(Download the updated version in PDF/epub format here.)
Back to the Allison series with Lillia and Treize! This is the sequel of Allison, taking place about 17 years after the original series. It's highly recommended that you read the Allison books beforehand, as this book spoils nearly everything from the previous series.
It didn't occur to me when I was working on Allison, but a note for those who've only watched the Allison and Lillia anime: The novels involve graphic violence. If you're not comfortable with gory imagery and description, you may want to avoid the books.
For Allison readers: this update is composed of the two 'Before the Prologue' sections of Allison III, put together for your reading convenience. The only new stuff here is the character introductions at the beginning of the book.
(I've resumed updating the Database.)
Lillia Schultz: 15 years old. A third-year secondary school student who lives in the Capital District of the Roxcheanuk Confederation. Her mother is Allison, and her father is the late Wilhelm Schultz. Lillia’s specialties are Bezelese and piloting. Her full name is extremely long.
Treize: 16 years old. He is the son of Queen Francesca and Sir Benedict. Although Treize was supposed to be a prince of Iks, certain circumstances prevented him from claiming royal blood. He and his twin sister Meriel are constantly arguing over who is the older one. Treize and Lillia are childhood friends, though she doesn’t know his true identity.
Allison Schultz: 35 years old. She is a captain in the Roxcheanuk Confederation Air Force. Allison currently works as a test pilot, and lives with her daughter Lillia in an apartment in the Capital District. She is still a heavy sleeper.
Major Travas: 35 years old. He is part of the Royal Army of the Allied Kingdoms of Bezel-Iltoa. He is a military attaché who works in the embassy, and is part of the intelligence agency—in other words, he is a spy. Major Travas is currently Allison’s boyfriend, but in reality—
My name is Lillia Schultz. Lillia is my given name, and Schultz is my family name.
Everyone calls me ‘Lillia’, but my full name is ‘Lillianne Aikashia Corazòn Whittington Schultz’. It’s ridiculously long. That’s why I only end up using the whole thing once a year or so. In Roxche—the Roxcheanuk Confederation—not many people have middle names, so everyone who hears my full name asks me what it all means.
I always explain that it comes from an old custom in the West—the Allied Kingdoms of Bezel-Iltoa—where you put the names of both parents and your grandparents into your name. People either get it or look surprised. Some people are astonished.
I was born and raised in the Special Capital District(Capital District for short).
I’ve lived in the same apartment building and room since I was born. Our place is at the very top floor of a cluster of five-story apartments filling the Capital District’s residential district.
Until the Historic Architecture Protection Law was amended and elevators were installed in even the oldest apartment buildings, apartment buildings were extremely cheap because climbing the stairs was such a hassle. That was why they were so popular with young people.
“That’s why we rented this place. We’re still crashing here because moving is such a hassle.”
That was what Mom said. She’s asleep right now. That crash just now was the sound of Mom chucking the poor, hardworking alarm clock against the wall.
So, as usual, I decided to go wake her myself.
I turned off the electric toaster, put breakfast on our plates, and left the kitchen. The bricks lining the hall were chipped everywhere, showing signs of age. I went into Mom’s room. I didn’t get permission to enter. I couldn’t get it even if I wanted to, since she was still asleep.
The room faced east, and the window was installed with thin curtains on purpose. The morning sun was bright. But Mom was lying face-down on her bed, still in her pajamas. She was sleeping with her golden hair covering her face. As usual, her blanket was crumpled on the floor and her pillow was on top of her feet. If she weren’t sleeping in a double bed, she would have fallen by now. Her right arm, in fact, was already dangling off the side of the mattress.
First, I picked up the poor, abused alarm clock from by the door and put it back on the shelf. It was the latest model—the hands and batteries were impact-resistant—and expensive to boot. But it was lasting a surprisingly long time for a clock in Mom’s room. It really is a miracle.
“It’s morning, Mom. Wake up.” I tried saying, glancing at the clock on the wall. If Mom woke up just like that, it would rain cats and dogs and hell would freeze over. And I’d stay bundled up inside.
