Arc 27: The Reverse World
Chapter 283: The Boy King, and the Prodigal Girl
「I-It’s nice to meet you, Your Majesty The Dukedom King! I am, Ernest Din Paluf, the King of Paluf! …… ha, I’ve said it…」(Ernest)
In the courtyard of the Paluf castle, I am being greeted by a boy in a manner like he announces about his readiness to die. Once he rattles his words in a seemingly single breath, the boy king immediately breathes out as if his spirit has left his body.
Though it looks like he’s still tremendously tensed.
「Greetings, Your Majesty The King of Paluf. I am the Dukedom King of Brunhild, Mochizuki Touya. I beg your pardon for my sudden visit on this occasion. You have my gratitude for accepting it」(Touya)
「N-no, it’s I who should be saying that!」(Ernest)
As I give a light greeting, the boy king of Paluf shakes his head as if he was in a panic. Really, each and every one of his reactions are very boyish.
I’ve heard that he’s ten years old, which means that he must be younger than Suu. Though they are about the same in terms of their height. The boy king’s blond hair is cut and evenly ordered, and he’s wearing an imbalanced ceremonial suit along with a pure white mantle. The clothes are distinct but unsuitable for him, which clearly gives off a stiff feeling that he has been dressed in them.
「The King of Paluf looked forward to meeting with Your Majesty The Dukedom King. He’s heard a lot of stories from me, after all」(Cloud)
As soon as the King of Rynie standing next to me starts to talk, the boy king becomes bright red and hides behind a woman next to him.
Making a troubled-looking smile, the woman bows to me.
「I am very sorry. He’s a bit shy towards strangers… Please don’t think badly of him」(Lucienna)
「No-no, I don’t mind」(Touya)
This woman is Lucienna Dia Paluf, an elder sister to the current King of Paluf, and a sweetheart to the King of Rynie Cloud.
Her seemingly loose wavy hair are of the same blond color as her younger brother, and her eyes are of jade green color. Honestly speaking, she’s not the type that’s considered to be tremendously beautiful, but she does carry an air around her that makes you feel somewhat relaxed.
It’s not the gorgeousness of a rose, nor it is the strength of a sunflower or the gracefulness of a lily. If I am to make a comparison, I would probably say that she’s a woman who happens to have a simplicity of a dandelion. With her appearance of a neighborhood girl, she wouldn’t likely be even noticed if she walked through the castle town.
「C’mon, don’t you have a request for His Majesty The Dukedom King? You have to say it yourself」(Lucienna)
Being nudged by his elder sister, the boy king timidly walks up to me. What’s that?
「Ah, Umm! May I ask you to show me the giant solder?!」(Ernest)
「… the giant soldier? Aah, you mean a Frame Gear, right? It’s not a problem, but… Is it fine to summon it here?」(Touya)
There is no way I can just thoughtlessly summon a giant robot in the courtyard of a foreign country, so I turn my gaze at the Paluf retainers — they’re standing in the corner — asking for the permission.
One of them, a gentle-looking man in his fifties and wearing a white robe, starts to talk. If I am not mistaken, he is the Regent Duke Donovan Rembrandt… A younger brother to the late king, thus an uncle to the two royal children.
「It’s of no problem. Please show it to His Majesty. He looked forward to it, after all」(Donovan)
I received a permission, so I just opened a transfer gate in the sky with a snap of my fingers.
Along with a tremor then descended an unarmed, mass-produced grey-colored Frame Gear, Heavy Knight “Chevalier”.
The boy king of Paluf firmly was looking up at the knight.
Operating it with the smartphone, I make the Chevalier kneel and open its cockpit hatch. The wire hooks for climbing and descending are lowered in front of us from beside the chest.
「Would you like to ride it? It will be troubling to move it around, as one would expect, so we can’t do that though」(Touya)
With the boy king in my arms, I step onto the wire hook and ascend up to the cockpit with the help of automatics. The King of Paluf Ernest sits down on the seat and grips the joystick of a Frame Gear with sparkling eyes.
