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Tsurugi no Joou to Rakuin no Ko Vol 2 Chapter 5

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Between the waves.

Chris has been, in the past decade, in hundreds of wars; although he never took part in naval warfare, he did board many ships. He had never gotten seasick, because of that he did not know of ways to cure it.

"Huh? A cure for seasickness? You drink – drink until you can't tell if it's from intoxication or seasickness."

The medic Nicolo said this while pointing at the cask of wine beside him. Chris regretted asking him, then left the infirmary and returned above deck.

The sun shines bright above the mast of the dark sails, he stood under it's shadows and pondered – it's a fact he never got seasick. However there are several warriors aboard that look a bit blue.

"Chris, you seem to be fine..." one of the centurion [2-5 1] captains muttered.



The ship had barely departed and entered the channel. The troops going to Princinopolis were to arrive in only a few days, sporadic members of the Order of the Silver Egg could be seen on the deck, with weapons in hand seemingly making no progress. This arrangement was made to guard against the possible spies of the Holy Kingdom.

Therefore the only ones sent to check if any troops were seasick were Nicolo, Chris and a few others.

Nicolo walked outside the infirmary, and after looking at the deck littered with seasick troops said to Chris:"Chris, you listen well, inside a man's ear there are snails."

"... A snail?"

"Yes, This is what we doctors know, so you listen well. Because they live in the ear, the snails are made of water from the body, so even when we close our eyes and lie down on the bed, we still know what direction the sky is and what direction the ground is. This is because the snails in our ears help."

"What?"

"But if the snail which is made of water gets shaken up, there will be cases of seasickness and the like."

This was the first time Chris heard this argument. However, because in the past he had not seen Nicolo as a doctor Chris actually holds him in high esteem now.

"The reason we placed you on this ship, is to let those who say "If you drink alcohol you will become seasick" know exactly how stupid that saying is." said Nicolo.

"Well... I, I understand, Nicolo..."

Laying on the side of the ship, a soldier said in a weak voice:

"I did not think I was beaten at drinking by a teetotaler like Chris..." "Blechhh!" "Hey! You go puke on the other side!" "Ugh,ughhh... You're making me want to puke also!"

The tragedy on the boat keeps getting worse. Chris sighed. He did not think it was actually just an experiment. Then he suddenly remembered something, he poked the panicking medic on the back.

"Hey Nicolo, have you seen Minerva? Wasn't she supposed to also board this ship?"

"Of course she is, however she doesn't drink like you do, she doesn't even touch wine."

"Did she get off the ship? Because she couldn't do the experiment--"

Nicolo raised his hand, pointing in the direction of the bow, Chris was stunned to see a person – on the bowsprit, Minerva's red hair was dangling in the sea breeze. He quickly rushed to the bow "Minerva! That's dangerous."

Minerva was sitting on the bowsprit overlooking the ca.n.a.l. She heard Chris's voice, turned and jumped on the deck "Since this expedition is by ship, it will be likely that we will have to fight on-board. I must naturally confirm which places I can reach."

"It will not be a boarding action, at least the military stationed in Princinopolis belonging to the Holy Kingdom do not do boarding actions!"

Minerva was not happy hearing this and with a puckered face she turned around to look at the calm sea. "Why can't we take the cathedral. Since we have ships, we could just go upstream the river Takamiya, and take the Holy Capital for good!"

Although Minerva said this, she still knows it's pointless to complain about it. After setting sail there was no way of turning back, even if they could it would have been too late. Right now they had to carry on the plans of the entire force.

"But if we take too long, Silvia, she..."

Minerva looked in the northwest direction – The Holy Capital's skies, biting her lower lip.

Minerva's sister – Queen Regent Silvia, while thinking of ways to save her, there were no other except the overthrowing of the Holy Kingdom. On this point, not only Francesca, but Minerva herself thought the same.

So although Minerva is now acting anxious, there's nothing she can actually do. She should be very clear about this point, but he did not know why she held such a reaction.

(--The prophetic dream she had that night, she saw something then...) Chris guessed.

Minerva would rarely dream compared to her little sister. Silvia might have had the same prophecy. So this is not a sign of impending danger... Chris kept wondering. Minerva was starring intently, then she shook her head, and goes on to say excessively "It is,it is not right, but..." she stammered failing to speak clearly.

(--She is still reluctant to talk about it...) Chris thought.

"... Is it something about Silvia?"

Minerva timidly opened her mouth and ambiguously nodded. "Well ... Maybe... Yes "

She is the current Queen after all. Cornelius, although not by choice was still dead, so she was temporarily free. However it won't be long until she will have to declare a new potential consort. Minerva was anxious to rescue her sister before then. Chris was aware of this.

"Silvia is different from me, she has n.o.body to rely on; everyone around her only cares about finding ways to use the Queen's blood." Minerva folded her arms and trembled slightly.

"And I have... I have actually fled to a safe place, I am truly deserving of being hated..."

"I don't think you should blame yourself for this matter" said Chris.

"I know that. But she had lived since childhood seething in private, withstanding everything in silence. I was sick of hearing the preaching of the palace headquarter's cla.s.ses, so I escaped, using a casual excuse to explain matters to Silvia."

