V2 Chapter 69: To the Imperial Capital

“Hold on tight.”


In response to Claira’s call, Sora pulled the reins, causing the Indigo Wyvern, Clau Soras, to ascend high into the sky.

The rapidly receding landscape below was a sight to behold. Although it wasn’t her first time riding on the Wyvern named Clau Soras, one or two experiences hardly acclimate you to the sensation. The floating sensation, different from walking in mid-air using Kei, sent shivers down Claira’s spine.

Soaring into the sky above Ishka, Clau Soras began to fly eastward. Their destination: the capital of Adoastera, Inishium. According to Sora, they had already been granted permission to cross the border and proceed to the capital.

Moreover, arrangements had even been made for an audience with the Emperor. Claira had only been staying at Sora’s house for four days. When Sora, who had returned from the royal capital, informed her of this, Claira was taken aback by his efficiency.

Surprisingly, Sora had also granted Claira permission to accompany him.

Of course, Claira didn’t mind accompanying him. She was willing to go to the Demon Island, even if she had to crawl on the ground.

However, Claira’s body was far from in perfect condition. She was still experiencing difficulties in daily life, let alone combat. She couldn’t possibly enter the Demon Island in this state, a result of pushing herself too hard on the journey to Ishka.

In this condition, she’d only be a burden if she accompanied Sora. It seemed possible to fight at full power temporarily if she could use the recovery potion given to her by Sora before, but she had been sternly warned against it by the priestess Sarah who had treated her. If she did the same thing again, her current temporary physical discomfort could become permanent.

Naturally, Sora should have been informed of this as well. That’s why Claira hadn’t expected Sora to let her accompany him. If she were in Sora’s position, she wouldn’t want to bother taking a hindrance along.

Despite this, Sora chose Claira to accompany him as if it were the most natural thing in the world. When Claira timidly asked for his true intentions, the black-haired young man shrugged and replied.

“If I told you to rest until I returned from the capital, you wouldn’t, would you? If I’m even slightly late in returning, I can see that you’d impatiently head to Demon Island on your own. It’s safer to keep you where I can see you, rather than letting you do whatever you want out of sight.”

At his words that it was just that simple, Claira was left speechless.

Even as she remembered this atop the saddle, Clau Soras was flying through the great skies of Canaria. As she clung to Sora’s back to avoid falling from the saddle, Claira looked down at the ground, and the lands of the Kingdom of Canaria came into view.

She couldn’t help but gasp at the landscape that changed like a picture scroll. Just a short while ago, she had been running on that soil with grim determination. She never imagined that she would be heading to the capital from the sky atop a Wyvern a few days later.

Would they be able to reach the capital safely as they were now? Even if they reached the capital, could they obtain permission to enter Demon Island by meeting the Emperor? Even if they got permission from the Emperor, would the Mitsurugi family willingly let them pass through Demon Island? Even if they got through Demon Island, could they find Klimt from there?

There was no end to her thoughts. And no point thinking about it.

No matter how much she told herself that, her anxieties kept bubbling up. Claira tore her gaze away from the scenery on the ground and directed it at the sky in front of her. Then, she closed her eyes and buried her face in Sora’s back.

In doing so, her worries, which had been so troubling, disappeared as if they were lies.

Claira put a little more strength into the hand she had wrapped around Sora’s body.


“Lord Sora.”

“What is it?”

During our umpteenth break, Claira starts a conversation, and I respond accordingly.

Claira, looking at me, still has traces of exhaustion on her face, but her complexion, once pale, has significantly improved. Her voice is calm, and there is no sign of panic in her eyes.

Though she is far from fully recovered, there’s no doubt she’s on the mend. Honestly, I was worried about whether it was right to have Claira, who had not fully recovered from her weakness, accompany us, but seeing her like this, it seems to be having a positive effect, and I’m quietly relieved.

Claira, seeing my expression, looks somewhat puzzled, but doesn’t comment on it and continues.

