“What is it?”
“There’s nothing more to offer.”
Actually, it wasn’t like there was nothing. Because Haband had quite a lot of secretly hidden grain and resources. But it wasn’t small enough to quickly bring it to Haband and wasn’t something to be called precious.
Erna thought about the jewels left in the Grand Castle for a moment. The two countries had looted for a long time and were wary of each other, but there were famous jewels, which could be called the pride of Hessenguard, and since they couldn’t be reached easily, there were more jewels left in Hessenguard than people thought.
But that isn’t something I can use.
All ownership also rests with Kalion. On top of that, Erna had never laid a hand on Hessenguard’s things.
They were all treasures of Hessenguard with long histories and many stories. It was impossible to immediately send it to Haband to deal with this situation.
“I have many memories of my father, but he always wore a ring on each of his ten fingers as there is a custom that the Haband royal family likes to get dressed up. If you’re going to give it to those people, it shouldn’t be a big deal.”
Kalion, who heard that, blinked and said, “Why don’t you?”
“Why don’t I what?”
“You said that the Haband royal family likes to dress up. I don’t think I’ve seen you dress up once.”
Erna froze at Kalion’s question. No, now wasn’t the time to worry about such a thing.
“Have I ever done something to impress someone? On top of that, performing magic while being all dressed up is a pain. Wait, that’s not the important thing. I have no intention of laying a hand on those Hessenguard jewels. So there’s nothing to offer.”
Kalion suddenly stood up at her words. Then he walked back to his room.
What made him act that way? Erna wondered. His abrupt behavior only made her stare at him from behind as he left. Kalion, who returned to the couple’s bedroom a little while later, threw something at Erna from his hand.
“What? What is th… Ah!”
Staring down at the thing that had fallen onto the bed, Erna covered her mouth to suppress a shriek. A Piece of the Sea was rolling around randomly on the sheet– Erna had already seen one or two jewels like that from Hessenguard. She picked it up with trembling hands and brought it closer to her face. That’s when she squeezed and shook it. Her eyes grew wider after seeing the liquid jewel inside slosh around like water, then she mumbled, “My goodness. It’s real… Where did you get this from?!”
Even worse, the thing Kalion had thrown at her was bigger and more transparent than the ones from Hessenguard. Which meant it was much more precious.
“From an ancient ruin.”
“No way. No ancient ruin has appeared late—” Erna stopped in the middle of her sentence. Then she squinted her eyes and glared at him. “You… hid them?”
“How could I hide them? I just didn’t tell you.”
He had clearly gone to an ancient ruin with his team of knights. How well had he kept his lips so sealed that even Erna hadn’t heard a word of it?
“Where!? If it’s a site where you can find a Piece of the Sea…!”
“Don’t you also know the features of an ancient ruin? At a determined time, the door disappears and the entrance reappears in a new place. At the ancient ruin we found, the entrance was gradually getting smaller because it was almost time for it to disappear. So we weren’t able to look around that much. Now it’s completely gone.”
Erna let out a sigh of pity at Kalion’s explanation. She then gathered her wits and said to him as she held up the Piece of the Sea, “I’ll hear the important parts later; for now tell me why you’re giving it to me?”
More than the fact that he’d hidden it, she couldn’t understand why he was giving such a precious thing to her. Kalion hesitated before saying to her,
“…What happened today was my mistake. So I should be responsible for the tribute to be sent to Haband. And…” Kalion, pausing to look her up and down, continued, “…if you need more just say it.”
At those words, Erna said without hesitating, “Give me all you have.”
Erna, who thought about what had happened this morning, stared at the Piece of the Sea held in her hand.
“I guess I really am crazy.”
Could the poison of magic make a person go around so positively? Still, when Erna said to give her all of it, Kalion sighed and held out his hand.
Erna put the jewel into her pocket as she remembered Kalion’s hands mercilessly pressing down and kneading her body. It seemed like a good idea to demand more jewels from him.
Then she remembered the marquis, who was the beginning of the problem.
If so, it would be best to move faster than the marquess. Erna giggled as she stood up from the sofa and walked over to the desk and sat. The moment she was about to take out the high-quality paper she normally used when sending a letter to Haband, there was a knock at the door followed by Orpé’s voice.
“Ma’am! Princess Erna! Marquis Canavan has disappeared!”