Volume 2 is here! Sorry for the huge delay, but Death Flags came in the way etc… But well, it’s here now at least , if it makes you feel any better, I’m already working on the next chapter 😀 (And for those interested, I’ll post the next Almadianos Chapter tomorrow)
If you’d like to help the translations, please do consider supporting me on Patreon!
Anyway, I’ll let you read the chapter now, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
The royal capital of the Jirgus kingdom, Marad, was the largest city through the whole continent. There were nearly 200.000 people living there, and it was usually bustling with activity.
However, lately, there had been shadows lurking over the city’s crowds.
【”Turns out that man had lots of influence on these people in the end. If you ask me though, he’d have looked like any other chap without that crown over his head.”】
Grumbled Seran, who was resting his chin on his hand on the border of a window, while watching the streets that had fewer people than usual.
It had been ten days since the medal awarding ceremony, or in other words, since the day of the king’s death. In that time, Kyle and the others had been staying in one of the most prominent inns of Marad.
Two days after the king’s death, a grand national funeral had taken place, and Marad was now in mourning.
King Raymond was said to be a mediocre king, not as religious as the holy king of the Sula holy kingdom, nor as charismatic as the emperor of the Galgan empire. However, it seemed like the kingdom’s people had come to like him as he was.
The theaters and the like had suspended their programs, and the large plaza where street performers were usually displaying their skills was now quiet, with the only performances remaining being those of the minstrels, who were gloomily interpreting songs of grieving to mourn the king.
【”He was a king who never made any big mistake, and that was enough for the people.”】
Answered Kyle, who was lying face up on a bed while looking at the booklet that he had made.
‘Personally, I’d say that king’s been the source of a lot of trouble.’ Thought Kyle while hiding a bitter smile.
The king’s abrupt death had brought a great deal of disorder to the country.
Moreover, there were various plausible rumors circulating around the country about this excessively sudden death, with some saying that it was related to the monster attack on the prince and princess which had happened right before, others saying that it was due to a plot from another country or that it was a show of force done by those who were opposed to the king, and some even went as far as saying that it was all the work of demons.
However, all those rumors were just that, rumors, and they never evolved into anything else. Moreover, there was no doubt that the country’s current silence was not going to last. In fact, the country’s mood of mourning and self-restraint was gradually fading, and new hopes and expectations were starting to rise, not only in Marad, but in Jirgus as a whole.
【”Still, I shouldn’t say this, but, he really picked a bad timing to die. Why did that have to happen right on the night of the ceremony? We’re completely out of the spotlight now because of that.”】
Said Seran as he grumbled again.
Kyle and his companions had helped the princess when she had fallen in a crisis, and they had been decorated for their achievement.
The masses loved these kinds of topics, and this should normally have been the talk of the town around this time, but the matter was heavily overshadowed by the king’s abrupt death.
Seran was sighing over how unfortunate that was for Kyle, whose goal was to raise his popularity in order to become a hero.
【”….But, on the other hand, if he had died even a single day earlier, the medal awarding ceremony would have been delayed, maybe even cancelled. We should be thankful we didn’t have to be stuck waiting here.”】
Said Kyle while thinking ‘I guess that’s a pretty shameless thing to say considering I’m the one who assassinated that king.’
【”Oh, I get it. If you put it like that, we did dodge a bullet.”】
【”Besides, our achievements are still here, we just have to wait a little while longer and then hire some minstrels.”】
The minstrels’ job was not just to spread the stories and songs that they made for themselves, it was also to spread the songs that they were commissioned to make by others.
It was not unusual for minstrels to receive requests from nobles wanting them to praise the gladiators working under them, and from adventurers wanting them to advertise their successful ventures, although there was no mistaking that the resulting songs were nothing more than publicity stunts.
Of course, it was perfectly possible to add more or less drama to the original stories before spreading them through that method.
【”I see… And while you’re at it, you might as well hire a troupe to do some showy performances for you in theaters, too.”】
Although Seran was merely jesting, when Kyle heard him, he closed his booklet and started thinking with a serious face.
