Not even the knights were told that the great tree that suddenly appeared in the royal capital of Heim was Ain.
However, many of the knights had expected it. They did not know the reason why it was so, but they could have guessed it because Ain’s race was a dryad.
Especially, in this case, many knights remember the battle near Heim.
Besides, the fact that the battle was over and Ain was not in sight was a confirmation of this.
For this reason, Sylvird also decided that it would be impossible to keep everything a secret, so he refrained from declaring Ain’s situation and instead worked to gather information.
They couldn’t just leave everything to Misty and the others and keep their mouths shut.
──But there was a flurry of people coming in and out of the castle, and after hours, no breakthrough was in sight!
Not a single one, not a single piece of it, seemed to come to mind.
As the clock ticked little by little, a very impatient Martha paid a visit to Krone.
As soon as she arrived at Krone’s office, she looked at her and said,
“Krone-sama. Please go to sleep now.”
She had not been sleeping well recently, and her body was close to its limits. Her eyelids are heavy, and if she is not careful, she will likely collapse.
“I’ll think about it just a little longer.”
She says and returns her gaze to the book she has been reading. When she looked up for a moment, she saw the redness around Martha’s eyes, and her heart naturally beat fast.
Martha is desperate because her son, Dill, is on the verge of life and death.
“…..Then why don’t you at least go to Olivia-sama’s room and have a talk with her while you take a break?”
“──Is Olivia-sama awake?”
“Yes. She woke up just a few minutes ago. After hearing about the situation of Ain-sama from His Majesty, she seemed to be calmer than expected and was eating a little bit. Perhaps she expected this due to her own health condition.”
“Is that… so?”
Krone replied heavily and stood up from her chair.
“I will go and say a few words to her.”
“Very well. I will be in the treatment center if you need me.”
It was outrageous to call her in this situation. Martha may have been summoned because Olivia had woken up, but it was not her place to take time away from her to be with Dill.
Krone then left the room and rushed up the stairs. Her accustomed gait turned unexpectedly toward Ain’s room.
She felt a different kind of sadness about this, but she changed her mind by shaking her face vigorously from side to side and standing in front of Olivia’s room.
She knocks lightly and immediately receives Olivia’s reply allowing her to enter the room.
“I’ve come to hear that Olivia-sama has awakened──Katima-sama?”
“Nyahaha! I was first-nya!”
“Fufu, Krone-san, you are here too.”
After Olivia raised her body on the bed, Katima sat on a chair beside her.
After stepping closer to them, Krone stood next to the bed.
…..After all, she still looked a little pale.
“Arara, Krone-san, you are ruining your pretty face. Now, let’s see you smile like you always do.”
“I’m fine. Don’t worry.”
Where do these confident words and beliefs come from?
Is it from a sense of energy or concern for herself? Either way, when faced with the strength of her heart, it was not the time for her to be the only one feeling discouraged.
Is it okay to keep quiet?
Misty didn’t want to tell Sylvird because she knew how hard it was on him. If so, telling Olivia should be the same thing.
She should just keep her mouth shut and do her best.
“Come here, Krone-san.”
Even though she had thought so, the moment she was embraced by Olivia’s slender arms. The strong threads of tension that covered her entire body were broken, and tears were running down her cheeks.
“Ain is… Ain is going to die.”
The words finally leaked out.
Olivia and Katima say as if they have no choice.
“My sister and I know about it too. We wanted to do something about it, so we were talking about it together.”
“Y-you knew about this?”
“Of course I knew-nya! Who do you think I am-nya?”
“Anee-sama. You didn’t understand it at first either, did you? It was only when I pointed out to you that you felt something was wrong, and you realized it.”
“No need to get into details-nya!”
Suddenly, Krone had a smile on her face.
Even as she spills tears, the smile on her face is full of her usual charm.
“What did you hear, Krone-nya?”
“W-what I heard is that even with the power of those two, it’s not enough!”
“Just as I imagined-nya. No matter how legendary the power of the Elder Lich and Dullahan may be, they would not have had any difficulty if they could have saved the Demon King who had gone out of control-nya. And they could have saved the Demon Lord Arche, too-nya.”
It’s a complete return to the starting point, but then Olivia says.
“Krone-san, what did those two say about how we can save Ain?”
“…They said it would be difficult even if they used the Demon Lord Arche’s stone as a weapon.”
And Misty said, ‘If things continue as they are, we’ll have no choice but to do so.’ On the other hand, it might be a different story if there was another thing.
“──I was talking to my sister just now, but maybe it’s just a matter of how you use it.”
“What does that… mean? Olivia-sama.”
“If we can’t use it as a weapon, then let’s use it as an arm.” [T/n: The first weapon the author wrote with 武器 and the second one is 兵器.]
