Overlord Light Novel Volume 12 Chapter 2 Part 8
Overlord Light Novel Volume 12 Chapter 2 Part 8
“This one is Neia Baraja, a squire of the paladin order of the Holy Kingdom. I understand this is exceedingly rude, but please permit me to request your early dispatch of Momon-dono.”
The Sorcerer King appeared to be deep in thought.
“Neia! How dare a mere squire like you beg a favor of the Sorcerer King!”
There was only one thing which came to mind when Neia heard Remedios’ rebuke.
If you must slay your squire for her disrespectful conduct, please wait a little bit longer.
“Ahh, it’s fine. Neia, is it? In that case, how much earlier would you like me to send out Momon?”
“I feel that he should be sent as soon as possible, even if it only hastens his arrival by just one day.”
“And you insist on your request, even though knowing that sending out Momon will damage the Sorcerous Kingdom?”
Neia bowed her head.
She had long since prepared herself to request that her Captain take her head if her words displeased the Sorcerer King, in order to pay for her sins with her life.
She closed her eyes, because she knew she might be cut down at any moment.
“Your Majesty! I sincerely apologize for my squire’s disrespect! We have never once harbored any intention of harming the Sorcerous Kingdom.”
“No, pay it no mind. As a resident of the Holy Kingdom, it is only natural to want to save one’s homeland even at the expense of others… Umu. Albedo, can we cut it down to less than two years?”
“I believe it would be very difficult.”
“Really now. Still — do it.”
Neia reflexively looked up at the Sorcerer KIng.
“Yes! At once, Your Majesty!”
Perhaps Albedo’s wings were trembling because she was uneasy about this reckless endeavour, especially when the powerful voice of that absolute ruler was directed at her.
“Neia… Baraja. How about two years? Perhaps it might still be too long for you, but you ought to be able to hold out so long as the southern armies remain, no?”
Indeed, two years was too long. However, she could not prevail on the Sorcerer King’s generosity any further.
“Thank you very much, Your Majesty!”
The gratitude in her voice was genuine, because she felt that the chances of her nation’s salvation had risen from just now.
After that, Remedios bowed her head.
“Thank you very much, Your Majesty! We are deeply grateful that you have acceded to our squire’s request.”
“It is fine. –Captain Custodio, you have a good woman under you. If she did not love her country so deeply, how would a mere squire dare make such a plea of the ruler of another country? …I am not finding fault with her, of course.”
“No, I am certain she must be overjoyed by Your Majesty’s words.”
“Is that so. Then that will be all. This has been a beneficial dialogue.”
“–Announcing the departure of His Majesty, the Sorcerer King.”
Neia bowed her head in response to Albedo’s words.
Once again, the staff rapped along the ground in time with his footsteps, the same way it had when he had entered. Those sounds drew further away, and soon they heard the sound of the door closing. The Sorcerer King had probably left the room.
“He has departed.”
When Neia raised her head, she saw a slightly red-cheeked Albedo smiling and saying, “Then, please allow me to escort you outside.”
♦ ♦ ♦
Neia had prepared herself to be scolded by Remedios, and sure enough, after they returned to the inn, it came,
“You! Do you know what you’ve done!”
Remedios’ face was red as she closed in on Neia. VIce-Captain Gustav hurriedly held out his arms and stepped between Neia and the Captain.
“Captain Custodio! A moment please! There is no denying the Squire Baraja’s actions were those of a rogue, but ultimately, she saved us a year of waiting. Is that not something worthy of praise?”
“What nonsense are you talking about!? The whole thing might go up in smoke because of her! Also, you want me to praise her for acting on her own? Are you kidding me!?”
“The blame rests on your servant.”
Neia apologized from the bottom of her heart as she bowed her head.
“–Do you really think you’re at fault? Maybe you were lucky this time, but can you take responsibility if things end up turning bad for us?”
“…The blame rests on your servant.”
“I know that already! Answer me! Can you face all the suffering people of the Holy Kingdom and tell them that help won’t be coming because of you!?”
“No, your servant cannot bear that responsibility.”
“In that case, then why did you just jump in and do that? What on earth were you thinking!?”