As usual, there was no response. I went around the bed and up to Mom’s shoulder. Her left side, today.
Squatting by the bed, I grabbed Mom’s shoulders as she lay facedown.
“Wake up!” I shouted, shaking her hard enough to pull off her shoulders. I showed her no mercy.
The bed shook and squeaked irritatingly.
“It’s! Morning! Mom! Wake! Up! Wake! Up! Now!” I yelled.
About nineteen seconds of shaking later.
A reaction. Mom is still alive today. I stopped shaking her.
With a groan, Mom slowly raised her head. She stared at me—I was still holding her shoulders—through her messy hair. Her clear blue eyes were still half-covered by her eyelids.
“Who’re you?” She asked. Still not awake.
I came up with an answer. Take this.
“This is the Confederation Police Force. You’re under arrest for using an Air Force aeroplane without permission to teach your daughter to fly, using two hundred liters of gasoline without permission, and falsifying a ground run of an engine test to justify the use of gasoline. What do you have to say to that?”
“C’mon, Officer. It’s all for the noble goal of raising the next generation of pilots.” Mom slurred, still half-asleep. “As long as no one finds out. Right, Officer?”
If I were a cop, I would have arrested her on the spot. If a cop’s come to see you, he obviously knows about your rampant personal use of military assets.
I gave up. Mom buried her face in the mattress and began snoozing away again in the same pose as before. Because she had shifted slightly, she was now lying very close to the edge of the bed.
That was it. The switch was pressed.
I got up and waited for the engine in Mom’s head to warm up. And I aimlessly looked around her room.
There was no dust on the floor; I cleaned the room yesterday. There wasn’t a single fallen leaf by the flowerpot. The big dresser caught my eye. Mom’d been talking about moving it to the north-side wall for days, but she still hadn’t done it. On the clothes hanger by the dresser was the boring dark-red uniform of the Roxcheanuk Confederation Air Force, top and bottom side-by-side. She must have gotten them ready last night. Women could wear pants or a skirt; today, she was going to wear a skirt.
On the collar of her top was a badge of rank with three stripes—three stripes for the rank of captain. Over the left breast was a square, multicolored embroidered patch. Over the right breast was embroidered her name. Of course, it read ‘Schultz’.
On the oaken desk was a small electric lamp and an oak bookshelf. There were difficult flight theory books, and a thick book of fairy tales from the West that I’d never seen her read.
And a picture frame.
It was a pretty silver frame. There was a color photograph inside, slightly yellowed with age.
There are two people in the picture. They were shot from the knees-up, but the angle is wonky—it looks like the picture was taken looking down at them.
One of them is wearing a thin yellow dress, looking like a lady from a rich family. She has an awesome and confident smile, and has long blond hair and blue eyes. Mom, when she was younger.
Next to her is a boy with light brown hair, who’s wearing a school jacket and uniform. He must have moved his head when the picture was taken, because his face is a complete blur. It kind of looks like he’s nervous. The backdrop is the platform of a train station. I can see a dark sky, a hazy green forest, and a station sign that’s written in Roxchean but only the first part is visible. It looks like a ‘Ka’, but I have no idea where that is.
The boy is Dad—Wilhelm Schultz—when he was younger.
It’s the only picture of the two of them together—in fact, it’s the only photo of Dad, period.
I turned to the bed, where Mom was mumbling.
All of a sudden, she got up. She lost her balance and fell back-first on the floor. There was a loud noise.
I could hear her voice from across the mattress.
“It’s morning, Mom. You’re going to be late.” I replied coldly.
Mom raised her head from behind the bed with a pout. She shot me a glare.
“You’re awful, Lillia… You know, your father used to wake me up every morning with a kiss. He used to stroke my hair and wait next to me until I woke up.”
I guarantee you that that is a lie.
“How do you know that?”
“I didn’t say anything, Mom. Anyway, you have to wash up, brush your hair, and eat breakfast. You’re going to be late. You said you’re going to get a pay cut if you’re tardy again, right? I’m not going to the command center for you even if they call. It’s embarrassing.”
“All right, all right.”
