It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (122/130), enjoy~
The sound of a water train moving along the tracks could be heard. However, since the train was not the same as the royal water train that Ain was used to, the noise pierced his ears even more than usual.
…..It all happened so fast, didn’t it?
A lot has happened on this trip, but it passed like a blink of an eye when he thought about it now.
Ain sat on the sofa, gazing out the train window at the countryside, and thought back to just before he left Sith Mill.
◇ ◇ ◇
──It was early in the morning, as he recalled.
“This is what I was going to tell you over lunch.”
Said the chief who had visited Ain at Chris’s house.
“As I told Your Highness, I searched the archives. But I could not find any more information than in Wilfried-sama’s book. Once again, I would like to apologize for this. ──But, I just remembered the words that the first king used to say to me.”
Gail said, “The Red Fox is after me. She has a grudge against me,” he used to say.
“There was a diary in the basement of the collapsed villa that said the same thing.”
“In that basement?”
The chief’s eyes were wide with surprise.
However, she did not seem surprised regarding the discovery of the first king’s diary in the basement. The way she said it sounded as if she was surprised that Ain had opened the basement.
Then she fished in her pocket and closed the distance between her and Ain.
“Please, Your Highness, take it.”
The object she took from her pocket was wrapped in fine silk. When Ain opened the cloth dubiously, a pale blue jewel appeared.
The fact that he could feel its magic power made him conclude that it was a magic stone. The beauty of the stone could not be compared to any other magic stone he had ever seen. There were no impurities of any kind, and the color was even. The way it reflected the bright azure color in the sunlight attracted Ain’s eyes and kept them glued to it.
The power of the magic stone unintentionally seeped into his body. He did not know why. Then, suddenly, a single tear flowed down, and naturally, the hand holding the magic stone was filled with power.
Ain quickly wiped away the tear so that the chief would not see it.
“It is the magic stone of Queen Raviola. Queen Raviola asked me to safeguard before she died, and I have kept it by my side to this day.”
…..Could he really keep it with him?
…..Shouldn’t it be brought to the cemetery of the former royal capital, in the former demon king’s territory?
“It is Your Highness, who overcame the ordeal of His Majesty the First, who should have it. Now, please take it with you.”
The chief smiled at Ain, who hesitated, then bowed her head one last time and walked away from him. “Please get along with Christina-san”, she said.
Ain looked away from the chief and then looked again at Raviola’s magic stone in his hand. Soon he reminded himself of the status card, took it out of his pocket, and looked at it.
“The numbers are still the same…”
He looked around and then looked at the next word and exclaimed.
Ain von Ishtalika
[Job] Demon King, ──, ────
[Physical Strength] ──
[Magic Power] ──
[Attack Power] ──
[Skills] Demon King, Familiar, Dark Knight, Great Magic, Ocean Current, Fog, Toxin Decomposition EX, Absorption, Gift of Training, Ice Dragon, Weakened
What was strange was his job.
He has no idea regarding the numbers because the bar lines were drawn. But he could tell the skills.
“Weakening… Weakening, huh?”
In all probability, it is a skill added by absorbing Raviola’s magic stone. But it’s hard to imagine what it meant in a single word. If that’s the case, he should try to use it, and he strongly focused on the name of the weakening skill in his mind.
Soon he felt a heaviness in the joints of his body. Then, his body became heavier, and his head began to ache.
“It was like I was weakening myself… It’s not good.”
It might be a skill that pixies, counted as fairies, use to hide themselves. It is possible that it was originally a power that made them disappear into the shadows and blend in with nature.
It’s a heavy burden for Ain, an ordinary figure, to use, as opposed to a small pixie.
Thus, he decided to make an assumption.
In any case, it was unlikely that he would find a way to make it useful.
“Ain-sama! Have you prepared for your return?”
“Sorry! I’ll start now!”
There was no excuse given since he was told to do it last night.
But Chris didn’t point that out because a lot of things had been going on lately. Even though he was physically tired enough, his energy, or rather his mentality, was not in its true form.
So this must be naivete.
Let’s get ready to go home. He looked at his empty bag on the floor and sat up heavily.
◇ ◇ ◇
This trip was also worthwhile.
The fact that he was able to hear more about Wernstein should also please him.
Back into the train, Ain looked out the window.
“What were you thinking about?”
Krone, who had been standing next to him for some time, looked up at Ain.
