In order to investigate the mysterious disease that’s spreading in the city, the Guarders are going around every sector.
This happened right after the recovery of the King, so it can’t be helped that the Queen would suspect this to be the conspiracy of Erac. However, Erac himself was clearly flustered when he heard about this situation.
“There’s the possibility that Erac was acting though… Was there any movement from Makirus?”
“She didn’t take a single step outside after returning to her house last night.”
Niva-san was reading out loud the report of the Guarders that were surveying Erac and Makirus’s actions.
The Queen by the side was listening to this report with a serious expression, and while rubbing her brows, she closes her eyes.
“Hmm, now that I think about it, does Makirus have ‘grass’-like people? Also, does she use subordinates?” (Makoto)
“She is the type that enjoys even the process of her actions, so she rarely uses ‘grass’ and subordinate mages.” (Niva)
Aah, she is the type that once they begin a game, they don’t like it unless they finish the game themselves. The moment they leave it to others, they immediately lose motivation. It eliminates the sense of achievement after all.
“Aah, Erac used a magic tool from Dyudyurad. He was an alchemist, right?” (Makoto)
“At that time when Makoto-sama had a duel, huh. It is true that Dyudyurad was considered an alchemist, but his identity is completely unknown.” (Niva)
“…Unknown identity?” (Makoto)
“Yes. Gender and background; a person that is shrouded in complete mystery.”(Niva)
Sounds like a pain of a person.
“So such a person has connections with Erac, huh. —But if that person is an alchemist, it should be easy for them to create a poison.” (Makoto)
“…True. However, there’s also rumors that Dyudyurad is hard to please and won’t create anything they don’t acknowledge.” (Niva)
“So an eccentric character. Smells like a pain.” (Makoto)
Why are there so many weirdos in the villains?
“If we don’t know their background, there’s no way of searching, huh.” (Makoto)
“That’s right. We have been in pursuit of Dyudyurad for several years already, but we haven’t even caught their tail.” (Niva)
“Good at hide and seek, it seems.” (Makoto)
I shrug my shoulders and do a dry laugh, and Niva-san also does a dry laugh in response. That person probably has been the source of a lot of pain for her, I could feel slight anger in that laugh of hers.
“By the way, we are currently not doing anything, but in the case that it is an infectious disease, are you going to be isolating the corresponding district?” (Makoto)
“Of course, we plan on doing that. For that, we have to first investigate the reason.” (Niva)
“Right… And so, the meeting will be at noon, right?” (Makoto)
“Yes. We have scheduled an emergency meeting with this time’s incident as topic, but the cabinet ministers were pretty displeased by this, they said this is not a matter worth all this.” (Niva)
Uwa, Niva-san is looking like an ogre.
However, I think it will be too late by the time it actually turns into a problem.
“We can’t lose the initiative and give them unnecessary feed.” (Makoto)
By that, I mean ingredients to blame the Queen.
In this current situation where there’s the possibility of the affected to increase if we were to prolong it, there’s the need to resolve this even a day faster. Yesterday was concentrated on gathering information, so today at noon will be the meeting, but there’s most likely going to be people who are going to say they are reacting too slow. Most of those kind of people don’t move themselves, but they are unbelievably good at finding fault in the actions of others.
Those damn racoons are good only when it comes to talking.
“The ‘Ghost’ incident still hasn’t been solved, and yet, now there’s a mysterious disease. Isn’t this country cursed?” (Makoto)
“Right… It is headache inducing.” (Caril)
Heaving a heavy sigh, the Queen holds her head.
“Well, I will be watching that farce on a VIP seat.” (Makoto)
“…It is true that it does feel as if it will turn into a farce.” (Caril)
Niva-san seemed to be looking into the future and said: ‘please don’t say that’ with poison in her words, and the Queen groaned weakly as her shoulders lower.
While thinking how they are having it rough all the time, we continued talking about our plans for the future as we wait for when the meeting takes place.
☆☆ ★★★ ☆☆
Motoyasu Castle – Convention Assembly Hall.
The afternoon sunlight that invites drowsiness comes in from the windows, and it warms up the body. The comfiness that one wouldn’t want to fight against had the power to induce peoole into wanting to travel to dreamland.
