Overlord Light Novel Volume 12 Chapter 3 Part 9
Overlord Light Novel Volume 12 Chapter 3 Part 9
Beginning the Counterattack
The carriage was shaking.
This carriage was the property of the Sorcerer King, and in contrast to its plain appearance on the outside, its interior was classy and refined, and it was very functional to boot. Neia was particularly grateful for the cushions that did not hurt her butt no matter how long she sat on them.
Neia peeked at the Sorcerer King, who was seated opposite her and gazing outside.
He might be a fearsome undead king, but there was none of the oppressive majesty he had shown when he had met them in the audience chamber.
This was probably because she had spent more time in conversation with the Sorcerer King during their journey.
During all this, one thing which Neia had learned was that the Sorcerer King was extremely magnanimous..
It was true that the Sorcerer King acted with the dignity of a sovereign, his every action reflecting his quality as a monarch.
However, when Neia sat in a carriage with him, from time to time he would act no different from an ordinary person. In addition, these occurrences had been getting more and more common recently.
In all likelihood, the Sorcerer King had considered that Neia would be nervous around him, and in his generosity, he had chosen to act more like a commoner. The reason why such incidents were becoming more and more frequent were surely because his skills were improving.
The reason why he did not act that way around the others was probably because they were still playing the role of paladins.
To think he would treat another country’s citizens this way… what a compassionate lord…
Was he looking at the paladins riding alongside the carriage? Or perhaps — perhaps he saw something further away, something different from Neia–
“Umu? Is there something interesting on my face?’
“Eh! –No, my apologies, Your Majesty! There’s nothing on your face…”
It would seem she had been staring too intensely at the Sorcerer King. Puzzled, the Sorcerer King touched his face with those bony hands of his.
“I suppose it must be quite awkward to sit in a carriage and not say anything. Yes, in that case, let’s talk.”
Although she had gotten slightly used to it, speaking to the Sorcerer King always made her stomach ache.
“We are not entirely familiar with each other, so I suppose we can do away with personal or private questions, but we have shared the same carriage for several days now. I suppose we can be honest with each other now. Neia Baraja. Can you tell me about yourself?”
Even talking about herself was too vague a topic. She had no idea what she could say to please the Sorcerer King.
“Yes, indeed. For instance, why you wanted to become a squire. What sort of work a squire does. Could you tell me about that?”
“If it pleases you, Your Majesty.”
After lowering her head, Neia began talking about what she had been asked for, but it was hardly an exciting topic. Talking about family and the work of a squire was not particularly interesting.
Besides, I was told not to reveal anything to the Sorcerer King about matters within the country but this much ought to do.
Rather, if she had to cover up even those details, then there would really be nothing to talk about.
Soon, the drab exposition with no structure ended, and the Sorcerer King nodded deeply.
“I see, I see. So you’re an archer, a rarity among squires, Baraja-san.”
“My skills aren’t good enough for me to proudly call myself an archer, Your Majesty. I am simply better at archery than swordsmanship, and the truth is that people have scolded me and told me I ought to focus more on training up my sword skills.
To Neia, an archer was someone like her great father, and she was little more talented than a commoner.
“…No, I should say that a paladin candidate who has an affinity for ranged weapons is quite a rare thing. If it were me, I would advise you to hone your bow technique. Since there are others better suited to swordplay, then you should let those people handle swordsmanship.”
“–Thank you very much.”
The Sorcerer King’s words were sincere, and it made Neia think that he was earnestly thinking, what an odd combination; she must be travelling a path towards a rare vocation. However, she had no idea what to make of what the Sorcerer King said next, and his meaningful, self-directed muttering bothered Neia.
“I feel embarrassed about dumping the work of minding me onto you. Nor is it just you; the same goes for the rest of you paladins. The best way to make use of your skills would be to place you outside.”
His gentle words made Neia stare at him.
This was why talking to this king was so bad for her heart.
Not only did he stand at the peak of his country, he was also an individual of overwhelming might. Yet he had not chosen to talk down to her from above, but he had lowered himself until he was at eye level with her before engaging her in a conversation.
No! I can’t accept his Majesty’s kindness so easily! Neia! If you don’t lower yourself a little more–
Neia pulled herself together.
“Everyone knows I have been designated as Your Majesty’s squire, so please do not take it to heart. In addition, there is no job more important than serving as Your Majesty’s squire.”
“Really now… Still, I would like to offer you some form of recompense.”
In the past, the Sorcerer King had brought up the topic of payment, and back then she had refused it in a roundabout way. But it would seem he was bringing up the past again. Neia immediately began to think about how to reject his offer politely, but the Sorcerer King was not finished yet.
“That said, it might not be good to receive a gift from the king of another country. So at the very least, allow me to verbally express my thanks. I believe I have inconvenienced you in many ways, and I hope I will continue to be in your care.”
And then, the Sorcerer King bowed to her.
A king was actually bowing to someone like herself, who was nothing more than a squire.
It was only natural for a king to carry the weight of his nation upon his shoulders. Slighting a king would be the same as slighting the entire country. The idea that a country lived through its king was a very common situation.