【”That could also work… But I don’t think we’ve accomplished enough to do it yet. We can think about it later down the line.”】
【”… Well, if you ever make a play, I’m counting on you to make me look as cool as possible.”】
【”Yeah, I’ll consider it.”】
No matter how he thought about it, Kyle felt like Seran’s character would mostly serve as comic relief in a play, but he did not venture to say it out loud.
【”So, what are we going to do after this?”】
【”Well, I think we should leave Jirgus after all.”】
Kyle immediately answered Seran’s question.
【”Oh? Then which country are we going to?”】
【”…That’s the problem, I still don’t know.”】
Kyle glanced at his closed booklet and sighed.
This booklet contained everything Kyle remembered about what would happen from here on out, in other words, it contained information about the future.
Kyle had decided to leave Jirgus a long time ago.
In three years, the demons’ ‘great invasion’ was going to happen, cornering humanity to the verge of extinction.
Kyle’s current goal was to oppose that by gaining influence among humanity until the invasion and putting together a resistance that could face the demons.
In Jirgus, he had already established a link with the country’s central figures. He now had a foothold here which was enough for the time being.
Kyle had considered staying here and gaining even more achievements within the country, but then he would become the hero of Jirgus only, hence why he wanted to go to new places.
The problem was that he did not know which destination to pick.
If possible, Kyle wanted to obtain connections with powerful and influential people, however, while he and his companions were capable enough to do so, there wasn’t going to be any event or opportunity that they could use to raise their reputation before a long while in the future. As one would expect, the attack on the princess had been as convenient as it had been exceptional.
‘Maybe we should go in a big country to subjugate some thieves or exterminate some monsters and raise our fame more straightforwardly this time’ When Kyle thought that, the room’s door opened and let some lively voices enter.
Lize, Urza and Sildonia, who had been out shopping, had returned to the inn.
【”Welcome back, how was it ouside today?”】
【”Well, the streets still aren’t all that lively… But it kinda feels like they’re returning to how they were before the funeral.”】
Lize answered Kyle’s question while sorting the large amount of groceries that she had bought.
It seemed like she had the intention to prepare some handmade food, since Sildonia had complained that the preserved meals that group usually bought in the city were too insipid and just generally no good.
【”There are only few food stalls open, too, which is pretty annoying. I wish I could have eaten a few other types of food.”】
Said Sildonia while holding various ‘spoils of war’, such as meat skewers, bread, and boiled potatoes.
【”Eating a lot as usual I see.”】
【”I didn’t eat anything for more than a thousand years so no amount of food is going to be enough, ever.”】
Sildonia was a magical life form created through all of the very best techniques of the Zares magical kingdom. So it was no problem if she did not eat for a thousand years or even two thousand years, but Kyle preferred not to retort on this subject.
【”By the way, someone left us a message at the reception. Apparently, our equipment will be repaired and delivered by tomorrow.”】
It looked like she was the only one who had not bought anything in particular.
That was likely because the group had been in Marad for ten days already and there was nothing more she wanted to buy, she had probably gone out with Lize and Sildonia this time just for the sake of tagging along.
【”Is that so? That’s earlier than I thought… How about we directly leave the city once we receive them tomorrow?”】
The reason Kyle and the others were still staying in Marad was that their equipment was still in repair.
There was not only Seran’s sword which had sliced dozens of people, but there was also Kyle’s armor, which was quite a special case since it was made of dragon leather, and it was therefore going to take time to repair it.
Kyle and his companions also wanted to resupply their consumable goods, such as magic stones and magic medicine, but the ones that they wanted to use were all more or less rare, so it was going to take time for a new batch to arrive.
Naturally, Kyle and the others had not been dilly-dallying in the meantime, they had been gathering knowledge about the ways of the sword and magic, as well as information about the world’s countries and the like. Being in a large city like Marad was quite convenient for gathering information.
【”But, I just can’t decide where we should go, so if you have any ideas, I’m all ears…”】
When Kyle tried to seek the opinion of Urza, who was used to traveling, he heard the sound of the knock and the room’s door opened before he could get an answer.