“Thanks to the princess, arrangements have been made for an audience with the emperor, but… if we keep going like this, won’t we arrive at the capital before the princess’s messenger?”

“Ah, that matter.”

I understand the contents of Claira’s concern and nod slightly.

Probably, Claira thinks that Princess Sakuya is trying to convey our situation to the Emperor by riding a fast horse or something similar.

Needless to say, an indigo Wyvern flying through the sky is overwhelmingly faster than a horse running on the ground. If we arrive at the capital before the princess’s messenger, the emperor, who does not know the situation, will not meet us. Naturally, we wouldn’t be granted permission to pass the Ghost Gate. That’s what Claira is worried about.

I shake my head and reassure Claira.

“Don’t worry. The princess’s messenger is none other than me. Look, this is the letter.”

I pull out a cylinder with a strict seal from my pocket. Of course, the cylinder contains a letter from the princess to the emperor.

Usually, such things are entrusted to trusted retainers, but since there is no better mode of transportation than a Wyvern, entrusting the letter to me is the most efficient, so Princess Sakuya decided.

By the way, I’m not going directly to the Imperial Palace with this. This tube can only be used by the royal family, and it serves as a kind of identification, but the emperor’s rank is not so light that it can be directly entered the audience chamber with just that.

The princess’s mother and brother live in the palace, so it’s not impossible to use them as a means.

Therefore, first, we visit a nobleman who is close to the princess, and have them deliver the letter to the emperor. This was the method thought up by the princess.

“Apparently, the nobleman serves as the mentor to the young prince. I also received a letter of introduction to that nobleman.”

With that said, Claira’s eyes widen in surprise.

“It’s quite thorough, isn’t it? The princess seems to have a great deal of trust in you, Lord Sora.”

“Well, I wonder about that.”

“What do you mean?”

“The princess said that I’m someone who never forgets grudges or debts.”

That was something she had said to me just the other day. After gathering information about me and having had firsthand interactions, that was the conclusion the princess drew about my character.

While I don’t see myself as particularly spiteful or dutiful, that aside, it seems that the princess intends to owe me as many favors as she can for the time being.

If she were to present me with conditions for a deal, then by fulfilling those conditions, the accounts of our debts could be balanced out, I sigh.

How am I going to repay this enormous favor I received from the princess in the future? This was also a headache-inducing problem.

As I was pondering such things, the person who had started this all off shrunk her shoulders and lowered her head.

“I’m sorry for causing all of this by relying on you, Lord Sora…”

Exactly, you’ll have to pay back this debt yourself — that thought came to mind as an option as I considered embracing Claira, but I restrained myself here. Probably, if I demanded, Claira wouldn’t refuse. But I couldn’t bring myself to put forth such a proposition to a sister who is doing her utmost for the sake of her brother.

I should do as Princess Sakuya has done and owe Claira a lot of favors. Being as dutiful as Claira is, if we manage to find Klimt safely, she’ll likely take it upon herself to act.

Thinking so, I told her, “Don’t worry about it,” in as light-hearted a voice as I could muster. Claira then looked at me with eyes filled with a mixture of gratitude and guilt.

Her gaze was very close.

…Not that Claira had suddenly drawn her face close to mine. From the start of the conversation, Claira had always been sitting right beside me.

To be precise, we were at a distance where, through our clothes, we could feel each other’s body heat. We were practically glued to each other.

Just for the record, I didn’t order her to do so. Claira was doing it of her own accord.

Additionally, she’d been doing it during our rest periods too. Even when we were flying on Clau Soras, she would cling tightly to me from behind.

I wasn’t sure about Claira’s true intentions — but well, I didn’t mind being so close to a beautiful girl, so I let her do as she wished. After everything we’d been through, she might simply feel insecure.

Seeing as though she had read my inner thoughts, the lips of Claira, who had been watching me, suddenly spread into a smile.

To give you the conclusion first, Claira’s sense of distance didn’t change until we arrived at the imperial capital.

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