Sponsored chapter by Patreon.
You can also donate on my Ko-Fi here :D, enjoy~
Chapter 4 – And Yet, Everyday Life Would Still Come
Echoing through the training hall in the early morning were the voices of Ain and the royal knights responding to him.
The largest military stage in the center had always been a space of special tension and excitement in recent years.
The flow of the battle was simple: Ain swung his sword against the royal knights who were attacking him. Once a knight was struck, then they would leave the stage, and so on until all the participants in the training confronted him.
“Kuh… thank you very much…!”
“Yeah. ──Then, next!”
And then another one was taken from him in less than a few seconds.
Lloyd watched from a distance as the royal knights headed off in high spirits, and then he said.
“Ain-sama is very enthusiastic these days, isn’t he?”
“Yes, it seems so.”
Warren, who was visiting Lloyd, replied.
“Perhaps influenced by Ain-sama, everyone who participates in the training has a different attitude these days. I’m glad to see this, but… I’m still concerned.”
“It’s been nearly two months since the Euro incident, so it can’t be helped.”
“But, Warren-dono, according to what you just said, it’s only a matter of time before the Birdland defense line is breached.”
Warren continued with a hint of doubt in his voice.
“Both sides have been in a stalemate for a long time, but Heim seems to have finished some preparations. And since Birdland has been under pressure for some time now, depending on the identity of the hidden disrupter, Heim may soon be able to reach the city’s outer walls, possibly within days.”
“…Shouldn’t we deploy troops as well? There is the shadow of the Red Fox in Heim. The existence of the Red Fox is still known only to a few, but we do not want that continent to fall into their hands.”
Therefore, to put it simply.
“We should deploy our troops for some reason. We could make the Euro incident as Heim’s violent act, or we could have Heim’s knights hiding and acting in Ishtalika.”
“In the latter case, you are making up facts that go against the agreement of the meeting.”
Lloyd was a genuine citizen of Ishtalika, a follower of the first king Gail. The reason why he disobeyed the first king Gail was the Red Fox.
“We cannot overlook the existence of a being that even influenced the Demon Lord Arche.”
If it turned its fangs against Ishtalika again, as it did hundreds of years ago.
It was a fact that could not help but cause alarm, and it was also an important duty for Marshal Lloyd to be concerned about it.
“If we can get behind them from the port town of Roundheart, it would be quite a blow, wouldn’t it?”
A blow from the main weapon fired by the battleship would be a sure thing.
But Warren shook his head.
“The problem is the land battle. Even with the presence of the half-monster, it is not going to be smooth sailing, no matter what our forces are capable of. It is natural to use magic weapons, but they are quick, and their numbers are huge. There have been no sightings of them since they first appeared in Euro, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some hidden away.”
“…That’s certainly true.”
“But we had actually been considering invading the port town of Roundheart. That way, they would have enemies back and forth, right?”
“So they’d retreat to protect the home country, and then we’d join forces with Birdland and Rockdam and pincer them?”
If Lloyd himself were a soldier of Heim, this scenario would be the one he would most like to avoid. However, he said there were reasons why he could not take that action.
“The problem is not just the land battle mentioned earlier.
His eyes turned to Ain on the military stage.
“I want to take all possible precautions.”
“But, Warren-dono! With our forces!”
“Yes, we can destroy Heim with our strength.”
“But I am concerned about what comes next. Even if we destroy Heim, even if we exterminate the Red Fox out of existence, it would be meaningless if we suffered a tragedy afterward.”
What did the wise Prime Minister fear?
Lloyd was unsure, but he didn’t feel like asking too intensely.
It was trust. He had never doubted the man standing next to him, Warren.
“Oops, excuse me. I have a meeting with His Majesty.”
“Mm, I understand! I’d better get back to my training. As you can see, I have to put some life into the pathetic condition of the royal knights.”
“Hahaha! How about tolerating it? If it’s Ain-sama who’s the opponent now, there’s nothing they can do about it.”
“I don’t blame them. But the knights cannot afford to lose all the time.”
Warren left after the last vigorous exchange of words.
Then after leaving the training grounds, Warren squinted at the bright morning sun as he stepped outside.
He then tightened his mouth as he remembered Ain, who was busy training.
