Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 11 – I’m Back. Ishtalika
It was an afternoon at the White Knight Castle in the capital of Ishtalika.
With a single envelope in her hand, Martha rushed busily toward the audience chamber.
She stepped in without knocking and proceeded on the carpet while adjusting her breathing. Sylvird and Lloyd, who were both in the audience chamber, greeted her with surprised expressions on their faces.
“A messenger-bird has arrived from the Leviathan! One of our butlers in the butler’s room has written down the contents, so please check it out here!”
Martha uttered and showed them the envelope.
“Ain… What happened to Ain…?”
Receiving the envelope, Sylvird tore it open audibly.
The sheet of paper inside finally revealed itself, gripping Sylvird’s heart tightly. His heartbeat suddenly became high, and he was conflicted between not wanting to see it and wanting to see it as soon as possible.
But the hesitation lasted only a few seconds, and Sylvird turned his eyes with determination.
For a moment, Sylvird stiffened.
And then, shortly.
“Fu, fufu… hahaha… haaahahahahaha!”
He suddenly burst into laughter.
Many tears welled up from his eyes and soaked his luxurious clothes.
“Good heavens… what a concise letter, not knowing our hearts at all…!”
“Your Majesty! What happened to Ain-sama?”
But Sylvird kept laughing and did not answer.
“Martha! Do you know?”
“I-I don’t know either…! I was told to hurry up and bring it to His Majesty!”
“Ugh… what in the world is going on?”
Instead of answering their questions, Sylvird rose from his throne.
“Let’s get ready.”
Sylvird rubbed his red, swollen eyes and smiled a hearty, happy smile.
As he walked away, he handed the paper to Lloyd as they passed each other and said, “Read it.”
The words on the paper were not exactly many.
──”The crown prince Ain will return with Krone on board the August Trading Company’s ship.”
This was all, nothing else.
But for Lloyd, who had been separated there at the time of the war, this was the best news he could have received.
He clutched the paper in both hands and fell to his knees, tears streaming down his face.
“Lloyd. We must hurry to pick up Ain. You must get ready at once.”
But this was not the time to shed tears of joy. He nodded at Sylvird’s words, stood up, wiped his eyes, and proceeded with his steps.
“…Nya? That mother-con, has he finally regained consciousness-nya?”
Katima’s voice came from a small room at the back of the throne.
“Ka-Katima… that way of talking is as expected…”
Dill’s voice followed.
Katima appeared from the small room and was sitting in a wheelchair, which Dill was pushing.
“As expected of what? There is nothing wrong with what I said-nya!”
“I think it’s a lovely thing to love one’s mother.”
“The way you muddled the issue by not saying anything in denial-nya, it’s very easy to understand-nya… good grief.”
Their conversation reached Sylvird, who stopped and turned around.
“So you heard me, you foolish daughter who has only just woken up. I have placed you under indefinite house arrest, and now I am releasing you from it. Come with me.”
“That’s my father-nya! You see, my father has given his permission-nya! Dill! I need you to push my wheelchair, so I can enjoy myself-nya!”
“I apologize, but I don’t know how to push a wheelchair in a way that you would enjoy.”
“It’s just like, whoosh! Just push hard with your hands-nya.”
“I can’t do that.”
“…Father. My caretaker won’t listen to me-nya.”
“Umu. It’s all your fault, isn’t it, Katima?”
Sylvird held his head and tried to work with Dill. Katima looked appalled, but the next moment she revealed her dissatisfaction.
Near the head-holding Sylvird, Lloyd and Martha both smiled.
Good grief. As Sylvird, like Katima earlier, left the audience chamber before the others, he thought of a girl.
“I’ll have to ask her everything, but I’m guessing it’s Krone.”
“Yes. I think so too.”
“──Sierra, is it?”
“I apologize, sir. I saw the first class maid running about in a hurry, and I wondered if she might be in trouble.”
Sierra was standing in front of the audience chamber by the windows lining the corridor.
“I am now returning to Sith Mill. It pains me that I cannot welcome His Highness the Crown Prince, but I must hurry and ask the chief about the magic stone.”
“I entrust you with that. As soon as you learn anything, send word to me.”
“But are you alright with Chris?”
