Chapter 124: Return to the Holy Capital
We were advancing quickly along the road to the Holy City/Holy Capital after leaving the Dwarf Kingdom.
I told Estia that instead of listening to the main points, I intend to listen to the whole story after reaching the Holy Capital.
Estia spent 10 days in the Dwarf Kingdom but since Lionel and the others did not forget Estia’s face or name, we could not confirm the conjecture that the Darkness Spirits had manipulated their memories.
“Thank you for the letter. Once I passed it to the Dwarf King, I had ensured safety and was provided food without any suspicion placed onto me.”
She gratefully conveyed that with a smile.
During our breaks while on our journey … we gathered the former slaves and we talked about various things.
While asking about their family structure, their favourite cooking, and the entry condition for the Magician’s Guild, I obtained new knowledge and I asked about the chants that I most likely could already use.
” … Why?”
Even though I have the magic aptitude for fire attribute, water attribute and earth attribute, the magic did not invoke even when I chant the Lv I magic.
Well, I had predicted that.
Similar to that time I learn Heal, my proficiency did not rise just by chanting. (TL: Need to chant, have a mental image, manipulate magical power and then cast the magic for the magic to be successful and the proficiency to rise)
” … Can’t extract magical power? … Proficiency doesn’t rise? Why?”
While desperately trying to endure the rising fear of the proficiency not rising by even 1 point, I continued the journey. (TL: Looks like Luciel still won’t be obtaining his all attribute magic cheat)
“The Saint Schull Allied Nations sure is safe.”
“So enviable nya.”
“Suitable amounts of monsters inhabit the area for food and it’s also good that the country is surrounded by forests filled with wild grasses and mountains.”
I somehow have a sense of deja vu from that conversation.
As I had that thought while proceeding down the path, I voiced my thoughts.
“Why weren’t there any villages around Rockford and the Dwarf Kingdom?”
“It goes without saying for cities but even for villages, permission from the country’s representative … it would be the Pope in this Saint Schull Allied Nations, would be required.”
“It’s because of the problems of such rights that people can’t build them as they please nya.”
“What about the Empire that Lionel and Cathy were in?”
Lionel and Cathy seemed like they were knowledgeable with regard to the autonomy of the Empire so I tried asking.
“The Emperor and the Duke houses control the entirety of the Empire. The Marquis and Earl houses operate their respective territories while the factions of the Viscount and Baron houses manage the fine details of the territory.”
“In actuality, due to rapid expansion/development, the current situation is that they can’t manage the country nya.”
“The Empire is rapidly ensnaring people like Lionel-sama with high aspirations in traps nya.”
The 2 of them lamented over the current Empire.
I knew that the interior of the Empire was rotten but I had not imagined that it was to such an extent.
“A time may come that you would have to tour the Empire but it seems wise to stay away for the time being.”
“Lionel, don’t say such scary things lightly … it’s true that there are no plans to travel to the Empire for the time being but to think that there would be so many secret manoeuvres behind the scenes, I might indeed have to think of a few hands to cope with it.”
I can only see it as the Empire having an excellent strategist that is spreading around a ruse showing that their interior is rotten.
Since I don’t even know the state of affairs in the first place, it would be hard for me to know everything but I only wish to quietly live my life regardless of the country I’m in.
During sunset, I was conversing with Lionel and the others as we prepared our camp when Estia showed her face.
“Luciel-sama, could I help with anything?”
“No, it’s alright. Putting that aside, how’s the situation within the carriage.”
“Because of its unimaginable wideness contrary to the external appearance and the virtual lack of swaying, my body isn’t sore at all.”
“I see, that’s great then.”
I ended the conversation like that but Estia didn’t look like she was about to leave.
“Is there anything else?”
” … Erm, regarding the horse Luciel-sama rides …”
“Why are you bringing up Fornoir here?”
Even though it’s a continuation of the conversation, I found it hard to understand the jump in topic when it seemed like Estia once again resolved herself and began talking.
“I sense an incredible power from that horse. Where did you get it?”
“Fornoir is a very excellent and friendly horse. Among the horses ridden by the Paladins, Fornoir was the only one that allowed me to properly ride her so I unreasonably asked Pope-sama to give her to me. Is there something that bothers you?”
” … For some reason unknown to me, since the time that horse looked at me, I’ve not felt uneasy or rather, I feel like the feeling of loneliness has faded …”
“I won’t cede Fornoir even if you ask okay. Partly because Pope-sama has entrusted her to me but more importantly, she is my partner.”
After I said that with a smile, I heard muffled laughter from behind me but it was something I wanted to say even if I’m laughed at so it didn’t bother me.
