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This is the start of Volume 7
On April 14th, I returned to Sibyaku as scheduled.
I got off at an airfield.
When I landed softly, Stardust looked really tired, and fell into the state of exhaustion. Unlike the way to go, there was no place to stop on the way back. So, I returned in a straight line, so the flight distance per day became longer. It was because of that, fatigue seemed to have accumulated.
‘I have to give her a good rest for a week.’
A voice was calling me, and when I turned toward it, Syamu. *Don*, a dull impact ran on my chest, I felt like I was hugged.
“Hey, Syamu… I haven’t taken a bath for three days.” (Yuri)
‘I don’t want you to push your nose on me if you can.’
She said something while pressing her face against my clothes. I couldn’t hear anything.
“She thought Yuri-kun was going to die, so please forgive her.” (Lily)
A laid-back voice came from somewhere.
It was Lily-senpai. She was wearing a large wool sweater over her uniform. It was nice to wear a sweater with a plump chest.
“It’s been a while. Lily-Senpai.” (Yuri)
When I bowed…
“Welcome back.” (Lily)
Lily-senpai made a bitter smile.
‘Welcome back, is it…’
“Uhm… I’m back.” (Yuri)
‘I see. Were they both waiting here all the time?’
A sheet was laid in the shade of a tree a bit further away, and there was a small lunch box on top of it. It was like a place to have a picnic.
“How about me?” (Syamu)
Syamu gazed at me a bit.
‘I don’t remember being welcome back, even if I was told. Or did she say that while putting her face on my clothes?’
“I’m back, Syamu.” (Yuri)
I said it while stroking her head.
“Well then, Lily-senpai. Please.” (Yuri)
While explaining what happened during the trip, we reached the stable for the Eagle King. I said it as I left Stardust in the stable. After that, I took out the paper that had become a bit dirty.
It was the observation data that I wrote down about ten places in ten days during the trip. Luckily, during the ten days, even though it was a bit cloudy, there was no such thing that the sun position wasn’t known.
“I understand. I’ll try to make a map like that.” (Lily)
Lily-senpai received the paper from my hand.
“Yes, please. I have a bit of work to do, so I’ll entrust it to you.” (Yuri)
“Of course I will do it. I’m sure Yuri-kun doesn’t have time to help out with such chores.” (Lily)
‘Uhh. Actually, it’s true that I don’t have much time.’
“Thank you, sorry about it. It seems I’m forcing you to work.” (Yuri)
‘I am sorry.’
“No, no, no. I don’t mean that I don’t like it. Please don’t worry.” (Lily)
“Is that so?” (Yuri)
She didn’t dislike it.
“Yuri-kun has a lot of things to do, so you can leave this to me.” (Lily)
‘What a reliable word. If you say it that way, it will be easier for me.’
“I’ll accept your kind offer.” (Yuri)
“As for me, I wish you can accept my kind offer on other things too…” (Lily)
‘Somehow, she doesn’t look shy, but she seems serious… How can I indulge in other things? Would it be fine if I say something like ‘Onee-chan, I love you♪’? It feels different for some reason…’
“Well then, I’m counting on you.” (Yuri)
I decided not to ask.
“…Yes. Leave it to me.” (Lily)
Lily-senpai nodded while making a slightly gloomy look.
Syamu was looking at me with reproachful eyes.
“Why, why~?” (Syamu)
‘Somehow, she says it like a child. Where did you learn that? Uh-uhmm…’
“Uhm, hey, Syamu. It’s not like that.” (Lily)
Lily-senpai said it in a hurry.
“I will do my best too~.” (Syamu)
Syamu said something.
‘Well, as a matter of fact, Syamu will come up with numbers. She will do her best too. Right, Syamu-san?’
“Yeah, Syamu will do great. Good girl.” (Yuri)
“Will you not rely on me?” (Syamu)
“I definitely will have to rely on you.” (Yuri)
‘Saying ‘Really~?’ like that, huh? For some reason, Syamu has a strange tension today.’
“Well, I’m going to rely on coordinates, so I won’t leave it to anyone who I can’t trust. It would be a watery grave if it’s done poorly.” (Yuri)
“Then, say that you’re relying on me.” (Syamu)
‘Didn’t I say it earlier?’
