There’s things I have to do while my friend is interrogating the accomplices of Raheight.
Sharing information to the representatives of the other nations as the Taizu King, and deciding our plans forward.
Because of such circumstances, I am currently having a meeting with Pope Euparo using the communication crystal together with the Gahne King who for some reason is staying in someone else’s country.
I can immediately think of the reason why, but just thinking about it is stupid.
“And so, we managed to capture two of Raheight’s accomplices, but Seraes and his subordinates were retrieved by them. According to the reports of our anbus, traces of them were gone after they have moved close to the national borders of the Gahne side.” (Marito)
“This one mobilized the soldiers of my country once I was notified by this and searched for them, but couldn’t find them. I also searched using the simulated world, but with it being this hard to find them, we should consider that they have used some sort of special method.” (Gold)
<<Fumu…I see. Did you obtain any information from the Illegitimate that you captured?>> (Euparo)
“We still don’t know anything in detail. But it seems like they are connected to a subordinate of the Green Demon Lord, a demon called Nektohal that attacked Taizu in the past.” (Marito)
My father was a wonderful king that utilized his intelligence for the sake of the people.
But Nektohal left a deep scar in the monarchy of my father.
According to Niruryates, it was an arbitrary invasion by Nektohal after being ordered by the Green Demon Lord to chase after the bodyguard currently behind me, but…I should pursue that topic in the future.
The issue here is that I don’t have any intention of forgiving that person.
<<A former archbishop is connected to a demon, huh… How saddening.>> (Euparo)
“Be sad once things are over. Seraes is a criminal that has broken the promise of the Yugura Church to maintain non aggression towards the Demon Lords who claimed neutrality. It is finally time to raise the forces of the nations and bring the organization of Raheight down if they have taken in a big criminal like that.” (Marito)
<<I agree. But the number one priority of the Yugura Church is to have Seraes pay for his crime.>> (Euparo)
It is not like Pope Euparo is the one seeking this.
The Yugura Church’s Archbishop has committed a crime. Now that this reality has been made public, it wouldn’t be a good example for the whole world if they were to do nothing about Seraes.
“An issue peculiar to organizations.” (Marito)
<<You also wouldn’t be able to leave it be if someone from the royal family were to be a criminal. Mejis and the Yugura Church will be providing their full cooperation. But I would like you to provide us with information of Seraes with utmost priority when obtained.>> (Euparo)
“Even with personal feelings aside, Pope Euparo, I trust you. I plan on answering that request of yours to the best of my ability. But you are saying here that’s not enough, right?” (Marito)
<<There was the matter with the Purple Demon Lord after all. Taizu…no, it would be better to say this is the style of that man. There’s no shortage of people who don’t see that in a good light. We have placed Rakura Salf as a monitor, but…there’s a lot of people who only know her infamy.>> (Euparo)
“So you want to increase the eyes on him. I understand how you feel, but it is the wiser option to avoid trying to restrain him.” (Marito)
The reason why my friend is interacting with Pope Euparo in a friendly manner is because he judged Pope Euparo to be a reasonable person.
If the pressure of the Yugura Church were to increase, they would become a hindrance.
I don’t know the line he draws to tell when he would be disappointed in a relationship.
<<I plan on being careful about the selection of personnel. Please tell this matter to him too.>> (Euparo)
“I will…but I won’t persuade him. Is that okay?” (Marito)
<<Of course. If there’s the need to, it is my duty to be the one doing the negotiations.>> (Euparo)
The call ended and I sigh.
My friend will most likely accept the demands of Pope Euparo. I would like to decrease the things that might become a burden for him as a friend, but there’s a limit to what I can do too.
“In a sense, you could say it is easier to act as a friend for the Gahne side since the king is the one doing the direct administration.” (Marito)
“Nfufufu, realizing it just now? In the first place, this one isn’t here for the sake of surveillance, ya know?” (Gold)
“Right, yeah it is an even more carnal reason.” (Marito)
“Wanna fight?” (Gold)
I am not in a position to say anything about other countries in regards to restraining him.
I am most likely putting an extreme burden on him compared to Gahne and Kuama.
I should end this conversation here.
The one who would be at an advantage if we were to compete here would be the Gold Demon Lord.
