It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (26/63), enjoy~
The leaves on the street trees were dying down, and white breath was beginning to appear in the morning and evening. After leaving Katima’s laboratory, Ain changed his clothes and went with Krone to the waterways in the courtyard before the evening.
“…You guys eat really well, don’t you?”
The Sea Dragon twins are in his line of sight. The sight of the twins with their faces on the edge, chewing on the meat and magic stones given to them, is not frantic but cute.
They were named by Ain, with El as the older sister and Al as the younger brother.
Although there were twists and turns, he was allowed to keep the sea dragon twins.
Everyone was taken aback when Ain brought the sea dragons back to the castle, and Sylvird was so upset that he replied with a single word: “You must return them to where they belonged.”
Laralua and Olivia were taken aback by the friendly sea dragon twins. Even Sylvird was taken aback by the dragon’s charm and was finally willing to listen to Ain.
For now, they could be raised in the castle’s waterways, so they were released there. It will be limited until their bodies grow bigger.
The waterways in the castle connected to the beach behind the castle. From time to time, the twins could be seen frolicking on the beach behind the castle.
As Ain squatted down to watch the twins, Krone, who also knelt down, spoke to Ain.
“Fufufu… Even though they’re called the kings of the sea, they’re really cute.”
Her profile smiled at the twins like a saint in a holy painting. Ain’s gaze was unconsciously drawn to her. Her white skin and long eyelashes covering her jewel-like eyes were so pretty that he could almost smell them.
Even a single gesture of her offering food would catch Ain’s eye.
“…Do you want it?”
Suddenly, Krone said to Ain.
“Yeah, oh… sure…”
It was as if she was asking him if he wanted her. But that’s not what Krone meant.
“Geez, it can’t be helped. ──Here you go.”
What was offered was a magic stone for the twins to feed on. While dumbfounded, Ain took it, blinking repeatedly, and looked back and forth between his hand and Krone’s face.
“Yeah, it’s a magic stone… but you wanted to eat it, didn’t you?”
She tilted her head with a puzzled look on her face and asked, “Do you want it?” As Ain misinterpreted the word “want.”
What is this? Feeling embarrassed, Ain involuntarily turned his head away and exclaimed exaggeratedly.
“Yes, yes! When I saw the twins eating, I got hungry too…!”
Although he hadn’t planned it, he absorbed the magic power of the magic stone from the palm of his hand. It’s just right for a snack, and the taste is “ripe,” leaking out of his mouth.
“Fufu. I wonder if El and Al’s penchant for food is a direct result of their father, Ain.”
“Don’t be unfaithful. Okay?”
That’s not it. I was not being unfaithful. Said Ain inwardly.
He’s so embarrassed that he made a mistake that he can’t look Krone straight in the face right now. The fact that she misunderstood is the one thing that saves Ain for now.
“Sorry, sorry. Here’s another one.”
Ain responded to the cute cries of the twins and threw the food he had brought into the water.
Perhaps satisfied, the twins make one last cheerful cry as they dive into the water. After more than ten seconds of watching the ripples in the water, Krone was the first to stand up.
“Ain. Would you like to have tea with me now?”
“Thank you for the invitation. Is Krone going to brew it for me?”
“Yes. As long as you’re not complaining, okay?”
He could tell from her giggling that she was enjoying the light conversation.
“What are you going to do? What will you do if I insist on a refill?”
“I’ll brew until you’re satisfied. We can talk about it.”
That would be great, Ain said, as he stood up and then started to walk alongside Krone.
“The twins are really good swimmers. I wish I could learn from them.”
“Is this practice for the next underwater battle?”
“…Give me a break. I’m reflecting on what I did that day.”
“Just kidding. I’ll make you a nice cup of tea instead.”
The smile on Krone’s face as she walked along made Ain’s mouth twitch.
◇ ◇ ◇
At the same time. Located far away from Ishtalika, in the north of the Heim Kingdom, is the trading city of Birdland.
It was a neutral city surrounded by the Heim Kingdom, the Duchy of Euro, and the Republic of Rockdam, where a martial arts tournament was held every three years.
Fierce warriors from all over the continent competed against each other in this tournament, which many powerful people attended. As a trading city, it is also a time for earning money, and many stalls and merchants compete in this major event.
The finals of this year’s tournament finally began, and the excitement in the hall reached its peak. Coincidentally, the two finalists were the same for the third consecutive tournament. The two men with the most impressive movements, using the most powerful weapons, drew the people’s attention from all over the continent.
“Tch! …You still won’t break, huh!”
As his great sword bounced back, Logus glared at his opponent while gasping for breath. He was confident in his skills as Heim’s general, but there was a hint of impatience on his brave face.
“…You are much stronger than you were three years ago. It seems like you look like a different person.”
“It sounds like sarcasm to me…! Zeeaaaa!”
The elderly man with whom Logus was dealing was a representative of Euro, with whom Ishtalika was doing business.
His name is Edward. He’s a childhood friend of Duke Amur, the ruler of the Duchy of Euro, and an old gentleman who serves as his aide.
The two of them had met on the stage of the finals for three consecutive tournaments. Edward, however, has made it to the finals six times in a row. He has won all five of the tournaments so far and has beaten Logus twice.
This Edward was a man of such ability that the great nation of Heim was wary of him by his very name.
“It seems like a blow that is too heavy to receive straightforwardly from the front… which is tough on this old man.”
“Kuh… As always, your spear-handling is truly inhuman!”
Logus launched a series of attacks, but they were never effective.
