09-23 Reinhardt and Donald Meet, Then
April 19th. Reinhardt had stayed the night in the provincial city Astan.
It had been a rather forced marched from Tunsten which he had stayed the night before. Because of that the plan of his childhood friend and company commander of the third Imperial Guard force Matheus, who was guarding him, was to stay there for three nights before departure.
This was also because the city of Astan had their homeland Shouro Empire’s supply base in it.
“The soldiers also want to rest, so let’s stay here for three nights. After that will be a forced march so get plenty of rest.”
Matheus said and told Reinhardt of the plan.
After staying in Astan for three nights, early morning on the 22nd they would leave Astan. And then by hurrying all day they would arrive in the evening of the 22nd in the provincial city of Pororon where they’d spend the night. 23rd day would be the town of Ganeez, and 24th the border town Toskoshia. Then if they immediately get the permit to pass through on the 25th they’ll enter Shouro Empire.
“At the latest, we’ll be walking on our homeland on the 27th.”
Matheus smiled and said. Then,
“You probably know this, but absolutely don’t go wandering off on your own, got it? Even visiting a brothel isn’t allowed. You’ll be seeing Berthier in ten days, you know?”
He didn’t forget to warn Reinhardt. This was because he had heard from the butler Claude that Reinhardt had the bad habit of going on walks by himself.
“…I got it.”
Reinhardt looked disgruntled. But everything Matheus said was correct so there was no refuting it.
“The journey with Jin was fun.”
Reinhardt thought so while lying down on the bed.
The 20th day began.
His confinement didn’t change from yesterday. Despite the weather being fine, Reinhardt had to stay confined in his room.
He was sometimes vacantly looking out of the windows, and other times slumping down on the sofa. A maid saw the bored Reinhardt and,
“Excuse me, master, there’s something I heard earlier by chance.”
She told Reinhardt about what she had heard in the lobby.
“From what I understand, it seems that right now Celuroa Kingdom’s Royal Magi Craftsman, the esteemed Donald Carou Alpha, is staying in this city.”
After hearing that, Reinhardt who was lying down on the sofa jumped up to his feet.
‘Alpha’. That represented the top position granted by Celuroa Kingdom’s manufacturing agency. Even though Reinhardt wasn’t yet acquainted with him, he of course had heard of the name.
“Hmm, I wonder if I could meet with him somehow?”
If he was to come here, there shouldn’t be any problems. Reinhardt thought so and called for the butler Claude, then discussed it with him.
“As you wish. For now, I shall go ask if it is convenient for the other party to visit.”
Although he didn’t know just how much authority the Celuroa Kingdom’s very own Honorary Magi Craftsman held, as Reinhardt was a diplomat they should at least be seen as equals.
Feeling excitement in his heart, Reinhardt waited for Claude’s return.
Then after nearly an hour Claude came back with good news.
“I have returned. The other party said that they will come for a visit this afternoon.”
“Ooh! Is that so! I cannot wait! Claude, Beth, Dory, please prepare to receive them.”
Reinhardt issued instructions for the butler and the maids. Due to the lodgings he was staying in he couldn’t do much, but as the side extending the invitation he wanted to do the best he could.
While holding down the excitement he felt more and more Reinhardt passed the time.
＊ ＊ ＊
The person came accompanied by a golem.
He had a medium build and pure white hair. However, his blue eyes that seemed as if they were dreaming were filled with nothing but intelligence, and just a bit of madness.
“Nice to meet you, I am Donald Carou Alpha. Your invitation was an honor, Reinhardt-dono.”
“It is I who should say it is an honor to meet you.”
The two shook hands and exchanged brief greetings, and they first sat down at a table at Reinhardt’s suggestion.
“That’s a golem Donald-dono made, is it not?”
Reinhardt who had been impatiently waiting to talk spoke before the maids had brought tea.
“Indeed. It is number 457 which looks after me and my surroundings.”
The golem called number 457 was two meters tall. It was shaped just like a human.
Seeing it, a mutter leaked out of Reinhardt’s mouth unintentionally.
