TNG Vol. 17 Chapter 1 Part 4

After looking at the troops depart, Shin’s party joined the queue of adventurers and travelers to enter Kilmont.

During the immigration inspection, they were asked to join the monster extermination efforts, possibly because Shin and Shibaid were rank A adventurers, and the guards saw Kagerou in his large form.

Emergency requests were posted at the guild as well, to inform adventurers who arrived in the country after the ‘flood’, like Shin’s party.

“We got in easier than expected. The townspeople don’t seem too concerned either.”

“‘Floods’ happen more frequently here than any other place in the continent, after all. The townspeople must be used to it. The warriors’ line of defense has never been broken through, I imagine.”

Shibaid used the example as he knew of Shin’s exploits during the Balmel ‘flood’.

The “flood”, phenomenon caused by magic power accumulating in Sacred Places and turning into monsters, happened with different frequencies based on the location.

Some ‘floods’ happened in locations surrounded by cliffs or the sea, so they could not cause any damage, others had to be countered every time, as it happened in Kilmont.

“How is the inspection of the Sacred Place going?”

“That is probably the one thing that isn’t going well at all. Some parts are surrounded by the sea, so reaching them is arduous in itself. Besides, in the sea, there’s that.”

“That what?”

Shin judged from Shibaid’s frown that whatever “that” was, it was definitely something very troublesome. It was something related to the sea, that much was clear.

“I haven’t fought it personally, but Rah Muon has been confirmed to be there.”

“I see…that.”

Hearing the monster’s name, Shin understood why Shibaid would react like that.

Rah Muon was a gigantic merman-like monster: it was a fish in human form and looked very similar to mermen. The only difference was the size.

Rah Muon’s total length, its height in human terms, was about 40 mel, as far as Shin remembered. Its arms alone spanned over 20 mel. In comparison, Reforgerer looked like a cute little pet.

According to certain websites, it sometimes exceeded even 50 mel. It was one of the largest monsters in 【THE NEW GATE】, barring irregular ones.

Its mouth alone was big enough to easily swallow a small boat. Encountering it in the sea depths scarred many players forever, it was a monster through and through.

“There are no records of it ever attacking unprovoked, but anyone that approaches the Sacred Place islands is beaten mercilessly. I’ve seen it grab Serpents as if they were small fish and rip them apart. Even if there aren’t any records, I doubt humans could survive that.”

If someone was dragged in the sea by Rah Muon, they wouldn’t be found anymore.

Monsters that average humans would see as enormous were nothing but ants for Rah Muon. Humans were smaller than mice in its eyes: crushing them would be a cinch.

“It only attacks whoever approaches the Sacred Place? Not in any other circumstances?”

“There are records about it saving people stranded at sea before. I think its nature might be the same as before.”

In the game, Rah Muon was a boss monster that roamed the open seas.

It never did anything to players unless provoked, however. It swam in the ocean depths, so it was a rare occurrence just to encounter one.

Maybe it appeared sometimes in shallow waters and surprised players, but that was it. That was the reason why it was only treated as a possible source of trauma.

“For the time being, the best course of action is to stay away from it, then. Research of the Sacred Place won’t proceed, but to charge into a place protected by Rah Muon on purpose is a bit…”

There were other Sacred Places after all, so it wasn’t necessary to go stir that particular beehive.

“Let’s go find a place to stay, first of all.”

“In that case, I know a good one.”

Since the party entered the empire on their horse carriage, they needed to find an inn with a large enough space to accommodate it.

It was technically possible to turn it back into a card, but considering the carriage’s size, there was no way to do so without looking conspicuous. Shin asked Shibaid if he knew of any inns that could fit the carriage, and the latter replied positively.

Soon enough, they reached their destination: an inn for adventurers named “Blue Breeze Lodge”.

It was an inn for middle to high-class adventurers, complete with facilities such as parking spaces for horse carriages and stables for mounting beasts.

Shin approached a young staff member working outside and asked where he should put the horse carriage.

