Ever since Nefas Albania had met Nino in the St. Altlis Kingdom’s Edius Adventurer School, he had been scheming to somehow obtain her.
However, while he unable to come up with even a single effective hand and was anguished over what he should do, Nino’s whereabouts became unknown.
And when he thought that he had no choice but to give up on her, Nefas coincidentally discovered Nino in the Jiol Forest Kingdom’s royal capital, Roumrelus.
「Wait, wait wait! Don’t you remember me!?」
「Nino knows that trick. It’s a pattern where you hit on someone by making them drop their guard by acting like an acquaintance.」
「That’s not it! Don’t lump me together with that sort of thing!」
「Getting enraged from getting defeated in an argument, you overpower your opponent. But that will not work on Nino.」
「Like I said, that’s wrong! I’m begging you, please wait!」
While breathing a sight, Nino turned around to face Nefas who was hot on her heels.
「What? Nino is busy.」
「You just ate a fried cake! No matter how you look at it, you have free time!」
「I see. Goodbye.」
Nefas hurriedly went around to the front of Nino who had once again started walking.
「I still haven’t finished my business with you!」
Clicking her tongue, Nino averted her gaze from Nefas.
There were two choices.
Either silence this guy, or leave this guy behind.
As Nino started to think about which one was better, Nefas misunderstood that as her waiting for him, and breathed a sigh of relief.
「……Phew, honestly. I had introduced myself at that time. I’m Nefas. You remember, don’t you?」
Making him faint and silencing him was the easiest thing to do, but the man in front of her seemed persistant.
It would be the same even if she left him behind here, and would probably appear before her over and over.
In that case, making him eternally silent would be for the best, but as expected, she felt that would be over doing it.
As Nino thought “well now, this is troubling……”, Nefas’s irritated-sounding voice resounded.
「Oi, are you listening to me!」
「Nino wasn’t. What do you need?」
「As I said! Your master……I am asking where Shion is!」
Hearing that, Nino expressed a question mark.
Shion──if he knew about Vermudol from when he was infiltrating mankind’s territory, he should have seen him at yesterday’s parade and noticed though.
「You, what about yesterday’s parade?」
「Ah? Come to think of it, there was some kind of ruckus, wasn’t there. Since I wasn’t interested, I didn’t see it.」
In other words, it seems he didn’t see the Demon King Vermudol’s figure.
That being said, there also wasn’t a need to expressly explain it to him.
「Nino is currently in the middle of a job, so Nino is alone. If you can grasp that, leave.」
Nefas said that, and he was about to turn around and leave surprisingly easily.
However, in the middle of that, he stopped and stared at Nino.
「……I had heard that you were swallowed up in a revolution and died.」
「Tell this to your master. This country is also in quite a questionable situation. That it would be best to leave this place quickly.」
Hearing that much, Nino thought that the man in front of her seemed to have a utility value.
It seemed that he possessed a fair amount of information.
Moreover, although she didn’t really get it, he looked like he found Nino to be favorable.
When Nino thought about how her mission was to gather information, there was surely a need to have a conversation with him and pull out some information.
「If you know something」
「Nino is kind, so Nino is willing to listen.」
Hearing those words, Nefas made his eyes go round, and made a strained laugh.
He thought that she would be the same as that time……when they had first met, where she simply dealt with him coldly.
Then again, he didn’t think that he would make any progress despite the difference……however, even so, he didn’t feel like letting this chance he had finally grasped escape.
「……Ahh. In that case, why don’t we have a meal somewhere.」
「It is enough with that.」
When Nefas looked at where Nino pointed to, there was a juice stand.
The menu was nothing but ringo-squeezed juice.
「That’s right. That is delicious.」
Although Nefas tilted his head wondering “is that so?”, he approached the ringo juice stand.
「……Give me two.」
「Aiyo. That’ll be eight small copper coins.」
「The smallest thing I have is a large silver coin though.」
「Aryaー. I’ve got it, I’ve got it. Just wait for a bit!」
When the dog Beastman shopkeeper said that, he placed slightly dirty small silver and copper coins into Nefas’s hand.
Seeing that, Nefas subtly distorted his face, but he reluctantly put them into his pocket.
Receiving the juice, he breathed a sigh and returned to Nino’s side.
「……Here’s the juice.」
「Nn, thank you.」
After Nino accepted the juice and took a sip, she prompted Nefas to continue his story.
「So, what do you mean by questionable?」
「Nn? Ahh……To start with, this is connected to the story as to why I am in this country.」
Nefas’s father, Rudias, was a duke of the St. Altlis Kingdom, and was an outstanding man of importance even in the country.
In order to have a conference with the Jiol Forest Kingdom’s cabinet minister, he had come to this royal capital a few days ago.
And then, being fed up with the St. Altlis Kingdom’s recent atmosphere, Nefas also accompanied him.
On that occasion, it was suddenly announced yesterday that the Jiol Forest Kingdom and the Zadark Kingdom had entered a treaty of friendship.
Hearing this announcement, Nefas was astonished.
Even Rudias, who was seldomly perturbed, was unable to conceal his unrest. It probably meant that a situation of that degree had progressed completely behind closed doors.
At the same time this should be something to be surprised about, it was also something to be feared.
Hearing Nefas explain up to this point all at once, Nino displayed a questioning expression.
