Chapter 56: City of Canals (part three)

About Knot Reed, think of it as the Canals of Amsterdam, but instead of semi-circular, it is fully circular. Enjoy the chapter!

TL: clover

ED: clover, eristol


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There are two large rivers on Ichthyes.

From Hafan’s lake as the source, pouring through the boundary between Lucanrant and Aurelia towards the west via Lindis to Knot Reed, the Varnalis River.

From the lake at the boundary between Hafan and Aurelia, Alleska River flows into the territorial waters of Ignitia while meandering towards the southwest via Lindis.

Both of them have little rise and fall differences and people can enter the inland areas with large vessels.

In addition, each branch are divided into more than twenty small rivers covering the majority of the continent, forming a circulation of important traffic routes in the Federal Kingdom.

 

After the skirmish in the north-west after Aurelia’s arrival by ship, the dam was built by the migrants from Aurelia at the mouth of the river of the largest branch of the Varnalis River.

This was the beginning of Knot Reed.

 

Everything flows into Varnalis River, which is the cornerstone of water transports.

Therefore, everything gathers at the port of Knot Reed which was built at the mouth of the river.

And the shipbuilding industry to transport them is also explosively growing by harmonizing with Aurelia.

 

Not only merchant ships and fishing vessels but military vessels are also built in the shipyard areas located in the city.

Battleships for Aurelia built with numerous athanor cannons.

Cruisers equipped with magical armor which can also be called huge spellcards exclusively for Hafan’s mages.

For the country of dragon knights Ignitia, an air carrier to operate 10-meter class dragons on the sea.

 

“What was built this time is a new type of aircraft carrier incorporating a state-of-the-art mechanism in the power section.

The dragon knights of the former aircraft carrier who are stationed at Knot Reed will switch to the new model during the launching ceremony.”

“Which one is the aircraft carrier?”

“The old aircraft carrier seems to be on the ocean in order to train for the demonstration that will be carried out in the launching ceremony.

Don’t worry, when the launching ceremony begins you will be able to see both the old and the new aircraft carriers.”

 

Saying so, father stroked my head.

There was a huge shipyard in the direction pointed by him.

I am interested in how big the ship which is being built is, but it seems that it would be a sight to see during the launching ceremony.

 

In the meantime, our merchant ship arrived at the harbor.

However, our voyage doesn’t end here.

We will switch to a small rowing boat along with a few servants.

It is a rowing boat that looks just like a gondola.

It seems that it is faster to go through the canal whenever you go to the canal street of Knot Reed.

 

We got on the small boat and looked around the city as we moved through the canal.

 

Many ships were coming and going near the mouth of the river and it was very lively.

A cargo ship with various kinds of luggage, a tourist ship bigger than our small boat.

The origin and occupation of the people riding them were also diverse.

 

Turning back a little, our small boat entered an area where large buildings such as cathedrals were lined up along the canal.

The religious building had white walls and gray roof.

It had calm colors, but the elaborate decorations made it look luxurious.

We came across a group of nuns who were just going to move by boat and we waved and greeted them.

 

When we were passing by a place corresponding to the intersection on the road, I saw the other side and I felt dizzy.

Like an infinite loop of a mirror, similar scenery was repeating.

 

“Otou-sama, it seems like the canal is continuing everywhere.”

“The large canal has 20 rings. Including the smaller canals, there are several times more than that in total.

Knot Reed is made up of one hundred islands separated by canals and two thousand bridges.”

“That’s very amazing.”

“Aah, it’s a land that has been developed for trading since ancient times.”

 

It is said that the canal stretches concentrically around a river flowing in the center.

It is also said that the transportation cost is overwhelmingly low, thanks to the terrain called the canal rings.

 

After passing through the gray roofs area, we entered the red-orange roofs area.

Various specialty shops had joint eaves, and in the distance, there were signboards with designs concentrated like beautiful accessories glittering under the sunlight.

The voices of sellers who were attracting customers could be heard.

It was a vibrant part of the area with an overwhelmingly large number of people.

 

“This is Knot Reed’s most famous place, 〈Town of All Kinds of Goods〉.

