Arc 27: The Reverse World
Chapter 282: The Discussion, and the Paluf Kingdom
「Good morning, Touya-san」(Yumina)
「…. Morning, Yumina. So, what are you doing here?」(Touya)
As I wake up on the bed in my room, I see a girl with heterochromia eyes straddling the futon I’m laying under.
「…If I’m not mistaken, I’ve made sure to lock-up the room from inside, haven’t I?」(Touya)
「I’ve unlocked it. Just like this, it was a piece of cake.」(Yumina)
“Unlocked it”, you say… “How can you do something like that?!” I ask a reasonable question to which Yumina only expresses an angelic smile and answers as if it’s not a big deal.
「It’s one of my seven special skills, after all.」(Yumina)
That’s not an acceptable answer, you know?! What the hell! What are the other six?
I don’t really mind being woken up in the morning by a girl that I like, but that’s still bad for my heart. To make the matter worse, Yumina also looks defenceless in her pajamas, which makes it bad for my heart even further than before.
It’s already been two years since we’ve met, and she’s growing in all sorts of ways. I believe that she has become more feminine physically since back then, but unbelievable aspects of her like this don’t change even now.
Although she’s like that, she’s already 14 years old now, so I want her to hold back on her antics like this one right now.
「I’ve already satisfied myself a lot with Touya-san’s sleeping face so this is enough for me for today.」(Yumina)
「Since when you have get inside my room!?…」(Touya)
It was me who didn’t notice you though. For the time being, I ask Yumina to leave the room and quickly change my clothes.
Before the breakfast, I go to the training field where I find Yae, Hilda, and Elzie training and blending in with everyone from the Knight Order same as usual.
Since I didn’t see Luu anywhere here, she’s probably making the breakfast today. If that’s the case, then our meal will be in Japanese style. I’m looking forward to it.
「Yaa. Hello, Touya-kun. Sorry for the short notice, but may I ask you to be my sparring partner? 」(Moroha)
When I try greeting everyone a good morning, I was caught by Moroha-nee-san, who had creeped up from behind. Damn! What a blunder. I was negligent.
「… No problem. But please, make sure to go easy on me. Okay?」(Touya)
「Is there really a need to do so? Oh well. We’ll spar without either magic or divinity, same as usual」(Moroha)
Facing each other, we then clash with our wooden swords after the signal given by Elzie, who volunteered to be the referee. Although we’re wooden swords, they’ve been enchanted with resilience that increased their durability. Otherwise, this first attack would’ve broken them into pieces.
Naturally, they can break bones if one gets hit. However, I don’t believe that neither Nee-san or I will receive that much damage even if we get hit. Still, painful things are painful, so I still don’t want to get hit.
I got my feet swiped due to a surprise attack. A sharp thrust is then sent flying to me, who began falling backward since my balance was broken. Nee-san didn’t waste a moment.
Rolling sideways in a hurry, I parry the strike, jump up with the power of my arm alone, and once again stand on the ground. That was dangerous!
Goddamnit! I did say “Go easy on me”, didn’t I?
Isn’t she deliberately hitting me hard just because she just feels like it? I firmly grip the handle of my wooden sword once again.
=== === === === === === === === === ===
『Lord, are you alright?』(Kohaku)
Being repeatedly poked at by Kohaku, I bear the pain aching all over my body.
She had no intention of going easy on me at all… Her name of “Sword Goddess” isn’t just for show.
I cast “Healing” and “Refresh” on my body and stand up at once. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to move a finger.
As for Moroha-nee-san, she has quickly found her next prey and is leading the training right now.
Oh-my, oh-my. I’ve really moved around excessively before breakfast.
Once I arrive at the dining room to have a meal right away, I find Linzie, Luu, and Rin, who’s half asleep, having theirs.
All of us have a lot things we do by ourselves, so the times when we all eat breakfast together are too few and far in between. When it comes to Sakura, she takes her meals together with Fiana-san, her mother, about half the time of the week.
The breakfast is, as I’ve thought, in Japanese style prepared by Luu. In addition to rice, miso soup made from daikon radish, and grilled fish caught at the dungeon islands, there are also fried eggs, chopped burdock root, cold tofu, and pickled vegetables with turnip.
“Is Luu aiming to make my favorite meals?” It looks like she’s becoming more proficient with Japanese cuisine. She seemed to have gone around, asked the people from Ishen about their various cuisines and polished her skills. Though it makes me worried that I may become fat since her cooking is that good.
Having finished breakfast, I now proceed to handle my official duties when my smartphone in my pocket suddenly notifies me of the incoming call. The caller is… Hmm? That’s rare. Isn’t this Reinhardt-onii-san, the Knight King of Restia?
