“What… You haven’t changed much, have you?”
“It hurts to hear you say that…”
After that, I asked them what kind of organization this was, but it turned out that this one was so bad that I couldn’t help myself. The only sane one was the Order led by Armani.
First, except for Armani, the other three were all Cielo-Papal members who had been abolished by the cardinals, and they had taken advantage of this to manipulate taxes and donations to the Pope at will.
The civil servants of the castle were also prepared by them, so the three Cielo-Papal members and the Cardinal supporting the Hero were mostly fighting over the fortune.
So, when I started talking to them while using [fairy eyes], I found out they were full of lies. I pointed them out and Armani beat them all up like demons and made them sit on the ground. The ground is covered with rocks, so it looks like it hurts a lot.
“I should have known that the people I was working with were as garbage as the Cardinal… I’m sorry, Aidle. I know I’ve said and done some strange things in the past, but…”
“Ah, yeah… That’s fine. I don’t mind that, but… By the way, has this underground place always been here?”
That’s what I’m more interested in now. I’m really curious about the underground base. I asked her about it, and she said that all the people we saw should be members of the Knights, and that they are ready to move at any time.
“This place is an underground space that has been remodeled over the years. It was originally used as an emergency refuge or counter-attack hidden passage when the country was in danger of a disaster caused by demons, but now it was being used as a sleeping place for us knight members and these guys.”
“A shelter when there’s a Hero?”
“A Hero has not been in this country for hundreds of years now, ever since the creation of the country, that is. That’s why this country has always been well-prepared.”
That’s right. There is no way that a Hero can always be here, and the people themselves have to fight and protect themselves.
Nowadays, the Heroes themselves exist, but Heroism is not a religion for Heroes.
“So? The plan is for Cielo to assassinate the Cardinal, and then to seduce Hero… What would you have done if the important Cielo hadn’t come?”
“No, Master Cielo had always intended to come back. It’s just that it was unclear how long it would take. That’s why we waited, believing in the prophecy.”
That’s a faith-filled thing to do. But I’m glad I got here before they sent someone on a reckless suicide mission. Let’s check this out then.
“Armani wants to reclaim La Veil Radd with Cielo as it should be, is that correct?”
Armani nodded. Hmm… I can take care of the Hero, I can take back La Veil Lad as it should be. The problem is management.
“As far as I’m concerned, it would be best if you guys could be the ones to support Cielo when she marries the man who will become the Pope in the future. If you disappear, it would be a problem.”
“Leave that to me. Next time embezzlement or something like that is discovered, I’ll immediately chop off the sinner’s head.”
The three were about to complain but fell silent as Armani glared at them.
“You can keep your position and everything. I’m going to confiscate everything but the bare essentials. Don’t do it again, I know you were doing it so that Cielo’s [Divine Eyes] wouldn’t find out, but Cielo is pretty well-trained. From now on, she’ll know instantly… It’ll be like that.”
Armani cut the desk in half with a single strike of her sword, and the three of them shook their heads repeatedly like toys in approval. Okay, that concludes the discussion.
“Well then, we’re going to go full swing in a week’s time, during the marriage ceremony, so if you need anything, just come to the inn where we’re staying.”
“Oh, I will.”
We exchanged a generous handshake and parted ways for the day. It’s about time I got some fresh air…
After listening to the story and getting to know the country of La Veil Radd to some extent, Quad came to one fact.
“They and I are very similar, are we not?”
Quad is a [fairy]. He is a [fairy] who has lived alone for 10,000 years. That’s why he didn’t know any fairies other than himself. He did not know how they lived, what they lived like, or how they laughed.
The first emotion Quad felt when he learned about them was joy, followed by curiosity. He was sure that he had the ideal of what he should be, an ideal that he even half believed in. Aidle and Arena certainly had it, and they saved his world and gave him [freedom].
But what about humans? [Hero] is an existence that can be rightly called the savior of the world. A living legend, a follower of the divine. However, there are few people who know what they really are. Even if they do exist, they are not heavenly beings that cannot be touched or seen.
The same is true for the people who live in La Veil Rad, the head temple of Heroism. They only believe in the [Hero] who saved the world, and do not follow the [Will] of that individual. Theoretically.
“Hundreds of years ago, one of the Heroes visited, and the country was renamed. A new dragon was honored as the messenger of the Goddess, and beliefs were changed. And since then, no Hero has ever visited. Then, for hundreds of years, people must have longed for the presence of the Hero, for his return.”
As a result, hundreds of years later, they failed to realize that their [Faith] turned out to be a blind one.
“I am accompanying Miss Aidle on her journey of my own volition and with my own thoughts. That is only if there is a purpose. But they don’t have one. No, they should have. They just don’t know that they are being distorted.”
“…? What do you mean by that?”
“It means that what they need to hear is not the word of a [Hero], but the meaning of [Heroism].”
Overall, it seems that ideals and reality are different, Mika thought to herself.