Who’s the mother around here, anyway? I sighed.
“And you said you’re going to have lunch with Mr. Hero today, right?”
“Hm? Did I?”
This is ridiculous. She’s the one who pranced home last night and announced it as soon as she stepped through the door.
“Oh, right! That’s right. I’d better dress up nicely.”
Sleep completely chased from her, Mom leapt over the bed.
“Good morning, Lillia. You’re looking as lovely as usual.”
Planting a kiss on my cheek, she rushed into the bathroom.
I went back to the kitchen, brewed tea for both of us, and ate breakfast first. It tasted delicious.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.” Mom said as she emerged, although I hadn’t waited for her. She was in full Air Force regalia. It was hard to believe that she was the same person who was half-asleep in pajamas in her bed until just earlier. Captain Allison Whittington Schultz of the Roxcheanuk Confederation Air Force. A female test pilot who’s the undisputed no.1 in the Confederation. What a flawless transformation. This is how she fools the taxpayers who support her.
With a ‘Thanks for the meal’, Mom began eating. I observed her as I sipped my tea.
She had clear blue eyes as beautiful as the sky on a winter morning. And strands of hair that glinted like fine strings of gold.
“Hm? Wha iff iff?” Mom asked with a sandwich in her mouth, noticing my gaze.
“Well. I just kind of wished I could have gotten those from you.”
“Your eye and hair colors.”
Mom nodded in understanding and gulped down her tea.
“It’s all right, Lillia. You have Wil’s eyes and hair. And that’s the biggest proof that you’re his daughter.”
The same answer as usual. And nothing more. I held up the teapot.
“Make sure to lock up when you leave. Don’t be late for school.” Mom said, skipping out the door.
For someone who had the gall to say to her commander, “Days without flights are too boring, sir. To be perfectly honest, I want to make up excuses and skip work those days”, she was pretty cheerful.
She’d also once said, “I wonder if there’s going to be an accident on the way to work. Then maybe I could use the traffic jam as an excuse…”, but today, she’s going to rev up the engine on her beloved car, drive through the packed Capital District streets, and race down the autobahn.
That’s all thanks to the date she has scheduled with Mr. Hero.
He’s Mom’s boyfriend. Of course, ‘Hero’ isn’t his name. I don’t know where the nickname came from—Mom never told me.
A long time ago, Roxche was involved in a stupid(from my perspective, having been born after the war) conflict with Sou Be-Il over who was the ancestor of humanity. Mr. Hero is from Sou Be-Il, and he’s working at the embassy in the Capital District. He’s something called a ‘military attaché’—he’s around Mom’s age, but he’s a rank higher than her at major. According to Mom, he’s one of the super-elite. Straight from the cream of the crop.
He came to visit us at home a few times when I was little. I still sort of remember the last time he came over. Mom was sitting in a chair drinking tea, giving him orders as he moved the dresser. She was lording it over him like he was her underling or subordinate.
“Is he a ‘nobody’?” I’d asked Mom while he was right there. Mom was astonished, but at the same time she sounded impressed.
“Oh my, Lillia. Where did you learn that word?”
Now that I think about it, that was really rude of me. I still remember how Mr. Hero was smiling bitterly. Mom answered,
“Mr. Hero here’s fallen head over heels for me, and he owes me a lot. So I can order him around as much as I’d like, whenever and wherever. Isn’t that useful? I’m going to boss him around forever.”
Now that I think about it, that’s unbelievable. I wonder what Dad would say if he were still alive?
That’s right. Dad’s already gone—he passed away a little while before I was born.
I heard that he got into an accident while he was on his way to the West for some business. Apparently he fell off a luxury train while it was passing through the mountains.
They never found his body.
* * *
Another uneventful day of classes came to an end. In a few days, it would be summer break.
“Bye. See you later.”
I left my friend—who was busy with club activities—took my bag, and headed for the gates.
To get home, I have to take a bus from here, transfer to the subway, and then walk a little more.
