“Yes. They were my mothers.”
“I see. I see. It’s a good thing I didn’t have any weapons in mind then.”
The Emperor nodded to the minister behind him. Then the minister accepted something from the military man behind him, and then he handed it to the Emperor.
“What is that?”
“This was from an auction. And so it is not something tied to the royal family, but it is still valuable. And I believe it is perfect for you.”
There was a tray with a cloth over it, and on the cloth, was a ring that was green in color. A ring… A ring?
“This ring is made out of wind ore. It has also been specially processed and has magical enchantments that boost its power. This will help strengthen your wind magic.”
I haven’t even give Daniela a ring yet!
“Thank you very much. It is a great gift. However, I cannot accept it.”
I looked at her. She chuckled.
“He has not yet given me a ring. While Your Majesty is very generous, I want a ring from Asagi to be my first. And so I cannot accept it.”
“Hmm… Indeed. I had assumed that matters were more official between you two. That being said, Asagi. That is something to think about, eh? You should not force your woman to say such a thing.”
I had been thinking about giving her one eventually. But I hadn’t expected someone to beat me to it. Especially not an Emperor. Damn it…
“Do not look so sad, Asagi. Your Majesty. We go at our own pace in that regard. Besides, I think his modesty is one of his more appealing qualities. I would not like to rush him in any way.”
“Oh, have I kicked the hornet’s nest? Haha, forgive me. It is none of my business. But let me see, we must have something else then. Hmmm…”
As the magic ring would not do, the Emperor tried to think of something else to give her. It was as if he were going through an inventory in his mind and choosing what he thought would fit her the most.
In the meantime, I just sipped my tea and waited. However, His Majesty continued to have a faraway look on his face. It started to feel a little uncomfortable, since I knew he was actually very busy. Perhaps the others felt it too, because the minister then whispered something into his ear.
“Your Majesty, might I suggest the magic tool…”
“Hmm? …Ah, yes! That would be useful in their travels. Yes, I have been too focused on combat. You really do have the best ideas.”
“You are too kind.”
Apparently, he had decided on something. It didn’t seem to be an accessory this time…
“Rejoice. I have thought of something most wonderful. You will be given a special horse. Don’t worry, there will be two of them. It is just the thing. Yes, have them brought here.”
That would mean that I got two gifts… But I suppose it was nothing to be bothered about. After all, if Daniela was the only one with a horse, I would have to run all of the time. But it would also be awkward if I had to give back the sword. This was all because I had been so late in giving Daniela a ring…it really was sad.
Still, did they really keep the horses inside of the castle? Well, maybe the stable was nearby. But…they were going to bring them here…in this room?
As I wondered about this, the man in the military uniform opened the door. What then came out, was made of metal. It wasn’t alive.
“Be amazed. This is a horse-shaped magic tool that was created in the age of ancient elves. We believe that they were used in the army. They are stronger than most horses and are very fast. As they are also equipped with saddles, they should not be too uncomfortable to ride. But the best thing about them is that they do not tire. They will run for as long as you wish. Well, that is, as long as they have magic energy to run on.”
“Are you…certain? Surely mere Adventurers are not worthy of such a prized gift…”
“I told, you don’t worry about that. I am making it a gift to you. You accept it. That’s all there is to it.”
“I understand. Then I shall accept. Thank you.”
“Good. Now, everything is settled. That took more time than expected… I must be going now.”
His Majesty glanced towards me and smiled. I bowed my head.
“Hahaha. Until next time then.”
And so our business at the imperial castle ended. We had only gone to make a report, but left with gifts. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t from this world, but I now felt like I owed him something. Gratitude and returning favors were part of being Japanese… I mused as we left the castle.
The horses were able to be stored in my bag. It was similar to the Automata, in that it contained a core that allowed it to move. So, it wasn’t alive.
“Maybe…though, it does feel like they were forced onto us.”
“A strategic move on his part, I suppose. Well, you are likely right. We may have to help them in the future.”
“I wonder how expensive these horses are? I’m sure there are people who use horses as part of their job that would kill for such things.”
That made me not want to use them too much. People would see them and word would spread. Who knew what would happen then.
“But is it not part of our job to root such people out and deal with them?”
“If he was considering that as well…this Emperor is ruthless.”
Of course, I wasn’t actually sure about any of this… Attract criminals to us and kill them… If Daniela was right…well, perhaps it wasn’t wrong that someone would do that for their country. Still, I felt like a puppet now. But there was no going back. I suppose we would just have to use them where we could. Damn it. He had even said that there was nothing to it and I shouldn’t be suspicious. I sighed as we walked out of the gates to the castle.