"Palace cla.s.ses?"

"They were boring history and theology lessons, stupid ceremony customs and so on ..."

Chris is unable to imagine Minerva sitting at a desk, trying hard to study diligently.

"What about you?" Minerva asked Chris.

"I was once hired by a prominent family as a guard, so in order to not shame them, I have been taught speech patterns and mannerisms. I was still small, so he seemed to prefer me staying disguised as a valet to protect him."

Chris said smiling while recalling that time. He was loved by his employer, therefore the family butler painstakingly tried to make sure Chris had a upbringing into a well-behaved, service oriented valet. It was a peaceful manor, he was in close contact with the master of the house, beside his guard duty also escorting him on hunts, however it was also because of the natural caring of the master, so Chris could focus late into the night on learning. It was during that time that he learned to read and write.

"Oh, therefore your words and manners will be different from the common mercenary soldier." Minerva said, leaning against the side of the ship.

"Hey... Could, could you really tell?"

"Of course. Everyone says that you look just like the young son of a fallen n.o.ble family."

Minerva said as she reached for the edge pointing to the stern group of seasickness and constant cries of warriors.

(--So everyone thinks so...) Chris felt a little embarra.s.sed, and could not help but retort "What about you, when I first saw you, you had the same aura as a soldier, however your words and deeds actually more those of a n.o.ble. The obvious conclusion was that you were related to the Royal Family, later contrary to my initial feelings you felt like an extremely arrogant person.[2-5 2]" then he immediately felt regret. After all Minerva was disgusted with her origin as Queen, from this perspective, saying this words really lacked consideration.

However Minerva only puckered her face and said "About that. I did not want to have anything with the etiquette used in the palace. But you, you weren't the one who was forced to learn it, sitting behind a desk."

"Well...Ah, er, er ... " Chris felt joy surging in his heart, because Minerva did not become offended by his words.

Chris walked next to Minerva, putting his hands against the edge of the ship "I don't hate this things after all. At that time, other then wielding a sword I knew nothing about these matters. " thinking about it, this was his first time conversing naturally with Minerva. As the hull of the ship swayed in the water, the surrounding scenery, the rhythm of the swaying, everything felt comfortable.

(--Perhaps this way, Minerva will one day also open wide her heart to me ...) He thought.

"If you like it so much, then you might as well swap places with me, and live in the royal palace."

Minerva then held out her tongue, Chris smiled.

"The palace rules are so strict?"

"That said, I didn't wish to study so I always hid away in the courtyard and a maid from the palace would come find me!"

"Wasn't that natural?" Chris shrugged – compared with the image of Minerva focusing on academic excellence, he can imagine Minerva in the dense bushes, trying to hide from everyone.

"You are laughing at me! They were very annoying! Telling me I need to learn everything about the Weneralia Ceremony, saying that... " Minerva suddenly froze halfway. Then her face went down.

"What is it?"

"...No, I won't speak of this."

Her tone that suddenly became sullen, scared Chris. Because Chris could only see the profile of Minerva, her thoughts this time must be related with -- She wanted to say something, then stopped halfway, namely at the Weneralia Ceremony, the topic with the marriage of the Queen.

(--It's because of me, I reminded her of memories she wanted to forget...)

"That .. I'm sorry, I did not want to..."

"It's fine!"

She shouted excitedly, then got up and left the ship's side, quickly ran towards the aft, making Chris feel like he had been thrown into the ocean.

(--This outcome was inevitable and right...) Chris told himself — he told himself that he should not be conversing with Minerva, he was purely a slave to her. He was like a piece of paper, just existing to suck away the futures of her death like it was water... This whole idea made him very sad, his eyes unable to chase the figure with the red hair.

Once Minerva reached the stern, she violently kicked her left foot on the deck near the soldiers, and said to them "Hurry up, I want to return!"

"Meena, can you please be more gentle..."

"You pig head, the hull is only shaking slightly, get up. You look horrendous, later you need to attend the blade ceremony!"

"Oh, Yes, Yes, I'm up!" "I can't tell which side is the sky, which side is right ... " "Oh, I know, the red side of the Sun is up!" "You pig head! that's my dress! Don't touch it!"

Seeing that the dialogue between Minerva and the bunch of soldiers was not serious, Nicolo cut in: "Hey, the day will turn to night soon. Go and get ready, go! "

At his urging, Minerva and a group soldiers from the upper deck walked toward the lower deck. While Chris sat on the deck and blankly stared at them.

(--The blade ceremony ... It is dedicated to fallen companions on the battlefield ...)

They will spread out both of their hands in front of them, to confirm they had no blood on their hands, no Mark of Stigma radiance.

Known as the blade ceremony, it was for those who lost their lives on the battlefield, leaving no remains to hold a funeral.

At this time as he was about to also go below deck, the rest of the soldiers on the ship looked at him, all of them having a puzzled expression on their faces. But there was nothing Chris could do about it and he started to go forward step by step.

(--I ...I can't go ...)

(--The one who killed them... is me...)

