「Say old man, how much more time until we reach?」
While being rocked by the carriage used by the general public which was being pulled by 2 horses, a young boy with his eyes sparkling asked his father who was sitting next to him. That fidgety and nervous behavior looked as though he couldn’t wait to reach his destination.
Towards that, the boy’s father as though wanting to hold back his impatient son, replied.
「Very soon, so be quiet」
「That’s all you’ve from some time ago! I’m tired of hearing ‘Very soon’」
「But I’m tired of hearing Liner’s “how much more time?”」
On the opposite side of the boy’s father, inevitably sitting in the fetal position with a cramped posture, a blonde haired girl spoke to the red haired boy as though she was exasperated.
It took the form of the boy, Liner, being remonstrated by the 2 of them. But there was a reason for him to act like this.
「It’s the first time we’re going to a city, right? Aren’t you excited?」
Being brought up in a countryside village called Brosch, which was surrounded by mountains, if it were to be called as going afar, Liner had only gone to villages and towns in the vicinity. But this time was different. He had come out of the territory for the first time since being born.
「Even if you call it a city, it’s just Delfit. It’s not like we’re going to the capital and if you are so excited it’ll be completely obvious that you’re a bumpkin」
「Well, Brosch is rural」
「That wasn’t what I meant………」
It was a lively conversation, but there was nobody paying attention to it. From the start, the carriage was crowded with people and all of them were chatting as they pleased so the people who paid any attention to this conversation were non-existent.
But among them, there was a man who seemed to be in the prime of his life, having a good physique and an abundant beard, saw that conversation and started talking to Liner’s father.
「Do you people come from Brosch?」
「Yes. Do you know Brosch?」
「It’s the village which is at the edge of the territory governed by Viscount Ballack, right?」
「You seem to be well informed」
「Since I’m somewhat friendly with him」
Saying that, the man tipped his empty hand towards himself in front of his mouth. Liner’s father understood what he wanted to say by looking at that action.
「It’s related to alcohol, huh」
「Right! If you talk about 『Bale’s brewery』, it is well known locally in its own way」
‘Gahahaha’- The man laughed in a hearty manner which fit his appearance.
Viscount Ballack was famous for being a matchless alcohol lover. If the people living in the territory were asked about it, they would have heard at least once about the rumors that he would drink alcohol every night as though he were bathing in it or that he would often visit the bars in the town for a drink.
According to Bale, the Viscount was living in the town where Bale was running the brewery, before he started governing. It seemed that he had liked the alcohol from Bale’s brewery from that time itself, and even after he became the Viscount, he had been buying from the brewery regularly.
But although the monetary transaction was appropriate, it was hard to say that his town was close to the Ballack territory. And so, he was now in the middle of expanding his business in the Ballack territory after the sale.
He said that although he still hadn’t gone to Brosch, he knew its name and the geography around it.
「But still, if its from Brosch, you are coming pretty far. Is Delfit your destination? It isn’t very suitable for bringing children to sight-see」
Port city Delfit. As its name indicated, it was a town which spread out facing the ocean, and where fishing and trade were prosperous.
A majority of the part in contact with the sea was the port, so the traffic of ships was quite large and it wasn’t as though there was a beach for enjoying in the sea. It would be a different matter if one went towards the coastline a small distance away from the port where there were no ship lanes, but in that area monsters were usually present. There were passenger boats which went around the sea, but looking at Liner and the 2 of them, they didn’t appear to be prepared for enjoying the boat trip which would take longer than 3 months. In that case, they might have come to savor the marine products.
「It’s not for sightseeing but for participating in the fighting tournament!」
Towards Bale’s question, Liner decisively declared so.
Delfit was a port city — in other words, it was a town of fishermen. Therefore, there were a lot of men who were vigorous and proud of their strength.
Maybe with that spirit as the origin, from olden days a fighting tournament was held every year in Delfit.
Although it was held with a front that it would help in maintaining the security of maritime activities, its origin was due to people who wanted to give vent to the anger piled up normally or simply those who wanted to go wild, gathering and holding it, but the compatibility of this violent event with the people living in Delfit was extraordinarily good.
