08-07 Unexpected Reunion
Content warning: some graphic violence.
In a sense, you could call the provincial city of Tellurs the gateway to entering the royal capital Esaia.
Just why is the royal capital Esaia so close to the national border?
Originally Celuroa Kingdom was a very small country. After the Great Magic War and after Dinar Kingdom had split into smaller countries, Celuroa Kingdom which was built on top of the Dinar Kingdom’s capital city’s ruins, had its eighth king Roland the First command troops to fight a neighboring country.
During the war that lasted nearly ten years, Celuroa Kingdom annexed a neighboring country and added it to its territory. Similar acts of aggression were repeated for generations.
The annexed lands were in the north and east, west, and then southwest. That’s the reason why the capital’s location was lopsided.
Had Egelia Kingdom been annexed too, the location wouldn’t be particularly strange.
Incidentally, during that time the southern Egelia Kingdom had fought stubbornly to the last, and to avoid the national power declining due to the prolonged war Roland the First made peace with Egelia Kingdom.
Since then there had been only small fights, but mostly the diplomatic relations have continued seemingly favourably. That is, until the events 18 years ago which Elsa’s father participated in.
“Didn’t Reinhardt say that the current king seemed a bit warlike…”
Jin muttered to himself while walking the streets of Tellurs.
There were two more days until they would board the ferry. Reinhardt had said he’d try visiting a friend, while Jin went off on his own.
To distract himself from the frustration of being unable to find Elsa, for no particular reason he was strolling about town. The rays of the spring sun shone warmly, just perfectly for a walk.
After over an hour of walking, Jin was a little tired and sat down on a bench that the plaza facing the main street was furnished with.
The street traffic was large, and the place was lively. Parents with their children, families, pairs of lovers. Traders, nobles, elders, children. Many sorts of people were coming and going.
“Oh, it’s mister.”
From somewhere he heard a voice. Turning towards it, there was a blue-eyed girl with blond hair like silk trailing down.
“Let’s see, you were.”
“I’m Schiede, mister.”
The girl he had met in the village with the mine, Yada Village. The young daughter of Viscount Secatt’s house.
“Oh, yes, you were Schiede-chan. What are you up to?”
After remembering, Jin smiled and spoke to her.
“Yes, the day before yesterday we went sightseeing in this town. Today we came to board a pleasure cruise on the river Torres.”
“Huh, a pleasure cruise. Was it fun?”
“It was. The river was very wide, blue, and the Mr. fishes were leaping.”
Schiede smiled and made hand gestures while she explained to Jin. Her behaviour was charming and just by listening Jin had fun too.
“So, why are you here? By yourself?”
Jin asked, and Schiede made a somewhat uncomfortable face.
“Um, that’s…Because I got separated from mother and the others.”
In other words, a lost child. Jin got up in a hurry, and looked around the riverbank. However, he didn’t see people similar to them.
“Your mother’s group is surely looking for you too, right? Oh yeah, do you know the hotel you’re staying in?”
“I do. It’s called ‘Green Bower Hotel’.”
“Green Bower Hotel…I wonder where it was.”
The name sounded familiar. Jin was thinking about it when a voice spoke close to his ear.
(Father, that hotel is on the street east of the intersection on this street.)
It was the invisible Reiko whispering into Jin’s ear.
“Let’s see, if I remember right that hotel is this way.”
While thanking Reiko, Jin began walking and leading Schiede by the hand.
“Thank you, mister. That miss is not with you today?”
By that miss, she must’ve meant Elsa. Indeed, she did use healing magic to heal Schiede’s wound after the girl fell over, Jin thought.
“Mmh, she’s doing something else right now.”
“Is that so? And I wanted to see her again.”
It appears after Elsa healed Schiede’s wound, she took a liking to her.
“Mh-hm, that may be difficult.”
“So after all, she can’t go outside so often because she’s a noble too?”
“Well, something like that.”
There was no way Jin could tell her the truth and so he dodged the question, while Schiede then said with a serious look on her face.
“That’s lonely. In that case, Schiede may as well stop being a noble.”
Those words made Jin think of something but,
“That’s no good, Schiede-chan. Your mother would be sad.”
He said to persuade her. Schiede meekly nodded.
“Yes, I understand. I don’t want to make mother sad.
“Mmh, Schiede-chan’s a good girl.”
Jin said and stroked the air of Schiede walking next to him.
“Ehehe, that feels nice.”
Schiede delighted in having her hair stroked.
Meanwhile, they arrived in front of the hotel.
A hurried woman’s voice. It was Schiede’s mother, the wife of Viscount Secatt, Mariria.
Mariria came running over and hugged Schiede.
“Where did you go! Edem and Hauro have been looking for you!”
Hauro was probably their butler, Jin thought idly while watching the meeting of parent and child.
“I’m sorry. On the main street I saw something interest on display, then mother and everyone else were gone, and mister brought me here.”
Then Mariria let go of Schiede whom she was holding and looked at Jin.
“Thank you very much for bringing Schiede back. …Wait, aren’t you…?”
She appeared to remember Jin’s face.
“Yes, we were sightseeing the mine tunnels in Yada Village at the same time, my name is Jin Nidou.”
“My my, so it was you. You’re by yourself today?”
“Yes, Reinhardt went to see an acquaintance of his.”
“I see. I’d like to give you something as a token of my gratitude but as we’re traveling I’m short of money at hand…”
And so forth, she spoke and that’s why Jin felt all the more ashamed and,
“No, it wasn’t such a big deal, well then, I’ll be going now.”
He said and bowed, and turning his back to the voices who still wanted him to stop for something, Jin quickly left the scene.
“Parent and child, huh. That sort of thing, isn’t it nice.”
While thinking about things like that in the back of his mind Jin kept casually walking and came to the riverside.
A riverbank about five meters tall had amassed along the river, and it was possible to climb it up. Jin who was a bit sweaty from walking tried climbing up the riverbank to for something like a breeze off the river.
“Hm? Something’s causing a ruckus.”
He climbed up the bank and could see the dry river bed, but there a group of people had gathered.
“Father, it looks like a drowned body or something.”
Reiko told Jin while staying invisible. Reiko’s eyesight was sharper than a falcon’s. That’s what Jin was thinking, but for the invisible Reiko using infrared rays to see it was difficult to discern faraway details so for a moment she had gone closer and come back.
“It is…I recognize it. It seems to be Mine.”
“What!? Mine who was supposed to have run away with Elsa turned up as a drowned body!?”
Jin had a bad premonition and ran down the riverbank. He was about to slip and fall multiple times but each time Reiko supported him up so he got down without falling over.
After getting down on the riverbed Jin urgently rushed there.
From among the crowd of curious onlookers Jin said with a groan.
“It really is…Mine.”
It was unmistakably Mine. The only mistake was that it wasn’t a drowned corpse. She was still breathing.
“Out of the way please! I know her!”
Jin said and moved to Mine’s side and,
He grimaced at the terrible scene.
Her right arm appeared to be broken and bent in a weird direction, her head was swelled dark red as if she had been hit, and a knife had pierced through her abdomen.