Just like the name ‘All Kinds of Goods’, the merchants here boast that there is nothing they don’t have in this town.”

“That’s interesting.”

“I’m sorry, but we cannot afford to stop by for a while.

After the launching ceremony, let’s look around even between my works.”

“Yes, I will look forward to that.”

 

I was really brimming with the intention to sneak away and visit this Town of All Kinds of Goods.

As I was feeling a pang of mild guilt, I replied to father with a smile.

 

The small boat crossed the canal under the big bridge.

Suddenly, a huge building appeared in front of my eyes when the field of vision cleared out at once.

It looks like a religious building and feels solemn but is decorated with secular architecture everywhere.

This is the place where we are going to stay, 〈Water Palace〉.

Our party of Aurelia got off the boat at a small square in front of the palace; we were guided by the servant of the palace who had been waiting.

 

The interior of Water Palace was precisely decorated based on white and gold.

It is a technique of advanced craftsmen who give a luxurious but pure impression, a fusion of Aurelia-style and Hafan-style.

 

There are hundreds of rooms in this vast palace, which is also called the Labyrinth Palace.

It seems that I will get lost if I am not careful.

Because it is a palace with many rooms, I was given a room for myself.

Well, since it will make it easier to sneak out, I am fine with it.

 

We quickly changed from our traveling outfit to formal attires in our given room and headed to the hall where other aristocrats had arrived earlier.

 

 

 

 

The owner of Water Palace is the Turm family.

Their ancestors were masons and mages from Hafan.

However, they seem to have been immersed in Knot Reed’s shipbuilding and water transportation and they immigrated some time ago.

 

They were the first ones to develop a merchant ship with expanded interior by space manipulation magic, sell it and gain funds.

What made them rise as a wealthy merchant family was the time when they made a killing by introducing maritime insurance for the traders.

 

Approximately twenty years ago, the predecessor of the Turm family bought the Viscount rank and became a nobleman.

Because the Visitor’s Clan don’t care about the status system, some nobles don’t have territories in the western region to buy a rank like them.

In the case of the Turm family, there is a view that they govern huge networks and multiple ships through multiple businesses instead of a territory.

 

After we gave our greetings to Viscount Turm, I was taught about the beginning of the Turm family.

The current head is a bald middle-aged man who seems to be talkative and is surprisingly said to be the eldest son among thirteen siblings.

Inferring from the palace and his attire, the predecessor of Turm who bought the court rank seems to be a capable person.

 

A luncheon was held in the hall of the Water Palace and it was a place for socializing.

To attend the launching ceremony, aristocrats who came from neighboring aristocracy such as Ignitia were gathering.

The luncheon itself was a casual event, the nobles were making groups and talking with each other there.

 

I greeted a few people with father while searching for the person I had in mind.

 

(Yup, there he is.)

 

Long red hair, dark green eyes, with a sturdily large build.

In addition to the typical north-western characteristics, he had a mild baby face and somewhat nervous atmosphere.

When the man saw my father, he waved his hand and came close to him.

It was similar to the case when an introverted type of person found a few acquaintances among the people he was meeting for the first time.

 

(He closely resembles Harold. His personality seems to be quite different, though.)

 

He is the current Earl of Nibelheim, Harold II.

The third scenario’s capture target, Harold Nibelheim III’s father.

 

“I am honored to meet you here, Duke Aurelia!”

“I have heard many things about you, Earl Nibelheim.”

“No, no, no, I and the others are not a match for you.

Your ‘Refining by the Spirit of Lightning’ based on Hafan’s spirit theory!

That’s what I call innovation!

I always wanted to talk about this theory upon meeting you.”

 

As soon as he greeted father, Earl Nibelheim shook his hand.

As soon as father replied, he began to develop professional talks on metallurgical alchemy as quickly as possible.

 

Based on what I have learned in Aurelia, the finances of the Nibelheim territory should be stable.

 

Nibelheim territory of his ruling is a rich land with a long history.

Located in the coastal part of the tributary of the Varnalis River, there is an industrial zone and the mountains have mines in it.

