Mismarca – Volume 1
Chapters 1 – 2 (C.E.)
Aiming Towards a Distant Land
I have trouble reading my own sentences, haha.
Volume 1 – Chapter 3
The Boy Who Sells Darkness
It’s almost noon.
「Geez, how long are you going to be angry for. No one is starving. Rather, soon the streets will be filled with amazing rumors.」
「That’s not it!」
「Eh~……? But according to the literature from the old civilization….」
The two arrived at western downtown.
Past the protection gates lies a busy downtown district, here’s where bars and suspicious looking markets lined up and did their biddings. Exploring even further into the inner parts, you can even find many pridefully erected cardboard boxes belonging to the homeless (Houseless Freeman)…… Well, you may call it a district with a bit of difficulties. Even if that’s the case, the country and its citizens could all feel at ease in this peaceful area, so it’s not really dangerous or chaotic here.
The festival decorations also began in this area as well.
「Coming to such a place, do you have any business to do here?」
「I already told you we need more materials for more traps. There’s a shop I always go to here.」
Turning left and right in an alleyway lined up with worn-down brick apartments, it’s hard to imagine this place being within the country as it seemed more like a demonic cave.
「Wh… What’s with this massive cardboard fortress……」
「Because Mismarca is a liberal nation, you have the rights to choose whatever sized cardboard you wish to live in as long as it does not block the roads. Compared to the ordinary people living in those difficult to construct apartment buildings, these people are the true winners.」
Finally, they reached a dead end.
「There’s a shop here……?」
At the place where Mahiro pointed, was a boring old sign that hung on the door of the apartment building.
『Grindell’s World Alchemy and Sorcery Guild certified. Emilio’s General Store』
^ Copying names from the manga translation
「Grindell’s World is……?」
「Aha, looks like the store owner graduated from that school. Ah, by the way, he’s a friend of mine.」
「Haa…… Friend, huh……」
BANG. BANG. BANG.
BANG. BANG. BANG.
「……is this store really in business?」
「Sorry to trouble you even if you’re not open. Please―!!」
BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG.
Then, finally, some rustling noise inside could be heard.
「……So damn annoying! What time do you think it is……」
「It’s noon! NOON!!」
This was the first time Pariel heard this foolish Prince give a retort.
「……This store operates at night……」
From with the small opening of the door, emerges a blond beauty with a cute face that can make anyone’s heart skip a beat. Looking almost like a girl, this boy with long blue eyelashes rubs his eyes while being half asleep. From his appearance, he seems to only be about 15 or 16 of age.
「Aah……, Prince……? What brings you here?」
「I’m a customer, a customer! Is this how you treat your customers!?」
The boy shifted his blue eyes towards Pariel.
「……Huh? Who’s that girl? The Prince’s girlfriend? Fuun, that’s great news!」
Contrary to his dull voice, the door was shut with a tremendous force.
「……As you can see, his personality is a bit nasty.」
「H-ha… Is that so?」
「That was so rude! Emilio! How a person as great as I be satisfied with a woman like her!?」
「I don’t want to be with you either!!」
With the same name as the Emilio’s General Store, the boy named Emilio peeked out once more.
「Uhm, hmm. I’m Pariel, a guard.」
It seems like Emilio knows that Mahiro is a prince, so Pariel displayed her Imperial Knight’s badge.
「Prince…… What did you bring this time…」
「It’s alright, in the vast castle, only this Pariel listens to everything I say.」
「Fuun. So she’d do everything you tell her every night, huh? I’m glad to hear that.」
「Wh….. w.w..wwh…WHAT!? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SAYING, YOU BRAT! GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!!」
Pariel’s cheeks were flushed red as she pounded and kicked on the door.
「Hey, Pariel. Mind your speech.」
「It’s all because Prince said some strange things!」
「……Emilio, I’ve received 4 punches today. Please forgive me already.」
「Well, fine…… Since I’m wide awake now. Please enter.」
At last, the door was fully opened.
Speaking of the conditions inside the store… It was by no means in an operational state, it was a place where business cannot be done at all. Something like a weapon here, something like a defensive gear over there, and elsewhere, lies something like a magic item……
At first glance it appears to be something, but upon a closer look it was a suspicious pile something else. Mountains of junk, all junk.
On top of what appears to be a counter, was covered with newspaper and things like half-eaten bread. Emilio’s pants was only held up by one leg, his worn out and crumpled clothing appears to be unironed. Not to mention the messy bedhead he’s currently carrying from just waking up. Indeed, even Mahiro has the rights to call him nasty.
「Make yourself at home. Want some coffee?」
When Emilio went in to prepare, as if knowing the place like the back of his hand, Mahiro dragged out two stools with broken cushions from the pile of junk.
「What an amazing shop……」
「It’s actually quite comfortable once you get used to it.」
Emilio returned unexpectedly quickly. Biting into the half-eating bread in his mouth, he opened the newspaper and placed three cups fuming with steam on top of the counter. Now that Emilio is fully awake, his courtesy became amiable. Pariel thought, as expected he’s a very adorable and likable young man.
「Here, please drink. Please do excuse me as I ran out of milk. Come to think of it, did something happen today? It was so noisy that I wasn’t able to get a good night’s sleep.」
「Rejoice, Emilio. I’m holding a festival.」
「Festival? Just because the King is absent, you decided to do however you please?」
Zuzu, Emilio and Mahiro both took a sip from the burning hot coffee. Pariel attempted to copy them.
「?……Somehow, the fragrance is kind of underwhelming.」
「That’s just dissolved powder known as instant coffee. Not made from beans. It was sent here from the Far East.」
Haa, I see. Pariel took another sip. Many old artifacts were excavated from the Far East after all, the machine that makes these powder might be one of them.
「So… This store, what kind of store is it?」
Pariel once again, took a glance around the seemingly jam-packed store.
「Didn’t you see the sign? This is a general shop. Sells and buys everything.」
General refers to these things?
「For the time being, we have an abundance in magic items. So, Prince. What is it today? Tool for flipping skirts? Or maybe a tool for peeking?」
「You idiot, Emilio! These kinds of things…」
「……Thanks to you, that’s the fifth time today!」
「WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN BUYING!? AND WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SELLING!?」
「Were you a victim of these items? However, this is a general shop. I can even get you Imperial’s Rottanheim as long as you show me the money.」
^ Coping the names from the manga translation
「Are you Old Man McCoy……」
Seems like business is going pretty well. Pariel questioned further.
「I’m curious, what is that Grindell’s World-something guild on your sign? 」
Emilio finally shoves what remains of the bread into his mouth and washed it down with coffee.
「Although Grindell’s World Alchemy and Sorcery Guild is a long and complicated name, but to put it simply, it’s just temple for black magic.」
「Isn’t that bad!? Black magic requires ingredients like chicken blood and charred newt, then simmering and boiling them for the purpose of putting a deadly magical curse on someone!!」
With a face that appears as if he could not even lift a finger to kill a bug, he laughed while resting his chin on his hands.
「I think you’re mistaken―」
「Well, Pariel. Why do you think Emilio is operating his business in such a neighbourhood?」
「So your store is so shady you can’t even run it in broad daylight!?」
Banging the counter, Pariel abruptly stood up.
「I cannot allow such a business to keep running! Close your shop at once! 」
「How troublesome. Even if you say such a thing……」
Suddenly, Emilio’s eyes became dubious.
Clack, Emilio took out a handgun from under the counter. However, before he could even aim the muzzle of the gun, Pariel had already drawn and pointed her sword at him.
「I see…… Now that’s surprising. The Prince is an idiot, but his guard is the real deal, huh.」
「Do not make light of us Imperial Guards!」
Yet, Emilio still smiled.
「What’s so funny!?」
Pon. The gun fired.
What came out of the gun was not a bullet, but a flag.
「Ahaha, to be so serious. How adora~ble~!」
「Aah~ah~ I’m also ashamed of you. If it was made known that I had a guard like this, I’d never have the dignity to walk under the sun again……」
「I….it…. it wasn’t that bad!」
「That’s right, she’s a splendid guard.」
Emilio said while taking a deep breath.
