I Became the Strongest With The Failure Frame【Abnormal State Skill】As I Devastated Everything - 232
- I Became the Strongest With The Failure Frame【Abnormal State Skill】As I Devastated Everything
- 232 - The Secret Manoeuvres and Daybreak
After finishing my meal in the castle, I went to visit Gio’s home.
His home was located in the eastern part of the city.
Glancing around the area, I could see many black-furred Leopardkin lollygagging.
I guess this was the area where the Shadowblades gathered.
Seras isn’t accompanying me to this place.
Gio had told me that he wanted to talk to me alone.
Walking through this area, I arrived in front of a conspicuously large house, which is probably built for him because he was the Chief of the tribe and one of the Four Warlights.
Receiving me in front of the house is Yerma, and she led me to the back of the house.
When I entered the back room, I found Gio deeply-seated in a large chair.
A candelabra on the wall dimly illuminated the room.
Guided by Yerma, I sat down on the chair.
Declining the drink Gio offered, I asked him to get straight to the point.
[————–And that’s why, I was thinking.]
Gio had just finished telling his confidential story.
[You told me about this…… Does that mean you want me to be a part of it?]
[If this works, it won’t matter which way the majority vote goes tomorrow.]
[Anybody else who wants to go with this plan?]
[If the result of the majority vote is not what I want, I’m going to ask Qir and Armia to take a look at the situation.]
In other words, he’s going to decide whether to approach them or not “based on who they voted for”.
[What about Kokoroniko-dono?]
[She’s going to side with Liese. The Dorans owe a great debt of gratitude to those Arachnes. It’s obvious which side she’ll lean to.]
I had suspected this would be the case from the way Kokoroniko had talked back in the training grounds.
[What do you think will be tomorrow’s majority decision, Gio-dono? Let’s say, what would Qir-dono vote for?]
[……I’d like to think she would be on the fighting side. I heard that her tribe was once hunted by humans when they were still in the outside world. It’s apparently because their kind were some kind of mutations of the centaurs, or something like that. Their blue skin and the crest on their foreheads were apparently rare and unique to the Meirus.]
[Thus, it is highly likely that they perceive humans to be dangerous .]
[That’s also what I think.]
However, in the end, Meiru’s incident was only “a story of the past”.
It’s not enough to persuade Liese who stubbornly believes in the “present”.
As expected, the bottleneck is the strong influence of Lieselotte Ornick in this country.
The majority of the people in this country probably have a strong trust in Liese.
Qir was also aware of this, so she doesn’t————– or perhaps, she couldn’t exert herself that greatly.
[What about Armia-dono?]
[I can’t read that person’s mind. However…… I heard news about how recently, there have been successive spawns among the Lynxes.]
It seems that Lamias lay eggs to produce their offspring huh.
Gio gulps down the alcohol in his large wooden cup.
As the smell of liquor wafted in the air with his exhale, he continued.
[That may be the factor to which Armia’s decision will be. She may look like she isn’t thinking anything at all, but she has her own beliefs and ideas. Just because she doesn’t like talking about slightly difficult matters doesn’t mean that she doesn’t understand it. She’s smart, and she’s good at hiding it.]
“This is the reason why she is one of the Four Warlights”, said Gio, gulping down his alcohol again.
[She’s certainly someone I can talk to. Incidentally, what about those two…… King Zect and Gratora-dono, I mean.]
[His Majesty and Gratora will not participate in the majority vote.]
This is———— the first time I’ve heard of this.
[I found out about it just before you came here. His Majesty would apparently follow the results of the majority rule. As for Gratora, she will follow His Majesty’s decision…… Well, Gratora had declared that from the beginning. That’s why, the majority vote would be decided by the remaining five of the Seven Lights’ votes.]
[In that case……]
Gio had picked fighting against the incoming army.
Currently, Qir would most likely pick fighting against the incoming army.
Liese is set on having peaceful negotiations.
From what I heard, Kokoroniko would probably side with Liese.
[The result of this majority vote will be based on Armia-dono’s choice huh.]
[Liese’s probably going to Armia’s place right now to try to convince her again……]
[Do you think she will be persuaded?]
[I don’t know. It feels like Liese also can’t read what Armia is thinking. That’s why, Liese also felt some anxiety. As I said before, Armia had this unusual stubbornness in hiding her beliefs. That’s why Liese is not very fond of Armia. She doesn’t show it in her attitude though.]
I guess it’s not surprising why Armia was left out of the meeting and became my guide……
Was being my guide something Liese decided?
[She’s the reason why I don’t know what the majority vote will be tomorrow. Ahh, that’s right…… I haven’t told you this yet either———— The Arachnes were thinking of leaving this country in the situation where it was decided that we’ll be fighting.]
[Aren’t they the only ones who can handle the ancient magic tools that are a major factor in sustaining this country?]
[The point is, it’s a threat.]
His intelligent red eyes reflected my appearance.
