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On that day, I went to the capital city with a long distance flight by riding the Eagle King brought by Father. Across mountains, rivers and villages, and we saw a castle that was clearly different from other cities.
This country was called as the Kingdom of Shaalta, and the capital city was Shibyak.
While Rook reigned the Eagle King, we made one full round the city of Shibyak in midair. I was imagining something like a big fortress city on a flat land or a hill, but my imagination was greatly betrayed. Far from being a fortified city, there were no walls around the city.
Shibyak was a city that stick to a large river where there were several islands rose on its surface. There wasn’t much open space between one island to another, and they were connected by not so long bridges. And the city easily spread on both banks of the large river.
As a person who longed for a medieval cityscape, I was fascinated by the beauty at first sight. It was a beautiful cityscape.
After that, the Eagle King went around the Shibyak for one turn. There was no wall on the outline of the city, but the islands were surrounded by walls at the entire of the water’s edge.
The island in the middle of others had a huge castle on it. It was the royal castle of Shibyak that I heard in the story.
It was called the kingdom. I wondered if there was a king in this castle.
It was a really good castle. There was no unrefined ambience, and it was white as whole. Was it decorated with decorative stone or something? Far from being intimidating, it make the castle looked rather elegant.
When I looked at what was on center of the island, the places was dotted with parks planted with threes. There were many fine houses built in other places. As expected, the buildings were densely packed only at the center of the royal capital.
Rook brought down the Eagle King to the south side of the castle. There was a small open clearing there. Other places usually had parks, but this was the only place that had a vacant lot that looked like a school ground.
The surrounding area was surrounded by buildings with deep blackish stone. The facility was located at the edge of the island. The buildings were protruding the downstream of the river. It looked completely like a square.
‘Is this a fortress?’
The Eagle King descended to the clearing accurately and dynamically. I had gotten to hold the rein several times, but I couldn’t imagine bringing down the Eagle King by pinpointing to such a narrow place. If it hit a wall or a building even at the end of its feather on the way down, it could lose balance a bit, and would be in slight tailspin state. In that case, there was a possibility of dying.
But, Rook seemed not to be worried at all, and he showed how to do the difficult thing easily.
When Rook unraveled the belt and put me down, someone came from the stable.
“Hey, Rook.” (??)
“Oh, it’s you, Galla.” (Rook)
It was an unknown middle-aged man. His name seemed to be Galla. He was much better than Rook. He was a man that gave a feeling of a Warrior. And Rook would be a Thief when compared to him.
“I came to deliver this, but have you heard about it?” (Rook)
“Yes, I did. It was specially ordered for Hime-sama, or something like that.” (Galla)
“Goodness, I’m troubled when you are that honest. I’ve told you that only young Eagle King can be handled by children.” (Rook)
Rook scratched his head with a slight troubled face. Was it because of such an order?
“Gahahaha, did you say that?” (Galla)
Galla cheerfully laughed. He was a good old man with a frightening look.
“Well, I’ve brought the most obedient bird in the house, you know. Please handle it with care.” (Rook)
“Aah, that’s right.” (Galla)
“You probably aware that there are about a hundred Heavenly Knights who follows Hime-sama, but it would be best for a matured old people to train it.” (Rook)
‘Is that so? There was no such a thing like an old Eagle King in the house, so I never rode on that kind of Eagle King.’
The female Eagle King for breeding purpose was the oldest, and the others were put on sale. Hence, they usually were put on sale before they grew old.
“I guess I can understand that. But, the Queen doesn’t know that. Rather than the Eagle King raised in the imperial guard’s bird cage, yours Eagle King are probably the best.” (Galla)
“Don’t flatter me. The bird can’t do the techniques by itself unless someone trains it.” (Rook)
“I suppose that’s what parents do.” (Galla)
Rook suddenly sigh.
“My head will be severed if Hime-sama is thrown off from this, so it can’t be helped to train it well.” (Rook)
“That’s reassuring. Even if Hime-sama won’t ride it, any Heavenly Ride can ride it.” (Galla)
“Is that so?” (Rook)
“Anyhow, who is this kid?” (Galla)
Galla looked at me. Due to the body size difference, I felt like being overwhelmed when I was looked down.
“He’s my son. His name is Yuri.” (Rook)
Galla crouched down and lowered his eye line. Even so, it was still higher than mine.
“Hello, Yuri-kun.” (Galla)
I bowed my head. Galla’s appearance relaxed, and he smiled broadly.
“You can give a proper greeting. That’s admirable.” (Galla)
Even a normal child, or a four-year-old would be able to give a greeting. No, if it was about this man, most children would cry and run away.
“Thank you very much. I’m happy to meet Father’s acquaintance.” (Yuri)
“You are a good. Will you be a scholar in the future?” (Galla)
“I’m not sure, but I think I want to succeed Father’s work for now. But I don’t know whether I’m fit for it or not.” (Yuri)
When I said so, Galla had a blanked face. He stroked my head with a hand, and got up.
“You have a splendid precocious kid. How old is he?” (Galla)
“He will be four years old soon.” (Rook)
“Four years old, is it? It’s been a while to see a clever child other than Hime-sama.” (Galla)
‘Oops, did I overdo it?’
