Please read: The subjective in the first part of this chapter is intentional and has been kept just as it is in the raw. Read the entire chapter to understand the context.
What is called the audience hall in the royal castle has, for some reason, quite the length.
Most likely it took such a shape in order to make the distance from the king as large as possible, but it doesn’t seem to have much of a meaning, it thought.
After descending from the magic ship, they were guided to the royal castle by the soldiers. They waited for the job of unloading the baggage from the magic ship to finish, and then had the maids take out the full dress set from within, that had been brought along for the audience. It changed into the dress in a room prepared by the Holy Kingdom’s side for Shion’s personal use.
The male soldiers were naturally on standby outside the room. Only Rona, who’s the sole female guard, stayed right next to it while it was changing clothes.
“Shion… don’t you have any intention to escape after this?” (Rona)
Not only the changing of clothes, but all other preparations, such as attaching accessories were left to a maid. It looks at Rona with a surprised expression due to what she said.
Noticing the gazes directed at her, Rona, who was vigorously chewing her own lips, argues vehemently in order to press Shion for an answer without minding the voices in their surroundings starting to stir.
“There’s no reason for you to be sacrificed, Shion, right? Who cares about him being a hero, that sort of behaviour is inexcusable!” (Rona)
“Rona… your voice is too loud. This is a topic that will cause various problems if overheard.”
As it answers while smiling bitterly, Rona sinks into silence with an expression filled with discontent.
It’s probably something she can’t stomach at all, I suppose, it smiles wryly.
It ponders I wonder what face Rona would make if she knew what was going to happen from now on. It also feels slightly sorry towards Rona who seems to worry about it from the bottom of her heart, but seeing as it’s unknown from where information might potentially leak, it’s proper to keep the number of people, who know about it, as low as possible. Holding a detailed preparatory meeting is also bound to be impossible.
“Rona, don’t worry. I will be all right.”
“But, Shion…” (Rona)
“It’s really no problem. It’s unnecessary for you to worry about anything. It will be fine for you to solely consider the matter of how you will return to Kukrika, Rona.”
“Huh? That is, of course with the magic ship…” (Rona)
“That’s true I guess… Ah, in that case, let me proceed by myself from this point on. Rona, please prepare your return on the magic ship.”
“There’s no problem at all. Won’t I just go to the audience and humour the hero from now on, anyway? Doing that by myself will be plenty, right? Okay, Rona?”
While slightly approaching Rona with her worried expression, it loosens one of the corks of a certain preparation, which was given to it by Frau, inside its body and mixes it into its breath.
The preparation, which has no smell, doesn’t possess anything but a very weak effect, but it thought that it would be sufficient for Rona who seems to be somewhat exhausted from being mentally driven into a corner.
For caution’s sake, as it approached, it places its hands on Ronas shoulders, and further asserts, while facing her directly
“It’s no problem, there’s nothing to worry about, understand?”
“… No problem… there’s nothing to worry about. Yes, I got it, Shion…” (Rona)
Feeling her resistance growing weak from her voice, it discerns that the preparation is showing its effect without a doubt.
After all, it’s a situation where it ends up feeling very sorry rather than only a bit, but since it won’t meet Rona ever again after this, it entrusts all the explanations and apologies to Renya and its master.
“At any rate, because of that, please return to the ship together with the maids and the guards. You are not needed for what comes next.”
“Yes… understood, Shion.” (Rona)
“You are a good child. You guys as well, as soon as you finish your work, it’s fine to return to the ship together with Rona. Can you hurry it up? It’s possible that it will be too late after something happens.”
Once it says so with a tone that hints at something, they show their allegiance by quietly bowing their head without anyone voicing a protest as it seemed its breath’s effect had also reached the maids and soldiers on standby.
Seeing that, it smiled while looking satisfied.
“Shion-sama, are your preparations going well?”
By the time a soldier of the Holy Kingdom came to call upon Shion, only Shion was left inside the room.
With her hair smoothly flowing down her back, she’s wearing a jet black mermaid line dress.
He hair ornaments are made out of silver and there’s a similar silver necklace resting on her chest.
On both her wrists there are bracelets that are also silver. Her appearance, whilst standing still inside the room by herself, was certainly beautiful, but rather than a princess, she gave off hints of being a witch from somewhere.
“Aah, it’s time? I shall leave the guiding to you then.”
