Chapter 140: Zoltan’s unreliable heroes
Zoltan’s Parliament building.
A fur carpet was stretched out on the floor on the corridor we walked.
It was luxurious but in the entire parliament building, only this corridor and one room were carpeted.
That room was the room at the end of this corridor, the meeting room where the top brass of Zoltan gathers during emergencies to decide the fate of Zoltan. It was an important room that could be called the brain of the nation.
It was no wonder that it was laid with carpet.
That said, Zoltan was normally peaceful.
In previous years, this room was only used to decide on the reconstruction budget for typhoon disasters.
This year, it has been used consecutively ever since the Winter Solstice festival.
Countless footprints remain on the carpet due to the lack of time to clean showed the turmoil in the nation.
Lit and I walked down that carpet as we headed to the meeting room.
Tise noticed us and called out.
Tise was playing with Ugeuge-san on her hand near the door to the room.
“The two of you came as well.”
“Is the meeting having a break?”
“Yes, they have been glaring at each other for hours so they took a break to cool their heads.”
“So the meeting was difficult. I’m honestly surprised.”
Although it was called a meeting, all Zoltan could do was make Prince Sarius and his followers leave Zoltan.
Prince Sarius’ side was unlikely to say they wish to remain in Zoltan to fight either.
Leonor’s large fleet probably can’t invade Zoltan which was situated a little within the mouth of a river but they could just suppress Zoltan by landing their soldiers.
We can’t expect great defensive strength from the easily surmountable Zoltan walls.
Moreover, the subordinates of a navy battle master Ririnrara would not be able to demonstrate the full extent of their abilities on land.
Even if they received the attack in Zoltan, they would only face complete annihilation from numbers alone.
That was why the only option for Prince Sarius will be to leave Zoltan as soon as possible and either escape Leonor … or fight them on sea.
“I believe for both Zoltan and Prince Sarius, the correct action that both would agree on would be for Prince Sarius to leave Zoltan.”
“Yes, the discussion was supposed to end at the very beginning with that but … ”
Tise frowned slightly and shrugged her shoulders.
Lit and I looked at each other, wondering what was the matter.
“Did something happen?”
“Something … well, it’s a problem.”
Tise exhaled a tiny sigh to Lit’s question.
“The meeting proceeded without issue in the beginning. Prince Sarius would leave Zoltan and Zoltan would cooperate as much as possible with the remaining supplies left here. After that, Zoltan will no longer defend Prince Sarius and will not refuse any request for information or supplies replenishment from the Veronia fleet. That was the gist of it.”
“I believe so too. But the problem started after that when Mistome-shi came late to the meeting.”
“Mistome-san? Don’t tell me Mistome-san wish that Zoltan fight to the end in order to protect Prince Sarius and Ririnrara … no, that’s impossible for Mistome-san’s personality.”
“Yes, of course, that was not the case. Mistome-shi immediately agreed after seeing the meeting minutes.”
“So after that?”
“Mistome-shi announced that she would leave Zoltan together with Prince Sarius.”
” … I see.”
That was certainly not a surprise.
“So what was Zoltan’s reaction? Mistome-san is endeared as a hero of Zoltan. Did they oppose her departure?”
“Initially they opposed but Mistome-shi revealed her identity to the meeting members.”
“She told them she was Princess Misufia.”
“Yes. With that, Zoltan had no choice but to agree that Mistome-shi must depart together with Prince Sarius.”
“Then that should resolve it?”
Then, we heard the sound of metal rubbing against metal from the stairs over the end of the hallway.
“I don’t know.”
Tise turned her sight toward the sound.
Footsteps accompanied by the metallic sound approached and as the sound climbed the stairs, we eventually saw their figures in the hallway.
“Ou, Red-kun and Hero Lit! You guys came too!!”
Mayor Tonedo called out.
Behind him were the top brass of Zoltan.
But they were dressed in a fashion in which neither Lit nor I had seen before.
“So what if it is the Kingdom of Veronia! Now is the time to show Zoltan’s pride!”
A fat noble raised his fist and shouted.
His movements were followed by the same metallic sound.
Everyone in that group had already crossed their middle-ages and there were even elderly beyond the age of 70 but they were all dressed in armor and walked down the hallway with bright expressions full of vitality.
There were shining brand new swords hanging on their waists.
The swords and armor were all sold at stores but they were expensive items with enchantment magic on them so they were probably lifetime goals for Zoltan adventurers.
However, the entirely new swords and armors appeared as new conscript equipment who knew nothing of war so they gave a slightly unreliable impression.
“Mayor Tonedo, what is the meaning of this?”
I asked without hiding my bewilderment.
The Mayor showed a wide brave smile.
“Zoltan will fight against the evil queen Leonor!”
I see, so this was the reason for the dispute.