“I understand. Sorry for asking for the impossible. Also, what would happen to me after my hearing at the Holy Capital ends?”
“If you properly answer the questions regarding the kind of job a Spirit Magic Swordsman is and how you came about becoming a member of the Healer’s Guild as well as fully convey the circumstances that led to you becoming a slave, I believe it will be alright.”
“I see. Will Luciel-sama and everyone else stand witness?”
“That is up to the decision of Pope-sama. If nothing comes up, we have a town that we wish to travel to so we would be heading that way.”
“I see. Understood. I’ll tell that to everyone else.”
Estia returned to the circle of former slaves.
“I could see her anxiety.”
” … Even though I’ve dispelled her slave contract, since she was brought up in the Empire, would it be possible for her to do something suspicious due to having had taken a pledge?”
“I can’t give you an affirmation nya. At the very least, there weren’t any who had taken pledges among Lionel-sama’s entourage nya.”
With Cathy’s input, I looked toward Lionel’s direction and asked him.
“Lionel was targeted by your subordinates after you investigated the case on human experimentations and slaves right?”
“Do you know of any facilities that served to nurture weak-bodies children from young like Estia?”
“Just like how generals cannot fully grasp everything about their men, the Empire is not a monolithic state.
Not to mention the nobles, aiming for territories to enlarge their own, they direct bandits to the area and cause it to fall into a den of thieves.
The work to obtain intelligence on who does what is something unusual.”
“They sure held that together well to be able to go to war.”
“During the time of war, if you can convert the land into gold and pay it to the government, the Emperor will recognize and confer peerage rank up to Earl rank. It is equivalent to being resourceful without having valour. Even the commoners have a chance to obtain peerage.”
” … The same thing happened in Ienith and in the Dwarf Kingdom, are the resourceful houses the ones starting all the turmoil?”
” … Have information about me already been exposed?”
“I would think so. However, as I mentioned previously, I don’t think any of them will attack openly.”
“If that’s the case then naturally the fact that Lionel and Cathy are with me has also been exposed right?”
“Yeah. As long as we remain as slaves and accompany you, we won’t need to worry about reckless attacks in fear of your retaliation.”
I understood the fundamental reason why I could not release Lionel and the other’s slave contracts until the problem with the Empire is resolved.
While thinking that I have apparently earned some confidence from Lionel and the others, I finished making dinner.
The next day, after telling them that there’s only a single day left before we arrive at the Holy Capital, I strictly ordered them to register as adventurers.
Since identification can’t be made without it.
I decided to entrust them to my cooking mentor Graz-san. (TL: Graz is the guildmaster of the Adventurer’s Guild in the Holy Capital)
“Once we depart from the Holy Capital, I’ll finally be able to have another bout with Whirlwind.”
“Yeah. We might have to spend a few days in the Holy Capital but we will be going to Meratoni without a doubt. I wish to take the opportunity to re-examine myself slightly.”
“I’d also like to try fighting nya.”
“Shisho is as much of a battle maniac as Lionel so I believe he would come to fight even if you leave him alone. Of course, that includes Kefin too. I believe Garba-san would have returned by the time we arrive at Meratoni.”
” … I’ll do my best to not die.”
“Was Garba-san’s gruelling training that bad?”
” … I saw the revolving lanterns multiple times.”
“What, that’s normal. Every day was like that when I was in Meratoni.”
“I see. So that’s why …”
“It’s not that you’re insensitive to pain, something like that is ordinary for you huh nya.”
They all showed various reactions to my words but I smoothly let it all pass.
“There are many pro-human race doctrines in the Saint Schull Church.
If Cathy and Kefin fall into any set ups, it’s alright to fire back.
Absolutely do not lose.
If you’re told something and it can’t be resolved by saying that you’re my retainer, you can also remain on standby and spend time outside the church at the Adventurer’s Guild.”
“Would it be alright in the Adventurer’s Guild nya?”
“Aren’t there a lot of human races among adventurers too?”
“I don’t think that much would have changed in just a single year but I don’t think anything that severe will happen so it will somehow work out.”
“I understand about the 2 of them but how about me?”
“I might have Lionel train with the Paladin Corps.”
“I think that will be great.”
“It’s unfair if it’s only Lionel-sama nya.”
“I wish to gather information at the Adventurer’s Guild for the time being.”
“I’ll entrust that to you Cathy as well for a while.”
“It can’t be helped then nya.”
It would be great if the former slaves move normally but since I have no way of knowing what would happen, I requested for them to be monitored.
Thus as our various conversations progressed, around the time the sky dyed red, I finally returned to the Holy Capital after little over a year.
Thank you for reading.