Chapter 122 : Interlude ~Part 3~
The morning of the day when Christina-tachi escaped from Creia .
Charles Albo was awakened in the guest room in the mansion of earl Claire .
Though he have vague memories about it, after receiving the explanation of the situation when he still fainting did he finally remembered what happened .
Hereafter, he decided to continue the pursuit by filing with the command unit in the room which become the headquarter for searching operation .
Though he don’t dare to tell the truth, Charles mood is hit the rock bottom right now . Though he is a highborn noble who in even higher standing than the noble in this place, he was scared of someone of unknow origin―― It’s an extremely humuliating experience which he can’t forget no matter what .
Therefore it there’s a possibilities of gaining the information about the origin of the one who threatening him right now, he’ll take the catharsis to tearing that person to pieces .
But, the current him have an even more important duty to looking for Christina . But, Charles Albo isn’t such a foolish person who will abandoning his duty in fit of rage .
That’s why Charles is forcibly surpressing his own feeling and decided to looking for Christina first .
He start with proceeding to analyzing the gathered information .
He is taking into account every single possibilities and strong evidence which will become the escape route of Christina .
Moreover,due to great difference in the personnel damage which happened in north block and south block or maybe due to the fact that Charles himself meet Rio in person, he considered the possibilities that what happened in north block and south block is a completely different matter .
After deciding his goal from that point, he proceeding to separating the searching team in accordance to the degree of priority and the most effective method to use his limited personnel .
While he considered such plan―― The door of the headquarters of the searching team where Charles staying at is knocked from the outside .
Charles is saying so from inside of the room .
Thereupon, a security soldier went into the room . He is bowing to CHarles and then stating his business .
「Charles-sama . The leader of kingdom royal guard, Alfred Emal is coming . May I let him to enter? 」
「Let him to enter . Fool . Call him right now」
Charles is frowning with displeased face as he urging the soldier .
The soldier is turning around immediately and then invited Alfred who waiting outside of the room to enter .
Thereupon, a handsome man with quite burly body in the prime of his life is entering the room .
He is the man who recognised as the best swordsman in Bertram kingdom and the current 『King of Sword』 also the older brother of Vanessa Emal―― Alfred Emal .
Alfred is wearing blue colored light armor and helmet on top of his splendour knight attire, a sword with beautiful gem inserted on it’s handle strapped on his waist .
「My apologize . I hope I wasn’t too late」
Alfred said his apology as soon as he entered the room . Nevertheless, his cool expression doesn’t seems to say so .
「Yeah . We meet a huge trouble here while you’re taking your time on the way here」
「I see, it seems that way to me . I want to hear what was happened in detail」
Though Charles was saying those words as a sarcasm, Alfred just nonchalantly ignoring him and then urging for more explanation .
Thereupon, CHarles is frowning lightly . But, now is not the time to fussing over such petty matter .
「I’ll give a brief explanation since we’re in emergency situation . A girl who look like your highness princess CHristina appeared near the gate of the mansion of earl Claire . After that, there was strong evidence of some peaople escaping from south gate and north gate」
「In short, there’s a possibilities that your highness princess Christina is escaped by using wither one of those gate right? 」
「………… Yeah . A girl with light purple colored hair is appeared from north gate」
「I see . Naturally, you continue the searching operation right? 」
「Naturally . Though I don’t think they’ll be so anive to use the highway route right after escaping since the vanguard of airnorne team already make a blockade at the north, south and east direction」
Charles is saying so as he pointing at the blockade points which marked on the map that spread on top of the desk .
「Aren’t they won’t easily being found out if they’re escaping inside the forest? 」
「I know . But, they’re merely woman and children who unused to long traveling . They won’t be able to go that far . I’m already forming several searching teams to sweeping throung the forest which expanding from north to south」
「……… You’re only blocking the highway at the southern direction? 」
「For now . Even if I want to deal with it, I’m limited with the number of personnel right now . So I’m abandoning the possibilities of them hiding outside of the rampart . I have to leave some of the personel behind in the city right . That’s why I’m focusing my search on the north and east considering the destination of princess Christina」
「Fumu…………… . 」
Alfred showed a slightly troubled face in hearing Charles explanation .
