Section 2: Oshunel Castle
This was my first time ever getting to see a real life castle.
I’ve read many adventure novels in my lifetime, and almost all of them had at least one illustration of a castle in them.
But this was the real deal. An actual building made from stone instead of ink. There were several other city walls further inside from the first, causing the whole city to resemble the rings inside a tree. How many gates have we already been forced to pass through? How many gatekeepers have I said hello to? And yet I still can’t see the castle’s entrance. I could see a number of high spires high overhead looking down on us, but it didn’t look like they were getting any closer no matter how far in we moved.
[Iris]: “……that’s a big castle……”
[Carol]: “Well, it is where this country’s king lives.”
[Toslin]: “Was this the fifth gate we passed through? Then there are just two more.”
[Iris]: “That many!?”
We’re still riding in the same old rickety hay wagon.
Only now, the knights have all disembarked from their own carriages, mounting horses and riding along to our left and right. Yuhanna-sama and Litzreich are still in the lead of course and doing all of the talking whenever we come upon another gate.
It’s already been thirty minutes since we first entered the city, but I’ve been spending that entire time in complete wonderment.
Tonight’s diary entry is probably, definitely going to be very long. I could write a whole letter based only on the things I’ve seen so far.
[Rose]: “In all, Oshunel-Tari has seven defensive ramparts.”
Perhaps mistaking my open mouth and vacant stare as boredom instead of the speechlessness that it was, Rose-san scooched next to me and began explaining a few things for my sake.
[Rose]: “The first wall, said to be the strongest in the kingdom, is seventy meters tall. Then counting from the outermost walls in, the second to fifth ramparts are each thirty meters high. The area from the first wall to the fifth is a residential area for the general public, and any Oshunal citizen can pass through the city’s gates freely.”
[Iris]: “I see……”
In that case, Toslin was probably right, and we just passed through the fifth gate.
[Iris]: “Then from this point on…….”
[Rose]: “Correct. From here on we shall be traveling through the aristocratic area. No one is allowed to be here unless they have been granted a permit or a title from the state. In general, the closer you get to the center of the city, the higher in rank the nobles who live there are.”
[Lapris]: “Now that I think about it, Rose was the daughter of one of this country’s nobles weren’t you?”
Rose-san nodded her head yes at Lapris. I thought a shadow might cross Rose-san’s expression if someone had brought up this specific topic, but for some reason it didn’t. If anything, it looked like her smile only deepened.
[Rose]: “Since you already know, I will let you know that the name of my house is Auroll.”
Toslin was the only one to react towards Rose-san’s words.
Carol sat unchanged on top of Toslin’s lap, and Lapris was giving Toslin a confused, “Why?” look.
Saluena was completely disinterested in the entire conversation and remained unmoved, leaning back on some of our luggage with her eyes closed.
At the moment, my reaction is about the same as Lapris’s. The noble in charge of governing Soletta Ritta lives in another city. That’s why I have never had any kind of contact with any kind of noble since the day I was born. So overall, I’m rather lacking when it comes to information on nobles.
[Toslin]: “The Aurolls are an earl house aren’t they?”
[Iris]: “An earl!?”
But, even with my limited knowledge, I can still understand how big of a deal an earl household would be. Although I’m not entirely sure why they would be.
[Lapris]: “An earl? Is that something awesome?”
[Toslin]: “Definitely. Moreover, the Aurolls act as margraves, entrusted with protecting the remote areas far to the north of the capital. They’re basically the direct representatives of the royal family, and any daughter of theirs would be something like a princess.”
[Lapris]: “Heh, that’s amazing Rose.”
[Rose]: “But my house has no power here in the capital. And even if they did, I abandoned the name Auroll when I became a priestess.”
[Yuhanna]: “And yet that name will follow you closely so long as you are here. For better or worse.”
Having quietly listened to us until now, Yuhanna-sama chose then to turn around in her saddle and say so. Her expression was slightly more constrained than what it usually is as well.
[Rose]: “……yes. I am aware.”
And Rose-san returned a small nod,
[Rose]: “However, the fact remains that I have nothing to do with them. My last name is Cuulbacall. A knight of the Riviera Von Iliana…….someone who will protect Iris-san.”
before turning to look at me and smiling softly.
[Rose]: “I am still inexperienced though. It is irritating how my body is still unable to keep pace with my will.”
I see. I was a bit taken aback when I heard her family were earls, but Rose-san is still Rose-san. If Rose-san says she has nothing to do with them, then that’s just how it is.
[Iris]: “Um……I’m, counting on you. Rose-san.”
[Rose]: “Thank you Iris-san.”
The carriage shook as its wheels ran across the white cobblestone road. As we passed through the sixth and finally the seventh gate, we managed to arrive at our destination.
The same place where the hero Ranroot was said to have slain the evil dragon Oshunel a thousand years ago. The castle where the current king Olivar resides.
[Iris]: “This is Oshunel Castle……”
The chalk white castle spires extended further upward than any of the city’s ramparts…….carrying with them a beauty, majesty, and might suitable for the largest nation on the Van Delucia continent.