I walked through Baltrain at midday, a rare thing for me.
The city may have been in a festive mood, but there was a huge turmoil in the immediate aftermath of the assassination attempt on the royal families. Even if I just listened a little while walking, I saw several people who were talking about what may or may not have actually happened.
Well, just like everywhere else in the world, people like rumors. When gossip or some sensational topic comes up, it’s all everyone can talk about.
It doesn’t make much sense to put a gag order on it, as long as there was such a huge public incident. Above all else, too many people had borne witness.
However, in the rumors leaking here and there, I heard some people saying that the Knights of Rebelio did wonderfully, and they thought positively of our being on the escort duty.
Yeah, that’s probably business as usual, or rather a grassroots movement bearing fruit. I don’t know what would happen if the Knights were criticized in a situation like this.
In addition, many of the rumors mention Alexia, the Knight-Captain.
That’s understandable, she is very popular. If something went horribly wrong and an old man like me is the brunt of the conversation, I wouldn’t be happy.
"… Do I buy something…? No, I don’t think now’s the time to be buying a souvenir…" I said.
I had pondered dropping by a store since I’ve unexpectedly got more time than I thought I would have, but this is a rather heavy topic to tell Miu.
I don’t think she’d appreciate a souvenir, so I’m going to go home immediately.
"I’m home," I said.
And after I decided to just cut out the unnecessary stuff, I was back in no time. What should I do? I haven’t put anything together in my head yet.
"Mm, welcome back," Miu said.
"Oh, sorry to have come in uninvited!" a second voice said.
"… Huh?" I asked.
I opened the door, and two sets of voices came out, one I expected, one that should not have been there.
Am I going crazy? I didn’t have a very good feeling from her tone and her voice, and as soon as I entered the living room, I saw a figure even smaller than Miu sitting on a chair and resting with her cheeks in her hands.
"Is that you, Lucy?" I asked.
"Mhm," Lucy replied.
Lucy Diamond, the Head Magus of the Magic Division is one of the pride of the Kingdom of Rebelis. When she saw me, she lifted her face and waved with a flutter of her hands.
"What’s wrong? you’re back so early," Miu said.
"Yeah, that’s going to be a really big hot topic soon," I said. "I’ll get to it."
"Oh, I’ve already heard there was a commotion," Lucy said.
Apparently, she’s heard something about the day’s attack. I’m not sure it’s a topic I’ll be happy to talk about but I can’t help but tell them.
I sigh internally and sit in the chair opposite Lucy’s. Whatever, I’m glad there are enough chairs. Miu and I are usually the only ones here, so we’re not ready to welcome guests yet.
"Huh… by the way, before that," I asked.
"Hmm? What is it?" Lucy asked.
Well, a public attack is a public attack, and I thought it wouldn’t be strange for the Head Magus to have already heard about it.
However, there was an important question that I couldn’t help but ask.
"You, Lucy, or rather, the Magic Division wasn’t part of the escort," I said.
The Magic Division is part of the main military might of the Kingdom of Rebelis, and is an organization on par with the Knights of Rebelio. There is no doubt in my mind that the Magic Division had been tapped for international affairs, like the visit of the Supheniardvania Delegation. And for that matter, Lucy, who’s the head executive, shouldn’t just be lazily hanging out in a place like this.
"Mages are unsuitable for escort missions," Lucy said as I scratched my head. "We’re good at annihilation."
"Ah… that’s fair enough," I said.
No, I shouldn’t ask her if she meant she was the one who was good at annihilation, and I managed to control myself.
My sole experience fighting mages have been Lucy, but her skillset certainly feels unsuitable for fighting while protecting specific individuals, due to the nature of magic.
It seems she didn’t dare to cast wide-reaching magic when she was dueling me. Doing so would cause collateral damage to innocent people and buildings around her.
If she was fighting to protect her escort target, she would have set them on fire alongside the threats.
"I’m sure they’re strong, but I wonder where you could even use them?" I thought after realizing that.
"Even without that, the Magic Division can’t be seen in public much right now," Lucy said.
"Huh, is that so?" I asked. "Why?"
Lucy is obviously a pure long-range caster, but I wondered if anyone with close-quarters combat experience, like Thyssel and the other sword mages, could be used, but apparently, it’s not that simple.
"What are you… Beryl, have you forgotten what that country believes?" Lucy asked, amazed.
"… Ah…" I said.
Supheniardvania’s national religion, the Suphine Faith.
According to their doctrines, the miracles—another name for spells that heals physical damage and exhaustion—are from their supreme god, the Great Suphine, so far as I heard from a Suphinist, Ibroix.
With that said, the Magic Division would simply lump them all together as "magic", and the Suphine Faith clearly makes distinctions between spellcasting and their miracles, a bit of friction would be inevitable.
Ah, yikes, that’s difficult, isn’t it? I feel like an outsider because this story has nothing to do with me.
"That sounds kinda tough, doesn’t it?" I asked.
"Well, we’re used to it," Lucy said. "That’s how we ensure we can get along."
"So it’s something like that?"
"It’s something like that," Lucy said.
I’m not sure what the finer details and the inner goings-on are, but I’ll have to trust Lucy’s word. I shouldn’t be worrying about it too deeply, she isn’t involved in my business anyway.
"Sorry to break up the flow of our chat, but I think there was something you wanted to tell us," Lucy said.
"Ah, right," I said.
I’m the one who made the topic swerve down a side path, so let’s course-correct back to the heart of the matter.
Lucy clapped her hands as if she just remembered something and suddenly began to speak with a mysterious look. "So, there was an incident today," she started.
"Yeah, well, there was," I said.
In chronological order, it must have happened just a few minutes ago, but Lucy already heard about it, and it seems she must pick up on news fast.
I’ve even wondered if she was watching the tour as a tourist because she wasn’t part of the escort. Even I don’t think she has that much time on her hands, though.
"Incident?" Miu asked.
"Oh, don’t you know yet, Miu?" I asked.
She had been content to listen until now.
There was definitely a ruckus when the attack happened but more importantly than that, the city, in general, is noisier than usual because it’s a festival. If you were in your house, you wouldn’t be able to figure it out.
"Yeah, I was on the Princess’s escort detail, like I said before, but… there was an attack, you see," I said.
"… Huh, was everything alright?" Miu asked.
"Ah, yeah," I said. "The Prince and Princess are both safe now."
As I briefly explained what happened just now, Miu’s angular, half-glaring eyes seem to go round.
Ah, yeah, it’s natural for her to be shocked. I was shocked, too.
"… Well, you are strong, Pops," Miu said.
"Hahaha, it’s an honor to get a compliment," I said.
How strong does Miu think I am? The only time I swung my sword where she could see was when I handled Twilight’s bandits.
"I thought I’d exchange some information with you," I asked Lucy.
"Hmm…" Lucy went.
In terms of information about the case, as a person who was directly involved, I should have the most of it.
If something else comes out, I can guess it probably wouldn’t be about the attack itself, but the background leading up to it or something like that.
I don’t like it. Frankly, I don’t want to hear too much.
I don’t want to get myself involved in the troubles of countries. Well, since I’ve been involved so far, it’s probably impossible to do that now.
"The one who behind the attack… was probably a citizen of Supheniardvania," Lucy said.
"… Are you sure?" I asked.
"I said ‘probably’," Lucy replied. "But, it’s more than a little reliable."
Hmmm. Well, as Lucy says, it’s not an improbable story. But I’m wondering where she came up with that possibility.
"By the way, where did that information come from?" I asked.
"Ibroix," Lucy replied.
Is that old man involved?
I have a feeling this is going to be a gigantic pain in the ass, damn it.