Neia raised her head and looked straight at the Captain.
“Your servant submits that if the situation develops poorly, your servant should be executed by her commanding officer as an apology to the Sorcerer King for your servant’s misdeeds.”
Remedios’ eyes went wide as she heard that. However, they quickly narrowed in displeasure once more. Beside her, VIce-Captain Gustav nodded vigorously in respect.
“Do you think that’s enough for forgiveness? Do you think a life like yours will be enough of an apology?”
“Your servant does not know, but I am certain you will be able to think of something, Captain-sama.”
“And what will you do if we can’t think of anything!?”
Indeed, just like the Captain said, it was very likely that even executing Neia would not be enough to earn the Sorcerer King’s forgiveness. However, Neia had still said what she had in the audience chamber because three years was far too long.
Could it be the Captain was willing to accept waiting for three years? Why am I being scolded by someone who didn’t do anything? I knew that the lives of the Holy Kingdom’s people hung in the balance, so I should not act of my own accord. Even so, someone should have done something back then…
Was it not fine as long as there was a good outcome, or was the process more important? She probably could not give an answer like that.
Even so, it was hard for someone who had stepped forward to do something to endure a lecture from someone who had done nothing.
Of course, Neia had a pretty good idea of what would happen if she actually said that. Therefore, she remained quiet and simply lowered her head.
“Captain, that should be enough. Thanks to her, we’ve saved a year of waiting. Rewards and punishment need to be used in balance. Perhaps you ought to be praising her to a similar extent, Captain.”
The Captain looked like she had not had her fill of berating Neia as she turned and left.
Gustav sighed, and then turned to face Neia.
“Your resolve is truly admirable. The Captain might look that way, but the truth is, she respects your contributions.”
That was most definitely a lie. That was a lie which nobody could cover up.
Perhaps Gustav had sensed her thoughts from her expression, but he looked her in the eye and then smiled bitterly.
“In any case, I’ll go talk to the Captain about this. However, if you run into her now, things might get a bit prickly. Could I trouble you to take a walk outside for a bit?”
“Your servant understands. Thank you, Vice-Captain.”
Once outside the inn, Neia found herself unable to move in the chill winds of winter.
“I just feel… hahhh…”
While she had been told to take a walk outside, where should she go in this country?
Neia felt around in her pockets and produced a small leather pouch. There was a bit of money inside, a few copper and silver coins from the Holy Kingdom. If those could not be used, Neia still had a trading gold coin. It would be more than enough to get a meal. However, this gold coin was the very last piece of pocket money Neia’s parents had given her. Where should she spend this valuable piece of pocket money?
Neia looked at the foreign land before her.
“What a pain… hahh…”
“Well, you sound depressed.”
The sudden voice from close by made Neia’s shoulders shudder
“Walk down that road over there, this place is too obvious,”
The owner of this voice was not someone she would forget in a hurry, and Neia restrained herself just as she was about to cry out. After walking as directed, she heard something moving from behind her. It would seem that it was not just a voice she was hearing, but there was someone actually behind Neia, only that said person had made themselves invisible so Neia could not see them.
After turning down the road as directed, she heard the voice say, “Take the alley on the left”. Neia obeyed silently.
The alley was surprisingly clean, with no passers-by .
After walking several steps, Neia turned and spoke the name of the voice’s owner.
“Your Majesty, dare I ask why you have come here? Am I unable to see you because of magic?”
“I see, so that’s why you were such a good girl. So you knew who I was.”
Saying so, the Sorcerer King revealed himself.
He had changed into an unassuming black robe, but even that robe of his gleamed like velvet. One could imagine that it was a very high-end piece of clothing.
Neia immediately genuflected before him.
“Yes, it is as Your Majesty says. Also… may I ask where Your Majesty’s followers are?”
“No, I did not bring followers with me. After all, having them around would make things troublesome.”
“W-why is that?”
“Mm, I want to speak with your Captain in private, so please go and get her… no, it would be better to do so in a room… Can you help me open the room of the window? I will enter through there.”
