Minasan oideyasu. This is Yukkuri demasu!
The last chapter for today. I’ll post the rest as fast as possible…
I got dual morning-night shift tomorrow, so… cross your finger!
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Chapter 4 FDF B
『Lagoon City』, the central city of the Walter Duchy.
It lies in the northeastern part of the Friedonian Kingdom and was the pivot of the Friednian Kingdom’s Self Defense Force. Just like the name suggested, it was a city constructed over the water in the lagoon. The city’s appearance was like Venezia of Italy with the waterways running throughout it. Looking at the scenery of this city made me remember a manga that I had read in the past, but unfortunately there were no cute gondolier girls.
Instead, I could see the scenes where muscular men loaded and unloaded cargo from the boats. Because it was winter right now, the men were properly wearing thick clothes, but if this was summer (in this continent, it become warmer as one moved north, so Lagoon City was in a hot and humid region), the men’s appearances would be mostly “naked”. Just imagining it doubled the sultriness. I was watching the scenery of Lagoon City from inside the carriage I rode with Juna.
「Was Juna-san born in this town?」(Souma)
「No, I was born in a small port town a bit north-west from this city, close to the borderline with the Eastern Nations Alliance. It was not as vibrant as this city, but they caught many delicious fish.」(Juna)
「Is that so? I'd like to go to that place someday.」(Souma)
「Yes, please do.」(Juna)
While having such a trivial conversation like this, the carriage arrived at Excel’s 『Mansion』. Or rather, although this city served as the navy’s headquarters, even though there was a naval base, there was no 『Castle』. It was because this city wasn’t meant to be a place for a land battle. Since the Navy demonstrated its full ability only when fighting in the seas, they applied a concept where if the land was invaded by enemies, they would board the ships and annihilate them completely, along with the city via naval bombardments. Because they love this land more than anyone, they wouldn’t surrender it to anyone else. The affections of the Sea Dragon Tribe to this land was pretty much Yandere-ish.
When the horse carriage entered the mansion premises, I saw Excel standing awaiting me on the front of the mansion’s main entrance. Her blue hair shone under the sunlight and her beautiful face peeped through her hair. As always, Excel was so beautiful that you could perceive it even from a distance. As expected from Juna-san’s grandmother (although I believed that the word grandmother didn’t suit her).
She was wearing a blue-colored attire, that looks like a combination of a kimono and a dress, which really suited her. When I was thinking about such a thing, I noticed that Juna-san's expression became a bit stern.
「Ju-Juna-san? Is something wrong?」(Souma)
「That is the Great Mother’s favorite dress. This is…… We need to seriously be wary of her.」(Juna)
「Umm~, more or less, the purpose for this visit is solely to inspect the military……」(Souma)
I replied like that during such an out of the ordinary mood, so Juna-san spoke to me while giving me a serious look.
「Your Majesty. Do not show any weak spots in front of a sea snake…… Or else……」(Juna)
「You will be eaten.」(Juna)
……Umm. I didn’t really understand the meaning behind her words, but I believed that I should be careful.
◇ ◇ ◇
「It has been awhile, Your Majesty. Welcome to Lagoon City.」(Excel)
I alighted from the carriage and Excel came to greet me while smiling. It was indeed like what Juna-san had said to me, but for now, I didn’t see any unusual appearance yet.
「It has been a while since you were appointed as the Supreme General of the Self Defense Force. I am glad to see that you are healthy.」(Souma)
「Fufu, Your Majesty, you jest. To push such a heavy responsibility onto the elderly me (since she said it herself, it was fine). Even so, I am thankful. Juna, you too. How are you?」(Excel)
「It has been awhile, Sea Princess.」(Juna)
Juna-san calmly bowed her head. In the former Navy, Excel was called the 『Sea Princess』. Perhaps it was a term that was similar to the navy lingo 『Ma’am』. However, Excel shook her head.
「Juna, you are not a member of the Navy anymore and you will marry His Majesty as his Royal Consort. What remains between us are only familial ties.」(Excel)
「Sea-…… Great Mother……」(Juna)
Juna-san’s eyes were a bit wet. What a good family scene…… Just when I thought of this.
「That’s why you and I are on “equal” grounds.」(Excel)
……What is this? Just now, for some reason Excel emphasized the 『equal』 part. The moment Juna-san heard the word 『equal』, a vein appeared on her forehead……
「……What do you mean, Great Mother?」(Juna)
「Well, the knack to not being bored in your very long life is to always have an interest in somebody.」(Excel)
「Do you mean…… His Majesty?」(Juna)
「Since he is a Hero after the Founder King, I really took an interest in him.」(Excel)
Excel laughed with a sweet smile. However, I could only see a strange pressure in that smile. In response, Juna-san also faced her with a very similar smile…… What is with this situation? I really wanted to flee from this place.
◇ ◇ ◇
After the greeting (?), we were guided into the mansion. The interior decor was a graceful and Western-style in design and the furniture placed inside was also not that gaudy, which blended in to the calming atmosphere. Even the art-illiterate me recognized that the owner of this mansion had a good sense of art. Eventually, we entered a room with the word “parlor” written on its nameplate.
Then, in that parlor, one person had already been waiting in place. He was a tall man dressed in the Friedonian Navy’s officer uniform, with bat-like wings and a lizard-like tail. The man saluted towards me and began to brew the tea. After we sat on the sofa, he distributed the tea, and then that man stood behind Excel. I rubbed my temple.
