Chapter 95 - State Guests of Elvenheim (1)
The magic kingdom, Meltor, had more magicians than any other country on the northern continent, and each magic tower acted as an axis. This magic system they had which integrated with science could be called the root of Meltor's prosperity. Compared to the combat focused aura, magic was an all-rounder versatility, allowing Meltor to rival the Andras Empire despite their scarcer land and resources.
However, there was one area which magicians avoided which was politics, where schemes and deceit abounded.
'I was called for a political reason.'
Theodore looked at himself in the mirror as he dressed in the now familiar robe.
Magicians were used to wearing robes on the outside, but the minor ornaments and complicated fabric didn't fit Theo's tastes. Did it have to take a few minutes to get dressed? If it wasn't because of etiquette, he would've just worn the robe over his casual clothes.
"Well, this is enough."
He tied the last knot and pulled the cord hanging from the ceiling.
Then an attendant entered the room like he had been waiting. His keen eyes examined Theo's clothing quickly. By default, an immature young man wouldn't know all of the court etiquette.
If Theo made a mistake, then the attendant wouldn't be able to avoid responsibility. Theo had refused his help and said he was going to dress by himself. However, the attendant could see that Theo's clothing was completely perfect.
"...Theodore, I will guide you to the audience room."
At first, the attendant was surprised, but he then remembered that the person in front of him was a noble and regained his composure. It was both true and false, but the man was able to keep calm by making his own excuses. The Miller family was now a great noble family.
Theodore didn't know about the assumptions the attendant was making and walked through the corridors of the palace he was now familiar with. It was the path he had walked when he had been called half a year ago, and he still remembered where the statues were located. Frankly, he could walk without the help of the guide. Apart from restricted areas, he could make a map of everything else. It was an ability separate from ordinary magicians.
"Oh, we've arrived."
They had arrived while he was pondering. The door, on which an eagle was engraved, was the area where the king presided. The eagle was a mark given only to some areas, including the audience room.
In contrast, the important areas of the magic towers were marked with animals known for their wisdom. Did the tower masters have a turtle or an owl? Theo would find out at a later date as the door was currently opening.
It wasn't a very loud sound. Maybe it was because it was well greased, but the noise was soft for such a heavy door. Still, the heavy silence inside the room made it seem like a loud sound, and all eyes focused on the one who opened the door-Theo.
Theodore stiffened as he faced dozen of eyes.
'What, why is the mood like this today?'
Theo had certainly become a celebrity in his own way, but he wasn't special when compared to some of those gathered here. It was a place where the real power of Meltor had convened. Anyone he picked out would be a high ranking noble or court official.
Theo was interesting, but they weren't the type of people who would be interested in him. Yet the weight of their gazes were now different from usual. It was beyond the level for the court ball or duel.
His questions increased at the following words.
"Theodore, you will be sitting here today."
"...A senior seat?"
"Yes, I was ordered to seat you here."
Theo looked around with confusion. He was forced to do so while most of the lords were sitting in lower seats. Theodore couldn't see any viscounts, and there were only a few marquis where he was sitting. Even a magician had to be at least an elder to sit here.
It was unprecedented for Theodore to be sitting in such a high ranking seat. So, it wouldn't be unusual for him to receive resentment from the people sitting in the lower seats. However, none of them protested Theo's position.
This was his first experience sitting in such a luxurious seat. The silk material of the chair wasn't much different from the others, but the air felt different.
At that time, someone placed a hot arm around his neck. "Hi Kid. Have you been well in the meantime?"
His skin tingled. There was only one person who drove mana so crazy.
The red hair of the Red Tower Master, Veronica, tickled Theo's ears. It was a voice he hadn't heard in a month due to dedicating himself to the special training. He moved back reflexively, and Veronica laughed.
"Come on, is this your first time sitting in a senior seat?"
It still wasn't a good enough distance for his heart. Theo spoke to her as he tried to calm down, "It has been a long time... but Tower Master?"
"Do you know why I was placed in a senior seat? I don't know why since this is my first time."
Veronica's eyes widened at his words, then she nodded like she understood. "Aha, you came without knowing anything? Indeed, it isn't a matter that would be passed on. It seems like the others used their methods to know in advance."
She looked around as she spoke and coughed when she saw the pressure from the eyes of some people. It was because Veronica had pierced right through them. That was indeed the reason why the nobles silently accepted Theodore's seat.
Veronica looked at them like they were pathetic and said, "Obviously, your position isn't high enough to sit here yet. I think it will be soon, but at the moment, it isn't the case. However, today you are the most eligible person to sit here."