“About the fact that we can’t find them when searching in the simulated world… We should assume that Seraes has escaped to the Mejis side through Gahne.” (Marito)
“Right. It might simply be that the closest place with the least guarded national borders was Gahne though.” (Gold)
“Seraes escaped from Mejis in the first place and moved to Kuama. It is hard to think he made an U turn here. The group of Raheight must have guided them, but if that’s the case, their hiding destination would be Mejis or Serende.” (Marito)
“The way they erased their traces is not normal after all. There’s the possibility they just made it look like that and it is actually Kuama and Torin.” (Gold)
“There’s the possibility they have other teleport users, and some new Illegitimate with some sort of special magic. Can’t you think of any method that would match what Yugura uses?” (Marito)
“There was no bottom to Yugura after all. It would be easier to search for things he couldn’t do.” (Gold)
It wouldn’t even be strange for there to be someone who can move between spaces like the Colorless Demon Lord does. There would be no end to it when you begin thinking about it.
“There’s no choice but to wait for my friend to draw the information well.” (Marito)
“That’s basically what it comes down to. But to think ya wouldn’t even bring out snacks for a guest, it really shows your mettle as a king.” (Gold)
“Right back at you. You did the same thing in Gahne.” (Marito)
She has been walking around Taizu naturally without a care in the world just because the other Demon Lords are not in the villa, but shouldn’t I be doing something about that as a king?
For now, let’s give her some snacks and kick her out of my castle.
“Yo, you doing well, Mola—”
“Fuuh! Fuuuh!” (Molari)
I showed up at the cell of Molari, which has become a daily activity of mine in this one week, and she was trying to intimidate me real hard here.
I passed by Mix who had a satisfied face, but just how much did she do?
It is fine since there’s no external wounds though.
“Calm down, calm down. I simply came here to talk.”
“That woman… I am going to kill her! I am definitely going to!” (Molari)
I put a hand on her shoulder to calm her down, but Molari quivered hard at it.
I felt as if my hand would be bitten, so I hurriedly pulled away.
She must have gone hard. Ilias was on the verge of attacking Molari there.
And so, I left her be for 5 minutes.
Molari managed to calm down somehow in that time and I resumed the talk.
“What’s your business this time?” (Molari)
“I was thinking it is about time to make a serious negotiation. You don’t mind listening at least, right?”
“Negotiation? Do you think I will accept?” (Molari)
“Who knows. But there’s worth in trying. It is a matter that involves Ritial.”
The expression of Molari turned somewhat cold from her dubious look the moment I mentioned Ritial.
It seems like she gets serious when it comes to the person she is absolutely loyal to.
That’s great. This will make things easier for me.
“Speak. I have no intention of accepting though.” (Molari)
“I was thinking about giving you a certain condition. It is…”
I told the details of the deal to Molari.
She was listening intently to it as if to not let a single word escape.
I told her as much information as I could without any lies.
“You don’t need to answer me immediately. I plan on making the same deal with Yasutet. I don’t care which one of you accepts it. But, Molari, I think you are the one who can achieve this with certainty.”
That said, if one of them were to accept first, the other would be done for. The two of them will most likely accept this.
I waved my hand and was about to leave the cell.
Molari called me to a stop.
I could tell what answer Molari was going to give me even without looking at her.
There’s no doubt I am making an evil face right now.
It is because Ilias is looking at me with very transparent eyes as she stared at my face after all.
The resident of Yugura’s planet… That man is dangerous.
It is someone that not only Raheight but Ritial-sama considers as dangerous.
I must not be swayed by his trickeries. I must accomplish my original intention.
Molari, who has pledged absolute loyalty to Ritial-sama, would never betray him.
The one that has to be careful is me.
I close my eyes, concentrate on my ears, and direct my attention to the sounds of my surroundings.
This prison was built underground.
Sunlight coming in from a high window and sometimes hearing the footsteps of people walking outside means that this is either the 1st or 2nd underground floor.
Molari is most likely in a different prison.
We would need to begin from searching the location of each other first before thinking about escaping.
(…It will take around a few days more to break the lock.)
I can’t use magic because of the magic seal stone, but I can use mana strengthening to a certain degree without being noticed.
I can create explosive power for an extremely brief moment with my concentration.
It seems like they prepared these restraints while considering my battle strength, but it is fortunate I was defeated before pulling out a big move.
