Chapter 1 Part 2
This is the second reception room of the guesthouse. Here, the Duke’s daughter, Odette, and the 8th Princess, Iris, are facing each other.
“It’s been a while since we talked alone like this, Your Royal Highness Princess Iris.”
“Please call me ‘Iris’, Odette.”
“Then, with your permission… Say, Iris.”
Odette cleared her throat and continued,
“I’ve been thinking about it since earlier, but isn’t your attitude a little strange? Yuuki Grossalia passed the knight candidate exam and became your knight. He declared that he would forget about his past and prioritize you above all else. As a princess, shouldn’t you be happy about that?”
“…I know, Odette.”
“Lately, I’ve had some strange dreams.”
“A few days ago, I had a fever, remember? Since then, I’ve had some strange dreams.”
“What kind of dream?”
“I am in a certain old castle, and being taught by someone. That person has lived for a very long time and has been alive since my parents were children… like a village’s guardian deity.”
“I see. An immortal being, huh?”
“I’ve loved that person since I was little. But that person ── whom I called ‘My Lord’ ── died because of the ‘Sanctuary Church, Elysium Temple’.”
“…It’s a strangely specific dream.”
“Moreover, it was my father who killed ‘My Lord’. My father was evaluated by the ‘Sanctuary Church, Elysium Temple’ for killing ‘My Lord’, and he received the Holy Sword. But upon researching it, the sword had the effect of destroying evil and reincarnating good alignment beings.”
“Oh, I know.”
Odette clapped her hands.
“Is it possible that ‘My Lord’ had black hair and black eyes, was blunt but kind, and was strangely friendly?”
“How did you know, Odette!?”
“In other words, ‘My Lord’ is just like Yuuki. I see.”
“A-Anyway… the dream is very vivid, almost like another reality… and it subtly matches history.”
“The epidemic of the ‘Death Crest Disease’.”
“Oh, yes, such a thing did happen. Two hundred years ago, a deadly disease called ‘Death Crest Disease’ broke out twice.”
“That’s the one that appeared in my dream. When the ‘Death Crest Disease’ broke out for the second time, my parents Lyle and Remilia, used purification magic while giving blood to my newborn sister… I saw that in my dream…”
“I see. I understand.”
“Your ‘My Lord’ in the dream looks exactly like Yuuki Grossalia, and you were in love with that person in your dream, is that right?”
The princess’s face turned red all of a sudden. She covered her face with both hands, surprised by the sudden surge of emotions.
“……Y-Yes, that’s right…”
“Then let me tell you what the dream really is.”
“Is it a memory from my previous life…?”
“No, it’s a love disease!”
Odette declared, pointing at the princess.
“You fell in love with Yuuki, didn’t you?”
“T-Then, what about the dream? The people that Yuuki-sama mentioned in the dream, why did they appear in my dream?”
“Because you want to believe that it’s destiny between you and Yuuki, right?”
“Yes, you fell in love with Yuuki at first sight. But because love at first sight is a matter of the heart, you haven’t fully accepted it in your head yet. That’s why you created reasons to be interested in him. You heard about Yuuki’s dream and wanted to dream the same thing. That’s why the same characters appeared in your dream.”
“Isn’t that a bit different!?”
“It is! Because in my dream, I liked the person who looked like Yuuki-sama very much… and that’s why the villagers… sent me away.”
“But there’s no way to find out, right?”
said Iris, picking up an inkwell and pen from the desk. She then placed parchment paper on the desk and slowly ran the pen across it.
“In my dream, the villagers told me that if I ever met ‘My Lord’ in the future, I should look for this crest. They said that the village would prepare for our future by making it easier for us to find it.”
On the parchment was a crest that depicted a bat, with something like the shadow of an old castle floating behind it.
“They told me to find this crest and visit it with ‘My Lord’…”
“May I borrow this parchment paper, Iris?”
Odette took Iris’s hand and spoke.
“I have seen this before. We might be able to confirm whether the dream is true or not.”
“Hehe. I’m starting to enjoy this.”
said Odette, flashing a mischievous smile.
The next day, I was heading to town with Odette.
“Today, I’ll show Yuuki around to a recommended place.”
“A recommended place?”
I looked at Odette. Both of us are wearing long robes over our uniforms of the ‘Magic Guild’. This seemed to be the formal attire for the guild’s mages when they went out.
