Flame Kingdom – 26.1

When looking at Persena frontier, from the sky, one could see that the north side was narrower oval, it city had the shape of an egg. A river called Parsena river flows across the center of the city, it was a unique cityscape that was clearly divided into areas by the river. 

To the north of the river, commonly known as the Northern ward, it was responsible for the politics and economy of Parsena. It was where the Parsena frontier administrative office, residential area, and restaurant/inn for tourists existed, it was nothing more than an ordinary ward. The northern ward… Practically there were no people who visited Parsena and only sightseeing the northern ward… But still, some think that Parsena northern ward was part of the Orkena pleasure quarter. 

In general, when referring to ‘Parsena’ in a sense, they were talking about the entertainment ward, which was only referred to the southern ward. The only thing that connected the two ward in Parsena was a single bridge known as ‘Parsena Bridge,’ the difference between the two ward oftentimes causing people to question, ‘Is this really in the same city?’. Though it was definitely not something like arrived at a snow country after passed through a tunnel. 

And in that south ward, it also further divided into three-part. The first district closer to the northern ward was the gambling area. It had a wide variety of casinos from around the world, here one could enjoy gambling however one liked. A place where an overnight dream could be obtained by the tourists. 

If you descended south of the gambling district, one would enter the second district known as the food and beverage area. Though despite people calling the district food and beverage area, it was mostly served alcohol. 

Lastly, known as the Charm Street, located in the southernmost of the southern ward. This was the district where one could release one lust and desire. 

‘I’m afraid to cross over the Parsena bridge. No matter winning or losing, coins would always fly away.’ That was a famous Parsena saying. The people who lost in gambling would cross the bridge penniless, those who win a little bit would then go to the second district and then cross the bridge penniless, those who win big would drink in the second district, then went to the third district and cross the bridge penniless. It was a good system where people would always spend money. 

In term of security, the first district that was closer to the north ward was best, but the Charm Street was not completely lawless either. Of course, it still retains the ‘outlaw’ atmosphere peculiar to that of a downtown area, but for the tourists, it was actually popular where they would taste a little illegal air, but everything was actually legal. 

“… So then?” 

“Like I said! Let us go, Kota! To the casinos!” 

I raise my gaze from the book I bought from Terra and turn my gaze toward Erika, who comes in without knocking. It can’t be helped if my gaze become a bit severe. Courtesy was necessary, after all. 

“We’ve come to Parsena, you know? What are you going to do without going to the casino? Listen alright? In Parsena, it means a total rest…” 

Erika didn’t mind his gaze and continue talking. After a single sigh, Kota quietly closed his book. 

“Isn’t it fine even if we don’t go to the casino? Even by relaxing here I can get enough rest, you know? See this inn? It’s very splendid.” 

Saying so, he looked around his room. It clearly showed the room was a luxurious one from the furniture and the king-sized bed. The room was also large enough, causing ordinary people like Kota felt out of place. 

“Are you saying that you’re going to stay inside the room for three whole days? Despite coming to Parsena? That’s impossible.” 

“As expected, staying inside a room for three days is a bit too much… Of course, I want to eat some specialty food and stuff…” 

“Isn’t that something that can be made in a restaurant here?” 

“Well… I guess so?” 

“In the end, you’re not planning to come out of the building at all…” 

“… Is that not okay?” 

“Of course, it’s no!” 

Kota tilted his head in confusion due to the remarkable difference in perception. For Kota, eat delicious foods, sleep slowly, and reads one favorite book could be called adequate rest. 

“Geez! You’re still young, you know? Be more energetic! More active, young man!” 

“… Leave me alone…” 

On the other hand, Erika was someone who thinks it would be a loss and not resting if one didn’t go out and play. Furthermore, they were in a place called ‘Orkena entertainment district.’ In her eyes, not going out was impossible. 

“In the first place, is it really alright? You’re the duke of Terra and also a princess of the Flame Kingdom, you know? Is it really fine for you to go and gambling?” 

“That is what you’re worried about? In the first place, leaving Terra management to you who is a stranger at first, isn’t that the same as gambling already?” 

“About that… I guess I can’t refute. But you know, the image is different…” 

The theory itself was correct, but the image was too different when comparing territory management and gambling. – 

“Also… I don’t know in the world you’re coming from, but at least in Orkena, gambling is not something that had a bad image, you know?” 

“Is that so?” 

If a banker like to gamble, it would create a bad image. One might suspect the banker using the people’s money. Basically, don’t do anything that could be misinterpreted. Though well, there were times when there was no smoke in a place there was no fire. 

“Besides the founding Emperor, Alex, sometimes said ‘I will go gambling and take a break a little bit.’ It was considered as one’s vitality of life. There was also the gambling rule that Emperor Alex made… Or rather, it was a major one you know? Therefore, some people of nobility and citizen might regard gamble as a bad thing… But in Orkena as a whole, it was considered not really something bad.” 

“Does he officially approved the gambling?” 

“Well, Alex’s reign was around a thousand years ago. Thus I’m not sure of it… But he was almost a legendary person, so there was a lot of anecdotes about him… For example, until he unified the continent, they used to use different languages, but after he unified the Orkena continent, he enacted a single currency unit and even the width of the highway.” 

