It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (108/119), enjoy~
Chapter 173 – Good News, Bad News
After lunch, the four of us, Sylphy, Isla, Melty, and I, headed for the communications room at the back of the second floor of the lord’s mansion. Originally, this room used to be the storage room for the lord’s treasures. Well, it was already empty when this lord’s mansion was taken over… but it was a perfect place to set up a large golem communicator, which is a highly confidential item.
Danan was already there waiting for us when we entered the communications room. He seemed to be talking with a soldier of the Liberation Army who was stationed in the communications room.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.”
“No, I just got here myself.”
“I see; good work, everyone.”
The Liberation Army soldiers stationed in the communications room salute Sylphy. It seems that personnel are stationed here in case urgent communication comes in. They’re not just standing by, but they’re doing some paperwork… I can’t tell what the paperwork is unless I pick it up. Considering the confidentiality of this room, I wonder if they are intelligence-related documents.
“We’ll use the back room.”
Sylphy called out to the soldiers in the communications room and entered a room further in, and we followed her into the room. There, a large communication device for our purpose was placed.
Sylphy familiarly operated the communicator and started to call the other party. Soon after, communication was established, and a voice came from the other side of the communicator.
“Yes, this is Lime from Merinesburg!”
A physically sloppy voice sounded from the other side of the communicator. Yeah, she mentioned her name, but it was definitely Lime’s voice.
“Lime, huh? It’s me, Sylphy.”
“Your Highness. How are you?’
“Yeah, I’m fine. Kosuke is here today, too.”
“Yes, I’m here. It’s been a while. How’s Lime doing?”
“Yeah! Lime is always good!”
Lime’s happy voice can be heard over the Golem communicator. The flapping sound must be from all the bouncing and clomping. She seems to be very happy.
“Today is the day for regular communication with the saint, Lime. Is the saint coming to the royal section?”
“Yes, she’s been waiting for you.”
“Okay, then can you connect the communication?”
“Okay, I’ll do it. Can I talk to Kosuke later?”
“Yay! Well then, I’ll connect it!”
After a short pause, a voice came over the communicator.
“Can you hear me? This is Eleonora.”
“Yes, I can hear you. This is Sylphiel. I have good news for you today.”
I bet she’s tilting her head on the other side of the communicator right now.
“Yeah, an Adolian scripture was found in an archaeological site from the Omit Kingdom period. After checking its contents, we were able to confirm that it supports the claims of the nostalgists. We have found one original copy issued by the Adol religion of the time and two manuscripts made by a copyist.”
“Is that so? That is good news. But I have some bad news.”
“Yes. The call for troops has begun at the home country, and the target is this country. It seems that the home country intends to suppress the rebellion that has taken place in the territories.”
“I see. I should say it was slower than I expected.”
Sylphy puts her hand on her chin and ponders. Indeed, it’s been quite a few months since we first reached Erichburg. The Holy Kingdom’s army deployed in the Merinard Kingdom has already been cleared from south of Erichburg, so it seems a little late to start moving… Well, the Holy Kingdom is a big country. The most important thing to remember is that the more you are a big country, the slower you will move.
“You are neither surprised nor panicked. Aren’t you afraid?”
“We have been anticipating this and preparing to respond. That’s all I’m saying.”
Sylphy then turned her gaze to me.
Indeed, we have been preparing to deal with the Holy Kingdom’s army that will be sent from the Holy Kingdom’s home country. It would be impossible to deploy bolt-action rifles and magic guns for the entire army, but we have been mass-producing goatsfoot crossbows, and golem-style ballistas. Plans to mass-produce magic metals such as magic iron and magic steel are coming to fruition, and as for magic crystals, they are already in mass production.
And as for the air bombs for the Harpies, which are expected to be extremely effective against large armies, I am steadily mass-producing them day and night. We are also increasing the number of personnel for the Harpies’ aerial reconnaissance and bombing squadrons. The only ones who have a relationship with me are the Harpies who have taken refuge in the Black Forest at the moment, though. But sometimes when I go to see the training of the Harpy Air Force, the look in their eyes is suspicious… that number of people will make me die, I’ll tell you.
“Anyway, thanks for letting me know what’s going on in the Holy Kingdom. What’s the situation over there? Things aren’t looking too good for the nostalgists, are they?”
“Yes, it is not good. It seems that the nostalgist movement has been quite cornered in the home country. The mainstream seems to be holding up the inquisition one by one, and… the nostalgists are slowly beginning to move into Merinard territory.
