Volume 3 Chapter 13
While considering all the possibilities, I quietly cast Search.
I could sense a number of people surrounding this house. Their presence originated from the basement.
It was difficult to use Search to investigate the basement, but directing it in one direction made it possible somehow.
— There were many people downstairs. Maybe about twenty? Why were there so many at this time?
I looked at Ferris and nodded earnestly.
「Thank you, Ferris. You really helped me out.」
Ferris nodded with a slight smile, then vanished back into the spirit stone.
I left the living room acting like nothing had happened, and returned to the living room.
「What took you so long, Touya?」
「Oh, sorry. I was thinking about some stuff.」
「Now, shall we depart?」
The men stood up and urged us to hurry.
「No, wait just a moment.」
Once again, I asked them to wait. The men’s faces clouded over, and they seemed pressed for time.
I stood up, and stood next to the Emperor.
「Could we change the plan a little? Maybe just use a carriage from here instead of using the underground passage?」
Everyone else, including the Emperor, was dumbfounded in response to my crazy plan change.
「Wait. There’s no way we can change the plan now! We have a safe underground passage for a reason!」
The man looked at me with a hint of killing intent directed at me. The men kneeling were also showing me a glimpse of hostility.
「What are you saying, Touya? You want to change the plan after having come this far……?」
Even Alice seemed to have doubts about my idea.
「The request given to me is to allow the Imperial Family to escape and reach their destination safely.」
「Why then!? We’re short on time as it is!」
I looked at the enraged man.
「Then…… Why are there dead bodies in the back room? And why are there Generate Kingdom soldiers waiting in the underground passage, I wonder? This house — reeks of blood.」
The man took out a dagger from his pockets, and threw it at me suddenly.
I easily grabbed the dagger from midair with one hand, and threw it back. My stats were so high that the dagger flew quickly and struck the man in between his eyebrows, causing him to fall.
Alice was able to grasp the situation in an instant. She threw paralyzing needles at the men, rendering them unable to move.
The five men were instantly taken out of commission.
The man who led us here was taken aback, but seemed to understand what was going on. He quickly raised his hands to indicate his lack of hostility.
「I had nothing to do with this…… Whatever you may think, I’m only proud to serve the Empire.」
Since the man didn’t seem to be lying, I stopped Alice before she could do anything. She lowered her hands that were holding the needles. The man sighed and put his hands down.
「The fact that this base was discovered……means the others are dangerous too. How are we going to allow the Emperor to escape?」
Alice’s question made me cross my arms in thought.
We could break through the gates head on. We would just have to destroy the gates. Most likely, the plan to assault the gates was just a lie, and in fact it could be packed full of soldiers at the gates.
— The only way to escape safely would be……
「– We’ll break through them head on. I’ll destroy the gates.」
The members of the Imperial Family were a little shocked. Alice was too, of course.
「Even if you say that, how are you going to escape with the Emperor while fighting?」
It was a logical concern, but I had already prepared for it. I have a horse that’s tougher than a carriage, and faster and stronger than any horse.
「You don’t have a problem with me destroying the gates of the Imperial Capital, do you……?」
I looked at the Emperor, who nodded without a word.
「As long as we can escape, there is no problem. I shall listen to whatever you say, so long as you are the Guiding Hand who bears the Imperial Dagger.」
The last man in the room bowed to the Emperor and left the house to return to the base and prepare for the escape.
The rest of us opened the door and left the house. I checked our surroundings using Search. Although we were surrounded, they were some distance away from us.
「So…… Touya, how do you plan to escape?」
「By carriage, of course……」
I smiled in response to Alice’s question.
「I’m asking how you’re planning to get the horse and carriage. Wait, don’t tell me……」
「Yeah, it’s probably what you’ve imagined.」
I took out Kokuyou and a carriage from the Dimensional Storage.
The members of the Imperial Family took a step back from my Obsidian Battlehorse that had just appeared.
Anyone would be expected to react that way……
I slowly stroked Kokuyou’s neck and simply told him 「I’m counting on you」, and attached the carriage to him.
「……That’s right. They were in Touya’s Dimensional Storage. I was in such a panic I forgot……」
「I’m sure this carriage will be comfortable. Char and the others seemed to enjoy it. The coach box wasn’t too bad either, right?」
Alice nodded honestly.
The ride from Salandir was nice. Char and the others also said that it was a better ride than their own carriage. I also remembered being bombarded with questions from Alice during our trip from Lian, and I couldn’t help but smile wryly.
「We’ll escape the Imperial Capital in this carriage. Please get in.」
I opened the carriage door and called out to the Imperial Family. I told them that I would be the only one driving it, but Alice ended up sitting next to me.
「It seems we’re all ready. Let’s move out.」
I called out from the carriage window. The Crown Prince stuck his head out and nodded meekly.
And slowly, Kokuyou began moving towards the gates.
「I expect we’re all ready?」
There were about twenty Generate Kingdom soldiers equipped and ready to capture the Imperial Family at any time.
A few minutes after the Imperial Family had escaped, the soldiers patrolling the castle had begun visiting their friends keeping watch in the dungeons.
They had taken up formation in a few places in the castle in case the Imperial Family tried to escape.
