The Cylus Empire was a sacred place for blacksmiths and called the country of fire and iron.
A majority of the country was a mountain district, and most of the mountains possessed the feature of having some sort of mine.
A great majority of the citizens were Metalio, but in addition to them, a variety of races such as Humans, Sylphids, and Beastmen who were aiming to be blacksmiths also lived there.
Agriculture wasn’t prosperous, so the part where they relied on imports from foreign countries was large.
As for their military aspect, the tenaciousness of the Cylus Empire Chivalric Order, which was configured with the Metalio who excelled in the endurance and strength facets compared to the other races at the center of it, was famous.
The Chivalric Order that rushed about the mountain district with bottomless stamina and covered themselves in high quality armaments.
It was because of that strength that the saying “only the reckless would do bandit work in the Cylus Empire” was born.
Blacksmithing, which could be said to be the country’s key industry, worked on a merit system, and anyone from anywhere would be welcomed as long as they had the ability.
If looked at from another perspective, there was also the risk of a fair amount of blacksmithing technology flowing out to foreign countries, but to the blacksmiths to the Cylus Empire who always continued to move several steps forward, something like technology that would end up flowing out wasn’t a problem at all.
It’s because if one stayed in the Cylus Empire, they would reluctantly be able to understand that the cutting edge technology of blacksmithing could only be found here. Therefore, the truly skillful blacksmiths wouldn’t want to leave the Cylus Empire.
In the Cylus Empire where craftsmen like that gathered, even though a war that could cover the entire Shutaia Continent was gathering momentum, it looked like they continued business as usual.
The town was overflowing with liveliness and the sounds of smithing, and there was even a great variety of people coming and going.
……However, with the signs of an imminent war, as expected, the people were vaguely displaying anxiety.
The refugees were increasing. The rumors that war was looming could be heard.
Naturally, even the palace of the Cylas Empire was looking to understand the situation and discussing how to deal with it.
「……I see. So that Borkio is still missing……huh.」
「Yeah, Emperor-dono. We still don’t know anything beyond the news that they had left the St. Altlis Kingdom’s port.」
The person called Emperor heard those words, and deeply leaned his body into his throne.
The Emperor of the Cylus Empire, Alfgard.
He was concerned about Borkio, the diplomat who vanished together with his country’s state-of-the-art ship.
Being on the safe sea route where they shouldn’t even encounter bandits, why would Borkio cut off all contact.
A theory of a conspiracy by the St. Altlis Kingdom, a theory of an attack by Mazoku, a theory of Borkio’s betrayal, various rumors flowed forward, and every time, Alfgard would think.
Did something happen to Borkio? Is he alive, or is he dead?
The influx of refugees conveyed the rise of the Demi-Human rejection argument in the St. Altlis Kingdom.
Right now, where the citizens have become sensitive to information, the time they could conceal the fact that Borkio had cut off contact wouldn’t be very long.
If that news were to spread, there would naturally be people that would connect the St. Altlis Kingdom’s situation to the matter of Borkio.
……If that were to happen, anything and everything would be too late.
There was no benefit to fellow members of mankind going to war.
And yet, why did no one understand that?
「……Why. Just what are the guys at the St. Altlis Kingdom thinking……」
The one looking down on the distressed emperor was a single crow.
But of course, that was not a simple crow.
Its name was Zwei. Having infiltrated the Shutaia Continent on Rokuna’s command, he was the same kind of Mazoku as Ein.
As a matter of fact, Zwei felt sympathetic for this Emperor Alfgard.
Being noble and kind, this man possessed a fair amount of qualities as a leader.
That was Zwei’s evaluation of Alfgard.
If there was anything that he was lacking, it would be strength.
Since he did not have strength, Alfgard was troubled like this even now.
Within the Cylus Empire, the people were wavering over how the country should move in regards to the signs of war that were floating about between the St. Altlis Kingdom and the Jiol Forest Kingdom.
People that asserted that they should stand between them and mediate them.
People that asserted that they should ally with the Jiol Forest Kingdom.
People that asserted that they shouldn’t get involved with them.
Since Alfgard was part of the mediation faction, he was moving so that the country would be like that as well but……as far as Zwei knew, it seemed that it wasn’t bearing any fruit at all.
On the contrary, recently, it’s been said that the Cylus Empire’s emissary had cut off contact within the St. Altlis Kingdom.
With regards to this fact, the advocates of war faction strongly claimed that this was the doing of the St. Altlis Kingdom.
The St. Altlis Kingdom’s diplomat that was stationed in the Cylus Empire promised that they would to a thorough investigation, but it seemed that there hasn’t been any clear information yet even now.
「……This is quite the suspicious story. I might need to coordinate with Ein and collect evidence.」
Going up to the roof of the palace, Zwei muttered that.
The fact that Ein and Zwei, who specialized in espionage activities, were expressly dispatched meant that Rokuna had determined that truths that couldn’t be found unless one dived in deeply were being hidden.
As a result of the information that he gathered from the palace over the past few days, Zwei couldn’t help but feel that there was someone operating behind the scenes.
He didn’t know who that person was, but most likely, something was moving with the St. Altlis Kingdom as the center.
「……Ein. It would seem that the place you’re at was the jackpot, you know?」
As Zwei muttered that, he gazed far into the direction that the St. Altlis Kingdom was at.