Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
「That’s all?」Gorja asked, his expression a mix of disappointment and relief, as Hikaru finished stating his terms.
「Yeah. Simple, right? I just need you to allow an observation team, me included, to enter Dream Maker. Once your beloved ruler recovers, it’s best if both continents build friendly relations and forget grudges from five hundred years ago.」
「We don’t mind an observation. Of course, you won’t have full access to the place, but you can go anywhere that doesn’t contain classified material or information. Also, five hundred years might be a long time ago for you, but our grudge still remains. We can’t let bygones be bygones.」
Hikaru wanted the two continents to start over with a clean slate and forget everything that happened in the past, but Gorja wasn’t going to fall for it.
「Okay, whatever. So the observation team is approved. When can we depart?」
「The sooner the better. Can you arrange for a Healer right away?」
「Just take my friend.」
Gorja frowned. He must’ve recalled how Silver Face retaliated when they kidnapped Paula.
「I told you. We could’ve done this peacefully if you just asked nicely from the start.」Hikaru said with a hint of sarcasm.
Gorja’s frown deepened. Deena whispered something to him, and he nodded.
「Very well. That’ll do.」he said.
「Hey, wait a minute. I’ll send a Healer too with Luke Landon as their escort.」Patricia cut in.「So when are you going to deliver the warship?」
「Just send your men along with us to Dew Roke and let them choose one.」
I was worried they’d hand over a ship with a damaged magic item, but if we can go with them and choose one right away, they shouldn’t be able to trick us, Patricia thought.
「What about the observation team?」Gorja asked.「We can’t really wait that long.」
「We can go at a later time.」Hikaru replied.「You have a method to cross the sea, right?」
「We’ll send a ship to Dew Roke to pick you up thirty days from now. I trust that’s fine with you.」
Hikaru was suggesting they didn’t kill the monsters, but instead found a way to repel them. Gorja, however, didn’t take the bait. Apparently they wanted to keep it secret.
Once trade started between the two continents, having the technology to cross the sea would be an enormous advantage and Gorja wanted their side to take the initiative. Whether this would establish a friendly relationship was doubtful at this point.
「Works for me.」Hikaru answered.
As Gorja left with Luke Landon to go choose a Healer, Patricia asked Hikaru to stay.
「So, what are you after? You may be Kaglai’s right-hand man, but depending on your answer, you might pay for this.」
Patricia’s gaze was cold, her voice a dagger. Her anger was understandable. After all, Hikaru was observing an important discussion between two nations without permission.
An ordinary citizen would’ve been shaking in her presence right now, but Hikaru had survived many predicaments before. I don’t want to be regarded as Kaglai’s right-hand man, Hikaru thought.
「You met with Gorja as the Supreme Leader of Vireocean, right?」
「Of course. What of it?」
「You also represent Quinbland, Forestia, and Ponsonia.」
「Yes… Tsk, I see what you’re getting at.」
Patricia quickly realized that she was also the representative of the other three leaders who already left. This was so she could ask for their help in case a war broke out. That also meant she wouldn’t have much freedom in the agreement between her and Gorja. However, as her navy already lost once, she had no other choice.
In short, Hikaru was implying he was a representative of Quinbland and therefore had a right to be here in this meeting. Although, not giving prior notice was extremely senseless.
「You owe me one.」she said.
「Sounds like a costly debt. Scary.」
Though in reality, Hikaru’s agreement with Kaglai already expired. He kept quiet about it as he didn’t want Patricia turning one debt to two.
「So what are you up to? Why an observation team?」
「I figured it would be convenient for you guys. I simply helped you out.」
「First of all, Grand Dream has advanced scientific technology that this continent doesn’t have.」
Patricia frowned at the unfamiliar word.
「It’s technology based not on magic, but the laws of physics. You’re probably thinking Vireocean’s navy lost because of some magic item, but I don’t think that thing was one.」
「It was a cannon that used gunpowder. I don’t have to explain, I guess. You can find out for yourselves if you examine their ship.」
Hikaru didn’t plan to explain the details. When he boarded their ship, he didn’t sense any mana from their heavy weaponry. As such, he guessed those were cannons, weapons that used gunpowder to fire shells.
「Let’s say Luke goes to Grand Dream with the Healer.」Hikaru continued. 「There’s no guarantee they’ll get in touch with us after that. After all, we don’t have the means to repel those huge sea monsters.」
「The question is, how much information can Luke gather in just a few days? Assuming he can’t slack off with his guard duties, he can only get very limited intel. Of course, that limited intel is still valuable.」
「So that’s where the observation team comes in.」
「We don’t know if they’ll guarantee the safety of the observation team. We don’t even know if Luke and his men will make it back—」
「That’s why I’ll go.」Hikaru pointed at his chest with his forefinger and middle finger.「They can’t catch me. Once I’m in the city, I basically win. I can slip past them easily.」
「You’re bringing your friend Healer with you too, though, right?」
「They have the same abilities as me.」
Patricia looked shocked. Although, Paula’s Stealth was not on the same level as Hikaru’s.
「How did you even get that tech — no, the magic item—」
「No prying please. In short, my going there will ensure Luke and the Healer’s return, and the safety of the observation team. I don’t think they want to get on my bad side.」
「Then why did Gorja allow you to come that easily?」
Deena whispered something to Gorja. She probably said it was better to have Paula as well. Since their goal was to bring back a Healer, having one more would be better.
Hikaru explained it to Patricia, and she groaned.
「We have more important matters to deal with right now, Supreme Leader.」Hikaru said.「Like the observation team. Since there’s a chance to get info about new technology, every nation would want in. They have to be in Dew Roke in thirty days.」
「You’re right, but…」
「You better not be thinking about monopolizing it.」
「Let’s say Vireocean hogged the observation team to itself. If some accident were to occur, the other nations won’t help you, saying you deserved it.」
「I-I know that!」
She then summoned a subordinate and ordered to contact the other nations quick.
「Now we’re even.」Hikaru said.
「You’re a cunning one, you know that? Ever considered being a merchant?」
That’s the first time someone’s said that to me, Hikaru thought.
The reason Patricia didn’t even ask why Silver Face was so desperate to go to Grand Dream was probably simply because she had too much in her mind; organizing the observation team, handing over of the warship and the study on it, and the return of Dew Roke.
Of course, Hikaru would’ve just made something up on the spot. He couldn’t tell her the truth.
Optical camouflage and cannons. There’s gotta be someone from Earth there.
He wasn’t expecting anything by meeting the person, but after getting this far, not seeing them was not an option.
Selyse of the Four Stars of the East returned to Ponsonia with Kudyastoria. Once Selica learned about the camouflage from Selyse, she would definitely reach the same conclusion—that someone from Earth was transported to the Ruined Continent.
He was well aware of the danger, but danger was a part of life in this world. In that case, he might as well take the opportunity to cross the continent. He wanted to go to the place where he might find a fellow brethren.
Hikaru returned to the hotel to find Drake awake, lying on the table with his stomach inflated. By his side was an empty plate.
『Hey there, Hikaru. Let’s go to this Ruined Continent too.』
Drake seemed to have grasped something.
Later that evening, Hikaru, Lavia, Paula, and Drake boarded Luke Landon’s ship.