I had a couple people mention they get confused by dialogue, so I went ahead and started labeling dialogue for this one too. The number of characters is increasing, so things can jump around.
Section 1: Oshunel-Tari
I was overwhelmed by the majesty of the capital as we got closer.
[Yuhanna]: “Fufu, yes indeed. We’re talking about the royal capital after all. Even if you search across the entirety of the Van Delucia continent, you won’t find a city on the same scale as Oshunel-Tari.”
Yuhanna-sama boasted about the city from right next to me.
[Litzreich]: “Why are you acting like you’re the one she complimented?”
Litzreich mumbled aloud while watching Yuhanna-sama amazed. Mounted on a horse, she rode ahead of hundreds of carriages alongside Yuhanna-sama.
Our carriage pulled by Goldmund was directly behind them. This was because I was the first one to notice the monster attack a week ago……although with that being said, it was really only because Phoenix happened to fly over the attack as it was happening.
The higher Phoenix flies, the further she can see. Unfortunately the farther she flies away from me, the greater the drain on my magic power. So we decided to bring me, the main body, to the front of the convoy.
Since the original purpose of this caravan was to act as my escort, Yuhanna-sama was extremely concerned about putting me near the front, but my carriage is also carrying Saluena plus the orange rank adventurers Rose-san, Toslin, and Carol.
And then there’s Unicorn who can form a defensive barrier in case of an emergency even in her stuffed animal form.
…….even then it still took hours of work to to convince her though, but she finally relented on the condition that she and Litzreich remain close-by.
(So this is the capital’s defensive wall…….so immensely tall…….)
Grasslands dotted with a few scattered trees had stretched out all around the highway for days now, but all of the sudden there was a gigantic wall soaring into the air. The white walls looked almost divine beneath the cloudless sky’s sun.
(It has to be at least three times taller than Soletta Ritta’s…….)
It’s mostly used as a tourist attraction at this point, but back in the day, my hometown’s wall was a fully functioning defensive barrier used to keep out monsters. The capital’s wall makes that one look like a sandcastle built by children in comparison.
We continued down the road, making our way towards the capital’s largest gate of its four entrances.
[Iris]: “At any rate, the area around the capitol is warm.”
The scent of fresh grass and trees is being carried by the wind as it blows around us. There wasn’t any snow to be found anywhere across the vast plains, and grass rippled across like the surface of a lake beneath the wind’s touch. I’m sure Soletta Ritta’s sheep would be ecstatic if they were able to graze out here.
[Litzreich]: “Your hometown is just way too cold. I thought I was going to die my first night there.”
[Yuhanna]: “That’s because you insist on sleeping naked.”
[Litzreich]: “I can’t help it. I cannot fall asleep unless I’m naked.”
[Yuhanna]: “And the fact that you never got a cold proves you’re an idiot.”
[Litzreich]: “What was that!?”
Just listening to their conversation, you would never think these two people were the two leaders of one of the most famous knight companies in the country. I thought the both of them were scary when we first met, but that feeling has all but completely disappeared over these past two weeks. Rather, we’ve gotten so close that I’m afraid I might get in trouble later for saying something rude.
[Rose]: “Auntie. It looks like somebody is coming to meet us.”
[Yuhanna]: “Oh, you’re right.”
Seeing a soldier ride out from the gate on a horse, Yuhanna-sama raised her hand to signal the rest of the knights to halt.
Oh yes, I mentioned before how there were hundreds of carriages behind us, but I wasn’t exaggerating.
Most of the carriages stopped alongside the road belonged to merchants who were all now waiting to enter the capital.
Gorby-san’s caravan had to head to the end of that line, so we went our separate ways there. I promised Peachseed-san’s group we could meet up again after we got settled, and we said our farewells as well.
Despite this huge line though, we have been able to advance through directly to the castle’s gate because our caravan consists entirely of the Shirayuri Knights. As you can guess, knights are able enter the city without having to wait in line.
[Carol]: “No need to guess which horse-drawn carriage is ours though.”
Carol absent-mindlessly stared off into the distance while leaning back on our carriage with the canopy pulled down.
