|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2015 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 891 words|
“Just do as we agreed and everything will be fine then.”
“Alright. But don’t dare touch the children. If I notice you break your terms, I’ll do everything I can to make sure you and your master get killed.”
“Ohh scary scary, I think you should be more careful though, you never know where some of our friends might be in your cities.”
Saying that, Mille vanished from my sight. I exhaled a long sigh, as if trying to expel all the dark feelings I had gathered in my chest. Then I took a bottle of liquor from a shelf and drank all of it in one go.
Mille had told me that it did not matter how, I just had to convince the heroes to go fight straight against Trianf. I was even allowed to help Bordaule and Lumielle in exchange if needed, as long as I managed to keep my allegiance to Aprila secret. If I tried to tell them the truth in any way, all the spies and undercover demons would instantly jump out and kidnap my grandchildren while also killing as many children as they could.
I could not tell anyone about it, not even to my family. I did not know if it was a bluff or not, but apparently demons were also technologically advanced, so they were monitoring me with some device that could listen to my words from great distances. That also made it impossible for me to request help from other countries.
(My hands are completely tied, I can’t do anything like this. I feel so pitiful. Lapis’ inhuman power is my only hope now, and pray for her success defeating Trianf without getting hurt. And maybe Freya’s holy magic can identify all the demons around here, so if I get to tell them the truth somehow…)
I still thought it was very unlikely things would unfold so perfectly. I would never bet money on a gamble with a success rate that low. And if I was a third party, I would bet all my savings on the demons being successful. My situation was that bad.
“Heh…heheh…alliance my a̲s̲s̲. They’re just ordering me around. I guess demons call slavery an alliance.”
I felt so hopeless my only escape was to laugh emptily. If I gave up the life of my grandchildren and the kids of my city, as well as mine, things might work out better for humans in general. But their energetic faces would always pop up whenever I closed my eyes. I simply could not trade their lives for something like that.
“I…I might go down as the greatest traitor ever in human history…”
I muttered to myself in the empty room, my breath reeking of alcohol.
§ § §
“The king is summoning us?”
We stayed in a different city for around a week when a knight came looking for us with a letter from the king. Luvias received it and read through it without saying a word, then asked the knight for confirmation, which was answered with a silent nod.
“That is correct. His Majesty deeply laments not thanking you properly before your departure, so he wishes to see you in person again.”
Luvias turned to us wondering what could have prompted this, but I also tilted my head in confusion. We knew the critical situation the city was in, and the king should still be in that city we rescued. Many people still needed help from him and the army, so it was hard to imagine that was a good time to ‘thank someone properly’. That was also the reason we chose to leave that city, which would mean nothing if we returned now. Karin and Ciel looked just as confused, unable to figure out what the king was thinking. If we were alone we would be able to talk it out, but the knight was there as a messenger, so we could not talk without him not hearing us. Eventually Luvias thought of something and addressed the knight.
“We’re grateful for the invitation, but I’m sure all the helpers doing what they can to rebuild the country deserve it more than us. Just the thought alone is enough for us.”
When Luvias said that, for some reason the knight teared up, quickly turning his head down to hide that while Luvias took a step back in shock.
“Can’t you just please come with me? To be honest, His Majesty ordered that I shall not return unless I’m accompanied by you… I can’t go back alone, so I’ll have to follow you for the rest of my life if you still refuse. Please, come!”
Did that gentle king order something like that? Either I really could not trust my gut when it came to people, or he valued us that much to order something crazy like that.
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“What should we do, Master?”
“Hmmm…I guess in that case we can’t really refuse. We’ll just have to go.”
“Yeah… Well, then take us with the king, messenger, we’ll accept his invitation.”
“Thank you very much! I really appreciate that!”
I thought we would get home soon, but somehow things kept changing. Though I did not have anything urgent to do, so maybe it was not so bad…