“Well, it means we should use the magic stone cannon to release it-nya.”
Unlike simply exploding the magic power of a magic stone, when released by a magic stone cannon, its power jumps several times.
It is not clear how Misty will use the magic stone of Arche, but the technology that Ishtalika has accumulated in its long history is immeasurable.
A ray of light begins to appear, but Krone is soon looking down.
“…Even I can understand. There is no magic tool that can control that much magic stone. We may be able to use Leviathan’s cannons, but we can’t do anything about the control.”
She kept her voice steady, which could have made her tremble if she was not careful.
Looking at her hand, she was clenching her fist tightly.
Watching Krone like this, Olivia said in a calm voice.
“No, there is.”
“I was talking to Olivia, and she reminded me of a control device that can do that-nya.”
“Yes. As you understand it, Krone-san, the output of the Demon Lord Arche’s magic stone is enormous. However, Ishtalika also has only one magic tool that can withstand it.”
No appropriate words came to mind, even if she wanted to respond.
After blinking repeatedly, Krone was surprised to hear the words.
“We will use the one in the Tower of Wisdom.”
She had never thought that was possible.
“I had forgotten about it for a while-nya. In the first place, it would never have occurred to a normal person to use that magic tool-nya…”
“That’s right… I heard that even in its long history, it has never been taken out of use.”
“O-Olivia-sama! Katima-sama! Please tell me about it…! What is in the Tower of Wisdom?”
“Don’t worry; I’ll tell you, just take a look at this first-nya.”
Katima took out an old folded notepad from the pocket of her lab coat. Without a moment’s delay, Krone opened it and saw the Tower of Wisdom drawn on it.
It appears to be a blueprint of the underground liquefied magic stone pool area…
“──Use the controller for the liquefied magic stone pool-nya.”
That thing is so powerful that it controls all of the liquefied magic stone that has melted an enormous amount of it, and its ability is a magic tool that is unmatched even in the vastness of Ishtalika.
With that, even the Demon Lord Arche’s magic stone should be usable.
“There is a counterpart to the magic tool on the rooftop of the Tower of Wisdom, so all you need to do is to take these two.”
“Yes. It is as my dear sister said──Cough… cough…”
“Calm down-nya. Olivia is just not in her best condition yet-nya.”
Olivia coughed as she spoke the important information. Her eyes went blank. Her head shook from side to side.
“Just rest a little longer-nya. Then, leave the rest to me-nya.”
“Just don’t worry about it-nya.”
Olivia was probably frustrated, but she eventually fell unconscious.
She was still not fully recovered.
Besides her, Krone’s expression is dull.
What happened to the light that was just starting to shine?
“Please tell me. What will happen to Ist, which is still in the process of reconstruction, if we remove the control unit?”
“As expected of the crown prince’s assistant-nya. As you can imagine-nya, all the devices that depend on the Tower of Wisdom will cease to work, and the pipes that run through the town will become nothing more than a piece of steel-nya.”
Obviously, this is not a decision that can be made only by those present.
“Fortunately, no one lives in the town during the reconstruction process, so there should be no trouble in that sense.”
The problem was what would happen after that. If the Tower of Wisdom no longer stands after the reconstruction is completed, it would be enormous damage.
But the priority has not changed.
“I understand. I will go to Ist as soon as possible.”
There was no hesitation.
“We have no time for a meeting. We don’t have even a second to spare right now.”
Even if they set up a meeting, they would not spare a control device for Ain’s sake. But they would spare no time to set up that meeting.
“Aren’t you afraid of being punished-nya?”
“That’s fine; I’m not afraid. …..For me, nothing in the world scares me more than losing Ain.”
Katima was speechless as she looked Krone in the eye and said that.
From Krone’s point of view, it is enough if she can save her loved ones, even if she has to throw away her own life.
Katima also made up her mind in the face of the emotion that was painfully conveyed to her.
“Now, Krone. I need a technician to remove the magic tool in the Tower of Wisdom. But there are only a few people in Ishtalika who can remove it.”
Krone thought that if she acted alone, she wouldn’t cause anyone any trouble.
“Don’t look so sad-nya. There is no need to give up-nya.”
The story does not end here.
Unlike before, Katima, whose expression has changed to that of sincerity, shakes her whiskers.
And then, looking straight at Krone.
“I issue a royal decree to Krone. ──You have to deal with me-nya.”
And then it continued.
◇ ◇ ◇
Stealthily. Never to be found. After secretly preparing herself, Krone went to the back of the castle and left the castle, taking advantage of the patrolling knights.
“Oh, you’re here-nya.”
After meeting up with Katima, who had been outside the castle, the two of them set off for the White Rose station.