He told Shibaid and the others to go ahead and rent their rooms. It was Shin’s first time in a Dragnil country, but Shibaid and the others did not risk making mistakes due to not knowing the place.

After securing the rooms, the next scheduled stop was the guild. Because of its position as overlookers of adventurer activities, they could surely find information about the current state of the flood there.

Shibaid had already contacted the Dragon Emperor via a message card.

“You know, while we were coming to the inn I thought that the city looked really modern. The buildings are pretty much the same as they were in the game era.”

“Dragnils are a species with high longevity, after all. There are many of them who’ve honed their skills to high levels, as well as many people living ever since before the Dusk of Majesty. Since they don’t have particular preferences for the place they choose to live in, unlike other long-living species, the town developed like this, I suppose. Lord towns are also pretty close to the old capital.”

Pixies built villages to live in.

Elves stayed in forests.

Beasts too chose to live in specific places, according to their type.

Dwarves often lived close to mines or woodlands, but only because it was easier to gather materials there.

On the other hand, Humans, Dragnils, and Lords did not have particular preferences for the place they lived in. Dragnils generally preferred warmer places, but that was it.

They were all long-living species, with the exception of Humans; as Shibaid said, they had the advantage in terms of honing their craftsmanship. Many of them possessed unique techniques.

Maybe, because of a sort of racial pride, Dwarves still were superior in terms of craftsmanship. They supervised all technical work, with the exception of magic-related crafts.

“The union, right? I’d like to see any documents about them, if we have the chance.”

Vulcan, a Dwarf Shin met in Erkunt, had procured materials about anti-devil weapons from the union.

Judging from the fact that they retained material about things that were considered mythical at present, the union’s network of information was not to be underestimated.

“We’re almost at the guild, you two.”

Shin and Shibaid were engrossed in conversation, so Filma let them know they had reached their destination.

Shin looked at the guild and noticed many armed warriors going and coming out. They all seemed to be in a hurry, maybe because of the flood.

“Is it just me, or are we attracting an awful lot of attention?”

“Don’t worry, it’s always like this.”

Shin calmly replied to Sety’s observation. They always attracted attention, ever since Bayreuth, so he had grown used to it.

Schnee and Tiera alone attracted envious gazes just by walking side by side.

Now there were also Filma, a different type, but beautiful nonetheless, and the adorable Sety; it was almost like they were asking for people to look.

Because of Shin, Shibaid, and Kagerou, still in his large form, accompanying the women, no one dared to go beyond looking at the party.

“It’s more crowded than expected.”

The door leading into the guild was clearly larger than the ones they were used to seeing, as it was probably built for Dragnils. Inside, they found a packed entrance hall.

There were people huddled around the request board and others enjoying a meal in the adjacent tavern.

“Some people are standing by as reserve forces, others never joined in the anti-flood efforts in the first place. It’s usually like this unless the flood is very large in scope. Some adventurers go gather consumable materials too.”

“That looks difficult in its own right.”

The more Shin learned about Kilmont, the more he realized that without it the continent would easily fall into chaos.

“It doesn’t look like they’re treating it as a crisis, but things might take a turn for the worse.”

Shin and the others waited for the reception to be less crowded, then went to ask about the current state of things.

The monster attacks caused by the flood had already happened four times. Their numbers were great, but their level was not too high, so the forts were not at risk of falling yet.

Among the many low-level monsters, however, there were several units of absurdly high level: the troops Shin’s party saw leave when they entered the country were headed to exterminate such dangerous foes.

“Should we help a bit with the counter-flood operations?”

“Adventurers ranked B and above are contacted if a state of alert is declared. According to the receptionist, we’re not at that stage yet.”

In case of a real emergency, the soldiers stationed in forts would contact the capital. The guild would also be informed immediately, so there shouldn’t be substantial lags in communication.

Shin and Shibaid were both rank A adventurers.

Even if the information was being restricted to avoid panic, adventurers of their rank could be informed privately, added Shibaid.