It said as it noticed the soldier’s arrival. While the soldier, who ended up speechless due to being apparently overawed, bowed in a panic.
Is this appearance that weird? It laughs at that thought pleasantly with a high-pitched tone.
“Shion-sama… those, clothes are…”
“These? I wonder whether they suit me?” (Shion)
It asks with a voice containing a smile while grasping the dress’ hem.
“Black, that is to say… in such venue of celebration…”
“I don’t think it’s anything that will be seen as impolite though. Do you want me to change my clothes?” (Shion)
Being told that, the soldier ponders.
A woman dressing herself will, in any case, take time.
Calling someone to come once again, taking off the dress and changing into a different one, arranging the accessories and hairstyle; just how long that would take wasn’t something he knew.
As result of that, the nobles and royals, who are waiting in the audience hall, will have to continue to wait for that time.
Even if Shion’s appearance is regarded as rude, for argument’s sake, that’s not the responsibility of a soldier.
Once he thought that far, the soldier wondered whether it wouldn’t be less trouble to take her along as is, rather than wasting any more time henceforth.
“No, I will gladly lead you.”
“Yeah, please take care of me.” (Shion)
Agreeing with a single nod, it follows the soldier in the lead.
The soldier felt suspicious about there being no maids and guards around Shion, who is walking behind him, but since they wouldn’t have any other choice but to wait outside if they were to go to the audience hall, he stops caring about it as it’s the same whether they are there or not.
Usually the soldier would have probably thought about it deeper and checked the surroundings after questioning Shion herself about it, but the sweet scent wafting in from somewhere stole the soldier’s ability to think.
In his head the odour behaves similarly to being intoxicated by alcohol, the soldier regards it as simply being Shion’s scent or perfume.
But actually, that smell drifted out from the gap between Shion’s slightly opened lips.
It was one of Frau’s special drugs.
“The time’ll be ripe soon, I guess?”
Meanwhile, inside the magic ship belonging to the Principality of Trident.
Renya and Emil, who had secretly sneaked in, talked in whispers while squatting in a shadow of the quite wide ship’s interior.
“It doesn’t seem that it’s on board, but if we had been too quick, that other side would’ve gotten exposed, I guess.” (Renya)
“We should’ve added a communication function, a blunder, that’s a blunder.” (Emil)
The completely packaged masked person on the shoulder of Emil, who is laughing while scratching her head with one hand, has been carried around while in a limp state.
We might have overworked them a bit too much, Renya assesses.
In order to infiltrate the ship swiftly and quietly so that they weren’t seen by anyone, Renya and Emil moved without restraint or taking situational peculiarities into consideration.
If seen from Renya’s and Emil’s viewpoint, those weren’t any excessive movements, but from the viewpoint of the masked person, who was shaken up and down while being shouldered by Emil, it was unbearable.
Did she lose consciousness after being spun around so quickly? She couldn’t even raise her voice anymore.
“We should have decided on a signal, don’t you think?” (Renya)
“Even if we had, what are you expecting it to do while inside the audience hall? Isn’t that usually unreasonable?” (Emil)
“I’m not suited for such plans…” (Renya)
“There’re only muscle heads in our party, to a staggering degree, aren’t there?” (Emil)
Renya directs a sullen and angry expression at Emil who laughs with a cackling sound, but she doesn’t realize it, since they both have their faces shrouded by a cloth.
“You, aren’t you the one incharge of thinking?” (Renya)
“I’m a researcher, not a planner or a strategist.” (Emil)
“Bah, you call yourself a researcher only when it’s convenient…” (Renya)
“Ah, hey, just a moment, Renya-kun. Look over here.” (Emil)
Glancing outside the window of the ship, Emil beckons Renya.
Renya, who looked outside where Emil was pointing at, while thinking she’s going to say something worthless again anyway, caught sight of a group that had a blonde-haired woman in priestess garbs in the lead walking with a somewhat staggering stride from the direction of the city.
“That is… Rona, isn’t she?” (Renya)
“There’s no doubt with those massive breasts.” (Emil)
“Her breasts don’t matter here at all though… in that case, I wonder, are those the guys who left for the royal castle with it?” (Renya)
“That’s probably right. That means it used the drug.” (Emil)
Emil says while remembering that there was also a drug that had something like a hypnosis-inducing effect among the drugs they had prepared.
