The temptation of abandoning them was truly difficult to resist.
On top of it being extremely simple to do, there wouldn’t be any future problems coming from it either.
Putting aside whether the members of the Witenagemot understand that, the race called dragonoids would very likely lose a large share of its influence on this world in the near future, or it’s almost certain that the race’s name itself would become something of the past, if Renya washed his hands clean of the matter right now.
However, although it’s an extremely easy decision, it doesn’t mean that it’s also a simple choice to make.
After all it will definitely spell the end of a race, if he decides to leave.
It’s not like Renya wants to hold the fate of a race in his hand because he likes it.
In that case it would mean I have to help them while at the same time ignoring the behavior of the old man and his group. But, in Renya’s eyes even that felt somewhat wrong.
While satisfying Albert’s request and outwitting the Witenagemot, who is still glaring at them, Renya cannot avoid proposing a deal which is agreeable to both parties.
Renya looks to the side.
Albert was still looking up at him while kneeling on the floor.
In this situation the power of a hero doesn’t bear any meaning.
Even if he’s strong enough to kill a few enemies, it’s not like he has the power to save the dragonoids which are likely troubled by the current situation.
A hero only bears any reasonable significance when an enemy exists. As for problems that have no defined enemy, heroes become surprisingly powerless.
With his thoughts reaching this point, Renya comes up with a plan.
It was a plan that might not work out well, but the only requirement it needs to work is Renya’s acceptance on an emotional level. In regards to the result, if it fails he could simply say it was worth a try.
“I will be troubled if you keep kneeling over there forever. Can’t I get you to stand up, Albert?” (Renya)
“Your Excellency…I am…” (Albert)
“For heaven’s sake, just stand up, will you? It’s difficult to talk like this.” (Renya)
Although he hadn’t intended it at all, irritation faintly dyed his voice. Once told to do so by Renya, Albert stands up unwillingly.
He very likely planned to keep doing this until he drew the answer he desired out of Renya, but in Renya’s eyes, Albert, who wasn’t following any plan in particular, imploring him forever has no benefit for anyone and is just depressing.
“I understand what you want to say, chairman of the Witenagemot.” (Renya)
Renya says in a calm tone as he lets his eyes slowly wander towards the face of the member he talked to first, Veylio, while letting a threatening aura emanate from himself.
“Our answer to your request is short. It’s no. I don’t have a single drop of water or a single grain of wheat to give you.” (Renya)
“What! You’re saying that you don’t think anything about having invited yourself over and inflicted upon us such grievous damage!?” (Veylio)
“Nothing. No, wait, there’s something. Your incompetence which troubled me with your problems. Coming to some kind of agreement before things go west like this is the duty of those standing at the top, right? Do you really believe that a single hero will be able to change the progress of the war? Wake up, moron. Have all these years of experience been in vain? If it’s just about piling up years, even trees and stones can do as much. Rather, the trees and stones are more useful than you guys, aren’t they?” (Renya)
The members of the Witenagemot freeze, unable to even shout at Renya, who unleashed a flood of insults at them with a scornful smile.
While seeing how Albert was chewing on his lips and hanging his head down in shame, Renya continues his speech.
“However, it’s not possible to remain unsympathetic with the heartache of the hero Albert, who attempted to protect the people to no avail. Therefore Renya Kunugi shall provide goods and financial support to hero Albert.” (Renya)
“Hey Rona, what does that mean?” (Shion)
Shion asked Rona in a whisper after visually comparing Albert, who lifted his face in surprise, and the Witenagemot, who had sullen faces.
“I guess it means that Renya will compensate the dragonoids in the end?” (Rona)
“Wrong. Seeing as he has refused the Witenagemot’s demand for reparations, the Margrave is providing personal support towards the distressed hero Albert.” (Croire)
“I don’t know to what scale it will be, but Albert will distribute the goods he received from Renya to the people, right? Isn’t that basically the same then?” (Rona)
“It’s slightly different.” (Croire)
Croire cuts into their conversation while giggling.
