On this day, the news that the Jiol Forest Kingdom and the Zadark Kingdom had entered a treaty of friendship had been reported with astonishing speed due to the 「Transfer Magic」 done through the Mazoku.
The Zadark Kingdom dispatched its diplomats as well as Magic Operated Armors that would act as the war potential that was previously promised.
However, they weren’t there as substitutes for the royal palace’s imperial guard chivalric order.
Then just where would the war potential dispatched from the Zadark Kingdom be stationed?
The places that they would be stationed would make it easy to understand that both countries had a definite cooperative relationship, yet also demonstrate it in a powerful way.
On that day were the entering of a treaty of friendship was announced, mankind’s soldiers vanished from the Jiol Forest Kingdom’s national borders.
A Human merchant affiliated with the Canal Kingdom, Prois, was one of the people that personally experienced that at the national border.
The place that Prois was currently at was a checking station located on the Jiol Forest Kingdom’s side of the national border between the Jiol Forest Kingdom and the Canal Kingdom.
The Jiol Forest Kingdom was a nation built within the Great Jiol Forest──which was also called the Forest of Bewilderment.
To enter the Jiol Forest Kingdom, which was said to be a natural fortress, passing through the path managed by the nation was the safest method, and except for the people that thought about somehow carrying prohibited goods in, passing through the checking station was common sense.
Prois, a respectable merchant, had noticed that the usual Beastman soldiers weren’t at the checking station.
Although he had the thought that the man who he had completely become familiar with had finally gotten a promotion and returned to the capital city or something……when he saw the knight that was standing in his place, he felt a sense of discomfort.
The ones standing in front of the gate were two knights that wore black full body armor and full-faced helmets.
Two similarly black colored knights were also standing on top of the checking station’s lookout platform.
Seeing them who gave off a spirit that said that they wouldn’t allow even a single suspicious person through, sweat started to shed on Prois’s back.
They were one step away from being on high alert……that kind of atmosphere could be felt.
By some chance, maybe some type of bandit had taken refuge somewhere near here.
While thinking about that sort of thing, Prois approached the checking station with the best smile he could make.
「Hello there, thanks for your hard work.」
「Halt right there.」
Seeing Prois approach, the knights made the swords on their waists sound with a *kachari*.
「Wha, wh-wh-what is it!? I haven’t……」
「This place is a national border that continues onto the Jiol Forest Kingdom. Suspicious people, criminals, and any others that would bring about negative influences to the Jiol Forest Kingdom, or those that would bring about fear of those cannot be allowed passage. The possibility of passage will be determined through our discretion, but any formal objections in regards to this will not be accepted. Also, even in the case where you are not permitted in today’s application, there are cases where you will be permitted under the same conditions in future applications. This is a condition done within the range of the aforementioned discretion, and there is a part where it will be influenced due to all sorts of conditions, and depending on the individual doing the determining, the guarantee of granting permission or lack of will be……」
「P, please wait! I understand all of that!」
Prois hurriedly waved his hands at the knight that started explaining stipulations to the application of passing through the national borders.
「It will be enough if you just tell me the point that have been changed over the past two months!」
When the knight answered like that, he once again started his clear explanation.
「As of today, through an agreement with the Jiol Forest Kingdom, the Zadark Kingdom will be executing border security on the Jiol Forest Kingdom’s behalf. There are no changes to the inspection criterion, and inspections based on the Jiol Forest Kingdom’s laws will also be enforced from now on. That is all. State your objective, and in the event you wish to enter the country, make an application with your affiliation and name, and the number of people. In the case that you possess any credentials from any organizations, it is recommended you present those.」
Hearing that, Prois made an absent minded face.
Entrusting border security to another country──he had never heard of such a thing.
Even small countries that don’t have enough people in their own armies would do something like entrust such an important duty to another country.
Not to mention that the place that Prois was trying to go to right now was one of the four major nations, the Jiol Forest Kingdom.
For such a major nation to entrust their border security to another nation, he found that to be completely unimaginable.
Plus, he had never even heard of a country like the Zadark Kingdom.
The knight that was standing here wore excellent articles that could be said to be on the level of being national treasure class.
The fact that all of the knights had the same appearance probably meant that that was the official style of the place called the Zadark Kingdom.
Just what kind of country was it?
Suddenly facing such an unbelievable situation, Prois couldn’t help but be bewildered.
「Ah, ahー. Before I make an application, may I ask you something?」
「Permitted. However, any allegations related to the application will not be tolerated. For cases of special case applications due to unavoidable circumstances, a separate inspection will be performed.」
「Ah, no no! It isn’t anything like an allegation!」
「Then state your business. In the case I am unable to answer, I will state something to that effect, but I will not state the reason I am unable to answer.」
「Ah, yeah. Of course.」
Although he thought “what a bothersome guy……”, Prois maintained his smile.
From Prois’s experience, the ones called knights were generally strict.
They loved established routines and order, and even the knights affiliated with the Jiol Forest Kingdom which had a large number of disciplines boasted top-class strictness.
However, Prois thought that the knights of this Zadark Kingdom were deserving of that description as well.