Their specialty products are high-quality silver and beautiful silverware produced from the processed silver.

 

About ten years ago, it seems that the silver ores withered at once.

However, Harold II developed a new refining technology.

It seems that Nibelheim’s industry, which was on the verge of financial collapse, had a miraculous V-shaped recovery.

 

Earl Nibelheim’s rambling has just changed into a talk about his new refining technology.

It is a method of separating any impurities contained within low-quality silver ore by smelting.

Application of father’s technology will improve the refining efficiency not only in the silver industry but also across the continent by a few percents.

Even though there were many technical terms, I managed to understand them somehow.

 

After the end of the ramble by Earl Nibelheim, finally his eyes met mine.

 

“Ah……I apologize, your daughter is with you too. I have been rude.”

“Yes. Erica, give your greetings.”

“I am honored to meet you, Earl Nibelheim. Please don’t be concerned about that.”

 

When Earl Nibelheim got a hold of himself, I pinched my skirt and greeted him.

 

He has the ability to concentrate and is full of enthusiasm.

He is an excellent alchemist with a researcher’s mind, and his ability to solve problems is high from his background.

However, he has problems in attention.

Instead of the impression of being someone who easily gets immersed in things he has interest in, he gave me the impression that he has a narrow field of vision.

 

Even if that is an excellent quality for an alchemist, that might be fatal for a nobleman.

Because of that weakness, from the point of view of a cunning scammer, his territory will seem like a fat defenseless duck.

After all his efforts to make his hometown flourish, in the end he would be deceived and he will fall into ruin, what a cruel story.

 

Earl Nibelheim moved to other influential people after a light chat.

 

“He is very enthusiastic about research, huh.

He was doing research on Otou-sama and Onii-sama’s theory.”

“Aah, he is a very good alchemist.”

 

While talking to father, he brought out the information about Nibelheim.

Their economic situation and relations with the neighboring nobility and others are good.

It seems that the fraud case hasn’t occurred yet from my roundabout investigation.

This is the most valuable information.

 

I quietly took a breath.

If I strike right now, I might be able to break the destruction flag of the Nibelheim family.

 

After the luncheon party, father and I returned to our guest rooms.

 

After taking a small break, if it goes as originally scheduled, there would be inspection and talks.

Until the launching ceremony begins, newly arrived nobles will be added to the roster, and a similar schedule will continue every day.

Originally, I only need to smile beside my father.

 

I quickly took off the dress and changed to a dark blue attire with a cape like what a town girl would wear in autumn.

When Palug in her kitten form crawled under the dress, in the next moment, she stood up looking exactly like me.

 

“Well then, I will leave it to you. Palug.”

“Ufufu, I’ll act like a noble lady more than you, Erica.”

“Please do it in moderation. Don’t do funny things without my knowledge, okay?”

“Joking, joking. I will behave like a meek doll.”

 

Palug laughed pleasantly.

Since she was inherently mischievous, there was some anxiety, but well, I trust her.

 

After I waved to Palug, I leaned my body forward from the window.

Tirnanog who was already waiting on the other side of the window immediately caught me.

Tirnanog leaped and we landed in the garden of the Water Palace.

 

Now then, it is the beginning of the investigation.


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28 thoughts on “Chapter 56: City of Canals (part three)

      1. True, but in that light, I’d like an Eduart oni-sama as well then 😘 – I could do without the drama of a harem, but having a doting eye-candy older “brother” would be nice!

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Since she was inherently mischievous, there was some anxiety, but well, I trusted her.
    i bet she is going to get Harold into Erica’s harem while she isn’t there lol

