Fierte was the capital of the country of Greif, one of the countries of the Six Kingdoms.
This country prospered through maritime trade, and with the current unified king, it had built up enough wealth that made it one of the richest among the Six Kingdoms.
Away from the port city, at the foot of the hill where the royal palace was located, many encampments had been built. The number of soldiers was about 20,000.
It was probably lunchtime, and white smoke was rising into the sky from everywhere.
Even though Azel was in a serious situation, the time here was peaceful, as if it was someone else’s problem.
None of the soldiers looked anxious, but the only topic they talked about was Azel.
So it was not that they were not interested. Rather, it was probably what they were most concerned about right now.
However, since Greif’s higher-ups had prioritized the defense of their own country, they could only talk about it as if it were someone else’s business.
Above all, because of the information that the Grantz would not attack Greif, they were optimistic and sympathetic toward their ally Azel.
Perhaps because of this easygoing atmosphere, they did not seem alarmed by the two thousand cavalrymen running among them.
Occasionally, some of them were startled and came out of their tents, but as soon as they saw that it was the banner of Anguis, they lost interest and started chatting with each other.
Lucia, who was watching them from inside the carriage, snickered.
“You see, if you have been allies for a thousand years, it is unlikely that you will be suspected. It would be foolish.”
“Even with a thousand-year bond, you wouldn’t want to show any openings.”
Either they have little sense of danger, or they trust the existence of Anguis very much. Either way, it was not a problem that could be overlooked to the point of dismissing it as a matter of peace. However, it has produced a pleasant result for Hiro and the others.
“It’s a good thing for us, but it’s naive. That’s all I can say.”
“That’s why the three countries of Urpeth, Scorpius, and Tigris were taken advantage of by the long-eared people.”
Lucia said hatefully. She was pounding her chair repeatedly with her iron fan, perhaps in frustration.
“Greif is no exception. The unified king had fallen ill, and the prime minister who took his place was also a long-eared man.”
At the same time, each country was replaced, and a long-eared people ascended to the throne, and the old royal family fell under various difficulties.
Furthermore, the unified king fell ill.
There was a strong possibility that he had been poisoned, but the culprit was never sought.
Nameless then took control of Greif, which was also the suzerain state.
“The intervention of the Vanir Three Kingdoms is very likely, isn’t it?”
“Yes, thanks to that, the only surviving descendants of the Five Black Heavenly Generals are Luca and me.”
“As I recall, Lucia is a descendant of the old master, isn’t she?”
The old master―the elderly man who served as Hiro’s educator when he was first summoned to this world.
He took care of Hiro in many ways. He was a kind-hearted man who taught him military strategy, taught him how to manage soldiers and gave him advice on politics and various other life problems.
“That’s right. It was thanks to the notes he left behind that I was able to reach you. I will show it to you sooner or later.”
“No, I don’t mind. He would get angry if I looked at such things without permission.”
He was curious, to say the least. He was the one who knew that Hiro came from a different world. He wanted to know how much was written in the notes and what happened after Hiro was gone. If it contains those things, he would like to read it.
“Speaking of which, who is Luca’s ancestor?”
“One of the Five Black Heavenly Generals, Amphibia-dono. Luca also has the blood of the royal family of Scorpius mixed in her veins.”
Scorpius and Urpeth married two generations ago. The royal family of Scorpius had been taken over by the long-eared people, and there were already no survivors. In light of this, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Luca was the last descendant of the Scorpius royal family.
“In any case, Luca and Eagle were lucky. Unlike other royal families, they were not killed.”
But it was not a happy life. The life of a royal survivor who had to be kept in captivity had broken Luca’s heart.
“Well, it looks like we’ve come to the end of our long story.”
Lucia looked out the window and saw the gate built at the foot of the hill.
The carriage slowed and signaled to a group of soldiers looking down from the breastworks.
“Quite easy, isn’t it?”
The heavy door opened easily. A single horseman emerged from it.
Riding atop a horse was Seleucus, Lucia’s aide. As he approached the carriage, he tapped on the window in parallel. When Lucia opened the window, the heat that had been trapped inside mixed with the heat outside and escaped outside.
“How’s it going?”
Seleucus, who looked into Lucia’s face when she asked him, bowed his head to Hiro and then opened his mouth.
“You can run straight up the hill.”
But―he added, and Seleucus groaned with difficulty.
“The general of Greif, Ramses-dono, is guarding the palace. Well, as long as we can blockade him, he’ll have no choice but to remain silent.”
“Well done. Well then, let’s go see Ramses.”
Lucia gave Seleucus a few words of thanks and then ordered the coachman to increase the speed of the carriage.
At full speed, the two thousand cavalrymen rode up the hill. The fierce dust made the Greif encampment at the foot of the hill noisy, though only slightly, pointing to the scene.
But once they got this far, there was nothing more they could do. All they could do was just watch.
At the Fierte Palace―in front of the gate, Ramses, the general of the country of Greif, appeared with a look of alarm in his eyes, along with about two hundred defenders.
