It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (89/113), enjoy~
“I’ll see you again.”
That was all Hiro said and closed his eyes.
As the light illuminates the world, the darkness grows. The two are inextricably linked. Like the sun and the full moon, they always stand close together, watching over the world.
When his consciousness awakened ― when he felt the gravity in his body, Hiro quietly opened his eyes.
What popped into his vision was a wooden roof.
There was a light fixture hanging from it, but the light was too weak to dispel the darkness in the room completely. After taking a breath, Hiro sat up and checked his surroundings.
He saw a woman standing at what appeared to be the entrance.
Her waist-length purple and silver hair was illuminated by the lights. The shadows around her charming, gentle eyes and the pale pink lips caught his eye as they passed over the bridge of her well-developed nose. Her delicate face is fantastic and beautiful even in the dark, and once you see her, you will never forget her.
The queen of the Levering Kingdom, Claudia Van Levering.
“How are you feeling?”
Claudia asked, and Hiro put his hand on his neck and tilted it.
“I’m fine. How many days has it been since then?”
“It’s been about a month. It’s now the twelfth of March.”
“I’ve been asleep that long, huh…?”
If Hiro was honest, he was surprised.
“I thought you might never wake up again, but I’m glad you’re okay.”
As Claudia approached Hiro, she frowned at him suspiciously.
“What’s wrong with your eyes?”
Hiro tilted his head at the sudden question.
Claudia took out a hand mirror and pointed it at Hiro. The reflection was of a golden right eye, and she also noticed that the right arm that had been cut off had been regenerated. Strangely enough, the wound on his side has also been closed.
The last activation condition was met, Altius had said. It’s still unclear what benefits it has brought to his body, but there is no doubt that one of them is the recovery of this wound.
(…It’s going to take some groping, but I’ll just have to see for myself.)
As Hiro strokes his right arm with his left hand, Claudia calls out to him.
“…Even the Black Princess Camellia has turned white. When I came to check on you about an hour ago, I didn’t notice any changes.”
Claudia looked over Hiro’s body with great interest.
“It must be the effect of the Principle Stone.”
When the young commander of one of the Six Kingdoms, the Urpeth Kingdom, Eagle, took in his left arm, the power of the Black Princess Camellia was sealed. Even the rough technique of high-speed regeneration was no longer functional.
Even now, his Principle Stone is still having a profound effect on the Black Princess Camellia, leading to this transformation into a white robe ― and here, Hiro noticed something else that caught his attention.
“Oh, by the way, the Principle Stone is missing from my side. Is that your doing?”
“Yes, I’m sorry to do that to you, but I’ve had it removed.”
Claudia does not seem to be offended, and Hiro shrugs his shoulders to show his approval.
When Claudia held out her hand to him, he questioned.
“What is it?”
“There are two conditions.”
Hiro chuckled at her audacity.
But right now, he couldn’t let the Black Princess Camellia return to her original form.
After all, Eagle’s Principle Stone is essential for the future.
(I’m sure I’ll encounter a situation where I’ll need it…)
This prediction would become a reality. Hiro felt certainty in his heart.
However, there was no way that Claudia would be convinced by a single Principle Stone. If she couldn’t meet the conditions, she would immediately turn to the Six Kingdoms with Hiro’s head as a souvenir. Or, she could take him into custody and use him as a bargaining chip with the Grantz Empire.
“I’m sorry, but I still need the Principle Stone.”
In front of Claudia’s suspicious eyes, Hiro began to explore the bosom of the Black Princess Camellia with a nonchalant look.
“Can we just say that the conditions have been met?”
Hiro then held out a ‘magic stone’ that gave off a depressing vibe.
“May I have a look at it?”
Perhaps showing interest, Claudia took the “magic stone” and let out an exasperated sigh. Her cheeks flushed as if she had noticed that it was a highly pure “magic stone.”
“Where did you get this?”
Claudia looked at the magic stone with a weak light source, unable to hide her excitement.
“I had a chance to enter the treasury, and I thought it was rare, so I asked the emperor to give it to me.”
Of course, it was a lie, but Claudia would not be convinced unless he said so.
Everyone knows that there is no pure blood of the “demon race” in the current Central Continent, and the means to obtain highly pure “magic stones” are limited.
