Although he had already admitted it somewhere in the corner of his mind, Hiro had yet to abandon the hope that this was all but a dream somewhere in his heart.
「What should I do from now on……」
Hiro cradled his head as his gaze fell to his feet.
As the pain in his cheeks affirmed that this was another world, one would think that he’d be in a miserable state…….
However, it was more important to find out whether there was a method of returning to his original world; to confirm whether or not there was a way to get out of this situation.
In addition, he had to worry about how he should proceed. The boy’s worries came surging at him one after another.
Tapping the shoulder of Hiro who had to deal with such concerns was the girl sitting right in front of him.
「Don’t get so depressed. It’ll be fine. You’re not going to be charged with treason(1) after all.」
「No, I’m not really depressed by something like that……-wait, treason(1)?」
As if she didn’t hear Hiro’s feeble voice, the girl abruptly brought one hand to her chest as an elegant smile surfaced on her face.
「I guess introductions would be a good place to start. I am Celia・Estreya・Elizabeth・Von・Grantz(2). The 6th Imperial Princess of the Grantz Grand Empire. I’ve just turned 15. Everyone calls me Liz[T-1]. It’s fine for you to call me that as well, Hiro.」
If I were to address an Imperial Princess by her nickname, certainly that would be considered blasphemy(1), wouldn’t it?
In the first place, it’s probably best for me to stop using this sort of language.
I’d rather not be beheaded at such a young age.
「If I call you Liz, that wouldn’t that be disrespectful(1)?」
「It’s fine. I said I’m alright with it, after all. I mean, even that Dios hasn’t been charged with treason(1).」
「Aah, now that you mention it……then I’ll be calling you Liz as well.」
Seeing how she was so amicable during their first meeting, this girl might just simply be an approachable princess.
「Yup, it’s good that you’re obedient. But as expected, even Dios doesn’t call me by my nickname.」
「Uoooooooo, I was tricked!? Then as I thought, it’s blasphemy(1)!?」
「Ahahahaha, it’s fine, don’t worry about it. But I think it’s best if you don’t use my nickname in front of others. Leaving Dios aside, you might upset the guys at the fort if they found out.」
――how does it feel to be messed with by someone younger than you[T-2}?
Although the girl was holding her belly in a joyous uproar, I really want her to stop playing around when it comes to matters of life and death.
But I wonder. Why she was treating me so kindly, to the point of even letting me use her nickname?
「I have something I wanna ask, but……」
「What is it~?」
「Why are you being so nice to me?」
「I mean, you’re alive, right?」
Unable to comprehend the meaning behind her words, Hiro tilted his neck to the side.
「I mean, Cerberus didn’t bite you, and the spirits weren’t making a fuss either.」
「Err……if Cerberus bit me, or the spirits were making a fuss, what would’ve happen?」
「Well, you’d’ve died. The woods from earlier……Anfang Forest is what they call it, by the way. A lot of spirits make that place their habitat. Though the First Emperor contracted them to act like guardians in exchange for living there, the spirits have continued to dutifully guard the area, even after 1000 years. So those who aren’t royalty can’t enter, nor can they leave the forest alive.」
「So I was in such a dangerous place……」
Having been told such a disturbing tale, Hiro felt a chill run down his spine.
Perhaps because Hiro’s face (contorted by fear) was so strange, Liz endured her laughter as she spoke.
「So as I said, I saved you. Are you convinced?」
「Yup. I understand that I was in a really treacherous position. However, why am I alive? I’m not part of the royal family, you know?」
「I know, right? It’s such a mystery, isn’t it? That’s why Dios suspected that you were a type of spirit.」
「Aah, then……that’s why he gave such a reaction.」
「That’s how it is. Then, since I’ve convinced you, how about you tell me your story? Why were you there? Or are you actually a spirit?」
「If I knew, I wouldn’t be so troubled……」
「No, nothing like that. I’m a simple civilian, a 16-year-old high school student.」
「What’s a hai skool schudent[T-3-A]?」
「……hmm? I’m talking about students who go to school, you know.」
「Aah……you mean a Training School Student?」
Though the words themselves appeared to be Japanese, they didn’t make sense, given the current context(3)……suddenly, Hiro had an epiphany.
「Hang on……am I not speaking Japanese?」
「Jyapaniisu[T-3-B]? Did such a language exist……hm~」
Liz groaned as she tilted her neck to the side.
「Err……the language that I’m speaking right now is……」
「……what’s the meaning of this?」
「Eh, what’s wrong?」
「No, I was wondering why I’m able to speak Grantzian.」
「Even if you ask me, I don’t have a clue! More importantly, what’s a hai skool schudent[T-3-C]!?」
To her, speaking Grantzian must be a matter of course.
