Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
“A ten-year payment?” the king said. “That would indeed reduce the burden on the kingdom. I think that’s a good proposal. But can we save that for later?”
“You mean to tell me there’s something else more important to talk about?”
“Yes. For that, I need you to take out the guards behind me,” the king said as if he was simply making small talk.
His tone and what he was saying did not match at all.
His strange behavior caused a moment’s delay in the reaction of the knights. Not missing the opening, I quickly made my move and cast a spell.
As I shot my magic at one of the guards, I produced my staff from my magic storage. I shot the first spell without my staff so it won’t be as powerful, but against a normal human, it should be enough.
Ignoring the knight writhing and screaming in the flames, I moved to subdue the other one. I can’t use powerful AoE spells with the king around. There are four opponents. I don’t have time to finish them off one by one.
The king ran past me and hid behind. He wanted to stay safe while I fought the knights. A good decision. It’s easier to fight if the non-combatants keep their distance and not fight. However, I still do not fully trust the king, so I made sure I could react to any surprise attack.
As soon as I fired my magic at the second knight, I swung my staff at the third knight’s head. You can’t expect a great deal of power from a staff’s blow, but in a battle against multiple people, it’s more about number than power. No matter how much armor you’re wearing, if you’re hit in the head with a blunt object, your movements will slow down.
“No, you don’t!”
As expected, the first casualty alerted the other knights. My staff was blocked by a sword. But that’s fine. Even if I couldn’t deal damage to my opponent, making him use his sword to block meant I took away his ability to attack.
I didn’t waste the opportunity to attack. A Fire Arrow pierced the body of the third knight. Now there’s only one left. At least that’s what I thought, when suddenly the last knight yelled.
Ignoring me, the knight ran towards Count Meigis. He thought it would be unfavorable to clash with me head-on, so he decided to take a hostage. This in itself is not a wrong decision. Since he lost three of his comrades due to the king’s betrayal and my surprise attack, it was only natural that he would buy time by taking Count Meigis, a non-combatant, as a hostage and wait for reinforcements. At the very least, the odds were much better than if he were to fight me directly. But that’s only if the Count can’t fight.
As the knight charged into the Count, his sword held up high, Meigis unleashed a spell.
Not expecting a fight from the Count, the knight looked surprised for a moment, then immediately stepped straight toward Count Meigis, holding his sword to the side and taking a defensive stance. They were too close for me to use magic.
If this knight took all that into consideration, then I can assume he had quite the battle experience. Perhaps that’s why he was sent to us.
However, this tactic is a bad idea against Spirit Kick. Spirit Kick is a special stance Skill. Its effects can only be exhibited when it is received by the target.
After making sure that Spirit Kick was caught by the knight’s sword, I released a fire spell. Since there was some distance between us, there’s a good chance he’ll avoid Fire Arrow, so I used a type of magic that explodes at the point of impact.
With this, even if there was some distance between us, it would be almost impossible to avoid it once it landed. Now there’s a high chance of my comrades being caught in the blast, but as soon as the spell activated, Count Meigis—no, Sachylis flew into the air.
The king was real, while Count Meigis, was in fact, fake. I can’t go into the middle of enemy territory with a burden to carry, after all. Incidentally, the real Count Meigis is the one holding a shield inside the carriage, disguised as a bodyguard.
Sachylis’s class, the Spirit Archer, belongs to the bow-wielding group. She’s weak in close quarters combat. The Spirit Kick that she just used is one of the few close-combat Skills that a Spirit Archer can use.
Its effect is a retreat using the recoil of the kick. Although its power is close to nothing, it is a Skill that allows you to jump back several meters in one breath by using the power of the Spirits, which you would normally use for attacking.
This skill allows a Spirit Archer to maintain an advantageous distance to fight against a melee opponent.
“I was aware of it, but disguise magic really gets dispelled once you use a Skill, huh?” Sachylis muttered. As she landed, she kicked down a nearby chest of drawers to block the door to the room.
The enemy would have already heard the sounds of fighting. Blocking the entrance means we can delay the arrival of the reinforcements.
“I apologize for lying, Your Majesty. My name is Sachylis, a member of Count Meigis’ army.”
“It’s quite all right,” the king replied. “You handled it well even without consulting you beforehand. I’m impressed. As you can see, I mean you no harm. Thank you for your help.”
The king (the real one, most likely, but we’re not sure yet) put his sword on the ground and opened his hands. He knew that we still don’t trust him entirely.
While it seemed like he wasn’t an enemy, him asking us to take down the knights could just be an act to let our guard down. That said, it’s not easy to fight while we’re still doubtful of his motives.
Fortunately, there is a way to find out if he’s the real king or not. The real king deliberately tilted his signature on the letter to the right to convey the message that he was being forced to sign. If the king was real, he would know that of course.