Sylvia's point of view...
A few days later.
Sylvia left the castle with General Hulka.
To pick up the "nobleman" mentioned in the secret book.
"I'll protect you, Princess Sylvia. Don't worry.
I'm counting on you. Hulka.
Sylvia nodded towards the helmeted woman.
She is the handsome general Hulka. She's under the direct command of Princess Llanes.
After meeting the King of the Frontier, Sylvia became good friends with her as well.
But I've only seen her face a few times.
I never thought that the princess would marry the King of the Frontier, by the way.
...... Please keep that a secret.
"Of course. By the way, how is the King of the Frontier?
Yes. He said he was going to investigate something.
Sylvia remembers yesterday.
Yesterday afternoon, Leroy the Harpy came to see me as a messenger.
He wanted to talk to Shoma.
Sylvia said, "Okay," and in the evening, Shoma came to her room.
I've set a date for your wedding to Yukino. Here's the invitation.
Here's the invitation," Shoma said, holding out a wooden card to Sylvia.
And I'm going to do some research in the south of the Kittle Keep tomorrow or the next day. Me and the harpy will be going back and forth over Kittle's Domain, is that okay?
"Of course. The Kittle Keep and the frontiersmen have free passage through each other's territory.
Thank you. I'll bring you something in return.
Don't worry about it. We're allies.
Right. Well, if you need help, let me know. I'll be there as soon as I can.
Yes, sir. I'll put an arrow in the sky.
In that case, I'll give you this.
Shoma pulled out a vermilion cloth from some space.
"This is the 'cloth of rescue' that I prepared. When you need help, tie it to an arrow and shoot it into the sky. If I am nearby, I will come to your aid.
It's like a spell?
Something like that.
Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. Shoma.
Sylvia wrapped a vermilion cloth around her hair.
It must have been made in the middle of nowhere. It was soft to the touch and the color was beautiful.
When she looked in the mirror, she saw that it suited Sylvia's golden hair well.
I'll take good care of it. Shoma-sama.
"And I'll give you this, too. For protection.
It's a wooden stick with a stone tip. A stone spear?
A stone spear? A spear of stone.
Thank you, sir. I'll use it.
I'll come back for you the day before the wedding.
And with that, Shoma left via "ward transfer".
That was yesterday.
The cloth of salvation adorns Sylvia's hair.
The stone spear is tied to the horse's saddle.
Shoma gave it to me, so I thought I'd keep it with me.
"Princess. We will soon be near the point mentioned in the secret message.
After following the road for a while, General Hulka stopped his horse.
The location is near a forest, half a day's ride from the Kitor Territory.
I think we should wait here, sir.
"Yes. Let's prepare the camp. It was written that the nobleman would appear late at night, so let's rest until then.
Sylvia had the soldiers prepare the camp.
The place is in the forest near the road. It was half a day's journey from the Kitor Territory.
Sylvia did not use fire.
Sylvia instructed them to eat the preserved food that she had prepared. It's a precaution to avoid detection by the enemy.
All you have to do is conserve your strength for the night.
...... Is the nobleman in the secret book really the Dragon Emperor?
If the emperor is to be protected by the Kittle Patriarchate, the world will change.
The House of the Grand Patriarch of Kittle will be able to command the lords in the service of His Majesty.
It would be possible to gather an army and defeat the Ten Sages.
If that happens, what will the people on the frontier do? ......
For example, what if the Dragon Emperor is interested in the power of the frontier?
What if the Dragon Emperor is interested in the power of the frontier?
I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that.
The words came out of her mouth naturally.
Sylvia couldn't help but smile.
She realized that she was already one of Shoma's friends in the frontier.
Let's at least hope that this mission leads to good results.
Sylvia entered the tent that the soldiers had set up and closed her eyes.
The mission would start at night.
She should have rested until then.
The same time. Courtesan Kataria's point of view...
The courtesan Kataria and the wagons of her soldiers were preparing to camp near the road.
Two days have already passed since they left the capital.
The Yuanguo Pass was passed yesterday.
Tomorrow we will reach the castle where the peasant soldiers are.
"Ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your hard work.
When the camp was ready, courtesan Kataria bowed to the soldiers.
Then she pointed to a barrel in the back of the wagon.
This barrel contains the wine we have prepared for you. Tomorrow we will be busy unpacking. Please drink it while you still can.
"'Whoa, whoa, whoa!
The soldiers cheered at the words of the courtesan Kataria.
One by one, they lined up in front of the barrels and filled their canisters with wine.
Kataria then ordered another courtesan to open a bag of beans. The beans would make a good snack if they were put on the fire.
The soldiers shout for more, and the feast begins.
"Would you like to join us, Mr. Khalikhuvn? We'll take care of the watch.
The warrior Calikhu-Fuen shook his head.
