Trouble is in the air…well, enjoy the chapter!
It was the day of the jousting tournament that used a dragon.
Before the tournament began, I decided to walk while looking at the wide variety of dragons from all over the world with my father.
A wide variety of dragons, from the orthodox colored dragons of red, blue, white, black, etc., to dragons with beautiful spots and streaks, severe faced dragon covered with thorns, were having a brush with people who came as spectators.
『There are amazing amount of people and dragons, huh.』
“Yes, no matter what people say, this tournament is one of the most prosperous competition of the Union Kingdom.”
Tirnanog was carrying my bags, disguising as a steel golem as usual.
However, when we arrived at the auditorium we planned to take another action.
It was still couldn’t be predicted at what timing Auguste would get in touch with the contract beast.
Perhaps it might be just after this tournament.
“Tir, as I thought……in case of emergency, please do it.”
『Leave it to me. If I do it seriously, there is nobody who can run away from me.』
Auguste was not going to participate, but other problems might occur.
Therefore, instead of me who couldn’t easily go out from the audience seating, Tirnanog who was inconspicuous and fast would track the beast.
By the way, when I was with my father, I asked him to be quiet.
The audience and the dragon knights were not the only ones touching the dragons.
People with doctorate degree dispatched from Leandez Magic Academy were doing an investigation of the dragons quietly here.
The students were wearing the mark of crested ibis, so I could recognize them at a glance.
“Honorable Duke of Aurelia. It has been a long time!”
That voice was from a clumsy glasses-wearing man who was scheduled to appear in the magic academy six years later as a teacher, Elric Actorius.
(Wow~……, I able to confirm the face of the fourth capture target!……Is this lucky?)
Perhaps they were already familiar with each other, Elric started to chat with my father.
Elric was Edward-oniisama’s best friend from the same year.
He was still a student, but he seemed to have come along as a professor’s assistant.
With ruffled gray hair, troubled eyebrows, and gray eyes.
He looked like an honest, gentle young man.
His smiling face that had a feeling of bashful and awkwardness was impressive, and if I looked closely, he was a beauty that wouldn’t lose even if he was standing in line with my older brother.
If I said it in a good way, he was an academic student, but if I said it in a bad way, he felt like an otaku with his casual and sloppy clothing.
However, only special scholars from the magic academy were allowed to wear the King’s Scholar mark.
His slightly refined movements and smart atmosphere were shown through, was it because of his hidden origin?
But, as soon as he appeared his glasses were already askew.
I squirmed a bit, I wanted to fix it.
By the way, he disguised himself as a commoner, but he was supposed to be born in nobility.
Yes, it was the information that was on the character introduction.
If I had played his individual scenario, I would have understood more about the detailed circumstances of him.
It was very regrettable.
It was completely unknown why a flashy person like Edward-oniisama was good friends with the pure Elric.
Did they have a common hobby?
Ah, speaking of which, Elric was majored in magical beast research, so he might be getting along well with my older brother who was investigating Zaratan.
Elric’s line of sight was directed this way.
When he noticed, my father introduced me.
“Oops, are you meeting for the first time? This is my daughter Erica.”
“Pleased to meet you, Elric-sama.”
I gave a light greeting while pinching the skirt.
I put on an innocent smile on my face as much as possible.
“Ah no, please stop with the formalities, Erica-sama. Because I am just a lowly commoner student.”
Elric dyed his cheeks shyly and tried to correct the skewed glasses with trembling hands.
Such an ordinary person, he already felt familiar and it was fresh in this world.
“Then, how about Actorius-sensei?”
“No, no, I’m still a research student, no way!”
“I heard from Edward, but it seems that he is publishing papers one after another at a young age.”
“Well, how amazing.”
He was truly an unmatched talented and earnest young man, huh.
“N-no, I’m not that great……Even the research is something that is going well thanks to Edward.”
He became flustered.
My father also seemed to enjoy teasing about the future prospects of the young man.
Beside indulging himself in alchemy and ruins investigation, it seemed Edward-oniisama was also striving in other academic pursuits.
“Elric-kun, are you going to help out in the tournament today?”
“Y-yes. I am checking the dragons in today’s tournament. It is because doping dragons with some magical potion or using dangerous equipments that are not suitable for the match are being rampant.”
It was surprising that this country’s dragon knights would do such a thing.
Did that mean the participants were serious?
“Ah! By the way, did Edward not come along today?”
“Aah, my son is a bit……there is a business that he has to take care of.”
My father looked around before saying so.
Oh, he was in a secret duty at the direct order of the Ignitia royal family.
From his reaction, Otou-sama seemed to know the content.
“Perhaps, it is an investigation of the grave robbery case? Since the previous incident of Leandez, recently there are too many similar cases.”
“No, I cannot tell you the details right now, but it’s another matter.”
“I see……I understand.”
Previous incident of Leandez.
Was that the story of the night when we went to the Ruins of Visitor?
Because there was an emergency situation, my older brother went to the magic academy in a panic.
