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Meeting and Reunion

Yui together with Crary, Kynes and Huth stood still in front of the main gate of the town.

When it was little past noon which was the designated time, they spotted a group clearly different from the merchants who come and go around the town. While being surrounded by thirty horsemen, a carriage gradually approached them.

“Boss, is that really a carriage of an aristocrat?”

“Fool, your voice is too loud. And it’s a royalty, not an aristocrat-”

Yui was about to reprove Crary, but because the leader of the bodyguards is approaching right in front of them at that time, he hurriedly bent on one knee and bowed his head. The remaining three were left standing, but when Yui ordered to do the same, though it was awkward, they took a pose in the same way.

“Boss, actually, I have once joined as one of the bodyguards of Earl Samuel, but this one is clearly bigger than that of the earl’s”

Audible only to Yui, Crary hit a light joke while lowering his head.

As this was not a formal visit to another country but a domestic inspection incognito, they used something more plainly than the ones on the usual royal carriages. Nonetheless, the magnificence the carriage gave was clearly different when it became something owned by the royal family. Samuel is clearly part of the nobility in this area that can be counted with two fingers, but comparing him to the royal family is a little cruel.

While still bowing his head, Yui tried to peak to the carriage with an upward glace, thinking over how many years it would cost in his annual salary. While his head was being mulled over with those trivial details, the rays of the sun blazing Yui until just now was blocked suddenly.

As he cleared his thoughts and raised his face, in front of his eyes was a man looking down at Yui from his horseback, who seemed to be the its commandant being right next to the carriage.

“Tch. I heard that a local military officer will guide us here, but I didn’t expect it to be you”

As he declared so while clicking his tongue, a figure who seemed to be the leader got off from the horse and landed in front of Yui. Because he was blocking the sunlight, Yui couldn’t see the person’s face and felt bewildered in his speech and behavior, but then as he saw the silver hair and heard the voice of the man, he recalled a nostalgic memory and called the name of the other party at once.

“Lute? If it isn’t Lute! It’s been a while”

“Hmph, call me “Sire[1]” now. I was promoted to sixth rank before this escort mission, and was assigned as the captain of the royal guards”

Being promoted to sixth rank in six years after graduating from the military academy is considered as an early promotion.

Graduates of the military academy normally are bestowed with an eight rank when they enter the army, seventh rank four years after graduation, and sixth rank eight years after graduation if no anomalies encountered on duty on that period.

Regarding ranks, Yui who had achieved a sixth rank promotion in just three years is unusual. However, this was due to special circumstances of being relegated to a rural area and as a result of pushing responsibilities of each ministry, he won’t be promoted for the next ten years. In that essence, the large majority judged it as nothing but failure. On the other hand, Lute’s promotion to sixth rank indicated he treaded the path of a military elite. Added to that, the Royal Guards Lute is belonging to is a unit under the jurisdiction of the royal family; with only the elites of the Ministry of Magic could enter, so even with Yui being a senior to him, in general the royal guards are assumed to be of higher rank than him.

“Is that so? Although I left the military academy and it has been six years since then, you have been promoted as the captain of the royal guards already? I’m glad for you, Lute”

“I said it’s Sire now.  Either that or security chief. Even you who is demoted to such a district should know the difference of our standpoints”

The frivolous attitude of Yui, Lute popped a nerve and raised his voice unintentionally.

“Hahaha, I understand, Lute”

But being with him for a long time in the past, Yui didn’t care about it and just laughed casually. But this provoked Lute even further to raise his tone more.

“That’s why you c-!“

“What is this clamor all about?”

The moment when Lute’s frustration reverberated the surroundings, a clear voice came from inside the carriage, making him turn around with surprise in his face. At that timing the profound door of the carriage opened and a girl in a white dress came down.

Yui’s eyes were subconsciously drawn in to that figure. Certainly, she is a fair, slender and beautiful lady. But more than anything else, her eyes are brimming with vitality, as if it was blazing.

“Y-your highness, th-this is… I’m truly sorry. It seems that the local officers here do not understand proper courtesy”

“If I’m not mistaken, you are graduates of the same class in the military academy, right? I have heard it from Eins inside the carriage as I was on my way here. The commanding officer of the Tactics Division here is your junior, and you were the Three Seats member of the Magic Division. Am I correct?”

“Eins? Eins!”

Responding to the two different calls, a handsome man with blond hair and blue-eyes peeked from the inside of the carriage with a troubled face.

“Uhmm, good day, seniors. Your highness, because they are on bad terms with each other from the past, please pardon them. Isn’t it because you promised to keep it a secret, that I told you that story?”

“Oh my, so that’s what it was. Oh well. In exchange for consideration to these two, please let me off for this, okay?”

Elise made an innocent smile on her well-featured face, sticking out her tongue with unassuming modesty. As he saw it, the anger of Lute who took a lot of hardship coming here disappeared, then dropped his shoulders.

“Your highness, please forgive them already”

Eins, fearing the sermon of Lute after this, brought up the excuse. However, Elise who seemed to do not hear his words walked out of the carriage.

Despite the turmoil in the surroundings, she approached straight to Yui, presented one hand to him who knelt on one knee with his head held down.

“You are the commanding officer of the Istats Division, am I right? I am Elise Fon Eltobourgh. Pleased to be working with you.”

“Yes, I as well, your Highness Elise.”

Yui softly took the slender white hand with his left and bowed with respect.

1.TL Note: Lute was called Royal Guard-dono (近衛殿) in the raws, but for the sake of the setting of the story, since this is not an isekai novel (You know, novels of reincarnated/summoned Japanese) I will omit any forms of Japanese honorific and try to translate it in English equivalents as I can and keep its medieval age setting. This will surely test my skills as a translator but will surely increase the quality of my translations, or that’s what I hope to do.

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