I chose to attend this secondary school—and I like it very much. But it’s true that it’s a bit of a chore to commute here every day. It’d be nice if someone could come pick me up, but I’m going to have to refuse Mom showing up in a slick, flashy sports car like last time, or her friends from work driving here on their way to see her sometimes on a green four-wheel drive vehicle topped with a machine gun.
That’s how things always are.
I decided to kill time by reading on the bus, and stepped out the school gates. About a dozen or so female students were crowded in the school parking lot outside.
One of them asked someone, “Where are you from?”.
Someone was surrounded by the sixth-year girls. I couldn’t tell who. But I guess it doesn’t really matter. At least, that’s what I thought as I passed by—
“Ah! There you are.”
I heard a familiar voice from the crowd. It was a male voice.
Over twenty eyes glared daggers at me from the five o’clock direction.
Don’t call me by name!
“Miss Lillianne Aikashia Corazòn Whittington Schultz!”
Don’t call me by my full name!
I turned with a furious glare. The sixth-years flinched like they spotted a wild animal from the zoo on the loose, and moved aside so I could see the owner of the voice. Tch. Talk about being uselessly considerate.
“It’s been a while, Lillia. How’re you doing?”
Surrounded by the girls was a motorcycle equipped with a sidecar. It was a pretty new model, and the sidecar was spacious. The owner was sitting on the motorcycle. Put simply, he’s a boy one year older than I am. Done.
I gave him a look. He suddenly spoke up.
“Huh? Don’t tell me you forgot about me. We used to play together all the time—heck, we used to sleep together, too.”
The sixth-years shrieked in unison. It occurred to me that I should give this guy a good punch or three. I went up to him, ready to do just that, when a senior-classman— who was both ridiculously beautiful and ridiculously rich—spoke up.
“Is this your childhood friend?”
“Yes. Looks like this is goodbye for you and me, ladies. What a shame.”
“Flattery will get you nowhere.”
The senior-classman scrutinized me like a product on display. Then, she called her friends away as she headed for the luxury car that waited for her. If you stare, the least you could do is apologize. Talk about rude.
I went up to the guy who was waving like a smiling idiot and scolded him.
“What are you doing here?! Why?!”
He is my childhood friend. I remember playing with him a lot when I was little. But that’s only because he lives next door to the most famous inn in the Kingdom of Iks—the country in the Central Mountain Range on the western tip of Roxche that I visit with Mom every holiday season—and because there aren’t many other kids our age in that valley.
Incidentally, Iks has been the most popular tourist destination as voted by Roxche for the past ten years. Under the rule of the wise and beautiful Queen Francesca, Iks has been drawing in tourists while maintaining its trademark culture and history. It’s also on very good terms with the royal families of Sou Be-Il. I don’t know her name, but there’s also a princess. The next ruler is also going to be a queen.
Anyway, this guy’s name is Treize.
I don’t know his family name. After he gave me this embarrassing gem—“Call me Treize of Ikstova”—it sounded kind of stupid to use a title for him. So I just call him Treize. We met once or twice a year in over the past few years. I’ve never met him in the Capital District.
I couldn’t even pay lip service to his messy pants and patched-up jacket. He wore a long pair of boots—which I couldn’t tell if they were for horseback riding or motorcycling—and he had a belt pack around his waist.
I don’t really dislike this guy or hate him. But he does get on my nerves.
Treize finally answered me.
“Your mom—Allison—sent me.”
“Yeah. When I got to the Capital District, I called the Air Force number she gave me before. She told me, ‘It’s about time for classes to end, so seduce or kidnap my daughter home’.”
I could not find the words to answer.
“She also said, ‘Lillia’s school’s pretty far from home, so I’m sure she’ll appreciate it’.”
Treize pointed at the sidecar and told me to get in. It was covered in dirt. It wasn’t exactly the kind of thing you wanted to escort someone in. There was luggage and travel gear piled on the back of the seat and the sidecar. Bags, a sleeping bag, a tent, pots, and stuff like that.
“Don’t tell me… did you come all the way here from Iks on your motorcycle?”
“Of course.” Treize answered simply.
I was at a loss. Does this guy even know how many thousands of kilometers it is from Iks to here?