“With this the fact that the Witenagemot failed to negotiate with Renya still stands. Moreover, the news that they displeased Renya will easily spread as well. The fact that they made stupid demands of the human noble, who came running to save the dragons and dragonoids, will likely be exposed in no time. Well, since it’s an offense for them to honestly bow their heads, they probably tried to extort aid by poking at Renya’s feelings of guilt, but they couldn’t have chosen a worse target for that. It’s not that I can’t understand it as one survival technique, though.” (Croire)
“As for Albert, the fact that his accomplishments have been praised by the Margrave, and that he procured aid albeit on a personal level still remains. Furthermore, if he distributes that aid among the people, his fame will rise sharply. The Margrave’s idea to play the situation like this is quite malicious.” (Grün)
Once Grün took over the explanation from Croire, continuing to whisper, Shion nodded, apparently having understood it at last.
“I see, such an idea suits Renya quite well.” (Shion)
“I guess it’s necessary to have a proper conversation about what kind of being you think I am, don’t you think?” (Renya)
Renya glared at Shion, but without any hesitation, she bluntly declares,
“Truly black-hearted. A perfect fit for a husband of a young princess.” (Shion)
“Why are you trying to earn points while taking advantage of the situation?” (Croire)
Croire immediately drove her elbow into the back of Shion’s neck, who threw her chest out with pride.
While everyone was silently retorting in their minds, Isn’t it normal to use the palm for that?, Shion silently collapses with the whites of her eyes showing.
“Wai-!? Shion!?” (Rona)
“It was beautifully decided by her carelessness. A truly splendid display of skill, Croire.” (Kaede)
Rona shakes Shion, who stopped moving after having fallen to the ground, in panic. Meanwhile Kaede expresses her admiration.
Renya, who watched that scene while sighing, sneers once more and turns around to the Witenagemot who are looking at them with expressions that are close to burst with rage.
“While we’re at it anyway, I guess I will demand permission to fight in the dragonoids’ territory. If I’m told the same stuff as a result of another battle, I will get pissed off. If you don’t hand it over, I will withdraw from here, got it?” (Renya)
Once Renya says that it will be troublesome if he’s told to pay compensation each time he causes damage during battles, Veylio laughs scornfully at that.
“Even without you here, opposing the demons as long as all four heroes are gathered here will be…” (Veylio)
“All four heroes? I think it’s only natural, but our Kurz will go back together with me, you know?” (Renya)
Being mentioned by Renya, Kurz happily raises both hands and answers,
“I will return home with Margrave-sama~!” (Kurz)
“Brother, are you going to act together with the dragonoids?” (Croire)
Once Croire asks Grün, who’s standing next to her, with a very curious look, Grün shakes his head while smiling bitterly.
“No way. If the Margrave goes back, I won’t have any reason to stay here either, right?” (Grün)
“Lepard are you going to stay with the dragonoids in your desire for battle?” (Kaede)
Although it’s just a bit, Lepard became flustered due to Kaede’s tone that seemed to be somewhat fed-up, and thus answered,
“Eh? We are those beastmen who ain’t very welcome here, you forgot?” (Lepard)
All three heroes except for Albert have made their opinion clear. If you summarize it, they all said that they have no reason to stay on the dragonoid continent if Renya goes home.
“Y-You guys are heroes, right!? You have the duty to fight against the demons, don’t you!?”
“Dooon’t care~” (Kurz)
“If you call it a duty, you might be right about that, but…it’s not a duty that we actually have to carry out here, is it?” (Grün)
“I’m a hot-blooded, battle maniac beastman, so it will probably be troublesome if I fight here.” (Lepard)
Kurz turns away, Grün calmly looks back, and Lepard answers with an insincere smile.
“Well, in other words, you don’t have any chance of winning the battle against the demons by yourself, if I go back home.” (Renya)
Once Renya says so as if delivering the final blow, no reply comes back from the Witenagemot.
Renya observed the amusing face of Veylio, which became red and then pale in alternation, for a while, but before long he softly breathed out, and folded his arms in front of his chest.
“Anyway, I just tried threatening you in order to give you scare. How about it, old man? Don’t you feel like bowing your head here once to obediently ask for my help?” (Renya)
Renya says carelessly without any hesitation, completely changing his aura up until now.