That seemed to be an unusual reaction.
“Don’t think too highly. He is just a normal boy.” (Rook)
‘That’s right, tell him, Father.’
“My son is four years old too.” (Galla)
“Eh, is that so?” (Rook)
“Yup. I’ve sent you a letter…” (Galla)
“Oh I remember that I read it somehow.” (Rook)
‘Do it properly, Father.’
“Goodness, you… Well, there is a great difference between him and my kid. It’s all good, but I’m envy you though.” (Galla)
“Really? That’s not going to change anything.” (Rook)
“My kid is not good with stuff like these.” (Galla)
‘Aah, is this a discussion of kids that happens among fathers?’
There were times when I thought so.
A young woman ran from behind and called out to Galla.
“It’s time for the war council.” (Woman)
“Oh, is it already that time? Rook, I’m sorry. I have to go.” (Galla)
“Is that so?” (Rook)
Rook looked a bit sad. I felt sorry that he could meet his old friend after a long time.
“Will you stay at Hou’s secondary residence tonight?” (Galla)
“No, I will return home after bringing this kid for sightseeing in the city. I would like to go home tomorrow.” (Rook)
“Is that so…?” (Galla)
He also looked sad.
“Well, see you later.” (Rook)
“See you.” (Galla)
“Aah, Rook-sama. Here’s the receipt.” (Woman)
“Oops, I almost forgot.” (Rook)
Rook received the receipt presented. While still keeping the rein of the Eagle King, he left with the woman accompanied him on the right side.
“Otou-san, who is that person?” (Yuri)
I asked Rook when we left the castle.
“He was my classmate when I was in school. Now, he is the big shot of the imperial guards.” (Rook)
“What do you mean by school?” (Yuri)
“It’s the school of Knight. It is located in the royal capital. You will also enroll it someday.” (Rook)
‘Is that so?’
This was the first time I knew it. I was actually wondering if I could become a rancher someday by working hard as I was going to work hard for it. Nevertheless, the school of Knight sounded strange. Since the word Knight was definitely a military term, it sound like a military school. I hope that I made a big mistake.
“So, you have graduated from there, right?” (Yuri)
Rook expression became a bit bitter since he was remembering a bitter past.
‘Is that bad?’
“I haven’t graduated. I stopped halfway through.” (Rook)
“…I see.” (Yuri)
It seemed that he was a dropout. Apparently, I had reminded him of something unpleasant.
“But, if it is no good for Father, it may not be easy for me. I mean with that school.” (Yuri)
I told that to divert the mood.
“No, if it’s you, you’ll be fine.” (Rook)
Rook said so, and tapped my head with his palm. I wondered what adults trying to do when the tapped the head of the children.
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As soon as we stepped out of the stone castle, the castle town soon spread before us. The building of the castle was considerable, but the castle town also was quite good.
There were many buildings made of stone and bricks, and there were many pedestrian streets. It was lively compared to the countryside. Under my feet, it was a cobblestone road.
In the meantime, we reached a bookstore. It was indistinguishable since it was similar to the surrounding buildings, but at the eaves, there was a sign board shaped like a feather pen hanging on an open book. It was more appropriate to call it sculpture rather than a signboard.
“Perhaps, the book is sold here, but… well, let’s go in.” (Rook)
Rook opened the entrance to the bookstore and went inside. I also came in.
I thought that it was a bookstore, but when I went inside, it wasn’t really a bookstore. Rather than a bookstore, it was a stationery shop.
Various types of feather pens, stationery, colorful inks, and brushes were placed on the shelves of handcrafted wood. On the interior side, there were canvas paintings and folded easels.
Surely, if it was a diary, it was within the domain of stationery shop, compared to bookstore. A bookstore wasn’t the place to buy a notebook. When I looked around for a bit, there were wooden boards, and carpenters tools.
It felt like being out of place, but I also used that when I practice writing with Suzuya at home. It was made of soft wood that was easy to shave. By using the unspoiled part of the tree, I practiced writing by shaving it. I didn’t know what kind of wood it was, but since the ink didn’t sip into the bottom part, it could have a new surface again when it was shaved.
There was no cheap note paper in this word. Since the risk of losing a piece of parchment, Rook was also using this for trial writing when writing letters.
However, even if it was a wooden board, it wasn’t a book.
“Shopkeeper, I want to have a book without anything written inside it.” (Rook)
Rook said so to the granny owner who was likely to sleep at any moment.
“Oh my, really? We have it.” (Shopkeeper)
That reply was returned.
“It’s expensive, so I don’t put it on display.” (Shopkeeper)
Certainly, when I looked closely, the luxury goods were placed in front of the shopkeeper.
Well, if robbers came in, the granny wouldn’t be able to go against them, but it would be effective against shoplifting.
“Is that so? I would like you to show it.” (Rook)
“Please come here.” (Shopkeeper)
The granny unlocked a wooden box with a key that seemed to have been placed under the foot of the counter. Then, she took books from inside.