He remembered the sea of blood. He did not want to recall that memory of how – when they went to Santcarillon, Cornelius used the demon sword to control him, to become his puppet, and Chris killed them. Among the Order of the Silver Egg members that died, most of them died at his hand.

(--I am not qualified to do the blade ceremony with them...)

"Chris!"

All of a sudden, he hears a voice, he was surprised to pick it up in his head. A pair of black eyes, the owner grabbed him by the collar.

"...Minerva... I ... I can't go ..."

He could not look away, nor remain silent. Chris managed to squeeze out these words: "Please tell Francesca, that I wouldn't be able to see them off ... and ..."

"What nonsense, you're coming along!" Minerva fiercely pulled Chris by the collar when he answered, so hard as to drag him off the boat.

The cliff overlooking Zaccariesco was overlooking a lively street. On the mast the flag embroidered with the silver hen was flying in the sea breeze.

"Aren't you late? Was it fun on the boat? The sun is about to go down." Francesca said with a smile while facing Chris. Behind her, the knights of the Order of the Silver Egg members were all lined up dressed neatly.

"Well, we came to see our companions – Paola, pa.s.s the swords."

Paola then spread out the wrapped the swords, to the centurion captain and Francesca's guardsmen. On the hilts of the swords, the names of the dead were carved, all newly cast.

The remains of soldiers killed on the battlefield were rarely recovered; although sometimes when a battle ended, the two sides would exchange the remains of the dead soldiers, those that could be identified were few. In most of the cases the remains of these soldiers would be buried right on the b.l.o.o.d.y ground, not even recovering their belongings.

However the dead still had to be buried.

Paola walked toward Chris, to also give him a sword. But Chris did not extend his hands to take the sword, he even stared wide-eyed, a shadow was also casted on Paola's face.

"Hey, Chris!"

Minerva sternly called out to him from the side, but he still had his hands to his sides, still not listening.

(--Why me ... Offering me a sword for the ceremony, I don't need one in my hands...)

Several of the surrounding companions sent him a sympathetic look, but this made him even more uncomfortable.

(--I really wasn't supposed to be here...)

"That... Chris..."

Paola was about to open her mouth to say something, when someone picked up the sword. It was a tall, dark figure. He placed it hilt first on Chris's chest, asking him to take it. Chris held his rising emotions in check, looking into the pair of eyes hard as steel and gray short hair.

While many uneasy eyes watched, Gilbert said with a cold face "Teacher Carla said once..."

(--Teacher Carla? Minerva and Gilbert's sword-master.)

Teacher said[2-5 3]"On the battlefield, the heavy burden of death should be shared by everyone that is on the same field. Before Death[2-5 4]there is neither friend or foe. Regardless of who killed many people, how many people died on the battlefield, once the sound of weapons clashing has stopped, and the tarnished sparks dissipate into the night, all should mourn the dead."

At this point Gilbert increased the strength with which he was poking Chris in the chest with the hilt of the sword. He felt pain, but the pain was not from the hilt against his chest, but from a more profound place... He moved to take the sword hilt in one hand...

"We will not let you bear the responsibility for the death of our companions alone, nor allow you alone to escape from this responsibility."

(--Put it in the past.)

Chris was still showing some hesitation. After that, he finally decided, he's hand moved from the scabbard to the handle of the sword, and received the sword from Gilbert's hand. He slowly looked up and saw himself standing beside Minerva, he also saw Gilbert and Paola behind Francesca, also facing the setting sun the members of the Order of the Silver Egg. They had no trace of a smile on their face, the sky gradually contracted the dark of night, but Chris felt a surge of warmth.

He held the sword tightly against his chest.

"...I am sorry... I don't know what to do with the blade for the ceremony ... I need you to teach me."

He never bothered to mourn for the dead in the past; he roamed across the battlefields, always just to indulge himself in culling like a beast killing prey, greedily sucking all of their good luck. Therefore he does not know how to give offerings to the dead.

"Pull out the sword."

Nearby Minerva muttered the prompt. Her hand similarly is also grasping the sword. After coming out of the sheath, the sunset light shines on the sword, the reflection came out in a blood-like dense colored red.

Francesca and the others, who have also been granted a sword, pull the blade from the scabbard. Chris also followed suit.

On the cliff more then twenty swords engraved with names became a tombstone, in a circle on the ground. Thousands of people sang the ancient elegy.

At this point Chris suddenly remembered Cornelius.

(--Should I also mourn for him ......)

The enemy who he personally killed, who used Chris, tormented Minerva and Silvia. It is inconceivable that, right now, in Chris's mind this person, doesn't hold the slightest disgust.

(--Don't I have the potential to become like him?)

In the end what is the meaning of this sentence, in fact, even Chris doesn't know. However in this moment of twilight, his ears echoing with lamentations, Chris's heart was filled with the desire to pray for this man.

(--All must bear the weight of the victim's life, even if this man is an enemy ... ...)

"So here we go. "

Along with the lamentations of the people gathered, as the sun was setting, close to the sea, Francesca started to sing softly:

"I hope one day we can no longer remember the lyrics of this song. I hope this day will come soon. But we must never forget this moment. Now, again, we got up and returned to the battlefield."

