Chapter 11 of Din no Monshou here. Will be replacing this back on RTD soon x3
Chapter 11: At the Imperial City
The Imperial City is surrounded by enormous castle walls, well-protected from any foreign attacks.
It’s to the extent of me wanting to say it out loud myself but the scale is large.
However, the reason to that was exceedingly easy.
Several hundred years ago, the entire continent seemed to be engulfed in a war.
That skirmish is well-known as 『The King Emperor’s War』.
At that time, the Kingdom was trying to fend off the invasion of the empire from the north resulting in a bloody all-out war.
Throughout the ordeal, these castle walls seemed to have defended this Imperial City.
If you have such a thick wall built, I think it would be hard for humans or even demons to break through the defence.
I’m convinced by it.
We left the central street and entered a street with many nobles around.
Upon entering, a stately mansion could be seen up ahead for the purpose of welcoming the visitors.
That seems to be the place that we’ll be lodging at.
「Building a residence like this here….it’s a considerably bad thing to do, isn’t it.」
「What are you talking about Regis. The King is famous for being an upright and virtuous wise ruler. 」
「No but I’ve never seen a garden well-equipped with a fountain before. What kind of a super wealthy person is he.」
「The nobles who will be performing in the duel will be staying here, don’t you know. 」
From what I heard, this mansion is considered as the lowest valued residence in the Imperial City. On the other hand, I am someone who has the experience of stepping onto a creaking kitchen floor.
Seriously, just listening to the story makes me feel like hitting the wall.
I might be the only person who gets the impression of Din family’s warehouse resembling a superior looking property.
How would I ever expect to have this kind of reality shoved right into my face now.
I wonder what kind of life have the nobles in the Imperial City been living.
Just learn the life of the common people. The life of the common people.
Although for the time being I am classified as a noble too.
A ruined one though.
I tried to pass through the door.
As I looked behind, I caught sight of Shadiverga who was fixing the clothes.
「Eh, isn’t father entering? 」
「Aa, once we leave our luggage, we’ll be going to the Imperial Castle for the greetings. Since the one who will be mediating the fight is the royal family.」
「I see. We’ll be going there to lower our heads to the King. 」
I wonder if it is fine to go without bringing something like a box of pastries.
While I was pondering on useless things in my head, Shadiverga shook his head.
「There will be no way for someone like me to meet the King directly. I will be showing my face to the Minister for a while. 」
「Since we’re fallen nobles. It can’t be helped. 」
「Yes yes. So how about it, Regis? Do you want to come along too? 」
I glanced at the Imperial Castle for an instant.
From the city I would need to pass through several gates and climb up quite a bit to reach the large castle located at the top of the mountain.
It will be too far to go by foot.
Even so, I don’t want to ride in a carriage anymore today.
I might be attacked by another wave of motion sickness again due to the effect of the semicircular canals in my ears.
I’ll just hold myself back for now and possibly kill my time somewhere.
「No, I’m good. I’ll just go sightseeing in the city. 」
「I see. Looking around the central city is fine but just stay away from the noble district to the north side. 」
「Nn? Why is that? 」
「There are a lot of unreasonable nobles there. We’re lucky we’ll be staying in the southern noble district instead. 」
Based on the conversation, there seemed to be two noble districts in this Imperial City.
The first one would be the southern noble district that we’re presently at.
It is the place where the lowest ranking nobles to medium ranking nobles stay.
The turnover rate is intense and the features are quite similar to commoner’s district as well.
Therefore, it’s an area that doesn’t have much exclusive characteristic.
On the complete opposite side, the noble district to the north is the one that has the worst characteristics.
It is the place where all the obstinate upper class nobles gathered.
Incidentally, Horugosu’s villa is apparently situated there too.
Durufu’s not seen anywhere here so he is probably on the north side.
I do not really want to meet him though.
If common people were to enter the noble district to the north, a felony would probably be imposed on them. That area is something like a totally different space to the common people.
There could be nobles who hold the authority to collect tax staying there too.
Such group of people might be oppressing the innocent people day in, day out in places that couldn’t be reached by the King’s eyes.
Indeed, ruling a country is seriously difficult.
「I understand. I don’t have the intention to go that far anyway. 」
「Alright, then it’s good. What will Walkins be doing then? 」
「Hmm. Should I be Regis-sama’s escort? 」
She is apparently still in an indecisive state.
I gently declined the offer of this girl.