Donald who caught his words looked a little surprised.
“Why do you ask that? Could it be that Reinhardt-dono has also become capable of building endoskeleton-type golems?”
From Donald’s words Reinhardt could tell that his guess was on the mark.
“Well, yes. Because by making an endoskeleton the golems are able to move more similarly to a human, no?”
Reinhardt said and Donald made an exaggerated nod and,
“Indeed, indeed. Understanding that at such a young age, Reinhardt-dono is a remarkable person.”
He voiced his admiration. Reinhardt felt a bit shy. But, he wasn’t foolish enough to mention Jin’s name here.
“Recently, I too have realized something about golems’ structure, you see.”
Probably what stopped Reinhardt’s answer there was his experience as a diplomat.
“Hmm, Reinhardt-dono’s golem was Schwarz Ritter, was it not? If I remember correctly it destroyed Beta’s Adamas Warrior or something like that.”
In a word, Beta was the next rank of Magi Craftsman after Alpha.
“That’s already a story from last year. Your country can make much, much stronger golems now, can it not?”
This remark contained cynicism about the warp between Egelia Kingdom and Celuroa Kingdom, but Donald didn’t seem to mind it at all.
“Hahaha, that’s exactly right. It seems that Beta too has further improved upon Adamas Warrior, as technology is something that marches on, isn’t that right?”
“I agree with you on that point.”
What was left unsaid however, was that he didn’t approve of war.
After that the talk gained momentum and it was evening all of a sudden.
Donald said he wanted to come tomorrow too. It was just what Reinhardt wanted so he readily accepted.
And then Donald returned through the twilit streets.
“Ah, what an enjoyable while that was.”
Talks with other countries’ Magi Craftsmen were always fruitful. Even with the premise of talking while keeping mum about the their classified information.
“Reinhardt-sama, that went well, didn’t it?”
“Uh-huh. Because of you, Beth. Thanks.”
Reinhardt thanked Beth for telling him about Donald. Being thanked made Beth flustered.
“I am unworthy of such praise.”
“No, I’m being honest. Dory too, you’ve all done well. For nearly two years you’ve been away from our home country following me. That’s soon to be over. You can return to your families.”
“No, Reinhardt-dono. My family included, we’re all in indebted to you so it is just a matter of course to assist you.”
This time Dory replied.
“Even so, being away from your husband must be harsh. I feel sorry. But it’s father who had you married people follow me, so…”
So that Reinhardt who was already engaged would not have an affair with a maid during the trip, his father had decided to just in case have only married maids serve him. Incidentally, the two of them having modest bosoms was no coincidence. His father took even that to account in his decision.
“After all, surely the old master arrived at this decision after thinking about it deeply.”
The butler Claude said so from the side. He said this because he knew how Reinhardt liked huge breasts. The two maids did not suspect it went that far.
“Well, at any rate we’ll be back at home in around ten days.”
“Yes, I’m looking forward to it.”
＊ ＊ ＊
The following day, in the afternoon of the 21st, Donald came as promised.
Today he was accompanied by another Automata along with the golem number 457.
The Automata had long golden hair like silk, skin as white as porcelain, and eyes so deep crimson they seemed to be burning. If she was said to be a human it could be believed.
“I am Elena.”
The Automata introduced herself. Even her voice was beautiful. It was a clear soprano like the sound of a songbird.
Reinhardt watched her in fascination without replying. He came to his senses when Donald spoke.
“Reinhardt-dono, what do you think? Elena is wonderful, don’t you agree?”
After suddenly coming to his senses, Reinhardt blushed a little.
In his position as a diplomat, he had a lot of chances to see beautiful women. Royalty, nobles’ daughters, wives of noblemen, their servants, and prostitutes.
But the Automata called Elena in front of her had beauty surpassing them all.
“Elena-dono, nice to meet you. I am Shouro Empire’s Magi Engineer, Reinhardt.”
Perhaps due to some modest pride, Reinhardt introduced himself Shouro Empire-style as a Magi Engineer.