This lukewarm atmosphere translated just like that into a place without a single bit of tension in the air. There was social talk blooming here and there in the place. If this were a gathering of housewives, it wouldn’t be that much of a problem, however, if the people doing that are the cabinet ministers and influential people that support the nation, that’s a big problem.
The Knight General was looking at those cabinet ministers while shaking his head. The Magic Division Leader was closing her eyes as if it didn’t concern her. There’s also the doctors of the medical office as well as the heads of noble families, but there’s most likely only a few who are actually thinking about the wellbeing of this nation, counting the knight general.
(Truly a comedy.)
At a side where the cabinet ministers were showing a pathetic sight that shouldn’t be seen by the citizens, there’s a maid that was looking forward with a demeanor as if used to this.
“Thank you all very much for gathering here despite your busy schedules. —It is now the scheduled time, so we will now begin the emergency meeting.” (Niva)
Within that group of people, the personal maid of the Queen -Niva- had her voice reverberate in the room, and it blew away the drowsy atmosphere all at once. However, there’s still not a single shred of tension as the people payed attention to her voice with an expression that showed it was a hassle.
“Today’s emergency meeting is regarding the current mysterious disease that has appeared in the city and to make countermeasures for it. First of all, the current situation is…” (Niva)
With Niva’s lead, the meeting began to move, and the cabinet ministers attending it were listening to it. Their faces were not showing a single bit of tension yet, and there’s even faces that were showing their desire to end this meeting as soon as possible.
The Queen was internally discouraged by this sight, and Niva was reading the report of the Guarders.
“—That’s all we have been able to gather until now.” (Niva)
“Thank you, Niva.” (Caril)
Substituting Niva who bowed once and stepped back, the Queen -Caril- holds the front of the meeting.
“Currently, the affected surpass the 300 people, and the numbers continue to increase.” (Caril)
Her clear voice rings in the assembly hall.
“Without any signs to it, in just a few days, several hundreds of people in certain districts are saying they have the same symptoms. I think this is quite the mysterious happening.” (Caril)
“Are you saying this is something that someone has spread intentionally?”
Prime Minister -Erac- was asking the Queen in a tone as if questioning her true intentions, and then his mouth warped slightly as he laughed. ‘Aren’t you overthinking this?’, is what he said in a mocking manner, and a number of cabinet ministers loosen their mouths as if agreeing to this.
“No matter if it was intentional or of natural cause, it doesn’t change the fact that we need to deal with it or we are going to end up losing important citizens.” (Caril)
“Right. Even so, if it is something of this degree, there’s the defense force and the proficient doctors at the city who should be able to deal with this, right?” (Erac)
“In the city, there’s also a dangerous individual called the ‘Ghost’ appearing. Many in the defense force are being stationed to stay on guard against it, so we can’t place much more of a burden on them.” (Caril)
“True, there’s that. Isn’t there the possibility that this dangerous individual is the one who spread this disease?” (Erac)
“Then, isn’t doing our all to capture that individual the way to keep the safety of the people, Prime Minister Erac?” (Caril)
“Sorry about that. It is exactly as you say.” (Erac)
‘This is still not at the point where the nation has to move’, is what Erac was implying with what he was saying. Caril was holding back her burning anger at this, and she directs her eyes and questions an important suspect in this to see what kind of answer she gives.
“I ask you, Makirus.” (Caril)
“Yes, what might it be?” (Makirus)
The Magic Division Leader -Makirus- makes a displeased expression for a second, but she elegantly responds when Caril spoke to her, and makes eye-to-eye contact with her.
“Is it possible to replicate an incident like this with alchemy?” (Caril)
“…Let’s see. If I had to say possible, I would say yes. Just that, from what I have heard of the current situation, it is hard to say whether this is a natural occurrence or not.” (Makirus)
“Is that so… If it is possible, what would it be like?” (Caril)
“Hmm… If it is someone who has Evyuraf’s Heart, or the Dorsal Fin of Kutock, it is possible to create symptoms similar to colds.” (Makirus)
“I see. As expected of you, really knowledgeable. Thank you.” (Caril)
‘Not at all’, is what Makirus says as she lowers her head and averts her eyes from Caril, her mouth warping slightly.
