Elven VillageVolume 3 Chapter 1 part1
There was a conference room in the royal palace.
The chief va.s.sal and other involved officials gathered there, discussing the matter of the saint's bodyguards.
The people unanimously voiced their complaints about the temple.
“The priests are getting carried away.”
“Are they planning to take the budget for the saints bodyguards out of the royal palace's funds?”
“There's also the matter of his Highness Julian and his crew. If we make the mistake of rejecting the plan, we won't know how they'll react.”
They viewed Marie becoming the saint as a problem.
They believed that of all people, the most troublesome woman had become the saint.
That was due to Marie getting a hold of the former crown prince and one by one, ensnaring the heirs of other prestigious n.o.ble households.
It seemed that the temple was supporting Julian, who fell in love with the saint, and were planning to have him become the crown prince again.
It was obvious that they were trying to seize power.
Within the meeting venue, Anjie's father Vince also happened to be present.
Vince was a duke, but due to Julian losing his position, his faction shrunk. He appeared to the meeting, but had little influence.
He watched over the meeting and its course of events.
A n.o.ble of the royal court, “Bernard Fier Atlee,” whispered to Vince in a low voice.
Bernard, who was plump and had a characteristic small mustache, sought confirmation from Vince.
“Is this really alright?”
“Even if I were to oppose, it wouldn't change the decision. You already know that──Minister.”
Bernard worked as a minister.
He was an earl who distanced himself from the rising faction, a faction centered around the marquis named “Malcom Fou Frampton.”
Furthermore, he was Clarice's father.
“I personally feel a bit awkward about it since I'm indebted to him, but it's a fact that he's the only suitable person. I can't help but give him my approval.”
“He's neither under my guardianship, nor is he my pupil. There's no need to worry about it.”
As they were speaking, Frampton opened his mouth.
In response, the n.o.bles shut their mouths.
Frampton, a slim marquis, was tall and had deep wrinkles on his face.
His nose was long and his beard reached down to his chest.
His facial features were profound and his eyes were large, as if they would pop out.
(He seems quite unwell. A lot must have happened.)
Though he tried to hide some of his tiredness with makeup, Vince could perceive his state.
“It seems that all opinions have been brought out. Now then, I would like to make this venue's opinion the opinion of the royal palace, but are there any objections?”
When Frampton glanced around, n.o.body offered any opposition.
Vince was the same.
(──What a farce.)
He already knew that this had turned into a meeting within the faction.
Frampton looked at Vince, narrowed his eyes, and made a smile.
It was the face of someone convinced of their victory.
“There's something I'd like to say about the duke Redgrave household, but we're here to talk about the kingdom. I want you all to understand that.”
“Even when I didn't voice any opposition?”
After Vince replied, a young n.o.ble from Frampton's faction stood up and announced the matter of the decision.
“Well then──Viscount Leon Fou Baltfault will be appointed as the commanding officer of the saint's bodyguards.”
The surrounding people voiced some complaints, all towards Leon.
“That promoted guy as a bodyguard of the saint?”
“At least we can track his whereabouts by finding where the bodyguards are.”
“The issue is that guy's lost item. Shouldn't we get a hold of it before the temple double-crosses us?”
“You mean getting a hold of a treasure he obtained from an adventure? That goes against national policy.”
“Perhaps if he were to relinquish it of his own accord.”
“Would that really be okay though?”
Those who were alert about Marie raised voices of concern about Leon's disposition.
In a short period of time, prestigious n.o.bles had successively been ensnared by her.
Next, Leon might be the one who's ensnared.
If that were to happen, perhaps he would take the side of the temple.
A young n.o.ble boldly responded to such voices of concern.
“I understand how all of you feel. However, during summer break he managed to defeat his Highness Julian and the others in a duel, furthermore taunting them to the point of leaving the audience speechless despite it being their second duel. Since he has such a relationship with them, he will not be swayed by the saint.”
The crude n.o.ble smiled.
“The man-eating saint also dislikes that guy.”
While others understood and made light smiles in response to those words, Frampton slightly raised his hand.
Everyone's gaze focused on him as he spoke.
