In the end Mazel and Laura went with him and were allowed to see the Duke of Gründing. There was a very complicated procedure of going back to the Zierfeld and leaving Laura’s letter with Schünzel and then going to the Duke.
Laura could have made the request directly, but that would have put the High Septon and the rest of the church in a bit of a bind. But Laura made her request through the High Septon. I guess it’s thanks to Laura that it didn’t happen tomorrow.
“Herr Laura Luise Weinzierl, Werner van Zierfeldt, Mazel Hulting, I am here.”
One moment, please.
I’m the one who’s going to ask the guards. It may be that I’m the one who asked, but Laura, the princess, doesn’t give her name unless she’s the one who asked for you… or a squire or someone in her position.
And now Mazel is a royal courtier, but in terms of office and rank, he’s a commoner. The only time he can identify himself is when he’s summoned by one of the guards. Unless it’s an emergency, of course.
So in this case, I’m the one who’s supposed to arrive. Even if it’s the Duke in there, Laura’s in a higher position than the Duke, so I’ll give her a title of honor. I’m lower in rank than the duke, so I’ll address him by his own name. Mazel, who has no title, is last.
The rules that come with this kind of position are a pain in the ass.
Thank you for waiting. Please come through.
The guards only use honorifics because of Laura and me, the viscount. If it was just Mazel, they’d say, “Come in.” or something like that. It’s not easy being a guard.
I might have gotten a look on my face before I even walked in and bowed. Even Laura looks a little surprised. Not only the Duke of Gründing, but also General Seifert, the First and Second Lords, the High Priestess, the Captain of the Mage Corps, the Marquis of Norrpoth and the Marquis of Schramm.
I’m pretty sure the entire cast is here. No, thank you. Their lieutenants and bodyguards, but they don’t count here. It’s the custom of the nobility to treat them as if they weren’t here.
“Thank you for your time, Your Excellency, and thank you all for yours.”
“Yes. We were just about to speak with you.
The first to open her mouth will be Her Royal Highness, Laura. This is a sequential process. Privately, they’re grandfather and grandson, but publicly, this is what they say. The Duke will answer, since it was the Duke who asked for us, but I’m not sure the High Septon has more official status than the Duke.
Wow, this one’s a real pain in the ass.
We’ll talk about this later. First, you said you had something urgent to tell me.”
Yes. Viscount Zehrfeldt will give you the details.
Well, let me explain.
Finally, it’s my turn to speak. I bow and open my mouth. But now I have to skip the formalities and get on with my story.
I’ve come to the conclusion that you must go to King’s Landing and investigate as soon as possible. We have no physical evidence, but we do know that King’s Landing is in grave danger.”
A moment of silence. A beat later, the Duke speaks up.
“For what reason?”
I’ll explain step by step. This time, a demon tribe disguised as humans has entered the Great Temple.
The High Septon has spoken. I don’t blame him.
“It’s not possible that there aren’t any other demons who can do such a thing. In fact, it’s more natural to think that there are others.”
It’s actually out there. In games.
“Mm. Keep going.
“You may recall the recent attack on Fort Velisa by Viscount Mangold Gothlig Knaap with a small force, including his entourage.”
The High Priest may not know, so I’ll put it this way. Fortunately, the High Priest seemed to know it this time too, and nodded.
“I’ve been doing some research, and I’ve heard that Lord Mangold was leading dozens of men when he was spotted outside the walls of King’s Landing.”
I’ve heard the stories. It was witnessed by the guards on the ramparts.”
First Order Filsmeyer interrupted. He was spotted there. I’ll need more information later, but later.
“However, we have not heard of the disappearance of so many soldiers, adventurers, and mercenaries from King’s Landing, and our investigations have confirmed the same. Nor have they been seen leaving the city gates. It was a mysterious band led by Lord Mangold.”
I thought, “There’s no one here with half a brain. Because almost everyone except Mazel and Laura, who’d already explained it, turned pale. No, when I explained this possibility to Mazel and the others, they were all very upset.
General Seyfert opens his mouth to confirm.
“So you’re saying that dozens of them are suspicious.”
“Rather than saying that, it would be more natural to think that dozens of people have been replaced by the Demon Tribe.”
I don’t care now where or how Mungold gathered his men. But if dozens of people had disappeared the Adventurers’ Guild or the Mercenaries’ Guild or the Keeper of the Registers in King’s Landing would have noticed.
But what if dozens of mercenaries went out of King’s Landing at the same time as another one showed up at the guild with the same look on his face? It wouldn’t matter if there was a slight discrepancy in numbers.
People come and go in King’s Landing all the time. If someone told me that a few people had gone on separate journeys or taken long vacations or that an old acquaintance had joined them today I’d have forgotten about it by the end of the day.
dozens of demons would be walking around in the city with weapons. This is a bad idea. And besides…
“Suppose Lord Mungold had borrowed men from a nobleman of the Marquis of Knaap’s faction. The real Lord Mangolt is missing. It’s even possible that a demon tribe has taken the place of the real Lord Mangolt and is with the noblemen.