But I never imagined the cautious and realist Mayor Tonedo to turn out this way.
“Just what the hell is this!?”
Mistome-san came out to the hallway from another room after hearing the commotion.
Behind Mistome-san were Prince Sarius and Ririnrara supporting the exact same expression of shock as we had.
General Ser William answered in place of Mayor Tonedo.
His middle-aged fat body was hidden behind armor and the appearance of Ser William, who has trained for many years, had more presence than Mayor Tonedo.
“We will fight to protect the one Zoltan citizen we respect.”
Ser William looked straight ahead while Mistome-san was stiff at a loss for words.
The meeting resumed with the addition of me and Lit.
“Eh? Ruti isn’t here?”
“She went to prepare for battle immediately after Mistome-san came and the meeting took a break.”
“She entrusted the meeting to me and went to Mistome-shi’s hidden village with Garadin-san.”
No wonder Bishop Cien was present but not Garadin.
Ruti probably decided to take proper action to fully utilize the limited time left rather than waste time in an unproductive meeting.
“But that’s unexpected.”
“Yes, we never imagined that Zoltan will fight the large Kingdom of Veronia for the sake of just one person, Mistome-shi.”
Zoltan, the land of laziness.
Enclosed by the Wall at the End of the World to the east and north, in the path of tornados and faces difficulty in developing new villages due to the spreading wetlands.
With plenty of water and rich soil, Zoltan has plenty of harvests although it takes time and effort. But many crops become damaged due to tornados so naturally it became characteristic of the people of Zoltan to be lazy and dislike effort.
They are half-hearted and leave whatever task they can for tomorrow.
The adventurers are only made up of lazy individuals who hate high-risk high-reward and only accept easy requests.
“You wish to bathe Zoltan in the fires of war just for my sake!? What of the responsibility you have toward the people of Zoltan!?”
“Then we can just ask Zoltan citizens. We will not stop them if they choose to flee. But we Zoltan army are prepared to bet our lives in order to protect the citizens.”
“The Magician Guild owes a great favor to you. Now is the time for the true value of our research.”
“Mistome-shi is a hero to the adventurers. They have not been told the circumstances but if they were told that you plan to fight Veronia with Prince Sarius, we will be inundated with volunteers to fight with you.”
“We Thieves Guild may not be friends with you but we residents of the underground society respect you all the same. We will cooperate and suppress the chaos in town.”
Lastly, Mayor Tonedo nodded and continued.
“Each and every citizen hold their own responsibilities. And our responsibility is our wish to protect you. We can rebuild if our home is burned down. We are accustomed to losing Zoltan. However, even Zoltan knows that there are things that can’t be regained once lost.”
There was no hesitation in Tonedo’s words.
Zoltan, the land of laziness.
“But, that is right.”
“Yeah, that is right.”
Lit and I nodded after looking at them.
Lit and I live in this town.
We have seen countless times the humanity the lazy and irresponsible downtown residents show for their friends.
Even after the incident with Big Hawk, the carefree Zoltan residents did not view the South Marsh district people with wary although they were on the verge of causing a riot and we still see the residents accept them in a carefree manner.
“That’s just how Zoltan is.”
Lit smiled in response to my words.
“As a Logavia Princess, I might say they are idiots for fighting a battle of certain defeat but as Zoltan’s Lit, I am proud of their carefree nature.”
Seeing that we were conversing in secret, Ririnrara walked over.
“Why are you talking among yourselves, stop these people! I will not involve them in a war they can’t win!”
“Pirates are truly selfish, even after giving Zoltan so much trouble.”
“Now is not the time for jests!”
“Sorry sorry. Well, I agree that it’s bad but Lit and I feel the same too.”
When I looked at Lit, Lit’s expression had tightened and she approached the table with a face full of confidence as Hero Lit.
“The opponent is the large Kingdom of Veronia. The matchless evil queen Leonor will probably be recorded in history for a thousand years to come. Leading seven state-of-the-art galleon-type warships was the steel ship, Wendy Dart. Opposing them, we have Prince Sarius’ one old-type warship and Zoltan’s three middle-sized sailing ships. Zoltan’s walls are easily climbed over and there is nothing to block them if they invade from the river. And we have no time. This is the situation, correct?”
The expression of Ser William and the others clouded over.
The difference in strength was hopeless and there was no geographical advantage.
Lit showed a fearless smile.
“Since we have finished confirming the situation, all that is left is to win.”
Why was Lit called Hero Lit?
That was probably because of her confident voice and smile.
If it was Lit, she could break down any hopeless situation. Her voice and smile carried the power to make others believe.
“Although I am proud of Zoltan’s carefree spirit, I am more proud of Lit.”
I muttered such that nobody heard and I headed to Lit’s side to search for a way to win.