「You don’t need to do that. I could tell that Walkins hasn’t been getting enough sleep lately. You have been keeping watch outside the carriage the entire journey too so you should take some time to rest now. 」
「You’re really kind, aren’t you, Regis-sama. Then I shall take you up on your kind offer—」
Walkins expression brightened up for some reason as she walked inside the mansion.
Moreover, she’s skipping.
If any other adult were seen behaving like this, it will definitely leave an indescribable feeling but somehow it feels natural when Walkins is the one doing it.
Possibly because she has a cheerful temperament.
And as expected she’s cute.
With her silky luxurious silver hair swaying rhythmically there, there seems to be a distinction gap with her simple looking servant clothing.
It seriously tickled my fancy.
It would be an impossible story not to give her a second glance.
「Then I’ll be going off, Regis」
「Aa, be careful on your way」
「I’ll do that even without you reminding me. 」
*Bi* Shadiverga raised his thumb up.
I’m only saying this judging from Durufu’s notoriousness. We couldn’t deny the possibility that Shadiverga might be attacked by him.
But, the route from here to the castle are bustling with people so it would not be a suitable place used for assassination.
If their insolence came to light in this Imperial City, they would be the one most troubled by it.
I guess I shouldn’t need to worry about it.
I left the mansion and visited the central city.
Both Walkins and Shadiverga have always been working really hard so I want them to take a rest once in a while.
I’ll just go shopping in the meantime.
Since I’ve come all the way to the Imperial City, there should be magic books here that weren’t sold in the province.
Should I try searching in the magic shop and purchase a few back?
As I was thinking of it, I wandered around the central city for some time but I wasn’t able to locate any magic shops around.
Majority of the shops here are mostly armor shops and general stores.
There is no other choice.
I gave up searching for it myself and decided to try asking the man who seemed to be tending for the general store.
「Excuse me. May I know if you could tell me the location of the magic shop? 」
「I don’t mind it but……you, are you a noble? 」
「Yes, for now. 」
That man took a look at my clothing for a moment and nodded once.
「Then it should be fine. There is a magic shop located closest to the north district. There are many strange ones there so be careful.」
「……north side is it. Thank you for the information. This wouldn’t be much but I’ll be getting a knife please. 」
「Thank you as always. 」
I bought a small knife for the purpose of hunting demons.
I do have one already but it wouldn’t be much trouble to get another as spare since I have earned a considerable amount of money from my ghost-writing and agent business.
It looks quite similar to the knife that Shadiverga has.
The similarity is so close that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference just by one glance.
It’s cheap but it has the appearance of a first class goods.
The path ahead appeared to be smooth sailing.
But the main problem is the location of the shop.
It’s located close to the north district at the shopping street in the vicinity.
There should be discriminations against common people there.
That said, I shouldn’t need to be afraid of it since my current status is a noble.
It might just give me an unpleasant feeling though.
「……well whatever. Let’s think about it as I go. 」
Shadiverga might not be taking that much time in just showing his face to the Minister too.
We did not come all the way here just for fun after all.
We have placed aside our own territory’s work just to come to the Imperial City.
It’s quite a concern actually so I hope that we would be able to end this early and return as soon as we can.
While I was making my way to the north side, I was suddenly concerned of Sefina’s condition.
As I got closer to the northern district, I felt myself getting enveloped in a different kind of atmosphere.
It’s a place where those arrogant nobles could be seen swaggering along the main street.
On the other hand, the common people would be sneaking by the edge of the road to pass through this place.
In a country’s population, the distance among the nobles and the commoners will usually be quite close….
However, it seems to be the opposite in the Imperial City.
It’s seriously an excellent ruling class.
The nobles are completely looking down on the common people.
The shops owned by the nobles here are seemed to be publicised extensively.
Based on their conduct, the common people appeared to be different than the nobles.
As they are afraid of incurring the wrath of the nobles, they usually start up their shops inconspicuously.
Since it would be unpleasant for me to be involved with those nobles, I used the commoner’s route and walked along the edge of the road.
Just a little to the north, I will soon be reaching the northern noble district.
The magic shop that I was aiming for is located there.
If you were to ask if the magic shop is run by the nobilities or the common people, it was definitely the latter.
I pushed aside the curtain and went inside.
「Ya, welcome. 」
Upon entering I was greeted by a girl roughly below the age of 20.
Red hair and a dauntless feature.
Her long hair was extended down to her waist and her composed beautiful face seemed to emanate a radiant glow.
The most prominent characteristic was her jet black mantle that would make ones’ eyes drawn into it.
「Judging from your clothes, are you a noble-san? Has good luck finally fallen upon my shop’s doorstep today? 」
She struck a triumphant pose right in front of my eyes.