『Ooh! His Majesty The Dukedom King. Sorry to bother you. I would like to consult with you about something…. It’s about the King of Rynie』(Reinhardt)
「The King of Rynie?」(Toua)
Reinhardt-onii-san, who’s the Knight King of the Knight Kingdom of Restia, and Cloud, who’s the King of Rynie, are close friends, which is likely due to them having about the same age.
Originally, Cloud had few people in his life whom he could call a friend because of how he was oppressed by the sham-prince Zabun. As for Reinhardt, he probably didn’t have many companions — because of his position as a prince — with whom he could associate in a relaxed matter. It can be said that it was natural for two people, who have similar personalities, to become friends.
I wonder what happened for Reinhardt to consulte me with me about matters regarding his friend?
「I will have a break in about 10 minutes and come and listen to you. I’ll arrive at the castle gates of the Restia Castle」(Touya)
『Got it. I will be waiting』(Reinhardt)
Hanging the call, I then put the documents in order and let Kousaka-san know about my next destination. I wondered if I should invite Hilda to come along, but I’ve decided to go alone in the end because it looks like the talk is about matters related to the King of Rynie.
I transfer using “Gate” to the entrance of the Restia Castle, and see two of the Restia knights there already waiting for me. Being guided by them, I walk inside and arrive at the room deep within the castle. The knight leading me then respectfully opens the door.
「Oya, I am sorry for expressly calling you here. I didn’t know whom I could consult with to this matter」(Reinhardt)
Reinhardt stands up from the sofa he was sitting on and greets me. Rather than saying that he expressly called me here, I surmised that the talk was likely a serious one, and it would’ve been better to talk about it personally instead of doing it over the phone.
Being encouraged by Reinhardt, I then sit down on the sofa facing him. After he ordered the knight to leave the room, the King of Restia then faces me and starts to talk about this consultation he would like me to help him with.
「You are probably aware that Rynie and Paluf were just one step before going into war before, right?」(Reinhardt)
「Aah. It was due to the schemes of Wardok, the former prime minister of Rynie. While the situation was indeed dangerous, the King of Rynie shifted the policy towards a friendly route after he assumed the throne. Is the current policy of Rynie, by chance, being avoided in some way? 」(Touya)
The largest island of the Surface World is located to the northwest of the continent, the Parunie island. It’s divided into two countries with Paluf in the north and Rynie in the south. Those two countries have been doing small skirmishes for a long time.
The northern Paluf was plagued with bad harvest due to the immense damage done by the cold weather. Furthermore, the country piled up one misfortune after another with regards to the royal and governmental succession after the deaths of the last king and the prime minister. Aiming at this country while it was in this weakened state, Wardok, the prime minister of Rynie during that period, was trying to start a war with Paluf.
Thanks to our last-minute intervention, Wardok was overthrown, and the war was avoided. Afterwards, the new King of Rynie, Cloud, was supposed to deepen the relations with Paluf through a friendly route.
「The relations with Paluf are mostly favourable. After the death of a late king, his son was crowned as the king, which has settled down their domestic affairs. Commerce is also doing well. However, there’s a bit of a problem… 」(Reinhardt)
「The late King of Paluf has two children, you see. One is Princess Lucienna Dia Paluf, and the other is her younger brother, Prince Ernest Din Paluf. That elder sister of his, Lucienna, and the King of Rynie are getting along pretty well. There are good vibes between them」(Reinhardt)
「Ho-ho. Oh-my, oh-my」(Touya)
So spring has finally arrived for Cloud as well, huh? It sure took a long while since the time when he was followed around by that foolish (sham) brother of his. I would like him to forget his disastrous youth with no freedom, and thoroughly enjoy a youth filled with dreams and love.
However, what’s the problem that Reinhardt-onii-san is talking about?
「It’s regarding the aforementioned Prince Ernest. It’s obvious that it’s the prince who will be inheriting the throne, but he’s still a ten-year-old child, you see. He’s currently being supported by the younger brother of the late king and the surrounding chief vassals, but he’s still a child who has a long road ahead of him. And this child still clings tightly to his elder sister」(Reinhardt)
「Aha! So he dislikes the King of Rynie, who’s probably going to take his sister away?」(Touya)
「Well, it’s as you’ve said if I’m to the matter in a simple way」(Reinhardt)
Saying this, the Knight King expresses a bitter smile.
Oh well. It’s not like I don’t understand him. The boy’s father has died. Then, he has been placed in the throne of a king, which he knows nothing about. Now, even his sister is trying to leave him. These things must be difficult for a ten-year-old child to accept.