As expected, even boys from the other world probably have this yearning for stuff like vehicles and robots.
「So this is how His Majesty The Dukedom King defeats the crystal apparitions and behemoths. Even I would be able to do that if I rode such machine…」(Ernest)
「It may sound rude but what you say is unreasonable. A considerable training is required to be able to pilot Frame Gears. And it’s not just the skill of piloting, the lack of a basic training in martial arts will make riding these machines hard 」(Touya)
The King of Paluf appears to be a typically frail child, based on how delicate he looks. In fact, he’s probably the type which likes reading books more than moving his body.
It’s because that he’s a King that there is no particular need for him to appear on the frontlines, and he may not be necessary for him to have much might. Still, I believe that it would’ve probably been better if he at least had enough strength to defend himself.
「… Your Majesty The Dukedom King, isn’t it scary to hurt other people? Isn’t it painful to be the target of someone’s resentment due to your actions and be hated by them? For me, it’s scary… to hit or be hit」(Ernest)
「.. I suppose you’re right. I would’ve wanted to not hurt anyone if possible. However, there are things I have to protect, and I am even more scared to not be able to do that. I think that it’s absolutely the worst thing, to be the one who cannot protect what’s important to him because he doesn’t have the strength in times when he should fight. Your Majesty as well, you have something that you want to protect, don’t you? 」(Touya)
The boy king then turns his eyes toward the ground and give a small nod. The one standing there is the boy’s elder sister who seems to have an enjoyable chat with the King of Rynie.
「Your sister is important to you, right?」(Touya)
「… Yes. I wish happiness for my sister. I am also aware that the King of Rynie desires to make her his queen. However, I feel uneasy. About my sister not being here anymore. I wonder if I can live further as a king without her…」(Ernest)
What’s that, this boy is perfectly aware of what’s happening around him, isn’t he? He’s likely more mature than his looks give away.
This uneasiness must be coming from the lack of self-confidence, but that’s something I can’t do anything about. He’s still only a child, after all. No, he would probably possess an absolutely baseless self-confidence if he was just a child. This King, he seems weak-willed.
It appears that the problem would’ve been solved if I just connected the castles of Paluf and Rynie with Mirror Gates that only princess Lucinenna could go through, but this issue doesn’t seem to be that easily solved.
The association between two countries is currently proceeding on the friendship route, but Paluf and Rynie had small-scale conflicts between them for hundreds of years. If it became known that only princess Lucienna could freely come and go between two countries, there would be no limit to the number of fellows who would feel anxious about that.
There is a possibility that a rumor would rise from people like spies or traitors on either country’s side. It may not always pass as a rumor, both in Brunhild or other countries. But in the end, it’s nothing but a possibility.
The issue here is how to help His Majesty The King become independent, but it’s likely unreasonable to talk about that as of yet.
He does seem to have a splendid number of reliable retainers. I have also been told about his shyness towards strangers, which may be related to him being unfamiliar with the position and having just ascended into it. Nevertheless, he seems to trust his uncle, Duke Rembrandt who’s acting as a regent.
He will probably become more like a proper king if he can attain a self-confidence in some manner.
「Say, do you have any specialty you are good at, like magic or swordsmanship? 」(Touya)
「S-specialty, you say? I’m not very good with the sword, and I’ve aptitude for only a single magic attribute…」(Ernest)
Saying this, the boy king has ended up falling into a slump. Damn it. What am I going to do if that has made him feel less confident as a result?!
As I was going around in thoughts about a way to follow-up from here, Ernest turned his eyes on a display showing the outside through a camera.
I turn my eyes to the cockpit’s side monitor, following the voice of the boy king. In it, there’s Duke Rembrandt and a small girl who’s standing next to him. That girl, she has been standing here for some time… Hmm? Is she glaring to up here?