【”Pardon my discourtesy.”】
Entering together with those words was a woman wearing a silver plate mail armor on her tall and slender body with a dragon crest on her chest that showed her belonging to the royal guard’s knights ―― She was Killen, the commander of the fifth corps of Jirgus’ royal guard knights, as well as princess Milena’s close aide.
【”It seems like all of you are here, how convenient. Milena-sama wants to meet with you, so I’d like you to come to the palace.”】
Killen kept speaking indifferently, without minding the surprised reactions of Kyle and the others.
【”Huh? That’s… Isn’t she busy right now?”】
Kyle clearly did not seem to be interested.
Kyle preferred to avoid meeting with the princess if possible at the current time. But of course, his reason for that was something that he could not tell anyone.
【”That’s certainly true, but while this meeting will be an informal one, I’d like you think of it as more of a royal decree. And please consider the fact that she sent me to invite you directly as a proof of how highly she thinks of you.”】
Although she was speaking politely, Killen’s tone did not allow any retort.
Moreover, Kyle had perceived that, while Killen had said that it was convenient that everyone was present in the room, she had likely been waiting for them to gather there for a while.
【”So, why does she require our presence? Because we were thinking of leaving Marad tomorrow if possible.”】
【”I have not been not told about why she wants to meet you. But this matter probably isn’t going to take too much of your time… I think. I’ve kept the carriage waiting outside, we’ll be heading to the palace as soon as you’re done preparing. Try to make it quick.”】
Faced with this manner of speaking that did not leave any room for objections, Kyle reluctantly obeyed while thinking ‘Damn it, we should have left a day earlier.’
As the “treasure of Jirgus”, Princess Milena received tremendous support from the nation to take over the throne in the king’s stead after his sudden death.
The only problem was that, according to rumors, the princess intended to only handle the country’s political affairs while still keeping her current status as a princess, because she deemed that she was still too inexperienced to take over the throne. She was apparently intending to become the queen only once she would deem that it was time.
The king’s seat was therefore going to be vacant for a while.
But, even if it was only for a short while, having an empty throne was still a source of various problems for a country under a monarchical system. However, it seemed like that was not going to cause any major disorder in Jirgus’ case given that the king’s successor, Milena, was alive and well, and that it was clear that she was going to take the throne sooner or later.
In reality, Princess Milena was likely just planning to choose the most effective timing for her enthronement.
And Kyle and his companions were now heading to meet with that very same formidable princess.
Once the group arrived at the capital’s royal palace, Killen separated from them and they continued to walk towards the guest room inside the royal family quarters.
Afterwards, Kyle and the others were welcomed so hospitably that it could be said to be undeserved.
However, even after the group waited for quite a while, there was no sign that the princess was going to come, and the chamberlain who was in charge of taking care of the palace’s visitors was apologetically repeating “Please wait for a little while.”
After a while longer, princess Milena finally came, accompanied by Killen who had left the group earlier.
【”Everyone, thank you for coming on such short notice, and I am sorry for having kept you waiting.”】
Said the future queen while bowing her head. She was a woman who was born with something that was important for those who stood at the top: a certain light that could naturally charm and captivate people.
However, Kyle felt like he could see a few traces of shadows within that light.
【”Milena-sama, please don’t lower you head to us, we’re not worthy.”】
Said Kyle, making as little eye contact as possible with the princess, and bowing his head while acting like he was flustered.
【”No, I think of all of you as my friends. Please think of this gesture as a simple apology for having kept my friends waiting… I’d have preferred to have a more relaxed conversation if circumstances permitted it, but I am sorry, I’ll have to immediately get to the heart of the matter.”】
Kyle and his companions, who had been standing since they arrived, were encouraged to take a seat by the princess. But that naturally did not mean that she had called them to chat with them.
【”First, I’d like to say that this is more of an official commission than a personal request. Please make your decision only after hearing everything I have to say, but rest assured that it will be completely okay for you to decline the commission by then.”】
“Yeah, there is no way it’s going be easy to decline it once we’ve heard it.” muttered Kyle in his mind.
【”…… This matter is related to my marriage.”】
With those words, Princess Milena started talking.