Dolls

Chapter 49 – The Roots of the Wisp House

 

Upon arriving at the fortress, I was greeted by the knights of the Wisp family, “Welcome back, young lady.”

At their forefront was Fromos, the leader of the group. He was a veteran knight who has served our home for generations.

I heard he was in his late 50s, but his body is still in shape and looks quite youthful.

Right now he is using a black military uniform instead of armor. Its color had a gold tinge, a decoration that was only allowed to knights of a duke’s family.

“I understand you may be tired from your long journey, but lord Tourus is waiting for you in the conference room.” Fromos said.

“Thank you. I did want to talk to my brother too, so could you please take me to him?” I replied.

“Understood.

–Then, everyone, please guide our guests to their rooms.” After giving those instructions to the other knights, Fromos started guiding me to the conference room himself.

The fortress was made of solid stone, so it hardly looked like a rushed work. Moreover, the place didn’t emanate the heat and humidity of summer, probably because it had the blessings of water and ice spirits.

“Spending time here is a lot more comfortable than spending it at the knights’ station.” Fromos commented.

“Then, once everything is settled, we can have the dolls rebuild the station.” I told him.

Fromos giggled at this one, then said, “I’d appreciate that.”

We climbed the stairs while exchanging this kind of conversation.

I could also hear the sound of the rain outside. It had been looming over us for a small while now, but it seems like it has finally started.

“–Seems like we’ll sleep well tonight.” Fromos said.

“What do you mean?” I asked him.

“Landslides often happen in these mountains. Nobody will try marching on us while it’s raining, so we’ll be able to rest at ease.” He replied.

“Couldn’t they use this expected carelessness as a reason to attack us instead?” I asked.

“Then, now with the young lady here, we will be able to work together with the dolls and defeat whoever comes our way.” Fromos told me.

“On the matter of the dolls, where are they? I have yet to see any.” I asked him.

After all, it wouldn’t be strange for those children to just jump at me once I arrived.

“They must be resting at the edge of the citadel. They seem to have run out of power due to the rush work.” Fromos explained.

“They are falling due to the lack of magical power…” I muttered.

Then, as soon as I finish talking to brother, I will immediately go to the dolls. If those children can’t move, then a good chunk of the strength of the Wisp family will be lost.

Even if the government’s army may be lacking on field experience due to the extended peace time, we’ll definitely be overwhelmed if we’re not careful.

If possible, I’d like to replenish the power of the dolls before this rain ends.

“Either way, I can’t wait to move my arms. I’d like to blow up those corrupt aristocrats soon.” Fromos suddenly said.

“… You’re quite motivated.” I told him.

“But of course. All of our knights are eager to fight. And if it becomes necessary, we will even attack the empire’s capital.” He replied.

He is showing loyalty, but… This is also a bit strange. The current Wisp family is supposedly a rebel that went against his majesty, the emperor.

In such circumstances, it would be normal to feel troubled and consider deserting… I decided to them ask Fromos about it.

And his reply… “The rotten aristocracy is trying to trap the Wisp family. We’ll cut them off and regain the trust of his majesty.

“When thinking of it like that, the stigma of rebels is brilliant.”

Fromos then told me that the other knights seem to have the same idea. That this was a battle against the corrupt aristocracy all along.

“After all, it’s only natural to come to this conclusion when looking at the history of the Wisp family. We have all been eagerly waiting for this moment.” Fromos then said something unusual.

“Eh?” Was all I could say for a reply. Why was my family’s history suddenly brought up?

“If we go to the roots of the Wisp family, we’ll arrive at the Sharp Emperor: Sylphis I.

“When taking this into account, it’s natural to wish to do something about the corrupt aristocracy.

“All the knights are very loyal to the Wisp family, me included, of course, so… There’s no way we wouldn’t get excited in this situation.” Fromos then started giving out a confident laugher.

He seems to be quite happy with the current situation… Let me try thinking about things a bit…

We have five noble ranks. Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount and Baron… With a big wall existing between the Marquises and the Earls.

The wall being, whether you have royal blood or not. Second sons and daughters will often end up becoming vassals of the royal family as they get involved into political marriages… Our Wisp family is, of course, no exception.

But to think that ours descends directly from Sylphis I? The emperor of 600 years ago that the Earl told me about when talking about the fall of the corrupt aristocracy at that time?

I can understand that, when taking this into account, the royal family would hope that the Wisp family would start a revolution to wipe out the corrupt aristocracy again, just like Sylphis I did in the past.

But… It is quite strange for me to not know the roots of my own family. Did I study it, but somehow forgot?

Or was it intentionally kept from me?

If I have a chance, I should ask my brother about it.

–Before long, me and Fromos reached the conference room. We were right outside it, and in front of us, there was a thick, heavy, black door.

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