「So, what do the vassals of Paluf think?」(Touya)
「As far as they are concerned, they consider the relationship between the King of Rynie and the Princess of Paluf a good chance to deepen the ties between the two countries. It looks like they see it very favourably」(Reinhardt)
「What about the people in question?」(Touya)
「It appears the King of Rynie believes that he would like to have Princess Lucienna as his queen even if he doesn’t think about it that much. As for the princess herself, she is… well… 」(Reinhardt)
「You mean she doesn’t want to marry?」(Touya)
「It’s not like that. She’s most likely conflicted about leaving her immature brother and cannot marry as a result. If I remember correctly, she’s 19 right now… I suppose. Her marriage will become considerably late if she waits for King Ernest to reach adulthood. As for the King of Rynie, he also faces the problem of having an heir. It may be difficult for him to keep on waiting」(Reinhardt)
Prince Ernest, no, King Ernest is supposed to become independent at the age of 15, so if I add five more years… she will be waiting until she is 24, right?
In this world, women usually marry when they’re about twenty years old. That age lowers even further in cases of royal families and nobles, making stuff like engagement at 13-14 years a common thing. However, 24 years of age is believed to be considerably late age for marriage, which I suppose makes the issue quite sensitive.
Princess Lucienna apparently had a fiancee from among the senior nobles of Referees, but he died from illness without them meeting even once. After that there was a tragedy with the late king of her own country, which now makes her marriage seemingly long overdue.
As for Cloud, the King of Rynie, he seems to be planning to wait five years until King Ernest becomes an adult… Even if that can be allowed for him personally, it remains a difficult matter for him as a king.
Speaking of Rynie, Cloud is the only person in the royalty. The vassals of his country are likely voicing their wish for an heir as well. There should also be upper class families who think of quickly pushing their daughters into the position of Cloud’s wife. A lot of them probably think “Take our daughter if possible”.
Though I believe they usually wouldn’t mind even if they become the second queen…
「As expected. Having a noble as the first queen while having the princess as the second the second queen is something really bad. It will most likely appear to the people of Paluf that they are being looked down upon. It would’ve been a different case if the King of Rynie could marry several princesses, like His Majesty The Dukedom King does」(Reinhardt)
Oops. It looks like he passed the torch on my side, or so it seems.
In my case, I don’t mean to decide who’s the first or the second queen. In the eyes of the world though, it may appear that I’ve taken Yumina as my first queen, and Luu — as my second queen. By the way, Hilda is the third queen, the younger sister of the very Knight King sitting in front of me.
Elzie, Linzie, Yae are of common birth. Therefore, if we decide the order based on lineage, then the fourth one is Suu, fifth one is Rin, and sixth one is Sakura. It’s probably something like that, I suppose?
Sakura comes from the bloodline of the Demon King of Zenoasu, but she’s an illegitimate child. That fact is also unknown to the world. Rin is the matriarch of the fairy tribe, so she may possibly have a higher standing than Suu.
Oh well, I have no intention on ranking my fiancees either way.
Nevertheless, this may not work well in other countries though.
「I’ve understood the story for the most part… So, what am I supposed to do? 」(Touya)
「To be frank, it’s about this King Ernest… You see, he seriously admires His Majesty the Dukedom King. He usually doesn’t even try to talk much with the King of Rynie, but I’ve heard that he apparently gets attentive when it’s about the Dukedom King or Brunhild. It might be natural for a child to admire a hero, right?」(Reinhardt)
Well, I have this complicated feeling about this matter, like I am glad, or something similar. Though I don’t do things like what those so called heroes do. The things I’ve done are just nothing but the result of me struggling due to the circumstances at that time. Those were my only options back then after a lot of things piled up one after another another. It can be said that I was drained by those circumstances.
「In other words, the consultation that you talked about is…」
「I would like His Majesty The Dukedom King to persuade King Ernest for the sake of a bright future between Paluf and Rynie」(Reinhardt)
Yeah. That’s right. I’ve thought as much.
With regards to what the side of Paluf is thinking, they probably believe the gentleman, whom they are asking to receive the princess as his partner, is beneficial in all sorts of ways. Because of that, it’s hard to judge whether taking a boy’s elder sister away from him is something good.
Far from persuading him by force, I would like him to send out his sister to be a bride from the bottom of his heart. Though I wonder things will go smoothly. After all, my opponent is a child.
「In the meantime, let’s go to the King of Rynie and hear him out. He may have his own thoughts on the matter」(Touya)
We can’t do anything even if we discuss the subject at hand since we are outsiders. If the person in question isn’t interested, our meddling will only be unnecessary.
I pick up my phone, contact the King of Rynie, and arrange a meeting with him. Apparently, one of his plans ended up getting cancelled, which is good for us. The Knight King of Restia, on the other hand, seems to have plans after this, so I’ll be going to the King of Rynie’s place alone. He did end up requesting for me to take care of things again and again. That King of Rynie, he surely has a good friend.
