A week later, my father took me on the King Eagle for a long flight to the royal capital that I had never experienced before.
After flying over hills, rivers and several villages and local cities, I gradually saw the big city which was clearly different from other towns.
Luke controlled the King Eagle without saying a word, and circled the city of Sibyak in the sky for me.
The country I now live in is called the Kingdom of Syalta, of which Sibyak is the royal capital.
I had imagined a large castle city built on flat land or on a hill, but that imagination was drastically overturned.
Instead of a castle city, there are no walls or walls at all surrounding the city, and the city seems to be spread out on flat land.
The city was built next to a large river with a small island floating in the middle.
The island seems to be a river island with a solid foundation, and the castle built on it has a tall spire that stands out even from the sky.
This seems to be the city of the Sibyak King, as I heard in the stories. If it was a kingdom, the king would be here. The castle does not have a rugged feel, and I wonder if it has been decorated with decorative stones or something, but is white overall. The design is not oppressive, but rather gives the impression of grace.
The city is a sprawling, spacious area, divided by straight, planned streets, creating a planned city.
I longed for medieval streets and fell in love with this view at first sight.
The King Eagle circled around the city and flew to the island in the river where the city was built.
On closer inspection, the entire shore of the island is lined with high stone walls. It seems that this is not a place where you can land by boat, so the only way to enter the island is by bridge. In other words, the island itself serves as a fortress.
Perhaps the city didn’t need to build a wall because it was thought to be blocked off in case something happened.
Looking around the island, there are parks with trees scattered all over the place, and the military grounds seem to be on the outskirts, with buildings that look like low-rise mansions inside.
It was the heart of the royal capital, and the buildings were very dense.
Luke landed the King Eagle on the southern edge of the castle, in what appeared to be a military field.
Most of the other open spaces were lush green parks, but it was like a schoolyard, just a place where empty spaces had been tidied up. It was made that way for training purposes.
It was surrounded by rough buildings with uneven stone surfaces exposed. It really did look like a military base.
The King Eagle landed in the clearing with precision and vigour.
I had grabbed the Eagle’s reins a few times, but at the moment I didn’t want to imagine myself landing in such a narrow area.
Since the King Eagle becomes slightly spinning if it is slightly off-balance, there is generally a risk of death if the edge of its wings hit a building like a city wall on the way down.
Luke, however, managed this difficult task with ease and without worry. After the King Eagle landed gently, Luke unbuckled his seat belt and carried me down when someone approached from the end of the stables where the birds were tied.
“Oh! It’s Galla.”
Luke casually responded to a strange older man.
It seemed to be called Galla.
The man was even taller than Luke and had the appearance of a warrior type. Short hair, with the right amount of oppression, not described as crisp, but not at all impressed with vulgarity.
The population should also be at ease with a man like that in the army. Since it was raised with tax money, it was worth more to have this kind of man.
“Did you hear about the delivery I came for?”
“I heard. I heard that you sent a king eagle especially for Princess.”
“Really, I have a headache, to be honest. I’ve been asked to prepare an Eagle that’s so nice and young that even a child can handle it.”
Luke scratched his head with a slightly troubled expression. Is that what’s required this time?
“Ahahahahahaha! Did they say something like that to you?”
Galla burst out laughing cheerfully.
Despite his scary looks, he seemed to be an older man with a good temper.
“But I’ve brought the best-behaved boy in the house, so go ahead and drive him.”
“Oh, that’s it. Anyway, I’m not the one riding it.”
In the end, the uncle was not the size of a king eagle to ride.
Muscular and tall, he seemed to be over eighty kilos all by himself. If he were to ride the King Eagle, it wouldn’t be so bad that he couldn’t fly, but the King Vulture should get tired immediately.
In his empty-handed casual state alone, he would have been unable to fly at all with a somewhat heavier lance or armour on.
As a warrior, a strong, muscular man has an advantage, but this makes him unsuitable for flying, which is a disadvantage.
“The Sky Riders who follow the Princess should know very well. If you want to practice, it best to do it an old King Eagle who is very tame.”
Is that so?
I don’t have an old eagle at home, so I’ve never ridden one. The breeding females are the oldest, the others are sold before they grow up.
“The riders who guard her should know this, but it is possible that Her Highness does not know such things. Perhaps it was thought more desirable to have her ride a top class king ragle than one born in a close guard cage.”
Luke had never been particularly boastful about his achievements, so I was completely unaware that the king eagle Luke had bred seemed to be rated very highly.
“Don’t flatter me. No matter who breeds them, the birds don’t learn their skills alone.”
“That’s how much His Majesty loves his children. But since you raised it, there must be no problem.”
“Alright~” Luke sighed.
“Anyway, if I disappointed Her Highness, my head might fly off, so I raised this boy with all my heart. ”
“Then I’m relieved. Even if Her Highness can’t ride it, there will be Sky Riders who will be happy to ride it.”
“By the way, who is the boy?
Galla looked at me.
