordinates was a decoy.”
“Why did you not fall for it? How interesting.”
“It’s simple. Even if the five imperial guards are united, but their subordinates are not stone. A human heart is moved by money after all.”
“I see, so you bribed them.”
“My apologies, this method was uninteresting for the intelligent you. Graham is very loyal, hence I’m unable to comprehend his vulnerability.”
“Ufufu… … What about your loyalty then?”
She threw a provocative look at him.
She raised her legs alternatively, causing the skirt of her dress to slip even more and revealing more of her dazzling white skin.
“Towards the precious princess… … It has already exceeded simple loyalty. I only know that I have to spare no effort for you. The value of my life is to consider Your Highness’ happiness. There is nothing other than that, this is my existence.”
“Is that so… … Then, Oswald.”
“I’m in a dilemma, which tea goes better with strawberry tart?”
“How about Darjeeling with honey?”
“It’s too sweet.”
“Even though the strawberry tart is sour?”
“Ufufu, true. It’s decided then, bring that out quickly.”
“The wind's getting stronger, you can’t afford to catch a cold. Isn’t it about time for you to return to your room?”
“Okay, I get it. Hey Oswald.”
“I like Liz very much. She is a good girl.”
“Is that so?”
“Hence, when you bring back the corpse, I want to see her before you present her to Aunt Charlotte. Of course, that is before she rots. If it’s about this season, there shouldn’t be any problem. I believe bringing back Applewood’s pie shouldn’t be a problem too.”
Oswald bowed her head deeply and respectfully, as if she was the queen.
Margaret stood up.
She walked while swinging her silk dress, she went to the door that connected the room interior with the terrace.
Bastian ran through the forest with all his might.
When he was young, he felt fear from being chased by the P.E. teacher, though what he was experiencing now was on a different scale.
He ran until he saw a river.
It was fortunate that they escaped. As it was still April now, the river was cold.
It was even more fortunate that they escaped while Bastian carried her.
There was a brick mill along the river.
The door was open, and nobody was in the mill. Thus they could take a rest there.
The mill had brick walls and wooden roof. There was a complete set of equipment to process wheat inside. Although there was firewood in the stove, they could not use it without permission.
Bastian sat on an old chair.
“Haah… It’s been some time since I ran so seriously, so tired.”
“That, thank you very much for saving me.”
The girl who sat opposite of him lowered her head.
Bastian waved his hand lightly.
“Don’t mind it, didn’t Elise help me out countless times too? Ah, you’re Elizabeth now, right?”
“My real name is Elizabeth. Though it’s fine for you to call me what you like.”
“In that case, is it fine to continue calling you Elise?”
The girl happily nodded her head.
“I was called Elise until this morning, now it feels nostalgic.”
“The silk dress suits you too.”
“Ah, is that so?”
“I feel that it’s not bad. Though the school uniform is better.”
After he said that, Bastian was afraid of being misunderstood, but Elise had a carefree smile floating on her face.
“Hehe… … I also feel that the school uniform is more relaxing. That reminds me, the countless times I helped you, do you mean the times I helped you in school?”
“Yeah. I got entangled into those messes because I’m from Belgaria, how I wish I was from another country.”
“Even though you are so strong, why do you endure such treatment?”
“I promised my grandfather… … that I will return home if I’m involved in a fight.”
Bastian turned pale after mentioning the promise.
“Is anything wrong?”
“J, just now, that can’t be considered a fight, right? Not getting involved in a fight, not revealing my identity, no discussing about other countries’ politics and religion.”
“I believe that isn’t considered as a fight. By the way, not revealing your identity means that your identity as a duke’s son is a fake identity, right?”
“Ah, no. That...”
“Crimson eyed Bastian, based on what I know, only Belgariane royalty has crimson eyes.”
“I, is that so?”
Bastian took out glasses from his pocket. The lens were made specially from black crystal.