The ones who saw this small changes of her were Niva and one other. Someone that is diagonal from Makirus, and was continuously watching the meeting, the Knight General -Gallahart.
Gallahart knows plenty well that this meeting is a formality, and the topic of discussion is one that shouldn’t be ignored. The attitude of Makirus was one that really raises an eyebrow.
“Ohi-sama, can I have a word?” (Erac)
“What is it?” (Caril)
Unable to bring out beneficial information from Makirus, the Queen was pondering the next move, but Erac raises his hand with a deepened smile.
“His Majesty may have recovered, but there’s uneasiness spreading between the citizens. —And so, how about using this opportunity to announce the existence of the Heroes?” (Erac)
“…That…can’t be done.” (Caril)
“Why? In order to clear the uneasiness of the people, the gallant figure of the Heroes destined to defeat the Demon Lord will become a beacon of hope.” (Erac)
Caril was unable to see the real intentions of what he is scheming, but she did see a point in what he was saying. On the other hand, she also glared at the people that were planning on using the Heroes to their convenience, and they avert their eyes. Her discouragement was lowering even more.
(To think it was this rotten…)
The heroes are still young teenagers .
Caril had already heard from the dragged ‘citizen’ that they were regular students in their original world, so she is always thinking how she wants to create the least possible burden on them. Even in this time’s hero summoning, she was against it to the very end, but it still ended up being performed, and she was feeling guilt from it.
Being brought from a peaceful world to a world where your life is exposed to danger, they are asked to defeat the Demon Lord as Heroes. If she were to be brought to a world like that without any powers…just thinking about it made her feel anxiety.
“Just as you say, Prime Minister, the priority should be to wipe the uneasiness of the people, however, I can’t leave that role to the Heroes.” (Caril)
“Is it because they are young? Or is it because they are otherworlders that…are not people of our nation?” (Erac)
Erac persistently questions with a vicious smile. Caril didn’t immediately understand the reason why he was pushing the hero topic so much, but a certain thought surfaced in her mind, she directs a sharp gaze at Erac and grinds her teeth.
“In the first place, isn’t it an established practice to make the Heroes public after finishing the Selection Ceremony? There shouldn’t be any inconveniences, right?” (Erac)
“Depends on time and occasion. In the current state of things, even if we were to make them stand on the stage, there won’t be any point if we haven’t clarified the reason for the disease.” (Caril)
“I think that’s that and this is this though. Then, how about doing this? Let’s ask the Heroes, and if we get their approval, we will do that public announcement.” (Erac)
“Even with that, I am against it. I don’t want to increase the burden they have even more than it already is.” (Caril)
“…Against it, huh. However, this is troubling. If you have a better proposal, this old man would like to hear it.” (Erac)
Erac was attacking Caril in a roundabout manner with a smile in his face. As if agreeing with this, people from around were raising their voices. Seeing the assembly hall that has gotten noisy, Caril felt dizzy.
Doctors, nobles, and even cabinet ministers were shouting their support at Erac’s words, and the ones who were not supporting him were people that looked like they were not interested -like Makirus- and Gallahart who was angered by this. Baron Kashnars who was looking at the situation calmly, and a few others. This reality was shocking for Caril, and it was a telling sight of the dark clouds in the future of this nation.
(How self-interested can these people be?)
In this situation where an unknown disease is spreading, if they were to announce the heroes to the public, in the end, it will simply be a temporary diversion. It doesn’t solve the root problem.
There will be irresponsible people who will think that the heroes will be able to solve this problem, and once they realize that wish won’t be fulfilled, their good will is going to turn into animosity and they will show their fangs. And so, once it has turned into animosity, this will spread in an accelerated rate, and will bring pain to the Heroes.
On top of that, once the announcement of the Heroes is finished, they will have to deal with the people that will appear from outside the country.
The people in charge of teaching the heroes have been selected from people that can be trusted and have not been influenced by Erac. History, diplomatic relations, etiquette, and teaching them necessary knowledge for when travelling; it was advancing at a favorable pace. However, if asked whether the Heroes would be able to deal with people who are skilled in their wiles, Caril thinks it would be difficult.
This may be overprotective, but she doesn’t care even if that’s case.