「However, still lacking.」
Something twisted around her foot. While she was thinking thus, it wrapped around her hands. Arms. Torso. Neck. Things resembling tentacles that was thicker than the vine of a plant extended from amidst the pile of junk. The tremendous force coiled around Pariel’s body and hoisted her into the air, rendering her body into a completely immobile state.
「WHAT IS THIS!? A DEMON!?」
「I’m a professional in this business, you know. I’ve erected a portal within the store. Everything inside this store functions as its disguise.」
Looking carefully, the tentacles are cleverly hidden behind the layers of junk extending out of a skeptically placed magic circle that glistened with an evil miasma.
「It’d be bad if someone unfamiliar with this business like you where to forcefully barge in…… Right, Prince? 」
Emilio’s expression became full of annoyance.
「The female knights are all so stubborn. With this, looks like I’ll have to relocate again.」
「Well, I’ll be sure to discuss this matter with her at a later date. Because the country is currently in danger, shutting down your store right now would be very troublesome.」
Seeing Mahiro being so serious for the first time, Emilio could only blankly stare in shock.
「……I see. Although you’ve went about it in such a roundabout way, but now I understand the circumstances. You want me to supply troops the goods to ward the Imperial Army off, right?」
Even after hearing such a story, Emilio still calmly sipped the already cooled coffee.
「That’s right. With that, can I entrust you to prepare the goods in this location?」
Mahiro slid a piece of paper that Pariel was unable to read onto the counter.
「Hey, Prince…… I’ve always thought you were an idiot, but did you actually have lost it?」
「How rude. I’m just using my own methods. 」
「……Well, as long as it’s business, it will always be welcomed.」
Fuu, Emilio let out a deep breath as he placed his cup down and began scribbling things down in his notebook while working the abacus.
「Unlike the normal toys you’ve been asking for, this will cost quite a large sum of money.」
「Do not worry, as right now I have the freedom to use the money in the national treasury however I wish. Just name it. As long as it’s a number. Any amount of money is cheap when compared to someone’s life. 」
Emilio looks at Mahiro with a stunned expression.
「Is that so? It’s quite the opposite in our business, human life is actually the cheap one.」
「It’s not like you’re the one setting the price.」
「Indeed you are correct. If the buyer does not pay then there’ll be no business……」
Once Emilio finished clicking on the abacus, he prepared Mahiro a receipt.
「Prince, while we’re still on this topic. Why don’t you hire some mercenaries? There’re some cheap and skilled ones visiting the neighbourhood.」
This general store really does seem like it have everything.
「I hate violence.」
「A good prince is rare nowadays, you’re a good guy.」
「It seems like everyone just do things by the adding『at any cost』to the end……」
As the two of them were immersed in their own world, Pariel was struggling the entire time, however to the powerful tentacles; it was merely a futile effort.
「The cost of the goods, with expedited shipping fee, fee upon success and various other miscellaneous taxes and fees added together…… with a bonus, that’s approximately 102 million yen. 」
After hearing that outrageous price, Pariel lost it.
Like in those shows where they spit out what they were drinking.
「W…w..wh..what…… What exactly are you buying!?」
「Well, just some small things.」
Completely unfazed, Mahiro took the fountain pen and smoothly signed the contract without a hint of hesitation.
「Aaah……! You stupid Prince…… You can easily buy a huge mansion with that amount of money……」
「Well, yeah. Now with the treasury at my disposal, if I wanted a mansion, I could get a mansion.」
「What a waste of tax money!!」
「Such an energetic girl, aren’t you…… Amazing how you were able to get employed by the palace.」
Emilio scratched his temple with the bottom of the fountain pen as he took a glance at the floating Pariel.
「That’s none of your business! How long are you going to keep me up here for!? Let me down this instant! For the sake of people’s tax money, this treacherous store should be demolished right away!!」
「That will not do, Pariel. I wouldn’t be able to live on if that were to happen.」
「Those evil merchants should all be thrown out in the cold…… Right? Prince?」
Holding out the palm of his hand, Emilio held up the contract.
「There’re always two copies of the contracts at our store. In the event someone were to breech the contract, their soul will……」
「Why would you so casually sign a contract with Death himself, you stupid Prince~~~!!」
「Uhm, well. Let’s just say it’s for the sake of my life, we absolutely cannot allow the destruction of this store.」
「But Prince, what should I do with this girl? I went through great trouble to catch her after all.」
Smirking with a sinister expression, Emilio continues to eye Pariel as she grit her teeth.
「What to do…… Just exactly what are you planning!? You mean it wasn’t just to simply restrain me?」
Emilio displayed a cute smile on his adorable face as he watched Pariel struck by panic.
「Aah. Ahaha. To be frank, I could do whatever I want. Even things that make you go ‘haahaa’.」
「But even so. Guess selling you would be the most profitable for the store.」
Mahiro nodded humbly, with a quiet voice he whispered.
「How much do you think she’d sell for?」
「Wait…… Prince! Please wait a moment! That’s a joke, right!? There’s no way you’d actually think that, right!? 」
Emilio nonchalantly measured Pariel and let out half a troubled laugh.
「She doesn’t have much in her chest area.」
「THE FUCK YA SAYING!? CHEST…!?」
「Pariel, again, watch your speech.」
「It’s the clothes I’m wearing that’s making me look thin! Normally I have a C-cup , you know!!」
How’s that, huh. Aren’t you impressed? Pariel thought to herself.
「Oh, really. Even though you’re just a half-baked brat with a childish face. Forget that, go change into a tighter attire so you’d fetch a better price……」
「JUST WHAT KIND OF A BUYER ARE YOU SELLING ME TO!? 」
Afterwards, Emilio stopped to ponder for a short while.
「Prince…… Even after putting in all that effort, in the end, it seems like I don’t want her after all.」
「I see. As expected, you don’t want her after all, huh.」
「WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘AS EXPECTED’~~~~~……!!」
「Then, I’ll immediately go prepare the goods. Thank you for your patronage.」
Seeing the two off, Emilio put on his most adorable smile and waved goodbye.
「Like hell we’ll come again!! You best remember this!!」
「How many times must I repeat this, your speech…」
「……Ah. Oops. Accidently went back to my native dialect.」
「Where are you from?」
They started walking for the time being.
「However! Prince should choose your friends better! From now on, going to that illegal store is banned! Okay!?」
「Yeah, yeah, yeah…… To think my first ban was from someone other than the shopkeeper. 」
It was already past noon when they emerged from the Western district. Putting the matter of trap-decoration on hold, the two had a pleasant chat while eating lunch under the brightly lit blue sky.
Lanterns, floral decorated gates, and unknown figures populated the bustling city street.
「……Are these really traps?」
「Hey, although they wouldn’t explode from just a touch or two, but still don’t touch them for no reason.」
Of course. It’d be a disaster if a child were to accidentally trigger the traps by tripping. Mahiro arbitrarily examined two or three to confirm the safety.
「Fumu, well, that about does it……I guess.」
Petapeta. He repeatedly touched the gate. Then suddenly, he began to ponder with an expression as if the fire fueling his spirit was completely extinguished.
Soon, the Prince broke out of his confused state and began surveying his surroundings. With a sigh, Pariel returned to his side and asked.
「Well, Prince. We’re done what we came here for, right? It’s pointless to waste any more time here you know. If things are done, then let’s just head back.」
「Don’t give me that ‘Eh~’!」
Suddenly, Mahiro abruptly stopped to a halt as he began to hide his face under his hat. Discreetly peeking at a familiar yet extraordinarily beautiful woman equipped with boots, trousers, and a coat. Standing behind her appears to be two familiar maids.
「They’re… Abnormal…. Even more so than me……!」
Holding herself in a pose striking with dignity, the intricate designs on both the sword hilt and the sheath. There’s no mistake.
「Th… That’s Pri….Princess Lunas, right? Why is she here……」
「How would I know! Anyways, Pariel, just run! If we’re found today, then……」
Perhaps due to the two’s abrupt turn that made them stand out,
「? Isn’t that Mahi-Mahi?」
They were immediately discovered.