“W, why are you suddenly wearing sunglasses inside the room?”
“N, not good, my evil eyes seem to be going out of control. These divine glasses have the ability to suppress the magic.”
“So, are you the third prince, Heinrich Trois Bastian de Belgaria?
“I, I don’t know who is that.”
“I understand. I promise that I won’t tell anyone. No matter what your real identity is, you are my benefactor.”
“You said you came here to give me the manuscript you had written, did you break through the line of soldiers just to do so?”
“It’s true that I came here to pass you the manuscript, though saving a friend from soldiers is normal.”
“Eh? Why the surprised look!? If I am that embarrassing to have as a friend, I will jump into that stream okay!?
“After I revealed myself as a princess, I thought that someone I can call a friend no longer exists. I’m glad now.”
“Haa, being a High Britannian royalty sure is tough.”
“I feel that it’s hard to approach Belgaria’s royalty.”
“What… … Eddie of the Balzac House, our relation is good and not strange at all. Same goes for that old man. That guy’s grandfather is very strong! Always wanting to teach swordsmanship.”
“I see, a ducal house.”
“Ah! N, no… … Erm… … That was written in the newspaper.”
“Ah, yes yes, I understand,” Elise smiled.
Bastian then changed the topic.
“That reminds me, what is with that platoon? It seems to be High Britannia military, but for them to aim at the princess with guns…”
“This is the common internal dispute. Recently, this country's technology is advancing rapidly. Due to that, more and more people are supporting war.”
“Well, that’s normal.”
“Perhaps this thought might be normal for men, but I oppose a war. If there is a war, many people will die.”
“Well, it’s just that Belgaria has always been in a state of war since I was born, so I do not really understand what will happen if there is no war.”
“Ah, no, do you mean that it’s better that people don’t die?”
“Yes, it’s a war with Belgaria.”
“I'm talking about High Britannia’s neighbour, Belgaria. Beyond the ocean, there is Hispania in the east.”
“Is there something wrong with their head? Even if they have numerous new cannons, they won’t be able to win. This country’s soldiers lack experience… … And they intend to start a war with Belgaria that has been at war for hundreds of years?”
“If there is a chance for victory, they will start a war. Perhaps that is what the High Britannians are thinking?”
This was said in a timid voice.
Elise was not submissive like other girls.
“If there is a chance, they will attack. That’s how military men think.”
“For what purpose? A war will not make a country prosperous, conversely, there are much more benefit in deepening diplomatic ties.”
“Ah? I, is that so ?
Benefits that were better than war were things that High Britannia did not thought of. Elise nodded.
“For example, there are four villages, two of them are in a constant conflict while the other two are working together. Which of the two villages will be more wealthy?”
“The one that won the fight?”
“That might be so, but if a disaster occurred, are they going to ask help from the people they defeated?”
“Well, that won’t work. In fact, the defeated people would return the favour twofold.”
Elise nodded her head.
“Perhaps it is possible to gain benefits and wealth for a hundred years by winning a war. However, what about two, three hundred years later? Is it possible for the country to prosper forever?”
“Forever, is it?”
Bastian was not really aware of Belgaria’s history.
Though he was aware of one part of it.
The Empire existed for 851 years, there was once a period where half of the Empire’s territory was annexed by others, even the capital was captured.
“One should consider the future, but can a human live that long?”
“As a ruler, one should not only think about his own happiness, but also the country’s future.”
“Ah, I see.”
That reminded Bastian of his court tutors who were also saying the same thing.
He often heard that as a ruler, one should prioritize the country’s future over oneself.
“Because of such thoughts, I firmly oppose a war.”
“I see, I see.”
“However, within the country, support for a war is strong. The war faction will mostly likely crown my cousin, Margaret, as the queen.”
“Does that girl want to start a war?”
Elise entered into deep thought.
“She… ...most likely, is fine with anything.”
“What does that mean?”