It is exactly because she knows how scary rumors can be and how wicked people can get that she was desperate to protect them, not because they are heroes, but because they are young people that are not so far in age from her own children.
Even if this is a mistaken complacent behaviour of hers, even if it is not allowed as a Queen, she didn’t want them to make a sad face. With that conviction in mind…
“What’s the matter, Her Majesty? Why are you making a grim face like that?” (Erac)
“No. Just like how the Heroes have their own duty, we of the royal family have the duty of calming the uneasiness of the people.” (Caril)
She speaks with a clear and calm voice, looking straight at Erac. Erac lets out a low groan and averts his eyes, saying ‘understood’ as he lowers his head slightly and nods. His mouth loosened and drew an arc.
This is regrettable, but he couldn’t give up here.
However, being stared at by the eyes of Caril overflowing with determination, Erac’s mouth cramped and he hurriedly averted his eyes.
“This is all for the sake of the people. With your pride in your chest, work for the safety of the people. Let’s work as one with our all to resolve this situation as fast as possible.” (Caril)
Caril gave a sweeping glance with sharp eyes, and the cabinet ministers were shaking in fear at it.
“Also, Prime Minister.” (Caril)
“Yes, what is it?” (Erac)
“The Heroes are not puppets for you to control. I -Caril Dilba Motoyasu- won’t allow them to be hurt for the sake of fulfilling the greed of others, so be prepared!” (Caril)
“Wa?! O-Ohi-sama! That’s going a bit too far with—” (Erac)
Caril stands up, hits the table hard, and shouts with a voice that came from deep in her, and it reverberates in the assembly hall.
According to the information of a virtuous ‘citizen’, she speaks in a way that hints she knows that Erac was trying to turn the heroes into puppets, and smashes it onto Erac.
This was basically a declaration of war.
However, because both Caril and Erac were in an agitated state, they didn’t notice the implications of what was said, but the people around were swallowed by that aura of hers and were overlapping that figure of hers with the one she had in the past. A few trembled remembering her past deeds, and there were others with a pale face and teeth clattering.
The Crimson Lily Demoness, Crimson Caril.
The demoness had gone to sleep, however, those fangs of hers are sharper than before, and has the power to easily bite through their throats. Being witnesses of this, their trembling eyes couldn’t take their eyes off Caril.
“Well then, with this, we bring an end to this emergency meeting. We will investigate the reason at the early stages and make sure to bring a firm resolution to the situation. I ask that you all act quick and do your utmost effort. Make sure to not pull the leg of others and engage in pointless probing.” (Caril)
Giving a glance to the panicking Erac, Caril makes an elegant smile, and says ‘I will be counting on you, Prime Minister’. Erac was looking at that Caril annoyed, but hiding his anger, he lowered his head and said ‘understood’. He left the assembly hall in a violent manner, and the cabinet ministers and nobles also followed as if escaping from Caril.
“What is it?” (Caril)
“That gave me shivers. That was splendid. —Well then, I will be taking my leave.”
Gallahart, who stayed till the very end, faced Caril with a child-like smile, and in the next instant, he fixes his posture, and turns around, leaving the assembly hall.
Seeing off Gallahart, Caril heaves a deep sigh and slumps over entrusting her body to the seat.
“I have done it now…” (Caril)
Originally, she was planning on prioritizing the investigation of the reason, and give instructions for when there’s the need to quarantine a district, but she lost herself in anger and ended up raising her voice unintentionally.
It is a terrible action as a Queen who has been entrusted with the Kingdom while the King is absent, but she can proudly say that she has done the best action as a mother.
Who knows if aware of this feeling of Caril or not, there’s Niva with a proud smile in her face, and there’s also the ‘monster’ who heard the whole exchange and had a dry smile in his face.
The emergency meeting had a hard to swallow ending.
☆☆ ☆☆ ★ ☆☆ ☆☆
How to say it, it was terrible in a variety of ways.
That the footing is so bad to this extent may be because the Queen is being looked down on, or because there’s not enough loyalty.
Anyways, that exhausted look was hilarious.