On either side of him were soldiers with spears.
To his left and right are soldiers with spears. They are Calikhu-Fuen's direct soldiers.
They are on horseback, standing next to Calikhu-Fuen.
They're on duty. If I drink too much, I won't be able to show them.
Calikhu-Fuen looked at the soldiers on either side of him and shrugged his shoulders.
And I've decided to celebrate only after everything is over.
"After all is said and done?
You'll see. Hey, courtesan Kataria.
Is that ......?
You're beautiful. You're beautiful. Would you be willing to serve me when this work is done?
The warrior Kalikhu looked at the courtesan Kataria.
"In turbulent times, one must follow the strongest, right? The strongest in the land is King's Landing and the army of the Ten Wise Men. It is there that I hope to eventually attain the rank of general.
I think it's good that you have high ambitions.
"A high position needs its own flower. Kataria is graceful and beautiful. You are graceful and beautiful enough to be at the side of a great general, don't you think?
"I am loyal to the Dragon Emperor, Your Highness.
Kataria bowed her head.
I am loyal to the Dragon Emperor," the courtesan bowed, "as are all who serve in the Inner Palace. His happiness is our happiness.
I've heard you're sickly.
It doesn't matter. Your Majesty is the authority in Alicia.
I think visible power is more important than unseen authority.
The first Dragon Emperor said that it's what you can't see that counts.
I don't know anything about a long dead emperor. Look.
Warrior Kalikhu-Huyen pointed above him.
There's a bird-like creature flying near the clouds.
Can you shoot that bird down?
"...... is a kind man. He does not like to kill innocent people.
"In a turbulent world, I think it is a crime to be powerless.
The warrior Calikhu-Fuen lowered his great bow from his back.
The warrior Calikhu-Fuen lowered his bow from his back and held it up to the sky.
"Then I will not kill you. See the power of my bow.
Please stop. Lord Kalikyu!
The arrow left Kalikyu's hand.
A moment later, a bird flying above him slumped to the ground.
The arrow had torn off its wing.
I didn't want Kataria to hate me. I didn't kill it.
"I understand your power, .......
Is the authority of the Emperor more powerful than this?
I have no allegiance to power.
I'm not loyal to power.
I'll make my rounds. Call out if you see anything. I'll be right there.
I will accompany you.
I will protect you.
Kalikhu-Huyen and his men ran off.
The courtesan Kataria watched the bird shot by Kalikyu.
It was dusk. The birds were but shadows.
The birds had strangely long tails. It looked like a human leg.
The bird was still flying.
Or, more accurately, another bird is holding it up.
The two birds of the same size disappeared after a while.
"...... That bird. It looked like a human child.
The palace maid, Kataria, was looking up at the sky when she heard a voice close by.
It was a fellow courtesan.
The two of them moved into the shade of the trees, looking around for any sign of life.
We are ready, sir. The soldiers have had enough to drink.
I saw that the soldiers were still drinking around the wagon.
They were shouting and drunk.
They seemed oblivious to the fact that a bale of rice was missing from the wagon.
"Where is he?
The spell of suspended animation has taken effect. His breathing and heartbeat are too slow to be felt.
Did you put him in a bag for transport?
Yes. I've also prepared a dummy bag. They're all strapped to the horses.
Now let's put the plan into action.
The plan is simple.
We'll hide You-Know-Who in the baggage we deliver to the peasants.
When we leave the Yuanguo Guan, the courtesan Kataria will take her out and head for the Kittle Territory.
The others will take dummy bags and flee in different directions.
Inside the dummy bags are the clothes and precious metals used in the court.
It is enough to live in hiding for a while.
Ostensibly, it would be treated as the escape of a courtesan.
The Ten Sages are ignoring the inner sanctum where the Dragon Emperor is.
The building is crumbling and the Dragon Dedicatee can't even eat.
To the Ten Sages, the Emperor is just there.
And they'll kill him sooner or later.
The courtesan Kataria and the other maids of honor listened to the words of the Ten Wise Men and the military strategists.
"In the name of the goddess Nemesis, we will destroy and rebuild this disordered land.
"We will change our plan.
Suddenly, the courtesan Kataria said.
"You'll have to take her out.
I've been spotted by Hercule Fuentes. Then I will bring him to you.
But that would put Master Kataria in danger. He needs you, you know!
It's Kataria who's been driving this escape.
I don't know what she'll do if she's caught.
Our priority right now is to get her out.
We can't let the little girl die without knowing what's happening to her. Everyone, take your positions.
"Yes, sir. Miss Kataria.
Time is of the essence here.
Let's see how much distance we can gain before the warrior Calikhu-Huyen returns.
Can you reach the place you told the Kitoru Patriarch about by nightfall?
And so, the courtesan Kataria and her maids began their mission.