“I’m relying on you.” (Yuri)
As I said that, I crouched down and patted Syamu on the head.
“Ehehe, I will do my best.” (Syamu)
‘It seems she will do her best. After all, the tension is a bit strange today.’
“Eh, uhm… aah, yes.” (Lily)
Lily-senpai searched her pocket and took out something.
When I received the package and opened it, there was a silver lighter inside.
“Did you finish it?” (Yuri)
“You’re going to be busy again from today. So, I was thinking about working on it until today.” (Lily)
The lighter was still big, but it was definitely smaller than before. When I opened it and turned the wheel to scrape the flint, the squeaky feel was transmitted to the fingers and it ignited much easier than before.
“It’s getting better.” (Yuri)
“Yes. I’m glad.” (Lily)
‘She has a great talent to be able to steadily improve something like this.’
“Thank you very much. Now, you can go with peace of mind.” (Lily)
“That’s so quick.” (Yuri)
Lily-senpai laughed shyly.
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“Welcome back.” (Myaro)
After parting from the two, I went to the dormitory. It was Myaro who was waiting there.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t pick you up.” (Myaro)
“No, it’s fine.” (Yuri)
‘It’s troubling if you pick me up. Unlike the two of them, Myaro should be busy now. So, she probably won’t have time to have a picnic.’
“This morning was the deadline.” (Myaro)
“Aah, now that you remind me, that’s right.” (Yuri)
‘It is about one o’clock in the afternoon now. The application for the observation unit should have been closed this morning. She must have been busy with the process.’
Looking around in front of the dormitory entrance, the special postbox that was there before I left was gone.
‘The deadline has passed, so it may have been removed.’
“Did you remove the postbox?” (Yuri)
“I didn’t do that. There was an incident where there was fire at the postbox two days ago.” (Yuri)
‘Eh… What is this? Who would harass something like that?’
“Since then, we made a system for dormitory students and those who don’t stay in the dormitory, to submit it directly. The signboard that wrote this was removed this morning.” (Myaro)
‘Yes. That’s fine then.’
“Have you found the culprit?” (Yuri)
“I can’t find it. Should I have looked into it?” (Myaro)
Myaro asked me to confirm.
‘She would have searched if she had the time, but I think there were a lot of things to do before that. It’s like post-treatment of arson.’
‘Even if you look for a culprit, starting a fire at night when no one is watching is a sabotaging act that requires little effort, and anyone can do it. If you are a lightweight person, it’s not difficult to cross the fence using something like a rope. Therefore, there is a possibility that it was done by outsiders.’
‘Well, the highest probability would be people who are motivated by the hatred of Lacramanus, but since Carol is participating, there is a possibility it was done by someone from the General household. There’s no way the Rube Household and the Hou Household would do it, but the other two General households which are excluded in this, may not feel good about this.I can’t confirm who is it, so even if I search and find the culprit, there’s nothing special could be gained. Myaro would have thought so and didn’t devote herself to search for the culprit.’
“No, it’s fine. It was foolish to use a postbox.” (Yuri)
‘Such mischief on a postbox isn’t something done in the noble school.’ I unconsciously thought of that and made an opening.
“Are the forms inside burned?” (Yuri)
‘In a sense, that’s the biggest problem.’
‘The application form requires the signature of the actual parent. Unlike the Liberal Arts, most Knights students have their main house in the remote place. It takes time and effort to get the signature. Even if they make full use of ten days, there are many cases where parents move to a different place at the last moment, so I’m really sorry if the forms posted by such people were burned by this mischief. In that case, I have to conduct an interview session again. That will be too much.’
“No, I had collected it the night before. So, only one form was burned. I found out who the mailer was.” (Myaro)
‘Is that so? That’s really lucky.’
“By the way, since the person has his main house relatively close to the royal capital, he had already resubmitted the form.” (Myaro)
“Then, that’s fine.” (Yuri)
‘Really, I’m glad. The damage was done only on the postbox and the amount of effort spent.’
“I would be horrified if it had been done in the early morning of today.” (Myaro)
‘Maybe, the peak of the submission should have been around today or yesterday. If there was no arson two days ago, the postbox would remain. And if there was a fire present at 3 o’clock today, a lot of forms would have been burned, and today will be spent to identify the owner of the forms.’