“I didn’t have enough money to stay at hotels, so I camped out on the plains on the way. I came as fast as I could, but it still took twenty days.”
“Are you an idiot? It only takes three days by train or aeroplane.”
Aeroplanes are the hottest mode of transport for vacationing these days.
“Stuff I don’t fly or drive myself just isn’t that fun. You know what I mean, right?”
I didn’t answer. I understood what he meant.
The reason Treize bugs me is because he shares the two talents I have that other secondary school students don’t. My two specialties.
One is flying.
When I was little, Mom used to leave me at the daycare on the Air Force base. When flights were grounded due to bad weather, Mom would bring me to the hangar and show me the aeroplanes. When I got a little bigger—big enough to sit in an aeroplane seat—she would often take me out for a ride. Mom drove me to a primary school near the base. After class, I would often go to the base to play, and Mom would take me on an aeroplane ride whenever she had the time. And when I was around ten years old,
“Why don’t you give it a shot, Lillia? No one’s watching, anyway.”
It was unbelievable, but that’s when I started learning to pilot an aeroplane.
Just like a normal mom teaches her daughter how to bake cookies, Mom completely ignored official Air Force pilot training programs and taught me to fly.
Once I started getting the hang of flying to my heart’s content, she taught me takeoff and landing procedures, aerobatic maneuvers, how to read the instrument panel, how to read the weather, and about different types of aeroplanes. Maybe she’s just that good of a teacher, or maybe I had talent, just like she said. Right now, I’m better at flying than I am at riding a bicycle.
Treize also knows how to fly an aeroplane.
Thanks to Queen Francesca’s love of planes, there are apparently a lot of crafts used for tourism in Iks. Maybe that’s why Treize knows. When I expressed my disbelief, the next day, he brought a small aeroplane from somewhere and flew it right in front of my eyes. To be honest, he was a better pilot than me. He was doing aerobatic maneuvers to the background of the incredible Central Mountain Range.
The other talent we share is our fluency in Bezelese.
I can speak Bezelese, the official language of Sou Be-Il. That’s also thanks to Mom. We spoke both languages at home ever since I was little, and until I started going to daycare, I thought that was what all families did.
Unlike before, there’s a lot of activity between Roxche and Sou Be-Il, both on the cultural and economic levels. Students in good academic standing are chosen as exchange students and are given full scholarships by the government to study Cross-River. People can go by train, ship, or aeroplane, but not many people can speak both languages yet.
My school offers Bezelese classes, but when I asked the Bezelese teacher if I should take the class, I received the credit on the spot and was told that I had nothing more to learn in secondary school. According to the teacher, I should take it in university for writing a thesis or something.
Treize also speaks Bezelese. That’s another mystery, but it’s probably because Iks gets a lot of visitors from the West.
“So are you gonna stay at our place?”
“Allison gave me permission. Although I’m not sure if a certain childhood friend will. Hey, did you just snort?”
Man, he’s got good ears.
“Never mind. Fine. So you’re taking me home, right?”
“Of course, Milady. Please, have a seat. The helmet’s in there, right?”
I picked up the leather hat that was rolling in front of the sidecar seat. It looked like an aviator hat. I put it on and pulled the tinted goggles over my face so no one would recognize me.
The streets in the Capital District are sometimes incredibly congested, and sometimes completely empty.
Treize followed my directions. He was pretty good at riding a motorcycle. Much better than the subway, which brakes out of nowhere every five minutes.
At this speed, we probably have time for a detour. I told Treize to take another route because I wanted to drop by somewhere.
We arrived at a park in the middle of the Capital District. It’s a refreshing place where the entire area is covered in grass and woodland.
“‘Bemarte Park’, huh? Funny name.” Treize remarked, parking the motorcycle by the road. I walked onto the grass. I laid down and looked up at the blue sky.
“Ah… that feels good.”
“Aren’t secondary school students supposed to go home straight after class?”
“What are you, my teacher?”
“Then cut your worrying. And move away a little. Someone might think we’re friends or something.”
“One ‘sure’ is enough.”
“What’s with the Old Roxchean?”