He stared at Lucia and Hiro, who were getting off the carriage, and confirmed that there were 2,000 horsemen behind them.
As might be expected of a general, his demeanor was calm and composed, and he let out a voice filled with dignity.
“Her Majesty Queen Lucia, what is this all about?”
He did not avert his gaze from the approaching Lucia while placing his hand on the sword at his waist.
Lucia shouted at him with an exaggerated hand gesture.
“I am doing this to liberate the Six Kingdoms from the long-eared peoples!”
“Isn’t this just a rebellion? Are you going to turn your blade against the unified king?”
“Well then, if the unified king can speak, I’ll accept it!”
Lucia tapped Ramses on the shoulder with her iron fan and glared at him.
“You probably understand. Since the unified king has been bedridden, the tyranny of the Nameless has been unacceptable.”
“But that doesn’t mean I’m going to tolerate this kind of behavior.”
Ramses put his hand to his forehead, turned his face down, and waved his hand in a gesture as if he were warding off a dog.
“I’ll pretend I didn’t see it. Go back to your own country, Queen Lucia.”
Ramses turned his back to Lucia and began to walk away as if to say he had nothing to say anymore.
Lucia narrowed her eyes at him and opened her iron fan to hide the lower half of her face.
“You know that Azel is in danger, don’t you?”
His shoulders twitched in reaction, and he stopped. Lucia’s face grew more and more joyful at the sight of him.
Hiro, who was standing next to her and in a position to see her face, thought he saw part of Lucia’s horror.
She was so black and relentless―she would always finish off her prey.
She used whatever was available, which didn’t change even if it was her ally.
If it was for the desired object, she would surely finish it off with the vindictiveness of a snake.
“A thousand-year bond is about to be severed! Greif should fight as a sovereign nation!”
“Silence! If His Majesty the unified king’s word is to defend this country, then we must obey him.”
When Ramses finally turned around, Lucia licked her lips with her tongue. Her eyes were dancing madly at the sight of her prey.
“So that’s what you are, a loyal subject! Is it justice for you not to right a wrong, General Ramses?”
Lucia continues to stir him up. She was happy and gleefully opened her big mouth to engulf her prey.
“You once told me that a general of Greif is not a man who disrespects the bonds of a thousand years. A general of the country of Greif is born of a noble spirit and exists to protect the Six Kingdoms.”
Lucia was trying to poison his loyalty and lead him astray.
“If you can’t even save Azel, what are you, the general of the Six Kingdoms? Your noble spirit is so weak, isn’t it?”
The general, his self-esteem thus stroked, bit down on his lower lip as if to break his hesitation, and glared at Lucia, dripping a line of blood.
“If you insist so much, you may appeal directly to His Majesty the unified king. However, I will accompany you.”
The general of the country of Greif raised his hand toward the soldiers and had them open the gate.
The iron gate was pulled up by iron chains, and the creaking sound was so loud that it shook the body. When a passageway was made, Ramses led the way, followed by Lucia and Hiro, who also went through the gate.
And then―the gate fell with a loud sound.
With a scream, a large amount of dust was generated. Although their vision was completely blocked, they could feel the confusion of the soldiers.
“What are you doing!”
Ramses’ angry voice rang out, but the commotion did not seem to subside.
Hiro raised his hand to the sky, checking his surroundings.
A gust of wind was created around his palm. It quickly became a gust of wind that carried the dust cloud into the sky.
With a clear view, Hiro shrugged his shoulders as he felt Lucia’s curious gaze on him. Lucia hid her face with her iron fan, shaking her shoulders as if trying to hold back her laughter.
“Why did you close the gate!”
Crossing his arms to protect his face, Ramses raised his voice over the breast wall.
Looking at the iron gate, several soldiers who had been unable to get through were trapped underneath, spreading a pool of blood. The fact that they had died shows how heavy the iron gate was.
With the defenders also thrown outside, the confused voices of the soldiers could be heard from outside.
“Heh… this presence is…”
Hiro strokes his mask with his right hand.
The noise was mingled with the presence of good and evil.
Against the sun’s light, a single shadow landed lightly on the ground from the breast wall.
The expression on the person wearing the hood was impossible to see. The calm demeanor of the figure was nothing short of eerie. Ramses pulled out the sword from his waist at the appearance of such an unknown entity.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Ladon. I am one of the Twelve Demon Lords.”
The man who answered without any tone of voice turned his head not to Ramses but only to Hiro.
Countless corpses rained down behind him, probably soldiers who had been guarding the breastworks.
Every one of them was breathless.
However, the armor worn by the corpses was clean. Fresh blood was flowing from the gaps between them.
In other words, they were mortally wounded and died without a struggle.
The man who called himself Ladon held his arms out in front of the corpse.
“I don’t want any interference. I ask all of you to leave.”
Hiro quietly stared at Ladon. Then his gaze turned again to the breastworks.
Another shadow had formed. Without hesitation, that shadow threw itself into the sky and fell to the ground.