She’s somehow an over-familiar person, isn’t she?
However, for some strange reason I don’t feel annoyed by it.
If anything, she’s friendly.
It felt sarcastic but it didn’t feel malicious at the same time.
Before she could continue, I shot her a question, interrupting her.
「How far are the Thunder Magic Books that you have available? 」
When I was asking her how far, I was actually referring to the levels.
The magic book that I had previously was the 『Expert Edition』.
However, in the last 5 years, the kingdom has promulgated the revisions of the magic books in large-scales.
Consequently, the standard ended up changing a little too.
Magic Researchers and Magic Experts have since then invented new spells one after another.
Because of that, the revisions of the magic books were done periodically at once.
By the way, after the changes were made through the previous law, the magic that we have now is considered to be one level lower.
Based on the current standard, the old 『Expert Edition』 is the same as the current 『Advanced Edition』 .
The old 『Intermediate Edition』 is equivalent to our current 『Lower Class Edition』.
So the best fire magic that I have learnt, 『Astral Fire』 is also listed under 『Advance Edition』.
This is because the amount of magic consumption is enormous but the incantation and learning degree is not really difficult.
By the way the degree of difficulty in learning 『Mega Telepathy』 is still fairly high so it is still listed under 『Expert Edition』.
The magic book that I was using when I was training with Walkins previously was the one before the revision was done.
That was the reason why I wanted to get the current updated magic book instead.
To my query, she answered with confidence.
「Of course. I have them up till the Expert Edition. Although lately there have been many customers who purchased them just for enjoyment purposes and not using it. If you want one, could you demonstrate your ability to me? I would like to see if you are worthy enough for the Expert Edition. If you do so then I might sell it to you. 」
Fufun, the girl smiled in a sadistic way as she said so.
As expected, her personality is not nice after all.
I’ll not be using polite expressions with her again.
Anyway, will people even buy magic books just for enjoyment purposes?
I supposed the ones who would do so should probably be the nobles.
It’s because of these guys that she refused to sell them to me now.
You guys should restrain yourselves a little.
「Can you do it? If you can’t then come back here only when you’ve grown up a little. Hahaha」
She laughed loudly.
This asshole…..underestimating me.
Is there something wrong with me? Don’t judge me just by my appearance.
Seven years old. Small physique. Baby faced.
I see. On the contrary it would be unnatural if she didn’t make light of me.
I guess it would be better for me to demonstrate my magic ability here.
If I don’t, she would never give in no matter how much I kept pressing on.
I gathered the magical power in my head and picture the image of girl before my eyes.
The image is then connected to the circuit.
Finally I started chanting to pour out the magical power.
(…..Come forth from my body, make your appearance, the circuit of magic—『Mega Telepathy』!!)
I felt as if a current had run through the top of my head.
Apparently it was able to connect.
I stared at the girl in silence and spoke from my heart.
(This is from the Expert Edition isn’t it? Is this good enough for you?)
I was able to transfer my voice directly into the other party’s brain.
In that instant, her face was flooded with surprise.
(Wha….is this telepathy? No, could this be Mega Telepathy!?)
(Bingo. I could clearly hear your voice there too)
Using it for a long time might eat up too much of my magical power so I immediately cut it off.
The girl was slightly stunned for a while.
However, when I spoke to her again using my original voice, she regained her composure.
Then she scratched her cheek awkwardly.
「Oh man. I only issued that reckless challenge because I didn’t have the intention to sell it. 」
「Eh, was the book under reservation? 」
「Nono. I have my own circumstances here. 」
The girl took out a thick book from the shelf.
The book that still looks new with a seal firmly attached was placed on top of the table.
「Here you go. Will thunder be fine? 」
The price of the book is considerably high.
Since there are not many volumes of Expert Edition published, it cost almost three times the price of an Advance Edition.
I took out all the money that I have to show her my intention of purchasing it.
As I held out the gold, the girl leaned forward to receive it.
At the same time, something else behind her caught my eye.
「Ah I used to be a mercenary last time. That is the item I obtained when I fought against the empire on the frontier. 」
A blue headpiece was placed on the shelf.
An eye-catching deep blue headpiece with the engraving of two black swords intersecting one another.
This is unmistakably an equipment from the empire.
And isn’t this something only from a captain’s class?
「Did you kill him? 」
「No way. I was only shivering in fright behind those people from the Magic Association. Those guys, wouldn’t even take notice of their companions once they are too focused in their job. The empire is still my trauma even now. 」
When the story on the fight against the empire was heard, most people will regard it as 『The King Emperor’s Bloody Battle』 from 50 years ago. But, I think there were still skirmishes going on after that.