As the years went by, the number of participants increased and even the scale expanded rapidly. By the time 20 years had passed from its start, even an exclusive stage was prepared and now not only from Delfit, but also from the surrounding cities, participants appeared and it had become a specialty.
Come to think of it, it was already that season, huh- while being convinced, Bale closely stared at the enthusiastic Liner and spoke.
「Fighting tournament, huh. You?」
「Wh, what? That reaction」
「It isn’t that you are weak but it’s just that Delfit’s fighting tournament is quite serious. Just be careful to not get a big injury」
「It’s fine. Since I’ll win!」
「Hou, that is some grand declaration」
「Well, he is participating in the under-13 division though」
Liner’s father rubbed his head roughly. To that, Liner raised a voice of protest saying 「Stop it-!」 and tried to brush away his hand. Looking at that heart-warming scene, Bale couldn’t feel the air of a strong person, one that would be able to win through the tournament, from him.
And while Liner was making a racket, suddenly the edge of his shirt was pulled and he turned his eyes towards the other side.
「It’s in sight, Delfit」
No sooner had it been said than Liner put not only his head, but half of his body outside the window and caught the city of Delfit in his vision.
It would be an exaggeration to say that they might reach the sky, but still he could see many tall buildings which weren’t there in Lietze. There were many stalls along the highway they were moving on, and many of them were bustling with people who were going back and forth from the city.
Even though they had yet to enter the city, that too with it being in quite the distance, it was this lively. Liner’s heart was dancing at the thought of how many unknown and unheard of things would be overflowing there when he stepped inside the city. Next to him, although the girl had an uninterested expression, maybe due to being interested she was repeatedly glancing outside the window.
「Liner, don’t make so much noise! And it’s dangerous so draw back!」
「It’s fine! Wow, what’s that?」
After arriving at the long-awaited city of Delfit, Liner’s tension kept increasing. Eventually, Liner’s excitement continued increasing until they entered inside and got off the carriage.
And when he stood on top of Delfit’s ground on his own feet, that voltage reached its peak.
「The number of people are large! The buildings are huge! There’s a steel ship!」
「That’s a statue of a ship!」
For the time being, Liner was shouting out whatever he saw . Even looking at the monument of a huge ship in the middle of a fountain at the central plaza, he couldn’t hide his excitement.
Looking at him, the people in the town were laughing at him as though watching something pleasant. Liner was in such high spirits that he didn’t even notice the surrounding situation, but for the 2 people with him, it was considerably embarrassing.
「Hey Liner, you’re too excited! We have to quickly go register for the participation」
「That and all is for later! I’ll go towards the sea and come back!」
As soon as Liner, who wasn’t able to keep still, was stopped he left those words behind and started running.
That figure soon mixed within the crowd of people and disappeared.
「Good grief, he’s as excited as always……… I’ll complete the registration so I’ll leave him to you. After you catch him, we’ll assemble in front of this fountain」
They had to inevitably split in 2 directions.
The boy called Liner, once freed, would play and move around forever until he became tired. He had gone towards the harbor to look at the sea for now, but it wasn’t known where he would head to next. It was obvious that things would get problematic if she didn’t chase after him immediately.
While sighing, she jogged after him, moving as though weaving through the crowd. It was a feat she could do only because she was a child who had a small build and was nimble and agile.
Although, it was a first for her, who was from the same village as Liner, also to see such a sea of people. And then, she collided with a figure coming from around the street corner.
Due to the impact of colliding, she involuntarily fell on her backside. Since the other person had been walking, luckily she didn’t seem to be injured. But that was only regarding herself. Wanting to confirm the safety of the other person, she got up.
「S, sorry! Are you alright?」
「Yes, I’m fine」
That refreshing voice reached the girl’s ears without being drowned out by the bustling crowd.
That itself was something that could fascinate people, but after she saw that the owner of that voice was a girl whose age wasn’t much different that hers, she caught her breath.
There was no sarcasm, and moreover it was her frank impression.
