It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (77/105), enjoy~
Chapter 2 – Majolica And The Secret Story
As the snow began to fall in Ishtalika, it also began to fall in the distant Kingdom of Heim.
On a certain day, Elena, the mother of Krone, was walking in the royal castle that was the pride of Heim.
As Heim calls itself the continent’s champion, the castle is incomparably larger than other countries on the same continent. The many jewels and artifacts placed everywhere could be said to symbolize the wealth of the country.
As Elena approached a corner, she encountered a boy.
“Isn’t it, Elena-dono? Why are you in such a hurry?”
His name was Grint Roundheart.
He is the next head of the House of Roundheart, a boy who comes and goes to the castle as a guard for the third prince, Tigre.
In the past, he had a face that seemed mischievous, but now his face resembles that of his father, Logas, and he has become much more dignified.
In addition to his face, he was also the prince’s bodyguard, which was sure to be a topic of conversation in social circles. However, it is a known fact that Grint’s heart is only for his bride, Shannon.
“I’m on my way to visit His Highness Tigre.”
“That’s strange. I’m actually on my way to His Highness as well. May I join you?”
“Yes, of course.”
As they began to walk shoulder to shoulder, Elena thought to herself.
He is the younger brother of Ain, the crown prince of Ishtalika. He was born to be a holy knight and was expected to be a great talent from an early age.
In other words, Ain and Grint are brothers who were both expected and not expected to succeed in the future.
Elena once tried to bring Grint and Krone closer together. But Krone didn’t take to him at all, and the conversation didn’t go anywhere. However, after the announcement party, she began to have feelings for Ain.
At that time, Krone and Elena did not know about the secret pact with Ishtalika. In light of this situation, she must have been truly in love with him.
“Elena-dono, is there something on your mind?”
“Yes, I’m thinking about Ishtalika…”
“It’s really a troublesome country. It lacks civility and relies only on the strength of its overgrown state.”
Elena was tempted to complain about the way Logas, and by extension Roundheart, had treated Olivia, but she managed to keep it to herself.
“With that man as the crown prince, we really don’t know what to expect from that country.”
Elena was reminded of a question she had been harboring for some time when she saw Grint muttering quietly to himself.
“I’m sorry to ask this, but may I ask you something?”
“How can I help you?”
“I’ve heard that the man who defeated Grint-dono in Euro was the escort of the crown prince of Ishtalika. And one of the royal knights who were with him said that the crown prince was stronger than him. What are your thoughts on this, Grint-dono?”
“Ha-haha… that’s another tough question.”
It’s a story that Grint can only remember with bitterness, but there was indeed such a thing.
“I thought it was just an exaggeration. This Dill guy was indeed strong. But I think it’s a pipe dream that he was even stronger.”
“I see. I’m sorry, it’s hard to answer.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
He said that, but Grint’s expression was bitter.
On the other hand, Elena nodded, but she had a skeptical impression.
The fact that Ain was considered a hero in Ishtalika and that he had defeated a huge monster called the Sea Dragon single-handedly was something that bothered her.
The conversation was short and thoughtful.
In the meantime, they arrived at the courtyard where Tigre was waiting for them.
“Thank you for coming! Please take a seat.”
Tigre invited them to sit down.
“As you know, this is about the letter from Ishtalika the other day. This letter… is full of things I don’t like. Don’t you think so?”
There was no fault to be found with the letter. It is very clean and well-balanced. If you look at the difference between the thick and thin parts of the brush strokes, you can almost feel the artistry.
“Elena, who wrote this letter?”
“The crown prince of Ishtalika… and his assistant.”
“Hmm. It says at the end that it was written on his behalf.”
Tigre put the letter in his pocket.
“…You remember that spy named Lily, don’t you?”
It’s a bittersweet memory for all of them. Lily was a capable civil servant, and she was smart enough to serve as Elena’s assistant.
But she was a spy for Ishtalika.
“We cannot just sit on our hands. We, Heim, must move as well.”
Elena’s eyes widened at the sudden words.
“What are you surprised about? Hostile inspections are a normal part of information warfare.”
“But, Your Highness, that seems a bit risky. That country is much bigger than the Republic of Rockdam or the Euro Dukedom.”
This was all she could think of. Even if they are going to pick a fight, they should choose their opponents.
“In addition, even if we were to send a spy to Ishtalika, there would be concerns about the choice of people.”
“I’m concerned about that too.”
“Yes. In fact, I would need the help of a civil servant like myself to assist me, but my appearance is completely known. In particular, Lily has been working with me for several years.”
“Then how about releasing the covert as disposable?”
“With all due respect, I’m afraid that would be a costly mischief against Ishtalika.”
“That would be difficult. But we can’t just sit idly by and do nothing───”
Tigre crossed his arms and began to groan.
“Think about it. Well, Grint is about to train, isn’t he? You can go ahead and train, even though it’s early in the day for you.”
“Ha! Excuse me.”
“Yeah, I’ll let you know as soon as I decide something.”
The remaining two, Elena and Tigre, thought about different things.
In fact, Elena was looking for a way to get to Ishtalika herself. She had more faith in her own abilities rather than anyone else’s, and she wanted to see the country her daughter had crossed over to.
