Black Cat Chapter 173: Milligraham Cathedral

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 I had assumed that I would be walking to Milligraham Cathedral, but on second thought, there was no way the viscount’s son would be walking there on foot.


 Besides, it seemed that Aida, who had heard about the news, was going to accompany us, and we were going to the cathedral in a magic carriage.



 Curtis, Aida, each with a knight as escort, and the coachman Mr. Novak and I, made a total of six people in the group.


 The two knights accompanying us were wearing only breastplate and backplate armor, and they their swords were hung on their belts.



 The metal armor was engraved with the coat of arms of the Viscount Lagart family of battle axes and thunderbolt crossed on a shield.


 It looks cool, but as a catkin, I feel that the metal armor is a weight that takes away from my agility.



“Nyango, get inside.” (Aida)


“Are you sure?” (Nyango)



 I glanced at Aida, and she nodded.


 It seems that since the attack, she has changed her mind about my usefulness as an escort.



 The cabin of the magic car is spacious enough to withstand long rides.


 There was a sofa that I sank in to wrap around my body (it didn’t sink in just because of my weight), and a large glass window with a nice view that could be closed with shutters on the inside.



 The magic carriage started running quietly, moving forward with almost no vibrations.


 I feel a big difference from when I’m sitting in the coachman’s seat.



 In fact, the coachman’s seat is directly attached to the frame, but the cabin is attached with a component that acts as a suspension.


 This seems to be a mechanism in which the driver can feel the vibrations directly and try to operate the carriage more easily, but it does not transmit any remaining vibrations to the cabin.



 The magic carriage proceeded along the road within the first city district and exited through the west gate to the second city district.


 This is the road that connects the cathedral to the Royal Castle and is said to be the road that the royal family takes on the day of the “Nest Leaving Ceremony”.



 Because it is a road leading straight to the royal castle, the west gate is larger and sturdier than the other gates.


 Of course, we were able to pass through the gate without being stopped because of the magical vehicle with the Lagart family crest on it.



 The number of passersby, which was almost nonexistent in the first district, increased as we entered the second district.


 Still, the number of passersby was not so large as to be considered a crowd, and at the corner of the street there was a pair of soldiers standing guard around the perimeter.



“Master Curtis, is this the kind of security normally in place?” (Nyango)


“No, it is a measure taken in preparation for the ‘Nest Leaving Ceremony.’ Normally, we don’t see this many soldiers.” (Curtis)



 According to Curtis, there are usually knights and soldiers patrolling the streets, but not as many as are stationed at each intersection like this.



“Brother, will there be an attack?” (Aida)


“I don’t know. We’ll have to ask the people who attempted the attack.” (Curtis)


“That’s so dull… Nyango, what do you think?” (Aida)


“We should prepare for an attack as if it were going to happen. Since they carried out such an attack in the Village of Flos, we should think that there will be an even more elaborate attack in the Royal Capital.” (Nyango)



 I did not intend to say this with any particular seriousness, but both Aida and Curtis looked a little surprised.



“But Nyango. As you can see, the second district is heavily guarded and there is no room for suspicious people to enter.” (Curtis)


“Master Curtis, how long has this state heightened security been in place?” (Nyango)


“How… how long was the heightened security?” (Curtis)



 Curtis asked the escort knight, and after thinking for a moment, he answered that it had been in place for about two weeks.



“Then, if they had gotten in before then, they wouldn’t have been caught in the search, right?” (Nyango)


“To be that early…” (Curtis)


“I have heard that the Fifth Princess will be participating in this ‘Nest Leaving Ceremony’. This information has been known since the birth of the princess. We should assume that those who would target an opportunity to have royalty in attendance would have made plans and preparations much earlier.” (Nyango)



 Curtis and Aida’s expressions became even more tense, and the escort knight nodded repeatedly.




“Nyango, how do you think they’ll attack?” (Curtis)


“Well, I’m not familiar with the streets of the Royal Capital, so I can’t make any predictions about where or how they will attack. However, if the attack in the village of Flos is a preparation for the real thing, there is a high possibility that magic guns and pulverization magic circles will be used.” (Nyango)



 An attack using the pulverization magic circle would be in the form of a self-destruction, but the magic circle itself is only a piece of board about 50 centimeters square.


 If it had been before the security was tightened, it would have been easy to take it out.