Until a position a bit below the shoulders, glossy black hair was gathered. White transparent skin like porcelain. Pupils with the same color as the hair, which held some oriental charm.
Contrary to the immaturity, the appearance of the girl who had a grown up atmosphere was so beautiful that one wouldn’t doubt it if she was described using the word 『Bishoujo*』.
「Are you yourself fine? You seem to be somewhat in a daze……」
「Eh?……..Ah, Sorry! It’s nothing! Umm, are you really not injured anywhere?」
What should I do if there are some scratches on such a beautiful girl? – This black-haired girl was beautiful enough to make her harbor such thoughts which were close to being fearful for her.
「Don’t be so worried. She instantly held me so I didn’t even fall」
Because her eyes were stolen by the black-haired girl she hadn’t realized, but behind the girl there was woman in the former half of her twenties with chestnut colored hair, wearing a cooking outfit.
Must be her attendant. When she looked closely, she noticed that the black-haired girl was wearing a splendid dress which she hadn’t seen before now. Without a doubt, she was a noble.
「Come to think of it, weren’t you in a hurry?」
「Ah, that’s right. But…….」
She wanted to chase after Liner. But it would feel awkward if she didn’t apologize properly.
Maybe due to sensing that conflict, a kind smile, one which made those who looked at it be at ease, floated up on the black-haired girl’s face.
「Don’t mind me. Rather, this means that the both of us were fated to meet」
「Fated to meet……..」
「If this is a strong bond, we’ll be able to meet again someday. That’s why, when we reunite again……….let’s see, please become my friend」
Listening to the completely unexpected request, her eyes became like saucers.
「You don’t want to?」
「N, n, not at all! Rather, is it fine with someone like me……..」
「If we are to meet again, it’ll be proof that our bond is real, so isn’t it natural that we become friends?」
「Yes. And so, could you hold your current feelings until our reunion?」
Honestly, she couldn’t understand the girl’s point, but for some reason she was able to readily accept it.
Maybe it was due to the girl’s charm.
「Well then, let’s meet again somewhere. Let’s go, Juno」
Within the city where people kept moving without any break, the black-haired girl and her attendant-like woman left with calm footsteps.
After that, she came back to her senses and secured Liner, and by the time she came back to the fountain while dragging him, the sun had started to sink.
Normally, she would have been scolding Liner for causing trouble, but only today, due to meeting that mysterious girl her feelings somewhat hazy.
She couldn’t properly put it in words, but it was as though the gears of destiny had started to turn, that kind of feeling which could be called as neither anxiety nor upliftment.
While she was still having that kind of somewhat murky feeling, the next morning came. Since it was the day of the fighting tournament, Liner, who was 3 times more energetic than his usually excessively energetic self, went ahead to the venue, and she had a shocking encounter which couldn’t be compared to yesterday’s.
No, accurately speaking, that wasn’t an encounter but a “reunion”.
It was when the participants for the under-13 fight, including Liner, were gathered at the room next to the stage, when they were waiting for their names to be called out.
When she was waiting for the tournament to start and Liner to make an appearance, she saw a figure which made her doubt her own eyes.
That figure, which she couldn’t have forgotten from that day 3 years ago, was called by a name different from the one in her memories.
There was no way she would mistake the appearance of the person who had saved her life. He was taller and the masculinity of his features had increased, but the vestiges of that day were still markedly left.
By chance, his eyes perceived the girl. Those deep crimson pupils which expressed a strong will were the same as those on that day.
Their eyes met, and she caught her breath. Their gazes intersected only for a single instant. As he moved his gaze, she breathed out as though she had just remembered about the air accumulated in her lungs. Together with that, the blonde-haired girl– Colette Amerel spoke out the name of the boy, who had carried out the reunion, as though she were chewing on it.
I left it as Bishoujo since any other translation wouldn’t do justice. Sorry for the amount of pronouns. The author didn’t use their names at all.
Delfit is [デルフィト] – Derufito. Liner is [ライナ] – Raina. Colette’s last name is [アメレール]- Amereru. I previously translated it as Emerel. Any suggestions are welcome.