「With all due respect, what do you mean by an agreement with the Jiol Forest Kingdom……? I, have travelled a considerable amount of the world, but I don’t know of a country called the Zadark Kingdom.」
「Answer. By agreement, it is the agreement that a treaty of friendship has been formed between the Jiol Forest Kingdom and the Zadark Kingdom. As a link for military cooperation, this has been carried out due to the Zadark Kingdom side complying with the Jiol Forest Kingdom side’s request.」
「Warning. The average time for a normal national border inspection is being largely surpassed. From hereafter, refrain from questions that do not have a direct connection to the investigation.」
When the knight finished answering Prois’s question, another knight stated that at almost the same time.
A warning……that is what he said, but in other words, it was frank advice telling him to 「hurry it up」.
When Prois hurriedly called his coachman, the coachman and the escort Adventurers came running.
「W, well then. My objective is to do business transactions within the Jiol Forest Kingdom. My affiliation is the Canal Kingdom Commerce Guild, the Lekkman Company. This coachman is someone I employ, and the group over there is an escort affiliated with the Adventurer’s Guild……also, erm. Here are the identification papers.」
「Affirmative. However, in cases of business transactions, present the list of carry-on goods as well. It is recommended that this be done with the Jiol Forest Kingdom’s specified prescribed form, but it is not necessarily required to be in that form.」
「Ah, of course. Here is the list.」
The knights received the identification papers and the record list, and then started confirming them with experienced hands.
Seeing the movements that seemed like they could take over a business in no time at all, Prois went “hou” and revealed some admiration.
Before long, the movements of the knight that was checking the list came to a complete stop.
「The list has been checked. It contains many weapons and armor, but it is recommended that you pay prudent attention at your selling location. Depending on the situation, at the time that other events occur, an investigation at the time of your departure from the country will be carried out. Refusal of this is not permitted, but I ask if you wish to enter the country or not despite this.」
「Yes, of course I wish to do so.」
Prois’s answer was obvious.
If he didn’t enter here, then he wouldn’t be able to tell why he had come here after having hired the escorts.
「Understood. Well then, the final inspection for entry to the country will be performed.」
Prois had never heard of something like a final inspection.
「Um……What do you mean, by final inspection?」
「Answer our questions without any lies.」
Prois thought “well, if it’s just that then”, and nodded.
After the knight confirmed that, he began to ask questions to Prois with a quiet tone.
「In regards to those within the Jiol Forest Kingdom, all races are equal. Without exception. Do you agree or disagree.」
Going “I see”, Prois understood.
This was without a doubt an influence from the recent Demi-Human argument thing.
Preventing advocates of discrimination from entering the country would be said to be natural in a certain meaning.
「Of course. I naturally agree. Yes, that goes for everyone here!」
After Prois expressed a whole faced smile and answered, he looked behind himself and glared at the coachman and Adventurers.
「O, of course!」
「Yeah, we don’t do anything like discriminate!」
「It is just as you have heard.」
Seeing Prois answer like that and smile, the two black knights nodded at each other.
「Understood. Well then, we will confirm that those words are authentic.」
In front of Prois, one of the knights raised the visor of his helmet.
There was no face which should have originally been there, and it was hollow.
Hearing the sound of wind blowing through the inside of the armor……Prois’s group noticed that the inside of the armor was empty.
And then, Prois understood.
That the knight in front of him, was a Mazoku.
A country that Mazoku were affiliated with, something like that didn’t exist in the Shutaia Continent from what Prois knew.
In other words, the Zadark Kingdom was…
「A Mazoku……the Jiol Forest Kingdom, has joined hands with the Mazoku……?」
One of the escort Adventurers spoke that out loud.
The coachman became unable to continue standing and fell down, and Prois also became pale.
This was Prois’s first time seeing a 「genuine」 Mazoku that was different from Goblins and Beastia.
His legs trembled with the feeling of wanting to run away, but he couldn’t go back now. If he were to do that, all that would be left were losses.
Fortunately, it didn’t look like they would kill them.
Prois thought “in that case” to encourage himself.
「I! D-d-d-d, don’t have a p-p……pwoblem!」
Although he became teary eyed, Prois once again glared at the ones behind him.
「Th, there is no problem! No problem at all!」
Confirming that the coachman answered while wailing, Prois next turned his gaze to the Adventurers.
If these guys were to draw their weapons or something, then that would be the end of it all.
As he thought that he would demand an outrageous sum of compensation if that were to happen, the Adventurers also displayed wills of consent while hesitating.
Seeing that, the knight put down his helmet’s visor.
「Understood. Your entry to the country is approved.」
「May you have good business.」
The knights announced that and stepped away from being in front of the gate.
Prois kicked the coachman that was still on the verge of tears, and got on board the coachman bench.
「Warning. Refrain from acts of violence. Bear in mind that you may become the targets of restraint depending on the situation.」
「O, of course, yes!」
After Prois hurriedly shouted in response to the knight’s words, he returned to the inside of the carriage.
At any rate, he wanted to get away from this place as soon as possible.
Once they urgently passed through the check station, Prois breathed a deep sigh of relief.
「……Wait a sec. Could it be, it isn’t going to be the same way within the country, right?」
While holding that kind of unease, Prois hurriedly shook off his imagination.
However, after that, he looked at his own goods and suddenly thought.
「……That was some good equipment. I wonder if we could sell something like that in our company……」
The escort Adventurers looked at Prois mutter to himself with worn out faces.
With that group aboard, the carriage clopped its way through the forest.