“She passes each day being bored. As a duke’s daughter and the first princess of High Britannia, coupled with gentle parents and outstanding subordinates, she is beautiful and healthy, and doesn’t have any goals forced on her.”
“Precisely because of that, it is very boring to her.”
“If that’s the case, why not go out and play?”
“As long as she is in High Britannia, she will get bored quickly, because her IQ is higher than average.”
There was nobody similar to her even in Belgaria’s royalty.
The first prince Auguste was sickly, while the second prince Latreille was busy with military affairs. The fourth princess Argentina, who has yet to come of age, was banished to a border fortress as the commander. The fifth child died soon after birth. Even the fifth princess Felicia, who was rising in the order of succession, has yet to venture out of her home due to her age.
Bastian himself, in a sense, might be similar to Margaret.
Rich and healthy
“I have similar feelings too.”
“Is that so?”
“That reminds me, I once saw a weird guy in the military library—— He was reading the books with great drive.”
“Does Bastian read too?”
“I was there because I flipped all the statues in the yard and was criticized by the chief steward, so I went to hide among the knights.”
During the spring two years ago,
Because of his red eyes, Bastian always wore sunglasses when he was outside of the palace. Even so, there was a chance of his identity being exposed.
Despite that, I removed my glasses and talked with that youth. “What’s so interesting about that book?”
“Hmm… … Nothing, I suppose.”
“Nothing!? Then why are you reading it? Isn’t it tiring?”
“The reason why I read books, is the same as the reason why you breath.
“Not breathing will be painful?”
“Yes, you’re right. I will be in pain if I don’t finish reading the book.”
“Are you sick?”
“I am told that quite often.”
“I hate reading the most. I prefer horse racing or practicing the sword.”
The young soldier took a few books from the pile on the table.
“This work tells a story about a super swordsman, his enemy includes a 100Co(44m) tall monster. It is a tense battle.”
“This too, the heroine uses magic, while the protagonist is a strong support. Though the male lead is a really tough man.”
“Are, are you talking about magic cult?”
“Ah? You do not know about the bestsellers in the Empire? Nobles around your age are buying these the most.”
“Is that so? I really hate books after all… …”
“I also recommend this one… … No, perhaps this is a little extreme. The way he describes the battle is fabulous, but the girls’ clothing are a little thin.”
“What… is with this guy… … Well, whatever… A cool fight scene? Why don’t you lend me that?”
“Is that so? I’m glad that you like it. The author is the same age as you.”
“Eh!? Isn’t this written by an adult!?”
“The author? As the target audiences are towards youth, there are more young authors. Perhaps they just have similar mindsets or simply just childish adults.”
“Do you write too?”
“... … I was interested, but… … If I write, there won’t be enough time to read right?”
“Ah, I see.”
Bastian concentrated on reading the book.
It was an outstanding work.
Furthermore, it was written by someone the same age as him.
How Incredible—— That was his true thought.
“... ...If, you write a story… … and it becomes a bestseller in the future, there’s a chance that I might read it.”
The soldier was a handsome young man, who had a gentle smile.
Bastian hugged the borrowed book tightly.
At that moment, a soldier with black beard entered with loud footsteps.
He shouted while red in the face.
“Hey!! Regis Auric you bastard! Break time was over long ago! Are you going to make the Marquis wait for you!?”
He stood up quickly
At the same time, at the door of the library,
Soldiers from the First Army, the strongest White Tiger Order, appeared in the library, which did not suit them.
The powerful knights pointed at Bastian.
Bastian then fled through the gap between the tables, smashed the windows and escaped outside. In his hand, he was holding the book… ...
After a short rest in the mill, Bastian moved into the forest with Elizabeth. They moved in the direction of the streets and reached Applewood by dusk.
“We didn’t lose our way.”
“Isn’t that normal? Considering my speed and I had memorized the map, it’s impossible to be lost. There isn’t much difference between this and dodging bullets.”
“Ah… … You’re weird, Bastian.”