He looked down at me with such a size difference that I felt overwhelmed by his imposing presence.
“He’s my son, his name is Yuri.”
After Luke introduced me, Galla crouched down and pulled his eyes down.
Even so, his eye level was still much higher than my face and I had to lift my head slightly to meet his eye level.
After I greeted him, Galla hooked up a smile.
“It’s great that you able to greet properly.”
“Thank you. I’m happy to see my father’s friends too.”
“You’re a clever boy. Are you going to be a scholar?”
“I don’t know, but I want to follow in my father’s footsteps now. I don’t know if I can do it, though.”
When I said that, Galla looked surprised.
He patted me on the head with one hand and rose to his feet.
“What a mature boy. How old are you now?”
“Four, that’s the first time I’ve seen such a bright child apart from Her Royal Highness.”
It seems that it was a strange reaction.
But it’s going to be hard for me to keep playing the real four year old. If it’s for a few days it’s fine, it’s too hard to keep playing it for years at a time.
“Don’t praise him too much, the boy is very ordinary.”
Yes, yes, tell him.
“My son is four, too.”
“Huh? Is that so?”
“Yeah, I sent you a letter, didn’t I?”
“Oh, I think you did.”
Pull yourself together, Dad.
“You’re really …… But, I mean your son is totally different from mine, very smart and makes me envious.”
“Really? Not much of a difference, I guess.”
“My kid is not so polite.”
Ah, are the dads going to start talking about the kids? It’s going to be a long conversation.
And when I think about it…
A young woman appeared from the corner of the building, and when I thought she was going to come running, she called out to Gala.
She looked anxious.
“Hmm, what is it?”
“Her Highness Kyla is coming.”
Her Highness is one of the honorific titles for the royal family. In other words, the royal family is here.
“Nn …… is she coming to see her king eagle right away?”
From the conversation so far, it sounds like if the Highness he’s talking about isn’t another Highness, it would be the Princess Temple that he just said is here – the owner of the King Eagle we rode over.
Galla looked at Luke and me in order. Since he was looking below the face, I’m afraid he was checking our costumes. Luke and I were dressed to the nines because we were coming downtown.
“Bring her here.”
The woman saluted and then turned and ran away.
“Bring her here”? I don’t want to see her. I looked over at Luke, who seemed to be saying the same thing I was, with a look of pale.
“Galla, then I-”
Luke raises his hand slightly in a curt greeting and tries to leave.
“You haven’t got the receipt yet, have you? Don’t you want to take it back?”
Galla said with a wicked smile. It was a basic part of the deal to take a receipt after delivery of the goods. If you don’t have the receipt, it doesn’t be regarded as the delivery of King Eagle.
Galla seemed to want the royal family to meet Luke. He doesn’t seem to have malicious intentions, so I don’t think this should be a bad thing.
Having said that, I was completely unfamiliar with the royal family and had the uneasy feeling of not knowing how I would be treated by them.
“I don’t want to meet the Royals because they are no longer relevant people to me.”
I looked to Luke, who looked more like he found it troubling than frightening. I think he thought it was a pain in the ass to deal with big people respectfully.
“Don’t say that, it might turn out to be a regular for you in the future.”
While Luke was worrying, the woman from earlier appeared from the corner of the building.
I was taken aback.
The woman led the way, a blonde girl with clear skin and elegant features.
She must have been about my age. She was followed by two women who looked like maids. Her soft hair fluttered in the wind as she took a step towards me. She was not dressed in a dress, but rather in an elaborate, horse-riding-like outfit. The trousers and so on seemed to be made of leather, and she was dressed in a way that made her want to ride a king eagle right away.
The sound of shoes scraping against gravel sounded just beside me. I looked and Luke was on one knee, making the characteristic kneeling salute. Galla seemed a little more casual with her, just standing and curtsying.
I was Luke’s child, so it would have been more appropriate for me to kneel as Luke did. Having said that, they hadn’t taught me the etiquette of the country at all, so I had no idea what to do. I had to imitate Luke’s movements.
“That’s enough, keep your head up.”
The young girl’s silvery voice came from overhead.
I had no idea of the etiquette, whether I should just listen to her and lift my head, or whether I could stand up. While I was busy thinking, Luke stood up, so I stood up with him.
“I’m Kyla Faure Charteau.”
“Yes, it’s an honour to meet you.”
Luke greeted formally. The young woman then looked at me, and I bowed low in greeting before taking a step back diagonally and half-hiding behind Luke.
Just standing behind him should make me look like an apprentice too. It wouldn’t be good if the conversation inexplicably shifted to me. It wasn’t just that it was a pain in the ass, it didn’t seem like something that would make a good impression on a buyer when you drove a child over to the Capital to stop by and buy something. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but if it keeps up, it might turn into a customer complaint.
“I heard that your spear skills are extraordinary, and you have participated in the Knight Academy martial arts competition. You are a very good knight.”