“Yes. It’s called the ‘Grail Trading Company’ with a long history. It seems to have existed since before the ‘War of the Eight Kings’.”
Odette said proudly.
I am glad to have her show me around town, but ──
“Yuuki just came from a rural territory, right? It’s important to know about companies in the royal capital. As a mage, you may also acquire valuable items during exploration. After exchanging them, you can’t just leave the money in the dormitory.”
“I can’t imagine getting such valuable items, though.”
“What does someone who pulled out the Holy Sword say?”
Odette shrugged in disbelief.
“I told you before. The discovery of a new ‘Ancient Artifact’ raises the family’s peerage by one. You can even build a new house. Yuuki already has that right.”
“I didn’t find the Holy Sword. It was already there.”
“It’s as good as nothing if you can’t use it. If it becomes public that you removed the seal of the Holy Sword, the Baron Grossalia family’s peerage may be raised. With an elevated peerage, you should be able to increase your dealings with merchants.”
“In short, I should know about companies in the royal capital just in case, so to speak?”
Odette certainly has a point.
The ‘Holy Sword Rinkal’ is currently left in the Holy Sword’s cave because no one but Alice and I can pull out that sword.
After talking with Princess Iris and Odette, we decided to either replace it with a replica or publicly announce that we had removed the seal, whichever came first.
Odette’s invitation was in case I chose the latter.
“As expected of Odette. You are so dependable.”
“I’m a countryside noble, so I don’t know these things. I appreciate your support. I really am glad that I met you, Odette.”
“W-W-What embarrassing thing are you saying!?”
“I just wanted to express my gratitude.”
“Nobles don’t say that directly. They write letters! They would usually speak about it in more roundabout ways in person. I’ll teach you next time!”
“Thank you, Odette.”
“Remember the way to the company. You may have to guide your family there someday.”
“I remember. Cross the first bridge and go through the noble’s gate, right?”
“That’s right… Oh?”
Suddenly, Odette stopped.
Beyond the cobblestone road, a pure white carriage was parked.
“Oh my. A carriage in a place like that. And that is what the royal family uses for their secret outings. Well, how strange.”
“But, why does Odette know about the secret carriage?”
“The Duke family is a branch of the royal family. But more importantly… My, my, what a surprise. That is Princess Iris. What a coincidence.”
“It’s not a coincidence, is it?”
It is impossible for Princess Iris to go on a secret outing when we are going out. They must have planned it from the beginning.
“…Well then, Your Royal Highness, I will come to pick you up later.”
“Thank you, Barnes.”
“I think it will be okay as long as you have Yuuki-dono and the Sorey family’s daughter by your side, but please be careful.”
The coachman driving the carriage was General Barnes. He waved his hand to Odette and me before riding off with the carriage.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, Yuuki-sama, Odette.”
Princess Iris lifted the hem of her skirt and bowed. She was also wearing the uniform of the Magic Guild, with a long robe on top and a hood to hide her identity.
“I will accompany you to the company.”
“Your Royal Highness, is it okay for you to walk around like this?”
“I am also a trainee of the ‘Magic Guild’. I sometimes go out for guild work.”
“I thought I would let you two learn about society together since you haven’t used the company’s services before.”
Odette winked at me.
“I understand. I will accompany Your Royal Highness.”
“…Yuuki-sama, um, you don’t have to use honorifics.”
“…Is that so?”
“It’s a problem to be called ‘Your Royal Highness’ in public. So please call me Iris.”
“I understand. Then, Ali ──”
“Yes. My ──”
“Ah, I’m sorry, Iris.”
“T-That’s right, Yuuki-sama. Let’s go.”
Odette’s meaningful smile bothered me, but we headed toward the town anyway.
“This is the famous ‘Grail Trading Company’ in the royal capital.”
Odette stopped in front of the building facing the street.
In front of us was a large building. It was bigger than the Grossalia family’s mansion where I used to live. The height is about three stories high, and the width is about the size of several ordinary households lined up side by side. In front, there is a double door guarded by armored guards wearing armor.
“The ‘Grail Trading Company’ has branches throughout the kingdom. You can deposit and withdraw money at any branch. In addition to handling the distribution and sale of goods, they also invest in other companies. They have branches in other countries, so it is said that the ‘Grail Trading Company’ will not fall even in times of war’.”
