After Auguste’s crash, various people were struggling to investigate and put the situation under control.
The King gave speech during the pause in the ceremony and instructed his direct subordinates, ordering them to control the information and review the facts.
The Queen negotiated directly with the nobility of Lucanrant, and was procuring a well-rounded medical expert.
In addition, two escort dragons were secretly flying around the venue and looking for suspicious people through their eyes and ears.
Otou-sama recovered the magical tool that was attached on Blackcurrant who was in custody and performed analysis of the magic that was covering her.
There were many other people running around after the closing of the spectacular tournament, which I couldn’t grasp the reasons.
I took Tirnanog and stood in front of the medical tent where Auguste was brought in.
The tent was surrounded by royal soldiers who were guarding it, so that nobody could approach it.
I, of course, was not an exception.
It was supposed to be a measure to protect Auguste, so as not to give people unnecessary misunderstandings.
However, irresponsible speculations and severe slanders were already buzzing around the venue.
The First Prince had stolen another person’s dragon and participated in the tournament.
He seemed to have used some dubious magic tool on the sacred dragon.
It seemed that his cheating had been exposed and he fell from the dragon.
That was a suitable ending for a child of infidelity.
It seemed that the King was hiding it. No one could get close to the prince’s tent for that reason.
Ambiguous information was spreading.
Among them, I gradually felt that the bad feelings for Auguste was spreading.
“Sorry, Tir. Not yet, I……I don’t know what to do.”
『I understand. Tell me when my power is needed. I will be waiting.』
Amidst this situation, I was desperately thinking what I could do for myself now.
I hated not doing anything.
But, without being able to do anything, time passed by heartlessly.
How long had time passed?
I heard the sound of several people shoving and pushing from inside the tent.
“Your highness, it’s dangerous if you move suddenly!”
“Release me! Right now……I need to explain directly to my father!”
Auguste appeared by rolling up the curtain at the entrance of the tent.
My eyes met with Auguste’s who was shoving the soldiers and the doctor.
He had taken off his armor and was dressed in a costume similar to common riding clothes.
On his right hand, there was a blue ribbon I gave him.
Auguste stared at me for a while, suddenly weakened, he looked away with a sad expression on his face.
“Let her in.”
“But, Your Highness, His Majesty said not to let anyone pass……”
“I will take responsibility. Please.”
The soldier reluctantly guided me into the tent.
The inside of the tent was divided into two rooms by a curtain.
In the room near the entrance, there were a table of medicine such as medicine boxes and mortars, and a table with scattered parchment papers.
This seemed to be the doctor’s room, he told Auguste to rest and began writing something on a document.
In the back room there were a simple bed and a few chairs.
Under the bed, there were wash basins and water jugs that seemed to be used not too long ago.
Auguste sat on the bed, I sat on the chair.
With a hopeless smile on his face, Auguste seemed to be at a loss of what to say.
“It was a promise not to fly.”
“But I didn’t come here to blame you.”
“Yeah, about that, sorry. It’s not supposed to turn out like this, I must have made you worry, huh?”
Auguste’s face was gentle and smiling, but I could see the pain and regret swirling beyond that thin skin.
Somehow, it was hard just looking at him.
This time, it was my turn to feel troubled about what to say.
The silence that occurred while I was choosing my words was hurting my heart painfully.
Forcibly changing the subject, I assembled my words.
“You were magically protected from the fall, but when you were being shaken off, did you have any injury?”
“No, I’m alright. I didn’t know whether my luck was good or whether Blackcurrant was being gentle.”
“In that case, I’m glad but……”
“Hahaha. I was only trying to surprise everyone a little, I guess it worked. Really, what a mess.”
While making a fun of himself, he smiled brightly.
“It was my first time. For the first time, I met a dragon that was not afraid of me excluding Goldberry. ‘I can fly with this guy’……I thought so, but—”
Auguste looked up at the ceiling of the tent and sighed.
His eyes probably passed beyond the ceiling and were looking up at the blue sky.
The sky that was supposed to be his just a while ago.
“How was the sky?”
“It was great. I thought that the sky is where I belong. It was almost as if I was fusing with the dragon to the very last drop of blood. I could feel the wings hitting the wind, my skin still remembers it.”
“Yeah, it was good. It was like a dream. When I felt that she was scared of me and wouldn’t fly together, I felt like half of me had been torn off.”
Laughing without force, he furrowed his eyebrows and looked down slightly instead of shedding tears.
I was shocked, that was the expression of utmost sorrow that he could do.
In addition, what would happen to him if he knew that people believed that he cheated?
