We switch from the carriage to normal horses and hurriedly head from Mejis to Serende, but it is not like they would let us in their territory immediately.
It seems like Archbishop Omsam pulled a lot of strings to have the holy knights enter smoothly, but we are doing that without an appointment.
If we forcefully break through with knights on our tow, it wouldn’t be helped even if they were to take that as an invasion.
I would like to confirm the state of Yox, but due to having Purple come a little later, we can’t obtain information from the Butler Army.
We at least had Ekdoik go ahead since he is faster, and had him do the procedures on the Serende side before we arrived.
It should soon be the time for someone in the Serende side to ask for our circumstances.
“What should we do, Comrade? Should we have the people who can go invisible head to the ruins first?” (Ekdoik)
“We don’t know how many skilled people they have in the Serende side, and most importantly, we can’t make contact with Arcreal and his group with half-baked forces. It is vexing, but we have no choice but to get there as soon as possible with official means.”
It is not like things are solved once we clear the ruins.
There’s no assurance there won’t be people who will escape this country after incapacitating Nektohal and Ritial. Especially someone like Raheight.
The cooperation of Serende is absolutely necessary in order to cut off future complications.
That’s why we had to avoid arbitrary actions of a nation that were made without any proper footing.
I thought the representatives of the nations would hold their reins, so I didn’t do so myself which is a fault of my own, so let’s not continue digging this matter.
“Shishou, horses are coming from afar!” (Wolfe)
I look at the Serende side with the call of Wolfe.
There’s a few tens of horses heading here armed, but not that heavily.
The horses stopped nearby and the people of Serende riding the horses get down.
They would all be classified as demi-humans and elves.
I would have liked to let out my voice in emotion if not for the situation.
The person at the front is someone I have seen before. It is Prince Washekt who participated in what was technically a congress between the heads of the nations in preparation for the invasion of the Scarlet Demon Lord.
“I came to check the faces of the people that have no etiquette, but it was you people, huh. Makes sense. To think you would suddenly show up on our borders with soldiers; is there that much of a difference between the common sense of us and the planet of Yugura?” (Washekt)
“If you are going to speak sarcasm, please do so to the people of your country that let holy knights of Mejis cross when they were acting on their own volition.”
I respond with sarcasm to sarcasm, but the atmosphere doesn’t seem to be turning that dicey.
Ilias and the others behind me are making slightly complicated expressions, but it seems like Prince Washekt isn’t that bothered about it.
He is most likely someone who speaks up a lot.
“To think this is how things would end up after kindly letting you in freely. The gratitude of 3 days ago is repaid today with criticism. This is why foreign countries are a pain.” (Washekt)
“I share your opinion. And so, we would like to regroup with the holy knights that went ahead before us. I would like permission to move inside the country.”
“Yox, was it? The captain of the holy knights told us this would happen. Here’s the permit.” (Washekt)
Prince Washekt gave me a rolled up parchment.
I open it and check the contents inside just in case.
“That’s Yox for you.”
“I would like you to direct that at me who arranged it. I will guide you to your destination, but I will have you explain the details on the way.” (Washekt)
I shared what has happened until now with Prince Washekt as we moved to the location.
The sudden explanation flustered Serende somewhat, but Archbishop Omsam apparently paid an appropriate price to have the holy knights enter the country smoothly.
It is for the sake of the Yugura Church’s justice, but that seriousness has rolled in a bad direction…
It seems like Serende also compiled the things they wanted to ask in these 3 days, so I answered those questions as we went. I am grateful that they saved me the trouble of explaining a lot of things.
“To think they would bring the trouble all the way to Serende. I am impressed they extolled someone like Yugura.” (Washekt)
“I don’t know about you stating that as a prince. I have members of the Yugura Church along with me too, you know.”
“It doesn’t change the fact that he has created trouble for posterity. As if I would care.” (Washekt)
I heard that the influence of Yugura is low in Serende despite being a neighboring country of Mejis which is the land where the Yugura Church originated.
With how things are looking, forget influence, it is more like they hate him.
