Chapter 134.3 : The End of Battle
… … …
「Yeah, he lost to lord Amakawa. This might be unbelievable but, that was……………….. A Splendid battle」
Christina looked briefly at Rio while saying so. Rio was chatting happily with Celia while preparing for everything they needed.
「I wonder what kind of person he really is? That power aside, I don’t think that he is a mere commoner till just a while ago with his upbringing. It makes me to wonder where Celia-kun got acquainted with such a person. She did have an acquaintance around ten years ago but……..」
Vanessa couldn’t help but ask. But――、
「Enough, please stop prying into another person’s private life. Now is not the time for us to care about his lineage.You won’t hear anything about him.」
Christina blatantly rejected the idea of inquiring any further and turned her attention to the motionless Charles.
Charles’ eyes wandering around.
「It’s been a while hasn’t it? lord Charles. Or should I say “It’s a pleasure to meet you”? 」
Christina greeted Charles who had a bitter smile when he saw her taking off her hood and the magic tool that had changed her hair color.
「I-It’s been a while indeed. Your highness princess Christina. You seem to be in good healthtoday」
「Not at all. And that is thanks to you. You haven’t greeted me since a while ago after all. What is this talk about you trying to arrest me without even having any authority over it.」
「………….. T-That’s because I couldn’t tell whether you are the real person or not due to your hood. Since it was an emergency, and while it’s presumptuous of me to say this, I just tried to accomplish my duty.」
「Emergency huh. What kind of emergency it was I wonder? 」
Christina nonchalantly asked that question. On the contrary, Charles was obviously hesitant to answer that question.
「…………. Vanessa Aimar over there was trying to escape after she stole a regalia and brought princess Christina with her.」
「Uhm, I see. So that’s your inside story huh. ……… Well then, may I hear the details of your mission? 」
「……… Naturally to take back the regalia and your personage.」
When Charles replied so, Christina’s eyes opened wide with a theatrical gesture.
「Ara, so you were just trying to protect me right. Unfortunately, I’m right here by my own will. You might have known about my destination but, there’s another hero at Flora’s place you know.」
Charles replied in a whisper.
「I know that you’re in a hurry. The two holy stones are already gone right now due to the hero summoning, so there’s only one regalia left in this kingdom.」
Christina was smiling ear to ear as she said that. Regalia was the symbol of the sovereign power.
「I-Indeed! Even your personage herself can’t take the regalia without the permission of the king. Thus, would you come back to the royal capital with me right now? His majesty is also worried about your well being.」
Charles is trying to bluff at critical moment.
「A man who likes talking in a roundabout way as usual aren’t you, nevertheless, you seem to be in a hurry. Aren’t you jumping to the wrong conclusion? When did I say that I’m holding the regalia? Well the situation of your house might turn for the worse by the reunion of me who holds the only regalia left and Flora who has a hero by her side」
「T-That’s absurd. There’s no such thing.」
Charles repied with a fake smile when he hearding Christina’s provocation.
「………….. Well, it’s good then. So, will you and Alfred accompany me to meet my little sister? There are many things I want to hear from you two. Then I’ll set aside the matter of you attacking me until we arrive at our destination.」
In short, they had already become Christina’s prisoners. Even if he was rotten, he had······· high value as the member of duke Arbeau house.
Though Charles tried to say something, in the end he could only bite his lips. That moment, Celia arrived along with Rio.
「The preparation for our departure has been completed, Christina-sama. I think Kouta-kun and Rei-kun will wake up soon.」
「Thank you very much. Well, let’s continue our journey after they woke up」
When Christina and Celia were exchanging such pleasantries――,
「Your highness, what are you going to do with the other knights? 」
Vanessa asked so.
「We have to ask them directly for this case. I myself am unable to take that many people you see. Though there’s not that much meaning in doing this, let’s tell them that you’re innocent.」
「Thank you for your kindness.」
「That’s just natural. You’re here for me after all.」
Christina shook her head with an apologetic look on her face.
「It’ll be my honor. ……… Since we captured two griffons, let’s rope them to walk in formation with Charles.¶¶¶¶¶」
Vanessa bowed to Christina as she said those words. Thereupon――、
「……… There’s one thing left before our departure. Will you ask that man? Why did he know about our location.」
Rio suddenly proposed that while glancing at Charles.
「That’s right. Naturally, you heard him right, lord Charles? 」
Christina pointed that question towards Charles with a tone that did not allow a refusal.
「I-I got that information. It said that a girl resembling your highness was spotted in this area.」
Charles replied with a flustered tone.
「A woman who resembled me you say………. I remember that I never showed my face in the city since I was in disguise but then, who was the person who told you about that? 」
「That is……………… An absolutely secret informant.」
「You won’t tell me that even if it’s my order? 」
Christina sent a piercing cold gaze towards Charles who was hesitating.
「T-that’s not it.. That is………..」
「I don’t know why you want to hide that information so much but if you don’t want to tell me about it, I’ll ask the same question to Alfred or your subordinates.」
Charles truly hesitated for a bit and finally decided to confess.
「It was from my diplomat acquaintance.」
「Diplomat? Tell me the name and the country. 」
Christina asked with a curious voice.
「His name is…………. Reis-dono. He’s affiliated with Proxia empire.」
Rio’s face stiffened slightly when he heard Charles’ words.