When compared with the issue of having arrived in another world, it might be a rather trivial matter.
In any case, Hiro decided to put this matter aside for now and answer the girl’s question.
Another reason being that it seemed like he’d just get confused if he were to contemplate the matter.
「It’s something similar to that Training School Student thing that you said earlier.」
「Heeh……they call it hai skool schudent[T-3-D] in the spirit world, right?」
「Hang on, I’m not a spirit. Like you, I’m human.」
「I’ve said this before, but your features are young. Besides, your voice seems a bit too high for an adult.」
「In my world, 16 are still minors, you know……More importantly, do those spirits that you mentioned also look like me?」
「They’re completely different. Spirits don’t have such things like a form or a voice. But it seems like the First Emperor was capable of understanding their intentions.」
「So then why are you saying I’m a spirit?」
Tilting her head to the side, Liz placed her index finger on her narrow chin.
「Hmm……just because? Besides, if you were a spirit, a lot of things start to make sense.」
This girl was really the type who would bloomed like a flower, no matter what gesture or pose she made.
Although Hiro wanted to ask a lot of other questions, his desire was left unfulfilled.
Because Liz’s gaze had turned towards the view on the other side of the window.
「We’ll be arriving at the fort soon. It’s been kind of rattly, but I want to properly entertain my guest so be at ease.」
Hiro similarly directed his line of sight towards the window.
A sunset of blazing crimson began to sink on the other side of the horizon.
Ruler of the Central Continent, Grantz Grand Empire.
About two days on foot to the east of the Grand Imperial Capital Cladius lied Taoen Fort.
To the First Emperor, Taoen Fort was the most important stronghold, or so was written in the annals of history.
It was from here that the country on the verge of collapse had made its counterattack.
The person who was entrusted with commanding the base of such historical importance was a girl who had, as of this year, just reached adulthood at the age of 15.
Her name was Celia・Estreya・Elizabeth・Von・Grantz.
The 6th Imperial Princess of the Grantz Grand Empire.
Currently, the girl was holding a meeting in the Operations Command room, her aides in tow.
Knight Commander Dios・Von・Michael(4).
Infantry Commander Tris・Von・Tarmie(5).
And three other Imperial Princesses were also present.
「All of the luggage has been loaded onto the carriages. All that’s left is to discuss about when we depart for Belk(6) Fortress, but……」
「We cannot completely abandon the possibility of an attack.」
Taking over in the face of Dios’s words was Infantry Commander Tris.
「The Princess’s recent demotion has been relayed throughout the entire empire. There is no guarantee that those with insolent intentions will not appear.」
「As expected, 100 cavalry and 200 infantry makes me feel uneasy.」
「It can’t be helped. Most soldiers of the Taoen Fort belong to the First Imperial Army. There is no way we can bring them along with us. Furthermore, if we go to Belk Fortress……no, if we enter Margrave(7) Grinda’s territory, then we should be safe.」
To the south of Grantz Grand Empire was the Principality of Lichtein(8).
Sitting on the border was the critical Belk Fortress, currently under Margrave Ruzen・Kiolk・Von・Grinda’s(9) territory and command.
Being the older brother of Liz’s mother, Margrave Grinda was the girl’s uncle.
However, as the Lichtein Principality was under the Grantz Grand Empire’s strong influence, the area had been considered peaceful for the last few decades as not a single outbreak of military conflict has occurred.
Being relegated to the single fortress stationed there was basically cutting someone’s path to success.
「……we can do naught but pray that we arrive safely.」
「Is this not a matter of us protecting the princess?」
Leering at the always optimistic Tris was Dios with a furrowed brow.
Although he pondered whether or not he should voice his complaints, Dios simply sighed, seemingly spitting out his anger before changing the subject.
「However, why does the princess cower before those of the royal family?」
「Well, isn’t coz of that……she was bestowed one of the 5 Imperial Spirit Swords, right?」
「What does such a thing matter? Is it not just a sword?」
「Oh dear, if you asked your dear father such a thing, then you’d surely be sentenced to death for blasphemy. You might even be cursed by the Spirit King.」
「H-Hmph. If I was afraid of spirits, there’s no way I could wage war.」
Although his declaration was delivered strongly, Dios’s face had fear smeared all over it.
Seeing such an appearance, Tris burst into a hearty laugh.
「Gahhahahahaha, you better apologise properly. Before you go to bed, I mean~」
The 5 Imperial Spirit Swords.
They were the 5 blades purified by the First Emperor, blessed with power obtained from the Spirit King.
It is said that the will of a spirit with the blade’s exact name dwells within the Spirit Sword.
Not daring to show their appearance without accepting their owner. If one were to attempt to forcefully bring them out, a curse would befall them.