“I had heard about that, but this is my first time seeing it…”
Princess Iris’s eyes sparkle as she looks at the building.
“The ‘Grail Trading Company’ doesn’t do much business with the royal family. Even if they did, it’s unlikely that any of the royal family’s children would come this far. That’s why Iris didn’t recognize that crest.”
Odette pointed to the sign above the front door. Next to the name of the ‘Grail Trading Company’ was a small crest with a bat and a castle.
…That castle looks very similar to the old castle that I know. Is it just my imagination…?
While I was staring at the crest, Odette approached the security guards.
“I am Odette of the Duke Sorey family. We have an appointment with the general manager. Please confirm.”
“Understood! Please come this way!”
The security guards opened the door as Odette spoke. Iris and I followed Odette into the building.
“…Why are we meeting with the general manager?”
“When I said that I wanted to talk to an important person about an important matter, this is what happened.”
“I thought we were just here for a tour of the company?”
“Yes, we are here for a tour. We are just going to talk to an important person while we’re at it.”
“I’m sorry, Yuuki-sama. I asked Odette to help me.”
“I’m interested in this company’s crest. So Odette arranged for me to speak to the person who knows the most about it.”
“Even though I didn’t mention Iris’s name…”
“But still, we’re being treated like this. Odette is truly amazing.”
“It’s nothing. The Duke Sorey family has had dealings with the ‘Grail Trading Company’ for a long time. I have also deposited about a hundred gold coins.”
“As expected of the Duke family.”
“My family motto is ‘save money in preparation for a crisis’.”
As we talked, we were led to the reception room of the ‘Grail Trading Company’. We sat down in chairs and waited for the general manager to arrive. When I looked closely, there was the crest with the bat and the old castle. This one was a relief carved into a copper plate.
A bat and an old castle.
I wonder if this crest means anything to the company. Could it be related to me ── or, more precisely, to my previous life as Dean Nosferatu…?
“I apologize for involving you in this, Yuuki-sama.”
Suddenly, Princess Iris spoke up.
“But I must confirm it no matter what. Whether the contents of my dream are true or not.”
“The contents of your dream, whether they are true or not?”
“Yes. I was told to go to the place where this crest is with you, Yuuki-sama.”
“In your dream?”
“…The man who was my father in my dream. Lyle Carmine.”
“Iris… could it be…”
“After I met Yuuki-sama, I fell ill and had a fever. Since then, I have had some strange dreams. In the dreams, Yuuki-sama and I were really close to each other.”
Princess Iris grabbed my hand.
“I don’t mind if you laugh. I just really want to know if that dream is true or not.”
Her slender fingers slipped between mine.
This was Alice’s favorite way of holding hands with me two hundred years ago. “My Lord always runs off somewhere, so I devised this way of holding hands so you couldn’t escape”. That’s what she told me, and I remember it.
If she knows that, then… Princess Iris is ──
There was a knock on the door.
“Thank you for waiting. I am Rhodelia, the general manager of the ‘Grail Trading Company’.”
The door opened, and a woman with gray hair entered. She is a tall woman, wearing a white shirt and pants and a tie.
“I haven’t seen you in a while, Odette Sorey-sama.”
The woman who introduced herself as Rhodelia stood before us and bowed deeply.
“Nice to meet you, Your Royal Highness Princess Iris Restia. It’s an honor to have you visit our company.”
“You recognize me?”
“If the general manager of a company doesn’t know the faces of the royal family, they wouldn’t be fit for the job. It’s an honor to meet you in person.”
“N-No, it’s me who should be thanking you for listening to my sudden request.”
Iris seems a bit confused still. She returns the greeting while still holding my hand.
“Odette-sama, could you introduce that person over there?”
“This is Yuuki Grossalia, the second son of the Baron Grossalia family. He’s an important friend of mine.”
“I see. Thank you very much for visiting us.”
The general manager, Rhodelia, bowed deeply to me, too.
“I am aware of Baron Georg Grossalia’s military achievements. I heard he defeated three enemy generals in battles against the eastern ethnic groups. I have been wanting to meet him in person.”
Impressive. The fact that she remembers my father’s achievements is remarkable. As expected of the general manager of a great company. She is still young, but she must be exceptionally talented.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Yuuki Grossalia.”
I greeted Rhodelia in return.
“However, I don’t quite understand the reason why I came here…”
“I will explain that to you.”
