Tuesday, 6 October 2015

KNW - Chapter 101

Konjiki no Wordmaster Chapter 101: Prelude to the Conference

Around that time, in the oval office, King Rudolf and his minister Dennis were facing one another. Because of the tension in the air, both of them had stiff, nervous expressions on their faces. The first one to open his mouth was Dennis.

“If things proceed smoothly, that would be just great, but…” (Dennis)

“Yes, and for that we have raised the Heroes for the past half year.” (Rudolf)

“As a Trump Card… is it?” (Dennis)

Rudolf shakes his head lightly.

“No, the fact that we have summoned Heroes is common knowledge on the 『Evila』 side. They’ll definitely be vigilant. That’s why we can use the existence known as the heroes to distract them.” (Rudolf)

“That’s true. It’s probable that the 『Evila』 won’t be able to take large action in that case. What do you plan to do about that man?” (Dennis)

“… you mean Judom?” (Rudolf)

“Of course.” (Dennis)

Rudolf gave a quiet grunt of complaint, before letting out a laugh.

“That man says I’m too soft, but he’s worse than I am. That will become very clear in the meeting one week from now.” (Rudolf)

“But that man is the former strongest adventurer of the 『Humas』. It’s not just his skills, I’ve also heard he has a sharp head on his shoulders. Are you certain he isn’t plotting anything?” (Dennis)

Dennis didn’t think too highly of Judom, but he couldn’t disregard the achievements and titles that man left behind, as well as his personal ability. As the king’s minister, he had to look past his own grudges.

“He still believes in me, but the 『Evila』 will definitely make a move. At that moment, he will realize that I was the one in the right.” (Rudolf)

“In two weeks, we’ll enter the next era of history.” (Dennis)

“Yes, and though it may seem that the Heroes are our Trump Card, our true power lies in…” (Rudolf)

He began to whisper when…

Click clack click clack…

Both men turned to the footsteps approaching them from behind. There, a certain individual was standing. Neither man was particularly surprised, as they knew the person standing before them. What’s more, that person was permitted to enter this area. Seeing him, Rudolf spoke.

“… Our true Trump Card right here.” (Rudolf)

He began chuckling to himself.

A few days later, a certain youngster craned his head to better see the scene transpiring in front of his eyes.

(Those are the Heroes, dood… Where are they going at a time like this… dood?)

He had large, circular glasses and long blue hair that hung downwards, as if to mask his own face. His looks gave off a somewhat friendly atmosphere, and he was the painter who Aoyama Taishi and the other heroes became acquainted with at【Victorias】’s birth festival, Nazaar Skride.

Early in the morning, he approached the Castle, sketchbook in hand, and began sketching the magnificent building. But art, in itself, was not his true objective. Without arousing suspicion, he was observing the castle.

Soon, the 『Humas』 and 『Evila』 would hold a meeting. It was highly likely that someone would use that as an opportunity to interfere with one side. Even if that wasn’t the case, someone may try to worm their influence into the meeting. Obtaining information of such schemes was the job handed down to him.

And right now, people who never left the castle early were nimbly making their way out of the castle gate, so as not to arouse any attention. Though he was surprised that it was the Heroes, Nazaar confirmed that they were plotting something.

(I did think that King Rudolf was planning something, but there’s still ten days to the meeting, dood. What are they doing…dood?)

When the Heroes exited, he quietly hid in the shadows and watched them closely. It appears that all four Heroes were headed outside of the city.

(There must be some hand at work here, dood.)

Thinking that, Nazaar started scribbling something in his book. He quickly drew a picture of a small bird. But the bird, which was supposed to be but a picture on paper, suddenly gained a third dimension, and began making its way towards the sky before descending onto Nazaar’s shoulder.

“Please report this matter to Kiri-chan as quickly as possible, dood.” (Nazaar)

“Chichichi!” (TL: Chirping SFX)

The bird continuously raised its voice to indicate its understanding, before setting off into the sky once more.

(The movements in the castle are bothering me, but here, I should prioritize the Heroes.)

Thinking that, he turned towards the direction Taishi’s group had set out in. He was determined to figure out just what they were planning.

“It’s an emergency, my liege!” (Kiria)

Seeing the expression of her close friend who had suddenly barged into her room, Demon King Eveam unintentionally scowled as she responded.

“What’s gotten you in such a panic, Kiria?” (Eveam)

She took a deep breath, and spoke after lowering her head.

“I apologize for my own lack of conduct in barging into your room without permission. But there is something that I feel must reach your majesty’s ears as soon as possible…” (Kiria)

“… What happened?” (Eveam)

She asks with a serious expression.

“Yes. The truth is…” (Kiria)

Kiria looked around the area, and whispered all the information in her possession into Eveam’s ear. And gradually, Eveam’s face grew more and more grim.

“… What!? No, I see… As I thought, the 『Humas』 are making a move…” (Eveam)

She angrily grinds her teeth, as her fists shake.

“But your majesty, there is plenty reason for their wariness, correct?” (Eveam)

“… Right. There’s what happened last time. It’s best we be vigilant as well. But they ended up moving their Heroes after all. Their aim is likely…” (Eveam)

“Yes.” (Kiria)

Kiria swallows her spit.

