Hello hello! I have a new editor now, please give a warm welcome to xtostos (who actually has been correcting me since ch 65 but has just become my editor officially). Let’s commemorate this with a new chapter!
xtostos: thanks for having me.
ED: clover, xtostos, eristol
I parted with Harold and the others and returned to the Water Palace.
There was no more time as there was only about an hour until the launching ceremony began.
I felt guilty for being unable to stay by Harold’s side who was in low spirits.
However, I trusted Gilbert and somehow managed to reluctantly excuse myself.
As we entered the room from the window as usual, Palug had already finished changing into my clothes and was waiting for us.
She had a relieved expression for a moment and quickly turned into a cat and crawled out of the dress.
It is a changing method unique to someone with the ability to transform.
『Jeez, I was wondering if you could make it in time~』
“I’m sorry. Because the fraud case is getting more and more serious and complicated.
The transition magic is being camouflaged and there is a northern noble who is difficult to deal with.”
『A camouflage? I want to hear it in detail.
It might be a specific hint for the means of camouflaging the altar.
……But, before that.』
Returning to her human form, Palug helped me change clothes with a quick work that my eyes couldn’t follow.
It was about twice the speed of when I am dressed by a servant everyday.
In the blink of an eye, my outfit changed into the dress for the launching ceremony.
With bright blue fabric as the base, there were decorations made with frills embroidery and high-quality golden thread forming waves.
“It’s important to be able to attend the launching ceremony. So let’s tie your hair and pick the accessories……”
“Palug can do anything, huh.”
“This is not my first time taking care of girls.”
She gathered my hair in a high position and tied them with a white and blue ribbon.
A necklace with a small sapphire head on a fine golden chain was hanging around my neck distinctly.
As the finishing touch, to conceal my lack of sleep, a light makeup was put on my face until my complexion appeared nice.
It was finished with a bright and refreshing image as a whole.
The only thing left is to wear a bright expression that matches this image. That is a tall order.
“Thank you. Palug.”
“Now, you should go before Ernst becomes suspicious. We’ll talk again later, okay?”
When the preparations were over, Palug once again turned into a kitten and sat at my feet.
Before I knew it, Tirnanog had also finished his disguise as a stuffed toy-size steel golem.
I changed places with Palug just in time, as my father was waiting by the door to head to the venue together.
Knot Reed’s wharf was turned upside down due to confusion from the abundant people there.
The occupations of the visitors varied and they were crowding to see the launching ceremony from a better place.
They pushed aside the ropes and the city guards wearing ceremonial armor.
We, the participants are lined up on the opposite shore of the visitors, along the crimson carpet leading up to the shipyard.
Aligned on this side are the Ignitian and the neighboring aristocrats, powerful people in the town including the mayor and the shipbuilders who worked their hardest for this.
The shipbuilders are wearing high-quality clothes up to the lowest apprentices and everyone is proudly sticking out their chest.
In the shipyard where the curtain covering it was taken away and removed, there was an aircraft carrier waiting for the launching ceremony.
The new aircraft carrier doesn’t seem to be a steel ship like its predecessor, but a huge wooden sailboat with a wide deck and five masts.
However, it seems that golem powers were built inside, so it isn’t just a sailboat.
The aircraft carrier was placed on a foundation for sliding down an iron rail drawn to the sea.
The board which was preventing the hull from slipping has already been removed, and the only thing left to do is to cut the rope holding the ship.
The horn was reverberating grandly.
The nobles who were standing in a row drew their lips together and straightened their spines.
A few seconds later, the shipbuilders also stood upright and immovable.
Ignitian knights marched on the carpet.
With Auguste at the lead, he was followed by knights and military band; the knights were carrying a wide ceremonial sword, while the flag-bearers were holding a battle flag.
Auguste wore a ceremonial attire on top of his dark red uniform.
It was a dark-blue-almost-black velvety robe, embroidered with the crest of the dragon knights.
A sash with golden thread embroidery on the red background slung diagonally from his shoulder.
On his waist was a slender sword which appeared to be a ceremonial sword.
Auguste was wearing the spectacular and heavy costume without discomfort.
With the appearance of Auguste, the cheering sounds of the visitors came from the opposite shore.
It seemed that the women’s cheers sounded louder in particular.
Apparently, Auguste has dispelled his disgraceful reputation and seems to have become popular with women.
Auguste was walking with a serious look, but loosened his lips a little bit when he passed by me.
I also met his eyes and responded with a smile.
Auguste went up to the podium placed in front of the aircraft carrier and turned around.
