Chapter 192. Currency Reform (9)

The Eastern Station, located in the eastern part of the capital, had no passengers or even station staff waiting for the train as usual. As if to replace the station staff, the Black Water Buffalo Knights stood side by side with weapons.

"Is that legendary person finally coming?” Molk asked.

The vice-captain of the Black Water Buffalo Knights shrugged and joked, "Well, first of all, the captain’s letter says there’s no way that person would come, but to be honest, it’s hard to trust him on things other than fighting."

"Yes, it seems like he has a little bit of mythomania to say that he’s the Crow Tribe’s best painter with that skill."

"That’s right. My daughter would draw better than that."

When the members of the Black Water Buffalo Knights were chuckling and chatting, the broadcast blared.

- A train is now entering the Eastern Station. Guests, please take a step back for your safety.

There was no station staff, but the pre-recorded announcement rang inside the train station, and the Black Water Buffalo Knights waited for the train to come in with stiff faces.

From a distance, the train slowed down gradually and stopped completely at the Eastern Station.

- When the train door opens, please allow the passengers inside to leave before boarding.

Again, the pre-recorded announcement rang out and the train door opened.

The Black Water Buffalo Knights finally felt a chill at the thought of welcoming Doomstone, the chief of the Crow Tribe, who had a legend that he had destroyed a country by himself.

It was a dog's head that appeared from the train despite the anticipation of the tension-filled knights.

"Oh, that dog. Isn't its head a little high?”

"It's not just a little bit?”

"It must be a person holding it up."

As the Black Water Buffalo Knights made a small noise, the vice-captain glared and brought his index finger to his mouth. "Shh!"

The knights stood on edge again at the vice-captain’s warning.

Then, the dog, whose head was only visible, began to move to the entrance of the train and then came out.

When he saw the dog come out from the train, the vice-captain shouted.

"All ready for battle!”

What came out of the train was the three-headed beast of hell, Cerberus. When the knights pulled their swords out in unison, Cerberus attacked the knights.

"Blackie, stop!"

With the voice of a woman coming from the train, Cerberus immediately turned around and approached the train.

"Our Blackie almost caused an accident. I'm sorry about that."

The Black Buffalo Knights put the sword back into the sword sheath with the appearance of strong-looking black-haired men and the beautiful woman with the side braids.

"No, it’s ok."

"When he sees a sword, he thinks you want to play and will charge. Ttak! Blackie, you're not supposed to jump at anyone except for those from our village."

"Kkiing~"  When Cerberus was smacked on the head, he became dispirited and whined.

The knights couldn't shut their mouths at the sight of cognitive dissonance. It was unimaginable to treat the most dangerous monster among the beasts like a pet dog.

Cerberus was a monster where victory could not be determined even if five knights who could wield an aura blade attacked it immediately.

"My introduction is belated. My name is Hestia Blade, acting as the deputy chief of the Crow Tribe."

The vice-captain, who was fascinated by Hestia's introduction, came to his senses and saluted as the leader.

"We are the Black Water Buffalo Knights under General Bloody."

"Oh! I heard a lot from my uncle. It must be hard on you because of my dumb uncle."

"No, rather we are the ones inconveniencing Bloody-nim. But—"

Hestia smiled embarrassingly as the vice-captain looked at Cerberus.

"That, I was going to leave Blackie behind, but he's still a puppy, so he won't leave my side.”

"… You mean a puppy?"

He couldn't believe that a dog so big that it was two meters long from the legs to the head was still only a puppy.

"Yes, I heard that the Dragon Tribe was bringing dragons, so I thought it would be okay and brought him, but it's okay, right?"

"Probably, yes. It will probably be all right. You can hide it in the carriage.”

Fortunately, the carriage was spacious even with Cerberus on board. But that was also a story for when Cerberus did not make a disturbance.

Hestia smiled lightly after reading the vice-captain’s expression.

"You don't have to worry about Blackie because he’s calm. He stayed calm the whole time in a small carriage when I went to Asterium.”

"Then that is a relief. We have arranged the carriage according to the number of people, so let us go."

Under the guidance of the Black Water Buffalo Knights, Hestia and the Crows were led secretly to the carriage.

-o-

"Hmm, let's play another round." 

The Duke of Asteria frowned as he looked at the nine-battlefield chessboard. Although the king had not been captured yet, it was essentially at the point right before having to surrender.

"I am happy to play more, but it is time for us to slowly head over to the palace," I pointed out.

The duke looked at the clock. "It's already this time. Time always flies when you get older.”

"Then I'll clean up."

When I cleared the chess pieces and the board, the duke licked his lips.

"Do you know the term hospitality chess?"

"I know."

The duke grumbled at my answer. "Then how could you not lose a game? I'm a duke you know."

I replied with a smile at his grumbling, "A champion isn’t supposed to lose."

The duke smiled and downed his tea. "Ahahaha, you say you’re a champion?"

I smiled embarrassingly at the question. "Haha, actually I'm more of a challenger than a champion."

"Challenger?" The duke looked at me curiously.

"Yes, one of my sisters is good at nine-battlefield chess, and my record with her is 52 to 48."

"That’s impressive that she’s better at chess than you are. I'd like to meet your sibling once. Are they perhaps in the capital?"

