Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
I just said three people are going to the royal capital and Myna prepared this. I haven’t told anyone other than the escort team that the reason we’re going there is to negotiate with the king (who is presumably an impostor). I don’t know how much Myna knew about our plan, but I’m too afraid to ask her.
“But I wasn’t expecting you to ask for a three-seater,” Myna said. “You’re gonna ride with a bodyguard. That’s a little too cautious even for you.”
“We have our reasons. Better safe than sorry.”
The reason we’ll be using a three-man carriage this time is because we’ll be taking an escort with a large shield. Count Meigis will be seated in the middle, and his bodyguard and I will be positioned on both sides of the carriage. This means that no matter where a long-distance attack comes from, Count Meigis will not be hit.
There’s a good chance the enemy will attack us only after we enter the palace. But of course, part of their plan could be to let us assume that, and then attack us while we’re still out on the road.
Furthermore, minimizing our defenses on the way would make them think that we were aware the attack will happen inside the palace itself. This kind of security set-up is necessary so the enemy wouldn’t be too wary.
Since we only have a few guards, we need to be smart in our positions as well. Well actually there is another reason for all this.
“Reasons, huh? I think I can think of a few, but probably better not to mention them, right?”
“Glad you understand. I’ll tell you later once it’s over.”
“I look forward to that moment.”
There was no trace of worry on Myna’s face. It was as if she was fully convinced we would come back victorious. I planned to win too, of course.
“See ya, then.”
And so we left for the royal city.
“We’re being watched,” one of the guards informed me via a communication spell.
It was about an hour after we left. The spell we used was one that couldn’t be tapped from outside.
“You sense three people with your Search Enemy?” I asked.
I had also noticed them with my Magic Search. There’s no doubt that we were being followed by the enemy.
“There’s too few for an assault unit,” I said. “They’re probably just monitoring us.”
“I agree. What do we do?”
“Let’s see… Look at them to show that we know they’re there. Though if there are more enemies, we’ll have to consider the possibility of an ambush.”
If there’s no ambush, there’s nothing wrong with ignoring whoever’s following us. Attacking them when they were not doing anything might give the fake king an excuse to treat us horribly.
Then again, if we didn’t even show any sign of noticing, whoever hired the tailers might take us lightly. Showing that we noticed their presence is the best option we can take. And if they do attack us, we can easily subdue them if there are only three enemies.
I’d like to get the king’s case out of the way quickly, though, so that I don’t have to think about all this trouble.
A few hours later, we arrived safely at the royal capital without being attacked.
”We weren’t attacked.”
“Yeah. I guess it was just surveillance.”
The reason they went through all the trouble of watching us is probably to estimate the timing of our arrival. If they laid a huge trap for us, they would need to evacuate all noncombatants to avoid collateral damage.
If my prediction is correct, the place where they will attack us—probably the reception room and the surrounding area—will be filled with assassins. I’d be glad if I was actually worried for nothing, but it’s just quicker if the enemy attacks us first. If not, we can’t really make a move that easily either.
I spotted a few knights walking towards our direction. Seeing as they were heading straight, they were probably here to welcome us. The question is whether or not these guys are enemies.
”How are those guys?” I asked through comms.
“They’re all enemies,” Sachylis answered.
So all the knights harbor enmity against me. Just as expected, I suppose.
“Got it,” I said. “Proceed as planned. Sorry you have to take up such a dangerous job.”
”You came up with the plan, so I’m not worried at all. We’ll make it work for sure.”
Our conversation ended, and the knight finally reached us. The knight standing at the front greeted us immediately.
“Count Meigis, Lord Eld. We have been waiting for you.” The knight bowed respectfully.
Not like doing that can hide the enmity sensed by Search Enemy.
“Sorry to make you wait,” I said.
“No, sir. We are always ready for you. Would you please come with us to the royal palace?”
“Very well. This is my first time entering the royal palace. What about our escorts?”
“You can rest assured. We, the royal knights, will guard the place properly.”
So we’re not allowed to have personal guards accompany us. Well, that’s to be expected. The same regulation probably applies even if the king wasn’t an impostor.
“Well then, you guys are going to disperse here for now. Meet back here when we’re done.”
I asked the guards to go their separate ways for now. If they’re stuck in one place, it’s easy for the enemy to sense their movements.
The enemy might even monitor our guards, but even then, if they were separated, it would be much harder to watch them.
We had someone using Search Enemy on Mylia as well, the one person who stood out the most among the escorts. If someone tailed her, we would know right away.
They all have their own role to play, so we want them to be able to move around easily. If possible, I wanted to organize a separate unit that wouldn’t be sensed by the enemy. Unfortunately, there was a high chance that the faces and names of the Count’s main force were known to the enemy. So we decided to go with our current lineup instead.
“Well then, please lead the way.”
Now only two of us are heading straight into the royal palace where countless enemies could be lying in wait. It’s quite fun, like being thrown into an unknown dungeon.
Though it’s still much easier to fight in the palace than a dungeon. After all, if the need arises, I can just use Steam Explosion to destroy the walls and escape.