After it is decided that they will hold the fortress, Wilhart requests the other students, including his sister Charlotte, to leave the command room. Though even if he had not done so, there are a mountain of tasks to perform; they cannot afford to continue to talk at leisure in the command room.
It is supposed to be a command room for the general of an army, but when one is in this solid, well-defended room alone, it feels like a prison.
However, right now, Wilhart does not have the time for such sentimental thoughts.
In his mind, he is making predictions about the current situation as well as what is yet to come.
First, the monster army led by the Greed-Gore is about to attack the nearby Iskia Village.
「We don’t have any hard evidence for that, but we can only assume that will be the case...」
It is unknown how long Iskia village will be able to hold out, but even in the worst case scenario of being completely wiped out in a single day, the news of the large invading monster army would be spread to nearby areas. Of course, it would not take long for this information to reach even as far as Spada.
「I’m sure Father would come rushing over here.」
It took them five days to reach Iskia Village from Spada, but the elite Knights’ Order of Spada would be able to cut that time in half.
And then the problem would be what happens after the Knights’ Order reach Iskia Village.
「But once they see that huge army, our chances of survival would be viewed as hopeless.」
There is no way the fact that students of the Royal Spada Academy including Spada’s Second Prince and Third Princess, Avalon’s First Prince and the famous young nobles of the Four Great Houses came to the Iskia Fortress for the open-field exercise would be forgotten.
Since they have this many students, it is hard to imagine that they would be abandoned so easily. Not to mention the fact that Leonhart would march onward to Iskia Fortress to rescue his own son and daughter at all costs.
However, there would be an unprecedented army of monsters standing in the way.
To begin with, Iskia Village would become the frontline of hell. Would they split off a rescue force heading for the Iskia Fortress?
If Leonhart is there, as the king, he may prioritize the safety of the people even above his own beloved family.
Even if his father made such a decision, Wilhart would bear no grudge against him, as he still has the pride of being a part of the royal family.
「Either way, we need to relay accurate information to them –」
He reaches an obvious conclusion. But coming to such a realization, he cannot help but letting out a heavy sigh.
「A messenger... No, that person might as well be on a suicide mission.」
There are various ways to relay the information, but the method that is the most realistic and has the highest chance of succeeding is to simply send a person to deliver the message.
But the reason they are defending the castle in the first place is none other than the fact that they are surrounded by enemies in all directions.
Wing Road might be able to easily get through the enemies, but they cannot leave the fortress as they are absolutely vital to its defense.
Therefore, he would have to give someone else the task of passing through the countless monsters lying in wait.
It does not even need to be said that this is extraordinarily dangerous. It really is a suicide mission.
「– Sorry, Seria. I have to give you another dangerous task.」
「No, please do not concern yourself with that, Will-sama, because I am your guard maid.」
As Wilhart whispers to himself, Seria replies. He does not know when she entered the command room.
Without any movement of her maid uniform’s long skirt or her light green hair, quite naturally, she stands next to her master as if waiting for him.
And as if it is a natural thing, Wilhart shows no surprise.
「If I had to say, I have to question an order to leave your side, considering that I am supposed to be your guard.」
「Do not say that; there is nobody more suited for this task than you, Seria, even among the teachers. In any case, you are the dark one who maneuvers around the underworld of Spada –」
「I was merely an assassin for the Spada’s secret intelligence; please refrain from adding unnecessary settings to my background.」
Wilhart is wearing a disappointed expression, while Seria has a cold look in her eyes.
This is a daily event for this master-and-servant pair, but this time, it feels a little forced.
「You do not seem too worried.」
「Are you dissatisfied?」
「No, I am expressing my delight at your growth.」
Seria’s words could be sarcastic, but from the expression on her face that is unlike her usual cold indifference, he knows that she sincerely means those words.
「Avoid enemies to the best of your ability. The only one with the ability to escape from them is you, Seria, with the divine protection of『Shadow Walker - Hanzoma.』」
『Shadow Walker - Hanzoma』was not famous enough to be known to the average person, but it is among the best divine protection for those of the assassin-class.
Wilhart has heard from Seria herself that this divine protection granted her abilities suited for covert actions, such as being able to conceal her own presence, silent movement and increased speed.
Seria often has harsh comments to say towards her master, but she is the reserved type that does not talk about herself often.
Wilhart remembers her divine blessing of Hanzoma well, as it was the only thing she proudly told him about herself.
「– I learned it directly from my senpai. She was a Slime who loved freedom, so she has quit secret intelligence and become an adventurer, but –」
She once told him this.