That was a bizarre request. Normally, she would not open the window just like that. However, she was dealing with the king of this country, and a king who had agreed to aid the Holy Kingdom. Faced with the Sorcerer King’s request, there was no way Neia could do anything to ruin his mood.
The word “assassination” flashed through Neia’s mind, but if the Sorcerer King had wanted to do that, he could have done so in the audience chamber.
Of course, this might be someone masquerading as the Sorcerer King. However, the person before her had the form of an imposing ruler, so he was unmistakably the Sorcerer King from back then. Every move he made was something that was only possible by someone who was a born ruler.
Should she trust him? Or not?
Neia pondered this, and chose the former.
“Understood. Then, I shall go and do so immediately.”
“Mm… come to think of it, were you sent out on a mission? If that was the case, I ought to apologize to your Captain.”
Neia could not help exchanging glances with the Sorcerer King.
“…If it was not a mission, then this must be your own free time, no? In that case, it is very valuable — mm, I should apologize to you for taking up your precious rest time by making you do things.”
“No, no, Your Majesty shows me too much concern; there is no need… in any case, I will go and open the window to the Captain’s room now.”
Neia immediately ran from the Sorcerer King’s side.
Those kind words from someone else were like someone carefully applying a soothing liniment to a palm covered in scrapes and bruises.
They seeped into Neia’s heart, and it surprised her.
Neia ran with all her might, and immediately returned to the inn.
Naturally, one could not run around inside a high-end inn, but Neia could not lag behind for that reason. In the end, she moved as quickly as possible without causing a breach of etiquette, and although the employees’ gazes felt a little icy, she finally reached the door to the Captain’s room.
Neia immediately knocked on the door, then found that it was locked when she thought to try the handle. A chill ran through Neia’s heart as she realized that she was the only one who had been cast out, but now was not the time to worry about that sort of thing.
“I am Squire Neia Baraja, please open up.”
The door clicked open, and a paladin showed his face from behind it.
“Forgive me,” she said; now was not the time to observe each and every point of etiquette. Neia then turned to Remedios, who was within the room, and said, “The Sorcerer King wishes to speak to you in private, Captain.”
Neia could sense everyone’s eyes looking behind her back.
“No, that’s not it. He’s not there.”
Saying so, Neia strode over to the window and opened the door.
As expected of a high-class establishment, the windows slid smoothly open, without any trace of jamming.
“What are you doing!?”
From a third party’s perspective, this was a sudden, rash outburst. It was only natural that a paladin would bellow at her. It was even less tolerable for a paladin who had once been placed in charge of the Holy Queen’s security.
However, Neia ignored them as she leaned her upper body out of the window and waved to the Sorcerer King, who ought to be outside.
After that, Neia was dragged back in by her collar.
“What are you on about, Squire Baraja? Don’t just fling the window open like that. More to the point, there’s no trace of the Sorcerer King!”
Looking back, she saw a red-faced paladin. His anger was only to be expected. However–
“That will do, I think. She broke your rules at my behest. If blame must be assigned, then let it fall upon me.”
A quiet voice echoed through the room.
The Sorcerer King slowly revealed himself from where he stood upon the window frame.
Neia saw a paladin reaching for the longsword at his waist, and frantically made to stop him.
“Mm… it seems I have alarmed you. That was a lack of forethought on my part. I chose to come by myself because I wished to speak with you in private. While it might be somewhat rude to enter via a window, it cannot be helped for the sake of going incognito. I hope you can understand that… And I must apologize to her as well.”
After descending from the window, the Sorcerer King surveyed the room around him.
“…I am the Sorcerer King, Ainz Ooal Gown.”
Upon the mention of his name, Neia fell to one knee before anybody else. A moment later, she heard the paladins behind her simultaneously genuflecting.
“Very well… You may rise, Since there is no time, is it convenient to have a word with you, Captain Custodio?”
“We have no objections, Your Majesty. Then, please come this way.”
As Neia rose, she let her breath out — just in time to meet the eyes of the Sorcerer King, who had turned around. Of course, there were no eyeballs in the Sorcerer King’s eye sockets, so saying she gazed into his eyes was entirely Neia’s imagination.
“Will that squire not be taking part?”
“She is just a squire, Your Majesty?”