    Like

  2. So I’m wondering why she doesn’t just send out Palug to investigate, it’s not like she can get much done since she’s a child, who would she speak too? Palug can be an adult since she can transform, all she needs to do is make
    some inquiries, finding the fraudster sounds like a death flag, for a child that would be very difficult and dangerous, I don’t see why she needs to go herself, I mean she trusts her to stay at home and pretend to be her, but not investigate? Palug is much older than Erica by several centuries, so why would she take a risk and go herself? it doesn’t make sense, any insight she might have gained by being there in person would no doubt be faithfully recalled by Palug.
    I wonder if there are any communication wands that can be used or tools that will allow Palug to talk with her over distance, that would make investigating even easier without risking herself. Palug can easily transform to get out of trouble and if she runs into that eidolon then wouldn’t she have a better time of dealing with it than Erica? I mean her track record has been poor… both Tir and Palug would’ve killed her no problem… Don’t be a dumbass Erica… cmon now…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If she just stayed at home and sent Palug and Tir to investigate, then we will have a very boring story. Not to mention, it’s not been a long time since she gained companions. Even if she trusts them, for a loner like her she will still tend to rely on herself than on others. Erica’s personality tends to make her secretive and self reliant than to openly trust others to do the work for her

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I dont think it would be very boring, in fact it might even be very interesting, and give us a chance to see how these 2 might interact as a team rather than being at loggerheads, I think we would have an interesting adventure, it would be great to have these 2 characters fleshed out more, while we do know a lot about them, its from a mythological/hazy historical standpoint.

        This is an opportunity for Tir and Palug Pov… impressions of their first encounter with Erica, and what they think of her etc, Id love to see that as they go around being super sleuths tracking down this shady character, even if it ends up being futile I would still like that kind of side story added 😀

        Maybe something like this… (forgive how bad this might be I just finished work and Im tired lol)

        Tir Pov

        I had a dream, a long one… filled with images of rage and resentment, for so long I had hated the Aurelias, their cruel deception, their vile treatment of one, who had only sought their friendship and willingly gave aid to assist them, only to be betrayed! While in this state of limbo sealed away, my hatred festered, growing with rage, all I could think of was revenge… those golden haired tricksters, how I wanted to destroy them…

        I remembered this small child Erica Aurelia, the hatred I had for her, that hair, those eyes, it stabbed my heart painfully, I vented all my anger, doing my utmost to destroy her, and yet, for all my power and might, I failed, how vexing, how incredibly infuriating…

        The gnawing resentment I felt at that time, grew in waves, as my hatred was soon split between those dark-haired dwarfs that accompanied her… those cursed Harvan children who defeated me… Imagine how surprised I became when I was once again sealed, that this Golden haired Child would free me, strangely with my size greatly reduced, so too did my resentment and hatred, how curious, where did all that anger go? centuries worth of built up fury was suddenly snuffed out…

        Tilting my head I creaked with the armor I wore, I looked up at Erica in wonder, this person I once tried to kill was now my master, how strange… the stabbing in my heart was only a dull ache now, she had formed a contract with me, and now I am hers, this once great being now carries her luggage, I should be resentful… and yet I am not, stranger still, the aching in my heart is giving way to a warmth I once yearned for so long ago… just what is that? and why does it feel so good? is this what being needed feels like? I felt tears prick my eyes as it had done that day I heard that Golden haired dark one speaks of my tale… (event his vengeful creature calls you dark Onii sama!)

        Erica crouched down beside me, staring with her Emerald green eyes, that impassive face expressionless as always, she was fussing with my armor, clicking her tongue in annoyance, it would seem that her skills were lacking, I did not care, it was only a disguise anyway.

        Over time I began to notice a strangeness to Erica that seemed odd, I tried to find the right words to describe it, but it’s elusive… hmmph odd is fine, who will correct me anyway? I simply accepted it. When she spoke of future events, I found it interesting, was she a seer? hmm, tilting my head I was curious, she would often mutter incomprehensible things, but I was not overly concerned about my lack of understanding.

        I would sometimes lean against her whenever she was deep in thought, she becomes oblivious to anything when she is focused on something, I would take this opportunity and have a quick nap, resting my head against her arm, I close my eyes and dream, Erica is soft, I like it very much, she has the right amount of padding for me to snuggle against, would not the former great me feel enraged by this act? no matter, I am not that anymore, I am Tir now.