However, as she said earlier, she couldn’t do that because her appearance was known.
“Oh? What’s wrong with you people, don’t make that face in front of me when I’m in a good mood!”
A man with an arrogant attitude walked up to the two of them. The man who came in was a huge man with a fat body, dressed in luxurious clothes.
“Tigre, I, your beloved brother, have returned!”
The man’s name was Layfon. He is Tigre’s older brother, the first prince.
“Where are you today? You seem to be in a good mood.”
“I was just having fun with the women of the castle all night!”
“You don’t like it? Am I causing you any trouble?”
“No, not at all…”
“That’s all right. You’re always a pain in the ass.”
Tigre was annoyed by Layfon’s attitude, but he managed to swallow it.
“The chair is empty, right? Let me sit on it.”
This was not the time to plan anything. Tigre looked at his brother, who sat down right next to him, and lowered his eyes.
“What were you talking about?”
“Nothing, just a few things about Ishtalika.”
“Oh, yeah? Tell me about it.
“You can’t talk about it to me? I’m the first prince, you know?”
“──That’s not what I meant. Sorry, Elena, can you do that for me?”
“Very well. I’ll explain it to you.”
She summarized the main points of what they had been talking about so far and told him.
Layfon surprisingly listened with interest.
“Hahaha! You are idiots.”
“What are you confused about? Why can’t you think of this? It would be so much easier if you just did that!”
Layfon said with a sly smile.
“You can buy a ship from a merchant in Birdland!”
The land is not a nation but a region ruled by merchants. Adventurers buy materials, and nobles drop money at high-class inns.
That’s Birdland, located in the middle of the continent.
“And then you can send the ship from the Rockdam! Ishtalika should accept the ship from that country!”
“But, brother, do you think that will fool Ishtalika?”
“How difficult can it be if they do not know that Heim sent it? What’s so difficult about that?”
“But… I don’t think they won’t investigate something like that.”
Still, Layfon acted fearlessly.
“I’m going to give you some of my best guys.”
He smirked and spoke his true intentions.
◇ ◇ ◇
At the same time, in Ishtalika.
The people in the castle were beginning to get used to Ain’s growing appearance. Gradually, the new image of the crown prince is spreading.
As before, Ain and Katima were in the courtyard where the dark straw was born.
“I don’t get it-nya.”
Katima said, writing in the notepad in her hand.
Today, Ain was exploring the power of his newly acquired “Familiar,” but no matter what he did, there was no response, and he couldn’t say anything.
Nothing seemed to occur, just like when he couldn’t use the power of the Dark Knight.
“Maybe it’s not working now.”
“Maybe-nya. The word Familiar means that you may be able to summon something, but it doesn’t seem to be a useful skill at the moment.”
There’s a chance that he might be able to summon both Ramza and Misty. He had such faint hopes, but it seems to be difficult.
“What about the other one?”
“Oh, you mean the ice dragon?”
“Yes. The power from the Upashikamui might be useful.”
“I don’t know. Hopefully, it’ll work.”
Ain held up his hand where there was none.
Since it is called Ice Dragon, it might have the power to freeze something. For example, it is possible to create ice in the air, so he closed his eyes and became aware of the magic power.
In the blink of an eye, cold air was created, and a stinging coldness rushed to the skin of both of them.
Seeing the progress of the experiment, Katima pointed to a bucket of water. The water in the bucket froze in an instant as Ain, sensing her intentions, pointed his hand at it.
“What’s that stick sticking out of your lab coat?”
“It’s a magic tool for checking temperature-nya. It can tell you temperatures that ordinary thermometers cannot-nya.”
Katima’s eyes widened as she stabbed the stick-shaped magic tool into the ice.
In the end, her hand made a creaking sound. Shortly after that, the magic tool shattered with great force.
“It’s a bit tricky to say-nya, but there is a limit to the temperature of any material that is not subject to magic power-nya. It is the same for gases, solids, and liquids… but it is a temperature that cannot be exceeded-nya. However, when magic is involved, the temperature limit disappears-nya. In order to measure the temperature from there, these magic tools were invented-nya.”
The magic tool shattered immediately.
“It seems to be able to create even colder ice than ice magic-nya.”
“I see… It seems powerful.”
The power of the Upashikamui, which, even on a frozen lake, emitted a cold air that stung the skin, is a fitting power.
Is there anything else he can do?
When Ain thought of it, he held his hand up in the air again.
“I think I can do something else.”
In the empty air, something appears, making a freezing sound──. As time passes by, one second and then another, the shape that is revealed looks like a sea dragon.
They are gradually made in the shape of the head and even the tip of the tail.
The finished shape was slightly taller than Katima, and it was floating in the air.
If he were not careful, it would immediately fall with great force.
The ice that fell to the ground shattered, and the area was enveloped in cold air colder than midwinter.
“Is that a sea dragon-nya?”
“Yes, I thought it was the twins.”
“That sounds like an interesting power. I’d like to examine it a little more thoroughly-nya.”
Katima looked at her watch regretfully.
“Unfortunately-nya, it looks like that’s all for today-nya.”
“I guess so. I’ve got work to do.”
So they moved on to clean up.
Eventually, Dill came to pick him up, and Ain left the castle with him.