Shin, however, was concerned by the fact that he had already heard voices and rumors about the counter-flood reinforcements being late from the surroundings.

Because of the crowds, he couldn’t tell who said what, but he felt like he heard the same kind of worried comments multiple times. Just like someone was spreading such rumors on purpose.

“…anything from the Dragon Emperor?”

“They said someone would come to pick us up — there it is.”

Shibaid and the Dragon Emperor could use the new generation Mind Chat through their adventurer cards, so Shibaid had already informed him of the situation while they were on the move.

The guild was closer to the castle than the inn, so the carriage had been sent to the guild to pick up the party.

Shin and the others left the guild and waited away from the main flow of people going in and out of the guild. Soon enough, a carriage with strikingly gorgeous decorations appeared.

The horse carriage was even drawn by a horse-type monster, 『Bullhorse』, roughly two times larger than the average horse.

“It sure stands out…”

“They don’t have any time to waste, after all. Forgive them this one time. They also have something to discuss with us, apparently.”

They could talk via Mind Chat, but apparently, the Dragon Emperor wished to see Shin and the others in person. There might be something else happening that Shin’s party did not know about yet.

“Could it be that what we came to tell them about is already happening?”

“No, it doesn’t look like that, at least for now. I think it’s about the flood.”

Shibaid had not heard the details yet either, so he pondered what the Dragon Emperor wanted to talk about, his chin resting in his hand.

“I apologize for the wait. We will depart immediately, please board the carriage.”

The coachman stopped the carriage in front of Shin’s party, quickly stepped down, and opened the door for them.

The surrounding adventurers and citizens looked curiously, but it couldn’t be helped.

The party got on the carriage, which proceeded to the castle without being stopped at the gates for inspection, as expected from a convoy for official guests.

When Shin and the others got off, someone was already waiting to guide them inside.

“(Whoa, the soldiers’ eyes are sparkling…)”

Shin talked to the others via Mind Chat while they followed the guide.

The soldiers looked at Shibaid as one would look at a famous athlete or singer.

“(Well, he’s the first emperor after all. He doesn’t disguise himself like Schnee either. It’s kinda strange to see adults excited like that, though.)”

Filma nodded as she replied, though to anyone else it would only look like she was nodding to herself.

“(The ‘Black Dragonlord’, the living legend who led and fought for all Dragnil…a hero among heroes who always protected his allies and bravely faced any and all foes. His halberd knows only victory, no enemy could stand after a single swing — they say that Dragnil kids all dye their scales black these days.)”

Something had apparently flipped Sety’s switch: she wrapped herself in her robe in some strange pose and started talking about the trends among Dragnil children.

“(Now that you mention it, I saw lots of Dragnils with black scales in town.)”

Schnee recalled seeing them on their way from the town gate to the guild.

“(Enough jokes.)”

“Ouch!?”

Sety’s switch had turned completely on, so Shibaid unleashed a sharp chop to stop her.

It didn’t look like he had put force in it, but it was still a chop from someone with very high physical attack and defense.

Sety was focused on magic attack and defense, so, even if he held back, the attack would be powerful all the same.

It was painful enough for her to express her pain out loud, instead of in the Mind Chat.

Shibaid signaled to the guide that nothing happened and they continued walking.

“(You went a little overboard there, Sety.)”

“(Big sis Schnee…I wanted to hear that earlier…)”

Despite her words of reproach, Schnee caressed Sety’s head.

“(Well, you’re so respected in this country, Shibaid, so you could overlook Sety’s antics, no?)”

“(Truthfully, I had the feeling that was not to be overlooked.)”

If she was allowed to continue, she might even have started pretending a dark power was awakening in her right eye or something.

Shibaid looked at her with a mixture of pity and compassion in his eyes.

“(I suppose that is a symptom that certain people develop in their teenage years.)”

“(Definitely.)”

Shin realized Sety had the same “sickness” he had contracted too. He could only hope she wouldn’t do things that she was going to be embarrassed about in the future.

“(We’re not going to the throne room?)”

