Editors: Starbuck11, Key, Kev
Afternoon, 3rd Day, 1st Month, the Year 2814.
Tense air dominated the audience room.
A red carpet spread from the door toward the throne and guards standing by on the sides without moving an inch.
On the left and right side of the throne were military officers and civil servants.
Many of the civil servants were aristocrats with high ranks.
They wore silk with gold ink and plenty of silver thread as if symbolizing their power, large jewels that were on their bodies shining brilliantly.
Still, maybe because of the noble blood in them, their appearance suited them well and didn’t felt vulgar.
And even though their country was in crisis, they still did their utmost to keep their appearances.
The same could also be said for the military officers.
Sure, they wore armor and carried a sword around their waist.
However, because of the elaborate designs made by skilled craftsmen, it made it feel like an art piece rather than a weapon.
(Well, their appearance would affect the morale of the soldiers if they appeared too shabby after all… But, again, am I going to have an argument with these guys too?)
While acknowledging the degree of their dressing, Ryouma sighs in his mind.
Based on his experience after he was summoned to this world, the incompetents aside, those who wore luxurious clothes and had high positions were always a bad match for Ryouma.
“Please, come closer.”
Whispered by the servant who was waiting on his side, Ryouma slowly began to move toward the throne.
(These guys again…)
During the audience, there were knights and aristocrats standing in line.
They showed various emotions on their face.
Joy, Expectation, Disappointment, Amazement, Ridicule.
Roughly, these were the most common expressions amongst those people.
In percentage, the expression of ridicule and disappointment were three times more in comparison to those who showed joy and expectation.
(They feel disappointment because they really expected reinforcements yet the one who came was a young unnamed man huh?)
Self-ridicule appeared inside Ryouma’s mind.
However, on the other hand, he also read the various informations he saw during the audience.
(The numbers are… more than I thought. The difference with back then, was that when it came to Lupis, it was about someone inheriting the throne and a guy with 30 years of experience in protecting the throne.)
Although there were some similarities, the fact that people were here meant Julianus still had influence.
If he was an immature monarch like Lupis, the nobles would run away to protect themselves.
In fact that was what had happened with Lupis back then, in the beginning, no nobles gathered around Lupis.
Many of the knights still followed her because they got their living salaries from her, whereas the nobility was a group with a strong sense of independence, possessing their own territory.
Therefore, even though they would maintain the centralization with the King at the top during the peacetimes, once the situation turned south, and they doubted the king’s ability to govern, they would run to protect themselves immediately.
Given that possibility, the Zalda Kingdom Ryouma saw right now still had some promise.
Of course, there would still be traitors, but in this situation, those people would lie in waiting and see how things evolved, which meant they still had an expectation that the Zalda Kingdom would survive.
Albeit small, they still hadthe wish for the kingdom to survive.
Because of those feeling, the noblemen were unable to leave the royal palace.
But the moment they felt that there was no hope for the kingdom to survive,they would then run away to save themselves without minding the surrounding eyes.
(To call this as the last opportunity for us to help is indeed right… Was the one who predicted this Lupis, or Meltina? No, ironically there is the possibility that Earl Bergston might have been the one.)
Although he was still unable to fully grasp the situation in his own country, he was able to grasp the neighboring country’s situation.
Ryouma suppressed his laughter from such a contradiction.
Meanwhile, Ryouma proceeded to the throne when he realized some cold emotions were directed to him.
(This is… rather than anger, thisis more like a murderous intent…)
In order to find out who directed such a gaze, Ryouma turned his face to the direction where he felt the gaze from.
(Those guys huh… Somehow, I also hate them after seeingthem)
On the corner near the throne, the owners of such gaze gathered.
It was the first time Ryouma met all of them
And from their gaze, he could felt not just a scorn or ridicule, but a darker and clear emotion.
If one were to say it, that emotion was the one called hostility.
They wore gorgeous clothes just like the others.
Ryouma could tell from their dressing, that they had a high position.
Thinking about their position, they must be considerably powerful.
Although in reality, the status and power among them might not necessarily be equal.
Some might be dukes but without power, while there might be a baron with power close to that of a king’s second-in-command.
However, the group that turned their hostility toward Ryouma seemed to have both status and power.
(Che !… This will be troublesome. Why won’t everything just go smoothly…)
Looking at the current situation and the one during the Rozeria civil war, Mikoshiba Ryouma seemed to have been destined to oppose those with power.
(But still, that Gorilla is not there… If I’m not wrong, his name was Grahart…)
Ryouma searched for Grahart appearance while swallowing his bad luck.
It was his position that concerned Ryouma the most right now.
Grahart’s standing position during the audience should clearly show his position in this situation.
Ryouma could not find Grahart’s presence amongst the knights that were lined up.
But when Ryouma directed his gaze toward the throne, he could see Grahart standing right at the left side of the throne.
And despite standing by the King, he still wore armor in addition to carrying a sword around his waist.
(Heee…. That old man, he seems to have the king’s trust.)
Grahart’s large build felt like a shield protecting the throne and the King.
