Chapter 8: The Strongest Onmyoji Talks (Part 1)
Supper was over and the lights in the house were beginning to dim. I was feeling thirsty, so I went outside to go to the well and saw Grey wielding a sword in the garden under the…… moonlight.
Was he practicing? He looked serious and didn’t seem to notice me.
“You’re very enthusiastic, Grey-niisan.”
“Oh……? What do you want, Seika?”
I was troubled by Grey’s eyes, which looked at me with a sense of exasperation as he wiped sweat from his face.
I didn’t know why I was talking to him.
“…… Nothing. That’s right, I’ll be your opponent. I still know a bit of swordsmanship.”
“Don’t be stupid. Your sword isn’t a match for my training.”
That’s probably true.
At one time in my previous life, I had accompanied a disciple who lacked the gift of summoning to learn swordsmanship from a renowned warrior.
I was taught a few techniques and became quite good at them, but in the end I was far behind my master …… and my student quickly overtook me. I had no talent with the sword.
Now that my arm is rusty, …… or even me back then, I am sure I would not have been a match for Grey.
“Grey-niisan is really talented with swords.”
“What’s wrong with you? You’re being creepy”
“I’m complimenting you, after all, you were chosen as a Holy Knight of the Princess.”
Grey says this and drank the water in the water bottle that was set aside.
The Holy Knights are the magic swordsmen who stand by Fiona’s side.
In essence, they are just bodyguards, less than ten in number, but their power is matchless. They have defeated numerous assassins and mighty monsters …… and are sung of by the bards.
When Fiona visited the garrison in the east during the inspection. It was written in a letter from Luft that she had chosen Grey as a new Holy Knight after just seeing him for the first time.
However, it seems that the official appointment is to be made at the court, and for this purpose, it is necessary to return to the imperial capital.
It is a great honor …… for a holy knight to be chosen from his own legion, so General Petrus, the legion’s commander, allowed it, and Grey led his own platoon to escort him to the imperial capital.
Now, on the way there, the soldiers and Fiona are staying in the Lamprog territory, where our parents live, for a rest …… which is the sequence of events that Luft had told me about this time.
After a short silence, Grey opens his mouth.
“Do you know why her bodyguards are called Holy Knights?”
“……? No idea”
“She spread it herself. It’s a name that is pleasing to the public’s ears and easy to sing by poets. The point is that it’s part of political public relations.”
“…… You’re saying that it’s all on the outside, but not on the inside?”
“It’s not like that.”
Grey drinks another sip of water.
“They’re good at what they do. I’m probably at the bottom of the pile. You see those two maids of hers? They were the ones who stopped Fiona this morning. They beat me up on the way when they said we should spar. That’s why I’m at the bottom of the hierarchy, so I don’t know how scary they are.”
“Heh, I thought they were all in the imperial capital, but I was wrong. To the maids ……”
Come to think of it, I think their standing and behavior indicated that.
“Hmm……so, what do you mean to say?”
“ I was chosen not on the basis of my ability, but because of her…… something, an agenda. She’s a politician.”
I ruminate over Grey’s words.
“I don’t see that much, though.”
“It’s just that you don’t see it. Do you think it’s just a coincidence that she’s somehow escaped house arrest, that her existence has become public knowledge, and that her name has come up in discussions about succession to the throne?”
”… Is that all intended?”
“Yes, Including the name of the Holy Princess and the impression the common people have of her.”
“If you’ve accomplished that much at …… that age, you’re not the norm.”
I say quietly.
“It might be fair to say that she had a natural gift for political affairs. ……”
“That’s not all there is to it. It’s beyond the realm of what can be managed with talent. Especially to gather that many Holy Knights”
“If …… it isn’t talent, what do you say it is.”
Grey says, exhaling.
“Do you know the Oracle, Seika?”
“… Hm? Do you mean the central temple of the Imperial City?”
“No. It is an ancient family that has nothing to do with the shrine. Every few hundred years…… It predicts the birth of the hero and the demon king.”
“Her mother was a descendant. The Holy Princess has the blood of an oracle priestess in her veins.”
“She can see the future.”