“So the suppression toward the nostalgists has begun… It’s like they’re taking no prisoners. But then the scriptures――”
“Is that Kosuke’s voice? Is he there?”
“Yeah, I’m here.”
“It’s been a long time since I heard your voice. I heard that you are having a good time with an Elven princess, a One-Eyed girl, many Harpies, and a Sheep-Beastwoman. You are in high spirits without me, aren’t you? You animal.”
“I can’t deny it because it’s true… but I’ve always been concerned about Ellen. Aren’t you in danger because the situation in your home country has gotten worse?”
“For now. If it were up to me, I would know at a glance who is thinking of insolence.”
“Really? You almost got stabbed by a thug in the cathedral, though.”
“It just happened that time. Are you making fun of me? Let’s pick it back up, shall we?”
It’s been a long time since I’ve had this kind of exchange with Ellen. I was thinking what a mess and the three women in the communications room were giving me cold stares.
“I’ve heard about it, but you’re really close to each other, aren’t you?”
“You’re very open with each other.”
“Fufu… You two get along so well…”
OK OK, calm down, you girls. Now is not the time to talk about it. Isn’t it?
“Ahem. Well, so what’s the future plan? In the meantime, we need to get these scriptures and manuscripts to Ellen, right?”
“You blatantly digressed on the subject… Well, that’s okay. Yes, I suppose it will have to do. I don’t know how much sense it would make now, but better to have it than not, right?”
“Of course it is. Because it is necessary to undermine the claims of the mainstream and to put an end to the unjust inquisition and the restraints resulting from it.”
“Hmm, I see. How should we deliver it?”
“It would be a good idea to entrust the delivery to trusted personnel. However, if we take a normal carriage from here, we will have to make a major detour through the Sorel Mountains…”
With that, Melty turned her attention to me.
“If it means delivering it as discreetly and quickly as possible, I guess it’s definitely with Grande. If I recall, it’s two weeks by horse-drawn wagon if we take the regular highways.”
It would be faster with an airboard, but bombing down the street on an airboard would be terribly conspicuous. Then it would be better to have Grande fly over the Sorel Mountains, where there are no pedestrians at all. And if I ask Grande to fly, I need to go there. Grande is not a member of the Liberation Army but only cooperates with the Liberation Army through personal friendship with me.
“That’s true, but… that doesn’t mean we should let Kosuke go alone, right?”
“Shall I cut my horns again?”
“Don’t do that…”
“Hmm, don’t do that again. I’m not kidding; you might die.”
Don’t tell me that if you did it once, it’s the same two or three times. Sure, I think I can get some blood from Grande to heal her again, but I’m told that cutting the horns is a very dangerous act in itself, and I really don’t want her to do it.
“But what are we going to do? That leaves us with no choice but to send Kosuke-san out on his own, doesn’t it?”
“What if we put a human soldier from the Liberation Army as an escort?”
“Your Highness. Of course, we can do that, but in some cases, it may slow us down.”
Danan, who until now had remained silent in the distance behind us, said so. Indeed, Danan was right; taking an escort with us could slow us down. Since I haven’t had much contact with human soldiers since I was kidnapped once, there are probably many people who don’t know what I can do.
“But isn’t it too dangerous to let him go alone?”
“I will see to it that there is no danger.”
“You mean we should trust Eleonora-dono?”
“Don’t you believe me? We are now on the same side. At least, that’s what I think.”
Ellen’s voice coming from the other side of the communicator made Sylphy think with her eyes closed. I’ll think about it too.
Now that we have found the scripture, we will deliver it to Ellen. This is the logical course of action.
However, the mainstream is increasingly suppressing the nostalgist in the Holy Kingdoms’ home country. In order to counter the oppression, it has become necessary to deliver the scripture to Ellen as soon as possible. The delay in delivering the scriptures will not cause fatal damage to the Liberation Army, but the Liberation Army intends to have the nostalgist beat the mainstream faction within the Adolian religion in the Holy Kingdom, and if the current situation continues, the nostalgist may be crushed by the mainstream faction.
Well, I don’t think religion can be so easily exterminated by suppression. They usually go underground when they are suppressed.
However, we do not want to weaken the nostalgist, which currently holds a certain position and authority within Adolian, too much. That’s why we have to deliver the scriptures as soon as possible.
And the obstacle to delivering the scriptures as soon as possible is the vast Sorel Mountains. It is an undeveloped area inhabited by powerful monsters, and because it is a mountainous region, it is impossible to cross it by horse-drawn carriage or other vehicles. The only way to get there safely is to take a major detour to Merinesburg.