Shin was mapping the castle via 【Magic Sonar】 and noticed they weren’t heading to any large chamber commonly used for royal audiences.

“(It seems they don’t have time for ceremonies.)”

Shibaid seemed to be already aware of the fact.

As they proceeded through the castle, the number of people around them progressively decreased. There were, however, more and more guards, so Shin concluded they were heading towards a tightly guarded section of the castle.

After about ten minutes of walking, Shin’s party arrived before one of the rooms in the furthermost part of that section of the castle. Each door was decorated exquisitely and engraved with emblems and crests, showing the importance of the rooms they led to.

Two guards were standing before the door: both were Dragnils and had the Paladin job. Their level was 255, so they certainly weren’t ordinary soldiers.

Their equipment was very similar too, but the Dragnil to Shin’s right had an appearance closer to oriental dragons, with blue scales. The one on the right was more similar to a western dragon, with red scales.

“His Majesty has been expecting you.”

The guide silently stepped to the side of the corridor, then the red-scaled Dragnil addressed Shibaid with these words and opened the door.

Shibaid had contacted the Dragon Emperor, so he led the party inside the room. The rest followed him following the order: Shin, Schnee, Filma, Sety, Tiera, and Kagerou. Yuzuha rode on Shin’s shoulder.

“It has been a long while, Shibaid. I am glad to see you again.”

As they entered the room, the black-scaled Dragnil sitting on the chair in the middle of the room stood up and spoke.

Shin felt the same air he had perceived from the kings he met until now emanating from him: the aura of a monarch, someone who ruled over people.

— Zaikuin Baal Kilmont  Level 255  Dark Knight

His level was maxed out, obviously.

Not all the kings Shin had met had high levels, but it felt natural for Zaikuin‘s level to be so high.

It was no surprise that he had fought alongside Shibaid either.

“I believe I haven’t met your other companions, other than Lady Schnee. My name is Zaikuin Baal Kilmont, emperor of the Dragon Empire of Kilmont. It is a pleasure to meet you.”

Schnee had deactivated her disguise: having worked alongside Shibaid in the past, she had met Zaikuin before.

Shin and the others introduced themselves too.

“Shibaid, so this man is your master.”

“Indeed.”

Shin felt Zaikuin’s eyes on him while he introduced himself and presumed that the emperor already knew about the High Humans. Zaikuin’s eyes were fixed on him, easily proving Shin’s assumption.

“Seeing him with my own eyes, I can truly feel that the myths were reality. So this is what it means to look at something apparently infinite…”

Zaikuin was apparently trying to gauge Shin’s capabilities, but the latter did not expect to be described as “infinite”.

What most people perceived and sometimes feared were the abilities provided by the game avatar and the powerups provided by the mysterious titles he received, but, if he returned to his reality, Shin was nothing but a student.

(If the real me had come to this world, would Schnee and the others have treated me the same?)

Such a thought surfaced in Shin’s head while he listened to Shibaid and Zaikuin talk.

“(Kuu~ No problem.)”

“(Yuzuha?)”

Shin was sure he hadn’t voiced his thoughts, but Yuzuha responded to them via Mind Chat, while pressing her paws on his cheeks.

“(No one stays with you because of your strength. So, no problem, kuu~)”

Yuzuha rubbed her cheeks against Shin’s and he felt all tension leave him.

He didn’t know why he had thought about something like that. But he immediately accepted Yuzuha’s words as true: if she said it, it had to be so.

“(Thanks.)”

Shin thanked Yuzuha, then looked at Zaikuin. As Shibaid’s master, he had to maintain a proper attitude.

“You are aware of the information already, sire?”

“About the transformation of humans into monsters, yes. I have seen zombies and similar creatures before, but nothing like what Shibaid told me.”

Not even the emperor of a large country such as Kilmont had ever heard of such happenings.

“Please let me know what you felt when you saw it, Sir Shin.”

What Shibaid knew was all through Shin, so the latter’s opinion as an eyewitness was important too.