The books were wrapped in something like a thin cloth with oil. When the cloth was unwrapped, splendid books appeared. Then, the books were displayed.
In those days, these would be in a glass case, but since it didn’t sell well, it was supposed to be put like this.
“Come, please choose.” (Rook)
Rook lifted me up and put me on a nearby chair. It was possible now to see the counter.
There were four books on the counter. The first book was a memo pad size book, so it was out of the question.
There was another size bigger. It was about B6 size or in other words, it was about the size of comics for young men. However, this was considered as small too.
On the contrary, the most impressive thing was with the leather-covered surface on which the tack was punched, and the corner was reinforced with brass or some kind of metal.
The fourth book was about the same size, but the binding wasn’t that good.
It was similar with leather-covered surface, but the thickness of the skin was thinner, and the tack wasn’t punched. A strap was attached on the surface of the cover. It was supposed to be sealed with a small key so that the content couldn’t be seen.
“Can I check the content please?” (Yuri)
“Of course, it’s alright.” (Shopkeeper)
I got the permission, so I tuned over the binding.
When I opened the inside, it was a blank page, and the content was the same. However, the splendid one had the thickness of the leather, and the book was bulky. It seemed that the parchment was thick when old animal skin was used. In this case, the number of pages weren’t that much different from the other book.
I didn’t think I could write anything in this, but since there were other uses like books that filled the bookshelves in this world, that place might be more convenient.
“I choose this.” (Yuri)
I pointed to a book that wasn’t splendid. When I turned the cover, I couldn’t see it like a cheap wooden board that were lined up in the store, and the skin was attached thoroughly. I wasn’t very familiar with bookbinding, but it didn’t like it was done badly.
“Are you alright with this? It is rare to be here, so I’m fine with your choice, you know.” (Rook)
“Yes, it’s alright.” (Yuri)
“You don’t have to hold back. There are things in the world when expensive things are better in the long run. I mean you get what you pay for…” (Rook)
“The parchment is too thick and the number of page is not satisfactory. It may be convenient because it can be shaved, but I am not going to scrape much and rewrite it, so it is better to choose book with more pages. The bookbinding doesn’t look bad either.” (Yuri)
“I-I see. That’s fine, but…” (Rook)
It seemed that I had manage to convince him somehow.
“Shopkeeper, how much is this?” (Rook)
“It is 2800 Ruga.” (Shopkeeper)
I didn’t know the value of 2800 Ruga, but it was surely expensive.
“As expected, it is still expensive.’” (Rook)
Rook said as he was a bit hesitant. After all, it was still expensive.
“Are you going to buy it for your child?” (Shopkeeper)
“Aah, yes. He somehow want something like a diary.” (Rook)
“I see. That’s great. As for people, even if they can remember important memories, it can be forgotten.” (Shopkeeper)
“Is that so?” (Rook)
Rook tilted his head. When I was in Japan, I didn’t write a diary, so I didn’t understand the necessity. I was also in the same opinion as him.
“Yes, it is. I am also like that. As I got older, the words of my father heard when I was a child, the recipe of soup that my mother made, I can’t help being regretted very much since I forgot many things. So this book can benefit you as well. After all, after we die, our children don’t remember at all about me, and if they forgot everything you said, wouldn’t it be a sad case?” (Shopkeeper)
That made him groaned. The granny said such a nice thing. It would be sad if that happened.
“You’re right. Surely, it is.” (Rook)
Rook seemed to feel impressed. Somehow, he was nodding.
“Alright. I’ll buy that. Do you have something to write with it?” (Rook)
Rook took out three pieces of gold coins and placed them on the counter. The color was a bit dull probably because the mixture was mixed, but it couldn’t hide the glow of the original golden color. It was definitely gold coins.
In other words, were those worth 3000 Ruga?
Even so, I never thought that gold coins would appear when buying a single book. I was also surprised.
“I have it. Are you alright with these?” (Shopkeeper)
Five silver coins were placed.
“I have another 300 Ruga.” (Rook)
“Since this child has good judgment, I’m fine with 2500 Ruga. It’s scary to take another 800 Ruga.” (Shopkeeper)
The granny was laughing worse than a girl ‘Teeheehee’.
‘Aren’t you a sleepy person!?’
“Well then, let’s buy the ink. I’ll spend 300 Ruga for that.” (Rook)
“Yes. Here you go.” (Shopkeeper)
A large ink port was placed. I guess it was a good to say 300 Ruga. Anyhow, that was with the three silver coins.
Rook wrapped the two goods in big cloth as if he was used to do it. Then, he put two silver coins change back in the wallet.
“Well then.” (Rook)
“Come again.” (Shopkeeper)
After that, we left the store. There was no problem with the feather pen since there were so many feathers when sweeping the ranch. With this, all the stationery items were complete.
‘I got it.’
1 Ruga was approximately 1 Dollar
Copper coin = 1 Ruga (TLN: 銅銭)
Copper coins = 10 Ruga (TLN: 銅貨. Yes, both can be translated as copper coin)
Silver coin = 100 Ruga
Gold coin = 1000 Ruga
It was good to think that a gold coin was worth 100000 yen.
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