I lay on the grass for a while, looking up at the cool green trees and the sky filling my view. I almost never visit this park, but ever since Mom brought me here for my birthday, Bemarte Park’s been one of my favorite places.
With my right hand I drew an aeroplane.
It climbed, then twisted at the apex and dropped straight down. I repeated the motions for fun. Now that I think about it, I haven’t gone flying recently because of school. I should ask Mom once summer break starts.
Wait, summer break? Something’s not right here. I spoke with my eyes still on the sky.
“You just took a twenty-day trip. What about school?”
“I don’t go to school. Didn’t I tell you?”
I turned and looked at Treize. He was sitting with his legs stretched, looking back at me.
“Then do you work? Don’t tell me you pilot tour planes?”
He trailed off. I asked him what he did every day. This is what he said.
“It’s a secret.”
What the heck? Surprisingly, he looked pretty serious. I asked,
“Doesn’t your family say anything about it?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“What? But you know everything about my family. Tell me.” I said, sounding a little more pushy.
Treize stared at the sky for a while. Was he just going to ignore me? But at that moment, he clenched his right hand into a fist, put it over his chest, and said in a completely serious tone,
“That’s a secret. The moment I tell will be when I propose to you, Lillia.”
What. The. Heck?!
Who does he think he is, some sort of mysterious prince? I leapt off the grass and kicked him in the back.
“Driver, we’re going!”
“One ‘sure’ is enough!”
Once I returned home on my servant’s motorcycle, I found Mom’s sports car in her usual parking space. After a car company moved in by the narrow road next to the apartment complex, people wouldn’t stop parking illegally there. So they had no choice but to dedicate one lane to parking and make the other lane a one-way street. People rub bumpers as they squeeze into any space they find.
We parked the motorcycle and took the elevator up to the top floor. Of course, I didn’t carry a single piece of luggage for Treize.
I left Treize at the door as he struggled with his things, and ran into—
“Welcome back. It’s been a long time.”
Not Mom, but Mr. Hero. He’d walked out of Mom’s room.
He was a man in a brown uniform. He had black hair and wore glasses. Mr. Hero put a finger to his lips and slowly shut the door, leaving it slightly ajar.
“Hello…” I said. Mr. Hero spoke in a quiet voice.
“Hello, Miss Lillianne. Do you remember my name?”
I replied half-mechanically.
“Yes, Major Travas.”
He was Major Travas of the Sou Be-Il Royal Army. He could speak Roxchean as well, but right now he was speaking Bezelese.
“You were on a date with Mom today, right? Thank you for taking the trouble to bring her all the way home.”
“Not a problem. Your mother was complaining about being tired, and she just fell asleep.”
“I see. Thank you.”
“Actually, I’ve been invited to join you for dinner. May I wait here?”
“Be my guest.” I replied, and said no more.
Major Travas thanked me and headed for the living room further down the hall. He’s come here a few times, so he naturally knows the layout.
I stood in front of Mom’s door and peered inside. The setting sun was casting an orange light into the room, and she was lying on the big bed in her comfy military-issue sweats.
She looked happy as she slept. How many times have I seen that expression on her face?
I closed the door completely.
And just as I turned toward the living room, I remembered someone. I turned and switched gears to Roxchean. It didn’t really matter what language I spoke, but still.
“You come in too. The spare room’s open, so just put your stuff there or whatever.”
“All right. Who was that?”
“Mom’s boyfriend. From Cross-River.”
“Does he come often?”
“Not much these days. Well, doesn’t really matter.”
“Is this really all right?”
“I said it is. It’s fine.”
Treize looked a little upset. He began to put down his armful of stuff in the spare room. I walked in the opposite direction from where Major Travas disappeared to. And,
“Here. Let me help.”
Treize looked strangely sincere. Almost like a kid. I’d almost never seen him make that face.
“What? Puppy-dog eyes won’t get you anywhere with me.” I said, trying to hide my surprise.
“You could at least get me a cup of tea or something.”
That was pretty rude.
I guess I can brew a cup of tea for the two of them.