“The total number of candidates is 179.” (Myaro)
“You’ve gathered quite a bit.” (Yuri)
“Considering that there are only 258 qualified people who have fulfilled the requirement credits. I think it’s quite a hopeful rate.” (Myaro)
‘Did you even look into that? I think that the number of qualified students is about 20%. I decided to pull the cut-off line. It could be said that there are almost 258 prospects.’
‘If 20% of the number of students becomes qualified, and if we take them all, one in five people will disappear for more than six years. Even leaving the Eagle King requirement aside, taking that wide range of numbers, about half of them would apply for a life-and-death job. That’s what I think.’
‘179 out of 258 people… that is about… 70%? I’m not sure if that’s because the resolution of the Knights, or the popularity of Carol and Liao, but it must be a miscalculation.’
“Actually, there were 201 forms submitted, but 22 of them weren’t qualified due to false credits, illness or injury. The rest is…” (Myaro)
I interrupted Myaro as she tried to keep going.
“Let’s hear a detailed report later.” (Yuri)
This wasn’t a matter to talk while standing up.
“Aah, yes. I have prepared hot water for you. It’s at the bath in the dormitory.” (Myaro)
‘Amazing. The arrangements are very good.’
“Thanks. That helps.” (Yuri)
“Well. If I’m Yuri-kun’s Chief of Staff, that much is natural.” (Myaro)
Myaro was a little good at it. It seemed that she liked the sound of the Chief of Staff.
I left the bath and changed into uniforms for the first time in a long time.
“Alright, shall I have some meals?” (Yuri)
I went to the cafeteria.
“Obaa-chan, can I have a meal, please?” (Yuri)
When I said to Obaa-chan who I was completely familiar with her face…
“Alright. It’s been a while, have you been on a trip?” (??)
She said it as if she didn’t know the situation at all.
‘Well, the common people of this country aren’t checking the news, so it might be something like that. As you know, a war is about to happen again.’
“Yes, well, that’s right.” (Yuri)
The meal was prepared in no time, and it came out on a tray after answering all of her questions.
“Here you go.” (??)
“Thank you very much.” (Yuri)
After thanking her, I took the tray and sat somewhere suitable.
Myaro said it while sitting in the front seat as usual.
“Here’s the list of people who will come to the interview tomorrow.” (Myaro)
Myaro put a bundle of documents on the desk. It was made of paper purchased from the company, not parchment.
‘I don’t think that this much would be useful.’
“I arrange them together so that the top is the most excellent candidate. So, you may not need to read it until the very end.” (Myaro)
“I see. I’ll try to read as many as possible.” (Yuri)
I answered while eating the meal.
‘Unfortunately, it’s true that I can’t take everyone. As Myaro says, the people around the bottom may not need to be thoroughly reviewed.’
‘If they know that we are thinking of something like this, they may get angry. Even at the bottom of these forms, I think I would pick if I accept them, but those candidates are probably the type of people who can only be understood after the actual interview.’
“The rest, we’re not ready to prepare for the provision.” (Myaro)
‘Despite the urgent need, the number of people hasn’t been decided yet. So, it’s not possible to calculate the provision. This issue might be at a pending stage.’
“As for that, I called the person who was in charge of the logistics at the Hou Household before departure. He can’t accompany us, but he will give you some advice.” (Yuri)
“Aah, is that so?” (Myaro)
Myaro looked relieved as if she had been worried about that matter.
‘I should have told her before departing.’
“If you’re not the person who is actually in charge of the provision, there will be parts that you won’t notice. No matter how much you think with your head, there’s a limit.” (Yuri)
‘Regarding the provision, I was also taught in the school of Knights, but lecture is just a lecture. No matter how much you think about it, if you haven’t actually done it, problems such as ‘I should have brought that’ and ‘I should have devised it like this’ will emerge after departure.
“I was worried when I thought about it too. As expected of Yuri-kun.” (Myaro)
‘Somehow, I was praised.’
“At this time, that person should arrive at my secondary residence. Let’s talk later.” (Yuri)
“Alright. So, I would like to ask you, how many members are you planning to narrow down?” (Myaro)
“Well… it’s a little over sixty.” (Yuri)
“Sixty… is it?” (Myaro)
‘Carol and Liao will bring about thirty people each. Perhaps… If the number is more than that, there is a possibility that it may not be manageable.’
