Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「To the Eastern Empire」
Maid Furani and Teresa were embracing one another in front of Petros after we arrived at the castle.
“Though I was only heeding my wife’s request, I am also glad Furani is safe.”
Petros held out his hand to Ariane as he said that. Ariane looked between Petros’s outstretched hand and his face before she took his hand.
“I really…… didn’t do anything all that impressive.”
Ariane looked away as she bluntly responded, leading Petros to flaunt a brilliant smile and urging everyone to sit down.
Adorned in my luxurious full body armor I couldn’t sit down on a sofa, so I stood behind Ariane as you’d expect from a guard.
Just like me, there was an unfamiliar older gentlemen who stood rigidly behind Petros and Teresa.
“I understand that she had been held captive in that ship. However, that ship was certified by one of the companies of Earl Orunatto of Nozan Kingdom, and it’d be no small matter if he was connected to the kidnapping of citizens…… May I ask how you came across your evidence?”
Petros wore a wry smile as he questioned Ariane, but it was Furani that came forward and answered him.
“That reminds me, when I was still in the cargo hold, I heard a woman’s voice call out to me. I unconsciously replied, but those around me said that they didn’t hear anyone call out for me…… thinking about it, the voice was similar to lady Ariane’s.”
Teresa’s expression said that she had understood what had happened when she heard that.
“Ah, did you use wind spirit magic?”
Ariane offered a small nod before she explained herself.
“Since I don’t have a contract with wind spirits, I’m only able to project my voice several meters away at most.”
“Wind spirits are rather fickle, it’s amazing enough that you can do that even without a contract.”
Ariane turned away and scratched her cheek in embarrassment when she heard Teresa’s praise.
She probably summoned a wind spirit when I saw her speaking into her hand before having it fly off. Apparently spirit magic was usable as wireless communication.
Petros nodded in admiration as he listened to the two’s conversation.
“Nevertheless, it’s still hard to believe that Gio was behind Furani’s kidnapping……”
When Petros sighed and expressed his disbelief, the man behind him stepped forward and lowered his head.
“This incident was the result of my lack of oversight, I’m not even worthy of asking those harmed for forgiveness. As the captain of the knight order, I Herido Gankona am to blame──”
The man who introduced himself as Herido had a Kaiser mustache and slicked-back, gray hair. He was vehemently trying to claim responsibility for this whole affair, but Petros cut him off with a light wave of his hand.
“Herido, there is no one to blame but me. I was the one that usurped father’s position as feudal lord without gaining complete control first……”
It seems that Gio tried to run away amongst the confusion our actions caused, but he was quickly arrested by a squad led by captain Herido himself.
“Did he do it for the money?”
“That seems to have been part of it, but his main goal was to restore public order by ridding the city of refugees. However, he was willing to turn a blind eye to the kidnapping of citizens as well. That fellow even overlooked some of that trader’s other shadier practices.”
Herido had a sour look on his face as he answered my question about Gio’s motives.
I did notice that Gio didn’t really care for the refugees when we were with him.
The reason Furani had been captured was because she had come across the company’s goons capturing refugees and delivering them to Vitsio’s ship. Gio had her kidnapped and set to be sold in order to silence her.
One could say that the reason for Furani’s safety and well-being was the greed of these two men, since Gio wanted to put her up for sale and Vitsio was more that happy at the opportunity to sell an educated slave.
“Since this barbaric act was commissioned by one of the holdings of a foreign noble, are you planning to investigate them?”
Petros wore a bitter smile as he shook his head no.
“If I confront Earl Orunatto about the members of the Deoin firm, he could easily claim that they were using forged licenses. I don’t want to thoughtlessly aggravate a foreign noble, not to mention the fact that we forcibly boarded the ship. Considering that the opposition suffered serious injuries and lost a ship, I believe that they will remain silent to preserve their honor.”
That’d be natural considering the fact that our evidence was obtained by Ariane’s magic and we didn’t even bother going through proper channels. However, if we tried to follow protocol, it would have been impossible to conduct an on-the-spot ship inspection.
“Though it won’t make up for the disturbance we caused, I think I have an idea about what to do with the overflow of refugees.”
Both Herido and Petros stared at me in interest when I made that comment.
I took a step in front of Ariane and informed them about our stop in Buranbeina on our journey here and about a piece of information I just remembered.
Specifically, I told them about how Sukitosu’s farmlands had recently been expanded and that he was understaffed. Although the project may not require a lot of workers, it should be a viable refugee management method.
“I thought that that area couldn’t support that many people…… nor could I image that an elf would be living there. Perhaps while I’m negotiating with that other lord about the refugees I can talk about joining the faction of her highness princess Juliana, since we both seem to promote a friendly relationship with the elves.”
After hearing my suggestion, Petros thought it over. However, something he said caused Ariane to lean forward in curiosity.
“Is this princess Juliana a member of Rhoden Kingdom’s royal family?”