“I have to protect him.”
He had many scenarios in his mind, the worst of which he had to avoid.
“…We must not allow history to repeat itself.”
He nodded strongly, reaffirming his mission.
◇ ◇ ◇
What about going to the academy at a time like this? Not that one would disagree.
In the midst of the commotion in Euro and the invasion by Heim, Ishtalika, which was across the sea, was going about its daily life as usual without any major influence.
The business never stopped, nor should it.
Although he knew this, it was natural for the crown prince, Ain, to feel a little discomfort.
In December, it gets colder and colder, and even today, it was snowing outside. The coldness he felt on the way to school disappeared once he entered the school, and the warmth of the classroom made him feel sleepy.
In the face of homeroom, which had not been held in a while, Ain unusually strode to the classroom and took a seat.
“Ain-kun, are you sleepy…?”
“The classroom is warm, you know. I’m fighting the desire to fall asleep again.”
“Good grief, you’ve been relaxing since the morning, haven’t you?”
Roland and Batz, sitting nearby, continued to call out to him.
“His Highness must be busy.”
Leonard said at the end.
“I heard that Duke Fors has brought several days’ worth of clothes to the castle.”
“In that case, he was on business with the Prime Minister and decided it would be better for him to stay at the castle rather than return to the mansion.”
“I’m sorry about the trouble.”
“No, it’s nothing compared to the trouble Your Highness and His Majesty are going through.”
Batz opened his mouth when he heard the word “castle” mentioned in the conversation between the two men.
“I’ll be at the castle sometime soon.”
“Was it the knight’s promotion exam? As for me, I’ve already been tested as a civil official.”
“That was fast. Have you passed it?”
“Whoa, you nodded your head very lightly, didn’t you?”
“A pass is a pass, you know. However, I’m sure Batz will be fine. Although you are not an expert, you have met the criteria for appointment, right?”
“I’m not passed yet, and it doesn’t matter. I’m still nervous, though.”
“I think it’s fine. I’m glad to hear your down-to-earth response, though.”
Next spring, everyone will graduate and leave for a new stage.
There would be fewer opportunities to see classmates, and it was not hard to imagine that Ain’s work as a member of the royal family would increase even more.
Batz asked Roland, who had been quiet for some time.
“So, what about you?”
“I already have an assignment, you know?”
“Wha──? You’re making a lot of progress again…”
“I’ve been approached, thankfully. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what it is, so it would be nice if I could just give you a little insight.”
“That’s because you work for the country, right?”
Batz nodded in agreement, but Ain also knew the job details, and that’s why he told him.
“I’m counting on you.”
He at least cheered for Roland, who didn’t give any details.
Roland, beaming, raised his ears and shook his whiskers.
It must be tough to be involved in such a big job as the Sea Dragon Leviathan, but Ain felt that Roland would be fine from the bottom of his heart.
Then, there it was.
“──It looks like you are all here.”
The door opened, and Luke appeared. He was the professor who was in charge of Ain’s first group from the first year to the sixth year.
“Today, I have a word regarding your final exam.”
He writes on the blackboard near the podium.
“As you are aware, we at the Royal Kingsland Academy hold exams in December to determine the results of the year’s work. In the case of sixth-year students, it is also known as the graduation examination, and since the founding of the school, not a single student has failed the graduation examination. Naturally, I expect that the same will be true for the sixth-year students of the current generation.”
A sense of silent intimidation radiates from the students, especially when they were an outstanding class.
“There are two exams, as always. The basic subjects and the major subjects. These will be combined to determine your rank at the end of your sixth year.”
In the case of Ain and Batz, it would be the basic subjects and swordsmanship.
“The exams are coming up in ten days, but be sure not to let your guard down until the very end.”
Then he took a breath.
“You are all aware of the uproar on the continent across the sea. But we must proceed on our own. I hear that some of you are anxious, but I strongly believe that your sincere efforts to do what you can now lead to a bright future. Keep your minds undisturbed and work hard.”
At first glance, Luke may give off a cold impression, but there was a definite kindness in his eyes.
“I will distribute detailed information at the end of this session. If you have any questions, please come to me at any time.”
He adjusted his glasses with his fingertips and left the classroom when he had finished distributing the information.