WM – Chapter 79: Takatsuki Makoto arrives at the Sun Country

“Everyone, I look forward to working with all of you.” (Leonard)

Prince Leonard greets us politely.

“Same here-desu zo, Prince Leonard.” (Fuji)

Fuji-yan answers cheerfully.

We are at the Flying Ship of Fuji-yan, Saint Kanon.

I have already embarked on it a number of times, so I am used to travelling on it already.

But the air is a bit different this time around.

“I am honored that you went through the trouble of coming…” (Chris)

“Be careful on your step…” (Nina)

The brides of the ship’s owner, Chris-san and Nina-san, were humbling themselves to someone.

That person is…

“There’s no need to mind me.” 

The owner of that beautiful voice is the first princess of this country, the Oracle of the Water Goddess, Sofia-sama.

Why is she here?

Yesterday night…

“Princess Sofia, we are heading to the Sun Country in the Flying Ship of Fuji-yan. Want to come together with us?” (Makoto)

But if I remember correctly, all the royalty people have Flying Ships, so I thought that we would most likely be going separately.

I just invited her just in case.

“I will go together.” (Sofia)

“Eh?” (Makoto)

“I will make the preparations. I won’t forgive you if you leave me behind, okay?” (Sofia)

Saying this, Princess Sofia returned to her own room.

E-Eh? Is she not going to refuse?

Yes, it is my fault.

Sorry, Chris-san, Nina-san.

The ship deck that is always spacious had many water knights lined up.

The one leading them is the Guardian Knight that has returned to duty.

Their mission is of course to guard Princess Sofia and Prince Leonard.

Are they always standing with their backs straight? It must be tough.

I leaned on the rail of the Flying Ship while watching the capital of Horun growing smaller.

The Rozes Castle bathed in the sunlight was beautiful.

When I first came, I was planning on leaving at once, but now it is hard to see it go.

“Makoto-san, this Flying Ship is fast. Far faster than the royalty one!” (Leonard)

The one who spoke to me was Prince Leonard. 

He is not going with his usual royalty outfit, but a slightly rough kind of travelling clothes.

Even with that, he still had elegance that couldn’t be hidden.

It really is picturesque.

I then asked him something that was bothering me.

“Prince Leonard, you two coming together with us was after I became a Hero, right?” (Makoto)

“Yes. One of the objectives is to announce to the other big countries that a new Hero has been born. Also, to tell them about the danger of the devilkin and the Snake Church. The information has already been sent by transmission magic, but speaking out the fine details is better personally and makes it easier for negotiations.” (Leonard)

“Huh, I see.” (Makoto)

How political.

Prince Leonard lowers his voice here.

“Just that, I feel Nee-sama’s objective is to wipe out that certain rumour.” (Leonard)

“Certain rumour?” (Makoto)

“The rumour saying that the Light Hero-sama and Nee-sama are in an unspeakable relationship.” (Leonard)

“Aah, that one.” (Makoto)

I did hear about that from Fuji-yan.

I do remember saying something like: ‘Having princesses of two countries approaching you?! What an unbelievable bastard!’.

“And what’s the truth?” (Makoto)

“They are not in any relationship at all. That was just a rumour that Mother-sama spread to get back at the Sun Country. It seems like she felt mortified that the Light Hero had been taken away from them… It was quite the pain for Nee-sama.” (Leonard)

“That’s rough.” (Makoto)

The quarrels between countries.

Prince Leonard smiles here.

“The Water Country has Makoto-san as their Hero now, so Nee-sama is more relieved now.” (Leonard)

“I am a newbie Hero. I don’t know if I can meet your expectations.” (Makoto)

It would be troubling if you were to expect me to defeat a Taboo Dragon in one hit like Sakurai-kun did.

“Leo, what are you talking about?” (Sofia)

Oh, the talked about Princess-sama.

“No, nothing.” “The wind feels good.” 

The two of us played it off.

“…Is that so. By the way, Hero Makoto, do you remember what I talked to you yesterday about the Sun Country?” (Sofia)

I had Princess Sofia teach me a lot about this world.

Yesterday I had her explain to me about the Sun Country.

“Uhm, is it about the Four Great Nobles that must not be defied?” (Makoto)

I search for the memories about Princess Sofia’s teachings. 

If I remember correctly, they were:
– the Rowland Household of the East
– the White Household of the West
– the Belize Household of the South
– the Valentine Household of the North

Counting those four with the Highland royalty, they are called The Five Sacred apparently. 

The Sun Country revolves around the Five Sacred Nobles as the center.

“The Highland royalty  goes without saying, but the remaining four noble houses are nobles that have more assets and military power than the Rozes royal family.” (Sofia)

“…Seriously?” (Makoto)

The Sun Country is impressive.

If we do simple maths, that would mean they have at least 5 times more national power than the Water Country.  

“…The Water Country is basically taken as a vassal state of the Sun Country.” (Leonard)

Leonard groans weakly.

