At daybreak, we finally arrived at Selene’s hometown, the Laluzulu Kingdom.
Right before entering the city, Selene had revealed her identity, causing a huge commotion to occur. We proceeded to leave the raptor carriage with the guardsmen and waited in the guest room.
Since the guards were convinced by Selene’s true identity, Princess Lutra, this became an even larger deal. As a result, their higher ups decided to bring someone capable of confirming her identity. However it seemed that it was a lot more trouble than we thought as it had already been two hours.
[Uhn. I’m glad. Selene finally returned to her home.] (Luna)
Luna was talking to Selene as she accepted the sweets served to her by the guards. The guards were exceptionally considerate, going through the trouble of serving us light snacks as the preparation took a lot longer than expected.
[That’s right. Although, I can’t let my guard down.] (Lutra)
[Selene.. Sorry, I guess you are Lutra now? As Lutra mentioned, we can’t afford to be careless. We may even be in the most danger we’ve ever been. If our opponents was malicious enough, the battle may as well have already begun. They could insist that the Lutra that appeared was an imposter, or even outright attempt to erase any trace of this incident.] (Yuuya)
Luna and Til, the glutton duo stiffened up at my words. In contrast, Phil was prepared for battle even before I said anything. Similarly, Selene was prepared for the situation as well. Both of them most likely knew from their own experiences, as a seasoned adventurer and a political figure how dirty the real world was.
[Uhn. Understood. Selene can be relaxed. Luna will assassinate anyone who comes close to Selene.] (Luna)
[I’m here too you know.. Although, in a small room like this, my bow won’t be as effective.] (Til)
The duo and Erik seemed to be filled with energy from our short exchange.
[Luna, Til, Erik. Thank you. I’m glad that you feel that way. ] (Selene)
[Although it’s good to be motivated, the moment a battle is about to break out, I want everyone to use their Return Stones immediately. Starting a battle here is a fool’s errand.] (Yuuya)
Even if a battle were to break out, I’m confident that we would emerge from the battle in good condition, however in the event of the worst condition I decided that using our Return Stones was the best course of action.
Although the item was used to escape dungeons, it’s actual ability was to return to it’s last recorded dungeon entrance. It could also be used outside of dungeons, meaning that we would be able to escape immediately to Grannel.
We were already on the verge of reaching level 40. In both me and Phil’s case, with our special benefits from our reset we were closer to level 50 instead. The girls were similar in our levels however just the stats they gained from their natural levels was enough to show that they were blessed by the gods. Furthermore, they were also naturally talented. They were already well on their way to catching up to me and Phil.
[Understood. Luna will do as Yuuya says.] (Luna)
[Return Stones are really convenient huh.] (Til)
[That’s why their so highly valued. If they weren’t so highly priced then people would be using them much more often… Also, the two of you, we’re finally in the Laluzulu Kingdom. Her name is Lutra, not Selene.] (Yuuya)
[Uhn. But it feels weird.] (Luna)
[Right? We’ve always been calling her Selene.] (Til)
Lutra smiled at their responses.
[I feel the same way. I’ve gotten much more attached to Selene than Lutra recently. Especially since it’s a name given by Yuuya-ojisama. I prefer it much more to Lutra.] (Lutra)
Lutra began to mention her liking for her alias, however it was time for her to be addressed properly as there were eyes all around us.
[In that case, in the Laluzulu Kingdom you are Lutra! On the outside, you are Selene!] (Luna)
[Sure, that sounds great.] (Lutra)
At this time, the guards had brought over several cups of tea and served them to us.
We ensured that there wasn’t any poison in the tea using a magic item that was capable of doing so. It was an essential item as our opponents could fairly well be capable of drugging our tea with poison or sleeping pills.
After we finished our tea, we heard a knock as the door slowly opened.
There were several soldiers escorting a youth dressed in white. The youth seemed to radiate a feeling of warmth as there was nothing to dislike about him. Furthermore his body seemed well conditioned and tanned with muscles that weren’t unnecessarily large. Such a body filled with lean muscle was an efficient body for someone who specialised in swordsmanship providing the necessary strength without overcompensating. Furthermore there was a strong sense of charisma radiating from his well-featured and attractive face as he looked towards Lutra.
