Chapter 249: Betrayal?
Looking at the captured His Highness and entourage, I thought to myself that flags exist in this world too (TL: Flags as in death flag etc where a person jinxes something by talking about it). As I absentmindedly thought about such things, I asked to verify the situation.
“Is there a representative around? If there is, could you tell me how His Highness Albert got captured?”
But nobody stepped up as the representative. His Highness Albert started talking instead.
“These people are slaves. That’s why it is impossible for them to do anything outside of their orders. Please help me.”
Ha? A slave can’t perform any action outside their orders? But I feel like Lionel and the others can do all kinds of actions … I looked towards Lionel and the others.
When that happened, they averted their gazes and it looked like they were stifling their laughter.
I see. I gave Lionel and the others loose instructions so they could act freely. The outcome came out all right so there’s no problem but …
That’s when I realized something.
“Your Highness, Melfina-san and Mr.Bazak aren’t with you?”
His Highness averted his face.
“It’s a charade. Luciel-sama, His Highness was probably meant to delay us. Furthermore, even those people who attacked us also seem to not know what to do.”
Lionel affirmed that His Highness was placed there to stall us. And just like he said, when the attackers who surrendered earlier first saw His Highness Albert, they had a look of confusion on their faces showing that they didn’t know what they should do.
The current situation would be a little strange if they were under the command of the fake Lionel but as long as Lionel was around, they might be waiting for his instructions.
I took a magical power potion out from my magic bag and drank it as I organized my thoughts and asked further questions.
“Your Highness Albert, I have two questions. When were you captured? And where are Melfina-san and Mr.Bazak?”
I cast Dispel with magic circle chant so even if His Highness was turned into a slave, that slave contract would have been removed.
Once he was removed from slavery, he should be able to say whatever he wanted to say.
I thought to myself as His Highness opened his mouth.
“There’s no way I can put into words how we were attacked by Bazak on the way to the Empire after bidding you guys farewell at the labyrinth — Eh? Why am I able to say it?”
“It’s because I dispelled your slave contract so you should be able to talk now. Now, please go into detail.”
“O, okay. But just like I said just now, Bazak released a spell at us on our way to the Empire’s territory. And at almost the same time, we were surrounded by slave soldiers.”
It seems like our information was leaked. Leaving that aside, Mr. Bazak betrayed us …?
“Lionel, is Mr. Bazak the type to betray people?”
“No, he should be a man who will fight to the end even if there is an overwhelming difference in strength.”
“I see, Your Highness, do you know anything else?”
“I have no idea. After all, Mr. Bazak truly put in his all for our cause. I can’t think of any reason why he would betray us.”
His Highness said that with his head down and his knees hit the ground.
Mr. Bazak probably functioned as a staff officer for His Highness Albert.
If that’s the case, during the previous time when the Resistance was attacked … !?
Rather than a flash of inspiration, it was more like utter delusion but I thought of a hypothesis.
“The fact that Lionel slashed Mr.Bazak, is it well known?”
“Yeah. It is?”
“One more question then, do you think the Mr. Bazak we met is the real Mr. Bazak?”
” … Did you realize something?”
Lionel stared at me and asked.
I could tell that everyone else was also listening.
“It’s a little delusional but is it possible that Mr. Bazak was a fake?”
” … I don’t really get the meaning behind your words?”
Lionel showed a puzzled expression as he returned his line of sight to His Highness.
Well, that’s to be expected.
I thought to myself as I elaborated on the hypothesis.
“When the Resistance was attacked in the Imperial Capital, Your Highness and your party were captured once right?”
“Yes, I mentioned it before.”
“At that time, Mr. Bazak was acting as a detached force, right? I was thinking along the lines that perhaps he was replaced when you all were captured.”
” … That’s why you think the person we met is a fraud?”
“Yes. If not, another reason might be that he was acting for a separate goal since the time he joined His Highness as a companion.”
“I can’t say that is impossible …”
Lionel wasn’t convinced after all as he seemed a little baffled.
But I knew that reasoning was not our style.
That’s why I made a decision.
“Well, for now, we can neither trust nor depend on His Highness or Mr. Bazak and their group. So let’s just stop thinking about all kinds of things and just simply move forward.”
“Fu~ that might be a good choice.”
Normally it would be fine if we had a staff officer but I didn’t have such a follower so there’s no helping it. (TL: Staff officer referring to personnel that provides a bi-directional flow of information between a commanding officer and subordinate military units)
That’s why it was best we proceeded in a way we were most suited for.
Lionel and the others smiled lightly and agreed.
After getting their confirmation, I started chanting right away.
【By the hand of holy healing, by the breath of Mother Earth, against the existences that have fallen to demonization, against those unholy existences, swallow everything with a wave of purification. Purification Wave】
A wave of energy burst forth with me as the center … but there wasn’t a single person who looked like they were suffering.
I expected that too.
If everything was already revealed, they wouldn’t have placed any demons in the midst.
“Very well, there are no issues. Our original plan was to have a speech here but now there’s no point in doing it anymore. Let’s head to the castle first.”
“Like I’ll let you do that.”
The same time I heard the voice, multiple Fire Lances, Ice Lances and Wind Cutters flew at me from behind His Highness.
But there was no need for me to evade them. Since Lionel swept all the attacks away with his Flaming Greatsword.
“Tch, as expected, you can’t be taken down that easily.”
He wanted to put him down with just that? No, probably not.
I don’t believe that he considered Lionel to be that weak to be defeated with just that.
Well, if it was meant for me then I could understand it a little …
But I didn’t expect him to appear this early.
“Ooo, so it’s Mr. Bazak’s fake. Where’s the real Mr. Bazak?”
That’s right. The Mr. Bazak who betrayed us appeared.
I thought that many more enemies would appear but he was the only one who showed up.
“There’s no such thing as a fake. I am the current Bazak.”
I guessed that it might already be too late since he said ‘current’ but he probably has a plan after directly showing his intent like this.
“That can’t be. Even though it was in the past, the Sorcerer who Lionel had to resolve himself to fight would not do something so half-baked.”
“What a thing to say after I went out of my way to protect you from the thrown dagger with my body.”
“It’s true, I’m thankful for that. I’m grateful that I didn’t have to waste any movements to dodge it.”
A mere dagger couldn’t have penetrated my Holy Dragon Armor but if he had planned that all from the beginning, his mind is truly fearsome.
I dove straight into the main topic.
“Are you Cloud-san?”
“Fu~ There’s no way I’m Cloud-sama. That esteemed person will be the one to rule over the Empire in the future.”
He revealed information on Cloud with slight reverence.
“Leave it at that, Raizak.”
“Hmph, you’re finally awake huh, Melvia.”
“Yeah, I didn’t expect her to be a lady with such strong will but this body is mine now.”
Melfina-san with jet black wings appeared and said.
Thank you for reading.