“Gah… Ugh… I guess that was too hard… Oops!”
La Veil was struggling to cope with the Aidles that were attacking her one after another. She was unable to attack even once and was forced to fight on the defense.
There was almost no difference in status, and there were dozens of them surrounding her. Normally, they would have killed her immediately. The reason they haven’t done it yet is due to La Veil’s combat experience and the way the Aidles are fighting.
“Still, though, I’m already dying… I’m going to take out at least one of them, Masters!”
Dodging one of the Aidles’ sword attacks at the last second, she let her scales crawl up her arm and hit as hard as she could.
What? And with a sound as if two pieces of steel had hit each other, one of the Aidles was blown several hundred meters to the side. La Veil was also blown away by the other attacks. But her face was all smiles.
“K-haha… Ugh… No. I’m not done yet…”
The incompletely formed scales were shattered, and her fist was broken, not exactly what La Veil had imagined. As it is, La Veil lost consciousness, and a red gemstone came out of her forehead.
The Aidles took the jewel in their hands and immediately began pouring magic into it. After doing so, for a while, the jewel turned into light and changed its shape, ending as La Veil’s form.
“Hmm. I, revived.”
La Veil had died a total of a hundred times in the past days. Whenever she came back to life like this, she would challenge Aidle’s again, and then get defeated miserably, repeating as many times as she could. From time to time, the Aidles asked La Veil to take a break, but La Veil didn’t care and continued fighting, as if every minute was too precious.
“La Veil, aren’t you trying too hard?”
One of the Aidles said, but La Veil shook her head with a fearless smile.
“It’s fine, this is… My grandfather once told me that in order for an ancient dragon to awaken, it would have to overcome many deaths. I don’t know if that will ever happen to an ancient dragon, but it did happen to my grandfather. I want to believe in it. I could kill two birds with one stone by also learning new ways of fighting.”
Aidles was fuming when she heard the last words, but La Veil didn’t care, she raised her weapon again.
“Come on, come on, there’s more to come, Masters. You’re going to have to stay with me until my guts run out, okay?”
“Don’t look at me like you feel it would be better not to be here!!??”
And then La Veil was exposed to another barrage of magic…
“Hmm? Where’s La Veil?”
After going around the city for a while, I met up with Quad and the others, had dinner, and came back to the inn, but La Veil still had not returned. The sun had already set, but was she still training?
I found a note on the desk and read it.
[“It’s so much fun, I want to fight forever.” by Aidles]
“Uwah, a battle maniac…”
“La Veil, is she coming back~?”
“Apparently, she’s into fun stuff. Why don’t you bring her lunch tomorrow?”
“Yes! I will!”
I wonder if she’s going to bring La Veil some food, or if she’s going to go out of her way to make sure she gets some. Am I supposed to interrupt that? Okay, let’s not talk about what’s inside the lunchbox. Because that’s where my characteristic World Tree Tabasco roars to life.
“Yes, let’s discuss what we’re going to talk about today, Aidle.”
Lying on the bed, we were discussing the events of the day, Mika letting out a sigh as she relayed all of Quad’s words to me.
“I don’t really understand… I’ve always been on the edge of red on my tests and…”
“Hmmm… Let’s see, for example, what is Mika’s favorite food?”
“Huh? Well, it’s a bit of a cliché, but curry, maybe?”
“Well, let’s say that there is a country that believes in curry. The Pope is the one who teaches people how to make curry every day, and he teaches people different kinds of curry every day.”
“Then, one day, a world-renowned curry making expert comes to visit. Of course, people respect him and want to learn his curry, right?”
“Yes, that’s true.”
Okay, okay, you got it. It’s a weird analogy for me. But curry… I want to eat it…
“… Pardon me. Then one day, the master says, “I’m good at making curry, and I’m great at it, so do as I say.” It’s true that they believe in curry, but they don’t believe in people who make curry, so they wouldn’t normally follow what the expert says, right?”
“…Oh, you mean you can’t bind their actions because the object of their faith is different?”
“That’s what I mean because Quad’s freedom and personal will is not based on faith, but on one’s sense of purpose.”
But not in this country. They have been made to believe that the [Hero] is the right one. When it comes to religion, there is some guidance of consciousness from the higher-ups, but in that respect, Goutani was doing too much. Once something like that collapses, it will never come back.
When there is little information available, it is only natural to believe the best. If it had been more open, I’m sure some people would have questioned it.
“So, with what the Pope and I have set up there, there’s no problem. Regarding corroboration, I don’t think there’s much more to it than that. We don’t even have to go through the marriage ceremony anymore.”
“Um… What else do I have to do?”
“Mika’s training is following that of La Veil.”
What’s that archaic squeal? Oh, Arena came back with a huge smile on her face. I’ll help you with that.
“So, what do we put in it? What are the ingredients?”
“Well, let’s use this meat that I don’t know what kind it is.”
“Let’s do that…”
“There are so many kinds of meat in this world…”