The “it” mentioned by both of them was a homunculus Emil had produced from Shion’s hair.
Inside its body there were several drugs, which were created by Frau, stored. Depending on the situation it could use them by mixing them into its breath. It’s Emil’s special poison doll.
It was something Renya had Emil make for the sake of making sure that Shion definitely doesn’t go to the hero, no matter how the dice may fall, but they haven’t told Shion that she’s being used as mold.
If they had told her, Shion would have been worried and caused difficulties by saying that she hates something like a doll that looks completely like her spewing venom.
Renya has only told Shion that a doll substitute is going to the royal castle.
The poison doll has the order to throw an extremely powerful poison, that has been stored within it, at the hero when he comes into a range of less than one meter from the doll and to change into a monster afterwards.
Renya was slightly dissatisfied that he wouldn’t be able to see the moment when the hero gets poisoned, but that was something so Renyalike, only Renya would think of.
“Well then, should we get started Renya-kun?” (Emil)
“Okay, let’s make it flashy, I guess?” (Renya)
After fixing the carrying posture of the masked person, or in other words, Shion, who was being shouldered by Emil, Emil destroys a suitable, nearby door by kicking it.
The door, which was kicked with all of her demon strength, belonged, fortunately for Renya, to a vacant room. On top of being split right into halves, it flew until the wall on the opposite side and caused a huge crushing sound to reverberate inside the ship.
Moreover, as that apparently triggered some kind of alarm, a loud warning sound begins to echo within all of the ship’s interior.
“Ah, damn it. That’s not the way out~.” (Emil)
Renya curbs his eyebrows due to the awfully indifferent statement of Emil.
Although he considered it pointless to expect quality acting from a demon, he feared that it would hinder the progress of their far too straightforward strategy if they were to be too violent.
“What is it!? What happened!?”
“It’s from above! It seems something was destroyed!”
Voices of soldiers shouting at each other can be heard coming from somewhere.
Although it might have a considerable size, being on board the ship makes one feel confined nevertheless.
Even the voices of the soldiers end up echoing inside this confined space, which makes it quite difficult to grasp how far away they are.
“I think we have to run away soon?” (Emil)
“No, we have to get discovered by someone… otherwise we can’t leave that behind.” (Renya)
Renya points at the object on top of Emil’s shoulder.
“So we’ll leave her behind after all?” (Emil)
“Well, of course. So far as it goes, there’s a reason why she came here on this ship.” (Renya)
“I’m afraid of what I’ll be told once we return to the city.” (Emil)
At the time when Renya returned a bitter smile at Emil, who smiles with a “tee-hee”, the soldiers, whom they waited for, finally arrived where Renya and the other two were.
As expected, there’s no way for them to swing around swords inside this narrow ship, huh? The weapons they have are short spears. While the armour worn by the soldiers varied between two designs.
I dare say that one side of them are soldiers from the Principality of Trident, while the others are probably soldiers of the Holy Kingdom, Renya judges.
“You bastards! What are you doing over there!? What the heck is that thing on your shoulder!?”
“Answer! You suspicious assholes! Take off that cloth and show your faces!”
“They reacted faster than expected! Oy, leave that behind here!” (Renya)
Renya, while feigning a posture as if he’s going to release magic by facing a palm towards the soldiers, who are raising their voices demanding their identity while thrusting out their spears, orders Emil.
“However, kidnapping this guy is this time’s~.” (Emil)
Even this late in the game, Emil still talks in monotone.
While planning to scold her later, Renya shouted,
“… Whatever, leave it behind, you big fool!” (Renya)
Renya shouts at Emil, with the latter part being quite serious. Finally Emil gently lowers what was on her shoulder onto the ground.
“Run away!” (Renya)
“Where to~?” (Emil)
“Up. Hurry, you idiot!” (Renya)
“You damned thieves! Do you think that we will let you get away!?”
Renya releases wind blades,activated at the lowest mana output, at the soldiers who are approaching while thrusting their spears.
Of course, since they will suffer injuries if hit, the wind blades hit an empty wall due to the aim being completely off, they get repelled and vanish.
However, due to the sound of the wind blades gouging out the passage’s walls and the fact magic was fired, the soldiers stumble.
With that as an opportunity, Renya and Emil began their escape by aiming for the upper floor of the ship.