        At night I would watch over Erica, she would often have nightmares, crying out about someone trying to hurt her, seeing her impassive face full of fear was surprising, even when she was facing death she did not have such an expression, with great care I would gently stroke her hair and face, I allowed myself to grow larger, pulling this small child into my arms rocking her, how curious… I feel warmth from her tiny body, which soon invades my heart making me feel an overwhelming sense of protectiveness towards her.. sleep Erica, I am here to chase away the nightmares…

        Too tired to carry on Ill put the rest later lol…

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Continuation lol…
          Tir Pov
          I am napping when I hear Erica stir, she is bundled up under blankets looking like a fat caterpillar, her golden hair peeking out, she was not good at waking up in the morning, when I feel she has had enough sleep and should rise, I find her feet under the blankets and poke them, she is incredibly ticklish, I smiled beneath my armor, this bed caterpillar spasmed and jerked dramatically, jumping away from my touch.
          “Fufufu, Erica should wake up”
          With a bland resentful expression she poked her head out glaring at me, I simply tilted my head and stared back, we had a big day planned in Ignitia and needed to get an early start, I was tasked not with Luggage handling, but investigating the beast… how interesting, I had wondered what this one would be like, I was eager to get out there and explore, being beside Erica is my favorite role, but changing it up now and then is good too, besides it helps Erica, and I intend on being useful to her to the best of my ability.
          When I first detected that Beasts scent, I was ecstatic! it was much like the sensation of unraveling the Aurelia Labyrinth, I felt quite pleased with myself when I managed to control the mechanism of their grand design, I had tasted defeat quite a few times, I had no desire to repeat that experience, when I gave Erica the news I felt elated at Erica’s praise, yes! more! give me more! (such a puppy daww) Unfortunately, such feelings would fade, as I tasted defeat once more… damn cat!
          I decided not to dwell on such memories, my Erica had managed to overcome that Trickster cat and triumphed, I felt pride swell in my heart, for all her flaws, she had an uncanny knack of getting into trouble but equally capable of getting out of it as well… perhaps capable was the wrong word… I felt complicated feelings arise inside, I grimaced looking up at Erica, she really needs to stop relying on dumb luck to get out of trouble, while it has been successful so far, it would be a fool who continues to rely on such things, not that she does… no matter, I will try harder to help her and not lose again!
          The cat has become part of our group, I was not happy about it, but as time passed, I became curiously attached, an oddly comfortable companion to be with, our playful antics felt strangely enjoyable, is this what having a sibling is like? I would often stare at Erica and her Onii sama and wonder what kind of relationship they had… with this stupid cat I began to realize that this kind of feeling isnt bad.
          And so begins the mini alternate tale of the Cat and Pokemon wannabe detective side story lol
          “Hey snake, are you ready to do your job?”
          “What part of this great me resembles a snake?! are you blind rat! Pfft, I am always ready hmmph”
          “Well since I am the oldest, I will be the boss” claimed Palug, her head looking up at Tir imperiously. a slight smirk on her face.
          “We don’t have time for your nonsense, our job is as follows, you need to buy supplies for Erica while I carry it” Tirs voice was full of authority, making Palug laugh
          “Such a haughty shopping bag you are!” Palug snickered, nimbly avoiding Tirs swift grab at her tail, People surrounding this oblivious duo smiled at the antics of a cat and golem chasing each other around the streets, already the task forgotten as they found themselves in a dark alley with a sleeping human beggar lying on the cold cobbled ground.
          “Hmm which way was that shop again? seriously focus rat… we need to do this simple task so Erica can trust us enough to help with the investigation!” Tirs hands were on his hips berating Palug, who completely ignored him…
          “Wouldnt it be much better to find that Fraudster! or do you want to be a shopping bag?”
          “Tch… oi you! don’t go making up new plans!” The cat raced off into the alleyway doing as she pleased, feeling annoyed Tir chased after her.
          After a few minutes, Palug stopped suddenly…
          “This sucks… I’m bored!”
          Tir stared at Palug incredulously…
          “Huh? did you think clues would fall in your lap after putting in so little effort!, you damn lazy rat!!” feeling fed up Tir left Palug and went back to Erica reporting their failure he totally blamed the Cat and had misgivings about her ability to be useful to Erica…
          “I guess I will have to do it after all…” Erica patted Tirs a small smile on her lips.
          I realized that I cant do a side story yet coz I dunno squat yet lol 😛