Certainly, when speaking of her going toward Restoration which located in the northeast of the earl Claire territory, the shortest route to take is north or east .
But, though it’ll take considerable distance sue to the detour, it doesn’t mean that she won’t take a detour via south route .
「Even if we were in lacking personel for the south route, I don’t think it’s a good idea though……… . 」
「I know . I’ll search that area if we have even a bit more of personel in my hand . In the first place……… . The one who forced his way through the south gate might be an entirely different case from princess Christina escape」
Charles said the second line with annoyed expression as if it’s just an addition .
「Why can you tell that? 」
「………… The personel damage in north and south gate is done in completely different way . Though I consider the possibilities of them escaping from there since no one killed in action in the north gate, I can’t bring myself to think like that with the south gate . Thanks to that several knight are killed in action」
「What？ Who killed them, a man or a woman? 」
COuld it be that Vanessa is the one who killed them? ――Alfred can’t bring himself to believe that story .
Though separated by quite far age, he know very well about Vanessa personality as her brother .
The knights of Bertram kingdom is similiar to valuable property of royalty .
Therefore, though Vanessa high loyalty as the member of royalty faction, he didn’t think that she will easily ended the life of her comrade .
「…………… It’s a man . An unknown man . He easily defeated one squad of knight lead by me」
Though Alfred was relieved in hearing Charles explanation, now another question surfaced in his mind .
「he singlehandedly defeated an entire squad of knight? We should be able to single out the culprit only to the person who have that much of a skill . He isn’t the knight of our kingdom who cooperating with her highness right? 」
「Knight? A knight? As if such savage combat style is that of a knight! He’s fighting like a rogue! I know no one amongst the knight of our kingdom with that kind of combat style! 」
Charles is spitting his irritation .
Using dagger instead of sword, even using dirty method―― Is extremely far apart from the extremely orthodox swordsmanship used by the knigth of Bertram kingdom .
But having defeated by someone who use such savage way of fighting might be the greatest humiliation for Charles as a knight .
「But, I don’t think that combat trained knight will be done in so easily by such thug」
Alfred is stating his doubt .
「I know . That’s why I said unknown person . Though we can’t cast aside the possibility that princess Christina is cooperating with earl Claire, I don’t think there’ll be an inkling in that two case」
I did picking up capable person by inquiring the adventurer guild in this city but, I couldn’t find the record about such person .
「In the end, earl Claire is just a suspect for the matter of kidnapping royalty . The matter of scolding with crosscheck is a bit indiscreet . Or else how could we get an undeniable proof to checkmate him? 」
Alfred is frowned in hearing Charles opinion .
「If only you bring that search warrant a bit faster, things might be turned out in different way」
Charles is saying so while clicking his lips . Thereupun, the door of the room is knocked for the second time .
「Reis-sama is coming . Since it’s in the middle of a meeting, what should I do? 」
An errand soldier is stating his business . Thereupon, Charles eyes opened wide .
「What？ Lead him to this place immediately . Don’t get careless」
The knight leave the room immediately after giving a salute .
「Who’s that？ 」
Alfred asked the identity of the guest .
「My guest . I have been acquaintance with him for a while」
「Even though We were in the middle of discussing military secret? 」
Alfred is implying whether it’s okay to let an outsider to hear their discussion .
「He is a VIP . I can’t treat him carelessly」
Alfred is heaving a sigh when he hear Charles say so with strong tone . Thereupon, the door is being knocked again .
After Charles saying so, the door flung open immediately . And then, a man with slender build entering the room . Reis .
「Hoho, quite a surprise here . Charles-sama . It’s been a while since you write a letter for me . How have you been these days? 」
Reis is bowing respectfully while puting an insincere smile on his abnormally pale face .
「It’s been a while, Reis-dono . You’re the same as usual huh . But then, you know that I’m here」
Charles showed a smile as if he is facing against someone he know very well .