Thus, Paola lifted the banners, the centurion captain leading took the troops stepped off the red-brown hill.

Nicolo and Minerva walked behind the troops. Chris was going to chase that body with red hair that was backing away from him, when suddenly a burst of a bubble-like sound shook in his ears:

(--Our lord ...)

He rushed back and in the twilight about twenty swords shadows were side by side.

(--OUR LORD[2-5 5]...)

But these sounds really descended on his ears.

(--This is ... What's going on?)

In this moment, his forehead suddenly flared up with a burning pain. Then, he immediately saw the pale blue light.

(--Why would the brand of the beast, at this moment?)

(OUR LORD ... Ruling over all the dead people, and those about to die.)

This is not just one sound, but layers of overlapping voices saying the same words, lingering in Chris's ear. Supporting the swords acting as gravestones, flickering figures suddenly approach Chris. They are dressed in armor, pale faced with black cloth blindfolding them – this is how the Kingdoms of the East bury the dead – these people are all Chris's fellow soldiers.

(--These, these are... The dead?)

(--Why do I see these things... Why do I hear their voices!)

In the strong winds, Chris tightly held his own body, shortly thereafter, the trembling in his body spread even to his feet...

(We ask you our Lord, to call out our names.)

(We ask you our Lord, to honor us, to call out our names.)

(--To call out the names of the dead.)

(--Shut up!)

(--I can't listen! Should not listen!)

Chris covered his ears and huddled on the ground. However, these voices of the dead just like oil seeped through his fingers, piercing chill went into his heart, and every corner of his body.

(We ask you to call out our names--)

(Call us from the underworld into this world...)

(--Shut up! Shut up!)

"--Chris!"

A stern voice pulls Chris back from the darkness.

"What's wrong with you?"

Minerva with her hair ruffled by sea breeze spoke near Chris's cheek. Before he knew it, Minerva was squatted in front of him. The setting sun, the gravestones, as well as the hordes of the dead disappeared from Chris's sight, leaving only Minerva with a slightly restless and angry face in front of him.

"You're not comfortable? Is, is it because I forced you to come here?"

Chris looked at Minerva, then shook his head after a while.

"...No, I'm fine. "

"You look like this and saying you're fine--"

Chris's reaction shocked Minerva. As she attempted to reach out and touch his forehead, Chris carelessly brushes her hand aside.

"...Your brand ..."

"I said I'm all right!"

"How is this called being all right! Now is also not the new moon, why – what happened?"

Chris pushed on Minerva's shoulders to stand up. The fellow soldiers standing in the distance have gone. Only Nicolo, finding something amiss with Chris, rushed back. Chris's instincts told him to pretend like nothing was wrong, so he literally dragged his feet and walked away.

"Chris! In the end what happened, come on tell me! The brand of the beast--" said Minerva.

"Aren't you the same!?" Chris was intent on covering Minerva's voice, so he could not help but shout: "You won't tell me anything about it!"

He could hear a sound like ice shattering in his ears

(--What, what am I talking about...)

(--I'm blaming her again how...)

Chris, biting his lower lip, slid his head slightly to the side to peek with the corner of his eyes at Minerva. Minerva could not help but stare straight at Chris. It looked like she was about to burst in rage, he couldn't resist a tremor on his lips.

(--I shouldn't have blurted out that sentence, I'm not supposed to say such things to her...)

However, everything was too late. Chris couldn't think of ways to solve this. So he ran away.

"... Hey, Hey! In the end what happened to you?"

He rushed pa.s.sed Nicolo, not even looking at him. Nicolo's voice felt like it was overlapping with the voices of the dead, if he was even a little bit slow, it felt like he was going to be swallowed by the darkness.

◊ ◊ ◊

Imperial Capital Central Authorities, at the end of its audience hall, has huge stone pillars dividing the wall into left and right blocks, legend is the Holy Capital appeared here before the state and the Imperial Capital was erected on it's stone pillars.

The name of this columns that appear in mythology are known as heaven axis. The Queen's throne was cut out and carved directly from the base of these columns. Sitting on it always made Silvia feel that the entire sky's weight pressed on her shoulders, she dislikes this seat since childhood. Therefore if she isn't meeting any important people, she mostly accepts visitors in the imperial palace.

But on this day came two Royal Consort, Silvia was unable to give them an audience in her bedchambers. Actually when Cornelius visited her bedchambers before, Lady Luonisica later flew into a fit of rage.

"...For this reason, Dirogne was appointed as general of the punitive expedition in the south, his first task after taking office will be to defend Medoccia..."

Now standing the in hall and giving the report, with a body as st.u.r.dy as a stone pillar was the Royal Consort Lucius. This man was in his early thirties, but the sound with a strong source of unpleasant traits, echoed in the entire hall for the broader audience. Silvia felt displeased, but she had to listen quietly until he was finished.

(The military will probably not dispatch troops to attack Zaccaria and the Princ.i.p.ality Coalition in the Northern Expedition did not have troops from Zaccaria. As things stand, my older sister will be okay for a while at least?)

This was the only thing Silvia cared about.