Shin talked about everything he saw that day in as much detail as possible: how the human seemed to be possessed and retained part of his conscience. He also mentioned the bizarre traces of intrusion into the castle and the trap set in the secret escape passage.

“Hmm, if the state of possession could be dispelled, we might learn about the mastermind, but it seems that would be quite difficult. It would not be reliable either.”

“If they are just kept alive in the possessed state, they might turn back into corpses once it’s dispelled.”

Shin thought that the possessed player was alive when he saw him.

After seeing him bloat beyond his original form, he began wondering if it wasn’t already too late to save his physical body from the moment they met.

“If there is no way to save them, I suppose they should be taken down at first sight.”

“That’s true. The player expressed the same wish.”

What happened to him to make him plead to be killed so much? Even if Shin knew monsters were creatures that normally did such things, he couldn’t help but feel furious.

“You have my thanks for sharing such precious information. What are your plans now? Will you leave already? Shimaia wanted to see you too.”

The main conversation was over, so Zaikuin inquired about the party’s plans.

Shimaia was Zaikuin’s daughter: she could have attended the meeting, but apparently didn’t as she was not told about Shin’s High Human identity.

“We plan to visit several countries. In any case, I have refused already. I serve my master now, thus I cannot respond to her feelings. It would not be right to give her any expectations.”

Based on their exchange, Shin thought the princess had feelings for Shibaid. He had the feeling he had heard something like that before, but couldn’t remember well, so he asked Schnee for confirmation.

“(Shibaid stated it clearly, so I don’t think there can be doubts about it. He took care of her since she was a child, so he only sees her as a daughter, apparently.)”

Shin imagined that taking care of a princess was the duty of maids or servants, but since she was the first daughter, not only Shibaid but also Zaikuin and the empress tended to her as much as they could.

“You’re the only one who’d ever take that girl as a bride, though…”

“Please, that’s not funny. I am sure she has people vying for her affections everywhere.”

“If we disregard succession rights and hierarchies, there are many other princes and princesses. If necessary, she’d throw away her status without a second thought. She’s tougher than you think, my friend.”

“You’re starting to talk like when you were young, my friend.”

Shibaid noticed that the emperor had changed to a more frank kind of speech.

“In this room, there is only you, your master, and your companions, no need for formalities. I used to be an adventurer too. Besides, I never was a serious stick in the mud like you.”

“You never change, do you…”

Schnee smiled helplessly: Zaikuin was always that kind of person, apparently.

Maybe it wasn’t proper for an emperor to act like that, but Shin found him much more approachable now.

“Hm? Someone’s coming this way.”

After smiling relieved at Shibaid and Zakuin’s casual exchange, Shin’s detection skills picked up something. The map clearly showed an icon heading towards the room.

It was a single icon, moving too fast to be walking.

“Could it be…?”

“Sorry friend, looks like she found out.”

Zaikuin answered Shibaid’s doubt in a troubled tone, putting his fingers to his temples.

The new presence was going to barge in the room just like that, or so thought everyone present.

“It stopped?”

The icon stopped in front of the door, and they could hear the guards talking with someone. An endless cycle of “let me in!” and “no can do”.

“I’m not sure if I should say she has grown, or she’s still the same…”

Shibaid seemed to know who this new guest was. Shin had a pretty clear idea too.

“Let her in.”

Shibaid nodded and Zaikuin signaled to the guards to let the “guest” in the room. The door opened, revealing a female Dragnil.

Judging from her wings and tail, she was the type closer to the human side of the species.

The beautiful young girl had jet black eyes and deep crimson hair tied behind her head.

Shin thought she was the princess they talked about but was surprised to see that she was not wearing a dress, but a suit of armor.

— Shimaia Uru Kilmont  Level 232  Dragon Knight

She definitely was not the type of princess Shin had envisioned: she was more like Princess Rionne of Bayreuth.

“Shibaid!! I heard you were visiting, so I came!”

“Greet us properly first.”

