Arc 27: The Reverse World
Chapter 287: The Festival, and the First Day
The first day of the festival.
The showy opening ceremony, namely the sham-battle between frame gears, has finished without a hitch, and the whole town is now crowded by people, bringing a never seen before flourish in business.
Various street stalls line the streets, and an appetizing smell drifts from here and there. Should I try some of them later?
In order for people to enjoy the festival, the guarding knights patrol the streets and blend in with people who have come from other countries.
In addition to the regular guards, Nyantaro’s cats patrol from the back alleys and wall fences while Ruli’s subordinate birds keep watch from treetops and rooftops with their shining eyes, akin to surveillance cameras. It’s arranged that they will call out the nearby knights as soon as possible if there’s an emergency.
Because of that, there’s really not any need for me personally to do the patrolling.
「Well, maybe I should try to enjoy the festival as well」(Touya)
「Isn’t it fine even for a short while? Other kings have guards attached to them, and they have those badges that will keep them safe. They should be fine, shouldn’t they?」(Rin)
So says Rin who walks by me, wearing her usual gothic lolita clothes with a black umbrella over her head.
As for the others, they’ve gone out to accompany their own families. Although for Sakura, she looks annoyed by the presence of the Demon King who is trying to talk to her. She probably concluded that it would be bad to take him to her mother Fiana-san.
Even Rin herself tentatively offered to assist the Beast King of Misumido. She had submitted a report to him, but he wanted to spend some time by himself without care. As such, she’s now accompanying me.
With Rin being who she is, she apparently invited her friends and acquaintances from Misumidio, but they didn’t come today.
Naturally, her bear Pola is following us from behind with light steps. She occasionally gets involved with children, to which she desperately resists every time.
At the end of my glance — on the stage built in front of the clocktower — there is a sight of a swarm of women attentively listening to Sousuke-nii-san playing piano. Is that a concert? What’s he doing…?
So the tune played by a god can very well be called as divine melody, huh? The music being performed is the signature tune played by a French pianist who’s hailed as the “Prince of the Piano”. That person comes to Japan yearly every May and performs in public.
While it is indeed an ordinary melody, Sousuke-nii-san’s skill with the piano surpasses mine by leagues and bounds. Although I want to continue listening, I cannot do that. As such, we pass by the clocktower square and arrive at the first baseball stadium.
There will be four matches played out today, one in the morning and one in the afternoon on each of the two stadiums.
The competitors are:
Morning: Brunhild vs Restia
Afternoon: Misumido vs Reefreez
Morning: Belfast vs. Rodomea
Afternoon: Regulus vs Rynie
This outcome is the result of the lottery done by the captains of each team a while ago at the end of the sham-battle.
Our opponent is the Knight Kingdom of Restia. Their team places heavy emphasis on offense which is their trait. Still, it doesn’t mean that they have a lot of heavy hitters. They are the type of team which prefers to score points steadily, making their on-base percentage high.
Logan-san, the captain of our team, says that most of their players have superior batting eyes, and that they don’t get easily riled up.
The match on the first stadium has already begun. The score is still 0 vs 0 during the second inning, and Restia’s offense has finished.
When I turn toward the audience seats, I see the players of Misumido with the Beast King, and players of Reefreez with their Monarch watching the outcome of the game.
Once this match ends, it will be the match between Misumido and Reefreez in the afternoon. Tomorrow, they may fight against the team that wins the current match, so it’s likely natural for them to watch the game.
I then turn toward the seats near the first base and notice the Knight King of Restia sitting on the opposite side at the third base. On his right sits Hilda, and on his left sits the former-former king of Restia, grandpa Galen.
On Brunhild’s side is one of the Four Heavenly Kings, Naito-ossan, along with several of his subordinates. They’re enjoying the game while drinking beer.
People who serve in the castle and in the knight order are each given a day of rest from a four-day duration of the festival. I would really like them to enjoy it as well. I also really wanted to grant all of them the days that they desired as much as possible. Also, making a decision would’ve been troubling if it had been biased, so I was allowed to decide it on my own.
There are only the baseball preliminaries during the first day, so the people who are resting on this day may have drawn the short end of the stick. Nevertheless, it looks like they are enjoying themselves, which puts me at ease.
「Oya, Your Majesty. Are you on patrol?」(Naito)
「Just looking around. Is everyone having fun?」(Touya)
「Well of course we are. It’s a festival in the town what ourselves have built. It’s the best!」(Naito)
This ossan usually doesn’t stand out, but his cheerfulness seems to have increased today. Must be due to the alcohol.
Naito’s group is in charge of the construction and the agriculture development in the country, so their delight is probably even greater than anyone else.
