Having destroyed the remnants of the bridge, Silvia arrived at the Escavaron’s cockpit with a surprisingly calm expression while Cosette followed behind her. Mirabel and Ash were the only two people in the cockpit. Because Anya and Eunice were in the infirmary tending to the injured, they had switched the ship to its autopilot mode. Aside from Rebecca who sustained serious injuries, Max, Lucca and Jessica who were responsible for the ship’s defensive line also sustained light injuries, hence the infirmary was somewhat overcrowded.
Welcoming the arrival of Silvia and Cosette, Ash was overjoyed at their reunion. Although grateful for saving them from a predicament, some doubts also emerged in Ash’s mind.
“Princess-sama, I hope that you’ll accept my gratitude first. If you hadn’t arrived in time, I’m afraid that it would’ve resulted in an irreversible tragedy. But, why are you here? Princess-sama, you’re the eventual future Paladin. Even though we clearly repeated that you shouldn’t get involved with us…”
Ash questioned her, unable to suppress his doubts.
“Hey, Ash. Are you misunderstanding something?”
“It is indeed my goal to become the next Paladin. That is why I cannot join the independent country of Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Knights”
“Ah, I see.”
Ash wondered about the need to emphasise that.
“To tell the truth, the reason that I came to visit your country was not for the purpose of providing assistance. Helping to destroy the wreckage of the Claíomh Solais just happened to be on the way.”
“What did you say!?”
The wreckage of the bridge that forced Ash and the others into despair — having destroyed it, what was most surprising was that Silvia described it as something ‘on the way’. Looking closer, it appeared as though the present Silvia had somehow grown in a few different aspects. What had happened? Silvia straightened her posture and then made a jaw-dropping declaration,
“I was sent here today as Fourth Princess Silvia Lautreamont, ambassador for the Lautreamont Knight Country!”
Ash retreated backwards in astonishment.
“I’m not just an ordinary ambassador, but one with special executive authority. Therefore, I would like to borrow a room in your country for use as the embassy of the Lautreamont Knight Country, if you would be so kind as to make the preparations.
“Ufufu. I would also like to apply for residence as an assistant and maid of Princess-sama.”
Cosette smiled amicably behind Silvia. Perhaps this ingenious idea was instilled in her by Cosette…Ash couldn’t help but speculate.
“Hold on, Silvia. I’m willing to accept your determination, and I can’t find a reason to refuse…but, did you get permission from father and aneue first? I suspect that this is something that you’ve decided on your own, is it not?”
In a rare show of seniority, Mirabel began to admonish her younger sister. Immediately, Silvia’s expression became one of embarrassment.
“U-Umm, I haven’t consulted with them yet…”
Under the cold glare of Mirabel’s eyes, Silvia felt too ashamed to lift her head. The maturity that she had displayed just earlier completely disintegrated.
“…You’re such a troublesome girl. To begin with, someone who’s honest to a fault like you is unsuitable to be an ambassador. Without an indecipherable poker face and a silver tongue, you’ll be incompetent when it comes to diplomacy.”
“Ugh, u-umm, I—”
Silvia could barely string a sentence together as she completely lowered her head. At that moment, Mirabel wordlessly stepped forward. She gently embraced Silvia.
Silvia buried her face in Mirabel’s chest, stunned beyond words.
“But it’s a fact that you saved us. I’ll tolerate it this time.”
“T-Thank you, aneue…!”
Perhaps this was the first time that Mirabel had praised Silvia in such a manner. Ash watched on while the sisters embraced each other with warmth and emotion — though he failed to notice that Cosette had snuck up close to him.
“By the way, Ash-sama—”
When someone suddenly whispered into his ear, Ash couldn’t help but jolt as he was startled.
“W-What is it?”
“Speaking of the Escavaron, it’s now your territory, base, and even a harem, huh? Ufufu. You’re quite the cunning genius.”
“W-W-What are you going on about!?”
Ash’s face instantly turned bright red. The word ‘harem’ continued to echo through his mind. Frankly speaking, with so many beautiful blossoming girls gathered here, Ash also felt rather troubled that it actually felt as though he was surrounded by a harem.