“Leo, what will we do if you are the one having that kind of mentality? We just have to show them what we’ve got.” (Sofia)

Princess Sofia doesn’t break her resolute attitude.

I wonder why…

I’m feeling a hint of sadness as if they were a weak country suffering from diplomatic stress…

Could it be that being the Hero of the Water Country actually comes with quite the difficulties?

(Did you notice just now, Makoto?) (Noah)

Did you know, Noah-sama?

(You would choose the one with the highest difficulty anyways, so wouldn’t it have been the same?) (Noah)

Well, yeah.

(Moreover, you would get really angry if I were to give you spoilers.) (Noah)

…She knows.

It is true that looking at the strategy guides and wiki before playing the game is the thing I hate the most.

Then, it should be fine I guess.

“Hero Makoto, what’s the matter?” (Sofia)

“No, nothing…” (Makoto)

“Don’t worry, it will be okay.” (Sofia)

Princess Sofia says to me as if telling herself.

I want to hear more details about it, but it would be hard to ask the Princess about it. 

I should ask someone else to tell me later.

◇◇

Around half a day after departing from Horun.

“Good work, Old Man.” (Makoto)

I gave him a drink that I brought from the ship’s cafeteria. 

“Ooh, Hero-dono. Thanks, but I am currently in duty.” 

The diligent old man refuses.

“Here you go, everyone. Good work~.” (Lucy)

“They are real cold~.” (Aya)

Lucy and Sa-san were helping out too, and we were distributing the drinks to the knights. 

This was a refreshment from Fuji-yan saying that they must be tired from being on guard all the time.

He really is considerate.

“Here, Princess Sofia said that it is okay to relax a bit, you know.” (Makoto)

“Ungh…then, you have my thanks.” 

The old man accepts the drink.

“T-This, isn’t this alcohol?!” 

“Yes, cheers.” (Makoto)

“O-Oi! I am in duty h—” 

“It is fine, it is fine.” (Makoto)

I lean on the wall and sip my thin fruit cocktail. 

“By the way, there’s something I want to ask you.” (Makoto)

“…What is it?” 

It seems the old man gave up and decided to participate in the drinking.

“At noon, I heard from Prince Leonard that the Water Country is basically like a vassal state of the Sun Country. Is that true?” (Makoto)

“…That’s…” 

The expression of the old man darkens.

“The military power of the Water Country is weak. The Laberintos Taboo Dragon subjugation the other day, and the revolt caused by the devilkin in the past would have been impossible to suppress without the power of the Sun Country… Us of the Water Country rely on them when it comes to the military area.” 

“I see.” (Makoto)

“Our country’s army is at most around 30,000. We only had Prince Leonard as the Hero… Right now, we have Makoto-dono though. Compared to that, the Sun Country has more than 300,000 and 5 Heroes.” 

What a terrible difference. 

It feels like the difference between me and my classmates… Ah, the difference there was a lot worse.

“Hey, what are you talking about?” (Aya)

“Makoto, we finished giving them out~.” (Lucy)

Sa-san and Lucy came too.

“We were talking about how in this world there’s a top for the top.” (Makoto)

““?””

Sa-san and Lucy tilt their heads.

Sakurai-kun and Princess Noel are the tops of that kind of giant superpower?

That’s crazy.

A while after that, I accompanied the old man in his complaining. 

About how Princess Sofia was more of an angel when she was a child. 

About how the heavy responsibility of being a Hero is way too harsh for the way too young Prince Leonard.

It looks like the old man also has a lot of stress pent up.

I finished drinking my sweet cocktail.

◇◇

2 days later.

“So that’s the Sun Country, Symphonia, huh.” (Aya)

“Wow…this is my first time coming.” (Lucy)

Sa-san and Lucy were excited.

Of course, me too.

“It is close to the sea, huh.” (Makoto)

The Sun Country’s capital was at the vicinity of the big river’s estuary that flows in the coast of the continent. 

Something like Manhattan?

“Fuji-yan, what’s that?” (Makoto)

“That’s a statue of the Savior Abel-desu zo.” (Fuji)

“Hoh, it is big.” (Makoto)

I could see a giant statue made of chalk. 

It is on top of a high pedestal, and that figure of his raising his sword up with his right hand…

“It is like the statue of liberty.” (Makoto)

“When I saw it the first time, I also felt the same.” (Fuji)

Fuji-yan and Sa-san were at my side, so it feels like a school trip. 

I am getting excited.

“What’s the meaning of this?! The one here is the Water Country’s Princess Sofia, you know?!” 

The old man was quarreling with the gatekeepers.

“But…because a dangerous criminal has escaped, entering or exiting the Kingdom has been made stricter. Even if you are from royalty, we can’t just allow you in without an inspection…”

I heard a dangerous thing there.

“Fuji-yan, is the runaway criminal a devilkin?” (Makoto)

I remember the talk from Princess Sofia that their next target is the Sun Country’s capital. 

“Hmm…let’s see.” (Fuji)

Fuji-yan looks intently at the gatekeepers.

Looks like he is in the middle of reading their minds.