“Hmm, everyone's concerns about Viscount Baltfault are valid though. How about viewing this matter as a test, a way to see his qualifications in handling the lost item?”
Vince objected in response to those words.
“Do you mean to be like vultures and steal a treasure into the kingdom? Marquis Frampton, that will not go unchecked.”
“Duke Redgrave──no, Vince. We're only investigating if it's appropriate for him to hold such a strong lost item. I am not saying that we will take anything. It all depends on his qualities.”
The surrounding n.o.bles began to speak their thoughts, saying “Indeed, leaving this alone would be a hazard.”
“If we're not taking anything right away, then it shouldn't be a problem.”
“Right. However, that power is too big for one guy.”
“We can't say that he has no ill intentions.”
The meeting venue was being overrun by the opinions of Frampton's faction.
“No complaints──Vince? Or perhaps you were planning on monopolizing the power of that lost item for yourself? Your daughter is quite close with Viscount Baltfault, isn't she?”
Frampton glared at Vince.
“──Do as you please.”
(Did they intend on taking the lost item from the very beginning?)
“I'm glad we could come to an understanding.”
The surrounding people looked at Vince not as the leader of the former largest faction, but as a has-been.
(Now then, how will things turn out?)
Vince quietly thought about the future.
I was on the deck of the airship Partner.
I was glaring at Marie and her followers.
“──This is the absolute worst.”
Luxon floated next to me, replying while looking towards the same direction.
[Isn't she talented for enjoying her life like so? Leaving that aside, why was it necessary to bring out Partner?]
Partner is my ship, modeled after the s.p.a.cecraft that is Luxon's main body.
To be more precise, it's designed to imitate Luxon's main body as a disguise.
Luxon, who created Partner, cherishes it as if it were its own child.
Now it became necessary to bring out this ship after Marie's proposal to go on an adventure.
Due to her proposal, the very first person asked to arrange a ship──was me.
“It wasn't my intention to bring out the ship and lend it to anyone. This is really the worst. I feel disgusted having to follow those orders.”
Just looking at Marie brings up memories of my younger sister from my previous life.
My older and younger sisters in my current life are downright heartless, but she was cruel too.
[At any rate, you're the commanding officer of Marie's bodyguards, right Master?]
“Don't bring that up! I did not want to agree to it at all.”
To think that they considered making me one of Marie's bodyguards.
Are those royal palace officials idiots?
Marie, being pampered by her followers, felt pleased and made a loud laughter.
Cara also being there caught my attention, but what further piqued my interest was Marie's exclusive servant.
A pretty boy who goes by the name “Kyle,” a quirky guy with short blond hair and long ears. He looked like a middle school student.
He was supposed to be the exclusive servant of the protagonist, Livia, but was taken by Marie.
He had a bit of a sa.s.sy look and seemed relatively calm for his age.
He separated from the crowd, holding onto a handrail and looking up into the sky alone.
“What's the matter, did the followers steal your master?”
When I spoke out to him, Kyle turned around and replied.
“──Could you not speak to me? I'm not fond of you.”
The irritated Kyle spoke bluntly.
I'm quite intolerant of others' misbehaviors.
Being made light of aggravated me.
“Don't be like that. I'll toss you into the sky.”
This is a world where the ground floats in the sky──so being tossed out means ending up in the sky rather than the sea.
Despite that, Kyle laughed scornfully.
“What could you gain by doing such a thing? You're the type of guy who backs down if lashing out in anger would otherwise result in being punished.”
I got quite annoyed at how accurate he was.
Indeed, I didn't actually intend to throw him out.
Well, I mean──I'd become the bad guy if I did that.
All things considered, I thought of him as a cheeky brat in the game, but──now that he's real, he really is quite impertinent.
“Tsk, I'll get you for this.”
When I left a parting remark, he replied with “Those are the words of a delinquent who runs away after losing.”
When I was about to lose my cool, Luxon informed me of something.
[Master, Olivia and Anjelica are here.]
When I turned around, a delighted Livia and slightly excited Anjelica approached.
“Leon, I can see the floating island we're heading towards!”