[After listening to the opinions of these “uninvited guests” who showed up for the second meeting, Liese began to feel uneasy about the majority vote tomorrow. For instance, it felt like Qir changed her mind after she heard your story. That’s also the same case for His Majesty. At the first meeting, he was emotionally inclined towards Liese, but your opinion seems to have swayed him quite a bit. That’s why he chose not to participate and decided to leave it to the remaining members of the Seven Lights…… After the first meeting, I was the only one who took a clear position that we should fight after all.]
So my opinion had that much influence huh.
Gio is quite the observant guy huh.
He isn’t just a strong fighter.
[In Liese-dono’s perspective, an unexpected fly came in and the direction of the wind became doubtful.]
[And Liese also had some idea of what each person votes for. And she understood. That the key for this majority vote was Armia.]
A low, animalistic growl rumbled within Gio’s throat.
And following it was an amused———— or perhaps, a sarcastic laugh.
[Who would have thought that Armia would become the key in deciding the country’s future?]
[If the Arachnes were to leave, for this country———-]
[It would be a big blow. It’s not just about their knowledge of ancient magic tools and internal affairs. If there is an opportunity to negotiate with someone on the outside who our country might be able to talk to, Liese will be the first choice for such negotiations.]
[Because their abilities are highly valued huh.]
[Even if she’s like that, she’s actually quite excellent.]
[However…… When it comes to negotiations, isn’t that something you can do too?]
[I tend to lose my temper…… When I snap, my eyes only see red and I start lashing out on everything. In this respect, even though Liese had a violent behaviour, she never touches anyone. And you may not have seen it back in the meeting earlier, but she can behave in a decent manner. Above all…… If there is one person among the Seven Lights who has the ability to twist a person’s logic, it would be Liese. If we just want to have a verbal fight with someone without violence…… I would probably feel more comfortable with Liese on my side in such a situation. That is, assuming we’re on the same page.]
Holding his cup in both hands, it felt like Gio’s eyes were looking far towards the distance.
[However, I wonder why…… Even though this should be the time for us to work together, for us to become broken apart like this…… Even though we don’t always get along, at times like this, the Seven Lights should be working together…… How should I say this…… I feel bad for the citizens who are depending on us.]
Gio Shadowblade is sincerely and seriously thinking about this situation.
He’s also thinking about them.
The citizens of this country.
Even though his tone may be blunt.
He is also a man of character.
[Anyway, I understand perfectly now.]
[The key to tomorrow’s majority vote is Armia-dono, isn’t it?]
[……As long as we decide to fight, I don’t have any problem with whatever happens. No thanks to Armia though, I can’t really tell which direction the meeting will go.]
There is still a unique sense of distance between the Four Warlights.
They basically aren’t antagonistic with each other, but they aren’t that close with each other either.
This is the reason why there is no sense of unity among them in situations like this.
This is like how each individual is moderately independent, even though they live in the same country.
I guess this is a characteristic of a country where various races live together.
[Then, in the situation where it would be decided that the peaceful negotiation plan proposed by Liese-dono goes through……]
[We’re going to go through with the plan we talked about earlier. In order to protect this country.]
Gio said, his eyes still staring at the distance.
However, if that plan happens, perhaps————-
The things that can be changed can’t be changed anymore.
I had just found out what Gio was thinking.
Thinking about it, I revised a side plan.
Putting all the information I gathered————– I put it together.
The solution leading to the best possible result.
The formula aims for the greatest answer.
……It’s an approach that I couldn’t absolutely guarantee is right.
I can even say that it is quite the cruel approach.
There are also…… too many uncertainties within it.
Then, is this approach unrealistic?
No, that’s wrong, isn’t it?
“You’ll never know unless you try.”
There’s worth in going through this plan.
Yes, if I want the best result, I don’t have any choice but to go through this plan.
At least, this is all what the current me could think of right now.
Leaving Gio’s home, I began walking along the stone-paved road.
I returned to the room prepared for Seras and I in the castle.
[Welcome back, Milord.]
Seras was sitting on the bed.
[You can call me “Touka” now, you know?]
Just in case, I’ve been hiding my real name since I came to the Faraway Country.
[Is it alright?]
[It’s just the two of us. I can’t feel the presence of anyone listening outside the door.]
I don’t know if I’ve gained their trust or not.
However, there weren’t any soldiers on standby in front of our room now.
Incidentally, I can still sense Nyaki’s presence nearby, but she’s in another room.
Pigimaru and Slei are also in the same room as Nyaki.
A room where everyone could stay together but……
“That’s not right nya! Nyaki thinks that Master-san and Seras-san should have some time alone together once in a while nya! That’s why Nyaki would like to have a different room nya!”
Nyaki stubbornly refused to share a room with us.
So, I sent Pigimaru and Slei with her for the time being.
As Nyaki’s bodyguards, that is.
It must be lonely for Nyaki to be alone in the room anyway, so having Pigimaru and Slei with her would be better.
I took off my mask.
[How’d it go with your side? Did you get to talk to Gratora?]
[Yes, I think I have a pretty good grasp of the various corps led by the Four Warlights.]
Tomorrow’s majority vote.
Gratora had announced that she will not participate in it.
Seras also doesn’t have the right to vote either.
I don’t think her visit would be seen as an act of persuasion for tomorrow.
That’s why, Gratora shouldn’t be that vigilant either.