"I have heard that lord Dirogne is a energetic warrior, why not send him as a general to guard the north?"

Sitting on the left side of the Queen's throne was Lady Luonisica that suddenly interjected, making Lucius raise his eyebrows and glance at Lady Luonisica.

"The change in Angoela's throne, is bound to bring a threat to the Queen's safety. Dirogne is a veteran of wars, instead of keeping him at home, why not send him to suppress out external enemies."

Angoela was a northern power separated from the Holy Kingdom by a strait, for centuries they maintained compet.i.tive relations with the Holy Kingdom without making any concessions. This was what the Priest Group[2-5 6] was pointing out. Lady Luonisica put forward this idea, wanting Dirogne as a mobile defense to guard the Holy Kingdom's northern boundary. On this point, Lucius could not respond with his customary sneer, "I really did not expect the Palace Security Council to intervene in military affairs of the Holy Kingdom. Lady Luonisica, if you are too concerned with earthly affairs, won't that make you neglect observing the mystery known only to heaven? "

When answering Lucius had not forgotten to tease Lady Luonisica. But nearby Galerius obviously shows a disgusted look.

Lately Priest Group's forces had made a habit to intervene in national policy. Silvia was aware of this -- and fully aware that the real struggle had spread to the Palace. Just because Lucius did not pay any further attention to Lady Luonisica and continued his report, the dispute did not expand. Once Lucius finished his report, Galerius stepped forward and speaks words that ignite a war between the two sides.

"Your Majesty, regarding the Oracle Decree, could this humble servant ask Your Majesty a question?"

This sentence sucked out the air in one breath, in both the Queen and the shrine maidens at her sides -- the so-called Oracle Decree foresaw the future related to the Queen's husband. This was something rarely mentioned in public; even for a Royal Consort, during an audience with the Queen, the Priest Group could not turn a blind eye.

"Your Highness Galerius, please watch yourself." Lady Luonisica stood up from her seat, "this is a domain that you cannot inquire about."

Silvia, who was nearby, thought that the Palace Security obviously did not take into account their own ident.i.ty and explicitly inquired about the military matters. Presumably in front of her, the two Grand Duke had the same idea.

"At this moment the three Grand Dukes are missing a piece for over half a month. This matter relates to the future of the Grand Duke Houses, we cannot wait until the Priest Group decides to inform us." Galerius' cold tone sent shivers to the Palace Security.

"Can your Highness fathom the magnitude of fate and the wheels running it? When Dushanda decrees to its spokesmen, it is just smoke and mirrors to mortal eyes." Lady Luonisica also refused to admit being inferior. Both sides were looking at each other, making the atmosphere in the audience hall feel like it was covered with the common pollution of algae from an ancient pond.

Silvia was compelled to speak up:

"...I dreamed several times now."

These words made Lady Luonisica whole body go rigid. Galerius raised his eyebrows when he heard them. Whereas Lucius, who was nearby, was also intrigued and lifted his chin.

"I saw him many and many times[2-5 7] in my dreams... but I cannot recall his face." Silvia emphasized that she saw him too many times to count, it was a lie.

"However Your Majesty should have seen the Royal Consort's hand." Galerius suddenly asked such a question.

"...Hand... Is that right?"

"Your Highness, please watch yourself!" Lady Luonisica shouted.

"Yes, the hand." however Galerius did not seem to want to stop.

"If you looked at the Royal Consort's hand, you could tell his age right?"

Silvia did not know how to answer -- yet the fixed look aimed at her made it hard to lie, remaining silent would raise other issues, it will certainly arouse suspicion. The Royal Consort already knew she had seen his hands, this time even if she would say she didn't see the hand, it would be too strange, Silvia could not say this.

"...He was very young."

"If I may dare ask, was he younger than Cornelius?"

Silvia hesitated for a moment then answered truthfully, "Yes."

Galerius cast a sidelong glance at the High Priest present. Perhaps Lady Luonisica had not asked that information, and it is also conceivable that, usually facing the three Grand Duke she made no secret of her enmity, she was very accustomed to hiding information.

(I am just a political wrangling tool, but I still have to try to protect my sister ... )

"There is another issue." Galerius said this straight to the point without hesitation, "the Oracle Decree of Her Majesty , how long is the content?"

(... What?)

"Galerius Highness, how can you be so rude!" Lady Luonisica exclaimed.

"This feudal official with great courage, will escort Your Majesty to your bedchambers to ask follow-up questions regarding the content?"

"--Your Highness!" Lady Luonisica could no longer hear of it. Moving her sleeves in a waving gesture at the surrounding shrine maidens, who quickly formed a crowd in front of Silvia, separating her from Galerius.

"Her Majesty will go back to the her bedchambers, your Highness, your insolent acts, the Priest Group will definitely make you account for them!" Lady Luonisica rage sounded like a strangled swan. Queen Silvia was being pulled away from the throne, she looked at Galerius ruthless face, suddenly feeling like bugs were crawling all over her body.

-- What Galerius was asking, when Silvia was killed by her husband, was the continuation of the Oracle.

Prior to this, Silvia was completely unaware of the problem. But Silvia then indeed saw Chris's face, saw his tears fall, holding her hand, as if he was saying something.