（……….. Aisia. You said that the name of the man who attacked you was Reis, right?）
（Yeah. He ordered his subordinates to set an ambush for Haruto to separate us from Celia-tachi.）
（Understood. Let’s talk about this matter again later.）
Such telepathic exchanges between Rio and Asia was unfolding behind the scenes.
「…………… It seems you’re hesitant to say this piece of information aren’t you. Why are you keeping your contact with a diplomat of Proxia empire a secret?, it seems I need to dig further into the details of this matter. You must have trusted him so much to the point of coming all the way to this place just with that single piece of information.」
Christina is looking at Charles with piercing cold gaze while saying so.
「I-I’m not feeling ashamed at all! I just don’t want to be suspected without any cause. The kingdom is in state of turmoil right now, thus I just want to bridge the relationship with other country even if it’s just a little! 」
「Is that the reason why you’re allowing the diplomat from another country to strolling around the kingdom as he feel like it? Is that why that man know that I’m currently the hottest fugitive in this kingdom right now? It seems like he loves to gathering information from around our kingdom though」
「T-That is……………..! 」
Charles is trying to find a way to evade Christina who put a blame on him. But, in the end he keep his silence since he might be unable to find a way out of his current situation.
「Well, I’ll at least spare your life during this journey. But then, I won’t say that you’ll enjoy the rest of our journey. Vanessa」
Vanessa is coming forward in hearing Christina voice. She then fixing a rope to the lock of Charles handchuff and then connected the other end of the rope to the saddle on the back of the griffon.
「How dare you! How dare you to do this to me, the son of duke Arbeau! 」
「Shut up, we doesn’t even have carriage for transport. Just endure this」
Though Charles made such fuss, Vanessa still continuing to tying the rope to the grffon saddle and she does the same things to the fainted Alfred. But since Alfred has yet to wake up, his body placed just like that on the saddle and then tied to the saddle.
Soon, Rio-tachi headed toward the national border of Bertram and Galwark kingdom.
◇ ◇ ◇
「Guh………… This place is? 」
The strongest knight of Bertram kingdom―― Alfred Aimar woken up on top of the back of the griffon. He tried to moving his body but abandoned such idea after realizing that his body is fixed to the saddle with a rope, he can do nothing but moving his neck.
「Have you woken up, older brother」
Vanessa was keeping up her vigilance as she keep on watching Alfred and Charles but, she greet Alfred who just waking up.
「………… It’s you huh, Vanessa. Where are we right now? 」
Afred who noticed their situation in just a moment asked that question with a tone that devoid any power.
「……. We were somewhere around the checking station of Galwark kingdom. And you lost in a fight」
Vanessa replying with slightly vigilant voice.
「I know. No, I see………… I lost huh」
Alfred saying so while look like an evil spirit just released from him.
「It’s been decided that you’re going to come along with us, older brother. So please refrain form doing something suspicious」
「Me who lost my sword can’t do anything. So do as you like. I’ll follow you wherever you go」
「………. I see. There’s so many things I want to ask you about but, we were arrived at the checking station. Let’s talk about it after we’re arrived at princess Christina destination later」
Thus, while looking at the sky, Alfred is nodding to her words and――、
「Stop right there! 」
A voice resounded from ahead. It’s the soldier who guarding the checking station.
Rio-tachi and the griffons are stopping on their track.
「………….. Suspicious. Who are you people? Show me your face」
A soldier who unhurriedly approaching from the gate asked Rio-tachi with inquiring tone.
Though Rio is leading the group while taking off his hood, Celia and Christina who hide their face and Charles-tachi who tied up behind them will naturally make anyone suspicious of their identity. But――、
「My name is Amakawa Haruto, the honorary knight of Galwark kingdom. I want to enter the kingdom via the checking barrier but then, do I need to completing the procedure to entering the kingdom? 」
After Rio is making clear of his status, the soldiers face turned pale.
「P-Please excuse our rudeness! So you’re a noble. Would you have something to proof your identity? 」
「This is the badge given to me by your excellency. Is this enough to proof my status? 」
Rio turned up his robe and showing them the badge that attached to his collar.
「O-Of course! Please continue your journey! 」
The soldier opened the passage for Rio with tired look on his face. He stepped back and opened the way for Rio-tachi.
「O-Oi, Are you alright. You need to atleast inspecting them a little more since you need the permission from our commanding officer to open the passage for them immediately」
「You fool, have you not know about this matter? 馬鹿、知らないのか？ When we’re speaking about honorary knight, it’s a position equivalent to an earl. Try to do something funny to them. Our head might be the one that flying later」
Such exchange happened between those two soldier.
（………… It seems this title of mine is useful for this kind of ocassion. Well, not like I need to go through checking station in normal situation since I can just flying over it）
Rio is smiling wryly in learning the convenient of his status as a noble.
After that, they’re safely crossing the checking station into the territory of Galwark kingdom and then――、
「Now we’re no longer under dangerous situation of being pursued by Bertram kingdom army. Shall we goes to visit the closest city to us, Almond, which just slightly walking to north from here? Since my noble acquaintance is living in there, we might be able to get some news about Restoration from that person」
Rio is proposing such plan.
The headquarters of Restoration is the territory of marquis Rodan which located at the north east of Bertram kingdom but it doesn’t mean that Flora must be there. Thus he felt that it might be more efficient to goes up and safe himself from wasting his time.
「Though I feel sorry for always relying on lord Amakawa, will you show me the way? 」
Christina is agreeing while wearing apologizing expression on her face.
Thus, Rio-tachi headed toward Almond.