A rail that carried Auguste steadily towards the contract beast – I felt the rail that was inviting me to a death flag was laid.
Inside of me, information which was fragmented unexpectedly had clicked on.
Did the dragons fear Auguste?
Oh, so that was the reason of the Magic of Intoxication.
Did she not afraid of him because she was drunk?
I became certain that Blackcurrant had been scared because she broke out of her state of drunkenness after the finals.
Was the spell broken naturally or was it broken by someone?
It was frustrating that while some things seemed to be understood, some things were still missing.
When Auguste and I faced each other silently, some noises could be heard from outside the tent.
“Good grief. A noisy guy seems to have arrived.”
It was Louis that appeared vigorously opening the curtain.”
Louis looked down at Auguste with a smile full of superiority.
He was wearing the armor that he used for the match and was decorated with leis of honor, which signified as a winner at a glance.
“Ooh, Your Highness Auguste! So you’re still stubbornly living! It is a shame that an incident like that happened!”
Even though Louis was in front of the person himself, he was still rude as usual.
Louis who came to the medical tent suddenly drew a chair and sat in front of Auguste.
“Louis, I heard it. It seems that you are the winner, how wonderful.”
“Naturally it’s because of my ability!”
He spread his hands in a dramatic gesture, and Louis had a proud expression on his face.
“More than that……I heard it, Auguste. Did you attach an unauthorized magic tool on your dragon? Of course, otherwise you will not be my opponent. I thought that I had finally met a rival that could match me. What a shame.”
“Magic tool? Sorry, but I don’t know anything about that kind of thing.”
“Don’t be discouraged, Auguste. You can’t ride dragons in the usual way, even a baby could understand that. Well, where did you get such a useful tool? Is it Aurelia? Or is it Karkinos?”
Louis’ long-winded speech grew increasingly enthusiastic.
His evaluation against Auguste was just a slander based on labelling and speculations.
I couldn’t bear listening to this anymore.
“Louis-sama, regarding the magic tool, we still do not know the exact information. Otou-sama and the other experts are doing their best to analyse it. So please refrain from speaking lightly about uncertain information.”
I interrupted the conversation between the two of them.
As Louis noticed my presence for the first time, he was looking at me in surprise.
However, immediately Louis regained himself and smiled nastily.
“What’s this, the daughter of Aurelia of that time, huh. Heeh……so you guys were like that.”
“I don’t know if you were misunderstanding something, but Erica and I are friends.”
“Hmm? If you deny it like that, it becomes increasingly doubtful.”
Louis laughed loudly as if he found it amusing.
“Ahahaha. You really cannot be overlooked. You also seem to have a lot of lust flowing in your blood, to aim for such a child—”
“Not only me and this girl—are you going to insult my mother too, Louis!”
Auguste clenched his fist and raised it overhead.
But, he didn’t move any further.
It seemed that he barely stopped himself because of his reasoning power.
And yet, Louis assumed such a pose as if he was terribly frightened, mocking him.
“Look at this! He will turn to violence when he knows that cannot win with words! So this is the result of crossbreeding between a low birth and a whore!”
Flame-like sparks seemed to be flickering in the purple eyes of Auguste.
Was it an illusion?
If that so, it felt somewhat strange.
“I see, Louis……sorry about that. Violence is not good.”
“I’m glad you understand. If you understand. This is for you, Auguste. Try to hit me under such circumstances. Surely everyone would think that you are a dirty person who beat up the winner after cheating.”
Auguste released his clenched fist and gently hovered around the vicinity of his belt.
It was just around where his sword handle was supposed to be.
However, right now his sword was removed for the sake of his medical treatment.
That was good.
Looking at Louis who was the other party, I was shocked.
Louis was putting his hand on the sword that he wore on his waist.
“Auguste-sama, Louis-sama, what—!?”
“Erica, please. Be quiet. This is a problem between me and Louis.”
Auguste was smiling as he said that.
I felt that there was a cruel atmosphere in his eyes that was different from usual.
“Hey, Louis, is that all you want to say? On this occasion, I will listen to everything you want to say, you know?”
“Of course. Isn’t it embarrassing that Ignitia royalty cannot ride on a dragon when he’s already ten years old? Ooh, that’s right. You don’t have a single drop of Ignitia’s blood!”
“Hmm, and then?”
Auguste slowly raised his right hand.
It was almost like pulling out his sword.
Louis also pulled out his sword with the same gesture as if an image reflected in the mirror.
I was horrified.
I wondered if Auguste was controlling Louis.
