85. His Majesty the Dragon Emperor is Enjoying his Slow Life (33)
Northwest of Noitral, by the river in a forest near the dragon’s nest was where the reinforcements dispatched by Vissel where to be met.
The reinforcements were dispatched under the pretext that they were tasked with searching out Hadith. Since the number of the dragons owned by the Dragon Knights were strictly managed, they weren’t able to prepare them.
A message was relayed, saying that it was safe to trust those soldiers. In addition, there was also a reminder for them to not use dragons either.
That was how a crisis with mobility appeared.
Hadith casually mentioned how if a dragon was used, then Georg would notice Vissel’s soldiers.
“I should be the one to go.”
Listeard strongly objected to Hadith’s suggestion.
“I’ve said it many times! As an emperor, you mustn’t let your guard down! Not to mention, you can barely use your magic!”
“But, even in this state, I can command a dragon. I think I’ll be fine.”
“Then I, as the member of Rave royal family, should be the one who goes! After all, I can also communicate with dragons to an extent!”
Listeard decided arrogantly—however, Hadith only shook his head.
“No, you can’t be relied—”
“—what are you trying to say now?!”
“Your Majesty, His Majesty Listeard is just worried about you.”
Jill, who sat next to Hadith in the meeting room, pulled his sleeve. Hadith immediately became stunned.
“I, I see—then, be my escort!?”
“What’s with that manner of speaking!? Are you requesting or giving me an order?!”
“We are in a meeting, you two. Well, I can’t leave this place—especially after I learned from Vissel that uUncle is suspicious of me. But Listeard is here under the pretense of a joint exercise. Even if the reinforcements catch sight of you, you have plenty of excuse. Not to mention, he’s brighter than Hadith. Therefore, it’s a good idea for the two of you to go together.”
Towards Hadith and Listeard, whom were arguing, Elynsia offered a common ground. The meeting proceeded with familiar exchanges, before a small group of people heading for the rendezvous point was formed.
They’d be riding horses.
“It takes about two days by horse to reach the junction. Don’t rush, or overdo yourself. Always carry the minimum amount of food and money. Especially the two of you—Hadith and Listeard.”
“If it’s only Hadith, it’s understandable, but why me too, oOlder sSister?”
“Because you don’t seem to be familiar with the world the most. Listen Hadith, don’t provoke Listeard.”
Elynsia reached out and patted Hadith’s head. Hadith nodded firmly. Then, she lightly smacked Listeard’s head.
“Don’t bully Hadith, understand?”
“When and where did I ever bully him?”
“It’s hard to believe that the two of you aren’t two months old. No matter what happens, get along, understand!? Lastly, please return safely.”
Elynsia, who hugged both Hadith and Listeard, had the face of an older sister who was sending out her little brothers. Understanding that, both Hadith and Listeard were left stunned.
Jill laughed at the scene.
“Your Majesty can’t help but abide by his older sister’s words, can he?”
“It’s not like tha—”
Jill slapped Hadith’s back. At the end, Elynsia turned to Jill.
“I know you’re still a child, but… I entrust my little brothers to you.”
They shook hands before finally sneaking out of the fortified city of Noitral before dawn.
The trip was neither luxurious nor comfortable, but successful—well, except for one problem.
“Hey, hey, Lawrence~ once we reach that spot, where do we go? Left~? Right~?”
Lawrence was asked to be their guide. He answered firmly while looking at the map.
“There’ll be a slight detour, but there’s an old highway. If we want to stay clear and safe, it’s best to use that road. Just in case, Zeke, please go ahead and check.”
“Oi, this area’s clear.”
“—why did you return from the right side, Zeke? Didn’t I ask you to survey the road on the left…” Said Lawrence.
“Oh, sorry, bad with directions.” Said Zeke.
Towards Zeke’s remark, Lawrence only smiled in silence—it was time for him to admit that Zeke was useless. Camila sighed in annoyance.
“I’m sorry, Lawrence~ Told you so, that fool can’t even scout properly~” Said Camila.
“Shut up. But it’s true that the left path is crowded. It seems that there’s a rare street vendor. I think we should go right—yes, right is the way. For the time being, as long as there’s directions, we’ll surely reach the destination.” Said Zeke.
“Don’t decide it that simply… we also need to think about our campsites.” Said Lawrence.
“But wouldn’t that crowded path be more beneficial to us~? I mean, we can blend in with the crowds. I think we should stick to our original plan. Not to mention, I’m curious about that rare street vendor~” Said Camila.
“Haha, indeed, that path does look fun… but we mustn’t decide solely based on that, okay?” Said Lawrence.
“Oi, are those three alright? Especially that Kratos attendant?”
To the exclamation of Listeard, Jill, whom was riding with Hadith, turned around.
“I’m sure they’ll be fine. I think they’ll get along well with each other.”
The sight was a little nostalgic for Jill. Lawrence would lead the way, Zeke wouldn’t care about it, while Camila would instead get in the way.
“Determining our path is important, but where are we going to rest tonight?” Said Zeke.
“…We will find a place to camp. I have explained it to you numerous times, haven’t I?” Said Lawrence.
“Is that so? Can that map be trusted?” Said Zeke.
“A good question~ alright, go ahead and scout~” Said Camila.
“Stop right there, if we entrust it to Zeke, it’ll be the same development as before. Therefore—” Said Lawrence.
“—I’m not up for the task~?” Said Camila.
“How useless. It can’t be helped, I’ll go.” Said Zeke.
“Eh? Wait, me too!? No way, please wait—”
—Zeke struck Lawrence’s horse’s rear, causing it to start galloping. Then, Zeke followed from behind.
“Hey, your horse riding is actually good. You’re surprisingly skilled at it—oi, wait, don’t pull my hand, you raccoon!” Said Zeke.
“Ha, haha… raccoon, you said? Raccoon…” Said Lawrence.
“Well then, have a safe trip, Raccoon Boy! Bear Man!”
Waving her hands, Camila saw them off.
Jill unconsciously tightened her grip on the horse’s rein.
Raccoon, huh… it’s kind of strange. Back in the past—no, it’s supposed to happen in the ‘future’.
“Surprisingly, those three do get along well.”
Hadith remarked. Jill also felt relieved.
Due to her sentimental feelings, she had forgotten the most problematic part of the trip.
***T/N: After translating another story of mine, where the heroine can only blush at everything the ML said, and how the other charas are nothing but convenient plot devices, I realized how dynamic the interactions in this novel are–It’s truly refreshing, give insight to characters’ personalities, and never gets old. I’m truly grateful. It could be said that the second arc of Jill had successfully retained my heart rather than losing it.