[Did you find her easy to talk to?]
[She had a really serious temperament, but she has a kind heart. It seems that the reason she was snapping at us was because she thought we posed a threat to their king.]
According to Gratora herself, she’s a little bad at expressing her emotions.
I had asked Seras to talk with Gratora over tea.
In the Faraway Country, other than the King’s Royalguard which Gratora leads……
The Serpentine Light Army
The Dragon Light Army
The Leopard Light Army
The Horse Light Army
These four army corps are the main force of the country.
[The total size of the four army corps is about 800 huh.]
Roughly speaking, that means there are about 200 people in each army corps.
[I’ve heard that they can still increase their numbers by adding those who can fight, but aren’t members of the army yet.]
[Well, I guess there are also some monsters who are suited for combat but don’t belong to the army huh.]
A country of Demi-Humans and Monsters.
How should I say this……
If this was in a video game, it feels like the citizens of this place is the Demon King’s army.
I got some information from Seras about the strength of each army corps.
The content of her report is consistent with the information I got from Gio.
[Is Gio also the best in commanding people?]
[Yes, according to Gratora-dono’s assessment.]
[……Alright. Good work, Seras.]
[What about your side?]
[The plan is that we’ll make our move when needed.]
Taking a deep breath, I sat down next to Seras.
[All that’s left depends on tomorrow.]
With a small smile on her lips, Seras discreetly glances towards my face.
[Are you tired?]
[……Yeah, a bit.]
[Well, that’s obvious. Touka-dono hasn’t had a proper rest today.]
[I had some break when I ate dinner though.]
I had to take off my mask to eat, so I had dinner alone in this room.
Meanwhile, Seras had their dinner in the dining room with Nyaki and the others.
[Have you taken a bath yet?]
[I——– still haven’t.]
As I said this, I let my back slump down onto the bed.
The softness of the bed feels comfortable……
This is bad.
I feel like I’d end up falling asleep.
[I’m going to take some nap. Wake me up in half an hour.]
[Wouldn’t it be better if you just went to sleep?]
[I can’t say I’m that clean right now…… I’d feel bad for you if I had to sleep in this bed with you like this.]
Still sitting on the bed, Seras twisted her hips to look back at me.
[I don’t really mind though?]
[Well, I do.]
[I understand. I’ll wake you up in half an hour.]
[As my gratitude, if it’s just a kiss, I’d allow it while I’m sleeping.]
[If you say it like that, I’ll take it seriously, you know?]
[If you want to, just do it. If that’s what you want, that is. It’s no big deal anyway.]
Back when we were still at Erika’s home……
Seras had actually confessed about “that time”.
That thing———- that happened back in a cave in the Demon Zone.
That time when Seras Ashrain kissed me while I was asleep.
That sounds like the title of some romance novel, but anyway, I’m talking about that.
Seras felt guilty about what she had done.
So, one night———-
She apologized and confessed her crime.
And then, I told her that I actually knew about it.
I also told her that I didn’t really mind.
I also told her the reason why I didn’t mind it.
“I didn’t really mind it because I had feelings for you, Seras.”, or so I said.
And after that———-
We had confirmed that we both felt the same way.
While I’m at it, I also told her my guess why I hardly had any reaction regarding the sexual aspects of the opposite gender.
But well, just like that———-
[We even went as far as taking a bath together after all.]
Our relationship had changed.
Hearing what I said, Seras fidgeted, looking as if she wanted to say something.
[————, ………….What’s the matter?]
[As I had told you earlier…… I also haven’t taken a bath yet.]
My eyelids are shutting themselves……
[The bathhouse people had arranged for us to enter at any time. So, ummm…… Since the rest depends on tomorrow, how about we take it easy today and————–, ……W- What do you think? Let’s go, together?]
[……You’ve fallen asleep already huh.]
Faintly hearing Seras’ gentle voice, I felt Seras stand up from her seat.
Then, I felt some kind of clothing being pulled over my body…… A blanket huh.
[————-! Y- Yesh!]
Seras’ voice sounded frantic.
[……Even if we’re gonna go in together, you should still get some sleep, okay?]
[Ye——— You were awake, weren’t you? M- My apologies…… for startling you. Ah, yes——– I’ll go prepare then.]
As expected, my consciousness couldn’t hold on anymore and I fell asleep.
The next morning.
I wake up in the dim light.
Right next to me, Seras was asleep.
With her shoulders exposed, her body was curled up, making herself small.
She sleeps very quietly.
I mean, I’ve been thinking about this for a while now……
She’s really quiet in her sleep, isn’t she?
I raised my body up.
I tried making sure that the blanket still rests around Seras’ shoulders though.
I don’t feel fatigue anymore.
As expected though, with the way I am now, it was chilly outside the blanket.
Putting on my coat, I looked at my pocket watch.
Checking the time for a moment, I then looked outside the window.
It seems that the lights of the ancient magic tools for the morning hours weren’t lit up yet.
It’s quiet, very quiet.
I got all the information I needed to get.
I’ve already done the things I needed to do.
[It would be really great if things work out.]
The next chapter will be updated on April 28 (Wednesday), around 9:00pm.