(If he is the close aide of the king, then… His attitude during the first time we met, the possibility of that being suggested by another person is high… But the problem is who? Although I cannot rule out the other possibility, the most suspicious one is Elena-san huh?)
The closer one stands to the throne, the stronger their voice to the king and higher in status they become.
However, the story would be different if one were to stand right next to the throne.
To get that, one needed not only status and ability.
It was necessary for the king to trust such person.
The Royal Guards and the Chivalric Orders are the shields and swords of the King.
But even so, if the King let one of them stand next to the throne while holding a sword, that meant the King trusted that person very much.
In case of Queen Lupis, such positions were held by Meltina and Mikhail.
And to send such a high standing man to welcome Ryouma.
It was doubtful that King Julianus the First, knew about Mikoshiba Ryouma in detail.
If there was such a minute intelligence network, then the Zalda Kingdom wouldn’t have fallen into this kind of crisis.
Which meant, someone had informed the king.
Naturally, there was some kind of goal as well.
(But still, even if it was Elena-san’s idea, to have the magnanimity to accept such suggestion is a different matter… Julianus the first huh? I hope I won’t rub him the wrong way…)
Ryouma kneeled in front of the throne while thinking of such a thing.
He waited for the king to appear, while also thinking about a rumor that the king was someone mediocre.
“You’ve come a long way… It must have been hard.”
A gentle voice came from above Ryouma’s head who was kneeling in front of the throne.
“I see, you don’t have to be that respectful to me. Please show me the face of Rozeria’s proud young hero. Besides you’re not a nobleman of Zalda. It would be good if you try to relax a little bit you know?”
In response to such words, Ryouma raised his head, and he saw the figure of an old man with an abundant white beard sitting on the throne.
He wore a red silk cloak and a crown featuring a brilliantly big shiny diamond on top of his head which proved the status of the old man.
He had a gentle face with deep wrinkles.
From his gaze wisdom and intelligence could be felt.
His body was not that of a big build.
Because of the way he sat on the throne, Ryouma could not find out the exact measurements. However, he was sure that the King had a medium size body.
But even with that, the atmosphere around the old man was definitely the dignity of a ruler.
It was the atmosphere of a ruler who had certain number of achievements and had survived after decades of ruling the country.
He had an unique pressure coming from his body.
(This is bad… I heard the rumors that he was a mediocre king… But it seems I cannot rely on those rumors…)
Certainly, noticeable achievements could not be seen during the reign of Julianus the First.
His evaluation was normal, or at least he didn’t have a failing grade.
However, by maintaining power during the war, that itself was a proof that he was no mediocre king.
“Umu, I heard the story from Elena but… I see…”
Julianus the First smiled gently toward Ryouma.
(So I was right, it was Elena-san…)
From the king, Ryouma finally found the answer.
As he had expected, Elena must have established a close relationship with the king of Zalda Kingdom.
“Currently, my country is being threatened by Ortomea Empire, and is driven into a corner.”
In response to the king’s words, Ryouma nodded his head lightly.
“However, now that the reinforcements from the Mist and Rozeria Kingdoms have arrived, I thought that the opportunity to recapture our lands had arrived, but, what is your opinion?”
Ryouma waved his head quietly as if trying to deny Julianus words.
Certainly, now that the reinforcements from the Mist and Rozeria Kingdoms had arrived, such opportunity seemed to have arisen.
And indeed many people present in the room during the audience were waiting for such decisive battle.
“Hoo… So do you think this is not a good opportunity?”
“I cannot say if this is a good opportunity or not. First I need to examine the information gathered so far, after grasping the situation, I would like to give your majesty a proper response.”
A stir was raised among the nobles, and the hostility directed toward Ryouma had increased sharply.
Was it because of simple antipathy, or were there any other reasons…
The people inside the audience room could only gulp down their saliva looking at Ryouma who expressed his opinion magnificently to the King’s question.
“Heeh… Such a cautious man aren’t you?”
Julianus’ eyes shone slightly while looking at Ryouma.
Those sharp eyes usually belonged to a ruler that was trying to read his opponent.
After a moment, the stir ended, and silence dominated the room once again.
(His eyes are very firm without any fluctuation…)
Julianus could feel a strong will emanating from Ryouma’s eyes.
He felt that the man in front of him was a man with an iron-clad willpower.
(What kind of life would make a young man such as him possess such eyes, I wonder…)
Julianus knew only of two people that had the same eyes as the young man in front of him.
One was the guardian of the Kingdom of Zalda, the deceased General Belharres.
And the other one was Elena Steiner, Rozeria’s White Goddess of War.
It was the eyes of people who had an absolute confidence in oneself. –
“Very well… I would like for you to lend me your power together with Elena-dono.”
The sharp gaze from his eyes disappeared, and Julianus returned to the gentle expression he had a while ago.
“I’ll do my best and bring victory to the Zalda Kingdom.”
Ryouma lowered his head slowly and promised victory to the king.
“Umu, I have a great expectation…”
When Julianus felt satisfied with Ryouma reply, one man shook off the guards, moved forward, and stood before the king’s throne.