Chapter 1 - Part 1
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She would have brought everything from her mother’s cabin if she could, but the watch and the necklace would have to do.
Lelia looked at the view outside the wagon through a gap in the cloth covering it.
Before she knew it, the wagon was driving down the central road leading away from the Imperial Palace and heading to the downtown area.
[If they find out I’m running away, they’ll block the capital gates. I need to get out as soon as possible.]
She was nervous because she didn’t have a plan, but her strong will didn’t waver.
By the time the wagon came to a halt, Lelia quickly exited before the merchant could get off the wagon.
Lelia sunk into the shadows of the robe she was wearing.
Fortunately the night-time streets were filled with bright lights and there were many people.
The security of the Imperial Capital was safe, so there were quite a few shops open late at night.
In addition, the night market seemed to be open nearby. Perhaps because it was the festival season soon.
Children, holding their parents’ hands, were holding a lot of food.
It looks delicious.
Only then did it occur to Lelia that she hadn’t eaten all day, but she quickly shook her head.
“I don’t have any money, and it’s not the time for this.”
(T/N: I feel so bad for her ;-; my poor bb)
To avoid looking like a lost child, Lelia walked close to the side of ordinary adults while tilting her face towards them.
So that she seemed like their child.
Lelia, who was sneaking around like that, suddenly came to a stop.
[What’s with that carriage procession?]
A huge caravan lingered in front of a majestic building.
The emblem of the family could not be seen on it, but the carriages were so luxurious that it was clear that they belonged to a noble.
[It seems they’re trying to get out of the capital.]
The well-dressed servants were filling the carriages with something. Like they were preparing for a long journey.
Lelia hid behind one of the carriages and poked her head out. In front of her were knights in armor holding the reins of their horses.
[Is that a procession of knights?]
The look on the faces of the knights packing their luggage looked very bright, like an excited group of students going on a field trip.
[Are they going home? Or… Oh! Are they going there by any chance?]
What Lelia recalled was the “Rendinium”, the Holy Land of the Knights.
Rendinium was a place she had learned about from her friends’ stories when she was in the temple.
Romeo had said, “I want to go to the Rendinium in the Auraria Empire in the future! I hear it’s full of brave knights. Is that true, Leo?”
Lelia glossed over her answer, searching her memories of the original novel.
“It’s in your empire. How come you don’t know about it, idiot! Are you the Crown Prince? Why are you so stupid?”
Romeo had chastised Lelia for not answering immediately.
“No, I know! It’s just that I’ve never been there myself…”
“Huh? Where did the prince living in the Imperial Palace visit? Anyway, I want to go there. It’s a city where knights from the Oracle stayed and made deep friendships before establishing the Five Kingdoms. My dream is to be a strong knight like them!”
Romeo said while pretending to be a good knight.
The words reminded her of the original story belatedly.
Rendinium was a city considered a sacred place for knights and those who dreamed of becoming knights.
So many knights, regardless of nationality, used to travel there or use it as a resting place.
Lelia squinted at the memory of that time.
[Romeo… His dream was to be a knight and yet… he became a wizard…]
Lelia shook her head.
The carriage Lelia was hiding behind began to sway.
A huge knight with a splint on his foot got on the carriage.
“Darn it! It’s a disgrace for a knight to be unable to ride a horse.”
“Just get on, are you going to keep complaining like a child? You’ll have to stay on the carriage until you get to Rendinium, so don’t move.”
The tall knight, who helped the huge knight, teased the man inside.
“If you don’t like it so much, get healed by the priests in the capital.”
“I hate it! I’d rather die than be healed by them.”
“You’re so stubborn….”
Attempting to look like a child of a local merchant Lelia scribbled on the ground, pretending to ignore the knights talking.
But she could feel a persistent gaze on her back. Lelia’s back hunched under the pressure.
“Hey, kid. It’s dangerous to sit at the back of a carriage like that.”
Lelia raised her head with a child-like smile.
The tall knight, who had been talking to the huge one before, shrugged and sighed; “I said it’s dangerous to be here. Where are your parents?”
Lelia roughly pointed at someone who looked far away.
“He told me to wait here.”
“Really? Then why don’t you go over there and wait? This carriage is about to depart.”
Lelia nodded and stood up.
He was a very kind knight.
Ordinary knights are unfriendly. If he was like most knights, he might have just kicked Lelia away.
The knight, who saw Lelia step aside, walked away and climbed on a large brown horse.
More than ten carriages began preparing for departure.
[If it’s Rendinium… There will be quite a few people going to the border from there.]
She hadn’t made a specific plan on where to run off to yet, but it was better to think outside the capital.
Lelia looked around and quickly hid inside of the carriage’s luggage, the same carriage with the huge knight.
Fortunately, she was able to hide in a wider space than when she first travelled.
[I can lie down while I travel.]
Lelia was relieved to lie on her side and took a comfortable posture.
She heard a loud shout outside the carriage. It was not long before the carriage began to shake and move with the rhythmic sound of horses’ hooves.
[Maybe because it’s a high-end carriage, it’s more comfortable.]
Thankfully, it’ll take quite a while to get to Rendinium. The problem was getting there undiscovered.
[If I wasn’t hungry, I could stay hidden in the carriage…]
Lelia frowned, covering her hungry stomach. Still, she wouldn’t starve to death because she had medicine to recover her strength.
She slowly fell asleep like that.
The carriage left the capital and drove past rough fields.