Chapter 123: Dwarf Kingdom and Sir Rainstar
Monsters didn’t appear at all even until we reached the Dwarf Kingdom.
The monsters flying in the sky were too far away and for some reason there were no signs of attacks coming so we proceeded on after reaching the cave.
“There sure aren’t any monsters.”
“Rather than because we defeated so many of them, that queen ant was most likely the reason after all.”
Nodding to Lionel’s words, I shine the torchlight onto the dark cave passage and entered.
“Is it alright if we stop for a moment?”
Dolan stopped us just as we were on the verge of passing through the entrance to the Dwarf Kingdom.
“Are you not feeling well?”
” … No, I’m just trembling. Until today, I still can’t forget the incident that day where I ended up involving Paula.”
Dolan stroked Paula’s head as he took a deep breath and hit his face.
“Thanks for waiting. Let’s go.”
When we reached the Dwarf Kingdom, the dwarves started an uproar when they saw us … or rather when they saw Dolan and Paula.”
“You sure have remarkable popularity.”
“Because it’s a small country even though it’s called a kingdom.”
Dolan smiled while looking like he was feeling embarrassed.
We directly headed towards the King’s Abode where King Rockwell stayed.
“The previous time we were here, there wasn’t a reception as well but normally is that how it is?”
“We don’t have such formalities. King Rockwell claims that all of the dwarf race are brothers.”
“If that’s the case …” As I was about to speak, Dolan spoke as if he knew what I wanted to say.
“The sword that I forged was something that would be a problem of responsibility to the Dwarf Kingdom. In order to avoid that, with heartrending grief, I was chosen to fulfill my responsibility by becoming a slave and they definitely made some more compensation in addition to that.” (TL: The situation that led to Dolan and Paula’s slavery was never clearly stated. My guess is that another kingdom (the Empire) requested of a sword from the Dwarf Kingdom and Dolan was chosen to make it. An earthquake occurred that collapsed Dolan’s workshop and he sacrificed his arms to save Paula so the sword could not be completed and was a failed product. To avoid trouble with the other kingdom, Dolan was sentenced to become a slave. Let me know in the comments if you have any other conjectures :D)
“Couldn’t the king use his power to pardon you?”
“No, he couldn’t, because we were relatives.”
“King Rockwell’s father … the previous generation king was my younger brother.
I had decided to go down the road of blacksmithing and left the house before I reached adulthood.
Then I wandered and continued to train together with elder brother Grand under a master.
After a while, I found out that my father died and my younger brother was to be the next king.”
“Then Dolan and Paula became part of the royal family?”
“That might have happened.”
Dolan nodded and said so while laughing.
As we walked down the passage, we heard a yell.
The yell came from the audience room.
“Was that King Rockwell’s voice?”
“The other party already …”
Dolan opened the door to the audience room.
“I believe I gave the order to not let anyone enter … Uncle Dolan?!”
“Even the bean pole Paula is here too?”
As if King Rockwell and Aresurei were not yelling at each other previously, they fixated on Dolan and Paula.
“I purchased the 2 of them from a slave dealer and as they have served me sufficiently, I have released them from slavery. Now, they work as my personnel-in-charge for magic tool development. Well then, King Rockwell. I leave it to you if you want to apologize or not. Dolan, you can speak as well if you have anything you want to say.”
“I don’t know about S-rank healers but aren’t you acting all high and mighty.”
Aresurei targeted and yelled at me but a figure came up from behind Aresurei and covered his mouth.
“You are noisy as always. You’re interfering with Uncle Rockwell and grandpa’s conversation.”
It was Paula’s golem that held down Aresurei.
“Paula-chan, thank you for the help. Uncle Dolan, it’s been a long time.”
“King Rockwell, due to my failure, I’ve caused you trouble that you would originally not need to suffer from. Sorry, I hope you understand.”
Dolan was the one who apologized.
“Uncle, I must apologize to you, I was the one who relied on you for that incident. Uncle, you don’t need to apologize. Furthermore, although Paula also personally asked to be sold together at that time, I should not have permitted it after all.”
“Because you sold me as well, we were together all the time.”
” … I had believed that you were a heartless man when you sold Paula but it was the duty of the king of dwarves.
If you have feelings of repentance, discard something like that away.
Rockwell, as a king you should do what must be done.
However, if you personally still feel like apologizing, I accept that apology and forgive everything.”
” … Uncle … I am sincerely sorry for pushing everything onto you.”
King Rockwell was crying.
Aresurei looked like he could not believe his eyes.
Aresurei most likely lived his life without ever seeing Rockwell, a person with such arrogant attitude, cry.
That arrogant attitude must have gradually came to be to show the people around him his confidence as a king.
I wonder what would I have become if I had to face the same heavy pressure and have nobody to help in Ienith?
I would not likely be able to leave Ienith in a single year and it would have taken more time to rebuild the Healer’s Guild.