“Really? Latreille can do it too. Ah, though Argentina is not good with directions. She is quite interesting as she can get lost in the forest.”
“That is normal.”
Bastian tilted his head upon hearing that.
Applewood was a fortress city that was surrounded by walls. A bustling city that was the biggest in the east.
Even when the sun set, the streets would still be filled with stalls, and the noises were similar to that of a festival.
The lives of the citizens here, even with the rapid advancement of technology, were no different than Belgaria's.
As a precaution, Bastian wore his sunglasses. After all, there might be someone in this big city that knows about the features of Belgariane royalty.
Bastian who was beside her whispered in Elise’s ear, “... … There aren’t that many soldiers.”
His shoulder lightly bumped into Elise’s shoulder.
“Ah, not all soldiers are on Margaret's side, due to various reasons.”
“Although Margaret is the mastermind, but do you know who was the one that ordered it? After all, ordering an assassination of a royal who is named as successor sure is cruel.”
“I need to return to the capital.”
“Leave it to me. I will definitely bring you there, so trust me.”
She had no idea when someone after her life might attack.
Because of that fear, she moved closer to Bastian.
Even when in the school’s dorm or the canteen, their shoulders were not as close as now.
Bastian has a mixed emotion of being proud and shy. At the same time, his desire to want to protect her intensified.
“I wonder if we can stay here.”
“I wonder if they accept students?”
“That reminds me, you can’t reveal yourself as a princess, right?”
“Yeah, it’s dangerous after all.”
They have considered visiting Applewood’s mayor, but they decided not to as they were unsure which side the mayor was on.
If he was on Margaret side, it was likely that he would call the army immediately.
They entered the shop before the sky darkened.
It was a building with white walls, the first floor being a bar while the second floor were the guestrooms. Both High Britannia and Belgaria have the same inn’s layout.
There were six men drinking at a table that was meant to seat four people.
At the counter, there was an old woman.
“What is it, this isn’t a place children should come.”
She uttered words of rejection.
How should we explain this? Bastian was stumped.
Elise walked to her and said, “Sorry to disturb, we are actually students and we are on our way back home to visit our sick relative. The carriage that our family arranged seems to be late… … Is it possible that we can stay here for a night?”
The old woman came out of the counter and surveyed them
“... … Do you have money?”
“Ah, that… …”
Bastian searched his pockets.
It was a futile search. Not just money, he did not have his stationery for studying.
“There’s only an old watch, a short sword and my future masterpiece. Oh no, no matter how I think, the thing with the most value is my masterpiece!”
“What about my handkerchief? It was something given by my mother, though I seldom use it. Anyway, I don’t think it’s cheap.”
The granny stretched her hand out.
Elise passed her the handkerchief.
The granny’s eyes changed after seeing that.
“Is this… ...silk?”
“If it is not enough, it’s fine, we'll go and find another shop.”
“Eh? Ahh… … Well, it can’t be helped, I’ll let you stay, though only breakfast and dinner will be provided.”
Elise lowered her head.
Bastian was relieved.
“That’s great, Elise!”
“Yes, Bastian. I really feel like sleeping after running around the whole day.”
The granny tilted her head.
“Erm, both of you are siblings, right?”
“Is it fine for it to be only one room?”
While Bastian scratched his head.”
“It’s fine, I’m fine with being outside-”
“No! It’s cold outside. Granny, it’s fine even if there is only a room. We are siblings after all.”
“Is that so? Then, this is the key, it’s fine if you bring the key out. Well, it isn’t the time for children to go outside right now anyway. If you want dinner, it is best that you have it now as our stock is about to run out.”
“I want to eat some meat.”
After finishing his words, the granny laughed.
“I don't think this suits the tastes of a young noble.”
Some bread and a thin soup with chicken was served.
Normally, one would drink beer to go with it, but they were still children, so water was served instead. The shelf life of beer was about one week while water would go bad after three days even during the cold season
And so, in a sense, warm potable water was more valuable than beer.