"No, she is in my hometown."

It would be horrible if my big sister were in the capital. To be honest, if the father was the number one person who I didn't want to meet from the people in my hometown, the second was my big sister.

My big sister is a genius who can deduce at a glance how I had lived as soon as she meets me.

"Is that so? What kind of person is she?"

The Duke of Asteria seemed to find it interesting, and put down the cup of tea and asked about my big sister.

"My sister has a sickly constitution and so she was the only one who was excluded from my father’s training and only read books."

Honestly, I was jealous. While I was being overworked, my big sister ate snacks and looked at me happily, suffering like a dog. That gaze really resembled the devil.

"Then did you say you were from a knight's family?”

The setting of the knight's family was something made by my aunt herself. In fact, I heard that she made her subordinates infiltrate and manipulate Warrant's document book. It was impossible to forge the magic of ID cards, but it was easy to disguise other documents.

"Yes, during the time of my great-grandfather, we were knighted and we are just maintaining the status of nobility."

Starting from First Class Knights, one was able to pass on the title of noble to one child. Therefore, I was a noble with my fake ID, but if I had a child, my child would not be a noble.

“If it was the time of your great-grandfather, it must have been during the time of the advent of the Demon King. To be knighted while fighting against the Demon King’s army, your great-grandfather must have been a hero.”

In fact, my great-grandfather was the one who got the Demon King’s head.

"Yes, that's right. He was a hero."

To be exact, he was a champion more than a hero. [1] Being a hero gives me goosebumps. It was all the more terrible because I felt the Holy Sword hidden inside my suit.

I don't know why I should be called a hero when my aunt has the sword that cut down the Demon King. And even more so as a heroine.

"Come on, let's go to the palace now."

When the Duke of Asteria got up from his seat, I also followed suit and grabbed my bag.

-o-

The carriage that the duke and I rode passed the outer castle of the imperial palace and reached the checkpoint.

"It has been a long time, Your Highness, the Duke.” The Duke of Asteria smiled lightly at a middle-aged man greeting him.

"Long time no see Central Ceremony Department Head. How have you been?"

It seems at the level of a duke, even checkpoints were manned by minister-level personnel for him.

"Haha, thanks to you, I have been well. You brought a different friend this time.”

The ceremony department head looked at me as I sat next to the duke and smiled.

"Glont begged me to take another person with me. That's why I brought a new recruit.”

The ceremony department head clapped his hands as if he had figured out the circumstances.

"Aha, I see. Roseland must have already climbed up to the fourth rank of prestige. You know, there were a lot of departments that were eyeing him, so probably got promoted easily.”

Considering that most civil servants fail to become first-rank before retirement age, one could see how competent Roseland was.

The Duke of Asteria grinned as the ceremony department head nodded. “This one is very capable too. Glont, he's got quite good people."

"Hahaha, I see. He's definitely a guaranteed talent, as His Excellency, the Prime Minister, and General Glont fought to get him."

Wait! I think I heard something very bad.

Who and who fought over me? The prime minister and the Guild Director Glont?

Wow, so I almost ended up at the treasury? I almost went into the night overtime hell I made. I’ll have to say thank you when I meet Guild Director Glont later.

"But I heard you’ve been glaring at Glont because I’m not bringing around a civil servant from the Central Ceremony Department?"

The Central Ceremony Department head waved at the Duke of Asteria's playful chatter. "Aigoo! How could I dare to glare at General Glont? The general's influence is enormous not only within the imperial army but also within each department."

"So he lied to me?"

When the duke suddenly asked with a serious face, the ceremony department head didn’t know what to do and became flustered.

"Oh, no, it's not...”

If the ceremony department head had been glaring at Guild Director Glont, it meant that the ceremony department head was dissatisfied with the duke, and on the contrary, if he did not glare, then Guild Director Glont had lied to the duke. Either of the two could become his enemies if the ceremony department head did not respond well regardless of which side he chose.

With just a brief conversation, he was good at driving his opponent to the wall.

"Ahahaha, I'm kidding. I know you're weak-minded, it seems I made unnecessary jokes.”

"Ahaha…Yes....”

Despite the reassurance, I bet anyone who rose to that level wouldn’t be weak-minded. Rather than the ceremony department head being weak-minded, it was better to say that the duke's tongue was sharp. It was only a short time, but the face of the ceremony department head, who forced himself to smile, seemed to have aged.

"Now, run to Arthemius and let him know that the old tiger's teeth haven't been pulled out yet. That's why you were waiting for me at the checkpoint, isn’t it?"

At the Duke of Asteria's words, the ceremony department head’s forced smile turned into a stiff expression.

The Arthemius that the duke referred to was the last name of Prime Minister Arcanta. In a word, the prime minister was looking at whether the old duke was still alive and healthy or not.

"Well, then we’ll head in. See you later.”

With the duke’s order, the horseman started driving and we headed towards the palace without having my luggage checked. The horse and carriage could not enter the inner palace, so the two of us stepped out of the carriage and walked inside.

"How would you have answered if you were the ceremony department head just now?"

I replied with a light smile when the Duke of Asteria asked suddenly.


1. The difference here is not clear. The raw word for both means hero, so I chose to use champion and hero.

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