Opening “Gate”, I then transfer to the castle gates of the nostalgic Rynie Castle, where I managed to surprise one of the two gatekeepers. Damn it, I should’ve gone to a place where there are no signs of life. Still, the other gatekeeper apparently knew about my arrival. He immediately contacts the castle, and an aged person, whom I’m familiar with, comes to greet me after a short while.
「My, oh-my. If it isn’t His Majesty The Dukedom King of Brunhild. It has been a long time」(Kupo)
「Marquis Kupo… no, Prime Minister Kupo. I’m sorry for the sudden visit」(Touya)
His toughened muscles, that don’t seem to belong to an old-person, can be seen even through the clothes of a prime minister that he’s wearing as always. This bald, white-bearded man apparently keeps holding on in order to reorganize the devastated Rynie.
「 I’ve been requested by the Knight King of Restia to slightly help with the matters between your king and the princess of a neighbouring country 」(Touya)
「Indeed. We’re definitely worried about it. His Majesty looks like he’s, at least, not inclined to take another woman as his queen… Well, the previous king is to blame for that, I suppose. He probably believes that a forced marriage will only lead to misfortune 」(Kupo)
Aah, I see. So that’s how he thinks, huh?
The previous King of Rynie, Cloud’s father, was in loveless marriage with Queen Dakia. That lead to him being tricked and having his life toyed with because of the foolishness that was said to be his. Taking that into account, Cloud probably wants to avoid a political marriage, which has no love in it, instinctively.
To be perfectly honest, he should think first about his country from the position of a king, but that’s probably something harsh to say.
Well, His Majesty the Previous King — along with his wife, Queen Aria — have already retired and is living happily right now.
In any case, I have to start with hearing out the person in question first and foremost. Prime Minister Kupo leads me into the reception room of the castle, where I meet Cloud, and decide to ask about his feelings on the matter.
「I definitely wish to take Princess Lucienna from the Paluf Kingdom as my queen. However, I don’t want to hurt the feelings of the young King of Paluf, who’s still young, because of that. If I am to wait (for him to grow up), that’s fine by me 」(Cloud)
「That’s what you’re saying, but what about your retainers?」(Touya)
「Truth be told, I believe that we personally have no say in this, but… It’s also a fact that a lot of urging in different forms are coming from the domestic nobles, which is something expected. With regards to our country, we are, first and foremost, concerned about an heir」(Kupo)
Prime Minister Kupo gives a reply with hard face. I guess it’s like that. Cloud has no siblings, so the Royal Family of Rynie will die out if he can’t produce an heir. However, I still feel that there’s no need to be in a hurry even if it’s a major problem. After all, they’re still young.
「What can you say about simply announcing their engagement first?」(Touya)
「The engagement is already done, but what would people say about waiting for five years before the marriage? They will likely find out the reason for that sooner or later. When they do, they may spread rumors about how selfish the King of Paluf is, who doesn’t want to separate from his sister. Wouldn’t the other side show their disapproval to that scenario? 」(Kupo)
It’s exactly as what prime minister Kupo have said, but I think that selfishness is inevitable since he’s just a child. It may not be what he wants to happen, but I don’t think it will make others call him as an immature king.
「Are you saying that the retainers of the other party wish for a marriage between the two?」(Touya)
「The majority of them do. There’s one group who opposes that notion because they seem to want the princess to become the wife of their sons. 」(Kupo)
Ye-p. Aren’t those guys whistling half-truths into the young king’s mind? Like that the princess will be unhappy if she marries into Rynie?
Frankly speaking, it’s probably the fault of that phony idiotic prince that the reputation of the Royal Family of Rynie isn’t that good.
If they perceive Cloud as the younger brother of Zabun, then his image will most likely be the worst. As a matter of fact, Rynie should’ve explained to Paluf that Zabun and Cloud being complete strangers is a confirmed fact, and that they aren’t related by blood. Rynie should’ve also conveyed that the sham prince has been dealt with.
「Oh well. I understand the feelings of the King of Rynie in the meantime. In addition to that, I want to meet with the King of Paluf. May I request that you act as the intermediary?」(Touya)
「With the King of Paluf? That will be helpful. He’ll be very pleased. The King will be meeting the admirable His Majesty The Dukedom King 」(Kupo)
That scenario sounds a bit strange. A king admiring the king of a another country.
I feel like I want to meet him and use this occasion to persuade him or something. It’s definitely in his best interest for him to be able to grant his sister independence.
It will also be a problem if he ends up becoming a severe siscon, making the situation even worse.
It’ll be nice to be able to find a good way to solve this problem. My-oh-my.