The Master of the Brave - Chapter 109
Chapter 109 – Morning in Lyon
When they finally left the welcome party, which went on until nearly midnight, Wynn and the others were led to their rooms in the royal palace. SiLeticia and Cornelia would stay in the guest room, and Wynn and the rest of the group would stay in a private room near the guest room. Normally, they would be provided a room for the attendants in the royal palace, but the fact that they were provided a private room near the noble quarters must have been due to Wynn’s complicated position. From the perspective of the Kingdom of Lyon, Wynn’s position was that of VIP who had strong influence over Leticia. However, from the perspective of a member of the squadron serving Princess Cornelia, their positions were those of equals. As a result of this consideration, rooms were probably prepared for Locke, Wedge, and Lino.
Lino, who had long been interested in the royal banquet, was glad of this. The Halen family, the family to which Lino belonged, was a lower-ranking noble family with the title of honorary knights. It had never been part of the glamorous social scene, let alone the events of the royal palace. Moreover, being a family with a short history, whose grandfather was made a Honorary Knight for his military exploits, although they were nobles, they led a life that did not defer from ordinary people.
“Uwaa… I’m glad to be a subordinate of the captain~.”
Since she was not a guest of honor, she did not wear a dress like Leticia and Cornelia, but she happily expressed her thanks to Royce, who was not present. She showed no fatigue from the long journey, and looked happily at the nobles of the Kingdom of Lyon gathered around her as Cornelia’s escort.
Wedge was also accompanying her, reaching from time to time for the piles of Lyons-style food on the table. He seemed to be enjoying himself as well, as he had a smile on his face that he didn’t usually show.
Wynn was impressed with Wedge’s courage, as he was a commoner and yet he did not seem at all intimidated by this gathering of high-ranking nobles. Lino and Wedge were able to enjoy the party at leisure because the rest had to deal with a steady stream of visitors.
Cornelia, the representative of the Lemmrousell Empire delegation, and Leticia, were greeted by a steady stream of people. As soon as the banquet began, so many people gathered that Kingdom of Lyon officials rushed to organize the line. Wynn, like Lino and the others, had been waiting alongside Leticia and Cornelia, but after seeing that the greetings were proceeding in order and without major interruptions, he decided to move to a place where he would not be disturbed.
“Onii-chan, come here for a second.”
“Squire Wynn, could you come this way later?”
Leticia and Cornelia took turns calling him and introducing Wynn to each of the banquet attendees who wished to greet them, so Wynn had no time to rest and was greeting many people.
“Your Excellency, allow me to introduce you. This is my master, Wynn Bird, who has been teaching and guiding me.”
“This is my most trusted knight, Squire Wynn, who is also the Master of the Brave Mavis-sama and my schoolmate. I wanted to introduce him to you so you could meet him.”
It was a banquet hosted by the royal family. The people invited to this event were ministers and bureaucrats related to national politics, high-ranking military officers of the army, and nobles with titles such as duke and count. However, when Wynn was introduced by Leticia and Cornelia, they all showed a surprised expression, but soon after a big smile and after politely introducing themselves, they extended their hands for a handshake. They treated Wynn, a young commoner, as if he were a person of high rank.
“I wonder if you could introduce us too, Mavis-dono. Princess Cornelia.”
“With pleasure, Your Majesty.”
“This way, please.”
He also exchanged greetings with King Dalis of Lyon, who arrived late to the event.
“It is an honor to meet you, Wynn Bird-dono.”
“It is an honor for me to meet you as well, Your Majesty.”
Wynn knelt and bowed his head. Leticia waited beside him with a smile on her face, and Cornelia bowed slightly to King Dalis.
“Please raise your head, Master of the Brave. Tonight’s feast is held to welcome you. There is no need to be so fearful.”
“No, it is not fear that I have, Your Majesty. But neither could I do what you ask of me.”
“As I say, that’s fine. Besides, I don’t want to keep having the Master bow down in front of his disciple. Now, please get up.”
He couldn’t stay on his knees forever if King Dalis himself asked him to. When Wynn stood up, the king gave him a profuse nod.
“So, Brave-dono, Princess Cornelia. If I hoard you both forever, it will wound my image before my vassals. I will apologize, but please relax and enjoy the feast.”