Bastian used the wooden utensils to eat
After finishing his novel overnight, he went to school without eating anything, hence he had gone without food for the entire day.
From him catching up with Elise to the intense battle in the forest, it was not surprising that he was hungry.
The hot soup filled his empty stomach and its light seasoning was appropriate for his thirsty tongue. “It’s really tasty, granny, I guarantee you that you’re fit to be Belgaria’s palace chef!”
“Haa… ... Is that so? That was prepared by the old man.”
“It really is delicious.”
Elise was in a similar situation and tears formed at the corners of her eyes. Thinking about it, after she resolved to be the queen, abandoning her normal life and left the dorm, she was chased by soldiers who were after her life for the whole day and was showered with bullets.
Perhaps today's event has taken a toll on her—— Bastian thought.
“That’s right!? Granny, I want a second serving!”
“What, I’m not wasting it! It’s just another serving!”
“Ah, is that so?”
“Erm… … That… … Me too… …”
Elise’s face redden as she hand over her utensils.
After finishing dinner, they went to the room.
After opening the door, both of them were petrified.
In the room, there were table and chairs, but there was only one bed.
“This… … is for one person?”
“There are two pillow, so probably for two… … two people… sleeping together here… …” Elise’s face redden once more.
Suddenly, she went weak in her knees.
Bastian supported her shoulders in a panic.
“Hey, are you alright?”
Perhaps she was confused, Elise wriggled around, causing her to lose balance and fell on the bed.
It should be fine if he let go of her hand.
However, Bastian stretched his hand out.
In the end,
It resulted in Elise’s back on the bed
While Bastian was on top of her.
Her golden hair was disheveled against the gray bed sheet.
A fragrance that were mixed of sweat, dirt and soup were exuded.
Elise closed her eyes, trembling.
“You… … can’t… …”
“Wait, please don’t be angry! I, I just lost control of my legs, I’m tired too!”
At this moment, a cough could be heard from the door.
The two separated in a hurry and looked towards the door.
The door was opened
The granny who was at the door frowned.
“Fools! You should do those kinds of things behind closed door!”
“We are not doing anything!”
While Bastian shook his head, thinking that his face has reddened to the point that it could be his latest special skill.
That reminds me, what is she referring to?... ...
Their back touched each other as they were lying on the bed.
“T,the bed sure is small.”
Their hearts were beating very fast as both were conscious of each other.
As both of them were exhausted, they fell into a deep sleep before they knew it.
The next morning,
Bastian and Elise were having their meal together on the first floor.
Although it was still early, there were people here having their meal.
Today's breakfast was toast, ham and egg.
Water was served too.
To commoners, this might be a little luxurious, but it was normal to nobles.
The two of them were from Belgaria’s royalty and High Britannia's royalty, they could ask for any kind of luxurious dishes.
Though both of them lack general knowledge.
Be it Bastian or Elise, both were unaccustomed to a commoner’s life, they only knew that a commoner and noble lives were different.
“Today’s food is delicious too, granny.”
“That’s what I think too, granny.”
“Fools! You don’t have to keep repeating it, just eat your food.”
Suddenly, someone opened the door with great momentum.
The man was wearing linen clothes. His right hand was holding the newspaper, while his left hand was holding a frying pan for some reason.
“Something big happened!”
“What happened, why all the fuss?”
“Her Majesty has passed away!”
The man raised the newspaper.
High Britannia’s Queen Charlotte Steelart has passed away, year 42, 15th April midnight.
The royal physician declared that Her Majesty has passed due to a heart disease.
The “Silent Week” of mourning would start on 16th.
The customers that were here for breakfast were surprised by that.
The granny began to pray.
Bastian looked at Elise, whose face and lips were pale.
“W, what should I do, Bastian?”
“Hey, stay strong!”