「In fact I’m just stopping by this city on the way to the capital . So I planned to send a greeting to the lord of the territory but then I heard that you’re in this place too, CHarles-sama」
「Ooh, how very polite of you . Nevertheless, despite it’s our first meeting after such a long time, I’m really busy right now」
「Humph . Could it be that you’re currently having an important talk with the knight-dono over there? 」
Reis is looking at Alfred while squinting his eyes .
「Yes, he is currently my subordinate . Alfred, introduce yourself to him」
Charles ordered Alfred with good humour .
「This is the first time we meet . I’m the leader of Bertram kingdom Royal Knight, Alfred Emal」
「Ooh, could it be that you’re that famous 『King of Sword』 . I heard the rumor about you being the military personel in Bertram Kingdom」
Reis is quite surprised by that revelation as if affected by such news while offering a handshake .
「You’re overestimating me . I’m no more than a knight」
Alfred is being cold but humble while tightly grasping on Reis hand . Thereupon, he is slightly surprised by the corpse-like cold feeling that transmitted from Reis hand .
Reis is showing an eerie smile as he looking at Alfred and then,
「My apologize for the late introduction . I’m working as the ambassador of Proxia empire, Reis . It’s pleasure to meet you」
Thus Reis introduced his name .
Proxia empire and Bertram kingdom is forming an alliance at the moment . Thus, it’s natural for their ambassador to be in Bertram kingdom .
Though Alfred couldn’t help but feels that Reis who standing in front of him is definitely a suspicious person . Though he don’t think that it’ll be shown in his action or words .
Thus, Reis suddenly starting to speak .
「By the way, I noticed that the situation inside of the city is quite strange, so I’m wondering what was just happened? 」
「……… . In fact a heavy class criminal just escaped to the area around the city . Though we were strictly watching over the situation of the city, that criminal is escaped from the city last night with someone help」
The current situation of Creia is clearly different . SO replying with nothin happened won’t be able to deceive Reis .
So Charles decided to told Reis parts of the truth which doesn’t mean so much even if revealed to the 3rd party .
He is trying to hide the matter of the search of Christina by telling Reis about what happened at the south gate .
「Hou, that’s sound dangerous . If even Charles-sama and Alfred-sama is moving together, I can just guess just how dangerous that criminal is」
「Yeah, some of our knight already killed on the way of chasing after him . Please be very careful Reis-dono, there’s a high chance that criminal might be escaped to the south highway」
「I’m truly obliged for your warning . But, for that criminal to defeat severals official knight . I’m really curious in what kind of person is he」
Reis is admiring the criminal .
「He might be just a bloodthirsty person of an annihilated mercenary gro–」
「Coming into straight conclucion like that is rash」
To Charles who spoke in displeased manner, Alfred who listening silently to their conversation is interposing his words .
「I’m not rash in making such decision! That man is…………… . . ! 」
Charles is swallowing the cursing words that he almost spit out in fit of rage .
「That man is? 」
「…………… May have some sort of connection to Lucius」
Charles is muttering those words with embarassed face .
Thereupon, Reis is muttering an 「Oh」 as if he just heard an interesting name .
On the other hand, Alfred was bewildered in hearing such unexpected name .
「Lucius? Why his name is coming out in this matter? 」
「The rogue who we crossed sword with asked me about Lucius . Whether I know about the man called Lucius」
Alfred is showing a gloomy face in hearing Charles words .
「When it comes to Lucius, the leader of 『Griffon』 mercenary group also bearing the same name, could it be that they’re an acquaintance? 」
Reis asked while hiding curious glint in his eyes .
「Is he your acquaintance too, Reis-dono . Well, I mean that person was a former noble of our kngdom after all」
Charles is saying so with awkward manner . Thereupon――、
「………… . Hum, it seems I’m trespassing into something . I’m not the kind of boorish erson who will intrude on someone else matter as a 3rd party . Do let me to excuse myself so that I won’t become a hindrance in your line of duty」
It’s as if he say so to gain some air .
