V2 Chapter 71: Amadeus II

Amadeus, the 20th emperor of the Adoastera Empire. He was the second emperor to bear that name, hence he is called Amadeus II.

As I mentioned briefly before, when I was a child, I was spoken to by the emperor at a banquet I attended as a proxy for my father. In response to me, who was rigid with nervousness, he showed an awkward smile on his stern face and stroked my head with his large hand. At that time, I should have exchanged a word or two, but my memory is now hazy.

At that time, the emperor was already over fifty years old, so now he must be over sixty, perhaps close to seventy.

Perhaps Shion, the prince, will be Amadeus II’s last child. As a child blessed in his old age, the emperor seems to adore Prince Shion even more. The fact that he visited the prince’s room lightly on his feet was proof of this.

For me, who happened to be there, it was an unexpected reunion. Well, even if I call it a reunion, the emperor probably doesn’t remember me, but anyway, I saw the emperor’s face for the first time in ten years.

The first thing that crossed my mind was the word “small.”

The emperor in my memory was so big I had to look up to him. But now, the emperor is about as small as me. The large hand that stroked my head is now wrinkled and shrunken.

I grew up in ten years, and the emperor aged. That’s all it is, but for some reason, something stuck in my chest.

Then, the emperor, noticing that a stranger was standing in his child’s room, looked at Baron Jeed with a puzzled face.

“Baron, who is this man? I don’t recognize his face from the palace.”

“Yes. He is a representative from the Kingdom of Canaria, sent by Lady Sakuya.”

“What? Sakuya’s?”

A mad resonance is added to the deep voice of the emperor. Then, his narrow eyes quickly turn to me.

His gaze, dignified in his right eye and enlightened in his left, has the grace and power befitting the lord of the great nation of Adoastera.

I salute in the imperial style to show my respect to the person in front of me. Just before I lower my head, for just a moment, I thought I saw the emperor’s eyes widen in surprise.

“Hmm. If he’s Sakuya’s messenger, why didn’t you bring him to me? That tomboy made the Imperial Army I gave her turn back from the border. General Eudis, who was commanding, was all flustered.”

The emperor’s voice, which says he needs to ask what kind of official letter was sent, is somehow cheerful. He seems to find his daughter’s actions amusing.

Then Prince Shion spoke up.

“Your Majesty, I apologize. I wanted to hear my sister’s story, so I asked the baron to bring the messenger here.”

“Hmm, Shion. I would like you to call me father, not in public, but in a place like this.”

“Ah, I beg your pardon, Father.”

“Hmm, that’s fine.”

The Emperor, nodding with satisfaction, urges me, still bowing, to raise my head.

Then, he directly addresses me, not Baron Jeed.

“Now, I’ll ask you again, who are you? You say you’re a messenger of Sakuya, but I don’t recall a man like you among Sakuya’s close attendants. I thought maybe you were hired in Canaria, but I can’t understand why Sakuya would intentionally appoint a newcomer as a messenger to the palace.”

“Your Majesty, about that–“

Baron Jeed steps forward to hand over the princess’s letter in a tube.

But the Emperor lightly waves his right hand, stopping the baron.

“Baron, I am asking this man.”

The Emperor did not raise his voice particularly. However, Baron Jeed trembles as if he’s been struck by lightning, straightening his spine and standing perfectly still.

Without even looking at the baron, the Emperor continues his speech.

“I’ve never seen you in the palace. I haven’t seen you among Sakuya’s close attendants either. But, your face stirs my memory. State your name, young man.”

The Emperor’s gaze lands firmly on my face.

Suddenly, it feels as if a heavy weight has been placed on both my shoulders.

It’s not aggression. It’s different from hostility. It has nothing to do with Kei or magic.

It’s the dignity of someone who has been at the pinnacle of a country long before I was born. The weight of a human being, so to speak, bears down on me.

This must be what it means to be overwhelmed by someone’s status. At this moment, I was certainly overwhelmed by the Emperor.

――While being overwhelmed, I was also impressed. Indeed, there’s this kind of strength as well.

I had never felt this way even towards my own father. With that thought, I responded to the Emperor’s question.

“I am Sora, Your Majesty. I’m currently disowned, so I am not allowed to use my family name – but I used to go by the name of Mitsurugi Sora.”

“I have met you at a banquet before,” I tried to continue, but I thought that mentioning the Mitsurugi name would make it clear enough. So, I stopped my words and gauged the emperor’s reaction.

The disinherited heir of the Mitsurugi family has come to the imperial palace as the princess’s envoy. The emperor would be wondering, “What on earth is going on?” and must be displaying a stern expression, I thought.

However, the emperor in my line of sight had a surprisingly calm face, as if he had predicted the words that came out of my mouth.

As I was trying to gauge the meaning of his reaction, a surprised voice came from another direction. It was Prince Shion.

“What… Mitsurugi? But, why did sister… What?!”

“Shion, it’s not suitable for a royal family member to express surprise like that. Keep any emotions deep within your chest and always maintain calm. That’s the appropriate demeanor for royalty.”

“Yes, Father! I apologize!”

“Good, continue to strive for improvement.”

The emperor, having nodded to the prince, turned to Baron Jeed.

“Now, Baron. There should be a letter from Sakuya. Please present it.”

“Yes, Your Majesty! Here it is!”

The emperor took the letter from the baron, broke the seal, and began to read it on the spot.

The letter seemed to be quite lengthy, and it took a considerable amount of time for the emperor to finish reading it.

Eventually, the emperor, raising his face from the letter, looked at me and said gravely.

“You want to obtain my permission to pass through the Demon Gate. Sora, do you know what’s sealed beyond that gate?”

When questioned, I was puzzled because the answer was too clear. It’s not a question that should be directed at a former member of the Mitsurugi family.

For a moment, I hesitated to answer, but I thought this wasn’t a situation to be clever and answered honestly.

“I understand that a Demon God is sealed there.”

Hearing my reply, the emperor narrowed his eyes and seemed to be contemplating something.

After a while, the emperor turned on his heels and headed towards the room’s door.

Amid the confusion of the people in the room at the emperor’s sudden action, he turned his face to me and said,

“Follow me, Sora.”

Liked it? Take a second to support WordyCrown on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!