“If… … If that’s the case… … I… … couldn’t make it on time… …”
“It’s different! Didn’t the knight said it yesterday, that this was unexpected.”
Their actions caused a slight commotion.
The customers who were in an uproar and the hotel’s granny looked at them in surprise.
Bastian hugged Elise’s shoulder to support her standing up.
“Are you able to walk?”
If possible, Bastian wanted Elise to rest a little longer. Though it could not be helped as people were looking at them, it was not an optimal location to rest.
They moved towards the main streets from the hotel.
To be safe, Bastian wore his sunglasses as it would be troublesome if someone recognised him as a Belgaria’s royalty.
The bustle streets were filled with many small stalls and tourists.
Though that was a scene from yesterday——
News of the death of the queen was spreading.
Some were holding newspaper in their hand, while some were crying.
The queen was the symbol of High Britannia, there were many citizens who were depressed as they lost their queen who was a motherly figure to them.
Does Elise feels the same as them?
“Uhh… … Her Majesty… … Aunt…… is a gentle person… …”
This was usually not acceptable in public, but it was different today. Everywhere on the streets, one could observe similar scenes.
Not long after that, Elise calmed down.
Wiping her eyes which were red from crying, Elise said in a trembling voice.
“Sorry… … Bastian.”
“Have you calmed down already?”
“You should groom yourself a little. You seem to be tired.”
“The queen died at night on the 15th. Today is already the 16th.”
Confirming that, Bastian continued,
“From now till the 22nd, should be the mourning period known as the Silent week, right?”
“Then, the new queen will be decided on the 23rd?”
“That should be the case, the parliament will declare the new queen on the Dawn of the Declaration.”
“Elise, you are chosen as the successor, right?:
“Yes, take a look at this.” She stretched her left hand out. A golden ring engraved with the image of petal was on her ring finger.
“This flower is the symbol of royalty?”
“The white rose is High Britannia’s national flower. If I bring this to the capital, where there should be many people who oppose a war, I shouldn’t be ignored.”
“Of course. This is also Queen Charlotte’s wish.”
“... … However. If it’s now, there is a possibility that Margaret will become the new queen.”
“If I successfully returned to the capital, I will be hindrance to them.”
“Even with the ring, you can’t become the queen?”
“Yes, it’s another matter if the location of the one with the ring is known. If the candidate is missing, she will not be forgiven if others deem that she is being held for private reasons.”
“Is there any other way… …”
It took half a day when using the train, five days for carriage. If it was on foot, they would not be able to make it even with full seven days.
This journey sure is tough.
“It will be nice if the queen announced her candidate.”
“Perhaps that’s what she wanted to do, but she has been waiting as I’m still a student.”
“Ah, is that so?”
“However… … because the queen’s health wasn’t good, I was escorted back in a hurry. We should be able to make it in time if we use the train.”
The queen’s death happened yesterday.
If they set off from Applewood by train, it was likely that they would make it back in time.
“She probably told others about me, but with the key personnel gone, they couldn’t do anything.”
“Is that so?”
“Is it possible to use the train?”
“I think it’s impossible, though I want to take a look.”
Bastian and Elise walked towards the city central. The black smoke tells the location of the train station.
The metallic sound of wheels rotating.
Steam coming out of the exhaust.
Opposite of the fences was the majestic train.
And the soldiers guarding the station.
“So this city also realised that a war is starting soon.”
“This isn’t a time for jokes, Bastian. No matter how one looks, those are soldiers who were dispatched to find me.”
Bastian rescued Elise when she was surrounded by the soldiers at dusk yesterday.
The incident was reported to either some unknown person or princess Margaret, hence more soldiers were dispatched..
Their order, most likely, was to assassinate princess Elizabeth.
“Looks like the train is not an option. In any case, let’s try and find a carriage on the street.”
“That will be more appropriate.”
Bastian looked at Elise who was in deep thought.
“What is it, do you need to use the toilet?”
