The large type ship Gresleta, it was the latest as well as the largest ship that the Cylas Empire was proud of.
And then, at the same time, it was also a bundle of highly classified information that was packed with the Cylas Empire’s latest technology.
With the matter of the ship that diplomat Borkio and his group rode on having gone missing, this Gresleta deployed many Bowmen and Magic Soldiers.
Getting on board that ship that had those soldiers that had staves and bows at the ready lined up, Rokuna’s group walked through the inboard passages with imposing looks.
This was something done to take an attitude that was appropriate as the Zadark Kingdom’s delegation, but it was also because they were confident that they would be unmatched even if this was all a trap and the Bowmen and Magic Soldiers attacked them.
「It is this way.」
「Yes, thank you.」
The place that they arrived at after being guided through the ship was the place in front of doors to a room that seemed to be close to the internal center of the ship.
After the heavily armored soldiers that stood at both sides of the doors had their armor clank as they saluted, Rokuna, who stood at the head of their group, also replied with a half-hearted wave of her hand.
The door opened with that as the cue, and then the interior of the room could be seen.
There was a table at the center, and people who seemed to be the Cylas Empire’s delegation were already lined up.
First, in the center seat, it was a man who seemed to be a Metalio civil official of relatively old age.
The ones who secured both of his sides were two Metalio with sharp glints in their eyes.
At the right edge, there was a young Metalio that seemed like a secretary.
And then, on the left edge──Seeing the woman who was sitting there, the one to react first was Altejio.
Having a height that was tall for a Metalio, if anything, she was a woman that was closer to being a Human.
She had white hair cut in a mess, and red eyes that were sharp like a beast’s. Even her precious well-ordered face, it was spoiled by that atmosphere of hers that made her seem like a wild animal.
That woman noticed Altejio’s gaze, and grinned looking like she found it interesting.
However, before that woman could utter her words, the elder at the center cleared his throat. The elder stood up, and started talking with a calm tone.
「……Welcome, and thank you for coming. I am the one entrusted with the Silver Third Seat in the Cylas Empire, the one called Torcresta. Now then, please have a seat.」
Suddenly being greeted with polite speech, Rokuna’s eyes went round.
If she were to refer to Metalio common sense, although this was a place of diplomacy, she predicted that they wouldn’t use polite speech from the start.
Seeing Rokuna’s reaction, Torcresta expressed a gentle smile.
「Going by that look of yours, it would seem that you know of our culture. But however, we are not mannerless enough to lack that which is necessary for diplomacy. Those here in this place are all people capable of polite speech. Please be at ease.」
Rokuna thought “I see”.
The statement just now, it was a restraint. This man called Torcresta, right now, he packed this sort of meaning behind his words.
We will prepare that which you need. So, you should also provide that which we need. That is the etiquette of diplomacy……that is what he meant.
「We are greatly obliged by your consideration. Be that as it may, culture is something to be cherished. If we are to have a relationship where we are trying to form a friendship from now on, I would like to have a relationship where we respect each other.」
That is why Rokuna also replied like this.
We have no intention of being unreasonable. You shouldn’t be unreasonable either, is what she meant.
Expressing smiles at each other, Rokuna sat down in front of Torcresta.
「Ahh, I am terribly sorry. I am the advisor of the Zadark Kingdom, Rokuna. Today, I am expecting that we will be able to have a good talk.」
「Yes, I also pray that this will be a good day for both of us.」
The two glared at each other with smiling faces.
While having such an exchange beneath the surface, both of the delegations finished up introducing themselves.
First, the head representative of the Cylas Empire delegation was the Silver Third Seat, Torcresta.
Steel Second Seat, Baltroy.
Copper Seventh Seat, Eirhart.
Iron Fourth Seat, Melmeris.
The 「Iron」 and 「Silver」 spoken of here indicates one’s vocation and status in the Cylas Empire.
「Silver」 was the mark of being a member of the 「Imperial Council」 that possessed authority that came after the Emperor in the Cylas Empire. Having the Third Seat in a total of eight, Torcresta was a considerably influential person.
