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Chapter 20 – I long for the blue sky
It seemed like I had been teleported somewhere.
I glanced forward and was dejected by the scene before me.
At the far end of a red carpet that stretched ahead of me was a king-like figure sitting on an extravagant high-backed chair. A close aide was by his side, and a total of 8 knights were standing guard on either side of him.
Al, who was behind me, hung his head. The two magicians who brought me here were also there.
…How did this happen?
I closed my eyes, and only in my mind was I looking up at the sky. Even if I looked up in real life, I wouldn’t see anything but the ceiling.
I only wanted to see the blue sky for now – perhaps the mountain, too?
Sigh… I wanted to escape from this reality.
My heart hurt as I recalled the moment that had just passed. Was I the only one who thought of him as a special someone?
I turned my head to the sound of the door opening behind me.
“Is it true that you possess Argyle’s Miko?!”
It had to be a lie. In my line of sight was Jill, in formal wear, staring intently at me. Jill’s presence also surprised Al, so it seemed he didn’t know in advance that Jill would be here.
But I couldn’t stand it anymore. My heart was already weakened by Al’s betrayal, and yet I had been betrayed again by Jill; the grief I felt worsened even further.
The king began his speech as soon as Jill arrived beside the throne.
“Prime Minister, is it true that this person here is the Miko from the Argyle Empire? It’s said that the Miko has black hair and eyes, but this person here has red hair, and the eye colour is also different.”
“Please wait for a moment…Undo the magic!” the Prime Minister ordered me.
Sighing, I undid all the transformation magic on my appearance. Now I looked how I originally did. Although it had been a while since I had come to this world, I had only ever cut my bangs, so my hair had grown to the point at which it already just touched my shoulders.
Everyone was surprised by my appearance, but Jill came to his senses as soon as he noticed the collar around my neck.
“Is that a slave collar around his neck?! Where did you get this from?! It’s been forbidden by law to manufacture and sell this item!” Jill shouted with an ugly face.
Yes. This item was the worst item in the world, the collar of slavery. If the collared one disobeyed their master’s orders, they would suffer from pain so intense they would rather die.
“How can this be?! Isn’t this a device that temporarily restrains the magic power of the user? You promised me that you wouldn’t bring harm to him!” Al shouted behind me.
“Our family has safekept this from the olden times. Your Majesty, the Miko possesses a vast amount of magic power, and it can be dangerous if he resists. And with this, we can use him at any time for purification within the country. Furthermore, he can become useful in many ways.”
“But this… I only instructed you to organise a meeting with the Miko. I had not permitted you to use the slavery collar.”
“What is the problem, your Majesty? He can grant your Majesty’s wishes even without needing an audience.”
The Prime Minister had no qualms about his actions and continued saying whatever he wanted.
…This was annoying; they were doing whatever they wanted without considering what the person involved – me – wanted.
I concentrated and put pressure on all the magic power in my body, releasing it all at once. With a crack, the collar broke and fell to the ground. All the knights surrounded the king, shielding him, and pointed their swords at me, ready to engage in battle at once.
“I can’t endure this anymore. I was summoned to this world on my way home, and when they found out they couldn’t use me, they tried to kill me. I ran away from there to live, so I don’t want to be treated like a tool anymore.”
“…Lower your swords.”
The king’s voice echoed through the tense atmosphere.
“Miko-dono, I humbly apologise for the disrespect. I am Alexis Dynas, the current king of the Dynas Empire. Please tell me your name.”
Thank goodness, it seemed like the king here was not an asshole.1
“I am Akira Itou.”
“Itou-dono, I am the one who instructed the Prime Minister to bring you here. I apologise again for not only using forceful measures to bring you here, but also treating you with disregard. I will bestow punishment unto the Prime Minister in due course. If you have a wish, let it be heard.”
“Well, to be honest, I want to put the slave collar on the Prime Minister in return and sell him off somewhere but…”
I glanced at the Prime Minister as the colour drained from his face and continued talking.
“I would like to first talk with Alphonse, if you permit me.”
“I don’t mind.”
Al’s shoulders trembled and his head slowly raised.
“I trusted you and thought of you as important to me. I want to hear what really happened from you yourself.”
“…I’m the second son of an Earl family. My father is a bit of a spendthrift, and our family has been in debt for a long time, so we’re always in some sort of desperate financial situation. The reason why I became an adventurer was because the more risks I took, the higher the amount of income I could expect. My brother tried to restore our territory in place of my father but it wasn’t going well… In the end, nothing worked out, and at the rate it was going, our house would be ruined. My father had also started talking of selling off my mother and my two younger sisters… I’m a distant relative of the Prime Minister, so I requested a loan from him, but he wouldn’t give me anything. I was desperate, and I told him about you, Kira. If you were the Miko, he said he would clear my debt if I brought you to the capital, and for our convenience, he would prevent the fall of my family.”
“I see… I guess your family is more important than I, a stranger from another world.”
“No! He said he would only talk with Kira, and he promised me he wouldn’t hurt you, so I…”
I sighed and looked into Al’s eyes.
“Al. It might be disrespectful to say this in front of His Majesty, but you shouldn’t trust the words of influential people. Even with the promise with Al, if he didn’t intend to keep it, he could’ve simply brushed this off as if nothing happened at all. That’s what these kinds of people are capable of.”
“You might be right…”2
“That’s all I wanted to say. Your Majesty, I humbly thank you for giving me the time to talk with Al.”
“Have you finished your business?”
“Yes. I don’t have any wishes regarding the handling of the Prime Minister’s punishment. But I want you to at least keep his promise with Al.”
“…I understand. I shall keep this promise on my honour. It seems that there’s a need to change the head of the Curtis family. Alphonse, you will leave. Prime Minister, you will also leave. From now on you will be under house arrest. Reflect on your behaviour.”
PK : such light punishment the king is too kind. (facepalm🤦🏻♀️) Alphonse just thinks of this as you and Itou aren’t meant to be together. You are a hero to your family, but a bastard to Itou. Yep, the ship was sunk to the bottom of the ocean floor. Kek.
Tamago: ikr the prime minister deserves to [redacted]