Chapter 1 - Part 1
The four children sat opposite to Lelia. She felt like was being cornered.
“Captain, who’s that girl? You are trying to get a girlfriend, aren’t you?”
Romeo asked, raising one eyebrow, while the others stared at Lelia.
“Who is she?” Kalix questioned, suppressing his mirth.
“Huh, really…? His… girlfriend? I can’t believe it.” Oscar murmured bitterly.
Lelia frowned and glared at Griffith without answering them. Griffith was quiet, perhaps because he knew who the girl was.
[You want to portray me as a shameless child?]
Lelia shrugged her shoulders.
“Why would she be my girlfriend? She is Prince Griffith’s fiancée.”
“Fiancée? You have a fiancée?” Kalix turned to Griffith.
“…Is there anyone here who doesn’t have a fiancée?” Romeo asked in an amazed tone.
When Kalix replied, everyone looked surprised.
“Me, I don’t have one…” Even Oscar replied.
[He doesn’t have a fiancée because he’s hated by the emperor.]
Lelia thought, clicking her tongue inwardly.
Romeo’s blue pupils flickered, “You really don’t have one? And you, Captain? Don’t you have one?”
[W-well, I don’t know. Did the Crown prince have a fiancée?]
[If I were a son, the emperor would have already decided on my fiancée… But I’m sure he’ll act picky for his only son, so I don’t think Prince Leo has one yet… ]
Four people stared at Lelia, waiting for her answer. Lelia eventually found a wise answer.
“… I heard my father say something about it, since I’m weak. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t think you would even care about it. I think I have a fiancée… Well, or maybe not.”
The ‘I’m not sure’ tactic.
At Lelia’s words, the four children nodded, saying that might be the case.
“You’re weak? You look clumsy, but you are very powerful.” Kalix flicked her forearm and said.
“Hey, if I hadn’t been healed by the priest that day, my arms muscles would have been worn out. If you faint again, I won’t be able to carry you again.”
“You should be grateful, eh? Ah, in order to save you, I had to bring forth such superhuman strength that day.”
Kalix shut his mouth.
Five children, including her, had a rough idea of that day.
When the beast showed up, Lelia carried Kalix down the mountain.
However, only Lelia, Kalix and Griffith knew that the culprit, who summoned the beast, was related to the Emperor of Ascard. After that, they wondered how Lelia knew something like that would happen in advance.
Lelia was unable to tell the truth, so she said in a vague manner, ‘Sometimes I have a premonition.’
“Captain, you would have done the same if I were in danger, right?” Romeo thought about it for a while and asked.
Romeo got angry at Lelia’s dazed expression.
“Hah! Are you serious? I was the first to get close to you. Don’t you remember? Did you hit your head?”
“I remember! I know! Of course, I would help you.” Lelia replied in a deadpan manner, and Romeo laughed, saying, “Yes.”
“Captain, what about me?”
“Oscar? I would carry you anyday!”
[He is smaller than me, so he will be lighter.]
Oscar grinned, covering his mouth with his fist.
[He looks like a fairy…]
Lelia patted Oscar’s silver hair. He really looked like her younger brother. Come to think of it, Oscar and herself had different eye color, but the same silver hair. It wouldn’t be weird to call him her brother.
Lelia suddenly remembered something, and said to Oscar, “Oscar, we have similar hair color, so they might think we are brothers.”
“As if! His brother? You must be kidding me! Both of you often talk so coldly to each other.”
“Once in a while, the Captain should shut his mouth.” Romeo and Kalix said in unison.
Lelia gave a retorting snort. She then looked at Griffith, who had not spoken a word. Griffith was the only one here who didn’t ask, ‘Would you have saved my life?’
He was afraid to hear ‘no’ as an answer.
Griffith had been with Lelia for a few days now, but he wasn’t particularly close to her.
[It bothers him…]
Lelia snapped at Griffith as she watched the servants bring the meals from afar.
“Griffith, for your information, I would have done the same for you. At least you won’t cry and fight like Kalix.”
“Hey! Who was crying and whining?”
Griffith bit his lip, “I didn’t even ask…”
Soon, the servants appeared in front of their table with meals. It was the same as what she had eaten before.
“Let’s eat, boys!” Lelia shouted enthusiastically and began eating her second meal.
* * *
After the meal, Lelia returned to the room with her friends. The children sat on the huge sofa, sipping the tea brought by the servant. Perhaps, because they all belonged to royal families, their tea drinking posture looked very elegant. Lelia also drank the tea, mimicking them as much as she could.
“Oh, so what did his fiancée tell you? Did she ask you to come to the wedding?” Romeo asked sarcastically.
“She asked me if Griffith ever mentioned her in front of me.”
“Why would she do that?”
“I don’t know.”
Everyone turned their eyes toward Griffith. He ignored them and fixed his gaze on the tea cup.
“Anyways, it is interesting. I didn’t think you could talk to women this well.”
Lelia’s expression crumbled at Kalix’s words.
[What does that mean?]
“I think he’s cool. The girls were watching our Captain very carefully, weren’t they?”
Everyone seemed surprised hearing this.
“Why were you paying attention to them?”
“The Captain is… cool…?” Kalix tilted his head, Oscar had said as if it were natural.
[Well, I’ve always been like that…?]
Lelia smiled inwardly and stared at the four children. They were all from the royal families, but they were now her subordinates. Enough for them to know about her. So, of course she would look cool.
Lelia clicked her tongue inwardly, but her expression was clearly proud.
“Why don’t we go out and play instead of being stuck in this room?”
“Where are we going? Garden?”
“Will the priests let us go out?”
This Holy Neutral Zone was a very large city. There was a large temple in the middle of the city, and a commercial district was built around it. The accommodation where the children were staying was a large building at the inner end of the temple. The security was tight.
Romeo sighed pitifully and said, “Think carefully. Since the time of that incident, we know a weak point about the temple. If they find out about this, it won’t be good for them, right?”
Surprisingly, Romeo was pretty smart. Everyone was excited. Lelia was also curious about what’s outside the temple. She wasn’t that old, but she still spent all of her life at the corners of the Imperial Palace. And now, she is staying here. She, of course, did not have any complaints because she could eat a lot of food.
“The priests need to be properly disciplined now. Let’s go out. Don’t you think they’ll provide us bodyguards?”
Lelia sprang to her feet.
“Okay, I have decided. Let’s go out!”
“I’ll be here…” Oscar hesitated.
“Shall we go together?” Romeo asked, but Oscar jumped off the sofa and headed to their room, where they had placed a bed.
“I’ll sleep. You guys should get going.”
Lelia watched as the door closed.
[A place with many people would be scary for him…]
It will be difficult for him, considering Oscar probably had an anxiety disorder.
[Is there anything that can help Oscar?…]
After wondering for a while, something came to Lelia’s mind. And soon, she said as if she had made up her mind, “Let’s go.”
“Are we leaving him behind?” Romeo questioned.
Lelia didn’t reply and only urged the rest.
When they asked to go outside, the priest was frightened, but after throwing the threat of the last incident, he ran to report it to the high priest.
Some time later…
They finally agreed and brought out five knights. Their radius of moving was limited to nearby busy streets, but that was more than enough.
Most of the people living in the neutral zone were members of the temple and the Holy Knights’ families. There were many servants who worked in the temple, and ordinary merchants.
It’s not a sightseeing spot, so not that lively, but it’s still a commercial area, and that’s why the city is bustling.
It wasn’t gorgeous, but she felt a sense of freedom just walking downtown.