A few days after Ain became Prince, the issue about Olivia was made public.
She was married into Heim but had now separated.
The reason for that separation was not disclosed, but it was announced that she had returned to Ishtalika due to the separation.
Her name also went back to her original Olivia Von Ishtalika.
Since she was originally popular in Ishtalika, those people rejoiced to have Olivia return.
Why did she separate? And in the first place, why was there the need to have married into Heim? Many voices were raised asking those questions.
For the following days, there was a commotion among the nobles in the Royal Capital.
Olivia returned, this was a matter of course, but the bigger issue was that she returned together with a boy.
Their questions were about the right to succeed and his future.
A lot of matters were spoken about.
Will there be interference against the Roundharts in the future? Or rather, there would be no problem even if they were to be against Heim…… Many opinions were spoken.
In such a situation, Ain’s right to succeed the throne was announced…… and he was presented as the Crown Prince.
There were some who opposed this.
The problem for them was the Roundhart since they considered Heim an undeveloped region…… There were many nobles from Ishtalika who just didn’t like the royal blood having mixed from there.
However, Prime Minister Warren, Grand Marshal Lloyd…… and Vice-Captain of the Royal Guard, Chris.
These three people, highly respected in the Royal Capital supported Ain.
Nobles who had been in the care of Warren and Lloyd also supported Ain, of course.
Some nobles just took the sidelines, but they didn’t have a negative image of Ain.
Even among the Knights and servants working in the castle, Ain was a good and obedient child, so he had a decent reputation because he was friendly with them.
Therefore, for the Royal Family and influential nobles in the capital, no major problems had occurred in any big aspect.
“Hahaha! A Dark Straw, huh!? “
Lloyd’s laugher echoed in the conference room.
He heard the commotion from the courtyard and had Chris report on it.
“The Dullahan, the Dark Knight which can be called of legends……To be able to use their skill, and call it ‘straw’……This is, kukuku.”
Even Warren, who was close by, leaked a small laugh.
For them, they never thought the first skill they would create using the Dark Knight’s skills would be named straw.
“This is not a laughing matter……just thinking about that suddenly happening, seriously…… You too, Katima-sama, please tell us in advance next time.
Together with her, came Katima to report.
She was in a good mood, chewing on the sweets that she received together with her tea.
“Y-You didn’t hear me……”
“Well, I think it’s alright since this time it was a big event, right Chris-dono? Warren-dono? “
“That’s right. But it would be nice to get a report on it just in case. Katima-sama, if it’s alright with you, can you tell us the principle? “
“Mmummu! Listen closely nya, Warren! I’ll tell you about Dark Straw ver.1, that was finally completed after eight months of work, nya.”
Chris began to think.
Calling it ver.1 means it has room for improvement…… just thinking the possibility of the next version of it makes me feel a bit uneasy.
“The Dark Knight has the ability to bring out a third arm made of magic, a so-called illusion hand, nya. This is a basic skill of the Dark Knight who can become stronger the more proficient the user is and can be called its main force, nya.”
“I’ve heard of it. Nevertheless, I’ve never seen it with my own eyes.”
“Lloyd-dono. It’s already impossible to actually see it anymore.”
“I guess you’re right.”
There were many skills available for the Dark Knight.
One of them was the ‘Illusion hand’, which created a black third arm.
Attack power, durability, arm length, they all varied depending on the user’s proficiency, so depending on how they used it, it could become a great asset.
“And combining it with the Dryad’s Absorb skill, nya. It was able to absorb the magic in magic stones, nya. That’s exactly where the concept of the Dark Straw came, nya!! “
With her small body, she folded her arms and stood up looking down on them.
Although she couldn’t actually look down on them due to her small height.
“And by wearing a special-made nail-like hook, it’s penetrating and magical power had been enhanced, nya. It’s become very stabby, nya.”
“Fumu. Katima-sama? I’m sure it can be used to stab, but then, why was it that it ended up being called straw? “
“Nice question, nya! You’re a good boy, Lloyd, nya. I’ll give you some homemade supplements later, nya.”