Luke seems to have participated in the Knight Academy’s martial arts competition? And during the event, there was some past with Galla.
In any case, the girl was very knowledgeable. After being born in this country, to say the least, her qualifications as a national should be about the same as mine, but the royal family is really different. However, she must have had a rigorous education so far, otherwise she would not have been able to behave in such a dignified manner.
“And I hear you say you breed good King Eagles. Is this my Eagle? What’s the name?”
“I hope you will give it a new name, as it has not yet been named.”
“Well, I’ll discuss it with Mother. Can I ride it later today?”
“No, he has just flown a long distance from Hovu territory so it would be best to give him a rest today if possible.
The young girl slumped her shoulders in disappointment. She had also gone to the trouble of dressing up to ride the king eagle, which she should have been very much looking forward to.
She was probably waiting around excitedly, and was certainly disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to ride.
“If you don’t mind, Princess, it would be a good idea to ask how to ride the King Eagel.”
Galla said loudly..
I looked at Luke’s back and could see him staring at the side of Galla’s face with a look that said, “You don’t ride the King Eagle, but don’t throw the responsibility on me!”
“Ah! Well, that’s true. What’s the best way to ride?”
“Well ……, it’s better if you don’t argue with the eagle and please fly nicely.”
Luke said very unclear words.
“So that’s it, just don’t choke?
The words came out as a choke.
“Treat him like a friend and the eagle will respond to you.”
“I see, I’ll do that.”
The young girl said, taking hold of the reins Luke was holding.
She seemed to want to grab the reins herself and pull the eagle along immediately. Well, after all, even children who buy hamsters want to take them home themselves.
“Can we just take the bird to old place?” she asked to Galla.
As she said this, Galla winked at the woman who was greeting the princess.
“I will take you there.”
“Well, I’m counting on you, then.”
“Then, please take good care of him.”
With so many people watching her, it would be all right to give her the reins – or so he thought, as Luke released his grip on the reins he had held until now.
If the eagle suddenly tried to escape, there was no way the girl could stop it from taking off on her own. This was an eagle that Luke had trained, so it was unlikely that he would fly off without permission, but he must have thought a little about whether he could let go of the reins.
“Thank you, I’ll take care of him.”
The young lady, as if paying her respects to Luke, ended in a much more polite tone, and left with her entourage.
“So that’s Her Highness Kyla, what a fine girl.”
Luke said admiringly at the end of the series of encounters. He kept rubbing his jaw.
“Isn’t that right? That’s the proud heir to the throne.”
Well, it did seem like a solid kid. In a country where women seemed to be allowed to be queens, the future of the country should be secure if that girl became queen.
There’s no way of knowing if she’ll become a famous ruler in the future, but at least, there’s no sense that she’ll turn out to be a dim ruler at all. I don’t know how old she is, but she must be around four or five. At that age, it’s remarkable that she doesn’t make adults feel uneasy.
“Well …… girls aren’t bad, either.”
I didn’t miss the words that Luke murmured in a low voice.
It’s not that I don’t understand his feelings …… but you can’t say that in front of your son.
“Dad, what is your relationship with that Uncle Galla just now?”
I asked Luke on the way out of King City.
“He was my classmate at school, and now he’s a big shot in the First Army of Guards.”
Because he was guarding the royal capital, I had thought maybe that was the case, but he seemed to be in the Guards.
The term “Guard” means guarding the surrounding area, generally speaking, like the personal guard of a king or royal family.
However, he said it was the First Army, so was there a Second Army as well? Since they are called the First Army, they must be the stronger ones.
“Where does the school mean?”
“It’s the Knights’ Academy, in the royal capital. You’ll be entering the Academy in the future.”
Is that so? It was the first time I knew about it.
I thought I was going to work hard at my job and become a ranch hand. Do I have to go to school?
I don’t want to go. I hope they’ll find a way to let me study at home.
It’s a strange name for a knight’s college, though. The word knight must be a military term, so it sounds like an officer’s school.
I hope I’ve got it all wrong.
“Did Dad graduate from there too?”
Luke had a slightly bitter look on his face as if he was remembering a painful past.
“Did you fail?”
“I didn’t graduate, I gave up in the middle.”
“…… I see.”
Luke seemed to be a mid-career dropout.
Thinking back, Luke didn’t ever tell stories about his student days or his youth.
He would always tell stories about what happened after he and Suzuya met or after they got married, and hardly ever told stories about his youth that the average adult would want to tell.
It’s strange when you think about it. Luke is handsome, has a bright personality and seems to be good at sports, so it’s a bit hard to imagine him being bullied and living a miserable student life.
From the conversation he’d just had with Galla, it seemed that Luke had friends he could relate to. Even so, he had dropped out of school, perhaps because he had some bad memories he didn’t want to recall.
“But if my father can’t do anything about it, I might not be able to stay at that school either.”
I said, trying to get past it.
“No, Yuri will be fine.”
Luke said, patting me on the head with his palm.
Do adults always want to pat children on the head?