After saying this, King Dalis walked away from the three. He was followed by the next group of people who wanted to greet the king. Wynn looked at him and let out a big sigh of relief. His conversation with King Dalis had made him very nervous, however, the way the nobles of the kingdom treated him, so different from the empire, made him feel strange.
“You should act more dignified.”
“Let’s go greet those people over there. Wynn-kun, will you come with me?”
The two girls were clearly amused with Wynn. Leticia and Cornelia, with mischievous smiles on their faces, said this and walked around the place with Wynn.
He had been so nervous about the unfamiliar treatment that he hadn’t noticed, but, in fact, the three of them had attracted a lot of attention from earlier, not just because they were guests of the state. The eyes of the public on them were those of the young aristocrats of Lyon. The men focused on Leticia and Cornelia, and the women on Wynn. A young unmarried princess of the great Lemmrousell Empire, and the daughter of a great noble family, Dukes of the Lemmrousell Empire, who was also the Brave. And then there was the one who held the title of Master of the Brave.
For the aristocrats of Lyon, it was an ideal opportunity to make connections. Therefore, each of them had come to this place with their sons and daughters, but since the three of them were always together, there was no opportunity to say more than a greeting. On the contrary, Leticia lightly rested her hand on Wynn’s left arm, as if to show her closeness to him to the people around them. In addition, Cornelia, the imperial princess, who was known to be forbidden contact with the opposite sex, did not maintain direct contact with Wynn, but she was at a distance where they could touch at any time.
It was clearly visible that these two beautiful princesses were attached to the young man near them. In this situation, the young nobles who wanted to sell themselves to Leticia and Cornelia could do nothing. Some nobles approached Wynn with their daughters.
Ehh… that one is beautiful.
The nobles’ daughters were so beautiful that even Locke, who was behind the three honored guests, seemed to agree, but Leticia and Cornelia overwhelmed them in both beauty and grace that they ended up walking away from them.
Leticia’s shiny golden hair, her eyes that had a hint of emerald jewels in them. Her frighteningly beautiful face was something no nobleman’s daughter, no matter how confident she was of her beauty, would want to be compared to.
Besides, the nobles gathered here today had seen her before when Leticia had visited the country. Some of the military officers had even fought alongside her on the battlefield. Leticia was only ten years old when she first visited the Kingdom of Lyon. However, despite her young age, her outstanding looks made people wonder how beautiful she would be in the future. At the time, however, Leticia rarely had facial expressions, and some said her beauty made her look like a carefully crafted doll.
The inhabitants of the Kingdom of Lyon, who got the impression that she was a beautiful, but doll-like girl, were surprised to see Leticia, who had grown up and become more feminine. Moreover, she did not wear the dignified, expressionless, unapproachable doll-like air she had before, and she was smiling at Wynn beside her. The expression on her face was also attractive, and sighs of admiration could be heard all around her.
In addition, there was also Cornelia, walking with a dignified smile on her face. Her every movement was impeccably graceful, which made those watching her admire her as if it were something natural. Even now, before she turned 18, when she was not yet allowed to perform official duties as a member of the imperial family, she seemed to be acquiring an inviolable aura as a member of the imperial family.
The Imperial Family of Lemmrousell had a history of some three hundred years. Of the many existing royal families on the continent, only the Royal Family of Carthiate had a history that surpassed that of the Imperial Family of Lemmrousell. A noble from a newly budding country could not match the prestige of a noble cultivated over a long history.
The advice I gave him before the feast, thanks to these two, no longer made any sense.
Before the banquet began, Locke had warned Wynn that some people might try to use his daughters to seduce him and get to him.
“Wha-What, what do you mean when you say they’ll try to get to me?”
“You don’t understand. If it’s through you, they’ll be able to make connections with Leticia-sama, right?”
“For example, some might even bring you an attractive girl and force her to seduce you. Be careful, okay?”
It was natural for aristocrats and wealthy people to try to establish connections with powerful people, and even Locke’s family, the Marine Trading Company, had used this method before. In Locke’s eyes, they were Leticia and Cornelia, and in the eyes of someone more power-oriented, they were the people with the best connections. That was Wynn. Still, Wynn was helpless in the face of such machinations, and as a friend, he worried that he would be convinced and used.
