The Royal Capital, Soul Soleil
“I see. So Frey is still here in this town then.”
Daniela’s reaction was surprisingly calm.
“Isn’t she an old friend? Is that all you have to say?”
“Well, a lot happened. And I have not seen her in so long… Besides, it is not as if I am going to die tomorrow.”
“You people with your long lifespans…”
They never thought about when they would be able to meet someone again, or considered if it could be their last chance. I suppose that’s how anyone would be when the distance between life and death was so far.
“Hmm. I suppose you can visit her once the battle is over then?”
“Yes… When the time comes that we can return to our leisurely travels, then I will visit her.”
Hopefully, it won’t be during work…
“That aside, Asagi…”
“I heard that you had yourself a good time. And you wanted to keep it a secret?”
“Alright. But there’s an interesting reason for it.”
I had only just escaped the others, but was now forced to make excuses to Daniela for the next two hours.
□ □ □ □
The next morning, a carriage filled with soldiers suffering from a hangover set out for the royal capital.
In fact, we could already see the giant castle of the capital from the town. This town was kind of like an entertainment district. People would visit it on weekends and stay at inns. It suggested that this was a city that was both peaceful and rich.
Apparently, the soldiers always visited on their way back from the fortress. That was how popular it was.
The horrible sounds of retching accompanied us as the carriage moved. I was the driver today. The soldier who usually drove had gotten sick, and he was currently in the back with the others. None of this was really unexpected, given how they had partied the previous night.
“…Still, this is pretty weird. Why the hell am I the driver now.”
“It cannot be helped. You are the only one who is capable.”
“Tsk…sometimes I hate being a jack of all trades…”
It was thanks to this skill that I was able to drive a carriage in spite of having no prior experience. It was unfortunate.
The carriage rocked, and Daniela scowled every time the soldiers vomited. But in spite of this, it was not a very long ride, and we soon arrived at the royal capital of Soul Soleil.
I stopped the carriage as the gatekeeper signaled to us. At first we were questioned about why we were driving a carriage filled with incapacitated soldiers, but they quickly let us through when they heard our names. Apparently, they recognized us even in this city.
We left the carriage with them and were about to leave. However, the driver then revived from the brink of death, and saluted us as a representative.
“I-I’m very sorry about this…”
“It’s fine. It was just a short drive.”
“It is a great failure on our part…not finishing our mission to the end…”
Well, it was a little questionable, considering they worked for the country, but I was just a customer of sorts. And as someone who had worked in retail, I wanted to be unconditionally magnanimous. It really was hard work.
“It’s my fault for letting you drink so much.”
“I really am sorry about…uuuuhpp…”
Apparently, he couldn’t hold it back any longer. I patted him on the shoulder, and the apologies stopped. We then went on our way.
□ □ □ □
Soul Soleil. The capital of the Lambrusen Republic. From what I heard, it was a kingdom before changing to a republic. And while the name of the country changed, they continued to call Soul Soleil the royal capital.
“It’s because the king is still alive.”
“The people of this country all love the king. After all, he is really just a chairman now, but they still call him the king.”
We went down the main street of Soul Soleil until we reached the castle. That was where we met up with Matsumoto. Rachel had asked him to show us the castle grounds.
And it was as we walked through the gardens that Matsumoto told us about how Lambrusen came to be.
“I think you told us about the king before. He looks like Santa, right?”
“Yes. In fact, the king was the first person I met when I came here.”
Matsumoto had been summoned to the gardens of the royal castle. And though he had been immediately surrounded by soldiers, the circumstances happened to match the arrival of a Hero in the past, and so he was taken before the king. After that, the council made a decision, and he was officially recognized as a Hero.
“I guess my powers were very ‘heroic.’ But I felt indebted to Lambrusen after that, so it wasn’t a difficult decision for me, working for the betterment of the country, that is.”
“I know, I’m very privileged compared to you. Besides, I have a lot of important people in my life.”
I saw that his harem was alive and thriving. They were closer now, their bonds tighter.
We passed the gardens and went down a long carpeted hall until we reached the audience chamber.
“Well, ‘former’ audience chamber.”
Though, it was apparently still in use. That being said, the king had already decided that it would be greatly altered upon his death. There was a lot that remained of past days, purely due to the popularity of the current king. That wouldn’t always be the case.
“Ah, is that you, Yasushi?”
As we stared at the throne, an old man came out from the back of the room. He was wearing very loose clothing and had a long beard.
“Ah, Your Majesty.”
“Hoho. I am no king now.”
So it was the king. Then our eyes met.
“Hmm. So you are from the same country as Yasushi. Asagi, was it?”
“Uh, yes. I am called Asagi Kamiyashiro.”
“You really don’t have to be so formal.”
He looked very old, but his way of speaking sounded both young and frank. It was a little confusing.
“You’re guests of Little Kiriko, yes? She’s in that room over there.”
I didn’t know who that was, but my instincts were against finding out.
“Well, I better be off now.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Stop that. Good bye, Yasushi.”
The king waved his hand as he walked off to the gardens. Once he was out of sight, I looked to the room that he had pointed at. It was on the opposite side of the room that he had come out of. So, that’s where this Kiriko person was.
“I wouldn’t say that name if I were you…”
“Uh… Yeah, there’s something about it that smells of danger.”
Considering the reason that I was here, it wasn’t hard to figure out who this name belonged to. Though I would have rather not known.
“Let us go then.”
Daniela started walking ahead, and then she banged on the door. She had no restraint…
“It’s open. Come in.”
It was Rachel’s voice. I knew it.
Daniela opened the door and gestured for us to come inside. And so Matsumoto and I sighed and headed towards the room.