「…… I can’t help, but be bothered by him standing behind you.」(Souma)
「I already told him to just act normally, though.」(Excel)
Excel smiled wryly. That man's name was Castor Vargas. He was one of the previous Three Dukes and the Air Force’s Marshall. He was also Carla's father. He was convicted for rebelling against the Kingdom, dismissed from his post, and made to surrender the Vargas House’s headship to his young son Carl (Carl’s guardian was the current Self Defence Air Force Marshall, Torman), while Castor himself was being put into Excel’s custody. From her story, it seemed that he entered the Self Defense Navy as a common soldier and worked as Excel’s personal helper.
Since Castor had become the commander of the defeated army, perhaps because he wanted to crush his haughtiness up until now or it was just because of his headstrong personality, he performed his duties as a common soldier of the Self Defense Navy thoroughly. It seemed that he bowed his head when he crossed paths with people who was previously had lower rank than him and that he cleaned all the toilets inside the warship on his duty days…… This made me remember Carla, it seemed that it was this family’s tendency to carry out things to the extreme.
「…… This is an order. Sit down, Castor.」(Souma)
「Yes, Your Majesty! Please excuse me!」(Castor)
When I ordered him, finally Castor sat down. Good grief.
「Also since it felt unpleasant, please stop with that formality. Excluding the public spaces or when other subordinates are present, when it is personal conversation, please speak with me casually. This is also an order.」(Souma)
「Yes, Your Majesty…… However……」(Castor)
「Castor. Does an officer dare to oppose His Majesty’s order?」(Excel)
「…… I understand.」(Castor)
When Excel chided him, Castor relented and nodded. Phew, finally we could talk calmly.
「Well, it's been a long time, Castor. How are your days in the navy?」(Souma)
「Yes! I have become well acquain-…… I got used to it. But, that……」(Castor)
「Hmm? What is it?」(Souma)
「Is Carla doing well?」(Castor)
So he was worried about his daughter's state? Well, he was a father after all.
「Don’t worry, Carla is ……………………… ah…… She is doing fine.」(Souma)
「What’s with that long pause!? And, what does that midsentence “Ah” mean?!」(Castor)
「Well, she is indeed doing fine……」(Souma)
I was certain that for today's schedule, Carla was now……
◇ ◇ ◇
――― At that moment, in Parnam Castle’s Studio……
「Fuhahahaha ―――! Silvan, today will be the day you stop breathing! Kill him! Wheel Monster 『Tiregon』!」(Miss Dran / Carla)
『Tirego~n! 』 (The person inside had been changed from Aisha to Moltov)
「Curse you, Miss Doran and Tiregon! I will protect the peace of this country!」(Silvan / Ivan)
◇ ◇ ◇
「…… Yeah, I believe she is doing fine (maybe)」(Souma)
「She is physically healthy (mentally, I’m not sure, Serina was there after all). She is a slave but I won’t lay my hands on her.」(Souma)
「…… That reply makes me worried.」(Castor)
「? Why are you worried like that?」(Souma)
「I thought it would be better for Carla if you laid your hands on her.」(Castor)
After Castor spoke, he made a small sigh.
「I had heard from Duchess Excel that Your Majesty is a person who cherishes family and protects it no matter what happens. From the rumors I heard when in custody…… I also have the same opinion. So, I thought that if you laid your hands on Carla and recognized her as your family, then she would be absolutely safe.」(Castor)
So he wasn’t aiming to become a King’s relative, but out of the concern for the safety of his daughter……
「I don’t plan to make Carla a consort.」(Souma)
「However, if something happened to Carla, Liscia will grieve. I won’t do something that makes my family grieve.」(Souma)
「I see…… I am glad to hear those words. Then I humbly entreat Your Majesty to take good care of my daughter.」(Castor)
As he said this, Castor deeply lowered his head. The reason why he spoke formally at the end was because it was his sincere wish. I wonder if he had grown a bit as a human (he was dragonewt, though) after working under Excel…… I turned to Excel.
「So Excel, has this one become “usable”?」(Souma)
「Fufu, I have firmly “educated” him. As expected from someone who commanded an army, his learning ability is good. In this state, then…… It might be possible.」(Excel)
「I see…… Now then, shall we move out?」(Souma)
After we conversed with topics that could only be understood only by two of us, Excel and I stood up. Juna-san and Castor were confused by our sudden action.
「Umm, Your Majesty. Where are you going?」(Juna)
Juna-san asked and so I wryly smiled.
「Haven’t you forgetten? Today's schedule was to do a military inspection.」(Souma)
「Oh, now that you mention it…… That’s true.」(Juna)
Juna-san’s cheeks blushed as if she was embarrassed. Perhaps she was too absorbed in being cautious of Excel. Her embarrassed state was something that suited her age, so it was very cute. I wanted to continue seeing this forever, but I also have to work properly as the King.
「Well, the first thing will be……」(Souma)
I turned to Castor who had an expression of “I couldn’t understand a single thing” plastered on his face.
「Let’s put a blindfold on Castor.」(Souma)
The return of familiar faces.
By the way, I posted this while listening to the Active NEETS Touhou orchestra medley cover.
I’ll post my Yukkuriburg City Skylines later (can’t play her anymore, run out of RAM), used too much building assets. I just love playing a city painter game.