Chapter 291: Dragon Faith
Several Days Later
In order to consult the Queen about the forces that would assist against the wave, I head to the castle.
I also want to see if the Old Man had completed the carriage I ordered, so I bring Firo with me.
Raphtalia and Firo, and also Fohl, were dragged into my portal. I teleported him away right in front of Atlas’s eyes. (TL: Not that it matters)
We immediately arrive inside of the castle, and Fohl instantly begins displaying hostility towards me.
“What? This is also a form of punishment, you know. We need to get her to repent, somewhat.” (Naofumi)
“Think about my position too!” (Fohl)
Ah, Fohl begins crying.
He’s putting up with quite a bit right now.
I guess being the target of hatred for his beloved sister is too much to bear.
“I’m sorry, Fohl-kun. We’re asking for the impossible, aren’t we?” (Raphtalia)
“There’s no reason for Aneki to worry. The one at fault is that guy!” (Fohl)
“Naofumi-sama is… Well, he’s just like that. This is also to help Atlas-chan develop independence.” (Raphtalia)
“I know. I know, but…!” (Fohl)
“Master! Carriage!” (Firo)
She can already fly by herself, so isn’t it fine?
Ah, does she still prefer travelling by land?
And, like, couldn’t I have just confiscated her carriage as her punishment? I guess it all worked out, though.
It’s true that her leg strength is worthy of praise, and if we don’t make use of them, Firo’s reason for existence will be placed in jeopardy.
“Ah, yes, yes. We’ll check in after our business in the castle. Until then, go rest in the castle courtyard or something.” (Naofumi)
“Got it.” (Firo)
“Then will you spar with me, Aneki?” (Fohl)
“I guess I will. With the wave so close, it’s not like I can relax.” (Raphtalia)
“Is that how it is? Aneki fought that huge mountain over there, right? Tell me how it went. I want to use it as reference.” (Fohl)
“That’s fine. Firo’s here too, so let’s make a training regimen based on that.” (Raphtalia)
Raphtalia’s party leaves for the castle yard, and I go to request an audience with the Queen.
When I finally got around to the audience hall, I se her hard at work.
Hearing the troubles of the people is work too, I guess.
The cabinet minister is conversing with her.
Hmm? Did the minister always look like this?
When I was summoned here, the minister who looked down on me wasn’t this one.
“If it isn’t Iwatani-sama. How goes your progress?” (Queen)
“I believe I already sent word of that.” (Naofumi)
“I heard that your Shield went out of control and caused a bit of an incident. About that…In a few minutes, an official from Silt Welt will arrive. I would be grateful if you would stay in on our conversation.” (Queen)
“… Got it.” (Naofumi)
Regarding that matter, there is nothing I can refute.
I mean, the fault lies with me.
The door creaks open, and the two messengers I saw before step in.
The Shusaku youth’s face is bright.
Perhaps he’s in a good mood. He smiles as he glances at me.
“Ah, Hero of the Shield-sama. I had the opportunity to partake in watching over your practice war.”
The Genmu messenger begins speaking in a light and refined manner.
Ah, right. My outburst was labelled as such to the public.
“Ah, I see… How did you find it?” (Naofumi)
“After seeing the plans and factors you put into practice to prepare for the wave, our side now feels satisfied.” (Genmu)
I wonder what he truly believes… but the Shusaku messenger seems to be looking upon it favorably, so perhaps it will work out fine.
“I plan to combat Houou, who’s set to revive in the west. What will you do?” (Naofumi)
“We plan to include our armies in the world’s allied forces to combat the wave. Many of our soldiers are full of enthusiasm at the thought of seeing the Hero of the Shield-sama’s performance in battle.” (Genmu)
“I see… I hope they don’t enter the fray with such light hearts.” (Naofumi)
Why didn’t such a force come last time? It’s probably best not to bring that up now.
Since they had three and a half months, they finished preparations.
I can do nothing but put my expectations on the reliability of the Demi-Human country’s forces.
“I’ve definitely seen some of your resolve. Many of my fears have been alleviated.” (Ganmu)
Upon my inquiry, the Genmu messenger glares at the Shusaku.
The Shusaku holds his mouth open, as if trying to remember something important.
“No, there are no problems.” (Genmu)
“… Really? If you’ve got a beef with me, it would be beneficial for me if you were to clear it up now.” (Naofumi)
“That’s true…” (Genmu)
Honestly, this is the time when we should be putting the upcoming battle over all else.
But if problems crop up immediately afterwards, that will be troublesome.
The Genmu grandpa starts stroking his beard and makes eye contact with the Queen before opening his mouth once more.
“One of the races that lead our country, the Aotatsu race is a little… Our country’s higher-ups have begun to notice them secretly taking action against the worship of the summoned Heroes.” (Genmu)
(TL: If you take separate readings for the kanji of Sei Ryuu, it can be read Ao Tatsu)
“So will they come and cause a disturbance in my place?” (Naofumi)
“No, no, no. Nothing of the sort. It’s just that they have begun showing strong support towards Faubley.” (Genmu)
The land governed by a pig.
My image of the country is colored dark with personal prejudice.
However, why would people start raising objections to the Hero faith in the country of Heroes?
“Many of the Aotatsu tribe have migrated to Shield Freiden, and… recently, their leader has been working within Faubley. Our side is slightly anxious.” (Genmu)
“He works out of Faubley. That country employs a large amount of Dragons, so their relations are favorable.” (Genmu)
Ah, Aotatsu can be read Blue Dragon. (TL: Naofumi is remarking on the Kanji)
So they’re a dragon race.