He first bowed to the visitors and then to the aligned participants.
Waiting until the visitors quieted down, Auguste opened his mouth.
“I am deeply grateful that I can witness the launching of the new aircraft carrier on this fine day.
On behalf of my father, Henri, the King of Ignitia, I pray that God’s blessing will be with the navigator of this aircraft carrier Metatronius.”
Auguste declared with a loud voice.
As he went down the podium, a knight handed him a treasure sword.
It was still a sword that seemed to be too big for the ten-year-old Auguste, but he was able to pull it out easily.
The raised blade was shining under the sunlight.
When Auguste swung down the treasure sword, the rope was cut in a single slash.
A solemn sound was reverberating like a rumble in the ground.
The huge hull slowly slid down the slope.
Loud cheers sounded and the military band played a lively tune.
As the crowds were watching, the aircraft carrier gradually accelerated and headed towards the sea.
At last the ship landed on the water, making a big splash.
The hordes of sea birds in the harbor were surprised and flew away at the same time.
Ten dragons and the dragon knights who urged them forward took off from the old-style aircraft carrier which was anchored in the bay.
While circling the sky above the new aircraft carrier, the dragon knights scattered flowers of various colors.
Children were jumping up and down with their hands in the air, trying to catch the scattered petals.
Such a lovely sight could be seen on both the aristocrats’ and the spectators’ side.
The dragons made a graceful landing on the new aircraft carrier one by one.
When the launching and the transfer of the dragon knight troops finished safely without any accident, the ceremony was over.
The visitors were dispersing, and many of them would be going to celebrate the new aircraft in the future.
The circumstances on the participants’ side were also similar.
A number of boats arrived on the shore of the shipyard.
After this, we will change location to the deck of the new aircraft carrier, the party will start by gathering not only the relevant aristocrats but also the merchants of Knot Reed.
Many tables were brought in on the deck of the new aircraft carrier and a lot of well-dressed people were sitting and talking.
At first I was thinking of greeting Auguste, but I couldn’t find his figure.
I guess he also has many things to do.
I went with my father to say hello to the Ignitian and the north-western lords.
While hiding behind a smile, I strained my ears for the talks about the silverware industry and the fraud.
However, the topic of Earl Nibelheim never came out.
Have they not become widespread yet or are they all looking at father’s attitude?
Come to think of it, I can’t see the figure of Earl Nibelheim.
I caught a glimpse of him during the launching ceremony, so perhaps he is busy running around after the launching ceremony.
While chatting with the lords and the others including Viscount Turm, the prominent merchants of Knot Reed turned up.
I feel like they were examining the facial expressions of my father and I.
After all, the story of the mine fraud is already spreading and they are evidently observing for a reaction.
The reason why father hasn’t brought up the topic of the Argene territory with me may be to prevent any information leaking out through me.
Certainly, a regular 8-years-old might have a harder time keeping a secret, after all.
I followed father’s lead in adorning a poker face.
The topic shifted to the bidding of the aircraft carrier’s outfit and equipment.
Although outwardly it is a formal bidding, with things like these it seems that the consignment of who will be assigned which parts is already decided beforehand.
So, the wealthy merchants entered a craze of hard selling of their self-made techniques and commodity.
Cheers could be heard suddenly near the bow.
The lords and merchants also temporarily suspended their negotiations which was getting intense and looked up towards that direction.
Auguste was riding a large dragon over several tens of meters and waving his hand.
He wasn’t wearing his ceremonial attire, instead he had changed into clothing he can easily move in like his riding clothes.
It seems that he didn’t bring the small dragon Goldberry.
He stood up on the back of the dragon and lightly let his body fall.
A voice close to a scream rose from the people.
Several dragons came flying in a way which intersected with his falling course.
They took the falling Auguste on their wings.
It was just like bouncing on a trampoline.
Auguste softened the impact a couple of times in the same way, spun his body like a gymnast and landed splendidly.
The audience applauded spontaneously and raised shouts of joy.
That surprised me.
As usual, he is a prince who is bad for my heart.
However, as expected of someone from the royal family, he really knows how to draw attention.
When I looked at the cat at my feet thinking that she must be worried about him, she had a comfortable look.
It seems that Palug had predicted this.
This is due to their long-standing relationship.
Father saw the state of Auguste who was surrounded by many people and revealed a restrained smile.
“Good grief, he really is the same as His Majesty Henri.”
“That’s good, right, Otou-sama?”
“Aah, His Majesty Henri will be relieved if this is the case. Truly, what a relief.
