“I~am~back~! Aah, I am hungry. Ritial, I want grub!”
Even in this situation when the plan is at its final stage, the nonchalant attitude of Arcreal still doesn’t change.
What I can do is to convince Arcreal with reasonable words to adjust his actions.
There’s no need for unnecessary emotions towards his personality.
“You came back later than I thought. Was there an interesting opponent?” (Ritial)
“Aah, I don’t know about that. It is a guy named Yox from the Holy Knight Order, but he showed me a pretty interesting technique at the beginning. He became just a doll that was standing up purely by spirit by the time I sliced him down for the tenth time though.” (Arcreal)
I have heard about what happened in our previous base from Tsudwali who I had keep an eye on Arcreal.
The Holy Knight Order of the Yugura Church appeared before the resident of Yugura’s planet, and Arcreal faced him.
The ideal would have been to face the resident of Yugura’s planet to shave away his forces, but the result wasn’t bad.
The skills of Yox are high, so the only ones I would be able to leave in an upfront battle against him would be Arcreal and Nektohal.
It was possible he would cooperate with the resident of Yugura’s planet as one member of his force after all.
Now that the captain of the Holy Knight Order has been defeated, the morale of the holy knights should have fallen too.
Such situations have an effect when escaping.
“I would have preferred if you had gotten rid of everyone there though.” (Ritial)
“I would if it were an enemy, but I don’t feel good about cutting down people who are not holding weapons. You understand me, don’t you, Ritial?” (Arcreal)
“Of course. But there’s an enemy that would be troubling if he were to learn of your battle. That’s my worry.” (Ritial)
The more information the resident of Yugura’s planet obtains, the better his comprehension of them. And then, he is able to do predictions and reads that are on the same level as me.
Arcreal is the strongest, but it is not like he is an all-powerful god. On the contrary, his thoughts themselves are simple to read.
“You are worried that the resident of Yugura’s planet will read my moves? It is true that my brain isn’t that good, but that’s why I am blindly following your orders, Ritial. It is fine as long as you don’t lose in your reads, right?” (Arcreal)
“That’s right, but I do have my own thoughts regarding that as someone in the position that has to shoulder this.” (Ritial)
Arcreal frowns as if he doesn’t want to hear criticism.
The only thing left is settling things with the resident of Yugura’s planet, so there won’t be any more arbitrary actions. It should be fine for this sort of talk to be the last one, right?
“By the way, there was someone peeking at my fight. That wasn’t a human. It was someone like the devil I fought before.” (Arcreal)
“It must have been a monster the resident of Yugura’s planet had the Purple Demon Lord send ahead. Tsudwali also confirmed its presence.” (Ritial)
It was most likely told to assist them if it could, but their opponent was Arcreal alone. It must have judged that there was no point after seeing the battle between Yox and concentrated only on observing.
“My return was together with Tsudwali, so I haven’t been tailed. Do you think they can get here?” (Arcreal)
“Holy knights showed up in the previous base that was hidden by Tsudwali. I can’t deny the possibility.” (Ritial)
Since the opportunity is there, let’s analyze this again.
I remember the face of the resident of Yugura’s planet from the time when I met him in Kuama, and add the information I have gotten until now.
His ability for comprehension was something that he obtained for self-protection.
Just thinking about a world where he had no choice but to learn conduct of such level at that age makes me dizzy, but that’s of no relevance right now.
What’s important is to imagine his current state.
I can somewhat tell how he broke through the stealth of Tsudwali, but I doubt he has gone as far as being able to deal with the escape method.
In that case, I will analyze whether he can reach this place or obtain the trigger to.
“Your face is saying you are running your brain again.” (Arcreal)
“…I have reached a conclusion. The resident of Yugura’s planet will appear in a few days. I have to tell Raheight and Tsudwali to get ready.” (Ritial)
In the case that man has made contact with the Green Demon Lord, there’s a high chance he has comprehended the sentiments of Nektohal.
The reason why I chose this place as our base was because it is possible to tie it together with thoughts of Nektohal by analyzing the history of Serende.
The resident of Yugura’s planet will definitely be able to investigate this location.
“Being able to trust the enemy to this degree is impressive.” (Arcreal)
I might have been able to make contact with him without worries if I didn’t know anything.
I remember Ban and Gradona.
They were comrades that I could get along with even without knowing too deeply about each other.
It is true that I thought a life being surrounded by such comrades wouldn’t be bad either.
But I am now here.
I had to choose this path for my sake and hers. A faded place where I had to continue observing a world where people I have to eliminate were present.
“I have to understand them exactly because they are enemies. For allies, it is enough as long as you simply get along.” (Ritial)
There’s always something I must think about, but what’s most important is where Nektohal and his group have moved to.