They had found a few bases and seized the base near the gates, as well as a few other houses connected to the underground passage that led to the gates.
The original residents had been tortured and executed as traitors. The Generate Kingdom soldiers took their place and stayed there.
When they found out that the Imperial Family had escaped, the Generate Soldiers in the bases were told about it and repositioned.
Touya and the others hadn’t discovered them. It wasn’t because the soldiers were near the gates, but because they were posted along the evacuation passageway from the castle.
However, the base that led to the gates via the basement had been discovered, and six soldiers occupied it.
By the time Touya had gone there, the six of them had received word of the Imperial Family’s escape, and more soldiers had gathered. Five of them were standing by in the house, while one of them went to the underground passage where the armed soldiers were.
「Hmm, they’re not coming down here……」
The disguised soldier mumbled.
「Are they spending more time because they’re helping the Imperial Family escape? No, that shouldn’t be the case.」
「Right…… I’ll go take a look. I’m not armed, and I could just explain that I’m a point of contact in the underground passage.」
The man climbed up the ladder and emerged from the floorboard of the private bedroom.
He headed to the living room while searching carefully for the presence of the other soldiers, but what greeted his view were the other five men lying on the ground.
「Wh-what happened here……?」
One of them had a knife stuck in between his eyebrows. He was clearly dead.
The other four were groaning, and were still alive.
「Hey, what happened here!? What happened to the Imperial Family!?」
He tried to wake up the men and call out to them, but they had been paralyzed. All they could do was move their lips a little, and even that seemed to be their limit.
He immediately turned back and headed to the basement where the soldiers were standing by.
「Wh-what!? They’ve already escaped!?」
The platoon leader commanding twenty soldiers was enraged.
「One of us is already dead, and the others seem to be paralyzed. They aren’t dead, but I don’t think they’ll be of much help.」
「Mrgh. And……the Imperial Family would be headed……」
「To the gates. That’s the only escape for them. Although if there were another escape route, that would be a different matter……」
The platoon leader nodded.
「Let’s head to the gates right away. Head back through this underground passage. You, contact the other bases and tell the soldiers to gather at the gates.」
Having given the orders to the man, he led the soldiers to the gates.
「Anyway, how are we going to break through the gates?」
Alice was still wondering how we would make our escape.
「Boldly through the front, of course.」
She probably expected me to have a plan of some kind, but I answered with a smile, betraying her expectations.
「Hey! The Imperial Family’s still with us! No matter how strong you are……」
Alice looked like she would normally never believe in an impossible plan like this. But it was something only I could carry out.
— Because I carried the title of “Sage”……
It was late at night, but there were soldiers patrolling. They quickly spotted our carriage.
One of the soldiers whistled, echoing in the quiet night sky.
「Ah, they’ve found us. Let’s hurry to the gates. I’m counting on you, Kokuyou.」
Kokuyou responded by speeding up.
「Hey, Touya, what should we do?」
Alice looked at me uneasily. I told her to switch places and drive the carriage.
I stood up on the spot and used Search to check the surroundings. After hearing the whistle, I sensed soldiers pouring towards the gates, where I focused my eyes on.
「I’m gonna go a little wild. We don’t need the gates to retake the Imperial Capital anyway.」
「Yeah, I’m going to destroy them.」
I answered without mincing words. Alice looked surprised, and I knew why. The gates to the Imperial Capital were made of wood, but the edges were reinforced with metal. They were more than five meters high, and they were made to be rather thick to protect the Imperial Capital.
It would be hard to believe that I could destroy them easily.
The soldiers stood their ground as we made a beeline to the gates. There were already more than a hundred men.
「Yeah, I know.」
What was about to happen was a massacre, with the pretext of rescuing the Imperial Family.
I told myself that there was no other choice, and silently concentrated magical energy in my hands.
The faces of Char, Al, and Natalie came into my head.
「I’ll definitely get the three… no, all four of you out of here in one piece.」
I mumbled while staring straight at the gates.
The soldiers must have heard Kokuyou running, and began forming up towards us.
We were already about two hundred meters away from them.
My spell range is about a hundred meters. The Generate Kingdom did occupy the capital, but if I destroyed too much of the place, it would be a problem when the Lunette Empire retakes it.
If a huge fire were to break out, it would hurt the restoration efforts, so I didn’t use fire magic.
I converted the magical energy in my hands, and prepared to launch a wind spell.
— I finally got in range.
A normal Air Cutter spell would be a single blade, but my magic is different. I launched tens of Air Cutter blades at the Generate Kingdom soldiers.
It didn’t matter if they wore metal armor or not. Their angry shouts turned into pained screams all at once.
Then, I grit my teeth and unleashed another spell.
As the spell turned into a typhoon of a few meters in diameter, the soldiers who fell were sucked into it and blown away, along with the soldiers who were coming at us, as well as a few other houses.
Only a few soldiers remained. They were cowering in the face of a spell stronger than they had imagined, and didn’t dare take a step forward.
Their swords were pointed at us, but were shaking in the soldiers’ trembling hands.
All that remained were the giant gates.
I focused magical energy into my hands, and unleashed a spell at the gates.