[Toslin]: “What are you bring up now? It’s too late at this point.”
The carriages belonging to the knights had their crests engraved on the sides and were obviously expensive.
Meanwhile our horse-drawn carriage being pulled along by Goldmund was a mass-produced product we purchased our first time through Dragon Ritta. I heard it was used as a hay wagon before we bought it.
It was a carriage that fulfilled the bare necessities of being comfortable enough to ride in. Obviously we don’t have any kind of coat of arms printed along the side, and the only engravings we have are some scratches and cracks etched into the wood.
[Carol]: “Strictly speaking, it isn’t really a horse-drawn carriage to begin with.”
[Iris]: “Because we have a dolinp pulling it?”
[Lapris]: “That’s what you’re getting hung up about? This carriage stands out so much it hurts. Seriously, I bet Yuhanna would change it out for you if you asked. Why not get this thing replaced?”
Lapris gave us all an amazed look before adding in there at the end.
[Iris]: “But, it’d be a shame to not use it after we bought it……..”
That being said, we really do stand out mixed together with all these knights, and the gazes gathered on us are intense. And then the soldier from the city got to Yuhanna-sama……..guh, and he’s started staring strangely at our old carriage as well.
[Yuhanna]: “Yuhanna Rostinell, commander of the Shirayuri Knights. By royal decree, we have brought the hero Iris Calvafon and her companions to the capital.”
[Soldier]: “We’ve already received word. Don’t keep the hero waiting. The audience will take place tomorrow morning.”
[Yuhanna]: “Yes! Understood!”
Pulling on his horse’s reins, the soldier circled around and took the lead. Yuhanna-sama and Litzreich followed closely behind him with our carriage and with everyone else pulling up the rear.
What can I say, passing through the castle gates…….it was like a world straight from a storybook.
It was a city made up entirely of bricks just like my own hometown, but the color was different.
Every wall was crafted with satin white brick. Every roof was made with blue tiles that made you wonder how they were forged to begin with.
If Soletta Ritta is the ruby city, then the capital is a sapphire. And with every building decorated with these splendorous roofs……the entire city looked like a huge jewelry box.
And those jewels are made only more beautiful with the flowers that decorate them.
Planters and flowerbeds filled with multicolored flowers are located everywhere from building balconies to the front of stores.
[Iris]: “……amazing……so this is the capital…….”
The beautiful homes and flowers catch the eyes, but there was something else in the air that caught the ear.
[Iris]: “That’s music! Is somebody singing?”
I could hear a cheerful voice singing in tune with the sound of a stringed instrument. I stuck my head out the side of our carriage and started looking around to find where that music was coming from. Eventually I found somebody playing a violin at an intersection where two roads meet a little further up ahead. They softly sang along with each swipe of the bow against the violin’s strings. And now that I’m getting a closer look, it looks like they’re using their feet to tap away at some drums on the ground as well.
[Iris]: “W-Wow…..is that a bard? So cool, this is my first time seeing one!”
[Toslin]: “No, at this point they’d be closer to a street performer than a bard.”
[Carol]: “Just like those people who breath fire.”
[Iris]: “Eh, fire? H-How do they do that?”
By the way, I promised myself before leaving home I would do my best to not come across as some girl fresh from the countryside.
But it’s impossible. Everything I’m seeing is so new and exciting I can’t help but be taken in by it all.
[Rose]: “Fufu, so there are things even Iris-san does not know.”
[Saluena]: “So this, is the world after a thousand years? It truly is peaceful.”
[Yuhanna]: “Clearly we made the right choice in bringing you here if this is how happy you are after only entering through the gates.”
[Litzreich]: “A starry-eyed Iris showing an innocence appropriate for her age. So cute.”
[Lapris]: “Oi you, don’t use the confusion to slip in your strange perversions.”
I was so taken with the surrounding scenery that I didn’t even notice Lapris snapping at Litzreich right behind me.
[Yuhanna]: “Then, I would like to take the time to show you around the city, but first we should head straight for the castle.”
And I would soon learn…….this was only a single part of the capital’s charm.