I doubt they will choose the common bases known at this point.
The base they have been until now has been the one with the biggest scale until now. There must definitely be a reason why they would abandon this place.
“This is as much information as I can get from the holy knights and the Butler Army.”
The only information I got from the holy knights was information about Arcreal. There’s no need to use this right now.
I have obtained information about the direction in which Arcreal left to and what happened after chasing him from the Butler Army that was observing the battle of Yox.
I wanted to help out Yox, but we are talking about the enemy that defeated Dyuvuleori one-sidedly.
There’s no doubt he would be a rough opponent for the silent but intelligent Butler Army.
The result wouldn’t have changed even if they helped out. On the contrary, we might not have been able to obtain the necessary information.
“After Arcreal moved to a certain degree, he disappeared like smoke all of a sudden, huh… So no clues.” (Ilias)
“Not really, Ilias. Arcreal disappeared after moving a certain distance. He would have disappeared in front of Yox and the others if he could have done so from the very beginning. The reason he didn’t was because he couldn’t. He shook off the pursuit of the Butler Army, so he must have regrouped with Tsudwali. The actions of Arcreal were out of personal feelings. Then, he must not have pulled any small tricks. We can narrow down the direction from the place he disappeared from.”
There’s definitely information we can get even from the smallest details. What’s important is to gather the necessary factors from that information and the imagination to create the whole picture with this.
I ask Prince Washekt to get me the map of Serende and the files regarding the ruins Serende manages. There’s no doubt this is what I should be analyzing.
“Is it okay for it to not be a more detailed map than this one? Not like I want to show a detailed map to someone from a foreign country though.” (Washekt)
“This is enough. Thanks, Washekt. What I need is information that someone foreign can obtain after all.”
“I see? Oh well, let’s see what you’ve got.” (Washekt)
There’s no doubt it was either Ritial or Nektohal that proposed to move.
The reason being that they predicted we would be coming and they chose a place where they would have an advantage when facing us.
But what’s the reason for them not using that location as their main base until now despite being an advantageous location for them?
“Inconvenient to come and go, and yet, spacious… Rather than normal ruins… These ones. Please bring those documents, too.”
I found several ruins that fit my vision within the files.
I narrow down the locations where Nektohal and Ritial might choose from the direction where Arcreal left from.
“…Here. Nektohal and his group are based here.”
The ruins I pointed at on the map is an underground facility that’s said to have been created by a family of dwarves when the Black Demon Lord began to invade.
The corridors stretch underground and there’s a number of spacious areas until reaching the lowest floor. It is not complex to a degree where it could be called a dungeon, but it is the perfect place to ready yourself for an attack.
“Wait, is it really there? That’s…right by the nose of Serende!” (Washekt)
The Serende Castle that could be considered the center of Serende is shown right by the side of the underground ruins in the map.
They most likely planned to use these ruins as an evacuation means for the royalty of Serende in the case there’s an invasion from a foreign country or monsters.
There’s no reason not to use this place if there’s so much utility to it.
“There’s other candidates, but it is most likely this place. Ilias, make preparations to depart. I will clear out the other candidates just in case.”
“Got it.” (Ilias)
We have reproduced a number of keys.
We can confirm with the Butler Army if we dispatch them to the respective candidates, but there should be no need for that.
That’s how convenient this location would be for them.
I observe the map that Prince Washekt prepared as I switch my thought stance from Ritial to Raheight.
My battle with Ritial has already started.
Ritial has made preparations with the preamble that I will be coming. On the other hand, we have only gotten a grasp of their base just now.
This will be a battle of who can outread the other party with an opponent we have a handicap against, but it is not like this is a one-sided disadvantage.
Ritial used an underground ruin that he found in the past in order to make perfect preparations.
The price of that is that it is within the files of the ruins Serende has investigated.
In that case, Ritial will have placed traps with the assumption that I have obtained information of the topography. That goes the same for Raheight who has a nasty personality and Tsudwali who excels in stealth.
They might even think up extreme plans like bombing the ruins and burying us.
“It is a stupidly big underground ruin and even has supplies. They would most likely have enough time to finish the resurrection magic even if we were to block the exit. They can dig the ground with magic if they need to anyways. So unfair~.”
In the end, we can’t be relieved until we incapacitate them directly.
It will lead everyone to a dangerous path, but that’s exactly why I have to avoid losing to Ritial when it comes to predictions.
“That’s how it is, Ritial. I will be cheating a bit.”
“…That face makes me question who is the bad guy here.” (Washekt)
Ah, I forgot Prince Washekt was here and let my thoughts show in my face.