“Huh!? How do you even reach that conclusion!?”
“S,sorry, looks like I’m wrong again.”
“... … Bastian… … From here on, there’s no return, but it’s still not too late for you to return to the academy.”
Bastian tilted his head.
“What did you just say?”
“B,but, the situation now… …”
“I already promised that I will definitely bring you to the capital.”
“But this is dangerous, I believe you only came to give me your work.”
“That is so, but if you die, then there won’t be anyone reading my work anymore. This is more than enough reason to help you.”
“I don’t understand you, Bastian.”
“I’m similar to the person called Margaret. Every day is boring… … So this isn’t for you, but for myself. So don’t mind it, go ahead and exploit a weird person like me.”
“I can’t do that… …”
Bastian grabbed Elise’s hand and ran.
The main street was now filled with people and soldiers.
They ran to an alley.
“That was dangerous. We will probably be seen at the exit of the city.”
“How can that be!”
They ran towards the gap between the buildings, but they were unlucky as they met some soldiers who were having their meal in the alley.
The opponents numbered three.
“H,hey… … Could it be that… she is princess Elizabeth!?”
Another person blew a whistle.
The soldiers quickly gathered there.
Bastian grabbed her small hand and started running.
Bastian who has a keen hearing able to detect the armoured soldiers in the forest, was unable to utilise it in this alley.
The soldiers were moving quietly, with no sound of footsteps.
“We screwed up!”
“Bastian, hurry and escape!"
“Enough is enough, Elise! How can you, who is carrying the fate of the nation, act like this and worry about me!? Who will stop the war if you die!? To protect this peace, you have to live even if you have to eat mud!”
She was reprimanded.
Though an apology would have to wait after they survived this.
They continued running in the alley.
Bastian was not sure how far they ran as he did not memorize the map.
A feeling of unease——
Most likely, they will catch up with us.
It’s like we are entering the centre of their encirclement instead of breaking out.
“Elise, keep running! Don’t look back! Don’t stop! I will definitely protect you!”
Bastian let go of his hand, believing that she would continue to run.
He was attempting to break through the troops converging on them by force.
As the alley was narrow, the three soldiers were in a single file. They were surprised by Bastian’s sudden attack.
The enemy who were near the back of a noodle stall raised their guns.
Bastian took out a dagger. It was an old dagger.
He brought it along when he decided to study oversea.
It was an Emperor Sword.
It belongs to the Belgaria’s founding emperor, L’Empereur Flamme. Seven weapons were created using spirit silver that was granted by spirits themselves.
It was indeed a legendary weapon.
<Arme Victoire Volonte> belongs to the second prince Latreille, while Eddie, whose house have been dukes for generations, held <Defendre Sept>.
In addition, <Grand Tonnerre Quatre> was given to the fourth princess Argentina.
The first prince Auguste and the fifth princess Felicia was not given any, one of the reasons was them recuperating.
No matter what, Argentina who is younger than me also has it! Even I can be a commander! Probably… Bastian thought back then.
Hence, one day before leaving the country, he took it from the treasury.
Of course, it caused a commotion when it was discovered next day.
However, Bastian’s father, who was the emperor of Belgaria said, “It was I who loaned it to him.”, and ended the incident.
A long sword was not suitable to bring to school. While studying overseas, a dagger was a more convenient weapon.
The dagger was named Vite Espace Trois
The blade was placed on a beautifully designed scabbard, from its wide base to its point, it drew a long and narrow triangle. The blade's length was about 4 Pa(30cm), about the same size as L'Empereur Flamme's foot.
The double edged dagger was as thin as paper, and it was said that it could execute an action as fast as the speed of sound.
Bastian’s right hand was holding the dagger.
He was in a good mood.
It feels like I can run faster than normal.
Bastian himself was also surprised when he ran to the enemy in one breath.
“Do not point your guns at your own country’s princess, foolish soldiers!”