With one small footstep―the man on his knees stood up and turned to face Hiro.
“My name is Hydra. I am one of the Twelve Demon Lords.”
An unusual presence. The hatred permeated the air. Above all, the magic was so dense that it changed the color of the air.
In contrast to the composure of the two men standing still, those confronting them were tense, and their bodies stiffen.
“The Black Death Village, huh?”
Lucia shouted in surprise and prepared herself. Ramses prepared his sword in the same way.
But Hydra and Ladon were not interested in them.
From the beginning to the present moment, they had been staring at Hiro.
“They seem to have some business with me. Lucia, I want you to prioritize the unified king’s custody.”
Checking the feel of the ground, Hiro pulled out his black sword, and his smile deepened.
For a moment―Lucia was caught off guard by the imposing figure, but she quickly reversed―and ran toward the entrance of the Fierte Palace.
“I’ll leave it to you, then. Let’s go, General Ramses!”
His confusion was evident. But after looking at Lucia and Hiro several times, Ramses, perhaps having made up his mind, also began to run toward the Fierte Palace.
Ramses quickly caught up and turned to Lucia, who was running next to him.
“Queen Lucia! Is His Majesty the unified king safe?”
The intruders from earlier, their presence made Ramses think of the worst event in his mind.
“Well… I don’t know. Where is Nameless?”
With this question, Lucia opened the door to the Fierte Palace.
But as soon as she stepped inside, Lucia frowned.
“There doesn’t seem to be any survivors.”
Everyone in the Fierte Palace, young and old, male and female, had been killed.
Running down the corridor, which had turned into a river of blood, Lucia clicked her tongue as she leaped over the wreckage of a soldier.
Next to her, Ramses was also running with a regretful look on his face, avoiding the corpses of his men.
“How wretched… to even lay a hand on a non-combatant…!”
Ramses cried out in frustration, and Lucia gave him a cold stare.
“So Nameless is in the throne room?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen him for a while.”
“Then I think our first priority should be to secure the body of the unified king.”
After passing the throne room, Lucia ran down the corridor that led to the throne room. This corridor had several hidden doors to prevent assassins from entering.
There was only one door in the corridor, but it was a trap.
The door that led to the real room was hidden elsewhere.
Lucia stopped in front of an empty wall and slammed her fist into it without hesitation.
Then a sound echoed from within the walls, and a door appeared as a gap was created.
“How do you know the king’s room?”
Ramses questioned, but Lucia happily boasted.
“The Anguis is a family that has been in existence for a thousand years. There are traditions that have been handed down only by successive kings. Of course, there is mention of the unified king in them.”
She grabbed the handle, and the door opened.
“Mmm, it’s open?”
Lucia, thinking there was no point in thinking about it, stepped inside. Ramses followed her in.
But the air was stiff. Both of them choked and were at a loss for words.
“It is too late, I see.”
“…No way… His Majesty the unified king…”
One of them frowned and clamped her mouth shut, and the other put his hands on the floor as if he were going to collapse.
In the room filled with a strange smell, only the male figure―the cruel figure of the unified king, bleeding from both eyes and pierced through the chest with a dagger―was left on the bed that sat in the center of the room.
It was a bizarre situation. Anyone with a sane mind would have wept like Ramses. But Lucia’s face had a vivid smile on it.
“This is… fortuitous.”
Lucia looked down at the unified king, who had become a mute corpse, and tightened her grip on the hilt of the dagger that was piercing through the corpse.
“What are you doing? Are you trying to humiliate the unified king?”
“What are you saying? How could you leave the dagger in the unified king in such a state?”
“That is true, but…”
Sensing Ramses approaching from behind, Lucia drew the dagger vigorously.
Then she raised the dagger―turning and flashing the blade at a frightening speed.
When a feeling of swinging was felt, Ramses was in front of Lucia’s eyes, holding his neck and contorting in astonishment. A large amount of blood was flowing down from the gap between his fingers. Ramses took a step or two backward and fell on his buttocks, still dripping blood.
Lucia’s eyes glowed sharply as she walked up to him.
Like a snake that gradually engulfed its prey as they lote the power to resist, she let out an ecstatic sigh, intoxicated by the scent of blood.
“General Ramses, your presence is a little disturbing.”
Ramses’ face turned bright red as his throat was cut, and he could not speak or breathe.
“The king was assassinated by Nameless, and General Ramses also fell victim to a deadly blade―a true military officer, I’ll explain to the people.”
Ramses began to struggle violently but then fell to the floor, his back arched.
“The rest is up to me. The Six Kingdoms will surely be reclaimed by the humans.”
Lucia opened her iron fan and fanned herself. Ramses’ body loosened, and his head fell to the floor with a resounding thud. Lucia gave Ramses, now a corpse, a cold stare and closed her fan.
“It’s been a long time… finally… finally… I’ve made it this far.”
Lucia relaxed her shoulders, looked up at the ceiling, and moistened her lips with glamour and beauty.