Chapter 50 – Releasing the Caged Bird
Inside a carriage going to Calamba Kingdom capital, Meteora.
I’m sitting faced to Althea, and Hikari is hugging Chibi Dragon on top of the knee.
Since Althea asked, I explained many things.
Lending ability multiplication, Warp, Magic Cottage.
I explained most of the items and skills I got from the lottery place.
「Is that so」
「The reaction’s thin huh. I thought that you’d get more surprised. Especially Warp, the others got really surprised to it」
Everyone who heard it said that it was the first time, and they said that there isn’t an item or magic that can warp.
「Maybe, there’s other Warps」
「U〜un, I think not」
「Then why aren’t you surprised?」
「I’m very surprised」
She said casually. She doesn’t look surprised.
Something like, hmm, isn’t there something that she could be surprised clearly.
I thought, looked around the carriage, and saw Hikari.
「Hikari, can you become a sword?」
「I got it」
Hikari answered promptly and turned in her Demon Sword form.
Eleanor and Hikari, I reached out the two Demon Swords to Althea.
「As you can see, Hikari’s also a Demon Sword」
「She is, my daughter with Eleanor」
「……you’re not surprised」
「I’m surprised, very much」
「……it doesn’t look like that at all」
Althea didn’t seem surprised even with the trump card. I got a little frustrated.
After that, I showed her using the black and magic balls, but she wasn’t getting surprised at all, so I gave up.
Chibi Dragon cried, and rubbed her body against Hikari’s sword body.
She’s making a very sad and sorrowful face.
She looked at Hikari in her Demon Sword look, and looked at me.
It was a face saying, “Did Hikari go somewhere?”.
She’s a dragon, but her eyes were like a puppy’s being thrown away.
I felt bad for her, so I told Hikari
「Hikari, you can return」
Hikari returned to her human form. Chibi Dragon immediately jumped towards Hikari.
「Ahaha, Oh-chan that’s tickling」
Hikari and Chibi Dragon hugging each other.
While warmly looking at that, the carriage advanced.
Capital city Meteora.
Getting off the carriage, I entered the castle in front of me.
I’ll have an audience with the Queen first. And with that, I’m guided to a different room once.
After a while, a maid of honor came, she said that the preparations were complete, and I followed her.
I hung both Demon Swords in my waist, and walked with Althea. The maid of honor guide told me a lot of things about the etiquette and precautions at the audience.
I pretended to hear it carelessly. I got rather interested in what kind of person the Queen I’m going to meet right now.
The ceiling was very high, and the corridor was very long and has a very soft carpet.
After walking for awhile, we came to a huge gate.
There are two guards standing in front of the gate.
「It is the audience hall ahead」
「The weapons and the like will be kept here」
Saying that, the two reached out their hands.
It’s a natural countermeasure for assassins though.
「……it’s Demon Sword Eleanor, are you sure」
「It doesn’t matter」
One of the guards said, and made a cold smile for some reason.
「There is no way for the real Demon Sword Eleanor to be wielded by a man」
「It seems like it’s popular for fashion recently」
The two guards said as if to look down.
I gave Eleanor without saying anything. I’ll let them have what they need.
The guard took Eleanor. He was looking at Eleanor as if to see its value while grinning, but he was gradually enveloped by the dark aura released from Eleanor’s blade, his face got tight, and his eyes were blood-shot.
The guard lost his sanity, and started to swing around Eleanor.
To the sudden change, the other guard started to panic.
「W-What the hell is this」
「I told you, it’s Eleanor」
I said while looking at him with cold eyes.
「Demon Sword Eleanor, the one who wields it loses their sanity right?」
The guard looked at me and his colleague alternately. His face was clearly dyed with fear.
「W-Was it real」
「I told you」
The guard started to go on a rampage while holding Eleanor. People gathered hearing the commotion.
To the appearance of him going on a rampage while clad by the dark aura of the Demon Sword, the people of the palace were frightened and fearful.
A few guards tried to get a hold to the rampaging guard, but they were cut by Eleanor instead, and injured people increased.
The commotion gets larger, and the fear spreads with Eleanor’s name.
「You should stop it by now. The audience might be canceled if it rampages more than this」
Althea said with a teacher’s tone.
「I guess so」
I nodded, and went towards the guard. I received Eleanor with Hikari, parried, and punched his stomach.
I sunk the guard with one shot, and collected Eleanor.
I placed Eleanor and Hikari, the two Demon Swords to my waist that the crowd can clearly see.
Within the murmurs, the guard that rampaged and lost his consciousness was brought away.
『You bastard! Using me as easy as that』
「There’s no way I can use Hikari right?」
「I didn’t like it that you were treated as an imitation. You are Demon Sword Eleanor. Hikari’s mother, the real Eleanor. I can’t forgive those who treat you as an imitation」
「I might do something like this in the future. I’ll apologize now」
『H-Hmph. Do what you like』
Because the guard rampaged, I entered the audience hall while the surroundings got afraid of me.
It was very wide inside, and very decorated.