How could this be?
Indeed, people of Ignitia were equipped with telepathic ability that allowed them to control other living things.
But that ability was weak and shouldn’t be able to be extended to humans.
But, in front of me, Louis was pulling out his sword to follow the action of Auguste.
Louis was not even aware that he was holding his sword, he was absorbed in mocking Auguste.
“You are a child of a whore, Auguste! Even though you are not a royalty, you are the Crown Prince! Are you willing to end the history of the venerable Ignitia in your generation?”
“When I become a king, you will be less than a retainer! As your father did to my father, I will also assign him to a remote territory and kill him!”
Auguste attached an invisible sword to his own neck.
Likewise, Louis attached his real sword to his own neck.
Louis’ blood was dripping along the surface of his sword.
“That’s right, even your father who is silent about his whore wife and his bastard child is a sinner, isn’t he? To say that he is the King, is such a breach of trust even allowed! That is a betrayal to this fine country!”
“Hmm. By the way, the blood of the royal family is such a color, huh. It looks like ordinary blood to me.”
“What? ……What is this? Why is my sword……huh? It’s painful……?”
Finally, Louis seemed to have noticed the anomaly and his face became pale.
Auguste who was looking at his dismay, was smiling cruelly.
“Since you’re always proud of yourself, I thought that you’re going to have a special color, but it was disappointing.”
“It doesn’t move……my arm doesn’t move……wait, please wait……somebody, please stop my hand! Anyone! Please help me! I will be killed by myself!”
“Oi, oi, what are you saying, Louis? It’s just a story that your arm is equipped with shamefully average capacity unlike yourself. What are you panicking about?”
The soldiers and medical doctor who were outside and inside the tent respectively had collapsed on the floor unnoticed.
They were struggling while lying on the floor with both hands aligned as if they were bound with an invisible rope.
Auguste put force into his hand.
Louis’ sword dug into his neck more deeply.
“You are at fault, Louis……you made me this angry.”
I desperately raised my voice.
Auguste looked back this way.
With an expression as if he was coming to his senses, he was staring at me stunned.
The sound of a sword falling to the floor echoed.
Louis crawled on the floor, holding down his wound while crying.
Bleeding was still not a big deal. There was no life-threatening condition.
That was good.
Surely, if Auguste killed him, his feelings would terribly hurt.
“Erica……I, just now, what……?”
“Aah, I see. This……this is not human power. It is not a power that human beings possess……this is the power that trampled human dignity.”
“That’s not true, Auguste-sama!”
“No. It’s true. I’m not good. Whether I am father’s son or not, I cannot become a king……I shouldn’t stay with people……”
Auguste covered his face with one hand, and separated from me as if staggering.
I felt like I shouldn’t leave him alone.
However, Louis and the soldiers who now had empty eyes were spreading their hands, as if trying to stop me.
“Louis-sama, please stay here!”
“Notgoodnotgoodnotgood……I, I will be w-with you……you c-can’t go……”
“Do, not go, do not, go, do not, go……”
“Yo, you, c-can’t, g-go, can’t, gooo……”
They muttered garbled words with unclear meanings simultaneously.
Their movement was stiff like a puppet.
When I was stuck, Auguste left the tent.
“Auguste-sama! Please wait!”
“Sorry, Erica. Thank you for being kind with me. But, you cannot stay close to me anymore……goodbye.”
I managed to escape the people who were like puppets and also exited the tent.
However, there was a lot of confusion waiting outside that couldn’t be compared to the inside of the tent.
The people were transforming into a flock of dolls with empty eyes.
Hundreds, thousands of people were walking in rows while swaying their bodies.
Everyone murmured meaningless words with an expression like a mask.
I remembered the zombie movie I saw in the previous world.
But these people were still alive, perhaps just being controlled by the telepathic ability.
Some people kept their sanity, such as those from Aurelia who were insensitive to mental magic and the mages of Harvan who had high magic defense.
However, it seemed that they couldn’t move due to the controlled people filling the street.
There was a distinctively different group in this throng of people.
It was a group of dragons who was surrounding Auguste.
Dragons were descending one after the other near Auguste or were flying around him.
The dragons also seemed to be in a state of ambiguousness, they had a relaxed look as if dreaming, following Auguste unstably.
Among them, only Goldberry who was on his shoulder that looked just like usual.
She looked at Auguste and seemed to be comforting him.
Auguste didn’t turn around, he took a dragon and left.
Just as I was approached by the dragons and the throng of people who were controlled, his figure had disappeared somewhere.
1,355 | 1 165 chapters