A Kirihal Student
After setting up plans to introduce Hikaru to Katy’s sister, Hikaru and Lavia left the lab. Apparently Katy’s family was quite famous in Kotobi. A nation that processed precious metals and exported jewels, it had plenty of mining towns. Those who owned mines, in particular, had a right to speak in Kotobi, and Katy’s family owned two.
「The only ones left are Kirihal, Ludancia, and Euroba.」
What to do… Hikaru thought.
「I might have someone from Euroba…」Lavia said.
「You know how I stay at the library all the time. Well, I made a friend there who’s from Euroba. They mentioned that their family has a few people in the government.」
「That’s… just who we’re looking for.」
While listening, Hikaru felt just a little bit upset that Lavia never told him about a friend.
I guess I didn’t tell her about Professor Mille either… When did she make a friend? Ah, no, stop. I’m being possessive. That’s not cool.
「What’s wrong, Hikaru?」
「Uh, it’s nothing.」
「I wanted to introduce you to them one day, but I couldn’t really find the opportunity. I’m sorry.」
「You don’t need to apologize.」
「But you looked sad.」
「Yup, for real.」
「Don’t worry. You’re number one in my heart.」
「I-I’m not worried about anything.」
「Also she’s a girl.」
Really? Hikaru felt relief somewhere within him. Lavia smiled. Sensing that Lavia saw right through him, Hikaru tried to hide his embarrassment.
「A-All right. Can we ask this friend of yours for help, then? Now I’m dragging you into this as well. Is that okay?」
「Of course. I told you, I’ll always follow you as long as you don’t reject me. What are you going to do next? Do you know someone from Ludancia or Kirihal?」
「Hmm… From Kirihal, yes. I’ll be gone for a few days, though.」
「Where are you going?」Lavia asked.
The two walked down the long corridor. To be precise, there were seven other people as well, but they just watched the pair with their mouths shut.
「I’m exhausted. I never thought dealing with Ponsonia would be this complicated…」Queen Marquedo Miralka Kirihal said in a weary tone.
Prime Minister Zofira van Houtens, who was walking beside her, smiled.
「How about I make you some tea, then?」
「Oh, that would be great. Everyone, we’re calling it a day. You’re all dismissed.」the queen said, turning around.
The seven political advisers smiled silently, bowed, and then left.
「They’re too obedient. It’s strange.」Marquedo said.
「I agree. Maybe they sent more spies.」
「That boy in black already took care of them, though.」
「I asked someone trustworthy to check on things. He said it’s fine.」
「We can’t even catch our breath, huh?」Marquedo sighed.
「I heard Kotobi has this magic item that isolates sound. How about ordering one?」
「I don’t want to owe Kotobi anything. I’ll ask Kirihal if they can make one themselves.」
They entered the queen’s office. Zofira prepared tea in a familiar manner, while Marquedo sat down with a sigh.
Marquedo let out a peculiar sound. A black-cloaked figure appeared out of nowhere in an otherwise empty room.
「Long time no see. May I have some tea as well? My throat’s kinda dry.」
「I won’t ask you to make an appointment beforehand, but if you keep on rudely barging in like this, I might have to do something about it.」
Zofira glared at the boy, but he didn’t care at all. Just like before, he had his Sun God mask on, so she couldn’t see the expression on his face.
「Anyway, are you two exhibitionists or something? Do you like being watched? You’ve got more spies this time around.」
「Six of them. I tied them all up and tossed them at the back of this building. Make sure you get them later.」
「Yeah. They were quite clever – hiding under floors and drilling holes into a pillar.」
Dumbfounded, the two women exchanged glances.
「And how did you find these cleverly hidden spies?」
It’s easy to find them if you have Life and Mana Detection. The boy didn’t tell them that, of course.
「You don’t have to feel indebted or anything. I just did it on a whim. But there is something, just a little favor I need to ask of you.」
「Just give it to me straight. What do you want?」feeling her head hurt, Marquedo urged him to speak.
For now this boy is not hostile towards us. He helped Gafrasti out. We can’t really trust him, but we don’t want him as an enemy, either, the queen thought.
「I want you to introduce me to a student from the academy.」
「A student? Not a researcher?」
「If it’s a Kirihal student, I’m sure I can meet them right away with one word from Your Majesty.」
「Are you planning to harm them?」
「Not at all. I can sneak in here easily without anyone noticing. Why would I go through all that trouble just to hurt a student? I just want you to introduce me. I’m not telling you why I’m doing this, though.」
「I won’t refer you to anyone unless you tell me what you’re after.」
「So you’ll give me your full cooperation if I tell you?」
「Your Highness.」Zofira cut her off.「If it’s just an introduction, I can do it myself. Using your name would only put you in the spotlight. People are already watching you right now.」
「It has to be from Her Majesty.」
「I need a Kirihal student, someone from an influential family. If you know someone like that, though, I guess it’s fine.」
「What are you plotting?」
「All right. It’s fine, Zofira. I’ll write a letter of introduction for you. In exchange, you give us information.」
「Anything related to the academy. I heard Rumania made contact with the principal from Zubura.」
「You tell me everything you know. Also if something happens to the student, you will pay for it.」
「Sure. Just wait and I’ll give you what you want. Look forward to it.」
The boy received the letter of introduction, and as usual, boldly stepped out of the office, then disappeared. Just like he said, six spies were tied up behind the building.
「What do you think, Zofira?」
「It’s hard to imagine that he rounded up spies and snuck into your office alone just to get a letter of introduction. I’ll look into it.」
The two women were seriously discussing things. The truth is, Hikaru simply didn’t know anyone else from Kirihal.