Instinctively, the two exchanged eye contact…… and simultaneously made a run for it.
Leaving Lunas behind, the two rushed towards the castle.
「What…. What should we do!?」
「Like I’ve said, I don’t know! ……Wait, why do I hear more than two pairs of footsteps?」
The two looked back and saw Lunas in pursuit.
Shaken up by panic, the two increased their speed.
「Pariel, you must become a decoy! Delay them as I make my escape!!」
「What are you talking about? They seem to have business with you, Mahi-Mahi!」
「Aren’t you my guard!?」
「Incorrect. I’m just your tutor!!」
While shouting back and forth, the two entered a small alleyway, and turning deeper into numerous small corridors…… Eventually they arrived on a deserted street.
「Haa, ha, haaa, look, my lightning legs! This is the Mismarca Empire! I know this place as if it’s my backyard, there’s no way she’d be able to chase us……」
The thick heel of a leather boot struck the back of Mahiro’s head and sent him flying forward faster than the speed he was just running at all the way until he crashed into a wall before finally stopping. To put it simply, they were caught.
「Gah, DIE!! JUST DIE!! This is the SIXTH time today! What did we even do!? Why are you chasing us!?」
「Because you ran away.」
「No we…… We did.」
The atmosphere between the completely composed Lunas and the nodding Mahiro is like watching a scene between a carnivorous predator who found themselves a prey. After awhile, the two breathless maids managed to catch up. To them, to lose sight of their masters in the enemy’s territory would be the equivalent to losing their lives.
「Ha…haa…haaa…. I’m glad…… found… Lunas-sama…」
「Haa…… Princess… sure runs…. fast……」
After saying the two lines, the two promptly settled their hands in front of them as if nothing happened.
「I also want proper maids like those.」
「Proper…… What’s wrong with the one beside you?」
「…… Her personality is atrocious.」
If the person in question was present, then one should properly call their name by their status. Mahiro restlessly surveyed his surroundings, and then cleared his throat to pull himself together.
「……Princess. Anyone would run away after hearing you gave such a dangerous speech yesterday. So really, what brings you here?」
「Aah, yes, that. Did you deliver the message to the Prince?」
「I’ve earnestly conveyed the message to the people in the castle.」
「……Is that so. Then, what’s with the peaceful atmosphere on the streets? I’ve even heard they’re holding a festival.」
「Yes, according to orders from the Prince. It seems like he wanted to party before the King’s return no matter what.」
「Fumu…… By the way, you sure do run fast.」
「Hahaha, yesterday I was racing against a horse…… 」
Lunas unsheathed her sword.
「That means you’re fairly well trained. So you were Edelweiss’s spy after all?」
「Huh…… No. What are you talking about……」
「You said it yourself before you took off yesterday.」
Her sword, without wasted movements, met his neck.
Coming to this back alleyway was a disaster. Currently, everyone is gathered on the main streets in preparation for the festival. Not a single person was within their vicinity.
Pushing them this far, she could not stay silent any longer. Pariel reached for her sword…… Right as she was about to do so, she detected an immense killing intent. She could feel that the source of the killing intent would kill without hesitation. Unsure when, one of the maids already equipped countless knives in her hand and the other was preparing magic.
「……Pariel, please don’t do anything dangerous.」
Launching a surprise attack against them right now is impossible as Mahiro is already under their custody. Pariel released the handle of the sword.
「After saying so, the maid returned the knives back into her sleeves. The magic also dispersed.」
「I only wish to hear one thing. What is Edelweiss thinking? While knowing the existence of their enemy, why prepare a festival?」
「Well…… that…… Maybe it’s a trap?」
This foolish Prince! After all that preparation, he easily gave it away to the enemy.
「Maybe the decorations for the festival are… traps. I don’t know, I’m just guessing here.」
Lunas lowered her sword in astonishment.
「If you want to tell a lie, at least tell a believable lie. From what I can see, all of those are made of wood. As if those wooden decorations can leave a single scratch on my dark knights.」
「Ah….. Then that’s beyond me……」
No. No, no, no. Didn’t you see it yesterday? It’d be troublesome if the who proposed this idea didn’t know what he was doing.
「That…… boy. That’s……」
「Eh? What? I can say with confidence that I’m doing my best in this predicament.」
Ah, is that so. Continuing on with the interrogation.
「Another thing I don’t understand is why didn’t the two of you run away?」
For a moment, Mahiro was utterly shocked.
「What’s so shocking? I already warned you, I wanted to destroy this country. After knowing this, why didn’t you run away?」
「No…… Because…… I don’t believe you.」
Mahiro expressed clearly. At times like this, there’s no doubt that his intentions were pure and it wasn’t just a prudent ploy.
「There’s no way you’d destroy this country. Look, everyone is happily preparing for the festival. It’d be absurd to imagine all of it in ruins.」
It’s the feeling of admiration towards one’s lord as their vessel. Or the feeling of regret as the enemy stood before their very eyes yet still unable to act.
「I understand I’m not in the position to say this, but as destiny has brought us together again, I have a request. Princess Lunas, can you please delay the invasion until after the festival?」
「I have no obligations to wait. I’ve already seen with my eyes that there are not traps. I can initiate the attack at any moment…… but……」
She paused for a second.
「When is the festival?」
「I think it’s today at sunset, around 9 or so.」
「I see. Alright. Then I’ll give you until then to escape. You will not be given another chance if we meet on the battlefield.」
After that remark, she turned and walked away.
Mahiro let out a deep sigh and Pariel loosened her shoulders in relief.
「Ha~aah…… Who would have thought that’d happen…… But……」
「Even so, we wouldn’t leave empty handed.」
「Well, let’s return to the castle. Time to hit off the festival.」
However, after returning to the castle, their worst nightmare became a reality. It’s well past lunchtime so the cafeteria is completely empty. Which meant, they missed their lunch.
They eat lunch twice?
The dishes were all tidied up, so Pariel and Mahiro both forced the chef with the unreasonable request of making them some rice tea. Then they both ate it with small nibbles in a corner.
Note: Rice tea = Ochazuke
「Uuuu…… Just a small bowl of rice soup……」
「Don’t say it that way, Pariel. Think of this as a diet.」
「Aah, that’s right! A diet, diet ♪ …… Who’s fault do you think this is!?」
Loudly slurping the watery rice, the sound filled the cafeteria and made it all the more lonesome.
「Welcome back, your highness.」
It was Edelweiss and Cayenne.
「Prince…… You’re…… eating something amazing again.」
Since the cafeteria is seldom visited by the Prime Minister, he was dumbfounded at the sight of a royalty slurping watered rice.
「Much appreciated, you two. You also want some, Cayenne?」
「Ah…… No. I’ve already ate.」
「So, how’s the progress?」
「The preparations are about 70% complete. It should be complete before sunset.」
「Very fast, as expected. Edelweiss, how about you?」
「We didn’t make much progress due to the limited amount of workers in lower parts of town.」
「Fumu, oh well. As long as the main streets are done. Then, let’s hold the festival according to schedule.」
At that time, Edelweiss.
「However, your Highness, if the enemies were to attack, it would leave all the citizens in danger.」
「No, do not worry. During my absence, I have already confirmed the time of the attack.」
Edelweiss blinked in surprise while the Prime Minister was clearly in shock.
「What did you say?」
「The other side already know the time of the festival. Like what the Prime Minister said, they don’t have a large army as they’re just a squad specialized in surprise attacks. Therefore, above all else, our opponents are the ones who hates disturbances. It’s not like they’re also holding a parade, compared to marching them down roads, they’ll have a hard time in the mountainous terrains. Besides, the Princess just likes to fight, which is different from those degenerates who enjoys slaughter. So we’ll be using this to our advantage.」
Mahiro’s declaration left everyone dumbfounded. Then he faced everyone.
「In regards to today’s festival, encourage everyone to join. If they are injured then use a cane. If they are sick, then carry them in a stretcher. Just gather everyone in the Northern plaza.」
As if realizing something, the Prime Minister narrowed his eyes..