「It’s simple. The reason my father has come to this country right now, is to search for the possibility of peace from now on.」
「The St. Altlis Kingdom and the Jiol Forest Kingdom are just one step away from war……but, that is due to the bunch who have the idiots of the temple as their center. Even though anyone could understand that something like a war between fellow members of mankind was foolish if they possessed a decent mind.」
Nefas snorted sounding unhappy.
Hearing that, Nino raised Nefas’s evaluation and level of importance up by one level in her mind.
It would seem that this man called Nefas entered the category of 「decent mankind」.
While thinking that, she half-heartedly nodded.
「Now from here, it’s about this entering of a treaty of friendship. From a military point of view, this means that the Jiol Forest Kingdom has obtained powerful collaborators called Mazoku, and has taken one step forward in front of the other countries.」
「But, at the same time, this also contains a certain danger. Do you know what that is?」
Hearing Nino’s immediate reply, Nefas cleared his throat, and continued his story.
「The fact that the Jiol Forest Kingdom has joined hands with the Mazoku──with the Zadark Kingdom have given those believers of the Demi-Human argument an ideal reason……that is what it is.」
That’s right, if this story about the treaty of friendship were circulated to them, the believers of the Demi-Human argument would probably say this.
Those Demi-Humans have revealed their true nature. Joining forces with the Mazoku, they intend to drive mankind into a crisis……that is what they would say.
And then, complaining about the necessity of the Hero Summoning, they would surely shout for a crusade.
In the St. Altlis Kingdom, where the Hero legend had strongly taken root, that was an extraordinarily easy story to accept.
「……If the warmongers were to gain even more strength, it really will turn into a war. But, they don’t understand the danger of that.」
Humans were nothing more than one categorization among mankind, and even looking at the four major nations, the St. Altlis Kingdom was the only nation with Humans as the center.
The royalty of the Canal Kingdom were Human, but the Canal Kingdom was originally a country of multiple races. At this time where the Demi-Human argument had fanned the flames of war, the possibility that they would ally with the St. Altlis Kingdom was low.
In that case, the St. Altlis Kingdom would end up going to war against the entire world.
「……Then it isn’t any different from now. They would only plunge into war knowing they would lose.」
「That might be true. But, you can’t necessarily say that they will lose. If the Hero were to appear that is.」
In the verses of the Hero Ryuuya’s tale that were extolled in the legends, there was a part that said he was able to blow away a large army of Goblins with a single attack.
This was an anecdote that exemplified the Hero Ryuuya’s abilities, but if this were the truth, then the Hero would surely possess abilities that could rival an army alone.
If the Hero were summoned, there would be no telling who would win or lose.
「……If, the Hero were around, and they could win. Would you support the war?」
Hearing Nino’s mutter, Nefas thought.
If there was a chance of winning, there would surely be Humans that would accept war.
However, Nefas was different. As a noble that should carry the future of the country, something like that was contrary to his aesthetics.
「I would obviously object to it. There is no meaning to a war between fellow members of mankind.」
「……Then it’s fine against the Mazoku?」
「I don’t know. It’s because I haven’t met with a Mazoku that I could converse with after all.」
That 「Mazoku that he could converse with」 was right before his eyes, but Nino wouldn’t explain every single thing.
After enjoying the ringo juice’s sweetness, Nino stood up.
There was value in trying to talk to him.
Thinking that, she returned the cup that the juice was in to the owner of the stand.
「That was pretty interesting. Nino thinks it would be fine if you live just like that.」
「Is that so.」
Nefas nodded, and gulped down the ringo juice all at once.
「Will you, be staying in this country for a while?」
Nino thought for a bit about how she should answer Nefas’s question.
Since she had heard what she needed to hear, having him follow her around any more than this would be a bother, but perhaps he might be useful for something.
「I see. I, am staying at an inn near the royal castle called 『Arodia』. I’ll welcome you at any time.」
「Where are you staying?」
「Won’t tell you.」
Saying that, Nino started walking. Since he didn’t chase after her this time, she continued on just like that.
The St. Altlis Kingdom’s situation──There are warmongers on one hand, and Humans that are trying to stop a war between fellow members of mankind on the other.
And then, there is the fact that there is conference being held with the Jiol Forest Kingdom for the sake of that.
Nino had obtained several pieces of information.
For the time being, this information should be reported with maximum priority.
If Nino were to use Transfer Magic, she could easily make a report to Vermudol immediately, but she unfortunately couldn’t use that.
If it was Fainell who similarly remained in the Jiol Forest Kingdom, then she could use it, but she should be in the middle of a job that she was entrusted with from Vermudol at this time.
In that case, she had no choice but to wait until a Mazoku came for the regularly timed report.
「……If only Nino could also use magic.」
Nino’s skill with the sword was top-tier, but her talent in magic was lacking.
Since she had confidence that she could cut up an average Magician with her sword, she didn’t feel that it was necessary……but at times like this, she would end up thinking “if only I could use some convenient magic”.
Then again, since the place that Nino should be at the at the side of Vermudol who was also a Magician, it might not be a problem even if she couldn’t use it.
「……Rather, there is also the possibility he did this under that premise.」
No, there is no mistake that that is how it was.
Supporting the parts that the other lacked, that kind of relationship.
Surely that was Vermudol’s desire, is what Nino thought.
「Un, as expected, it means that Nino is number one.」
Muttering that, Nino vanished into the crowd of people in a good mood.