99. He Doesn’t Seem to be the Same as Before
After freeing Claude and Leticia, we hurried to rescue the others.
As Klaus said, the minister and king also seemed to be trapped on that floor.
Fortunately, everyone was safe.
Well, that was probably because it was more convenient that way. Philip mentioned that they would be sacrificed to revive the Demon King. Hence, none of them were killed.
At the beginning, everyone was suspicious. They didn’t believe the neighboring kingdom would help them.
However, even so, they still listened to our explanation.
Most likely, it was due to Klaus being present with us. Those people knew they couldn’t win against him.
After a while, we all gathered inside the throne room and started our discussion.
“You’ve made an effort to save our kingdom. I have to thank you.”
His Majesty the King spoke with a dignified attitude.
It looked like his holier-than-thou attitude hadn’t changed.
Regardless, I had nothing to say to him. I didn’t care.
The king sat on the throne, while Claude stood beside him.
Across from him were Nigel, Douglas, and I.
Furthermore, several knights and ministers of the kingdom were also watching.
By the way, Leticia, whose curse had been lifted, wasn’t present.
She still seemed to be indignant. As such, she chose to retire to her chamber.
Nigel knelt before the king.
“I’m honored to be in your presence. I’d like to reintroduce myself—I’m Nigel Lynchgiham. You may be His Majesty the King, but it was an emergency. Please forgive my uncouthness.”
“I forgive you.”
The way the king stared at Nigel… it was as if he was sizing him up.
Tension ran inside the throne room.
“I apologize for my bluntness. However, let me get straight to the point—Lynchgiham, what do you want as a reward?”
The king asked.
The main topic had finally been breached.
Up until then, the kingdom had a fairly unilateral diplomacy with other kingdoms. As such, war breaking out wouldn’t be strange.
Hence why, in Lynchgiham, the people—especially Vincent—insisted upon military expansion.
If a kingdom like Verclaim were to be invaded by demons, would another kingdom be willing to help?
…No, at least not without a price.
The king seemed to also understand that. Maybe that was also due to the ministers.
In any case, the king believed no one was willing to help his kingdom for free.
Depending on the request, the kingdom’s predicament would continue.
However, the kingdom, having been made vulnerable by the assault from the demons, no longer had the power to prevent invasion from other kingdoms.
Everyone there must had thought the same. The tension was so thick, it burned as it pricked my skin.
Nigel spoke with a dignified tone while everyone’s attention was on him.
“I only want one thing, for us and the knights of Lynchgiham to remain in this kingdom for a while.”
The king didn’t answer.
Without worry, Nigel continued speaking.
“This may be rude, but… this kingdom was weakened by to the demon invasion. It’ll be difficult for this kingdom to regain its stability.”
“I won’t deny that, but…”
“I do not believe the demons will give up with just this. I’m sure that a second and third wave will come. Surely, Your Majesty is also aware of this? Once the kingdom is attacked again, will you be able to stand up against them?”
“Don’t be stupid. I don’t need your concern. My kingdom will surely be alright…”
“…If that is indeed so, how do you explain the current situation?”
The king’s face twisted. He couldn’t answer.
“This proposal shouldn’t be disadvantageous for your kingdom, either. It’s but an offer to help alleviate the turmoil until the kingdom stabilizes once again. Your Majesty, please accept my offer.”
Nigel bowed once again.
There was nothing odd about Nigel’s request. At first glance, it sounded sensible, and it was also for the good of the kingdom.
Still, the king couldn’t easily accept it.
That was only natural.
The king probably thought Lynchgiham was trying to seize control of Veirclaim.
That, too, was only natural.
In fact, there were many cases in which a kingdom was seized through such a method.
However, for Nigel to offer such was also correct.
Bargaining at the last minute.
Receiving an immediate answer might not be possible.
While a tense silence flowed…
There was one person who raised his hand and spoke to the king.
“…What’s wrong, Claude?”
It was Claude.
Frightened, his voice was wavering.
“I think you should accept the offer.”
“I, I mean…! There’s no doubt that our kingdom has been ravaged because of the demons, and it’s also true that they’ve helped us…”
I didn’t expect Claude to say any of that.
If he were the Claude I knew, he’d have straight up rejected it.
Although Claude was the first prince of that kingdom, the king said nothing.
After all, Claude was rebelling…
…I recalled how he begged me to cure Leticia.
Could it be, the demon invasion changed him?
However, Claude’s plea—
“—What are you saying! It’s still too early for you to get involved in politics! Don’t say anything unnecessary and stay quiet!”
—was easily rejected.
For a moment, Claude looked both angered and terrified by the king.
However, he glanced at me, then Nigel, and said without relenting.
“But, Father, you should be aware of this already… At the current rate, our kingdom will be doomed. Surely, even now, the demons are looking for an opportunity to strike. We have no way to repel them. Why don’t we just listen to these people?”
“Claude, do you realize what you’re saying?! What do you know!?”
A parent-child quarrel had begun.
Apparently, Claude was on our side. He seemed to be having a hard time persuading the king.
It felt like the king would win that argument.
“…What do we do, now?”
“I don’t expect them to conclude this any time soon.”
Looking at Claude and the king who were arguing with each other, Nigel and I whispered to each other.
For the time being, was it safe to say that the answer would arrive tomorrow?
I didn’t want to waste too much time, but it couldn’t be helped if that happened.
However, at that time.
Douglas, who had his arms folded and was keeping his mouth closed, stepped forward.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
In a flash, Douglas had rushed towards the king, grabbed him by the collar, and said.
“Do you think you have any choice in this? I could destroy this kingdom right away.”
***T/N: I love how her harems are basically the one doing the groundworks, but the Author will somehow find a way to make it all thanks to Eliane later.
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