A Chance Meeting with The Holy Woman
After arranging to rendezvous with Sieg at 9 pm, back at the Millard tent in the southern castle gate plaza of Sutherland, I began heading back with Aquido and the others.
“Grey, wait a moment,” the emperor said.
In order to improve the battle plan, we needed to order several materials and are quickly running out of time. I’d like it if we could move as fast as possible.
“Your Majesty, I’m also quite busy—” I said before he cut me off.
He started walking without even waiting for my response, so I heaved a sigh before handing the list of materials over to Aquido and ordered him to gather them with Satella and the others.
They were dead set against me going off alone, but if anybody who could harm me came along, no number of Aquidos would make a difference. So, I pushed through their resistance and forced them to head back without me.
The emperor led me to a large mansion. It was a step up from the other buildings and was located in the corner of the northern district. There, he laid out tea and snacks.
Sitting in front of me were Emperor Georg and a beautiful silver-haired girl, with maids and butlers, presumably his attendants, lined up behind.
“This is my daughter—Lilinor Rose Archive,” Emperor Georg said. “Isn’t she just as beautiful as her mother?”
“She sure is,” I replied.
I took a quick glance at her. She had a slender body, snow-white skin, and glossy silver hair with beautifully cut bangs in the front and a bun in the back. Anyone would agree she was a beautiful girl, and marriage proposals would probably come rushing in given four or five years.
“Please tell me why you called me here,” I said.
“Oh, you’re such a busybody. Don’t you get tired being like that?” he said, returning to his frankness from when I had first met him. I guess this is just how he normally acts.
“Shouldn’t Your Majesty know best what kind of time we’re in?”
“Yeah, you’re right. By the way, didn’t you refuse my invitation once?”
Jeez, he just changes the topic as he pleases. I’d really love if this conversation would stop moving about without any logical connection.
“I’m afraid I don’t understand. Could you please be a little more specific?”
“But I made Rainer write that note.”
“Ah, that did happen.”
Now that I think about it, Rainer did deliver a letter saying that there was someone he wanted me to meet. I didn’t think I would gain anything by meeting that person so I respectfully declined, but to think it was the emperor. I really couldn’t care less about what he wanted to say.
“That’s what I’m talking about. If you don’t want to be charged with lèse-majesté, then guard my daughter until things die down.”
“Whaat!?” I and the silver-haired girl, Lilinor, yelled in perfect unison.
“W-wait just a moment! I’m just a child, you know!” I exclaimed.
Regardless of who I actually was inside, he should see me as a 12-year-old child. In what world was there an idiot who would entrust a child to protect their beloved daughter, and then bring said daughter to a place where an army of undead would soon attack. He’s got to have some annoying reason.
“Don’t play me for a fool. McBurn told me about your strength. Wasn’t it something about you leaving a group of dozens of bandits in a half-dead state?”
That idiot. Even though I told him so many times to keep it a secret, to think he would tell this eccentric emperor of all people.
About half a year ago, I was heading over to meet Margrave McBurn for some business discussions when I came across some bandits assaulting a carriage and lent a hand against them. Normally the story would end there, but unfortunately the owner of the carriage was one of Margrave Mcburn’s relatives.
“Father, I’m not a child anymore. I told you that I would be fine going out on my own!” Lilinor exclaimed as she slammed the table.
The emperor just sighed in response. “And Papa said that he wouldn’t give permission for Lily to go out on her own.”
There’s just something really wrong with the emperor calling himself Papa.
“You’re a tyrant!!”
“Say what you will, but just try going out on your own. I’ll be killed by everyone in the family, if not by Mama herself!” he yelled as he stood up in tears. An old butler behind him just shook his head in response. I feel like all his fatigue stems from this parent-child oddball duo.
“That’s not my problem! I’m going out by myself. And I refuse to go with anyone else.”
“I see. So you’re serious, Lily?”
An evil grin floated onto the emperor’s face.
“Then I’ve no choice but to ask The Hero, Yukihiro.”
Lilinor’s face twitched as if she had just seen someone she didn’t expect to, and she fixated on her father, Emperor Georg’s face.
“Yukihiro would immediately reply with an okay,” he pressed on. “Or would you rather have Sir Cyrus’s elder son? They’re both here in Sutherland, and Papa’s fine with either.”
