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Magi Craft Meister 623
18 King Klein’s Treatment Arc
19-10 Elsa’s Determination
“…I see, you’ve made up your mind.”
Instead of looking at Elsa’s face, Karen smiled as she looked a little further down.
Jin followed her gaze, and found himself staring at Elsa’s hands.
Her fingers were white and thin, just as always. She was wearing the Guard Ring Jin had made for her on the middle finger of her right hand. Her nails were also neatly trimmed, with no manicure.
Jin remembered that there was an anecdote about people on Earth growing their fingernails long to show that they didn’t have to do manual work.
Jin once again felt a slight sense of discomfort. Clearly visible hands…
He had just realized that Elsa wasn’t wearing gloves.
Jin recalled that aristocratic women would almost always wear gloves when going to a party or other important social events.
“Did you forget to put on your gloves, Elsa?”
“…I can’t say.”
For some reason, Elsa’s eyes turned to the side, as if she didn’t want to explain her reasons to Jin. He then turned to Karen for answers.
“Karen, do you know why…?”
But Karen just smiled.
“No, you can’t hear it from my mouth. Please try to figure it out on your own, Lord Jin.”
Leaving those words behind, Karen then left rather quickly.
“Big Brother, I’m not wearing gloves either, look!”
Hanna waved her hand as if trying to make them more visible. Jin gently stroked Hanna’s head.
However, he was still concerned about the reason as to why Elsa wasn’t wearing any gloves.
Jin was about to ask Elsa about it again. But at that time…
“Her Majesty the Empress!”
A voice echoed, and everyone who was there stopped talking and turned to look towards the back of the room.
The door on the right side there opened, and Empress Gerhart Hilde von Rubies Shouro finally made her appearance.
“Thank you all for coming here today.”
After saying that, the empress sat down on her throne. It was Chancellor Jung Fowles von Kebsler who continued speaking from where she had left off.
“We have gathered here today to announce the names of four new barons of our Shouro Empire, and to celebrate the future of our fine nation.”
At the same time that he finished saying that, the door on the left opened, and four young men entered.
They lined up in a row on a platform that was one step lower than the throne.
“We shall commence the peerage conferment ceremony without delay. These are our four new barons.”
The voice of the minister’s secretary, who was presiding over the meeting, echoed throughout the room.
“Reinhardt Randall von Adamas, Lord of Kartz Village. Kralg Scher von Dorms, Lord of Etko Town. Blauze Alhaus von Furth, Lord of Eno Village. And finally, Matheus Geist von Rialgar, Captain of the Imperial Guard.”
The four names were read out loud. Matheus, who was standing on the far left, was Reinhardt’s friend and Berthie’s older brother.
“So Matheus was also given the t.i.tle of baron, huh?”
The other two seemed to be lords of local towns and villages, but Jin had never met them.
Then, on the far right, was Reinhardt.
The four were wearing brown robes that represented their status as barons of the Shouro Empire.
In the less than two minutes that had taken the minister’s secretary to introduce all four of them, the maids had already skillfully handed out wine gla.s.ses filled with white wine to the guests.
By the time the empress rose again from her throne, everyone had wine gla.s.ses in their hands. Hanna’s gla.s.s, however, was filled with juice.
“Let us have a toast to the birth of our new barons!”
After hearing the empress’ voice, everyone raised their gla.s.ses before taking a sip from their wine.
“From this point on, this will be a social gathering. Everyone, please enjoy yourselves..”
After saying those words, the empress and chancellor left the meeting.
The venue then became lively at once. Attendees were congratulating the new barons and talking with each other.
“Lord Jin, it has certainly been a while.”
Reinhardt and Matheus went towards Jin. Next to them were Berthie and another woman with blond hair and blue eyes.
“I’m Matheus’ wife, my name is Ciara.”
Ciara then turned to Jin.
“Pleased to make your acquaintance, Lord Jin. I hear that your new residence is just across from the Hekerath estate…”
“Ah, yes, that’s right, but…”
“That’s Ciara’s parents’ house.”
Ciara’s maiden name was Ciara Hekerath von Labra. Of course, now she went by Ciara Geist von Labra.
“Hey, Matheus and Ciara. Congratulations on your new t.i.tle.”
Then came another familiar voice.
“Lord Jin, sorry for the other day.”
It was Flora, the female knight who had been on duty as the empress’ personal bodyguard during the giant Golem’s incident. She had blond hair and blue eyes, and looked a lot like Ciara.
“Ah, sister, it’s been a while..”
“Sister-in-law, long time no see.”
Flora’s full name was Flora Hekerath von Merante. She was the eldest daughter of the Hekerath family, and Ciara’s older sister.
“So you’re a baron now, Matheus? Looks like you’ve finally outranked me, huh?”
Since Flora was a female knight, in other words, a chevalier, Matheus, who was now a baron, was more or less above her in hierarchy.
In terms of the military, Flora was a knight of the Imperial Guard, while Matheus was the captain of the 3rd Company of the Imperial Guard. It was quite complicated for Jin, who was unfamiliar with military affairs, to keep up with the different ranks and their differences.
“Oh no, it is you, who can serve Her Majesty directly, who is of higher rank between the two of us, Flora.”
“Oh, please, stop calling me by my name. I hate it.”
“Oh, sister, does it still bother you?”
Jin couldn’t understand what Matheus and Flora were going on about. Seeing this, Ciara gently explained.
“My older sister has always been a tomboy, to the point of wanting to go to a knight school. And since she finds her name ‘Flora’ to be too feminine, she doesn’t like it very much.
“…Hey, Ciara! You have no business saying such things!”
Flora’s blond hair shone as she turned around. Her silky straight hair was bob cut, and fluttered and reflected the light as she moved.
“…So, she graduated at the same time as my husband, and after working as a junior knight, she eventually became a senior. She may be a tomboy, but she’s very earnest and “by the book”, so I hope you can get along well.”
Jin thought this feeling of female knights – such as Gloria Ohlstat from the Klein Kingdom and Flora here – not being “feminine” was actually a bit disrespectful to the women of this world.
The way Jin saw it, a “feminine” woman probably wouldn’t want to become a knight in the first place.
＊ ＊ ＊
In the evening, at 5:00 PM, the social gathering ended.
Reinhardt had told Jin that, although this had been a social gathering just like any other one, it had to be held during the daytime and to be kept at a small scale since it was originally meant as a ceremony to officially introduce the new barons of the Shouro Empire.
“Lord Jin, Miss Elsa, Miss Hanna, and Miss Reiko, Your Majesty the Empress calls for your presence.”
As Jin and the others were just about to leave, the empress’s secretary called out to them. Reiko, who was treated in the same manner as a junior knight, was also summoned.
“…I wonder what this is all about?”
Though he thought hard about it, Jin couldn’t come up with an answer. The empress’ secretary led Jin and the others to the empress’ office.
“Here they are, Your Majesty.”
“Please, come in.”
The empress and the chancellor were waiting for them there.
“I’m sorry for calling you on your way home. I’ve been busy working until now.”
Even as she said that, the empress’ eyes turned to Hanna.
“h.e.l.lo, Your Majesty!”
The empress beckoned Hannah, and she went to her. Taking Hanna’s hand, the empress explained why she had called for them.
“Today, we have something to say to Elsa. Let’s listen to the details from the chancellor.”