「We don’t have the time to hesitate. We didn’t that time we were chased by the Wrath-Pun, and we don’t now. No, even if I am a general only in name, the fact that the lives of others have been entrusted to me, this responsibility is even heavier.」
He knows this logically, but whether he can execute the order now depends on his nature as a person.
Wilhart acquired the determination to give orders without hesitation in the Galahad mountain range.
Although the circumstances that brought about this change were produced by sheer misfortune.
「May I voice one insecurity that I have?」
「What is it?」
「If I go to deliver the message, there will be nobody who would put their lives on the line to protect Will-sama’s body.」
This is not the royal palace of Spada. Therefore, there is nobody who would display their honorable spirit for him just because he is the prince. There are definitely some who would do so for Princess Charlotte, but as for the famously unpopular Prince Wilhart...
「I do not care; in fact, is that not what I want? Now I can say that I am fighting with my life on the line, just like everyone else is doing, can I not?」
「I did not want you to put on a brave appearance in this situation.」
Wilhart deceives her with a light laugh. However, surprisingly, those words might be what he truly feels.
And there is no doubt that Seria knows this. She knows her master at least this well.
「The situation is indeed dire, but I am not in despair. The ones here are the elite students who bear Spada’s future on their shoulders, including Wing Road. We will definitely be able to endure the monsters’ attacks.」
「If I end up losing strength partway through my mission, the arrival of reinforcements will be delayed considerably.」
「Hmph, I believe that this will not happen. I believe this because I have faith in you, Seria.」
「... Thank you very much. I will risk my own life and I will definitely fulfil my role.」
As if to hide her faintly red cheeks, Seria lowers her head in a deep bow.
With this, Wilhart gives a satisfied nod.
「Seria, I have already prepared the rescue request documents for the Knights’ Order and adventurers’ guild. Take them with you.」
Struggling to return to her normal, cool expression, Seria gracefully accepts the documents that Wilhart has quickly finished writing.
Wilhart’s royal crest of Spada and Nero’s royal crest of Avalon are included on both of these documents.
This is not simply for the purpose of identification; they serve as official evidence that it is a royal order.
If these are presented within their countries, the Knights’ Order and adventurers’ guild would make these orders their highest priority.
「And I have one more personal request; I would like you to hear it.」
There is one more document.
It is a written request that is normally handled by the adventurers’ guild.
This one does not have the royal crest of Avalon; only the royal crest of Spada is stamped on it. It is a quest contract, making a request to a certain adventurer.
As if Seria knows who it is addressed to, she answers without letting him finish.
「Yes, I will deliver this to Kurono-sama.」
「Why are you acting so important, baka-aniki!」
With both her red twin tails and her cape fluttering behind her, Charlotte walks angrily through the corridors of the Iskia Fortress, not making any effort to hide her dissatisfaction.
She is upset because she firmly believes that the best plan that would definitely get them out of the situation would be to exterminate the Greed-Gore; however, that plan was quickly rejected.
「Acting like that, does he really want to stop us from doing our roles that badly...」
Even if it is just in name, it was a mistake to appoint Wilhart as the general.
If Nero had become the general as everyone had wanted, Wilhart would be nothing more than an ordinary soldier with no say in the plan. Then they would already be on their way to defeat the Greed-Gore, leaving the fortress’s defense to the students.
If they did that, the situation would be resolved before sunrise, the students and Iskia Village would both be safe and everyone would live happily ever after – At least, Charlotte truly believes this.
This is why she can only think that defending the fortress and prolonging the battle would be completely meaningless, and that this is a poor plan that would only increase the number of casualties.
And her rage is only increased further by the fact that the one who had pressed for this plan was her baka-aniki who normally does nothing but spout delusions from his mouth.
「I’m not going to blindly follow the orders from a guy like that, you know.」
Letting out an unpleasant mutter, Charlotte reaches the door that she was heading for. In her bad mood, she violently throws it open.
「Safi, are you here?」
「... What is it?」
Before Charlotte even heard her listless response, the sight of her party member and best friend, Safiel Maya Hydra, appeared before her glittering golden eyes.
They are currently in one of the towers at the corners of the fortress. Until Charlotte entered the room, Safiel was in here alone.
She is sitting elegantly in a chair, holding her spell book that is as thick as an encyclopedia,『Immortal Bind』in one hand.
It looks like she is reading without a care, but she is currently on duty watching the fortress. In other words, she is using her servants.
Her newest servant, the undead Wrath-Pun with a metal arm, is likely now guarding the front gate and getting along well with Kai.
In other important places, she may have placed crows for observation and skeleton soldiers to patrol. But Charlotte, not being an expert, has no way of telling where or how many servants she has set up.