“I appreciate it.”
Katima was excellent as a researcher.
The supplements she made and gave away when she was in a good mood were very effective.
They were good enough that even the Grand Marshal Lloyd felt grateful for them.
However, it was a bit scary since the mix of ingredients had always been kept a secret.
“It’s about how the special-made nail is effective, nya. It can suck up a magic stone quickly, nya. But that’s not everything……the Dark Straw can suck up the life force from a magic stone even without taking the magic stone out of the body, it’s a revolutionary invention!! “
Chris held her head in her hand.
What a dangerous thing she has invented.
“Katima-sama…… That’s a bit too powerful.”
“Still, there’s room for improvement, nya. It’s too heavy on Ain’s magic and concentration ability right nyaow. And also, with a strong enough opponent, it can just be ripped off, nya.”
Despite having some weaknesses, its ability was just fiendish.
So long as the enemy was asleep, you could drain their magic stone’s vitality.
“Ohhh! Inspiration has come, nya! Well, your Katima here will be leaving, nya.”
After saying so, Katima left like a storm.
Most likely, she will hold up herself in her lab and do research to improve that dreadful thing.
“Haaa…… seriously, those two. And all this happened because he associated with both Katima-sama and Olivia-sama.”
“Hahaha! Indeed, Ain-sama has grown more strong-willed.”
“Katima-sama should know it’s dangerous to some degree, just tell her that it’s enough to report on it once in a while.”
“As you wish. Well then……Warren-sama and Lloyd-sama, did you have something else to talk with me? “
Warren called for Chris to report.
However, it seemed Warren had also something to tell Chris.
“……This came from the report of a certain person collecting information in Heim. The Roundhart house has been crushed.”
“Then, that’s good news, right?”
Warren talked about the Roundhart house being destroyed.
For Chris, this was something good to hear.
“Is there a continuation to it, Warren-dono? “
It seemed Chris wasn’t the only one to first receive this report, and Lloyd urged him to continue.
“How sharp, Lloyd-dono……There is. It’s about the territory where the port city was, it seems its management will fall under the Royal Family of Heim, and its name will remain the same, Roundhart Port.”
“I see. So, what else? “
“……For the achievement of bringing a child with the Holy Knight skill to Heim, Logas-dono was conferred a peerage. He said he wanted the family name to remain as Roundhart, and the title he received was that of Viscount.”
Warren finished the story.
This rigged game really made his chest tighten in anger.
“Is that……Is that really true? “
“Warren-dono. Were they given land? “
“It seems to be only a large mansion in the Capital. Heim would’ve wanted to reduce their punishment at least this much. After all, the Roundhart is one of the most prominent families in Heim.”
“I just can’t agree with this! Only that?”
“Chris-dono. Certainly, this is something we all can’t agree on……However.”
Chris couldn’t accept it.
This was because Olivia, who had taken care of her for a long time, received that sort of treatment there and had such a hard time.
“Confiscating their territory and demoting them to Viscount…… but even then, giving them a large mansion in the Capital.”
“If it’s a punishment, that I get……but well, I can see what’s going on. This is most likely because they know that even if they did that, we will not start a war. I can see the Heim Royal Family thinking 『This much should be okay, right? 』 Although imperfect, Heim can be called the King of that continent, that’s where that self-confidence of theirs comes from.”
“If so, what? ……It was the princess the one who got hurt, but this doesn’t make me feel any better. I don’t like them making light of us this much.”
“Well, we too will retaliate……I might not be able to say it, but I have something in mind.”
Warren implied to Chris he was following up on this issue.
“For the time being, no boats leaving the Roundhart port can enter the country. At the same time, diplomatic relations have been cut off. Furthermore, the guilds in Ishtalika are forbidden to post requests for Heim. And one more thing……This one is about Euro.”
Among their counter-measures, the one Warren liked the most was concerning Euro.
“Warren-dono, did you have talks with Euro? “
“Indeed, we met the other day.”