However, in that case, there is a considerable risk because it would take two weeks to pass through the territory under the control of the Holy Kingdom’s army.
On the day we rode the airboard through the roads, we would be caught and interrogated immediately. As a practical matter, it is difficult to catch an airboard that is faster than a horse, but it is still dangerous. Using an airboard is a no-no.
If we want to reduce the risk of coming into contact with the soldiers of the Holy Kingdom, we need to go through the Sorel Mountains, but unless someone like me can carry food and safe shelter, it is impossible to reach Merinesburg faster than by taking the highway. If not, it would take more than a month.
The reason why Melty and I tried to go through the Sorel Mountains before was because of my ability and Melty’s ability to fight as a demon-species. No one in their right mind would have thought of going through the Sorel Mountains. That’s why there are roads, yes.
So the fastest way to get there is by air with Grande. As long as Grande flies in the sky, the mountainous areas can be flown in a flash. It would be a huge shortcut, so if we left in the morning, we would be able to reach Merinesburg in the late afternoon.
The advantage of using the highway is that a human being would generally be able to get to Merinesburg safely. Also, I don’t have to take the extraordinarily high risk of going there.
However, the possibility of getting tangled up with the regular kingdom army along the way is not zero. I heard that there are some bandit-like people, so I can’t be sure about the transportation of the cargo. Also, it simply takes time. It will take about two weeks.
To get through the mountainous area quickly on foot, at least myself and someone else with fighting skills as good as Melty’s would be needed to accompany me. The time required would be less than ten days if the two of us, Melty and I, were to run as fast as we could. It would be even quicker if Sylphy joined us, but it would be a total waste of time to have three of the upper ranks of the Liberation Army (me, Sylphy, and Melty) head to Merinnesburg to deliver the scriptures, wouldn’t it?
Is there another way… to have Harpy-san carry the scriptures across the Sorel Mountains? But there were Wyverns in the Sorel Mountains… Wouldn’t that be dangerous for Harpy-san? It seems impossible, doesn’t it?
There is also the option of having Grande carry it alone. But I’m not sure if Grande would be willing to be such an errand girl… As for the delivery, it might be possible if I specify the date, time, and location and deliver it in a secluded place. But I think it would be difficult.
“I guess I’ll just have to ask Grande to carry me there by air, won’t I?”
“Well, that’s… but…”
“Don’t worry about me, okay? Unlike before, I have plenty of equipment, and if something goes wrong, I can probably handle it.”
At my words, Sylphy made a bitter face as if she was biting down on a bitter bug. When I looked at Isla and Melty, their expressions were similar to Sylphy’s.
“Then, is it correct to say that Kosuke will be coming here?”
“Let me refrain from giving you an immediate answer; it’s a big decision even for us. I would like to have another meeting tomorrow at about the same time, how about that?”
“Then we will come to a conclusion then. But we don’t have much time to spare. Once an army starts moving, it won’t stop so easily.”
“I understand. Give us a day to think about it.”
“I understand. May I speak with Kosuke for a moment?”
“…Yes, that’s okay. We’ll take our leave.”
“I appreciate it.”
As soon as I thought I had such an exchange with Ellen over the communicator, Sylphy turned on her heel, pinched my cheek and gave me a little tug, then walked out of the communication room.
Isla headbutted me in my solar plexus area, then left, and Melty picked the opposite cheek from the one Sylphy had pinched. Danan? Danan left quickly and silently, you know.
And I would be the only one left in the communications room.
“Ah, hmm… I asked you earlier, are you sure you’re okay? There’s always a danger――”
“I’m not okay.”
A sulky voice comes from the other side of the communicator.
“I miss you. I wanted to hear your voice earlier… idiot.”
Ellen’s words, which are so adorable, bring up a strong sense of guilt along with a variety of emotions, and I scream in agony. Damn, the destructive power is as strong as that of infantile regressed Sylphy…!
“I’m honestly sorry. I’ve got a lot of things to do over here, and this Golem communicator is basically equipment managed by the Liberation Army, so it’s not like I can use it casually and privately… I’ll have to adjust my schedule to accommodate Lime and the others and theirs.”
“Ugh… okay. We will probably be able to meet in the near future, so I will be patient. I am a saint. I’m known for my patience.”
In Ellen’s mind, it seems to be a default that I go over there. Well, I think so, too. Whatever the method is for getting the scriptures to Merinesburg quickly, it will have to be me.
“I’ll be waiting for you.”
“I will endeavor to live up to your expectations.”
Thus I exchanged words with Ellen for a while.