Alan remained in Eidonia for post-war processing.
Meanwhile, Leonard, Shera and Alexis Knights had returned to the imperial city.
A peaceful week had passed since the war in Eidonia.
Currently, it was the 3rd day of the 4th month.
Leonard together with Shera goes on a long ride early in the morning.
They went to the south of the imperial capital, where cultivation of lemons, limes, olives, etc on the gentle hill was being done. The place was flourished with a strong sea breeze.
On the spacious open space, the fruit trees grew stretching their branches and leaves, blocking the strong sunlight. The healthy fruit skin sparkled due to the light.
In such fruit forest, Leonard was doing a martial arts training.
Unless he had an appointment, it was his daily routine for him to train in which he never misses.
He wore his heavy armors, swinging his sword and thrusting his spear.
He didn’t need a practice partner. He doing the swinging while looking at his own movement, continue to refine his movement single-mindedly. His teacher of martial art taught him that practice partner was important but, Leonard feels this kind of type of training was important for him.
On the other hand, Shera enjoys reading under the sun nearby.
Unless she had something to do, she would follow Leonard every morning.
Alexis had Claude’s largest library, founded by Rozalia, and her father was a junior official working as a book historian. Shera herself was an avid reader. From difficult academic books to an eastern Zien’s martial arts book, she loves to read everything…
After he finished his training, Leonard would then wipe all of his sweat.
Shera would often help him wipe his backside.
“May I touch the wound?”
Sometimes, Shera said those words.
There were countless scars on Leonard body. It was wound created during the times when he protected his comrades during the war two years ago.
“I don’t care but…” In his mind, she was indeed a weird girl.
“The moment I thought that this wound was created because you’re trying to protect us, the feeling of love welled up inside my heart…”
Shera whispered from behind.
But Leonard could not understand what she said completely. Instead, he was worried that she might actually worship his wounds.
Shera’s thin fingertips traced around Leonard’s back.
He endured the ticklish feeling for a while.
He could not see his own back and also didn’t know where the scars were. Therefore, his consciousness unintentionally concentrates on the feeling of Shera’s fingers tracing the surface of his back.
Then, he noticed.
” ‘Are you hungry, Leo-sama?’ … Huh?”
“Don’t play with people’s back…”
Leonard expression turns sour after his back was used as a writing board.
After a while, they decided to return home for lunch
After he changes his clothes armors, Leonard straddles Zanzas.
He then reaches his hand out to help Shera to sit on the back. Zanzas was dissatisfied once, but due to Leonard stare, the horse turned obedient.
And since Shera sits sideways, she hugs Leonard in order not to slip and fall.
“Can you not wear the armor? The feeling of embracing it like this is the worst. It feels rugged.”
“This is a practice so that you will get used to it during an actual battle.”
“Leo-sama is truly a straight-laced person…” Shera said those words while looking peevish.
Then she wrote ‘I hate you’ on Leonard’s back. But immediately traced other words, ‘But, actually I love you.’
Of course, this was done over the armors, thus Leonard could not feel it.
On their way to the Alexis mansion—
They were being pointed many times. It was rude but there was no malice in them. “Look, he’s the prince I’ve talked about…” “Ah, the one who saves Eidonia…” Such rumors circling about.
“It seems the rumors already spread huh?”
“That’s true. One should never underestimate the speed of rumors being spread…”
Leonard was genuinely impressed while Shera gives him another lecture.
Because of Chart army looting the Eidonia’s highway, the merchants who used the road for trade route were in trouble. There was no choice for them but wait for the situation to resolve.
Eventually, Chart army was repelled, and Eidonia people praised Leonard by spreading ‘His Highness Leonard was the one who saved us.’ The merchants were all going, ‘Hoo. I see.’ As if full of understanding. The business that had been delayed resumed, and while selling goods to the customers, the merchants talked like…
‘I was very inconvenienced up until now. Which means my shop was also being saved by his highness Leonard too. ‘
Thus from mouth to mouth, the story spread. Because people would always hungry for entertainment, that was why rumors spread easily.
“Is this the power of so-called Folklore?”
“That’s right, this is also could be said as legendary folklore power…”
Shera replied with a clear face.
By the way—
Shera had been working for the past two years to make sure the rumors about Leonard circulate faster. She had asked Dahlia to introduce good bards and told them to tell the story about Leonard and the others. In Dahlia troupe, recently, the heroic story where Alexis Knights defeated the bandits had become more popular.
“One question, Shera.”
Leonard whispered while turning around.
‘This has been on my mind but, the number of things you had put your fingers on seems to increase?’ He said.
“Well, of course, Leo-sama. After all, what we did this time was not just eliminating a bandit.”
“What is the difference?”
“The impact between eliminating hundreds of bandits and defeating 3,000 strong hateful aristocrats army was too different. With this, Leo-sama reputation had climbed fast, which makes me all-smile…”
“… Hateful aristocrats army, huh?”
From Leonard’s perspective, it was clear Keynes and Duke Dinkwood was in the wrong, but the public won’t know such truth.
“Well, it might due to their prejudice. They don’t like aristocrats. Thus in their eyes, it was as if the aristocrats just get what they deserve.”
‘I see.’ Leonard sighed in response to her words.
Claude Empire had lost the faith of its people— The words Shera had said two years ago was truly terrifying.
“The all-smiling me think it is about time…”
“About time we have a territory–…”
“… As if it would be that easy.”
“It is good you know, having territory. Management is also very fun. We can save a lot of money for ourself, and nourish our private soldiers as long as we have a territory.”
“That sounds like a merchant selling phrase…”
Even without her telling him, Leonard also wants it. A large army was needed to take Alexis back. In order to prepare for that, it was essential for them to have a territory. It would be only a dream if they only rely on Alan to pay for all of the war expenses.
In fact, Leonard had talked with Shera from the beginning that he wants to have a territory someday, and they had been planning various things behind the scene.
However, it was not easy to get one.
It was necessary for them to have a major achievement such as winning an important battle.
“Just pay attention to the all-smiling me. Didn’t we have a talk regarding the Line, a land under the direct control of the emperor before?” -=TLN: name of the territory may change. Since I’m not sure yet.
“There’s no way I forgot that…”
Leonard grasped the rein tighter, as his face turns sour.