Iris looked at me with a serious expression.
“Rhodelia-sama, are you the general manager of this ‘Grail Trading Company’ and the chief executive responsible for the entire company?”
“That’s right, Your Royal Highness Princess Iris.”
“I heard that the ‘Grail Trading Company’ also has records from before the ‘War of the Eight Kings’.”
“Not all of them.”
Rhodelia shook her head.
“However, I have inherited the most important matters from all the general managers of past generations.”
“Then I will tell you. You can laugh it off as a child’s talk if you want.”
Princess Iris took a deep breath and continued,
“I am told that when Alice Carmine and My Lord meet, they should visit the location of the crest with the bat and the old castle when they meet. If they go there, they will receive ‘blessings’. Today, I came to confirm that.”
The company’s general manager opened her eyes wide at the princess’s words.
“…What does that mean, Your Royal Highness Princess Iris?”
When I asked, Iris whispered,
“…I came to confirm if the dreams I had were true or not.”
“…The dreams you had?”
“Yes. If those words are true, then they are memories of my previous life.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s a hundred percent the case. By the way, what were you told?”
“To fulfill the promise.”
“Yes. ‘We will prepare a dowry for you if you find ‘My Lord’ in the future. The entire village will work together, earn, and save money, and prepare for that moment by passing down the tradition for generations. When the time comes, you can withdraw and use it’, was what I was told.”
“Wait, wait, wait, wait.”
What are the people of ‘Feela Village’ thinking? The dowry… could it be for when Alice gets married? But it has been over two hundred years. Something like that should be impossible. If that had been passed down to this day, ‘Feela Village’ would be a cheat village…
“Yes, I understand.”
However, Rhodelia simply nodded.
“Do you know about it!?”
“Of course. This ‘Grail Trading Company’ exists for that reason.”
“…Can I ask you something?”
“Where did the ‘Grail Trading Company’ originate?”
“I’ve heard it’s a village deep in the mountains. The first generation left there and started a business. That’s why the company uses the crest of a bat and an old castle to remember the scenery of that time.”
said the general manager, Rhodelia, politely.
“There is a legend from the first generation of the village.”
“‘No matter how much time passes, we are the people of My Lord’, was passed down. I will explain in detail. Please come this way.”
She prompted Iris and me to move to another room. By the way, Odette is sitting in a chair, with her mouth open. I’ll explain it to her later.
We were guided to the basement of the ‘Grail Trading Company’. The general manager, Rhodelia, opened a sturdy iron door with two keys and beckoned us in. On the other side of the door, there was a board that appeared to be made of crystal.
“Please sign here.”
“What is this board?”
“It is an ‘Ancient Artifact’ that the general managers of the ‘Grail Trading Company’ have been protecting for generations. It is probably an original.”
“An original ‘Ancient Artifact’!?”
Princess Iris exclaimed.
Well, I can understand why she was surprised. ‘Ancient Artifacts’ are a hidden treasure among hidden treasures, and even the ‘Magic Guild’ only had replicas.
If this is really the original, how much would it be worth? Or rather, where did the people of ‘Feela Village’ get this from?
“This doesn’t have much power. It simply authenticates the handwriting and magic power of the registered person.”
Rhodelia then handed me the crystal board.
“Go ahead and sign.”
“That is what the legend says. In your own way, use your true name and magic power.”
I dipped the pen in blood and wrote my name on the crystal board.
“…Yuuki-sama… ‘My Lord’.”
Tears fell from Princess Iris’s eyes.
“……Huh? That’s strange… my tears… won’t stop… why?”
“You’re Iris Restia… right?”
“I don’t know… I really don’t know… but… for some reason, I’m so happy.”
The crystal board was glowing blue.
“We have been waiting for this moment for two hundred years, since the first generation.”
The general manager, Rhodelia, got down on her knees on the floor.
“I apologize for the delay. The general manager of the ‘Grail Trading Company’ has always been a descendant of the first generation for many generations. We have heard these words from our ancestors… from long ago.”
Rhodelia took a deep breath and looked at me.
“‘No matter how much time may pass, My Lord who saved us from the disease of death and sacrificed his life for us is the true ruler’, was passed down from our ancestors. I, Rhodelia Koofy, pledge my loyalty to you. And I will tell you what happened after My Lord and Alice Carmine departed on their journey…”