「Not in the castle?」
「That’s right. Order all the solders and maids to also gather in the Northern plaza. If they don’t fit then expand further north. If they occupy those places, then they wouldn’t be able to attack from the Northern gate.」
Hearing this far, Pariel was finally able to guess what Mahiro’ve been planning. It’s as Mahiro declared, to not let a single citizen fall victim to the Imperial Army. It was just a festival in name…… In truth it was for everyone to take refuge.
If one were to openly announce an evacuation, then surely everyone will fall into panic. Maybe even some will be wounded amidst the turmoil. No, it’ll be impossible for anyone to carry any heavy luggages as the carriages will create a blockade on the road. Perhaps it could even be more serious. But if it was a fun festival, then……
Cayenne softly sighed. It was an expressed mixed with drops of cold sweat…… they calmed themselves down. Pariel felt the same. It felt almost like the same as when they plunged into enemy territory.
「If it’s like this…」
Only Edelweiss managed to keep her usual calm expression.
「The castle will fall without a doubt. Are you okay with that?」
She has a point. After that, only unmanned traps will remain. Those can be breached and unarmed with just a little bit of time.
「What’s wrong with that?」
「It was a straightforward decision. Between the citizens and the castle, I would choose to save the citizens.」
It was a splendid decision.
But ideals are ideals, reality isn’t so forgiving, don’t you realize.
End of chapter 3.
Volume 1 – Chapter 4
Still The Heart of Royalty
≪This is KAZE #1. A huge amount of people emerged from within the castle.≫
≪KAZE #2. The residents began gathering in the Northern plaza.≫
「Different from the ‘rumors’ I’ve heard, huh.」
≪No changes in #1.≫
≪No changes in #2.≫
「But to think it was really a festival……」
≪At this rate, the castle will be emptied. Even traps wouldn’t pose a threat.≫
≪Likewise in the city. Although the Southern gates are still closed, no progress was made to obstruct us.≫
「In the end, this proves to be the evidence they didn’t have a plan. Did not send spies nor strengthen the protection of the gates, and above all, this festival. Announcing it was due to the enemy’s presence will cause panic, but people will naturally gather if you were to call it a festival. How convenient.」
≪It appears that way. However, not quite. We just have to take over their castle. No need to create additional chaos, it’ll work in our favour.≫
≪Even that Edelweiss cannot disobey the kind prince, huh……≫
「I see. I’ll be here to command the attack. If something goes amiss, please retreat immediately. Understood?」
The commotion from the huge crowd of people in the Northern plaza could be felt from the balcony all the way over here.
(Would this really be okay……)
Currently there are only the bare minimum amount of people stationed within the castle. Other than Mahiro, myself as his guard, Edelweiss and Cayenne, there are only 20 who remained.
「Wahaha! Wahahahaha! It’s a success! With this, I’ll instantly become popular! After father discover my popularity, he’ll return my power for sure! This is what they call kill two birds with one stone! Wahahaha!」
That’s right. Speaking of the King, Pariel did recall the King say something like that before he left. However, before she could ask, Edelweiss inquired.
「So what do you plan on doing from now on?」
「If there are spies within our land, then they would never miss this chance. Up until now you’ve been gathering the citizens, but what’s the next course of action?」
Suddenly, a set of footsteps could be heard rushing towards them from the corridor. Normally, Edelweiss would be on guard with a coldhearted expression; however, the man who showed up was Prime Minister Cayenne.
「Prince, I bring urgent news!」
「What is it?」
「Demons has appeared in the Southern part of town!」
Everyone froze in place.
Demons. These are the subordinates of the Demon Lord that completely wiped out the population of the Western continents. They are an existence outside of the ecosystem, not part of the Empire, nor the Republic, nor human beings, nor Majins. They are the enemies of all of mankind. It would be a disaster worse than a calamity if they were to assemble into groups. They would bring upon the destruction of absolutely everyone and everything in their way, and cannot be stopped until they have fully eradicated the entire human race.
Countries, town and villages of this era all constructed a protective wall that surrounds their vicinity. These were originally constructed for the purpose to protect themselves during war, however now they can also serve as self-protection from demons.
Therefore. If demons were to appear inside the wall, then there will be nothing short of a catastrophe.
Beside the astonished Pariel, Edelweiss questioned.
「Prime Minister Cayenne, would a counter attack be possible?」
「No, I’m afraid not. From a glance, I estimate there are over several hundreds of them. Although they are all low class, but their numbers kept increasing.」
Although Demons are divided into classes, excluding the slimes, even the weakest wolves possess lethal potential. One can imagine them to be like several hundred pack of wolves. However, those are not animals. Unknown to fear, as long as they can still move, even if their arms or legs are hacked off, they would still plunge forward for an attack. They are countless pack of wolves without survival instincts.
The King departed with their best troops, not to mention the Majins within the knights. Therefore, all they have right now are normal human soldiers. Considering their experience and equipments, it would be absurd to expect each one of them to face against several demons. Not to mention the ever-increasing demons.
Mahiro was stumped.
「What good would it be to lie about such a thing!? Minister Karlo already departed for the Northern plaza to guide the population!」
Mahiro could do naught but become flustered as he stared at the shouting Cayenne.
BAM (SUBAN)! Edelweiss slapped Mahiro on the head with a thunderous roar.
「Get a hold of yourself.」
「I can deal with the Imperial Army, but the appearance of demons completely took me off guard.」
「Although I do not possess concrete evidence, but I speculate…… it was due to the city suddenly becoming vacant, and thus causing demons to rush in.」
「Uh. So what would happen?」
「Mismarca would fall to demons before the Imperial Army.」
「Prime Minister Cayenne. This thing has already expired. Which direction will Karlos direct the people towards?」
「Outside the protective walls. Because if this continues on, the people will be trapped by the walls. Luckily, we still have time before the demons trample over this castle while travelling North. We’ll relocate everyone outside the gates as an event for the festival, and thus serving as a temporary refuge outside the walls.」
From the balcony, the energy from the plaza seems to have cooled down a bit. Everyone is on their way out of the city in slight confusion, while tilting their heads, they followed…… down the main street leading to the Northern protection gate. As the band played a familiar tune, the atmosphere was almost like a parade.
Edelweiss nodded with consent.
「Use the most appropriate method. For now, we’ll try to avoid any chaos. Then, leave the worst soldiers there to preserve order, and call the rest back to the castle.」
As Cayenne began to hurry out of the room, a soldier stationed within the castle reported in.
「I’m afraid I have bad news! There’s a demon outbreak in the forest behind the castle! It could not be contained by only the current stationed soldiers! Your orders!」
「How could this be……!?」
Pariel fell on her knees. Cayenne was left speechless with an agonizing facial expression. Even Edelweiss seems to have been taken aback and appears to be in deep thought.
As if under someone’s vile arrangements, the worst possible outcome began to unfold.
Whether the streets or the castle, both of which are within the wall. Even the town below the castle, nothing was made to withstand attacks from the inside. Under the festival disguise, we’ve managed to avoid any casualties amongst citizens. Even though everything should have been proceeding smoothly.
Mahiro said while trembling.
Before Edelweiss could continue, Mahiro shook his head.
「If I have to pick between the castle and the people in the castle, I pick the people…… so this is my decision.」
However, with that, Edelweiss’ words became colder than usual.
「I believe you’re no longer acting upon your belief. This is probably an excuse.」
As if she struck bull’s eye, Mahiro fell into silence. Edelweiss pressed further.
「I’ll be honest. His Highness have already predicted that you would save the citizens at any cost during a crisis.」
Mahiro narrowed his eyes.
「…… So…… Father……」
「Correct. However, being besieged by both demons and the Empire was an unexpected turn of events for everyone. Therefore, now is where your true trial begins, Your Highness.」
Upon hearing the real values within those words, Mahiro sneered in desperation.
Seeing her lord in such a miserable state, Pariel was unable to hold it in anymore, and shook Mahiro’s shoulders with a powerful force.
「MAN UP! Isn’t this your home! Isn’t this everyone’s country! Don’t give up so easily! We still have the castle; it’s still not over yet! You don’t need to keep it all to yourself, we’re still here! Please order us to fight! This is the purpose of our existence!」
Mahiro was about to say something, however, he immediately averted his eyes from Pariel.