“I’m gonna go change, so watch TV or something. Also, don’t even think about peeping.” Lillia said as she went into her room. The boy and the man sat at the table with two steaming cups of tea between them.
Lillia opened the glass door and disappeared into the room along the hall.
When Treize turned, his eyes met those of the major. He was looking at him.
“Huh…?” Treize gasped.
“What might be the matter?” Major Travas asked in Roxchean. Treize shook his head, answering that it was nothing. Then, he picked up his cup and happily sipped his tea.
Suddenly, he realized that Major Travas had not even touched his cup.
“You think Lillia poisoned it or something?” Treize asked, a little annoyed. Major Travas shook his head.
“No, it’s just that I’m not very good with hot foods and drinks. It’s a habit I could never fix.”
“I see.” Treize replied, and returned to his tea. He was about halfway through when,
“It’s been a long time. It’s an honor to be able to meet you again.” Said Major Travas.
Treize put down his cup and gave the man a quizzical look.
“Have we met before?”
“Yes. Although it’s been nearly ten years now. You’ve grown quite a bit, Your Highness.”
Treize silently glared at the man.
Major Travas slowly bowed. Treize glanced at the hall. Thankfully, Lillia was still in her room.
“…Please, raise your head. Who are you?”
Major Travas did as he was asked.
“The one you suspect me to be.”
“I see… so it’s you. The one Father and Mother always spoke of.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
“The true Hero of the Mural, the Magician who saved Mother, Allison’s trustworthy subordinate, and—”
“Did they tell you that much?”
“—Lillia’s father, Wilhelm Schultz. I knew I saw a resemblance. She has your eyes.”
“Ah, so that was why—”
“I am happy to hear that.”
Wil picked up his cup, blew on it, and finally began to drink.
“This tea is delicious. It’s the first time Lillia’s ever brewed tea for me.”
Treize silently emptied his cup. When he placed it on the table, Major Travas said quietly,
“I came here today because I was told you came to the Capital District. I’d wanted to let you know about me.”
“I see. …I will protect your secret with my life.”
“Thank you. But your life comes before my secret. You must protect yourself, and—”
“The one you love.”
Treize and Major Travas continued to quietly chat over tea, making sure to occasionally glance down the hallway.
Major Travas asked about Treize’s family. Treize explained.
That his mother Queen Francesca, and his father Benedict—who had left the Sou Be-Il military to help his wife—were both doing very well and were in good health. That they were so relaxed that they could often go back and forth between the royal palace in Kunst and the valley. That the only hard worker in the family—his sister the princess—was left to grumble about how it was all up to her to get things done.
“Meriel thinks she’s the older sister, but I think she’s the younger one. We argue about it every time we meet. Being twins sure is a bother. But Mother was right to choose Meriel. I like being able to come here like this.”
“I see.” Major Travas replied, an amused smile on his face.
Treize asked how Wil was able to gain Sou Be-Il citizenship.
Although he added that Major Travas did not have to answer, Travas told him. That, upon graduating from Confederation Capital University after three years of study, he became the adopted son of a trustworthy Sou Be-Il aristocrat. That he attended university in Sou Be-Il for about two years under the tutelage of a distinguished individual. That, as planned, he took on the job of clearing up international problems at the embassy.
“It was quite painful to kill ‘Wilhelm Schultz’, but I did not wish to get an innocent person involved.” Major Travas confessed, his eyes narrowed.
“You mean Lillia?” Treize asked for confirmation.
Major Travas nodded. He then explained that he had fewer dangerous missions now, and that thanks to that, he was able to spend more time with Allison as her ‘boyfriend’.
“One day… will you be able to tell Lillia the truth?”
“I’m not sure. Would it be best to tell her, or keep her in the dark? What do you think?”
“I’m not sure…” Treize answered, mirroring Major Travas’s answer.
At that moment, Lillia finished changing and came out of her room. Major Travas also noticed that she had come outside.
They ended the conversation they had as their true selves.
“Please take care of Lillia.”
Placing a hand over his chest, Treize quietly but firmly nodded. Then he added,
“Although I have no idea what she wants of me…”