「I have something I want you to do.」
「Finding the Greed-Gore?」
Safiel has a cynical, slightly ill-natured smile on her face.
「Have you heard already?」
Charlotte glares at her, as if she wants to tell her that her that listening to others is a bad habit.
「I know even without hearing it. Your plan of exterminating it was rejected by your delusional prince onii-chan, right?」
「Yes, you’re right! That’s exactly what happened!」
Charlotte raises her voice as her anger returns. Safiel simply watches her with her shining purple Demon Eyes from behind her glasses.
「Well, I don’t mind if we’re defending the castle or anything.」
「Eh, even you’re saying that, Safi?!」
「However, if Sharl asks me in a cute way, then I might change my mind.」
Saying this, Safiel’s ill-natured smile increases three-fold. Charlotte forgets her anger and steps back a little.
「A-ask in a cute way, what do you mean by that?」
「For example, how about something like this?」
Safiel passes Charlotte the open spell book in her hand – no, another book that was open and hidden on top of the spell book.
“You really were just reading a book?” Charlotte thinks, but the words will not come out of her mouth.
「W-w-what is this...」
With clearly blushing cheeks, she glares at Safiel again.
On the page that Charlotte is looking at, there is an illustration of a half-naked young girl with long, black hair in maid’s clothes, who is in agony as she is entangled by tentacles that are being sent forth by a tall, evil-looking man with sharp eyes standing next to her.
「"What”, you say, it’s a porn boo –」
「That’s not what I meant!」
It seems that this book is an obscene novel, the kind that is restricted for underage readers.
「I thought this might be a good reference for you to ask me in a cute way.」
「Haah, haah... Are you an idiot?」
As Charlotte says this, her eyes are diligently reading the sentences of the book.
She does not notice that Safiel is observing her closely with an expression that has turned from an ill-natured smile into a lewd one.
「See, if you ask me like that, I might get the motivation to look for the Greed-Gore.」
She is in a dilemma because she cannot simply say, “I’d rather not ask you than do something so embarrassing.”
Charlotte is an extraordinarily talented Mage, but she specializes in offensive magic and therefore does not have special abilities outside of direct combat to do something like searching for an enemy.
Without the help of the genius Necromancer and the countless servants under her command, Charlotte would not be able to find the Greed-Gore.
Charlotte needs to find the Greed-Gore’s location as the first part of her plan to defeat it, so she is unable to refuse.
「I-I’ll do it.」
With a face as red as if all the blood in her body has rushed into her head, she makes up her mind.
Safiel responds with a cool expression, hiding her smile.
To trick the princess who is her best friend into doing something like this. This is the cunning of the Hydra family.
Charlotte is facing the ground and her shoulders are shaking.
「Goshujin-sama, please hear Sharl’s shameless request –」
And so, Charlotte vigorously shouts a line that is filled with words that would never be allowed to be printed in normal books in Spada.
The embarrassment that Charlotte is enduring is so great that it looks like steam will come out of her head. Safiel speaks to her with a gentle smile on her face.
「I didn’t think that you’d actually do it.」
A flash of lightning appears alongside her scream.
Safiel’s『Black-haired Maid’s Tentacle Training Diary』(Circle Morjura Volume – Retail Price 820 Klans) is pierced by a chant-less Line Sagita and turns into a pile of ash.
After a while, her anger and embarrassment has subsided and her reasoning has returned, so Safiel returns the conversation to its original subject with no signs of regret for what she did.
「I want materials from that black Greed-Gore myself, so have no intention of letting the Knights’ Order and adventurers have it.」
「If that’s the case you should have told me that from the start!」
「I’m sure Kai would rather fight a Rank 5 monster than be stuck here in the fortress, too.」
Ignoring Charlotte’s complaint, Safiel continues talking.
「The problem is Nero. He has some ideas about the merits of defending the fortress, but above all, going out to defeat the Greed-Gore would be troublesome.」
「Ugh, you’re right...」
Seeing Nero’s behavior in the command room earlier, one can guess that he would not be interested in going to exterminate it.
Charlotte is thinking that perhaps Nero was insincere in his agreement with Wilhart and might actually want to do it.
The reason he will not do it is because he wants to follow Wilhart’s plan.
「Maybe if you ask him in a cute way, Nero will change his mind as well –」
「Don’t say such stupid things!」
「But Nero will be fine, it’ll work out.」
As Safiel says this confidently, Charlotte gives her a doubtful look.
「Yes. After all, you’re cute even when you’re not making a request, Charlotte.」
In response to these words of questionable meaning, Charlotte could only return a bewildered expression.