Lilinor clenched her teeth in frustration at the emperor, who was acting like a governor plotting something evil, and glared at him.
Much to my chagrin, however, she said, “This child is fine.”
“Wait just a bit. What about my opinion—” I started.
“Don’t just sit there. We’re leaving,” Lilinor cut me off.
She grabbed my sleeve and led me out of the mansion, still seething in anger.
Once we exited the mansion, she turned around and said, “I’m Lilinor Rose Archive.”
She extended her hand out.
“I’m Grey Millard. Nice to meet you.”
While internally flinging insults at the emperor who had stuck me with such an annoying task, I reluctantly shook her hand.
“Grey, I want to go there next!” Lilinor said.
She was only sullen at the start, and was soon in high spirits after finding her element.
Now wasn’t the time to be babysitting. I already have enough work that I’d need to pull an all-nighter, so I wanted to get some shuteye while I could.
“Lilinor, let’s make the next store the last.”
“I said just Lily is fine,” she pouted with her hands on her waist.
“Okay, okay. Lily it is then.”
“That’s better,” she said and looked away, her face as red as a tomato.
Based off her carefree smile, the emperor might not have even explained the current situation to her. I should be careful with my words.
“I’m busy right now, so let’s make the next store the last one for today. In exchange, I’ll accompany you for as long you want once my work is finished,” I said.
“Yeah, I promise.”
I pointed my index finger out, and Lilinor followed suit. We wrapped our index fingers together and shook several times.
This was one of the ways children made promises in the empire—something like a pinky promise.
“This product is the Leroy Model, created by Mr. Leroy himself,” an employee cheerfully suggested to Lilinor as she put on the women’s watch.
“It’s very light,” she pointed out.
“The new models are designed to be lightweight,” the employee explained. “It also automatically winds itself. It’s a type of watch that just by putting it on your arm, the springs will load themselves. It costs 60 000 000G, but I assure you it’s well worth the price.”
So the automatic watch has already been made lightweight. A new model, huh. With the current state of affairs, 60 000 000G is quite cheap. As expected of Rainer’s head office, I guess.
“Don’t you have anything a little cheaper?” Lilinor asked.
“Then what about the model created by Mr. Leroy’s head pupil, Mr. Pause?” the employee suggested. “It would be just 10 800 000G, quite the moderate amount.”
“Do you have any watches under 1 000 000G?”
They’ve almost completely spread to every country, but sadly haven’t become ubiquitous enough as to be sold under 1 000 000G.
“Please wait a moment.”
As expected, the employee was flustered for a bit, but quickly snapped back and began flipping through a book filled with designs.
“Then how about this one?” the employee asked with a winning smile and pointed at one of the designs.
I’ve seen this design before. It’s the very first wristwatch that I developed.
“This is the first watch model that was designed and we’re selling it for the Fourth Year Watch Anniversary. We plan to have a limited time sale where first 500 customers can order one for the low price of just 98 000G. Normally, we’d start handing out tickets tomorrow, but it looks like you’ve got your own circumstances, Miss. If you were to buy one, we’d give a ticket just for you.”
“S-so, how long will it take to arrive!?” Lilinor demanded as she pitched her body forward in anticipation. From her ghastly expression, it looks like her circumstances were more than just greed.
“Production will start once all customers have ordered, so it should come within four months……”
Dispirited, Lilinor drooped her shoulders. “Sorry. Then there’d be no meaning,” she mumbled.
As the employee awkwardly tried to cheer her up, we left the store.
“Is there a reason you need to get that watch immediately?” I asked
“The month after the next is my older sister’s wedding. She had said she wanted a watch before so…”
“I don’t understand. Couldn’t the imperial family just ask that it be delivered as a gift?”
Just having your own company’s product used by the imperial family would turn it into a brand. In fact, they should be rolling over to get her to use one.
“Apart from proper business transactions, the imperial family must not receive any special treatment. It’s one of Father’s standard policies,” she said dejectedly.
If certain merchants and the leaders of a country were connected, it would engender cries of injustice. That injustice would then turn merchants’ hard work into a political mess, and the country’s technology would atrophy.