Thinking about it that way, I felt sympathy towards King Rockwell.
He could not control his subordinates and sons, and although they’ve caused him trouble, the Dwarf Kingdom might have developed in a different path if Dolan and Grand-san were around … I had such a thought.
“Uu … u … uu … u”
Aresurei flailed his body trying to escape from the golem made by Paula. But, he could not escape.
” … King Rockwell, I’ve roughly heard about the incident. If the heir has to be changed … if after waiting for a couple of years and Aresurei does not change, I will approve of it as well. I will hold half of the responsibility.”
Dolan looked at Aresurei regretfully and announced.
” … You think so too after all? Golem control is something that dwarves specialize in. To not be able to disassemble it … monsters may come attacking again so I’m feeling uneasy.”
“Yeah. If Aresurei does not properly grow up 5 years later, it might be a good idea to hold a selection for the next heir to be the Dwarf King.”
“That may be our only choice.”
King Rockwell paid attention to Dolan as he spoke to him and stared at Aresurei.
“If that can’t be disassembled, then maybe I’m the queen?”
Paula tilted her head as she interrupted King Rockwell and Dolan’s conversation.
Aresurei had fainted from the lack of oxygen.
“Ha~ Pitiful. I’m also pathetic huh? Truthfully, the items inside the treasury have been somehow taken by Aresurei and the others so we’ve lost a lot of things. Uncle Dolan, I leave it up to you to decide what to bring out from there.”
“Dolan, instead of items of value, it is alright to only look for items that we seek, everything else is unnecessary if what we seek isn’t there.”
Leaving the fainted Aresurei there, we moved to the treasury.
The Dwarf Kingdom treasury was immediately after the door behind the throne.
“Are there no locking mechanisms?”
“Magical power recognition is required so normally it can’t be opened. Taking into assumption the unfortunate event that I die, Guraios and Aresurei were configured for recognition as well.”
Well, that might be the natural action.
When King Rockwell touched the door, similar to the doors to the sealed dragons, the door emitted light and a pattern was drawn onto it.
Then, the pattern shone with light in sync with the door opening.
“Who built this door?”
” … The human hero Rainstar. The person who caused the decline of the Dwarf Kingdom.”
… That man has the ability to make a floating city in the sky so I’m convinced about the door but why is he said to have caused the decline of the Dwarf Kingdom?
I was curious about what Sir Rainstar did so I asked.
It’s a story from more than 300 years in the past anyway.
“Did Sir Rainstar do something to the Dwarf Kingdom?”
” … Firstly, the place where Rockford stands was originally a mine. To defeat a heinous monster there, the magic Sir Rainstar released disintegrated the mine. At that time, the dwarves feared that they would be killed if they opposed him.”
… Although there’s the fake town, if it is a location where Sir Rainstar gouged a mountain, I can understand why the dwarves were frightened.
” … I understand that Sir Rainstar is a tremendous person but something of that extent won’t cause a decline right?”
“After that, Sir Rainstar came to the Dwarf Kingdom and announced that he wished to form technology cooperation to create new items, by taking up the business segment where dwarves were bad at, he intended to spread the technology of the Dwarf Kingdom.”
“I see. Manufacturing has been your specialty since the past but hospitality … doesn’t seem present even today.”
“Then, Rainstar built Rockford and it became filled with vibrancy but Rockford gathered many researchers and developers, the dwarf race was no exception.”
” … The decline was due to the outflow of engineers?”
” … Unfortunately, in the literature records, it’s stated that the only dwarves left in this country were the insular dwarves. That is the reason why dwarves are so unsociable. Well then, please make your choice.”
“Dolan, anything is fine. Choose for yourself.”
Dolan nodded and entered the treasury.
Then, he immediately stiffened and turned his gaze to here … or toward King Rockwell to be exact.
“Why, why is this here!”
“Because even if it was a failure, I felt that it still possess potential.”
King Rockwell nonchalantly answered Dolan’s muffled voice of anger.
Dolan took a single sword from the treasury.
Even though it was a single-handed sword, it was on the large side.
“Luciel-sama, is it alright … if I take this from the treasury?”
” … Judging from the contents of the conversation, that is the sword that you forged that time you became a slave?”
” … Yes.”
“I see … that … if you can promise me that you will not be dragged down by your past, you can take that from the treasury. King Rockwell, is it alright if we receive that?”
“It is uncle’s request. There’s no reason for me to reject.”
I gave my permission and King Rockwell also smoothly gave his permission.
Previously, Grand-san mentioned that King Rockwell regretted converting Dolan and Paula into slaves.
Therefore, he carefully kept the failed sword in the treasury.
Wanting to change the mood slightly, I asked to meet with the former slaves including Estia.
“Well then, could you guide me to where the former slaves and Estia are?”
“Among the former slaves, there are those who are working as well as those who are guilty of crimes and have been confined though?”
What were they thinking to commit a crime in just 10 days?