「No means no! Just run! Run until there’s nothing ahead! No one will be left behind! I forbid anyone to stay behind! This is an order with status presented to me by Father!」
Any hint of the confidence and composure from before all disappeared, all that could be seen now was a mere child throwing a tantrum.
Pariel felt her hand on Mahiro loosen. Cayenne as well. Even Edelweiss dropped her shoulders with an unbearable sigh.
「……What is your view on this, Prime Minister Cayenne?」
「Although I am unsure of how bad the current situation is inside the castle, but frankly…… Even if we’ve gathered all the soldiers, our chance of winning is still strikingly low. With all due respect…… There is logic within Prince’s order.」
「Is that so. Then.」
With all the remaining 20 soldiers within the castle amassed, they moved out to the garden. Although they’ve previously already defeated many infiltrated monsters, somehow currently, still many grotesque monsters roam the garden. Casually trampling on the beautiful fountains, flowers beds, and the lawn.
Certainly, if all the citizens were to scramble to escape, causalities would definitely skyrocket. The plaza is just a small distance away from the castle’s north side. However, even with that huge population of citizens, they seems to all be on the main road proceeding to the Northern gate.
After Pariel and the group caught up to the end of the line, they let out a sigh of relief. Cayenne confirmed that there were no injuries or people who fell out of line. This was the greatest fortune of a misfortune. However, to those who knew the circumstances, it was a painful retreat. A complete defeat.
The castle was finally empty.
What to say to Mahiro…… When Pariel turned around, Mahiro was watching the gate they just exited from.
「……I must return to the castle.」
「Wh…… WHAT KIND OF BULLSHIT!」
Mahiro held a solemn expression as Pariel shouted.
「There’s still time. The demons around the castle might catch up. I’ll go close the gates.」
「Close… If you close the gates then wouldn’t you trap yourself inside!? Didn’t you see the state of the garden!? The castle will soon become a demon’s nest!」
「Don’t you remember how I used to always disappear somewhere and then reappear elsewhere?」
「There are lots of secret passageways that only the royal family knows about. After closing the gate and lifting the drawbridge, I’ll use the passageway to make my escape.」
Pariel looked towards Cayenne and Edelweiss for confirmation, however no one could voice any opinions to break the silence. The chance of getting lost halfway would be very slim. But the point is Mahiro’s…… feelings towards the people and whether or not that Lord [Mahiro] can carry out his fighting spirit.
「Well, I’m going whether you guys like it or not.」
「Then I’ll go with you! I’m Prince’s guard after all!」
「Naturally, you must never let the Prince leave your sight.」
Thus, the two departed and advanced towards the castle.
「Was that really alright? Edelweiss. I was sure you’d stop him……」
「The prince has a strong sense of responsibility…… Or rather, it’s egoistic. However, Pariel should be able to prevent the worst-case scenario if she’s with him.」
How rare of her to speak in such a roundabout way, but it made Cayenne realize something important. Usually when royalties end up in a completely failure and approached with naught but disgrace, perhaps almost all of them will decide to do the same thing.
「You reckon the prince would end his own life……」
Although he was a tactician, but upon seeing such a lively individual, Cayenne was unable to imagine such an outcome.
「Who knows. But, Pariel is there just in case. With Prince’s running speed, he should have no trouble with those lowly demons.」
However, suddenly coming to a realization, Cayenne turned and looked up at the castle.
If he was indeed that fast, wouldn’t it be child’s play to simply leave Pariel behind?
The motors groaned with a gongon sound.
The drawbridge slowly raised from the motors powered by the fire-powered furnace in the basement. At the same time, the castle gates were also making loud noises as they slowly closed.
Using the control panel from within the guard’s station, they oversaw the operation. However, for safety reasons, the lever cannot be released until everything is fully closed, as promptly after release, both the bridge and the gates will come to a halt.
「Prince, are you done yet!? I can see demons on the opposite side!」
「Can’t you see its progress!? Just need a bit more time!」
Before long, gakoon, a heavy sound resonated as the gates locked. Then after awhile, the drawbridge was also fully lifted.
「Alright, we’re good Pariel! Let’s escape!」
To a demon that smelled its prey and closed in, Pariel flashed her Imperial sword and cut it down to open a path. Although the demons were grand in size, their strength was feeble.
The long sword Pariel wielded can down a demon in a single hit. Choosing her to be a guard was not just for show. Pariel swung her sword skillfully to protect the Prince as they ran.
「Over here Pariel! Wait a bit!」
「We’re… in the center in the back forest!? I thought the secret passageways would be hidden somewhere important like the back of the throne or something……」
While Pariel was saying such, Mahiro pulled out a handle from within the ground, and with a forceful heave, he pulled it up. To the surprised Pariel, Mahiro answered.
「I told you, didn’t I? There are lots of secret passageways. If there is only a single one behind the throne, then there’s no way I would be able to run away from father. He’s scary when he’s furious.」
「I already know that! I mean, you always anger him by sneaking out to play!」
As the two babbled, another demon managed to find them. To escape from it, the two entered the passageway. The height of the passageway is barely tall enough for a single adult to stand in, not to mention it is also very narrow. With the entrance closed, naturally it became pitch black. A situation where one cannot even see their outstretched hands.
Can’t see their hands while holding their nose or something.
「Originally, only father knew of this passageway, but during one of my getaways, I stumbled into this place. Not to mention there’re hidden trapdoors somewhere here, can’t be helped.」
「O….Oh…… Is that so…… It’d be bad to lose our way then……」
Pariel followed Mahiro’s footsteps.
「That’s right. But luckily, other than the trap doors, this is just a straight path. As long as we keep following it, we’ll arrive at the mansion I was planning on buying.」
It was probably that house with the blue roof they looked at. Mahiro said something about using the using national treasury to purchase a mansion earlier in the shop.
「I’m against wasting tax money.」
「So, just keep walking straight down, don’t even think about heading back to the castle, okay?」
Suddenly, Mahiro’s presence disappeared along with a batan sound.
A voice rang out from the other side of the wall.
「Forgot to tell you, Pariel. There’s actually one more thing I have to do.」
Suddenly an ominous chill surged over Pariel. She understood, Mahiro is already on the other side of the hidden wall.
「Just to tell you, this is the reason I came back. I’m still a royalty after all. Even if it was with the minimal obligations, the country was still entrusted to me……」
Even though he was so shamelessly telling everyone to run away on the balcony. Now he’s saying something like this with such a cheerful tone.
「Who cares about something like that! Please open the door! Prince!」
Mahiro’s laughter echoed through the corridor.
「You’re right. I wouldn’t go through this much trough if it really was something insignificant. But you know, every royal family have this sort of things. This castle will soon become a demon’s next and be raided by the Imperial Army. Therefore, you should just keep going straight and meet up with Edelweiss. Don’t look for me, alright?」
「In the future, you should serve father rather than someone like me. For your own sake. Surely, it will be better…… See you later, Pariel.」
Those were words of farewell.
No matter how much Pariel cried for the Prince, there were no response. As usual, regret washed over Pariel as she somehow managed to lose the Prince yet again. Not to mention, even at a time like this, she was nonetheless deceived and hung her head in shame.
However, there was one thing she understood–continuing to cry in shame here won’t do her any good. So, Pariel advanced forward.
At the end of the passageway, there was a handle on the ceiling. Reaching up, she pulled it down and her vision was suddenly filled by a dazzling moonlight.
In front of Pariel, stood a house. Confirming the colour of the walls and the shape of the windows, there was no mistake, it is indeed the house Mahiro said. That means the main street must be not far from here.
Climbing to the top of the surrounding walls, Pariel searched for the main street. After she confirmed the direction, she leapt off and took off towards Edelweiss.
Noticing only a single silhouette running towards them, it was as Cayenne expected. No, it was only half of what he predicted to be the worst possible outcome. A bitter expression showed on his face.
The only thing Pariel can do now is to report the truth.