I sharpen my senses and grasp the movements of the guards I could hear from afar.
I burden my locks, matching the opening and closing of the door that happens when they switch shifts.
The lock is beginning to bend even if it is hard to tell from its appearance.
They are not using torture.
They won’t check in detail the locks as long as I don’t go wild.
(…The sound of the footsteps…the resident of Yugura’s planet.)
I can hear the walking of the resident of Yugura’s planet from the high window.
The one by his side is the female knight and…Molari?
Why is she walking outside? To move her to another cell? They seem to be having some sort of conversation.
I concentrate in my ears even further and pick up the sounds.
“Why are we taking such a long route…? Oh well, fine. I will have you keep your promise.” (Molari)
“I know. I will keep the promise, but the success of it depends on you.”
There’s no doubt this is the voice of Molari.
Promise? What is she talking about?
Are you telling me Molari accepted the negotiation? Impossible.
The loyalty Molari has towards Ritial-sama is absolute.
No matter how faint it is, she wouldn’t do something that would put a burden on Ritial-sama—
“No issues. Ritial-sama would definitely escape.” (Molari)
Escape? Did she just say escape?
I can’t tell the whole picture with just the fragments of what I have heard.
But there’s no doubt it is giving me a bad feeling.
“We can only give you one chance. Don’t begrudge me even if you fail.”
“There’s no way it would fail… You should be the one who should be asking if a promise like this one is okay.” (Molari)
“Ritial is without doubt a criminal that incited the guild advisors to try and overthrow the countries, but the highest priorities are Raheight and Seraes. Ritial is a guy with a good head on his shoulders. Even if he were to lose his hideout called Leitis, there might be a chance he will continue to act. I personally would like him to act within a safe sphere though.”
The resident of Yugura’s planet is getting information from Molari with the condition of letting Ritial-sama go?
Not to give an advantage, but giving the role of Molari herself to have him escape should carry a fitting degree of risks.
But with those conditions, Molari would…no, she wouldn’t.
There’s no way Molari would accept with that. If she were to give information to the enemy after accepting those conditions, it would betray the expectations of Ritial-sama.
(…There’s no way Molari would accept these conditions. There’s no way she would nod to this.)
“—Also, about the one other promise, I will have it ready before cornering Raheight.”
“That one is more important. Can that Gradona and Ban be trusted?” (Molari)
Gradona… The Holy Fist Gradona?
Why is that name being mentioned here?
Wait, if I remember correctly, Gradona adventured together with Ritial-sama in the past…
“Yeah. Leaving aside the drunkard Gradona, Ban-san is a serious merchant. He knows the past of Ritial to a certain degree -along with the talk about his lover that was separated from him by death.”
The lover…of Ritial-sama?
Could it be…that just because of that…? No, considering Molari…she doesn’t only show respect towards Ritial-sama as a master, but also…
It is easy to imagine what Molari would think if she were to learn information about his lover.
But is it possible to put that over disadvantageous actions towards Ritial-sama?
“But the chances are 50-50. I have only heard bits and pieces, but no matter how much your atmosphere resembles that of that lover, having Ritial see you as a woman is…”
“Shut up. I will murder you.” (Molari)
But there’s no one other than me who understands her feelings.
If…If Ritial-sama were to throw away his current ambitions, and that passion of his were to be directed at her instead…
Molari must have at least imagined that before.
“You will be moved to a room for now, but you will stay locked. There’s no way if you were to escape with teleport magic after all. You will be under surveillance 24/7 too.”
“Do as you please.” (Molari)
“Also, it really is okay, right? No need to convince Yasutet?”
“It is not that it is okay to not do it, it is just that I can’t. Yasutet is indebted to Ritial-sama as well, and his loyalty won’t be shaken. I should be enough for information, right?” (Molari)
Molari…why is it that you are always…always…!
You act as if you understand me, and yet, why is it that in the most important parts…!
It is not only for the sake of Ritial-sama that I continue by his side—
“…Even though you are in something similar to a partner relationship.”
“He simply is of use to follow the orders of Ritial-sama. I alone am enough to let Ritial-sama escape.” (Molari)
“The danger will increase though. The Holy Knights of Mejis will be coming in, too. It would be better for Yasutet to be there too if it is about combat power.”