“Yet was she not at the audience chamber just now?”
The Sorcerer King’s natural tone made him sound like he genuinely did not know. However, his words contained a powerful sense of sarcasm.
“Squire Baraja, come join us.”
Although Neia was not very keen on taking part, for some reason she wanted to know why the Sorcerer King had come to visit them.
Remedios and Gustav faced the Sorcerer King over a table, while Neia and the others stood by the walls. This was the same way in which they had received Blue Rose.
“Now then, Your Majesty, please permit me to ask a direct question. May I inquire as to why you have graced our humble lodgings?”
Remedios nodded at Gustav’s question.
“But of course. Like I said before, I dislike beating around the bush. After all, doing so makes it easy for one’s words to have their meanings twisted or otherwise misinterpreted.”
The Sorcerer King’s words had a sense of personal concern to them which was hard to explain.
“While I have already decided to send out Momon in two years’ time, if you can agree to a request of mine, it is not impossible for my Sorcerous Kingdom to immediately deploy an entity on par with Momon.”
“On par with Momon?” Remedios could not help but exclaim.
“…May I know the nature of the request which Your Majesty wishes to make? Depending on the nature of the request, I pray you will forgive us if we cannot immediately give Your Majesty an answer.”
The Sorcerer King chuckled in response to Gustav’s words, and then he spoke.
“But of course. Given your present state, I can roughly imagine… now, calling you a resistance movement would be a pretty spin on things, but the fact is that you are most likely a band of guerillas hiding in caves, am I wrong?”
Everyone in the room held their breaths. Neia was no exception.
Why could the Sorcerer King speak about the true nature of their circumstances? How had he divined this? Highlighting the cave issue was particularly impressive.
The Captain and Gustav’s faces did not move, but their eyes looked over to Neia. It would seem they believed she had leaked the truth about them to the Sorcerer King. Thus, Neia shook her head to indicate, “it wasn’t me”.
The Sorcerer King ignored Neia and the others’ shock and continued speaking.
“The strength of the south is untouched, but yet you did not seek to cooperate with them and conduct joint operations. That is because a rift exists between yourselves and the southern nobles. That being the case, once you — who failed to protect the Holy Queen — fall under the command of the new Holy King, it will probably be very difficult for you to hold on to your previous positions. Therefore, you cannot offer me land, titles, trade concessions, and other such privileges. If you actually kept your words on this matter, the possibility of war with my Sorcerous Kingdom exists, depending on what conclusions the next Holy King reaches.”
The Sorcerer King clearly highlighted the key points of the war with the demihumans, as well as the decisions they had made about their future.
“Similarly, you cannot use your nation’s treasures as bargaining capital. For instance, the holy sword which you bear, Captain Remedios. If you actually did try to trade them, the most you could do was treat the country’s treasures as having been plundered by Jaldabaoth and then turn them over to me. However, doing so is very dangerous. Should someone inform the next Holy King that said wealth was actually obtained from you, trust in you paladins will most likely sink like a stone. Worthless, in other words. Therefore, all you ladies and gentlemen can do is what you did at the audience chamber, informing me of your plight — mm, I imagine that I have hit the nail on its head, given the expressions on your faces.”
After saying all this, the Sorcerer King leaned back against the backrest of his seat.
Silence filled the room.
Perfect. He was just too perfect.
Neia felt an incomparable respect for the Sorcerer King’s profound understanding. Was this the man they called the Sorcerer King, Neia wondered.
Neia had met the Holy Queen once, in the past, but the Holy Queen had simply greeted her, and to Neia it had hardly been a chance to meet a true monarch. Thus, to Neia, this was the first time she had made contact with an absolute ruler, one who was possessed of insight and dignity that surpassed all others, and on top of that, incredible power — in other words, a perfect being.
This powerful impact left an indelible impression on Neia’s heart.
“That said, anybody could have thought of that. I’m actually embarrassed that I came here and smugly spouted all that… I trust you did not think I had not even considered that much?”
“O-of course, your Majesty!” Gustav replied with a stiff smile on his face.
