“Your Highness Louwellmina, are you alright?”
“Ah, no, I’m fine, Viz. I’m sure someone is just gossiping about me.”
“…Since your highness wore such clothes that expose one abdomen, maybe your highness caught a cold?”
“What are you saying? This is fine, Viz, it is a fashion after all. If you have a spirit, it won’t feel cold! And, it is already spring! Since I was able to overcome winter, I feel full of energy now!”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, it is!”
(Of course, I admit, her coming with us would benefit Natra more, but…)
After all, they were performing mediation between people. However, doing it by letter all the time until the end was not good, that was why she and Wayne had gone for a trip. It was certain that the discussion would proceed smoothly if she, who acts as an intermediary would also present.
(But, was she truly wish to help us conclude a trade, or was she just wants to board the ship…)
In the beginning, Ninim thought she did all of this to sell a favor to Natra, but when she saw Torcheira having fun onboard the ship, Ninim begins to wonder if that was not the case.
(Anyway, for her to talk to me normally like this, she is definitely a weirdo.)
Ninim was a Fulham. Her white hairs and red eyes were subject to discrimination within the western countries due to the doctrine of the Levetianism belief. Just being a Fulham, the person won’t have any rights, and it was natural for Fulham to be treated as a slave.
For example, sailors who navigate this ship and Torcheira’s servants. They were people lent by King Guryuel, as a delegate of another country, they won’t show any contempt. However, one could still feel alienation from them.
In that respect, Torcheira who didn’t show any discrimination toward her, just like King Guryuel. Made her wants to ask, “why?”.
[What I thought, belong to my mind. Whether it is my father or my future companion, even God cannot step into that realm. Moreover, why should I be influenced by a mere bundle of paper? Someone might think otherwise but, personally, I do not care about how other people think…]
The statement was full of pride but, somehow there was no feeling of strangeness and discomfort. On the contrary, it was easy to accept that she was just that kind of person, and that was her honest judgment.
(This sense of distance from her also reminds me of Lova…)
“N-No, I’m fine okay?! I swear, this must be because of someone talking behind my back! It is true that I feel slightly cold, but if I give up here, I feel like I’m stupid! I can’t pull back anymore, and I definitely not caught a cold!”
“Then shall we warm our body with this honey liquor?”
“I don’t think teasing your lord like that is good you know, Viz?”
(I wonder what is that girl doing right now…)
She was taking a break while drinking a honey liquor but, Ninim won’t be able to know that.
During that time…
“— I can see the island!”
A pedestal was being installed at the top of the mainmast, one of the sailors who was watching the surrounding area at the crow’s nest shouted.
“Finally, we’ve arrived?”
Said Ninim but, Torcheira by her side shook her head.
“No, I don’t think so. That is just the entrance of the Patura archipelago.”
“Umu, do you know since it is called an archipelago, there are various islands of various sizes? Each island is governed by tribes or influential people, and the Zarif family is based on the island in the middle. You can see it from here, see, that island…”
“I see, so is why that island is the entrance…”
“That’s right. Though, it is true that it won’t take a long time from here… … Hmm?”
Torcheira’s gaze directed behind Ninim. When she turned around, she saw Wayne coming out of the guest room.
Ninim rushed toward Wayne. His complexion was still not good. His feet were also kind of wobbly.
“Is it okay for your highness to get up like this?”
“Somehow I guess. Rather than that, do we arrived already?”
“Yes. However, the island we saw was only the entrance of the Patura archipelago. The destination is still a bit ahead.”
Wayne looked tired as she leaned against the edge of the ship.
“Fufufu, to think the radiance of that Prince Wayne could be weakened just by a mere seasickness…”
As Torcheira approached, Wayne tried to correct his posture, but his movement was somewhat slow…
“Excuse me for this kind of behavior, Princess Torcheira. To show this kind of unsightly behavior…”
“No matter how rigid you are, it is natural for someone to get sick, you know? Rather than that, I am happy to be able to see the unexpected side of the prince.”
Wayne smiles bitterly at Torcheira who laughed cheerfully.
“The princess seems to be fine as usual… I thought even without the seasickness, this long voyage would be quite tiring for you?”
“I am accustomed to board a ship. Though, it is only my second time to go to a place as far as Patura archipelago..”
While exchanging such words, the ship smoothly approaches the island. It seems this was a route that needs to be followed to enter the Patura archipelago…
“… But, this is strange indeed…”
‘Fuh’, Suddenly Torcheira muttered…
“I can’t see any ship shadow in the vicinity… This route is supposedly the entrance, and when I visit this place before, I saw many ships passing by…”
“Come to think of it… Despite having trade as the main economy of the country, there are only a few ships—…”
Wayne’s eyes gazed at the island. Was it because of the rumors? he thought… As he thought that, a ship appeared from the west of the island. It was a carrack ship, just like the one Wayne ride.
Or maybe because it was a bad time?– When he thought that, the other ship raised multiple flags with patterns on its mast. Seeing that, turmoil runs between the sailors.
“Oi, that signal flag, asking us to stop.”
“Where does that belong to? Clan Zarif?”
“No, it is a flag that I’ve never seen before…”
“Let us put our flag out as well. Tell them that delegations are on board…”
The sailors start to move in a hurry. One of them then said to Torcheira…
“Excuse me, Torcheira-sama. The appearance of the ship over there is strange. Maybe they are pirates…”
“Pirates, you say? I thought the Zarif clan should be patrolling this area?”
“Indeed, normally that is the case but…”
When the sailor about to continue his word, the watchman raised his voice.
“A ship of unknown affiliation accelerated toward us without any change of course!”
“Without giving any reply?! Damn it, as expected, they are pirates huh?!”
“Everyone take your position! We will go around to the east side of the island and leave!”
The mainstream of naval battles of this era was to damage the enemy ship with a ram attached to the tip of the ship or pulling the enemy ship using a grappling hook then approach and board to engage hand-to-hand combat.
On the other hand, Wayne’s ship was originally a trade ship, there were not many combat personnel and it was not equipped with a ram. If their opponent was a pirate, they won’t be able to win in a head-on battle.
Torcheira then asked the sailor who showed deep tension…