There’s something like a stairs with red carpet, and the throne is on top of that. There’s a girl sitting on that thrown.
She looks like she’s on her teens, a girl that is very quiet, and silent.
She’s wearing a gorgeous dress sitting on the thrown. She’s Queen Rica Calamba for sure.
There are three men near herーーI didn’t care about them.
While I was staring at the Queen, I did the etiquette I was taught just earlier.
「Third class Baron, Yuuki Kakeru, it is my best honors to meet you」
The Queen didn’t say anything, instead, the men near her started to talk.
「It is great that you have come, Baron Yuuki, and Great Sage Althea」
「Her Majesty the Queen is very delighted」
「But, Baron Yuuki, you are younger than we have heard」
The Queen was absent-mindedly looking at me, and there was no sign of her speaking.
Instead, the men were chattering all that they want.
「It is no doubt, the one that is nominated by the Great Sage Althea-sama」
「But it is also true that there are still no achievements done in our kingdom」
「We are expecting on you from now on」
After that, the men told me something, but the audience ended without me being able to hear the Queen’s voice even once.
「Oros, Sukinaris, Rarouka. Those two eunuchs hold all the real powers」
Inside the carriage, in our return to the inn.
Althea told me while she’s still wearing her hood.
「After the death of the previous King, it was those three that made Rica who was a princess a Queen. The crown prince who was reputable for being wise was cornered to a suicide in a political strife, and Rica was set to be the Queen. Since then, those three had held the real powers in this kingdom. But, their noble position isn’t that much, Kakeru is much higher」
『Well, if you compare a eunuch with a baron』
I recalled the Queen that I saw earlier.
Her expressions were poor, and she was like a puppet.
I thought, “Why, even though she’s the Queen?”, but it was like that huh.
A decorative Queen who lost her real powers.
Her face was stuck in my mind.
I was greatly surprised when I warped to the audience hall.
The Queen was sitting on the throne just like when I met her earlier, and was absent-minded. There’s no one else.
The Queen looked at me, compared to me getting very surprised, her expressions hadn’t changed that much.
The Queen talked. It was a voice that I heard for the first time and it was a very beautiful voice.
It was too bad that there weren’t any emotions with it.
「Are you by yourself?」
Unlike earlier, I spoke with my usual tone.
The Queen silently nodded.
「It isn’t the time for moving yet」
「Time for moving?」
「My actions are managed. I am here for until the evening today, and return to my room when the sun sets, it has been like that」
A weird word came out for some reason.
「I mean, are you always here? You don’t go somewhere eles」
「If the procedures are followed. But records will be left, so Oros and the rest would get angry later on. “We are troubled doing something this selfish”, they say」
What the heck is that.
The term Puppet Queen entered my mind when I heard the story from Althea, but isn’t this worse than a puppet?
Isn’t it just like a prisoner.
「Let’s go somewhere」
The Queen shook her head.
「Impossible, if I took even one step to an unscheduled place, the eunuchs and the maid of honors would follow」
「Something like that, wouldn’t be an obstacle」
「……because you have the Demon Sword?」
「It can be with the Demon Sword though」
It’s one way to open a bloody path swinging Eleanor and Hikari, but I don’t need to do something like that.
「I’ll ask you again. Let’s go somewhere」
The Queen thought about it. She thought about it very deeply.
After thinking about it, she nodded silently.
「Yosh, let’s go then」
I approached the Queen, and warped with her.
From the audience hall, we jumped to outside the castle in an instant.
The place where the carriage stops, the end of the street.
There’s a decent amount of passerby, but it’s a place hard to see.
I told “I’m back” to Althea who was waiting.
「You took her with you」
「Yeah. ……you knew about that, huh」
To the sudden thing, the Queen looked around with a surprised face.
「Meteora’s castle town……is it」
I confirmed it to Althea, she nodded quietly.
「Look, there’s the palace」
「No way……with that instant right now?」
「Eunuchs or maid of honors, they weren’t an obstacle right?」
The Queen stared at me intently, and after a while, *KokuKoku*, she nodded.
And, she looked around the town.
「How many years has it been since I came out of the palace」
「Was it ever since you became a Queen」
「Un. In the past, if I asked Mother, she would let me come to the castle town. There are bodyguards though」
Something got into my mind.
「You were able to come to the castle town, you say. Maybe, you had never left Meteora?」
「……let’s go out」
「To outside of Meteora, just like earlier」
The Queen widened her eyes to surprise.
She hesitated more than earlier. She thought about it with a difficult face.
She had the experience of going out of the palace, but she had never left the city.
That’s why she’s hesitating. She even looks frightened.
After a while, the Queen shook her head.
「U〜un, it’s finーー」
Without letting her finish what she says, I warped with the Queen.
The place where we came to, was the mountain cow’s grasslands.
It’s a place opposite to the city, and the place I’m very familiar with.
「This is the grasslands……」
It was like she knows it as a knowledge, but it’s the first time she saw the real thing.
The Queen lets out an amazed sigh.
Different from her doll-like face when we met for the first time, her eyes were sparkling.