"Yes. They didn't come for Meltor; they came to see Theodore Miller."
Before he could realize the significance of those words, the royal knight near the throne raised his voice, "His Majesty―! The king is coming―!"
Simultaneously, dozens of people got up from their seats. They bowed as Kurt III appeared from beyond the curtain. As always, Kurt III omitted the formal procedures and sat down on the throne. He waited until everyone was seated before talking.
"First, I want to thank everyone for coming at the sudden call. This situation is unexpected, but I want you to know that it is an important turning point for this country. Perhaps there are people who have already heard the story and some who haven't. So, I will summarize it simply."
He turned toward the upper seats. To be exact, he turned toward Theodore.
"An envoy from Elvenheim has arrived. For the first time in history, it is for the purpose of friendship instead of trade. After this moment, we will be meeting the envoy."
When the explanation ended, the noise in the room gradually rose as people talked excitedly.
The country of elves, Elvenheim, wasn't completely cut off from the outside. The elves maintained a moderate mutually beneficial relationship with the human species on the continent, but the humans didn't have a friendship with the elves.
The specialties of Elvenheim were so great that they couldn't be produced anywhere else, and the elves accepted the rapidly developing human civilization. However, friendship had always been rejected.
"If this is true, the climate in the north will change!"
"I didn't think that Elvenheim would come out with this..."
Elvenheim didn't ally themselves with any country, nor did they become enemies with them. They stayed neutral and just watched the wars or alliances of other countries. The Great Forest at their borders made it possible for them to exist as a third power.
Andras or Meltor could advance into Elvenheim, but they couldn't afford to risk crossing their border with enemies on the other side. However, that balance was now going to collapse.
Once the people settled down, Kurt III clapped several times and looked toward the entrance of the hall.
Everyone remained silent. This was the moment when Elvenheim's envoy, the person who could change this era, would be revealed. They couldn't help being tense. Someone pushed up their glasses while another person tightened their tie. Even Theodore couldn't help gulping due to the tension which had spread in the room.
A few minutes or maybe a few seconds of silence followed. Finally, the envoy from Elvenheim appeared.
"Is that the envoy...?"
Blonde hair which was close to silver flowed down the envoy's shoulders, while their nose and eyes were as perfect as a statue. The person matched the nickname elves had for being a species of beauty. Their skin was transparent, and their clothing and armour were made of unknown metal and cloth. All eyes were taken by the shining appearance, but Theo admired the person in another way.
It was because he could see the elementals dancing around the elf.
"23? No, more than that..."
"The kid noticed as well."
Veronica showed interest in Theo's soft muttering as she looked at the elf with narrowed eyes.
"A Spiritual Sentinel, the guardians of spirits? The cowards in the forest sent quite a big shot."
"Sentinel? What is that."
"It is a title used among the elves. Elite elementalists who can handle senior elementals and the highest ranked elven warriors are called by that title. In other words, a master."
Veronica's voice was calm, but the contents of what she said shocked Theodore.
The Spiritual Sentinel was a presence which was equivalent to a sword master or a 7th Circle magician! If Veronica was correct, it made sense that the envoy came alone. A master was enough to represent the country.
The envoy stood in place and bowed respectfully. "I recognize the owner of Meltor, the magic kingdom. Edwin, the son of the third Beech Clan in Elvenheim greets you. Forgive me for any rude manners."
"We don't know the courtesies of the forest either. Edwin, I sincerely welcome you to Meltor."
It was a gracious greeting, unlike with the Andras Empire. The envoy introduced himself as Edwin without losing any grace, while Kurt III showed his dignity as the king, but he never pressed the other person.
Edwin ceremonially gave a tribute, and Kurt III accepted the tribute. Thus, the basic greetings were completed.
As the atmosphere turned toward a conversation, Kurt III carefully sent out feelers. "Elvenheim is our neighbour, but it is still a distant land. You don't intend to get close to humans for purposes other than trade, and I think we have respected that."
"Yes, Your Majesty's words are correct."
"So, I have to wonder. For what reason did my neighbour come such a long way?"
Edwin raised his head like he had been waiting for those words.
There was no need to look in separate directions. The elementals around Theo let out a scent. It was a fragrance which all elves could smell, irrespective of their power.
Edwin looked at 'him' and opened his mouth to say, "Then I will tell you. I have come here to pay back the person who saved the clan's sixth dancer, Ellenoa, and to invite him and his companions to become state guests of the Elvenheim kingdom!"