[Without a doubt, she’s my younger sister. Lutra, I’m glad that you returned home safely. I felt my blood rush to my face when I heard the news about your disappearance… Even after organizing the search team, there was no news about your rescue. After all this time, I’m happy that you’re back safe and sound. Truly.]
Although I had trouble recalling his name, I finally remembered the name of Lutra’s elder brother, Prince Aleck. It seems that he had still retained some of his features from when he was young.
[It’s a pleasant surprise to have my elder brother going out of his way to visit me.] (Selene)
[Isn’t it a normal reaction for a brother to personally ensure his younger sister’s safety? Now, let’s return to the castle. Our father is worried about you.] (Aleck)
Looking at the warm expression Lutra had in response to her brother, it seemed like this was his honest expression. This was her brother expressing his anxiety over her younger sister whom he thought was gone.
[You’re being obtuse. Saying this although you’ve made countless attempts to harass and obstruct me… I’m saying this as I’m not as good at playing games as you. It was you who threatened the knight into killing me, then proceeded to kill her and brush the incident off as an accident in the dungeon. I wonder if the knights sent on the search team met an unfortunate accident or were silenced instead. Putting myself aside, you’re involving and underestimating everyone else around us. One wrong move, and you’ll be drown in contempt.] (Lutra)
Lutra threw a straight punch towards her brother.
Although I wouldn’t necessarily call her actions correct here, the path ahead of her was going to be thorny regardless. There shouldn’t be any particular problems with this.
[What do you mean? How would I ever consider harming my own sister? I will admit to hindering your growth. I do have the power for that, after all my dear sister’s mother is merely a concubine. However it is ridiculous to be furious just for that. Knowing how to use everything at your disposal effectively to create an advantageous situation before the ceremony and increasing the chance of success is a necessary ability for a king. That is how our inheritance ceremony is designed isn’t it?] (Aleck)
Suppressing her murderous intent towards her brother who readily admitted to his sabotage while denying his murderous actions, Lutra continued to clench her fists.
[I have never once considered putting your life in jeopardy. Don’t misunderstand me. I’ve only done what I have to, to sabotage you in order to become the king. I still love my younger sister. Once the inheritance ceremony is over, I wholeheartedly wish to return to our former relationship of loving brothers and sisters as well as to compensate for my coldheartedness for our past.] (Aleck)
[What are you saying. Ever since we were children until now, all you’ve done is get in my way while mocking me, not paying me any heed at all.] (Lutra)
While Lutra firmly denied her brother’s words, it was merely lip service as I felt that somewhere in her heart, she truly wished for her brother’s words to be true.
[There are two reasons. First, the moment I heard about your disappearance. I truly regretted having our relationship ending like this without having a chance to reconcile and decided that I would speak only the truth once you returned. The second was to solidify my conviction to becoming the king. Would the gentle Lutra from our childhood wholeheartedly dedicate herself to her craft if she knew about my intentions?] (Aleck)
After saying his piece, his brother let out a hearty laugh as Luna and the other girls recoiled in shock. It felt like Lutra’s brother character was much more horrifying than we had heard.
[It is far too difficult for me to believe any of your words right now. You aren’t the only person vying for the position of the king. I’m sure that our sister has heard of your wrongdoings.] (Lutra)
[Wrongdoings, me? You’re not wrong in saying that I would have to dirty my hands for our kingdom to strive.] (Aleck)
[That’s not what I’m referring to. Aniue has changed. You weren’t a person who would succumb to greed and inflict despair onto your people.] (Lutra)
Prince Aleck covered his eyes with his hands before seemingly coming to a conclusion.
[…. I see. I understand now. It must be Aure. It definitely seems like something she would do. Despicable doesn’t even describe her. Taking advantage of the fact that I intended to avoid a confrontation with you until the ceremony was over. It seems that I still have a long way to go. I was done in quite badly.] (Aleck)
Despite saying such self-deprecating words, Prince Aleck seemed to have an extremely vicious smile.