“What…was that?” (Veylio)
Unlike before, Renya faces Veylio, who replies with a question as he doesn’t understand the intention behind Renya’s words, with a serious expression now.
“It’s not like I don’t understand how you feel. If I were a normal adventurer, you could have ignored the losses and lifted me up as a figurehead without any scruples, but in the end it’s damage caused by a human noble acting violently in another’s territory as he pleased. Moreover, even the matter of receiving help; it’s not like you’ll wholeheartedly welcome it if it’s done by a noble of another country, right? A human accomplishing what you were unable to do yourselves is after all something like proof of your incompetence.” (Renya)
There’s no reply from Veylio.
As if he hadn’t expected a reply from the very start, Renya continues talking unperturbed.
“Even if you ignore the fact that your honor took a big hit, asking for help from a person of another country is unacceptable. After all you don’t know what kind of demands they will make, they could even use that fact as material to use against you in the distant future. Much less to say that the other party is a human, a race you guys don’t like very much. That’s a difficult snare you can be caught in for simply making a request.” (Renya)
Veylio still doesn’t answer.
“I will continue while taking your silence as confirmation, okay? I will leave it to you as to how you’re going to announce it officially. If you want to crush my reputation, then just do it. I don’t particularly mind. I don’t even care about the compensation for having gone ballistic like an idiot. But, if you’re going to request something from someone, lower your head for starters. If you do…I can’t say that my place is affluent as we are in a war, but we will send the surplus goods to the Witenagemot or whoever. I will ignore the talk you hurled at me when I arrived as nonsense you spewed due to your mental state being abnormal as a result of being defeated. I don’t know about the heroes, but I will even join your battles to recover the land that was stolen from you. But then again, that’s the part where I want a few lines written on a document permitting me to cause a little bit of damage. Well then, what are you going to do?” (Renya)
The members of the Witenagemot look at each other due to Renya’s proposal.
In their midst, Veylio fixedly stared at Renya’s face without saying anything or moving.
“The question is whether you will lower that white-haired head of yours or not. Do as you please. I won’t be troubled with either choice.” (Renya)
Although only faintly, Veylio’s expression came apart upon Albert’s quiet muttering.
While being watched by the hero and the other Witenagemot members, he slowly pulls back the chair, stands up, bows his head to the extent that his forehead touches the table, and says to Renya,
“Margrave Kunugi…as you see, please…I’d like to request your help.” (Veylio)
The people around Veylio, who goes at it with a feeling that could very well be called kowtowing, stir, but as he’s not doing anything extraordinary in Renya’s eyes, Renya can’t consider them kicking up a fuss as anything but weird.
“If you had done that without all the strange negotiating and bargaining from the beginning, things would have proceeded a lot faster without anyone having to come up with threatening words…since old people think too much about unnecessary stuff, everything takes forever.” (Renya)
After saying that, Renya is suddenly reminded that he might be older than the old dragonoid still bowing his head in front of him, if only limited to his inner self.
Somehow feeling like those words would sooner or later come back at him like a boomerang if he keeps talking like that any longer, Renya decides to stop any further sarcastic comments about Veylio’s age.
“If you try lowering your head, it’s simple, right? And I think that you should do so if it helps advance matters, you know? The heads of important people have no other use anyway.” (Renya)
“Even we have a position to…” (Veylio)
“If you can fill stomachs with that position, do as you see fit. Otherwise forget about it, at least during urgent times.” (Renya)
Cleanly cutting down Veylio’s reply, Renya loosens his folded arms, and places his elbows on the table.
“Well then, for starters I will have you do your job, I guess. Maps of the area, the state of the demon’s army, going by all you know about it. Also, the supply routes, and the damage caused by the battles against the demons’ army. I won’t accuse you of being responsible for this, so hand over the information right away.” (Renya)
Once Renya says that while glaring, the members of the Witenagemot run away in all direction with the speed of little baby spiders.
While watching the wrinkled face of Veylio who was the only one left in a crestfallen state, Renya sighed for show while saying that Veylio made him take quite the troublesome detour.