“No way. But hey, even if you say I should be careful, what exactly do you want me to do?”
“That’s true… In any case, you have to make sure you watch every word you say. For example, if they say: ‘I have a daughter in my family who is close to Wynn-dono’s age, and even from my perspective as a father, she’s very capable. When I heard that the honorable Wynn-dono was going to attend, I wanted her to meet you and say her greetings.’ How would you respond to that?”
Wynn responded with a laugh at Locke’s imitation of a pompous nobleman.
“Let’s see, if that’s so: “I’m sorry I can’t meet her. Please tell your daughter that I’d love to visit her the next time I have the opportunity”.”
“Okay, you’re out!”
“I didn’t say she didn’t come. Immediately they say: ‘Then I’ll call my daughter, so please wait a moment. If you like, I can have a private room prepared for you, so you can get to know each other better’. And that’s how it would go.”
“Wait a minute! Isn’t that going a little too far?”
“You idiot! They don’t care. It’s enough for a few words to come out of your mouth, ‘I’d like to meet her,’ ‘Next time,’ and ‘I’d like to say hello,’ for them to amplify the idea that you’ve agreed to meet their daughter. All that’s left is to spread the word in social circles and make it an established fact in no time.”
When the party started, however, he was surprised. Leticia and Cornelia refused to leave Wynn’s side for even a moment. Leticia with her beauty, and Cornelia with her refined movements and dignified grace. There was a space there that no woman with a modicum of self-confidence would want to approach. If she were to stand next to Leticia and Cornelia, all her confidence would be shattered.
As he exchanged greetings with the nobles he encountered in the room who had business dealings with the Marine family, Locke felt sorry for the girls watching Wynn and the other two from a distance.
In the end, the nobles and heavyweights of the Lyon kingdom who attended the banquet realized the difficulty of getting between Wynn and Leticia. Locke also learned that those who had been plotting a marriage with the imperial family would have difficulty obtaining the position of the young princess’s partner, as they realized that perhaps the person closest to that position was the young man who was the Master of the Brave. Thus, those in charge of state affairs in Lyon, especially those in diplomacy, were instructed to treat Wynn as a more important guest.
A bed that gently enveloped the body. Instead of the thin blankets used in city inns, the light and extremely warm bedding, stuffed with waterfowl feathers, provided a comfortable sleep.
After crossing the steep abandoned road of the Majil and taking a boat down the Murray River, which ran along the border between the Lemrousell Empire and the Kingdom of Lyon, they finally reached the royal capital of Lyon. However, there was no time to take a breather, as the king hosted a welcome reception for the kingdom’s most important personalities at the time, with the result that even Wynn’s trained team would be at their peak of fatigue.
He found it a nuisance to take off his clothes, but somehow managed to hang up his formal wear on a chair and throw his body on the fluffy bed, and quickly fell asleep, waking up to find that the sun was already high in the sky.
“Good morning, Onii-chan.”
When he awoke, he didn’t know at what point she had entered the room, but Leticia was sitting on the side of the bed, looking at him, as he lay back.
“Yes, good morning, Letty, what time is it?”
“Um… just when the morning market would be closing.”
“I see.” He got out of bed and gave a deep stretch.
“Looks like you slept pretty well.”
“Yes, but there wasn’t a chance for us to exercise, was there? I’m sorry, Letty.”
“Hmm… actually, I just woke up too.” Sticking out her tongue, Leticia got up and opened the window. “It’s another beautiful day.”
The sun streamed in through the window, and Wynn squinted for a moment at the brightness. And then:
It smelled a little… funny.
A breeze came through the window and tickled Wynn’s nose with a unique smell he had never felt before.
“Onii-chan, come here.”
She must have noticed, because Leticia beckoned him over by the window, and he got up from the bed and walked over to her.
“Wow…” He let out, amazed. In front of Wynn was a view he had never seen before.
Beyond the cityscape of Lyon that stretched over the wall of the royal palace, there was a vast ocean ahead. He could see a series of large ships. Even from the distant royal palace, those ships looked quite large, and they must have been ships that could cross the ocean. They were bigger than any ship Wynn had ever seen before.