The girl’s high spirits were promptly silenced by Shibaid’s chop. It was probably more powerful than the one delivered on Sety’s head: the girl held her head in pain.

Shin wondered if it was alright to treat a princess like that, but since Zaikuin did not say anything, it might be a normal routine for them.

“M-my apologies. I am the daughter of King Zaikuin, Shimaia Uru Kilmont. I was in a bit of a rush because I heard Shibaid was visiting. Please forgive my rudeness.”

Shimaia stood up tall and greeted the group with a polite, noble air to her, completely different from before. Her expression was still a little awkward, probably because of the lingering pain.

“Honestly…I’m sorry, everyone.”

“Well, we have already talked about the important topics, anyway.”

They were just going to leave, so Shin thought the timing of her arrival wasn’t bad at all, so he reassured Zaikuin and Shibaid, who looked at him apologetically.

“You have finished talking? Thus you have already asked Shibaid for support, father?”

“Support?”

Shibaid looked at Zaikuin, his eyes narrowed.

Zaikuin first acted like he didn’t know what she meant, but he probably understood he couldn’t keep pretending and reluctantly started talking.

“You and your big mouth…don’t look at me like that, Shibaid. Now that you have left the country, I am not going to rely on you so easily”

According to Zaikuin, the number of monsters spawned by the Sacred Place was unprecedented, so the defensive lines were starting to crack.

The knights who approached Shin’s party before their arrival in Kilmont did not give out any hints about such a situation, so they were either unaware or kept it hidden.

“Are there reinforcements coming from other countries?”

“The reinforcements from the church are expected to arrive today. We have contacted our allied countries as well.”

Zaikuin added that the situation was still relatively secure, at least until the expected arrival date of the reinforcements.

The monsters spawned this time, however, exceeded even the greatest floods ever recorded.

There were many kinds of monsters as well, especially insects and four-legged beasts.

“There are many high-level monsters too, I suppose? We have seen the 2nd division leave when we arrived in Kilmont.”

“You guess correctly. More than 10 monsters over level 500 have already been confirmed. The damage to the forts is escalating quickly.”

“If so, why?”

“When you left the country, you said you were prepared for us to become enemies. Thus — no, that is just the facade.”

Zaikuin paused for a moment, then looked at Shibaid straight in his eyes.

“Shibaid. To rely on you means to rely on your master as well. I know — know the world before the Dusk of Majesty, know how powerful your master can be. Because of this knowledge, I cannot rely on you so easily.”

Zaikuin had probably seen what Shin and his party could do with his own eyes.

He knew what the High Humans had done, how powerful they were, not through tales or legends, but as reality.

“Since you are the only ones listening, I will speak frankly. I was scared out of my wits. My responsibility as the emperor allowed me to stand as if I was unfazed, but when I heard you were coming, I trembled. And after actually looking at you, I realized it: you did not simply exceed my imagination, but much more. I recalled witnessing how you faced monsters and players much stronger than us and pulverized them as if they were nothing.”

Even if Shin and the others did not mean to, the overwhelming power they possessed made them difficult to approach.

Zaikuin had actually witnessed Shin’s battles; even if he knew of Shibaid’s connection to him, he could not approach Shin without hesitating.

His sense of duty as emperor was what made it possible for them to meet, apparently.

“Shibaid and Lady Schnee have told me about you. Now that we have met and I could learn a bit more about you, I understand there is no need to fear you so much.”

Zaikuin’s casual attitude had been an act too. He thought he could act like that because of Shin’s nature, but was still very worried that he was being too informal.

“If we rely on you, however, it will be difficult to continue hiding his existence. Sir Shin’s power is far too great. People will notice, and even if they don’t, someone will surely want to know more about you.”

High Humans were spotted in Kilmont. It was likely for such rumors to arise.

“What I fear the most is to start thinking that we can rely on you when the time comes. I am not a saint: that power of yours, greater than any monster, is terrifying but also awfully appealing. I have witnessed how fearful it can be in battle, but can’t help but think like that. Those who only know it through tales and legends are in even more danger of being enthralled. Similar things happened many times when Shibaid was here too. Some of those who support Shimaia and Shibaid’s marriage do so because of his strength. Even if we did not receive your direct help, but only Shibaid’s assistance, the same concerns would arise.”

