Chapter 264: Emperor of the Elimasia Empire
Even though Lionel knocked on the Emperor’s bedroom door, no reply came from within.
“I will rush in if there is no reply after knocking again.”
“Do you have a plan?”
Replied Lionel as he drew his large shield from his magic bag.
“Even though we have no idea what awaits inside, you plan to just charge in with that large shield?”
“Yes. This would lead to the least amount of injuries after all. I apologize Luciel-sama but could I request that you cast Area Barrier again?”
I felt a sense of unease from his declaration of ‘least amount of injury’.
Even though that was more daring compared to the usual Lionel, I had the impression that Lionel was a smart battle junkie but his choice this time made that impression fade a little.
” … We do not know what is inside. Just relying on that alone is insufficient.”
I applied Area Barrier and also activated Sanctuary Armor on top of that to be safe.
“This is from that time … thank you very much. That helped to dispel my misgivings.”
I sensed that Lionel was nervous for some reason.
“Lionel still have a lot to learn. And if anything happens to Lionel, I won’t be able to face Naria. So what should we do?”
“Luciel-sama should set up a barrier here and follow up with a Sanctuary Barrier after confirming the situation inside.”
His instructions were given out with composure so perhaps I was worrying needlessly.
“Understood. I don’t believe I would need to use magical power after this and I plan to exert myself until it runs dry so let me know if you suffer any injuries no matter how minor.”
“Thank you. Cathy, Kefin and Estia, if it becomes a fight, make sure to defend Luciel-sama and Paula.”
“No, that is still not enough. I shall protect Lionel-sama this time even if it cost me my life.”
I was a little surprised that Cathy didn’t end her sentence with ‘nya’ but I could not let those words pass so I immediately corrected her.
“I will not allow a single companion to die as long as I am present. So do not speak of exchanging lives.”
” … My bad nya.”
“Cathy. Unlike that time, you have reliable companions with you so act with a burning heart and a calm head.”
“Yes … nya.”
It looked like Lionel was fine.
Or maybe he calmed down after seeing Cathy.
With that, I could concentrate on performing my assigned tasks with peace of mind.
“This goes for Kefin and Estia too but I cannot deny the possibility that there would be soldiers who have not been demonized. That’s why take action with the assumption that there is no barrier.”
“Paula, sorry but you will have to produce the golem in the worst case scenario. To be safe, I’ll pass you this magic stone I found at the research laboratory. I leave it to you if the worst case happens.”
“Leave it to me.”
She grinned and carefully accepted the magic stone from Lionel.
“I didn’t know that you had magic stones.”
“That’s not what I meant … ha~ never mind. Lionel, I just hope you don’t overexert yourself.”
I was speechless after seeing Paula pout and turn away.
That should be for the plan too right …
“I will do my best.”
Lionel smiled and bowed before knocking on the Emperor’s bedroom door once again.
As there was no reaction, Lionel tried to open the door but failed to do so.
It seemed like it was set up the same way as the door in the underground research laboratory.
” … Luciel-sama, sorry but …”
“Thank you very much.”
Lionel recomposed himself and opened the door to the bedroom which caused miasma to surge out the next instant. Furthermore, that was not the only thing that shot out.
Colored the same as the dense miasma … spears made from Darkness Magic shot out.
I figured that the spears would be deflected by the Sanctuary Barrier but they actually penetrated the Sanctuary Barrier and converged on Lionel.
Perhaps they saw the spears penetrate the barrier as demonized individuals charged at Lionel all at once and fell prey to the Sanctuary Barrier. Some of them combusted in pale white flames while others glared at the Sanctuary Barrier with frustration.
“Are you all right?”
I counted more than ten spears fly at him so I was worried he would be injured but Lionel immediately nodded and replied.
“Of course. It seemed like they were spears enchanted with the magical power of Darkness Attribute but that was negated by the Sanctuary Barrier and all that remained were thrown spears. I did not train so feebly that such attacks could injure me.”
Lionel smiled. I was concerned that it was not his usual kind smile but a fierce grin but I chose to do what I could too.
I cast Purification Wave after deciding that I should first dispel the miasma and the soldiers avoiding the Sanctuary Barrier burst into pale white flames along with the dense miasma as the Purification Wave contained the same power as Sanctuary Barrier.