「W….what…… should…… I do……」
「So you just shamelessly came running back, huh?」
Edelweiss’s words struck her hard. Upon hearing Edelweiss’ words, Cayenne can no longer remain silent.
「Edelweiss…… I’m sure you also understand, this current situation is not her fault. The Prince abandoned her.」
「She’s my subordinate. Prime Minister Cayenne, please stay out of this.」
After a brief moment, Edelweiss suddenly went on a completely unrelated topic.
「Pariel. There’s a huge scar on your back, right?」
Pariel blinked her eyes that were swollen from crying.
There is indeed a scar. I’ve also told Mahiro about it before…… but why mention it now?
「Do you still remember how you got that scar?」
「Really. I thought you knew, that was why I let you become the Prince’s guard.」
Pariel subconsciously turned to look at her back.
「What do you mean? I thought I got it when I was attacked by a demon when I was a little kid……」
「At that time, there was a boy playing with you, right? And that boy had a very strong sense of justice.」
Suddenly recalling a glimpse of her old memories, Pariel’s widened her eyes.
That was right. She was the older one, even during the time when the demon attacked. And yet, during that time, the one standing in front of the demon with their hands stretched out was someone else with a very reliable, yet small silhouette.
「……How did…… Edelweiss-sama……」
「Isn’t it obvious? Because I was that child’s…… Prince Mahiro’s wet nurse.」
For a moment, Pariel was unable to comprehend Edelweiss’ words.
「That child…… was the Prince……?」
「Indeed. That day, the Prince used his power to protect you from the demon. Although being so young, the Prince held a power that wouldn’t lose to anyone else no matter the country. However, preciously because he was still so young, he lost control of his power and went berserk.」
What is this…… Why tell such a story.
「The scar on your back was not caused by a demon. It was caused by the overwhelming power from the Prince who tried to protect you.」
Edelweiss took a breath, and shifted her gaze towards the castle.
「The overwhelming fear induced by hurting someone with his own hands was far too much for his childish heart. Thus, his strong hatred towards violence was developed from it. His Highness recognized the instability of the Prince’s power and thus personally sealed his power. It was for his own good as if he had continued amuck; he’ll definitely tear himself apart. I’m sure even His Highness wanted to return the Prince’s power.」
She abruptly stopped her speech and turned this way with an unusually cold face.
「Had you not existed, Prince’s power would never gone berserk nor sealed. He could have became a very promising prince. Even if his swords and wits falls short, with his exceptional power rivalling a group of demons, without even using cheap tricks, he could easily crush anyone in his way. Even those Imperial Soldiers amounting to no more than a few hundred at most, the Prince could single-handedly bring them down.」
「H…… How…… would I know…… such…… a story……!」
I didn’t know. Such a thing, I really didn’t know. Even if you were to suddenly force this upon me. How could I have known…… that I’ve swayed the fate of this country in the past.
「That’s the end of this story. I’ll leave the rest to you.」
What a laughable voice.
Nothing could be read from her face of ice [pokerface].
「You may fail to protect the Prince or die trying. You may choose to escape by yourself. As long as you do not regret your decision, then my intention of selecting you as the Prince’s guard will not change.」
The real me. The me that is his guard.
Pariel earnestly shook her head.
There is no difference whether I’m myself or just a guard. Indeed, I was just a little surprised when something unexpected happened.
「I’m…… going back!」
I must return. At least, there is no meaning staying here. Other than returning to the castle, there’s nothing else I can do.
「Pariel, I shall accompany you.」
「Although swords aren’t my specialty, but against demons, I’m sure this will come in handy.」
From Cayenne’s waist, he pulled out a solemn gun. It was different from the ones the knights and soldiers used, it was a gun for hunting. On a battlefield, all the soldiers’ armours are enchanted with a protective coating. Firing a lead ball against said armour is simply a futile effort, however, against demons, that’s another story.
「How could you possibly protect the Prince if he wanted to take his own life? Wouldn’t it be impossible to carry him with one hand and fight demons with the other?」
「Even so, there’s no reason for Prime Minister Cayenne to do this.」
「Edelweiss. From the few days I’ve been here, I’ve taken a great interest in Prince Mahiro. For this reason, I must…… see it to the end at all cost. If I can see him before I die, then at least I can die with no regret.」
「……Prime Minister. It seems like you’ve been infected by the Prince’s contagious foolishness.」
The Prime Minister who always held a bitter look on his face suddenly exploded in laughter causing Edelweiss to heave a long sigh.
「Very well, Pariel, lead us to the hidden passage.」
「Eh? Edelweiss-sama is also coming……?」
「Leaving both the Prince and the Prime Minster to die would hurt my pride.」
So she already decided that we would die.
「But, what about those refugees……」
「As long as they follow the main street, we can entrust them to Sir Karlo. But before then, we must hear His Highness’ [The Prince] orders.」
Cayenne let out a smile.
「Looks like the highly renowned Edelweiss also fell prey to the Prince’s foolishness.」
「You must be joking.」
Edelweiss spat with disgust.
I don’t understand. Can’t tell if she’s actually gentle or just have a broken and inconsistent personality.
However, even those two seemly perfect pair, have emotions after all.
「T……Then follow me! Over here……!」
With Pariel leading in the front, the trio arrived back at the passageway.
It’s as Cayenne said. There’s hard to imagine that such a selfish prince would end his own life. And that’s preciously we must return. He’s still alive.
South of Mismarca’s Castle.
In an open field where the roaming demons have been previously cleared by the dark knights, a very luxurious wagon pulled in. Descending from the wagon, Lunas surveyed her surroundings. She wore a gold embellished black armor with skirts as if modelled after a long dress, coated under a heavy mantle embroidered with her family crest; it was truly an image befitting of a war maiden.
A shield decorated by praying angels that is larger than the size of a human was plunged into the ground by a right hand equipped in a gauntlet decorated with exaggerated designs.
Yeah, these descriptions are awkward as hell… My English isn’t good enough to phrase it any better.
「Seems like it just became interesting. What could it be?」
Standing in an officer’s suit rather than clad in armour, Reiner slightly shook his head.
「It’s as “KAZE” have predicted. Everyone gathered for the festival, thus rendering the city streets deserted.」
「…… I wonder about that. Where could so many people even wonder off to.」
「We’ve just broken through the gates.」
Lunas turned to look at the handiwork of the knights that’ve just smashed through the protection gates. She gazed upwards.
「Doesn’t look like demons could jump over this wall. Well, of course, before we arrived, no one reported any demons within the vicinity.」
「Quite an abnormal amount of demons, indeed.」
At that instant, Lunas’s hawk-like eyes caught sight of something amidst the streets.
「Everyone, advance Northward!」
As the maid cried, Lunas, as if completely unburdened by her heavy armour, jumped several floors into the air. Jumping from rooftop to rooftop, she crossed the streets covered by demons, while easily cutting down any airborne demons in her way.
Then, she noticed. A suspicious black fog shrouded the streets. The gas formed was the legendary fog from the underworld that called forth demons. Surely, this was not a natural occurrence; it was summoned intentionally for a purpose.
(……Could it be that guy?)
She caught sight of an abnormal and calm, albeit petite, presence observing the demonic fog. Hiding her presence, she jumped on top of that house.
It was a magician completely covered by a cloak hidden under his hood holding a plate with magic spells drawn on it.
「I’ve already used quite a bit…… Although he requested it, maybe I should just use it all……」
「What are you doing?」
From behind the figure, Lunas voiced her question, however the opponent was completely unfazed and turned around calmly.
「Ah, good evening, my beautiful Lady.」
「It was…… a kid……?」
It was completely unexpected. Judging from his face, he was no more than sixteen years of age. His appearance radiated innocence, truly a lovely boy. However, one cannot simply judge a Majin by their outer appearance.
Noticing Luna’s appearance, he laughed.
「Wow, that’s amazing. It’s Splendor Sword herself.」
Assuming that’s her title? Kouki no Ken (光輝の剣)
「…… What are you doing here? Are these demons your doing?」
「Ahaha…… I was found out?」
The boy laughed as he scratched his temples. Luscious blond hair peered out from under his hood.