“Enough. I will murder you.” (Molari)
“Got it. I will improve his treatment a bit as thanks for accepting the deal. I will cut off connections to the outside until the trivial matters are over.”
“Do as you please. Now, bring me over already. I want to sleep on a better bed.” (Molari)
The footsteps of Molari and the female knight grow further away.
What should I do? Raise my voice and stop them?
But if they were to discover I can hear their voices from this distance, it would be even more difficult to obtain information.
Is it really okay to miss my chance to escape?
I couldn’t speak in the end.
Even if I were to call Molari to a stop, I can’t think of words that would be able to convince her.
I have let her do as she pleases until now, so how would I be able to stop her serious feelings?
“You can hear me, right, Yasutet?”
I hear the voice of the resident of Yugura’s planet.
It is a bit louder than before and I can tell he is approaching me.
He is right in front of the high window, so I can’t see him, but I can feel his presence.
“It is as you heard. Molari will be helping us out. I don’t really want to use the love of someone, but it is a comparatively good thing for the person herself.”
“…You bastard!” (Yasutet)
“But don’t worry. I have no intention of breaking my deal with Molari. I can’t make perfect arrangements, but I plan on creating an opportunity for Molari and Ritial to escape. I have no intention of making a promise I can’t keep after all.”
I can clearly hear the voice of the resident of Yugura’s planet.
This man was aware from the start that I was listening in to their conversation and got Molari close…!
“I actually wanted to set things up a bit more carefully, but I wanted to finish things before you broke the locks. Sorry, but I will be changing your restraints to something sturdier. It is better than having you drugged, right?”
“…So you had seen through that much?” (Yasutet)
“I am a coward, you see. If there’s someone that can easily kill me right in front of me, I will always be on guard about whether there’s any cracks in the restraints. Well, enough about that. More importantly, what do you want to do?”
“…What do I want to do? What do you mean by that?” (Yasutet)
“Molari agreed to the deal for the sake of Ritial. But she had no intention of dragging you into it. It is not like you would be getting in the way of her romance. In that case, Molari simply was considerate about you.”
Molari was…? There’s no way.
She would always just think of me and Ritial-sama.
Even the conversation just now…
“Yasutet, Molari at least understands that you have pledged your loyalty to Ritial. That’s why she didn’t want you to do things that would be detrimental for Ritial for the sake of her own objective. If she really didn’t think anything of it, she would have thought of using you for the sake of letting Ritial escape more safely.”
No, but she should understand that if I were to hear this, I would either be against it or wouldn’t yield to her persuasion. That’s simply the reason why she didn’t try to get my cooperation.
“You must be thinking that Molari should understand that if you were to hear this, you would either be against it or wouldn’t yield to her persuasion, right?”
This man…really is someone I can’t lower my guard against just as Ritial-sama said.
He can read my thoughts so easily with just those few interactions we had…!
“Molari must have thought the same thing you did. But don’t you think she would go ‘and what of it?’ …There’s still the chance I would be able to convince you.”
“You are a useful guy, so she would still want to convince you even if there might be no chance, right? But she isn’t even attempting it. She didn’t choose the option of making me convince you. That’s basically what it means.”
Molari was considerate to not get me involved? Isn’t she simply trying to get rid of me since I am a hindrance?
No, even if Molari agreed to the deal, she would have prioritized Ritial-sama over everything.
In that case, she should understand that it would be more certain if I were to be present.
“You are of no worth to us anymore, Yasutet. We can’t use you as combat power, and there should be barely any new information from you. Molari should know more about the terrain than you. That’s why the only thing that we are hoping from you is to not be an enemy. I will let you freely choose from the options I will be giving you. Will you become an adventurer and get down from the stage, or will you move for the sake of the girl that pushed you away?”
I think about the options I was given.
No matter the path I take, it would make Molari and Ritial-sama walk a dangerous path.
But the difficulty will certainly change.
“The general situation won’t change no matter what path you choose. What you will be feeling from here on will be either guilt or regret.”
No matter the path I choose, they are not paths I would wish for.
However, I have no choice but to choose.
Then, which should I take?
…The answer is obvious.
“…Please let me accompany Molari. I must protect the two.” (Yasutet)
“What, you are more manly than I thought. To think you would suffer for the sake of your unrequited love.”