--In this dream, I was killed later, my consciousness has not disappeared , which in the end is why ...

When the shrine maidens took Silvia back through the corridors leading from the audience hall, she saw a pet.i.te figure that came hurriedly. This man wore a carefully polished armor, with silver-white hair, he was Giulio.

"Your Majesty? How did you--"

Giulio's restless inquiry interrupts suddenly. Silvia turns her head to look where Giulio is staring at, through the crevice between the shrine maidens, she saw Galerius form. He is walking toward here while nodding.

(...This - This is not to me, he's nodding to Giulio?)

-- Then it's handed over to you... Galerius did not speak, but Silvia always felt like he would convey the message to Giulio. When Silvia was forced her to turn her head away by the surrounding shrine maidens, moving while guarded against them[2-5 8], she looks towards Giulio's direction. But he actually immediately avoids her face.

(He is spy who Galerius sent, I cannot reveal the least bit of information to him ...)

Silvia tightly bit her lower lip, the shrine maidens pushed to a trot leaving the corridor behind them as they moved.

When Silvia returned to her bedchamber, Lady Luonisica severely questioned her again on the Oracle Decree details. Silvia with an unpleasant sense of nausea, narrated the painful memories from her dream again.

"Galerius His Royal Highness in the end is in the middle of scheming something ..."

Lady Luonisica looked up and looked askance at the overhead ceiling from where loud talking could be heard.

(When all is said and done did he see though something...)

Silvia cannot conceal the uneasiness in her chest.

(Whether he has seen through anything, he can link the clues to that person at my sister's side ......)

When the Palace Security shrine maiden who led the Queen left the bedchamber, Silvia buried her head in the soft bed. Perhaps she must forever continue the war with no stratagem which ensures success - there are no enemy soldiers in this war, there are no enemy generals, there is no enemy, nor is there an enemy flag, it is a war of eternal retreat.

(What else can I do ... For example, weaving false information to deceive Lady Luonisica and Grand Duke ...s )

(Probably does not work, after all, the stigma brand is known to them ... )

Although she is only a vessel forced to accept care, she was still a queen; her hands are suppose to hold a certain amount of power, but she had never tried to utilize it, simply because she was too afraid.

But when she propped herself up, the cold air in the bedchamber brushed her cheek, making all her strength disappear -- in the face of the combined forces of Palace Security and two of the Grand Duke's, what can she do... Suddenly, with the corner of sight she caught a glimpse of shining silver and quickly turned around. It was Giulio kneeling in the corner of the bedchamber. She did not know when he came in, Silvia was completely unaware.

"... I did not call you."

"His Majesty Galerius His Royal Highness[2-5 9] was worried about Your Highness, so he asked this humble servant to accompany Her Majesty."

This is a high-sounding excuse... Silvia thought.

"You were actually asked to spy on me right? By order of the Grand Duke."

Then Giulio's face suddenly become rigid, making one feel like you can hear something crack and come forth to voice, at these words questioning him Silvia was astounded.

"... No, this humble servant! This humble servant is not by Your Majesty's side for this reason!"

-- This man's anxious look, isn't it being debunked with the response? He wants to deny... Silvia, no matter what was going on, intended to direct Giulio to stand down. At that moment, she found out that facing a face like Giulio, how much one individual with a girl's appearance could be a man with the capacity to display such unyielding.

(With who I am, it is impossible to win the court battle...)

She buried her face in the bed, constantly blaming herself in her heart.

(I have to fundamentally become more powerful, more determined, more ruthless...)

Just then, soft footsteps and a young woman's voice comes in, "Your Majesty, the shrine maidens are here to help you get dinner. "

Silvia did not answer, but after awhile the door was pushed open, and several shrine maidens holding a jade cart walked into her bedchamber, the top filled with food.

Giulio stood on the side of the door, but the shrine maidens just looked at him, they didn't mean to verbally reprimand.

"I don't want to eat. " Silvia placed in her bed, looking at the food utensils, grumbled loudly. It was a bowl of porridge, a moisture rich fruit, something she has become accustomed to.

"Your Majesty, since last night, drank only water. " One of the shrine maidens knelt to the ground, the first said: "This is not good for your esteemed health Your Majesty, you must have something to eat Your Majesty. "

Indeed, Silvia did not eat since yesterday. Because of the audience with the two Grand Duke made her feel heavy pressure, she of course has no appet.i.te.

"...Okay. "

She didn't want to talk to these people and continue this dialogue. But she does not know why, these shrine maidens have no intention of leaving.

"Is there something wrong... Don't tell me I require all of you to a.s.sist me have a meal?

"No, no we wouldn't dare."

"I want to eat them later, or are you going to wait for me until that time?"

The shrine maidens listened only to reveal a tense appearance, looking around mutually for awhile, then hurried to stand from the ground. Silvia watched the thin clothed shrine maidens leave and frowned. She truly used quite a blunt sentence to taunt these shrine maidens a moment ago, but Silvia thought, that maybe they were really going to wait until she finished eating before leaving...