“Is it always like that?” (Makoto)
“…No. When His Majesty was still healthy, it…was normal.” (Niva)
“Doesn’t that mean they are looking down on you, Queen?” (Makoto)
This probably isn’t something I should be saying to the person herself, but this is the first time I see a meeting where they look down on the other party this much. They don’t give any proper arguments for the actual topic, there were people who were constantly whispering, people who were blatantly showing no interest, and there were others who were throwing jeers in amusement.
The one who was watching all this with a calm demeanor was a man in his prime with strands of gray beginning to show -Baron Kashnars. Similar to what Gallahart was doing, but Gallahart had his fists clenched and was holding back his anger. Makirus seemed to not have any interest as she looked outside the window or looked down without showing signs of being steady. She didn’t show a single sign of sympathizing with Erac.
“They are the type of people that would actively seek to participate in topics where they can profit in, so when they heat up, they really do heat up. Mostly when it involves money though.” (Niva)
“That’s worse.” (Makoto)
Shocked by the straightforward statement of Niva-san, I was somewhat impressed by how human they are.
After leaving the assembly hall, we are now drinking tea in the room of the Queen while talking about the countermeasures to take from hereon.
“Anyways, this is troubling.” (Makoto)
“Indeed… It is more accurate to say, I have messed up.” (Caril)
One more problem has been added that we will need to rack our brains about.
“They have splendidly got a pledge from us.” (Makoto)
‘Just like how the Heroes have their duty, calming the uneasiness of the people is the duty of the royal family’.
“But I believe that that was the best move at that moment.” (Caril)
“True. There’s no other thing to say aside from that at that time.” (Makoto)
Announcing the heroes after the Selection Ceremony may be the traditional thing to do, but I am also against the idea of having the heroes stand on the front stage in the current state of affairs.
Heroes are not Gods. They are regular humans.
I can understand them being insecure at this time, but if they were to present the Heroes at this time and the situation is resolved, they will rely on the Heroes for anything and everything that happens.
If that happens, there’s the possibility that the Heroes will burn out before they are able to fulfill their original role.
They were regular students a few weeks ago. Now they are shouldering the fate of a world, you know? Don’t go placing more unnecessary burden on them.
“But it did transmit that you treasure the Heroes, so as a compatriot, I give you my thanks.” (Makoto)
“It is not something worth a thanks. They were originally meant to pass a peaceful life, and yet, we have pushed them into danger here. On top of that, we are using them for our self-interest. There’s no way we can be forgiven. If the King had been there, I am sure he would have said the same thing.” (Caril)
“The fact that you think that way is already plenty good.” (Makoto)
There’s people that think of otherworlders as slaves or lower after all.
“Also, that intimidation you had going there seriously gave me shivers. As expected of the Crimson Lily Demoness-sama.” (Makoto)
“I got goosebumps too. As expected of the Crimson Genius Mage-sama.” (Niva)
“A new nickname appeared. What kind of ‘genius’ does it refer to?” (Makoto)
“The one where the heavens have given talent, and have brought upon calamity. She was the type of person that wasn’t good at holding back and self-restraint after all.” (Niva)
The Queen curled up at the words of Niva-san and said ‘cause you know, I couldn’t resist’ as she puckered her lips and sulks. Then, sloowly averts her eyes at Niva-san who was looking at her in silence.
“Now that I think about it, the Princess wasn’t at the meeting. Is she at the King’s place?” (Makoto)
“No. I asked her to keep guard in case something unexpected happens. We don’t know what might happen after all.” (Caril)
“Just how dangerous is this castle?” (Makoto)
“…True. I want to quickly return to the peaceful times.” (Caril)
What the Queen means about peace must be times when the family can sit together. It would be proof that the country is stable, and would mean peace.
“Then, after settling this situation as fast as possible, let’s announce the Heroes to the public.” (Makoto)
“Fufu, right. But don’t do anything reckless, okay?” (Caril)
“…I won’t.” (Makoto)
“Then, why are you averting your eyes?” (Caril)
Because there’s guilt in me, Ohi-sama. Or more like, you did that not that long ago too.
“Now then, let’s work a sweat.” (Makoto)
“Evading the topic, huh.” (Caril)
Shaddup, leave it be.
I told them I will be checking the state of Erac for now, and after erasing my presence with [Intangible], I teleport to the office room of the Prime Minister.