When Wynn and the group he came with arrived in Lyon, they went down the Murray River, which flowed from the Majil Mountains to the border between the Lemmrousell Empire and the Kingdom of Lyon. There, the sea was blocked by the buildings and walls surrounding the city and could not be seen.
“So that’s the ocean.”
“Yes. Lyon is a city that developed thanks to maritime trade, so, if you go to the port, you will see many huge ships.”
“And that’s the smell of the ocean?”
Wynn breathed in, filling his chest with air.
“So that’s what the ocean is like. It’s huge.”
For a while, Wynn and Leticia stood side by side by the window. Looking out at the ocean, Wynn finally realized that he had arrived in a foreign country.
Along the border between the Lemmrousell Empire and the Kingdom of Lyon, the landscape did not change much, and he had not come to feel like he was in a foreign country.
Both the empire and the kingdom grew wheat and raised livestock such as sheep, pigs and cows. As for the inhabitants of the villages scattered along the border, their livelihood would remain the same even if the country to which they belonged was different. If this had been closer to the western part of the Kingdom of Lyon, towards the Kingdom of Carthiate, it might have seen some more changes.
“Under the circumstances, I would like to see the ocean more closely.”
Leticia nodded when Wynn spoke his mind.
After separating from Alfred, Royce, Kelvin and the others, Wynn and his group entered the Kingdom of Lyon through an abandoned mine road in the Majil Mountains to avoid being seen. After entering the country, they had been working in secret until they reached the royal capital, so he was curious about what had happened in the Empire since then.
At an inn in a village by the river, Oort and the others who had accompanied the group gathered to listen to rumors in the adventurers’ guild, and from what they were told, the imperial capital Simurgh was in the hands of Prince Neumann. Crown Prince Alfred was believed to be dead after being attacked by someone, and the Alfred presented by Count Elstead who was still alive was an imposter. Count Elstead, with this impostor, would be deeply involved in the attack on the goodwill delegation to the Kingdom of Lyon, and the Second Prince Neumann was gathering an army to head to destroy the impostor Alfred and Count Elstead. The information Oort had gathered from the adventurers’ guild indicated that the situation was becoming tense.
Incidentally, they parted ways with Oort and the others as soon as they reached the royal capital of Lyon. They were asked to tell Alfred and the others in the blockaded Erz that Cornelia and the others had arrived safely in Lyon.
They were Oort’s team, successful adventurers who had made their home in Erz. They would be able to approach the city without being suspected, and with the martial skills of Oort and Louis, and the magical skills of Eliza, who was as good as any of the court mages, it shouldn’t be too difficult to enter the sealed city. After that, they would be placed under Alfred’s command. The fact that they were trustworthy was noted in the secret letter they gave to Oort. Right now, under this sky, they were probably walking along the city road that connected the Lemmrousell Empire and the Kingdom of Lyon. They should be able to reach Erz in much less time than the way there.
As he looked up at the sky, wishing Oort and the others a safe journey, a bird he had never seen before quickly crossed his field of vision. It must have been a bird that lived by the sea.
“Surely we’ll have time to see the sea. And if you go to the port, you can see things you’ve never seen before, brought from far away foreign countries, and there’s a lot of food made with fish from the sea, and everything is very delicious.”
“Ehh. I’ve only ever seen dried seafood.”
When it came to fresh fish, in the imperial capital, the most you would get, was fish taken from the rivers. The only seafood available was salted and dried fish. Moreover, they were all very expensive due to the cost of transportation, and were not affordable to the common people.
When Wynn went to the morning market to buy food, he had only seen dried seafood displayed in front of stores, but he had never eaten it. The Wandering Bird’s Nest Inn, where Wynn grew up, was not the kind of inn that brought that kind of luxury food.
At that moment, Wynn’s stomach gave a little growl. They talked about food and suddenly remembered that he was hungry. Unlike Lino and the others, Wynn had not been able to eat properly the night before because he had been greeting Lyon’s nobles one after another.
“Breakfast will be served in the salon, so why don’t we eat together? Maybe Raul can tell us more about it when we finish eating.”
Nodding, Wynn asked Leticia to return to her room and hurried to get ready.
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