Chapter 130: The sound of bells echoes in Zoltan
Ririnrara showed a stunned expression while Misufia looked like she didn’t know how to reply.
Ruti disregarded the looks on their faces as she sat on the chair with a relaxed expression after just solving the issue. Well, I was the only person in the room who could understand that Ruti was relaxing.
“Ah, erm, there you have it.”
And for some reason, I ended up serving as the facilitator. I was a complete outsider with regard to the Veronia familial dispute but I didn’t have a choice since the two of them weren’t speaking.
“So, for our conditions of granting clemency for Misufia and our refusal to hand over the Church ledger, I believe you are able to accept them since they do not aid Prince Sarius in any way?”
” … I never intended to allow His Highness to obtain the Church ledger in the first place. For Misufia’s case, let’s say it is on hold for now.”
“That helps. Zoltan probably doesn’t wish for anything more than that. Next, how will we tell Prince Sarius that and make him give up …”
“There’s naturally a time limit to the time he can remain in Zoltan. He has a mountain of work to do in Veronia as well.”
“In that case, there won’t be any problems if we continue to hide Misufia-san and pass that time limit. Next, the issue on your side will be Prince Sarius’ succession and if it is not possible, how to maintain Prince Sarius’ influence in the palace after Leonor’s side gains the throne.”
Once the issue with the succession of the throne is over, Misufia’s presence will have lower utility to either camp. That would be the best way to resolve this issue.
But to be honest, gaining the throne was quite difficult. I don’t know the circumstances of the Veronia Kingdom’s court so I can’t say for a fact but their succession opponent has greater rights, stronger political power and have the current queen behind him, a perfect lineup.
In addition, all I know are rumors that Prince Ugus likes beauties who love sports and are muscular. (TLN: Not sure if it is a typo by the author, was Prince Silverio in the previous chapter.)
I did not hear anything about his skill in politics or military talent but not having any bad reputation gives him passing marks to be the crown prince.
In other words, there aren’t any weakness for Prince Sarius to take advantage of.
Ririnrara probably understood that the best.
“You will have to maintain enough power such that Leonor’s side can’t forcefully purge you all. There’s probably no other way.”
“But with your personality, you probably can’t win over the opponent side’s members, right?”
“What if I wag my tail at Leonor’s side and instead invite disappointment from my allies?”
“Doing it well is what politics is in essence. It’s a shame that Leonor is outstandingly good at that.”
Ririnrara was speaking on the premise that Leonor’s Prince Ugus inherits the throne. Misufia as well. They both probably understood that it was hopeless for Prince Sarius to inherit the throne.
At the start, I urged the conversation forward but they slowly started discussing heatedly so it didn’t seem like I needed to say anything else.
Suddenly, I could hear the sound of bells from a distance.
There were bells ringing outside.
This was underground so the sound could only be heard by hearing strengthened by heightened perception abilities from divine protection.
However, all the members present noticed the sound.
The sound of bells was ringing throughout the town until it could reach underground.
It was the bell meant for emergencies!
“Lit and I will take a look above ground.”
“We’ll go too.”
Lit and I as well as Garadin and Bishop Cien would go above ground.
We don’t really want anybody to know that Misufia is here and Ruti has to stay here to suppress Ririnrara so there was no other choice.
In addition, Garadin and Cien may have to return to their posts depending on the situation.
But before we could leave, Ruti stopped us.
“All of us will go.”
“All? Ruti and Misufia-san too?”
“No, Ririnrara, Tise and the other High-Elves as well.”
Not only Garadin and Bishop Cien, but even Lit also took an uneasy glance at me and Ruti.
“All right. We’ll all go.”
But I agreed with Ruti.
“Don’t worry, anything that’s happening here will probably trouble Ririnrara the same amount as well.”
In addition, there was a confused expression on Ririnrara’s face.
Whatever was happening probably wasn’t planned by Ririnrara.
She might come in handy if we bring her along.
“More importantly, let’s quickly go up.”
Everyone was still puzzled by the situation but we quickly returned to the surface accompanied by the ringing of bells.
Outside, the guard on the watchtower located in the town was striking the bell in a half-crazed manner so loudly that it was painful to the ear.
And on the streets, the central region residents forgot to put on their appearances as they rushed toward the Zoltan Central Parliament building which also serves as a fortress.
Garadin caught hold of one of the guards guarding the citizens and asked.
“Garadin-san!! And Cien-sama!!!”
The pale-faced guard cried out with a tearful expression after realizing that it was Garadin who called out to him.
The surrounding residents stopped as well when they heard their names and gathered around.
Wanting to keep a low profile, I casually stepped away from Garadin and Bishop Cien.
Well, it was a little late now but being Apothecary Red should still have plenty of uses.
“We came rushing after we heard the bell. Explain to me just what is happening.”
“Yes, I only heard it from my squad captain so I don’t know the details but …”
The guard seemed to be afraid of saying the next few words as he shuddered.
“Veronia attacked so we are evacuating the citizens.”
Ririnrara flew out from behind Garadin.
“Wha, wh-who are you …”
Ririnrara grabbed the surprised guard by his chest and closed in on him with a menacing look.
“Are you certain! Are you certain Sarius’ ship attacked!?”
“I-I don’t know! I already said I only heard it from my squad captain!!”
“Impossible! Sarius should at least be aware that he shouldn’t move the army!”
“Li-like I know … ! It hurts!!”
The guard tried to break free but Ririnrara’s arms, that had grabbed hold of the guard’s chest and lifted his body up, didn’t move.
Ririnrara did not heed Garadin’s thick arms that quickly grabbed her shoulder as well.
“Remove your hand.”
Ruti said and placed her hand on Ririnrara’s arm.
Just that action alone caused the guard’s body to slip down from Ririnrara’s grip.
“Cough cough … what the heck!”
The guard complained unhappily.
However, he didn’t say anymore in front of Garadin and Bishop Cien and returned to his task of guiding the fleeing residents.
Ririnrara looked at her weakened arm strangely.
That arm was trembling.
Leaving that aside, Prince Sarius’ army made a move?
It was strange that the army would move while Ririnrara, the commanding officer, was not present. Moreover, if they try to invade and occupy the territory of another country instead of just threatening it, even if it was just a remote region, the lords of the Avalonia Kingdom and the Holy Church Bishops will not remain silent.
Thinking of it in Prince Sarius’ standpoint, that would be a trump card he can play only if he is certain of his succession of the throne … but I don’t believe he was cornered into making such a wrong judgment.
But if the army has actually made a move, we can’t take our time anymore.
Ruti is finally enjoying a slow life in Zoltan so why is this happening now?
Glancing at Ruti, she seemed the same as usual.
So far, no one among the people fleeing seemed to be involved in the war. At the very least, it didn’t seem as though a full-fledged battle has begun.
“In any case, let’s go to the harbor district. But I believe Garadin and Bishop Cien should return to your posts.”
Garadin and Cien nodded to Ruti’s words.
“That’s right, sorry but I leave this to you.”
“It’s vexing to have a position. I leave Mistome to you.”
The two of them dexterously ran, while avoiding the crowd in a manner belying their age, toward where their subordinates were waiting.
They were both close to their 70s but still so energetic. I agree with how Zoltan people rely on them.
I tapped Ririnrara’s shoulder as she was still looking stiff.
“Ah, yeah …”
Ririnrara was puzzled with her own swaying feet but she was eventually able to walk straight.
She was hit with the full force of Ruti’s intimidation from her 『Hero』 divine protection. It would not be surprising if an ordinary person fell unconscious.
Ririnrara didn’t seem to realize the reason for her fear.