“Wonderful. If I were taken for an idiot who could not even ascertain that much, I would be unable to face the subordinates who work hard for my sake… now then, building on that, I shall state what I desire — maids, in other words. I want maids.”
Everyone — Neia included — could only stare dumbfounded at the utterly ridiculous words which had just left the Sorcerer King’s mouth.
“…Ah, my apologies. I was being unclear. Hm, how shall I put this. I believe the topic of Jaldabaoth possessing powerful maids came up during our previous meeting. I want them. How much magical knowledge do you possess?”
“None at all.”
After Remedios said so, the Sorcerer King looked around, as though seeking help.
“Is, is that so… well, in that case, I wonder where I should start explaining from… ah, well, that too… Ah — you can imagine that Jaldabaoth has bound the maids to him by some mechanism. Therefore, my plan is to defeat Jaldabaoth, take that formula for my own, and then place the maids under my control. In this way, my country will gain powerful minions.”
“B-But, we did not encounter Jaldabaoth’s maids in our country…”
The Sorcerer King laughed at Gustav’s answer.
“They were sighted in the Kingdom, after all. I find it hard to imagine they were not there. Or perhaps they will not appear until Jaldabaoth is forced into dire straits?”
“Let me reiterate… we are still not sure if the maids really exist. If it should happen that the maids do not exist, what will you do, Your Majesty?”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I am not asking you to produce something that could substitute for it, in any case. At the very most, I will just write it off as a wasted effort. However, there is the possibility that they might have appeared outside of a maid’s guise, so my request will probably include Jaldabaoth’s subordinates as well. Ahh, that’s right. He might have used some kind of special item to dominate them, so I intend to add a condition that any of Jaldabaoth’s magic items which cannot be determined to be the property of the Holy Kingdom will be mine. It may turn out that the maids which ravaged your Holy Kingdom might end up becoming part of my Sorcerous Kingdom, and in that event I hope I can count on your forgetting your grudges against them since they will then fall under my rule.”
“You mean you want us to forgive people who might devastate our country?”
After Remedios retorted unhappily, the Sorcerer King shrugged.
“That is because I stand to gain nothing else from the Holy Kingdom. Or do you mean to say you have something else to offer me?”
Remedios bit her lip, unable to answer.
“Your Majesty, the Captain means to say that as outsiders, it will be very difficult for us to convince the victims to forget their grudges.”
“Then you will simply have to work hard to convince them,” the Sorcerer King said in a cold voice. “…No, then, just say that the maids were dominated by the Sorcerer King’s magic and taken away. That ought to quell their hatred somewhat, no?”
What would they do, Neia thought as she heard the Sorcerer King speak. If they still refused to accept the Sorcerer King’s terms after he had made this many concessions to them, it was very likely that they would end up with nothing to show for it. It was plain that these were extraordinarily favorable terms for the Holy Kingdom. If they did not seize this opportunity, then the only way to describe them would be “Remedios”.
“That would be quite vexing. Allowing those who ravage–”
“–Your Majesty!” Gustav shouted over Remedios’ words. “Please allow us to discuss this for a moment! Please give us some time!”
Do you still need to discuss matters after he’s compromised this much? Even Neia felt that it would not be strange for the Sorcerer King to rebuke them. But–
“Very well. However, taking too long will cause me problems, and I can’t be bothered to move. You don’t mind if I wait here, do you?”
Neia could not help but be surprised by the Sorcerer King’s largesse.
“Thank you very much. Then, we shall quickly discuss things. I pray you will be patient, despite the disservice we do you.”
“That’s fine. Go talk it out.”
The two of them rose to leave, and then they returned with surprising swiftness. No, they had already reached the conclusion from the beginning.
“Forgive the delay, Your Majesty.”
“Oh no, go ahead and discuss more, it’s fine. Well then, how goes it?”
“Yes, our conclusion is that we will abide by all of Your Majesty’s terms.”
“I am not asking you to obey me. I am simply making a trade. Well, that doesn’t matter. Now then, while we should put it in writing, I lack the necessary equipment and stamps. Let us discuss this later… You don’t mind if I use the Kingdom’s writing, no?”
“There are people here who can read it, so it is fine. Then, may I trouble you to introduce us to the person who is on par with Momon?”
