End of Journey
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The four people, who drank the poison, were put on a stretcher and moved to another place.
I reached the sixth floor after climbing the stairs three times. The four of them were put to sleep in the largest bedroom on the sixth floor.
“The First Army under the Queen isn’t coming? They are an army for such times.” (Yuri)
I told Tilet.
The room had a small balcony that was just a step out of the room, and if my head was put over the railing, I could look down on the world below. Unfortunately, my prediction was correct. Looking down, I saw the entrance to the royal castle was packed with soldiers.
“I’ve already issued a command. But they aren’t moving when I see it…” (Tilet)
“Betrayal, is it? Even with the majesty of the royal family, it’s not a big deal.” (Yuri)
‘I was just being sarcastic. However, I am tempted to see this. Even Carya’s poison could have been prevented if these guys had done their job. They should have known the movement of the Witches if they are doing their job properly.’
“The First Army will never betray! I’m sure the Witches have prepared fake orders.” (Tilet)
‘Fake orders, huh. If I’m a Witch, I can easily prepare a piece of paper or two with the royal seal stamped on it, which is possible. Even if that were the case, I think it’s only natural that they would come to help if they saw the situation. After all, the royal castle is under attack.’
‘Even if they are confused with the authenticity of the order, they should come to the royal castle anyway and stop this barbaric act for the time being. There are bandits invading the royal castle and we are taking them down. They would probably say ‘Well, we’ll take over the task. You guys may leave’. And yet, the First Army hasn’t even come to the royal castle. As expected, the top leaders have been bought off.’
‘However, no matter how fucking incompetent I think they are, there’s no point in blaming the royal family and swearing at them. Nothing will change.’
“So, how long do we have?” (Yuri)
“I don’t know. We have collapsed the passageways in the royal castle to make them impassable, but it’s going to take… one or two hours… maybe.” (Tilet)
“Isn’t there a secret passage for the royal family?” (Yuri)
“There’s none. We didn’t build it because we wouldn’t have been able to get outside of the royal castle anyway.” (Tilet)
‘The royal castle is located on a sandbar. There’s no waterproofing construction technology in the world that can make a way to the bottom of the river. If they assume that they will be attacked from outside the island, there’s no point inbuilding a hidden passage that prevents them from leaving the island. I supposed that’s why they didn’t build it. But then, it’s a rat in a bag situation.’
‘Regardless before something happens, that will be the situation after something has happened. Even if I walked with Carol on my back, the bag wasn’t closed. Since I came alone, I had no card at all to pry open the bag.’
“…Is there a solution?” (Yuri)
“I don’t know.” (Tilet)
It took an effort to hold down the head that seemed to be extremely high.
‘It’s not that I don’t understand. If you don’t know what’s going on here in your own yard, who will? It’s life-threatening. My parents, the Queen, Carol, and the two unborn children. One of them is my child, and the other is either my brother or sister. Is this where it’s going to end? I even discovered a new continent to protect the people here.’
“…Shall we take Carya as a hostage?” (Yuri)
‘The only card I can think of that could be used is Carya.’
Carya was gagged and tied in a corner of the room. However, it didn’t put me at ease.
‘Would I use Carya, who is nothing more than a puppet to the other side, as a shield, hold a dagger to her throat and run away from the castle while evading thousands of soldiers? Doing that while carrying four people? I can’t imagine how that would be successful at all.’
‘From their point of view, if we run away, it’s certain to be our downfall. Carya’s death would be troublesome, but as long as the royal castle is under control, Queen Simone can be considered alive and well, and they can issue a false royal decree. It’s quite forceful, but it won’t stop them from doing it in the future. It’s similar to comparing your heart with one of the arms, and there’s no way the scales can balance.’
“…It’s not possible. That’s not going to get us through.” (Tilet)
Tilet seemed to agree.
“I see… then, we can lower a rope in a place where the siege is thin, or all of us can descend to open a blood path.” (Yuri)
“If Her Majesty commands it, so be it. But…” (Tilet)
Tilet looked deeply troubled and wiped her eyes with her hands.
‘Seriously, this woman. Are you crying?’
“Are you crying in this situation?” (Yuri)
“Even if you survive in this situation, Her Majesty Simone and Her Majesty Carol will…” (Tilet)
“I should take them with me.” (Yuri)
“If you drink red canorlia, you can’t survive. At least, they’ll end up in pieces…” (Tilet)
‘…Are you for real? Is it really that poisonous?’
“It would depend on how much they drank. Carya only used about half of what she had in that vial.” (Yuri)
“I’ve checked how much they have drunk, but… Her Majesty Simone is…” (Tilet)
‘Is Carol going to be alright?’
“So, you don’t agree with me bringing them out?” (Yuri)
“Y-yes… even if you bring them out… it doesn’t make sense…” (Tilet)
“Is Carol in danger? Is she?!” (Yuri)
I grabbed Tilet’s by both shoulders and questioned her.