「I’m going to prepare a room in case you want to stay in the city but……… . 」
「No, I must leave immediately since I’m in hurry myself . So please don’t worry about it」
「I see……… My deepest apologize for not being able to entertaine you . Let’s have a nice and proper talk if we were to meet again later」
「Yes, with pleasure . Well then」
After putting on an empty smile, Reis left the room .
And then, After Reis left .
「Well then, how about searching the south route? Since you say that we have not enough manpower, I don’t mind to go alone」
「No . I can’t let you to move alone . I’ll go with you」
Charles just shrugged Alfred idea .
「You won’t believe me huh」
Alfred said those words as a sarcasm .
「Naturally . Because your little sister is involved in this matter」
「………… I become rusty due to my relative . If I were to see Vanessa, let me to deal with her」
「Naturally . SInce that’s the reason why I summoned you . Use the power that bestowed to you by 『King of Sword』 for my sake」
Charles is sneering at him while saying so .
「………… . Yeah」
Alfred just nodding at him .
「But then, I think you should consider that working with me in this matter will affect the future of earl Emal house . If you ever does something suspicious………」
「……… . I understand」
Alfred is surpressing his own feeling as he nodding at Charles who threatening him .
4 figure appeared in the forest around Almond territory .
One of them is Reis who wear black hood . The other three is wearing common adventurers attire .
The other three figure is seemingly talking to Reis――,
「Well then, good luck . Get minimal contact with both parties in order to deal flexibly as soon as possible」
After Reis gave them an order with indifferent voice, the three then left with each of them taking different direction .
「The name of that rogue huh . It’s quite troublesome in how he can kill several knight with ease . Though I’m sure that he isn’t send by the person himself…… . . 」
Reis who left alone muttering those words .
「Well, the matter of princess Silvi is also take some times, so I’ll be waiting for the result . Well then, I guess it’s time for me to move soon . Goign back and fro to every place as the middleman is quite troublesome too」
Reis is lightly kicking the ground after saying so . His body is slowly soaring in the air .
He is heading toward west―― Toward the direction where Bertram kingdom capital, Bertrand .
In another place, Galwark kingdom royal capital, Galtouct .
In a certain room inside the upper most part of the tower of royal castle, the room where Skata Hiroaki, the hero of 『Restoration』 .
Sitting on the fine quality sofe with Flora and Roana on both side and Gustave Euguno in front of them .
「Well then, what is the matter that you want to discuss? 」
Hiroaki asked duke Euguno about the reason for his visit .
「Yes . In fact, I think that it’s about the time for Hiroaki-sama to get married」
Hiroaki is surprisedin hearing duke Euguno remark .
「Me…………… Get married? 」
Duke Euguno is nodding while wearing a big smile on his face .
「I refuse . I just arrived in this world, it’s still too early to get married」
Hiroaki is replying with slightly annoyed tone . For him who born and raised in Japan and just turned 19 years old, the word “Marriage” might be a big burden for him .
「If you say that it’s too early to get married, I don’t mind if you’re engaged to someone . WHat do you think? 」
「Engaged huh . Well if that is the case, so be it……… . 」
Hiroaki is reluctantly agreeing to it .
「But, why are you suddenly bringing this matter now? 」
「In fact, there’s many mariage proposal coming from the noble girls for Hiroaki-sama after that evening party」
「Ah, I see . By saying that, you’re planning to stop them by announcing about my engagement right」
Hiroaki repliead with triumphant look on his face in the middle of duke Euguno explanation .
「How impressive, your insight is as sharp as usual」
「Well, this much is just normal . No need to flatter me like that . By the way, who are you going to engage with me? 」
Hiroaki is asking that question while sending a fleeting gaze at Roana and Flora by his side . Because when it comes to his engagement, he think that these two who usually acting as his manager is the candidate .
In contrast to Flora who fidgeting with tense look on her face, Roana showed a dignified face .
「Since we need candidate of suitable status as the legal wife of hero-sama, I’m considering of pairing you with Flora-sama」
Duke Euguno is replying eloquently .