“Ahh, he is standing before you right now — in other words. myself.”
Silence filled the room once more, and Neia and the others were unable to speak as they stared.
After blinking several times, their brains finally regained the ability to function.
“Your Majesty is as strong as Momon?”
Remedios’ words made Neia freeze in place, but there was a man who had made a move because of these words.
“Please, please wait a moment, Captain. There’s something else we need to ask His Majesty before this.”
Gustav turned to the Sorcerer King. “Ah, will it really be alright if Your Majesty leaves your nation and goes to the Holy Kingdom? I do not know how much time that will take.”
“That will not be a problem. Unlike Momon, I can use teleportation magic, So long as I can find your base, I can return to the Sorcerous Kingdom at any time.”
“B-but, even so, surely having the ruler of a nation come in person is just too–!”
“After listening to me, did you not think that I will be coming in person? I did say I intended to defeat Jaldabaoth and bring the maids under my control, you know? It would be too much of a stretch to do all that from the Sorcerous Kingdom. In addition, with regards to Captain Custodio’s question, I am stronger than Momon.”
“Then, there should be no problems with that, Gustav.”
“Of course there’s problems with that! Your Majesty! This jest of yours is really quite vexing for us!”
The Vice-Captain clutched his gut as he shouted that.
“This is no jest. Nobody other than me can defeat Jaldabaoth. In addition, I will be going by myself. I will not bring an army with me. Therefore, I will be coming alone, as I have now, in order to conduct secret talks.”
“But if Your Majesty sustains an irrecoverable injury from Jaldabaoth, it might lead to unrest between our country and the Sorcerous Kingdom!”
“It, it is as Gustav says. Your Majesty, are there truly no problems in that respect?”
“None at all.”
“–Gustav! I’m still talking. Don’t interrupt me!” After holding out her hand to stop Gustav, Remedios bowed deeply.
“Then, we will be in Your Majesty’s care.”
♦ ♦ ♦
The air in the room calmed, as if a storm had just passed — and indeed, it had — but Gustav’s shout echoed off the walls.
“What are you thinking!? Recruiting a king! The king of a country! To fight Jaldabaoth and whatnot!”
Neia agreed with him.
He might not operate by common sensibilities, but this was simply senseless.
Amidst all this, Remedios spoke quietly.
“Say, don’t you think that it doesn’t matter what happens to the undead?”
The room fell silent once more.
“…You have a demon, and you have an undead being. We won’t be harmed regardless of who gets wiped out. Don’t you think?”
Gustav’s eyes went wide. This was not acceptance of his Captain’s opinion, but shock at what his Captain had just said.
“Both of them are enemies of mankind. Then ideally, it would be best if both sides destroyed each other… that said, we won’t just sit back and reap the profits. Even if the Sorcerer King is wounded unto death by Jaldabaoth, we will not take advantage of his plight. However, that is all.”
Remedios’ voice grew louder.
“…Captain. If the Sorcerer King, who controls so many undead, is destroyed, then when these undead are freed, will it not cause all manner of havoc?”
“When the time comes, the Kingdom, the Empire and the Theocracy will cushion the blow. Of course, we will send aid as well, but the Holy Kingdom has been too badly ravaged by Jaldabaoth. Until our country recovers its strength, all we can do is cheer them on… From that point of view, our country stands to gain the most from a clash between Jaldabaoth and the Sorcerer King…”
“–Captain!” Gustav’s face was stone as he spoke. “How is this justice?”
“It is. It’s all for the sake of our nation. It is to save the people who suffer the most. It isn’t like I hope that the seeds of suffering will spread to other countries . I also wish for the victory of the Sorcerous Kingdom as it assists the Holy Kingdom.”
Who is this, Neia thought as she looked at Remedios, who was saying all this in a calm, even tone.
Was this really the Captain of the paladins of the Holy Kingdom, Remedios Custodio?
Neia was not too clear about her situation. After all, she had always been looking at her from afar. However, she felt that she was a completely different person from the Captain she had heard of.
“Gustav, you don’t object, right? If you can accept this, then we ought to consider our next move.”