“I was just thinking about all the things that happened in Sith Mill.”
“Sounds like you had a good time, that’s good.”
He hadn’t told her about the sanctuary yet.
This is because he decided it would be better to report to Sylvird first, and Chris also did not say anything after hearing Ain’s request.
“I’m curious to hear what His First Majesty has to say. We need to watch out for more than just the head of the Red Fox…”
In other words, he only told them this much.
He would never talk about Wernstein, and he would not even tell Sylvird about that story.
Although he will have to tell them eventually that the appearance of his sword has changed…
──He suddenly found himself staring at her with a gleam in his eye.
The way she tilted her head without any shyness made her look more beautiful.
“I might ask you something strange.”
After a preamble.
“Did Krone ever come to Sith Mill?”
“Um, if you suddenly stay silent ─── ah, hey!?”
Krone, who said nothing, pulled Ain’s hand hard and brought his face close to hers. Her sigh could very well be counted by the number of times she blinked.
Their foreheads were pressed together from a distance of almost zero.
“You don’t seem to have a fever.”
“No fever! Why did you say that so suddenly──?
“It’s Ain that’s abrupt. …I was never supposed to go to Sith Mill. I’ve been helping my grandfather for a while.”
The foreheads were far apart but still close. So if someone pushed them from behind, their lips would stick together.
This reminds him of the time they almost kissed on the island during the meeting with Heim.
Krone would probably think the same.
“There’s a reason, you know.”
And Ain is at the same distance.
“I felt like I saw Krone at the Sith Mill.”
That was when he left the shrine. The woman who lent him assistance and Krone look very much alike.
The voice and the faintly visible mouth.
“Yeah, that’s why I asked half-jokingly.”
There was no way they would meet in a place like that. So it was really a joke.
“Ain, could it be?”
Krone turned his head down and pretended to be disappointed meaningfully.
But the story changes when she looks up.
She blushed happily and acted like a big sister.
“Did you miss me?”
“I thought maybe you were hallucinating…”
Ain falls silent.
No, maybe that thought is certainly not zero. He wondered if he had really been hallucinating because he was so lonely, and he wasn’t confident enough to answer that it wasn’t true.
“Hey! You don’t have to be quiet! I was feeling the same too… Geez!”
Even if he was hallucinating Krone, it doesn’t explain the dress she was wearing at the time.
“I’m sorry, maybe Krone was right.”
No one knows the answer, and it’s probably pointless to think about it any further.
“Maybe I missed you, too.”
Geez… It’s mean of you to take a pause there.”
“I was just thinking.”
He reached out and stroked her head, and she smiled helplessly. It was comfortable just to do this.
◇ ◇ ◇
More time passed, and the water train with Ain on board reached the royal capital.
It was already nighttime in the royal capital, which he had not been to for a long time, and the White Rose station was very crowded with adults and children on their way home.
Ain got off at a regular platform because he was not returning on the royal water train.
Still, it was a train for nobles, and not many people were around.
“──I would like to ask you again, please don’t tell everyone.”
Ain, who had just gotten off the water train, said in a small voice. Hearing this, Chris mended a smile and then replied to Ain with an indescribable look on her face.
The secret is about the black sword and the other things the chief told them about the trials of the first king.
He had planned to tell Sylvird first and then let everyone know, but he and Chris had an agreement when they were in Sith Mill, so he told her to keep it between them.
“We will pretend we didn’t hear anything, okay?”
“Why would you even ask me?”
“I-it was too important for me to say… hahaha…”
This lack of restraint was typical of them.
This is not so bad; Ain noticed as he started to walk away.
There was Warren with a lot of royal knights nearby.
They were obviously on high alert.
As soon as he saw Ain, Warren stepped forward and stood beside him.
“I’m glad to see you are safe. Let us go to the castle at once.”
The trip had been conducted in secrecy, but here he was suddenly making a grand gesture. Ain was perplexed, but he immediately started walking with Warren.
“So something must have happened.”
It should be that way, obviously, without a doubt.
“Yes, it’s something I would never have imagined.”
His voice lacked its usual calm.
Ain’s words are short, and Warren responds briefly.
“It’s a serious situation. It seems that Heim has declared war on Rockdam.”
When he heard the story, he wondered what he had looked like. The only thing he remembered for sure was that he unconsciously tightened his lips and clutched the black sword tightly in his outstretched hand as if clinging to it.