Volume 2: Chapter 003: Makia: Green Shrine Maiden’s Distress
Translated by Zzonkedd
Edited by Gumihou
I always thought that Ruskia’s Royal Palace, located in the Miradreed City as something that looked like it is made from piled up white sugar candies. Located in the centre of the circular cityscape, there’s the circle of glass window shops that surrounds it. After going through the past these high end shops that serves the needs of the royal family, you will reach the large gates of the Royal Palace up the hill. After passing the circle of tree-lined avenue of the white tiled Royal Palace, you will reach the First Floor. The castle looks like a stack of white buildings, corridors and terraces, each with their own roles depending on the floor level.
The First Floor is one where many officials, royal magicians, knights etc are housed. This is where their rooms and dining rooms are located so it is a rather noisy floor.
The Second Floor is where ministers and the king conduct politics.
The Third Floor and above all belong to the royal family. Therefore, one could say that the actual ‘Royal Palace’ actually starts from the third floor.
As Royal Magic Advisors, Tooru and I were given a room on the Third Floor. Therefore, we ended up staying in a fairly high location within the Royal Palace, the same floor as Yuri actually.
The Third Floor East Wing has access to the Floating Garden. This means our rooms are connected through the garden, but Prince Ulysses has his own tower, so his place is a little further away. That said, since we are all living in the same Royal Palace, it is still possible to meet up with him.
Lately, however, he seems to be quite busy.
It was all something about politics with Sir Raymond.
“….. Hey Tooru, I’m going to the Holy Nation.”
I have asked one of the maids to make a bouquet from the masses of white flowers growing in the garden and took it with me to Tooru’s room.
Tooru is all dressed up in his fancy Magic Knight outfit complete with the royal coat of arms.
“I want to go with you, but…”
“It’s fine, Lepis is with me.”
“Still, the Royal Capital has been unsettled lately. There are quite a few incidents… if it gets too late, I’ll come pick you up.”
“… no need to force yourself. Being a Magic Knight is busy, isn’t it?”
“Well, our leader does make me work a lot…”
While there are many mages and knights in Ruskia, there aren’t too many with both sets of skills. Tooru entered the prestigious rank of Magic Knight, and though he carries the title of Supreme Magic Advisor – Magic Knight, he seems to be doing a lot of lower ranked jobs.
That’s right, Beigrates Clan’s Melvis have also joined the ranks of Magic Knights. Both are sort of working together now, I think.
Something about making preparations for Smirda’s arrival into the Royal Palace.
As of now, we can freely enter and exit that sacred place, the so-called ‘Tomb of Truth’ that lies on the other side of the Holy Nation’s black door.
Rather, we are granted the right.
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After staring at the mosaic ceiling of the temple for a long moment and having a short staring contest with the unblinking former gods, I open the large black door.
Then, it was down, down, down the long set of stairs.
I try to keep my eyes down and forward on the floor where the murals were stored and kept going, walking through increasingly damp darkness until it suddenly opened up to clear refreshing light and air.
The sound came from the tree in the centre of this room, it is the sound of the Drop of Life.
There are eight water caskets here.
Each containing the corpse of a Demon King Class individual.
Except for one. That one has the body of a young boy that should never be here.
“…. Ah, it’s Makia!! I’m so glad to see you…”
Percelis appears out of nowhere, she had probably been hiding behind a large tree. She looks happy to see me.
She comes stepping over the protruding tree roots and moss covered earth nimbly, as though she had done it hundreds of times. Whenever her foot touches the ground, the high-pitched sound of dripping water echoes within the space.
“How are you doing? … Also, what were you doing, hiding behind the tree?”
“Well… I thought Ulysses might have come…”
Whenever Percelis speaks Ulysses’ name, her tone becomes a little more formal, and there’s a downcast look in her eyes.
A rustling sound came from the large tree in the centre, even though there was no wind at all.
After a bit of silence, I gently placed the bouquet of white flowers before the casket of Shuma. The son of the White Sage and Green Shrine Maiden from 2000 years ago.
The boy looks really pale. He never opens his eyes.
Well, that’s because he’s dead, of course.
“Hey, has Ulysses been here at all lately?”
There is something odd with Percelis’ answer. It is different from before.
“… Did something happen with him?”
“… Well, not exactly but…”
“Ulysses… probably doesn’t want to see me…”
What? What is going on?
I think I must have frowned.
Percelis crouches before Shuma’s casket, her eyes fixed on the child’s face.
“Ulysses… seems to know this child. He would come and stare at him with a really sad expression.”
“For myself, I also feel sad when I look at him… I really don’t know why, but… recently whenever Ulysses comes here, he makes the same sad face when he sees me… We can’t talk happily like we used to. Whenever I get closer to him, he seems to become cold or tries to step away. …that’s why, whenever Ulysses comes here, I… try and pretend I don’t exist.”
That Yuri… I put one hand on my head and could only look away.
“Well, he has been pretty busy lately and… look, he’s at that age, you know?”
