Translator: Pink Tea Editor: Ryunakama
With Aifa’s preliminary investigation and Yuri’s great performance elves were found one after another. However, after all, we couldn’t find the last elf for whom we were very concerned.
No, I guess it would be better to say that the whereabouts of the elf was known, but it was a place we couldn’t touch that easily.
Somewhere in the castle. Even if we knew that much, we couldn’t deal with it that simply.
「If possible, I would like to perform the rescue when the Emperor is not in the castle…」
Unintentionally muttering something close to what a burglar would say, I sigh.
After all, were we to forcibly enter the castle, the Emperor might take the elf hostage. First, I would like to prevent the Emperor from giving orders.
However, I want to keep robots breaking into the castle as a last resort.
While I thought about that, the elves appeared on the screen.
「It’s Yuri-sama again. Which leaves…」
「The last one inside the castle, huh.」
Finishing Ayla’s line, I take a deep breath.
Most likely there is no time left anymore. There is a high probability that the report about the missing elves has reached the emperor.
In that case, is there only the brute force approach left?
At that time when I was about to give orders with those thoughts in mind, the figure of Aifa, saying something to Yuri and Ditzen, appeared on the screen.
【Blau Empire Capital】
「…And then, it leaves only the castle. I will go inside. There is little time before the Emperor will be informed about my return to the castle. In the meantime, I want to cooperate with you and escape from the capital as soon as we find them.」
Being told by Aifa, Yuri slightly tilted her head with a somewhat troubled expression, while Ditzen eyes opened wide.
「T-That is… There is hardly any doubt that it will be almost impossible to get out of the castle…」
「And for that reason, I want to make it as quick as possible. There are two places to check. It’s the dungeon and a tower on the south side of the castle, where consorts and noblewomen live, called Lady’s Mansion. These two places are among the few places in which I’m not allowed to step and simultaneously the most likely places as well.」
For some reason, Ditzen mumbled that, fidgeting, after hearing Aifa’s explanation.
A momentary silence came, but eventually, Yuri spoke up and the two turned to her.
「However, until now we didn’t leave any evidence pointing to who took the elves, were Aifa-sama to break into the castle and take elves away by yourself…」
「I don’t intend to cause any trouble to Taiki-dono or to the Imperial Country of Fleida.」
Aifa decidedly dismissed the fears Yuri had. Perhaps sensing something in the firmness of his tone, Yuri closed her mouth.
But in place of Yuri, who went silent, Ditzen opened his mouth.
「No, it’s all about what the Emperor will think, or what he might think or not think…」
「I will announce that I had planned everything and gathered cooperators.」
「E-Ehm…? I feel like that, on the contrary, will make it even more suspicious…」
At Aifa’s reply, Ditzen’s face twitched. Seeing that, Yuri’s troubled smile became even more obvious, but Aifa’s determination was firm.
「We don’t have time. Today, after bringing all of the family members from the heart of the capital, we will carry it out.」
「Wa-Wait a moment, that would mean that there won’t be any golems from Taiki-sama…」
Said Ditzen, looking behind his shoulder uneasily. There were three of Taiki’s robots, standing side by side.
「No problem. Though we will be entering the castle, it doesn’t mean that we will be fighting head-on. In addition, after entrusting my family to you, I shall remain to create confusion at the castle.」
Yuri and Ditzen exchanged glances upon hearing those words.
Then, raising her eyebrows, Yuri gave a positive reply.
「…So you are prepared to die. Then it can’t be helped. Let’s dispatch Ditzen for the last job. While the two men are rampaging, I shall responsibly lead elf-sama outside.」
As Yuri said that, Ditzen’s eyes went wide in surprise.
「Yu-Yuri-sama? Why are you so naturally deciding my fate…」
Ignoring the screaming Ditzen, Aifa deeply bowed his head to Yuri.
「…I’m in your debt.」
「Eh… ?! Decided?! It’s already decided?!」
Ditzen screamed, clearly showing his discontent for the exchange between the two. Then, with a bitter smile, Yuri looked at Ditzen.
「Aifa-sama is risking his life for the family, so I thought that Ditzen-sama will surely cooperate, putting his life on the line as well. The men’s friendship is a wonderful thing after all.」
「J-Just when did we became close enough to risk life…」
Ditzen hung his head, crestfallen, but the other two started discussing details, without giving it much care.
【Inside the Castle】
In the evening, when the outer of the double castle gates, that had the courtyard placed between them, was about to close, one of the gatekeepers yelled in panic.
「Do not close the gate!」
With that voice, the gate that was about to close stopped, leaving a gap just large enough for one person to pass through, and soon, a blonde figure appeared through that gap.
「A-Aifa-sama? Aifa-sama is back! Open the gate!」
The soldier who first discovered Aifa shouted, but Aifa slightly narrowed his eyes and shook his head.
「Don’t bother. There is no carriage. Rather than that, I have an urgent business. Let me pass at once.」
「Y-Yes! Please, go ahead.」
Said that, the soldier stepped back, making the way, and Aifa passed through the gate.
However, seeing two people in robes following after him, other soldiers called them to stop.
「…Please wait. Who are those people?」
Being asked so, Aifa scowled and glared at the soldiers.
「These are magicians, who want to serve our country. There is no time left before an audience with his Majesty, so I will give you a report tomorrow morning.」
As Aifa told them that and commanded to fall back with his gaze, hints of distrust rose up in the eyes of the soldiers.
「…Aifa-sama. My deepest apologies, but we will have you wait here for…」
「We don’t have an accurate report yet, but we already heard that two elves living in the capital have gone missing.」
As soldiers spoke almost in unison, Aifa said with a frown.
「……Since it came to this, it can’t be helped. We are forcing our way through.」
With that brief line, Aifa unleashed wide-area wind magic. Hit by a sudden attack from Aifa, most of the soldiers were blown away without any resistance.
「What do you mean it can’t be helped! You just suck at excuses!」
Still covered by a hood shouted Ditzen, almost shrieking, and shot additional wind spell, as if to provide support. As a result, the soldiers that tried to move golems were blown away as well and rolled on the ground.
The commotion spread in the blink of an eye, and now soldiers who didn’t know that the intruder was Aifa began to gather at the castle gate with weapons in their hands.
Yuri, who easily sensed that, put a hand on her cheek and leaked a laugh.
「Well… Don’t you find this pretty exciting?」
Shouted Ditzen at Yuri’s remark that sounded like all of this was someone else’s problem.