Chapter 8:

The Queen

The Second Route

 A woman with striking orange hair wobbly approaches the table without acknowledging the words of her maid or my presence. With bed hair and unkempt clothes, she casually sits down seemingly without a care in the world at the honored seat at the table and starts to gobbles down on her food.

“Queen Majiro, have you forgotten all manners in front of our guest?” sternly reminds Sina. With her mouth full, the queen speaks, “Ouwo grwerst?” Finally taking notice of me, her face turns red in embarrassment, and she quickly fixes her hair and her clothes and puts on a solemn figure. “A—a—a guest so sudden? W—why was I not informed of this?” She asks indignantly.

A familiar voice speaks into the room, “I told you that a man will be using the library, my Queen, did I not?” Tina enters the dining room, but at a rare sight, she did not wear her helmet. Because of this, I can see her blonde hair and her entire face. “And, why are you eating here? Who permitted you to leave the library?”

Surprised and nervous at the same time, I stutter in my attempt to answer, “Ah, er, well—”

“Sina, would you please lead him out?” Tina commands.

“Yes, Tina Kori-sama, I shall,” Sina stands by the chair I am sitting on.

“Why kick him out? Wasn’t he eating his breakfast?” the Queen intervenes, “please, my guest, stay and eat with me… for I haven’t eaten with anyone in a long…” the Queens's voice trails off. Tina interrupts me before I could answer, “B—but he is only a guest of the library, and he left without my permission!”

“Ugh, I’m tired of permission this and that. I don’t wanna speak this formally anymore,” the Queen sighs and faces me, “anyway, what is your name?”

“M—me? Ah, well,” I take a deep breath, “my name is Bari Deliruu,” I stand up and bow before her, “it’s a pleasure to meet her Majesty.”

“There is no need for formalities. I am not fond of them, but you can call me Queen for now,” she ends with a wink.

“For now, huh?” I mutter.

“Anyway, please let us finish our breakfast,” The Queen starts to eat with elegance.We finish our meal, and I head out of the castle’s door when the Queen calls out to me, “Deliruu-kun.”

I turn to face her politely, “What is it, your Majesty?”

She puts her hand on her voluminous chest, “Please feel free to visit the library anytime.”

“I shall gladly do so,” The doors behind me close as I exit, and I turn toward the walls when I am greeted by Tina.

“Don’t think I will let you off the hook because the Queen was being friendly with you!” Tina crosses her arms.

I bow with my hands, “I get it, I got it. You don’t have to push that point on me.”

The sound of hooves approaches me and Tina and stops at a short distance before us. A young boy promptly gets off the horse and bows before Tina. “General Pareyo sends you this message, Second General Tina Kori-sama.”

Tina puts on her helmet before she responds, “What message has he sent?”

The boy lifts his head and speaks, “General Pareyo has successfully defeated the 2nd Army Batallion of Ugibiris and is now returning with the Knight’s Twilight Army. He shall report on what occurred on the battle, and he requests that he shall receive a triumphant entry into the kingdom.”

My eyes go wide in surprise, but I quickly attempt to hide it.

Tina clicks her tongue, “Tell him that we shall have a triumphant entry at his request and that the Queen shall meet him shortly.”

The young boy salutes and quickly mounts and rides towards the walls.

“Ugibiris?” I softly ask.

“Ugibiris is east of this kingdom. We have been at war for who-knows-how-long,” she says with a sigh, “we were unable to get off each other’s hair, but I want to see them fall.”

I only nod my head in response.

“Deliruu-kun, would you like to see the parade?”

“S—sure, I suppose.”

Few hours pass as I wait by the gate. I observe people moving to and fro in preparation for the great general returning from a great conquest.

“HE HAS ARRIVED!” someone announces from across the street, and the sound of the hooves of the horses arriving rumbles louder as they approach causing the ground to shake. I look upon the gate to see a black knight waving his black sword to the sky. Behind him are hundreds of soldiers with red headpieces and black chest pieces shouting the greatness of the general. “GLORY AND HONOR TO BE GENERAL PAREYO!” They chant over and over again causing me to leave in annoyance. He has some kind of ego drive in his head. I couldn’t stand it, and it excites me more than he is my target. The target whom I will assassinate with pleasure. A hand slaps me to my shoulder interrupting my thoughts.

“Just in time for the death parade,” Risho pulls me toward her, “where have you been? I have been looking for you, and now it’s noon.”

I take her hand off my shoulder, “I’m sorry, I was not able to tell you. I was able to go to the library this morning.”

“Really? How?” Risho concerningly asks.

“The Second General invited me to go there. You happen to see that right?”

“So that’s what it was,” Risho laughs and sighs, “now it is your chance.” She points at the general parading to the castle.

I shake my head. “I can’t do it now.”

“Why not? Can’t you use your super-speed?” Risho asks in confusion

I nod my head in response.

“Then just do how you activate it. You have been to the library right?” Risho starts to cast magic from her hands, “you probably learned it there. Do it with me.”

I take her hands into mine, “We can’t do it right now,” I point around the street, “It’s broad daylight. Though it may be super-speed, they would probably see us.”

“B—but, but!” Risho insists.

“I can visit the library any time, and I have a lot of time, Risho-san, don’t I?” I raise my palms pointing at the sky.

Risho stares at me and nods, “You are right, but this could very well be the only chance.” She says with a hint of impatience.

“I’ll create those chances. It’s fine for now,” I pull Risho’s arm, “let’s go back to the guild and have lunch, shall we?”

Risho nods and follows my lead, but I can sense her disappointment in me.

We finish our lunch and start to discuss our assassination plan.

“So that is the plan?” Risho points to the map of the castle I have drawn.

“That is the plan. I should be able to figure out using the maid’s route. They have been using different maids for different purposes. There should be one solely for Pareyo alone,” I deduce.“But, General Pareyo is a Four Swords Ace. That means he has aced four elements with their respective sword forms.”

“Don’t worry. I was able to read until Advanced.”

“That is far off from expert!” Risho exclaims.

“But my super-speed will activate. I’m sure of it.”

Risho sighs, “Fine, I will trust you once.”

“Only once?”

I return to my room and prepare the discreet weapons I would need for the visit before I go to sleep.

“This is insane.” I sigh as drowsiness falls onto my eyes.