“It’s not like we were always relied on, anyway. There were people who feared us, even if we did not mean to make them feel that way.”

Schnee reacted to Zaikuin’s words.

Schnee and the other former support characters too possessed powers far beyond the average in this world. Because of her connections with various countries, she had surely experienced herself what Zaikuin talked about.

People feared and avoided the strong, but at the same time relied on and clung onto them. Shin had had similar experiences, so he couldn’t help but nod in agreement.

Zaikuin was slightly relieved to see Shin agree. He spoke frankly but was afraid he had gone a bit too far. Shin understood Zaikuin’s momentum grew as he talked, so he ended up saying more than intended.

Only Shimaia, who did not know Shin was a High Human, could not keep up with the conversation.

“Father? What on earth are you talking about?”

“There is no need for you to know…is what I’d like to say.”

Maybe because she was surprised by Zaikuin’s uneasy air, Shimaia did not realize Shin’s real identity.

From Zaikuin’s words, it was possible to guess that a High Human had returned, so she might realize it in the future.

Zaikuin seemed to be thinking about how he should explain it to Shimaia.

There were no ministers or generals in the room, even though it wouldn’t be strange for them to join in on their conversation. Zaikuin was probably the only one who knew Shin’s true identity.

“Shimaia, all of the people here have powers on par with Shibaid. Lady Filma and Sety too were subordinates of the High Human called the Dark Blacksmith. You know about Sir Girard, don’t you? All of the Dark Blacksmith’s subordinates except him are here now. Even I would get nervous.”

“Oh my! All those people who vanished for such a long time!”

Zaikuin shifted the topic from the High Human’s presence to his subordinates. He did not plan to reveal such a truth just like that, not even to his daughter.

Filma and Sety’s existence was known, but after the Dusk of Majesty they had become part of legend, so what he said was not exactly wrong.

Filma had been trapped in a 『Drop of Erathem』, but Sety could leave her village if she wanted, so Shin did not know she was treated as a myth in the same way.

He asked her via Mind Chat and Sety replied that she concealed her appearance whenever she left the village. Considering the place she was protecting, her decision was surely the right one.

“In that case, I believe there is all the more reason to petition for their assistance, is it not?”

“No, it is not such a simple matter.”

The empire was in a critical situation and needed all the help it could get. So said Shimaia, but Zaikuin seemed to be conflicted.

Shimaia’s opinion was not wrong: as the emperor, Zaikuin had the duty to resolve the current emergency and limit casualties as much as possible.

“Hmm, now that I think about it, you have only seen our large-scale battles, haven’t you.”

Shibaid had been listening to Zaikuin and Shimaia’s exchange, then spoke up as if he recalled something. At the same time, he communicated with Shin via Mind Chat.

He stated two of his opinions:

How the current flood was suspiciously different from all others before it.

That he wished to help with the counter-flood efforts.

According to Shibaid, Zaikuin’s excessive concerns stemmed from the fact that he believed Shin’s power to be uncontrollable: once it was unleashed it would bring indiscriminate destruction, much like a nuclear warhead.

If they showed him that it was not the case and that Shin’s abilities were more limited in scope than Shibaid or Schnee’s, people would not realize Shin was a High Human.

Shibaid had parted ways with Kilmont, but it was still the country he used to rule, now protected by his former comrade in arms. It was natural for him to wish he could help.

Shin could understand that much and was concerned himself by the fact that the flood was greater than any other one yet.

Shin quickly nodded to Shibaid. He had helped Shin many times since they reunited, so Shin would never refuse an earnest request from him, even if there wasn’t a greater cause involved.

“In simple terms, it’ll be fine if no one finds out.”

“Shibaid?”

Shibaid’s unusual smirk left both Zaikuin and Shimaia dumbfounded.

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