「It can’t be helped if I was found out.」
His eyes narrowed as he smiled, in that instance, she noticed his narrowed eyes flickered with a demonic aura. At the same time, as if by reflex, Lunas swung her sword. As her attack clashed with the cloaked figure, the figure fell and collapsed on to the floor. However the remains were not even that of a demon’s. It was filled with chunks of flesh and tentacles, it was something far worse than a demon.
He said youki, so demonic aura?
「…… Some sort of shadow beast, huh. How unusual.」
As she pointed her blades towards the boy again, the boy raised both his hands.
He raised his hands in a banzai pose, surrendering.
「As expected, I’m no match for the renowned Seven-Star Sword……」
The name of the sword she’s using. Shichisei Ken (七星剣).
The boy was not to be underestimated. He summoned without chanting and was able to withstand a massive killing intent directed towards him without batting an eye.
「Did the Empire send you? If so, please leave, because you’re getting in my way.」
「Empire? Ahaha, you must be joking. In outline, this was to be done behind closed doors…… but, oh well. There’s nothing I can do against the legendary Princess Lunas. I didn’t get paid enough to do something so dangerous.」
「Yeah, you were kinda right…… you can say I’m an agent, but for this country.」
While saying thus, the boy’s frivolous attitude disappeared. Taking its place, was a man slaughtering smile.
「I wasn’t kidding, you know? My client is the Prince of this country. That guy is completely broken. The current situation is all part of his plan.」
Lunas widened her eyes.
「The Prince……? What’s the purpose of doing such a thing?」
「You wanna know? I’ll speak since I don’t wanna die after all. That guy didn’t pay for me to shut up.」
Surprisingly, he betrayed the Prince so quickly.
「To make it brief. The first order of business was to forcefully drive out all the citizens gathered for the festival. And the second, was to use the demons to hinder the Imperial forces.」
Lunas was shocked.
「Using demons…… as soldiers? Are these guys crazy?」
「Who knows. Like I’ve said, he’s completely broken. He’d do anything as long as the civilians remains unharmed, that foolish Prince. He could care less about the town or the castle. If this goes on, both you and your subordinates will fall into his trap, you know?」
Angry roars, shrieks, and sound of hoofs were heard.
The source of the sounds were different from the soldiers that were stationed nearby. Instead of human slave soldiers, this team was composed of only elite Majins. Against these kinds of demons, each is capable of decimating more than 50 of them with a single swing. However, different from their normal field battles, the battle is currently taking place in a city. As such, they were somewhat overwhelmed.
The crowd of people suddenly surged into the previously deserted street devoid of any human presence. Without any warnings, they charged towards the demons floating like balloons.
「You said something about the…… castle? Anything else?」
The boy revealed the plate in his hands. Strangely, it displayed a magic pattern unlike the pattern taught in the Sorcery School.
「This is known as the Devil Plate. After activation, it will connect to a demon silo in the underworld and spawn demons for awhile. Due to connecting them forcefully, only the brainless low-level demons could be summoned.」
They’re different from normal demons…… so this was the reason they didn’t destroy the town. They were only mindlessly chasing after the scent of humans.
「We’ve set up more of these within the castle……But knowing the Prince’s personality, there will be more lying around. Although I didn’t ask him how many or what they were.」
「Where was it set up?」
「Aah, don’t worry about that. The ones that were activated will soon run out of energy, so they won’t increase anymore.」
「I see. That’s all I need to hear.」
With a splash of blood, along with the Devil Plate, the boy’s body was split in two. Her heavy mantle absorbed the fresh blood and increased in weight. However, the corpse was just more lumps of meat.
(Again with the black magic……)
Although she clearly felt the blade slicing the flesh apart. However, the flesh definitely didn’t feel like they belonged to a human. Both the demons Lunas’ve cut apart were summoned by him awhile ago.
Suddenly a voice rang out of nowhere.
≪As a professional in this business, I have prepared a mountain’s worth of means of self-defense.≫
「Your name is?」
≪I am Emilio Apricott, a humble owner of a general store. Even if it’s you, Princess Lunas, feel free to call me if you ever need anything……≫
「What an interesting guy. Shady merchant, I will remember you.」
As Lunas declared, she jumped back.
The moment she contacted the street, she began slicing demons apart as if they were mere waves, and slowly, she made her way back to the camp. The two high class maids were relieved from the bottom of their hearts as they put their hands on their chest just as they noticed their master’s return.
「Lunas-sama, where have you gone……!?」
「Not far. But I found out these demons were actually Prince Mahiro’s doing.」
Reiner blinked in disbelief.
「Indeed. Over the countless battles our country have fought, this would be the first time we faced such a foolish opponent. Certainly, doing something this flashy does not suit Edelweiss’s personality. Could that country have employed another tactician……?」
「Anyhow, we must advance forward. Those in the front, open a path!」
With Lunas’ words, the knights ahead divided into two and parted in both the left and right direction. Naturally, the demons rushed in to fill the gap.
The Princess raised her Seven-Star Sword. Inserting a huge amount of magic into the sword using the gauntlets that radiates a dark miasma, the sword began to shine with a dazzling radiance as depicted by its name. Such a motion cannot be achieved by a normal magician even if they spent their entire life researching it. Even the knights under her rule gulped as they trembled, intimidated by her power.
The Princess smiled.
A slash. Her downward swing was followed by an illuminated flash. Her magically form sword brought utter destruction upon the defenseless low ranked demons. The line created by the slash burned a path in a straight line leading all the way to the gates, eradicating all the demons in the way.
「Alright, let’s go.」
Ah, so this is the Splendor Sword. The third Princess worthy of applause and admiration. The Goddess that will guide us to victory. As such, Lunas calmly strode towards the castle with all the knights cheering behind.
As Pariel and the group entered the castle’s entrance hall, from a corner of the ceiling, a group of demonic bats stormed down in a swoop.
While breathing calmly, Pariel nimbly danced with a single step as the bat shot straight past. Following behind the bat that just passed by, three more could be heard as they dropped and fluttered in the sky. They’re too high to be reached with the sword, however, we should be fine as long as they don’t attack. It’d be a huge nuisance if they were to attack the moment we turn our backs to them.
(…… It’d sure be nice if we can use magic at times like this……)
Sound you make when you’re scared.
The sudden gunshots resonated from behind her causing Pariel to duck and cover. The demons that once conceitedly looked down upon the trio now fell on the floor with a patapata.
「Beautifully done, Prime Minister Cayenne.」
「When I was still a student, I earned some pocket change like this.」
The Prime Minister happily gossiped.
「Uh, Uhm, as expected of Cayenne-sama…… However, can you at least warn me next time before you shoot……」
Due to Pariel’s inexperience with guns, the sudden shots scared her.
「Get used to it.」
Upon Edelweiss’s command, Pariel can only do her best to deal with it.
Taking out the empty shells from the gun that was radiating purple smoke, Cayenne reloaded it with a round of six bullets.
「Well, even though we’ve arrived at the castle……」
As Cayenne inquired, since the castle is so big, they immediately greeted with the problem of actually finding Mahiro.
「Pariel, any ideas?」
「W-well…… Normally he’d be hiding inside the change rooms nearby, behind the baths, or harassing the maids……」
「What…… No, forget.」
Readjusting his monocle, Cayenne turned towards Edelweiss.
Adding in the –dono because I’ve been adding in –sama when Pariel talks.
How can she be so calm in this situation?
「Anyhow, it’s meaningless to stand around here! Let’s go look for him!」
Just when Pariel can no longer stand still and was about to run off searching for her Lord, Edelweiss stopped her.
I assume this is the crash sound.
The chandelier crashed down.
Had she not been called, she would have been crushed under it.
「By His Highness’s orders, we’ve set traps throughout the castle. If you were to act recklessly, I wouldn’t know what’ll happen to you.」
「You might survive if you wear the Imperial Knight’s armour.」
So she’s implying that due to not wearing any armour, they’ve all walked into a death trap. The chandelier slowly retracted with a kirikiri sound. Looks like the traps can be activated multiple times.
