|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3661 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1558 words|
|Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad|
A few days had passed since then. Inside the ship dedicated to Special Envoy Theodore, which was currently being used as the flagship for the Holy Knight Order against the Venefian invasion. On the inner bridge, inside the operations/conference room…
「The reply from the Venefique was 『We cannot accept your proposal. You were the one who brought the Prisma here in the first place. It is your responsibility, Charalia.』」
Reported the messenger Knight.
「……I see. Good work…」
Prince Wayne accepted the reply without showing much of a change of expression, then thanked the Knight. He took a moment to think, then stated.
「It’s the expected response. I see.」
「It can’t be helped. From their point of view, it does look like we are using the Prisma as a bulwark…」
Spoke Special Envoy Theodore, seemingly a little vexed. Having been informed by Ripple and Eris that the Prisma could wake up at any moment, Prince Wayne proposed a truce with the Venefian army.
He also proposed for both armies to fight together should the Prisma move. The response to this proposal was what had just been reported.
「We can’t say that this was never our intention, huh? Our decision was certainly made in the hope that it would deter the Venefique’s movements. But, I didn’t expect it not to work at all……」
「But, even if they said it is Charalia’s responsibility… magic stone beasts, especially Prisma, do not concern themselves with the circumstances of midland countries. We don’t even know if the Prisma will go towards Charalia or Venefique once awakened……」
At such a late hour, it was no longer possible to transport the Prisma to a new location.
Avoiding giving it any external stimuli was the best they could do. However, what would the Venefian Army do if the Prisma took a course toward the Venefique nation?
Would they only then choose to side with Charalia? The Charalian Army wouldn’t so conveniently give them aid in such a case, too. If so, to Eris, it should be much safer to take a wait-and-see attitude and be willing to fight together later.
「This is dangerous. They underestimate Prisma. It will be too late if they act when it starts moving……」
「Perhaps they have their own reasons for not backing down…the Venefique nation is backed by the Church’s Union, so they might be under some kind of strict conditions that they can’t escape from……」
Thus spoke Special Envoy Theodore, a little cryptically.
「They have a long tradition of making repeated incursions into Charalia’s territories. But now, with the Highlands giving them additional pressure, they approach us with such an attitude, huh…」
The Venefian lands were mostly barren wilderness, and the people’s lives were not affluent. It was a long-held dream for the Venefiques to have the rich lands of Charalia. That tradition had not changed for many generations before King Charleas and Prince Wayne.
「What’s the matter, Lady Ripple?」
Raphael readily responded to Ripple when she was about to say something.
「Ah, no……Sorry, it’s nothing. Nevermind. Ahahaha.」
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Ripple shrugged it with a laugh. She was about to ask what they would do if Prisma woke up and started to walk towards Venefique’s side.
Borders did not matter to magic stone beasts. Borders had nothing to do with people who suffered from magic stone beasts. Ideally, it would be humane and noble to do everything in their power to help them, even if it meant they had to cross the Venefique borders, but…
Confronting Prisma with their full power meant they would have to deploy a weaponized Hyrule Menace, and if that happened, Raphael’s life would be in serious danger. Knowing this, Ripple couldn’t bring herself to speak about it in front of Raphael, not even if it was a hypothetical situation.
If the Prisma did end up advancing towards Venefique, there would be no choice but to leave it to the judgment of Prince Wayne and Raphael.
Neither of them could be blamed if they decided to leave the Prisma alone. At the very least, Ripple wanted to advise them to offer rescue, on the condition that Raphael would never wield a Hyrule Menace…
But, what was more important, for both Ripple and Eris, was Inglis. Regardless of where the Prisma would go, Inglis would happily fight it. And if she could defeat the Prisma, then there would be no problem. Everyone would be happy.
This would negate the significance of the Hyrule Menaces as guardian deities of the midland, but that was fine. Hyrule Menace being unnecessary meant that Prisma would no longer be a threat. And if that meant there would be no more sorrow, then Ripple wouldn’t care if she would be discarded or no longer needed. In fact, she would be happy that way.