I feel like they would even refuse diplomatic relations, but if they don’t let Mejis through, their diplomatic relations with all the other countries would also suffer.
They are most likely decisive when it comes to those points.
“I have explained everything I could. We will be the ones catching them, but I would like you to strengthen the security near the borders for the foreseeable future. It is possible that the ones that get away will try to pull off something with the resolve of going down along with it.”
“No need to tell me. We have reinforced the defense in the surroundings of the ruins as the center. We must avoid our country from being caught up in this after all.” (Washekt)
Judging from this, it doesn’t seem like they are cooperating with Yox and his group. Maybe they don’t even have surveillance on them.
Mejis and Serende might have a bigger rift between each other than I thought.
Well, this isn’t the time to be thinking that.
I would like to hurry the horses, but the horses Prince Washekt and the others are riding are a lot smaller compared to the horses of Taizu.
It doesn’t seem like they can bring out that much speed, and our horses also traveled a long way without anything resembling a break.
We have to endure this pace for a bit more.
“Fuuh… We have been going to all countries just solving problems… I would like to sightsee normally.”
“Do you like traveling? In that case, Serende will be a good place for you. This country has a lot more depth in its history than any other country after all.” (Washekt)
“Depth in history, you say… Yugura was the one who decided the national borders of every country, right?”
“On the surface. The royal family that managed this land inherited it just as it was. Therefore, it can treasure history the most.” (Washekt)
I think the Taizu royalty are also old, but their ancestor is the Green Demon Lord. When thinking of it like that, it does feel like they are not that apart from the Nether.
Serende is most likely kept as it is. It is a country that isn’t adjoined to a Nether, so he probably left it to someone who already knows the place.
“Right. There’s no doubt all countries are a parallel world for me, but I am interested in a place where the history of before Yugura did his stuff still remains.”
“Right, right?! What, so you are actually a reasonable guy! I shall guide you myself when things are over!” (Washekt)
I doubt the personality of Prince Washekt reflects the personality of Serende as a whole, but I feel like I have grasped an outline of it.
They are a country that treasures past traditions and doesn’t like big changes, but are welcoming to visitors.
The reason their relationship with Mejis is questionable is most likely because they are trying to avoid being influenced by the Yugura Church.
Prince Washekt was in a good mood and began to talk about a variety of ruins.
The tense atmosphere turned awfully weird, but this has become good relaxation in its own way, I guess.
It would be impressive if that’s what he was aiming for, but it seems like he is just an elf that loves his homeland.
Honestly, I would prefer a pretty elf lady to be the one guiding me instead.
“What you can see right before us is Lilan. The settlement with the ruins the knights headed to.” (Washekt)
I don’t feel much defining features in settlements without castles, but the constructions of the houses are old and I could feel something peculiar from them. It does reek the vibe of a remote town, but being able to feel relaxed despite that is most likely exactly because it is an old but prosperous country.
There’s no people walking on the road thanks to Prince Washekt strengthening the security of the surroundings, but I made eye-contact with the gazes peeking through the windows of the houses we passed by.
Those gazes that show slight wariness and strong interest is a notch more passionate than those that were directed at me from other countries.
We continued moving and someone who went ahead that seemed like a subordinate of Prince Washekt regrouped with us and whispered to him.
Prince Washekt made a pondering expression for a bit, but he soon faced this way and shared the information.
“The holy knights are apparently resting a bit further ahead.” (Washekt)
“! I see.”
“You are perceptive. Then, you should confirm matters with your own eyes.” (Washekt)
The holy knights wouldn’t just leisurely be taking a break in the case that they went ahead of us to secure Seraes and safely finished their mission.
Basically, they are in a situation where they have no choice but to take a break.
There’s several tents that seem like they were built from borrowed materials of the Serende residents. I could see a number of holy knights outside them.
I don’t see anyone injured, but their numbers are somewhat fewer from their numbers when they departed.
Moreover, everyone has dispirited expressions.
I revealed our identities to the holy knights and asked them what happened, and they guided us to one tent as they explained.
Nektohal and his group had already moved their base and Arcreal was the only one there waiting for them.
