Satou's here. It seems there was a time when they sent telegram with [Sakurasaku (Exam Pass)] or [Sakurachiru (Exam Failure)] to notify the exam result, but since you can guess the result from the envelope's size nowadays, maybe it's become obsolete? It might be revived when they computerized the result's notification.
"T-the Royal Capital is burning..."
Arisa holds her breath beside me.
"Where's the fire nodesu?"
It's natural for the little girls to be puzzled.
Arisa's cheeks are red. She must have tried to say something poetic and failed.
"Those are sakura, so I state the information."
"Those are sakura? They look just like in the picture book."
Just as Nana and Liza have said, Arisa was talking about the sakura trees that are in full bloom in the Royal Capital.
The highway that goes to the Royal Capital and the road inside the city itself have been colored in sakura color.
Although the blue milkvetch flowers were beautiful, the one over here is gorgeous.
"It's really pretty...."
Lulu was muttering in rapture while being fascinated with the sakura. She's so lovely I almost involuntarily said, "You are many times more beautiful."
Of course I won't say such playboy-like line.
And then the biggest sakura tree in Shiga Kingdom enters our view as the airship circles toward the airport.
"Ugeh, what's that."
"It's pretty nodesu."
Arisa is surprised at a big blooming sakura tree that's situated quite close to the royal castle.
The sakura tree that's said to be given by the elves for the Ancient King Yamato is blooming in pink color, painting the white wall of the royal castle.
"It is pretty, but isn't it a bit too big?"
"Guessing from the window size, I report that its size is more than 100 meter big. It's unthinkable that it's 700 years old, so I reason."
Lulu's doubt is reasonable.
A tree that's as big as a royal castle is unthinkable even in my former world.
"What is strange about it? The world tree is even bigger isn't it?"
Liza is right, the impact from seeing this tree is weak when you've seen the world tree that reaches the sky.
"If you pray under that tree, any wish seems like it'll be fulfilled...."
Since I know the reference, I can only smile wryly to Arisa who's muttering so.
Unfortunately, it's not an un-withering sakura tree.
<TLN: Da Capo reference>
"Satou, if you're going to sightsee when we've entered the port, invite me!"
Contrary to her words, Lady Karina is posing like she's showing her dressed-up self.
She's certainly beautiful enough to make you hold your breath.
She's spreading charm violent enough that it would have made me involuntarily propose to her if I didn't have Aze-san.
It's a bit vexing, so I first praise Erina and Newbie-chan beside Lady Karina for their effort instead.
"Thank you for your work, must've been hard."
"Yes, it really was.... It'd be nice if Karina-sama dressed up like that everyday."
The all-too-serious Newbie-chan is fretting from Erina's disrespectful words.
Lady Karina herself seems like she's waiting for my words, it doesn't seem like she hears outside noise.
I feel slightly mischievous, but I've decided to normally praise Lady Karina who has gone with the trouble of dressing up.
"You are very beautiful, Karina-sama."
Yet, Lady Karina blushed instead, without being able to reply back.
It seems she's not used to praises since she usually wears unfashionable clothes even though the base is good.
I've got to enjoy the wonderful valley peeking from her dress until Lady Karina moves again.
Arisa and Mia are kicking my feet from behind, but please overlook this one since it's just a mere lip service.
The airship has arrived at the airport on the outskirt of the Royal Capital.
We collect our cabin's luggage and gather in the observatory dome once again.
"Waa, there are a lot of people."
"The people are like garbage~?" <TLN: Castle in the Sky reference>
"Like ants nanodesu."
Liza reproves Tama for the slightly impolite thing she said.
There's a wide space in the airport, but it's overflowing with people and carriages.
I feel that there are a lot more people than carriages who have come to welcome Duke Bishtal.
The airship slowly lower its altitude, and then the suspension legs gently touch the ground, ending the landing.
『Everyone, please wait in your room or the observation dome. Guides will lead you to leave the ship.』
A female crew speaks via the speaking tube.
There's no need for us to hurry since the first one will be the party of Duke Bishtal anyway, we'll be leaving the last.
When I peek at the ramp from the deck, there's a blue carpet spread from the ramp to the luxurious carriages of the duke house.