Before the gun could be fired, that arm was cut off.
It did not make a sound even as it cut through the wind.
When the soldier pulled his hand back, his whole arm was already severed.
The three witnessed the slash. Blood was spurt out from the stump. The soldier yelled in pain.
The gun dropped to the floor. Bastian immediately picked it up and fired it towards the three without any hesitation. “How is it!? Turn back if you don’t want to die!”
That was High Britannia latest designed gun.
Reloading was easy and fast, the firepower was strong too. Even so, there was still a need to reload after each shot.
Hence Bastian threw it away after firing.
At the same time, he jumped up and continued attacking. He slashed at the enemy, stealing their loaded guns and fired.
Bastian aimed and fired at the back of the retreating soldiers—— This new type of gun had the firepower to even shoot through armour at close distance. Though the soldiers were weak.
Someone walked from the depths of the alley
And stopped before Bastian.
At this moment, Elise finally caught up.
“Ahah… … haa… … Bas… … ah.”
As there was an enemy in front, she avoided calling his name.
The opponent was probably female.
Her black hair was cut neatly above her brow, sharp eyes and her lips were pursed together.
Wearing a High Britannia’s officer uniform, she was lightly armoured, a long sword and pistol were hanging at her waist. In addition, a dagger was probably hidden on the inner side of her legs.
She placed her gun onto the ground.
The distance between them was at most ten steps. If she were to use the gun, Bastian would reach her first. The opponent most likely understood this.
Bastian broke into a grin.
“What is it, you’re not going to use it? Perhaps you are someone who is confident about your own strength?”
“I am Lieutenant Glenda Graham of High Britannia Army First Division. May I know who you are?”
His back was trembling.
Bastian readjusted his sunglasses.
“Kukukuku… …To the person who named herself, I’m the messenger of darkness, Chevallier Sombre! Have a taste of the power of darkness that resides in my right arm!”
“I see, a Belgariane is it?”
“W, wait… ! … ... . I’m the dark knight! The dark knight!”
Glenda drew her sword from her waist.
That ordinary sword could be easily destroyed by Vite Espace Trois.
However, the whitish silver metal was made using High Britannia latest blacksmithing technology.
“Are you a foreigner that was bought by money? You shall regret it!”
She suddenly attacked after saying that.
Bastian clicked his tongue
Hey hey, she took the initiative? That seems like it. It has been a long while since I had an opponent like her. You’ve got to be kidding.
“I’m not afraid of death! If there’s an enemy, I will fight!”
Bastian rushed towards Glenda’s strike.
Bastian thrust Vite Espace Trois. .
Vite Espace Trois clashed with the longsword. However, that was just a part of a consecutive moves. At the same time the swords clashed, a total of three moves were executed. Sparks were created due to that.
An ear piercing sound was produced.
Glenda’s armour cracked.
“Ah!? The new steel armour is!?”
“So you even place a guard there!”
Thanks to that, the cut was not that deep.
Glenda swung her sword, causing Bastian to take a step back, creating some distance between them.
Keeping his legs rooted onto the floor, he used the dagger and received the blow.
The pitch of metal colliding against each other was getting higher and higher.
The distance between their heads was slowly shortened.
Sight locking onto each other.
Bastian clenched his left hand into a fist.
A sound could be heard.
Bastian then punched at his opponent’s abdomen with fist that was harder than stone. Glenda used her gauntlet to block Bastian’s punch which has the power to suppress a bull, causing her to fly into the air.
While Glenda was in the air, Bastian sent a kick at her.
Glenda’s gauntlet cracked.
She used both of her hands to protect herself but was blown away as if she was jumping off a carriage. She was sent flying into a wall.
The wall collapsed after the impact.
Dust began to fly about.
Glenda could not be seen.
Should She be still able to stand? There isn’t time to find out.
“Let’s go, Elise!”
“Ah… … Okay.”
Bastian and Elise escaped from Applewood city.