“…Don’t misunderstand. Those are not the feelings I hold for Molari.” (Yasutet)
“So I read wrong. Oh well. However, I will have you answer the same things that Molari did. I will only believe in you when the details of it match.”
Ritial-sama, I am sorry.
I have betrayed your expectations again.
However, I have no choice but to do this to protect you and Molari.
The feelings of guilt I will be feeling are nothing compared to the safety of you two…
“Yo, are you doing well, Mola—”
“Fuuuh! Fuuh! Fuuuh!” (Molari)
“Again? Sorry, sorry, I will tell Mix to hold back.”
The same thing from the other day happened.
That Mix has gotten a bad habit here. Well, I think the only one suffering from this would be Rakura though.
“What business do you have with me…?!” (Molari)
“Don’t glare at me that much. I was thinking about continuing yesterday’s negotiation.”
“Continue, you say? Are you joking? I refused.” (Molari)
What I offered to Molari was the same thing I had Yasutet hear.
But the matter of Gradona and Ban-san was a bit different.
—“They are acquaintances of Ritial that had formed a party in the past. We might be able to get information of the kind of woman Ritial likes.”
I have not heard of a dead lover he had.
Basically, it was a bit of a lie.
As if there would be such a convenient setup like that.
Molari clearly reacted the moment I brought out this topic.
It is in the end not something certain, so she refused.
But what I wanted to hear was how she would refuse, what she would say, and her attitude.
“‘My feelings towards Ritial-sama are the real thing. Don’t think about pulling me in with crafty bait’ -was it?”
Molari told me this from the bottom of her heart.
But there’s no doubt she ended up thinking deeply about it despite being uncertain information.
I managed to comprehend that Molari seriously loves Ritial.
“That’s right. That’s why—” (Molari)
I already knew that Yasutet was strongly conscious of Molari.
In that case, he should be very familiar with Molari -especially regarding her feelings towards Ritial.
That’s why I inflated the talk a bit for Yasutet.
And so, I laid out a tastier deal that could sway the heart of Molari.
“Of course, I readied a different extra reward for Yasutet. Giving him conditions that he would compromise to help out, that is.”
“Don’t speak nonsense. There’s no way he would leak informa—” (Molari)
“To think there would be hideouts in both Torin and Serende.”
“And Ritial is currently in Serende -together with Raheight and the others.”
Molari looked at my face as if she couldn’t believe it.
But I managed to confirm the credibility of what I heard from Yasutet thanks to this.
“Yasutet did…? There’s no way…” (Molari)
“Meaning that I was the one who comprehended Yasutet more. Well, you might have been able to think up the same deal though.”
Even if I were to negotiate with Molari using the same trick as Yasutet, Molari wouldn’t have agreed to the deal until she confirmed it was true.
You could say Molari is far more troublesome in that sense.
That’s why I negotiated with Molari first in order to detect in detail what would have been the best conditions for the deal.
That alone would not have much impact, so I had Dyuvuleori -who had finished recovering- use the Back of Misperception, and had him change into Molari.
It wasn’t that difficult since it was a brusque conversation, and the reality was that Yasutet misunderstood my conversation with Dyuvuleori as a conversation with me and Molari.
I comprehended in these few days that this is how Molari would respond after all.
It took around 3 days to teach him how to act though.
“Now then, let’s continue negotiations. I don’t need information anymore, but it is true that having Ritial as an enemy would be troublesome. We wouldn’t have the leeway to capture him alive. If we manage to wrap things up in an advantageous manner, I would like you to bring Ritial somewhere to avoid pointless casualties. Our conditions are the same as before: we will provide you the opportunity to achieve this, and I will include stories about the past of Ritial as an extra.”
“…Let me think about it for a bit.” (Molari)
Molari has been checkmated with this.
Molari thinks about Ritial’s safety first and foremost.
In that case, she wouldn’t do something as leaving it to Yasutet alone.
Whichever the case, there’s only one path to take if there’s going to be danger approaching Ritial.
“I won’t hurry you. You can take your time to think. What you should think about is whether Yasutet alone can get out with Ritial.”
Molari agreed to the deal that night.
I had her give us information to match the information Yasutet provided us as a condition to trust her.
We have managed to secure the information with this.
Also, if we manage to act as if we are at an advantage, we can deal with Ritial too.
But well, I won’t be able to avoid having those two hate me once they discover this little farce I pulled though, yup.