It turned into a fight against Arcreal, but 8 died in the blink of an eye, and Yox ended up fighting Arcreal one-on-one, but it was so one-sided it wasn’t even a fight.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
Yox managed to avoid instant death, and Arcreal demanded a rematch after healing up. He told Yox to fight until he couldn’t anymore.
Yox avoided instant death 3 times but was gravely injured, so he ordered Yox’s subordinates to treat him and continued facing Arcreal despite being exhausted.
“This continued until the sun sank and Yox-sama couldn’t regain consciousness even after the treatment finished…”
Arcreal declared that he would kill everyone if Yox couldn’t fight anymore, but after confirming that Yox couldn’t stand up anymore, he left that place saying ‘I am hungry, so I am leaving’.
The result was that Yox and his group failed their mission and 20 people died. 12 of the people couldn’t endure watching Yox being healed, and attacked Arcreal.
Yox lying in bed inside the tent entered my vision.
He has a blanket on and only the upper half could be seen, but his skin was all wrapped up in bandages, and there’s several spots stained with blood.
Healing magic uses the mana of the person themselves, but the mana of Yox was pushed to the point of drying up due to the battles against Arcreal, and they apparently can’t do any satisfactory treatment until the mana of the person himself is recovered.
That mana itself is in critical state, so it has barely recovered.
Ekdoik did a light check on Yox, but he soon shook his head and told me there’s nothing that can be done.
“His mana will dry up immediately if we were to do a complete treatment. Yox must have been repeating just the bare minimum treatment and resuming battle.” (Ekdoik)
“Ekdoik, please share some of the medicine that’s in my luggage. It should be useful in situations like this one.”
“…Aah, that’s true.” (Ekdoik)
I have so little mana it could even be called nonexistent, so I can’t receive the benefits of treatment from magic like Yox is right now.
That’s why I have medicine used for children who don’t have stable mana.
It is not much, but it would most likely be better than what the holy knights have since they didn’t prepare for a situation like this one.
I exited the tent and exhaled heavily.
I can’t get used to the changed appearance of a close acquaintance no matter how many times I am put in such a situation.
I get excessively sensitive, and end up in a light agitated state.
Ilias saw that state of mine and rubbed my back with a worried face.
“Are you okay?” (Ilias)
“I don’t feel good, but I am fine in what you are worried about. I am not angered to that degree.”
Everyone is more on edge about the death of people around me due to the matter of the Scarlet Demon Lord.
If I were to lose control here, they would be overprotective for the rest of my life.
Well, I am calm enough to poke fun at it in this manner though.
“I see. It is a relief to see your brain can still turn that much.” (Ilias)
“If Arcreal was your regular piece of trash, I think blood would have rushed my head a bit more.”
Even if Yox avoided death 3 times through his own abilities, he should have been able to kill him at any time after that.
For Arcreal, his battle against Yox was like playing with an insect.
Not thinking at all about the other party, continuously playing around with it on the palm of your hand, and once it can’t move anymore, that’s the end of it.
I doubt he would feel one bit of emotion even if he were to see a tragic sight of insects.
But Yox continued answering the demands of Arcreal.
That’s why he fulfilled the desire of Yox who continued fighting to protect his subordinates.
That said, he killed all the holy knights that attacked him at that time, so it seems like he had no intention of showing mercy.
“Yox is the captain of the holy knights of Mejis. I am sure he will get back on his feet.” (Ilias)
“Right. We should think about how to best utilize the information that Yox gave us.”
“—Judging from that face, I don’t think there’s any need to worry.” (Ilias)
The only proper information I had of Arcreal was the one when Ekdoik and the others encountered him before.
But, this time around, he continued staying for a long time in front of Yox and his group.
The information I normally wouldn’t have had any opportunity of getting until Ilias and the others face him and the battle is settled.
You could say Yox raised our funds in a way.
No, it is my role to bring about results in a manner where I can say this with confidence.
“Ilias, I am using it. That’s okay, right?”
“Yeah, show them what you can do when you are serious.” (Ilias)