“Moreover, it appears that your bedroom has an extravagant luxury to it, Ash-sama.”
Ash was completely embarrassed. Just thinking about that extravagant bedroom caused his heartbeat to accelerate. The bed in that room was so large that it wouldn’t be an issue even if multiple girls joined him on it at the same time though—.
“Hah…will my body be ravaged by Ash-sama someday as well?”
“Stop making fun of me! And what do you mean by ravage!? You’re damaging my reputation!”
Whilst teased to the point of embarrassment by Cosette, Ash considered plans for the future. To start with, Third Prince Uriel had successfully been captured. Although Uriel was lucky enough to survive, he had made a disastrous mistake. As an heir to the throne, he had little chance of a comeback. In the future, Uriel would be extradited to the Knight Country’s government where he would face a merciless interrogation by Veronica. Eco’s <Sacred Breath> didn’t destroy Uriel’s body. This meant that despite all of his wrongdoings, Uriel did still retain a shred of conscience. Although there weren’t any expectations, perhaps he could still repent for his actions.
Once the symptoms onset by the narcotic <Galatea> healed, Oscar would immediately be able to become the king. The only problem was that the narcotic <Galatea> was a highly toxic drug with an unknown composition. Lucca had said that <Galatea> was a narcotic that used live humans as ingredients and was not something that could easily be detoxed. Thus, the next goal of Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Knights was clear. Indeed, it was to restore Oscar to good health.
The young Pope Raquel IV established a connection for urgent communication.
[Onii-chan, congratulations on your successful rescue of Oscar-dono! The elite troops of the Espada Holy Wing Knights who infiltrated the Chevron Kingdom have reported that all citizens of the Brailsford territory were protected and are safe!]
In that moment, cheers and applause suddenly filled the Escavaron’s cockpit.
“Thank you, Raquel!”
Ash sincerely thanked Raquel for her kindness. Raquel then continued her report,
[Ah yes, it appears that Oscar-san’s adoptive parents, Lord Arthur Brailsford and his wife, are among the rescued citizens. Although Lord Arthur seems to have been quite hurt, he is not in life-threatening danger. Celestina Lafon-dono’s mother is also safe!]
Upon hearing Raquel’s report, perhaps due to a release of all her pent-up tension, Celes heaved a sigh of relief before passing out. Tears of joy faintly spilled out of her closed right eye. Eunice hurried over to take care of the unconscious Celes.
“Did Uriel’s army put up any resistance?”
When Ash asked, Raquel proudly replied,
[Apparently, as soon as Uriel’s army saw the banner of the Espada Holy Wing Knights, they raised a white flag and surrendered.]
“That’s quite amazing…”
Ash remarked. But perhaps such a result was to be expected. The majority of Uriel’s soldiers were believers of Rosa Maria. Rather than being excommunicated from the Church because of their resistance against the Holy Espada Agency, they chose unconditional surrender. For devout believers, excommunication from the faith was a punishment more painful than death. In addition, it seemed that the Epada Holy Wing Knights would be responsible for escorting the citizens released by Uriel’s army back to the Brailsford territory.
“We’ll have to cure Oscar quickly let her know about the good news.”
Ash vowed to himself once more.
The good news that they had received was certainly encouraging, but the actions of Second Princess Cassandra who had abandoned Uriel were also worrying. The Dark Dragon King Mordred seemed to be slumbering in Cassandra’s body. They had already caught a glimpse of that on Cassandra’s body…. The combination of Cassandra and Mordred felt extraordinarily dangerous. The long-standing grudge between the Holy Dragons’ Emperor family and the Dark Dragons’ King family since ancient times — to Ash, it felt like an external affair that he couldn’t empathise with. The best outcome would be for the two families to put an end to their past grievances and make up…. There were as many difficult problems as stars in the sky.
—Anyway, I’ll just sleep until tomorrow morning for now.
After deciding so, Ash left the cockpit and made his way to his bedroom. Eco had likely already fallen asleep, occupying the luxurious bed without a care in the world…as soon as he thought that, the corners of Ash’s mouth naturally lifted into a smile.
“The Avalon Knight Dragner IV” is closed.
(All 2 of 2 parts) (1/7/20)
Continues on to Afterword