「Who is she?」(Touya)
「She’s uncle’s… she’s a girl from the Duke Rembrandt’s place. Her name is Rachel… She’s my fiancee candidate」(Ernest)
Ho-hou. So even the boy is a such a smooth operator. Oh well, it may not be a strange thing for existences known as royalty. As for the relation between the two, it looks like they are cousins.
The girl has blond wavy hair that’s being propped up with black, conspicuous Alice band. They may be cousins, but she clearly resembles Lucienna, Ernest’s elder sister, standing next to her. It’s like they are sisters.
But, they have different air around them. In comparison to a warm-hearted princess Lucienna, the girl’s expression is somewhat sharp. She appears to have an unyielding personality, with how she continues to glare in this direction with her hands are on her sides.
「This girl, how old is she?」(Touya)
「We are of the same age」(Ernest)
Despite being younger than Suu, the intensity she projects is amazing in a certain sense… Whimsical, Tomboyish, Rash… Such words jump into my mind.
「Rachel is amazing. She has the aptitude in four attributes, her skill with a sword doesn’t lose to those of adults. She’s so gifted that she’s being called a prodigy which is born once in a hundred years…」(Ernest)
That’s definitely amazing. So it’s because she’s a child prodigy in addition to being a daughter of the Duke’s household that she has come to be a fiancee candidate to His Majesty The King. Of course, that would make her character unyielding. It would’ve been strange if it wasn’t turn so.
「Why is she glaring this way?」(Touya)
「That is… my fault, probably. To be honest, I had plans to have a tea party with her today. However, it has turned out differently, with Your Majesty The Dukedom King making a sudden visit, so…」(Ernest)
Hey, wait a minute! Are you saying that she’s angry because you’ve canceled a tea party?! Or rather, doesn’t that mean that I am a target of her anger as well?!
Hmmm… In any case, this girl’s anger might only increase if we continue staying like that. I guess we should quickly descend. The girl has been stomping with hostility on the ground with her foot. Is she irritated?
As His Majesty The King of Paluf and I descend on the ground via a wire hook, the girl with Alice band begins to briskly walk to us. Then she stands in front of me, pinches the hem of her skirt with both hands, and gives an elegant salute. So she’s a courteous type, huh.
「I am glad to finally meet you, Your Majesty The Dukedom King of Brunhild. I am the eldest daughter of the Duke Rembrandt household. My name is Rachel Rembrandt. I am a fiancee candidate to His Majesty King Ernest.」(Rachel)
「Oh-my, how polite of you」(Touya)
A fiancee? Ernest has called her a fiancee “candidate”. Guess it’s already a decided matter between the two of them.
「Please excuse us for not being able to provide a satisfactory welcome due to the suddenness of your visit. It wouldn’t have turned out this way if only we could be contacted in advance and had a bit more time」(Rachel)
「Aah… ha-ha-ha, well then, guess I will do just that next time」(Touya)
She’s smiling on the surface, but I say she’s angry as expected. Her every word seems to contain thorns in them. Should I call it a retaliation for my intrusion on an enjoyable tea party between her and the boy king whom she’s in love? Oh well, she behaves like a child despite being a prodigy, which is indeed charming.
「R-Rachel, the way you talk is…」(Ernest)
「What’s with that? Is Eru siding with His Majesty The Dukedom King?」(Rachel)
「Uu… I wouldn’t call it like that…」(Ernest)
Not good. Once those two get married, the king will unmistakably be dominated by his wife. I wonder if this girl is the reason why the king doesn’t have any self-confidence.
Based on her appearance and her unyielding spirit, she’s definitely the definition of a pushy girl from a rich family. What is she going to do if she makes a king of her own country wither like that?
Rachel continues to frown at the boy king who mumbles at his words, but eventually, she claps her hands and turns my way.
「I got it. If I am not mistaken, Your Majesty The Dukedom King is also an adventurer of the golden rank or something. I would like to ask you to give me a lesson」(Rachel)
「I would like you to show me the famous strength that’s celebrated in rumors. May I ask this of you?」(Rachel)
The girl displays a ferocious-looking smile. Ehhh? Could it be, she’s picking a fight with me?