“Are you sure you want to go?”
“Good or bad, everything is by order of my royal decree-nya.”
The royal decree that had just been issued was simple.
- To serve Katima.
- Do everything in secret.
“There are not many engineers who can remove the magic tools from the Tower of Wisdom-nya. But I can do it. That said, I don’t think my father would allow me to go into this situation-nya… Moreover, there is not much time left for Ain-nya.”
That is why she made the royal decree.
In order to achieve the objective, Katima wants her to assist her in moving in secret. Moreover, Katima also had another purpose.
“I’m going to confirm it again-nya! Once everything is settled, I will go to the Tower of Wisdom to retrieve the magic tools for healing, which I hear are there.”
“For Guard Dill’s sake, right?”
Katima’s other goal is to get the magic tool to save Dill.
The Tower of Wisdom is a place where the most advanced technology in Ishtalika is gathered, so the treatment is different. Although all the magicians that specialize in healing magic had been called to gather at the castle for Dill’s treatment, there were no expectations for the effectiveness of the treatment.
“Even this one would be hard to find without me-nya.”
If she relied on other engineers──it might have been possible to manage.
However, like Ain, Dill was still in an urgent situation and can neither afford the time to make the request nor the time to wait.
“It’s too late to use healing magic to save that idiotic man-nya. I want to use the magic tools over there to cure him somehow-nya.”
Katima probably likes Dill more than Krone thinks.
It would be tactless to ask here.
“I know it’s a little late for this, but shouldn’t we have asked for Lloyd-sama’s help?”
“Certainly, it may still be dangerous, but I know that if I tell Lloyd, he’ll stop me-nya. As for Martha, if she heard that I, the princess, was going to a dangerous place, she would surely have stopped me.”
Even if her son’s life was at stake.
“Krone, you don’t have to worry-nya. I’m responsible for everything that happens on Ist-nya.”
“…..No, I’m just as guilty for not stopping you.”
“Huh! What are you talking about-nya? Are you going against the word of royalty-nya?”
All this was done so that Krone would not have to bear the blame.
Katima was prepared to do so, even at the cost of losing her royalty.
“For now, we must hurry-nya!”
There is a possibility that they might be found, and the sooner, the better to get to the White Rose Station.
The two of them tried to run secretly along the deserted street.
“Where are you two going?”
On the wall behind the castle.
Sitting there, there was a blonde-haired elf with her hair swept by the sea breeze.
“C-Chris! Why are you here-nya?”
“I woke up just a few minutes ago. I heard a lot of stories and thought that now was the time for Katima-sama to take action, so I waited here.”
Such imagination. But it was no surprise if it was Chris.
“Chris-san. Are you all right?”
“No, it hurts a lot. I want to go back to bed and sleep right now, but I will endure.”
Her eyes were red and swollen as she answered. But she probably was not crying because of the pain.
She must have been heartbroken to hear about Ain’s situation.
“I’m not in a position for this-nya! Listen, Chris! I’ve issued a royal decree to Krone, and we are on our way to Ist!”
“…..It’s just as Katima-sama said.”
“Mm! To use the Demon Lord Arche’s magic stone as a weapon! To take the magic tool for control in the Tower of Wisdom!”
If she told her, Chris would definitely stop her.
Katima thought so, but…
“I knew it. I had thought it was for Ain-sama’s sake.”
Katima was taken aback by what Chris, who had jumped down the wall, said next.
“Please take me with you. Otherwise, I will hold you both here.”
Chris looked beautiful in the moonlight.
That day in the audience chamber.
The human-like beauty that Ain described as the moon goddess has become even more dignified here.
The strength in her unwavering eyes turned to Katima.
“Are you asking me to take the wounded with me-nya?”
“It is true that I am injured, but I am still stronger than the two of you.”
“That’s not the point-nya… But if we don’t take you with us, you will restrain us, won’t you?-nya.”
“Yes. Even if you use a royal decree, I will restrain you.”
Chris wanted to help Ain even if she had to drop everything.
It is also an expression of this feeling that she doesn’t stop Katima here.
“──Both of you, hurry up-nya.”
As a result, Katima made up her mind.
There was no time to hesitate. Every second mattered.
Katima ran away, and the two followed her.
“Katima-sama! Do you also operate the royal water train by royal decree?”
“Of course-nya! Chris, do you think there’s any other way-nya?”
“That’s what this is about-nya! Our plan is to run with the intention of using it up and return to the royal capital right away-nya!”
“Nyahahaha… We’re really tough girls, aren’t we-nya?”
The three of them were running around the royal capital in the middle of the night.
Although they didn’t say it in words, they felt a certain dependability in each other.