“But, Nyango. If there are suspicious people in the area, it means that there are people who are helping them. The people who reside in the second district are the ones who can only enjoy their own prosperity when the royal capital is prosperous. They are the opposite of the Anti-Noble Faction, so to speak. Do you think such people would lend a hand?” (Curtis)


“Yes, I do. I think Master Curtis is right about that, but aren’t there people who are planning to kill certain people in the confusion, or who think it would be more convenient to cause a disturbance, even if it doesn’t bring down the capital?” (Nyango)


“I see… they’re using the Anti-noble Faction for their own agenda…” (Curtis)



 Curtis folded his arms and began to think, and Aida’s expression became completely uneasy.


 It is a sunny day, but I don’t want to greet the day in good humor and then panic in case we are attacked.



 Although we were running slowly, it seems that the capital is larger than I thought, and it took me about 30 minutes to get from the Lagart family mansion to the cathedral.


 Milligraham Cathedral is also a symbol of the authority of the Fatima Church, so the steeple that you can look up to and the exterior walls of the large church are made of white marble.



 The walls are decorated with sculptures of figures and fables that are considered great figures of the Fatima faith, and the windows are decorated with stained glass windows made of colored glass.


 In front of the church, an area the size of a soccer field was excavated to a depth of two basement levels, and the interior was entered down a staircase that looked like a seating area.



 At the top of the staircase directly across the square from the church entrance, there is a stone stage that goes up another flight of stairs, and royalty and nobles are said to watch the ceremony from this platform.


 Although ordinary people were already inaccessible, they could enter the hall if Curtis and Aida were with them.



“It’s a huge space. How many people will be there on the day?” (Nyango)


“I’ve heard that there are 20,000 to 30,000 people, but no one has counted the exact number.” (Curtis)



 It looks like a square of a Roman Era amphitheater, and on this scale it could hold more than 20,000 people.



“The children who were to undergo the ceremony lined up facing each other across the open center aisle. After going through the ceremony in front of the entrance of the church, the children go down the aisle and perform magic in front of the royalty and nobility.” (Curtis)



 From the perspective of royalty and aristocrats, it looks like a staircase, a space to perform magic, a passageway in the center for children to receive the ceremony, a place where the ceremony is held, and the entrance to a church.


 It seems that the royal family and aristocrats are placed in the center of the stone stage so that they are on both sides.



 The nobles, as usual, are not always on the best of terms with each other, and the seating arrangements are made with this in mind.


 Curtis told me the approximate location of the seats, and I measured the distance to the children participating in the ceremony, which was more than 50 meters.



 I guess there is nothing we can’t do, but it would be hard to protect Aida with [Shield] from the position of the audience.


 Besides, in the event of a panic in the auditorium, there is a risk of a separation between the participants and the spectators.



 The viscount had said that the safety of the royal family would come first and the safety of the Lagart family second, since it would be very impossible to protect both in this situation.


 I felt that if I did not make a decision without hesitation as to which side to protect in case of emergency, I would fail to protect both.



 Behind the stage where the royal family and nobles were watching the event was a road leading straight to the Royal Castle, and if a disturbance occurred, the royal family was supposed to get into a prepared magic carriage and return to the castle in a straight line, protected by knights around them.



 On the day of the “Nest Leaving Ceremony,” access to the plaza in front of the church as well as the church’s perimeter is restricted, and those who wish to watch the event must undergo identification and personal belongings inspections.


 The area around the seats where royalty and nobles sit are said to be surrounded by layers of knights and soldiers to provide security, and at this point there were no blind spots to be found.



“We’ve come this far, so let’s take a look inside the church.” (Curtis)



 Although the area near the church was strictly restricted, there were still some pilgrims in the area.


 Pilgrims are also carefully checked when entering the church, but again, since I was with my brother and sister from the Lagart family, we were able to enter without being stopped.



 Inside the church, wooden benches are lined up in rows facing the altar, except in the center and along the left and right walls.


 At a glance, more than 5,000 people could be seated on these benches alone.



“During the Autumn Equinox Mass, which is held over the night, the congregation kneels in the square and prays. The candlelit chapel and the singing of chants as the congregation prays are a typical autumn scene, and the royal city is crowded with pilgrims at that time as well.”



 In the customs of the previous life, it would be like a Christmas mass or a New Year’s visit.



T/N: The knights must have gotten sloppy after years of peace. Be vigilant Nyango.




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