Magi Craft Meister 486
14 Family Trip Arc
14-37 Egelia Kingdom And The Hot-Air Balloon
Thanks to the increased acceleration, they were able to easily traverse the distance of 260 km, and even though it was still early in the morning, the capital city of Asunt could be seen in the horizon.
Incidentally, even though they had to cross over the Celuroa Kingdom, they didn’t have to worry about incurring in airspace incursion since the Celuroa Kingdom had yet to establish laws regarding aircrafts.
For that reason, as long as they remained above 100 meters of altitude, they wouldn’t face any problems.
Although being at an altitude of only 10 meters would become problematic.
“Oh, it’s so fast! Imagine how long would this trip take for a carriage? Being able to move straight ahead without having to worry about obstacles is so pleasant!”
Prince Ernest had been very enthusiastic the entire trip.
On the other hand, Lyla Soreuse, who was joining Reiko in her hot-air balloon ride…
She had remained completely silent from the trip’s beginning all the way to its end.
“Oh, here they come, Your Majesty!”
“Already? That’s much faster than what we’ve anticipated!”
“Maybe the wind was very favorable?”
In Asunt Royal Castle, King Harold Ruan Hautecress-Egelia, Queen Catherine Leana Sfale, Chancellor Boyd Norse Galueri, and all military and civil officials had gathered to welcome the hot-air balloon.
“Oh… That’s amazing. Father seems to be in high spirits after seeing that you’re coming, Jin.”
Half shocked and half delighted, Prince Ernest made that remark as he watched over the situation from above.
On the other hand, Jin honestly wished to not be involved in such an exaggerated welcome ceremony, but there was no turning back now.
He had decided to put on the Honorary Magi Craftsman half-coat he had prepared in advance.
Then, exactly at noon, the hot-air balloons that Jin, Reiko, Prince Ernest, Lotte, and Lyla were riding landed on the outer shrine of Asunt Royal Castle.
“Welcome, Magi Craft Meister Sir Jin Nidou.”
The chancellor took a step forward and shook Jin’s hand.
“Ernest, I’m so glad to see you return safely to us.”
“Yes, Father. It’s nice to be back home.”
The prince also exchanged words with his father.
“This may be a bit abrupt, Sir Jin Nidou, but since I’ve brought all of the military and civil officials here with me, I would like to hold a formal investiture ceremony for you as Magi Craft Meister in this Egelia Kingdom.
The chancellor voiced his proposal. Of course, if Jin were to be hesitant about it, he could end up leaving and taking all of his officials with him, after having gone through the trouble to summon them there.
“Good. Well then…”
At the chancellor’s signal, a female knight with a long coat that seemed to have already been prepared approached. After taking a good look at her, she turned out to be Lyla’s sister, Airy Soreuse.
She had recently been promoted from the Royal Mage Knights Troop to Commander of the Royal Mage Knights’ Third Unit.
“This is the unique coat to be used by our country’s newest Magi Craft Meister. It also serves as proof of your status as Honorary Knight.”
Since both the Shouro Empire and the Klein Kingdom had made Jin a Honorary Knight in their own territories, the Egelia Kingdom decided to do the same.
The long coat that Airy helped Jin put on seemed to have been specifically and precisely tailored for his measures. It was white, with decorative antique gold trimmings.
“Sir Jin Nidou, praising the blessings you have brought to our country and commending your wisdom and skill, once again we bestow the titles of Magi Craft Meister and Honorary Knight to you.”
That had been the King’s entire speech.
It had been an exceptionally fast bestowing ceremony.
This was because Prince Ernest had recently mentioned via the Mana Phone that Jin would be displeased if the ceremony didn’t finish in a short time, considering his personality.
As a result, it had also been established that they would be holding the ceremony in a way that could be done and over with at a stroke, so as to not give Jin much of a chance to refuse.
Jin, who was not good at dealing with flashy stuff, was a little confused, but Reiko was happy to see that Jin was being given recognition, so she simply stared at him from beginning to end.
＊ ＊ ＊
After the ceremony was over, the officials left, and only King Harold, Prince Ernest, Chancellor Boyd, Minister of Magic Kerihidor, Minister of Defense Judre, Airy, Lyla, and a number of Royal Guards stayed behind.
“Jin… no, Sir Jin Nidou, have you already had lunch?”
“Yes, we had a portable meal while we were flying.”
“Father, eating while looking down on the world below is something extraordinary.”
“I-I see. Then, should we get down to business?”
Heeding the chancellor’s words, Jin started teaching them about hot-air balloons.
He talked about its structure, the function of each of its parts, and its operation method. These hot-air balloons’ air sacs were also made from Draconic Eel Leather from the Klein Kingdom. This was set in consideration of friendship and trade between the two countries.