“I-I don’t know… But Her Majesty Simone drank most of the wine in her glass…” (Tilet)
‘Carol didn’t empty her glass too much, probably because she didn’t want to drink. If so, Rook is…’
‘In a place like this… Why is this happening…’
“If Her Majesty gives an order… we will open a bloody path to help you. But we’re not strong enough to fight head-on against the soldiers.” (Tilet)
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“I know…” (Yuri)
‘If she fought a trained armored warrior, of course she wouldn’t lose one on one. However, she wouldn’t be able to cut down five or six of them in a single blow. The enemy commander isn’t stupid either. When I looked down earlier, I could see that the castle is surrounded by soldiers with torches. Even if I use a rope to get down, the moment I get off, I will be defenseless. If they stab with spears, it’s over, and we’ll be surrounded. As expected, running away with everyone in my arms is…’
“What should I do…” (Yuri)
Feeling resigned, I sat down on a nearby round chair.
“It’s getting late. I think you’re the only one who can get away.
“…Are you saying that I should leave my wife with a child in her belly and my immediate family? Haa, are you kidding me?” (Yuri)
‘There’s no way I can leave them.’
“…I’m going to command. I’ll buy us some time.” (Tilet)
“Is that so? I’ll depend on you then.” (Yuri)
Tilet said and left the room.
About an hour later, I began to hear noises coming down from downstairs.
‘The end is near. The only way left for me is to fight to death with my spear or surrender. Either way, I’m going to die. I have no choice but to regret it. I never thought I would end like this.’
“Yuri-sama. Her Majesty Simone want to see you.” (??)
One of the maids, who was taking care of her, said so.
‘Can the Queen speak?’
As I stood beside Queen Simone’s bed, she was shaking and pale, moaning in a small voice.
“Put your ear near me.” (Queen)
When she said that, I brought my face closer to her.
“I’m sorry… for this happened to you.” (Queen)
A muffled, shaky voice struck my ear.
“No. I’m fine.” (Yuri)
“Please run away… even if it’s just you.” (Queen)
‘That being said, it’s not something I can run away from.’
“I can’t… I’m sorry.” (Yuri)
“It’s… the Queen’s command. Save… this country.” (Queen)
I stood from Queen Simone’s bedside.
‘Running away? The whole thing sounded like a bad joke to me. Doing so without all of us here? Oi, oi. Rook, Suzuya, Carol. All of them are so important to me that I would protect them at the cost of my life. Leaving them all behind and I survive? You’ve got to be kidding…’
“Let’s escape. I’ve prepared a rope.” (??)
The maid, who had called me out earlier, said.
“I’m Enrique, a Queen’s Sword. We will lead the way, so please follow us.” (Enrique)
“I’m not running away.” (Yuri)
“Everyone in the sickbed wants you to run away. For me, I don’t mind what you want to do.” (Enrique)
“Guho, guhoo–.” (Queen)
Queen Simone coughed, probably from the shock of our conversation. When she let go of the handkerchief covering her mouth, there was bloody sputum.
“…What are you going to do? There’s no time to waste.” (Enrique)
“Do you think I can run away!?” (Yuri)
I finally lost the dam of my emotions and screamed.
“Haa… haa…” (Yuri)
Strangely enough, I was out of breath after just one scream.
“With all due respect, if they drank red canorlia, it makes no difference whether you bring them or not. The only one with mild symptoms is…” (Enrique)
The woman, who called herself Enrique, looked at Carol.
“…However, she is more likely to die because the symptoms are present. Isn’t it just a wasteful death to spare your life?” (Enrique)
‘It’s easy for you to say. It may have been a good argument, but it simply grates on my ears.’
“You keep your mouth shut.” (Yuri)
“You have no authority to command a Queen’s Sword.” (Enrique)
“I said Shut up! Do you want to be killed right now?” (Yuri)
It was a deafeningly righteous argument that I really wanted to kill. If this had been a different room, I might actually kill her.
“…Understood. I’ll shut up. But if you’ve changed your mind, please let me know.” (Enrique)
When Enrique was silent, there was a deep silence in the room. Occasionally, I heard coughing sounds, the sound of sword fights and yelling could be heard from the floor.
The painfully awake brain was thinking about something. I was trying to get an answer without regrets.
However, it was pointless, like a computer that calculated Pi, endlessly solving unanswerable questions. There was no answer.
“…Oh my.” (??)
Just then, I heard a rustling sound from a distance.
‘An Eagle King? Have they lost their nerve and attack us with an Eagle King? However, it’s nighttime.’
I walked out onto the balcony and sure enough, there was an eagle flying around. It was slowly approaching.
‘What? Oi, oi. Is it coming? It’s coming closer and closer.’
I took a step back, and wind pressure flew into the room.
The Eagle King grabbed the balustrade on the small balcony and folded its wings.
‘This is a fairly advanced move. It’s not about the skill of the rider, but rather, the fact that a smart eagle, unless it’s very well trained, it’s impossible to grab the balustrade in the middle of the night and stand still.’
“Yuri-kun! Is that you, Yuri-kun!?” (M????)
What I heard from the Eagle King was a familiar voice.
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