Although he sometimes retreated from unstoppable attacks, the man named Edward’s body language was as light as a falling leaf, and his occasional attacks were as heavy and strong as a cannon.
“Well, what can I say? If I got one of those, I’d be in trouble.”
“Then what do you think? How about taking a hit like this?”
“I still have to work, so I’ll hold off on that. …That’s why it’s preferable to settle the matter.”
With a slow and steady movement, Edward entered into Logus’ bosom.
Edward moved his body neatly with his spear as the main axis, dodging and guiding Logus’ interceptions. In the end, he used the handle of his spear to break down Logus’ body, and in the blink of an eye, he thrust his spear at his neck.
“The winner is! …Edward of the Duchy of Euro!”
Logus had never been defeated in a duel since he came of age and became a general. But that was until he met Edward in a martial arts tournament.
This man, Edward, is the only person on the continent who is capable of beating Logus.
“We had another good fight. There you go.”
He reached out his hand to Logus, who had fallen. The defeated Logus was frustrated, but he slowly put his hands on the ground to help himself up.
“I’m always thinking about this, wondering when I’ll beat you.”
“I think you will eventually defeat me. You are a strong man and still young.”
“Fuh… I appreciate that.”
Grint was watching the exchange between the two from the audience. This is the first time he has seen Logus being defeated.
Logus was able to take on several of Heim’s knights with ease. However, the fact that Edward had treated him like a child gave Grint a strong shock.
“Mother! One day I will avenge father!”
Grint said to Camilla, who was sitting next to him. She was so happy to hear her son’s words that she immediately let her cheek relax.
“Grint will be able to do it. You’re the boy who will become a Holy Knight.”
Born as a holy knight, Grint was a bundle of talent. He overtook his peers without much effort and continued to grow at an overwhelming rate.
Speaking of another advantage is Shanon. She is Grint’s fiancee, a lovely red-haired girl.
Her skill of “Blessing” may raise Grint to the level of a legendary Heavenly Knight, and such hopes have never been forgotten.
…Camilla could not help but look forward to that future.
──The place has changed, and it is now the finest inn in the trading city of Birdland.
A royal family member was waiting for the report, looking restless. There is a reason why he waited in his room at the inn instead of watching the final even though his country’s representative was competing in the final.
“Still… You still can’t find it!”
The man’s name is Tigre von Heim ─ the third prince of the Heim Kingdom. He’s fourteen years old this year, which makes him four years older than Ain.
He has been looking for a certain woman for several years now. The one woman who had his heart transfixed… was last seen in Birdland.
“P-Prince… Please wait a little longer… I believe it should be arriving by now.”
“Why? Why? Where did you go? Krone!”
Krone was the only woman he had ever wanted to marry when he was still a child. She was beautiful and dainty in appearance. Her hair is shining and sparkling. She was knowledgeable, and it felt good just to exchange a few words with her.
For Tigre, Krone was a girl who had no flaws in any way.
For this reason, he hired several adventurers to gather information and search for her, using funds raised from the government budget. However, the results were not so good, and there were no clues that seemed to lead to anything.
“Harley! How can you be so calm?”
The man whose name Tigre mentioned, Harley, was none other than Krone’s father. Of course, he knows exactly how Krone is doing now.
“…I’m sorry, Your Highness. My wife, Elena, and I have been bearing our grief for a long time. When we received the news that she had disappeared, we even considered taking our own lives. However, seeing how strongly Your Highness Tigre cares for her, as a parent and as Your Highness’s vassal, I feel that I must remain strong and do everything in my power to search for her.”
The long-winded excuse was justified, and Tigre couldn’t help but feel heartbroken.
“…I’m sorry. You were the ones who felt the grief the most, weren’t you?”
“I can only be grateful for your concern.”
However, all of this is nothing but an act. He knows exactly where Graff is, as does Krone. But the only contact he received was a few years ago.
I was able to cross the ocean and meet Ain safely, and we are living happily together. He has only received one message a few years ago via Euro.
Then the door was opened with a thumping sound.
“Your Highness! The report has arrived!”
A knight approaches Tigre, who has been waiting for the report to arrive.
“Oh! Report immediately!”
“Yes. We have found out the inn the two of them used. Also, the last carriage they may have used. It seems we finally have a clue!”
“Great job! Keep going! Finally, finally!”
It took a lot of time and money to get to this point. The lie that Graff had created was not something that even royalty could easily see-through.
“Harley! It may not be too long before we see your father and daughter… Krone again!”
Tigre foolishly believed that they were safe. There’s a widespread belief among the nobility that they’ve already been killed or sold into slavery. Harley admires Tigre’s persistence in believing in their safety, but he knows in his heart that his thoughts are unlikely to reach them.
“I am grateful for your efforts, Your Highness. My wife is always grateful to you. When they are found, I will make sure that not only my father but also Krone will express their gratitude.”
“…I wish to have Krone as my wife.”
“I think Krone would give her heart to a man who could give her something so precious.”
It’s a bit of a mismatched conversation. Even if Krone is found, it does not mean that Tigre will give something irreplaceable to Krone.
“Hahaha! Yes, that’s why we have to expand this search even further!”
His Highness was not a wrong word, but which of His Highness? Terms can change their meaning greatly depending on the receiver.
The knight softly whispered to Tigre, who was laughing in a good mood.
“What do you mean? There are traces of Krone’s journey to Euro…? This is not good! I’ll have to head there myself soon…!”
Harley hesitated for a moment, wondering if he should stop him. However, if he objected to Tigre’s actions here, he did not know what he would say. In the end, all Harley could do was laugh and look at Tigre as he spoke with great enthusiasm.