Ripple had already consulted with Special Envoy Theodore and asked him to summon Inglis. The Special Envoy would surely inform Prince Wayne of the situation. In any case, what they needed to do was to wait… and hold the status quo as long as possible.
Everyone would be much happier to see that girl smashing a foe with her beautiful smile and a hearty laugh, rather than striking down a mighty enemy who sprinkled inevitable death and sorrow. At the very least, Ripple herself would.
「Either way, what we should do now…」
As Prince Wayne was about to conclude their conference…
「Excuse me, sir! The patrol team has come up to report urgently!」
The Knight who had been on patrol rushed into the operation control room, looking panicked.
「Good work. Is there a change to the Prisma?!」
After saluting his underling, Raphael asked what had happened.
「Sir! A huge number of flying bird-type magic stone beasts have been produced from the Prisma! Much more than they have ever been! There must be at least a thousand units!」
「That’s a lot! So the Prisma’s awakening is indeed near……」
Tension flashed across the faces of Prince Wayne and Special Envoy Theodore upon hearing the report.
「……! Notify all troops immediately! Prepare for battle……!」
「No, about that……!」
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At Raphael’s command, the Knight looked like he had more to say.
「? What’s the matter?」
「I don’t think there’s the necessity for battle… the army of magic stone beasts is heading east……they are heading to the Venefique’s!」
「……! They went the other way since they were annihilated the last time they headed our way, huh……?!」
「I don’t know, no one can tell what magic stone beasts are thinking. It could be a total coincidence!」
「Yes, I guess so. However, even so…」
This wasn’t exactly an emergency crisis for Charalia, but… It made things much more complicated, Eris thought. The Venefiques had just refused to join forces against the Prisma and magic stone beasts.
In this case, leaving the army of magic stone beasts alone would be a realistic option. Indeed it was the Charalians who brought the Prisma here in the first place, but it was the Venefiques who sent out their army to invade Charalia, to begin with. If the magic stone beasts and the invaders could mutually crush each other, they could keep themselves fully prepared for the awakening of Prisma…
Of course, there was some emotional guilt and complexity. Neither Eris nor Ripple could say what they think should be done, but then…
「……My instructions remain the same. Prepare for battle!」
Raphael declared once and for all.
In the end, he still felt responsible since it was him who brought the Prisma here, so it appeared. It truly reflected his strong sense of responsibility.
「……Well, it was us who brought it here. I don’t think that’s a bad decision.」
「Ah, no… That’s not it. It’s just……I want to be a Knight who protects people from the threats of the magic stone beasts, no matter when, no matter what. So I can’t just stay silent and sit on my hands……!」
His reasons were much purer and less calculating than Eris and Ripple could imagine. Indeed, that was a prime example of a Knight who protected people from magic stone beasts. He simply wanted to continue being himself. They had been doing missions with the Holy Knight Order for years, and despite all the experiences they had, some things just didn’t change.
Sometimes, he was just so pure that the Hyrule Menaces felt cleansed by him. That was the human appeal of Raphael. Both Eris and Ripple knew of his sister Rafinha, and they saw the similarities between the siblings. They were very much alike at their core as human beings.
「Your Highness, Special Envoy, permission to sortie!」
「……I’m asking too. We won’t do anything rash.」
「—I will accompany you.」
Ripple and Eris went to Raphael’s aid.
「…Yeah, well, I don’t expect I can stop you anyway. I want to believe that your no-compromise attitude is what creates trust,
「Yes……! We will be off! Lady Eris, Lady Ripple, let us go!」
「Yeah! Let’s go!」
Raphael, Eris, and Ripple hurried to the flygear hangar. even with an enemy. I’m counting on you!」
「However, as Lady Ripple said, do not act rash, no matter what. Never forget the weight of what you are carrying!」
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