However, if one was recognised, they would be bestowed with tremendous power.
Spirit Sword・Imperial Flame Laevateinn. A blade which holds a spirit of fire.
Spirit Sword・Imperial Water Gae Bulg. A spear which contains an ice spirit.
Spirit Sword・Imperial Thunder Mjolnir. An axe that houses a spirit of thunder.
Spirit Sword・Imperial Wind Gandiva. A bow hosting a spirit of the wind.[T-4]
The remaining Spirit Sword was lost in the midst of the empire’s long history. Without any idea of what kind of weapon it was, nor any material documenting said treasure’s details, legends dictate that the Second Emperor was fond of it.
Within this series of weapons, the Imperial Flame Laevateinn was the most prized by the First Emperor.
And yet, none of the emperors following him were ever selected by this weapon.
However, a long period of 1000 years flowed by. The owner of the Spirit Sword・Imperial Flame Laevateinn has finally appeared.
The 6th Imperial Princess, Celia・Estreya・Elizabeth・Von・Grantz.
A Princess who holds the Imperial Flame Laevateinn could never be simply married off to another country. Her father, the Emperor, bestowed the rank of Major General upon the 6th Imperial Princess, in addition to appointing her as the commander of Taoen fort (which was under the First Imperial Army’s jurisdiction).
However, there were those who could not stay quiet and accept this decision.
――they were the successors to the throne.
As the centripetal force of the 6th Princess being chosen by Imperial Flame Laevateinn livened up the day, she began to receive support from the people, claiming that this was the second coming of the First Emperor.
Deciding that it would be dangerous to leave the surroundings of the Imperial Capital alone, the Commander of the First Imperial Army: 1st Imperial Prince Rein・Hart・Schtobel・Von・Grantz(10), relegated the 6th Princess to a remote location.
Normally, when other successors used their military forces privately, they would receive strong criticism. However, this was the one and only time when such a thing did not happen.
The reason for this was because the others in line to succeed the throne shared the feelings of the First Prince.
Rather, they cooperated in placing pressure on the nobles who sided with Liz.
Before Liz, who ended up losing her supporters, was the commander of this frontier fortress.
If lives were lost along the way, it was not necessarily a guarantee that the Schtobel faction would send troops to their aid.
It was also possible that another successor to the imperial throne may dispatch troops.
Passing through the dangers that they were presented with, it was absolutely crucial for Liz’s group to make it to Belk Fortress.
- ^ RAW: 不敬罪
- Literally, this translates to Lese-Majesty (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/lese-majesty). The author likes this phrase a lot, but it doesn’t work very well in English so I’ll be using substitutes that fit the context.
- ^ RAW: セリア・エストレヤ・エリザベス・フォン・グランツ
- We’re currently using the name Celia Estreya Elizabeth Von Grantz. Any suggestions/thoughts welcome.
- ^ RAW: 単語が通用しないことも
- Basically, it’s saying that the vocabulary used by Celia didn’t connect in Hiro’s brain.
- ^ RAW: ミハエル
- From what Kiriko’s told me, Michael can sometimes have the “ch” aspirated (makes a “h” sound). I think it’s meant to be Germanic? (Most of the names that come up seem to have that sort of origin…with a few stray exceptions?)
- ^ RAW: ターミエ
- Pronounced Ta-mi-e.
- ^ RAW: ベルク
- Hiragana: Be-ru-ku. Not sure if it’s meant to be Beruk, Burk, Belk, Berk, etc. Any input would be appreciated.
- ^ RAW: 辺境伯
- Translation is literally margrave (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/margrave?s=t). Basically, a German Military Governor.
- ^ RAW: リヒタイン
- Same with 4. Basically, “ch” is aspirated, making a “h” sound.
- ^ RAW: ルゼン・キオルク・フォン・グリンダ
- Ruzen・Kiolk・Von・Grinda is the current name that we’ve chosen. Input is welcome (especially that Kiolk part. It irks me for some reason).
- ^ RAW: ライン・ハート・シュトベル・フォン・グランツ
- Rein・Hart・Schtobel・Von・Grantz. (Hey, I tried.) Help would be appreciated on Schtobel. I’m fairly certain it’s meant to be Germanic but…I don’t speak German so…
- ^ XJ: Of course it had to be this name.
- XJ: Yes, Kiri-baba. How does it feel?
- K: ……
- XJ: ^_^
- XJ: ……………
- K: It hurts to look at.
- XJ: ………… -_-
- XJ: I’m crying inside.
- XJ: I have nothing left to say.
- ^ XJ: Great. German/French/Chinese names with Nordic Weapons. Let’s confuse the origins some more, shall we?
XCrossJ: Translator & Editor
Kiriko: Editor & Proof Reader