Chapter 25: I just didn’t want to leave
“Accompanying the expedition?”
“Yes. We have a small problem this time, and we need Phyllis-sama’s assistance.”
Minister Morgen and the Knight Commander came to see me one day.
It appears to be about a job, but this time it is different.
His Highness is present at the meeting.
I return my gaze to his highness.
“Just west of the capital is a large city called Suerre. It’s as populous as the capital. This time, we’re going there.”
“Do you want me to accompany you?”
“That’s what we were discussing.”
His Highness motions for Minister Morgen to continue.
The minister nods and continues to explain.
“Every year around this time, a large migration of demons gathers around Suerre.”
“Great Migration of Demons?”
With a solemn expression on his face, the minister nodded and responded.
Suerre is surrounded by a vast natural environment comprised of forests and rivers.
It is unavoidably home to many animals and demons, and Suerre has erected a massive wall to protect the city.
The walls keep most of the city safe, but during the Great Migration, different kinds of demons come from everywhere.
Some of them are demons who fly.
Demons with the ability to melt stone are unconcerned about stone walls.
Around this time of year, the kingdom dispatches a group of knights from the capital to deal with them.
“The kingdom intends to send a similarly large force of knights this year. However, there is a certain amount of damage every year. There are many demons…”
“The biggest issue is the sheer number of demons.”
The Knight Commander took the floor.
“If you are well prepared, you can defeat one or two types of demons without causing any damage. However, this is not possible when fighting multiple types of demons at the same time. It is impossible to be completely prepared for everything.”
“We will need to be adaptable. That’s where you come in, Phyllis.”
His Highness concludes with a summary.
After hearing this, I am fully aware of their intentions.
My grantmaking technique can be adapted to the battle situation.
According to what I’ve heard, the demons who migrate aren’t the same every year.
That was one of the factors that made it difficult to plan countermeasures.
“We would like to ask Phyllis-sama to support the knights. The knights are the ones who actually fight on the battlefield, so there is less danger to Phyllis-sama.”
“Phyllis-sama’s safety is guaranteed by us, the knights. It will be a tough battle, but they have never breached our defenses, so you will be safe within our walls.”
“I can attest to their fortitude. They’ve done well for their country and are dependable. That’s all I have to say, but Phyllis has the final say.”
“Do I have a choice?”
“Yes, you get to choose what you want.”
I’m at a loss for words.
I recognize that they require my assistance.
But I wonder why.
In the back of my mind, a vague unease is simmering.
Something that prevents me from saying ‘yes, I understand,’ as I usually do…
“Suerre, by the way, is my jurisdiction. As a result, I’ll be there as well.”
“Are you going, your highness?”
“Yeah, every year. It’s also a tour of the city to see what’s going on.”
His Highness is also going to Suerre.
“All right. I’ll go with you to Suerre.”
“Yes—I’ll gladly assist you in any way I can.”
“Thank you very much! Really.”
Minister Morgen cheerfully bows his head.
The Knight Commander next to him bowed deeper in silence.
I feel ashamed of my hesitation.
Above all, I was reminded of how selfish I am.
The uncertainty in the back of my mind vanished when I learned that His Highness would accompany me.
That means the true nature of my anxiety…
“So we’ll both be going to Suerre this year.”
“Yes—I look forward to working with you.”
“Same to you. Maybe they’d rather you go there than me.”
“…That’s not true.
At least, not for me.
What would I have done if His Highness had said no?
Would I refuse?
I’m sure I’ll go, but I’m sure I’ll be anxious on the way to the battlefield.
Because of His Highness’ presence, I would have listened to his wishes without hesitation.
After all, I didn’t want to leave His Highness’ side.
“Are you going to leave, Onesama?!”
“You’re not being fair! We want to go too!”
When I told them about the expedition, they reacted as one would expect.
Leo-kun has His Highness’ right sleeve in his grip, and Lena-chan is pulling my back.
“I said no, didn’t I? Geez, every year, these guys are like this.”
“I want to go!”
“I want to go!”
They’re both full of energy today.
“We’re leaving for a business trip. We’re not going to play.”
“Sister as well?”
“That’s right. So sit back and wait.”
They’re selfish, but in the end, they listen.
They’re both bright children.
But it’s clear they’re not convinced.
I really wish we could spend time together.
I’m also disappointed that I won’t be able to spend time with the two of them.
“We’ll make pastries together when I get back.”
“It’s a promise! Oneesama.”
“Yes, I promise.”
I’ll leave them with something to look forward to when I get home.