“The destruction of our border.” (Eveam)

“Meaning the destruction of the bridge… right?” (Kiria)

“Yeah, now that the 『Gabranth』 bridge has ceased to exist, that is the only line uniting us with the rest of the world.” (Eveam)

“If, during the meeting, we were propose something that displeases the 『Humas』, then perhaps they’ll threaten to drop the bridge into oblivion.” (Kiria)

“The 『Humas』 Trump Card. If the natural enemy of the 『Evila』 race, the Four Heroes, are stationed at the bridge site, then there’s no mistake.” (Eveam)

In actuality, Eveam had foreseen that the 『Humas』 would do something like that. If the conference with the 『Evila』 didn’t result in a beneficial agreement, then they would break the bridge, preventing any alliance in the future. Then, they would use the brunt of their forces to wipe out the 『Evila』 in attendance. That was how Eveam foresaw the Humas would act.

“But even if only a select few are taking part in the conference, we still have Eveam-sama at the lead, as well as the 《Cruel》’s 《Number One》 and 《Number Two》. I will also stay close. If the other side begins a war of annihilation, we’re not so weak as to get killed off so easily.” (Kiria)

Right, even if they had restrictions on the number of people they could bring, they were still bringing the strongest bodyguards the 『Evila』 race had to offer. It’s unthinkable that they would lose if a fight broke out.

“No matter how elite the force brought from 【Victorias】 is, if those Heroes aren’t there, then it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.” (Kiria)

Kiria’s words were on the mark. No matter how much pride 【Victorias】 placed in its army, they were a bit lacking when compared to the top 『Evila』.

“… But sending the Heroes to the bridge means they have a scheme in which they don’t need them, correct?” (Eveam)

“I wonder. No, as I remember, the location for the meeting was…” (Kiria)

“Yeah, the 《Great Temple of Oldine》. It’s quite a distance from【Victorias】. The meeting will be held in the 《Sacred Land of Oldine》, within the 《Holy Room》 of the Great Temple.” (Eveam)

“I believe that in the past, the 『Humas』 messiah, who saved them from calamity, was buried in the soil of that land. In praise of their Hero, they named it a 《Sacred Land》.” (Kiria)

“That’s right. There, perhaps due to that Hero’s continued influence, a magic sealing power covers the land. The power is especially concentrated in the 《Holy Room》 where the meeting will be held, and apparently, it is impossible to release any magic power there.” (Eveam)

“The reason they chose that spot was in order to cut off our power, just in case.” (Kiria)

“Most likely. They also said that they wouldn’t permit the bringing of any item that invited violence, like weapons. Everyone present must be completely unarmed.” (Eveam)

“If it’s there, then slaughtering all of us… would it be possible?” (Kiria)

A little uneasy, Kiria asked a question.

“It’s… possible. If one among us has hostile intent, and the 『Humas』 sense it, they may… kill us all.” (Eveam)

Silence continues for a while. The one who broke it was Kiria.

“… Are you sure it wouldn’t be for the best if you were to put the conference on hold?” (Kiria)

No matter how you look at it, the 『Evila』 side was at a complete disadvantage here. Even if their physical abilities were higher than those of the 『Humas』, when the ability to use magic is cut off, it’s possible to overwhelm them with numbers. As this side could only bring limited numbers, the area was like a stronghold for the human side. If they simply attacked with all of their forces at once, it was uncertain whether or not they would be able to protect Eveam.

But Kiria’s words, which were directed out of concern for her master, were rejected by a shake of Eveam’s head.

“It’s fine. I never thought it would go smoothly from the beginning. I mean, we’re all bound by chains from the past. It’s like a curse, and here we are, trying to break it. It’s evident that reaching a satisfying conclusion will be difficult, and I understand that.” (Eveam)

“My liege…” (Kiria)

“Even so, I decided. In order to achieve peace, we need to form this alliance.” (Eveam)

“…” (Kiria)

“And even the 『Humas』 shouldn’t be completely unreasonable. No one wishes for more blood to be shed. But we simply aren’t shallow enough to trust each other so easily. We’re all just scared. That’s why it’s natural that we all prepare various cards in our hands.” (Eveam)

Eveam believed that the 『Humas』 wished for a peaceful resolution. But in the end, they were simply unable to place all their trust in the 『Evila』. Until the alliance came into effect, no, even for a long, long time after that, it would be hard for both sides to come to trust each other.

That’s just how large the darkness of this world was. That’s why it’s natural that they had to consider the possibility the discussion would fail. And when it did, it’s natural that they would prepare something to give themselves the upper hand for battles to come.

“And that’s why, in order to garner the most trust possible, we’ll go forth without any resistance. We want to form an alliance. That’s all we must convey. If we do, then they’ll surely understand. It’ll work out fine. We’ll make it work out!” (Eveam)

Kiria gives a light smile upon seeing Eveam quietly release words filled with such resolve.

“As expected of my liege. Then I too, with my heart and soul, I’ll wager my everything to raise the flags of peace.” (Kiria)

She spoke as the lowered herself to one knee, and assumed the pose of a trusted vassal.

“Yeah, I’m counting on you, Kiria. The simple fact that you, the one I trust more than anyone, is by my side, is enough to give me hope. Let’s work together to grasp for peace!” (Eveam)

“Gladly.” (Kiria)

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