(They suspect that I still wouldn't eat ... )

Silvia felt like she kept as a livestock, fed like a domesticated animal. She sighed, then reached for the food containers -- when a hand seized her wrist so she quickly looked up in surprise.

"Please forgive this humble servant's rudeness!"

"-- Giulio? You, what are you doing? "

At this point Giulio was standing by her bed, another hand grabbed the soup and drank a sip. Then his face began to twist, "...This porridge...Inside...There are drugs..."

She could not help but gasp.

(- Lady Luonisica actually went this far!)

The hand that grabbed her began to lose strength and relax. Then she heard Giulio begin to shout cries of pain. His eyes wide open, with the fingertips his hand around his throat constantly, as if caught. Giulio from the chest to the neck started to show strange red markings.

"Giulio, quickly spit out the porridge !"

Silvia shook the knight by the arms, he was painfully crying. This drug was used to increase Silvia's sensitivity to pain, to make her have more vivid prophetic dreams. She grew up taking it, so she had some degree of resistance. But to people that weren't used to the drug, it will first be a very strong pain. Giulio not immediately pa.s.sing out after drinking was on behalf of his endurance.

"Hurry up and turn your attention away. This pain is just an illusion, do not go to it! "

"Woo, ah ...... ah!"

However, Giulio's body began to spasm, which is a dangerous sign.

"Come. Quickly drink water! Quickly drink water!"

Silvia clung to Giulio's flexing body, almost crying, shouting loudly.

The inner palace stirred late into the night. Throughout shrine maidens appeared in Silvia's bedchamber looking at Giulio that was in pain, Lady Luonisica also came after she was notified by the shrine maidens. She seemed to know what happened, and immediately made a formal apology. This made Silvia somewhat relieved, were it not so, she would have said some coa.r.s.e words to Lady Luonisica.

However Silvia's sacred bedchamber was dirty, so the shrine maidens brought the jade cart, bells and silk, and recited the Holy Words while carefully cleaning the room. In the dim surrounding, with the sound of chanting, Silvia sat on the bed immersed in her own loss of consciousness.

(Giulio ...Why did he do such a thing ...)

Under the silver-haired blue eyes in tears of agony, and a deep stigma in Silvia's head. He's okay ...Silvia remembered her first time taking the medicine, for two days she had high fever, very uncomfortable.

(But I started eating scarce doses, but he drank at once a heavy dose, he--)

Darkness engulfed Giulio's silvery light. Silvia buried her head in her knees covered with the blankets, exerting patience. She felt in her chest an almost suffocating sense of her feelings, even more than the pain medication brought her, making it even more unbearable.

Silvia looked up, her empty bedchamber at this point had been immersed in a sea of dark indigo color. The Moonlight above the gla.s.s roof illuminating the cotton curtains, seeming to mesh together to restrain the darkness.

Silvia listened, surrounded by silence. She moved her feet from her bed and stepped down on the cold floor.

(What did I ... What am I to do? I'm--I'm going to go where?)

She asked and answered her own question, the blue gem-like pupils emerged in her head. Whether she was standing or lying down, her mind had been haunted by Giulio's face...

She walked through the s.p.a.cious bedchamber, opening the door, cold air coming down the corridor, making Silvia almost go back to her bedchamber.

She held her breath and forced herself through the stone gate and went out.

Silvia knows that several people stand guard, to prevent entry of suspicious characters. But she heard that these guards are guarding the junction of the second and third palace. Therefore if it is only in the bedchamber as the center of the first concentric circle architecture - someone from the first palace side should not encounter these guards - but still, Silvia cautiously suppressed her footsteps.

There was no lighting in the hallway, so Silvia groped the wall to push ahead. Because of the surrounding darkness, she could not fully grasp the distance between herself and the surrounding objects. Just when she thought she might have to fumble in the hallway until dawn, she felt her hand touch a strange place. There was a door.

She opened the door and slipped inside, she saw the moon shining on a boring armor. The breastplate and gauntlets were scattered on the table, on the side of the floor there was also a slender sword.

She then saw a small bed in the corner. She was careful not to make a sound and ran to the bed, she saw Giulio still lying in bed. His pale chest seems completely without ups and downs, Silvia knelt in front of the bed.

(...Still breathing. )

She moved her face close to Giulio's nose, barely feeling the flow of his breath, then she gushed a breath of relief, almost totally flat.

At this time, Giulio's pale cheeks trembled near the eyelids, then slowly opened. A pair of gem-like blue eyes, clear as the moonlight, reflected Silvia's face.

"...Your Majesty? "

Giulio whispered, Silvia felt her entire body twitch, reflexively wanting to get up and leave the bed. Then Giulio suddenly sat off the bed, making Silvia almost scream out.

"Your, Your Majesty? ... Why are you here? "


Giulio rolled out of the bed and quickly knelt on the floor, his voice still had not recovered.

"...I, I just... Take a look... Came to take a look and see how you are doing."

Silvia placed her hands close to her chest, in an attmept to stop Giulio from becoming aware of her panicking heartbeat.

"How can this be? Your Majesty, you should not visit the subject's bedrooms here..."