“We'll be landing there soon. Prepare a campsite near the historic ruins! We'll be the ones to find treasure first!”
Livia, with sparkling eyes, looked forward to seeing a genuine historic ruin.
However, Anjie──acted as expected of an adventurer's descendant.
Hearing the words adventure and historic ruins, it seemed that treasure was on her mind.
“Anjie, you're rich enough to not need any treasure, right?”
“Right. However, finding treasure is meaningful. I was so nervous that I couldn't sleep last night.”
It's quite rare for the usually mature Anjie to be acting this childish.
“Rather than treasure, I'm more excited to be investigating a historic ruin. I'm interested in how ancient humans lived.”
Livia was full of curiosity.
The only saving grace in this situation is the enjoyment those two have.
“You two sure seem lively. It seems that bringing out Partner was a worthwhile decision.”
“You have my thanks, Leon. There's a dungeon in the royal capital, but being an adventurer means traversing to unknown sites.”
──I accepted Marie's proposal because these two showed interest.
I would have refused if Marie was the only thing I took into consideration.
As the two spoke amongst each other, Marie walked over while seeming smug.
She gave me an order while holding down her hair which was swaying from the wind.
“Hey, the island's in sight, so make sure that you can land this thing. I want to find treasure soon.”
When I glared at Marie while saying “What did you just say?”, Marie got frightened and averted her gaze.
She resembled my younger sister down to the minute detail, causing me to get angry.
“E, err, I'd like for you to prepare landing~that's all.”
None of Marie's followers were around her as she got nervous.
Since Anjie was there, the followers took their distance.
Anjie's eyes changed a bit when she looked at Marie.
“──Leon is the owner of Partner. Do you have a complaint about Leon's conduct, Saint?”
When Anjie closed the distance, Marie quickly fell back.
“Jilk Fier Memoria” then stepped in between Marie and Anjie.
He had green hair and a gentle aura, but was a black-hearted guy in reality.
Currently, he and “Greg Fou Seberg” were accompanying Marie as her escorts.
The other three were busy with other things.
“Anjelica, what do you plan on doing with Marie?”
Jilk is Julian's foster brother. Furthermore, he's the commanding officer of Julian's bodyguards. No wait, did I get right?
Since Julian lost his position along with Jilk and the others being disinherited, their standings are quite unclear.
“──What? I was just being a little careful.”
I felt relieved upon seeing Anjie step down quietly.
“Don't run your mouth too much. We'll make sure to land properly and we're also in the process of other arrangements.”
“I, I see.”
Though Marie reluctantly gave her understanding, I could somehow grasp from her expression that she felt the opposite way.
I feel unpleasant knowing that I can understand her emotions.
Amidst the clamor, a girl with long black hair arrived to the deck.
She was a thin girl with pale skin and characteristic red eyes──”Hertrude Sera Fanoss.”
“Oh, it seems everyone was gathering here. I was looking for you all.”
Anjie muttered something as if annoyed.
“I didn't think you would come along.”
She was the princess of the Fanoss Princ.i.p.ality, though she's currently semi-forced to study abroad.
Luxon came close to my ear and spoke.
[It seems that she had been searching the ship.]
“What is the kingdom thinking, going as far as to force this person onto me?”
Princess Hertrude──err, Hertrude is not exactly the most friendly, smiling person.
It seems that it wasn't a good idea to agitate Fanoss Princ.i.p.ality's retreating army during that school trip by saying things like “Hey, how does it feel? How does it feel for an adult to lose to a kid? How does it feel for knights and soldiers to lose to students?”
I took the opportunity to kidnap this person, making her a prisoner of war.
Due to that, her smile gave me a spine-chilling sensation.
“Your airship is quite big, Viscount Baltfault. I got lost because of that.”
“My apologies. Anyways, where did your caretaker go? You shouldn't wander around alone.”
“We lost sight of each other. I couldn't do anything.”
There's supposed to be a caretaker, or rather a student keeping an eye on her, by her side.
However, perhaps due to the students scattering, she had been walking by herself.
Luxon spoke in a quiet tone.
[The person watching over her intentionally left Hertrude alone.]