“No…it looks like the one who ran away was the Moon Oracle-desu zo.” (Fuji)

“…Eh?” (Makoto)

An Oracle is a criminal?

“Didn’t I say before? Laphroaig’s Oracle is a cursed Oracle-desu zo. They say it is the reincarnation of the Calamity Witch that betrayed humanity 1,000 years ago. I heard that the Moon Oracle of this generation had been subjugated before the revival of the Great Demon Lord, but…looks like she escaped.” (Fuji) <changed Raphloaig to Laphroaig>

“They are getting subjugated just because something bad happened in a past war?” (Makoto)

“The current Moon Oracle is apparently leading the Laphroaig’s criminals and devilkins, too. The Sun Knights managed to crack that down.” (Fuji)

“Huh…sounds dangerous.” (Makoto)

Like a mafia boss?

It doesn’t have anything to do with me, huh.

With all that done, the inspection finished, and we passed the big gate.

“Wow, so many people!” “It feels like Shibuya.” 

Sa-san, the only ones who would understand that would be me and Fuji-yan.

We came out to a main street that was overflowing with people.

What we could see at the back of that were 2 giant buildings that didn’t fit a parallel world.

“The one you see on the right is the biggest building of the continent, the Highland Castle.” (Sofia)

Princess Sofia explains.

The normal houses are 2 stories at most. 

The big ones are 3.

Just how many does the Highland Castle have?

It even makes me think that it rivals the constructions of our world.

That figure of it is grandiose.

Even though it is so far away, that castle looked like a swan opening its wings, and it was an overwhelming sight.

The Rozes Castle was beautiful, but the Highland Castle is overflowing with majesty.

“The one to the left is the Holy Maiden Anna’s Grand Sanctuary.” (Chris)

Chris-san continues. 

If I had to compare it to something, it would be the Sagrada Familia that I saw in TV a long time ago.

Several towers that feel as if it could pierce the heavens, and a gigantic church-like building.

“The Highland King in the Castle, the Pope in the Grand Sanctuary; these two are the tops of the capital.” (Fuji)

Fuji-yan puts it together.

Eh? There’s two tops?

“Let’s talk in more detail later. First, let’s head to the inn we will be staying today.” (Fuji)

Fuji-yan stands at the front and guides everyone.

“Everyone…we are…” (Sofia)

Princess Sofia speaks to us.

“Ah, sorry. Sofia-sama and Leonard-sama are in the first district, right?” (Fuji)

“Yes, you will be in the third district, right?” (Sofia)

Princess Sofia and Prince Leonard bring along their guards to a different direction.

Looks like we are staying at different places.

We came together, so we could have stayed in the same inn though.

“Takki-dono, in the capital of Symphonia, the district you stay in is decided on your social standing.” (Fuji)

First District: Royalty.

Second District: Sacred Professions.

Third District: Nobles.

Fourth District – Sixth District: Humans and commoners. 

Seventh District – Eight District: Beastkin, Elves, Dwarves, and Demi-humans.

Ninth District: The lowest in standing (former criminals, mafia, and the like).

The districts are divided in this way.

“You have become a noble, Fuji-yan, so you are in the third district, huh.” (Makoto)

“Well…that’s how it is.” (Fuji)

The city is big, but that’s just suffocating.

With things like this, I prefer the Water Country.

“Hey, look look.” “Wow, there’s a whole lot of stores.” 

Lucy and Sa-san were going window shopping.

“Fuji-yan, we just came in from the gate. What district did we come into?” (Makoto)

“Sixth. The closer you get to the Castle, the higher the standing the residents are.” (Fuji)

“Hmm.” (Makoto)

Then, the seventh and lower are in an even further place from the castle.

Where is it? 

The main street spreads from the entrance of the gate to the castle. 

The making of it is similar to that of Rozes.

But it doesn’t continue straight to the castle. There’s a giant gate in the middle of it in sight.

Is that what separates each district?

I walk through the main street with everyone.

After seeing Makkaren, Horun, Symphonia…

“Oh, sorry.” (Makoto)

This is the first time I am faced with a crowd that’s so dense I feel like I will bump onto someone.

What’s the population I wonder.

It is just that…something is bothering me…

“There’s few elves and beastkin.” (Aya)

Sa-san mutters.

Yeah, different from Makkaren and Horun, we are passing by a bunch of humans, and we see almost no other races.

“It must be because we are in the Sixth District, the commoners street.” (Lucy)

Lucy says annoyed.

“The Sun Country is strict in its social hierarchy system after all…” (Nina)

Nina-san also seems to be feeling constricted here.

“Nina, there’s no need to worry. Push your chest up high.” (Chris)

Chris-san hits the back of Nina-san.

“Takki-dono, let’s head to the inn first.” (Fuji)

Fuji-yan says with a hard to describe face.

“Yeah, it was a long trip, so let’s rest in the inn.” (Makoto)

It is a country that feels as if there’s a lot going on in it.

While thinking this, we passed by the first gate of the city, and advanced to the next district…

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