A beautiful, white palace rose in the distance.
The rounded and pointed roofs were turquoise, perhaps it was the colour of patinaed bronze, but it gave the palace a more calming impression than the original dazzling golden glow and goes well with the white walls.
But the palace was huge! I thought there was a whole city beyond the gates!
I believed the Magic School was quite large, but this was even larger.
A magnificent garden spread out on both sides and on the way to the centre of the palace was a statue of a hero astride a horse with its forefeet raised high to welcome guests.
The statue reminded me of a Russian bronze knight. Alec told me that he was the first King of this kingdom.
This kind of place will probably become a major tourist attraction in a thousand years or so.
I sometimes wonder if the huge buildings built by those in power are not a waste of money if they are considered to be profitable in the future. Or simply put, future generations are good at business.
I won’t be going all the way to the white palace today. Or rather, I can’t go all the way to the royal residence.
We will fork out into another road to get to the medical department.
We rode a horse-drawn carriage all the way from the school and even after passing through the gate, we were still moving inside in the overly spacious carriage.
I was surprised to see what looked like a classic pumpkin carriage with elaborate decorations waiting for me at the school gate.
I would never be able to ride on a carriage like this no matter how successful I am, but I was able to easily get on because I am Alec’s friend. Rather than feel happy about this however, I felt strangely embarrassed. It was like riding on a merry-go-around at an old age.
I put on a light blue robe that shows my status to show that I’m not a suspicious person in case I get separated from Alec. The coat of arms sewn into this robe also served as a pass when I passed through the first gate.
Underneath, however, I was wearing my usual vest and skirt. Alec said that would be fine. Even if it’s not, I don’t have any other decent clothes.
“You really live in an outrageous place… I mean, um, you live in a spectacular place.”
I had promised Alec and Rock that I would speak formally to them outside of school.
I promised that but I’ll revert back to my normal way of speaking if I’m not careful.
I wasn’t the only one who thought it was weird.
“You don’t have to force yourself to speak formally. It also makes me feel weird.”
His Royal Highness the Prince, who everyone waits upon, said so but I felt thought it would be impolite.
“With all due respect, even I have learnt all the proper etiquette from a proper noble teacher. Is there something wrong with what I am saying? If you are not used to me talking like this, then shall I speak to you like this normally as well? I will do as you wish, Your Highness.”
I teased him a little and Alec stopped me by holding his hand up. Rock let out a small groan.
“… Why do you sound even ruder when you’re speaking formally?”
“What are you saying Roderick-sama?”
“Stop it, I’m getting goosebumps.”
You’re the one who told me to be respectful!
Is me speaking formally so weird that it gives you the chills? I’m really going to stop if trying my best to talk in a long and roundabout way gives you the creeps.
The carriage eventually arrived at its destination.
The medical department where Rille-nee works is attached to the military facility in the palace.
The royal family doctor is always on standby at the central palace and Alec seemed to have contacted the medical department through them.
The garden stopped to reveal a patch of dirt not covered by the green lawn and that was where the military department was located.
The soldiers were sweating in the open-air training area when a luxurious carriage arrived much to their dismay.
It was really awkward, but we had to get off here. I hid behind Alec and Rock since I was hesitant to stand next to royalty and nobility in front of the soldiers, but I quickly found myself at the centre of attention.
At almost the same time that I had shouted, the boy soldier with the prosthetic eye, who was wiping his sweat from his face at a nearby well, opened his mouth and eyes wide as we pointed at each other.
“Long time no see, Giedt!”
I still remember him. How can I forget him?
The men of his platoon were standing around the well and they all looked well.
Yup, they really are well. I want to punch him.
“Are you still holding a grudge against me for that? You’re really small-minded.”
“Shut up! Why are you here!?”
Giedt was confused.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if he knew what the Prince looks like since he works at the palace. He must have been puzzled since I got off the carriage with the Prince.
But calling me a pervert out of the blues was unacceptable.
Alec nodded his head at our exchange.
“Do you know him, Aime?”
“He saved my life!”
I explained what had happened to Alec and then reported to Giedt.
“I got into the magic school and in first place as well!”
Ah, he’s doubting me. I can’t prove that I did get first place since I only heard it from Harold, but my robe shows that I got into the magic school.
“I’m not lying. I’m in the same class as His Highness, so I asked His Highness to show me Rille-nee’s workplace.”
“Hah… So you’re a mage now?”
“I’m still studying to become one. You’ll have to wait a little longer.”
I was hoping he’d be a bit more impressed, but he didn’t seem to care. I tried my best since I told you I would get in.
“Is that a magic stone?”
Alec pointed at Giedt’s left eye. He was curious about it as well.
“Ah, y-yes. A passing mage engineer put it in my eye when I was a kid.”
Giedt answered in a puzzled tone when Alec suddenly spoke to him. I’ll refrain from retorting that he is still a kid, but he said something else that bothered me.