“… Is he the Qin Shi Huang or something?” 

“Qin Shi Huang?” 

“Ah, no, please don’t mind me.” 

“Well, anyway… Oh right, there’s something important that I need to tell you… Alex also the founder of Uzu teaching.” 

“Uzu teaching? Is that a religion?” 

“That’s right. It was instated as a state religion by every state in Orkena continent.” 

“Then, it is a huge religion?” 

Hearing Erika’s words, he tilted his head in doubt. If it was that huge of religion, then where was the church, it was not even weird if they got involved in politics. 

“… Ah, I have not told you, huh?” 

Kota showed a suspecting gaze while Erika smiled wryly. 

“There’s only exist one doctrine in Uzu teaching.” 

“… Only one?” 

” -Acknowledge yourself, acknowledge others, but do not force that into others- ” 

“… Hah?” 

“The god who you believes, and the Gods whom everyone else believes, is equally recognized. Recognize and mutually understand each other. No matter what happens, do not push your God to others, and do not scorn other people’s Gods. Of course, there are some other fine rules, but… In summary, Uzu teaching is that one doctrine. Whether it was a pagan god, the fallen god, or meritorious saint, even in extreme case, one can call a three hundred years old tree as a God as long there is a believer. That’s why people might claim themselves as Uzu teaching believer, but in religion itself, they might hold different religion.” 

“That is indeed a broad-minded religion… For example, if I call myself a God from now on, it would be fine?” 

“If it does not bother other people, then, no one would care. However, it also depends on the people who heard your words. If it is me, then, I would look at you with a warm gaze when you decided to become a God.” 

“… Please don’t do that.” 

Hearing his response, Erika laughed. 

“So if you have a God you believe in, don’t hesitate to say it okay? After all, in Kota previous world, there’s God, no? If you have one, then Uzu teaching will acknowledge it.” 

“… No, it is fine.” 

Kota was someone who lived in a country where people celebrate Christmas then a week later they would go to a temple to wish for some worldly desire. Believing in God… To be more precise, most people only ask ‘God’ because it feels convenient. He didn’t have much believe in God. 

“Then that means, there are no religious wars here huh…?” 

“At least, for the last five hundred years, there are no religious wars in Orkena continent.” 

War was a kind of diplomacy, after all. Thus it was not always related to religion. It was along the line because two or more parties could not agree with something, they decided to fight it out, the winner was the right one. In the case of religious war, the winner would go ‘Follow this god!’, and the losers should obey. In the first place, Orkena had Uzu teaching where all religion was recognized, thus whenever someone said ‘I’ll add this God’, no one would dispute it. 

“… I see I’ve gained new wisdom. Thank you very much.” 

“It’s fine, this late in time…” 

“Well then, Erika-san, let us meet again during dinner later…” 

“Sure… I’m sorry for disturbing your time…” 

Thus she went out of the door… 

“–That’s not it, Kota!” 

Erika immediately returned back to his room, gazed at him like that of a female demon. Looking at her expression now, even a one hundred year of love would become cold… 

“… It seems I’ve failed to deceive you, huh?” 

“You won’t deceive me!” 

He thought he was doing pretty a good job at deceiving her just before… 

“In the first place, why me? There’s Sonia-san… Well, I can’t recommend going with her due to her age but, there’s also Emily-san no? Isn’t it fine to go with her?” 

“Emily has some stuff to do. Thus she could not accompany me.” 

“Stuff to do?” 

“Emily’s older brother has come to Parsena, see? That’s why I want them to spend family time without outsiders around…” 

“He comes due to a job or something?” 

“A vacation. I heard Emily’s house had suffered a bad harvest this year, but it seems it had been settled. That’s why he comes here to take a break and play around.” 

“… Does Emily-san parent home a merchant household or something?” 

“… Huh?” 

“… Hmm?” 

“… Eh? Kota? You don’t know? Erika family name, the Notesfilt household, it is aristocrat family, you know? It is a viscount household, and Emily is the third daughter of that household.” 

“… Wait, what? No, no, wait a minute, Emily-san is a noblewoman?” 

“That’s right.” 

“I never heard of that! Why did someone like her become a maid then? That didn’t make sense!” 

“Didn’t make sense you said… Well, even though I’m like this, I am still a member of the Royal family, you realize? There’s no way I have someone random as my attendant, see?” 

It was also not usual for a noble family to sent their daughter to another noble family as a servant in the pretext of ‘learning good manners through apprenticeship.’ 

“But then, normally, she should’ve returned back to her house when reaching a certain age, no?” 

“… There is a lot of reason, you see? Including their side…” 

As Erika said those words looking tired, Kota didn’t pursue further. It was nobility circumstance, it might be something complicated and strange. 

“That is why Emily is away. And I can’t take Sonia with me…” 

‘So, please?’ She said that while looking at Kota with upward gaze. 

“Let us go together, please?” 

Such a sly woman… 

“… I understand.  If it’s a little bit then fine…” 

‘After all, you sure know how to make yourself look cute.’ He thought. 

“… Though men who still listen even when they know that is as expected of a stupid creature.” 

After Kota muttered those words while sighing, he stood up from his chair and put the book on the table.