If the grave robbery incident had happened at that time, I could understand the reason he went in a hurry.
My father and Actorius-sensei stared at me who was straining my ears to listen.
Immediately, I tried smiling as if I didn’t know anything.
“Hm. We should end this conversation.”
Obviously, I had the face of ‘I heard something unpleasant.’
No, no, I didn’t understand what you were talking about, so it was alright to leak more information, you know?
“Elric-kun. Then, let’s talk another time.”
“Yes, Your Honor. Thank you for your continued support.”
After saying goodbye to Actorius-sensei, my father and I headed towards the tournament venue.
The seats for noble guests, Ignitia royal family and the three former kingdoms, were supposed to be prepared.
In other words, it was including the King, Queen Consort, and Auguste.
Duchess of Harvan and Ann.
The empty seat for Duke of Lucanrant.
And then, my father the Duke of Aurelia and I.
Would Auguste sit properly at the seats for noble guests?
I was a little worried.
No way, he wouldn’t ride on a dragon without telling me……would he?
While becoming a little anxious, I came through the gate of the venue.
The venue for the jousting tournament was decorated with the image symbols that represented each former kingdom.
Ignitia of the South was a red flame and a golden dragon.
Lucanrant of the North was a white snow flower and a silver wolf.
Harvan of the East was a silver moon and a black forest.
Aurelia of the west was a golden star and ultramarine sea.
However, we were heading for seats with red and gold, not the gold and aquamarine ones.
The noble guests’ seat for Ignitia was made slightly higher than the others.
“H-huh? Where is Prince Auguste?”
That was the first thing that came out of my mouth.
Without greeting first, I said such a thing.
Ah, this was bad.
The Ignitia King and his wife were surprised to see this.
“Auguste, huh……that child said he was not feeling well and went back to his room. In the past he was looking forward seeing the tournament……it couldn’t be helped.”
“Erica-sama, thank you for caring about our son. If he knew that you were worried, he surely will be delighted.”
Somehow, the eyes of the Ignitia couple that were looking at me were very kind.
But I didn’t come up here to raise their good will towards me, I came to strike my death flags.
“I am sorry for the disturbance. I said something rude to the prince at the banquet, so I want to apologize in person……unfortunately, it seems that I have to do it in another occasion. Thank you for inviting me to the tournament today.”
I lowered my head and backed down so as to be hidden behind my father’s shadow.
I was too impatient.
Alright. The wound was shallow. Probably shallow.
I didn’t think the accumulated mistakes would be a laughing matter , but that was alright.
Anyway, I wondered if Auguste really was in the room.
It seemed to be progressing like the original work, I was worried.
I wanted to get out and see his condition, but I wondered if that would also be difficult.
I made an eye contact with Tirnanog at my feet, but for now I decided to wait at the noble guests’ seat.
It would be bad if I moved too early and couldn’t respond to unforeseen circumstances.
When I thought about such a thing, King Ignitia and Otou-sama started talking cheerfully.
“Blackcurrant will also participate this year, Your Majesty.”
“Let’s see. Ooh, you’re right! Ernst’s eyes are as enviable as ever. What kind of rider is he?”
“His face is covered with a helmet, a black armor, and no crest……there is a blue ribbon on his left arm.”
“A mysterious black knight whose identity is unknown! Moreover, he seems to have an oath with a lady. I remember that. I used to hide my face and participate when I was young. About Auguste, it is regretful that he couldn’t participate because of the age restrictions.”
King Ignitia looked at the youthful dragon knight with a joyful expression.
He really liked dragons.
Huh, but, he said somewhat disturbing words.
Unknown black knight? A blue ribbon?
Somehow, the dialog of King Ignitia about ‘I used to hide my face and participate when I was young’ caught my attention.
No way, right?
“Otou-sama, which one is Blackcurrant?”
“That big black dragon, Erica. She is a general purpose dragon of 20-meter class.”
“This tournament is also a way of picking up competent knight candidates hidden in the city, Erica-ojousan. However, when it comes to the 20-meter class, it is hard to find a rider for them. I guess this is the first time in five years that she flies with a rider on her.”
When I asked for an explanation, an unexpectedly detailed information came back.
King Ignitia seemed to be especially excited.
When people talked about his favorite subject, it unintentionally resulted in rapid-talking, they resembled each other in this way.
“I wonder if that black knight belongs to the Order, but he is an excellent rider, huh.”
“Blackcurrant has a docile nature, but she is a 20-meter class. It is wonderful just being able to get on her. Certainly, that is a person I’d love to be in our Order.”
Anyway, my suspicion had grown more and more as I heard the explanation.
Was that Auguste riding on Blackcurrant the Black Dragon?
Oh, I hoped it was an unrelated unknown genius.
Even if it was Auguste, I hoped that something wouldn’t go wrong.
Outside my prayers, the horn marking the opening of the tournament resounded loudly.
Jousting is fighting on horseback as a knight with lances. But, instead on horses, this tournament uses dragons.
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