Even this stadium, whose foundation had been built by me, was then revised by them and made it as big as it is now. This town might’ve not developed as much without them.
For the time being, we decide to watch the game together with them and buy popcorn and drinks from a young salesgirl.
「It surely is regrettable」
「Guess you’re right. If only we could score a point at that time」
Speaking of the match with Restia, they’ve won with a score of 3 to 2, which meant that our Brunhild was sadly defeated. It by no means implies that our team is inferior, but that’s simply just how things happened, I suppose. It’s said that victory depends on the luck of the day. Since the players persisted till the end, we should drop by and bring them refreshments.
The morning match on the second stadium between Belfast and Rodomea seems to have ended with a win for Belfast due to their superior stratagems.
The matches of Misumido vs Reefreez and Regulus vs Rynie will start in the afternoon, and the deciding matches will be played tomorrow between the four teams that will win today.
By the way, I’m thinking that it’s about time to have a lunch, so Rin and I go for a stroll through the town. There, we subsequently happen to see the Paluf group having a meal at an open cafe on a street corner. The Boy King of Paluf, his elder sister, Duke Rembrandt, his daughter, as well as their guards are having a light lunch.
I unfasten my badge as a test, and my view changes to the point wherein I can’t see them as anything but as a company of close family and friends from somewhere. Looks like the badge is functioning properly. Incidentally speaking, Rin is wearing a badge as well. Nothing will happen even if we get found out here so we turn them off completely.
「Ya-a, are you having a meal?」(Touya)
「Oh, Your Majesty The Dukedom King! Yes, we have walked around the town once, so… 」(Ernest)
Once I greet the group, the boy king encourages us to take the neighboring seats, which I accept without reservation. The daughter of Duke Rembrandt, Rachel is sitting opposite of the boy king and, while hugging the Sunora Wolf pup that I’ve entrusted them, averts her eyes. Yep, looks like I’m being hated.
「What is everyone going do in the afternoon?」(Touya)
「We plan to go see the match of Rynie. We have yet to properly play baseball, so…」(Lucienna)
Princess Lucienna replies as is she looks happy about it. Have they been invited by the King of Rynie then? I’m glad that he appears to be enjoying this as well.
「Well, our morning stroll was nothing but things that had caught our attention here and there. Before we knew it, the morning had already ended. There are many things that our own country wants to adopt. This town is wonderful indeed 」(Donovan)
The acting regent Duke Rembrandt looks at the scenery outside the cafe and says his opinion of this town. As expected. It feels wonderful for people from other countries to praise one’s home.
「There’s just one thing though. A place where you end up overspending your money is truly a bad place」(Donovan)
So says the Duke with a tiny smile to which the boy king becomes downhearted with. Mm? Did something happen?
「This Eru has been turning and turning the capsule toy machine in the shopping district for how knows how many times. We had quite a bit of money, but he was still scolded by father some time ago because he had become a bother to other people who wanted to try it」(Rachel)
「The Shining Count didn’t come out no matter how much I turned the toy machine, so I just…」(Ernest)
Once I glance towards the direction Rachel is looking at, I then see a paper bag full of capsule toys left on the chair. Oh well. He really did go with it for quite a while.
Hmm? Didn’t Rachel talk to me just now? Does that mean that she doesn’t hate me that much?
As I turn my fleeting glance on her, she averts her eyes awkwardly. Hmm?
「In the end, were you able to collect all of them?」(Touya)
「Uhhm, I haven’t gotten Grimgerde yet…」(Ernest)
「Ara~. My machine?」(Rin)
The boy king then raises his face to Rin after looking at a small piece of paper with capsules written.
After I explain that Rin over here is the pilot of the machine named Grimgerde, everyone else becomes surprised as well.
To them, the image of a young girl (though she’s 612 years old) probably doesn’t really fit their image of the person piloting the frame gear which displayed that kind of violence in battle during the opening ceremony.
People know about Rin’s social standing; namely, her being a court magician of Brunhild, former matriarch of a fairy tribe, and a fiancee of the Dukedom King which is me. However, not many people from other countries know about her as a pilot of a frame gear.
Rin then pokes at my side.
「Dear, don’t you have one or two with you?」(Rin)
「Well, I have, but… Oh well. I guess it’s fine」(Touya)
I want people to get these toys the proper way. But since I’ve already got him to buy so many, I guess a bit of service here won’t hurt.
From inside “Storage”, I take out a black Grimgerde figurine armed with heavy firepower armaments and place it on the table. Rin then takes that toy and passes it to the King of Paluf.