That said, this is just a truism, and humans are creatures with complex desires—whether they can put it into practice is an entirely different matter. Seems like that eccentric emperor is more capable than I thought.
“So that 100 000G is like your allowance?” I asked.
“Ever since my sister got engaged a year back, I’ve been saving up.”
Now this is one thing I can finally agree with the emperor on. If you gave a child who was clueless about the hardships of the world more money than necessary, they’d develop wasteful habits. Even in the empire, in the poorest noble family, the Millards, several citizens have been sacrificed to my stepmother’s wasteful habits. If the same were to happen but on the imperial level, the empire would unmistakably collapse.
“Lily, can you keep a secret about me?” I asked.
I’m well aware that it’s not good to intrude on another family’s circumstances.
But at the same time, it’s also an adult’s responsibility to give a child a little push when they’re trying to achieve something—at least that’s what I believe.
“Grey’s secret?” Lilinor asked blankly.
I put my hand out. “Yeah, don’t you want to gift your sister a watch? Then as long as you keep this secret, I’ll give you that chance.”
However, I’m just giving her the chance to. Whether she can capitalize on it or not rests solely on her shoulders.
She studied my face for a bit before knitting her eyebrows in determination, grabbed my hand, and yelled, “I promise!”
I brought her to a back alleyway, confirmed there was nobody around, and teleported us to the lounge of Sagami Co.’s number one research lab, located in Straheim.
“Eh? Eh? Where is this?” Lilinor asked in confusion.
Disregarding her question, I walked towards a large table in the corner of the room where a man with a short beard sat drinking black tea, one of Sagami Co.’s new goods.
“It’s quite strange for you to have come in broad daylight, Grey—and to have brought that shorty with you nonetheless,” the man said.
“It’s not like I have nothing else to do; I wouldn’t come without a good reason, you know.”
I walked up and sat in front of Leroy, who vocalized his stupid impressions with great interest. Lilinor followed suit and sat beside me, although hesitantly.
“Now then, what business do you have?” Leroy asked and began observing Lilinor while stroking his beard.
“I want you to teach this girl how to make a watch. The time limit is a month. I’ll cover any failures, as well as all material costs. For the payment, how about the 100 000G that she has?”
Immediately, the room erupted in chatter. It was only natural, give how busy Leroy was and the meagre reward.
Leroy placed his hand on his jaw and pondered for a while, before he smiled and said, “It’s an order from my employer. I’ll do it.”
“I see. Thanks.”
That’s good. This man never works for compensation; he probably values teaching Lily even more than the reward we’re providing right now.
“You, what’s your name?” Leroy asked.
“It’s Lily. Nice to meet you.” She gave a deep bow, to which Leroy threw a sharp glare at.
“The reason I accepted your request was solely due to the fact that Grey was asking. I wouldn’t move even a single step for you as of now. Understand?”
“Y-yes,” Lilinor gulped, nodding furiously.
“Then do your best to turn that impression around!”
Leroy nodded in content, stood up, and began walking. After a moment, he turned around and barked, “Oi, what are you doing there! Follow me!”
Lilinor uneasily glanced my way several times, but soon followed after Leroy. He had a bad attitude and didn’t have much of a way with words, but he was quite helpful. It should be fine leaving it to him.
Now then, I still have the objective of exterminating the undead.
Science and technology needed to advance further in order to do the research I really wanted. Looking at Sutherland economically, it’ll become my center of operation. If it were destroyed, I would lose years off my objectives—dozens if things went really bad. I don’t want to waste any more time. I can’t let Sutherland fall.
Here I can make as many gadgets to annihilate the undead as I want and can guard Lilinor as asked by the emperor. In any case, I can’t deal with those predatory nobles that are rampaging about, dragging each other down on a daily basis. This location is ideal for my current actions.
The only problem is how I should explain my teleportation to Aquido’s group, but I guess it’s a bit late for that. They’re people I can trust, anyways. If I asked them to keep silent, they wouldn’t tell a soul.
“I guess I should start moving too.”
I stood up and teleported back to Sutherland.
↑ Previously translated as The Sage but is now too confusing with the introduction of a different sage in the previous chapter.
↑ Lèse-majesté is the act of insulting a monarch or other ruler. An emperor, in this case.
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