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Say h.e.l.lo to the newest additions to the Vio team (if it can be called a team), BetaFib and Aelen. They're the new Editor and Second TL for Vio, so I can now concentrate more on TLing than figuring out my Engrish lol…
Chapter Three: A Visit from the Little Lady. (05)
Just before noon, the sound of galloping horses was heard outside.
"It seems like she has returned home."
"She has come at the perfect time. "Shall I make arrangements for the two of you to have lunch together?"
"Let us do that. I wonder what kind of souvenir the Little Lady will offer."
Antic.i.p.ating Flora with s.h.i.+ning eyes, Vio smiled. Although he had just calculated the budget to the point that his head hurt, he felt even more energetic than usual since he would soon be able to eat with his little sister.
Leaving the study on the first floor, he turned towards the front hall and caught sight of a pink dress in front of the door.
"Welcome home, Flora. How was the town?"
With a face stained with tears, Flora rushed to Vio's side. Flora hugged Vio, who promptly crouched in order to catch her.
The wailing Flora seemed pitiful, and Vio looked at Karia, who stood in the doorway for answers as he hugged Flora.
"Miss Karia, just what happened?"
"Forgive me, Lord Violant. We happened to meet suspicious people in the town, and……. I rescued her at once, but she seems to have gotten frightened."
At Karia's report, Vio's eyes widened.
"Flora? Are you hurt anywhere?"
He asked as gently as possible. Flora remained silent and clung to him, reluctant to part. Karia replied in her stead, saying, "There are no injuries." Vio let out a breath of relief.
"Let us ask for the details later. Right now the most important thing is to calm Flora down. ——Jill, could you prepare some honey tea?"
"Certainly, I shall do so at once."
Jill, who had been standing beside him since who-knows-when, left for the kitchen once given the order.
Vio lifted Flora up and turned to the reception room. Legion was sensible enough to open the door to let them pa.s.s.
He sat Flora on the fluffy sofa. Perhaps it was because Vio was patting her back in order to pacify her, but Flora timidly let go of Vio once seated. Vio sat beside Flora and rubbed his little sister's head.
"It's all right, Flora. It's safe here."
"Yeah. Isn't the best knight in the kingdom and the knight you are proud of by your side?"
Suddenly brought up, Legion and Karia gave an awkward smile. Lil then appeared holding a tray with cups on top and spoke in indignation.
"I'm also here. If anyone dares harm Young Mistress, I'll beat them to a pulp, so please be at ease!"
Flora seemed to take the strong words of the adorable Lil as a joke and gave a small laugh.
"Haha, you'll be the criminal then."
Vio said nothing and simply laughed.
Perhaps, if it were Lil she really could easily "beat them to a pulp." After all, at that time when she sent Legion flying, she clearly had the figure of a soldier.
Legion, the victim of the kick, made a subtle face and averted his eyes.
"I'm glad I could elicit a smile from you. Here, take it. Please eat something."
Flora nodded, took the cup, and took a sip of the honey tea.
She breathed a comfortable sigh and her expression relaxed.
Vio thought for a bit and then turned both his palms to face upwards.
"Flora, I will show you something nice. Look carefully at my hands."
Flora looked at Vio's hands in wonder. Vio chanted the incantation for spirit magic.
"Heed my wishes, o’ countless lights —become b.u.t.terflies and take to the sky. s.h.i.+ne!"
When the incantation ended, both of Vio's palms shone faintly and innumerable b.u.t.terflies rushed out.
Flora's eyes widened and followed the b.u.t.terflies. The b.u.t.terflies flitted across the ceiling, leaving behind a trail of s.h.i.+ning scales.
It was the incantation for a version of the light magic for party use he had shown Lil earlier. He had just made the same thing in the shape of a magic array, but because it was easier to add condition settings to a magic array, he had used scales instead of petals.
"Beautiful! It's my first time seeing such magic!"
"It's a magic I created. Did you like it?"
Flora nodded excitedly. Vio grinned and clapped his hands together. The magic stopped and the b.u.t.terflies disappeared.
"So Flora, just what happened? Won't you talk to me?"
Flora slowly nodded and began her story.