In other words, the fact that a king was bowing was the same as a nation bowing. Naturally, it was not an unthinkable thing when it came to someone of high station.
However, Neia was little more than a citizen of another country, and frankly speaking, there was no need for him to apologize to someone of Neia’s stature.
I can’t believe it. The Sorcerer King is wise and sagacious, and surely he must know the meaning of bowing. Even so, he still bowed to me like an ordinary person– No. Don’t get full of yourself. I’ can’t possibly be that valuable. This simply shows how magnanimous the Sorcerer King is; he even treats a commoner politely. –Ah! He mustn’t!
“Please do not do that! Your Majesty! Please raise your head!”
Yes., That was what she should have first said.
The Sorcerer King looked up, and Neia sighed quietly. Frankly speaking, if someone else had seen what had happened just now, something terrible would have happened.
Neia took a knee within the cramped confines of the carriage’s floor.
“Your servant is of humble origins, but I swear that until Your Majesty’s work is complete, I will loyally and faithfully serve you.”
Neia responded appropriately to a king who had shown her his respect.
She ignored the voice in her head which said that he was not the king of the Holy Kingdom, and bowed.
“No, no. Raise your head… look, could you take a seat and continue your previous topic? We haven’t reached our destination yet, have we?”
“No, not yet.”
She sat back onto the cushion, and looked outside.
“Yesterday, we passed safely through the ruins of the wall by the grace of Your Majesty’s power. We have chosen a route that will make us harder to discover, so it may take a little more time, but I believe we will reach our base tomorrow, or the day after.”
Although, said base was just a cave.
“Is that so. Even then, we still have some time, do we not? Tell me about the topic from just now. Also, I have not yet heard why you have your sights set on becoming a paladin. Surely there must be a path you can take, given your talent for the bow? Why aim to be a paladin? In order to enforce justice? Or perhaps to be the pride of your nation?”
“No–” When she narrowed her eyes, what came to mind was her personal experiences. “–My mother was a paladin.”
She was a paladin who was skilled with the sword, completely unlike Neia.”
“I see, so you were trained by your mother or you admired her, hm.”
“Ah, no. My mother often said I shouldn’t be aiming to be a paladin. And my mother couldn’t do the work of her mother, and while she could do the laundry and sew, she was completely inept at cooking and that sort of thing. She did everything sloppily, the roast meat was always undercooked, that sort of thing was common.”
Therefore, it was only natural that her father had been the one who cooked in their household. When she was young, she even thought that it was true for all families.
“…Is that so. Well, she still didn’t stop her daughter from becoming a paladin, so I guess she was still a good mother.”
“Ah, no. When I told my mother I wanted to be a squire, she went and took out her sword and said, ‘I’ll let you if you can defeat me!’ and so on. The only reason why I was allowed to become one was because my dad desperately blocked for me. If I had fought her normally I could never have beaten her.”
That was the first time she had understood the meaning of killing intent.
“…Ahhhh, mm, good, good, how shall I say this… it was a good family… mm.”
“Yes. While the neighbors often looked strangely at us, I thought it was a good family.”
“…Really, how nice… th-then, why, why become a paladin? Did you not think to follow your father’s path– Umu. Was your father a househusband?”
“No, my father was also a soldier who served his country. However, I never really thought of following in my father’s footsteps… why was that. Maybe it’s because dad gave me these fierce-looking eyes, so I sort of ended up resenting him for it…”
Neia pressed her index fingers to the corners of her eyes and tugged them around in circles.
When she was young, her friends often said, “Why are you staring at me”, “Are you angry with me?” and the like , and she had often complained to her father for it. After that, when her mother had heard her say that, she had beaten Neia for it.
Thinking of them was quite nostalgic, Neia said.
“But perhaps after becoming a squire, my vision became broader. At some point, I started to think that this was a gift from my father. Well, I could do without the fierce glare, though.”
“How are your parents now?”
“My father fought Jaldabaoth’s army at the wall and died. I lost contact with my mom, and I don’t know what happened with her, but I think she must have died during the defense of the city. After all, they were the kind of people who would have struggled to the bitter end.”
“It seems I have inquired about a painful topic.”
The Sorcerer King bowed to her once more. Since this was the second time, the impact was not so great. However, it was enough to make Neia feel anxious.
“Please, please raise your head! How could you bow to someone like me!?”
“I thoughtlessly inquired about your dead kin. Although I did not know beforehand, now that I know the facts, an apology is still in order..”
The Sorcerer King tilted his head in bafflement after he raised it.
No, that’s not right, that’s how it should be between equals. A king is not the equal of a citizen from another country. Moreover, we’re the ones requesting his help…
“Erm– well, such exceptions are everywhere. Er, if someone sees Your Majesty bowing to me — ah — they might look down on Your Majesty, because I’m just a squire, after all.”
“…Umu, really now, you do have a point. That’s how kings are.”
How difficult these things are, the Sorcerer King muttered.
He must have meant that it was difficult to mix with people from other nations even if he wanted to show his sincerity, probably.
C3 is going to be around 160 pages long so I’m going to split it into 80/80ish halves