I am trying to gloss things over.
No, well, it’s not like I think it would work either. I don’t think that Ulysses’ behaviour has anything to do with his age.
Rather, he must be over thinking things as usual,  what’s with all this past life business and finding out about how his son had been sacrificed…
“When he is with Tooru and Makia, he seems really happy… I… I wonder… if I can’t be that kind of person to Ulysses anymore.”
“We’re… you… things are just different.”
“… I supposed…”
“No, wait, don’t get me wrong! You’re special to him!”
I am doing my best to explain things, but somehow, it doesn’t seem to work?
This is so hard…
I have to wonder, just how much does Percelis know and how much doesn’t she know? She could be such an airhead sometimes that it’s hard to take her seriously, but other times…
I just don’t know. I don’t know her well enough to speak the right words.
“Hey, Makia. Does Makia know about this child?”
“…I, I don’t know anything at all. But, I know that he is special to Ulysses. He cries so much over him…”
“He’s as special to you as he is to Ulysses.”
“For me too…?”
“Yes… I can’t tell you the specifics, but that is the truth of the bond between you and Ulysses.”
I sit by Percelis, her side profile showing sadness and loneliness.
The thing that Ulysses fears, I believe I understand it.
He fears that his presence would awaken the memories sleeping inside her. What sort of heavy curse would those memories carry for Percelis?
Perhaps, that is why he is maintaining his distance.
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“Hey Makia!! Let’s go to the hot springs together!!”
I was just thinking of leaving this underground garden when Percelis suddenly grabbed my arm and cheerfully suggested this. In fact, Lepis is waiting for me just… somewhere.  I’m sure she’s around.
“In the Holy Nation, there’s a special hot spring that’s just for Green Shrine Maidens!! It’s really spacious, warm and good for the body!! Above all, it feels really great!”
“….. Ehhhhh!! No, no, there are bathtubs at the Royal Palace!!”
“Don’t say no!! I-I just want to visit the hot spring with a friend… can’t you come?”
Percelis is giving me that pleading look that makes it difficult for me to say no. It is especially difficult for me to deny her after learning about how lonely she is due to her awkward relationship with Ulysses.
“B-But… I’m keeping Lepis waiting…”
“Then, let’s have Lepis come too!! We’re all girls here, so it’s fine.”
Well, it’s true that we are all girls, but still!!!
Lepis never takes off her impregnable black robe even in the middle of summer, I can only imagine that she would hate this suggestion.
“… fuuhh… Lepis, you listening? Come out.”
Suddenly, the shadow-like presence that is Lepis materialises from behind a statue.
There is a rare, troubled look on her face.
“Hey, the Green Shrine Maiden wants all of us to go to the baths together.”
“… are you insane? Do you plan to return to the Royal Palace only after a warm bath? When did the Holy Nation become a public bathhouse?”
“… you… are you actually anxious?”
Lepis is talking a lot more and much faster than usual. It is odd for her to speak like this. She had always been the calm and steady type, this would be my first time seeing this side of her.
“…it’s a precious invitation from Percelis. Moreover, it’s been a while since I had been to a hot spring…”
“I don’t like it.”
“Don’t say that, Lepis… Just take it as an order from the Green Shrine Maiden.”
Lepis had a troubled look on her face.
“… But, when I take my clothes off… it’s terrible…”
“Eh, what the heck are you saying?… Are you okay?”
What could be so terrible about it?
Honestly, I’m starting to find the quietly panicking Lepis a little intriguing.
As for Percelis, she is already way ahead of us, pointing to a narrow passage further back within the temple and saying ‘Here! Here!’
In contrast to the solemn and dignified Shrine Maiden of the Sanctuary, this Percelis looks cheerful and happy, with an innocent smile on her lips.
As expected, this cheerful innocence suits her better.
Even so, I’m still a little worried about matters between Percelis and Ulysses.
[Gumi: I’m ded]
 What the F is this description?
Located in the centre of the circular cityscape, there’s the glazing store corridor that surrounds it. After going through the corridor, you’ll reach a large gate of the royal palace up in the hill. After passing the tree-lined avenue of the white-tiled royal palace, there’s the first floor. The castle looks like a stack of white buildings, corridors and terraces, depending on the floor.
A castle… in the middle of the city? Surrounded by shops? Is it a highrise? An actual highrise? With glass-walled shops surrounding it? What? Are there multiple entrances? Where do you keep your horses? Do you even have stables?
What is this logistical nightmare?
I can destroy the royal family by bombing the lower floors?
Is it a highrise? A pyramid? What the heck?
Is it circular? Sprawling? Probably not sprawling?
What? Piled up like candy, so probably sprawling?
It’s that Black Door that may or may not be in the ceiling, on a tree trunk or a free-standing door like Doraemon’s Wherever Door. What. This author is very bad with description of places. The heck?
Will probably update the description as the palace (and Royal Capital) takes shape Add Detail
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