"Neither should you!" Her tone suddenly went up, "You are to blame, you unknowingly appropriated as you pleased picking up my evening meal at once to eat it, I did not allow you to do that!"

Giulio face turned livid, his upright upper body quickly hitting the ground.

"I beg Your Majesty's leniency ..."

"I, I did not come here in order to pursue this matter!"

Silvia hastily increased the volume of her already raised voice, the sound resounding throughout the room, scared she quickly covered her mouth.

"... But it seems you are okay, right? " This time she toned down the volume and said in a flat voice.

"Yes, this humble servant can now stand up... I apologize for letting Your Majesty see such a humiliating appearance of your servant."

"It does not matter." Silvia said feeling angrier, "I have become accustomed to this kind of drugs. Your overconfident behavior will not be allowed in the future."

Tears welled up in Giulio's eyes, as if in the next moment tears would burst forth from them, he looked up and said: " Even if this humble servant cannot handle the drug... this humble servant will still continue to do so."

"You --- what did you just say..."

"If I may dare Your Majesty, why did they put this drug into Your Majesty food? Was it under the instructions of Lady Luonisica? And when you say you have grown accustomed to it, what do you mean? This humble servant can't imagine. Why someone would do this to Your Majesty?"

The sight of the pair of blue eyes felt like piercing through Silvia's heart, she did not know how to respond -- Giulio knows nothing about it. Even in the theological academy, he only came into contact with a small part of the faith. Even the students that graduate from the theological academy won't know even after arriving in the Queen's palace that the Queen has to use drugs that increase the sensitivity to pain, in order to have more vivid prophecies, the knowledge of the drugs is not available.

"It is... The drugs are--"

Silvia brought back memories of the pain drugs and endured them in order to tell Giulio everything. Giulio's beautiful face, after listening, looked like dead leaves crushed in ones hand.

"You really did not know?"

"...I did not." Giulio nodded with a gloomy expression.

"Then Galerius and father did not tell you? Did they not want you to deliberately play this scene in front of me?"

Giulio tightly bit his lower lip, fighting back the tears in his eyes, shook his head. He said, choking on the words: "... This humble servant did receive the command from His Majesty the Emperor to spy on Your Majesty, however this humble servant refused."

Silvia listened and couldn't help but exhale a breath of hot air from her chest.

"This humble servant is a Knight, His Majesty came around, this one's purpose is only the protection of Your Highness."

The words spoken in a choking voice welled up inside of Silvia... --His Majesty came around, this one's purpose is only the protection of Your Highness--...

-- Does he want me to believe this rhetoric of irresponsible remarks? Does he expect me to believe that Galerius simply sent him to be my escort...

(If that is the case, then if I tell him that the Queen's fate is to be killed by her husband, what kind of response would he have?)

(He also said that he will protect me? Even though he'll have to put his sword against the Priest Group within the Palace and the Grand Duke Houses as well?)

Silvia can't do anything to convince herself -- these words should not be spoken. Because once said, she could no longer take her eyes off this man ... Silvia clenched her trembling hands, pressing tightly to her chest. Giulio bowed his head, the silver hair seemed to melt into the moonlight.

(I'm not relieved for him. )

(I have to become more powerful, more determined, more ruthless ... )

She had to convince herself, because there was a force in her chest that resisted such ideas. So she turned away. As she was about leave through the door, the sound of footsteps could be heard following her.

"...I can go back by myself. "

Silvia said in a trembling voice.

"The hallway is too dark. Let this humble servant accompany Your Majesty back to the bedroom. " Giulio tossed his silver hair and came to stand in front of Silvia. While he spoke, a second pair of hands held Silvia's hands, there was a warm body temperature. Silvia startled and Giulio let go of her hand before she had the chance to pull back and walked in front of Silvia leading the way.

The distance while walking back to her bedchambers, seemed like forever long for her. Giulio saluted her in front of the stone door and was going to take the same way back when... Silvia called to him.

"Yes!" Giulio with a happy heart turned around, Silvia couldn't help but bow her head -- she never wanted, blurting out such a sentence takes so much courage. After several breaths, she opened her mouth and said: "... You can directly call my name. "

In the dark, the words floated in the air, and he puzzled, "Your Majesty, what you mean is..."

"...You addressed me as so as not to confuse with my father right? You can just call me by name now, I allow you to do so." with that said, Silvia's chest felt hot, (what am I talking about...) but a great silence in the air filled the atmosphere with anxiety, the temperature was also unsettling and dispersed throughout her body.

--I shouldn't have said that ... Can I take those words back? Or just running back to my bedchamber, then shutting the door... Just when she thought this, the silver shadow in the dark stepped in front of the light for a bit, "... I've learned that... Thank you... Highness Silvia Of Divine Grace." that voice carried more warmth into her body spreading all over her body.

When the sound of footsteps faded in the distance, all sounds once again vanish into night, Silvia alone in her bedchamber, leaning on the cold door, counting the heartbeats in her chest.


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Tsurugi no Joou to Rakuin no Ko Vol 2 Chapter 5 summary

You're reading Tsurugi no Joou to Rakuin no Ko. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): Hikari Sugii. Already has 740 views.

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