While they were carelessly analyzing the traps, a demon appeared. It stepped on a tile somewhere and instantly became minced meat skewered by a bed of needles. Another tumbled onto the wall and became fully charred by a flow of electricity. A few demons stepped on the doorsill and was instantly sliced in half by a guillotine from the heavens.
「……T-that Prince…… designed such cruel traps……?」
「Because the traps His Highness set up were too gentle, I merely tweaked them a bit.」
The demons awhile ago just so happened to be able to fly, so they managed to evade the traps set for the knights. Covered in cold sweat, Cayenne closed his eyes behind his monocle.
「Separating…… seems impossible.」
「That’d be wise. However, the traps weren’t activated when we were escaping, yet now they are.」
「So that means, Prince is still alive, right!?」
Agreeing with Pariel’s deduction, Edelweiss nodded.
「Please follow your steps after me.」
Zigzagging and, at times, hopping over certain stairs, they arrived at the second floor. Looking back, the demons perusing them fell victim to the traps, some simply slipping down while some were sent flying.
「We do not have to worry about demons from here on.」
「What about the traps……」
She was ignored by Edelweiss.
「Uhm…… The Prince couldn’t have fallen into Edelweiss-sama’s trap……right?」
Suddenly, as if suddenly remembering something, she looked away.
「All the traps were placed in accordance to the Prince’s orders.」
It is possible for Mahiro to avoid the traps by following the blueprints. That is, if he had memorized the entire blueprint before hand.
「However, due to insufficient time, only the entrance hall were armed with such dangerous traps. The traps laid out from here to the throne are all Prince’s.」
「There’s no reason to abandon me just to activate the traps…… I think he has another purpose.」
「In that case, the first floor consists of the soldier’s and maid’s stations, dining room, church, library…… and other living quarters. I don’t think the Prince would be wandering around here during an emergency.」
Edelweiss continues on Cayenne’s observation.
「Second and third floor contains the high ranked official’s offices and bedrooms, guestrooms, and the reception office. If His Highness really does seek to end his own life as hypnotized, then let’s search in the audience room before the throne room.」
With no clues left to debate, the three walked down the passage and into the audience room on the second floor. The grand room was empty. Retracing backwards, they returned to the stairs and advanced up to the fourth floor. When they entered the throne room, they were greeted by yet another empty scene. The place that was to guide the country to its future stood barren.
「Who about…… underground?」
The other two considered Pariel’s idea.
The underground prison was seldom used in a country as peaceful as Mismarca. Consequently, the place underground also consists of many furnaces, which powers the entire town. Lastly…… with Pariel’s position, she does not have the corresponding security clearance to enter that area. It was a place where the former royal families rest, from the first ever king of Mismarca.
「To rest beside Her Highness……huh.」
Thinking such an unpleasant thought, Cayenne coughed.
Naturally, the atmosphere became heavy.
「Uhm, sorry…… as I thought……」
Being unable to withstand the heavy atmosphere caused by his own thoughtless speech, Cayenne shook his head.
「It’s just that, the moment we stopped moving forward, these bad thoughts always finds their way into our heads. There are still countless areas we haven’t searched. So let’s just search those places first. If anything comes up, we’ll just decide then.」
Descending on their way to the third floor, Edelweiss suddenly stopped. Abruptly turning another way…… she walked over to a huge window.
「We’re running out of time.」
They instantly realized what Edelweiss meant when they walked up beside her. A group of black shadows was rushing towards them from the main street. However, they does not resemble demons, not to mention their movements are very orderly and precise.
Seeing the army ahead, Pariel shrieked before Cayenne.
「Impossible! Why are the gates open……!?」
The enemy already arrive. Who opened the gates? Nevertheless, there’s no time to find the answer.
「Maybe we still have time! I’ll shut the gates!」
As Pariel unknowingly stepped forward, the floor creaked with a strange click sound.
Some sort of activation sound.
Something landed on her head.
Soft, Sticky and Slimy~
「IYAAAAA!? Wha!? Slime!? KYAAAAAAAA～～～～!?」
It was sticky with a translucent pink colour, absolutely disgusting.
「Is this also Edelweiss-sama’s!?」
「No way. This is simply one of His Highness’s interest. From the colour, it looks like it would only attack females.」
「Why only females!?」
Peeling it off, she slammed it on the floor.
「Of course, the goal was to attacking their body.」
「He’s the…… THE WORST! THAT PRINCE IS THE WORST! He must have gotten this from that shady shop using the citizen’s tax money!!」
The slime just won’t die no matter how many times she stomped it and kicked it. This was a liquid slime.
「I’m fucking pissed now! Looks like I’ll have to use my last resort! If we can’t find him, then just let him come to us!」
The Prime Minister was shocked.
「W-What? Is that even possible!?」
「Cayenne-sama. I’ve served the Prince for so long after all! Please just leave it to Pariel!」
Pariel exhaled. Then suddenly took a deep breath.
「IIII~YAAAAA~N, THE SLIME WON’T GET OFF!! SAVE ME PRINCE-SAMA!!」
It was all silent……
SFX for getting wacked in the head.
「Uuuuuu….. but…… but……」
「Come to my room afterwards. We need to have a little talk.」
「YES!!!!!! I’M HERE TO SAVE YOU, MY HONEY……」
Edelweiss’s slap resonated with an explosive sound that appeared unlike any other slap.
Sob. Sob. Sob.
「I’ve…… I’ve been stared at by Edelweiss’ dreadful glare……!」
「Of course you foolish prince! Where have you been this entire time! Come on! Out with it!」
Pariel yelled at the kneeling Mahiro while kicking him. Witnessing this reversal of the master-servant role, Cayenne broke out in a cold sweat while glancing at Edelweiss, who did not have any intentions on stopping them.
「What do you think you’re doing?」
「……That’s what I wanted to ask. Why are you all gathering here, this place will soon be invaded by both the demons and the Empire. I’m fine, don’t worry. So just get out of here.」
「Even so, did you really think we’ll just leave?」
Pariel said in a hoarse voice.
「But I’ve been thinking the best for you…」
「All you’ve done is worry us! What’s with that attitude!? The hell do you think you are!? Huh!?」
「I’m the Prince! Ow, no, stop! Help! Edelweiss……! Kyaaaaaaa!!」
Letting out a sign, Edelweiss placed a hand on Pariel’s shoulders. Pariel finally stopped her feet from kicking.
「Don’t hit the face. It’ll be bad if you leave a mark.」
「Ah…… Right, sorry Edelweiss-sama.」
「Sob. Sob. Sob.」
Unable to tolerate the two woman any further, Cayenne stepped in.
「Although I don’t know what the Prince is planning, we should hurry and escape from the castle……」
「Before that, I’m not done yet.」
Stopping Pariel’s desire to bite him, Edelweiss expressed.
「Your highness. Can you at least tell us what your goal is? We’re not going to give up that easily.」
After thinking for awhile, Mahiro said as if giving up.
「……nothing much really. I’ve already said during the meeting, I want to solve this by talking.」
「What a fool!」
「That’s suicide! We have no cards to play during the negotiation. And by how the situation’s been going……」
「No, Cayenne. It’s rather the opposite. It’s because it’s this situation, we have the best card to play.」
Unable to imagine what that could be, the Prime Minister let out a voice of disbelief.
「However, because of this, I have to prepare a few things. But thanks to some unskilled flat-chested girl, we’re just wasting time here.」
Slap!! Slap!! Slap!!
「G-GAH……! For…… For the time being, there’s no other way. You guys stay here and buy me a little time. However, just a bit is enough. Don’t throw your lives away. If you can’t handle it, then just run.」
What he said was the exact same as what he said in the hidden passageway. His voice carried the atmosphere of a royalty, made everyone feel the weight of the mission.
「It’s alright Pariel. Edelweiss, this kid here just doesn’t listen, if worse comes to worst, I’ll be counting on you.」
Mahiro nodded. Just like how he appeared, towards the ordinary floor…… he disappeared once again into the secret passage.
End of chapter 4.
Volume 1 – Chapter 5
Lion and Serpent