A slender woman with black hair tied up in a ponytail is smiling. Her hands and feet are small and her breasts are not so big, but her face is not bad. Her amber eyes are round and slightly slanted like a cat's, giving her a cute impression.
She wears leather gloves on both hands, short gusseted boots, a mini-skirt and a camisole other than a tool pouch hanging from her waist belt.
Alexis gives her a quick stare, then turns his gaze to the paper in his hand.
It is a piece of letterhead containing a response to a letter Alexis had written to the Krangal kingdom before going to Avalon.
The handwriting is definitely that of the father king, and the girl in front of him is probably the "answer" to Alexis' request...
「Uh...well, it says here that you are one of the best masters sent by the Blacksmith's Guild... Is that correct?」
「Is there any mistake? Are you saying that I'm unreliable?」
She gives a miffed look.
「There are people like that, aren't there? The kind of person who thinks I'm just a little kid just because of my image!」
Alexis felt that this person was a gibberish person who talked too much.
However, indeed, the image of a skilled blacksmith on his mind is usually that of a stern old man with a beard or skinhead. Like Lorenzo, for example.
（But, come to think of it, even Lorenzo is a complete mismatch for that position）
Thinking about it, Alexis was convinced.
「Well, if my father sent you, it must be true. Then, shall I take you to the workshop in the basement of the fortress?」
「Yes, that would be great!」
Dorothea said so, and Alexis said nothing to Fransisca, who was standing beside him, and decided to take her to the workshop.
「Ah, can I join you?」
Fransisca asked when she heard that they were going to the workshop.
「Eh? Yes, sure... but is there anything in particular you want to do?」
「Eh, it's nothing. I'm just wondering how to process it... let's go」
Fransisca said and Alexis nodded.
* * *
The workshop at Fort Rohka is rarely used. Only occasionally is it used by soldiers to sharpen their weapons individually, so the furnace is covered with dust.
「Ah, it's a nice workshop. But I have to clean it first. And why haven't people been using it?」
Fransisca answered Dorothea's question with a torch in the darkened workshop.
「...There used to be blacksmiths here too. The Sagrado people... but Avalon enveloped everything, and this is the only facility in the country that has survived. For a while the soldiers here were the core of the group that went to the dungeons. But as the days went by, the Sagrado people decreased in numbers...」
Alexis fell silent as Fransisca began to speak.
Dorothea was also silent, so only Fransisca's voice reverberated through the workshop.
「...I may be responsible for my being so angry that I couldn't leave it to the Krangal soldiers and the like. But...there was no way I would feel good about hearing their voices saying, "You're a refugee!". However, when we finally began to run out of manpower, he too came forward to go to the dungeon. He said he could be a guardian」 (*Note: the former guardian before Alexis is the Blacksmith)
Alexis nodded, knowing what Fransisca meant when he saw her look at him.
「...yes. He passed away. Since then, the furnace in this workshop is no longer lit」
「...I see. I didn't realize that had happened」
It was Dorothea who murmured deeply.
「I now wish I had been more flexible... Even though I'm a princess, I couldn't protect them. But nowadays I think about it. I wish Alexis-sama had come here a little earlier...」
Fransisca was embarrassed to reveal this and her cheeks flushed slightly.
「...even if we had ended up like this...I still think it would have been better, you know...」
Fransisca fidgeted and let out a sigh.
Then, for some reason, she dropped her shoulders and looked down, saying "...no... it's nothing..."
Alexis was puzzled, thinking she had something to say to him.
「Okay, I understand!」
Dorothea suddenly nodded her head and tapped the furnace.
「I will take good care of this place!」
「Yes. I'm looking forward to working with you」
Fransisca says, smiling at her.
Alexis thinks that Dorothea has softened a lot, being a Krangal and all.
「So, I hear it's a special material, which one do you want me to work on?」
Dorothea asked, and Alexis said, "Oh, this way," and opened a large warehouse facing the workshop.
Inside the warehouse, crystals from the dungeon were still glowing blue-white, so there was no need to use torches in the warehouse.
Thanks for reading...