It was said that after the war a thousand years ago, the demon race moved to the southern archipelago south of the central continent to escape persecution. Nowadays, there is no way to know if this is true. This is because the raging sea does not allow them to enter. However, not all of the demon races had crossed over to the southern archipelago, and there were a few that remained in the Central Continent. One of them was Claudia’s ancestor and one of the “Five Generals of the Black Sky,” a man named Rox van Levering.
“So, what do you think, have I convinced you? As for me, I’m sure it’s nothing inferior to the Principle Stone.”
“I appreciate it. The pact is now made. From now on, I will be of assistance to you, Hiro-sama.”
Claudia put away the “magic stone” with a satisfied look and bowed gracefully.
“I’m glad to hear that. I’m counting on you.”
When Hiro said this, Claudia also gave him a mended smile.
If either of them were to fall into a position of inferiority, they would become enemies and would have to fight each other until the end of their lives. In short, it is a cooperative relationship because both sides have value.
“And yet… you’re really late.”
Hiro changed the subject in a tone as if to criticize.
“I was expecting help to come sooner since I had you hidden in the midst of those who turned.”
“I think that was the best time for Hiro-sama’s plan to succeed since they were at their most relaxed.”
When Claudia looked at him accusingly, she put his hand on her forehead and shook her head repeatedly, as if she was in constant distress.
And in that chaotic situation, she thinks she deserved a medal for getting there in time.
Claudia’s words were laced with frustration as if she were spitting out a grudge.
“You’re asking for too much, Hiro-sama.”
After Hiro eradicated the Urpeth army besieged the city of Sabelt, he instructed his army to seize their equipment. In the decisive battle against the Six Kingdoms, they disguised themselves as the Urpeth cavalry to induce the enemy to fight each other and even disguised their best scouts as central nobles to take command.
“Of the 5,000 I brought with me for this war, 2,000 have been kept in the rear, but the 3,000 soldiers who took part in the surprise attacks and various other roles have been reduced to 1,000 thanks to you.”
Claudia reports the damage, but there is no hint of regret in it.
It’s just that there were fewer pieces, only that they were a little better.
“I hope it was well worth it to lose them.”
Claudia gives him a sarcastic look. He could have taken it harshly, but he didn’t feel the need to waste time with useless conversations.
“Anyway, how are things going in the Six Kingdoms?”
When he forced the topic to change, Claudia answered with a frown.
“According to the spy that I have sent to infiltrate, it seems that they have a party every day and every night now that Hiro-sama has been defeated. They seem to be in a state of high spirits.”
“So most people don’t know that I escaped, huh?”
“Thanks to my good direction, you can generally think that way. Hiro-sama has been treated as a dead man.”
Claudia praised herself. Hiro responded with a snort of exasperation.
Claudia lightly ignored such a reply and picked up a sheet of report.
“It seems that many of the commanders were killed during Hiro-sama’s surprise attack, and the higher-ups are in great confusion. For this reason, the Six Kingdoms have been divided into two opinions: the commander of the Anguis army, Lucia, and the deputy commander of the Urpeth army, Luca.”
Luca appealed for a thorough fight, while Lucia insisted that they should retreat to Felzen and prepare their positions.
Both sides are not wrong in their arguments. What remains to be seen is which side their subordinates will support.
Even so, Hiro expects that the Six Kingdoms camp will not split in two.
Human greed is not something that can be measured in depth. If it is a situation where sweet bait is hung, everyone will crave for achievements.
It’s not easy to get rid of the achievement that you want so badly because Hiro has planted the “lie” for it.
“So they’re dancing just like we want them to.”
“The situation of being forced to move while understanding that is probably the most painful.”
Claudia, perhaps having imagined the dismay of the Six Kingdoms, her voice fluttered with joy.
“And what are you going to do about it? In the meantime, the world knows that Hiro-sama was killed in battle. There is a way to boost the soldiers’ morale by appearing there and taking advantage of the popularity of the people?”
“No, I can’t do that. Above all, the morale of the Grantz soldiers who heard of my death in battle will be boosted by their desire for revenge. If I raise their morale too much, they will be upset. It’s meaningless.”
If Hiro showed himself, everything would be for nothing.
In that case, he would not know what he had chosen to deceive the people for.
Above all, if Hiro showed up, there was a good chance that Liz would not be able to take the throne.
If the people knew that Hiro was alive, they would worship him. The soldiers will rejoice and praise him.
They will loudly proclaim that the descendant of the God of War is immortal and that he is the one who deserves the throne.