“Yes, of those involved in the fight for succession, her highness is the only one trying to promote friendship with the elves. When my father was the acting feudal lord, we were part of prince Douglass’ faction, but I’ve decided to join the princess’ faction considering my lovely wife’s circumstance.”
Ariane’s interest grew as she listened to Petros’s story. A member of this country’s royal family was taking an interest in diplomatic relationships with the elves,after all.
While Ariane had been continuing her discussion about princess Juliana with Petros, I was suddenly hit with a sense of deja vu at the princess’s name. If I couldn’t remember it immediately, then it must not have been all that important, so I decided to move on.
For the matter at hand, Petros penned a letter he sealed with wax and gave us two copper passes for the Lanbaltic territory to expedite our travels.
If you thought about the future of elves and humans, then these things would be important. I suppose the protection they offered would be useful if we came back here often. Though our actions here were quite the spectacle, in 49 days or so the rumors should die out. Wait, wasn’t 49 days the schedule of a Buddhist memorial?
While I was lost in thought, Ariane’s tapping on my shoulder made me realize that she had finished her talk.
After parting ways with Teresa, Petros and Furani, we quickly left Lanbaltic. Once we were sure we were out of sight, I invoked 【Transfer Gate】 to return us to the elven village Raratoia.
The monster-filled Great Canada Forest was where the majority of elves lived, and the towering tree that stood at the center of this village clued me into the fact that we arrived at Ariane’s childhood home.
When I invoked【Transfer Gate】, the scenery that overlooked the Burugo gulf was replaced by a mansion and it was later in the day.
Though it looked like a large tree at first glance, this was actually a mansion built into a tree using elven techniques. This fusion of the natural and unnatural was the home of Raratoia’s elder, who was also Ariane’s father.
Normally, a human like myself wouldn’t have been able to enter an elven village so easily, but transfer magic made entering the village directly no problem.
Besides, Ariane’s father had already given me permission to come and go as I pleased… Furthermore this mansion had left a strong impression in my mind, something I needed in order to use transfer magic correctly.
Although the sunlight was blocked by the branches and leaves, looking at the surroundings revealed it to be dusk. The lights created from the magic tools and the smell of dinner wafted from the mansion’s windows.
The tempting smell of food made Ponta raise her nose and let out a soft “Ky〜un”.
I followed Ariane as she opened the large wooden doors and headed towards the dining room.
After entering the spacious hall and standing between the giant pillars inside the atrium, a male elf descended from the second floor using the staircase that passed the periphery of the room..
He appeared to be in his late twenties or early thirties, had long green tinged blonde hair and was wearing clothes similar to those of a Shinto priest.
He was none other that Ariane’s father and village elder of Raratoia, Dylan Targ Raratoia.
When Dylan saw his daughter he beamed with joy as he made his way over.
“You’re back earlier than expected, were there any problems with the other rescues?”
After Dylan gave Ariane a look-over, Ariane told him the details of our encounter with Teresa in Lanbaltic.
“I see…… I guess we have no right to interfere if she decided to stay of her own will. That information about princess Juliana is also interesting. If we’re able to get in contact with someone from the other side, then the matter of the lord Ariane killed can be resolved peacefully.”
As Dylan was saying this, he was holding the letter Ariane had been given by Lord Petros in his hands, looking at it with great interest.
“By the way, when we stopped by a town called Buranbeina on our way to Lanbaltic, we came across an elf called Casey Held.”
“Casey Held…… Ah yes, he was the person who wrote the encyclopedia of forest monsters.. There was a rumor that he left the forest a long time ago, but I never imagined he’d be in such a place. I’ll be sure to inform the great elders of this.”
Dylan showed a brief smile before his look turned serious.
“The only one left is the man called Drusus De Barishimon…… According to what the person of the Plains and Mountains Chiome claimed, he is part of the Eastern Empire, right?”
Seeing Ariane nod at this caused Dylan’s eyebrow to rise.
“The territories of the Eastern and Western Empire are vast, and it’s unknown what’d happen if you, an elf, were to be discovered in either of them. We elves were originally scattered throughout the entire northern continent before we were driven out of the original Leburan Empire. Ariane, while I don’t doubt your strength, please don’t do anything reckless.”
“I know, but with Arc along I’m sure we can handle almost everything.”
Hearing Ariane’s statement, Dylan’s eyes were filled with even more worry as she lightly knocked on my armor and looked up at me. She somehow developed a high opinion of my abilities.
It didn’t feel bad, so I stuck out my chest and started speaking.
“Dylan-dono, Ariane-dono’s safety is my top priority.”
When I said that, Ariane’s half-opened eyes seemed liked they were trying to stare into the depths of my helmet.
“If you’re saying such things, does that mean that you won’t get lost next time?”
Now that she mentioned it, how did one get to the empire in the first place? While I pondered, Ariane gave me the cold shoulder.