“Considering that as the number of people increases, the provision scale will also increase. That’s about the scale of a unit that can act without disturbing the main unit. With only sixty people including the logistics matters, it’s going to be a pretty large scale.” (Yuri)
‘I don’t have the confidence to manage beyond that. There may also be a way of thinking of handling 2000 disorderly crowds compared to 1000 armed forces, but if possible, I can’t ignore that idea since I want to bring all back home.’
“Besides, out of more than hundreds people, how many of them bring Eagle King?” (Yuri)
‘It’s unlikely a wealthy household would lend an Eagle King to a child. In normal times, you may be able to rent it from a relative household, but that’s not the case in war. The reality is that no one will lend it so easily.’
“Indeed. I’ve been examining whether the parent’s household is a Heavenly Knight household, but it won’t be a consideration as to whether or not they can actually procure it. There may be a case where the parent’s household doesn’t lend it. Conversely speaking, even if a low rank Knight who isn’t a Heavenly Knight, there seems to be a way to procure it.” (Myaro) I’ve been asked several times by friends in the same dormitory if they can borrow Eagle King.” (Myaro)
‘Aah, I see. There is a way to borrow from a friend, isn’t it?’
‘Asking from those who can’t participate due to poor grades isn’t a bad way. If it’s me, I would definitely lend them Stardust, but since there are also people who don’t have enough tools, the lender will lend from somewhere else.’
“But, if that happens, there will be people who will not be able to obtain it by the departure date, even if they pass the interview.” (Yuri)
‘It seems that there are many candidates who answer that they will bring an Eagle King because they expect that they could get it.’
“There can be a case where they promise to participate in the interview with an Eagle King, but on the day of the interview, they may come with a Galloping Bird instead. Surely, we have to consider what to do if that happens.” (Myaro)
‘Even if you participate with a Galloping Bird, it can be said that it brings little meaning because you can’t participate in the actual observation flight unless it is with an Eagle King. However, it is important for them to have a track record of participating.’
“The only way to deal with this is to not allow participation. If you allow one of them, you have to allow everyone, and we won’t know how many of them will show up. This is also related to morale.” (Yuri)
“Yes, you’re right. I also think the same.” (Myaro)
“I think you should tell them at the time of the interview.” (Yuri)
“Well then, I’ll add it to the question list.” (Myaro)
‘The question list. Has she made it up? In the end, even if I make adjustments, if that is done beforehand, it can be done easier. I’m glad that there’s Myaro.’
“By the way, what about Liao?” (Yuri)
“It seems that he is procuring horse-drawn carriages and carts, as well as receiving consultations from applicants.” (Myaro)
‘I see. If I were alone, marching while buying food in the town would be simple, but it wouldn’t be the case with a scale of dozens of people. No way. It’s not possible to march into towns while forcibly seizing food, so you have to bring your own. The food will be brought by carriage.’
‘Since the Eagle King is not an animal that can walk long distances, the escorts or the overseers will have to do it with the Galloping Bird. In that sense, there must be a certain number of personnel who will accompany it with the Galloping Bird.’
“It’s a meeting tonight. He’s going to have a lot of ideas too.” (Yuri)
“Indeed. This time, Her Highness Carol should also be called.” (Myaro)
‘Aah, yes. I can’t leave her out forever.’
“Yes… the place is, aah…” (Yuri)
‘The setting is difficult. The coffee shop is kind of weird, and the bar is bad since there’s Carol.’
‘I don’t want to use the dormitory too much. It’s strange to say, but this time, there will be more people who have nothing to do with this, so I don’t want to bother them.’
“The Academy building is fine. The Academy is surprisingly supportive about this. The president is Liao-dono’s uncle.” (Myaro)
“Aah, I see.” (Yuri)
‘Come to think of it, that’s right. I knew that the president was from the Rube Household, but is he Liao’s uncle?’
“Let’s borrow the key. By the way, I will get some food and drinks. It will be delivery food.” (Myaro)
‘Delivery food, is it? From where?’
“Well then, I leave the rest to you. I’ll read this. Call me when it’s time.” (Yuri)
When Myaro said that, she quickly left her seat and went somewhere.
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