“If it’s about Euro…… Does it concern the Sea Crystals? “
Olivia was the person who got that deal with Euro and brought it to Ishtalika.
Afterward, Warren was making exchanges with them, finishing up the finer details.
And thus, the contents of the transaction were finally decided.
“I’m also curious about that.”
“Hahaha, let me explain it now then. ……For the time being, what was decided was the amount of traded Sea Crystals with Euro. This included various costs related to the extraction, but it was relatively cheap. Another point was, Euro will continuously look for Sea Crystals to mine out. For that, in return, they asked us for permission to publicly declare that Euro is a trading partner of Ishtalika.”
For Ishtalika, the Sea Crystal trading coming to fruition alone was a matter of great joy.
And, Euro offered one more thing.
It was to send over some people from Ishtalika to work together with the people in Euro in looking for new Sea Crystal sources.
Euro said they would cover the costs of the search, but in its stead, to publicly announce they had made a formal trading relationship with Ishtalika.
“I see. So, rather than our direct backing, they want to be able to hint at us mobilizing in case something happens.”
“Just like Chris-dono says. All in all, it was a fruitful deal. We can purchase Sea Crystals at a low cost, and they will keep looking for more places to mine them. And since they will be accompanied by our personnel, they can hide things from us.”
“Fumu, I too think it ended up as a great deal for us. And by making public their relation with us, Euro can ward off other countries, especially making Heim reluctant to make a move on them.”
This was a great deal for both Ishtalika and Euro.
Ishtalika also had a bit payback with Heim, so they were a bit calmer.
“I also don’t like being looked down upon, but this is the most retaliation we can do for now.”
Heim could no longer strong-arm Euro.
Chris’ sour taste had gone down a little.
Nevertheless, she really wanted to completely crush the Roundhart house, and to dispose of Logas.
“With this……There’s only one problem left.”
“What, Warren-dono, there’s still more?”
“I too am pretty much at my limit here.”
“It is related to Ain-sama, please let me hear your opinion.”
“……About our Crown Prince?”
“We can’t leave this alone, right?”
When it was revealed this related to Ain, Lloyd and Chris readily listened.
Lloyd had a good first impression of Ain, however, he now was fond of his personality and disposition towards training, and genuinely acknowledged Ain.
“I’ve been asked to tell them by all means. The contents are here, have a look.”
“This came via Euro? “
“That’s right. To be honest, I’ve been wondering whether or not to tell Olivia-sama and Ain-sama about this matter.”
Warren said this contact was made via Euro.
The contents were, a certain noble wanted shelter, an acquaintance of Ain and Olivia……
If possible, they wanted to come to Ishtalika via Euro.
“Have you not heard the name of that noble? With only this, Ain-sama and Olivia-sama wouldn’t be able to tell who it is.”
“I’m very sorry, but they said they couldn’t disclose it unless they got permission. There’s only one thing……I was told to convey that she always carries the flower that she received from Ain-sama.”
“I wonder if Ain-sama had a girl he fancied back in Heim? Have you heard anything about it, Chris-dono?”
“I never heard anything about it…… still, I think we should tell them.”
Chris felt they should tell Ain the request from this unknown noble.
She couldn’t understand who that person why or why they wanted to come here, but it was said they were acquaintances with Olivia.
That’s why Chris couldn’t leave this alone without informing Olivia and Ain.
“Well then, we’ll inform them.”
“Umu, that’s right, since you were the first to want to tell them we leave it to you Chris-dono.”
“Eh? Just like this? “
“Just like this……Right, Warren-dono?”
“Hahaha. You’re the one who’s more in touch with Olivia-sama and Ain-sama, Chris-dono, I don’t think it’s all that strange to leave this to you. And even if you can’t do it right away, our ship will be moored in Euro for a while. It’s scheduled to come back here when the weather improves.”
Chris was the one who was closest to Ain and Olivia in the castle.
……Actually, when it came to Ain, Katima might be on par with her.
That’s why Lloyd and Warren told her it was okay for them to be the one conveying that message.