When Flora, who had left for the town, alighted from the carriage in a neighbourhood with a variety of shops along the street, she began her stroll with Karia and her maid, Anna.
After she saw the shrine that was in the heart of the town, the townhall, and the square with the fountain, she amused herself by shopping.
It was after she left the gla.s.s shop that the suspicious man called out to her.
Because she felt the gla.s.s doll in the shape of the prince somehow resembled Vio's countenance, she had bought it at once.
She then cheerfully left the shop, planning to show it to him.
While her maid Anna paid for the purchase, Karia was busy loading the goods they had bought into the carriage. Their eyes had left Flora for a moment.
It was at that time that she was called out to from the side.
An unfamiliar man looked at Flora, who had unconsciously replied when her name was called. Her first impression was that he was wearing quite heavy clothing despite it being early summer. Next, she felt a sense of incongruity. The man had his hood pulled over his eyes and everything below his nose was covered with a cloth; as a result his face couldn't be seen.
"I thought so."
The man muttered as he grabbed Flora's left arm, pulling her towards him.
As Flora, mute due to fear, was about to be pulled into the shadows, a woman pa.s.sing by raised a scream.
"Hey, you, what're you doing!?"
"Eh, Lady Flora!?"
Karia, who had noticed something afoot, drew her sword. The man let go of Flora's hand and turned around at once. His silhouette immediately blended into the shadows of the back alley beside him.
"Anna, take care of Lady Flora!"
Karia, who entrusted Flora to the maid, immediately chased after the man, but there were no traces of the man once she reached a dead end.
"After that, all the townspeople were amazing."
Flora spoke intermittently, with tears oozing out of her eyes.
"What did the townspeople do?"
When Vio's expression stiffened, Flora shook her head. Karia answered on her behalf.
"The fact that Lord Violant's sister had come to visit soon spread amongst the townspeople. They felt indignation after hearing about the incident and they all put in all their efforts and cooperated together to find the criminal, saying 'Search there.' or 'Go here.'"
"Moreover," the maid, Anna, added.
"They said, 'We cannot forgive them for laying a hand on the mayor's little sister,' and 'It must have been scary. It's all right now, because we will keep a watch.' Just when I though they had volunteered for it, they gave us tea and sweets, and before I knew it, they had already prepared a table with a sunshade. Flora is shy around strangers, so she must have been quite shocked."
"Ahh, I see. She must have gotten scared in many ways and ended up crying."
He understood it, but Vio too was shocked.
Aren't they really nice, the townspeople……
Vio hadn't met anyone other than the supervisor properly, and did not know what kind of people they were, but Vio's impression of them leaned towards the positive side.
"Everyone in town adores Older Brother. I was surprised, but I feel really proud."
"Thank you, Flora."
Feelings overflowed as Vio saw Flora put up a brave smile despite having misty eyes, and he ended up patting Flora's head. He really wanted to hug her, but couldn't do so for Flora was holding a cup in her hands.
He resisted an urge to grin and turned towards Karia and Anna.
"So, who was the perpetrator?"
Karia and Anna shook their heads in sync. Karia spoke as she sighed.
"We failed to catch him. We completely lost his trail–it was as if he completely disappeared. To say nothing of us, even the people familiar with the town couldn't find him."
"I see…… our opponent doesn't seem to be an ordinary person."
Vio knitted his eyebrows.
"I do not know of any political opponents who hold a grudge towards the ducal house, but perhaps they might have mingled into the crowd as a scouting mission?"
"No, his methods were too sloppy and his actions seem too rash for that. If they were a scout, it would have been enough to gather information, and it'd be audacious for an a.s.sa.s.sin to attack in broad daylight."
Legion said, but his expression too was serious.
"We don't know what kind of person he is, but it is certain that he is skilled. I suggest we refrain from going out for the time being."
Karia followed suit.
"That's true. Flora, I'm sorry since you came all the way here to play, but please stay within the mansion for now."
"I do not mind. I came here to meet Older Brother after all."
Hearing his sister say something adorable, the urge to hug her surged up once again in Vio and he desperately endured it.
E/N: Aw, the townspeople are so loyal.
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