For mercenaries to be participating on the frontier could probably mean that they have been roped in as well.
Judging on the strength of the empire, this might be the only way they can do to balance out the differences in the strength of the troops.
The girl seemed to be reminiscing about it as she stroked the deep blue helmet.
「I think that was about ten years ago. That was my very first time going to the battlefield as a mercenary. 」
「Nn, your first job was to fight against the empire? Isn’t that considerably hard? 」
「I would think so too. As soon as I entered the battlefield, my face turned pale when I finally realized it. The most famous thing among mercenaries when they faced off the empire was the high death toll. For the entire time I kept wondering if I would still be able to return home, and I couldn’t sleep well at night too. 」
The girl was slightly trembling, possibly recalling the fear she experienced at that time.
Rattling and shivering.
Her teeth appeared to be chattering now too.
This girl might have not fully matured yet herself.
If that was 10 years ago, then she must have participated it at a really young age at that time.
To even draft in a mercenary who was below the age of 10, the military situation must have been really pressing.
There’s a lot of dark side to the kingdom’s past.
「But the ones fighting on the front lines were mainly expert magicians selected by the country from the Magic Association. Our tasks were to provide our support to them. 」
「Provide your support? Something like medical treatment? 」
「No. Anyway it’s just to keep shooting and shooting and shooting out the magic. Even weak spells are still good. For opponents who are specialized in sword, we’ll keep assaulting from behind. 」
「Aa, was it to interfere with the enemy’s chanting? 」
「Yes. So the risk was supposed to be relatively low. 」
Supposed to be.
That could probably mean that the result was different than what they have expected.
On looking at her current pale face, my theory seemed to have been proven correct.
「The guys from the empire came aiming at the mercenaries first. If you start hunting, start from the weakest one first I guess. While I was shooting out fire magic from a bush in the highway, I ended up getting chased around by another skilled magician. 」
Certainly, that might cause a trauma.
Those from the empire’s selected elite troop must be skilled top-class magicians too.
It must be unbearable for the mercenaries to be chased around by such guys.
「I did my best in running away but, well they caught up with me anyway. I guess that’s to be expected from a child’s feet. I was then prepared to be killed. I shut my eyes and gave up. I wonder if it happened at that time. I was helped by another magician companion—」
Based on the explanation, the course of events seemed to be as followed.
The girl kept running, running and running away.
But she was easily caught up.
The magician opponent then tried casting a lethal class magic.
At that moment, a spear of ice seemed to have flown from behind.
The spear that hit had render the enemy powerless in just one shot.
Ice magic would be really hard to be controlled if you do not gather both the attribute of water and earth well.
That person was clad in a uniform as well so she immediately understood that the person was also a magician.
The ones who were despatched by the Magic Association were apparently mostly commoners. Incidentally that person might be a woman.
「She was really amazing. It wouldn’t be surprising even if the mercenary group which I belonged to is eliminated entirely. But that person drove all the enemies away. Not a single person lost their life. She has a really reliable back. Somehow it gave me a strange sense of security. 」
Her eyes became distant as she recalled the incident 10 years ago.
Her trembling has stopped.
「Was that headpiece something that the enemy magician was wearing? 」
「Yes. That person seemed to be an ace in those days but she was able to defeat that opponent including the subordinates. 」
That is quite a reliable person we have there.
It is thanks to the hard work of the people on the frontier and the magicians from the Magic Association that we can still stay in this kingdom despite the all internal scuffle.
「If only I could meet her again, I would like to extend my gratitude. It might be due to that person’s influence that I started pursuing my career in magic. 」
「Didn’t you get her name? 」
If we have the name, we could probably look for her without much complication.
At my words, she slowly shook her head.
「No, when I asked her and she did answer me. But I was still in the state of confusion at that time so my memory was really vague. 」
「Did you ask her during the battle? 」
「You’re right. “Is that what you should be asking at a time like this?” was what she said. She got angry at me. 」
*Fu* The girl laughed.
However, her eyes were still desperately chasing after that magician.
Apparently her feelings of longing to see her is genuine.
She held onto her head, desperately trying to remember it again.
「……I wonder what was it. Was it Wokuin. No it should be Wokins I think? 」
She racked her brain.
And she muttered out whatever names that likely hit her mind.
Then without much thought, the name of the servant whom I am familiar with—unconsciously slipped out of my mouth.
「Was it Walkins? 」