Then, with Chancellor Boyd, Minister of Magic Kerihidor, Minister of Defense Judre, and Airi on board, the two balloons took once again to the skies.
King Harold seemed eager to ride as well, but remained silent.
“Oh my, this is so nice!”
“Definitely. When the Unifier used something like this to attack us from the sky, I couldn’t make heads nor tails of them. But now I can see these hot-air balloons’ superiority.”
“And you’ve said that these perform even better than the ones used by the Unifiers, Jin. We can’t thank you enough for this.”
The chancellor and the ministers of Magic and Defense gave their impressions. And as for Lyla’s sister, Airy…
…Her face was white as a sheet of paper. It seemed that, unlike her sister, she was afraid of heights.
＊ ＊ ＊
“Sir Jin Nidou, let me thank you again!”
After arriving at the office, the chancellor bowed to Jin. And when he raised his head, the mood had completely changed.
“Well then, we’d like to move on to the next topic.”
Needless to say, he was referring to the matter concerning the demons.
Jin then proceeded to repeat the explanation he had given in the Klein Kingdom.
“…Hmm, we don’t know what their goal is, but we can at least tell that they’re up to no good.”
“Fortunately, our country is quite far from demon territory. The risk of them attacking us here is low.”
The chancellor and the Minister of Magic voiced their thoughts. However, the Minister of Defense seemed dejected.
“No, according to Kerihidor and Sir Jin, the demons seem to have already reached the Celuroa Kingdom. If so, there’s a risk they will cross over the border and come to attack us.”
“Hmm, I see, Celuroa may come to attack under the demon’s influence…”
“Precisely. Perhaps it would be best to see it as if the threat of the Unifiers has been exchanged for the threat of the demons.”
“Good grief, we can’t even take a break, can we? Our coffers are taking quite a hit…”
Minister of Finance Blaurot’s worries leaked out of his mouth.
“Preparations for His Highness Prince Ernest’s betrothal are already in motion, so if the Klein Kingdom happens to enter a state of emergency, we’ll have to send soldiers to help.”
Various other similar comments started to emerge from those present.
Jin then offered his advice from a technical point of view.
“But that gravity magic is quite a nuisance.”
“Well, since it can’t be deployed in a very large range, I believe we can counter it by attacking the caster from all directions.”
“I see. Then…”
The anti-demon meeting went on until the late evening, when everyone, realizing that there was still much more to discuss about that topic, decided to continue on the following day.
“By the way, I wonder how Earl Kuzuma and Beana are doing…?”
Jin would be staying in Asunt overnight.
They had invited him to take the room for noble guests for the night, but he declined staying in such a breathtaking room, and instead asked to use the same lodging house he had once stayed in during the golem party.
“Umm, I hear we’ll be having a wedding soon?”
The maid Lyla came along soon enough.
Jin wondered if it was the same lodging house as the one he had stayed in before. It looked quite different.
“Oh, is that so?”
“Yes. The earl worked here until June, and it appears that Beana had been taking bridal lessons until that time.”
The gossip birds of the Royal Castle loved rumors, and it seemed that word of Earl Kuzuma’s upcoming marriage was already in everyone’s mouths.
(I might have to tell Reinhardt about this…)
Both Earl Kuzuma and Beana knew that there was a Warp Gate on the outskirts of Blue Land, so it wouldn’t be surprising for them if Jin were to use it to pay him a visit.
“Um, Lord Jin?”
“Ah, yeah. Sorry. I was a bit lost in thought. What is it?”
“Umm… I just wanted to thank you for allowing someone like me to ride on that hot-air balloon!”
Lyla bowed silently.
“Huh? Ah, don’t mention it. You’re Prince Ernest’s maid and guard, right? It was only natural. Sorry I had to put you on a different hot-air balloon than His Highness.”
“A-Ah, don’t worry about that. It was a first experience for me, and the view was so beautiful!”
“Haha, I’m glad you enjoyed it.”
Just when Jin was starting to enjoy a leisurely chat…
“Father, sorry to bother you, but…”
Reiko cut into the conversation.
“What is it?”
Sensing that it was something Reiko didn’t want Lyla to overhear, they headed for the bedroom.
“I’ve received notification that Satellite 001’s preparations have been completed.”
They had been speaking in whispers, so even if anyone had heard Jin’s exclamation, there was no way to know what they were talking about.
“I see… A new era seems to be about to begin. Okay, we’ll be going back tomorrow first thing in the morning!”
“Okay, I’ll get everything ready.”
“Ah, I’m looking forward to this.”
Jin’s imagination had already flown back all the way to Hourai Island.
That was precisely the true worth of the Magi Craft Meister, Jin, who will carve out a new future.
Jin was reminded of the feeling of short and calm days coming to an end, and that long, busy days would soon come once again.