And reflected in my eyes was the cause of the miasma, an Evil Plant spewing out said miasma.
“Even in a place like this …”
Perhaps due to the Purification Wave, the Evil Plant’s body was shaking violently.
I immediately enclosed it with Sanctuary Barrier and cast Purification Magic, causing the Evil Plant to burn when Kefin and Cathy charged out from my sides.
Lionel had disappeared into the bedroom with them in the blink of the eye so Estia, Paula and I entered the Imperial Emperor’s bedroom together.
There were about ten demonized soldiers inside the bedroom but they were suffering from the flames brought upon by the Purification Wave and Kefin and Cathy suppressed them.
While Lionel faced a man in his mid-forties adorned with a flashy armor.
“It has been a long time, Your Majesty. I am glad to see you are healthy and well.”
Lionel reverently but cautiously bowed lightly.
It looked like that was the Emperor.
“Hmph. I never imagined that you would revive and appear in front of me again, Lionel.”
The Emperor looked at Lionel with disgusted eyes.
… It seemed that the Emperor was not being manipulated after all.
Lionel also seemed to have come to the same conclusion as his shoulders slumped as though he was dispirited.
” … Your Majesty, I have always wanted to ask. Did Your Majesty use my son to assassinate me?”
“So you noticed. Then you should have already noticed the answer to that, no?”
” … I wanted to hear it from Your Majesty’s lips.”
The Emperor replied in a bored tone but Lionel looked as though he was holding all kinds of emotion as he asked the Emperor again.
“I see … then I shall enlighten you. You had simply become a nuisance … no, you have always been a nuisance, Lionel. I am the person with the highest authority in the Empire. But your fame resounded within and beyond the country as if attempting to outshine me.”
” … I served you since childhood … did you discard me for just that reason?”
“Just that reason? That alone is more than sufficient! Everyone, even the previous Emperor, treasured you more than his own son. That is why I have always hated you from the beginning.”
That was totally a case of jealousy but if it started from childhood, it must be a considerably deep-rooted issue.
However, why did he not interfere with Lionel’s rise to the rank of General and the solidification of his position … ah, I see! It was the previous Emperor who made him a General.
That would fit the situation.
” … Then, the promise we exchanged after the coming-of-age ceremony … when the country was still split into countless small countries, Your Majesty promised to build a land where the Imperial Citizens could enjoy peace while I would be the guardian that protects the country from external foes …”
“I didn’t think you would actually believe such a promise. It was easy to send you to battlefields because of that. The Queen at that time idolized you too. I had to put in a lot of work to make her give up on you.”
” … Work?”
“At that time, the small countries around the Empire were being annoying so I gave a few pieces of advice to the previous Emperor to mobilize you.”
” … ”
Lionel could no longer give a reply.
“With the excuse that you showed excellent combat prowess, I sent you to the very frontline of the war in order to get rid of you but you actually betrayed my expectations and returned with great results. Even after that, I sent you several times to disadvantageous battlefields but you still continued to gain victory.”
Even though I was listening to Lionel’s heroic story, why was I feeling this excessive sense of irritation?
“The previous Emperor even promoted you to General for your achievements to further infuriate me. That’s why I had the previous Emperor retire and established good governance as the Emperor to gain the support of the people. But the people had already delivered their faith to you instead of me.”
Did he assassinate the previous Emperor … isn’t the Empire already in shambles? More importantly, if the Emperor recognized and accepted Lionel, just how amazing would the country have been?
Lionel listened to the Emperor’s words and shook his head.
“That is not true. After the demise of the previous Emperor, Your Majesty endeavored for the citizens and obtained the support of the people.”
“That is natural. Distributing the medicine developed by the Herbalist Guild and the country to the people with failing bodies, imparting judgment on the nobles who did whatever they wanted, I did what an Emperor had to do.”
Did that not turn out well because of the Emperor’s distorted personality?
“I kept waiting for the opportunity to appear but it never came. Until a person showed up claiming to be a reincarnated individual.”
The Emperor’s words caused an intense shock to run through my body just like when I confronted the Evil God.
Thank you for reading.