「Here. Treat it with care, okay?」(Rin)
「Thank you very much! Uwaa! Now the set is complete!」(Ernest)
「Oops. We’ll be adding Luu’s “Waltraude” and Sakura’s “Rossweisse” next month, so it’s still far away from being complete」(Touya)
Catching my words, the boy king reacts downheartedly which makes everyone smile.
By the way, Luu’s Waltraude is an interchangeable type, so it has four variations: Attacker, Booster, Caster, Defender. It will be difficult to collect them all.
Alba-san’s company may open their store in Paluf next time, so he may be able to acquire all of them over there. I want him to be patient and collect all of them.
It’s not just frame gears which will be added, there will also be behemoths like the snake kong, the grand boar, the power byson, and the needle rat.
However, if this hobby has already spread by this much, will there be a demand for behemoth figurines made of soft vinyl or plastic models of frame gears…?
Though I feel it will require a considerable technological level to produce commodities that can be assembled without glue… Yep. This world doesn’t have plastic to begin with.
Assuming it goes well, creating a system which can make plastic models move simply like in anime with magic…
As I am getting deeper and deeper into the thought, Rin once again pokes me at the side. No good, no good. Let’s think about business later.
After we have a meal with everyone, the Paluf camp goes away to watch the match of Rynie.
As for us, we step outside thinking where should we go next…
I turn my head around to the voice stopping me and see Rachel. She’s hugging the Sunora Wolf pup as always. What’s up?
「I-I’m sorry, for the other day… I have u-understood just how frail I am…」(Rachel)
I’m surprised. The once prideful princess apologizes. She has apparently thought everything out. Speaking of which, her attitude from before was more of awkwardness rather than hate towards me, wasn’t it?
「… That’s right. Once you think that you’re the strongest, it will be the end of you. There are many people around the world who are more powerful than you. By the way, even I have people whom I can’t win against no matter what I do. I lose every single day 」(Touya)
「Eeh?! There are people like that?!」(Rachel)
Perhaps I should call them gods, instead of just people. What will I be able to win against them, that I wonder… I’ll just feel sorry if winning against them takes a thousand years or so.
「I, I have to protect Eru, after all… Saying that I cannot lose to anyone is… I still lost to Your Majesty. As such, I’ve started thinking as to what kind of strength I possess…」(Rachel)
Her tone becomes more and more depressed, and she hangs her head in shame. Oya? So this time it’s Rachel who has lost her self-confidence, huh? What am I going to do about this…? Your opponent was just a bad match for you, so you shouldn’t worry about it… If I say that, it will likely be just sarcasm and nothing else since I was the one who had defeated her.
Just as when I’m worried about what I must say to her, Rin starts talking from the side.
「It might be a certainty that you’ll be able to protect the Kingdom of Paluf if you become strong. However, that might as well be done by knights or soldiers. You have something that only you can do, haven’t you?」(Rin)
「Only I can do…?」(Rachel)
Hearing these words, Rachel raises her head.
「You have to become that person’s support. To be next to the one whom you treasure, to be worried with him, to think with him, to laugh, to feel joy… Doesn’t it sound like a dream if you can become his strength? No one but you can become his companion. Become that person’s shield who protects his heart like I do」(Rin)
Saying this, Rin takes up my hand. Damn! How embarrassing! Pola, who’s under our feet, squats and hides her face as if she’s squealing “Kyaaa”. I’ve already said this before right? Your acting abilities are way too high. You hear me?
「Can I really do that… I, to become Eru’s shield…」(Rachel)
「It’s said that a good woman can raise her man, that she can become an existence that can’t be replaced by anyone. You have a lot of that characteristic. I guarantee you. Only you can support your king’s heart and walk alongside him, right? Do not waver!」(Rin)
Rachel happily bows to us, and vigorously runs over to people from Paluf.
How should I say this? She has recovered way too fast. Ooh! She’s clinging to the boy king’s arm.
「… Quite an interesting advice」(Touya)
「Well, it’s just my second-hand telling of what darling’s esteemed sister have said」(Rin)
Karen-nee-san, huh?… No wonder. However, it looks like she indoctrinates people with various other ideas. It’s kinda scary.
「C’mon, where shall we go after this?」(Rin)
「No, that, arm…」(Touya)
Rin has been tagging me along for quite a while already. Damn! This is so embarrassing!
「What? You don’t want to lock arms with me? Just like the other girls, I am quite poor at clinging, but I still muster the courage and do that, right?」(Rin)
「Aah~… My bad. … Then, it looks like there will be a public puppet show. Shall we go take a look? 」(Touya)
「As you command, my lord」(Rin)
The smiling girl returns a jest reply, and we then start walking.