Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
Bitter Enemies on the Same Boat
「I was wondering what was gonna happen when you just exploded in rage.」Paula said.
「I-I apologize.」Galixon replied, dejected.
He quickly retreated as soon as he saw the Yamamaneki, his body covered in blood from his victims.
Paula, however, was not looking at Galixon. She was helping up Luke Landon, the man who tackled the blast cannon earlier to change the shell’s trajectory.
「Thank you…」the knight said.
「I should be the one saying that. Thank you for saving me.」
「The enemy may have attacked me by surprise… I may be unable to move… But I’m still a knight. I just did what I had to do.」
The rebels had already pulled back, allowing the bodyguards to untie the hostages. Finally, Paula stood up and looked at Galixon.
「I appreciate you getting angry that I was attacked, but you can’t just charge in like that.」Paula said.
「I’ll heal enemies who are still breathing, so please lend me a hand.」
The language barrier was still there, and even though Galixon could only understand less than half of what Paula was saying, he knew she meant she would heal the rebels.
『A-Are you serious?! They tried to attack you!』
「I don’t understand what you’re saying.」
「I think he’s asking why you’re helping the enemy.」Luke said.
「Incredible! You can understand what he’s saying?!」
「Based on the flow of the conversation, it’s the only thing he would say right now.」he said, seemingly exasperated.
Paula gave a strained laugh.「I know it’s strange, helping people who tried to kill me. But it’s something I have to do.」
「Gather as much force as possible to buy time for the citizens to escape. Is that it?」
「You’d do that even though we have nothing to do with this country?」
「Yes, I would.」
It’s what Hikaru-sama wants, she thought, though she didn’t say it out loud.
「I want to save as many lives as possible.」she addressed those around her.「Let us all overcome this adversity.」
No one understood what she really said, but the nuance and resolve went through to them. They all nodded.
「Fine. We’ll help as well.」Luke said.「Father, you should go somewhere safe. I’ll assign two men to guard you.」
「I cannot do that.」the Vireocean priest said.「If you’re fighting, you will need someone to heal your wounds. Though my abilities may not be as powerful as the masked Healer.」
「Are you sure about this? It’ll be extremely dangerous.」
「I came here fully prepared of the risks.」
「Th-Thank you!」Paula said, bowing deeply.
「You’re also affiliated with the Church, yes? Someone of your skill should be well-known, but I haven’t heard of you. No, I will refrain from prying. Now is the time to face the adversity before us. Isn’t that right?」
Paula nodded. While they were talking, the bodyguards brought the wounded, both palace guards and rebels.
「Let us split the work between us.」the priest said.
「Yes, let’s do that.」
「Father, half of our team will remain here, while the other half will go to scout the walls.」Luke said.
「We’ll do that as well.」Galixon added.
The men roared in unison. Paula turned her gaze towards the palace.
On the meadow below the castle walls, Zahadu the Sage, dressed in his overalls, looked up at the Yamamaneki. The chickens roaming the field were cackling loudly.
『What is going on here?』
The tolling of the bells was drowned out by the earth’s rumbles and the crashing sounds. As far as he could see, there were five Yamanaeki. Although he couldn’t see them, Zahadu could hear cries almost similar to animals, suggesting that there were a lot of monsters at the Yamamaneki’s feet.
The Yamamaneki slammed its fist against the wall, clearly trying to destroy it. The tolling of the bell meant an “evacuation”. They would most likely have to abandon the city. In that case, he had to take the chicken as they were precious food. But Zahadu could not move a muscle.
『Is this the end of this nation?』
The tremors and explosions seemed to herald the end. Dream Maker’s long history, passed down from generation to generation, would come to an end today. Tears streamed down Zahadu’s face as he thought about it.
The bag containing the catalyst lay before Ludend. His men, having noticed where he was, gathered around him.
『What should we do?』
The Sanitation Department chief asked almost the same question as before, but the situation now was completely different.
The low-pitched ringing of bells echoed everywhere. Many citizens were out on the streets, and the firefighting team had started guiding them.
『A nation is nothing without its citizens.』Ludend said.
『You are absolutely right, Sir.』
『But we are traitors. What can we do in this chaos—』
Ludend heard footsteps approaching.
『You can do anything, Ludend.』
The Sorcery Department chief wasn’t used to seeing the man fully armed, but he was no doubt the king of Dream Maker, Doriachi. He brought Duinkler and his retainers with him.
Having lost the will to fight, the rebels did not even think about crossing blades. The crowd parted, and Ludend and Doriachi stood five meters apart, facing each other.
『What are you thinking?』Ludend asked.『You were safe inside the palace. Did you come out here to get killed?』
『I don’t think you’re that thoughtless.』
『I raised an army against you.』
『You did so because you cared for our nation. Isn’t that right?』
Ludend was silent.
『It is common to have differing opinions. The divide should’ve been bridged through discussion. The only mistake you made was sacrificing the lives of others for your cause.』
It was as though he was saying that there was nothing wrong in him turning against the king. The rebel soldiers turned their faces away in shame. Whatever Ludend’s intentions were, many joined for their own selfish desires. To them, the king’s words hit a sore spot.
Duinkler, who was standing behind Doriachi, raised his voice.『Ludend. Your beloved country is facing an unprecedented crisis. We will buy time for the citizens to escape.』
『Where will they go?』
『We will ferry them across the river to the south.』
『That’s ridiculous. It’s nothing but barren wasteland over there, with no source of food. Besides, the big ships are out on an expedition.』
『You really think so?』
『We have an emergency at our hands. We’ll have to break the regulations set by the Sorcery Department.』
With a sharp sound, something flew past overhead. Dawn was breaking, but the sky was still dark. Whatever it was did not hit the Yamamaneki. Instead it hit the forest behind them, lighting up the sky.
『A blast cannon?! And that’s no ordinary one.』
The Sorcery Department had put a rule in place: never to shoot a cannonball that would cross over the city. A blast cannon shell, which exploded when it landed, could blow up in the air with a small mistake, endangering the city.
However, the larger guns had tremendous range, and could land all the way to the other side of Dream Maker.
『They’re finally here, Your Majesty.』Duinkler said.
Doriachi smiled as he nodded.『Yes. Grucel has returned.』
『It can’t be…』Ludend sank down the ground, realizing that their plans had been predicted perfectly.『Why, Your Majesty…? You knew about the rebellion, but why didn’t you stop it?』
『That is a difficult question to answer. This crisis we are facing was unavoidable. It was Silver Face’s suggestion to let the monsters come while the other side’s preparations were still incomplete.』
『You knew about the monster invasion?! D-Don’t tell me you used the uprising to draw them here?! That means there’s someone among us who can lure monsters in!』
『Ludend, there’s a lot we need to discuss, but the evacuation of the citizens comes first. It looks like casualties will be kept to a minimum thanks to the Healers. Right now, we must band together to overcome this crisis.』
Doriachi behaved with such grace and authority that it was hard to believe he was at death’s door a few days ago.
『This is a critical moment for our nation.』