[Our story ends here. There’s a carriage waiting outside. Although it’s quite a simple carriage, at the very least it’s ready for a simple parade. Go and reassure the public by showing your face. You are the one who is loved by the public, more so than any of your siblings…. This is another reason why I would never put your life in danger. You, known as the reincarnate of the legendary battle princess Renoir, would be the perfect tool to unify the public under our banner, the ultimate weapon of the Laluzulu Kingdom. It’ll be a waste if anything were to happen to you.] (Aleck)
In such a short amount of time, they worked surprisingly effectively, preparing a parade in this short timeframe. Although he was a prince, he knew perfectly well the limits of his power, grasping the power given by his position and was talented in using other people’s talents as well. He was definitely talented and popular.
In the first place, he would had never prepared the parade if it wasn’t known that the attention between the public and Lutra was mutual…. Is this really the same person who was blinded by his ambition and greed?
Something feels off here.
Prince Aleck walked in front of me and lowered his head.
[It’s been a long time, Weakest Strongest Knight, Yuuya Grandwood. Not only have you saved our country in the past, but you have saved my younger sister. As the first prince of the Laluzulu Kingdom, thank you from the bottom of my heart.] (Aleck)
His movements were refined, displaying his position as a prince even in the form of a bow.
[… I only saved Lutra because I wanted to.] (Yuuya)
[Even so, I’m grateful. I’m certain that if you weren’t around, then Lutra would most certainly be dead. As expected of her knight. If it’s possible, I hope that you can continue to be by her side.] (Aleck)
[I’ll think about it.] (Yuuya)
[I look forward to a favourable response. We’ll prepare the appropriate honor as well as reward.] (Aleck)
[Prince Aleck. You don’t have to behave respectfully towards me. You are the prince of a country. If you don’t behave so, I’ll be in a bind on how I should behave towards you.] (Yuuya)
[Isn’t it natural for me to be respectful towards my sister’s benefactor? However, if you say so, I’ll refrain from it…. Now then, shall we head towards the carriage? I’ll be riding the carriage with you so I’ll behave as your guide during the parade since it’ll be travelling around the town. Our castle has enough rooms and plenty of food so please enjoy your stay here until the inheritance ceremony.] (Aleck)
And thus, without being able to come to a conclusion, we headed towards the carriage to begin the parade. The highways were secured by soldiers on both sides, whom illuminated the area with torches in their hands while controlling the crowds of people on the sidewalks.
Whenever Lutra raised her hands, numerous cheers could be heard from the public, displaying how popular she was as the icon of the legendary Renoir. Even I, who was standing next to her was receiving a warm welcome.
It seems that in this short amount of time, rumors were going about that I was one of the heroes who had saved the kingdom in the past and became a knight of the young Princess Lutra.
The rumors were definitely not wrong, however as rumors often did, it also spread the wrong information around, causing people to think that we were also in love or other things along that setting.
The parade continued until we arrived at a small hill covered with marble walls, the Laluzulu Castle. Although I had expected otherwise, the parade ended at the castle without any incidents. Afterwards, we were invited to dinner and Prince Aleck decided to join us as well.
Although the prince tried to invite the King to dine with us, he refused the invitation due to his ill health and was unable to attend. However, he expressed that he wanted to see to Lutra’s well-being.
As the sudden encounter with the vast public was unexpected, me and Lutra were completely drained as we just hung our heads down.
As if everyone had noticed that, the meal started immediately as some idle talk began.
After checking for any poison in the food, we received the highest form of hospitality at the dining table with Luna and Til’s manners, or lack-of were being tolerated.
In the midst of the casual chatting, Prince Aleck continued to inquire about the sword and listened attentively whenever I answered , which usually led to even more questions. He even went further as to ask for a sparring session after the ceremony was over. Throughout the conversation, I couldn’t help but feel that the feeling he gave off felt similar to Lutra, raising this uncomfortable feeling in me even higher.
Due to my profession, I’ve seen several dozens to hundreds of people from different backgrounds especially aristocrats as I’ve accepted numerous nominated quests in my previous parties. This in turn made me fairly confident in reading other people’s intentions, however I just couldn’t believe that this prince was actually a malicious person.
Although I didn’t doubt Lutra’s judgement, it still felt something was off.