“What were the crimes they committed?”
“Injuring people with magic and stealing other people’s property.”
“Even though they had pledged, aren’t they foolish to still commit crimes … for now, I’ll listen to their story and if there is no saving them by talking, could I entrust them to you for the Dwarf Kingdom to deal with based on the law?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, they would have died if I didn’t release them from slavery. Which was why I saved them but I did not save their lives to allow them to commit crimes. Sorry but could I meet those who are guilty?”
“Understood. Then, follow me please.”
After closing the treasury door, King Rockwell began moving.
After I kept the sword Dolan took out from the treasury into my magic bag, we followed after King Rockwell.
At the audience hall, Aresurei was still asleep so King Rockwell grabbed him and we left the audience hall.
Immediately after walking down the corridor, we met with the dwarf attendants and King Rockwell entrusted Aresurei to them before opening the door next to the slave room. There was a staircase leading underground there.
“It’s here. It’s slightly smelly so please endure it.”
“I could purify it?”
“It’s not smelly by choice so if you can make the smell go away then thank you.”
I descended down the steps while casting purification.
King Rockwell was walking ahead with Lionel following behind him and I had Cathy and Kefin to either side of me.
I don’t know why we formed ranks without noticing but I was convinced that my retinue was excellent and as I continued applying purification, we came upon the cells.
I spoke to Dolan.
“The prison here sure look similar to the ones made in Ienith.”
“It’s the same thing. Prisons are made to be sturdy. Prisons made by Paula are formed from magic tools and they are applied with magic seals that have the effect of lowering and causing the decline of the body’s ability. But, these here are the original.”
I was glad that Dolan completely returned to normal by being able to interpose a small boast about Paula to me.
As we had that conversation, we finally reached the prison that held the criminals who committed crimes.
Looking at their faces, I noted that Estia was not there.
The ones there were those that were originally criminal slaves.
“Is the recidivism rate high here?” (TL: Recidivism refers to a person’s relapse into criminal behavior)
While muttering that, I spoke to them individually to be safe but after making them pledge to not distort the facts, faced with the punishment of plunging into the ant’s nest if they lied, they chose to remain silent.
They will most likely become slaves to the Dwarf Kingdom.
“Sorry for consuming your time. I will entrust them to King Rockwell. I would like to meet with the former slaves who did not commit any crimes next.”
“The criminals will be dropped into slavery though, are you alright with that?”
“Yeah. Even though I saved their lives, since they immediately returned to committing crimes within just 10 days … currently, I completely do not have the ability to save them.”
While thinking that their future might have changed if I showed them a new path, I pondered … if a day would come where I would be able to judge people.
Upon opening the door to the former slave resting area, there were 8 former slaves there.
“Former slaves, I apologize for the abruptness but please choose whether to continue working in the Dwarf Kingdom or to accompany us to the Holy City. After reaching the Holy City, I would not protect you but I will hand you 20 silver coins from the previous subjugation fee and relief fund I received. However, I will not provide any further assistance. I do not know what work there is in the Dwarf Kingdom but the contents of the past 10 days you all had would be your work.”
“Please bring me along.”
One person raised their hand and the number rapidly increased until 6 of the 8 people chose to travel to the Holy City.
“Then for the remaining 2, I believe King Rockwell will be responsible for providing you with your food and such so be at ease.”
I announced so while looking at King Rockwell and he nodded his agreement with a wry smile.
After that, the figures of Estia, the former slave healers, and the other former slaves appeared.
It seemed like they were told that I came together with Dolan and they all had smiles on their faces for some reason despite their light shortness of breath.
Then, I once again told them the conditions I mentioned earlier.
“Including Estia, there is a need to listen to the circumstances that lead to you 4 healers becoming slaves so I will have to forcibly bring you to the headquarters for the time being. Well then, what about the others?”
Surprisingly, half of the former slaves, 5 of them, raised their hands to continue working in the Dwarf Kingdom.
“King Rockwell, we may be former slaves but please treat us well.”
“Understood. I will treat you the same way I treat the dwarves.”
Then, Dolan spoke to King Rockwell.
“King Rockwell. For a long period of time, the Dwarf Kingdom has not mingled with the outside world. If you are considering interaction with the outside world, it may be good to do so with Ienith or the Saint Schull Allied Nations that Luciel-sama belongs to.”
“Uncle Dolan … Luciel-dono, can I request that you be the middleman when that time comes?”
“As long as you swear to not correspond with arrogance.”
We peacefully finished fulfilling all our promises.
“I’ll bring along great alcohol the next time I come so please be properly hospitable then okay.”
“If your gift is firewater then I would gladly entertain you.”
I exchanged a firm handshake with King Rockwell and even despite the commotion this time around, I promised to visit the Dwarf Kingdom once again and departed together with the former slaves towards the Holy City.
Thank you for reading.
I had never dreamed that Rainstar would be feared by even the dwarves.