Is there some kind of scheme in the midst? They just don't know when to give up.
When I glared at Hertrude, she turned away.
“Please don't look at me with those indecent eyes.”
Perhaps it seemed like I was looking at her with indecent eyes, but her slender figure is not to my liking at all.
It's also a shame that her barren chest is at the same level as Marie.
“W, why are you looking at me with pity now? What are you doing that for?”
Anjie stepped in between us to block my sight, making a red face while voicing her opposition.
“Let's leave it at that. We should prepare to get off the ship soon.”
As we talked, Partner arrived at a floating island where elves lived.
It was unlikely that the harbor could take in a such a big ship like Partner, and once we reached the location, Luxon began preparations to land.
Upon landing on the elven island, the girls gave instructions while the guys carried their luggage.
Their exclusive servants were standing by their side.
“Hey, don't treat my luggage so recklessly.”
n.o.body thought about having the slaves carry the cargo.
The reason being that for the girls, their exclusive servants were slaves, but at the same time were lovers as well.
The boys knew that if they would be in trouble if they tried to order the exclusive servants around, so they didn't push their luck.
As the boys were busy moving around, I got entangled with someone annoying.
“Commander, would you carry this baggage?”
Greg, the one who spoke to me, seemed closer than before, or rather──he was acting like we were friends.
“Don't call me Commander. I didn't agree to such a thing.”
“You're the commanding officer of the bodyguards, right? In that case, you're our commanding officer. You have my best regards, Commander.”
This is saddening, do I really have to be the commander of these guys?
Hertrude looked at me while the person watching over her stood beside her.
“──The kingdom is quite cruel.”
She spoke those brief words after seeing the other girls.
“Is it different at the princ.i.p.ality?”
“There's no way the princ.i.p.ality would engage in such crude behavior.”
If what Hertrude said is true, then I want to seek asylum at the princ.i.p.ality right away.
Well, I can't do that though.
“The princ.i.p.ality was originally territory of the kingdom, right? So why is it different?”
The princ.i.p.ality originally belonged to the kingdom, but had become independent, leading to the current relationship between the two.
“I feel sorry for you guys. Particularly you──Viscount Baltfault. Your future spouse will openly surround herself with sub-race lovers. Such vulgar women don't exist within the princ.i.p.ality. If you emigrate over to our side, I can a.s.sure you that you'll receive a proper hero's treatment.”
Greg, hearing her speak, hardened his gaze.
Don't ask me to flee to another country while people are watching. ──I do kind of want to though.
Marie approached as Hertrude was in the midst of her mockery.
“Hey, what happened to treasure hunting? Let's hurry up and go look around.”
Hertrude was amazed at the annoying Marie and her fixation on treasure.
“You're the saint, right? I'm starting to wonder if you're too attached to money.”
At those words, Marie──
“What do you know?! Over on my side──my parents put me into debt without my knowing and now I have to pay it back! Besides──it's painful having no money!”
I hate Marie, but I do feel a bit of sympathy in regards to her situation.
Greg comforted Marie.
“Marie, it'll be alright. Julian and the others are working, so we'll get your debt sorted out somehow.”
Three of the five idiots aren't here since they're bustling about for Marie's sake.
Marie's lousy household created debt under their her name once she became the saint.
Furthermore, they forced their previous debt onto Marie.
After hearing her situation──it's so pitiful that it even made me think it would be okay to help her out a bit.
Marie was at her wits' end as she spoke.
“It's painful having no money. Really painful. My socks have holes and I can't replace them, I can't even buy necessities. I don't what to further cut down on.”
Seeing Marie's gloomy expression as she complained gave me a thought.
Perhaps this girl was cursed.
“That's enough. Even Hertrude's not sure how to respond.”
Hertrude had said “Sorry, I guess,” to Marie around when she had been talking about holes in her socks.
I pondered about something while looking at the boys around who were at work.
“We should talk with the residents of this island first. Now then, where should we go to──”
As I was thinking about how to traverse an unknown island where elves lived, Kyle raised his hand.
“──I'll lead the way. This is my homeland.”
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