Since Prince Aleck had taken steps to avoid encountering Lutra, Lutra had only heard of his antics through third parties… Would everything be fine if she just defeated the evil prince? It certainly didn’t feel that way to me, it was as if there was a conspiracy being concocted behind the scenes.
< ??? POV>
It was in the middle of the night as a certain figure sat in one of the luxurious rooms available in the castle, holding a pile of documents. In front of it were people from an information agency. That person was reading the documents provided to it, spending several minutes before opening its mouth.
[How could this be? Lutra is still alive? Didn’t the report mention that she was eaten by the Starfish Larvae? Could it be that she had actually escaped instead?] (???)
Infuriated by the report, the person began reprimanding the informant.
[That isn’t the case. The fact that she was eaten by the monster is the truth. As Princess Lutra’s personal knights from her mother’s influence held her in high regard, it was difficult to trust them. We had someone from our department watch over Princess Lutra and witnessed the princess being eaten whole by the monster.]
[Based on what you’re saying, are you saying that Yuuya Greenwood cut open the monster’s belly and rescued her?]
[Exactly. If it’s that hero then its possible. According to our research, he was someone who had an extremely low status which was his only weakness. However he had discovered a way to overcome even that. On the other hand, his swordsmanship is first hand as he is speculated to be stronger than even the hero Leonard if he possessed an equally high status.]
The Laluzulu information department was exceptional. Once they knew about the alias of Selene, then it was easy for them to investigate everything that had happened from the beginning.
[… I have read their track record after Lutra changed her name to Selene. It looks like she has somehow obtained different abilities contrary to her disappearance.]
The pile of documents in its hands were in fact a list of achievements and quests that were completed by Yuuya’s party, Twilight Home that they received from the guild. Not just that, it also contained the estimates from the materials that their party had gathered from the dungeon.
There were even testimonies from other adventurers. Just by looking at them, their abilities were left completely unnoticed.
Of course this was due to the guild’s policy, preventing any personal information from leaking. However it even had the power to bypass this as the man from the information agency opened his mouth.
[What’s astounding isn’t the level of skill that party possessed based on their achievements alone. From various witnesses, it seems that she was being trained by that Yuuya Greenwood.]
[The Weakest Strongest Knight that trained the Hero Leonard. If she received his tutoring… Is it safe to assume that she is currently a completely different person?]
It instinctively turned to the pile of documents
[Yes. Not only is he the teacher of the hero Leonard, but even other adventurers who received his tutelage went on to become top tier adventurers. However, half way through his career he decided to retire, becoming an exclusive adventurer at Rekusa and raising several exceptional adventurers. He is most likely, undisputed in his ability to raising students. Princess Lutra was already exceptionally talented. It’s scary to think how powerful she has become, becoming a student of that person.]
[Good grief. It feels just like a bad joke, having the dropout from the ceremony turned into its number one candidate. The genius meeting a master, could now stand toe to toe to someone who had exclusive access to the castle’s dungeon. We will most likely lose if we fought them head on.]
It crushed the documents within its hands as it began to concoct a plan. It could not let the situation go on as Princess Lutra would be the king at this rate. It wasn’t enough to just work behind the shadows, making their next course of actions simple.
This time it’ll be done so perfectly that even a miracle won’t help.
There wasn’t time to wait as the ceremony was quickly approaching, they had to move fast however it was difficult to even hinder Princess Lutra right now. That Yuuya Greenwood was defending her.
On the other hand, the castle was it’s garden. It alone was more than enough to control Princess Lutra.
Now then, it’s time to begin.
In order to become the country’s ruler, and to fulfill its goal.
< End Of Chapter>
Hope you enjoy the start of Volume 4’s main arc. I’ll be releasing more chapters next week, most likely one chapter every two days or more if I can get them done in time. As always, do let me know if the chapters needs to be edited or if its sloppy.
I do apologise for the sudden change in theme as I was fooling around with wordpress’s settings and accidentally changed it. The site is long due for a revamp but I’ve been kinda avoiding it since I have zero knowledge of web design. It’ll probably happen sometime soon or I may just create a whole new site instead.