“It is about that girl. She will wake up as soon as His Royal Highness the Crown Prince returns.”
Sierra chuckled and then folded her knees in front of Sylvird. She finished her farewell speech in the same position and immediately stood up to leave the castle. As he watched her back, Sylvird muttered to himself.
“The next king seems to have been blessed with excellent connections.”
After this, Sylvird went to his room to let Laralua know that Ain was safe.
◇ ◇ ◇
The only information that reached the people of the royal capital was that Ain was returning home from Heim. Arche and Misty were also returning to Ishtalika on the same ship, but there was no mention of them. The reason for this was to avoid causing further disturbances under the circumstances.
The only question that remained was what happened in Heim, but for the ordinary citizens of the royal capital, the triumphant return of Ain, the hero, was more important than such details.
──A ship owned by the August Trading Company approached the port of the royal capital.
The ramp was slowly lowered, and Ain, with the help of Krone, climbed down, dragging his body, which was still in bad shape.
While the group was pained to see this, Katima was the only one to make fun of the two.
“What are you two flirting with each other so soon after your return-nya?”
“No, no, no, this is because my body is still injured──Or rather, Katima-san! Why are you in a wheelchair?”
“I-I’ve been through a lot-nya!”
But even if they said many things, Ain has no way of knowing.
He was curious, but that would come later.
Ain walked with Krone supporting him and stopped in front of Sylvird.
“Grandfather. I’m back.”
“I have no words to express my regret that my actions, which were intended to override Grandfather’s restraint, have resulted in my being driven out of control by the power of the Demon King.”
He apologized sincerely.
He knew that he had caused a lot of trouble. That was why he had no intention of ending it by defeating the red fox here because it was a big circle.
“It’s the same for Krone, who went out of control, isn’t it?”
“Yes. I am aware of that.”
“I believe in reward and punishment. Therefore, I will punish you both.”
Ain and Krone listened with serious looks on their faces.
They waited for the punishment to be announced──.
“You two fools. You are not allowed to work for a while. You are to remain in the castle until I allow you to leave.”
This was not a reward or a punishment.
The two tried to voice their objections in unison, but they were unable to do so.
Sylvird’s shoulders trembled, and he hugged them both.
“…Well done coming back… you fools…!”
A drop of tear flowed down Ain’s neck.
Sylvird hugged them like that for a little while, then suddenly turned and walked away. The fact that he walked away without saying a word puzzled them.
“I’m sorry. That man is still a king, so he has to hide his tears.”
Laralua came up to them in turn and said that.
“Welcome back, Ain-kun. Thank you so much for risking your life for Ain-kun, Krone-san, too.”
Laralua hugged Ain and then Krone. She was probably holding back her tears as well. Her eyes were moist.
“I’ll wait until we get to the castle to talk slowly. His Majesty and I are returning to the castle in advance of you, so please take your time and go home.”
Ain tried to keep Laralua back, but Krone stopped him by holding his hand tightly.
They decided to follow Laralua’s words and change the scene here.
Then, another person came to Ain, who was now alone.
That voice was impossible to forget.
It was the voice of the man who had followed him from long ago and had risked his life for Ain’s sake.
“Dill! You’re safe… you’re safe… H-huh…?”
But that Dill was nowhere to be seen.
Only his voice came from close by, and even as he moved his head from side to side, that fearless figure was nowhere to be seen.
“I’m here! Ain-sama!”
Ain turned his body around lightly, and there was a Caith Sith with fur like that of a lion.
He carried a sword on his hip and was dressed in a knight’s outfit that Ain was familiar with, but no matter how he looked at it, it was still a Caith Sith.
His physique was similar to Dill’s, but…
“D-did the Glacier family have some secret method of reincarnating into other races…?”
He was speechless.
He wondered if it was true, and he wondered if he was still trapped in the Gluttonous World Tree.
“…It’s a long story to tell, but it’s because of the help of Katima-sama.”
What is this guy talking about?
Ain did not understand what he meant and turned his attention to the useless cat. However, the useless cat only crossed her arms proudly.
It was useless.
Ain had no choice but to turn his attention back to Dill.
“There are many things I would like to talk about. But first, let’s go back to the castle.”
With that, Dill returned to pushing Katima’s wheelchair and hurried Ain back to the castle.