「Uhm, what do you think about it, Flora? 」
Hiroaki is looking at Flora as he asked that question .
「EH? Ah, yes . I’ll do my best! 」
Flora body is twitched and then replying in high spirit .
（Do my best huh . ……… . To be honest, as a woman, she is more charming than Roana or Liselotte . And there’s that Lilyana who I met few days ago . . Talking with her is enjoyable, or rather she know how to being attentive toward men, her point is off the charts）
Hiroaki is looking at Flora face while silently rating the woman rank inside his head .
（Flora face is perfect but being not talkactive herself is her only downside . She have no charm of your usual heroine archtype . But well, this kind of reserved girl is the best as legal wife when it comes to polygamy）
Since the most eyesores when it comes to his relationship with woman is the jealousy from the legal wife―― is what he think .
By now he understand that Flora doesn’t have that much self-assertion .
Moreover, despite saying so――
（Well, the princess attribute is also cliche when it came to another world . Their brand value as legal wife is high too . So I might as well as saying that I won’t give her to another man）
As expected, it’s hard for him to abandoning Flora .
「I don’t mind being engaged to FLora as long as she agreed to it」
Hiroaki decided quickly with such light tone .
「Ooh, is that true? 」
Duke Euguno is smiling delightfully .
「Ah . But, as for the one who will become my wife later, the decision is up to me . Naturally, though I will hear your idea, you can’t nag on me . Since it’ll make even more stressful for me」
Thus, Hiroaki is indirectly telling him about his intention .
Since the situation is calling for it, he must remind duke Euguno about this matter―― is his self-argument, since he think that the guy who agree without those promise above is just a fool .
「Certainly . Though I’m feeling grateful for that, I will be the one who receive the above mentioned marriage interview from now if possible………」
「Ah, I see . I don’t know that I’m this popular」
Hiroaki is shaking his head in dissapointment to duke Euguno who easily yielded to his demand .
「It’s just natural for several girls to lining up as your wife as long as we consider Hiroaki-sama charm」
Roana by his side suddenly saying those words .
「Hee, you too huh, Roana? 」
Hiroaki is asking with wide grin on his face .
「Didn’t I say that already」
Roana sudenly puffing her slightly red cheeks .
（Haha, she is so cute）
Hiroaki is smiling delightfully and then turned toward duke Euguno .
「Well then, a while ago you just mentioned the incoming marriage request regardless of the country, but from which big shot of foreign country these marriage request is coming from? 」
「When it comes to big country, there’s a request from duke house and several others distinguished houses of Galwark kingdom」
「Hou, when you say duke house of Galwark kingdom, is it from liselotte? 」
Hiroaki cheeks is loosened as he asked that question, brimming with expectation .
「No, as for now I’m not receiving any marriage proposal from house of duke Kretia」
「What？ I see………」
Hiroaki is dejected in hearing the reply that coming from duke Euguno .
（Ah, I’ll prepare the 2nd or 3rd seat if it’s for Liselotte but then, it seems it’ll be too late by then）
Hiroaki eyebrows is creased a little as if to say that his interest a bated a little . He isn’t pleased in hearing that there’s no courting from Liselotte .
「The offer for marriage interview should be increasing from now on . Though it’ll be difficult to meet everyone of them, please feel free to command me since if needed, I myself will personally testing the the candidate even including their pedigree」
Hiroaki is pondering for a while and then saying to duke Euguno .
「Aah, you’re right . Well, we received those after various trouble after all . So I should meet all of those candidate even including those who failed due to their parentage isn’t it? 」
In doing so, he will be in a harem situation as the only man in the venue .
Then he’ll choose the girl who he take a liking amongst them―― Is what Hiroaki going to do . Since he might find diamond in the rough amongst them .
「As expected of kind hearted Hiroaki-sama . Well then, I’lll prepare everything in order for us to be able to welcome great number of ladies」
Duke Euguno is bowing respectfully . But, a sneer is appearing on his lips .