When I think of dragons, the wimpy one at my place is the only one that comes to mind.
But Rat told me about it before: The Dragonewt Demi-Human race.
“If you were to categorize the Aotatsu, they would be Dragon people. They have a deep belief in dragons. How foolish…” (Genmu)
Heh… I don’t really get it, but there seems to be various factions over there too.
Even within the religions that I know of, there are moderate and radical factions.
Even though their scriptures are the same, people acting on them differently is common fare. I bet the Shield Faith has many sects too.
“So is there any problem with their current actions?” (Naofumi)
“There are fluctuations in the country’s faith. Some say that if the Hero of the Shield refuses to come to our country, then our country is not one worth protecting… Some strong voices are protesting.” (Genmu)
“I see…” (Naofumi)
I think I’ll have to go at some point, but I don’t have the time, and I don’t want to be thrown into the middle of a conspiracy.
However, after we hold back this wave, I’ll need to collect as many allies as I can.
I don’t want to read a history book saying we lost due to infighting.
But, it’s unnatural that people of a Dragon Faith are garnishing support in the country of heroes.
I have a bad feeling about this. It sounds like the time with Witch and the Three Hero Church.
With time being of the essence, I need to prioritize Houou, but still I must pay a visit afterwards.
More importantly, I want to meet the one leading those dragons.
I’m not sure if they have any cores, but I want to see if I can get any information like I can from Gaelion.
I’m not expecting anything great though.
If they had important, world-saving information, they would have sent it to the Heroes by now.
“But upon seeing the Hero of the Shield-sama training for the Wave up close, we have become satisfied with your resolve and have accepted the fact that you do not have time to stop by.” (Genmu)
… Recently, I’ve been the target of quite a bit of good will. I’m really not used to it.
I mean, I almost committed a substantial amount of evil deeds without even being aware of it. It’s scarier than performing evil while keeping my awareness.
“Perhaps they will come to trouble you, but if they do any harm to the Hero of the Shield-sama, my country will not keep quiet. It concerns the nation’s pride.” (Genmu)
“That really helps. Regardless of your reasons, right now, fighting the Wave is priority. I’d like it if we could clean up these troublesome matters later.” (Naofumi)
“Yes. In order to perform a grand sweep of Melromark’s filth, the heroes stayed in this country. I thought their operations were extending to all countries but ours, but upon seeing the mock war, I was relieved.”
The Shusaku youth says as such, as if it were a matter personally concerning him.
Melromark’s filth… is it?
I really wish he would stop treating this as an enemy country.
But as long as he’s willing to pull back out of good will, I have no problems.
“During the previous turmoil, we took one of these specimens under our protection.” (Shusaku)
The Shusaku takes out a cage containing a Raph and presents it to me.
“A divine beast created to defend against the wave… ‘Tis the legendary second coming. Won’t you turn one over for me to take to our country as evidence?”
No… I don’t really want to let them off of my territory, but… I mean, it’s embarrassing.
I turn my eyes to the Queen, but she tilts her head to the side and rejects me.
I guess refusing here would be bad for negotiations.
Even so, it’s finally come to the Second Advent.
“Legendary Second Coming?” (Naofumi)
“Yes. The divine birds were said to be the creations of heroes long past. Or at least, the legends tell it as such.”
“The truth is surrounded in mystery, but that does not change the fact that a new species of monster has come into being here. We would like to be able to take it as evidence.” (Genmu)
“Is creating a new monster that difficult?” (Naofumi)
Looking at Rat’s research, it seems relatively doable.
But unlike the Raph race, it’s more like she mixes the properties of different races.
The Raphs were made from Raphtalia’s DNA, so they’re closer to clones.
Though, they can already be classified as a separate existence entirely.
“A monster with this degree of completion is nothing to laugh at. I’ll have some authorized personnel look into it, but this is a situation befitting of the name, The Second Coming of the Divine Birds.” (Genmu)
“Is… That so…” (Naofumi)
Don’t dig too deep into it… but if this lets peace continue, then I’ll agree to it.
It’s that: sending over a rare animal to increase diplomatic relations.
This monster’s maintenance costs… won’t be a problem.
The Raphs have better fuel efficiency than expected. They’re light eaters and omnivorous.
They’re of gentle disposition and would probably make for nice pets.
“Then I’ll leave that one to you.” (Naofumi)
As if to say ‘Roger!’ the Raph specimen faces me and salutes.
It seems to have a good head on its shoulders.
Yep, I’m slightly reluctant to send it off.
“Now that I think about it, I believe I saw a Hakuko in the palace courtyard.”
Uu… the conversation took a dangerous turn.
“In accordance with the peril plaguing the world, the Queen has begun a Demi-Human discrimination abolition movement… I have definitely confirmed this fact. This will become good fuel for our own country’s Human discrimination abolition.” (Genmu)
“Thank you.” (Queen)
Eh? They’re satisfied with ending it there?
It’s not that I’m not thankful for it.
“By the way, Hero-sama?” (Genmu)
“Do you have any plans to tie the knot with anyone from my country?” (Genmu)
… My shoulders drop.
After that, I was shown a series of marriage interview requests the messengers brought.
There are plenty of beautiful girls, but I replied I had no interest. I politely returned them.
Is the Hero of the Shield really that sought after?
“Iwatani-sama, then how does my daughter Melty sound?” (Queen)
… From this side too.
Quit it already.
Next, we went into the actual discussions. The negotiations with the country Houou was sealed in were already completed. We’ll arrive five days before the scheduled time, have the country and Shadows look for the location, and have the other Heroes confirm it. For those five days, we would pound the ability to coordinate attacks into the newly allied armies.