𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟓𝟒: 𝐈𝐭 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐦𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫
Blending into the darkness of the night, the reactor ship lands in the middle of Lake Mikasa.
We can’t exactly land directly in the royal capital. It would be too conspicuous.
On the other hand, if we dock normally at the pier, people would only think we’re a ship that came from the opposite shore.
It’s a clever move.
Or rather, it’s a habitual offender’s trick.
So, the fact that General Kytes has a villa on the shore of Lake Mikasa seems to have meaning beyond just being a scenic spot.
After expressing our gratitude for the ride, the six of us disembark from the reactor ship.
Huh? Six people?
“Salieri, why are you getting off too?”
I ask the dark elf who followed us.
I thought she would return to her homeland on the reactor ship after seeing us off.
“Well, after the order to take care of everyone, no new orders have been issued.”
A languid answer came back.
I think her job as a caretaker should be over, right?
The reason no termination order was issued is probably because things were too hectic.
“But, if I can play with Nelnel and the others without getting scolded, that’s not a bad thing, right?”
“Is that your main goal…”
Although she uses the word “play,” what Salieri is saying is this:
“If Sali’s coming, that’s reassuring! Mommy Nel!”
Asuka claps her hands in delight.
Well, as long as the order hasn’t been revoked, there’s nothing strange about her acting with us.
Even if we only consider the aspect of combat power, a six-person team can do more.
“Take care of us for a while, Salieri.”
“Sure, leave it to me.”
She smiles as if she’s not very motivated, but in her case, this is enough to show her determination.
It’s time to start moving.
We walk through the night from the city of Mikasa Lakeside, and arrive at the royal capital, Galangran, before dawn.
There were already a few people lined up to enter the royal capital.
They are local farmers and hunters.
They are waiting for the gates to open so they can sell their crops and game in the city.
“It looks like a normal scene. You’d see the same in Gaillia.”
Meg tilts her head in thought.
She must have thought it would be tense with preparations for war.
“We’re not even in the preparation stage yet.”
Just because the top has decided doesn’t mean it can be implemented immediately.
The planning is yet to come.
First, we have to decide how many troops to mobilize, and who will command them.
Of course, we also need a supply plan to feed the soldiers.
Even just planning on paper, like where to attack and when, is incredibly difficult.
And just making a plan is meaningless.
We have to actually procure supplies like food, weapons, and horses, and of course, we have to manage the supplies that have been gathered as a matter of course.
“There are many things we have to do. We probably won’t be able to start the invasion until at least half a year from now.”
“On the other hand, it means we can still stop it at this stage, right? Mother Nel.”
Miliaria, as always, says something wise.
At this point, the king has only indicated his policy.
Of course, since it’s a decision, it can’t be easily overturned, but it’s much easier to stop before the plan actually starts running.
If the military organization has already started, or if the order for supplies has been completed, or if wagons are gathering in the royal capital, stopping it would cost a lot of money.
“No one will lose anything if we stop now. It would be easier to accept.”
That’s why Demon King Ingral rushed to deploy the latest weapon, the reactor ship.
Eventually, the people in front of us cleared out, and it was our turn to enter.
We can’t hinder economic activity, so these checks are just a formality, but I have something in my pocket that I don’t want to be seen.
I don’t want it to be searched too much.
“Adventurer? What’s your purpose for coming?”
“Yes. I’m Lionel of the Hope clan, an honorary knight of Mikasa Lakeside City. I came to the vicinity for work, and thought I’d stop by the royal capital to pay my respects to General Kytes. May I have permission to enter?”
I answer the question decisively.
It’s nice to have a public identity to introduce yourself with at times like this.
As the name suggests, it’s an honorary position with no real power.
“Oh! The hero of Mikasa! I’ve heard the rumors.”
The gate guard, who seemed impressed, casually slapped my shoulder.
Somehow, it’s been said that the four of us from [Hope] repelled a hundred sahagins.
The exaggeration is terrible.
Well, it’s because the bards are singing it in a funny and exaggerated way.
That’s their job.
The tale of the downfall of the [Gold-lined Butterflies], titled “Butterflies Dancing in the Sunset,” is also terrible.
In it, a Vice Captain named Lionel, seeing the spineless Commander Luke, takes many comrades and leaves.
In my memory, Lionel was exiled alone.
I think he left behind all his savings and salary and ran away, so this Lionel must be someone else.
“We welcome the visit of a hero. But it’s amazing that you’re accompanied by five beautiful women. You must be popular. I’m jealous!”
He slaps my shoulder repeatedly.
Hmm. The popular Lionel.
That must also be someone else, not me.