In the worst case… the nobles may have escorted him into the castle… I’m not sure if we can make him look like us, or even remember us, or if the wards will work, but we have to at least assume the worst.
Marquis de Schramm opens his mouth.
“But I’m told the gatekeepers of King’s Landing have seen no sign of Lord Mangold or his group.”
“If the gatekeeper is a human being, then I think we can trust his testimony.”
I may have been a bit curt. But it’s conceivable. It’s a rule of criminals to eliminate witnesses. And if the gatekeeper’s been replaced, we’ll never know.
“I suppose Lord Mungold and the entire group were used by the enemy.”
“This is just my imagination based on my impression…”
Mungold himself probably wouldn’t have felt a problem if he’d had someone to follow. His arrogance. He might have taken it for granted that his orders would be obeyed.
Or it could be that Mangold himself was already too late, but that’s beyond me. There were reports that Mangold had been seeing someone a few times, too. That’s the one I’m thinking of.
Maybe he won’t live, so we should pray.
On the other hand, what happened to those who were gathered as soldiers at that time is a mystery to me. But if they were gathered only for the purpose of scouting and were unconscious from poison or magic or something, they might have been taken out of the castle without resisting.
Lily was probably under some kind of an abnormality spell… but she didn’t seem to be resisting at all… What if she’s in a similar state?
In the game, confusion type status abnormality reverses the attack target of the enemy and the ally. I remember there was a cursed equipment in the game that always confuse you. If you only look at the value of the equipment, it’s excellent.
The equipment aside, if the Demon Tribe had suffered an unexpected defeat in the Demon Runaway and had taken some time to prepare for it, it would not be impossible for them to replace dozens of people.
It’s surprising how often we don’t seem to know who’s around us. There have been many cases in my past life where enemy soldiers disguised as my allies have slipped into the castle.
The current guards in King’s Landing don’t know that our enemies can infiltrate human society like that… they’ll be on their guard. They may think he’s become less friendly lately… but they won’t think he’s just another person with the same appearance.
By the way, there is no word for the repose of souls in this world. When you die… you’ll be tried before the gods… and if your heart is good… you’ll be welcomed into the god world… and if it’s bad… you’ll be fed to the demons in the demon world. I don’t know if it’s true or not.
Right or wrong, since there is no concept of the underworld or the netherworld in the first place, the word “pray for good fortune in the netherworld” doesn’t exist by necessity. It’s almost as if the followers of religions that didn’t have the same concept of the underworld in their previous lives would reject the idea of praying for the good fortune of the underworld.
The difference is that in this world there are times when you realize that God does indeed exist through priests who use magic known as Sacred Magic.
“Was he already someone’s puppet long before that? I can’t deny that possibility.
It is indeed urgent. Werner, you’ve said it well.
“I hope I’m overthinking this.”
The duke and the general looked at each other and nodded and then turned to the knight commander.
“By the name of Duke Gründing. Select 10 of the finest knights from each of the First and Second Order and deliver to His Majesty the letter I’m about to write.”
“Messengers of the First Order will take the regular roads. Messengers of the Second Order will take the secondary roads to King’s Landing. Make sure they get there.
Duke, just a moment.
The sorcerer-captain interrupts. He looks at Mazel and then behind him… and puts a box on the table. There’s some kind of a sign on it. I wonder if it’s some kind of seal or something.
“You should check this one out too.”
The sorcerer captain opened the box and found two black gems inside. One looks like the one I picked up in the village of Arlea. The other one must be the one I found after I killed Beliulace.
One of them was bad enough, but two of them is indescribable. How can I describe this vague feeling of uneasiness?
Duke Gründing and the others look more or less the same. Mazel’s face is unusually difficult or grim. I’ve never seen him look like this.
“Before I go any further, there are a few of the men who were examining the black gem who have lost their minds.”
What do you mean, “sanity”?
The Duke comes to visit, but his tone is more of a confirmation. More like he wants us to listen.
“The one I was studying in detail acted as if it had lost its reason.”
“Is it not disgust and displeasure…”
“I’d say it’s more like fascination. Maybe fascinated or possessive would be closer to it.”
The sorcerer captain answers General Seyfert’s question. The High Priest nods beside him. It’s strange to be attracted to something so stinky. There’s a lot I don’t understand about this.
“Sir Werner, one of them was secured by you, but there was no sign of it?”
“I don’t recall that. But I didn’t watch it all the time or examine it carefully.”
I had a feeling that there was something fishy about it, but I was too tired and I didn’t feel like checking it out because of the conversation I had with the village chief afterwards. In the end, I just wrapped the surrounding soil in a rag and carried it away.
I didn’t think Neurath and Schunzel showed any signs of it either.
“I see. Well, Sir Mazel, what do you think?
Before I go any further, may I ask one thing?
It’s usually impolite to ask questions like this backwards but the sorcerer captain nodded. But the sorcerer captain nodded.
But I didn’t understand Mazel’s next question in the first place.
“Why is this here?”
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