“Our next move, you say?”
“…We have to think about how to properly make use of the Sorcerer King.”
A chill ran down her back.
Why am I hearing a conversation like this, Neia thought. No, she was not alone. Peering around, she saw that the paladins standing near her all had the same expression on their faces. Neia must have looked the same way too.
“Gustav, do you have any ideas?”
“No, no, not at all. Shouldn’t we think about what we should do after bringing the Sorcerer King back with us?”
“Well, if the Sorcerer King isn’t all talk, and he really can fight Jaldabaoth, how about retaking the capital? And then we can ask him to defeat Jaldabaoth right after that.”
“…That would be bad. His Majesty has said that he intends to defeat Jaldabaoth, mape the raids, and then return to his country. Therefore, we ought to leave defeating Jaldabaoth for last in order to reap the greatest benefits… If we follow your suggestion, Captain, we won’t have the strength to defeat the leftover demihumans.”
“Then what do you propose?”
Gustav paused to think, and then he made a suggestion.
“Let’s increase our numbers first. In other words, we need to rescue our captured comrades from the camps.”
“I see! An excellent idea. After all, there are important people we need to rescue.”
“You mean the members of the royal family, right?”
Remedios agreed with an “Ah.”
Although the Holy Queen had already perished, they had not received news that the entire royal family was dead. If one of them was still alive, perhaps they could use them as a figurehead, and perhaps gain the full cooperation of the southern nobles.
“Also, the nobles we can rescue will surely appreciate their liberators.”
Most nobles had not expressed their approval of the Holy Queen, and by the Captain’s reckoning, there was nobody there who she was in love with. However, there ought to be some northern nobles with blood ties to the southern nobles. If they did them a favor, they ought to be able to better make a formal request to the southern nobles.
Remedios looked at Neia.
“Squire Neia. Go accompany the Sorcerer King. Make sure you sway him to our side for our sakes.”
“Hah? Haaaahh!?? Please, please wait! I can’t possible serve a king or something as a squire!”
“All you need to do is work hard on it, no?”
“This isn’t a matter of working hard or not!”
Usually, she would have agreed immediately, but now she was desperately trying to refuse. This was not something she could casually accept. There must be something wrong with Remedios’ head.
“Th-that’s right! Captain,” Gustav chipped in. “If we don’t have someone of appropriate status to serve as his handmaiden, it’ll be taken as an insult to His Majesty.”
“…How many other women are there in the liberation army?”
Those women who could not fight had long since fled to the south. However, that was not to say that they did not exist. The liberation army still had a few women among them. Gustav was about to name some of them when the Captain cut him off.
“We need a woman from the paladin order. If I gave orders to a woman from the priesthood, what do you think the temples would do? My sister’s no longer around, you know? Also, the person for this duty should be chosen from people who are present and who have heard my thoughts. Can we force this onto someone else?”
That just means you’re pushing it onto me, right, Neia thought, but did not say.
“In that case…”
Gustav looked at the Captain.
“I need to be fighting on the frontlines, you know? Also, do you want me to go accompany the Sorcerer King? Or should we yield all authority to the Sorcerer King?”
“Even if we’re using them, we can’t just go out and do that, right? There’ll be problems with trust, and if the Sorcerer King sees that we have no fighting power and decides to conquer the Holy Kingdom while he’s at it…”
After seeing the tongue-tied Gustav, Neia realised the fact that their allies might end up turning on them.
“–Understood. While I might not be sufficient for the task, I will work hard and do my best.”
“Ahh. I’ll tell you this first. Your mission is make the Sorcerer King more easily usable. Please him and keep him in a good mood..”
This was no longer just an impossible request. It was just plain ridiculous. She had no confidence that she could do such a thing at all. However, no matter what she said, Remedios would not change her mind. Neia hung her head in resignation.
“Understood! I will do my best to achieve that aim, and I hope I can count on the aid of everyone here.”
“Good. If there’s anything, just ask me and him (Gustav).”
Even as despair filled her heart, Neia was surprised that she was actually feeling a little elated.
His Majesty, the Sorcerer King, huh…
v12 intermission: https://pastebin.com/M2MdnEcr