「Copper」 indicated being a civil official that was positioned a rank lower than that Imperial Council.
Also, 「Steel」 meant that they were affiliated with the Cylas Empire’s Army, and being the Second Seat of that meant that they were the Lieutenant General.
「Iron」 signified being part of all sorts of craftsmen who supported the foundation of the Cylas Empire. Being the Fourth Seat of that was a position that possessed a good amount of say in making decisions.
In other words, it meant that these four people were members that possessed a fair amount of authority and discretionary power.
However, rather than these four people, the self-introduction of the last person gathered everyone’s attention.
「……Blademaster Azorto. Best regards.」
Hearing the word 「Blademaster」, Rokuna recalled hearing that before.
That’s right, if she recalled correctly──Blademaster Duke.
Hero Ryuuya’s companion that originated from the Cylas Empire, didn’t he have that sort of name?
「Blademaster, huh. Might there someone called Duke among your acquaintances?」
「Yeah, that’s my mom. She died quite a long time ago though.」
Hearing that, Rokuna quickly narrowed her eyes.
「Excuse me but, I believe that Blademaster……Ahー, may I call her your predecessor. I believe that your predecessor is someone from more than a hundred years ago though.」
「That’s right. Kaa-san was a half between a Metalio and a Human, but I’m even further than that and have Sylphid blood mixed in. It looks like that blood is pretty strong……I’m lively even at this age, and just as you can see, I’ve even stopped aging. Thanks to that, Tou-san often recommends that I have marriage talks with Sylphids.」
Seeing that Azorto had absolutely no intention of using polite speech, Torcresta pressed down on his forehead.
However, after seeing that he didn’t say anything to her, it would seem that Azorto had he higher position.
「Ara ara, that is quite something. Come to think of it, I have heard that the Jiol Forest Kingdom’s hero, Luuty-dono is also unmarried.」
「Ahh, Luu-oba-san, huh. That person, she’s a romanticist after all…… I don’t have any intention of aiming that high though.」
「Is that so?」
「Ou. I like people that are stronger than me. For example, the one over there……Erm, Altejio was it? That person looks pretty strong though.」
With that being said, Altejio kept silent, and in his place, Rokuna answered while making a wry smile.
「Unfortunately, he’s a married man. Margaret, the one next to him, is his wife.」
Margaret hurriedly lowered her face, and Azorto looked at that Margaret with puzzled looking eyes.
「That’s right, that was bothering me. From what I can see, ahー……Margaret-san, looks like a fellow Metalio though.」
「That’s is correct. She is a half between a Metalio and a Sylphid.」
Hearing Rokuna’s response, Torcresta’s group went into a stir……However, when Azorto tapped the table with a *ton*, they became silent.
「Hーn. How long has she been associated with you all?」
「Ever since your mother’s time.」
「Is that so. There were a lot of people that went missing during that time, but is she one of them?」
「She’s not. If I were to say that, would you consent to it?」
Hearing Rokuna’s question, Azorto grinned.
「I would. It seems that the Empire during that time had citizenship determined by one’s blood after all. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that those of mixed blood being treated kindly was thanks to Kaa-san. So if I think about it like that……see?」
After Azorto said that and smile, that smile suddenly vanished.
「Nn? Wait a sec, in that case……Could it be, is she the same generation as my mom?」
「Dunno. That might be the case though.」
Taking her gaze off from Rokuna who evaded the question, Azorto stared at Margaret.
That body of hers that was closer to being that of a child’s if anything, she fixedly observed it up and down.[Illustration]
「……Even though you have the blood of a Sylphid, why are you so small?」
「……Please back off.」
Seeing Margaret become sullen, Azorto apologized with a “sorry”,. And Torcresta breathed a large sigh.
「……It would not be a problem if we were to get started, would it?」
「No, of course not. The place has moderately relaxed after all.」
Saying that, Rokuna smiled.