“A passing mage? I was taught that mages and mage engineers work at the palace.”
The Royal Institute of Magic is located somewhere on this vast site, and all the nation’s mages work there. Mage engineers were also mages who have mastered the special technique of processing magic stones.
“I’m not sure, they didn’t seem like they were from this nation.”
“They were from another nation?”
“Probably. He had a different hair colour. He came out of the blue and gave me a substitute eye. He didn’t even take any money for it.”
What a benevolent person. Was he on a journey to help people? Where did they retire from?
We have gone past the warring period and exchanges between nations naturally exist. People and goods come and go freely to a certain extent. Is it possible that a mage from another nation came to save a little boy?
“I see, it wasn’t made in Traus.”
“Magic stones for magic tools are supposed to be used only for weapons.”
I asked and Alec nodded.
“At least, I didn’t know that they could be used like this.”
“They’re not being researched either?”
“I don’t know about that.”
Hmm, I want to believe that they are being researched. Magic stones can do such amazing things, but there’s no way they only use it to make weapons like magic swords.
“――― I want to thank you for saving Aime as her friend. This kingdom is blessed to have strong soldiers like you.”
After the explanation, Alec became more prince-like than usual and complimented Giedt in an exaggerated manner.
Giedt’s right eye was wandering about, and he was flustered. It was interesting to see him at a loss for words and looking down. It made me want to tease him, so I poked his side with my elbow.
“See, it’s just like I predicted. You received a compliment from His Highness even though you haven’t gotten a medal yet.”
“… I’ll be getting a medal later!?”
“Well, just wait and see.”
The brat muttered, “I only saved a little girl.”
Rille-nee’s workplace, which wasn’t far from the training grounds where we had left Giedt and the other soldiers, was covered by a thick stone wall which muffled the soldier’s voices.
There were a number of beds neatly arranged in a large room with wooden partitions between them. I could see the toes of a few wounded soldiers sleeping at the far end of the room.
The doctors, who were starting to gather around, were told to continue their work and we were accompanied by a kind medical chief and a doctor with a large scar on his face.
Black J…! I almost said the name of an unlicensed doctor. He had the same scar across the bridge of his nose and his hair was a normal dark brown.
This is just my own imagination but he looked like a military doctor and he has been frowning for some reason since the beginning. I soon found out why.
“This isn’t a school; I didn’t accept any student visits.”
He flared up before introducing himself. The old man kept smiling kindly as he mercilessly punched the man in the face.
We were startled and couldn’t say anything.
“Welcome to this end of the palace, Your Highness, and Ridill’s sister. Ridill will be back shortly, so please wait a moment.”
I appreciate the polite greeting, but I never expected to see a doctor committing an act of violence. How should we react? The guy beside him is bleeding.
How scary! Is Rille-nee really having fun working at a place like this?!
And is this scarred man perhaps…?
“Are you Jed-san?”
Rille-nee’s superior, who I have only heard of by name. He was the very embodiment of the word ‘bigoted’.
He stared at me with his sanpaku eyes TN: eyes with visible white between the iris and lower eyelid as he wiped the blood with a handkerchief he had pulled out of his pocket.
“Nice to meet you. My name is Aime. My sister told me about you. Umm, she said you were a very nice boss.”
“Your bad flattery is simply tasteless. Remember this in your little head you greenhorn.”
I don’t want to be told that by an adult with a nosebleed.
If you’re aware I’m making snide remarks, then you should fix your personality. Well, you’re bigoted because you get defensive.
Anyway, it seemed that Jed-san was displeased that I had come to his workplace.
Though, his attitude was too much, but he was right, so I couldn’t argue back. Alec had arranged everything andI was certainly in their way.
I understand, I should check on Rille-nee then go back.
“What is Rille-nee doing?”
“She went to the front to dry some bandages.”
The old man who answered me, Franz, said in a very kind and friendly tone.
I recognised his smiling face and realised that it was the same face that I had seen on my parents in my previous life, who were looking after their first grandchild.
Does he like kids or does he have a grandchild who’s around my age?
“Can I go see her? I want to see what Rille-nee looks like while she’s working.”
“Of course. What will you do, Your Highness?”
“I’ll go. I’m Aime’s escort today.”
I really appreciate it.
I actually didn’t tell Rille-nee that I was going to visit her today. I thought it would be more interesting this way, so I asked permission through Alec. Just imagining her surprised expression made me smile.
I was told that I will eventually come to a courtyard if I walk down the corridor for a while and at the end of the courtyard was where they hung the clean bandages to dry.
“Look, over there ―――.”
Franz-san pointed at a spot as soon as the courtyard came into view.
A man was draped over Rille-nee in the centre of the green grass which was lined with white lines.
I quickly ran up to them and kicked the man in the groin.
|TN: eyes with visible white between the iris and lower eyelid