Chapter 147.1 : Flora’s Agony ~Part 2~
Flora headed towards the village that laid below the hill with a sluggish gait. She finally arrived in the village’s vicinity 20 minutes later.
This village was a calm and serene place with its villagers doing their farmwork with indifferent faces. The face of those villagers were lacking vitality, rather than calm the closest expression for that village might be “Desolation”.
When Flora advanced toward the residential area using the ridge between the field, the villagers doing their farmwork finally looked at her.
（My voice………… Won’t come out.）
Flora could feel the reclusive atmosphere of the villagers and unconciously turned into her timid self. But she couldn’t back off at this point. She summoned her courage and approached the villagers.
「U-Uhm, excuse me.」
Flora called a male villager around twenty years old with a nervous tone.
「……………….. Eh, well. Who are you? 」
Afte looking at the surroundings, the male villager took a side glance at Flora and asked so with a low voice without even looking at her.
「Eh………? U-Uhm, the truth is, I got separated from my attendants, will you tell me where I am right now? 」
Maybe because Flora couldn’t understand what that man meant, she was dumbfounded for a moment. But then, her face changed the next moment and she conducted herself in the more sociable way. She approached a little closer to the man to hear his small voice.
「A………………… Attendants? Could you be, a noble? 」
The man muttered with a smaller voice than before and then looked at Flora’s appearance with a doubtful gaze. Though dirty, Flora was wearing a high quality dress. Moreover, that man had never met a girl as beautiful as Flora up till now. The man said in his heart that she was different from the crude women in the village.
「Ah…………………, Yes. Uhm, it’s as you say.」
To be precise a royalty, but Flora just went with the flow.
「Hee, I see……………….」
The male villager took a long time staring at Flora.
「Uhm, excuse me, could you tell me where I am right now? 」
Though she felt uncomfortable when the man kept looking at her, she tried to gloss over her worries with a smile.
「Where in Paladia kingdom? ………….. The royal capital should be west from here. I don’t know very well about the outside world.」
「Paladia………….. Kingdom? Yeah, surely……………」
After the man taught her about her current location, Flora’s eyes widened due to the surprise. Speaking of the Paladia kingdom, it’s a small kingdom located in the far north east of the Bertram kingdom. Though she knew that such a kingdom does exist, she was not very clear about the detailed information of the said kingdom. But――、
（What should I do to go back………………..?）
Flora was at a loss since she was only aware of the rough distance between Bertram kingdom and this place. It was not the kind of distance that she could cross by herself when she only had what she was wearing.
「……………… What’s the matter? 」
The man who thought Flora was daydreaming called her still in a small voice.
「Ah, eh, uhm………………. I was just pondering as to how I should go back.」
「And where do you want to go? 」
「…………. Bertram kingdom.」
「Bertram kingdom?…………. First time I hear about that place.」
The young man in his twenties in front of her didn’t even know the name of her kingdom. For a farmer living in a rural area like him, even the existence of the great power of the Strahl region might be something similar to a kingdom above the clouds. It meant that even her influence as the second princess of the Bertram kingdom was of no use in this kind of place.
「The village chief might know something. Follow me.」
After saying so, the man then walked away while bringing his hoe. [Ed: KeK]
「U-Uhm…………… Please lead the way.」
Flora snapped back and then followed that man after bowing to his retreating figure. A few minutes later, Flora was brought to the village chief’s house located in the innermost part of the village.
「I’m going to explain your situation to the village chief. Please wait for a minute.」
The male villager went into the village chief’s house himself after saying so. Flora decided to wait as that man told her.
The house of the village chief, a two stories house made of wood was the most splendid building in this village, but Flora couldn’t make out any difference from the other houses because she was raised in the castle as a princess. Nonetheless, Flora observed the daily lives of farmers which she saw for the first time with a curious face.
As she was in the middle of waiting while looking around at the livelihood of the farmers――,
「The village chief wants to meet you. Come in.」
The man who led Flora then told her to go inside. Flora nodded while saying “Yes” and went inside with a timid face. A middle aged man sat in the living room. When the man who seemed to be the village chief saw her he slightly bowed.
「This is………….. Welcome. Allow me to introduce myself: I am working as the village chief of this village. I heard about your general situation from Donner, noble-sama.」
The eyes of the village chief slightly widened when he caught sight of the dirtied dress of Flora. He immediately glossed over it, his expression a smile, and welcomed Flora.
Donner might be the name of the man that showed her the way. He was still in this place even after leading Flora.
「Oi, Donner. I’ll take care of this matter. You may go back to your work.」
The village chief told Donner.
「No, I just…………………………」
Donner was trying to say something. He glanced at Flora.
「What’s the matter, do you have something to say to our noble-sama? 」
The village chief asked of Donner, but he averted his gaze and left the house right away.
「My apologies. He’s a shy man. The young women of the village aren’t that eager to get close to him due to his huge build. Well, even if I tell you that, it has nothing to do with you, noble-sama. I want to get to the point, but may I hear the details of your story first? Since I could barely understand your situation from that Donner chap’s story.」
The village chief said so with a wry smile.
「yes, my name is Flora. I want to go to the Bertram kingdom, but…………..」
After introducing herself, Flora didn’t know what to say about her current situation and just told him her general aim.
「…………… Bertram kingdom huh. I did hear about a kingdom with such a name before, but may I hear which direction that kingdom is from this place? 」
「Yes, I recall that it’s located southwest from this place.」
「I see. Southwest, southwest huh? Though I’m certain that Rubia kingdom was around that location………….. It seems that kingdom is currently at war with this kingdom. The highway might be blocked too. Though they might let noble-sama pass.」
The village chief was looking at Flora as if to gauge her reaction. By the way, the Rubia kingdom was a small kingdom backed by the Galwark kingdom and Bertram kingdom since a long time ago.