You must be worried too, Erica. Don’t hesitate to go over there.”
Father stroked my head lightly and said so.
I bowed to my father and the others and headed for Auguste.
“Auguste-sama, I’m happy that you are in good health.”
“Yaa, Erica. I’ve been wanting to see you.
Everyone, I’m sorry for being rude immediately after arriving, but I will have to excuse myself.
I don’t want to keep my special friend waiting.”
Auguste bowed with a dramatic gesture, took my hand and left the circle of people.
I apologized for depriving them of the most popular prince, but for some reason everyone was watching me with a warm smile.
Auguste and I brought the two phantom beasts accompanying me and moved to the vicinity of the ship’s bow.
The figure head appeared to imitate the figure of an angel and when I looked down from the bow, I saw the wing parts were carved precisely.
When there were no people around us, Auguste showed an innocent smile suitable for a child of ten years old.
“I was saved, Erica. I didn’t think that it will raise so much attention.”
“Well, Auguste-sama. I thought that you wanted everyone to see you and made a flashy entrance.”
“No, no, if anything, right now it’s more important to me to spend time with someone who knows my actual self.
To tell the truth, this princely mask, it doesn’t have any room to breathe.”
Auguste made a gesture as if putting on an invisible mask, creating a serious look.
I laughed at his silly gesture unintentionally.
“I came after bringing Goldberry to my room, actually.”
“My, my, in that case you must be having a hard time about the rumors of the Dragon Knight Prince in the town, too.
Is Goldberry not feeling fine?”
“Aah, no, Briar and Blumbell fell asleep, so she’s babysitting.
Those two have just been born after all.”
I thought of the appearance of the small Goldberry taking care of the hatchlings.
It is somewhat cute.
Palug who was looking up at Auguste also seemed to be happy.
“By the way, the launching ceremony just now was also wonderful, Your Highness.”
“Right~? I’m as good as a cat at feigning friendliness, after all. You can praise me more, you know?”
“My, your true character is already jutting out of that cat, Auguste-sama.”
“Haha, that’s not good.”
Auguste smiled amiably as usual.
Palug was moving at his feet unnoticed.
She seems to enjoy watching her former master from various angles.
A golden cat’s tail was standing upright, moving and swaying happily.
Yup, yup, it has been a long time, so she should enjoy herself to her heart’s content.
“To be honest, this ceremony was my first time doing something like this so I was incredibly nervous. It seems that I was able to trick them skillfully.”
“Yes, I was also tricked. Your Highness Auguste was very cool.”
As I responded with a smile, Auguste looked as if he was embarrassed.
He seems to be bashful, for a change.
Auguste has an atmosphere of knowing the ways of the world, so this response which is suitable to his true age is very fun.
“That’s right! Do you want to see the result of the training I mentioned before?”
Auguste suddenly changed the topic as he hit his palm in sudden remembrance.
It seems like he was flustered for some reason.
Speaking of which, he is getting his training to become a Theurge from Professor.
“Is it the result of your training with Professor?”
“Aah, I want to try it out. It’s convenient for you to be here.”
Auguste said so and took my hands.
He closed his eyes, prayed silently, corrected our connected hands time and time again.
For some reason, he seemed to be perplexed.
“This is pretty difficult when the partner is an Aurelian……do you feel like something’s touching your spirit?”
“Well……no, there’s nothing like that.”
“Huh~ far from being able to enter, when I can’t even make contact with……right, let’s try reversing it.”
Apparently, Auguste seems to be doing a trial and error.
I am in a state where I don’t know what he is doing right now at all.
When I tilted my head, suddenly there was a sensation as if a palm was touching me lightly.
“I wonder if this is sufficient. Close your eyes, Erica.”
I closed my eyes in accordance to Auguste’s words.
Huh? What, am I floating? But, my feet were on the deck properly.
There was a strong wind pressure that I shouldn’t be able to feel on my skin.
I felt like my body was thrown away and cast into the sky.
I was about to panic for a moment at the impossible sensation.
Auguste gripped my hands and I regained my composure.
“Calm down, take a deep breath once.”
When I breathed deeply as I was told, a sensation of ascending slowly flowed into me.
I was connected with something outside of my body, it felt like feelings returning to me after having an anaesthesia wear off.
I opened my eyes abruptly even though I was supposed to close my eyes.
I could feel the heat of the sun with the ‘wings’ on my back.
There was the blue sky above my head and a sea of white clouds spreading like a snowy landscape before my eyes.