After losing the emperor, the first prince, and even the third prince. The remaining second prince is only interested in the north. The only ones left are the fourth prince and the sixth princess, who was even said to be the second coming of the first emperor.
If Hiro had stayed in the Grantz Empire, the country would have been split in two sooner or later.
Even though he is a descendant of the God of War, it is the bloodline of Altius that has been running the nation.
The people who don’t care about Hiro have no regard for the situation, but instead, they will raise Liz and start a civil war that strokes the emotions of the people. The Eastern nobility will also be caught in the middle and fall apart. If another civil war breaks out during this period of turmoil, the Grantz Empire would definitely have collapsed.
(That was the only thing that had to be avoided…)
Claudia opened her mouth when she saw Hiro in thought.
“If you’re thinking what I imagine you’re thinking, then you’re reading a little too much into it.”
Hiro looked up and gave Claudia a complicated smile.
Actually, not really.
In fact, a thousand years ago, a faction that supported Hiro and a faction that supported Altius fought against each other. They spent all their time in a power struggle, oblivious to the feelings of the people involved.
They selfishly decided that Schwartz should be the first emperor rather than Altius, and no one listened to Hiro when he said he was not interested in the throne.
Hiro didn’t want to get involved in the palace’s affairs, so he always stayed silent on the battlefield.
That was probably a bad thing. It made things worse.
People who are obsessed with power can go out of control at the slightest opportunity.
As the battle against the demons reached its climax, people began to turn their attention to the next battle ― against their own people. Disagreements between nobles turned into plots, assassinations, and poisonings. Altius tried to mediate, but he could not extinguish the fires, and soon the whole country ― even the lives of the people – were affected. Some people began to advocate a two-headed government, and as the political situation became chaotic, Hiro decided. He decided that he did not want any more turmoil in the country and destroyed all of his previous achievements.
He gave up his position as a general and transferred the command of the “Five Generals of the Black Sky ” to Altius and set up a country in the eastern end of the territory ruled by Altius’ sister, Rei. The country was named as the small country of Baum, and now it prospers as a sacred pilgrimage place where the spirit kings reside. Of course, there were many who held a grudge against Hiro for giving up his identity so easily, but this was resolved when the second Princess Shrine Maiden took refuge under him.
(I can’t let that happen again…)
Hiro is not from this world.
It’s impossible to carry a large country on one’s shoulders when anything can happen. This is why he took the risk to solve the problem on the front page this time.
(Can I rest easy for a moment…? Now I have to deal with the “truth” lurking behind the scenes.)
The stronger the light, the bigger the shadow.
If the dark side of the Grantz family’s glorious past were to erupt, Hiro can’t imagine what kind of consequences would be waiting for him. Therefore, before such a situation arose, it was necessary to solidify the foundation of the Grantz Empire, albeit by force.
“Is there anything I can use to hide my face?”
It would hide his true identity, and he would be using it for a long time.
Claudia crossed her arms, tilted her head, and then gave a slight nod.
“As I recall… there was something that looked like a ritual tool… Please wait a moment; I’ll take a look.”
She turned around and walked out of the room quickly.
After confirming that her presence was distant, Hiro pulled a desk nearby.
He rifled through Black Princess Camellia’s pockets and pulled out a human skull. He placed it on the desk, took out other “magic stones” from his pockets, and laid them out.
“…It’s only a matter of time before the Black Death Village starts to move.”
Hiro’s murmurings are dark, stagnant,tainted with horror, and they crawl to the ground.
“At last… I can hold it in my hands.”
There is one thing he has not told Claudia.
It’s not just to get her cooperation to get the Principle Stone.
The reason why he faked his death was also to solidify the foundation of the Grantz Empire, based on the events of the past.
But that’s just a pretext.
“…The real intentions are different.”
He slammed his fist down on the desk and directed his hateful gaze at the skull.
“Your legacy still remains in this world… How can I overlook that?”
He could feel its effects beginning to show in the world day by day. And the curse carved into this body is also starting to eat him away.
“…I won’t fail this time.”
He had to make sure that not even a speck of dust was left.
With the help of the Principle Stone, he was able to hide. The Black Death Village can’t sense Hiro’s presence and must think he’s dead.
“Now, show yourself.”
The “magic stones” on the desk emitted a mysterious light that illuminated Hiro’s face. His eyes were filled with rage, and he continued to stare at the skull.