--It's not a red carpet huh.
The elite soldier of the duke are on both sides of the carpet, keeping bad people from approaching the blue carpet.
The Duke leads the way with a depressed face, and then 11 ladies follow behind him.
Those women are all the wives of the Duke.
The three women right after the Duke are of the same age as him, but the age of the women continues getting younger behind them, the last one looks as young as Nana.
Checking on the map, she's 17 years old.
I almost reflexively quip, "How many years the gap is."
After the wives, there are seven children of the Duke house who are coming of age this year and the unmarried ones, and then dozens of retainers after them.
Quite a lot of people. Half of the passengers are people related to the Duke.
However, his guards are only the private knights even though someone is aiming for his life. Even though Jeril and his party would have immediately agreed if he asked them to guard his party.
I guess credible people are more important than their strength.
While I'm thinking of such thing, the carriages that carry the duke and his party form a line going toward the royal castle.
The nobles follow them, since it's going to be us explorers' turn soon, I decided to go to the airship door.
When Jeril and his [Lion's Roar] party show up on the ramp, shrill voices break out from the people who're welcoming them. All of them are young good-looking beautiful women.
Most are calling for the [Crimson Young Noble] Jeril, but when the name of the other members got called, they wave back with a hand holding a handkerchief.
The cheer for the following parties are decreasing little by little, but when we show ourselves, it becomes loud again.
....Why are they all either old men who bring along little girls, or married couples.
When I look closer, they're nobles whom I've met in the Duchy Capital.
Looks like they didn't come to welcome us as Mithril explorers, but they're cordial people who meet us as acquaintances.
I wave my hand back while feeling a bit nostalgic.
There are also some noble and merchant friends from the labyrinth city among them of course.
A Mithril explorer--a middle-aged man called Marmot or something who's got to the tramp seems like he's found someone he knows among the crowd, and points at that someone, showing to his friends.
I ask him since I'm a bit interested.
"Did you see someone famous?"
"Yeah, if I'm not mistaken, that's the chief of Shiga Eight Swords y'see."
I search the map and mark him.
He's quite far, well done noticing him. As expected of the scout of a Mithril explorer party.
Other explorers seem to have noticed it too, noises begin to spread among them.
It's like when a star pro-player appears in Koushien stadium in front of high school baseball players I guess?
The noises change into baseless speculations.
The most numerous one is this--
"He must've come to to invite Jeril."
"I can't think of any other possibility. Maybe he's looking for a successor."
"As expected of Jeril, befitting of our leader!"
Even while being made fun of by the [Lion's Roar] members, Jeril looks full of confidence with a "not bad at all" face.
--It stinks a bit of a flag, so Arisa who's walking beside me is smiling a very bad smile.
The next most numerous speculations are that he's coming to scout me, and that he's coming to scout either of us.
As if he's walking in an uninhabited field, Chief-san is coming straight toward us.
Like when Moses splits the sea, the crowd of people make way for him.
Since Jeril has stopped moving, the other explorers who have descended to the ramp also stop and create a circle.
I personally want to greet the people who welcome us, but since the crowd are obstructing, there's no space to move even if we can move.
No, there's plenty of space in front of us, but I don't want to be someone who can't read the mood and thrust myself there.
The Chief and Jeril are on a straight line from my point of view, so I can only see Jeril's back.
The Chief seems to have appeared from the crowd.
The noise is spreading whenever the Chief come closer to Jeril.
I saw Jeril looking smug from the side for an instant.
The place freeze as the Chief comes one step away.
Like a pulling tide, the noise has disappeared.
The Chief passes Jeril from the side.
He's coming here.
"It can't be, the winner is Sir Pendragon?!"
"But, Young Master can't even use Magic Edge right?"
The noise begins to revive little by little.
And then, I can finally see the figure of the holy knight who's carrying a white pike following him from behind. I understand the Chief's intention when I see his face.
I make a way for the Chief who's come before me.
I'm sorry for Jeril, but I'll be refraining myself from being made a clown like him.
He stopped before us and stated this.
"I am the first seat of Shiga Eight Swords, Zeff Julberg the 『Unfalling』. I desire a bout with Liza-dono the 『Black Spear』!"