          Like

    2. I think it has something to do with previous life’s memories? I mean if she explained every single detail to Palug it would still seem kind of incomprehensible to her or it would be difficult to analyze the situation based onthe game info. It would much easier for Erica to connect the dots rather than Palug when it comes to game stuff afterall. Besides, she is the one trying to survive, if she leaves all tasks to her eidolons she herself will remain inexperienced. Plus there are those alchemy stuff. Didn’t she say she planned on browsing materials as well? I think she is best suited for that instead of her cat.

      Like

      1. Consider the points I had made though… she is a child, why would any shady character or people involved with such people bother to answer questions from her?
        Scammers arent good people, so why would a child getting involved in such things be a good idea? Now Erica has managed to survive certain death a few times, but lets evaluate how she avoided dying.
        1. A stronger death curse had priority.
        2. Other people happened to intervene.
        Tir was her protector vs Palug and he failed magnificently… yet she goes with Tir out into uncertainty. She has been decently prepared in the past, yet those preparations did not help her much when it mattered. When she cast castling to save Ann she fully expected to die lol, if not for her Onii sama she wouldv have.
        Palug has lived alongside humans for centuries, she is much older and stronger than Tir… her experience would be vastly superior in dealing with them, in her long life she has not forgotten anyone, her nimble mind was able to figure out weird Riddles from our world, her ability to transform into anyone whose blood she has tasted would give her a wide variety of infiltration options, far more than a child would, even as a cat she could listen to shady conversations that might prove helpful.
        Erica has a poor track record in this area, and she shouldve learned from it, yet again she is going into uncertainty with some vague previous knowledge to counter these death flags. While Erica is definitely a noob, she has encountered 2 eidolon already, she has far more knowledge than most regarding them, so she doesnt need to dip her toes in again for gaining experience. Connecting the dots havent helped her so far lol, just dumb luck, when she used that powerful wand death magic against Tir, it ended up biting her in the ass, her knowledge of Riddles only infuriated Palug hastening her death flag…
        Humans are a different kind of animal, from her previous life she should know better than to mess with dodgy people, They have done what 2 powerful beings could not, and that is successfully kill her,
        The alchemy stuff is odd, I have no idea why she would hide shopping for such things as necessary. Is she worried it will be overly expensive and her Father would not approve? but then whose money is she spending to go shopping anyway? did she save up all her pocket money? from what I understand, materials for wands and such are incredibly expensive, far beyond her means Im guessing. Klaus is Onii samas indentured slave for god knows how long till the wands used at the ruins are paid in full.

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        1. ….now that I think about it you have a point. I guess she just feels inclined to take all burdens in her own shoulders or something along the line…not that it helps.

          Like

  3. I question her reasoning, why doesn’t she get Palug to follow the count instead? she could easily cause a disturbance that would disrupt any deal signing done, a random cat being up to mischief wouldn’t look suspicious. Then she can follow the guy that he was dealing with to find out the source of shadiness.

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    1. She doesn’t know when the deal will take place. It could be tomorrow, last month, or years in the future. If Palug spent her time monitoring the Count, she won’t have time to do other more important tasks, like, say, the Ignitian Altar in Knot Reed.

      Like

      1. I think now that Erica is her master, that she is her priority, therefore dealing with anything regarding her possible death should be her first task.

        Like

  4. « For the country of dragon knights Ignitia »
    It always bothered me that this is treated as a country. I mean, unless i misread/missed some key sentences, the Federal Kingdom should be a ‘kingdom’ right? But it still sometimes mention other former countries as country after being fusioned(?) with Ignitia. They are obviously not a country anymore but a region/duchy, or else it will become an empire. In a kingdom, a king rule over one country after all.

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    1. So, in the raw it’s actually said Union Kingdom, as in the kingdom consists of several countries which has treaties with each other. So yeah, they are still seperate countries, but they acknowledge Ignitia as their kingdom’s leader because they are the ones who liberate the other countries from slavery.

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